Friday, November 25, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #113* The Catholic Defender: Mass Processions

In the Old Testament, the Israelites would march behind the Ark of the Covenant. Joshua was instructed to March around the city of Jericho one time for six days.

The Soldiers of Joshua did as instructed with the seven priests carrying ram's horns before the Ark.

On the seventh day they marched around the city seven times. The people were instructed to wait for the sound of the ram's horns and and with this signal, they were to shout aloud.

The Lord would do the rest. The walls came tumbling down and the Israelites stormed the city and took it.

Processions were a way to show the might and power of an army, the Romans and Greeks were known for such processions. The Israelites had processions in much the same way.

2 Samuel 6:14 states, "Then David, girt with a linen apron, come dancing before the Lord with abandon, as he and all the Israelites were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts of joy and to the sound of the horn".

This was a spectacular event. As a Soldier, I served as a Eucharistic Minister in the field for many years.

I remember having the Blessed Sacrament with me keeping it close to my heart as I went to conduct Catholic Communion Services in the field.

I felt like David before the Lord.

2 Kings 1:38-40 speaks of another great procession, "So Zadok the priest, Nathan the prophet, Benaiah, son of Jehoiada, and the Cherethites and Pelethites went down, and mounting Solomon on King David's mule, escorted him to Gihon. Then Zadok the priest took the horn of oil from the tent and anointed Solomon. They blew the horn and all the people shouted, "Long live King Solomon!" Then all the people went up after him, playing flutes and rejoicing so much as to split open the earth with their shouting".

Can you imagine such a sight? The music and sound of the people was so loud that the earth "Split open".

This scene reminds me of another important procession! Jesus instructs two of his Apostles to go to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives with this mission, "Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find an ass tethered, and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them here to me. And if anyone should say anything to you, reply, 'The master has need of them. Then he will send them at once."

"The disciples went and did as Jesus had ordered them. They brought the ass and the colt and laid their cloaks over them, and he sat upon them. The very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and strewed them on the road. The crowds preceding him and those following kept crying out and saying: 'Hosanna to the Son of David; blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; hosanna in the highest'. And when he entered Jerusalem the whole city was shaken and asked, 'Who is this?' And the crowds replied, 'This is Jesus the prophet, from Nazareth in Galilee."

I see some similarities with Solomon and Jesus procession amongst the crowds of people. Solomon was a son of David, Jesus is of the linage of David.

They both led a procession as King before large crowds. With King Solomon, the sound caused the earth to split open, with Jesus, the whole city was shaken.

These scenes were victorious and spectacular. Processions were demonstrated for various reasons, militarily and for religious reasons.

I love the movie, "Ben Hur", with Charlton Heston. The scene after saving the Roman General's life after a sea battle, Judah Ben Hur is made a son of this Roman General.

He rides in the chariot in this major procession. These processions are much like a parade as they would show their might celebrating major victories.

It was in one such procession that St. Sebastian intercepted the Emperor Diocletian.

St. Sebastian had previously been named captain in the praetorian guards by the Emperor Diocletian.

Then Emperor Maximian also gave this appointment to St. Sebastian after Diocletian had gone to the East.

Neither of these Emperors had known that St. Sebastian was a Christian who joined the Roman Army to help the Christians from within.

When it was discovered during Maximian's persecution of the Christians that St. Sebastian was indeed a Christian, he was ordered executed.

He was shot with arrows and left for dead, but when the widow of St. Castulus went to recover his body, she found he was still alive and nursed him back to health.

It was during a major procession that St. Sebastian intercepted the Emperor and denounced him for his cruelty to Christians.

At first the Emperor was taken back thinking St. Sebastian was a ghost, but once he regained his composure, he ordered St. Sebastian to be beaten with clubs.

Today, St. Sebastian is remembered as the Patron Saint of Athletes.

With the advent of the Catholic Faith, processions were part of the early Church.

I love the special procession where the Eucharist is taken to the streets. What a sign of Christ presence among the people.

Processions became identified in the liturgy as a sign of pilgrimage.

I have always felt that the procession of the altar boys, the crucifix, the lector with the word of God presented held high and with the Priest, this represented the echo of time as in a continued journey.

The Church, the body of Christ, marching on towards the heavenly Jerusalem.

The Mass will always begin with the procession of the priest and ministers to the altar.

The Gospel readings are honored in this procession. The gifts of bread and wine are brought forward to the altar.

The Church comes forward in procession to receive our Lord in the Eucharist.

We are all moving forward to that moment when we will all meet Christ in the New Jerusalem, the eternal Kingdom Jesus has prepared for us.

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Another Advent is upon us

The commercial scene shows Santa's toy shop opening up into a huge show room full of all kinds of Red luxury vehicles. After surveying them all, Santa decides to take the Red Mercedes for a spin, escorted by two rows of silver Benz's, obviously supposed to represent the reindeer.

An image about as far flung as possible from the real Saint Nicholas, who withdrew from the riches of this world.

It is even more adverse to the reality of that first Christmas when a child, His mother and adoptive father huddled in a manger within a cave on a chilly December night in Bethlehem.

So, here we are in the Advent season and a flurry of commercials and magazine ads and displays will try and sell you everything from clothes to cars and scarcely will the word Christmas, or even the name of Christ even appear.

Seeing this, so many become more and more jaded about the Christmas season. Don't let that happen to you.

Heed the words of the Prophet Isaiah heralding this holiest of nights (Isaiah 9)-

2The people that walked in darkness, have seen a great light: to them that dwelt in the region of the shadow of death, light is risen.

3Thou hast multiplied the nation, and hast not increased the joy. They shall rejoice before thee, as they that rejoice in the harvest, as conquerors rejoice after taking a prey, when they divide the spoils.

4For the yoke of their burden, and the rod of their shoulder, and the sceptre of their oppressor thou best overcome, as in the day of Median.

5For every violent taking of spoils, with tumult, and garment mingled with blood, shall be burnt, and be fuel for the fire.

6For a CHILD IS BORN to us, and a son is given to us, and the government is upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace.

You can do so much to not be drawn into all the glitz and the commercialism this year. Be a light to someone. Show compassion to someone, rejected by others. Show kindness to someone less fortunate than you. Meditate on the significance of that cold December night as it draws nearer.

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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Logical fallacies- the core of anti-catholic debate.

Recently, a an anti-catholic accused me of circular reasoning. Since the person provided no example of this, we can be reasonably sure that he knows it is a false charge as well as we do. In fact, it can be ascertained with a pretty high degree of confidence that he likely has no real concept of what the term means.

For your benefit, I will explain circular reasoning and other common logical fallacies and how anti-catholics are permanently bonded to them.

  1. Circular Reasoning. In a circular argument, the conclusion is placed in the premise. Protestants often use circular arguments to support Sola Scriptura for example. "The Bible is the Word of God because it says it is the Word of God and we know that statement is factual because the Bible; the Word of God tells us so". Of course, Catholics believe that the Bible is the Word of God but we support that conclusion empirically, rather than by circular device.
  2. The strawman. Protestants employ this type of fallacious argument routinely. The strawman replaces the opponents actual position with a false position so that the detractor then attempts to discredit the opponent by means of discrediting the false position. For example, protestants will claim that Catholics believe in a re-sacrifice of Christ in the Mass. Catholics believe no such thing.
  3. The False Dilemma. This is presenting an argument in such a way that there are only two possible positions. "Have you stopped beating your wife?" One argument Protestants use in defending their absurd imputation theology is by asking whether or not Christ's death was sufficient to remove all sin. In so doing, they are implying that Christ's death was either fully materially and practically sufficient or it was not sufficient at all. The true option is option "C". It was materially sufficient but not practically sufficient because it necessarily requires an appropriate response.
  4. The Ad Hominem attack. In this case, the protestant anti-catholic attempts to discredit the Catholic through personal attacks.... they are nearly endless... Romanist, Papist, Pagan, Idol-worshipper...etc
  5. The Juxtaposition fallacy. The protestant attempts to juxtapose Catholics against some historical figure who supposedly believed what we do- Hitler, the Spanish Inquisitors etc.. This device is intended to prove us unworthy of being heard.
  6. Parade of Horribles. Similar to #5, this notion is that we are to be discredited by some obscene and historically untenable number (usually created out of thin air) of crimes our kind were purported to have committed during history.
  7. The Non Sequiter. This means "it does not follow". Protestant claims that Christ's words "It is finished" nullify cooperative grace is a classic non-sequiter. Also, their claim that the torn veil in the temple abolished the Priesthood. These are unsupported logical leaps.
  8. Greedy Reductionism. In this way, one simply ignores empirical evidence by reducing the argument to a desired end. For example, "I have a Bible because God wanted me to have one" allows the protestant to ignore the irrefutable historical proof that the Catholic church was the instrument God used to give us the Bible.
By means of these, and other logic fallacies, anti-catholics run from genuine debate.

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Friday, November 18, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #111* T.U.L.I.P. It's not only un-biblical, it's un-Christian

I do not take lightly the assertion that a particular Christian denomination is actually anti-christian but the sect of Calvinism does qualify. Let me explain why Calvinism, like Mormonism or Jehovah Witnesses, does not present genuine Christianity, but an evil counterfeit.

The beliefs of the cult of Calvinism are summed up in the acronym TULIP. Let us examine what this heretical set of beliefs are and how they stand at stark variance with the nature of God. Thus, you will see that Calvinism, like contemporary Judaism, Islam, Mormonism and the Witnesses present a false Christ.

Total Depravity
The Calvinist notion of the condition of man is that all men are totally depraved. Scripture, of course, refutes this nonsense in too many places to count.
Here is just one;

Luke 15 In the days of Herod, king of Judea, there
was a priest named Zacharias, of the division of Abijah; and he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. 6 They were both righteous in the sight of God, walking blamelessly in all the commandments and requirements of the Lord.
Let us remember that, at this point, neither Zacharias or Elizabeth had ever heard the name Jesus.

Unconditional election.This spiritual rat poison stipulates that God is not at all concerned with the matter of sin as pertains to salvation. In fact, this blasphemy actually has God randomly choosing who He will or will not save according to no particular reason at all. This nullifies God's Justice. This doctrine is also explicitly refuted by Scripture.

Romans 2
1 Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things. 3 But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things and do the same yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God? 4 Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance? 5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS: 7 to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, eternal life; 8 but to those who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, wrath and indignation. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek, 10 but glory and honor and peace to everyone who does
good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

Limited Atonement

This heretical piffle states that Christ did not die for all but only for certain people. Once again, the Scriptures say exactly the opposite;

Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, like those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the sins of the people, because this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 9:12 and not through the blood of goats and calves, but through His own blood, He entered the holy place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.

Hebrews 10:10 By this will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

1 Peter 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

Irresistible Grace
This doctrine states that all who are called by God's Grace, and chosen by Christ, cannot resist accepting that Grace. Again, complete nonsense.

John 670 Jesus answered them, "Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?" 71* He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was to betray him.
Perserverence of the Saints
Calvinists hold that those who have received God's Grace cannot help but persevere in Holiness. Once again, teaching exactly the opposite of what the Bible does.

2 Peter 220 For if, after they have escaped the defilements of the world through the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them and overpowered, the last state has become worse for them than the first. 21 For it would have been better for them never to have known the way of righteousness than after knowing it to turn back from the holy commandment delivered to them. 22* It has happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit , and the sow is washed only to wallow in the mire.

Flush the T.U.L.I.P and Do what ever you can to purge this demonic poison from the earth by teaching people that it is from the god of hell, not the God of heaven.

Please catch our Blog talk radio show on this topic. It is entitled Zach and Felipe, hoisted by their own petard.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Catholic Defender: United We Stand

Standing is a sign or respect and honor, it has a rich tradition in the military.

When the Company Commander walks into the Company area, the CQ (Charge of Quarters) will yell out "Attention".

Everyone will then rise up to attention and go to the position of "Attention" until the Commander responds, "Carry on" or "At ease".

This is done at the highest level of the Military. According to Military Customs and Courtesy, this is a question and answer for a study guide:

"When an officer enters a facility where he out-ranks the senior officer present, the first person recognizing him/her will call "Attention on Deck”.

Unless specifically entering the facility to address the group, the senior officer should immediately respond with, "As You Were," and then proceed with his/her business.

We stand for the Gospel reading for the same reason we stand when we sing the national anthem or pledge allegiance to the flag. It is out of respect an honor for our Lord.

