Reviews, Critiques, Surveys

Trump’s Brilliant Speech

by Steve Ray on February 7, 2019

E0C5F142-A478-4026-85BD-FED2CB969079I’ll just say it… [by Brian Birch]

That was a helluva speech.

President Trump delivered one of the best speeches of his presidency last night, weaving together aspirational rhetoric with raw, emotional personal stories, as well as a focus on key issues of deep concern to Catholics.

And Americans agreed…

A snap CNN poll showed that 76% of viewers approved of what President Trump said. And according to CBS, 72% agreed with what he said on immigration — his signature issue.

Here are Five Reasons why President Trump’s speech might be the most “Catholic” State of the Union we’ve ever heard.

1. Life

President Trump delivered some of the strongest pro-life words ever uttered in a State of the Union speech. The president called on Congress to pass legislation outlawing late-term abortion for children who can feel pain, saying: “All children — born and unborn — are made in the holy image of God.”

2C913F10-8F30-4C49-9285-7FC2EACD4432He also pushed back at politicians in recent weeks who enthusiastically supported late-term abortion and, in some cases, infanticide. “Lawmakers in New York cheered with delight upon the passage of legislation that would allow a baby to be ripped from the mother’s womb moments before birth. These are living, feeling, beautiful babies who will never get the chance to share their love and dreams with the world.”

The roar of applause from the House chamber still gives me chills.

2. Pro-Family Policies

The bean counters at the Wall Street Journal probably didn’t like it, but President Trump called for nationwide paid family leave “so that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child.” He’s right to do so. The birth rate in the United States just hit a historical low.

But President Trump didn’t stop there. He also made a plug for school choice to help working parents. And then noted that his recent tax reform bill doubled the child tax credit.

B5E093E4-8D0E-4314-82A9-D1944E272C7DMost importantly, he touted the historic economic success now underway in America, including record-low unemployment among African Americans and Hispanic Americans — and rising wages.

If the best poverty program is a job, then President Trump has every right to brag.

3. Winning Message on Immigration

Catholics are often conflicted on the President and immigration. But data suggests they’re more troubled by his rhetoric than his policies. Last night, the President did far more to advance immigration reform than months of frustrated tweets and a government shutdown have accomplished.

He rightly emphasized yet again how our insecure border hurts the working poor with lower wages and strains on social safety programs. He also pointed out that the chaos on the border is dangerous for illegal migrants as well — including terrible incidences of sexual assault, human trafficking, murder, and the flow of lethal drugs into our cities. “This is a moral issue,” the President said. And “[t]olerance for illegal immigration is not compassionate — it is cruel.”

Perhaps of greatest significance was a line not contained in the official text of the speech, but which he added on his own: “Legal immigrants enrich our nation and strengthen our society in countless ways… I want people to come into our country in the largest numbers ever, but they have to come in legally.”

No wonder Americans liked it so much.

4. Smart Foreign Policy

One thing that has united both Democrats and Republicans in the Beltway has been support for continued military action in Afghanistan and the Middle East. It’s been the story of U.S. foreign policy in the 21st century — despite clear warnings from St. Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI.

Trump has surprised many observers by avoiding new military engagements. He has resisted an extended intervention in Syria. In fact, he’s trying to get our troops out of that country. And he’s pushing for a peace process that could finally bring many of our troops home from Afghanistan — a war we’ve fought for almost 18 years.

Trump noted to bipartisan applause: “Great nations do not fight endless wars.”

And on trade, the President deserves credit for leading a new push to rebalance our trade deficits with countries like China. The data is growing. Americans have traded away quality jobs and a robust manufacturing base in exchange for cheap products, a working class mired in drugs, social disruption, and massive income inequality.

No quick tariffs or modified trade agreements will fix these problems overnight. But it’s high time our leaders address the causes and have the guts to begin fixing them.

5. No to Socialism, Yes to Solidarity

Eliciting what might have been his biggest applause of the night, President Trump was unambiguous: “Tonight, we renew our resolve that America will never be a socialist country.”

“America was founded on liberty and independence — not government coercion, domination, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.”

