Social Issues & Action

by Dave Durand September 1, 2020  Published in Legatus Magazine

“What does it mean when a CEO says, “we support Black Lives Matter?” On the surface, it appears the company affirms the dignity and equality of Black people. If it were that simple, all Catholics would be obligated to support such a movement.

75492C47-8B72-49C9-BD1D-D6375E37EF5CHowever, the motives and beliefs of BLM are not that simple. In fact, BLM is an overtly anti-American, pro Marxist, anti-family, pro-LGBTQ anarchist movement, aimed at deconstructing the United States. Therefore, when a company expresses formal support of the Black Lives Matter movement, they are, at a minimum, passively endorsing all those motives.

If the motives on BLM sound too hard to believe, a simple perusal of blacklivesmatter.com plus interviews from their founders will clear up any confusion.

On Marxism: BLM co-founder Patrice Cullors boldly promotes their plan stating, “We spent the year reading, anything from Marx, to Lenin, to Mao, learning all types of global critical theory and about different campaigns across the world, as a way to learn how to bring people in, how to keep them in an organization… There’s an entire skillset to this.”

25DD1910-E629-44A6-8DCB-74A70478F64FOn traditional family and LGBTQ issues: Blacklivesmatter. org’s “What we believe” section states, “We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure”…“We foster a queer-affirming network…“We make space for transgender brothers and sisters to participate and lead. We are self-reflexive and do the work required to dismantle cisgender privilege.”

Every major news outlet has parroted BLM’s battle cry to encourage anarchy and to defund the police. Where police have been defunded, crime is rapidly growing. Creating anarchy in the streets is a Marxist approach to gain control. It is backed by the attack on American history, witnessed in the tearing down of statues.

One can see the correlation between the racially motivated frustrations and tearing down Confederate statues, but the anarchists have gone way beyond that, making their motives confusing.

They have torn down the likes of Ulysses S. Grant and other abolitionists; saints such as Junipero Serra; and desecrated statues of Jesus and the Blessed Mother. Simply put, this has nothing to do with racism and everything to do with reinventing the United States.

The cunning strategies implemented by BLM include stonewalling, gas-lighting, and intimidation. They have redefined racism by declaring it not a personal decision or action but a systemic, collective action.

To be a racist has meant individually believing that a given race is superior to another and acting out on that belief. The new definition of systemic racism leaves no white person free of the label of “racist.” BLM leaders nationwide flatly demand all white people admit they are racist.

So, why would any CEO support the movement? There are two reasons. First, CEOs don’t want to be labeled racist – so they cave in. Second, BLM supporters threaten boycotts of business. That’s why organizations like Racialfairness.org have risen up.

The Racial Fairness banner allows for organizations to support the fight against racism, while also loving their country, supporting the police, and building great families.”

Dave Durand is CEO of Best Version Media and of Decided Excellence Catholic Media. He is a weekly contributor to Relevant Radio, and a three-time award winner of Glassdoor’s Top CEO Award.

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Who Are the Poor I’m Supposed to Care For?

by Steve Ray on September 6, 2020

As we leave our rented apartment in Rome and walk towards St. Peter’s Square I notice a ragged, filthy woman sitting on a piece of cardboard with a baby laying lethargically in her arms. She looks up with mournful eyes and pathetically mumbles something as she reaches out hoping I’ll put coins in her hand.

A few feet beyond her is a man stooped over his cane so painful-appearing that he is barely able to lift his eyes to make contact with mine. A paper cup is stationed on the sidewalk in front of him; he also reaches out a filthy hand plaintively begging for money.

We stop by a sidewalk café for a quick coffee before entering the Square. We are approached by children with tinny-sounding accordions. They boldly step up playing and singing. When they have finished a few moments of this “performance” they walk among the tables with blank faces and their hands out.

This weekend at Mass we were exhorted by Our Lord Jesus to feed the poor, clothe the naked, give drink to the thirsty and other sorts of charitable action to help the poor. But who are the poor Jesus is referring to?

Are the people I passed on the street the poor I should help? Are they the one’s that Jesus refers to? Is the man sitting on the corner nursing the last few drops from his whiskey bottle the one I’m supposed to give a drink to? Many people asked these questions today and struggle with the commands to help the poor and the thirsty. They ask the question who are the poor and the thirsty and hungry?

Most of the beggars we encounter in major cities around the world are what we call Romani, or more commonly known as gypsies. I don’t know all of them, of course, but we see everywhere children who do not go to school but are used as beggars and thieves to supply cash for their camp. My heart weeps for these kids as I see a young boy sitting in an underground walkway by himself all day without friends or family looking up to strangers who walk by ignoring him. It rips my guts out.

