Saturday, September 22, 2007

The Hersy of Orthodoxy: Why the Roman Catholic Church is Dead Wrong.

Why the Roman Catholic church is Dead Wrong
Paschal Baute, Pastoral Psychologist and Priest. .

One is required to follow one’s own conscience even it, for a Catholic, it goes against the Pope. It is right that Catholics ignore papal teaching on birth control and even on abortion.

One must, however, have an informed conscience, that is, it must be educated in the particulars of the situation. I believe my conscience is informed. I have been following the Wisdom of Jesus since I was 19, now for about 59 years. I am seminary educated, several seminaries, and have read most of the books written in my lifetime about Jesus. I am conversant with liberation theology, third world theology, and feminist theology. Finallly, I have been in the trenches, not in academia or some ivory tower, practicing my faith and striving to be of assistance to many others to embrace and practice their own. I would not swap this experience for any on earth. I know deeply and surely where my spiritual home is, and live daily with gratitude and humilty in the face of many underserved blessings.

In the beginning, Jesus came and preached a gospel, a message of good news to the world, particuarly to the outsiders of his time, the least of his brethren. Unfortunately, the church came and preached Jesus. This was far easier. Just believe and be saved. Believe these truths about Jesus, about salvation, about the right road to salvation, and you are righteous.

Because the church has beleived that Right Teaching is the way to God, the surest path, it has been willing to condemn, torture, ostracize and murder those who belived differently, for thousands of years. Countless others. Hundreds of years of Inquisition, Crusades, religous wars, and anyone bold enough to challenge the status quo. Martin Luther, demonized by the Roman Catholic authorities, was only trying to correct known abuses. He could not be heard. Tghe Protestant Church was born because Catholic authority would not, could not, examine its corrupt policies, essentially.

Orthodoxy says Correct Belief is he measure of salvation. That is not the teaching of Jesus.
Jesus said the measure of salvation was love, the love of God and neighbor. For Jesus,
truth” was the teaching that we shall be judged by the love of the least of our brethren. There is no doubt about this. He also proclaimed that the Kingdom was already here, wherever, people of faith gathered, that priest and sacrifice was not necessary. Truth, then, is not correct belief, but Love, love of God and neighbor.

Gregory of Nyssa said it we4l: “Concepts create idols, only wonder and awe understand anything.” Making concepts or doctrine the way to God leads to, and maybe is, idolatry. We have put ideas between our minds and this vast mystery of Love we call God. We employ the concepts and ideas as avenues of certainty. We are quite wiling to judge others as further from God than we if they do not accept the same ideas. We of the Right Teaching are not only wiling to judge them, but believe that God endorses our condemnation, outrage and persecution of those who believe differently than we do. This is idolatry and it is widespread.

It is also the root of our vast misdirection of religion today, Christian, Catholic, Protestnat, Hebrew, Muslim and Secularism, which is also a god to many. 9/22

Monday, September 10, 2007

Prison Chaplains ordered to purge non-acceptabel religious books.

Prisons Purging Books on Faith From Libraries

Behind the walls of federal prisons nationwide, chaplains have been quietly carrying out a systematic purge of religious books and materials that were once available to prisoners in chapel libraries.

The chaplains were directed by the Bureau of Prisons to clear the shelves of any books, tapes, CDs and videos that are not on a list of approved resources. In some prisons, the chaplains have recently dismantled libraries that had thousands of texts collected over decades, bought by the prisons, or donated by churches and religious groups.

Some inmates are outraged. Two of them, a Christian and an Orthodox Jew, in a federal prison camp in upstate New York, filed a class-action lawsuit last month claiming the bureau’s actions violate their rights to the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the First Amendment and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Traci Billingsley, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Prisons, said the agency was acting in response to a 2004 report by the Office of the Inspector General in the Justice Department. The report recommended steps that prisons should take, in light of the Sept. 11 attacks, to avoid becoming recruiting grounds for militant Islamic and other religious groups. The bureau, an agency of the Justice Department, defended its effort, which it calls the Standardized Chapel Library Project, as a way of barring access to materials that could, in its words, “discriminate, disparage, advocate violence or radicalize.”

Ms. Billingsley said, “We really wanted consistently available information for all religious groups to assure reliable teachings as determined by reliable subject experts.”

But prison chaplains, and groups that minister to prisoners, say that an administration that put stock in religion-based approaches to social problems has effectively blocked prisoners’ access to religious and spiritual materials — all in the name of preventing terrorism.

“It’s swatting a fly with a sledgehammer,” said Mark Earley, president of Prison Fellowship, a Christian group. “There’s no need to get rid of literally hundreds of thousands of books that are fine simply because you have a problem with an isolated book or piece of literature that presents extremism.”

The Bureau of Prisons said it relied on experts to produce lists of up to 150 book titles and 150 multimedia resources for each of 20 religions or religious categories — everything from Bahaism to Yoruba. The lists will be expanded in October, and there will be occasional updates, Ms. Billingsley said. Prayer books and other worship materials are not affected by this process.

The lists are broad, but reveal eccentricities and omissions. There are nine titles by C. S. Lewis, for example, and none from the theologians Reinhold Niebuhr, Karl Barth and Cardinal Avery Dulles, and the influential pastor Robert H. Schuller.

