The Catholic Defender: Food Prices Climbing

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 24th, 2014

Wide DroughtFox News is reporting that food prices are going up due to disease in the hog and cattle population and because of drought that has hit major areas in the United States.

According to Ernie Gross, an economic professor at Creighton University, “The drought will have a significant impact on prices, especially beef, pork and chicken.” (CNBC, Economy subdivision, Jan 11, 2013)

The hardest hit areas come from the Midwest affecting Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Colorado, and California. The drought is affecting the harvest of corn, soybeans, and wheat forcing the cost of feed for livestock to go up which then affects the cost of beef, chicken, and pork.

drought 2I’m sure than many of you who do the shopping have been watching this more intently as you manage your budget.

It is being estimated that the result of the droughts have cost more than $50 billion dollars in productivity which includes higher transportation costs.

Farmers are getting deeper into debt asking for loans to help off set their rising costs.

All this affects the consumers because of the rising costs. The results become obvious. Consumers limit their spending, the farmers turn back their planting and growing, food processors limit man hours, the impact on society becomes substantial as the drought continues to deepen into Middle America.

drought 3Nearly 40% of the nation’s corn crop goes to ethanol producers—and into the gas tanks of cars and trucks. This increases the strain on food supplies.

The United States is not the only major producer of agriculture to be affected by drought and flooding. Australia, Russia, and South Africa also have been hit hard causing millions upon millions of people who rely on good harvest for food to be concerned about prices.

The United Nations since 2012 have recognized the increasing threat of a world wide food crisis.  Are we really one major catastrophic event away from the envelop being pushed to biblical proportions? The Black Horse of the “Four Horsemen” found in Revelation 6:5 states, “When he broke open the third seal, I heard the third living creature cry out, ‘Come Forward.’ I looked, and there was a black horse, and its rider held a scale in his hand. I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the living creatures. It said, ‘A ration of wheat costs a day’s pay, and three rations of barley costs a day’s pay. But do not damage the olive oil or the wine.”

drought 4Matthew 24:8, Jesus says “All these are the beginning of the labor pains.” We have always had weather patterns that created terrible droughts in the past. What makes this interesting is the global implications and the apathy many have towards the horizon.

The Stockholm International Water Institute stated that, “Nine hundred million people already go hungry and 2 billion are malnourished” (“Food shortages could force world into vegetarianism, warn scientists,” The Guardian UK, August 26, 2012)

Is there a consequence of turning from God and accepting sin as a nation? Does the scriptures warn against sin? Because of disobedience, God warns that he would punish the nations with terrible woes. Leviticus 26:14-27 warns of war, drought, attack of wild beasts, disease, starvation. This warning should raise the hair on the back of your neck and bring you to repentance, true contrition for sin.

Ephesians 4:17-19 states, “So I declare and testify in the Lord that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; darkened in understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance, because of their hardness of heart, they have become callous and have handed themselves over to licentiousness for the practice of every kind of impurity to excess”.

drought 5Just look at the Democratic Party’s push for Gay Liberation. President Obama has been going around to other nations pushing the world to accept Gay Marriage.

We have not been listening to the warnings of God. President Obama is the most pro-abortion president ever and had worked to pursue as many unborn children possible.

Since 1973, in the United States alone, we have killed nearly 60,000,000 babies.

The Lord warns that he will lay our cities to waste, Detroit going into bankruptcy is nothing in comparison, but this is a road we do not want to go.

Can we turn this around? Are we at the end of time as some believe? Or can we turn back the hand of judgment of God? Is there hope? Our only hope is in Jesus who is at the ready. Our Mother Mary intercedes for us but are we listening?

isaiah-4031_5430_1024x768I can’t say that we are actually in the End Time ballgame, but I can offer this scripture as a hope: Isaiah 40:31 states, “They that hope in the Lord will renew their strength, they will sour as with eagles wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.”

If things continue to get worse, remember James 1:2-4, “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. And let perseverance be perfect, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

It might be wise if you were to store up food stuffs for terrible times. The Pharaoh of Egypt once had a dream of seven fat cows and then seven skinny cows. He was concerned about this and no one of his council could soothe his concern of the dream. Joseph, Son of Jacob, was able to tell the Pharaoh the meaning of the dream. The seven fat cows represented seven years of plenty, the seven skinny cows represented seven years of famine (Genesis 41:1-32).

Great-TribulationWith the current problems the world faces due to these terrible droughts and floods, it might not get better before it gets worse.

It would not hurt for us to be prudent and save some of our surplus to put back for any economic crisis.

God’s message through Joseph can apply here in that we can use good biblical sound reason to be smart in our day and time. Now is the time for us to prepare for a rainy day.

Some believe in a rapture in the end times taking the Church away from this tribulation, that is not really biblical or historical as a doctrine. So, the Church will endure the tribulation, but not without God’s grace.

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The Catholic Defender: Mountain Top Eperiences

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 23rd, 2014

moses 1Whenever I think of mountain top experiences, I can’t help but imagine Moses when he witnessed the burning bush.

Then to have God speak to him from the burning bush, that has to be one of the most colorful mountain top experiences imaginable.

Can you imagine God writing the Ten Commandments for you by his own finger?