In rejecting socialism, President Trump didn’t embrace a ruthless hyper-capitalist view focused exclusively on efficiency and GDP. Trump’s goals are clear: he wants to rebuild the middle class by investing in infrastructure, securing our border, incentivizing manufacturing, and putting the American family first, including the unborn.

He urged us to “rekindle the bonds of love and loyalty and memory…”

He urged unity, cooperation, compromise and…the common good.

Choose greatness, he said.

A Catholic State of the Union speech?

I’d say so.

Brian

P.S. “5 Reasons” is always a fun compilation. However, I can’t help but mention a sixth reason for Catholics to applaud the President last night– one that even President Trump didn’t mention. Sitting in the chamber last night were Justice Neil Gorsuch and Justice Brett Kavanaugh. Two constitutionalist judges who will serve for decades.

I guess that’s reasons six… and seven!

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Pure Flix, the distributor for God’s Not Dead, is releasing “Unplanned” on 800 movie screens March 29, the Hollywood Reporter (THR)reports.

Unplanned is a dramatic film adaption of Johnson’s best-selling 2010 autobiographical book of the same name. It tells the story of Johnson’s journey from Planned Parenthood facility manager to pro-life activist.

“I thought I was helping women,” said Abby Johnson, founder and director of And Then There Were None, an organization that helps abortion workers exit the industry and find new jobs.

“But I was doing more harm than good. It wasn’t until I saw a child fight for its life that my world came crashing down and I understood the enormity of my actions. I had to leave. No one will be able to walk away after seeing this movie and say ‘I didn’t know,’” she added.

In the trailer, Johnson’s character is warned by Planned Parenthood that by crossing to the pro-life side she’s made an enemy of “one of the most powerful organizations on the planet.”

Unplanned was written and directed by Cary Soloman and Chuck Konzelman, the writers and co-producers for God’s Not Dead, God’s Not Dead 2 and Do You Believe. Daryl Lefever (I Can Only Imagine) is also a producer.

Pure Flix distributed the two God’s Not Dead films and Do You Believe theatrically as well.

“We had other offers but felt they would be our strongest partner because of the great success we’ve had together in the past,” Konzelman said of Unplanned.

Unplanned was filmed in secret and under a different name due to its content, and the filmmakers had to pull back from using some mainstream pop songs in the movie, because major record labels refused to license the music to them for the film.

Blake Kanicka, music supervisor for Unplanned, told THR that nine out of the 10 initial requests he’d made for licensing were denied. Among those turning the request down were Disney, Sony/ATV and Universal Music.

Some faith-based bands also denied the filmmakers use of their songs, telling Kanicka that they could not risk the possible controversy.

Actress Ashley Bratcher (War Room, 90 Minutes in Heaven) who plays Johnson, told the Fox & Friends program in December that she had been warned that she would probably be blacklisted for acting in the movie.

The $6 million cost for making Unplanned was financed in part by Mike Lindell, the multimillionaire founder of My Pillow, who invested $1 million in the film. Lindell, a pro-life Christian, told THR he plans to continue supporting films that represent his values.

Bratcher has been candid about her moving experience of learning that her mother had planned to abort her soon after she began filming Unplanned, giving interviews to Fox & FriendsThe Story with Martha MacCallum and LifeSiteNews.

The film has the endorsement of Kansas City Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann.

Naumann, also chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Pro-life Activities, said during his homily for the March for Life Vigil Mass at the Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Washington D.C., “If you see one film this year, see Unplanned… I warn you, Unplanned is graphic, it’s painful, but at the same time, inspiring…”

In addition to Bratcher, the movie stars Brooks Ryan as Johnson’s husband, Doug; Robia Scott (CSI, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) as Johnson’s superior at Planned Parenthood; Emma Elle Roberts (Hunger Games: Mocking Jay, I Am Not Ashamed, ) as Marilisa Carney, Kaiser Johnson (Little Boy, Vampire Diaries, Sleepy Hollow); and Jared Lotz (Of Little Convenience, Thanksgiving) as 40 Days for Life President Shawn Carney.

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Are the Books of the New Testament “Self-Authenticating” or was the Catholic Church Necessary to Define the Canon of Scripture?

