Saturday, January 28, 2012


My nation is dying.

Let me explain.

What is the United States of America? Yes, it's country music and cowboy boots, hot dogs and hamburgers and football, the melting pot of all races, the land of the free and the home of the brave.

But strictly speaking, politically, the USA is a federal constitutional republic. What this means is that at its base, the United States is formed and held together by a constitution that is interpreted by a federal governing body that is itself governed by a republic. Let's break this down:

1. Formed and held together by a Constitution.

2. The Constitution is interpreted by Federal Government.

3. The Federal Government is checked by the republic, the people, who give the representatives of government their power.

After the War for Independence, the thirteen colonies drafted the Articles of Confederation, but this constitution was impractical and failed. In order to solve the matter once and for all, the Philadelphia Convention was called to draft a new constitution by which the federal government would govern the republic with the power given to them by the republic. In other words, the Constitution was written by the people, for the people.

The first ten amendments to the Constitution are called the Bill of Rights. (The irony: I have just summarized a whole day's worth of history class in the American education system in one sentence.) And the very first...the very this: (Note that this comes directly from the Constitution:)

"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."

There's your historical background.

What does this have to do with the death of the United States of America?

The Federal Government has violated the Constitution to which we, the republic, the people, hold them accountable.

On January 23, the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a statement requiring all medical personnel...all doctors...all hospitals...all medical care to provide contraceptives to female patients.

(See here:

I have taken a specific portion of this document to analyze specifically.

"After evaluating comments, we have decided to add an additional element to the final rule. Nonprofit employers who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan, will be provided an additional year, until August 1, 2013, to comply with the new law. Employers wishing to take advantage of the additional year must certify that they qualify for the delayed implementation. This additional year will allow these organizations more time and flexibility to adapt to this new rule. We intend to require employers that do not offer coverage of contraceptive services to provide notice to employees, which will also state that contraceptive services are available at sites such as community health centers, public clinics, and hospitals with income-based support. We will continue to work closely with religious groups during this transitional period to discuss their concerns."

What this says is that all religious institutions will be forced to comply with this new mandate by August 1, 2013.


We will have no choice.

This directly contradicts the very first amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America because it forces religious institutions to contradict their doctrinal teachings. Being a proud practicing Catholic, I know that it directly contradicts my teachings and my beliefs. To have my pastor, a devout priest and a wise man, be forced to compromise his morals is outrageous. He and every other citizen of the United States of America has the right to their religious beliefs. It is the Federal Government's responsibility to defend it.

But they won't.

The Obama Administration has supported the HHS and will continue to promote said mandate.

If this mandate is not overturned and religious freedom restored by August 1, 2013, the United States of America, what was once one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all, will be dead.

Most Reverend Archbishop Dennis M. Schnurr stated in a letter to the entire Archdiocese of Cincinnati that, “People of faith cannot be made second-class citizens.” (see full letter here: defines a second-class citizen as “a person whose rights and opportunities are treated as less important than those of other people in the same society.” (emphasis added.)

People of faith will be made into second-class citizens if their rights to religious freedom are not observed.

I love America. Yes, it is flawed, but at its heart, I believe it is good. The United States of America is just like a human: (which makes sense considering it is made up of humans) It has its faults. But it also has that quintessential human capacity for redemption. Redemption is at the core of human nature, and I believe we, the people of the United States of America, can redeem it.

We have to. We have to make that choice before that very same choice, the choice of the land of the free, is taken from us. Freedom of religion is dying. And if one amendment dies, they all die.

I love the United States of America.

And unless we act now to overturn this law, then I will have no choice but to mourn its death.

But fortunately, I do have every choice to act against it, and I will not stand silently and watch my nation die. Not so long as the right to fight for my beliefs remains mine. And my rights come from God.

Friday, January 27, 2012

The Nine

The following article is the first article ever to appear on the Above the Norm Revolution Blog that is written by a guest writer. I would just like to say that I am incredibly proud of this author, and I believe what she says has great weight and is definitely worth hearing.

With that, I introduce to you my beloved sister in Christ:

Nine brave characters volunteered for a suicide mission to destroy the Ring. Nine Nazgul chased them across Middle Earth. Nine West makes wonderful shoes. Nine years until the year 2021. And nine Justices currently serve on the Supreme Court, tasked with interpreting the Constitution of the United States, the highest law in the land. Nine unelected men and women appointed for life. Nine with the weight of responsibility resting heavily on their shoulders.