Moses certainly had his mountain top experiences. But what about anyone else?

I was thinking of this and spiritually speaking, there are a million examples of mountain top experiences.

babyConsider when a child is born, the hope for a better world and the gift of another life in the image and likeness of God.

Consider sitting in your den and you are deep in meditation and a light bulb turns on. It could be something you had read or heard about 100 times before, but it took this one time for it to register.

A deeper understanding about the truths of our holy Catholic Faith. A mountain top experience can occur during a pilgrimage where people are searching for answers and finding them.

Discovering God’s love for you can be a great mountain top experience.

Some people recieve them going on great pilgrimages, others have received them at their kitchen table.

pilgrimsIn reality, you do not have to go a half a world away to discover God, but it is great when you have the chance to go on a pilgrimage. To be able to go to the Holy Land and see the places that Jesus worked his miracles.

The stories of the bible seem to just come alive.

I have had my fair share of these experiences, mountain top experiences can be simply amazing when you open yourself and surrender yourself to the soverignty of God.

People use to ask me how I could always appear happy despite very stressful circumstances. I could be participating in a 72 hour field training excercise and be up and running the whole event and still be smiling with a song in my heart.

IMG_1385During these times, the opportunity to witness for the faith was almost constant.

Someone might want to challenge me or someone might ask me a question about the Faith. I was involved in many discussions.

I don’t think that mountain top experiences should be the reason why we beat our drum on the mountain top as we use to sing from an old Army cadence, but these experiences can enhance our relationship with God.

A true mountain top experience is knowing when you are in fact standing on holy ground.

ark_tabernacleIn every Catholic Church in the world where the tabernacle hosts the Eucharist, this is holy ground. This should be a living mountain top experience.

Looking at the mountain top experiences there can be much joy as people place them deeply in their hearts.

Still, these mountain top experiences must be guided by the intellect and placed within the bossom of the will. We have free will to follow God and our will is front and center on this issue.

1 John 4:1 makes a very sobering point, just because we have received a mountain top experience, we still must test the spirit of it to see if it is from God, or someone or something else.

wellI have always recognized there are people who go by emotion rather than reason. There is nothing wrong with emotions, God gave this to us for a reason, I love the story of the Woman at the well. Jesus offers us all the water that will never run dry and lives are totally changed.

We are essentially saying, “My mind thinks the truth, my mouth speaks the truth, and my heart loves the truth”.

Today, there are about 170 new denominations being established every year because someone has received a new revelation.

There are 42,000 different Protestant denominations or variations around the world all based from new revelations taken as mountain top experiences.

knowingthebibleisonethingI see the Catholic Faith, the Ten Commandments as like a guard rail going down some stairs, it is not restrictive, but in reality, quite liberating.

Jesus invites us to take our boats out into the deep waters where we can cast our nets in search for and discover the deepertruth of our holy Catholic Faith.

I know people who, like Indiana Jones go in search for the great mountain top experiences looking for God under every rock they can find.

There is only one Rock that Jesus established and that is his Church built upon the foundation of Peter.

This is the foundation that gives us security in knowing that no weapon formed against it shall stand, that the power of death will not and cannot overcome it.

Do you want a real mountain top experience? You can start at your local Catholic Church to find the answers.

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*Best of DTB #294* The Catholic Defender: Jesus Transfigures Our Hearts

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 17th, 2014

CD @(Editors note) Recently the Catholic Church remembers the Transfiguration. The story of Jesus transfiguring before Peter, James, and John is recorded in Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

St. John does not mention the Transfiguration of Jesus even though he was one of the three Apostles who witness the event.

The Transfiguring of Jesus reminds me of Moses who had a similar experience.

Moses asked our Lord, “Do let me see your glory” (Exodus 33:18).

Consider that Moses makes this request after speaking to the Lord “face to face, as one man speaks to another (Exodus 33:11) yet Exodus 33:20 the Lord says, “But my face you cannot see, for no man sees me and still lives”, Moses was able to see the Lord’s presence, but not his face.

t 1Being in the presence of the Lord, Exodus 35:29-30 states, “As Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the two tablets of the commandments in his hands, he did not know that the skin of his face had become radiant while he conversed with the Lord. When Aaron, them and the other Israelites saw Moses and noticed how radiant the skin of his face had become, they were afraid to come near him”.

This scene is very similar to the event the Apostles witnessed at Christs Transfiguration. This sign is not by accident, Deuteronomy 18:15 states, “A prophet like me will the Lord, your God, raise up for you from among your own kinsmen; to him you shall listen”.

It is also not an accident that Moses along with Elijah both appeared with Jesus. Moses is about to witness the glory he had asked God in Exodus 33:18.

It is a revelation that the whole world will see at the appointed time. With Moses and Elijah appearing with Jesus, where did they come from and where did they go after this vision?t 2Were they with Samuel and the rest of humanity that were not damned (1 Samuel 28:13-14)?

Were they waiting in this “prison” St. Peter refers to (1 Peter 3:19)?

Were they among the “many Saints who had fallen asleep” (Matthew 27:52-53) who were raised at Christs resurrection?

This is very interesting to me as this reveals something of the teaching on Purgatory and the saved.

It is important to see the connection between Moses and Jesus.

