Tag Archives: christianity

Frame the Truth and Stay on Message: Please Just Say “Marriage”

Lay Catholics logoBy Kim Lehman

Do you believe that marriage is, and only can be, between a man and a woman? Do you believe it is the bedrock of society? Finally, do you believe that Nature’s God instituted marriage in the beginning? If you said yes to all of these questions, this article is being written for you. Let me explain. Words matter and how you frame a message matters. In fact, whoever defines the language controls the message and frames it in their favor. This is why I am making the case that if you believe the above statement, then you can never use the word “gay” before the word “marriage.” If you do not believe me, then you should study the word battles in the abortion issue. It was through my work with the Right to Life in Iowa that I learned these important lessons of language—first being that you never repeat your opposition’s message or use “their” language. Please read on before you write again to defend marriage.

Again, you never repeat your opposition’s message in order to give your rebuttal. Don’t give them free space on your page. This is by far the biggest error of the right. The opposition said what they said to persuade, and they carefully crafted their words. They have the disadvantage since they must “change” culture, so they are not going to use your words. Christians and pro-life people react with very little strategy when they publish an article. To their credit they want to defend truth and are willing to step out of their comfort zone to speak up—great, and thank you. With that said, to their fault, they are not paying attention to how to fight the battle with words. Consider why the liberal papers flip pro-lifers’ words from “pro-life” to “anti-choice”. This is not an accident and has a definite motive behind it. They want their readers to view pro-life people as an “anti” kind of people, which has the subliminal effect of making the reader want to disassociate with an “anti” group, as opposed to reporting us as “pro” life, which would have a drawing effect. Take also into consideration the abortion industry’s use of “pro-choice” instead of “anti-life”. Why do you think the largest abortion group in the United States call themselves Planned Parenthood instead of Abortions Aplenty? The answer is obvious; they do not want people to view them as advancing more abortion. Words really, really, really matter when engaging in social issues.

Let this be the rule of thumb when you want to engage in the battle of words:

Whoever defines the word, frames the issue in their favor. So long as you use their language, you have yielded and helped them without even knowing it.

My hope is that my friends in this battle for marriage will be persuaded to stop using the opposition’s language. Make no mistake; marriage has been under attack for a long time. You do not have to look far to realize that the younger generation places very little value in the institution. Why is it under attack? I am convinced that marriage is a reflection of the triune God, and a picture of Christ’s relationship with the church, with Him as the bridegroom and us as His bride. So in fact, this is far more than what it appears. Let’s face it; God instituted marriage as his plan to populate the earth by creating each new generation and as a reflection of his love. Marriage is about a life-long commitment that includes bringing children into the world. If a couple is unable to have children, they can either adopt or serve mankind in another way. The order of society should still maintain a mother and a father uniting to pro-create and raise children. This is so obvious that it is a wonderment that so many people are confused today. However, it’s not the first time in history that people have lost their way on this issue. The question is: how did we get here? I believe a good place to start in understanding how America fell so fast as to devalue marriage can be found in Humanae Vitae, written by Pope Paul VI.

I contend that the other side has done a good job dismantling marriage by using propaganda. They took advantage of the fact that most people are lazy thinkers and do not like to be controversial. Reframing the language began with a simple word–“gay”, which at one time meant “happy” or “joyful”, yet now it means someone who has sex with the same gender. Not too long ago this sexual act was called perversion. In fact, because of this perversion God’s judgment fell on Sodom and Gomorrah, and men who engaged in this sexual act were thereafter referred to as Sodomites. Like all sins that lead to eternal death, it should be treated for what it is–sin that can be forgiven. Let’s face it, all of us are sinners and need to repent to be restored to God. However, it is evil to say that a sin is no longer a sin. In the case of sexual perversion, many now say that people are born this way. We are all born with a sinful nature—that is, a desire to sin. Not only is everyone born bent to sin, but we are all born with a sexual drive. The reality is, as sinners, we are all given the choice to act upon all types of sinful inclinations or to reject them to do what is right. No one is without sin. Make no mistake—there is no one without excuse. Nature bears witness to the truth. It is black and white. The problem today is that people are buying into the lie that we can’t help ourselves and therefore it must be okay. It is not okay and we must speak the truth, with love and with the correct words.

