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Vic Biorseth, OWM; http://www.CatholicAmericanThinker.com
The Catholic American Thinker is my site.
I am nobody you ever heard of. My full name is Lyman Victor Biorseth. My family all call me either Lyman or Butch; everyone else, including my wife and her family, just calls me Vic. My Confirmation name is Michael. I live in Huber Heights, a Northern suburb of Dayton Ohio, with my wife Marcie, and our nephew Mark. We are all transplants from Southeastern Michigan.
Born and raised in Detroit, I served six years in the US Army as a radio operator from 1960 to 1966, with Foreign Service in Germany and ending with a tour and a half in Vietnam. Although raised as a Catholic, I stood pretty far from the Lord during those Army years.
Marcie and I met in a strange way. She wrote me a nasty letter while I was in Vietnam, chewing me out for not writing to my mother often enough. (She was working in a Detroit hospital as a nurses aid, caring for my mother, who was ill there.) So, we were writing. Then I came home on leave and we met; and I decided I wanted to come back to civil life, and to eventually marry her.
I came home and got my discharge in 1966, with a 40-day early-out due to my extra time in the combat zone. I immediately started courting Marcie, working the assembly line in a GM car plant and going to college in the evenings on the G.I. bill. And all the time, Marcie was pulling me back toward the Church. I really had to clean up my act a lot. (Her prayer life was severely disrupted by the radical changes after Vatican II, and even she was no longer a heavily practicing Catholic.) We were engaged Christmas of 1967, and married Memorial Day 1968. We were never blessed with children; we accept God’s will for us and bless His holy name.
My ongoing education began paying off perhaps a bit prematurely, because I got into data processing, as it was called back in those days, before I got my degree. The school actually placed me in my first programming job. Eventually, the extra hours demanded of the job got the better of the heavy load of study time, and I never finished my degree work. I've been a computer programmer / systems analyst / consultant ever since. In 1972 my employer moved us to Dayton Ohio, and we've been here ever since, although I've changed employers several times.
In March of 1991, my Marcie was mentally, emotionally and spiritually devastated by the sudden death of her sister Joyce, due to an undetected aneurism. Marcie was thrown into the deepest depths of depression, from which it seemed she might not be able to emerge. It was the most difficult and trying time we've ever been through. Her faith in God was shaken to the core, and, her faith was her foundation; her whole well-being, in fact, her very being was very dependant upon her faith, since she was a little girl. I knew, without being able to explain how, that no other part of her health and well being was going to get back to normal unless her faith was restored.
So, I started gathering Catholic information, regarding grief, and faith crisis, and why bad things happen to good people, and how could a good God allow such a terrible thing, and so forth. It wasn't enough; I wasn't the guy to do this, and I couldn't get "expert" fast enough or well enough to do the job. I started getting her into dialogues with priests. We began praying regularly. We joined our church and returned to living life fully as Catholics are supposed to live life. We were members of multiple Catholic prayer groups, went on religious retreats, our reading and even TV viewing choices turned to Christianity and Catholicism. You might say we went quite overboard, if there is such a thing in religious matters.
It took a long time, but we got through it together, thank God. The grief of losing someone you love never really leaves, but it gets older, and bearable. And then, when there was time to reflect, I came to a gradual recognition of something that had changed in me. Through this whole process - in fact, since I received that nasty letter in the war zone - Marcie had been gently prodding me back toward the Church. My so-called faith, up until Marcie's crisis, was a lip-service, going-through-the-motions kind of faith. It was all because it was so important to her, and because I loved and wanted her, and because there was no way we were going to be married outside the Church, and because nothing was ever going to be allowed to come between her and her Catholic faith. If we were going to be together for life, well then we were going to be Catholic, that was all there was to it, and I knew that from the start.
In the midst of all of this effort to return Marcie to her faith, I went to confession for the first time in over 30 years. I spent a lot of time preparing, all to no avail; when I started, I just fell apart and couldn't remember all the stuff I prepared for. But the priest, who wasn't the least bit fazed by anything I said, just took over, and lead me through a good examination of conscience, and my full return to grace. It probably didn't take 10 minutes, although I don't really know. It is fair to say that I just about floated out of that confessional. I cannot even describe the feeling.
When the worst of the crisis was over, I recognized, in myself, a very solid faith that I didn't remember from before. I believed when I was a kid, but pushed it all away from me as a smart-assed, know-it-all, tough young man, and had, as I said, been mostly going through the motions for the sake of my beloved wife. But now, I believed; I recognized the Truth. I was meditating on where this new belief came from, this recognition of the Truth of it all, and the slow realization came over me that Truth didn't come from anywhere. He always was. He was standing right in front of me all along.
