Independence Day

Today we celebrate our nation’s Declaration of Independence from Great Britain. On this day 239 years ago, 56 men gathered and signed their names to a document that laid out grievances against King George III.

This day is now the day we celebrate our independence with fireworks, John Phillips Sousa music, beer and burgers, but how many of us know the actual words of the declaration? In this time, in the history of our country, maybe it’s time that we reread this historic document:

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


Filed under: American Liberties

More Food for Thought on Party of Five

When it comes to elections, everyone talks about voting for the lesser of two evils. Why settle for evil at all?

The fact is, voting for the lesser of two evils, is still voting for evil. Why vote for evil when there is likely a 3rd party candidate, not heavily funded by corporate and banking interests, that likely fits your stances on the issues?

Check out the third party debate this upcoming Tuesday. You might just find someone you can FULLY support.

From the USCCB Faithful Citizenship #36:

“When all candidates hold a position in favor of an intrinsic evil, the conscientious voter faces a dilemma. The voter may decide to take the extraordinary step of not voting for any candidate or, after careful deliberation, may decide to vote for the candidate deemed less likely to advance such a morally flawed position and more likely to pursue other authentic human goods.”

So, yes, we are permitted to vote for the candidate who is less likely to advance an intrinsic evil, but what if that candidate isn’t Mitt Romney? What if there is a candidate who sees the value of all human life, regardless of how that life was conceived? What if there is a candidate who support the end of the unjust wars we are waging overseas (and in the process, killing innocent people)? What if there is a candidate who wants to work on the real economic issues of our country? Again, what if that candidate isn’t Mitt Romney?


“Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
–John Quincy Adams

Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic

Party of Five, not Party of Two

Did you know that this November, on your ballot, there will probably be more than two candidates for president? Did you know that you do not have to vote for one of of the two major party candidates? As voters, we owe it to ourselves, to our children, to the country to check out all the candidates on the ballot and vote for the one who will best lead our country and to protect the rights of all citizens. You might be surprised to find that it isn’t the one with an R or a D after his name.


Links to each candidates website:

Virgil Goode 

Gary Johnson

Barack Obama

Mitt Romney

Jill Stein  

Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic

The USCCB’s Response to VP Biden’s HHS Mandate Claims

USCCB Responds To Inaccurate Statement Of Fact On HHS Mandate Made During Vice Presidential Debate


October 12, 2012

WASHINGTON—The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) issued the following statement, October 12. Full text follows:

Last night, the following statement was made during the Vice Presidential debate regarding the decision of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to force virtually all employers to include sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion, in the health insurance coverage they provide their employees:

“With regard to the assault on the Catholic Church, let me make it absolutely clear. No religious institution—Catholic or otherwise, including Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital—none has to either refer contraception, none has to pay for contraception, none has to be a vehicle to get contraception in any insurance policy they provide. That is a fact. That is a fact.”

This is not a fact. The HHS mandate contains a narrow, four-part exemption for certain “religious employers.” That exemption was made final in February and does not extend to “Catholic social services, Georgetown hospital, Mercy hospital, any hospital,” or any other religious charity that offers its services to all, regardless of the faith of those served.

HHS has proposed an additional “accommodation” for religious organizations like these, which HHS itself describes as “non-exempt.” That proposal does not even potentially relieve these organizations from the obligation “to pay for contraception” and “to be a vehicle to get contraception.” They will have to serve as a vehicle, because they will still be forced to provide their employees with health coverage, and that coverage will still have to include sterilization, contraception, and abortifacients. They will have to pay for these things, because the premiums that the organizations (and their employees) are required to pay will still be applied, along with other funds, to cover the cost of these drugs and surgeries.

USCCB continues to urge HHS, in the strongest possible terms, actually to eliminate the various infringements on religious freedom imposed by the mandate.

For more details, please see USCCB’s regulatory comments filed on May 15 regarding the proposed “accommodation”:

Keywords: vice presidential debate, HHS mandate, U.S. bishops, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, insurance plans, Catholic hospitals, charities, social services, sterilization, contraception, religious liberty, USCCB

# # # # #

Don Clemmer
O: 202-541-3206
Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic, Church Laws, Social Commentary

Candidates to Ponder

I’ve been told that we need to support Romney as candidate for president because he is more pro-life than Obama. What if there is another candidate who is truly pro-life? Why wouldn’t he be the better choice? If we are to be principled voters, shouldn’t we stand on those principles instead of putting them aside for  a candidate who probably won’t do much to advance the pro-life movement and pro-life laws around our country?

