Category Archives: Catholic Church

Mexican archdiocese calls citizens who help build Trump’s wall traitors

maga

Via NY Post: Mexico’s biggest Catholic archdiocese says that any of the country’s citizens who help build President Trump’s planned border wall will be immoral traitors.

A blistering editorial in Desde la fe, the archdiocese’s weekly publication published, urged the government on Sunday to push back against companies looking to profit from the wall, Reuters reported.

“Any company intending to invest in the wall of the fanatic Trump would be immoral, but above all, its shareholders and owners should be considered traitors to the homeland,” the editorial said. “In practice, signing up for a project that is a serious affront to dignity is shooting yourself in the foot,” it continued, noting that the wall would feed prejudice and discrimination.

It also accused the government of responding “tepidly” to the country’s firms that are considering working on the project to gain business.

A spokesman for the archdiocese — centered in Mexico City and presided over by Cardinal Norberto Rivera, the country’s most prominent Catholic cleric — said the editorial represents the views of the diocese.

Last Tuesday, Ildefonso Guajardo, the country’s secretary of economy, said it would not be in the “interests” of Mexican firms to help build the controversial structure.

Mexican cement maker Cemex has said it is willing to provide quotes to supply raw materials for the wall, but will not help to build it, Reuters reported. Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, another construction material company, has also expressed its willingness to work on the project.

Beginning on the campaign trail, Trump has long promised a border wall between the US and its southern neighbor, in an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing into the country.

He has repeatedly declared that Mexico would pay for the wall — which the Mexican government has resolutely said it would not do.

DCG

Advertisements

Tennessee sues federal government over forced refugee ‘resettlement’

The 10th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution says:

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

The Obama administration’s dumping of overwhelmingly Muslim “refugees” on states and in so doing, forcing the states to incur financial costs to support the “refugees,” is a contravention of the 10th Amendment. Now, the State of Tennessee is finally doing something about it.

Joel Ebert reports for The Tennessean that yesterday morning, March 13, 2017, Tennessee became the first state in the nation to sue the federal government over refugee resettlement on the grounds of the Tenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Other states have sued the federal government over refugee resettlement but on different legal grounds.

The defendants named in the lawsuit include the U.S. Department of State, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The 15-page lawsuit:

  • Contends that the federal government has unduly forced states to pay for the refugee resettlement program, and is not complying with the Refugee Act of 1980, which was designed to create a permanent procedure for the admission of refugees into the United States.
  • Maintains that the federal government’s forced resettlement of refugees in Tennessee has led the plaintiffs to “suffer significant and irreparable harm unless this Court intervenes”.
  • Asks the court to force the federal government to stop resettling refugees in Tennessee until all costs associated with the settlement are incurred by the federal government.

The lawsuit also points out that although Tennessee has opted out of the federal refugee resettlement program, the federal government continues to send refugees to Tennessee, and appointed Catholic Charities of Tennessee to administer the program. The refugees forced upon Tennessee requires the state to fund the resettlement with $7 billion from Medicaid, “amounting to 20 percent of its overall state budget — money that is needed to fund services that are critical to the health and welfare of countless Tennesseans.”

The lawsuit was filed by the valiant Thomas More Law Center, a Catholic legal group that has taken on several conservative legal causes in recent years, on behalf of two state lawmakers in the western district of Tennessee: Sen. John Stevens, R-Huntingdon, and Rep. Terri Lynn Weaver, R-Lancaster.

State Sen. John Stevens said in a news release:

“The Constitution does not allow the Federal Government to force me as the elected representative of the 24th Senate District to implement federal programs while they sit in Washington insulated from the consequences.”

The state lawmakers filed the lawsuit after Tennessee’s House of Representatives, in April 2016, by a vote of 69-25 approved a resolution directing Tennessee Attorney General Herbert Slatery to sue the feds. In July, however, Slatery indicated he would not follow the Tennessee legislature’s directive to sue the federal government, but he will not stand in the way of hiring an outside firm to initiate the lawsuit.

The usual groups — American Civil Liberties Union of Tennessee and the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition — have attacked the lawsuit, saying it will negatively affect the state’s refugee community and perpetuate a culture of fear.