They both radiated brightly after being in the presence of God. Jesus reveals his own divinity:

t 3“After six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John and led them up a high mountain apart by themselves. And he transfigured before them, and his clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. The Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus. Then Peter said to Jesus in reply, Rabbi, it is good that we are here! Let us make three tents: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah. He hardly knew what to say, they were so terrified. Then a cloud came, casting a shadow over them; then from the cloud came a voice, This is my beloved Son. Listen to him. Suddenly, looking around, they no longer saw anyone but Jesus alone with them. As they were coming down from the mountain, he charged them not to relate what they had seen to anyone, except when the Son of Man had risen from the dead. So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what rising from the dead meant” (Mark 9:2-10).

Matthew in his Gospel adds that Jesus “came and touched them, saying, Rise, and do not be afraid”.

This scripture place the transfiguration of Jesus six days after the first prediction of his passion and death and his instruction to his disciples on the doctrine of the cross.

Jesus reveals insight into the divine glory that he possessed. His glory will overcome his death.

t 4The cloud and the heavenly voice prepares the disciples to understand the divine plan that Jesus must die before his messianic glory is made manifest. Moses and Elijah represent the law and the prophets in the Old Testament and are linked to Mt. Sinai.

They now appear with Jesus as witnesses to the fulfillment of the law and the prophets taking place in the person of Jesus. The shadow covering them reminds us of the Old Testament indicating the Lord’s presence in the midst of his people (Exodus 40:34-35).

A comparison between Jesus and Elijah is that both were taken into heaven in a cloud. Elijah in a fiery Chariot in a whirlwind!

cross-water-bloodThe Apostles were not to reveal what they witnessed until after the resurrection. The Catholic Church recalls this revelation of the Lord so we can spiritually follow this glory of the Lord, just like Moses. Jesus shows us the true path!

The road leads to Jerusalem. It leads to Calvary, a place called Golgotha, the place of the skull.

The human race is intently watching the events unfolding.

Everyone plays an important part in what occurred on this hill outside Jerusalem.

It was for us all that Jesus made this journey. By his stripes we are healed.

t 6It was for us all that Jesus made this journey. The true Lamb of God! “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches, wisdom and strength, honor and glory and blessing. To the one who sits on the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor, glory and might, forever and ever. Salvation comes from our God, who is seated on the throne and from the Lamb. For the Lamb who is the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life giving water” (Rev 5:12-13, Rev 7:10-17).

Jesus States, “For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice” (John 18:3).

During this season of Lent, we should hunger for his voice. We should want to rid ourselves of the vices that separate us from that close personal relationship with Christ.

t 7Like Moses, we should want to see his glory.

Jesus speaks of another group of people warning, “Not everyone who says to me Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in Heaven. Many will say to me on that day, Lord, Lord did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not do mighty deeds in your name? Then I will declare to them solemnly, I never knew you. Depart from me, you evildoers” (Matthew 7:21-23).

Let the truth lead us to do these good works and take advantage of this lent to live free of sinful lives.

What Moses and Elijah was given a glimpse of, we have the blessing to see at every Mass. We receive the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus, and participate in the glory of Christ.

St. Clare 2A Eucharistic Miracle occurred through St. Clare of Assisi. She was a friend of St. Frances! St.Clare took advantage of Lent her whole life giving herself totally to God as St. Francis had done. On one occasion when the army of Frederick II was devastating the Valley of Spoleto, some of the Soldiers threatened to sack Assisi.

The Towns people surrounding the convent where St.Clare lived were fleeing the countryside fearing the worst for their lives. As the Soldiers came upon the walls of the city, they placed ladders against the walls.

St. Clare prostrated herself before Jesus in the Eucharist. Her prayer was heard as she took the monstrance with the Blessed Sacrament and went to the wall before the enemy.

t 8As the Soldiers were climbing up the ladders with crowbars, axes, bow, and spears, the town appeared lost. Then Jesus in the Host illuminated brightly before the Soldiers. The Host became dazzling white blinding the attackers.

Due to a sudden panic, the Soldiers subsequently fled in terror. This lent let Jesus transfigure our hearts so that our hearts will beat a little faster when we receive our Lord in the Eucharist.

If you do, then surely when you stand before Jesus on “that day”, He will say, “Well done good and faithful servant, you listened to my voice”!

Father’s you all need to hear this!

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*Best of DTB #292* The Catholic Defender: The Blood Of Christ

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 10th, 2014

frontline 26This morning was a usual Sunday morning as I went about the morning getting ready for Mass.

When I arrived at Mass I was quickly seized upon to help out administering Communion.

I have always viewed this apostolate with much reverence, coming from the Lord to help serve Him through the priest.

In the Army I would serve in this capacity taking the Eucharist with me to field operations in the absence of a Catholic priest.

Today, after Communion, I sat down to pray my prayer I offer after Communion, “May the most holy, most sacred, most adorable, most mysterious and unutterable Name of God be always praised, blessed, loved, adored and glorified in heaven on earth and under the earth, by all the creatures of God, and by the Sacred Heart of our Lord Jesus Christ in the most Holy Sacrament of the altar.”

heart!Of this prayer, Jesus Himself said, “This Golden Arrow will wound My Heart delightfully”, I began praying this prayer after Communion since the early 1980′s and would teach my Children when they went to Communion.

I felt it was a way to console Our Lord as a result of His Passion when he found none of his followers supporting Him. They all scattered.

Something we see today as spiritually people are turning away from Him. By offering this prayer to Jesus, He makes the promise that this would “heal the wounds inflicted by blasphemy.”

My task today was to offer the Lord’s precious Blood and this is always a great blessing. The Cup of Salvation being offered to the faithful and the grace I was given to participate for the Lord this great mission. When I returned back to my seat, I thought deeply about the Blood of Christ and his Passion.

cross-water-bloodWhile on the Cross, a Roman Centurion, Longinus, pierced the heart of Christ with a lance, “But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs, but one soldier (St. Longinus) thrust his lance into his side, and immediately blood and water flowed out. An eyewitness has testified, and his testimony is true; he knows that he is speaking the truth, so that you also may come to believe.” (John 19:33-35)

St. Longinus was reported to have had poor eye sight before the crucifixion scene. Once the lance penetrated the heart of Jesus and water and blood flowed out from Him, St. Longinus confessed, “Truly, this was the Son of God”! I was meditating on this after Communion and how I just received this same Blood of Christ. We are truly cleansed by the Blood of the Lamb, Revelation 12:11 states, “They conquered him (Satan) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.”

After Mass I went to a local restaurant and sat down near a family and what a blessing this turned out to be. The family have fallen away from the Catholic Faith and I was able to speak to them about that. I centered on the importance of the Eucharist and the Covenant. That lead to a great discussion and my prayer is that they will return to the Faith and like St. Longinus, say, “Truly, Jesus is the Son of God”!

LangianoSt. Longinus would settle in central Italy in a town named after him, Lanciano Italy. In the year 750 A.D., a famous Eucharistic Miracle took place in Lanciano Italy. 

I find it extremely interesting that such a miracle would take place named after St. Longinus. 

The Man who lanced the Heart of Christ. With scientific investigation of the miracle in 1970-71 and again in 1981, the miracle was found to be cardiac heart tissue.

Later this afternoon, along with Deepertruth member, Fred Williams, went to Round Rock near Austin for the Rite of Election for our Candidates being baptized this coming Easter Vigil. 

I had the opportunity to speak with Bishop Joe S. Vásquez before the service.  That was a great treat for me. How special this rite is for those who will receive the Eucharist this Easter Vigil! The day ended with our “Journey with Mary” radio broadcast with John Carpenter from Springfield Missouri. That was a great show about Marian Apparitions which gives us a great Evangelistic teaching.

Going back to the beginning of the day, the Blood of Christ continues to save souls!

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*Best of DTB #291* 7 Quick Takes: We’re Number One!

Posted by Christie Martin - March 8th, 2014


Have you heard the good news? Deeper Truth was Number 1 in Religion at Blogtalk Radio in 2013. The numbers put us at the top of our category. Let’s celebrate by producing even more quality shows!


This week’s Garden of Holiness podcast is up over at Blogtalk Radio. The topic was the relationship between prayer, fasting, and mercy.

Online Religion Radio at Blog Talk Radio with Deeper Truth on BlogTalkRadio


Next week’s Garden of Holiness podcast will again be about fasting and the lead up to Lent. After having heard a lot of negative reactions to the fact that we Martins were having a Mardi Gras Party to celebrate the upcoming season, I thought I’d bring on an expert on the Catholic season of Mardi Gras to explain what it really is all about. Tune in to hear from Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie, a  true blue New Orleans Catholic!


The Holy Spirit has gifts to give. Do you know what yours is? Find out here by listening to last week’s Garden of Holiness podcast.

Listen To Religion Internet Radio Stations with Deeper Truth on BlogTalkRadio


In two weeks, the podcast will be about Sex Trafficking. It may seem an odd topic for Lent, but it is essential that all Americans understand the dangers to our children of all races and socioeconomic classes. Tune in to find out how the game has changed.


Deeper Truth interviewed Jennifer Fulwiler from Conversion Diary! Listen in to hear her conversion from atheism to Catholicism.

Check Out Religion Podcasts at Blog Talk Radio with Deeper Truth on BlogTalkRadio


Garden of Holiness is temporarily off line.

Jeff Young, The Catholic Foodie, and I are in the process of moving The Garden of Holiness blog from Blogger to WordPress. We’ve been doing this for about a year now. I’ve just been poking along on the process until a hacker struck two weeks ago and shut down the blog. I’ll post here when it is up and running again!


The Catholic Defender: The Texas Challenge

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 7th, 2014

obamacarehikes.018This past Tuesday Texas voted on a number of issues and the results might surprise you. I was one of many who voted and so I find the results very hopeful. With about 50% of the results turned in, the following are the results thus far:

Obamacare (the Patient Unaffordable Care Act) didn’t do so well in Texas. 93% of the voters rejected Obamacare and strongly believe Obamacare should be repealed.

For repeal 955,022 93%
Against 70,232 7%

Voters also voted considered taxpayer-funding public assistance should be tested randomly for drugs as a condition of receiving benefits.

who-to-trustFor Welfare Drug Tests 975,981 95%
Against 49,187 5%

Voters were clear about the U.S. Congress and their staff should be subject to the same laws, rules, regulation, and ordinances as their constituents.