1 Corinthians 15:1 says, "Now I am reminding you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you indeed recieved and in which you also stand".

We stand at the proclaimation of the gospel to give attention to the word of the Lord.

As Catholics, we stand as the celebrant who represents Christ enters and leaves the assembly.

From the earliest days of the Church, this posture has been understood as the stance of those who have risen with Christ and seek the things that are above.

When we stand for prayer, we assume our full stature before God, not in pride but in humble gratitude for the marvelous things God has done in creating and redeeming each one of us.

By Baptistm we have been given a share in the life of God, and the posture of standing is an acknowledgment of this wonderful gift.

We stand for the proclamation of the Gospel, which recounts the words and deeds of the Lord.

The Bishops of the United States have chosen standing as the posture to be observed for the reception of Communion.

The Apostles called for the Church to stand up for what we believe.

Galations 5:1 says, "For freedom Christ set us free; so stand firm and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery".

Philippians 1:27 says, "Only. conduct yourselves in a way worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear news of you, that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind struggling together for the faith of the gospel".

This is a constant meesage of the New Testamemt. The Websters Dictionary adds this as a definition: "position or condition in society or in a profession".

Hebrews 4:14 says, "Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast to our confession".

That can also imply or mean, "Let us hold fast to our profession".

The Catholic Faith stands united all over the world transcending culture, time, and space.

We proclaim the word of the Lord as with one voice.

We stand at the holy Mass to show honor, respect, reverance, and attention to the word of the Lord.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Touchdown Irish

One of Notre Dame's touchdowns from our seats at Fed Ex field

Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Eric Genuis Live

On 9 November 2011, Eric Genuis performed live at Holy Family Catholic Church in Copperas Cove Texas.

It had been a project in the making and what an event this was.

We had a great response from the Parish as we had a really good crowd of people at the concert.

Ephesians 5:18 states, "And do not get drunk on wine, in which lies debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and playing to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks always and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God the Father".

What an evening this was as Eric Genuis and his group including a violinist, cello, singer and piano.

I have known Eric Genuis for a number of years and he is truly committed to serving the Lord and playing music to reach a high level of praise through art and music.

He is a true composer of art. About 15 months ago, I was able to bring Eric to Fort Hood where he gave his first concert in the area.

Since I have retired from the Army, I began to look into bringing him to Copperas Cove Holy Family Catholic Church.

At both events, many of the people to include Father Downey (Chaplain of deepertruth) were not expecting the impact that Eric Genuis has on audiences through his testimony and music.

I am reminded of this passage from the Psalms, "Praise God in his holy sanctuary, give praise in the mighty dome of heaven. Give praise for his mighty deeds, praise him for his great majesty. Give praise with the blasts upon the horn, praise him with the harp and the lyre. Give praise with tambourines and dance, praise him with flutes and strings. Give praise with crashing cymbals, praise him with sounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath give praise to the Lord! Hallelujah!" (Psalms 150:1-6). Music is to glorify the Lord.

At Last weekend Masses, Fr. Downey promoted the concert explaining the importance of praising God in art.

This was part of our Catholic heritage. Eric Genuis really confirmed Father's words in word and deed.

Eric has a most reverant expression in word describing the intent of each number.

He would speak of the importance of recognizing the presence of the Lord in the tabernacle.

He would give a testimony of his special needs child who brought the attention of showing love to people through hugs.

There were points during the concert that you couldn't help but have tears of joy for the presentation offered. Other times you inspired as the talent of the musicians is outstanding.

These are accomplished musicians who come together to share their story in music honoring the Lord in this most powerful expression.

I am again reminded of the rebellion of King Saul.

1 Samuel 16:23 says, "the spirit from God seized Saul, David would take the harp and play, and Saul would be relieved and feel better, for the evil spirit would leave him".

What an important message this passage offers! People coming to the Eric Genius concert might have all kinds of worries, concerns, issues related to jobs, bills, or simply tormented like King Saul.

When you listen to the music, you are captivated and many times transformed as you leave after the concert. Music can sooth the soul.

As I said my final goodbyes to Eric and his group before leaving Holy Family, they were on their way to Houston Texas for another concert.

They will be going to several prisons to include San Quentin and I am sure to bring peace to the troubles soul.

St. John writes, "I heard a sound from heaven like the sound of rushing water or a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps. They were singing a new hymn before the throne, before the four living creatures and the elders" (Revelation 14:2-3).

St. John also says, "On the sea of glass were standing those who had won the victory over the beast and its image and the number that signified its name. They were holding God's harps, and the sang the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: Great and wonderful are your works, Lord God almighty. Just and true are your ways, O king of the nations. Who will not fear you, Lord, or glorify your name? For you alone are holy. All the nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed" (Revelation 15:2-4).

Eric Genuis will play one of my favorite songs of his called "Joseph's Song".

This song has always touched my heart and I know that my co-host John Benko of deepertruth, can agree with me.

This impacts many people and can be a healing for those carrying much pain.

Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one and regardless of how, this song is such a great inspiration.

"Joseph's Song" is Eric's own story of holding his little son Joseph who died not long after. Now Joseph sees God along with Joseph and Mary and all the Saints.

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

*BEST OF DTB #110* A predator in happy valley


The image could not be any more made for afternoon TV.

The plain white and blue uniforms, the grandfatherly figure who taught his players not just how to play hard nosed football, but how to live as decent human beings.

The setting was a blue collar college town in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, known as "Happy Valley".

Cue the people laughing amidst the sounds of a marching band and cheerleaders shaking pom poms.

Unfortunately, it appears there was a monster in Happy Valley.

Shrouding himself in the pomp, circumstance and tradition of this iconic and legendary football program, was a ghoul, sadistically stalking little boys. Using the cover of a charity program, Jerry Sandusky allegedly raped up to 17 boys. I say allegedly because our system of justice presumes innocence in this case.

It is getting very hard for me to do so.

Image vs Reality.

All of life is encapsulated in this conflict. Each of us is caught up in the struggle between seeing that which is and that which isn't. Sometimes we fail to see that which is because we are simply not provided with the right information. Sometimes we simply refuse to see things as they are because we don't want to. Sometimes, there is a blurring of the lines between these two.

Nevertheless, for up to 17 boys (if not more, heaven forbid), the incongruity between their reality and the image of Happy Valley could seemingly not have been more stark.

The truth is, specifically for these poor boys (and their families) in particular, and for the rest of us in general, Happy Valley does not actually exist on this earth. Catholic prayer refers to earth as a valley of tears and the Psalmist, at least indirectly, as the valley of the shadow of death.

It is hard for those of us watching to comprehend how the devil can flourish in a place called Happy Valley. That is just the point. The devil uses the illusion to mask his true intention- our destruction.

Take this example. Here, the enemy used the very ruse of Penn State values, the very pretense of a charity designed to help children, to wreak savage wreckage and destruction, traumatizing families and sending shock waves of scandal for the end game of the ruin of souls.

If there is a compassion in all this, it is in the fact that the veil is pulled back and all of us, for a time, come to understand the devil's true and unvarnished malevolence for us.

Do not fail to learn from such a painful lesson. Do not fail to be impressed by the sheer cruelty, selfishness and indifference displayed by this sociopathic monster and by the cowards that surrounded him, emboldening his grotesque, life shattering exploitations of our most innocent.

In the Penn State catastrophe, we should see the Devil for who he truly is and be far less willing to go chasing after sin, doing his bidding, gaining for him even more power to defile the innocent, destroy families and drag souls into hell.

Not my family, Lucifer. Not without a fight.

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle.
Be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray;
and do Thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host -
by the Divine Power of God -
cast into hell, satan and all the evil spirits,
who roam throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

The Catholic Defender: Substance Abuse

According to the American Council for Drug Education’s facts for Employees:
“More than 70 percent of substance abusers hold jobs; one worker in four, ages 18 to 34, used drugs in the past year; and one worker in three knows of drug sales in the workplace. Americans consume 60 percent of the world’s production of illegal drugs: 23 million use marijuana at least four times a week; 18 million abuse alcohol; 6 million regularly use cocaine; and 2 million use heroin. In the workplace, the problems of these substance abusers become your problems. They increased risk of accident, lower productivity, raise insurance costs, and reduce profits. They can cost you your job; they can cost you your life.”

The cost of these addictions runs up into the billions of dollars annually. The cost of medical bills skyrocket and insurance premiums continue to soar. Health care costs are causing a huge drain on the American taxpayers.

Illegal immigrants and accidents caused by alcohol and drug abuse pay a tremendous toll on our families.

I remember the commercials showing a party of children playing and at the end of the scene, it is reported that a major character was killed by a drunk driver.

Because of the tragedies associated with alcohol and drug abuse, American business continues to lose man hours.

In the Army, alcohol is associated with about 90% of the family domestic abuse causing the loss of productive man power.

This becomes a command focus as families have to resolve these issues at the Army’s expense. Obviously, alcohol and drug abuse can also affect business outside the Military.

What is Substance Abuse?

People dependent on drugs such as heroin, cocaine, or crack who have become addicted to the point that getting through the day they have to have a “shot” just to get through the day—are clearly substance abusers.

One of the biggest problems associated with alcohol and drug abuse is denial.

This is much more than physical or psychological dependency. This can range from the “weekend binges” to those who abuse prescription drugs.

My wife currently works as a Head Nurse over a local “Wounded Warrior Project” at a local Military installation.

She continually aids those who are addicted to prescription drugs. These addictions affect the mental health and stability of the families concerned causing many hardships.

My wife works with these individuals keeping a close eye on their intake of medication prescribed by the doctors. Her success is being watched throughout the Army medical system.

The prevention of suicide becomes another added concern for the health care/business world industry.

Does it Threaten Jobs?

Substance abusers are ten times more likely to miss work and four times more likely to be involved in “on-the-job” accidents which certainly have a negative impact on the work- place.

As a Senior Noncommissioned Officer for several years, it was one of my duties to handle these problems in the unit.

For every issue of abuse, there are literally hundreds of work hours that affect the Command.

The counseling, the work hours involved, the time spend ensuring that the Soldier does not hurt themselves runs into the thousands of dollars. The work load among workers is much higher when you have substance abuse among the ranks.

The mission must be accomplished despite problems associated with substance abuse.
This can affect moral in a huge way.

Outside the Military, for civilian business, substance abusers will be nearly five times more likely to file a worker’s compensation claim.

Operating heavy machinery from tanks to trucks under the influence of substance abuse enhances the danger around everyone involved.

It is estimated that nearly 40% of all industrial fatalities are the result of having substance abuse involved. Having a drug free climate greatly reduces the risk of accidents.

What are the Signs of Abuse?

Substance abusers in the workplace can be difficult to identify. In the Army we have a “watch your buddy” policy which helps identify abuse.

Corporate education from the top down can effectively prevent these problems by identifying signs and symptoms of substance abuse.

Here are some clues that signal possible drug and alcohol problems.

1. Frequent, prolonged, and often unexplained absences,
2. Involvement in accidents both on and off the job
3. Erratic work patterns and reduced productivity
4. Indifference to personal hygiene
5. Overreaction to real or imagined criticism
6. Such overt physical signs as exhaustion or hyperactivity, dilated pupils, slurred speech, or an unsteady walk

Preventive measures can radically improve the work place as well as renew families. It is important to understand that substance abuse can happen to anyone from every cultural, ethnic, religious background. It is important to know those you work with and understand dramatic changes in their work habits.

This is an issue that transcends all backgrounds. It is important for Christians as well. Pope Benedict responded favorably to the Dutch Government saying:

"While recognizing with humility that her own members do not always live up to the high moral standards that she proposes, the church cannot do other than continue to urge all people -- her own members included -- to seek to do whatever is in accordance with justice and right reason and to oppose whatever is contrary," the pope said.

Pope Benedict said he was "encouraged by the steps that the Dutch government has taken to discourage drug abuse and prostitution."

Substance abuse and its addictions are another form of bondage.

The Scripture teaches that our own bodies house the Holy Spirit, "Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body," (1 Cor. 6:19-20).

If you can understand the Catholic teaching on this issue, you can see this as a guard rail. These addictions have been responsible for nearly 90% of all domestic abuse, child abuse, violence in the family.

God offers deliverance to those enslaved by these addictions.

You do not have to live as a refugee, but you can be totally renewed and your life restored.

Pope Benedict said he was "

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