Saturday 5 January 2013
Part of an article from today....Like him, I hope the secularists in America do not push for such...sad days for Christians. The sufferings of Christ are still, as St. Paul writes, carried out in His People.
North Korea: According to reporting by ForeignPolicy.com, that feisty little country does not permit the celebration of Christmas, and anyone caught worshiping Jesus can be tortured or executed. Sounds like Rhode Island. Right now, there are about 70,000 Christians in North Korean labor camps decking the halls with rocks and concrete 10 hours a day.
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, even threatened "unexpected consequences" if the South Korean government allowed lights on trees within view of the border. Kim calls that a provocation and a mean form of "psychological warfare."
Saudi Arabia: All non-Muslim religious activities are banned in public, so unless Santa puts a prayer rug in his sleigh and heads directly for Mecca, he is persona non grata in this nation. The Saudis even have a religious police force that runs around checking to see who has been naughty and nice in the Islamic context.
According to ForeignPolicy, several dozen Christmas trees imported from Holland were seized by Saudi authorities, hacked to pieces and sent back to the Netherlands. So there. No Christmas for you!
Cuba: Fidel Castro banned the holiday in 1969 saying Cubans were needed to harvest sugar cane on December 25, and don't even think about Christmas dinner. That ban lasted three decades until the Pope told Comrade Fidel to knock it off. Most Cubans are Catholic and didn't really appreciate the government calling Santa a symbol of "consumerism" and "mental colonization."
"British textbook erases Israel," by Ryan Jones for Israel Today, December 31 from Spencer.
A popular textbook used by institutions and teachers to teach English as a second language to students in the UK has been found to have a serious anti-Israel bias."I teach English as a foreign language in a further education college in Nottingham, England. I came across the attached map and couldn't believe my eyes!" Liz Wiseman told Israel Today.The textbook in question is "Skills in English Writing Level 1", which includes a map of the Middle East on which Israel is nowhere to be found.While Wiseman acknowledges she was not obligated to use this particular textbook, it is one of the more popular and mainstream English Language Teaching (ELT) textbooks published by one of the more popular and mainstream ELT publishers, Garnet Education.Garnet Education bills itself thus:"Garnet Education is an independent English Language Teaching (ELT) publisher, specialising in English for Academic Purposes. We produce award-winning ELT books, multimedia resources and tests for students of all ages, from kindergarten to university."This is far from an isolated incident, which is motivation for drawing attention to this particular case. It is not only in the Middle East where students, both adults and children, are being taught that Israel has no right to exist. The more students around the world are fed this brand of propaganda, the more remote prospects for true peace become.
Pastor Paulus Wiratno of Mercy Indonesia ran an orphanage and taught Christianity by radio from his Bible School- until neighbor Muslims bombed their dormitories while they slept. Why? He explains Muslims' violent intolerance towards non-Muslims in this exclusive DemoCast video interview. Thanks to Spencer and Scott.
An island nation has a geographical and demographical advantage over other nations. Malta had this advantage and so did Great Britain, but sadly both nations have squandered this natural defense. Many tourists I have talked with this past week, Maltese who use to visit England, lament the fact that London is not English and that England is more and more just one international EU country among many.
This state of the diluting of a particular culture seems to be true of Ireland, and to me, Malta. In Eire, most of my friends are neither from North Ireland or Eire, but Polish, Asian, Scottish. In England, the majority of daily Mass goers in my parish, are either Filipino or African. At least at Mass in Malta, the vast majority of attenders are Maltese, of a certain age. Most of the African immigrants here are Muslim. That the Church is universal is part of Her Beauty and strength. Christendom was an attempt to have a united Christian national identity under agreements between monarchs. These failed.
But, I am lamenting the passing of English, Irish and, soon, Maltese cultures. There are few children to whom to pass on these distinctive cultures, and EU social engineering provides the atmosphere for nation-state suicide.
Many Catholics in America and Europe do not want to get involved in politics. Part of it is the brain-drain in Europe to the States, and part of it could be that many brilliant minds and leaders have been aborted. We are having a crisis in Catholic leadership.
Young people want to make money and not serve. The ideal of civil service is gone. The same ideals which make a young man or woman look towards the religious life, are the same lofty, nobles principals of those going into politics--in the old days.
Recently, I have discovered a great saint, Vincent Pallotti. There is an excellent mine-biography online and here is the link. I think we should pray to him for Catholic politicians who are not tainted with Masonry or liberalism. He fought against these things in his amazing work.
Here is one section from this small biography online. St. Vincent, pray for us.