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    Current rating: 4.2 (17 ratings)

    Fr. Barron comments on the HHS Contraception Mandate





     
Comments
Phil Brady
This argument incorrectly rests on the privacy issue when in reality SIN is never a private matter in both Heaven and Earth. The Church uses the sacrament of confession to not only bring God's healing to the sinner but also to PROTECT the rest of the Body. When sin is not called SIN, those who use this definition call God a liar. To place faithful Catholics in this position is consistent with the spirit of those who have a contraceptive mentality, and that spirit is one that has no concern for the things that are of God or for His children.
1/30/2012 2:57:31 PM
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Adrian
I know i shared once before that quote from Peter Kreeft that the Roman Catholic Church is like a huge metal ball wedged in the guts of our barren culture.Thank God for that and for Word on Fire.
1/30/2012 8:41:06 PM
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Natmom
Father Barron,
A typically brilliant comment, as always. However, as bad a jurist as Justice Brennan was, the author of The Roe v. Wade decision was Harry Blackmun. Later in a decision finding capital punishment unconstitutional under the 8th Amendment,he remarked that he would "no longer tinker with the machinery of death"! How's that for irony?
1/30/2012 9:41:11 PM
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Todd
Thank God for Father Barron!!!
1/30/2012 9:47:59 PM
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Sebastian
I would like to know if the Catholic Church has ever brought suit against a government for violating it's rights to practice its religious beliefs. in all honesty, I think the Church has one year to prepare for a legal battle. There is a huge difference between being Christian and being stupid, and this is not time for stupid. This is beyond words, it is a total disgrace and a mockery of all that is Democracy. Totally outrageous, offensive, and unacceptable. The only way the current president will be re-elected is if they rig every single voting machine that exists.
1/30/2012 11:00:58 PM
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Kerry
Bravo!
1/31/2012 7:09:48 AM
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Maureen
Father, I agree with your comments wholeheartedly, (delivered in your signature non polemical style). Still, how do we respond to the critics when they say, as long we accept federal funds, we are subject to the same requirements as any other federal contractor?
1/31/2012 9:10:37 AM
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Phil Brady
Such a bold move like this by the current administration would not have been pursued without the knowledge that most Catholics contracept.
1/31/2012 12:44:22 PM
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Matt
You're correct, Phil. That's why our #1 job in response to this attack must be to boldly offer the Truth to Catholics to bring about a New Catechesis in addition to a New Evangelization. We need a conversion of heart and practice among Catholics in order to bring to bear a Biblical worldview (with all the depth and richness and power of the Catholic Tradition) in place of a worldly Bibleview (which simply goes along with what this administration sees and wants.
1/31/2012 7:17:31 PM
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Felix
Great commentary! As stated in his Theology of the Body, John Paul II had an infinitely more dignified vision of humanity and human sexuality than anything the current, self centered secular culture has fallen into. The current secular viewpoint imposed as law is unknowingly a disintegrating and dehumanizing view of human life. Thank God for the Catholic Church and its moral spine in teaching us how our human sexuality is meant to point to God's generous and life-giving love!
1/31/2012 9:19:17 PM
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Carla Lies
As I've been sending my views to my congressman and the White House about this mandate, I was thinking about leadership and what makes a great leader. A great leader in my view is one who defends the weakest and most vulnerable(ie., the unborn.) Until a leader can hear the cry of the weakest, he is not a leader, because he cannot respond where the need for leadership is greatest. It is sad that our country has a presidential leader who is morally and ethically misguided. We need to do our part to pray to God, and ask for his help to straighten the path this country has been set upon.
1/31/2012 10:21:22 PM
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Felix
Like Carla above, I have just written to President Obama and my elected representatives in Congress regarding this issue. We should all do this. Feel free to cut and paste from my sample letter below. It is really easy with the internet to send a quick email to our leaders in government...

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I am concerned about the legal mandate forcing the Catholic Church to offer contraception and abortion services to its people as part of mandated health insurance. This does represent the imposition of secular values onto the Body of Christ in ways that are unjust. As the Catholic Church is over 2000 years old and the United States is a little over 200 years old, it seems improper for the secular government of America to impose its current value system on Catholic Christians who are trying to live up to the virtues of Chastity and respecting the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. It seems only fair that faith communities like the Catholic Church should not have to accept contraception and abortion as part of their health plans as these are considered sinful according to Catholic teaching. Read John Paul II's Theology of the Body to understand more fully the theological vision that the Catholic Church holds regarding the meaning of our human sexuality... the love of husbands and wives leading to children is meant to be an image of God's life giving, selfless love!

It is contrary to justice to force the Catholic Church to go against its moral teachings and offer abortion and contraception in its health care plans. The Catholic Church has done so much for America in history.... setting up schools, hospitals, homeless shelters, supporting adoptions.... Consider American Saints like Elizabeth Seton! Consider Mother Theresa's Sisters of Charity at work here in the USA and in Chicago! There should at least be the option of allowing the Catholic Church to offer health insurance (which it already wants to do) without forcing it to include abortion and contraception...

I am a physician.

I am a Catholic Christian.

The US Government should not force the Catholic Church and other faith communities to offer contraception and abortion which are offenses against the dignity and integrity of the human person from conception to natural death. The Catholic Church courageously upholds the dignity and value of human life at its earliest possible stage... conception. Please work with Congress to allow exceptions to the offerings of contraception and abortion in health care plans for Christian and other faith communities who find these practices morally offensive...