Holly Johnson, refugee coordinator for Catholic Charities in Tennessee, disputes the lawsuit’s claim that the state incurs special costs to resettle refugees “because they’re refugees.” Claiming that refugees aren’t “eligible for anything that you and I aren’t eligible for,” Johnson disingenuously argues that:

  • Only if a refugee meets the already existing eligibility requirements for TennCare, then the state may pay that benefit.
  • Or if refugee children need to go to school, the state pays the same for the child’s attendance as anyone else at the school.
  • Any benefits related to employment are paid for by the federal government.

Johnson has a snake tongue. Of course, refugees don’t get benefits BECAUSE they’re refugees. But the fact of the matter is that refugees who require welfare and schooling cost Tennessee additional expenses of at least $7 billion in Medicaid — $7 billion that Tennessee would not spend if the federal government had not unilaterally dumped the refugees into the state.

Johnson also managed to omit the fact that Catholic Charities is paid handsomely by the federal government, i.e., taxpayers, to “resettle” refugees. During the 2016 fiscal year, Catholic Charities “resettled” more than 2,000 refugees in Tennessee, the majority of whom came from countries not included on President Trump’s new travel ban.

See also:

~Eowyn

Feminist theologian: Jesus may have been a hermaphrodite

A Catholic university in California — the Jesuit Santa Clara University — has invited UK University of Exeter theologian Susannah Cornwall to deliver the Santa Clara Lecture on “Gendered Theologies and the Common Good” on October 12, 2017.

The Santa Clara Lectures are a series of lectures that “brings to campus leading scholars in theology, offering the University community and the general public an ongoing exposure to debate on the most significant issues of our times. Santa Clara University will publish these lectures and distribute them throughout the United States and internationally.”

Cornwall describes herself on her blog as specializing in: “Research and writing in feminist theology, sexuality, gender, embodiment, ethics and other fun things like that.”

Susannah Cornwall, queer theologian

Susannah Cornwall, queer theologian

That a Catholic university invited Dr. Cornwall to deliver any lecture, even less the university’s prestigious Santa Clara Lecture, is reprehensible because Cornwall is known for her peculiar notion that Jesus might have been a hermaphrodite, i.e., with both male and female DNA and genitalia.

As reported by John Bingham for The Telegraph, Cornwall’s claim that it is “simply a best guess” that Jesus was male was published in response to the ongoing debate about women bishops in the Church of England.

In her paper “Intersex & Ontology, A Response to The Church, Women Bishops and Provision”, she argues that it is not possible to know “with any certainty” that Jesus did not suffer from an intersex condition, with both male and female organs, and that the fact that Jesus is not recorded to have had children made his gender status “even more uncertain”. As she put it:

“It is not possible to assert with any degree of certainty that Jesus was male as we now define maleness. There is no way of knowing for sure that Jesus did not have one of the intersex conditions which would give him a body which appeared externally to be unremarkably male, but which might nonetheless have had some ‘hidden’ female physical features.”

In arguing that Jesus might have been a hermaphrodite, Cornwall employs a logical fallacy called “the absence of evidence”. She argues:

“We cannot know for sure that Jesus was male – since we do not have a body to examine and analyse – it can only be that Jesus’ masculine gender role, rather than his male sex, is having to bear the weight of all this authority.”

The absence-of-evidence logical fallacy is when one argues that finding no evidence for something (X) is evidence for the absence of that thing (X). In Cornwall’s case, her logical fallacy is in arguing that the absence of Jesus’ body (for us to examine and analyze) constitutes evidence that he is not a male.

As several Telegraph readers point out, Corwall’s absence of evidence (Jesus’ body) is a ridiculous reason to doubt Jesus’ masculinity:

Baluba Swinarska: “And…we don’t know if he was 10 feet tall, had green hair, and a tail – all because we have no body to examine. Good argument lady.”

Bast Hotep: “There is no forensic evidence to prove that Jesus was not a large, intelligent talking cat either. That doesn’t mean he was one.”

Lev Kalman: “We also don’t know if he was an armadillo, because we have no body.”

Two Telegraph readers demonstrate they have more intelligence in their respective right toe than Dr. Susannah Cornwall has in all of what passes as her brain:

James A: “Her claims cannot be tested. Her hypothesis is unproveable.”

Rogan M: “What a stupid claim to make. ‘It can’t be proved’ does not trump ‘There is no evidence to suggest!’. This is just another radical feminist, as opposed to those real world feminists with aspirations and belief in self worth, to blur the edges of orthodoxy to advance their own contorted and distorted views.”