Now, let’s backtrack more than two hundred years. The year: 1776. The day: July 2nd. Our young country has been at war with Great Britain for more than a year now and our leaders have decided that it’s time to make our intentions clear. Obviously, since Mother England and her children are busy slaughtering each other, the time for a separation has come. So the thirteen colonies run away from home. Two days later, July 4th 1776, comes the announcement: “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.” (Yes, we are thinking of the same document; “the Declaration of Independence” is just our nickname for it. It would take Nicholas Cage way to long to say “I’m going to steal the Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America.) Thirteen colonies became thirteen states, a small number soon to grow.

Most memorable among the many words of this timeless document are these: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” First graders memorize these words in English; high-schoolers sometimes memorize them in French; politicians yell them to frenzied crowds; and every American lives in the safe luxury provided by the nation this Unanimous Declaration presented to the world. Well, almost all lives.

Skip forward to the year 1787. The war ended with the baby nation victorious. However, the Articles of Confederation failed to hold the states together, causing them to look more like the thirteen colonies they had been. Our leaders called together the Philadelphia Convention, put their heads together, and emerged many months later with the Constitution of the United States. A fierce battle of Federalists, Anti-Federalists, and individual states ratification conventions ensued, finally ending in the ratification and signing of the Constitution in 1789.

In the years following, the Constitution was amended (beginning with our beloved Bill of Rights) as was the intent of its writers. The Fourteenth Amendment, in Section 1 says “nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without the due process of law,” reinforcing the motivational words of the Declaration.

So why am I telling you all this? Let me take you one more time jump forward: January 22, 1973: Roe vs. Wade. During the proceedings of the case, which lasted for three years, ancient practices, the Hippocratic Oath, English common law, English statutory law, American Law, and the American Medical Association were all consulted or discussed. Each had a different definition for when ‘life’ began, if they came up with any definition at all. “For the stage prior to approximately the end of the first trimester, the abortion decision and its effectuation must be left to the medical judgment of the pregnant woman’s attending physician...It is so ordered.” So began the legal slaughter of the innocents.

The reason Roe vs Wade was able to make such a statement, such an order, is because of two things. One, the Supreme Court (let me remind you who they are: nine unelected men and women serving for life) was allowed to effectually make laws by interpreting the Constitution. Two, because the Constitution was interpreted by the preconceptions of the justices instead of by original intent. The best way to know how our founding fathers wanted the Constitution to be interpreted is through documents they wrote: the Declaration of Independence is one of them.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.” Our founding fathers were not by any means perfect men, but they knew, they told us, exactly when life started: the minute the Creator God creates it. If Roe vs Wade had been decided according to the original intent of our Constitution, according to the very values upon which America was built, imagine how different life would be today. Imagine how many more countrymen we would have, how many fewer broken women, broken marriages, broken lives would scatter these amber waves of grain. We know when life begins. And we’ve legalized ending it just months, weeks, days, or minutes later.

(Writer’s inspiration and education for this article goes to Michael Farris and his book Constitutional Law for Enlightened Citizens.)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Monsters

With this post, I will continue my recently declared crusade against the media (literally declared within the context of this sentence, seeing as how my last two posts were about the media's attacks on society), by discussing what I believe to be a very serious issue at hand.
Look at the most popular musical stars of our time.
The New York Daily News website recently posted an article titled "World's Most Powerful Celebrities-2011." (see link here: Number 1 on this list is Lady Gaga, who has preached moral relativity throughout her performing career and continues to promulgate anti-Catholicism and anti-Christianity in her public life. Thank God that the rest of the list contains other notably decent celebrities (namely U2, and yes, even Justin Bieber.) Lady Gaga calls herself a monster. When did that term become something to celebrate?
But I'm not going to make this post about how the media and society celebrate and promote binge drinking, drug use, sexual promiscuity, violence, materialism, and selfishness. (Though they do.)
This post is about what we can do about it.
I have always stood in strong opposition to society, but not until recently have I really taken action.
I saw this on a friend's Facebook page, and decided to check it out. Basically, it's an article explaining in detail how Madonna has always offended the Catholic faith and many other teachings of Christian teaching as well. And now, she is going to perform for the Super Bowl half-time show. I would like to take this opportunity to share with you something I recently realized. The NFL would never choose a celebrity who has promoted anti-semitism, racism, sexism, or anti-homosexuality. So what makes it okay to select a celebrity who promotes anti-Catholicism?
Lady Gaga is just a new Madonna. There's nothing original or talented about her or her music (she can sing, and I honestly wish she would sing good songs.) Madonna is the original "monster queen." Lady Gaga has only taken the idea of "monstrosity" to the next level because we allowed it. And if we have allowed Madonna to influence society, we will allow Lady Gaga to do just the same.
Madonna will continue to promote anti-Catholicism, as will Lady Gaga.
But at least we can promote anti-Monstrocism. According to Wikipedia, the word monster is derived from the Latin monstrum, meaning an aberrant occurrence, normally morally objectionable, often physically or psychologically hideous, and has traditionally been taken as a sign of something wrong with the natural order. Merriam-Webster defines it as one who deviates from normal or acceptable behavior or character, or a person of unnatural and extreme ugliness, deformity, wickedness, and cruelty. When did this become acceptable? When did something morally objectionable become...not morally objectionable?
When we decided we no longer needed morals.
Let's change that, shall we?
I encourage all of you to read this and participate.
We can do a lot more than we think. And even if we don't succeed, at least we've tried. Let's be heroes; let's fight the monsters.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Why the World Needs Tim Tebow

There was a point in time when I too was not a big fan of the man who has become known simply as "Tebow." I have never really paid much attention to the Denver Broncos. At least not since John Elway retired. And even after Tebow was drafted by the Broncos, I still didn't pay much attention to him. To me, he was just such guy. Some guy who had beaten my Buckeyes in the 2007 BCS Championship game and would later beat the Cincinnati Bearcats in the 2009 Sugar Bowl. As a sports fan, that is simply not a reason to endorse Tebow. And so, I was on the side that questioned Tebow's ability to play in the NFL. I think deep within me, there was this hope that he wouldn't succeed. But isn't that the nature of jealousy? Especially in this world, and especially in the sports world.
And so, that's how it was for most of the 2010 NFL Season. I didn't want to see Tebow succeed, and for the most part, it was easy to ignore any success he had. But all that grew much more difficult this year. After Tebow replaced Kyle Orton as the Broncos' starting quarterback, you couldn't ignore his success. He seemed to be unstoppable. Every game was a game to watch. Tebow never ceased to amaze, pulling off incredible comebacks like band-aids: sometimes painfully. At least, to me they were. It began to grow more and more difficult to doubt Tebow's success.
I grew so sick of hearing Tebow's name. But I couldn't tell why. Why was I still holding onto this grudge? Why did I continue to criticize him for not being a very good quarterback? My argument: if he didn't play so terribly in the beginning of the game, he wouldn't have to make all those comebacks.
But then, I realized it.
I think so many other people can relate with me that, often, we oppose something simply for the purpose of opposing. Sometimes without even realizing it. We are so afraid to go against the flow that we pretend we are in the flow, only to then continue to pretend to go against the flow. There is an inherently rebellious nature to humanity. It's called original sin, and it is the reason for evil in the world.
Tim Tebow is just as much a victim to this evil and a culprit of sin as the rest of us. But the difference? Tebow is in the public forum.
With a name as renowned as Tebow, he simply can't help to avoid the media. He is not a media hound. Not from what I've seen at least. The media goes to him. He's a story. But even more than that, he's a threat.
The media craves sin. It thrives off it. A scandal appeals to the sinful nature of humanity. It gives us, humans, something to talk about. Something to judge. We need scandal because it allows us to pass judgments on something we do not understand, but we justify our judgments based on the idea that "every one else is doing it." If the media can criticize, why can't we? In this age where social networks and blogs have fallen into the fray of the media, any one can have a voice. Tebow's voice is a threat to the media because his is a voice of hope.
Tim Tebow is a Christian, and he is humbly proud of it. Humbly proud. An adjective I wish I could use to describe myself and more men in this world. But while we may not be there, we can strive. As brothers, sisters, humanity needs to strive for that humble pride that can only be attained by asking a Higher Power to give it to us. That is what Tim Tebow does. He does it throughout the game of every game he plays. He prays. He prays for himself, but indirectly, his prayer affects all of us. Tebow's prayers may be for him and his team to play well, but God uses his public image of prayer for the good of all who witness it.
Who else has aired Super Bowl commercials to spread the pro-life message?
Who else has worn Scripture passages on their eye black? (Note: there are others. Reggie Bush, for example.)
Who else has born the title of "virgin" with joy, taking what has recently become a common insult and restoring it to its natural status as a heroic title?
Who else has become so well known for his prayer habits as to have a posture of prayer named after him?
Who else...but Tebow.
And so, the world needs Tim Tebow. This is a dark world in a dark time. We are force-fed sin and lies, so craftily bound in wool so as to deceive we sheep into receiving the wolves.
Insults are heaved upon acts of heroism like plagues of locusts, while sin is praised in all realms of everyday life.
Practicing abortion, the legal distribution of pornography, and the rights of musical artists to degrade women are defended by law, while praying in a public school, wearing Scripture verses on eye black, or wearing hats with Christian symbols (see: Jon Kitna fined for wearing a hat with a cross on it) during sporting events is not.
The "cool kid" has become the gangsta who has the most money, the coolest car, the most sexual experience, the most power while the "loser" is the boy who willingly tutors less academically fortunate peers, saves his money for college in the hopes that he can do some good for the world, and respects women.
The world is full of sin and suffering, lies and lust, death and doubt.
The world needs Tim Tebow.
He is just another man. I do not know him, I do not know much about him. I just discovered that he was homeschooled and has defended homeschooling, and for that, he has my respect even more.
I have been converted. I am a Tebow fan. I will root for him every game, God willing Tebow continues to follow God's will in his life. And Tim Tebow does not have to win. He does anyway, and in football, that's all that matters. It's not how well you play, not how many stats you put up, but how you win games and win them well. And if Tim Tebow loses every game for the rest of his life, if he fails to throw a single touchdown or run a single yard, if he fails to start another game, he will still be my favorite football player and, to me, one of the greatest football players to ever play the sport. He wins because he has a greater victory to play for, a victory he recalls every time he falls to one knee. The victory is life; eternal life with God.
Why does the world need Tim Tebow?
Why not?
This world has enough hatred, enough anger, enough evil. It's time for a little light.
The Greek word for honor is "timao," as in the Iliad where Achilles fights for his eternal "timae."
The Greek word for God is "Theo," as in "theology" (the study of God.)
Thus the name Timothy: one who honors God.
Go Tebow!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Some Thing More People Should Hear