By Steve Ray

Hello Protestant Friend:

I was very happy to receive your twenty-five-page letter which claimed that sola Scriptura (Bible alone) and sola fide (faith alone) were the faith and teaching of the Apostles. I found your reasoning very weak (sorry to say) and since I once believed these false doctrines myself I thought I ought to respond to your misconceptions. I have no animosity toward you for your views; in fact; I love you for taking the time to express your theology and I love you for your sincere faith in our Lord Jesus. Having once held these views myself, I know that they can be held in good faith and I assume that is the case with you.

Since this letter became longer than I originally expected, I decided to add an outline to help you understand the flow of my discussion. So, here it goes.

  1. Our Recent Discussions
    1. Intro: Self-authentication of Biblical Documents
    2. Federal Rules for Self-authenticating Documents
    3. Correct Criterion vs. Circular Reasoning
    4. The Early Church and the New Testament Documents
    5. The Reformation and the Canon
    6. A Fallible Collection of Infallible Books
  1. Your Letter: Especially on Inspiration, Scripture, and sola Scriptura
    1. 2 Timothy 3:15, 16: A Basis for the Canon of the New Testament?
      1. Old Testament or New Testament
      2. Anarthrous Construction and Warfield
      3. Correct Translation of the Greek Text
      4. Universal Negative: Nothing else is Inspired or Infallible
    2. 2 Peter 3:16: Substantive Proof of the New Testament Canon?
    3. 1 Timothy 5:18 & Luke 10:7: Substantive Proof of the New Testament Canon?
    4. Summary using Norman Geisler’s Syllogism
    5. Catholic Teaching in a Nutshell
  1. Miscellaneous Comments from Your Letter
    1. Augustine, Calvin, and the Councils
    2. The Noble-minded Bereans and Sola Scriptura
    3. Is the Catholic Church “Co-equal” with the Sacred Writings
    4. Can Catholics Interpret the Bible?
  1. Sign-off and Finger-resting
  1. Our Recent Discussions
  1. Intro: Self-authentication of the Biblical Documents

Anyway, to get serious, when we talked about the authentication of the sacred books contained in our Bible, you mentioned legal precedent for documents that were “self-authenticating.” In other words, as I understood it, there was no need for anyone (including individuals, authorities, councils, apostolic successors, etc.) to make such a determination as to which books were infallible, inspired, and canonical, since they were self-authenticating and could be discovered, but not determined. This is Norman Geisler’s view as well (Endnote 1) Whew! I hope that mouthful made sense.

You also said that the reason it took so long to discover the collected canon was due to the condition of man. If you don’t mind, and in the spirit of friendship and combativeness we have always had together and thoroughly enjoyed I will continue our tradition and take another salvo in this letter. I don’t have any Norman blood, but I do have French [passion], and German [precision and belligerence], and Irish [feisty], and English [verbose] blood in me. So, don’t blame me, blame it on my genes.

  1. Federal Rules for Self-authenticating Documents

I am of the opinion that the sacred writings were not, and are not self-authenticating. I don’t mean they are devoid of divine authorship, nor that they are without the divine imprint. I only mean that internal and external evidence alone is not enough to clearly and definitively establish them as inspired, authoritative, and infallible. Since you mentioned it, I looked up the legal guidelines on the matter of self-authentication in the Federal Rules (U.S. Code Title 18 Crimes and Criminal Procedure, Federal Rules no. 902) (Endnote 2). This is the section, as you well know, of Self-Authentication. The reason I looked this up is simple: you stopped me in my tracks when you mentioned this, not because I questioned the validity of my objection to self-authentication, but because I was not knowledgeable about the evidentiary rules.

For the whole long and detailed argument, click here.

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Our Friends and Neighbor’s Sing Like Angels

December 14, 2018

They’re good friends of ours and their convent is 9 minutes from our house.  Here is a short introduction to these beautiful Sisters and their heavenly music.

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Trail of Blood: Do Baptists Have a Claim to the Original Church?

