|Do Not Abandon the Elderly|
| Last week in Rome Pope Francis spoke to the Pontifical Academy of Life about the vital role of providing palliative care for the elderly. The Holy Father said, “[A]bandonment is the most serious illness of the elderly and also the greatest injustice they can suffer. Those who helped us to grow must not be abandoned when they need our help, our love, and our tenderness.”Palliative care, the Holy Father observed, alleviates the suffering of the sick and accompanies the elderly with tenderness for the duration of their illness. What palliative care offers in the medical field is the recognition of “the value of the person.”
He noted that many elderly are either “left to die or made to die” due to their physical or social condition. The Holy Father said the criteria governing the actions of doctors must not be limited to medical evidence and efficiency, nor to the rules of heath-care systems and economic profit. “A state cannot think of making a profit with medicine. On the contrary, there is no more important duty for a society than safeguarding the human person,” Francis said.
Palliative care then, bears witness that the human person always has value, even when suffering from age and illness, the Pope continued. “[The human person] is a good in and of himself and for others and is loved by God. For this reason, when life becomes very fragile and the end of earthly existence approaches, we feel the responsibility to assist and accompany the person in the best way,” Francis said.
Francis stated that although this type of care is not geared toward saving lives, it centers on the equally important recognition of the value of the human person. He encouraged those working in the field to carry out their tasks with an attitude of service. “It is this capacity for service to the life and dignity of the sick, even when they are old, that is the measure of the true progress of medicine and of all society,” the Pope observed.
“The elderly, first of all, need the care of family members-whose affection cannot be replaced by the most efficient structures or the most competent and charitable health-care workers,” Francis said. He further stated, when family members are not able to offer the needed care or if the illness of their elderly loved one is advanced or terminal, then the “truly human” assistance offered by palliative care is a good option, so long as it “supplements and supports” the care already provided by family members.
What is so new about the promised “mountain of the Lord” is not that the wolf and the lamb are both there, but that the wolf remains a wolf and the lamb a lamb, and yet they dwell together without harm or hurt in God’s kingdom. Under God’s rule, conversion and obedience do not mean the loss of identity but the discovery of our true identity as one in Christ. ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ Magnificat, December 2014, Pages 37-38 ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤
Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit On Behalf of Marine Dad Banned from School Property After He Objected to Islamic Indoctrination of Daughter
The Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday afternoon, filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of former Marine, John Kevin Wood, and his wife, Melissa, who refuse to allow their teenage daughter to be subjected to Islamic indoctrination and propaganda in her high school World History class. The lawsuit was filed against the Charles County Public Schools, the Board of Education, and the Principal and Vice-Principal of La Plata High School located in La Plata, Maryland.
The Woods’ daughter was forced to profess and to write out the Shahada in worksheets and quizzes. The Shahada is the Islamic Creed, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.” For non-Muslims, reciting the statement is sufficient to convert one to Islam. Moreover, the second part of the statement, “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah,” signifies the person has accepted Muhammad as their spiritual leader. The teenager was also required to memorize and recite the Five Pillars of Islam.
Charles County Public Schools disparaged Christianity by teaching its 11th grade students, including the Woods’ daughter, that: “Most Muslims’ faith is stronger than the average Christian.”
The Charles County Public Schools also taught the following:
- “Islam, at heart, is a peaceful”
- “To Muslims, Allah is the same God that is worshiped in Christianity and Judaism.”
- The Koran states, “Men are the managers of the affairs of women” and “Righteous women are therefore obedient.”
Read the two exhibits containing Student worksheets here.
The sugarcoated version of Islam taught at La Plata High School did not mention that the Koran explicitly instructs Muslims “to kill the unbelievers wherever you find them.” (Sura 9-5)
When John Kevin Wood discovered the Islamic propaganda and indoctrination of his daughter, he was rightfully outraged. He immediately contacted the school to voice his objections and to obtain an alternative assignment for his daughter.