Keith Kilgore: “How does Dr Cornwall account for Luke 2:21*? Where Jesus was circumcised.”

*Note: In Luke 2:21, it is said: “At the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.”

~Eowyn

Valentine’s Day and the meaning of true love

Today is Valentine’s Day — the day when TV commercials nag men to buy roses, candy, and jewelry for their wives or girl friends.

But did you know that the day is named after a real person, St. Valentine?

At least three different Saint Valentines, all of them martyrs, are mentioned in the early martyrologies under the date of February 14th. But the man for whom Valentine’s Day is named most likely was a priest at Rome who, in the second half of the 3rd century, was arrested and killed by the Emperor Claudius for secretly marrying Christian couples during a time of persecution in the Church. Legend has it that while he was imprisoned and waiting for his martyrdom, he sent letters to his fellow Christians signing them, “From Your Valentine.” (See joandarc’s post, “St. Valentine“)

The popular customs associated with Valentine’s Day probably came from a conventional belief in England and France during the Middle Ages, that on 14 February, i.e. half way through the second month of the year, the birds began to pair. Thus in Chaucer’s Parliament of Foules we read:

For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day
Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.

For this reason the day was looked upon as specially consecrated to lovers and as a proper occasion for writing love letters and sending lovers’ tokens. [Source: Catholic Encyclopedia]

So what is love?

I can find no better definition and description of true love than the words of St. Paul:

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

Love is patient, love is kind.
It is not jealous, it is not pompous,
It is not inflated, it is not rude,
it does not seek its own interests,
it is not quick-tempered,
it does not brood over injury,

it does not rejoice over wrongdoing
but rejoices with the truth.
It bears all things, believes all things,
hopes all things, endures all things.

And here’s the true meaning of Valentine’s Day:

God's Valentine to us John 3-16

The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with your whole heart, your whole mind, your whole soul, and with all your strength; and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.

May the love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you today!

~Eowyn

St. Thomas Aquinas disapproved of illegal immigration and expected all immigrants to assimilate

January 28 was the feast day of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose nickname was “the dumb Sicilian ox,” because he was stout in body and slow in manner.

But the mind of St. Thomas was nothing but slow. Not only was he a superb theologian, but — without exaggeration — Aquinas is one of the greatest minds in human history. Just read a piece of his writings, and you’ll see how he reasoned with step-by-step unassailable logic.

That is why the Catholic Church not only honors him as a Doctor of the Church, but considers Thomas to be the Church’s greatest theologian and philosopher. The Church should remember that as so many of its clerics in the United States (and Pope Francis too) weigh in — on the wrong side — on the issue of illegal immigration. See “U.S. bishops oppose President Trump on border wall and illegal immigrants”.

Here are some quotes from St. Thomas on the subject of immigration, which show that St. Thomas respected a country’s laws governing immigration and so would gravely disapprove of illegal “immigrants,” much less their brazen demands for special treatment in the U.S. today.

Even in the case of legal immigrants, St. Thomas expected them to fully assimilate themselves into the country’s culture. So prudent and concerned was he for the wellbeing for the host country that he recommended that even legal immigrants be granted citizenship only after 2 or 3 generations:

“Man’s relations with foreigners are twofold: peaceful, and hostile: and in directing both kinds of relation the Law contained suitable precepts.”

“…when any foreigners wished to be admitted entirely to their fellowship and mode of worship. With regard to these a certain order was observed. For they were not at once admitted to citizenship: just as it was law with some nations that no one was deemed a citizen except after two or three generations, as the Philosopher says (Polit. iii, 1).”

“The reason for this was that if foreigners were allowed to meddle with the affairs of a nation as soon as they settled down in its midst, many dangers might occur, since the foreigners not yet having the common good firmly at heart might attempt something hurtful to the people.

Read more about St. Thomas Aquinas on the subject of immigration, here.

Below is joandarc’s original post on St. Thomas, which she published several years ago.

~Eowyn

St. Thomas Aquinas

Today, January 28th, we celebrate one of the most illustrious and influential Saints of the Catholic Church, St. Thomas Aquinas.

Thomas Aquinas is by far, the spokesman of the Catholic tradition of reason and divine revelation, being one of the greatest teachers of the Catholic Church, which is why he is named a Doctor of the Church and the Angelic Doctor.