So let’s get back to what language to use or not to use in defending marriage. You must ask yourself again whether or not you truly believe that marriage is, and can only be, between a man and a woman. If so, then we can say with confidence there is only one kind of marriage. Right? Try not to contradict yourself by putting the word “gay or homosexual” with the word marriage. If it can’t be and doesn’t exist then do not speak it into existence. If you choose to use their language, they will use it against you. How? Once you allow them to create a new kind of marriage by using their language, all they have to do is say you are discriminating against “blank-marriage.” See how subtle, and yet so simple. You become your own worst enemy. This information is probably a decade late, but I’m hopeful that at least some will catch on.

For those of you who have the habit of using their language instead of saying “marriage”, don’t be undisciplined or lazy and think that what I just said doesn’t matter, for not only does it matter, it matters a lot. You must decide what you believe and then speak the words. Marriage stands alone for it is what it is. Do not help your opposition any longer by repeating “their message.” Please! Discipline yourself and stay on message.

If you were to ask me how I say it, I use these words:

  • Defend marriage (number one choice to say over and over again)
  • I encourage you to stop the destruction of marriage
  • I support marriage
  • Please support marriage with me
  • Marriage is a blessing
  • Marriage is under attack
  • Rebuild marriage for the sake of our children
  • Marriage has always been male and female, and I might add, will always be and cannot be anything but one man and one woman
  • We must not let marriage be dismantled
  • Encourage our children to marry
  • Society didn’t create marriage and therefore has no power to redefine it

Never call it “traditional Marriage” for that implies there is more then one kind of marriage (very subtle.) You will notice that your opposition will never say they are destroying marriage or dismantling it. They are very disciplined to use their own language and compel you to use it in rebuttal.

The objective for both sides is to frame the message to get agreement:

  • If you ask people if they support marriage, they will say yes
  • If you ask them if they want to destroy marriage, they will say no
  • If you ask them if society should help rebuild marriages in the US for the sake of our children, they will say yes
  • If you ask people if they want to protect marriage, they will say yes

Remember to frame the issue or your message in a way that the public will support. So stay on message and love all people, and for the sake of our loving God, never agree with a lie by repeating the lie in order to rebut it. Simply state your message. Why give them free advertising? Frame the truth and stay on message.

Best wishes,
Your friend in truth with love,
Kim Lehman, IA


EWTN “White” Smokes the Secular Media on Live Papal Election Coverage

Colleen Carroll CampbellDuring the Papal conclave, EWTN had the best backdrop, the best commentary, the best guests and the best coverage.  All of it free of odd secular political context.

Their live coverage on March 13, 2013 when the white smoke billowed from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel was not just better than the national U.S. television media.  It was superior.

Colleen Carroll Campbell who was EWTN’s anchor for the live event, gracefully moderated her guests when they didn’t know when the smoke would come or what color it would be.  The guests were knowledgable and interesting.  The guests educated the viewers on the history of the papacy, the conclave and many other things of Catholic significance.  The other national U.S. television media just couldn’t do it.  That’s why many, including myself, tuned to EWTN and received superior coverage.

I don’t mean to throw EWTN into a competition with our secular national media but, EWTN smoked them.  “White” smoked them!

I hope and pray EWTN can continue to do more.  They proved their superiority in this coverage of the conclave that elected Pope Francis.  God bless their good work.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Catholicism Teaches it is a Grave Duty and Right to Use Arms for Self-Defense; Catechism 2263-65

Lay Catholics logoThe Catholic Church does not call for disarming the people.  As you will see below the Church calls for legitimate defense.  The duty to legitimately defend implies the capacity to do so.  That is to say that the person responsible for the lives of his family is sufficiently prepared to stop a potential aggressor who is armed by being armed hisself.  Therefore, the banning of firearms makes it impossible to defend and uphold the common good in one’s household and also in the community by a civil authority.  CCC section 2265 shows that the civil authority’s responsibility to repel an aggressor is secondary to the person’s grave duty to repel an aggressor when it states that those in authority “also” have the right to use arms.  This allows one to reason that the responsibility belongs to and starts with the person.  The conclusion is that the banning of firearms is illegitimate and contrary to Catholic teaching because it undermines and disrespects a person’s right to life as shown in CCC 2264.

CCC photoThe following sections are excerpted from the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition (CCC 2263-2265.)  These sections are in the context of what is legitimate defense under the Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill.”:

CCC 2263     The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. “The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life; and the killing of the aggressor…. the one is intended, the other is not.”

CCC 2264     Love toward oneself remains a fundamental principle of morality.  Therefore it is legitimate to insist on respect for one’s own right to life.  Someone who defends his life is not guilty of murder even if he is forced to deal his aggressor a lethal blow:

If a man in self-defense uses more than necessary violence, it will be unlawful: whereas if he repels force with moderation, his defense will be lawful…. Nor is it necessary for salvation that a man omit the act of moderate self-defense to avoid killing the other man, since one is bound to take more care of one’s own life than of another’s.

CCC 2265     Legitimate defense can be not only a right but a grave duty for one who is responsible for the lives of others.  The defense of the common good requires that an unjust aggressor be rendered unable to cause harm.  For this reason, those who legitimately hold authority also have the right to use arms to repel aggressors against the civil community entrusted to their responsibility.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Pope Benedict XVI Resigns (Video of Full Statement and Text)

Pope Benedict XVIBelow is the statement from the Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI announcing his resignation in a written statement and the video of him reading the statement:

Dear Brothers,

I have convoked you to this Consistory, not only for the three canonisations, but also to communicate to you a decision of great importance for the life of the Church. After having repeatedly examined my conscience before God, I have come to the certainty that my strengths, due to an advanced age, are no longer suited to an adequate exercise of the Petrine ministry. I am well aware that this ministry, due to its essential spiritual nature, must be carried out not only with words and deeds, but no less with prayer and suffering. However, in today’s world, subject to so many rapid changes and shaken by questions of deep relevance for the life of faith, in order to govern the bark of Saint Peter and proclaim the Gospel, both strength of mind and body are necessary, strength which in the last few months, has deteriorated in me to the extent that I have had to recognise my incapacity to adequately fulfill the ministry entrusted to me. For this reason, and well aware of the seriousness of this act, with full freedom I declare that I renounce the ministry of Bishop of Rome, Successor of Saint Peter, entrusted to me by the Cardinals on 19 April 2005, in such a way, that as from 28 February 2013, at 20:00 hours, the See of Rome, the See of Saint Peter, will be vacant and a Conclave to elect the new Supreme Pontiff will have to be convoked by those whose competence it is.

Dear Brothers, I thank you most sincerely for all the love and work with which you have supported me in my ministry and I ask pardon for all my defects. And now, let us entrust the Holy Church to the care of Our Supreme Pastor, Our Lord Jesus Christ, and implore his holy Mother Mary, so that she may assist the Cardinal Fathers with her maternal solicitude, in electing a new Supreme Pontiff. With regard to myself, I wish to also devotedly serve the Holy Church of God in the future through a life dedicated to prayer.

From the Vatican, 10 February 2013


Video (Notice Cardinal Burke’s eyes and body language as he gets the gravity of the Pope’s words.  Cardinal Burke is seated on the right side of the screen in red):

Pray that the Holy Spirit will breathe into the Cardinals as they prepare to select our next Pope.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

Do You Believe in Miracles? The Feast of St. Blaise is this Sunday February 3rd

St. BlaiseThis Sunday, February 3rd is the Feast of St. Blaise. Bishop and Martyr. On this day we can have our throats blessed by our Priest at Mass.

As a child I had a sore throat on the Feast of St. Blaise and after my throat was blessed I realized on the car ride home that my sore throat was gone.  I can’t wait for Sunday because my wife and I have sore throats.  I pray I have this miracle for the second time in my life and for the first time in wife’s life.

Excerpt below is from EWTN’s Saints page:

“It is not known precisely when or where St. Blaise lived, but according to tradition he was a bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, in the early part of the fourth century, and suffered martyrdom under the Roman emperor Licinius, who had commanded the governor of the province, one Agricolaus, to prevent the spread of Christianity in his territory. After this edict had been promulgated, Blaise fled to the mountains and lived in a cave frequented by wild beasts. He used his skill to heal the animals that he found wounded or sick, and when the emperor’s hunters, bent on collecting wild animals for the royal games, discovered him in this cave, they carried him off to Agricolaus as a special prize.

On the way, the story goes, they met a poor woman whose pig had been seized by a wolf. At the command of Blaise, the wolf restored the pig to its owner, alive and unhurt. During the course of this journey he also miraculously cured a child who was choking to death on a fishbone. For this reason St. Blaise is often invoked by persons suffering from throat trouble. When he had reached the capital and was in prison awaiting execution, the old woman whose pig he had saved came to see him, bringing two fine wax candles to dispel the gloom of his dark cell. When he was finally killed, he is supposed to have been tortured with an iron comb or rake, and afterwards beheaded. In the West there was no cult honoring St. Blaise prior to the eighth century.

One of the Fourteen Holy Helpers, his emblems are an iron comb and a wax taper.”

Read more: http://www.ewtn.com/saintsholy/saints/B/stblaise.asp#ixzz2JgsTMMGV

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.

A New Year’s Prayer

Lay Catholics logo

A New Year’s Prayer

O Most bountiful God, I sincerely and humbly thank Thee for all Thy many benefits to me during the past year, and for the privilege of beginning a new year.  Do Thou mercifully continue Thy gracious help and protection, so that I may not only spend this year in Thy service, but may also increase from day to day in fervor and in the performance of good works.  May all my thoughts, words and actions be for Thy greater honor and glory, for my own sanctification and for the good of souls.  These favors I ask from Thy goodness through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who for our salvation first shed His Precious Blood on this day.  Amen.

Blessed Be GodAs published in BLESSED BE GOD A Complete Catholic Prayer Book © 1925 by Very Rev. Charles J. Callan, O.P., S.T.M. and Very Rev. John A. McHugh, O.P., S.T.M.

The Pope Urgently Calls Catholics to Counter President Obama’s “Radical Secularism” on Freedom of Religion

What did Pope Benedict say?

“… it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres. The seriousness of these threats needs to be clearly appreciated at every level of ecclesial life. Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion. Many of you have pointed out that concerted efforts have been made to deny the right of conscientious objection on the part of Catholic individuals and institutions with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices. Others have spoken to me of a worrying tendency to reduce religious freedom to mere freedom of worship without guarantees of respect for freedom of conscience.”

“Here once more we see the need for an engaged, articulate and well-formed CATHOLIC LAITY endowed with a strong critical sense vis-à-vis the dominant culture and with the courage to counter a reductive secularism which would delegitimize the Church’s participation in public debate about the issues which are determining the FUTURE OF AMERICAN SOCIETY.”


When did he say this?

On January 19, 2012, the day before President Obama’s religious freedom crushing HHS mandate was announced.

Why didn’t you know about It?

Most Catholics don’t read the Pope’s letters and the letters are not reported on widely in the media.

Who is limiting religious freedom and denying Catholic individuals and institutions the right of conscientious objection with regard to cooperation in intrinsically evil practices?

President Barack Obama

Do you trust Pope Benedict XVI when he says there are threats to religious freedom or do you trust President Obama when he says there are none?

Your answer here.

What are you going to do about it?

Your answer here.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.


George Washington versus Barack Obama on Religious Freedom

Barack Obama is no George Washington when it comes to respecting religious freedom. Let’s compare how important Catholic and Protestant clergy have responded to both of these presidents regarding our first, most cherished American liberty.

Responses from clergy regarding Barack Obama

In his January 19, 2012 address to American Catholic Bishops, Pope Benedict XVI recognized threats to religious freedom by Obama without stating his name (the HHS mandate was announced the next day.):
“…it is imperative that the entire Catholic community in the United States come to realize the grave threats to the Church’s public moral witness presented by a radical secularism which finds increasing expression in the political and cultural spheres… Of particular concern are certain attempts being made to limit that most cherished of American freedoms, the freedom of religion.”

In an interview on February 21, 2012 Rev. Franklin Graham expressed his willingness to practice civil disobedience in the face of Barack Obama’s attack on religious freedom:
“I am very concerned, because what they tried to do to the Catholic Church in mandating contraception, I don’t believe the compromise is a true compromise. You’re still paying for it, but it’s going to be paid for now through the insurance carrier, who is then going to charge you… I think every Christian out there should be concerned that we will be forced to bring people into our organizations, and put them on our payrolls, when we know that they are opposed to everything that we believe… at that point, I would just have to break the law and take it all the way to the Supreme Court and fight it…”

In a March 2, 2012 letter to Catholic bishops, Cardinal Dolan of New York stated the following in regard to President Barack Obama’s disturbing opinions on religious freedom:
“At a recent meeting between staff of the bishops’ conference and the White House staff, our staff members asked directly whether the broader concerns of religious freedom—that is, revisiting the straight-jacketing mandates (HHS mandate requires all insurance companies to provide free contraception, including the morning-after pill and sterilizations — even to employees of religious-affiliated organizations that have a moral objection) or broadening the maligned exemption—are all off the table. They were informed that they are. So much for “working out the wrinkles.” (Obama invited them to “work out the wrinkles”) Instead, they advised the bishops’ conference that we should listen to the “enlightened” voices of accommodation, such as the recent, hardly surprising yet terribly unfortunate editorial in America (a Catholic Jesuit magazine.) The White House seems to think we bishops simply do not know or understand Catholic teaching and so, taking a cue from its own (Obama’s) definition of religious freedom, now has nominated its own handpicked official Catholic teachers.”

Responses from clergy regarding George Washington

In a 1789 letter from the Bishops of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Bishops’ Thomas Coke and Francis Asbury (pictured) express their confidence in George Washington:
“We are conscious from the signal proofs you have already given that you are a friend of mankind; and under this established idea, place as full a confidence in your wisdom and integrity, for the preservation of those civil and religious liberties…”

In 1790 Bishop John Carroll (the first Catholic bishop and then archbishop in the United States) wrote “An Address from the Roman Catholics of America to George Washington, Esq., President of the United States” by:
“… you encourage respect for religion, and inculcate, by words and actions, that principle…”

In his January 1895 encyclical (letter,) Longinqua, Pope Leo XIII showed the great historical admiration the Catholic Church had and will always have for President George Washington:
“American colonies, having, with Catholic aid, achieved liberty and independence, coalesced into a constitutional Republic… and at the very time when the popular suffrage placed the great Washington at the helm of the Republic, the first bishop (John Carroll) was set by apostolic authority over the American Church. The well-known friendship and familiar intercourse which subsisted between these two men seems to be an evidence that the United States ought to be conjoined in concord and amity with the Catholic Church… for without morality the State cannot endure-a truth which that illustrious citizen of yours, whom We have just mentioned, with a keenness of insight worthy of his genius and statesmanship perceived and proclaimed. But the best and strongest support of morality is religion.”

From the above letters it is easy to see the comfort level with a president who will be respectful of religious freedom like George Washington versus a president who is harmful toward it like Barack Obama. President Obama has had no kind reply to people of faith about their religious freedom. Only disregard through his actions, like the HHS mandate which was born from the unjust ObamaCare law.

On the other hand, in correspondence dated March 1790, a humble President George Washington replied to Bishop John Carroll with a letter to Roman Catholics stating, among other things;  “And I presume that your fellow-citizens will not forget the patriotic part which you took in the accomplishment of their Revolution, and the establishment of their government; or the important assistance which they received from a nation in which the Roman Catholic faith is professed… it shall be my constant endeavor to justify the favorable sentiments which you are pleased to express of my conduct. And may the members of your society in America, animated alone by the pure spirit of Christianity, and still conducting themselves as the faithful subjects of our free government, enjoy every temporal and spiritual felicity.”

Those are great and humble words from our first leader, who protected our first American freedom, who voluntarily stepped down as President of the United States and could have been king. Now, our forty-fourth leader, who refuses to protect our first freedom, must be made to involuntarily step down by the popular suffrage or we will have a man who will continue to act unabated against religious freedom as if he is our king.

O Holy Spirit, strengthen us to defend all that is holy.

Peter L. Hodges Sr.