Why do Civilians Need Assault Weapons?

Why do Civilians Need Assault Weaponsby Mark Almonte –
The two strongest reasons for civilians to own assault weapons are self-defense and defense against tyranny.

One self-defense situation that comes to mind is the L.A. riots. Who can forget the nightly news’s live footage of thugs hurling rocks at passing cars, buildings on fire, and looters smashing storefront windows? Then there was the savage beating of truck driver Reginald Denny.

What was stunningly absent from the video footage? There were no police or fire personnel.

According to the Los Angeles Times, police were ordered to stay out of the area for three hours.  Numerous 911 calls for assault, murder, and fire-bombings went unanswered.  But as the violence raged, one group of citizens refused to be victims — the Korean storeowners. [Read more…]

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Christians Must Not Retreat from the Culture, We Must Work for its Conversion

Christians Must Convert the Cultureby Deacon Keith Fournier –
Two years before becoming Pope, Karol Cardinal Wotyla spoke to the U.S. Bishops. His observation was republished in the Wall Street Journal on November 9, 1978:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has gone through. I do not think that wide circles of the American society or wide circles of the Christian community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-Church, of the Gospel and the anti-Gospel. This confrontation lies within the plans of divine providence. It is a trial which the whole Church must take up.”

And take it up we have. However, there is much, much more to do. The ground has shifted and the struggle is intensifying. Our cultural mission lies at the heart of what it means for us as Christians to be leaven, light, salt and the soul of the world. This is no time to retreat from culture, we must work for its conversion. What is needed are men and women of Christian courage. [Read more…]

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Sacrifice and Self-Interest

Sacrifice and Self-Interestby Jordan Ballor –
One of the complaints often rendered against the market economy is that it encourages selfish behavior. This picture of the marketplace is that of a kind of war of all against all, with each participant out only to maximize his or her own individual benefit. As American social gospel advocate Walter Rauschenbusch contended in his Christianizing the Social Order, “The trader has always been the outstanding case of the man who plays his own hand and sacrifices social solidarity for private gain.” This characteristic, claimed Rauschenbusch, has been exaggerated in the modern era, such that “the trading class has become the ruling class, and consequently the selfishness of trade has been exalted to the dignity of an ethical principle. Every man is taught to seek his own advantage, and then we wonder that there is so little public spirit.” [Read more…]

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Thanksgiving with Winston Churchill

Thanksgiving Defend Liberty Oppose Tyrannyby Jeffrey Folks –
In an appearance at Royal Albert Hall on November 23, 1944, Winston Churchill spoke in honor of the American holiday of Thanksgiving. On that day, just as Hitler was about to unleash the desperate counterattack that became known as the Battle of the Bulge, Churchill declared that there had never before “been more justification, and more compulsive need” for a day of thanksgiving.

As the enormous global struggle approached its climax, clearly there was “need” for thanksgiving. With an estimated 100 million human beings already lost in the years between 1935 and 1945, there was need for resolve if the war was to be carried through to its conclusion. Offering thanks for the allied successes to date might aid in that resolve.

Certainly there was need, but precisely why was there “justification” for a day of thanksgiving? On this point Churchill was equally articulate. The free world had reason to be thankful that America, a nation of “peaceful, peace-loving people,” had at the critical juncture awakened from its slumber and transformed itself into the pre-eminent military power in the world. [Read more…]

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Religious Freedom is Necessary for Other Freedoms to Flourish

Religious Freedom key to all other freedomsby Thomas Farr –
Is religious freedom necessary for other freedoms to flourish? This is indeed a big question. It implicates an array of philosophical issues and scholarly disciplines, but it also has distinctly practical, even strategic, dimensions. That is to say, it raises questions not only about human nature and human flourishing, but about the freedom and stability of whole societies, as well as international peace.

The “other freedoms” with which we are here concerned typically exist in a mature democratic system of civil society and ordered liberty. They include the freedoms of expression, association, assembly, economic activity, and equality under the law, and freedom from persecution or unjust violence. [Read more…]

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Hope in God, Do Not Despair

St.  Cyprian of Carthageby Fr. Brian Mullady, OP –
There are those who despair and have no hope when things do not go their way in the political order. This cannot be a Christian attitude.
“The world itself now bears witness to its approaching end by its fading powers. […] The peasant is failing and disappearing from the fields, the sailor at sea, the soldier in the camp, uprightness in the forum, justice in the court, concord in friendships, skill in the arts, discipline in morals.”

Someone might think these words were written today in response to a decline in American society witnessed by the attempt to so centralize the government that the freedom of the Church is threatened. Yet these words were written by St. Cyprian, an early Church Father, around the year 250.

At the time, the Christians thought that the world was coming to an end as they knew it. Yet St. Cyprian, as all good Christians, was not moved to despair. [Read more…]

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Hobby Lobby’s Christian Owners Fight $1.3 Million-Per-Day HHS Mandate Fine

Hobby Lobby CEO David Green and his wife Barbara
Hobby Lobby CEO David Green and his wife Barbara
by Kathleen Gilbert –
The Obama administration is set to levy as much as a $1.3 million per day fine against a Christian retail business based on their religious objection to abortifacient drugs, according to a lawsuit filed this week.

Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., with more than 500 arts and crafts stores in 41 states and over 22,500 employees, is reportedly the largest for-profit business yet to file suit over the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate requiring businesses to provide free abortion-causing drugs, such as the “week-after” pill Ella, as non-negotiable “preventive services.”

Lawyers for the private retail chain filed a lawsuit in the US District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, where the company is based. [Read more…]

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Cardinal Dolan on Fighting the Good Fight for Religious Freedom

Cardinal Timothy Dolan by Cardinal Timothy Dolan –
Over the course of the coming year, the effort to protect religious liberty and the freedom of conscience will continue. In the end, this is not about bishops, it is not about Catholics, it is not about contraceptives. It is about the ideals our nation was founded upon: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. You can’t do much better than the First Amendment to the Constitution. The founding fathers got it right. The HHS mandate gets it wrong. We are fighting to correct that wrong, in order to make sure that religious freedom continues for the generations to come after us. …

One part of the HHS mandate sadly goes into effect today, August 1, 2012. You probably know all about the mandate by now. It’s the decree from the Secretary of Health and Human Services that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employer health care plans to include contraceptive services for women, including drugs called abortifacients. [Read more…]

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Archbishop Chaput: Christians Must Render Themselves Unto God

Archbishop Charles Chaput by Archbishop Charles Chaput –
Paul Claudel, the French poet and diplomat of the last century, once described the Christian as “a man who knows what he is doing and where he is going in a world [that] no longer [knows] the difference between good and evil, yes and no. He is like a god standing out in a crowd of invalids . . . He alone has liberty in a world of slaves.”

Like most of the great writers of his time, Claudel was a mix of gold and clay, flaws and genius. He had a deep and brilliant Catholic faith, and when he wrote that a man “who no longer believes in God, no longer believes in anything,” he was simply reporting what he saw all around him. He spoke from a lifetime that witnessed two world wars and the rise of atheist ideologies that murdered tens of millions of innocent people using the vocabulary of science. He knew exactly where forgetting God can lead. [Read more…]

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Independence Day Reflection: Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness

Life Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness by F. K. Bartels –
Man’s natural desire for happiness is of “divine origin: God has placed it in the human heart in order to draw man to the One who alone can fulfill it” (CCC 1718). …

In June of 1776 Thomas Jefferson, seated in the second-floor parlor of a bricklayer’s house in Philadelphia, brilliantly composed the first drafts of the Declaration of Independence. After some revision, the bulk of the document was approved by Congress on 4 July, 1776. While the Declaration would soon become one of the world’s most significant documents, its second sentence is perhaps most famous:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” [Read more…]

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Earning Happiness — The Moral Promise of Free Enterprise

Prager University The words “happiness” and “free enterprise” don’t usually appear in the same sentence. Arthur Brooks, President of the American Enterprise Institute, explains that the two are intimately and profoundly connected. The free enterprise system not only creates real wealth, it also provides individuals with the best chance to achieve personal satisfaction.

Brooks’ lecture, titled “Earning Happiness: The Moral Promise of Free Enterprise,” makes a strong case that the free market economic system is most conducive to human welfare. Brooks explains

“Free enterprise matters not just because of its unparalleled material benefits but because of its unparalleled moral benefits.”

[Read more…]

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The End of America? The HHS Mandate’s Threat to Freedom

HHS Mandate’s Threat to Freedom The Obama’s Administration’s mandate requiring the Catholic Church to conform to government dictates on contraception and abortifacent drugs is more than a war on the Catholic Church argue Jennifer Roback Morse and Eric Metaxas. It’s a war on freedom.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has mandated that social service providers, including those run by Christian institutions and the Catholic Church, pay for abortion inducing drugs, contraceptives, and sterilizations through their health insurance plans, even if this violates their religious beliefs.

Eric Metaxas and Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse articulate the grave dangers of the Health & Human Services (HHS) Mandate with regard to religious freedom in America. [Read more…]

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America: The Home of the…Compliant?

Socialism slavery tyranny communism by Daren Jonescu –
If you want a quick measure of the state of American society, you might consider the federal government’s use of unmanned aerial drones to monitor U.S. citizens, and in particular the EPA’s matter-of-fact defense of its use of drones over the Midwest as necessary to “verify compliance” with environmental laws. And as the EPA’s “environmental justice” agenda is quickly becoming the government’s official overarching priority (see here), we might describe the Obama era as the dawning of the Age of Compliance.

The priorities of civilizations can be gleaned from a consideration of the virtues they cherish most. For example, Homeric Greece valued honor, so their crowning virtue was courage. Later, the Classical philosophers attempted to change Greece, emphasizing the rational life over the warlike, and hence upholding wisdom as the definitive virtue. Achilles vs. Socrates became Greece’s great civilizational debate. [Read more…]

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Progressing toward Moral Darkness

Communism and Progressivism Moral Darkness by Gary Horne –
A fashionable name for the left these days is “progressive.” The use of this word hints that the progressive has already passed the rest of us and is moving on to some place where the normal rules of reality don’t apply. Is it the Garden of Eden? Atlantis? Oz?

What will life be like in this destination? Will the moral standards be compatible with the society we want? How do progressive values compare with the traditional American ethical standards from the founding of the United States and from the major religions?

From the Founding:
The moral underpinnings of the United States of America were beautifully and concisely expressed in the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

[Read more…]

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Keynesianism and the Collectivist Dream

Democrat Communist Marxist no difference by William Sullivan –
It’s campaign season, and as usual, Democrats are employing their class struggle rhetoric to position a redistributive government agenda as the only way Americans can be saved from themselves and the greedy capitalists who prey upon them.

Accustomed though we may be, this might seem an odd campaign strategy in light of recent polls showing widespread distrust of, and even contempt for, the federal government.  But they have no choice but to keep their talking points emotional rather than substantive, you see.  The core economic model of the American left is Keynesianism, which is less a viable economic path than it is an unrealistic pipe dream that stirs the collectivist’s blood, much like the notions of world peace and Utopia.

Keynesianism is a model based upon how collectivists think the economy should operate, rather than how it actually operates.  As Ron Ross puts it, “Keynesianism is definitely not an evidence-based model of how the economy works. [Read more…]

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