Thomas was born in or about 1225, the youngest of four sons, in the castle of Rocca Secca, to Landulf, a knight, and to Theodora, his mother of Norman descent. At the age of five, his parents took him to the Benedictine Monastery at Monte Cassino, hoping that he would join this Order and rise to the position of abbot. In 1239, he went to the University of Naples in Italy, to study the arts and sciences, and it was through this experience that he became interested in Aristotle.

In or about 1243, Thomas joined the Dominicans, which was against his family’s desires. In fact, his mother ordered that his brothers capture Thomas. Accordingly, they did so and he actually remained at his home, wherein his family hoped to change his mind. You might say that he was put under “house arrest” because of his defiance. While he was imprisoned, he studied the Sentences of Peter Lombard and learned by heart a great portion of the Bible.

After two years, his family gave up and allowed Thomas to go back to his Order of the Dominicans. Thomas then went to Cologne, finishing his studies under St. Albert the Great. Thomas, being reserved and a humble man, was not very well liked by his colleagues. He was a large man, receiving the nickname of “the dumb Sicilian ox.” However, St. Albert, his professor, said this of Thomas, “We call Brother Thomas the ‘dumb ox’; but I tell you that he will yet make his lowing heard to the uttermost parts of the earth.” Thomas’ brilliance was exceeded by his piety, and after he had been ordained a priest, he became so very close and united with God.

In or about 1252, St. Albert and Cardinal Hugh of Saint-Cher insisted that Thomas go to the University of Paris to teach. Four years thereafter, he became a master and received his doctors chair. His duties included lecturing and preaching.

In or about 1259 to 1268, he was made Preacher General in Italy and taught in the school of selected scholars attached to the papal court, teaching also in other towns and cities in Italy.

His writings created harmony between faith and reason, between divine revelation and natural human knowledge. But Thomas was so in-depth a thinker and lover of God, that he was able to merge the two in his writings, seeing the whole natural order as coming from God, the Creator, and seeing reason as a gift from God to be used for His honor and glory. He wrote the Summa contra Gentiles, a textbook for missionaries, a defense of natural theology against the Arabians, and the Summa theologiae, setting forth Catholic theology with faith and reason. And he wrote about the Angels of God using logic, wisdom and the Bible, which is why he is called, “the Angelic Doctor.”

In 1269, he went back to Paris, wherein St. Louis IX consulted him regularly with regard to important matters of state, as the king so respected Thomas. But the university referred an issue to him, a question upon which they were divided, whether in the Blessed Sacrament of the altar the accidents remained really or only in appearance. St. Thomas prayed fervently and with great love asked for direction from God. He wrote a treatise and laid it upon the altar before he submitted his answer publicly. Our Lord then appeared to St. Thomas saying to him, “Thou has written well of the Sacrament of My Body,” asking Thomas what He could give him as a reward. Thomas said, “I want only You, Lord, only You.” Oftentimes during Mass, especially during the Consecration of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Jesus, Thomas would cry, sobbing, being so touched of his role as a priest, and of the precious love of Jesus, knowing that he was in the Real Presence of the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In or about 1272, Thomas was called back to Italy, being appointed regent of the study house at Naples. On the Feast of St. Nicholas the following year, he was celebrating Holy Mass, wherein he received a revelation that affected him so, that he did not write or dictate anymore, leaving the magnificent work of the Summa theologiae, unfinished. Thomas told Brother Reginald, “The end of my labors is come. All that I have written appears to be as so much straw after the things that have been revealed to me.”

Pope Gregory bid Thomas, although ill, to attend the general council at Lyons for the reunion of the Greek and Latin churches and to bring with him his work, “Against the Errors of the Greeks.” He became worse during his journey and was consequently taken to the Cistercian abbey of Fossa Nuova. He was lodged in the abbot’s room and the monks attended to him. After Thomas made his last confession receiving the Holy Eucharist from the abbot, he stated these famous words:

“I am receiving thee, Price of my soul’s redemption: all my studies, my vigils and my labors have been for love of thee. I have taught much and written much of the most sacred body of Jesus Christ; I have taught and written in the faith of Jesus Christ and of the holy Roman Church, to whose judgment I offer and submit everything.” Two days later, March 7, 1274, being about 50 years of age, he died. St. Albert who was in Cologne, burst into tears in front of his community and said, “Brother Thomas Aquinas, my son in Christ, the light of the Church, is dead. God has revealed it to me.”