The Woods, as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and our Savior, that Jesus Christ died on the cross for our sins, and that following the teachings of Jesus Christ is the only path to eternal salvation. The Woods believe that it is a sin to profess commitment in word or writing to any god other than the Christian God. Thus, they object to their daughter being forced to deny the Christian God and to her high school promoting Islam over other religions.
The school ultimately refused to allow the Woods’ daughter to opt-out of the assignments, forcing her to either violate her faith by pledging to Allah or receive zeros for the assignments. Together, John Kevin Wood, Melissa Wood, and their daughter chose to remain faithful to God and refused to complete the assignments, even though failing grades would harm her future admission to college and her opportunities to obtain college scholarships.
Adding insult to injury, in an effort to silence all pro-Christian speech in her school, La Plata’s principal, without a hearing or any opportunity to refute the false allegations against him, issued a “No Trespass” notice against John Kevin Wood denying him any access to school grounds.
Wood served 8 years in the Marine Corps. He was deployed in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm and lost friends to Islamic extremists. A few years later, Wood responded as a firefighter to the 9-11 Islamic terrorist attack on the Pentagon. Wood witnessed firsthand the destruction created in the name of Allah and knows that Islam is not “a religion of peace.” The school prevented John Kevin Wood from defending his daughter’s Christian beliefs against Islamic indoctrination, even though as a Marine, he stood in harm’s way to defend our nation, and the Charles County Public Schools.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “Defendants forced Wood’s daughter to disparage her Christian faith by reciting the Shahada, and acknowledging Mohammed as her spiritual leader. Her World History class spent one day on Christianity and two weeks immersed in Islam. Such discriminatory treatment of Christianity is an unconstitutional promotion of one religion over another.”
Thompson added, “The course also taught false statements such as “Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians, and Islam as a “religion of peace. Parents must be ever vigilant to the Islamic indoctrination of their children under the guise of teaching history and multiculturalism. This is happening in public schools across the country. And they must take action to stop it.”
The Woods’ lawsuit seeks a court declaration that Defendants violated their constitutional and statutory rights, a temporary and permanent injunction barring Defendants from endorsing Islam or favoring Islam over Christianity and other religions, and from enforcing the no trespassing order issued against John Kevin Wood.
Thomas More Law Center Petitions Supreme Court—
Stop Retaliation against Christian Police Captain Who Objected to Islamic Indoctrination
On Monday September 15, 2014, the Thomas More Law Center (TMLC), a public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, MI, filed a petition in the US Supreme Court to review the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals decision which upheld the punishment of Tulsa, Oklahoma police captain, Paul Fields after he refused to attend or order personnel under his command to attend proselytizing services at an Islamic Mosque with ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
Richard Thompson, the President and Chief Counsel for TMLC, commented, “This case is another startling example of applying a double standard when Christian civil rights are involved. If this were a Catholic or Protestant prayer event, I am positive no Muslim police officer would have been ordered to attend. Further, no federal court would have approved the punishment of a Muslim officer had he refused to attend.”
The event at issue, dubbed “Law Enforcement Appreciation Day,” had nothing to do with any official police function. Rather, it included a mosque tour, meetings with local Muslims and Muslim leadership, observing a weekly prayer service, familiarizing the officers with Islamic religious books, and lectures on Islamic beliefs, Mohammad, Mecca, and how Muslims pray. The event was scheduled for Friday, March 4, 2011—Friday being the Islamic “holy day.”
The event was originally voluntary, but when not enough officers were willing to attend, it became mandatory.
After the event, the mosque posted pictures of officers who were in attendance on their website with the caption “Discover Islam Classes for Non-Muslims.”
The mosque showed its true colors when a week before the March 4th event, it hosted a dinner and speech by Imam Siraj Wahhaj, an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. In 1992, Wahhaj told a Muslim audience in New Jersey, “If only Muslims were more clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.”
In another sermon, Wahhaj said: “In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing, and the only thing that will remain will be Islam.”