I’ve often said to my wife, “I’d like to rescue that boy and take him home and raise them properly.” But if I did this, I’d be arrested for kidnapping. I picture my grandchildren and I have a sense of loathing, pity and despair. What can I do when they are part of a family and a clan that treats their children this way and think it is normal. If I give him money it only propagates his abuse. A kind word or bit of food is about all I can do with a clear conscience.

I remember walking through Mumbai India. In advance, I had packed a bunch of sandwiches in a bag to hand out as I walked through the poor parts of the city. I would spot destitute people sitting on the sidewalk, or children climbing into dumpsters for their breakfast. I handed out the sandwiches with joy but was stopped by a young Indian boy about 10 years old. He was very bold and said, “You are doing a very bad thing.” I asked, “Why?” he said, “People need to take responsibility for their lives. If you give them things they will never learn to be responsible for themselves.”

Very wise words for a 10-year-old. It’s not that I believe that everyone is able to look out for themselves–there are many who are in desperate need of our help and unable to help themselves, but his point was well taken. I told him his father must be a wise man.

I’ve watched a crippled man leaning on a cane whimpering in pain until 5:00 PM when his “shift ended”. He looked at his watch, he stood up straight and walked back home. He was there again the next day exploiting the sympathies of naïve, kindly-hearted people.

We’ve had two young girls with babies in their arms standing very close to us on a bus full of smiles. We spoke kind words and paid attention to the babies only to find out a few moments later that our fannypacks, purses, and everything else had been unzipped. The babies are often drugged to make them look lethargic and pathetic. They are used as zombie props in the art of theft. Often the girls are not even their mothers. They can be referred to as “rent-a-babies.”

Once my wife caught a boy with his hand in her pocket. Many of these people beg for a living and when they don’t make enough begging they steal. My wife lost her wallet this way a while ago and tourists often find their passports, credit cards and cash have disappeared. This is why we repeatedly warn our pilgrims to watch out for pickpockets everywhere we go.

Personally, I cannot give money to such folks because to do so propagates their lifestyle, supports their continued child abuse, thievery and despicable lifestyle. We cannot support and condone such conduct. How do I know the real poor and those that are just making a dishonest living, some of them quite a good living?

Two things I try to do besides pray for folks that I see in need. First, if I see a person who is obviously in distress, missing a leg, blind, or some other obvious disadvantage I will pull money out and share with them along with a kind word.

Second, I look for the Missionaries of Charity in their simple white habits striped with blue. It does not have to be their specific order but these I know and have confidence in.

We know where they are housed in Rome. It is an inconspicuous door with a simple doorbell to the right. I push the doorbell, then push it again and sooner or later one of these beautiful sisters will open the door. They all have the same gracious smiles and kindly faces as their founder, Mother Teresa. My wife and I return her smile and hand them a generous donation. We ask them to use it for the poor and to assist in their ministry. I don’t know who really needs the money, but they do.

Once in Mumbai India we were invited to visit one of their compounds. The Missionaries of Charity took us on a tour—room after room of disadvantaged, mentally handicapped, diseased and dying (out of respect we took no pictures except of the sisters you see here). One room contained about 100 cribs in neat rows, each with a child unable to care for themselves. Many had diseases, mental handicaps, twisted bodies. Janet and I were in tears having never seen anything like this in our lives. What touched us most was the sisters and volunteers working among these castaways treating them with great love and affection. They bathed them, fed them, changed their diapers, caressed them.

However, not everyone that comes to their compound are admitted. They are selective who gets admitted to their care.

One little volunteer, a lady no more than 5 feet tall, said proudly, “I come here every day. I love serving Our Lord Jesus this way!” Looking around Janet and I were repulsed by the pain, disease, twisted bodies, staring eyes, gangrene, foul smells and seeming hopelessness. We were moved tears as we watched the sisters love these disadvantaged people as though they were loving Jesus himself. We hugged them all and with choked voices said, “Sisters, you make us proud to be Catholic. I couldn’t do what you do for even 10 minutes. You make us very proud!”

In Jesus’s time there was no Social Security, unemployment benefits, welfare or other social supports for the underprivileged. Churches had not begun charitable work and few cared for anything but themselves. In ancient Rome life was cheap and cities were full of slaves and the destitute. A drink or offering of food to a slave laboring under the hot sun was a true act of charity because no one paid any mind to the slaves. Jesus stopped to heal and care for the blind, the lame, the hungry of his time.