This came up on my Facebook wall this morning. It has been passed around and around and around, so I have no idea who to give credit to. However, all information is vetted, but don’t take my word for it, look up these candidates yourself.


Filed under: American Liberties, General Stuff

From Phil Lawler: A friendly question for pro-life Romney enthusiasts

In politics as in the repair shop, the squeaky wheel gets oiled. If pro-lifers are satisfied with a throwaway line in a candidate’s speech, that’s all we’re ever likely to get. – From the article “A Friendly Question for Pro-Life Romney Enthusiasts” by Phil Lawler  


Another article worth reading from Phil Lawler.

“Recognize this is the decision that will be made by the Supreme Court,” he said. “The Democrats try and make this a political issue every four years, but this is a matter in the courts. It’s been settled for some time in the courts.” – (He is Mitt Romney)

Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic

Audit the Fed Bill

Please pick up the phone, call the Capitol Hill switchboard at 202-224-3121, and tell your representative to vote FOR the Audit the Fed bill.


The Federal Reserve, the unelected central bank of the U.S., enjoys a monopoly over the flow of our nation’s money and credit but has never been completely transparent and accountable to Congress since its creation in 1913.

Over its nearly 100 year history, the Federal Reserve has presided over the near-complete destruction of the United States dollar while Congress has kept its hands off and its eyes closed.  Since 1913, the dollar has lost over 95% of its purchasing power, aided and abetted by the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy.

During the current economic crisis, Congress, the Treasury, and the Fed have put us on the hook for over $14 trillion in bailouts and loans.  This is in addition to our over $16 trillion national debt.  When testifying before Congress in 2009, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke refused to disclose which institutions received trillions of dollars in these bailouts and loans or to give our representatives details about what deals are being made with foreign banks.

Despite the limited audit passed as a result of grassroots activism in the 111th Congress, the Fed still refuses to fully disclose key details of its emergency lending.

Although the Fed is currently audited by outside agencies, these audits are not thorough and do not include monetary policy decisions or agreements with foreign central banks and governments.

The crucial issue of Federal Reserve transparency requires an analysis of 31 USC 714, the section of US Code which establishes that the Federal Reserve may be audited by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) but which simultaneously severely restricts what the GAO may in fact audit. Essentially, the GAO is only allowed to audit check-processing, currency storage and shipments, credit facilities (limited) and some regulatory and bank examination functions, etc. The most important matters, which directly affect the strength of the dollar and the health of the financial system, are immune from oversight.

Currently, the GAO is prohibited from auditing:
1. transactions for or with a foreign central bank, government of a foreign country, or nonprivate international financing organization;
2. deliberations, decisions, or actions on monetary policy matters, including discount window operations, reserves of member banks, securities credit, interest on deposits, and open market operations
3. transactions made under the direction of the Federal Open Market Committee; or
4. a part of a discussion or communication among or between members of the Board of Governors and officers and employees of the Federal Reserve System related to clauses (1)-(3) of this subsection of US Code.

The GAO is also prevented from conducting on-site examinations of banks or bank holding companies without the written consent of the appropriate regulatory agency.

HR 459 and S 202, The Federal Reserve Transparency Act, would eliminate these restrictions and mandate a thorough GAO audit of the Fed, finally delivering answers to the American people about how our money is being spent.

Many politicians like to constantly laud the benefits of transparency but fail to turn their campaign rhetoric into results.  With trillions of dollars and our nation’s monetary system at stake, the time to take action is now.

With Ron Paul serving as chairman of the House Domestic Monetary Policy Subcommittee and Rand Paul leading the fight in the Senate, our chance to pass Audit the Fed has never been better.

By opening all Fed operations to a GAO audit, HR 459 and S 202 would result in an historic level of transparency and accountability from the Federal Reserve.

Filed under: American Liberties

Calling Indiana!

Dear Hoosier friends:

Your Primary is on Tuesday and it is an open primary (meaning any registered voter can vote). This race isn’t over and Ron Paul wants your vote, so just do it, vote for the man who will defend the constitution and defend liberty in America. Go to his website, read and listen to what he has to say. Questions, ask me, I can help!