Captain Fields objected to attending the Islamic proselytizing event based upon his Christian beliefs. As a police officer, Captain Fields was strictly prohibited from discussing his Christian faith while on duty. Therefore attendance at the event created a conflict and a moral dilemma. For raising his sincere religious objection, Captain Fields, a 16-year police veteran with a stellar record, was stripped of his command, transferred to another division where he was subsequently assigned to the graveyard shift, and subjected to an Internal Affairs (IA) investigation.
When Captain Fields defended his religious freedom by retaining the TMLC and filing a federal lawsuit to protect his First Amendment rights, the City of Tulsa retaliated against him. The City issued a personnel order against Captain Fields reflecting that the lawsuit and the publicity the lawsuit garnered brought discredit upon their police department.
In compelling deposition testimony in his favor, Police Major Julie Harris, Captain Fields’ immediate supervisor testified:
The Tulsa Police Department retaliated against Fields for exercising his constitutional rights.
Captain Fields had the right to object to the order to attend the Mosque because of his deeply held religious beliefs.
Captain Fields was punitively transferred for invoking his constitutional rights.
There was no need for Captain Fields to attend the Mosque if he had a religious conviction against doing so and there was no crime to investigate.
Captain Fields was the top performing shift commander in his division.
Captain Fields’ punishment was inconsistent with other similarly situated officers of his rank.
The allegations of the Internal Investigation of Captain Fields could not be sustained.
Erin Mersino, the TMLC attorney handling the case for the Law Center commented, “The matter is now ripe for the United States Supreme Court’s review. As the petition states, the City of Tulsa has been allowed to punish a public employee, Captain Fields, for his right to seek redress of a civil rights violation in court. The Thomas More Law Center is hopeful that the United States Supreme Court will step in to right the wrongful punishment and retaliation Captain Fields has faced because of his Christian beliefs.”
The TMLC devotes much of its efforts to countering the Stealth Jihad waged by Muslims in the United States, as well as defending the religious freedom of Christians. It has been representing Captain Fields since 2011.
PAY ATTENTION AMERICA – This threat is real and alive!
ISNA (Islamic Society of North America) will be holding its annual convention in Detroit this weekend beginning Friday, August 29 and ending September 1. ISNA was designated by federal prosecutors as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation case, the largest terrorism financing trial in American history. A 1991 Muslim Brotherhood memorandum introduced in that trial identified ISNA as one of its front organizations. The memorandum further stated the Brotherhood’s “work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within … so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
Astonishingly, despite ISNA’s terrorist ties, former President Jimmy Carter will be the convention’s keynote speaker. Carter, also, recently called for the legitimization of Hamas, which is listed by the US government as a terrorist organization. In addition to Carter, several other prominent non-Muslim political leaders will be speaking at the convention.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, about an hour’s drive from Detroit, commented, “The participation of these political leaders is giving the ISNA convention the cover of respectability and as a result is enabling ISNA and other the other Muslim extremists at the convention to achieve their goal of a “Grand Jihad” to subjugate America.”
An integral aspect of ISNA’s plan for the subjugation of America is to portray itself as a peaceful, mainstream charitable institution. It is part of the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy of “civilization jihad.” While most Americans are focused on violent jihad, civilization jihad is even more dangerous to American security. According to Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy, it is “a form of political and psychological warfare that includes multi-layered cultural subversion, the co-opting of senior leaders, influence operations, propaganda and other means of insinuating Shariah gradually into Western societies.”
Erick Stakelbeck, a terrorism expert and author of the book “The Brotherhood: America’s Next Great Enemy,” compared the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy to that of “termites.” “The Muslim Brotherhood in America and really around the world are like termites. They burrow into a host society. They eat away at it until the day comes where they are ready to make their move.”
Siraj Wahhaj, one of the scheduled speakers at the conference, was the first Muslim cleric to deliver opening prayers to Congress. In his prayer he recited from the Koran and asked God to guide America’s leaders “and grant them righteousness and wisdom.” A year later, he told a Muslim audience in New Jersey that, “If only Muslims were more clever politically, they could take over the United States and replace its constitutional government with a caliphate.” He was later named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
In one of his sermons, Wahhaj said: “In time, this so-called democracy will crumble, and there will be nothing, and the only thing that will remain will be Islam.”