In the time of Jesus, a woman without a husband or son could be left destitute. Unwanted infants were tossed under bridges only to be eaten by the wild dogs. It is no coincidence that Scripture often uses the care of widows and orphans as a sign of one’s spirituality.

Many were unjustly imprisoned and the truly poor were cast aside. Were some poor because they were lazy or because they made poor choices? Of course. The book of Proverbs in the Bible is full of exhortations for hard work and to eschew laziness and sloth. It is the same today.

But often others are made poor by choices of their parents or others around them. At the same time in America it is hard to think of someone as poor who has cable television, a cell phone and many other benefits and amenities of our modern welfare society–especially since I’ve seen so much from around the world. Our society has a good number of people who know how to “milk the system”, get what is undeserved and avoid the effort and work to care for themselves. For them St. Paul writes, “For even when we were with you, we gave you this command: If any one will not work, let him not eat.” (2 Thess 3:10)

There are still people who truly need our assistance and we should see them as Jesus himself. I am not one for condoning irresponsibility, laziness or habitual bad choices. But, we also want to help those who are truly in need as Jesus requires of us. Now that we are Catholics we make sure our donations are given to legitimate Catholic charities. We also make sure to help our own when they are in need.

When we are in Jerusalem we take up donations and give money to the Patriarch of Jerusalem and needy Christians. We know that such gifts will be given to the truly needy among our brothers and sisters in the Holy Land. There are too many charities that use the money improperly and not all of it gets to those who need it. Unhappily there are many of these, even in the Holy Land. So, beware.

Discernment is important, charity is essential, obedience to Our Lord is crucial and caring for the unfortunate and disadvantaged is not an option. When we were Protestants we used to believe in “faith alone” but that mantra is hard to chant when hearing the gospel which says heaven and hell will be the result of our choices—whether we care for others or whether we ignore them.

Dear Lord, give us wisdom and charity and the means to help and willingness to do so. Mother Theresa, pray for us!

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Free Market Economy or Socialism?

by Steve Ray on August 22, 2020

I was recently asked:
“Between a Socialist system of economics or a Free market Capitalist system, which is more Moral? Which system best represents a Christian view?

My short response:
The Catechism reflects the teaching of the Church by stating that a society should protect the right to private property and to free enterprise (CCC 2211, 2402). This is the basis of a free market system and the freedom and security of individual rights and the family.

509DFB04-6C79-4D4B-AA15-F4FCDBCA7FCEThis of course does not preclude the proper use of taxation and social concern and care for the less fortunate. Socialism, though it often espouses high ideals, views the State as the ultimate owner of property and the individual can be taxed or their property confiscated at the will of the State.

Though the Church teaches the fair and equitable distribution of material things among peoples, it does not approve of rewarding sloth nor punishing industrious enterprise to create wealth. God spoke through Moses who said, “God gives the power to make wealth” (Deut 8:17-18). Wealth is not an evil but a blessing and something that can be desired as a good thing and the rewards of honest labor and risk.

EA3A85F8-2320-43A7-B437-D335B635751EHowever, those who have wealth should share with those who are truly needy, but have no obligation to subsidize the poor who choose to be poor by lacking ambition, hard work or honesty. St. Paul taught, “If anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either. For we hear that some among you are leading an undisciplined life, doing no work at all.” (2 Thessalonians 3:10–11).

The Catechism clearly expresses the duty of the individual and the state to use property justly and to care for the less fortunate. The socialist system usually penalizes hard work and industry while rewarding the opposite.

Democracy and Free Enterprise without a Christian philosophical base can quickly become a system of greed and oppression; on the other hand, socialism becomes a system of greed and oppression and the government will always grow and grow and cater to those who it feeds.

History has shown that every time a socialist or communist country exists it deprives the people of freedom and property and violates personal rights. Looking at countries in the world today that practice socialism proves the point. Consider Venezuela.

2EE4D8B2-CC1F-4344-99F1-D8109CE226ABSo I am in favor of limited representative government to protect the individual and his rights, the family, private property and free enterprise. I am in favor of a free market capitalism that is tempered by charity and compassion with reasonable and limited governmental controls and protections.

The sinfulness and greed of Man makes this all difficult and a delicate balancing act. With a Christian consensus within a nation—as with the inception and beginnings of the United States—the goals are possible and for over 200 years approved workable.

But if there is a lack of moral and charitable consensus, the goals cannot be achieved and people are willing to give up their rights and freedoms bowing to a stronger government promising to insure peace and control and redistribution of wealth.

Catechism 2257  “Every society’s judgments and conduct reflect a vision of man and his destiny. Without the light the Gospel sheds on God and man, societies easily become totalitarian.” I would also say socialist.

