The HOLOCAUST–We All Must Remember and We Must Teach Our Children

by Larry Peterson

January 27 marked the 69th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, the most prolific and deadly of all the Nazi death camps.  The day is called International Holocaust Remembrance Day.  Interestingly, or might I say, unbelievably, this day was not officially "remembered" until November, 2005,  60 years after the Russian army liberated the camp.  This anniversary marks the beginning of the end of the reign of terror that had engulfed Europe and ultimately the entire world  under the demonic leadership of Adolf Hitler and his evil minions of Nazi followers.

There were over six million Jews and close to six million others who perished during this dark time.  It is hard to fathom the scope of this depravity and how it could have even happened.  But--it did.  Okay, to the point.

The word  "Holocaust" has a number of synonyms:  annihilation, extermination, carnage, genocide, and slaughter, might be a few.  But the word does not bring you to the very core of what it actually represents--- the victims of human evil.  They were just  people who became victims simply because they were perceived as being "different" and therefore unacceptable to the rest of society. Who decided such a thing?  The people in power, that's who.  They took that power to a level of unheralded arrogance deciding who should live and who should die.  We tend to think of the "millions' who perished but we rarely think of them as individuals unless some story grabs our attention like "The Diary of Anne Frank",  "The Devil's Arithmetic" and, of course, "Schindler's List".

Each and every one of the people who had their very God given existence taken away from them were like all of us.  They had their hopes and dreams.  They had mothers and fathers and wives and husbands and children and aunts and uncles and nieces and nephews and, of course, friends.  They loved, they worked, they played, they enjoyed holidays and walks in the park on a Sunday afternoon where the kids might feed the ducks or the squirrels.  They quietly embraced the dignity of their own selves, just as we all try to do. They were proud of their families and their jobs and professions.  And then they came. The other people. The ones in power. The ones who had the law on their side and the people following them willing to carry it out, no matter how heinous; even willing to commit torture and murder under the "rule of law".

Can you imagine having your very self  stripped away with such indifferent, arrogant disdain?  Can you imagine having your own children bludgeoned to death right in front of you as you are forced to watch, helpless to do a thing about it.  This treatment of human beings by other human beings went on for over 12 years.  And through all of the Godless depravity that filled the very hearts and souls of those carrying out this abhorrent treatment of their fellow human beings there were  many stories of the love and kindness and respect for life that had been embraced by the victims themselves.  Many who offered this Godly assistance to others were tortured and murdered for it. Let me tell you about one of them.

His name was Otto Neururer. He was from Austria and was a Catholic priest. Father Neururer was the very first priest to die in a Nazi concentration camp. What was his "crime"?  Well, he was a parish priest when a young woman came to him for advice about whether or not she should marry a divorced man.  The man had a shady past and Father Neururer advised her against the marriage.  The man reported the priest to his friend, who was a party leader in the area.  Father Neururer was promptly arrested and charged with "slander to the detriment of German marriage".  He was sent to Dachau, the first concentration camp established by the Nazis. From there he was sent to Buchenwald which was under the command of Martin Sommer aka "The Hangman of Buchenwald".

Father Neururer performed a "forbidden" baptism while at Buchenwald and was sent to the punishment block.  Martin Sommer had the priest hanged upside down and left him that way until he died on May 30, 1940---all for performing a baptism.  He was 58-years old.  Father Otto Neururer was beatified and declared Blessed Otto Neururer by Pope John Paul II in 1996.

Blessed Otto Neururer, thank you.  Please pray for us  asking God to hear our prayers and give us the resolve to teach our children  so that future generations may always be prepared to fight such evil before it rears its demonic head.

     

Book Review: A Man Born Again—A Novel Based on the Life of St. Thomas More

Book Review:
Hans Holbein, the Younger - Sir Thomas More - Google Art Project.jpgby Larry Peterson

A Man Born Again----
A Novel Based on the Life of St. Thomas More

by John E. Beahn

Originally published in 1954 by Bruce Publishing Co.
Re-published in 2013 by TAN Books for the TAN Legends Series

            TAN Books
Charlotte, North Carolina
  www.TANBooks.com

This book is absolutely mesmerizing. Author, John E. Beahn (1910-1990),  has managed to somehow crawl into the mind of the great Lord Chancellor of England and, writing in the first person, chaperons him right into your presence.  You meet Sir Thomas in the Tower of London where the author of "Utopia" awaits an unannounced yet obvious fate at the hands of his King, Henry VIII.  Thomas, looking down from behind his prison window, has you look with him and survey the city of London below.