Abdurahman Alamoudi conducted the Muslim Brotherhood’s most successful infiltration of our political and defense establishments. He advised Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush. He penetrated and compromised our military and both the Democrat and Republican national organizations. He established the Muslim Chaplain Program for the Defense Department. He was the certifying authority for Muslim chaplains serving with the U.S. military. He appeared with President Bush at a press conference days after the 9/11 attacks. In 2005, the U.S. Treasury Department publicly admitted that Alamoudi was the top Al-Qaeda fundraiser in the United States. Alamoudi is currently serving a 23-year prison sentence for his terrorist related activities.
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi of the Muslim Brotherhood, told a youth conference in Toledo, Ohio in 1998, “We will conquer Europe, we will conquer America.”
»»»Thomas More Law Center
MEDITATION OF THE DAY
The Problem of the Scribes and Pharisees
‘The great problem of today’s world is no longer an inquiring theorization, but an existential question. Not, Who is right?’ but, ‘How can one live?’ Today’s world has been reduced to the level of evangelical poverty. In Jesus time, the problem was how to live, not who was right; this was the problem of the scribes and Pharisees” (Servant of God Luigi Guissani)….
These words…seem to summarize the malaise we experience here and now, in a situation twisted in on itself like a screw, in which the problem of “who is right” has been carried to the extreme, to the idea that the other is an objection to eliminate rather than a good to take into consideration. We see it in the way we often face politics, work, family, and relationships, as if the decisive point were theories, ideas, some solution that can “settle” our problems, and not the drama of living that we bear within and that makes such problems useful, even precious, in some way, notwithstanding the difficulty, because, as Father Giussani reminded us, “in the face of questions, problems, and difficulties, that which man loves comes to the surface.” The stronger the malaise, and the harder and deeper the problems, the greater is our need to strip them of the intellectualism, the chatter, and the superficiality, down to the necessary basics: “evangelical poverty” and the question of how one can live, what use faith is in all this.
This is a question that we have already asked ourselves many times. Deep down, it is always the same question, but none is more decisive for life and faith, because a faith that does not help us live is useless. Seen another way, faith is confirmed and made indispensable for us when we see that it responds to “that which characterizes the human person today: doubt about existence, fear of living, fragility, lack of substance in ourselves….”
The greatest obstacle is often our resistance to facing…[our] need as if we have within a strange resistance to asking, to opening wide the question of fulfillment that underlies our “toil in living.” Instead, when the event of Christ happens, one of the effects is that it makes us realize the importance of our need, the importance of what we are.
From an editorial in Traces magazine as found in Magnificat for August 25, 2014, pp 363-364.
FRANCIS Person to Person. . . .
Yes to the New Relationships Brought by Christ
87. Today, when the networks and means of human communication have made unprecedented advances, we sense the challenge of finding and sharing a “mystique” of living together, of mingling and encounter, of embracing and supporting one another, of stepping into this flood tide that, while chaotic, can become a genuine experience of fraternity, a caravan of solidarity, a sacred pilgrimage. Greater possibilities for communication thus turn into greater possibilities for encounter and solidarity for everyone. If we were able to take this route, it would be so good, so soothing, so liberating and hope-filled! To go out of ourselves and to join others is healthy for us. To be self-enclosed is to taste the bitter poison of immanence, and humanity will be worse for every selfish choice we make.
88. The Christian ideal will always be a summons to overcome suspicion, habitual mistrust, fear of losing our privacy, all the defensive attitudes that today’s world imposes on us. Many try to escape from others and take refuge in the comfort of their privacy or in a small circle of close friends, renouncing the realism of the social aspect of the Gospel. For just as some people want a purely spiritual Christ, without flesh and without the cross, they also want their interpersonal relationships provided by sophisticated equipment, by screens and systems that can be turned on and off on command.
