It's official. The Catholic Knight is retired.  I'm hanging up the helmet and passing the torch. There will be no more articles, no more commentaries, no more calls to action. THIS BLOG IS CLOSED. I've spent a very long time thinking about this, I believe the time has come, and is a bit overdue.  I want to thank my readers for everything, but most especially for your encouragement and your willingness to go out there and fight the good fight. So, that being the case, I've spend the last several weeks looking for bloggers who are fairly active, and best represent something akin to the way I think and what I believe.  I recommend the following blogs for my readers to bookmark and check on regularly. Pick one as your favourite, or pick them all. They are all great..... In His Majesty's Service, THE CATHOLIC KNIGHT

Saturday, October 22, 2005

NEWS FLASH: Harriet Miers Was Never A Catholic

DALLAS -- The Roman Catholic diocese of Dallas is setting the record straight: Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers has never been a Catholic.

A review of records for such sacraments as baptism, first Eucharist and confirmation found no evidence that Miers or anyone in her immediate family was Catholic, Bronson Havard, a spokesman for the diocese, said Friday.

Acquaintances of Miers have said she worshiped as a Catholic and attended Episcopalian and Presbyterian services. For some 25 years, Miers has been a congregant at Valley View Christian Church where in 1979 she was baptized by full immersion, consistent with the evangelical church's beliefs...
{Read Full Story Here}

Just setting the record straight here folks. Some people have been led to believe (by erroneous media reports) that Harriet Miers was once a Catholic, but was then converted to Evangelicalism. As you can read above, this was never the case. Miers frequented Catholic churches, as well as Episcopal churches for reasons known only to her, but later decided to join an Evangelical church.

Many of you are probably wondering what's the big deal? Why is this even a topic for discussion? Well, I'll tell you. Being an Evangelical convert to Catholicism, I tend to have a little bit of insight on this sort of thing. You see, American Catholics are particularly sensitive to the conversion tactics of SOME Evangelical churches. This isn't universal to all Evangelical groups, but it is standard operating procedure to many.

Evangelicals are sometimes called "born-again Christians." They can be members of specific denominations, such as the Southern Baptist Convention and the Assemblies of God. Or they can be members of loose affiliations, such as Calvary Chapel and Foursquare Church. Or they can be regular attendants of completely independent nondenominational churches that have no affiliation whatsoever. Some Evangelicals simply meet together as small Bible-study groups in people's homes. Evangelicals are typically characterized for their strict observance of key Protestant doctrines as Sola Scriptura (Scripture Alone) and Sola Fide (Faith Alone). They tend to interpret the Bible literally (most of the time), and put an emphasis on preaching the gospel to the "lost." The word "evangel" means gospel or "good news," hence the name "Evangelical" which means "bearer of good news." They tend to be very conservative, both on moral issues and political matters.

When Evangelicals preach the gospel to the "lost," they're just practicing their religion. Nobody (except godless heathens) holds that against them, nor should they. That certainly isn't the problem many American Catholics have with them. In fact, most Catholics would agree with the Evangelical mission to preach the gospel, and I personally know many Catholics who secretly admire Evangelicals for their consistent work in doing just that. As a matter of fact, Pope John Paul the Great insisted that Catholics must do likewise.

No, the problem has nothing to do with preaching the gospel in and of itself. The problem comes when some Evangelicals ADD TO the Gospel their own little sectarian digs against Catholicism. Some groups actually target Catholics for conversion to Evangelicalism. American Catholics are faced with this on a regular basis. For me personally, I experience some kind of conversion attempt (by an Evangelical) on a weekly basis. It happens about once or twice a week. An Evangelical might make a casual comment about how Catholicism is "unbiblical" in one area or another. Often the phrase I hear is "God's Law verses laws of men," and the context is their religion verses mine. Their's (Evangelicalism) of course being "God's Law," and mine (Catholicism) is naturally what they refer to as "laws of men." As a convert to Catholicism, I find myself practically immune to these attempts to strike up a conversion session, and I frequently ignore them. Most "cradle Catholics," who have been raised in the Church, find themselves similarly immune IF they regularly study and practice their faith. On the other hand, many "cradle Catholics" don't, and that makes them especially vulnerable to this kind of targeted conversion tactics. Catholics unfamiliar with their own faith are easily misled by Evangelicals who "appear" to know more about Catholicism than they do. Half-truths and propaganda are quickly accepted as "truth" when they contain a small portion of the truth, packaged together with untruths. Think of these tactics as wrapping a skin of truth around a great big lie. One example is the classic "Catholics worship Mary" routine. The Evangelical targets a Catholic whom he thinks might be receptive to conversion. Usually this is a non-practicing Catholic who has not studied his faith since the fourth grade in Catholic elementary school. The Evangelical casually asks, "Why do Catholics worship Mary?" The unsuspecting Catholic responds correctly "Oh, we don't worship Mary, we just pray to her." The Evangelical quickly rebuffs; "But prayer IS worship, the Bible says so." The Catholic suddenly assumes the Evangelical probably knows more about the Bible than he does. So the conversation continues, and the non-practicing Catholic is led down a path of carefully scripted questions and answers designed to get him to doubt his Catholic faith. Many of the questions are rhetorical, because the one asking them knows that most Catholics won't be able to answer. Many of the answers are inaccurate, containing a hint of truth, but stuffed with a falsehood. The result is usually a conversion. The non-practicing Catholic begins attending an Evangelical church where he is carefully fed more of these questions and answers. Before long he's convinced that Catholicism is a non-Christian cult, and he was never truly a Christian to begin with. So he's rebaptized under the Evangelical tradition, and renounces his Catholic baptism as an infant. The propaganda works so well that many of these converts will start repeating the propaganda nonsense back to their Evangelical friends. They'll say things like: "Oh I used to be a Catholic, and when I was I worshiped Mary all the time, because that's what the Catholic Church teaches." If course none of this is true, but often times the convert is so conditioned by the propaganda that he starts to believe it and apply it to his own life experiences. It's reinforced by the way these Evangelical groups affirm and praise him for his "courage" to "tell it like it is brother!"