Just like that you are walking with Sir Thomas down Milk Street and he shows you where he was born.  You pass by St. Anthony's on Threadneedle St. and he shows you where he first went to school.  Suddenly you are walking across a bridge and John More, Sir Thomas' father, is walking with you.  Thomas explains that he is being taken by his dad to Lambert Place to meet the Lord Chancellor of England, Archbishop Morton.  You watch as the Archbishop accepts 12-year old Thomas as a page.  Why not?   Thomas is already versed in Latin and English and rhetoric and mathematics. You do notice though, that the young Thomas More is quite taken with the things of the world more so than those esteemed by God.

Filled with a false pride at his superb intelligence and  against his father's wishes, Thomas agrees with Archbishop Morton that he should go to Oxford.  His father objects and wants him  to study law at New Inn.  The Lord Chancellor has his way and Thomas  begins preparations to leave for Oxford.  His father becomes distanced from him but Thomas does not seem to care.  He is being treated as a young man of "importance" by his acquaintances and other students and even people in the street. He relishes the popularity.  His climb up the ladder of success has begun and it is moving quickly.  He tells you  at Charterhouse that he is "determined to be a saint just like all the Carthusians."   You, as the reader, already know better but are anxious to see how his sudden "call to sanctity" develops.

You now follow along with Sir Thomas and observe as he becomes a fine lawyer and a  sought after lecturer. He rejects the idea of the priesthood and marries  Jane Colt, has four children, becomes widowed when Jane dies from illness, marries Alice Middleton and pursues his dream of being a writer.  He does gain notoriety with his book, Utopia, and is suddenly under the watchful  eye of Cardinal Wolsey and King Henry VIII.

Suffice it to say that once again the primary of the seven deadly sins, Pride, reared its ugly head and consumed the King of England.  Infatuated with Anne Boleyn he wanted to divorce Catherine and marry Anne.  He also wanted Pope Leo to annul his marriage to Catherine.  This the Pope refused to do.  Known as King Henry's "Great Matter", the King was not about to defer to the Pope.  He took over the church in England and demanded oaths of fidelity to the realm.  You now travel with a humble Thomas More who confides in  you that "God permitted me to sink into that blackness of spirit and to the darkness about myself. And when I could endure no more, He returned to me."  Thomas More refused to reject his faith and his church and his God. He was canonized a martyred saint on May 19, 1935 by Pope Pius XI.

One final thing, treat yourself and read this book. You might find a new friend albeit someone a bit older than you. His name is Saint Thomas More.

     

January 22,1973 The United States Supreme Court Gave Birth to Twins: “Roe & Doe”

by Larry Peterson

 This coming Wednesday the annual March for Life will take place in Washington, D.C.  It is the 41st anniversary of Roe vs Wade.  Thousands upon thousands of "Pro-Life" advocates will  brave the freezing weather in defense of the unborn.  Millions more across the country will gather at state capitols, cities and small towns  lending their support to the most defenseless of the defenseless.  The hopes and prayers of all these folks (including myself) are for the High Court to overturn Roe vs Wade.  I am  a "pro-life" person who had an "up close and personal" experience with the miracle of life and the pain of death all on the same day.  If I had harbored any doubt whatsoever about the "viability of a fetus" that doubt was vanquished  forever 35 years ago.

At the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy our fourth child, a daughter, was stillborn.  She was our child and was a gift from God.  She was baptized and buried with my parents. We had  prepared for the arrival but it came earlier than expected.  No matter, she was a real person who lived and died.  Her name is on a tombstone. It is Theresa Mary. Her birthday and date of death were Sept 6, 1978. She was not simply a "fetus".  She was not "products of conception". She was not an "annoyance", an extra pair of shoes to worry about or another "sleepless night". She did not mean  less money in the bank.  No, Theresa Mary was worth far more than any of that multiplied a thousand times over.  Nothing can change the fact that she did exist, albeit for the briefest of moments. In God's world there is no "time" as we know it. HE lives in the "Eternal Now".  Theresa Mary now lives there with HIM..

I  think of the millions of little people like Theresa Mary who have been put to death  in heinous fashion because they are unwanted, because they might cost money or might interfere with a career.  How many have been eradicated simply because people take no responsibility for having sex, getting pregnant, and deciding that this "thing" has to go before it "ruins" their lives. You know, having sex is NOT the same thing as breathing, eating, and sleeping.  Those bodily functions are instinctive and necessary for us to live. We do NOT have to have sex to live. We won't die if we say NO.  Many people actually choose to live a life of celibacy.  It is OKAY to do so. And make no mistake, none of them die from NOT doing "it".