Best Regards,
Felix Chau, MD
1/31/2012 11:01:49 PM
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Jim
I would have to say that the CC is right on this one. But remember, the Church does have to play within the bounds too as they belong to a civil society. And for some Catholics to say that it is a sin to vote for a pro-choice candidate is wrong as well. I just wish the Church would get its back up over the violation of its social teaching (workers rights, fair wages, etc.) as it does over this. Then maybe it would have more credibility in the public arena.
2/1/2012 5:36:03 AM
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Patricia
his 1 year ultimatum that has been "granted" to the Catholic Church by the Obama administration may be a blessing in disguise. The line in the sand has been drawn, and Catholics, will have to choose. . It will be a galvanizing and polarizing time for the Church in America. Interesting that it will occur during the announced Year of Faith, how apropos.
2/1/2012 5:57:20 AM
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Brian A Cook
Unfortunately, the Church has been accused of trying to do what the Obama administration is accused of doing--muzzling and controlling humans. I recently watched videos taken from a documentary on the Inquisition from the BBC--I am more slightly convinced that the caricatures are indeed caricatures, but don't the caricatures have some basis in the real history of Christian culture? There are even radical traditionalists in the Church who attack the very notion of religious freedom! I actually wrote a series of letters to the Pope, some of which explore this theme. I do believe that the Church has a lot of work to do in trying to convince people that she truly brings freedom to the human spirit.
2/1/2012 10:30:52 AM
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Carla
Jim I'm glad you acknowledged that the CC is right on this one. However, we all have free will, and nobody has to play within the bounds of evil-it is not a "civil" society when masses of unborn babies are being killed every day- with an advocate and financial supporter being the leadership in federal government. It is sinful. If the government wants to mandate support of that, nobody has to play within those bounds. If anyone wants to elect a well-intentioned president who will morally and ethically lead the nation in a direction away from sinful behaviors, why would you think its wrong for Catholics to avoid supporting abortion in any degree, much less voting for a pro-choice candidate?
The term "slippery slope" applies here. If you vote for a pro-choice candidate, their intentions are clear to support abortion, and once they are elected, it is a slippery slope all the way down! That is why, your statement that "Catholics to say that it is a sin to vote for a pro-choice candidate is wrong" represents misguided thinking. Look where our nation is today, as a result of voting for a pro-choice candidate. If you are talking about choosing the lesser of two evils among choice making for candidacy, when you don't have a candidate with a solid history of good conscientious moral,and ethical
decision making, that is different. Obviously, choose the candidate who is morally and ethically sound and trustworthy to a greater degree, in their leadership.
2/1/2012 11:17:09 AM
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Elizabeth Bernard
I am curious as to Father Barron's position on Obamacare if the Church were given the exemption it wants (and should receive.) In this video, he comments that companies should not be able to come together and form monopolies, but Obamacare actually has the government, instead of protecting us from cartels, actually CREATING cartels to provide our medical insurance. Many of us Catholics have been opposed to Obamacare from the very beginning because it violates our Catholic consciences in the realm of economics. Never before has the government decided that it simply had the power to FORCE the citizens of the United States to purchase something in the private market (in this case cartelized) against our wishes and what our conscience dictates.

Obamacare is not awful merely because it doesn't recognize religious liberty in the realm of contraception. It is awful because it fails to recognize our rights to say no to the government when it violates our consciences in all sorts of areas.

Is this a case of the Church only caring when push comes to shove for them? Because we have been dealing with the overarching state and its constant intrusions into our ability to follow our moral consciences in so many regards, and the bishops have seemed oblivious to this struggle.

This is a serious question, by the way. Electing Romney (or Gingrich, etc.) won't solve this problem. He will use our tax dollars for purposes equally at odds with Catholic doctrine. Maybe if the Bishops had been vocal about a host of other issues, it would never have gotten to the point where we are now. But they were all too willing to accept federal moneys, without realizing that eventually not only do you have to pay the piper, but you must dance to his tune.

I hope the Bishops win this one. I just hope they also wake up to the dangers not just of liberal totalitarianism, but totalitarianism on both sides of the ideological dividing line, because both versions force us to abandon our Catholic consciences and adherence to Church doctrine.
2/1/2012 12:33:25 PM
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Kathy
PSALM 139;13: "Truly you have formed my inmost being; you knit me in my mother's womb."
*******************
The Obama mandate, makes me think of Idolotry. How often we worship what seems to make intellectual sense. How often we worship the Medical Profession, attributing power to them; the FDA, the Pharmacuitical Co., looking to them for answers. I am a nurse, and all the fields I've mentioned have helped many; but the medical fields, are a business. A very BIG business.
And just like in all business, the government, a BIG business itself, gets involved. The next time you see your physician as a god, take a breath, remember, you GAVE him/her that power. Come to the realization that YOU are the most important person in that medical room, sitting with your doctor. When you think, what can I do, start there, because God gave you that, HE knitted you in your mother's womb. God Speed! Be Bold!~
2/1/2012 1:00:57 PM
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Carl
I don’t believe any of these article writers mentioned for a second misunderstands that it is the Church’s institutions that are being force to accept liberal doctrines. It doesn’t matter what the truth is, they demagogue any and all subjects into submission. And the average person will read the headlines, listen to the talking heads, get all emotionally contemptible about the false notion of Church attempting to take away their contraception or what have you and vote for the heroic liberal politician promising hope and change!
2/1/2012 11:53:06 PM
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Mrs. Rene O'Riordan
Humanae Vitae will not die and what was not faithfully taught has now got to be taught. God is not mocked! - thanks for another great teaching and sorting out the sane from the insane - Blessings - Rene
2/2/2012 5:21:53 AM
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Dave S.
Father, as always you are right on point. Can you please write to President Obama and Congress and help state and reinforce the Church's viewpoint? Better yet, can you mount a campaign to run for President and displace the existing candidates who have no common sense or moral compass!
2/2/2012 1:40:15 PM
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Barbara Renner
As disturbing as the thought of loss of our Religious Freedom seems the reality will be far worse.Even though it is clear all Catholics are not on the same page regarding the Right to Life from Womb To Tomb, those Catholics and believers in other faiths who claim they don't believe in abortion themselves but don't want to inflict their views on others better be prepared to be dictated to.Once the 'thought police' come into their own no one will know the meaning of the word Choice.We are aware that Institutions like the Catholic Church may have flaws as do each of us ,but being a leader in the Respect Life Movement is not one of them.The Catholic Church's positive influence in the fields of Education, Social Welfare and Healthcare have been enormous,largely due to Clergy who dedicated themselves to others.That degree of selflessness is hard to understand in todays society although appreciated when found.Those of us who are a product of Catholic Education may have some negative stories to tell,but looking back would have to admit that those Sisters and other Clergy went above and beyond to give us the best education available,without any ,'Union' support.Catholic Hospitals and Social Agencies have always cared for all but are criticised for utilizing Government Disbursements to do so .If you don't care whether strongholds of Faith are preserved and don't really mind your Government telling you what to think and feel then just maintain the status quo.However,if you have had enough of a Government incinuating itself into your Conscience then speak out now.Let your legislators ,the President and the person standing next to you in Church (while you still have one)that they cannot trample our Ist Ammendment Rights .Yes, there are many other ills, but this is Critical.GOD will help us !
2/2/2012 4:11:47 PM
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John August
Father, the following appeared in a USA Today article today:

"-- Over half of Americans already live in the 28 states that require insurance companies cover contraception: Several of these states like North Carolina, New York, and California have identical religious employer exemptions. Some states like Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemption at all."

Do you know if this is true? If yes, it appears that, at least in Colorado, Georgia an Wisconsin, the Church is already subject to regulation similar to the HHS mandate.
2/2/2012 5:28:47 PM
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Matthew LaFrancesca
I've always wondered how a law would prevent a woman from having an abortion.A poor woman most likely would try to do it herself or get an unskilled person to do it. A rich woman go where it was legal by a skilled person. A woman is going to choose whether it is legal or not.
2/2/2012 6:55:39 PM
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Carla
Matthew, If it is illegal to drive 90 miles per hour down the freeway, are you less likely to do it, especially if you face heavy a heavy fine because it is unsafe, and you could kill someone (which is why the law would be written, implemented and enforced)? The answer is yes, most citizens abide by the law, because they know the consequences, because of their internal and external guides. Women may choose regardless of whether there is a law against it, but the majority will choose to follow the law, not ignore it. That is why law making to keep people safe, is critical to the health and welfare of society. They are important external controls.
2/2/2012 8:54:48 PM
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Mary
Once again your eloquent words are a clarion call for what is right and just. How do we spread the message on the HHS mandate and its ramifications? I have been shocked over the last 2 weeks to realize how many faithful Catholics are completely unaware of this mandate. Can the Chicago Archdiocese PLEASE send a letter to be read in the parishes as so many other dioceses in the country have done? How can we make our voices heard?
2/2/2012 9:02:40 PM
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Carla
I took a Women's Studies class in Rome, and we talked about the differences in laws regarding women's health among the various different nations the students represented in our class. Italy's laws are so much more supportive towards womens, infants and childrens health, and their supportive programs can testify to why their abortion rates are lower. When resources are available, attitudes change to be more open to life. After talking to a pregnant girl years ago, I convinced her that she did have more supportive options than what she thought she did. Her decision to abort changed because of resources and supports which she became aware of. Her child is now 23-a wonderful, beautiful human being. In the U.S. instead of putting our resources toward death, we need to put them toward life, as Italy has done.
2/2/2012 9:17:49 PM
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Jeannette Vasicek
Dear Fr. Barron, May God always be at your side! Thank you for helping us find our way thru this dark forest.....
2/3/2012 4:09:03 PM
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Kathy
RE: Matthew LaF. comment
You have a reality based point to make. As a nurse, I have seen women come into the ER, ill, dying, and sadly dead, after an illegal abortion, or after taking medications to abort. Some of these women, left young families behind.
Some would never be able to concieve again. Some were NOT poor! Most were too ashamed to speak with any one. If the Catholic Church stands by the pregnant woman, rich, poor, married, unmarried, circumstances, etc., we remain a reality of HOPE, and LIFE.
God Speed!
2/3/2012 4:44:36 PM
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Felix
Thanks, Fr. Barron, for your commentary and preparation. I was interviewed by WGN this morning regarding this very topic outside of Holy Name Cathedral in Chicago. Thanks to your commentary on the issue, I was able to have the letter I sent to Obama and other government leaders available as background for the interview questions. Keep up the great work in your social commentaries and thanks for the great education in your Catholicism series!
Best Regards,
Felix
2/3/2012 6:22:25 PM
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Felix
Hi Fr. Barron,

Here is a part of the brief interview with WGN that is secondary to your coverage of the topic recently. Thanks for your vision in commenting on the issue and getting me ready!

http://www.wgntv.com/news/wgntv-church-leaders-denounce-new-federal-contraception-mandate-feb3,0,1050967.story

Best Regards,
Felix
2/3/2012 7:20:52 PM
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Jim Bruns
Dear Fr. Barron, to Maureen's question earlier, the government can issue exceptions to the rule and all faith based organizations are exempt from the requirement. It is done everyday in all aspects of life from business to sports to education and on. Also, if the the government is creating a "one size fits all" policy for us in health care then what is next? I hope this makes Obama a one term president as an example to all politicians here and around the world.
2/4/2012 10:37:50 AM
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john w
I just saw the movie “The Help”. After the movie I made the observation that whenever a group is treated with less dignity than another, it hurts and damages all involved.
2/4/2012 9:47:20 PM
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S
Claim:“Over half of Americans already live in the 28 States that require insurance companies cover contraception: Several of these States like North Carolina, New York, and California have identical religious employer exemptions.Some States like Colorado, Georgia and Wisconsin have no exemption at all.”

Response: This misleads by ignoring important facts, and some of it is simply false.All the state mandates, even those without religious exemptions, may be avoided by self-insuring prescription drug coverage, by dropping that particular coverage altogether, or by taking refuge in a federal law that pre-empts any state mandates (ERISA).None of these havens is available under the federal mandate.It is also false to claim that North Carolina has an identical exemption.It is broader:It does not require a religious organization to serve primarily people of its own faith, or to fulfill the federal rule’s narrow tax code criterion.Moreover, the North Carolina law, unlike the federal mandate, completely excludes abortifacient drugs like Ella and RU-486 as well as “emergency contraceptives” like Preven.
2/6/2012 8:10:22 PM
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Michael Rizzio
Thanks again Father for a well conceived warning.

We can and must do all in our power to stop this injustice. We must defeat the bad law and also strengthen our brethren against the direct assault on life. Five words are critical to this strengthening: autonomy, dualism, hedonism, misguided compassion and utilitarianism. We have to understand how our culture has bought the lies. We have to build little fortresses of truth, fortresses of light, life and love.
2/7/2012 8:24:45 AM
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JImi
Carla,

Where is the nation today, now that we have voted for a "pro-choice" candidate? I don't see your point. Further my tax dollars go so support a HUGE military industrial complex which I find offensive but I still pay my taxes. My original point of saying that CC is right, still stands but the CC might do well to examine how IT acts as an institution...to "pontificate" about contraception is one thing. To show outrage over abortion is appropriate. But to attribute our nation's problems to choosing a "pro-choice" candidate just smacks of being pharasaical...especially in light of the latest news from Milwaukee.
2/7/2012 9:59:37 PM
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Barbara
To Maureen, who asked about Catholic institutions' acceptance of federal funds: They accept federal funds in most cases because they are providing a service to the government,i.e. caring for Medicare/Medicaid/uninsured patients, educating students on Pell grants, etc. A modest proposal would be for the Church to use the 'grace period' allowed by HHS to announce that it will only admit private pay patients/students and private charity patients/students, deflecting all others to government faciities. Then, maybe, the government will realize what its notion of separation of Church and State really means.
2/8/2012 5:47:14 AM
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Carla
Jimi-
The Catholic Church is not being Pharisaical, it is following God's command to go forth and multiply. It remains completely open to life IN ALL WAYS, and that will never change. The Catholic Church is set upon the teachings of Christ, God's word, and the presence and recognition of the Holy Spirit in our daily lives. To be open to life is to appreciate and yield to the foundation of our faith, which according to Jesus, is set upon solid rock. The winds will blow, but the Catholic Church will remain strong, because it embraces the truths and directives from God, and his only begotten son. God has written his laws in our hearts, and if we choose to be open to his laws in all ways, he will help us recognize the difference between right and wrong, then over time, it becomes clear as a bell, as long as we yield to to God's love and divine presence. I'm not sure how else to explain it to you. I just know that it doesn't work to wrestle with God. He is all loving, all knowing, and all powerful and will prevail over death-soooo, don't go there. It's as easy as pie. And with regard to the CC's misguided efforts along the way.....the church gets disciplined by God in so many ways, and helps her to remediate errors and correct her course when she goes off course-how he does that is even written in the Bible. We need to have compassion for the church and know that she is subjected to being taught by God, and actually has shown that she learns quite well.
2/8/2012 12:18:36 PM
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Mary
It is sad to say that no one on the Republican side favors social justice, fair pay, unions, etc., but are pro-life - not from womb to tomb they aren't. To say a Repub is better than the current president is totally untrue. However, I think that writing to our legislators is excellent. As a nurse who is a moderate, saw uninsured, homeless, hungry, without needed medications in this country... I think we do need health care for all. BTW, the president did not coin "Obamacare" - you will find the Republicans use it frequently. Thank you Fr. Barron for the guidance.
2/8/2012 12:52:06 PM
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Carla
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops has identified particular legislative issues of interest. These include those regarding international and domestic concerns, communications, education, marriage and family life, migration and refugees, pro-life, religious freedom, church and state relations and tax legislation. There are so many social justice areas that are currenty non-legislative, that they are involved with too:)
It is amazing to me how many people do not know what the US Catholic Conference of Bishops is doing, and how many social justice concerns they are involved with and advocating for. These men are super busy, and super involved so that issues that are important to the people, are important to the church leadership as well, all while providing good guidance. It is exciting, and never boring to see how they work!! I love it! http://usccb.org/
2/8/2012 2:20:36 PM
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Oscar
Fr. Barron, could you please do a video discussing the connection between moral relativism in general and "Christian relatvism", and how they basically support one another?
2/10/2012 11:53:34 AM
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Johnson
‎" These things we teach are not true because they happen to be taught by the Church. We teach them because they happen to be true. Their truth antedates the Church." Cardinal - designate Timothy Dolan of NY.

Bravo Fr. Barron. Go on speaking...
2/10/2012 1:37:52 PM
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Richard Adler
Great video Fr. Bob! I think part of the issue is that we've moved to the side of "political law" that defines what is right and wrong versus "natural law" that is based on human morality. I think Richard Maybury hits it on the nail as he describes the basis of what he referes to as Common Law:

The two fundamental laws on which all major religions and philosophies agree. (1) Do all you have agreed to do and (2) do not encroach on other persons or their property.

If we had laws based on these two basic laws, we wouldn't be having debate on important issues like abortion. Because it clearly violates #2, it's illegal.
2/10/2012 1:40:59 PM
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Jamie
If it is ok to do with your body as you wish, then why is it illegal to do drugs? It is your own body right? If I want to chop up a certain plant and smoke it, then why can't I? It is something I am doing to myself.

Sound ridiculous eh? Just as ridiculous it sounds when they say abortion is ok as well!!!
2/10/2012 2:48:20 PM
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Jacqueline
Thank God for you Father Barron! When abortion issues arise I always think on the comment my 12 year old daughter made to my husband (who is in favor of abortion) when discussing this issue:
"I understand women's rights....but who is protecting the baby's rights?"
2/10/2012 2:59:54 PM
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Therese
Brilliant presentation of the issues, Father Barron!
Sarah Peretsky is on the Board of Planned Parenthood. She may even be Catholic because she was checking out our Catholic Highs School about 7 years ago for her granddaughter. SHe specifically wanted to talk to me, the Health teacher, to find out what I was teaching on birth control. I told her I my lesson plans were in full agreement with the Magisterial teachings of the Catholic Church. SHe didn't like that. When I told her that I didn't think Planned Parenthood had our students best interests in mind, she walked away. Her granddaughter did not register at our school.
Our school has been taking students to the Washington D.C. March for Life three years in a row, now!!!
2/10/2012 4:31:24 PM
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Renee
Does anyone know how the Obama..."compromise" will be handled by those Diocese that are self-insured? Who "pays" for the required "free" women's "healthcare" in those circumstances?
2/10/2012 4:56:38 PM
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Don Forest
Catholic friends in the U.S.A. yes fight this proposed imposition totally against our own and our church's moral code. Obama and his ilk are not aware that God the Father is finished accepting mildly these childred of his who are following the evil one. There is coming to the world the most severe chastisement ever meted out by God. If you want to know what's coming go to:
http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com