For 1,021,871 99%
Against 6,543 1%

What does Texas think about the Second Amendment rights and should licensed owners be able to carry legal guns.

For 883,269 87%
Against 130,757 13%

ReligiousLiberty-RotatorWhat did the voters say about their First Amendment right to exercise prayer in public places, religious liberty.

For 996,725 97%
Against 27,084 3%

What did Texas voters say about abolishing the state franchise tax (the margins tax) to encourage business growth.

For 876,563 89%
Against 113,335 11%

Talk about a total route, this was a massacre and my challenge to the other 49 States to do the same! You want to upset a liberal? Vote conservative! Every Candidate that Senator Ted Cruz supported won big! This is great news!

novemberThis November is an opportunity to turn our Country back around. Do you want to upset President Obama? Give him a Republican Senate and maintain the House of Representatives. Lets put out to pasture Prince Harry Reid and the Senate Majority Leader!

I hope and pray that this vote in Texas will be seen throughout the Country. The Liberals have pushed their agenda in society and it does not work. Prayer is important to the vast majority of Americans, we need to ween out the liberal Court Justices that legislate from the bench. My challenge is to all you who loves this Country and stand up for freedom, for liberty as embodied in the United States Constitution.

We need to restore what a true family looks like and strengthen the oldest institution.

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The Catholic Defender: America Choose Life

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 6th, 2014

peter 1Moses said to the people:“Today I have set before you
life and prosperity, death and doom.

If you obey the commandments of the LORD, your God,
which I enjoin on you today,
loving him, and walking in his ways,
and keeping his commandments, statutes and decrees,

you will live and grow numerous,
and the LORD, your God,
will bless you in the land you are entering to occupy.

If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen,
but are led astray and adore and serve other gods,
I tell you now that you will certainly perish;

you will not have a long life
on the land that you are crossing the Jordan to enter and occupy.

TakeAction-PledgeXLI call heaven and earth today to witness against you:

I have set before you life and death,
the blessing and the curse.

Choose life, then,
that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God,
heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.

For that will mean life for you,
a long life for you to live on the land that the LORD swore
he would give to your fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”

The People of Israel were given a choice between God’s blessing or His curse. By keeping God’s Commandments, we are choosing His blessing upon our nation. By turning away from God we are choosing the curse. How we forget the destruction of Jerusalem and the breaking of the Lord’s Covenant in the Old Testament. Today, we are under a new Covenant, but the warning for America is the same as that given to the ancient Israelites.

calfBy accepting false gods in the land of the free and the brave, we are perverting the meaning of freedom and liberty. We are exposing ourselves to the curse that was levied upon the Jews.

The Founding Fathers who wrote the Constitution never had intended for such a display of current American ideals we see today. Consider what the First Amendment of the Founding Fathers, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

thomas-jefferson-president-tyrannyPresident Jefferson spoke to the nation concerning the prospect of a National Religion:

“Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between man & his god, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, thus building a wall of separation between church and state. [Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorized only to execute their acts, I have refrained from presenting even occasional performances of devotion presented indeed legally where an Executive is the legal head of a national church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.] Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.”

When Thomas Jefferson was writing to the Danbury Baptist Association of Connecticut, he was not denying Christ or Christianity, he was giving every person the right to worship God without the intrusion of a “Federal” Church. That Americans would have the right to worship God with religious freedom and conviction.

statue-of-liberty-2There were differences that were heart felt, many within the new Republic wanted to ensure that the Unites States would be a Protestant Nation. However, Catholics immigrated into the United States by the millions in the early 1800′s. The Catholic Church still to this day reigns as the largest denomination in America.

With this being said, what President Jefferson was speaking to is that all Americans would have the freedom to worship God as he understand his faith. This however would not be a license to worship the Devil or false gods. That was never the intend of the Founding Fathers.

Judicial activism has brought America down to her knees when in 1947, Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, commenting for the majority in Everson v. Board of Education, said:

“The ‘establishment of religion’ clause of the First Amendment means at least this: Neither a state nor the Federal Government can set up a church. Neither can pass laws which aid one religion, aid all religions, or prefer one religion over another. Neither can force nor influence a person to go to or to remain away from church against his will or force him to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion. No person can be punished for entertaining or professing religious beliefs or disbeliefs, for church attendance or non-attendance. No tax in any amount, large or small, can be levied to support any religious activities or institutions, whatever they may be called, or whatever form they may adopt to teach or practice religion. Neither a state nor the Federal Government can, openly or secretly, participate in the affairs of any religious organizations or groups and vice versa. In the words of Jefferson, the clause against establishment of religion by law was intended to erect ‘a wall of separation between church and State.’”

wallofseparation_smallCompare President Jefferson with Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black’s version of the wall of separation: It is easy to see from Justice Black’s comments the wall has been moved center left to support the federal and state governments. This would be very important in future Supreme Court decisions as the battle over religious freedom and liberty intensifies.

