By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
From CBS New York:
By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
From CBS New York:
I just finished interviewing Lea Carawan, Executive Director of the Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation. Check out the interview here. We discussed religious freedom and some of the recent attempts to neutralize Christianity in America, such as the Veterans Administration in Michigan removing all symbols of Christianity in their chapel. The discussion led me to consider the topic a little more broadly, especially in light of the Christian persecution going on in Iran at the hands of ISIS. I wondered how prevalent Christian persecution of any type was in the rest of the world?
After just a short time digging, I found some pretty startling information. For instance, did you know that Christians are currently the most persecuted religious group in the world?
Overseas intervention isn’t exactly in vogue right now, Save Jerseyans, but Congress’s leading humanitarian Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) is worried about what’s unfolding in the Central African Republic. Smith used his position as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations to host a Thursday hearing and hopefully draw some public attention:
Peggy Noonan spoke to ETWN on Sunday morning (Rome time) to give her historical perspective on Pope John Paul the Great, Save Jerseyans, who along with Pope John XIII was canonized on Sunday at an overflow Vatican City open air mass led by Pope Francis.
John XXIII is best remembered for Vatican II. The latter pontiff played an integral role in its implementation (or moderation, depending upon whom you ask) but he also occupied the role of a famously close ally to her old boss, Ronald Reagan, as the Cold War entered its endgame. For Noonan (who is also a Catholic), the theology of sainthood is one which necessarily has practical implications for the political class.
Sainthood isn’t deification. A cursory read of any history of the saints tome will drive that point home in no time flat. “Don’t think of them as perfect,” Noonan told her Catholic network interviewer. “Think of them as people who are showing you that you can be that way if you tried harder.” In her mind, the fact that one man could help the West bring down an evil empire AND fail to adequately address an emerging sex abuse scandal is evidence enough of her conception of sainthood as being one of men with “foibles” nevertheless impacting history in a positive way.
Pope Francis, ever plain-spoken, said in his homily that it all comes down to “courage.”
Have you seen today’s “Google Doodle” for Good Friday 2014, Save Jerseyans?
Don’t adjust your monitors. That’s it. And it’s not exactly festive…
Google has special logos lined up for every obscure, liberal hero, fringe holiday and South American labor leader’s birthday but, to quote Uncle Junior of Sopranos fame, “jack s–t for Jesus.” In 2013, Google commemorated Easter, arguably the world’s most widely-commemorated religious holiday, by posting a doodle in honor of Marxist Cesar Chavez.
So much for “don’t be evil.”
If you want to know why I could never vote for a Ron Paul-type libertarian, Save Jerseyans, then read this exceedingly disturbing report out of a Russian militant-occupied town in Eastern Ukraine (via USA Today):
Emanuel Shechter, in Israel, told Ynet his friends in Donetsk sent him a copy of the leaflet through social media.
“They told me that masked men were waiting for Jewish people after the Passover eve prayer, handed them the flyer and told them to obey its instructions,” he said.
The leaflet begins, “Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality,” and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and “register.”
What else can you say about people who refuse believe in something they can’t see but are also equally confident in declaring, with 100% certainly, that it doesn’t exist? Yup. It’s irrational to the say the least…
A little Holy Week humor served up with a heaping dose of common sense courtesy of comedian (and self-described conservative Christian) Brad Stine:
Remember the name “Sohail Mohammed” going forward, Save Jerseyans. Rightly or wrongly, the Indian-American Muslim serving as a New Jersey state trial judge is going to remain a hot topic for as long as Governor Chris Christie remains a 2016 GOP primary contender.
I’d submit “wrongly.” There isn’t much legitimate reason for concern. None, actually. Criticism of Judge Mohammed centers around the fact that, in private practice, he defended some pretty shady people in the aftermath of 9/11. Critics, many of whom love quoting their pocket constitutions, conveniently (and ironically) forget the Sixth Amendment’s right to assistance of counsel for criminal defendants.
Most importantly, Mohammed in his capacity as a family court jurist hasn’t issued any rulings which suggest that he’d ever substitute fealty to the Constitution and state law for Sharia.
But good luck relying on facts and logic, folks, when the scrutinized party’s patron is a candidate for president…
I remember, as a kindergarten student, knowing that Saddam Hussein was a bad man and that it was right and just that we were going to invade Iraq: Operation Desert Shield turning into Operation Desert Storm was a good thing.
I remember making several phone calls to college buddies when Saddam Hussein was captured during operation Red Dawn in 2003. We laughed, we guffawed, we talked about it as an early Christmas present. This was what sophomores in college, deeply engaged in thinking and talking about foreign policy did.
I remember hearing that we had caught and killed Osama Bid Laden. I jumped out of my chair as if to cheer, but the joy got caught in my throat, replaced by the realization that celebration over the death of another is quickly followed by a feeling significantly less pleasant than joy, though no less poignant.
So strong is this tradition that I can honestly say that in my lifetime I’ve never spent a Christmas Eve without a variety of fish dishes spread before me. This is a hallowed custom that is passed from one generation to another.
To begin with you must have seven fish selections on the table.
Why seven? Seven is a very important number. It stands for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church. The seven days of creation. In Biblical numerology, seven is a number of perfection.
And fish is the featured dish because Italians have customarily abstained from eating meat on Christmas Eve. In fact, I do believe that for a long time the Catholic church prohibited the eating of meat the day before Christmas, This is the Christmas vigil.
There is no set menu for this feast.
But here are some of the fishes that are traditionally used: calamari (squid); scungilli [skuhn-GEE-lee] (conch); baccala [bah-kah-LAH] (dry, salt cod); shrimp; clams, usually served with pasta; mussels; snapper, trout, tuna or salmon.
We have adapted this menu over the years and updated it somewhat.
All the same, if you’re searching online for a preview of how he might translate to a more religious conservative audience than the Garden State Governor usually addresses on home turf, then you might find a few clues in his Wednesday afternoon excerpted remarks at a Passaic County drug court graduation ceremony: