Friday, December 22, 2006

Should a Muslim be allowed to 'swear in' on the Koran to uphold a public office in the USA?

First Merry Christmas!

As to the question about swearing in on the Koran if you are Muslim, I personally do not have problem with that. Because, if a person doesn't believe in the Bible there isn't much 'force' to their 'vow' or 'oath' that they will uphold the responsibilities of their office just because they lay their hands on a 'book' and say some words.

Let me quote Prof. Scott Hahn from on the meaning of 'swearing an oath' on The Bible.

First, contracts involve promises, covenants involve oaths.
When you enter into a contract, say, to buy a house, you make a promise to the seller, along the lines of: "I give you my word that I will pay you this amount of money for your house." The seller, in turn, makes a promise: "I give you my word that if you pay me the sum we have agreed upon, I will turn over to you the deed to my house."

The "word" you each pledge to the other is your name. And you each sign your name on the contract as a "sign" that you'll uphold your end of the bargain or keep your promise.
Covenants are much different. In a covenant, you elevate and upgrade your promise. Not only do you give your word, you also swear an oath, invoke a higher authority - you call God in as your witness.

Think of the oath we're most familiar with, the oath you swear before taking the witness stand in a courtroom: "I promise to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God."
You've promised, given your word to tell the truth. You've also asked God to help you keep your promise. It's not only you and the judge now. It's you, the judge and God. Now, if you lie under oath, you're not only liable to go to jail, you're liable to be punished by God. The flip side of asking for God's help in an oath is surrendering yourself to God's judgment. You say, in effect, "I'll be damned if I don't tell the truth."

In the old days, we used to have politicians swear on the Bible and the Bible would be opened to the Book of Deuteronomy, Chapter 28, where the blessings and the curses are recorded. We were asking them to swear to uphold the constitution or suffer the curses recorded in those pages.

Even in our highly secularized society, we retain elements of this older understanding of oaths. We make doctors, police officers, military personnel and public officials swear oaths. Why? Because we depend on them; we literally put our lives in their hands. We want them to swear to God that they'll do their jobs. We can't just take their word for it, we want them to know that they'll have to answer to a higher authority.

Incidentally, did you know that the word "oath" translates the Latin word sacramentum, where we get our word "sacraments"? In a future course, we'll look sacraments as oaths. But for now, just keep in mind, as we mentioned earlier, that the notion of covenant and oaths is crucial to understanding the sacraments and our relationship with God.

Literally when a Christian lays their hands on the Bible and swears to uphold their office or 'tell the truth, so help me God', they are saying that if they tell the truth, by God's Hand they will receive all the blessings contained in the Bible or the reverse is also true. They are saying that if they lie, all the curses contained in the Bible will come upon them.

A heady thought when understood properly.

My problem isn't with the Koran.
But I pose a further question, if we allow the Koran, then we would have to cater to every possible group. For example, The Book of Mormon for Mormons or let's get right to the nitty gritty... perhaps we would have someone who believes in Satan who wants to swear in on a Book of Rituals for Satanic practices.

In a case like that, you would have someone promising to ... what? To cause chaos and disruption at every chance... perhaps. Then where would a nation founded on Christian principles be?

I submit that it is dilemma. Maybe we could have an "approved list" of books allowed.

I am wishing for you this day a Happy Christmas!
I wish you laughter, pure joy, a merry heart and a clear conscience!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Catholics should be outraged over caricature's of Jesus & The Blessed Mother!

9:59 AM 2/23/2006
Calling All Catholics
I heard a really good homily today at daily Mass. The Gospel Readings were from, The Gospel of Mark 9:41-50. I would like to point out verse 43 in particular.
"If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire."
Fr. Sean Shine pointed out that Jesus did not mean this literally, but that he meant we should be willing to stand up for what we believe, no matter the cost. Father pointed to the present day riots of the Muslims over the caricature of The Prophet Mohammed.

He said that while it is terrible that some people are being killed over this, it is right that they should stand up for their belief. Father also said that Catholics should be more like them. Some time ago an artist in New York put an image of Christ in a bottle of his own urine and offered that to the American public as 'art'. Also, there was a portrait of The Blessed Mother covered with cut-outs of pornography, presented as 'art'. With no outcry from the Catholic Church. The American Catholic Bishops did not make one statement! With over 150 million Catholics in the United States we can make an impact!

Here is a link to a group that legally fights anti-Catholicism. The Catholic League.
Here is one on the Muslim caricature from The Catholic League:

Monday, January 30, 2006

With all the hoopla about the lawsuit against the priest in Italy who is supposedly misrepresenting Jesus, I thought this information would be useful.

Secular History of Jesus
There is the writing, for example of "Flavius Josephus" commissioned by the Romans to write a "history" of their conquests. Being he was commissioned by the Romans he could not cover Jesus, in depth, because they wanted to hear about themselves, not some supposed Messiah. The fact that he wrote anything about Jesus is actually a wonder to most scholars and that the Romans left the information in the history.
Here is another source of information: