The Vestibule of Hell

In my Bible study class today, our teacher, Dr. Bill Creasy, was teaching on the Gospel of John and on Jesus’ trial by Pontius Pilate.   Pilate tried very hard to save Jesus but he got no cooperation from him.  In the end Pilate gave in to the mob, refused to do the right thing and gave him up to be crucified.   The question often is asked:  what happened to Pilate later?  Dante’s Devine Comedy, Canto 3:49-60 has a helpful hint; as summarized by Creasy:

In the Divine Comedy, Dante places Pontius Pilate not in Hell proper, but in the vestibule of Hell. Rejected by God and not accepted by Satan, he is among those who are “nowhere,” those cowardly souls who refused to make a choice in life or to stand up for what is right.

I could not help but think of those of us who are too cowardly to make the right decision when it comes to the killing of the unborn babies.  Specifically, Vice President Biden, comes to mind when he made the statement that he believes what the Catholic Church believes that life begins at conception but he is not going to “impose his faith on others,” or words to this effect. Click here for verification of this.  This position strikes me as the same as what Pilate did:  In the face of truth, cowardice takes over.

I cannot help but think what will Joe Biden do when he’s face to face with our eternal judge and is asked the same question.  Will he give the same answer?  Joe is not alone in this he has many others who believe as he does.

Assisted Suicide and the Culture of Death

California has become the fourth state in the nation to legalize assisted suicide, joining Vermont, Oregon and Washington.  The culture of death has slowly gained acceptance in our culture, in large part, to how it is being presented.  The advocates of assisted suicide call it “death with dignity,” “compassionate choices” and the like.  This is another frontal attack on the dignity of life, whether in the womb or in old age.  Since this is a huge subject.  I will not address why this so wrong.  I want to point out one more ominous development that has happened in California:  The fact that 23 left wing Democrats decided for 30 + million people on matters of life and death instead of putting this huge decision to the voters.  California voters have rejected this type of law no less than six times in the past 20 years. This is pure tyranny, no matter where you stand on this issue.  This should scare you whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican.

A Referendum, supported by the Catholic Church and other organizations, is currently being circulated to take this issue to the voters, as it should, in November 2016.  Our church is circulating this this coming weekend.

Planned Parenthood and the Left: An Inconvenient Truth

The recent Planned Parenthood undercover videos have provided a venue for a discussion that the leftist media does not want to have:  The horror of abortion.  The videos brought to our living room the truth about abortion.  Is abortion “a woman’s right to choose”? or “women’s health”?  The inescapable videos bring the truth about abortion in front of our eyes.  The killing, by dismemberment, of a human being.  There are people who do not want to see these images.  Why not?  They do not want to admit an inconvenient truth:  Abortion kills a human being in the most brutal way, by dismemberment, limb by limb.   We are horrified by the beheadings by the ISIS killers in the Middle East.   Abortion does the same thing and we call it “women’s health.”  Who are the barbarians?

Leftist politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi, say that the videos are doctored?  doctored?  have they watched any of them in full?  probably not. Click here to hear Ms. Pelosi verify this statement.  So, let me see if I understand this, you have not watched the videos but you think they’re doctored? Do you have any proof of this?  No.  On September 27, 2015, NBC’s “Meet the Press” host, Chuck Todd had Carly Fiorina on.  He thought he would catch her in a misstatement about her comment about Planned Parenthood in the last debate.  You could see he was salivating.  Carly humiliated him in her sharp, clear and concise response.  This is one for the ages.  Click here to see it.

As I was driving today, I saw a person with a bumper sticker on her car saying:  “I’m Catholic, I vote.”  Now this is a very naive person.  The truth of the matter is that Catholics are no different from the general population when it comes to voting on moral issues.  Democrats would never win an election if all Catholics voted according to church teaching, such as the sanctity of life and the importance of traditional marriage,    The sad fact is that liberal Catholics are no different from liberal atheists. Catholics, like liberal Christians and Jews, have substituted leftism as their number one religion; traditional religion is always secondary. Click here for an incisive analysis by Dennis Prager  on Joe Biden and leftism.

Human Trafficking: Today’s Slavery

When did slavery end?  No, it was not with Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.  Slavery is alive and well today.  You may think that if it’s alive it’s in Africa or some other third world country, as I did, until I heard a talk at our church about human trafficking in Los Angeles.  Human trafficking is happening right in your back yard, except you’ve never seen it.

How does human trafficking work?  Two examples:  A young girl runs away from home; within a few days she will be approached by a human trafficker and groomed.  She will be told that the person talking to her cares for her and that he will take care of her.  With time she will learn to trust this person as her boyfriend who has her interest at heart.  Once she commits to this fellow, he drops the hammer.  He’ll tell her that they can make a huge amount of money in the sex business.  He assures her that he loves her and that sex with others for money is not that bad and it really validates their relationship.  If she objects he will turn to intimidation. He will tell her that if she refuses he will hurt her and her family.   The human trafficking pimps are so good at what they do that they manage to take complete control of the girls by threats of physical and psychological intimidation.  At a recent church human trafficking workshop, an LAPD Lieutenant who is the head the Human Trafficking Division told this story of a young girl they interviewed:  This young girl told her story about how she got enmeshed in this.  The police were able to arrest the pimp and prepare a criminal case against him.  When they went to court the girl refused to testify against the pimp for fear of reprisal.

A second way young girls get involved goes something like this:  A beautiful young woman is working at a department store.  A well dressed gorgeous woman approaches her and tells her that she knows a job she can get her that will pay her way more than she can make at the store.  She tells the young woman that she can pick her up after her shift and take her to her office where she will lay out her case.  The young woman agrees.  At the end of her shift she picks her up in a brand new Mercedes-Benz.  The young lady is now very impressed,  She takes her to her office where she meets this hunk of a young man who just sweeps her off her feet.  This young man then grooms her until she is in.  He then tells her what her real job will be:  sex for money.  If she objects, the threat will come.  Threats of violence both to her and her family.

Here are some facts about human trafficking:

1.  There are an estimated 27 million slaves in the world today, that’s the highest number in history

2  Human trafficking has been identified as the second largest criminal enterprise in the world, second only to drug trafficking.

3.  The United States is one of the top three destination points for human trafficking, with California, Nevada, New York, and Texas as the top states.

4.  According to estimates, 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation and 19% labor exploitation.

5.  The average age for of a young woman in human trafficking is now 12 years old.  Click here for more information.

An important point made by the LAPD Lieutenant mentioned earlier:  Victims of human trafficking are NOT prostitutes.  They are victims.  A 12-year old girl does not volunteer to be a sex slave.

Click  here for a 43-minute documentary by CNN called Amber Lyon’s Documentary.

What can we do?  Be informed and inform others.  If you run into anyone involved in human trafficking give them a number they can call for help.  Human Trafficking Hotline:  1-888-3737-888; or contact Zoe at 661-255-7963.

Read the book:  How You can Fight Human Trafficking by Susan Patterson and Through God’s Grace Ministry.  You can buy it on

Assisted Suicide is Neither Compassionate nor “Death With Dignity:” Oppose California’s SB 128

It is often said that whoever controls the language controls the debate.  This is true when it comes to the “compassionate left.”  They clothe their words in such flowery language as “compassion,”  “death with dignity, “personal choices,” and other words that would lead you to believe that only a Nazi would oppose such things.  When we speak of assisted suicide, such as practiced in three U.S. states, Oregon, Vermont and Washington, such flowery words are far from the truth.  What they’re selling is death, killing and possible rampant elder abuse.  Recently, the Los Angeles Times, to its credit, published an opinion piece by a doctor, called “We should Think Twice About Death With Dignity.”  Click here  to read it.

This is a hot-button issue.  Unfortunately, many people are hugely uninformed about it.  I would not want to have my life prolonged by any extreme means.  I’ve put this in writing in my Living Trust.  However, assisted suicide is another story and needs to be carefully investigated before we decide where we stand on it.  No matter where you stand on this issue, the most damaging and scariest part about such a law is the slippery slope that it creates. Once the door is open you can never close it again.  Can we afford this?  Here are some facts to consider:

In the Netherlands and in Belgium where they have such laws, the slippery slope is no longer slippery, it’s an avalanche.   In Belgium twin brothers who were going blind decided to kill themselves because they could not stand not being able to see each other once blind. Click here to read their story.  Dutch doctors report that assisted suicide is out of control and impossible to regulate. Additionally, the law in the Netherlands has morphed into doctors administering euthanasia without a person’s consent.  The Ohio Patient’s Rights Council reports these findings:  “In addition, 8,100 patients died as a result of doctors deliberately giving them overdoses of pain medication, not for the primary purpose of controlling pain, but to hasten the patient’s death. (13) In 61% of these cases (4,941 patients), the intentional overdose was given without the patient’s consent.”

Oregon’s law is equally impossible to regulate or supervise.  See additional details related to Oregon in particular later in this article.  The possibility of abuse is huge and uncontrollable.

In California there is a pending bill, SB 128, which will bring assisted suicide to California.  Once this is legal in California it will spread like wildfire to all other states.  The experience in Oregon, Vermont and Washington has shown that there is little or no oversight at all.  Lethal medicine can be picked up and administered by a family member.  In many cases, the sick and feeble are under immense pressure to take their own life, not wanting to burden their family.

Margaret Dore, a Washington attorney who specializes in these cases, has written extensively on the dangerous practices that occur in each state that has this law.  Click here to read her compelling and shocking analysis.

Another huge issue is who supervises the execution of these laws and how effective can they be controlled?  We’re not just losing money, we’re losing lives, human lives.  Here is an example of the non-supervision of the Oregon law as published by the Ohio Patients Rights Council:

Under Oregon’s law permitting physician-assisted suicide, the Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) – previously called the Oregon Health Division (OHD) – is required to collect information, review a sample of cases and publish a yearly statistical report. (1)Since the law, called the “Death with Dignity Act,” went into effect in 1997, ten  official reports have been published. However, due to major flaws in the law and the state’s reporting system, there is no way to know for sure how many or under what circumstances patients have died from physician-assisted suicide.

Statements made by individuals who have been involved in assisted suicide in Oregon — those who implement it, compile official reports about it, or prescribe the lethal drugs — clearly show that the law’s “safeguards” are not protective and that effective monitoring is close to non-existent. (2)

Has This House Become a Den of Robbers?

“Social Justice” is often used in religious circles, as a call to action.  Of course no one ever defines what they mean by the term.  Is there a difference between justice and “social justice”?  if so, how?  It is universally understood that “social justice” refers to a more left-wing interpretation of what Jesus taught, that is, to take care of the vulnerable, the weak, and the poor.  Those who promote “social justice,” more than likely, have an economic interpretation of the term, more akin to, say, income inequality.  The Bible is filled with many calls for justice; it does not qualify the term with an adjective.  In Micah 6:6-8 it states this: “O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.”  In Isaiah 1:11-17 it states:  “Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean, remove the evil of your doings from before my eyes, cease to do evil learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

What has this to do with abortion or pro-life?  Plenty.  What does it mean to do justice?  Do we do justice when we kill the unborn and call it “women’s health”?  Are we doing justice when we declare what is just only by what we feel is true and right, rather than what morality, truth and justice say is true?  Do we set ourselves up as our own god when we make these choices?  Again, the Bible here is informative.  In Jeremiah 7:1-15, the Lord says it this way:  “If you truly act justly one with another, if you do not oppress the alien, the orphan and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own hurt, then I will dwell with you in this place.”

In our culture, abortion is legal up to birth.  In recent time, Dr. Kermit Gosnell, an abortion doctor in Philadelphia was convicted of murder, not for doing abortions but killing the newborn after delivery.  Here is why he was convicted:  “Jury finds Philadelphia abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell guilty of three counts of first-degree murder for the death of three babies that prosecutors said were delivered alive and subsequently killed. NBC News’ Chris Clackum reports.” This is how is was reported by NBC News.  Click here to read the story.  So it was plain to see that Dr. Gosnell was only convicted because he actually killed a baby after it came out of the womb. Had he killed the baby before extraction he would not have been convicted.  Now you can argue when life begins, but you cannot argue that a baby is not a human being until it comes out of the womb.  To do so, as many do, is intellectually dishonest and plain foolishness.  Are we doing justice when we kill unborn babies?  Are we doing “social justice” when we kill unborn babies?

Jeremiah 7:1-15 has this stern, but unmistakable warning:  “Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal ….and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, “we are safe!” only to go on doing these abomonations?  Has this house become a den of robbers?”  Verse 15 continues: “And I will cast you out of my sight, just as I cast out all your kinfolk, all the offspring of Ephraim.”

They Have Eyes to See, but They Don’t See; They Have Ears to Hear, but They Don’t Hear

Yesterday I attended “One Life LA,”  the first Los Angeles, California, Walk for Life.  The event started at Olvera Street, the IMG_0067 famous Downtown Pueblo de Los Angeles historic monument dating back to Spanish California.  About 15,000 people attended.  The purpose of the walk was to show Los Angeles that life is precious and should be protected from conception to natural death as Archbishop Jose Gomez, and many other speakers mentioned in their talks.  As I predicted, the main stream media completely ignored it.  EWTN, a Catholic Television Network, televised the talks live, but no other media showed up.

Later that evening, as I was heading to church, I was listening to KNX News Radio in my car.  Among the things of the day that they reported was that about two dozen marched in honor of Martin Luther King Holiday in Long Beach,  No mention of the 15,000 people in Downtown Los Angeles marching for life.  This morning, the Los Angeles Times failed to even mention the event.  Now, compare this to when a couple of dozen anarchists, bent on violence and destruction, showed up in Downtown Los Angeles, not long ago, demonstrating against the Police killings of two black men in New York and Ferguson, Missouri.  For a month the nightly news was filled with marauding hoodlums and news reporters interviewing people on the street about why they were there.  But, when an event that the leftist media (all media except Fox News Channel), disapproves of or does not comport with their world view, then they just ignore it. Whenever  a few hundred people gather for an immigration rally, something the leftist media loves, they’re all over it, but when 15,000 pro-life people have and event, they just look the other way.  They have eyes to see, but they don’t see; they have ears to hear, but they don’t hear.