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Sunday, March 16, 2014

NEWSFLASH! Jesus is Lord and God, Not the State

by Lawrence Fox

A Denver federal appeals court ruled July 14, 2015, against the Little Sisters of the Poor, demanding that they submit to Obamacare's birth control mandates. The sisters are praying about what they will do next.  

“Just sign this letter, and you will not be prosecuted,” the Obama Administration coaxed the Little Sisters of the Poor, urging them to allow third party insurance to provide contraception to their employees.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are tasked with a 21st Century decision: obedience to the Deposit of Faith or participation in the Culture of Death. They refused to sign.

Up until six years ago such a mandate imposed upon religious orders from the U.S. Government seemed vaguely possible, but not necessarily likely. With the two-term election of Barack Hussein Obama a cursed reality has blatantly “emerged out of the earth.” 
It seems that most Americans have not even noticed the bullying tactics of the Obama Administration, and perhaps a large part of American Catholics sympathize with the mandate.  This is probably due to collective amnesia. Disastrous Catholic education, catechesis, homiletics, and pastoral care in the past 50 years have caused Americans to completely lose any sense of Catholic identity or memory. The last 2,000 years of Catholic history no longer exists in their minds.

The Little Sisters of the Poor care for the aged poor and those unable to stay at home, and their Catholic apostolate is gravely endangered. The God we once worshipped has been shoved aside. Now Americans hunger for the state. 

The Worship of the State

Christianity’s missionary journey to the gentiles took place within an empire fashioned by the “Cult of Caesar.”  In most pagan cultures, the person who ruled was divinely ordained and protected by the gods of the land.

With the establishment of the Roman Caesar, this divine ideology reached its logical conclusion. Caesar was not simply ruling by divine authority but was “Dominus et Deus”, that is the “Lord and God.”  With the death of Julius Caesar at the hands of Brutus, his adopted son Augustus forced the Roman Senate to proclaim Julius to be divine. Augustus then was logically known and proclaimed to be the “son of god.” Under Augustus Caesar, there was a period of worldly peace. His decrees then became known as the “good news” to the citizens of Rome.
Coin with the Image of Julius Caesar,
who was divinized after his death
Images of Augustus Caesar and subsequent Caesars were erected within the Roman Empire. Loyalty to the Empire was demonstrated by offering incense and sacrifices before the image of Caesar. To do so was to preserve one’s virtue of citizenship, livelihood, and understanding of peace and justice within the Empire.  The state was understood to be the primary distributer of bread to the masses.
Within this context, Jesus of Nazareth made it clear to all those who wanted to follow him, “If you want to be my disciples, you must pick up your cross.”  The cross was the Roman’s perfected instrument of cruel death.  The in-scripted sign placed on the cross above the head of Jesus read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews.” The inscription was meant to mock the Sanhedrin (evil also turns on evil) and to remind everyone, there was only one recognized emperor in the Roman Empire. The state  alone was to be worshipped for the emperor was the state, and the emperor was the “son of god.”  The Romans with the encouragement of the Sanhedrin placed before Jesus’ apostles and disciples a stark choice. Either “Jesus is Lord and God,” or the state is lord and god.   
Peter’s faith in Jesus -- “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God” -- is the profession that would bring about his death sentence. Thomas’ profession, “My Lord and my God,” echoed throughout the Empire. Rome took notice time and again.
Paul addressed his letter to the Church in Rome, “When a person believes in his heart and proclaims with his lips that ‘Jesus is Lord,’ he shall be saved.” (Rom 10:9) Paul was not inviting the Church to recite “the sinner’s prayer.” He was encouraging them to embrace the death of Jesus Christ. Not only that, but he asked them to embrace the possibility of losing their virtue of worldly citizenship, losing their livelihood, and losing their worldly sense of peace and justice as promulgated by the state.  Paul was not beheaded for possessing a religious sentiment; instead he was beheaded for refusing to worship Caesar, for in fact  professing “Jesus is Lord and God.” Peter was crucified for steadfastly proclaiming Jesus to be “the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” There was no comparison in the minds of these apostles between Jesus and the Caesars, who were just dust and to dust they would return.

