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by Pauly Fongemie
  April 8, 2014

Every now and then we run a column about various matters the discussion of which is not long enough for a single article taken alone. This is another of the "This and That" genre.

Two corrections of fact are in order:

Last week FOX News' Bill O'Reilly program had a section about the secularization of the culture, in particular, in the public schools. Of this there is no denying that not only is the marginalization of  Christ well under way, it has reached "critical mass". In his introduction Mr. O'Reilly referred to the Founding Fathers who were not averse to religion ["Christian" - not Moslem, Hindu, etc.] in the culture and as a factor in why and how our government system was developed. No argument there. This was in counterpoint to the multi-cultural diversity crowd that wants to equate other world "religions" with Christianity, and thus Christ was at least being shunned in favor of the ascendancy of these others. He was right on point. However, he misinformed his audience when he indicated that the Founders wanted Christianity in the public schools. There were no public schools in the United States until well after the establishment of the nation - in 1832, in Massachusetts. While there were those who hoped for the eventuality of public schools, the only schools were established privately by the Puritans, etc., usually sectarian. Most children were home schooled. This is fact #1.

Thus, they could not have wanted anything taught in schools that did not exist, although we know from their correspondence with one another that they would have welcomed Christian tenets as part of a sound education in public schools if they did exist, so O'Reilly was not entirely in error. He had the general idea, that our system is based on the natural law and the inherent and self-evident rights bestowed by God on those persons He creates. A part of that natural law includes the Commandments - still more rigorously taught by Christ. This is why the Ten Commandments were [are still] prominently on display in a number of government buildings. Our system of government's very basis is inculcated with the natural law tenets expounded on by the Catholic Church then and today. The knowledge of the natural law that our Protestant Founders had came from the Church, just as the Bible did. To deny this or to elevate other religious beliefs to an equality as to our way of life in our public expressions is to remove Christ in essence, and this is what is happening. If we continue with this trajectory, America - established with a Constitution and a system of law - will become irrelevant, then altered until it is unrecognizable as a coherent, united society. The is the virtual fracturing of America, the underpinning of which is the diminution of Christ in public affairs, so much so that until He is eliminated completely will the diversity gangs be mollified. An America without Christ publicly recognized, thanked and acknowledged as the King of nations, will cease to be a free nation. No ifs, ands or buts! So we salute Bill O'Reilly for a valiant effort.

The second concerns the late President John Kennedy. I had a chance to view a documentary on his life and Presidency. One of the narrators told the audience that President Kennedy was in favor of abortion and a "practicing Catholic". Well, no, actually. There are those who say, we are all sinners, so how can I say this? Those who do are comparing apples with oranges and do not understand much about the Faith. Let us use an analogy:

Person A tells lies here and there. Sometimes the lies are venial sins and sometimes mortal sins. He knows they are sins and violations of the eighth commandment. He wants to stop lying, repents as often as he falls, goes to Confession with sincere amendment and keeps trying, trusting in the grace of God that he will succeed and become a Saint. He is a practicing Catholic, a sinner like all of us are.

Person B also tells lies on the rare occasion, unlike Person A who is struggling mightily; unlike A, B approves of lying as acceptable, he is in favor of lying. He thinks it pragmatic and useful. He would even favor a movement to have lying in Court under oath reduced to a misdemeanor at most. He sees little wrong in lying, period. He is also a Baptized Catholic who still goes to Mass. But that is for public consumption, in  reality he is not a practicing Catholic because, by definition, he is a heretic, either material or formal, more than likely the former unless a known public figure that has been warned about his stance. Since he favors a mortal sin he is committing a sacrilege, objectively speaking, when he receives Communion. Perhaps his education is faulty and his conscience is warped through no fault of his own. But objectively, and this is all we can judge, he is a moral heretic and no longer a "practicing Catholic."