The identities of the bureau’s experts have not been made public, Ms. Billingsley said, but they include chaplains and scholars in seminaries and at the American Academy of Religion. Academy staff members said their organization had met with prison chaplains in the past but was not consulted on this effort, though it is possible that scholars who are academy members were involved.

The bureau has not provided additional money to prisons to buy the books on the lists, so in some prisons, after the shelves were cleared of books not on the lists, few remained.

A chaplain who has worked more than 15 years in the prison system, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he is a bureau employee, said: “At some of the penitentiaries, guys have been studying and reading for 20 years, and now they are told that this material doesn’t meet some kind of criteria. It doesn’t make sense to them. They’re asking, ‘Why are our tapes being taken, why our books being taken?’ ”

Of the lists, he said, “Many of the chaplains I’ve spoken to say these are not the things they would have picked.”

The effort is unnecessary, the chaplain said, because chaplains routinely reject any materials that incite violence or disparage, and donated materials already had to be approved by prison officials. Prisoners can buy religious books, he added, but few have much money to spend.

Religious groups that work with prisoners have privately been writing letters about their concerns to bureau officials. Would it not be simpler, they asked the bureau, to produce a list of forbidden titles? But the bureau did that last year, when it instructed the prisons to remove all materials by nine publishers — some Muslim, some Christian.

The plan to standardize the libraries first became public in May when several inmates, including a Muslim convert, at the Federal Prison Camp in Otisville, N.Y., about 75 miles northwest of Manhattan, filed a lawsuit acting as their own lawyers. Later, lawyers at the New York firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison took on the case pro bono. They refiled it on Aug. 21 in the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York.

“Otisville had a very extensive library of Jewish religious books, many of them donated,” said David Zwiebel, executive vice president for government and public affairs for Agudath Israel of America, an Orthodox Jewish group. “It was decimated. Three-quarters of the Jewish books were taken off the shelves.”

Mr. Zwiebel asked, “Since when does the government, even with the assistance of chaplains, decide which are the most basic books in terms of religious study and practice?”

The lawsuit raises serious First Amendment concerns, said Douglas Laycock, a professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School, but he added that it was not a slam-dunk case.

“Government does have a legitimate interest to screen out things that tend to incite violence in prisons,” Mr. Laycock said. “But once they say, ‘We’re going to pick 150 good books for your religion, and that’s all you get,’ the criteria has become more than just inciting violence. They’re picking out what is accessible religious teaching for prisoners, and the government can’t do that without a compelling justification. Here the justification is, the government is too busy to look at all the books, so they’re going to make their own preferred list to save a little time, a little money.”

The lists have not been made public by the bureau, but were made available to The Times by a critic of the bureau’s project. In some cases, the lists indicate their authors’ preferences. For example, more than 80 of the 120 titles on the list for Judaism are from the same Orthodox publishing house. A Catholic scholar and an evangelical Christian scholar who looked over some of the lists were baffled at the selections.

Timothy Larsen, who holds the Carolyn and Fred McManis Chair of Christian Thought at Wheaton College, an evangelical school, looked over lists for “Other Christian” and “General Spirituality.”

“There are some well-chosen things in here,” Professor Larsen said. “I’m particularly glad that Dietrich Bonhoeffer is there. If I was in prison I would want to read Dietrich Bonhoeffer.” But he continued, “There’s a lot about it that’s weird.” The lists “show a bias toward evangelical popularism and Calvinism,” he said, and lacked materials from early church fathers, liberal theologians and major Protestant denominations.

The Rev. Richard P. McBrien, professor of theology at the University of Notre Dame (who edited “The HarperCollins Encyclopedia of Catholicism,” which did make the list), said the Catholic list had some glaring omissions, few spiritual classics and many authors he had never heard of.

“I would be completely sympathetic with Catholic chaplains in federal prisons if they’re complaining that this list is inhibiting,” he said, “because I know they have useful books that are not on this list.”

Saturday, September 01, 2007

The entire world, Duke campus, Duke President,, the national media, and women's groups across the nationscampus, judged the Duke LaCrosse team wrongly

Because of this Durham County Prosecutor. the nation wrongly judged the Duke LaCrosse team. Women's groups across the nation's university campuses held bonfires to condemn. Lives of some were changed forever, despite the white middle class college kids' parents getting expensive lawyers. This miscarriage of justice is a stain that should not be forgotten. It demonstrates how totally wrong the Criminal Justice system can be. Paschal 9/1/07


News item,

DURHAM, N.C. — From the day he took over the Duke lacrosse rape case, Durham County District Attorney Mike Nifong charged forward with a strident determination that the guilty would end up in jail. Ultimately, the since-disgraced former prosecutor only succeeded at putting himself behind bars.

Nifong was sentenced Friday to a single day in jail, having been held in criminal contempt of court for lying to a judge during his pursuit of rape charges against the three falsely accused lacrosse players.

Superior Court Judge W. Osmond Smith III could have sentenced Nifong, who had already been stripped of his law license and had resigned from office, to as many as 30 days in jail and given him a fine as high as $500. Instead, he opted for a largely symbolic punishment _ the public humiliation of sending a prosecutor to jail _ that he said would help protect the integrity of the justice system.

"If what I impose with regard to Mr. Nifong would make things better or different for what's already happened, I don't know what it would be or how I could do it," Smith said.