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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Stormy Weather......

has been a hot topic on this side of the Atlantic spread. Personally and politically, storms of different sorts are raging as well.

       Yesterday, the dreadful "Frankenstorm", Hurricane Sandy, hit the East Coast with all her feared ferocity. New York and New Jersey were hit the hardest, with entire neighborhoods being destroyed by flooding and wind damage. Millions of power outages and fifty storm-related deaths have been reported overall. May their souls rest in peace. My own native state was also hit by the tempest, wreaking havoc along the coastline and Ocen City. Thankfully, my family lives inland, so we were spared any serious damage. The wind did whip up a fury and our yard is a wreck, but our power stayed on. Our lights did flicker twice, but never went out completely, even though we were almost certain they would. Our attic sprung at least seven leaks and we took on some water in the basement, but all that is sustainable. Thank you, St. Barbara, patroness of storms, for protecting us! Also, thank you to my friends on both sides of the pond who emailed me to make sure my family and I made it through the storm unscathed.

     On a personal note, I recently came down with a miserable cold which started with an intensely painful sore throat and progressed with a suffocating stuffiness that has had me blowing my nose none-stop both day and night, making it very difficult for me to sleep. This, accompanied by the usual cough, is my present state. Thankfully, I am at home with my loving family, reasonably good heating, and a well-stocked kitchen. Plus, my dad recently picked up some library material waiting for me behind the counter, and I have been nursing my misery by watching an odd variety of films (The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Horatio Hornblower, Bertie and Elizabeth, etc.) and listening to the soundtrack of LotR. Yes, even though I am not a Ringer, I can appreciate good music, and the Peter Jackson films did dish out some truly lovely pieces. I especially like “May It Be” and “Aniron (Theme for Aragorn and Arwen)”, both of which are sung by Enya. I did find Aragorn and Arwen's romance to be one of the gentle refrains in the films from hideous beasts and similar savagery, and the musical score attests to this.

     Election Day is closing in with unbelievable speed, and it's all hand-to-hand combat from now til then. The First Presidential Debate showed the Republican Candidate Mitt Romeny to be a cool, confident, and keen challenger, and made the Democratic President Barack Obama to appear like a lethargic, lackadaisical, and lackluster incumbent. The polls showed popular opinion shoot up for Romney in the following days. Next, the Vice-Presidential Debate took an almost laughable twist as the Democratic Vice-President Joe Biden snickered, sneered, and derided his opponent, Republican Vice-Presidential Canditate Paul Ryan. Some say that Ryan should have been more assertive and prevented Biden from interrupting him and making rude insinuations. However, the polite and laid-back visage displayed by Ryan just served to make Biden's antics seem more repulsive and childish to many viewers.

     The Second Presidential Debate saw a much more lively President Obama and a much more aggressive display of  "in your face" arguing on both men's parts. The Town Hall format allowed selected members of the audience to ask questions to the candidates, and one question seems to have summarized the general thoughts of many Americans: a man who voted for Obama in 2008 asked why he should vote for him again. Romney was quick to nail Obama on his atrocious record of debt and the deplorable financial situation in general. Then the question about the Benghazi attack came to the fore, causing a stramash over when Obama had acknowleged it as an "Act of Terror" as opposed to a spontaneous demonstration sparked by an anti-Islamic vido on YouTube. The debate ended as a tie, with Romney still holding his edge in the polls.

    In a "break-time" function, both Obama and Romney attended the Al Smith Dinner in New York at the invitation of Catholic Cardinal Timothy Dolan. Both candidates took some smart but good-humored jabs at one another, and Romney proved he was not the stiff he has so often been portrayed as. Although there was much consternation in the Catholic world when it was first announced that both candidates would be invited to the dinner (considering the fact that Obama has crossed swords with the Catholic Church in general and Cardinal Dolan in particular over the HHS Mandate), the event demonstrated a refreshing sense of fair play and decensy that in intergral to the American Spirit. 

    The Third Debate saw Romney adopt a new strategy: the "hugging" method. Instead of obliging the President's attempts to paint him as an unreasonable radical, Romney agreed with numerous Obama policies and refused to be drawn into the Benghazi subject again. The result was that once again the result was a tie, with no definate winner and Romeny still holding the edge in the polls. Now the determining factor will be the states that can be won by the opposing parties. Ohio and Wisconsin play big on the swing-state stage.

    Personally I am a third generation Republican, and my grandfather was active in politics. But that is only a small part of why I support Mitt Romney in this election. I also believe that the present administration is taking great risks in the area of national security and crashing this nation into the rocks of debt and depression. But first and foremost, I am pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. I believe in the sanctity of the sexual act as a life-giving one, and that it should not be misused and debased. I believe that all life is sacred, from the moment of conception to natural death. These are not just my personal beliefs, but they are the official teachings of the Catholic Church. And these are the beliefs that the Obama administration has stridently opposed, to the point of infringing on religioius liberty. Mitt Romney, on the other hand, is running on basic Conservative principles and showing a much superior attitude towards life issues than Barack Obama

     Hence, I must address my fellow Catholics and Americans: You cannot vote for a fiercely pro-abortion, pro-homosexual "marriage" candidate when there is a better option and consider yourself a member of the Church in good standing. You automatically excommunicate yourself by abandoning the laws of God. I have Protestant and Mormon friends who are more in line with the teachings of our Church than some Catholics. For God's sake, don't disgrace us and make us endure another four years of this administration which will bring down a swell of anti-life choices. To those who are thinking of voting third-party or for a candidate who is not even running: I beg you to reconsider. It is our duty to do whatever we can to defeat evil, even if that means choosing "the lesser of two evils", as some people might consider it. This is a national emergency. We must stand up and be counted to make a difference.