St. Thomas was canonized in 1323, wherein his body lies in the cathedral of Saint-Sernin. St. Pius V conferred upon him the title of Doctor of the Church, and in 1880, Leo XIII declared him the patron saint of universities, colleges and schools.

Thomas’ theological and philosophical writings fill twenty thick volumes and he was the first to comment on Aristotle, whose teaching he utilized in order to build up a complete system of Christian philosophy. Indeed, his most important work was the Summa theologiae, the most thorough and full exposition of theological teaching ever given to the world. This work was one of the three reference works used at the Council of Trent, the other two being the Bible and Pontifical Decrees.

His achievements were not just attributed to his incredible writings. When Pope Urban IV, influenced by the visions of Blessed Juliana of Liege, decided to institute the Feast of Corpus Christi, he deferred to St. Thomas to compose the liturgical office and the Mass for the day, wherein Thomas showed his remarkable expression, known for doctrinal accuracy as for their tenderness of thought. Famous hymns, Pange lingua, O salutaris and Tantum ergo, written by Thomas, are regularly sung at Benediction.

In spite of his greatness, he thought the best of others, thinking they were better than him, being extremely modest whilst he stated his opinion. He did not lose his temper in an argument and was extremely poised.

St. Thomas Aquinas has always been one of my favorite saints. Whilst I was in high school studying philosophy, I would take books home containing his writings. I was drawn to these books, so I did not go out with my friends because I would rather stay home with St. Thomas and read what he said in my cozy bedroom. In fact, though they were kidding, my friends called me a “wallflower” because of my devotion to St. Thomas. I would laugh and tell them that they did not know what they were missing, and that at some point, they might understand. . .

It is my childlike vision in my mind’s eye that sees a great celebration in Heaven today for our dear and great St. Thomas Aquinas! We love and respect you! We hope to some day be with you in Our Lord’s heaven, and maybe you can teach us there too! God be praised for this great and holy man!

With respect and love,

Joan

Sources:

  • One Hundred Saints, Bulfinch Press.
  • Saint of the Day, Edited by Leonard Foley, O.F.M.
  • Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Edited by F.L. Cross.
  • Read more about St. Thomas Aquinas on Wikipedia.

U.S. bishops oppose President Trump on border wall and illegal immigrants

The federal tax exemption privilege accorded to churches, including the Catholic Church, began in 1894, but they had been unofficially tax-exempt since the country’s founding. All 50 US states and the District of Columbia exempt churches from paying income and property taxes. Donations to churches are tax-deductible.

But the tax exemption of churches is contingent on one thing.

A law in 1954, the Johnson Amendment, bans political campaigning by all tax-exempt groups, including churches. From IRS.gov:

The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Despite the IRS restriction on political campaigning, many churches regularly do so, such as black churches on behalf of Democratic candidates, and yet continue to enjoy tax exemptions. According to ProCon.org, since Congress passed the law banning churches from intervening in political campaigns, the IRS has been successful in using the law to revoke the tax-exempt status of only one church: the Church at Pierce Creek in Binghamton, NY, which had placed an advertisement in USA Today and the Washington Times rebuking Bill Clinton four days before the 1992 presidential election.

On January 20, 2017, the day of his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump filed a notice (FEC Form 99) with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) of his intention to run for reelection in 2020. That means non-profit groups, including the Catholic Church, will need to refrain from speech and activities that may be construed as against and undermining political candidate Donald Trump, unless those groups want their tax-exempt status to be revoked.

See “Trump card: Trump filed for 2020 reelection with SEC, thereby gagging non-profits

On January 25, his third full day on the job as president and 5 days after he’d filed Form 99 with the FEC that he’s a 2020 political candidate, President Trump fulfilled his campaign promises concerning illegal “immigration” by signing two executive orders:

(1) Executive Order: Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements, which authorizes the following:

  • Construction of a “contiguous physical wall” along the roughly 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexico border, in the interest of border and national security. Planning of wall construction will begin immediately.
  • Detention of aliens “apprehended for violations of immigration law pending the outcome of their removal proceedings or their removal from the country to the extent permitted by law.”
  • Deportation of aliens “described in section 235(b)(2)(C) of the INA (8 U.S.C. 1225(b)(2)(C))” and their return “to the territory from which they came pending a formal removal proceeding” and “consistent with the requirements of section 1232 of title 8, United States Code.
  • End “the abuse of parole and asylum provisions currently used to prevent the lawful removal of removable aliens.”

