"If my people, who are called by My name, humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their evil ways, I will hear them from heaven and pardon their sins and revive their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
|Pope John Paul II|
A Mass was celebrated on April 2 in St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican City, to mark the fourth anniversary of the death of Pope John Paul II.
In his homily at this Mass, Pope Benedict XVI said:
"Four years ago today my beloved Predecessor, the Servant of God John Paul II, ended his earthly pilgrimage after a period of great suffering that lasted for some time. We are celebrating the Blessed Eucharist in suffrage for his soul, while we thank the Lord for having given him to the Church, for so many years, as a zealous and generous Pastor.
"We are united this evening by his memory that lives on in the hearts of the people, as is demonstrated by the uninterrupted pilgrimage of the faithful to his tomb in the Vatican Grottos. I therefore preside at this Holy Mass with emotion and joy, while I greet and thank you for your presence, venerable Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood, and you, dear faithful who have come from various parts of the world, especially from Poland, for this important celebration.
"I would like to greet the Poles and in particular the young Poles. On the fourth anniversary of the death of John Paul II, hear his appeal: 'Have no fear of entrusting yourselves to [Christ]! He will guide you, He will grant you the strength to follow Him every day and in every situation' (Prayer Vigil at Tor Vergata, August 19, 2000). I hope that this thought of the Servant of God will guide you on the paths of your life, and will lead you to the happiness of the morning of the Resurrection.
". . . His memory is an incentive to all of us gathered in this Basilica, in which he celebrated the Eucharist on many occasions, to let ourselves be illuminated and called into question by the word of God that has just been proclaimed."
After a brief discussion of the Gospel, the Pope said: "Dear Friends, in meditating on this Gospel passage of John, it comes naturally to me to consider how difficult it actually is to bear witness to Christ. And my thoughts turn to the beloved Servant of God Karol Wojtyla, John Paul II, who from his youth showed himself to be a daring and ardent champion of Christ: He did not hesitate to expend all his energy in order to spread Christ's light everywhere, he never stooped to compromises when it was a matter of proclaiming and defending his Truth; he never tired of radiating his love. From the beginning of his Pontificate until April 2, 2005, John Paul II was never afraid to proclaim, to everyone and always, that Jesus alone is the Savior and true Liberator of humankind and of the whole human being.
"In the First Reading we heard the words addressed to Abraham: 'I will make you exceedingly fruitful' (Gn 17: 6). If witnessing to one's adherence to the Gospel is never easy, the certainty that God makes our commitment fruitful when it is sincere and generous is certainly comforting. From this important viewpoint too the spiritual experience of the Servant of God John Paul II is apparent to us. In looking at his life, we see God's promise of fruitfulness to Abraham, as it were, realized and echoed in the First Reading from the Book of Genesis. One might say that especially in the years of his long Pontificate, he brought forth to faith many sons and daughters. You are the visible sign of it, dear young people here this evening: you, the young people of Rome and you, young people who have come from Sydney and from Madrid, to represent in spirit the throngs of young men and women who took part in the 23rd World Youth Day in various parts of the world. How many vocations to the priesthood and to the consecrated life, how many young families determined to live the Gospel ideal and to strive for holiness are bound to the witness and preaching of my venerable Predecessor! How many teenagers converted or persevered on their Christian journey thanks to his prayers, his encouragement, his support, and his example!
"It is true! John Paul II succeeded in communicating a strong charge of hope founded on faith in Jesus Christ, Who 'is the same yesterday and today and for ever' (Heb 13:8), as the motto for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000 declared. As an affectionate father and an attentive educator, he pointed out firm and reliable reference points, indispensable to all and especially to the young. And in the hour of his agony and his death, this new generation wished to show him that it had understood his teaching, gathering silently in prayer in St. Peter's Square and in so many other places in the world. The young people felt his death would be a loss: it was 'their' Pope, whom they saw as 'their father' in the faith who had died. At the same time they were aware that as a legacy he had bequeathed to them his courage and the consistency of his witness. Had he not stressed many a time the need for radical adherence to the Gospel, urging adults and young people to take this common educational responsibility seriously? I too, as you know, have wished to take up his concern, pausing on various occasions to speak of the educational emergency that today concerns families, the Church, society and especially the new generations. While they are growing up, the young need adults who can suggest principles and values to them. They feel in need of people who can teach by their example, more than by their words, to expend themselves for high ideals.
"But where can one find the light and wisdom to bring to completion this mission that involves us all together, in the Church and in society? It is certainly not enough to appeal to human resources; first of all it is also necessary to trust in divine help. 'The Lord is faithful for ever' . . . : 'We have set our hope on the living God' (1 Tm 4:10). The Apostle speaks on behalf of the Christian community, on behalf of all who have believed in Christ and are different from 'others . . . who have no hope' (1 Thes 4:13). Indeed, it is precisely because they hope, that is, they have trust in the future, a trust that is not based on human ideas or predictions but on God, the 'living God.'
"Dear young people, it is impossible to live without hope. Experience shows that all things, even our life, are at risk; they can collapse for some internal or external reason at any moment. It is normal: all that is human, hence therefore also hope, has no basis in itself but needs a 'rock' to which to be anchored. This is why Paul writes that Christians are called to base human hope on the 'Living God.'
"In Him alone does it become safe and dependable. Actually, only God, Who revealed the fullness of His love to us in Jesus Christ can be our firm hope. Indeed, in Him, our hope, we have been saved (cf. Rm 8:24).
"However, be careful: in times like these, given the cultural and social context in which we are living, there may be a greater risk of reducing Christian hope to an ideology, to a group slogan or to outward appearances. Nothing is more contrary to Jesus' message! He does not want His disciples to 'recite' a part, even that of hope. He wants them 'to be' hope and they can only be hope if they remain united to Him! He wishes each one of you, dear young friends, to be a small source of hope for your neighbor and, all together, to become an oasis of hope for the society in which you are integrated. Now this is possible on one condition: that you live of Him and in Him, through prayer and the sacraments, as I wrote in my Message this year.
"If Christ's words remain in us we can spread the flame of love that He kindled on earth; we can bear aloft the torch of faith and hope with which we advance towards Him while we await His glorious return at the end of time. It is the torch that Pope John Paul handed on to us. He presented it to me, as his Successor; and this evening I shall present it once again, in spirit, in a special way to you, young people of Rome, so that you may continue to be dawn watchmen, alert and joyful in this dawn of the third millennium. Respond generously to Christ's call! In particular, during the Year for Priests which will begin next June 19, make yourselves promptly available if Jesus calls you, to follow Him on the path of the priesthood or the consecrated life.
" 'Now is the favorable time. This is the day of salvation!' At the Gospel Acclamation the liturgy urged us to renew now and every moment is a 'favorable moment' our decisive will to follow Christ, certain that He is our salvation. This is basically the message that John Paul II repeats to us this evening. While we entrust his elect soul to the maternal intercession of the Virgin Mary whom he always loved tenderly, let us fervently hope that he will never cease to guide us and to intercede for us from Heaven. May he help each one of us to live, as he did, repeating day after day to God, through Mary with full trust: Totus tuus . . ."
Pope Benedict XVI discussed the role faith plays in contributing to respect for human rights and to justice at a May 4 meeting of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences in Rome.
The Pope's talk follows: ". . . I am pleased to have this occasion to meet with you and to express my encouragement for your mission of expounding and furthering the Church's social doctrine in the areas of law, economy, politics, and the various other social sciences . . . I assure you of my prayers that the fruit of your deliberations will continue to attest to the enduring pertinence of Catholic social teaching in a rapidly changing world.
"After studying work, democracy, globalization, solidarity and subsidiarity in relation to the social teaching of the Church, your Academy has chosen to return to the central question of the dignity of the human person and human rights, a point of encounter between the doctrine of the Church and contemporary society.
"The world's great religions and philosophies have illuminated some aspects of these human rights, which are concisely expressed in 'the golden rule' found in the Gospel: 'Do to others as you would have them do to you' (Lk 6:31; cf. Mt 7:12). The Church has always affirmed that fundamental rights, above and beyond the different ways in which they are formulated and the different degrees of importance they may have in various cultural contexts, are to be upheld and accorded universal recognition because they are inherent in the very nature of man, who is created in the image and likeness of God. If all human beings are created in the image and likeness of God, then they share a common nature that binds them together and calls for universal respect. The Church, assimilating the teaching of Christ, considers the person as 'the worthiest of nature' (St. Thomas Aquinas, De potentia, 9, 3) and has taught that the ethical and political order that governs relationships between persons finds its origin in the very structure of man's being. The discovery of America and the ensuing anthropological debate in sixteenth- and seventeenth-century Europe led to a heightened awareness of human rights as such and of their universality (ius gentium). The modern period helped shape the idea that the message of Christ – because it proclaims that God loves every man and woman and that every human being is called to love God freely – demonstrates that everyone, independently of his or her social and cultural condition, by nature deserves freedom. At the same time, we must always remember that 'freedom itself needs to be set free. It is Christ Who sets it free' (Veritatis Splendor, 86).