The door is opening up for the Progressive agenda, consider in 1998, then Arizona Governor Jane Hull issued a proclamation declaring a “Bible Week” that the vast majority in Arizona supports. Yet, the American Civil Liberty’s Union sued on the basis of “separation of church and state” (ACLU). We have seen the ACLU jump around all over the United States challenging every opportunity any tradition they could find to suppress the freedom of Religion. From a High School football Coach in Ohio, a School Superintendent in Southern Missouri, to a Judge from Alabama.

Interestingly when Governor Hull in 2000 offered another proclamation recognizing the birth of Buddha, The ACLU took no action, a spokesperson said of the celebration, “Although we may think proclamations are inappropriate, they may not violate the Constitution.” What is becoming more obvious is the restrictions being imposed on Christian Institutions and the gaining acceptance of non-Christian religions.

islamThe bible has been taken out of public schools while the five pillars of Islam are being taught. President Obama, June 28, 2006 (prepared remarks): “Given the increasing diversity of America’s population, the dangers of sectarianism have never been greater. Whatever we once were, we are no longer just a Christian nation; we are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

Obama, June 28, 2006 (as delivered): “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation – at least, not just. We are also a Jewish nation, a Muslim nation, a Buddhist nation, and a Hindu nation, and a nation of nonbelievers.”

We have seen the increasing hostility towards the Catholic Faith specifically and Christianity as a whole generally by the Obama Administration from Artificial Birth Control, Abortion, and the acceptance of Sodomy.

bible 1This generation in American culture, we have seen politics being used to attack Christianity while we see the acceptance and growth of non-Christian religions. We are seeing right before our eyes the warning God gave to the Israelites, “If, however, you turn away your hearts and will not listen, but are led astray and adore and serve other gods, I tell you now that you will certainly perish; you will not have a long life”

With the Secular Humanism being implemented by the Progressives in our Government, our Judicial System, our Higher Places of Learning, we are seeing the dumbing down of America. We are seeing the attack on the family, the attack on morality, the rise of sexually transmitted disease, America becoming segregated and divided like never before. The attack of Religious Freedom even to the recognition to foreign kings that “Whatever we once were, we are no longer a Christian nation”.

Moses-and-PharaohThe Lord has set before us this day reminding us, “I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse.  Choose life, then, that you and your descendants may live, by loving the LORD, your God, heeding his voice, and holding fast to him.

We find true orthodoxy (right praise) in the Church that Jesus founded. The Catholic Church has transcended time and space, nations have come and gone yet the Church remains. America’s strength depends on her respect and defense for those beliefs.

What a great and wonderful opportunity for Americans to renew their pledge to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords by choosing life! May this Lent help us prepare for the upcoming Easter Resurrection!

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* Best of DTB #290* The Catholic Defender: Word From Father Downey

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 5th, 2014

CD !!!!I grew up always remembering the ashes received on Ash Wednesday and how this identified me with my Catholic Faith.

In College this was like a badge of honor to walk around with ashes on the forehead. I have certainly grown a lot since my senior year in college.

I have always tried to offer up more time dedicated to prayer for Lent.

I know that people like to give up things from chocolate to Facebook and offer it up to God a spiritual gift to the Lord. If this offering is coming from the heart, it’s all good.

The following is an article by Father Chris Downey, our Parish Priest at Copperas Cove Texas Holy Family Catholic Church.

He is also one of our Deepertruth Chaplains and since he is posting an article for Ash Wednesday, I’m going to re post his it here on Deepertruth.

Father DAsh Wednesday is a great time to share your Catholic faith with others. Below are five simple suggestions on how to do just that.

6 Simple Ways to Share Your Catholic Faith on Ash Wednesday

Explain why you have ashes on your forehead. It is inevitable that if you get your ashes early enough in the day, you will run into someone who tells you that there is something (“dirt”, “smudge”, “stuff”, etc.) on your forehead. Remember, they are being polite in telling you this. So, return the favor by explaining what the ashes are for (a Biblical sign of repentance) and share your faith by explaining Lent and Ash Wednesday to them. As long as we don’t flaunt our faith for a show, it isn’t against the biblical directive of doing pious acts of faith for others to see.

Invite someone to Mass with you. Anyone is welcome to receive ashes on Ash Wednesday in a Catholic Church. They need not even be Christian to receive them. This isn’t the case for Communion though, so it is a good time to explain our liturgy, belief in the Eucharist, basis for Sacraments, etc. to them. If you don’t know a good way to explain why a non-Catholic cannot receive the Eucharist, then this explanation should help.

word Discuss lent with your social media network. Most of us are connected to others through social media. With these connections come the availability and opportunity to help them come closer to Christ and His Church. So, start a discussion about what lent is for, what it means, or what you are doing for lent. Keep it positive and encourage all to participate in lent.

Fast and Pray for others. The heart of evangelization is found in our prayer. We cannot help others if the source of our spiritual life is not deeply rooted in Christ through prayer. Since lent is a time of “increased prayer, fasting, and alms-giving”, we should use this increase in our prayer and fasting for others.

Witness to another person about your faith, if the opportunity arises. There can be multiple opportunities to talk about your faith with someone throughout Lent. If a chance arises, take advantage of it. The point isn’t to convince, preach, or change someone’s mind. The point is to share an important part of your life with another person. We talk about sports, weather, and other unimportant things freely, why not discuss something of real value, your faith?