January 22nd  will be the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling known as "Roe vs Wade".  Simply put, the court, by a 7 to 2 majority, said that abortion is a citizen's fundamental right under the United States Constitution.  You are all familiar with how that ruling  has torn our nation apart.  What many people do not seem to be aware of is the other ruling that took place on that very same day.  It provided the proverbial  "double whammy" to the abortion issue. That  ruling is called "Doe Vs Bolton".  Once again, it was a 7 to 2 majority vote affirming the ruling.  The US Supreme Court had given birth to the "Roe & Doe" twins.

The ruling in the "Doe Vs Bolton" case is summed up here:

The Court's opinion in Doe v. Bolton  stated that a woman may obtain an abortion after viability, if necessary to protect her health. The Court defined "health" as follows:
Whether, in the words of the Georgia statute, "an abortion is necessary" is a professional judgment that the Georgia physician will be called upon to make routinely. We agree with the District Court, 319 F. Supp., at 1058, that the medical judgment may be exercised in the light of all factors - physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman's age - relevant to the well-being of the patient. All these factors may relate to health.  

Amazing as it is,  if Roe vs Wade was ever overturned, Doe vs Bolton would take its place.  Doe vs Bolton allows for abortion "after viability" for almost any conceivable reason. Read the excerpt above closely. According to Doe vs Bolton,  an  abortion could be permitted at full term because a baby's crying might cause too much stress for someone in the house who has a psychological problem. Far fetched?  Not really. Who needs Roe vs Wade when you have its twin, Doe vs Bolton?  Our fight for millions of little, unseen and helpless John and Jane Doe will continue. God help us today and tomorrow. 

     

Satan Smiles as Political Correctness Conquers the Church of England

by Larry Peterson

 In the traditional form of baptism the Church of England has always asked the parents and godparents to "reject the devil".  Now, in keeping with the sophisticated and upscale politically correct world of the 21st century there is a new format for the ceremony.  An optional, alternative text has been introduced that allows for the name of Satan to be eliminated so no-one is "offended", including the Demon in Chief.  Oh yeah, they kind of left the word "sin" out of the new format too.  Fascinating stuff, don't you think.  If you think there is no devil and that "evil" is just some abstract concept based on what we as individuals think is right or wrong, you do not have to mention any of that at the Baptismal ceremony.  Golly gee, we must not hurt anyone's feelings, including our own and  especially Beelzebub's.  (I'm not sure if this is true but I heard that some satanist told the Church of England's hierarchy that his boss, Asmodeus,  had a whole bunch of  lawyers ready to go to court to sue if the church kept using his name without authorization.)  I cannot help but wonder if John the Baptist had people come up to him before he dunked them in the river Jordan and first ask if they could forget the "Satan and sin" thing and only worry about committing the sin of NOT recycling used newspaper?" I would think not.

I think I am being somewhat flippant here because this seems to me to be so out of whack with reality.  As a Catholic I know for sure that in the Rite of Baptism and in the renewal of Baptismal vows the following words are used: "Do you renounce Satan?"   The answer is, "I do."  "And all his works?"----"I do."  "And all his empty show (promises)?"----"I do."   This is cut in stone. The traditional form for the Church of England uses the words, "reject the devil". The person answering does not say, "Uh, well, I'm not sure" or "Um, Nah, I don't think so."  When you are baptized, whether in a Catholic church or in another christian church, you accept God, His Son, Jesus, and reject Satan.  End of story.  Using the new, alternative text  all  the person has to do is "reject evil". It is up to the person. But what is evil?

I was always under the impression that the Bible was used as the pathway to what is good and evil and right and wrong. Remember Moses and those tablets God gave him on Mount Sinai? How about  Jesus giving us the two GREAT commandments about "loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself" and that other one about "turning the other cheek". Things like that were used as the basis for our moral compass and the churches were the universities that disseminated this information to their spiritually ignorant pupils.