"In the middle of the last century, after the vast suffering caused by two terrible world wars and the unspeakable crimes perpetrated by totalitarian ideologies, the international community acquired a new system of international law based on human rights. In this, it appears to have acted in conformity with the message that my predecessor Benedict XV proclaimed when he called on the belligerents of the First World War to 'transform the material force of arms into the moral force of law' ('Note to the Heads of the Belligerent Peoples,' August 1, 1917).
"Human rights became the reference point of a shared universal ethos – at least at the level of aspiration – for most of humankind. These rights have been ratified by almost every State in the world. The Second Vatican Council, in the Declaration Dignitatis Humanae, as well as my predecessors Paul VI and John Paul II, forcefully referred to the right to life and the right to freedom of conscience and religion as being at the center of those rights that spring from human nature itself.
"Strictly speaking, these human rights are not truths of faith, even though they are discoverable – and indeed come to full light – in the message of Christ Who 'reveals man to man himself' (Gaudium et Spes, 22). They receive further confirmation from faith. Yet it stands to reason that, living and acting in the physical world as spiritual beings, men and women ascertain the pervading presence of a logos which enables them to distinguish not only between true and false, but also good and evil, better and worse, and justice and injustice. This ability to discern – this radical agency – renders every person capable of grasping the 'natural law,' which is nothing other than a participation in the eternal law . . . The natural law is a universal guide recognizable to everyone, on the basis of which all people can reciprocally understand and love each other. Human rights, therefore, are ultimately rooted in a participation of God, Who has created each human person with intelligence and freedom. If this solid ethical and political basis is ignored, human rights remain fragile since they are deprived of their sound foundation.
"The Church's action in promoting human rights is therefore supported by rational reflection, in such a way that these rights can be presented to all people of good will, independently of any religious affiliation they may have. Nevertheless, as I have observed in my Encyclicals, on the one hand, human reason must undergo constant purification by faith, insofar as it is always in danger of a certain ethical blindness caused by disordered passions and sin; and, on the other hand, insofar as human rights need to be re-appropriated by every generation and by each individual, and insofar as human freedom – which proceeds by a succession of free choices – is always fragile, the human person needs the unconditional hope and love that can only be found in God and that lead to participation in the justice and generosity of God towards others (cf. Deus Caritas Est, 18, and Spe Salvi, 24).
"This perspective draws attention to some of the most critical social problems of recent decades, such as the growing awareness – which has in part arisen with globalization and the present economic crisis – of a flagrant contrast between the equal attribution of rights and the unequal access to the means of attaining those rights. For Christians who regularly ask God to 'give us this day our daily bread,' it is a shameful tragedy that one-fifth of humanity still goes hungry. Assuring an adequate food supply, like the protection of vital resources such as water and energy, requires all international leaders to collaborate in showing a readiness to work in good faith, respecting the natural law and promoting solidarity and subsidiarity with the weakest regions and peoples of the planet as the most effective strategy for eliminating social inequalities between countries and societies and for increasing global security . . ."
Fred H. Summe, vice president of Northern Kentucky Right to Life
More protest has been forthcoming since the university announced that President Barack Obama would be the commencement speaker at its May 17 graduation and that the university would honor him with a Doctor of Law degree.
Bishop John D'Arcy, Bishop of Fort Wayne-South Bend, announced his decision to boycott the graduation, asking Notre Dame to "recommit itself to the primacy of truth over prestige." However, the president of Notre Dame, Fr. John Jenkins, announced he would not reconsider his decision.
Notre Dame has ignored the June 2004 U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops' governing principle: "The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions."
As reported by LifeSiteNews.com (which has thoroughly reported the events surrounding the invitation of Notre Dame University), Fr. Jenkins attempted to justify his invitation that the above directive of the USCCB did not apply to non-Catholic pro-abortion public figures. To this, Bishop D'Arcy replied, "I consider it now settled that the USCCB document, Catholics in Public Life, does indeed apply in this matter." Fr. Jenkins also justified the invitation by claiming that it would foster "dialogue" with the President. However, as pointed out by The Confraternity of Catholic Clergy, a national association of 600 priests and deacons, "Speaking at Commencement is not an open debate, it is a monologue…Parents did not pay tuition for celebrities to speak at their son or daughter's graduation; they paid it to ensure a Catholic education."