Then get on your knees and pray as you've never prayed before!
2/10/2012 5:36:45 PM
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Don Forest
the result of Obamas following evil will be the greatest chastisement the world has ever seen. Details can be found at:http://www.thewarningsecondcoming.com
Pray people as never before!!!
2/10/2012 5:41:27 PM
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Pablo Calcaterra
Thanks Father Barron.
You are expressing things clearly.
God Bless
Pablo
2/10/2012 5:49:13 PM
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Dan Tracy
Decades ago when birth control was legalized, advocates told us that access to such would result in 1) stronger marriages, 2) more respect for women, and 3) end of poverty.

This distorted promise has been shown to have failed many women and children.
2/10/2012 7:56:05 PM
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Dan
This is a clearly a violation of the First Amendment, and the free exercise of religion. The government has no business forcing a religious institution to provide services that are in direct conflict with her teachings.

If this is litigated, I don't see how it could possibly withstand judicial review.

Bravo as always, Fr. Barron.
2/10/2012 9:28:06 PM
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Linda Williams
Clear thinking as usual! I am left with the sense of relief that the battle lines are now clearly articulated and we are indeed in the front lines. In other words there is no way to be confused about any fuzzy double talk. Pray for fortitude! Thank you, Fr. Barron
2/10/2012 11:30:02 PM
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James Howard
Thank you Fr. Barron for your comments. I think it is high time for the evil witches Sebelious and Pelosi to be PUBLICLY EXCOMMUNICATED and I would add other phoney "catholic" traitors to that list. Ted Kennedy should have been publicly excommunicated 30 or 40 years ago. I sense fear and cowardice on the part of the Bishops to do this or even to discuss this. Could you please comment on this?
2/11/2012 1:24:30 AM
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Carla
It seems to me that there are many misunderstandings about the intentions of Planned Parenthood. In 1946, Margaret Sanger helped found the International Committee on Planned Parenthood. Her efforts which evolved into the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952, soon became the world's largest non-governmental international family planning organization.
To understand the root of Sanger's intention, and why she founded this organization, it is helpful to go back and look at her original intent. Look to Margaret Sangers childhood and young adult years. Margaret Sanger was born as Margaret Higgins in Corning, New York. Her mother, Anne Purcell Higgins, was a Catholic who went through 18 pregnancies (with 11 live births) in 22 years before dying at age 50 of tuberculosis and cervical cancer. In 1914, Ann Purcell Higgin's daughter, Margaret Sanger, launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan "No Gods, No Masters." Sanger, collaborating with anarchist friends, coined the term birth control as a more candid alternative to euphemisms such as family limitation, and proclaimed that each woman should be "the absolute mistress of her own body."
Clearly, Magaret Sanger, with free will, and because of her own pain of losing her mother, and because of the pain she saw her mother endure, turned away from her Catholic faith and turned away from God. Margaret was angry. Instead of focusing on "How did my parent's behaviors lead to my mother's suffering and death, she rebelled against what happened to her mother and to other woman, by coming to the conclusion that woman and men can behave any way they want, and not have to suffer the consequences.
Planned Parenthood is founded upon rebellion. It's founding was against God's plan. It involves evil intent which includes a very public rejection of God's laws. If you look at the trajectory Planned Parenthood has taken, with the huge numbers of abortions every year, then even todays intention is very clear-rebellion against God, and act against God's laws.
Many women who are Catholic have felt a desire to spread understanding about women's reproductive health. However, they have stayed under the guidance and directives of the Catholic Churchs' teachings and directives of natural family planning. the Catholic Churchs' timing in supporting the concepts of "natural family planning" may have followed the Planned Parenthood movement, but we as Catholics must remember that if we feel strongly that human suffering ething isn't right, follow scripture and go to the church with your concerns, and not rebel against your faith. We must learn to work within the boundaries of our faith. Those boundaries are set for a reason.
2/11/2012 10:56:28 AM
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Randy Engel
Dear Friends - Have you noticed that in the current intense “debate” over insurance and birth control, not a single bishop has suggested - not even a peep - that the government get itself out of the life prevention arena altogether? Do the bishops or the USCCB bureaucrats care that Catholic taxpayers for more than 44 years have been paying taxes to support anti-life government policies? Bishops have not minded that from day one. Have you heard one bishop say recently “Down with Title X population control programs at home (HHS/PHSA) and abroad (USAID)? Isn’t it time, the Catholic laity puts the bishops’ feet to the fire regarding the true crux of the matter – federal anti-natalist policies. Now is as good a time to force the American bishops to do what they should have done four decades ago, and millions of dead unborn children ago, but didn’t. Randy Engel, U.S. Coalition for Life
2/11/2012 12:33:07 PM
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Carla Lies
Please replace my entry with these corrections.