    And so we Americans have many storms to weather. May Our Lady, Patroness of America, and St. Barbara, Patroness of Storms, be our guiding lights through it all.

Hurricane Sandy


Gov. Mitt Romney and Pres. Barack Obama


  1. Glad to hear all is well with you after such a storm. It's astonishing to me how popular Obama is in Europe, but I absolutely agree with you that people who care about America should be hoping that Romney wins. Even his own supporters, will probably recognise that Romney has his faults, some Republicans might think that they could have found a better candidate, but on the issues that matter he is clearly better than Obama. The world needs a US president who really understands economics in the way that Romney does. We certainly do not need another 4 years of Obama's appeasement and the UK does not need his anti-Britishness. Values which would have been unthinkable to nearly every American 50 years ago, have become not only mainstream, but at times almost obligatory. In the UK expressing traditional Christian teaching is considered to be something similar to a hate crime. Can we turn this situation around? I pray we can. A first step might be to vote for candidates who actually believe in traditional values. Conservatives everywhere should be praying that the G.O.P. candidate triumphs.

  2. Glad to hear you survived the Frankenstorm of 2012!

  3. Oh good, you made it through the storm! Thats too bad about your leaky roof(and the basement and the yard), but oh well, it could have been much worse:-)How did you like the "Dawn Treader"?

  4. Hello, Effie, Emerald, and Meredith!

    Thank you for your concern; I too am very grateful to have made it through Frankenstorm unscathed (for the most part!)Please pray for my grandma in New Jersey. She and my extended relations up there have all lost their power and are struggling to get by until it is restored.

    @Effie: I totally agree with you that conservatives in both the UK and the US must stick together and support each other if we want to survive. As you have said many times, America and Britain share a special relationship and we have to watch each other's backs now more than ever. Our main enemies have suddenly become citizens of our own nations bent on destroying us with extreme progressive liberalism. Pray God we can bring about a turn around, one battle at a time, starting next week!

    @Emerald: I'm glad you survived the tempest too! Take care when walking around your yard; there are lots of dangling branches and the like left over from the whirl-wind.

    @Meredith: I did like the "Dawn Treader" much better than I liked "Prince Caspian". Lucy was around 14 and Edmund around 16; they both did well in dominant roles. I think it had much deeper emotional appeal and had a better general story. I do recommend you watch it!

    God Bless,

  5. Pearl I hope you feel better very soon and I am watching the devastation that has hit NY and NJ and other areas and praying for you all.

    American politics is very different from British politics and if it was me I would side with Obama. Indeed popular opinion here in the UK says it will be a narrow victory for the democrats. Often we view American politics as an over the top election-by-media style event, more of a popularity contest than an issues or policy contest. Certainly Obama is far stronger on foreign policy, and I would say the economy than the gaff prone Romney.

    As for the religious side of things we here in Northern Ireland would never do something as silly as bring religion into our politics. However I was of the impression that Mitt Romney also supports abortion in certain cases, and that he is a Mormon... neither of which are vote grabbers for good Catholics.

    Indeed Romney was a Bishop in a denomination which Catholic Answers says "presents itself as a form of Christianity yet is incompatible with the historic Christian faith, sound pastoral practice would need to warn the Christian faithful: Mormon theology is blasphemous, polytheistic, and cannot be considered on par with the theology of other Christian groups."

    So why is voting Obama an auto excommunication yet voting Romney is okey dokey?

  6. Hi Pearl,

    I'm so thankful you and your family are okay, and that you made it through the storm without serious damage. I'll keep you and your New Jersey relatives in my prayers.

    You summed up the election situation very nicely - as another Catholic, I agree with all your points. The pro-life and pro-family are always the deciding factors in any election, the only ones that really matter. 54 million babies have been murdered since 1973 - let's abolish abortion first and worry about the economy afterwards. It will be my first time voting this year, and I'm going to hold my nose and vote for Romney. He's anything but a conservative, pro-life hero, unfortunately (with his "exceptions for rape," etc.), but I'm doing it simply to cast a vote against Obama, who must be defeated at all costs. He's the most aggressively pro-abortion, anti-Catholic president in history, and I shudder to think of what could happen if he gets another term. Here in Missouri, we also have an extremely close senate race. There's still hope that pro-life Todd Akin will defeat the incumbent, pro-abortion, quisling "Catholic" Claire McCaskill, but there's also a good reason to worry.

    I must commend you, Pearl, for declaring the truth so unabashedly: you can CANNOT vote for a pro-abortion candidate and call yourself a Catholic.

    I'll be doing a lot of praying between now and next week...