Kansas City Archbishop Joseph Naumann pointed out: "Notre Dame's action is inconsistent with its Catholic identity and harmful to the efforts of the Church to advocate for the protection of innocent, preborn human life…Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama reveals that the leadership of the university is either incredibly naďve or just does not care about the impact of its actions on the Church's efforts to protect the lives of innocent, vulnerable unborn children…a Catholic university should not honor this president and provide him with the backdrop of a Catholic institution to make appear palatable his radical agenda in support of legalized abortion."
As reported by LifeSiteNews.com, by the middle of May, over 80 bishops had publicly disapproved of Notre Dame's invitation to President Obama.
Besides inviting and honoring the President, Notre Dame University had also announced that Harvard professor and former U.S. ambassador to the Holy See, Mary Ann Glendon, would be receiving the University's Laetare Medal. On April 27, she announced that she could not accept such an honor in light of the invitation to President Obama.
"As a longtime consultant to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, I could not help but be dismayed by the news that Notre Dame also planned to award the president an honorary degree," stated Professor Glendon.
She writes, "This, as you must know, was in disregard of the U.S. bishops' express request of 2004 that Catholic institutions 'should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles'…[It] seems to me so reasonable that I am at a loss to understand why a Catholic university should disrespect it," reports CathNews.com.
Notre Dame University is not the only Catholic university this year that has invited a pro-abortion commencement speaker. Archbishop Alfred C. Hughes of New Orleans announced that he would boycott the May 9 commencement exercises of Xavier University of Louisiana because of its inviting of Donna Brazile to be the commencement speaker and to receive an honorary degree. As reported by LifeSiteNews.com, the Archbishop stated that, "her public statements on the abortion issue are not in keeping with Catholic moral teaching."
The former manager of Al Gore's presidential election campaign, and a supporter of President Obama's repeal of the Mexico City Policy (which banned taxpayers' funds from supporting abortion in other nations), Brazile has consistently and publicly supported abortion on demand.
Archbishop Raymond Burke, formerly the Bishop of St. Louis, now the Prefect of the Vatican's Apostolic Signatura, states that Catholic pro-abortion politicians should be refused Holy Communion: "I don't understand the continual debate that goes on about it. There's not a question that a Catholic who publicly, and after admonition, supports pro-abortion legislation is not to receive Holy Communion and is not to be given Holy Communion . . . Individual bishops and priests simply have to do their duty. They have to confront politicians, Catholic politicians, who are sinning gravely and publicly in this regard. And that's their duty," reports Celebrate Life, published by American Life League.
In July, 2007, Barack Obama promised Planned Parenthood that he, as President, would sign the Freedom of Choice Act "FOCA." With the U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives under the control of pro-abortion Democrats, FOCA has a strong possibility of being passed and submitted to Obama for his signature.
As reported by Celebrate Life: "FOCA, however, would expand abortion 'rights' far beyond what Roe v. Wade permitted. FOCA would nullify all of the federal and state limitations that have been placed on abortion since 1973, including the federal restrictions on partial-birth abortions, 38 state laws restricting partial-birth abortions, 40 state laws restricting late-term abortions, and 44 state laws requiring parental notification or consent when a minor seeks an abortion. FOCA would also violate the conscience rights of medical personnel and medical facilities opposed to abortion.
"Francis Cardinal George, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, explained in a Nov. 12, 2008, statement, that FOCA would also 'coerce all Americans into subsidizing and promoting abortion with their tax dollars… Abortion clinics would be deregulated. The Hyde Amendment restricting the federal funding of abortions would be abrogated. FOCA would have lethal consequences for prenatal human life… It would threaten Catholic healthcare institutions and Catholic Charities. It would be an evil law that would further divide our country.'"
By executive order, President Obama reversed the Mexico City Policy, which banned U.S. funds from being distributed to international organizations that provide for abortions, including abortions done for "sex selection," or for abortions and sterilizations done to comply with state-imposed limits of one child per family, as in the case with Communist China.
"The normal ratio of boys to girls is in the range of 103-106 males for every 100 females at birth," reports Human Life International.