It seems to me that there are many misunderstandings about the intentions of Planned Parenthood. In 1946, Margaret Sanger helped found the International Committee on Planned Parenthood. Her efforts which evolved into the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952, soon became the world's largest non-governmental international family planning organization. To understand the root of Sanger's intention, and why she founded this organization, it is helpful to go back and look at her original intent. Look to Margaret Sangers childhood and young adult years. Margaret Sanger was born as Margaret Higgins in Corning, New York. Her mother, Anne Purcell Higgins, was a Catholic who went through 18 pregnancies (with 11 live births) in 22 years before dying at age 50 of tuberculosis and cervical cancer. In 1914, Ann Purcell Higgin's daughter, Margaret Sanger, launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan "No Gods, No Masters." Sanger, collaborating with anarchist friends, coined the term birth control as a more candid alternative to euphemisms such as family limitation, and proclaimed that each woman should be "the absolute mistress of her own body." Clearly, Magaret Sanger, with free will, and because of her own pain of losing her mother, and because of the pain she saw her mother and other women endure, turned away from her turned away from God, adn the guidance of her Catholic faith. Margaret was angry. Instead of focusing on "How did my parent's behaviors lead to my mother's suffering and death, she rebelled against what happened to her mother and to other woman, by coming to the conclusion that woman and men can behave any way they want, and not have to suffer the consequences. Planned Parenthood is founded upon rebellion. It's founding was against God's plan. It involves evil intent which includes a very public rejection of God's laws. If you look at the trajectory Planned Parenthood has taken, with the huge numbers of abortions every year, then even todays intention is very clear-rebellion against God, and act against God's laws. Many women who are Catholic have felt a desire to spread understanding about women's reproductive health and prevent suffering. However, they have stayed under the guidance and directives of the Catholic Churchs' teachings and directives of natural family planning. The Catholic Church's timing in supporting the concepts of "natural family planning" may have followed the Planned Parenthood movement (I don't know), but we as Catholics must remember that if we feel strongly that human suffering isn't right, follow scripture and go to the church with your concerns, and not rebel against your faith. Perhaps Ann and Margaret did go to the church, and maybe they couldn't appreciate the guidance offered to them at the time (The Catholic Church may know this history.) However, we as faith-filled Catholics must learn to work within the boundaries of our Catholic faith and Papal teachings. Those boundaries are set for a reason.
2/11/2012 12:54:20 PM
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Ed Schwet
Why do our Church leaders let CNN get away with narrowing the whole issue with the Catholic Church on the Issue of contraception? Never did I hear commentators speak about sterilization and abortive drugs.
2/11/2012 9:20:03 PM
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James Howard
Hi Fr. Barron,

I love your intelligent and thoughtful analysis. Now with the moral corruption of our culture affecting evil politicians such as Ted Kennedy (who should have been publicly excomunicated), Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelious it is imperative that these people be formally removed from our church by PUBLIC EXCOMMUNICATION. Just how bad do these politicians have to get before we eject them? Their public influence is bad enough but this amounts to tacit acceptance when the Bishops cowardly do not take action. I do not see what the problem is with expelling them from our church. They do not go to mass much anymore and they wrongly call themselves Catholic and they insult our faith and Our Lord and Our Blessed Mother. We must take action and set an example for our people and cleanse our church of this corruption, just like removing the bad priests. Father, would you please comment on this? May God bless our precious church and priests and you too father.
2/11/2012 9:50:41 PM
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Randy Engel
Dear Friends - Have you noticed that in the current intense “debate” over insurance and birth control, not a single bishop has suggested - not even a peep - that the government get itself out of the life prevention arena altogether? Do the bishops or the USCCB bureaucrats care that Catholic taxpayers for more than 44 years have been paying taxes to support anti-life government policies? Bishops have not minded that from day one. Have you heard one bishop say recently “Down with Title X population control programs at home (HHS/PHSA) and abroad (USAID)? Isn’t it time, the Catholic laity puts the bishops’ feet to the fire regarding the true crux of the matter – federal anti-natalist policies. Now is as good a time to force the American bishops to do what they should have done four decades ago, and millions of dead unborn children ago, but didn’t. Randy Engel, U.S. Coalition for Life
2/11/2012 9:51:11 PM
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peggy
SEPARATION OF CHURCH & STATE!!!
Why isn't everyone calling for this all the way up to the USCCB? Also, if the insurance companies are to give "free" contraception & other meds that religious institutions won't have in thier policies who will pay for it? It won't be "free". Someone has to pay for it. - The Government??? Who is the Government??? You & I are. That means we will have to pay with our tax $$$. I don't want my tax $$$ going for things that I feel are contributing to the fall of the morals in this country.
Thank you Fr. Barron for ALL you do.
2/11/2012 10:36:43 PM
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Jim
To Peggy:

If we applied the standard of not paying for things with our tax money for thing that offend our beliefs, we would never be able to get anything done.

Now the bishops have gotten what they want (Obama astutely did an end run on them, which I am sure that they did not like), so they can all cool off and concentrate on other things.
2/12/2012 9:42:36 AM
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Jim
Carla,

Many of us understangd, that the Bishops in theory have taken bold stands on immigration and a number of other issues. But what seems to get their ire up and the things that end up being pelvic politics. Too bad they don't become as shrill about other pressing issues.
2/12/2012 9:47:45 AM
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Carla
Jim-
That is like saying, "If I go to the store and fail (because it is against my religious beliefs) to buy condoms,that I can't get any shopping done. That is obsurd. We all have the ability to pick and choose products and services without offending and over-riding the faith-filled practices of ourselves and others. The mandate still steps on a majority of my beliefs and practices. I don't want to support, pay for, and have in the forefront of my daily discussions, something I'm taught is sinful, such as contraception and abortion.
2/12/2012 11:00:54 AM
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Jim
@ James Howard.

I am so very grateful that cooler heads than yours prevail in the Catholic Church. The Blessed John Paul II wasn't crazy about the United States's war in Iraq but did not excommunicate those Catholics who supported it.

The Church is still a human institution with all of its good, bad, and somewhere in the middle. Somebody posted here that it is too bad that many do not read what the National Council of Bishops have published on their social teachings. I have to admit that I had not done that before I spouted off. I derived a great deal of comfort when I read it. They are trying to do the right thing. I see that. I hope and pray that Obama will fix the mandate so that self-insurers like Catholic Charities which does great work will not be adversely affected.

But before you spout off about excommunicating a bunch of people, you should understand that there are those of us who were not raised Catholic who with a great deal of difficulty are trying to study and understand the teachings of the Church. I am seeking to become a confirmed member of the church. When I read your utter outrage at Pelosi, Kennedy (calling him "evil", God rest his soul), you evoked a lot of images of just the type of people and church I want to avoid.

Fortunately, I have met more reasonable people in my journey towards the Catholic faith and I will not impute your vitriolic rhetoric to the entire church.