So, I know it's been awhile since I posted last. And there is good reason for that. I have been very busy. Along with the holidays, I recently decided that I am not ready for the seminary life and have returned home to Cincinnati. But that's not at all what this post is about.
This post is about some thing that I feel more people need to hear. So, listen carefully.
Every politician...every single one...lies. Inherently. They wouldn't be politicians if they didn't. So, how does this affect us?
I keep hearing people say, "Such-and-such-candidate is crazy!" or "Does such-and-such want America to be destroyed?" or "such-and-such is the next Hitler!" Really? I would suggest said people to use their reason, but we are Americans, so I won't set such high expectations. The rest of the world doesn't.
I will be voting this year. I know that scares most of you, especially after reading above paragraph. But I will be voting, and here is how I will vote. I do not vote for the candidate I love the most; the candidate I think will be best for the United States of America. I do not love any candidate; I do not think any candidate will be best for the United States.
I will vote for the candidate I think will cause the least amount of evil (evil in this case meaning "negative affects") to the United States.
We are a Democratic Republic. The people have a voice. And so long as they do (and I hope they always do, although this has been challenged as of Wednesday [for more information, Google: "Richard Cordray" or to save you time, use this link:]), people will disagree with the president. People will always see negative affects come from the actions of our government (provided that they come from the government, and not via the power of a single man.)
But that's the beauty of it! The people of the United States of America have the right to disagree with the president and use their vote accordingly. ( fact...did you notice that veto is an anagram of vote?) So, our nation's in the tank. So what? Worse things have happened. And there are nations in much worse condition than us. I hope we find a solution. I have great faith that we will. But at what cost?
I personally believe that the biggest contributing factor to the state of our union is the decay (if not total lack thereof) of a moral standard. That is my opinion, the opinion I hold by right, right given to me by my God and my country. I will not force it upon any one. I only ask that you consider this. Consider such issues such as capital punishment, same sex marriage, euthanasia, trouble in the Middle East, immigration reform, and perhaps most importantly, abortion. Even and especially if you agree with me. I know too many people who vote blindly, they vote based off what other people tell them. I would be more comfortable with the knowledge that you voted against me but made your own decision than vote with me simply because some one told you. However, I will stand strong and state that I personally believe that sufficient and correct reasoning has led me to my decisions.
Over the course of the next eleven months, I hope you can take into consideration these issues at hand.
(And also be aware of the fact that Julius Caesar also bypassed the Senate in order to grant himself further power, which he claimed was for the good of Rome seeing as the Senate had become dysfunctional, ineffective, and corrupted. What resulted became the Roman Empire, the end of the Roman Republic. One more parallel between Rome and America?)