    Happy All Saints Day!

    - Ellen

  7. Hello, James Shiels!

    Thank you for keeping us in your prayers. We just found out that our neighbors have been out of power for three days and realize that we really were blessed to retain ours. I am hoping everyone gets their electricity, etc. restored as soon as possible.

    With all due respect, I can't agree with you that Obama has a better foriegn policy than Romney. The apology tour of the Middle East, the betrayal of Israel, the anti-British gestures, and the horendous Benghazi cover-up all testify to the current administration's utter incompetence and destructive agenda. While Romney is far from perfect, he believes in a strong America and he is running on basic Conservative principles.

    As far as finances, while Romney may not be as clear as some would like with regards to his plan to recoup America, the results of Obama's policies are painfully clear - the country is bogged down in unbelievable debt, unemployment has gone up, we seem to be headed down the road to Greece.

    While the Romney/Ryan ticket does officially support abortion "in case of incest, rape, or the health of the mother", there is simply no comparison between that and the strident support of abortion, for any reason and at any time, advocated by Obama and his administration. Also, it has become increasingly clear that religious liberty has become a casulaty of his "Obamacare". It is the duty of Catholics to choose "the lesser of two evils" in order to defeat a greater evil.

    Regarding Romney's Mormonism, there is nothing in Catholic teaching that says we cannot vote someone into office who does not believe in the traditional Christian doctrines such as the Blessed Trinity. We must vote based on the major issues involving the sanctity of life and marriage. I have no qualms at all about having a Mormon for the president of my country; one of my best friends is a Mormon, and she has an excellent sense of morality.

    And I do understand and respect the fact that Northern Ireland is not really the best place for mixing politics and religion! But sometimes issues just overlap, and in this case the Catholics of America must know what they are letting themselves in for.

    God Bless and thanks for commenting,

    P.S. A final thought on our "over-the-top" media hype elections....well, we don't have the pomp and circumstance of a monarchy, do we? We all need a little razzle-dazzle once in while! It's an American tradition ;-)

  8. Hi, Ellen!

    Thanks for the prayers. We here on the East Coast appreciate it!

    I will definately remember the Missouri Senate Race in my prayers. This year in going to be a tight squeeze with the elections. As one friend put it "Let's just hope there's more of us than them!"

    Indeed, Romney is not super-galactic, but he might turn out to be unwitting hero anyway if he knocks Obama out of the box. I honestly think Romney is a good man, even with his faults and failings. He's really our last best hope.

    I join you in praying really hard this coming week.....Hence, we are prayer-sisters then, yes? ;-)


  9. We had about exactly the same amount of damage you had from Sandy--glad you survived. I think your opinion on why not to vote for Obama is wonderful--we don't think, however, that 'not voting for Obama' is a good enough excuse to vote for Romney, since Romney wants to take us to war. I think, however, you put your pro-life and pro-marriage beliefs very well.

  10. Hi, Carolyn!

    Glad you hear you got through the storm basically unscathed. It was a little scary there for a while!

    Actually, I don't believe Romeny wants to "take us to war" - he just wants to be militarily strong and assert our position in the world. That way, other nations (especially those in the Middle East) will be less eager to test us, and we will be strong enough to fight should war come.

    Also, I do believe that this particular election is so drastic that we must do everything in our power to eject the present occupant of the presidency, including voting for the better option, even though he is not perfect.

    God Bless,

  11. What's a basement?


    Happy you are safe and dry and electrified.

    After Hurricane Rita we were without power for some six weeks in 100-degree heat. Having been raised on a farm, I am always prepared for emergencies and outages, and a good thing, too -- FEMA was useless and the Red Cross didn't even show up.

    I was surprised at the number of people who didn't have food or water for even a day; I suppose they depend on the fast-food joints. Keeping and rotating stocks of food, water, propane and a propane cooker, batteries, radios, flashlights -- this is what people DO.

    - Mack in Texas

  12. Hi Pearl!

    Of course, this being my first time voting in a presidential election (I was too young last time, obviously!) I had to chime in, though I'm not sure what to say that you haven't already said so well! Like you, I don't understand why people say Catholics cannot vote for a Mormon because he isn't a Catholic. After all, Obama isn't a Catholic either. And, looking at the two candidates' platforms, Romney's is clearly a lot more in line with Catholic ideals than Obama's is. To be honest, I don't have a ton of faith in Romney to change the abortion situation (my mom could tell you I'm an incurable skeptic and in general have no faith in politicians whatsoever) but I hope that he will at least get rid of Obamacare, which is my main concern at the moment. As Ellen said, I'm proud of you for not being afraid to say that LIFE is THE biggest issue for Catholic voters! It's all but the only one for me.

    Interesting fact: in the history of the United States, there has only been one Catholic president, and the only reason he was elected was because he promised not to let his faith "interfere" with his duties. In short, the only Catholic president ever elected was only elected because he promised not to be a Catholic president! If we Catholics could only in good conscience vote for Catholic candidates, we'd never get to vote at all. : )
    Praying for you and your relatives and hoping you recover from your cold soon! I also join you and Ellen in the prayer crusade!

    - Katherine