Thank you Father Barron for providing a nice forum in which to voice our concerns. IMO you are doing more for the church by your calm, reasoned, analysis (though I may not agree with all of it) than those of us (I point fingers at myself here) who are drawn towards extremes.

Grace and peace to all of my brothers and sisters here on the site.
2/12/2012 12:06:20 PM
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R. Lombardo
Father Barron:
I love the Catholicism series and am a regular visitor here. One question: Why are the U.S. bishops, or the Church, surprised at this proposed rule under the ACA? This is what government does when it does everything for us. It assumes the central role and essentially has to break anything that stands between it and the individual, including the Church. The bishops are reaping the predictable results of what they have helped sow here in promoting the dominance of the state.
2/12/2012 1:09:35 PM
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helen
It's silly when the statement is made that most Catholics use contraception. It doesn't change the Church's views, or teachings one bit! It's like saying a parent teaches their child to not lie or steal, even though their child sometimes tells lies or steals. Therefore, lying and stealing are OK. It doesn't make it right. This argument that secularist's have is totally mute.
2/12/2012 2:01:00 PM
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Carla
Helen,
I agree that it is silly to say that most Catholics use contraception. These high-numbered statistics are falsely misleading, and I believe they are incorrect to justify governmental persuasion to enact the HSS mandate. When in Rome for a Womens Studies Conference (at the Regina Pontificate Apostloruum (sp?), we discussed the fact that ob/gyn patient consultations in the US are very persuading and different. They are in favor of contraceptive use for irregular menses, loss of menses, menstrual pain, acne and many other diagnoses. The majority of ob/gyns also teach in favor of the use of contraception, rather than having it as a non-pressured choice by the clinician. I've actually had to tell my doctors office Nurse Practitioner to please stop trying to convince/pressure me to use BC, and that I wasn't going to change my mind-she knew I was Catholic! For women that don't have assertiveness skills to defend their faith-filled practices, this pressure can be detrimental to following Catholic religious practices and beliefs to remain open to life. This is another area that is extrememly lacking in education, to enable us to follow our faith correctly. We are allowing HHS to dictate what we are taught about our bodies. The Catholic Church should be teaching girls why birth control use is wrong for all kinds of conditions, to counter-act this push of population control by the medical communities and the government.
2/12/2012 5:19:09 PM
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Richard Crocker
This problem is just one nail in a coffin which will bury a govt for the people and by the people ....

The american people sat by and let Bush nationalize the National Guards (state militias).

One of the original purposes of the state militias was to protect the public from an armed and totally corrupt federal govt providing them protection for the people of the individual states as well as a means to march to Washington if need be and overthrow the federal govt.

Article V was another means to protect the public from a corrupt and oppresive federal govt ...... if 2/3's of the states requested a Constitional Convention, Congress was to call for such meeting.
All 50 states have made numerous requests for a Constitutional Convention and Congress has ignored their requests ...... making them guilty of treason in my opinion.

See "Friends of Article V" on the internet.

Students graduate from the public school system now knowing nothing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights and that is the way the Federal Govt wants it.

The plan now is to teach history only from 1850 forward ..... thus avoiding the revolution and the Founding Fathers and "seedy" parts of our history such as the "Indian Wars", "Opium Wars" etc.

A republic requires an educated electorate ...... interested in the governing of its affairs and watchful of its honesty ....

Instead we have a public which has been schooled in being materialists and consumers.

The country has become what it has become because the public has become what it has become.

Ultimately, it is a willfully ignorant and apathetic public that is responsible for the sad state of affairs.

Foxes will be foxes but it is the farmer's (public's) responsibility to keep them out of the chicken house (govt).
2/12/2012 9:21:42 PM
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helen
Richard, I agree with you. Especially when you say the public has become "apathetic".
2/13/2012 2:29:45 AM
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Al
Father, this Steinberg guy is nothiing. You should have heard what the "alleged" Fordham Alumni had to say had to say on C-SPAN.
God help us.
2/13/2012 3:16:15 PM
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Carla
Today, 2/13/12, a writer for The Wahington Examiner stated that Obama's Chief of Staff, Jack Lew, stated that the contraception mandate will not be revised any further, despite opposition from church groups. According to the article, Jack Lew stated that the White House had done enough to "appease" religious critics. Here is the direct link:
http://campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/wh-hhs-mandate-shows-fight-catholic-church/372616