(2) Executive Order: Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of United States, which authorizes the following:

  • Defunding of sanctuary states and cities that willfully violate Federal immigration law in an attempt to shield aliens, including criminals, from removal from the United States and, in so doing, “have caused immeasurable harm to the American people and to the very fabric of our Republic.” Henceforth, “jurisdictions that willfully refuse to comply with 8 U.S.C. 1373 (sanctuary jurisdictions) are not eligible to receive Federal grants, except as deemed necessary for law enforcement purposes by the Attorney General or the Secretary.”
  • Priority removal of aliens who have been convicted of or charged with any criminal offense; committed acts that constitute a chargeable criminal offense; abused any program related to receipt of public benefits; or “In the judgment of an immigration officer, otherwise pose a risk to public safety or national security.”
  • Assessment and collection of all fines and penalties from aliens unlawfully present in the United States and from those who facilitate their presence in the United States.

To aid in the enforcement of the above two executive orders, Trump also authorized the hiring and assignment of 15,000 new Border Control and immigration agents, “as soon as is practicable”.

bishop-joe-vasquez

On the same day that President Trump signed the above two executive orders, Joe Vásquez, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, Texas, issued a statement opposing the presidential orders:

WASHINGTON–President Donald J Trump today issued executive orders to construct a wall at the U.S./Mexico border, to significantly increase immigrant detention and deportation, and to disregard/preempt/overrule the judgment of state and local law enforcement on how best to protect their communities.

In response to the decision to build a wall on the U.S./Mexico border, Bishop Joe Vasquez, Chair of the Committee of Migration and Bishop of the Diocese of Austen, stated:

“I am disheartened that the President has prioritized building a wall on our border with Mexico. This action will put immigrants’ lives needlessly in harm’s way. Construction of such a wall will only make migrants, especially vulnerable women and children,  more susceptible to traffickers and smugglers. Additionally, the construction of such a wall destabilizes the many vibrant and beautifully interconnected communities that live peacefully along the border. Instead of building walls, at this time, my brothers bishops and I will continue to follow the example of Pope Francis. We will ‘look to build bridges between people, bridges that allow us to break down the walls of exclusion and exploitation.'”

In regards to President Trump’s authorization of the detention and deportation of illegal aliens, whom Bishop Vasquez disingenuously calls “immigrants,” he writes:

“The announced increase in immigration detention space and immigration enforcement activities is alarming. It will tear families apart and spark fear and panic in communities. While we respect the right of our federal government to control our borders and ensure security for all Americans, we do not believe that a large scale escalation of immigration detention and intensive increased use of enforcement in immigrant communities is the way to achieve those goals. Instead, we remain in our commitment to comprehensive, compassionate, and common-sense reform. We fear that the policy announced today will make it much more difficult for the vulnerable to access protection in our country. Everyday my brother bishops and I witness the harmful effects of immigrant detention in our ministries. We experience the pain of severed families that struggle to maintain a semblance of normal family life. We see traumatized children in our schools and in our churches. The policies announced today will only further upend immigrant families.

We will continue to support and stand in solidarity with immigrant families. We remind our communities and our nation that these families have intrinsic value as children of God. And to all those impacted by today’s decision, we are here to walk with you and accompany you on this journey.”

Nowhere in his statement does Bishop Vasquez:

  • Acknowledge that the “immigrant” families are in the United States illegally in violation of U.S. laws.
  • Acknowledge that illegal aliens have committed heinous crimes, including rape and murder.
  • Recognize that illegal aliens are a drain on already overburdened federal and state government resources — those of welfare, food stamps, schooling and healthcare — in a country with a national debt of $20 trillion.
  • Recognize the “pain” of or display “compassion” for beleaguered U.S. taxpayers.
  • Offer an alternative policy on how to address the illegal “immigration” problem, or even acknowledge that it is a problem.

Notice that in his statement, Vasquez referred only to “immigrant” “women and children,” as if there are no adult male illegal aliens — a tactic also used by those who want the U.S. to open our doors to Muslim refugees.

Notice also that in his statement, Vasquez made repeated references to “we” and “my brother bishops and I,” thereby implying that he speaks not just as Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, but on behalf of all U.S. bishops.

Indeed, Vásquez, who is of Mexican-American heritage, serves on the Subcommittee on Hispanic Affairs of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and claims to be Chair of the Committee on Migration, although the USCCB website shows the Chair to be Auxiliary Bishop of Seattle Eusebio.  Vásquez also serves on the Board of Directors of Catholic Relief Services (CRS), the international charity organization founded by the USCCB in 1943, whose employees gave nearly all of their political donations to pro-abortion political candidates, although the Catholic Church regards abortion as an intrinsic evil for which no justification or rationalization is acceptable. (See “98% of Catholic Relief Services’ contributions go to pro-abort politicians“).

Bishop Vasquez should be reported to the IRS for violating the prohibition against tax-exempt organizations intervening in favor of or against a candidate for political office. To report him, use the IRS Form 3949-A, and mail the completed form to:

Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888

Vasquez can be reached at:

  • Phone: (512) 949-2415
  • Email his executive assistant Melinda Johnson: melinda-johnson@austindiocese.org

See also:

~Eowyn

Trump card: Trump filed for 2020 reelection with SEC, thereby gagging non-profits

Whatever that will happen to his presidency, we can say at least this about Donald John Trump: He is a very interesting man who thinks several moves ahead of his opponents.

keep-america-great

On January 19, I did a post, “Trump already has his 2020 campaign slogan!,” which received little commentary from FOTM‘s readers. Two days before his presidential inauguration, Donald Trump already had the slogan for his re-election campaign in 2020, “Keep America Great!,” which he has trademarked.

It turns out he had done this before. In 2012, within a week of Mitt Romney’s loss to Obama, Trump trademarked “Make America Great Again” for a $325 fee.

But Trump didn’t just trademark his 2020 campaign slogan. He filed a notice (FEC Form 99) with the Federal Election Commission of his intention to run for reelection in 2020 — and he did this on January 20, 2017, the day of his inauguration.

This was discovered by a group of rabid anti-Trump feminists called The Resisterhood (h/t Jim Stone).

On January 28, The Resisterhood @resisterhood tweeted a screenshot of the FEC Form 99 that Trump filed with the FEC on January 20, 2017:

trump-fec-form-99-for-2020-candidacyNote: FEC Form 2 is a “Statement of Candidacy”. However, as Trump stated in his letter to the FEC, he filed a Form 99, “Miscellaneous Report to FEC,” because he had “reached the legal threshold for filing FEC Form 2”.  That might explain why, after conducting numerous searches on FEC.gov, I could not find a record of Trump’s Form 99.

Resisterhood’s tweet sent the anti-Trumpers into sputtering, foaming-at-the-mouth outrage.

Why is that?

Because, as Resisterhood pointed out, by registering himself as a 2020 political candidate, Trump is tying the hands of non-profit opposition groups by silencing their criticisms and blocking their political activities, such as protests and demonstrations.

According to IRS rule, non-profits (Section 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations) are prohibited from intervening in political campaigns, unless they want their tax-exempt status revoked.

From IRS.gov:

The Restriction of Political Campaign Intervention by Section 501(c)(3) Tax-Exempt Organizations

Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.

Certain activities or expenditures may not be prohibited depending on the facts and circumstances.  For example, certain voter education activities (including presenting public forums and publishing voter education guides) conducted in a non-partisan manner do not constitute prohibited political campaign activity. In addition, other activities intended to encourage people to participate in the electoral process, such as voter registration and get-out-the-vote drives, would not be prohibited political campaign activity if conducted in a non-partisan manner.

On the other hand, voter education or registration activities with evidence of bias that (a) would favor one candidate over another; (b) oppose a candidate in some manner; or (c) have the effect of favoring a candidate or group of candidates, will constitute prohibited participation or intervention.

Somebody should inform Bishop of the Diocese of Austin Joe Vasquez who piously issued a statement against President Trump’s executive order on construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. In so doing, Vasquez is jeopardizing the Catholic Church’s tax-exempt status.

Vasquez can be reached at:

  • Phone: (512) 949-2415
  • Email his executive assistant Melinda Johnson: melinda-johnson@austindiocese.org

~Eowyn