Image of the Beast (rational man living as an irrational creature or animal) and His Puppet

In the Rev. 13:11-18, the author describes the persecution of the Church by a puppet (a second beast like a lamb with two horns), which orders everyone to worship and offer incense to an image of the first beast. Those who do not are killed.
This language is literally contained in Pliny’s Letter to Emperor Trajan (113 AD). Pliny was a Roman governor of Bithynia. In his letter, Pliny describes for Trajan the conditions that existed in his territories. Christians were brought before him for trial and judgment. Pliny would ask the accused several times if they were Christians. If they responded, “Yes,” to each question, they were condemned to death.
In some cases, those accused denied they were Christians or said that they were at one time Christians and subsequently renounced their faith.  To prove their rejection, Pliny required them to offer incense and wine to the image of Emperor Trajan and then to curse Christ. Pliny really had no firsthand knowledge of what Christians believed only what they would not profess. 
“Those who renounced Jesus as Christ, declared to Pliny that the sum of their guilt or error was simply to meet on an appointed day before daybreak (an indirect reference to Sunday) and to recite a hymn antiphonally to Christ as to a god and then bind themselves by an oath (sacramentum), not for commission of any crime but to abstain from theft, robbery, adultery, breach of faith and to not deny a deposit when it was claimed,” the letter said.
In one case, Pliny was not certain of their account and like a good materialist and empiricist tortured two deaconesses, “but (he) found in their testimony nothing but depraved and extravagant superstition. And therefore he postponed his examination.
Their depraved testimony was only their baptismal profession of faith: “I believe in one God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth; in Jesus Christ, his only Son our Lord, who was conceived of the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, crucified under Pontius Pilate, suffered died and was buried; on the third day he rose from the dead; ascended into heaven and will come again to judge the living and the dead…”
Pliny notes in his letter to Trajan that with the persecution of the Christians the pagan temples were being visited again, the purchase of idols was increasing, and sacrifices once abandoned were now coming back into vogue.

The Voice of the Good Shepherd and the Voice of the Beast and His Puppet

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd...my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.”  (John 10:21)
I remember participating in a retreat, which purposely placed side by side the words of Jesus and the words of Satan as captured in Sacred Scripture. The intent was to contrast their manner of delivery, the content of their messages, and the logical conclusion of following the one voice versus the other.  The voice and message of Jesus Christ was a call to live in truth in order to experience freedom in which one’s intellect and will governed -- through grace -- sinful nature. The voice and message of Satan was to live a life of materialistic efficiency and expediency that flowed from a small compromise of conscience in which one’s intellect and will served sinful nature. Satan speaks through human agencies -- some very well intentioned.  The events surrounding the martyrdom of Polycarp, the Bishop of Smyrna, and the Obama Administration’s advice to the religious Little Sisters of the Poor offer almost identical satanic voices. 
A disciple of John the Evangelist, Polycarp headed the diocese of Smyrna, one of the 7 churches identified in the Book of Revelation. As such, he was hunted down by Roman soldiers and brought to Herod - the head of Roman security in the City - and Nicetas, his father. They coaxed Polycarp, “Come now, where is the harm in just saying, ‘Caesar is Lord’ and offering the incense and so forth when it will save your life?”  Polycarp responded, “No I am not going to take your advice.”
Obama Administration: “If you only sign the letter permitting a third party insurance company to provide contraception to your employees, you will be in compliance with the HHS Mandate, and you will not be prosecuted, fined, and eventually forced out of religious service.” The Little Sisters refused to take the advice of the Administration.
Martyrdom of St. Polycarp
Eventually, Polycarp was taken to the “Circus”-- the arena where the State staged cruel gladiator bouts to appease the masses. Polycarp was brought before the Governor who advised Polycarp, “Have some respect for your years…Swear an oath, ‘By the Luck (fortune) of Caesar’…Save yourself and say you are wrong and say, ‘Down with the infidels.’”   Polycarp responded to a different voice: “Polycarp be strong, be the man.” He refused the offers and resisted the threats of the governor. So he was burned at the stake and stabbed.
The Little Sisters of the Poor also face a similar trial in U.S. courts, where Obama’s cronies very well may decide their future.  

What is at Stake?

