What should Conservative Catholics say when someone says “I just love this new pope?”

November 24th, 2014 No comments

We are in the midst of a curious phenomenon. Everyone loves the pope except conservative Catholics.

Elton John loves Pope Francis

Elton John loves Pope Francis

Elton John loves the Pope. I think he thinks the Pope is about to change Church teaching on homosexual practice and the definition of marriage.

“He is a compassionate, loving man who wants everybody to be included in the love of God,” John said of the Pope. “It is formidable what he is trying to do against many, many people in the church that opposes. He is courageous and he is fearless, and that’s what we need in the world today.”

James Robison, conservative Evangelical Southern Baptist, also loves the Pope. I think he thinks the Pope is leading people more to have a fervent, personal experience of Jesus Christ. Robison described his meeting with Pope Francis this way:

He said he wanted everyone to have a personal life-changing encounter with Christ and enter into a personal relationship with Jesus and become bold witnesses for the Gospel. Religion is not the way; Jesus is.

So fervent was his message that as he concluded I said, “As an evangelist, I want you to know what you just said deserves a high five!” The translator communicated what I was saying and in a moment of exuberance he raised his hand and gave his first high five ever. What a beautiful picture of love and supernatural oneness for the sake of the Gospel and those Jesus came to redeem.

Read more…

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Watch Dr. Morse on EWTN

November 23rd, 2014 No comments

November 26 at 8:00 pm and 28th at 7:30 am–FIFTY SHADES OF GRACE NOT GREY: FINDING PURE LOVE IN A PORNIFIED WORLD: A discussion of Bishop Paul S. Loverde’s letter: “Bought With A Price”, the impact of pornography on EWTN’s The Catholic View for Women.

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Smart Sex – Finding Life Long Love in a Hook Up World – CDs

November 22nd, 2014 No comments

smrtSexAudioNo time to read? Not a problem. Get this  three-CD set, based on Dr. Morse’s best selling book of the same name and listen while you drive!

Dating is difficult, especially if you’re looking for a serious relationship and not just a casual hook-up. If you or someone you love is hoping to get married and stay married, get this CD set for yourself or as a Christmas gift for a friend. Find it here.

Do you prefer turning pages? We’ve got you covered. Get the book here.

Pst! There’s also a digital read-only version for only $4.99 here! But don’t tell anyone!

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Donut hands

November 22nd, 2014 No comments

Some churches provide donuts after Mass for parishioners to munch while they mingle. This is a great bribery tool for parents who want their children to behave well at church. One son drew his Mother’s attention to his folded hands during Mass, saying “Look, Mom, donut hands!”

And here’s a little something from a friend of mine who teaches religion. This is CLASSIC!

I had my students do a journal entry for Isaac when he was going to be sacrificed by Abraham. Here is the end of one girl’s entry:
“….We sacrificed a ram instead. Then we went home, and as we were walking, my father said to me, more

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Tip #38 from 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

Give your spouse the benefit of the doubt, even in your mind. If you find yourself mentally rehearsing your grudges, change the subject. Harboring negative thoughts will make you sour.

Have you ever taken a picture of someone right as they sneezed? Those pictures never turn out well. And sometimes when we talk, we say something we didn’t actually mean; it didn’t come out right. Sometimes we’re just having an off day and speak or act more harshly than we normally would. If your spouse does something out of the ordinary, in a hurtful way, he or she may just be having an off day. Give him or her some space and time, and think of that incident as the moment when he or she sneezed as the picture snapped. Throw the photo, and the incident, out of your mind.

Get a copy of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage for yourself and those you love. Click here to have it personalized and autographed by both authors.
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Tax Advantages of Donating Appreciated Stock to the Ruth Institute

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

appreciated stockHere is a unique way to help the Ruth Institute. If you have stock that has appreciated in value, you may be able to donate it to the Ruth Institute and receive great tax advantages for doing so. The general idea is that when you donate appreciated stock to a charitable organization, you can write off the stock on Schedule A at the market value, and you don’t have to pay capital gains on the gain (neither does the charity). For example, according to the Wall Street Journal:

You also can give appreciated stock to charity. If you’ve held it for more than one year you may take a charitable tax deduction for the market value of the stock, and neither you nor the charity has to pay capital-gains taxes when the stock is sold. The combination can result in a bigger deduction (and more tax savings) for you and a bigger gift for the charity than if you sell the stock, pay the taxes, and donate the net proceeds.

Sandra Block at Kiplinger.com has this to say about it:

If you’re in a charitable mood, consider donating appreciated securities – stocks or mutual funds — instead of cash. When you give $1,000 in cash, you get to deduct $1,000, and that saves you $250 in the 25% bracket. (Any state-income-tax savings are gravy.) 

But let’s say you have $1,000 worth of mutual fund shares that you bought more than a year ago for $500. If you sell the shares, you’ll owe $75 in tax on the profit, even at the preferential 15% capital-gains rate. But if you donate the shares, the charity gets the full $1,000 (it doesn’t have to pay tax on the profit when it sells), you avoid the $75 tax bill, and you still get to deduct the full grand. It’s a win-win-win situation.

