John Westen

Ted Haggard admits he’s bisexual but says he won’t act on it

John Westen
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A fascinating interview piece by Kevin Roose in the current issue of GQ magazine is the most revealing coverage to date of disgraced pastor Ted Haggard the founder and former leader of New Life Church.  After a forced absence following the scandal of Haggard’s homosexual liaison with a male prostitute, ‘Pastor Ted’ is back in Colorado Springs and has started a new church – St. James Church.

Haggard, who prior to the scandal headed the National Association of Evangelicals, is revealed as a complex character who, while opposed to same-sex ‘marriage,’ is in favor of domestic partner benefits for homosexual couples.

Hagaard admits to sexual involvement with ‘escort’ Mike Jones as well as the purchase of and use of the drug crystal meth.  Moreover he admits that he “enjoyed” pornography, both male and female porn.

“I think that probably, if I were 21 in this society, I would identify myself as a bisexual,” he says.

Of note, Haggard adds that while he has a proclivity toward bisexual sex he chooses to restrict his sexual engagements to his wife. Asked why he doesn’t take on bisexuality now, Haggard replied, “Because, Kevin, I’m 54, with children, with a belief system, and I can have enforced boundaries in my life. Just like you’re a heterosexual but you don’t have sex with every woman that you’re attracted to, so I can be who I am and exclusively have sex with my wife and be perfectly satisfied.”

The full GQ interview with Haggard is available online here


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‘It takes a village to raise a child’: Did Pope Francis quote Hillary Clinton?

John Westen
John Westen

In a scene that is sure to disturb many a conservative and thrill many a liberal, on Sunday Pope Francis addressed a massive crowd of over 300,000 school students from schools all over Italy.  He had them all chant together over and over again this saying: “It takes a village to raise a child.”

Most conservatives will recall that phrase as the title of Hillary Clinton’s 1996 book and the memorable debate over her vision for the child as the charge of the state rather than being in the primary care of their parents.  The origin of the phrase though is attributed to an African proverb.

Now surely the Pope was meaning to underscore the need for Catholic community in assisting parents to raise children. And that truth needs reinforcing today more than ever.  As many growing families in cities in the Western world have found, raising morally healthy children in a secular anti-Christian culture is very challenging.  Finding and maintaining a Christian community is essential for good friendships for children, for reinforcing faith and morals, and for giving parents the peers and encouragement they need to continue to go against the tide in raising their children to know, love, and serve God.

Many years ago, it was naturally recognized that since parents have given children life, they must be recognized as the primary and principal educators of their children. Back then, the community and especially the Church would assist in this regard, and particularly the Church when it came to education.

But those days are long gone and the culture war has been raging for over 40 years in a direct attack on parental rights, which are today under threat like never before. 

The mantra of “it takes a village to raise a child,” has been used to assist in the erosion of parents’ rights, especially in schools. Under the guise of giving “rights” to children and adolescents the state has pushed it’s anti-moral agendas on children in schools all over the world. In public and Catholic schools alike.

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For instance in 2005 when a California school district was introducing disturbing and explicit sex information to students, parents sued, arguing that they had the sole right “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs.”

The Ninth Circuit Court ruled however that “there is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children. … Parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students.”

All over North America and Europe the push is on to have parents denied the right to opt their children out of controversial sex-education programs that promote homosexual ‘marriage’. Just check out these examples: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

During his glowing recollection of life in school, Pope Francis said, "I remember my first teacher, that woman, that teacher I had when I was six years old, in first grade. I have never forgotten her. She is why I loved school. I visited throughout her life, until she passed away, at 98.”

A beautiful reflection to inspire both students and teachers alike.

The year of his recollection was 1943, the height of what many would call the good times of Catholic education. Today there is a very different experience of school, in both public and sadly even in many Catholic schools.