But now we live in a new, secular world where "relatavism" rules. In this world "good and evil" are reversed. "Good" is anything that satisfies your natural appetites. "Evil" is anything that tells you NO. "Evil" also attempts to lay waste to a hated word that keeps trying to stay in its world.  That word is morality.  Oh, religion promotes that word, doesn't it? Why, the nerve of that sanctimonious institution.  In the "goodworld of evil" Satan (aka Lucifer, Mammon, Leviathan, and others mentioned) is a mythological character dreamed up to keep folks under control and living in fear, and the Bible is a bunch of outdated rants written by former slaves and sheepherders without any education. Even some modern-day pundits and TV personalities have called Christians, "idiots" for believing all that "nonsense". But we Christians (and Jews too) have always had our churches and synagogues as our guides, our lighthouses if you will,  guiding us through the stormy seas of  "good and evil". We knew what "good and evil" was and we could choose which way to navigate our personal ship. The light shined brightly and the more one followed it the brighter it became.

But now, a Christian church has folded. It has been swallowed up by the powerful seas of pride and ego. The secular fools who approved this and who think they "know best" have been duped by the empty promises of self-gratification. They would rather avoid hurting someone's feelings than stand true to the church they are supposed to represent and defend. They are cowards.  They have allowed the  light from their beacon to be extinguished. Satan smiles. Even he did not think it would be this easy.

     

The War by the “Worldly” is Secular Abuse Against the Very Heart of Christianity

by Larry Peterson

It was a brutally cold winter night in 1839 when Jeanne Jugan brought  the sick, blind, homeless woman into her home.  All she wanted to do was help the poor woman.  She had no agenda.  She wanted nothing.  She simply wanted to do what God’s graces had asked her to do, “Love her neighbor”.   Jeanne never planned to have people begin to follow her example.  She never dreamed that she would become the founder of an organization  called the Little Sisters of the Poor.  Jeanne Jugan could not in her wildest dreams foresee the order she had founded serving the elderly poor in 31 countries around the world.  She must have had tears of joy streaming down her saintly face when Pope Benedict XVI canonized her in 2009.
Today she,  and many others with her in the heavenly realm, must be so ashamed and saddened by the members of the secular world who, disguised in a mask of counterfeit virtue, are determined to lay waste to  Christianity.  Make no mistake, we Catholic/Christians are at war;  and the Worldly, including many who claim to be with us, are waging this war against us.  Their primary weapon is the Affordable Care Act aka “Obamacare”.  Where does this weapon of mass secularity have its sights trained?  Where else but on  St. Jeanne Jugan’s order, The Little Sisters of the Poor.  Are you kidding me?  The government of the United States of America, under the control of the Worldly, is after  The Little Sisters.  The order must be considered an easy target because, after granting exemptions to other groups, the Worldly refused to grant an exemption to The Little Sisters of the Poor.  Supreme Court Justice  Sonia Sotomayor, an appointee of the Worldly in power, granted the Little Sisters a temporary injunction against the mandate.  Undeterred in their mission of spreading their all-knowing  secularity, the Worldy immediately responded and asked the court to drop the appeal.  Now we wait.  We wait to see if the First Amendment of the Constitution is to be upheld.
 As a  writer and a Catholic I have unexpectedly found myself blogging more and more about subjects that pertain to things “Catholic”.  I never began writing with that in mind. My novel, “The Priest and the Peaches”,  deals with a Catholic family and a priest but it is not considered religious.  Rather, it is classified as ‘historical fiction’.  My children’s book  is not religious either.  I had  been working on the sequel to TP & TP but I have had that on hold for almost six months as I blog about things and people that pertain to my faith.  I do this because my faith is under attack.  I never thought I would live to see the day when the power of  our government would be used by those we have empowered to demand we violate our religious principles?   Our faith does not just take place INSIDE a church.  It takes place within our very hearts and minds. We are supposed to LIVE our faith and, though many of us often fail, it is our CHOICE to fail.  It is no one’s business.  The government of the United States of America does not have the right to enter into our “hearts and minds” and tell us what to believe the same as it does not belong inside our churches.
We, as a church, a faith community, and as individuals who are part of it and believe in it are being abused and are under attack. The Little Sisters of the Poor and communities like them need our voices to ring out.  So do the almost 10 million folks who are able to turn to almost 1400  charitable organizations run by the Catholic church every year. So do the people, mostly volunteers, who staff  the 600,000 plus soup kitchens feeding folks everyday and distribute food from the two million food banks and pantries. If you factor in all the other religious and charitable organizations in the United States there is a veritable population of “goodness and kindness and giving” spread across this entire nation. Most are folks  who ask nothing in return  for sharing their time,  their hearts and their love with those less fortunate. It seems to me that the Worldly need to start minding their own damn business. 

                                              copyright © 2014  Larry Peterson