Such conversion tactics and propaganda methods have led many American Catholics to consider this a form of "brainwashing." Catholic families are quite frequently devastated by the tactics of such groups when one family member is seduced by them. It frequently causes the seduced family member to come back and attempt to convert the rest of the family. If the family resists, by practicing and studying their Catholic faith, it sometimes results in arguments and condemnations by the seduced family member. Such heated arguments and condemnations are usually followed by separations, in which the seduced family member cuts off all ties with his family, because in his belief "they're all going to Hell anyway."

How do I know all this? I know because it's personal you see. When I was an Evangelical I used to engage in the very tactics described above. I personally oversaw the conversion of about half a dozen non-practicing Catholics to Evangelicalism, and I personally witnessed the devestation it brought to their families. One of these converts was a very close friend of my own family, and I saw how it hurt her and the relationship she had with her parents and siblings. My attempt to further discredit Catholicism eventually led me to source material from the Catholic Church itself (instead of the conversion "How To" books). Once I obtained actual Catholic documents (like the Catechism and Vatican decrees) I was shocked to discover that none of the propaganda I had been dispensing was true. This, among other things, eventually led to my conversion to the Catholic Church. Now I teach young Catholic teenagers how to resist these conversion tactics and study the Catholic faith (which includes study of the Bible and the Catechism).

So how does all this relate to Harriet Miers? Simple, the mainstream liberal media is well aware of resentment among many Catholics toward some branches of Evangelicalism because of these very targeted conversion tactics. They know this resentment does sometimes lead to hostility and heated exchanges between Catholic and Evangelical groups. One of the reasons why Republicans are doing so well in elections is because conservative Catholics and conservative Evangelicals remain largely united on social issues, regardless of their differences on religious matters. To liberals in the mainstream media, this is an alliance that MUST be broken, and they'll say anything they can to encourage a split. Personally, I believe most media "mistakes" are intentional. Their bias is not in what they tell us, but rather in what they don't tell us. The facts they leave out (perhaps intentionally) are designed to sway our opinions one way or another. Media liberals want Catholics and Evangelicals to break up their social alliance on politics. To facilitate this, they need to reopen old wounds, and pout salt into them. They know many American Catholic families have been hurt by the targeted conversion tactics of SOME Evangelical groups. Telling these families that Miers is a single Catholic woman, who converted to Evangelicalism, (obviously not by reason of marriage) will bring those old wounds back to the surface. It will force them to question Miers ability to act as a judge independently when she was apparently so easily influenced by propaganda lies about her own previous religion. This will be assumed because most Catholics DON'T convert to Evangelicalism unless they have been influenced by this kind of tactic. It could eventually cause a good number of conservative Catholics to break allegiance with Evangelicals on this issue. The whole idea here is to force a religious split on Miers; in which conservative Evangelicals love her for her staunch Evangelical faith, and conservative Catholics dislike her because of her apparent weak and amiable Catholic faith. Were Miers "conversion" real, conservative Catholics would have just cause to be concerned. What the liberal media intentionally failed to mention is that Harriet Miers was never officially a Catholic to begin with.

Yes, that's right. Harriet Miers was never a member of the Roman Catholic Church, and she never received the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Harriet Miers is not, and never has been, Catholic. Occasionally visiting Catholic churches does not make one a Catholic. Neither were her parents Catholic, nor any other close family members. Thus she was never "converted" to Evangelicalism.

No conversion equals no old wounds to remind Catholic families of. Which is why the liberal mainstream media convienently failed to mention it. Never underestimate how low the liberal media will sink. We got lucky on this one. The Catholic diocese of Dallas got tired of all the flap about Harriet Miers and made a press release. The Associated Press goofed by actually reporting it. While NewsMax (a conservative media outlet) picked up the story and put in their front page news. So now the truth is out there, but how many Catholic families will hear it? How many are already nursing those old wounds previous media stories reminded them of? Has the damage already been done? Will conservative Catholics unite with conservative Evangelicals on the Miers nomination? Only time will tell.