Meanwhile, the Gospel tells us constantly to run the risk of a face-to-face encounter with others, with their physical presence which challenges us, with their pain and their pleas, with their joy which infects us in our close and continuous interaction. True faith in the incarnate Son of God is inseparable from self-giving, from membership in the community, from service, from reconciliation with others. The Son of God, by becoming flesh, summoned us to the revolution of tenderness.
89. Isolation, which is a version of immanentism, can find expression in a false autonomy that has no place for God. But in the realm of religion it can also take the form of a spiritual consumerism tailored to one’s own unhealthy individualism. The return to the sacred and the quest for spirituality that mark our own time are ambiguous phenomena. Today our challenge is not so much atheism as the need to respond adequately to many people’s thirst for God, lest they try to satisfy it with alienating solutions or with a disembodied Jesus who demands nothing of us with regard to others. Unless these people find in the church a spirituality that can offer healing and liberation, and fill them with life and peace, while at the same time summoning them to fraternal communion and missionary fruitfulness, they will end up by being taken in by solutions that neither make life truly human nor give glory to God.
90. Genuine forms of popular religiosity are incarnate, since they are born of the incarnation of Christian faith in popular culture. For this reason they entail a personal relationship, not with vague spiritual energies or powers, but with God, with Christ, with Mary, with the saints. These devotions are fleshy, they have a face. They are capable of fostering relationships and not just enabling escapism. In other parts of our society, we see the growing attraction to various forms of a “spirituality of well-being” divorced from any community life or to a “theology of prosperity” detached from responsibility for our brothers and sisters or to depersonalized experiences that are nothing more than a form of self-centeredness.
91. One important challenge is to show that the solution will never be found in fleeing from a personal and committed relationship with God that at the same time commits us to serving others. This happens frequently nowadays, as believers seek to hide or keep apart from others or quietly flit from one place to another or from one task to another without creating deep and stable bonds. “Imaginatio locorum et mutatio multos fefellit.”68
This is a false remedy that cripples the heart and at times the body as well. We need to help others to realize that the only way is to learn how to encounter others with the right attitude, which is to accept and esteem them as companions along the way, without interior resistance. Better yet, it means learning to find Jesus in the faces of others, in their voices, in their pleas. And learning to suffer in the embrace of the crucified Jesus whenever we are unjustly attacked or meet with ingratitude, never tiring of our decision to live in fraternity.69
92. There indeed we find true healing, since the way to relate to others that truly heals instead of debilitating us is a mystical fraternity, a contemplative fraternity. It is a fraternal love capable of seeing the sacred grandeur of our neighbor, of finding God in every human being, of tolerating the nuisances of life in common by clinging to the love of God, of opening the heart to divine love and seeking the happiness of others just as their heavenly Father does. Here and now, especially where we are a “little flock” (Lk 12:32), the Lord’s disciples are called to live as a community that is the salt of the earth and the light of the world (cf. Mt 5:13-16). We are called to bear witness to a constantly new way of living together in fidelity to the Gospe1.70 Let us not allow ourselves to be robbed of community!
Evangelii Gaudium: Apostolic Exhortation, Paragraphs 87-92, Pope Francis (Catholic News Service)
A Right Understanding of Worship
The way back to God is the way of worship. If all that we are and become and do in our many-leveled life could be made one in worship, we should be saints. Some people think that Christian morality is no more than a series of don’ts; others a little less ill-informed think it is no more than a series of dos. These things are included, for being and doing are interdependent, but it is being that comes first in importance; and Christian morality tells us first of all not what we should do, still less what we should not do, but what we should be.
That is why you cannot possibly separate, as some people would have us do, the Church’s moral teaching from its beliefs about God’s revelation of himself to the world. You cannot possibly separate them, because the moral teaching is entirely determined by the doctrine; and if you try to isolate it, you destroy it. You could isolate this or that element in it; you could cling to the ideals of justice, kindness, generosity, fortitude; but these virtues would then cease to be the Christian virtues, because they would be divorced from worship.
FATHER GERALD VANN, O.P.
Father Vann (+ 1963) was an English Dominican and a popular preacher, lecturer, and author.