We need good community to be sure, if we can find that in Catholic schools, great. Some, to find authentic community for their children have moved to different communities, have paid for private schooling or even taken up the heroic task of home schooling.  Is it worth it?  Absolutely! Just think of the influence of your childhood friends on your life for good or for ill. You want the best for your children, and that requires finding them good friendships that will boost their faith and morals.


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Are you a Catholic involved in media? Here’s what Cardinal Burke had to say to you…

John Westen
John Westen

This is a compilation of my favorite quotes from the Vatican’s Cardinal Raymond Burke addressing Catholic media last month at the Rome conference of Alliance Defending Freedom.

My favorite line: “Of supreme importance in an age which characterizes itself by its means of communication is the development and support of truly pro-life and pro-family media."

His remarks:

First and Fundamental Proclamation of the Truth of Christ

The first and most fundamental way of radiating the living truth which Our Lord Jesus communicates to us in His Mystical Body, the Church, is a strong witness to the inviolable dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception to the moment of natural death, to the integrity of marriage as the lifelong, faithful and procreative union of one man and one woman, and to sacred authority of the correctly formed conscience as the guide to the right stewardship of all creation, especially human life and marriage.

The personal conversion and the transformation of the world to which Christ calls all men is necessarily directed, first of all, to the safeguarding and fostering of every human life, especially of “the least of these my brethren,” in accord with Our Lord’s Parable on the Last Judgment, of the fidelity, indissolubility and procreativity of marriage, and of the unconditional respect for the rightly-formed conscience.

Of supreme importance in an age which characterizes itself by its means of communication is the development and support of truly pro-life and pro-family media, and of organizing and sustaining public manifestations in support of the inviolable dignity of innocent human life and the integrity of the family.

The culture of death advances, in large part, because of a lack of attention and information among the general public. What is more, the thoroughly galvanized anti-life and anti-family agenda of the pervasive secular mass media confuses and corrupts minds and hearts, and dulls consciences to the law written by God upon every human heart.

Pope John Paul II declared:

What is urgently called for is a general mobilization of consciences and a united ethical effort to activate a great campaign in support of life. All together, we must build a new culture of life: new, because it will be able to confront and solve today’s unprecedented problems affecting human life; new, because it will be adopted with deeper and more dynamic conviction by all Christians; new, because it will be capable of bringing about a serious and courageous cultural dialogue among all parties. While the urgent need for such a cultural transformation is linked to the present historical situation, it is also rooted in the Church’s mission of evangelization. The purpose of the Gospel, in fact, is “to transform humanity from within and to make it new.” Like the yeast which leavens the whole measure of dough (cf. Mt13:33), the Gospel is meant to permeate all cultures and give them life from within, so that they may express the full truth about the human person and about human life.

Pope John Paul II did not fail to note that such efforts must begin with “the renewal of a culture of life within Christian communities themselves.” The Church herself must address the situation of so many of her members who, even though they may be active in Church activities, “end up by separating their Christian faith from its ethical requirements regarding life, and thus fall into moral subjectivism and certain objectionable ways of acting.”

Blessed John Paul II, therefore, called upon the lay faithful to fulfill their particular responsibility, that is, “to testify how the Christian faith constitutes the only fully valid response – consciously perceived and stated by all in varying degrees – to the problems and hopes that life poses to every person and society.” Making more specific the call, he clarified that the fulfillment of the responsibility of the lay faithful requires that they “know how to overcome in themselves the separation of the Gospel from life, to take up again in their daily activities in family, work and society, an integrated approach to life that is fully brought about by the inspiration and strength of the Gospel.” The communications media, in a particular way, with the help of God’s grace, is directed to helping Christians and all men of good will to overcome any separation of the Gospel from life, especially in what pertains to the heart of the Gospel, including the safeguarding and promoting of human life, of marriage and the family, and of the freedom of conscience. Catholic media contribute in a most significant way to the work of a new evangelization.

See the full talk here: http://www.zenit.org/en/articles/text-of-cardinal-burke-s-march-24th-speech-to-catholic-media-symposium


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