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The Catholic Church: the First Abolitionist, Church Never Endorsed Slavery

July 28, 2020

Crisis Magazine has come out with a good and insightful article debunking the idea that the Catholic Church endorsed and promoted slavery. The modern anti-Christian, anti-history narrative takes it for granted that the Church was either a promoter of slavery, or at best complicit or it turned a blind eye. This article by Paul Kengor […]

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Isn’t this homily a breath of fresh air?

June 24, 2020

Fearless, politically-incorrect and calling out those who need to be called out including the USCCB, the coronavirus hysteria, the Cardinal of Washington DC, and more. He actually discusses politics – how dare he? He also challenges the media, LGBTQ, the attack against masculinity, the genuine role of men and fathers and reactions to sin in the world. I wonder […]

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Help “Priests for Life” Elect Pro-life in November – Volunteer HERE!

June 23, 2020

If we all just sit around and hope for the best, it will not happen. The liberal Left, pro-death camp is out recruiting and working like crazy. All that is necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing. Click this banner which will take you to the Priest for Life website […]

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Watching the Rioting?

June 1, 2020

Watching the rioting and looting? This is what happens when you take God out of society and the fathers out to families. Yes, there are some injustices in our country, but this mayhem is the result of a lack of God and strong fathers.

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Churches should be OPEN this weekend! Trump overrides governors! Bravo President Trump!

May 22, 2020

Today President Trump announced that churches are essential and ordered them open this weekend. He said if governors resist, he will override the governors. We are going to Church!!!

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Finally, some bishops push back on the lockdown of churches!!

May 21, 2020

Fox News reports that the Minnesota archdiocese and all the bishops of Minnesota have defied the state’s coronavirus limits on religious gatherings. Civil disobedience in the face of blatant religious repression. Bravo to the bishops of Minnesota — and may all the bishops in the US have the courage to do the same. “In defiance of limits […]

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The Wuhan Coronavirus Pushback; Steve Ray with Guadalupe Radio Network

May 16, 2020

On Friday I did a show with Dave Palmer on the Guadalupe Radio Network on the coronavirus. With a bit of a contradictory position to the mainstream media narrative, the discussion was well received. People are beginning to push back against this continuing lockdown and we discuss why. How do we as Christians react to this […]

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Four cardinals join global appeal decrying crackdown on basic freedoms over coronavirus

May 7, 2020

Update: Cardinal Sarah denied having been a signatory. May 7, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Catholic clergy led by former papal nuncio Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò and Cardinals Robert Sarah, Gerhard Ludwig Mueller, Joseph Zen, and Janis Pujats have joined an appeal “for the Church and the world” that warns that the COVID-19 pandemic is being used […]

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Police Officer Interrupts Mass, Heroic Priest refused to kick of 12 faithful

April 23, 2020

SONCINO, Italy, April 21, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – Police interrupted a Mass celebrated with only 12 faithful present last Sunday in the northern Italian village of Soncino, close to Milan. A video shows a police officer talking to the priest, Don Lino Viola, right after the homily. Moments later he returned, trying to get Viola to speak to […]

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Ray Family Limericks about the Wuhan Virus: Grandkids Wax Exceedingly Poetic

March 26, 2020

I was thinking out loud the other day. I wrote a limerick about the possibility we might be taking the wrong course of action by shutting down everything. My grandkids (son and brother too) jumped in and went on a roll. Proud of these smart and savvy homeschoolers — enjoy! I started out with this […]

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8 Concrete ways parishes can support persecuted Christians

January 20, 2020

8 Concrete ways parishes can support persecuted Christians MAJDI FATHI | NurPhoto | AFP From Aletia (highly recommended) Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP | Jan 07, 2020 From a small gesture you can do single-handedly, to something that will take some networking, these are ways we can help our brothers and sisters in so much need. A […]

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THAT Does It! If you haven’t cancelled Netflix yet, now is a good time…

December 13, 2019

UPDATE: Bishop Strickland of Tyler Texas denounces Netflix as blasphemous over gay Jesus movie. My Message to Netflix by Twitter, Facebook and US Mail: “Our whole family has decided to cancel Netflix. Your “gay Jesus” Christmas special was just too much. This is blasphemous! We can no longer support a company that promotes trash that alienates […]

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What Harm Does Gay Marriage Do? Who Cares?

December 10, 2019

The latest CatholicVote video might ruffle a few feathers.  So be it. Somebody has to tell the truth. Every day we grow more and more quiet — afraid of the bullying and attacks. That’s got to change. 

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