Consistent with his history, Obama has once again has flip-flopped. He continues to demonstrate himself untrustworthy. Obama should not continue to serve as a Public Servant.
2/13/2012 4:52:42 PM
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Ming
How does a government "force" a for-profit-industry to cover elective medical procedures? There is no free coverage in this type of shell-game economics. It may look like the services are "free" but in reality, any operating costs must be covered in some way. Like a waterbed, you press down one end of the bed the other end goes up. The basic premiums must go up to cover these free costs; it's a fact of life, there is no such thing as a free lunch. In the end, we are going to subsidize these elective procedures (pro-chpice agenda) whether we like it or not. This is an un-american as corporate taxation without moral representation.
2/14/2012 12:13:26 AM
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Sam
Fr. Barron's comments gives us both history and direction for this very important topic. I saw an interview on Fox news where the Catholic layman that was interviewed said, "Catholics are now entering a new era in civil disobedience." Now more that ever we must have our voice be heard.
2/14/2012 1:06:57 PM
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phil
As you argue woman don't have the right to have complete legal freedom to do whatever they want, then neither does the church under the cry separation of church and state. Obviously a church that wants polygamy, government steps in and has a say. (They did). A religion that wants to use mind altering drugs as part of worship, Government steps in, and has. Religions that have Arms stored for end times, Wacko Texas, or Jim Jones, Government steps in. In the same way when a church does not want to provide blood transfusion or medical treatment for their children, because God will save them, the government has to step in. When a church says it does not want to pay for the receipients to use birth control after having 10 children, or if the life of the mother physically or psychologically is endangered, then perhaps the government needs to step in. Thanks.
2/14/2012 4:56:58 PM
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helen
Phil, I have to say that your view is a bit distorted. No offence, but when the Government can have a say in how many children a family can have...I hear the ringing of a loud bell, It rings of Communist China.
Another thing, there is something called abstinence, or natural family planning. Guess what, it's free!
2/14/2012 5:55:30 PM
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Carla
Phil, All of your examples such as polygamy, mind altering drug use, posession of illegal firearms, and witholding reasonable and sound medical treatment are regulated and enforced to PROTECT individual members of society. The government has that responsibility. With regard to contraception being used for a "greater individual good" and something that the government should step in, regulate and pay for, is misguided thinking.
This action would not be to protect the society. A baby is not a threat to society or a mother. Even if the mom's life was at stake due to the pregnancy, The government should not be in the position of valuing one life over the other, such as a mother's life over her baby's. The government has never had the right to influence this decision. The government's role should be to protect and defend life at all stages, from conception to death, and not be in the position of getting to influence and decide who lives, who dies, and how the population is controlled. The government is trying to take these controls, through the purchase and dissemination of birth control pills and abortifacient products. This type of control doesn't "protect and defend the people." It infringes upon, and influences the people negatively, to make choices based upon government regulations and controls. If the government was not biased toward death, then they would be making the HHS mandate pay for any and all fertility treatments too, including IVF extremely expensive corrective surgeries and drugs to induce ovulation which lead to conception! We should value and protect our consciences and free will from governmental controls. Period.
2/14/2012 6:07:18 PM
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James
One of the most disheartening things to me is to see Catholic affiliated organizations, such as Catholic Healthcare Alliance, which I heard is run by a sister of the Church, having dissented from the Church. President Obama has no Catholic perspective on this, and she should. This is not a just a political issue for the Church, but also a theological issue. Instead of going against the Church she should be using her efforts for the Church, and maybe we would see less dissent from the theology of the Church as a whole from today's Catholics.
2/15/2012 6:43:01 PM
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marian paroo
Why is it whenever Catholic religious liberty is stepped on, the Church is accused of imposing her views on others? Won't this creepy double std ever die?
2/19/2012 4:37:37 PM
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James Howard
To marian: excellent comment. Yes, it is a creepy double standard. If we study and observe radical liberalism/secularism its god is the devil. It is a type of anti-christ. Our Lord and Our Lady will in the end be victorious. We must pray, fast, say the Rosary and make sacrifices and Our Lord will win.
2/19/2012 11:44:18 PM
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carla
A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said:

'Doctor, I have a serious p...roblem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even 1 year old and I'm pregnant again. I don't want kids so close together.'

So the doctor said: 'Ok and what do you want me to do?'

She said: 'I want you to end my pregnancy, and I'm counting on your help with this.'

The doctor thought for a little, and after some silence he said to the lady: 'I think I have a better solution for your problem. It's less dangerous for you too.'

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued: 'You see, in order for you not to have to take care of 2 babies at the same time, let's kill the one in your arms. This way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we're going to kill one of them, it doesn't matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.'

The lady was horrified and said: 'No doctor! How terrible! It's a crime to kill a child!'

'I agree', the doctor replied. 'But you seemed to be OK with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.'

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point.

He convinced the mom that there is no difference in killing a child that's already been born and one that's still in the womb. The crime is the same!
2/20/2012 8:13:17 AM
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carla
James, this is what I read, in the Cardinal Newman Society Ex Corde Ecclesia Publication, and quite different than what you are saying:

CEO of Alliance of Catholic Health Care Rails Against HHS Mandate
William J. Cox, president and CEO of the California-based Alliance of Catholic Health Care, told Congress this week that the new HHS mandate that requires contraceptive and sterilization insurance, intentionally defined its religious exemptions so narrowly as to intentionally counter Catholic institutions’ conscience protections, according to EWTN News.
2/20/2012 8:37:25 AM
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Honesty Jone
None of your arguments persuaded me. How strange that all the other comments were so one sided.
2/20/2012 3:35:34 PM
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helen
Honesty Jane, are you a Catholic? It's sometimes hard to understand the Teachings of the Church if you aren't catechized.
Sometimes, I think of it like this,"What would I want for my daughter?" I would prefer her to live the life a Catholic Woman, and not one where her sexuality is held cheaply.
2/20/2012 4:20:12 PM
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Berrigan
This was a very disappointing vlog, Father.

Most of your arguments can be reduced to "I'm obviously right." You dismiss a female opinion writer as a "petulant child." You conflate birth control with abortion--two very different matters. You talk about the necessity of rules and "legal restraints" to govern society. What "legal restraints" would you like there to be on sexual matters? I'm assuming you think birth control should be illegal. Do you?

As a Catholic who feels increasingly alienated from the Church as it pushes a transparently partisan agenda ("liberal totalinarianism"??), this post did little to alleviate my feelings. Catholics like myself are left wondering, if we feel differently than the Church hierarchy on certain moral issues are we obligated to leave the Church? Does the Church really want to evangelize? Or is it now looking to circle the wagons as it were and clean house of those who don't agree with the Church on every matter?
2/20/2012 5:34:08 PM
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Dan Rogers
Berrigan,

I disagree with your assessment of this video. Obviously, the nature of any debate or discussion revolves around two opposing sides, with each one holding what they believe to be "obviously right." If you've seen other videos posted by Fr. Barron, he states that making contraception illegal is certainly not part of his, nor the Church's thinking.

As to your question, "if we feel differently than the Church hierarchy on certain moral issues are we obligated to leave the Church?" I would say first that feelings are not, and have never been, the basis for moral instruction in the Church. Truth is truth, right is right, and wrong is wrong just because they are, not because you or I happen to feel a certain way.

I wasn't always on board with the Church's teachings, especially when it came to sexual matters, until I discovered the whys behind the whats of those teachings. Like Paul, the scales fell from my eyes and I started to see the beauty in those moral issues. Following the Church and staying close to the sacraments, particularly the Eucharist & Reconciliation, has made me a better husband, father, brother, son. This is not to say that I am perfect in every way, but the difference is that I no longer fight the Church, and can point to how her teachings have made a real and significant difference in my life.
4/12/2012 1:43:37 PM
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