Kathleen Sebelius, excommunicated Catholic,
and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services
The Obama Administration (beast) and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (puppet) are advising the Little Sisters of the Poor to cooperate in their efforts to promote evil; to compromise the principles of moral good; and to participate in diminishing the dignity of human life. Consider the fact that one of the major benefactors of the HHS mandate is Planned Parenthood, which happens to be the leading provider of abortion the U.S. and an avid promoter of masturbation, promiscuity, pornography, and homosexuality.
Tragically, prior to 1930, almost all Christian denominations would have looked on in horror at the tableau of the U.S. government demanding a Christian organization pay for and subsidize contraception --  especially forms of abortifacients such as the morning after pill and IUDs as well as sterilization. But times have changed.  Elements of anti-Catholic prejudice both within and without the Catholic Church have increased significantly. We are living in what Blessed John Paul II identified as the “Culture of Death.”

“The fact that legislation in many countries, perhaps even departing from basic principles of their Constitutions, has determined not to punish these practices against life (abortion, contraception, euthanasia), and even to make them altogether legal, is both a disturbing symptom and a significant cause of grave moral decline,” he said in the Gospel of Life. In fact, the promotion of moral decline by so-called political and voting “Catholics” is most distressing.


The Little Sisters of the Poor is a religious order composed of women who have heard the voice of the Good Shepherd, saying to them, “Leave all that you have and come follow me.” (Matt. 19:21) They are women who have given up all things including father, mother, family, wealth and even the goodness of married love in order to embrace -- by God’s grace -- the beatitudes of Jesus Christ: Blessed are the pure of heart, blessed are the meek, blessed are those who mourn and blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness.
They are also being called to embrace the more challenging beatitude, “"Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matt. 5:11)
They suffer this while serving the least in the Kingdom of God. In their lives, they fulfill the words of Jesus Christ: “Whatever you do to the least of my brethren you did it for me. I was hungry and you fed me. I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you invited me in. I was sick and you looked after me.” (Matt 25:31) Theirs is a ministry that affirms the Gospels, the Glory of God, and the dignity of human life.

The Battle Ground

I was asked by a curious non-American, “What is the meaning of the good?” I explained in the simplest of terms that an action by its very nature which promotes, preserves, and protects the dignity of human life is good. Any action, which by its very nature prevents, diminishes, destroys and denies the dignity of human life as intrinsically good is evil.
The Catholic Church drawing from the Deposit of Faith has consistently maintained that the promotion of activities, which by their very nature are contrary to the dignity of human life, such as contraception, abortion, sodomy, and euthanasia, are intrinsically evil. “The acts of sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft, hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambitions, dissensions, schisms, and envy drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you as I did before that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”(Ephesians 5:19-21)
The term sin means to miss the mark. The causes of sin include ignorance, weakness of intellect and will, and moral indifference. The Catechism of the Catholic Church identifies sin as an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is a failure in genuine love of God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods.  Sin is a personal act, moreover we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them directly or voluntarily by ordering, advising, praising or approving of them, by protecting those who do evil, and by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so. This is what the Obama Administration is doing.
“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:12) When immoral people attain political power there is a one-to-one participation in evil. That is, earthly rulers participate in the evil of the demonic rulers, and human authorities participate in the evil of the demonic authorities.  And yet Paul writes where sin abounds, grace abounds all the more.
Jesus does not promise that sin will diminish; in fact it will continue to grow until the Second Coming. “But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?" (Luke 18:8) But Jesus does promise that he has overcome the world and that through grace, God’s adopted sons and daughter will overcome the evil one and remain steadfast in the truth and enduring in faith leading to life everlasting.
I say,  “Play the man, Little Sisters of the Poor. May more Catholics join you, and stay firm in their faith.”  

Did you enjoy this piece? Would you like to read Genderless Marriage Threatens the Foundation of Civilization by the same author? 

1 comment:

  1. This post is outstanding. I wonder if our protestant friends realize how much power was transfered to the State when the Catholic Church was shunt aside as the guardian of morals? Absolutism - whether kingly or presidential - is not Catholic, not Christian. We've seen this so many times through history. Obama, a petty neo-Caligulan tyrant is now a reality, and Americans are going to have to figure out how to get rid of him. I suggest he be immediately impeached. There certainly is a lot of evidence that he be charged with treason. As a friend of America, I wish you good luck and Godspeed in the removal of this man and his enablers. They are destroying your country.