"First, amniocentesis tests, and later ultrasound machines, enabled parents to find out the sex of their child in the womb. In cultures that do not value daughters as highly as sons, this led to a steady decline in the female birthrate. The most dramatic case is China, where the Communist 'One Child Policy' is creating a unique crisis. Some Chinese provinces report 135 boys for every 100 girls at birth. India is number two for sex-selection abortion with more than 10 million missing girls. Some Indian states, like the Punjab, have 126 boys for every 100 girls at birth.
". . . Sex-selection abortion is on the rise. It is spreading from the Far East to all continents. Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Georgia have reached the dizzying heights of between 115-120 boys for every 100 girls at birth.
"When the U.S. delegation [under the Bush administration] brought forth a resolution at the United Nations to unequivocally condemn all forms of sex-selection abortion, the feminist/abortion lobby worked successfully to kill it."
"Voluntary population limitation programs have failed worldwide. People still want families. The next logical step was the implementation of coercive measures. Despite its bad press, China's coercive one-child policy, which it introduced in 1979, still serves as the paradigm for the future of the population control movement. Feminists around the world have had great difficulty in rationalizing the China Model and oppose the idea of coercion but will not condemn China for using it. They have sacrificed their choice principles on an altar of practicality. The sad irony to China's population control program is that during a devastating earthquake in May of this year, several thousand Chinese were killed, including several hundred school children. Most of these fatalities were the only children of parents who had been forcibly sterilized by the government after their birth," disclosed The Mindszenty Report, published by the Cardinal Mindszenty Foundation.
(Editors note: Mr. Maitre writes from Florida. He has been a member of "Kairos" since 2004. Kairos is an inter-faith prison ministry patterned after the St. Dismas Retreats. In its 40-year history Kairos has led thousands of men and women nationwide to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and continues to strengthen them in their daily walk of faith. He gave the following talk at the January Kairos Reunion at his prison.)
A wealthy man and his son loved to collect rare works of art. They had everything in their collection, from Picasso to Raphael. They would often sit together and admire the great works of art they owned. When the Vietnam conflict broke out, the son went to war. He was very courageous and died in battle while rescuing another soldier. The father was notified and grieved deeply for his only son.
About a month later, just before Christmas, there was a knock at the father's door. A young man stood at the door with a large package in his hands. "Sir," he said, "you don't know me, but I am the soldier for whom your son gave his life. He saved many lives that day, and he was carrying me to safety when a bullet struck him in the heart and he died instantly. He often talked about you, your love of art, and how much he loved you." The young man held out his package and said, "I know this isn't much. I'm not really a great artist, but I think your son would have wanted you to have this."
The father opened the package. It was a portrait of his son, painted by the young soldier. He stared in awe at the way the young man had captured the personality of his son in the painting. The father was so drawn to the eyes in the painting that his own eyes welled up with tears. He thanked the young man and offered to pay him for the picture. Oh, no sir, I could never repay what your son did for me. It is my gift to you." The father hung the portrait over his mantel. Every time visitors came to his home he took them to see the portait of his son before he showed them any of the other great works he had collected.
The father died a few months later. There was to be a great auction of his paintings. Many influential people came from all around the world, excited over seeing the great paintings and having an opportunity to purchase one of them for their own collections. On one of the platforms sat the painting of the son.
The auctioneer pounded his gavel. "We will start the bidding with this picture of the son. Who will bid for this picture?" There was silence. Then a voice in the back of the room shouted, "We want to see the famous paintings. Skip this one." But the auctioneer persisted, "Will somebody bid for this painting? Who will start the bidding? $100? $200?" Another voice yelled angrily, "We didn't come to see this painting. We came to see the VanGoghs, the Rembrants! Get on with the real bids!" But the auctioneer insisted. "The son! The son! Who will take the son?"
Finally, a voice came from the very back of the room. It was the long-time gardener of the man and the son. "I'll give $10 for the painting." Being a poor man, it was all he could afford. "We have $10! Who will bid $20?" called the auctioneer. "Give it to him for $10. Let's see the masters!" The auctioneer tried again. "Ten dollars is the bid. Won't someone bid $20?" The crowd was becoming angry. They didn't want the picture of the son. They wanted the more worthy investments for their collections. The auctioneer pounded the gavel. "Going once! Going twice! Sold for $10."