Camera Invest yourself in a relationship with a new friend. To make any relationship work you have to invest time and effort into it. You must open yourself up to the other person and truly love them. True love would always want what is best for the other person. What could be better than helping them know Christ and the Catholic faith better? Ultimately all effective evangelization comes down to good relationships. So, spend your time investing in others!

Related Links:
**Evangelization is Hard and Scary
**Intro to Evangelization
**Do’s and Don’ts of Evangelization and Apologetics
**10 Reasons To Come Back to the Catholic Church

We here at Deepertruth want to encourage everyone out there to take advantage to grow in your faith this Lent. To let God and let go of the things that are not necessary, that drags us down in our walk. Make a good Confession, to make the Mass more of a center of your life.

From the United States Conference Of Catholic Bishops: Prayer is one of the three pillars of Lenten practice. Through prayer, we raise our hearts and minds to God in thanksgiving and praise. Prayer is our “vital and personal relationship with the true and living God.” During Lent, we place special emphasis on prayer and contemplation on the Passion and Death of our Lord through expressions of popular piety such as the Via Crucis (Stations of the Cross) and veneration of the Crucified Christ. Find a variety of resources here for Lenten prayer and contemplation.

prayer 1Dear Lord, we are now in the holy season of Lent.

We begin to realize anew that these are the days of salvation, these are the acceptable days. We know that we are all sinners. We know that in many things we have all offended Your infinite majesty.

We know that sin destroys Your life in us as a drought withers the leaves and chokes the life from the land, leaving an arid, dusty desert.

Help us now, Lord, in our feeble attempts to make up for past sin. Bless our efforts with the rich blessing of Your grace. Make us realize ever more ourneedofpenance and of mortification. Help us to see, in our ordinary difficulties and duties, in the trials and temptations of every day, the best opportunity of making up for past infidelities.

Every day we are so often reminded in field and wood, in sky and stream, of Your own boundless generosity to us. Help us to realize that You are never outdone in generosity, and that the least thing we do for You will be rewarded, full measure, pressed down, shaken together, and flowing over.

Then we shall see, in our own souls, how the desert can blossom, and the dry and wasted land can bring forth the rich, useful fruit that was expected of it from the beginning. Amen.

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The Catholic Defender: Hypocrisy In New Mexico

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 4th, 2014

gay marriage licenses okedRemember when a District Court Judge (Alan M. Malott) from New Mexico, ordered a Christian photographer (Elaine and Jon Huguenin of Elane Photography) to pay $6,600 for refusing to take pictures of a Sodomite (Gay) Marriage ceremony?

Well, it would seem that Antonio Darden, a Gay Activist who is a specialized hair stylist, refuses to offer further services to the New Mexico Governor?

Gov. Susana Martinez opposes same sex “marriage” which offends “Mr.” Darden!

Where is our good Judge?

Gov MartinezAccording to Rheana Murry of the New York Daily News, “The governor’s aides called not too long ago, wanting another appointment to come in,” he told KOB-TV. “Because of her stances and her views on this, I told her aides no. They called the next day, asking if I’d changed my mind about taking the governor in and I said no.”

Governor Martinez has stood on the traditional view of marriage being between a man and a woman.

Isaiah 5:20 warns, “Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil, who change darkness into light, and light into darkness, who change bitter into sweet, and sweet into bitter”.  Like Judge Malott, we are living in a time of darkness when judicial tyranny is legislating from the bench.

herosThis hypocrisy is being ignored largely by the left-wing media who for years have been pushing for the “Gay-Agenda” which tramples the rights of religious belief. The Huguenin’s were simply following their deeply held beliefs that Sodomy is a serious sin.

From the Website, “Alliance Defending Freedom”, the article, “The Cost of being Christian”, Elaine Huguenin warns, “If it becomes something where Christians are made to do these things by law in one state, or two, it’s going to sweep across the whole United States…and religious freedom could become extinct.”

holderCurrently, the Supreme Court is being asked to review this case, as well as several other cases waiting for a ruling that concerns religious liberty rights and the Gay Agenda. With the Obama Administration and Eric Holder pushing for active Sodomy rights, Religious freedom is clearly at risk.

Just a thought to pause and consider from the Centers of Disease control:

“The CDC notes that while homosexual men make up only a very small percentage of the male population (4%), MSM account for over three-quarters of all new HIV infections, and nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of all new infections in 2010 (29,800).”

“Men who have sex with men remain the group most heavily affected by HIV in the United States,” the fact sheet states.

Gay-MarriageUS News reports “that if HIV infections among men who have sex with men (MSM) continue to rise at the current rates, more than half of college-aged homosexual men will have HIV by the age of 50.”

“When broken down by age group, the CDC reported that new infections among the youngest MSM, aged 13-24, increased from 7,200 infections in 2008 to 8,800 in 2010, which translates into a 22 percent increase in that time span.”

“Young black MSM continue to have the highest infection rate, according to the CDC, accounting for more than half (55 percent) of new infections among young MSM.”