For those who would like a more concrete example, Wells Fargo Advisors has a chart with examples from two different tax brackets. Click here to see it.

If this sounds like something you would like to do: first, speak to your tax advisor about it to make sure this fits with your tax and other financial goals. After doing so, call our office at (760) 295-9278 for more information. Thank you!

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Tough Love is Still Love

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

My Latest, over at MercatorNet. November 19, 2014

The recent two-week-long synod on the family in the Vatican has been an on-going source of headlines around the world, and not just in Catholic media. After a year of reflection, it will resume next year. In the meantime, many critics are claiming that it is impossible to reconcile traditional Catholic teachings on sexuality with 21st century compassion. Jennifer Roback Morse sees things differently.

* * * * * * *

My husband I attended a marriage preparation retreat in a small town in central California a few weeks ago. We were by far the oldest people there. The retreat was developed by an order of priests who are very orthodox in their teaching about marriage, family and human sexuality.

They do not soft-pedal anything. They do not cut corners. In fact in the small-group breakout sessions, one of the young couples said “this is not the easiest place in town to get married.” All the other young couples in the group nodded in agreement. “But this is my parish. This is where I was baptized. We wanted to get married here.”

So I feel confident when I say that these priests are holding the line on orthodoxy. Over the course of the weekend, the presenters told their personal faith journey. Almost all of the presenters at this conference had had some significant irregularity in their marriage situations.

What I saw was the Church “welcoming sinners.”

One couple recounted their journey from civil marriage to sacramental marriage. Their priest asked that they live together “as brother and sister” in the months leading up to the con-validation of their marriage in the Church.

For the uninitiated, this means: they had already been married civilly for some time and had children. One party had become Catholic. They Read more…

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Why Sandra Fluke is a household name and wait, who is that other lady?

November 19th, 2014 Comments off

In a recent article, Holly Griggs Spall observes that women on the Pill have many potential problems to deal with, including health concerns, problems with relationships, psychological side-effects and more. She complains that a lack of feminism is the problem.

Why is it that we hear most about the side effects of the pill that directly impact men? It could be because science lacks

"The Pill is the greatest thing since sliced bread: move along,now, nothing to see here...."

The Pill is the greatest thing since sliced bread: move along,now, nothing to see here….

feminism. … In science, as in – one might say grandiosely – life, female hormones are seen as a hindrance.

Who the heck is Holly Griggs Spall, you might ask, and why am I only hearing about her just now?

Before I answer that, I would like to suggest a different answer to the question she poses. While I agree that society generally does see female hormones as a hindrance, I don’t believe women need more “feminism.”

What women really need is to contest the current understanding of “feminism.” In principle, “feminism” could mean any set of ideas and policies that promote the betterment and interests of women.  A “feminist” could be anyone who advocates or works for the improvement in the lives of women.

Such an understanding of feminism is broad enough to include all kinds of people, male or female. It could include men or women who Read more…

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Thinking Strategically and Faithfully, about the Pope

November 18th, 2014 Comments off

I have received many responses to my somewhat tongue in cheek article last week, “Mom’s Home,” imploring my fellow Conservative Catholics to stop disrespecting the Pope. The responses were all over the map. I thought it would be well to offer a window into my strategic thinking. This post should help you understand what I’m trying to do. Although I am largely speaking with my fellow Catholics, the proper response to Pope Francis concerns everyone who cares about the future of marriage and family.

Pope Francis w Cardinal Muller, who organized the recent Humanum Colloquium on Complementarity of Men and Women

Pope Francis w Cardinal Muller, who organized the recent Humanum Colloquium on Complementarity of Men and Women

Let us begin with what we know, and reason from there to what tactics make sense.

What we know about the Catholic Church:

  • The office of the Papacy is bigger than any man who occupies it.
  • The Pope will not change the doctrine: he does not have the authority to change doctrine.
  • However, he can change the practices surrounding the implementation or promulgation of the doctrine on marriage, divorce and the family that serve it more or less well.
  • The Pope can err on prudential matters, and frequently does. For instance, the track record of Vatican diplomacy over the centuries is not particularly stellar.

What we know about this particular pope:

  • The Pope knows he does not have the authority to change Catholic doctrine.
  • He is charming and exuberant and spontaneous. Many people love him and find him attractive.
  • He loves Jesus and hates the devil.
  • He is not executing his teaching office regarding marriage as well as the world needs him to, and certainly not as well as his remarkable predecessors. If the students are confused, the teacher is not performing well.
  • He has left room for interpretation on some points, and has not clarified some issues.
  • We do not know what he is thinking or planning by this lack of clarity. He may have some wise hidden plan. He may have some nefarious hidden plan. He may just be careless. The fact is, we do not know.

What we know about the advocates of the Sexual Revolution: Read more…

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Tip #51 from 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage

November 17th, 2014 Comments off

Remove your self-esteem from the argument. You have a choice about how to handle not getting what you want. If your self-esteem depends on always being right, your self-esteem will always be fragile.

Base your self-worth on the knowledge that you are beloved by God. Don’t let a momentary exchange define who you are and how much you like yourself.

Get a copy of 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage for yourself and those you love. Click here to have it personalized and autographed by both authors.

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