Filed under: American Liberties

When Pro-Life just mean Anti-Abortion.

This showed up on my facebook feed this morning and I thought it was very relevant. Many of you still have primary elections coming up. Many of my friends have said they will vote for Romney now that Santorum is out of the race. To that I ask, what the heck is wrong with you? Just because a candidate says he is pro-life (usually meaning, at best, anti-abortion) doesn’t mean he really is.  



Posted by  on Apr 13, 2012 in Featured, Justice, People | 0 comments

We welcome guest blogger Mark P. Shea, author of the new book The Work of Mercy: Being the Hands and Heart of Christ from Servant Books.

Let’s get something out of the way right off the bat. Abortion is the single most serious moral issue of our time. Nothing in our civilization equals the gravity of a society that can look straight at a newborn baby, made by God, helpless, innocent and beautiful—and stick a pair of scissors in her brain while declaring that a sacred right which must be guarded and extended to all the world, by imperial force if necessary. Such repellent worship of Moloch is biblical in its epic, almost theatrical, level of evil. It is a mark of how deeply corrupted our culture has become that so many people can not only fight to protect this evil as though it were a sacrament, but even joke about it and spit on those who seek to protect the unborn with utter contempt. No issue is of graver import.

That said, however, it is not the case that opposition to abortion exhausts the moral obligations of the Christian in the world and it is *emphatically* not the case that opposition to abortion takes away the sins of the world.

What do I mean? I mean that many serious, believing Christians have begun to embrace a false soteriology when it comes to abortion. What’s “soteriology”? It’s a three dollar word referring to that branch of salvation pertaining to salvation. We humans are always looking for someone or something to save us—besides Jesus. And there are lots of candidates out there. Some people look to correct liturgical practices to save them. The Pharisees thought that attention to religious niceties would do the trick. Lots of people look to money, sex, and/or power to do it. Others hope that the correct tribal affiliation in politics will do it. Still others have a lively faith that the correct views on, say, global warming, or recycling, or Obama, or Romney, or those damn libruls, or those Neanderthal conservatives are salvific. Conversely, a taste for Justin Bieber, Manga, disco, country music, disposable diapers, SUVs, or tobacco are thought by various tribal groupings to definitively consign people to the ranks of the damned—or whatever stands in for damnation among those who do not believe in heaven or hell.

Now, among conservative Christians (my own tribe) abortion has rightly been seen as the most appalling social evil of our time. But as the years have rolled on, many of my tribe have slowly evolved from treating it as the most important issue to treating as the only issue. And in doing so, many of us have concurrently moved to hitching our wagons to any politician who promises to “do something” about abortion—even when that same politician demands our vote so that we will support his plans to launch an unjust war, or torture people, or vote to force you to pay for contraceptives which are (irony of ironies) abortifacients. We buy into agendas which totally ignore or treat as completely disposable virtually the whole corpus of Catholic moral teaching—and then declare that it’s okay because Our Guy says something about being against abortion.

That’s a very dubious theory of salvation. Opposition to abortion is a *necessary* condition of being a disciple of Jesus Christ. But it is not a sufficient one. Opposition to abortion does not take away the sins of the world: Jesus does. And Jesus commands far more of us than mere opposition to abortion. How much more?

That is summarized in the Church’s teaching on the 14 corporal and spiritual works of mercy. These are:

Feed the Hungry

Give Drink to the Thirsty

Clothe the Naked

Harbor the Harborless

Visit the Sick

Ransom the Captive

Bury the Dead

Instruct the Ignorant

Counsel the Doubtful

Admonish Sinners

Bear Wrongs Patiently

Forgive Offenses Willingly

Comfort the Afflicted

Pray for the Living and the Dead

Any theory of salvation which imagines it is possible to ignore or minimize these is doomed. So it is vital that we return to the embrace of the Church’s *whole* teaching and not continue to allow it to be whittled down, even for the very good cause of saving the unborn. We must teach our political tribes that they are to be the servants of the least of these, whether they are babies *or* unwed mothers, poor children before they are born or after, babies born here or abroad in some country where we are planning our next adventure in nation building at gunpoint. And we must continue to care for those babies even when they become poor men and women, or deeply sinful, or hungry, thirsty, naked, sick, or in prison. The whole world, not just the unborn, is the least of these.

Filed under: American Liberties, Catholic