Category Archives: Mythbusting

Mythbusting Trump’s National Monuments Order

2016_12 Trump signs

President Trump’s order seeks to end past overreach and abuse of the monument review process under the Antiquities Act that has closed off land to the public, while continuing to protect objects of significance.

As usual, there’s plenty of misinformation making the rounds. Here are a few quick facts to correct the record:

Myth: No president has ever shrunk a monument.

  • Fact: Monuments have been shrunk at least 18 times—by presidents on both sides of the aisle.

Myth: This move will sell or close national parks.

  • Fact: No national parks are under review, and the Administration adamantly opposes wholesale transfer of any public lands.

Myth: The review was done behind closed doors.

  • Fact: Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke personally held more than 60 meetings with local stakeholders, including numerous tribal groups.

Read about Trump’s order for yourself:

https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/12/04/president-donald-j-trump-stands-local-communities-against-government

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Mythbusting the “Republican Strategy”

Why Did the Democratic South Become Republican?  [5:20]

The south used to vote Democrat. Now it votes Republican. Why the switch? Some people say it was because the GOP decided to appeal to racist whites. Carol Swain, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University, explains that this is a myth.

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MYTH: The Bible says “Don’t judge”

This is wrong. What the Bible actually says is “Judge correctly.”

bible-on-judging

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Filed under Christianity, Mythbusting

MYTH: Catholic Doctrine is Un-Biblical

I love my Catechism and include it in my daily Bible and prayer time.  It is full of information and is often quite beautiful in the spiritual truths it expresses.

It is also copiously footnoted.  Recently, I became interested to learn just how many pages had Bible footnotes.  I finished the count today.

myth-catholic-doctrine-is-un-biblical

Read it for yourself.  Catechism of the Catholic Church is available in print for a small fee or on-line for free:

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MYTHBUSTER: Science vs. the Catholic Church

church-science-myth-toon

Have you ever noticed how the ONLY evidence anyone can cite for the alleged hostility of the Catholic Church to science is the Galileo affair?  The RCC has been around for nearly 2,000 years.  You’d think if its hostility to science was such a big deal, there’s be more evidence, wouldn’t you?

The fact is that, while the Galileo thing was not a shining moment in my church’s history, it was also not the one-sided affair most people seem to think it was.  Galileo himself bears a great deal of the blame.  And he was never tortured or thrown into prison either.  His punishment for flipping the bird at the pope was house arrest in a country house near Florence.  He died peacefully in his own bed.  Poor baby.

In fact, until he gave up pure science and became obsessed with converting public opinion and trying to force the Roman Catholic hierarchy to espouse his theological ideas, Galileo was celebrated by leaders of the RCC, including the pope.  If he’d stuck with science and left theology to the theologians, he would never have gotten into trouble.

lunar-crater-names

But no … he had to become his century’s version of Al Gore (not that Al Gore was ever in his life an actual scientist).  And, given how brutally hostile the scientific community is today toward so-called climate deniers and those who espouse Intelligent Design, I’m thinking the RCC in Galileo’s day had NOTHING on today’s secular scientists.

Plus, it’s not like Galileo was right about everything.  He believed, for example, that comets were exhalations of the atmosphere and tides were caused by the rotation of the Earth.  Ahem.  He also never dropped anything off the Tower of Pisa.

Pope (now Saint) John Paul II felt that the conflict between Galileo and the RCC ought never to have occurred, because faith and science, properly understood, can never be at odds. It’s in the Catechism:

catechism-faith-and-science

The Galileo Affair <- Good article on the topic
http://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/GALILEO.TXT

How the Catholic Church Built Western Civilization by Thomas E. Woods, Jr.
The Galileo Affair is covered on pages 67-74.
https://www.amazon.com/Catholic-Church-Built-Western-Civilization/dp/1596983280

Galileo’s Leaning Tower of Pisa Experiment <- Never happened
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galileo%27s_Leaning_Tower_of_Pisa_experiment

The 35 Lunar Craters Named For Jesuits
http://faculty.fairfield.edu/jmac/sj/scientists/lunacrat.htm

Catholic Catechism: Faith and Science
http://ccc.usccb.org/flipbooks/catechism/index.html#61/z

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

12 days of Christmas

If you google “The Twelve Days of Christmas”, you’ll get lots of hits for the tale of the “Secret Catechism” allegedly used by persecuted Catholics living in England after Henry VIII broke with Rome.

As quaint as the idea may be, it doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

  • The “Secret Catechism” meanings assigned to the gifts are doctrines that were shared by Anglican and Roman Catholics, not things that would get a secret Catholic into trouble.
  • The “Secret Catechism” legend appears to date from no earlier than 1990.
  • The song itself probably originated in Catholic France, not Protestant England.