The difference to remember is that A is a sinner but does not think it is good to sin, to tell a lie, no matter how small he may judge it to be. He knows it is wrong, he is ashamed and does not tell others that lying is a public necessity or a good thing. He does not favor it as a policy. B, on the other hand, not only tells a lie when he finds it convenient, he approves of the practice itself, and is not repentant. In the objective sense he is living the life of a heretic, which disqualifies him as a Catholic "in good standing". A and B are worlds apart.

The same is applicable to the case of abortion. A woman who gets an abortion and repents of it, can receive absolution in Confession, is forgiven  by God. She was a sinner, but not a heretic because she was not out demonstrating or otherwise approving of abortion as a good human action, thereby giving grave scandal. Her US Senator favors abortion and is also a "Catholic" like she is. But he is a heretic and ought not to receive Communion as if he was in full compliance with the beliefs of the Church.

This is fact #2 dealt with. Anyone who saw that same documentary is now advised that what he was told by that narrator is not correct. Now it must be said that since at the time Kennedy was not out in public agitating for abortion rights, he was a private heretic and probably caused no scandal in this regard, which is a mitigating factor in his favor. However, this does not absolve him of the charge of material heresy; he had to have known that abortion is a grave sin; his mother was a devout Catholic and interested in her children's education.

Our last subject does not deal with error of fact but is a salutation of gratitude to Megyn Kelly, Fox News host and evening anchor for her exposure of the left's hypocrisy on women.

On February 11 I posted a column in which this issue was featured [THE CATHOLIC CHURCH - WHY THE WORLD FEARS HER]. Therein I wrote:

"The Western left - the voice of the major media - feigns concern about women's rights, and does define Islam to be a way of life that inhibits women in education and other life choices. But this acknowledgment only goes so far, for the left pays deference to Islam in sundry ways, unlike the lack of deference it pays to those calling themselves Christian, particularly Catholics. What it refuses to fully critique Islam on it more than makes up for in its exaggeration and distortion of the "rights" of women in the Church. Why the harsh double standard? Why the persistent prejudice against the only true ark of salvation wherein men are saved? Why the hatred of Catholicism but not Islam per se?

"Why is it that the Catholic Church's dogmatic teaching on abortion, etc., is condemned by the secular culture, but the same moral tenets of Islam are either ignored or simply not condemned if mentioned? Why is it that Islamists who condemn Israel are not ostracized by the powers that be, yet the Church, which condemns the condemnation of Jews who have a right to exist, is condemned - not for this, but condemned anyway simply because it is the Church and not just any sect? I repeat, why the hatred of Catholicism but not Islam per se?"

Miss Kelly did not address Islam and abortion as such, but the suppression of the just rights of women, especially the cruelty of "honor" killings and beatings, etc. A documentary on these horrors is being denied access to show the film on college campuses, the very same campuses that have no qualms about promoting the most extreme aspects of abortion - not that any abortion is not extreme in of itself, in that it willfully slaughters an innocent baby.

The conclusion [absolutely correct] is that the left protects Islam.

In that same column I also said:

"What is behind this inconsistency? The inconsistency of outrage at the Islamist terrorists, but not the Koran itself, accepting the explanations of Moslems who avow they are not in that camp, no formal decrees of expulsion - while there is simultaneous vociferous clamor against the moral Tradition of the Church which explicitly condemns vengeance, violent or not, placing those who would kill in the name of promoting the Faith outside the Church? Why are the cultural elites so eager to believe the Muslim, but not the Catholic?

My conclusion was fear.

While looking at the disparity of media coverage of the two religions - Catholicism and Islam - only one is considered "fair game", in the case of the media, unless it is Pope Francis being loose-lipped, thereby acceptable to the secular crowd, and that is the Catholic Church, while Islam mostly gets a pass at the very least.

Catholic Tradition pays tribute to Miss Kelly and her guest Kirsten Powers, although a Democrat, was also aghast at the double standard. It is long past due that the light is directed toward the sordid, secret world of the mass media, revealing its shibboleths and its disqualification as arbiter of anything moral in that these self-anointed experts are but rank hypocrites and thus suspect by definition. The trust factor is depleted and anyone with any sense of comprehension and the bigger picture, now knows it, thanks be to God!

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