A man sitting in the second row shouted, "Now let's get on with the collection!" The auctioneer laid down his gavel. "I'm sorry, this auction is over." The crowd was stunned! "What about the other paintings?" they demanded. "I'm sorry. When I was called to conduct this auction, I was told of a secret stipulation in the will. I was not allowed to reveal that stipulation until this time. Only the painting of the son would be auctioned off. Whoever bought that painting would inherit the entire estate, including the other paintings. The man who took the son gets everything."
Over 2000 years ago our heavenly Father "gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but should have eternal life." (John 3:16) As Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, "The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ Our Lord." (Rom 6:23) Much like the auctioneer, Our Father's message to us today is "The Son! The Son! Who will take the Son?" Because, you see my brothers, whoever takes the Son truly does get everything!
My friends, I'd like everyone to take just a moment to thank Our Father in Heaven for His gift to us — the gift of eternal life through His Son!!!
"It's not about me," the 21-year-old Miss USA runner-up Carrie Prejean says, "it's about the future of marriage. But I'm honored to do my part."
Miss California USA defended one-man-one-woman, traditional marriage during the USA beauty pageant and has been persecuted then and since. It was not apparently such a popular opinion among some residents of the Left Coast.
The crowd booed her, while judge Perez Hilton frowned. He later called her a "dumb b. . ." but apologized for that remark. Keith Lewis, director of the pageant, said, "I support Carrie's right to express her personal beliefs, even if they do not coincide with my own. I believe the subject of gay marriage deserves a great deal more conversation in order to heal the divide it has created."
There seems, however, to be almost irreconcilable differences between the two sides. Prejean said she was raised to believe that marriage is between a man and a woman and the bloggers called her "a bigot," "self-righteous," and worse.
Carrie took a semester off her junior year at San Diego Christian College to participate in the contest. She has also modeled for Bliss Magazine, been featured on the cover of PJ Salvage Fall Catalog 2008, for Target, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bloomingdales, and Nordstrom, and was on "Deal or No Deal" model finalist. She has volunteered with Best Buddies, Special Olympics, and Voices for Children, preparing to work in special education.
"I was raised in a way that you can never compromise your beliefs and your opinions for anything." She does this by living life by the verse, Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me."
Since doing so in the national spotlight, she has been interviewed by World Magazine, World Net Daily, One News Now, and Townhall, among others.
"I'm grateful for all the prayers and well-wishes I've received," she says, "from all different kinds of Americans who believe as I do that America is a place where people should stand up for our values, for what we think is right."' Fox News talk show host Sean Hannity told Prejean, "There's a lot of people cheering you tonight that you stood on your principles, that you put the principles above winning."
National Organization for Marriage (NOM) President Maggie Gallagher praised in National Review, "I would like to nominate Miss California as the new face of the marriage movement. Much better than mine!" Miss Prejean has now begun working with NOM on their new ad campaign, "No Offense," that tries to warn Americans that legalizing same-sex marriage in fact "will create widespread and unnecessary legal conflict" for individuals, small businesses, and religious groups.
It follows an earlier NOM ad, "Gathering Storm," that warned Americans that the push to legalize same-sex marriage has significant implications for religious liberty. In response, a heterophobic representative of the Human Rights Campaign denounced NOM and supporters of marriage on "Hardball" as "outright bigots."
"Many backers of same-sex marriage simply do not want to debate the consequences on society of this profound proposed change to redefine marriage," said Brian Brown, executive director of NOM. "They want to browbeat and silence opposition. But no matter how loudly they yell, their attacks on supporters of marriage will fail because people of integrity will speak the truth — whether they are in pulpits, law schools, or even beauty pageants."
Besides the ad campaigns (viewable on YouTube), the NOM Advocacy Center provides updates on important issues related to marriage and an easy on-line way to contact elected officials on them. You can personalize your own e-mail from a sample and they will automatically identify your representatives and send them copies based on your nine-digit zip code.
One current project is writing to advocate protecting the already passed Defense of Marriage Act (DomaDefenseFund.com). It's only DOMA that currently prevents a few judges from imposing same-sex marriage on all the other states.
Because we are sons and daughters of God, saved by Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we do not merely read the news but make the news. We direct the course of world events by faith expressed in action and intercession. Please pray for the stories covered in this paper. Clip out this intercessory list and make it part of your daily prayer.
Published by: Presentation Ministries, 3230 McHenry Ave., Cincinnati, OH 45211, (513) 662-5378, www.presentationministries.com