Apart from the lack of historical evidence, the tale of the “Secret Catechism” doesn’t even make much sense internally.

If the song had ever been a true mnemonic, the various items would have more consistent meanings.  But I found “two turtledoves” listed in some places as either the two natures in Jesus (human and divine) or as the Old and New Testaments.  “Three French hens” is variously assigned to the Trinity, the Three Theological Virtues (Faith, Hope, Charity), or the three gifts of the Wise Men.

Also, if it had been invented as a memory aid, the gifts would bear some relation to the things they supposedly represent.  This is notably lacking in the “Secret Catechism” legend.  I mean … what do “lords a’leaping” have to do with the stern “Thou Shalt Not” Ten Commandments? Huh?

Some of the items aren’t even accurate.  For example, “eight maids a’milking” is supposedly a reference to the eight Beatitudes … except there are nine Beatitudes. See Matthew 5:3-10 and the Catholic Catechism paragraph 1716.

“Four calling birds” is a mistranslation of original “colly [black as coal] birds.” In Judaeo-Christian symbolism, blackbirds and ravens represent temptation, sin, and the devil, but the “Secret Catechism” supposedly used them to represent the four Gospels. I. Don’t. Think. So.

Finally, “a partridge in a pear tree” is supposed to represent Jesus Christ on the cross, because “a mother partridge feigns injury to decoy predators from her helpless nestlings.” Except … this is not true. Some species of birds do engage in this “distraction display” behavior … but partridges are not among them.

The fact is … “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is just a traditional counting song whose only saving grace is that it’s not as long or as annoying as “99 Bottles of Beer.”

Sources:
https://www.ewtn.com/library/HOMELIBR/TWELVDAY.TXT
http://www.catholic.net/index.php?option=dedestaca&id=3465
http://www.snopes.com/holidays/christmas/music/12days.asp
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chukar_partridge
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distraction_display#In_birds
http://www.usccb.org/beliefs-and-teachings/what-we-believe/catechism/catechism-of-the-catholic-church/epub/index.cfm#
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_turtle_dove
http://www.catholic-saints.info/catholic-symbols/blackbird.htm
http://www.loyolapress.com/fruits-of-the-holy-spirit.htm

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MYTHBUSTERS: Jesus did not teach pacifism

Jesus did not say we should be doormats for every bully that comes along.

When He said, “Turn the other cheek”, he was using a common rabbinical teaching tool known as ‘hyperbole’ in order to accentuate an important point.  Other examples of hyperbole from the Sermon on the Mount include:

  • “If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and throw it away” (Matt 5:29).
  • “If your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away” (Matt 5:30).

To correctly interpret Jesus’ words, we must consider everything we know about what He said and did. Consider John 18:22-23 for example, where Jesus does not meekly turn the other cheek when someone smacks Him.

One of the temple guards standing there struck Jesus and said, “Is this the way you answer the high priest?” Jesus answered him, “If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”

WWJD turning tables

And far from condemning military service, Jesus praised the faith of the Roman centurion (Matt 8:8ff) and told the apostles to “take up a sword” for self-defense (Luke 22:36-38).

Pope's army false meme

To correctly interpret Jesus’ words, we also need to ensure we have them translated properly.

Thou shalt not kill

Ecclesiastes 3:1,3,7,8 says,“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to tear down, and a time to build. A time to be silent, and a time to speak. A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace.”

Jesus whipped the money changers, then rebuked Peter for using violence to try and stop His arrest.  He talked back to the temple guard, then quietly submitted to His undeserved torture and death. Given such conflicting examples, the only way we can be sure we are making good choices in our daily lives is to be in constant communication with the One who knows everything.

In everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God.  Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. – Phil 4:6-7

Source:

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MYTHBUSTING: Women do not need Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood execs and pro-abortion Democrats like Nancy Pelosi claim that attempts to defund Planned Parenthood represent a “Republican war on women.”

Pelosi went so far as to state that “Planned Parenthood clinics are often one of the few affordable health care options for many women.”  This isn’t even remotely true.

Defunding PP won't hurt women

There are only 665 Planned Parenthood clinics in the United States. These clinics provide abortions, plus some limited health care to women. None of them does mammograms and only a handful offer prenatal care.

By contrast, there are 13,500 non-PP clinics in the United States that provide comprehensive health care to women without doing abortions.

There are only two kinds of women who will be hurt if we stop giving tax dollars to Planned Parenthood: Planned Parenthood executives and Democrat politicians. Since both of these groups is in the six-figures-a-year income group, I couldn’t care less.

Sources:
http://www.nationalreview.com/article/422648/planned-parenthood-womens-health

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Filed under Abortion, Democrats, Mythbusting, Nancy Pelosi, Planned Parenthood