November 26, 2018

What is the history of Baptists? Can they trace their roots back to the 1st century? Many ”fundamentalist” Baptists believe they can. Are they correct? There is a booklet that is very popular among this fundamentalist crowd. It is entitled “The Trail of Blood”. The booklet claims that Catholics persecuted the true Christians — the Baptists — leaving […]

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The Bible out of Context: “Saved by Faith Alone”?

November 13, 2018

When reading the Bible devoid of its historical and textual context, there is no context except the context which any person might supply for it. or put otherwise, A text without a context is a pretext. I always get frustrated when self-proclaimed Bible students or teachers start pontificating about the meaning of the Bible and […]

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For those following the Geocentrism Nonsense Arguments – Updates

July 31, 2018

From my friend Dave Palm at Geocentrism Debunked. His website is debunking the belief that the earth lies at the center of the universe which some Catholics have taken a shine to lately. (Maybe the earth is flat too :-) **************************************************** There has been a lot going on at Geocentrism Debunked lately. Most notably I had a live discussion/debate with geocentrist Bob Sungenis on the Non Sequitur […]

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We Loved this Movie: “Woman in Gold”

July 15, 2018

We watched an exceptional movie today which we highly recommend! Full of injustice and redemption, courage, family, sacrifice and love. Have Kleenex handy. We will watch it again for sure. The true story of artwork stolen by the Nazis from a Jewish Austrian family and their fight to have it returned. The elegant woman Maria […]

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Fun and Relaxed 4th of July

July 4, 2018

?Happy 4th! Thanks to all those who made our independence and freedom possible! Kids all traveling so Janet & I took 3.5 mile walk, cooked healthy food on the barbie and watched hilarious family-friendly Aussie movie “Deckchair Danny.” Love being a husband/dad/granddad, love being an American, love being Catholic! (Picture from front porch.)

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“Braco the Gazer” Stares at You! World’s Gone Mad!

June 18, 2018

There is the old saying that, “If your mind is too open your brain may fall out.” Or stated another way, “If you don’t stand in something, you’ll fall for anything.” St. Augustine said that we were created with an emptiness in our soul that only God could fill. But for people who have rejected […]

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Disappointed in Two Movies: “Shape of Water” and “Breathe”

May 5, 2018

We see some of our best and worst movies while flying in airplanes back-and-forth across the Atlantic. Today we saw one of our dumbest movies which started out intriguing but we both said it’s on the lower end of all the movies we’ve watched. It was called “The Shape of Water“. It was about a […]

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The Jordan Peterson Phenomenon – I Stand Up to Applaud Him!!

February 28, 2018

There is a lot of buzz going around about the Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson who is defying the Canadian government and the tyranny of the lunatic Left. I stand up to applaud him! Here is an article in Catholic World Report written by Bishop Robert Barron. Barron introduces this eloquent, courageous and very bright man. […]

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Ten Worst Catholic Hymns of all Time

February 2, 2018

I haven’t heard them all, but the ones I recognize — I agree. I’ve told Janet if I hear some of them again I’ll walk out. Ten Worst Catholic Hymns of all Time

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Reclaim the Presence of God and Dinnertime for the Family

January 3, 2018

Paraclete Press has come out with a delightful book to help families practice the presence of God and help make dinner fun. I wish I had written this book! Check out”Feeding Your Family’s Soul – Dinner Table Spirituality” Not only spirituality but fun things to make dinner and enjoyable family get-together. I echo Fr. Andrew […]

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Eternal Security: Is Baptist Pastor Charles Stanley Right?

September 29, 2017

ETERNAL SECURITY (Once Saved-Always Saved): Analyzing a Sermon by Baptist Pastor, Charles Stanley By Steve Ray Hello Protestant Friend: Even though I have watched his show off and on over the months, I had no intention of watching Charles Stanley on television last night. It was just that I was tired after getting home and […]

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Fr. James Martin’s book “Building Bridges” – Comments by Dr. Ed Peters

September 17, 2017

About Fr. Martin’s book September 16, 2017 by Dr. Ed Peters: Defending his book, Building a Bridge (2017), Jesuit Father James Martin claims that its consistency with Church teaching is attested to by (A) his own good standing as a priest, and (B) the canonical approval the book received from his Jesuit superior. Martin’s first claim, that he […]

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