“CDC’s new estimates show that African Americans, more than any other racial/ethnic group, continue to bear the greatest burden of HIV in the United States,” the report states. “While blacks represent approximately 14 percent of the total U.S. population, they accounted for almost half (44 percent) of all new HIV infections in 2010 (20,900). HIV incidence among blacks was almost eight times higher than that of whites – 68.9 v. 8.7 per 100,000 of the population.”

Lady-Liberty-WeepingLadies and Gentlemen, Romans 1:26 states, “Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions.” Again, Romans 1:28 states, “And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God handed them over to their undiscerning mind to do what is improper.”

This somehow seems to be overlooked and ignored by the powers that be today.

It is easy to put all the blame on the Obama Administration who certainly are guilty, we can cast blame also on the media, the judicial branch, our higher places of learning, but in truth, we put them in power. We really do not seem to learn from history.

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The Catholic Defender: The Sign Revisited

Posted by Donald Hartley - March 2nd, 2014

sign 1“Jesus answered them and said, ‘Amen. amen, I say to you, you are looking for me not because you saw SIGNS but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.” So they said to him, ‘What can we do to accomplish the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.” So they said to him, ‘WHAT SIGN CAN YOU DO, THAT WE MAY SEE AND BELIEVE IN YOU?”

It is interesting that the crowd was asking for a sign that they might believe in Jesus and follow him. At this point they were ready to make Jesus King. Jesus is King, but not over the temporal realm of Israel, but over the hearts and minds of those seeking the fullness of truth. At the elevation of the Eucharist in Mass, I exclaim in exultation in my heart and soul, “The Sign, the sign, my Lord and my God”! I love the prayer we say, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.” The Jews continued:

sign 4“What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the TRUE BREAD from heaven.” For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

The bread that God gave the people in the desert was temporal, it sustained life for their earthly needs. The Bread that we receive at Mass is heavenly food that nurtures our souls. It is far more than satisfying the flesh, the bread of life we receive brings us close to the one the Father sent. Jesus promises, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, then I will ENTER HIS HOUSE and dine with him, and he with me. I will give the victor the right to sit with me on my throne, as I myself first won the victory and sit with my Father on his throne. Whoever has ears ought to hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” At the Mass, we are called to participate with the worship of heaven, we receive the Lord of hosts at the Altar of the Lord.

sign 10“So they said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always’. Jesus said to them, ‘I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in will will never thirst. But I told you that although you have seen me, you do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and I will not reject anyone who comes to me, because I came down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me. And this is the will of the one who sent me, that I should not lose anything of what he gave me, but that I should raise it on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life and I shall raise him on the last day”.

sign 6Jesus said, “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke, and giving it to his disciples said, take and eat; this is my body. Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink from it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins”. This action Jesus uses to introduce the new and everlasting Covenant so that all of us would have the opportunity to receive Christ in the Mass. Regardless of time and space, Jesus is present in all the Catholic Churches around the world. He is being offered through His Church to all the nations, “For from the rising of the sun, even to its setting, my name is great among the nations; And everywhere they bring sacrifice to my name, and a pure offering; For great is my name among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.” (Malachi 1:11)

sign 7“The Jews murmured about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven,’ and they said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph? Do we not know his Father and Mother? Then how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Stop murmuring among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draw him, and I will raise him on the last day. It is written in the prophets: THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT BY GOD.”

Just as people hearing Jesus murmured against what Jesus was telling them, today, many continue to show their lack of faith rejecting the teaching of Jesus for new gospels of symbolism. Man made denominations built on symbolism due to their own lack of faith putting faith in their own destructive doctrines. Jesus never spoke symbolically especially in this text where he was clear on what he is saying. When you walk up towards the Altar and you see the Minister elevate the host and say, “The body of Christ”, what is your response? Yes, we say “Amen“, but do we really believe? Does this Sign bring about conversion each time you receive? We are challenged by St. Paul as he writes, “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and also the cup of demons, You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealous anger? Are we stronger than he?” We cannot compromise the truth of the Lord for our own lack of faith. We are called to believe in this Sign.”

sign 8“Everyone who listens to my Father and learns from him comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; HE HAS SEEN THE FATHER. Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Your ancestors ate the manna in the desert, but they died; this is the bread that comes down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world.”

Jesus has given us many miracles and signs throughout the centuries of his real presence in the Eucharist. He has given us everything but a neon sign pointing to the truth of the Catholic Church. Enemies of Christ will call this a “Pagan” ritual, they will call it a symbol, their rejection is seen clearly in their denial of the Eucharist. To deny this SIGN is to deny the Father’s will. Jesus said that if you believe in Him and receive this great SIGN, He will raise you up on that last day. St. Paul writes, “A person should examine himself, and so eat the bread and drink the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without discerning the body, eats and drinks judgment on himself” (1 Corinthians 11:28-29).

sign 9“The Jews quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, YOU DO NOT HAVE LIFE WITHIN YOU. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Unlike your ancestors who ate and still died, whoever eats this bread will live forever”.

sign 3We need to stop quarreling and start believing.

Let us be like the grateful Father who cried, “I do believe, help my unbelief!” Let us come to the Lord with our hearts full of joy and anticipation knowing that we are receiving the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Most Holy Sacrament of the Altar.

Let our “Amen” please the Lord who is the summit and founder of our Faith!
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