Now, here's the ultimate irony in it all. Marcie had never really lost her faith. She had gone through her dark night of the soul, anguish, depression, dryness-in-prayer, and more; but she had never lost her faith in God. In trying so hard to return her to a faith she never really lost, I found in myself a solid faith that I never previously had. It was really the first time I dug into Catholicism in a big way, and I didn't start all that research for myself, but for Marcie. And, digging into Catholicism proved to be habit forming; indeed, I'm still doing it.
In fact, it led me into a program of study leading to the Catholic Deaconate; you can read about that unhappy experience in the various Cafeteria Catholic pages.
And so, that's how we got to this point. The Catholic American Thinker is an opportunity, mainly, to write about stuff. My favorite stuff to write about involves my religion; my second favorite stuff involves our rather unique American brand of liberty.
There is one thing only that is important. Never lose sight of that one thing.
Military Life gave me a certain amount of self-discipline, order and confidence. But it really took two hitches to get the job done. I never really “soldiered” until well into my second three-year hitch. Perhaps West Germany was too much fun for an immature youngster like me. I got promoted a lot over there; in fact, I made PFC three different times. Too much available booze, too many friendly girls to fight over, to many other immature young military punks like me all around, all out to prove something or other.
That whole first three-year hitch was just one big long game of cowboys and Indians for me. I was one of the few who thoroughly enjoyed all the “alerts”, field exercises and war games, and just being out in the boonies, no matter what the season or the weather. I especially enjoyed being the “bad guy,” sneaking around in the woods and sneaking up on people. Cowboys and Indians; it was a lark. My second three-year hitch was a whole lot more serious, and serious soldiering finally got my undivided attention.
Overall, still, it was a quite positive and formative experience. There were numbers – indeed, there was a majority – of young soldiers who didn’t party and fool around as much as I did in those early Army years. You are likely to meet few veterans, whether peace time or war time, who would not describe their military life as being “good for me” and who do not feel that they are better off for it.
You cannot experience military and unit discipline without increasing your own self discipline. You cannot bond with and depend upon your fellow soldiers without becoming more dependable yourself. You cannot join in a military unit commitment without being able to solidly commit yourself in the first place. Lastly, while I was always fairly patriotic, military life, particularly the parades and the pageantry, makes you act patriotic. You cannot act patriotic, in a virtual sea of fellow patriots, for very long without actually becoming more patriotic.
The military life instills or enhances self-discipline, order, confidence and patriotism, and all of those are good character traits that will serve the young man well throughout the rest of his life.
Courtship and Marriage had a dramatically calming affect on my behavior. In order to advance in the relationship at all, I had to become a whole lot more respectable. Not the kind of respect due to a big, strong, hairy-chested he-man, but the respect that is due someone who is actually a decent person. Cleaning up my language was a real biggee; you might say I swore like a trooper. But my Marcie would not tolerate that kind of language, so it simply had to go. That was that.
I didn’t realize I was being changed at the time, but I can see it now. I had to respect Marcie’s personal dignity, and in so doing I was becoming more dignified. There were certain behaviors that were simply not acceptable, and so they had to go, one by one. Many of the “old world” mannerisms I had learned at home, humble as it was, came back into usage. Holding doors and chairs for ladies; taking your hat off indoors, tipping your hat, proper table etiquette, standing when a lady or older gent enters the room or approaches your table, and remaining standing until by gesture or other signal you are invited to be seated again, etc., etc., etc.
There is a whole world of these little social niceties that seem to have gone by the wayside these days; I brought them all back into my life, visualizing my uncle Vic as a sterling example of what a gentleman should do in this situation. He was, and is, the gentleman personified, a classic example for younger men to imitate.
The struggle to win Marcie was truly a life changing experience. Until marriage, our relationship was just about totally intellectual and conversational. In granting her the dignity she deserved, I was becoming more dignified myself. In treating her as the decent young lady she was, I was becoming more of a decent gentleman. In granting her the respect that was due, I was becoming more respectable. There is a discernable and very real pattern in all of this.
Catholic faith played a major role in all of this. Marcie’s character was imbued with it to begin with. Mine was a yeah, it’s there, take it or leave it sort of thing, to begin with. But, just as I had to respect other aspects of Marcie’s character, this faith thing was vital to our ongoing relationship, and I knew that, in no uncertain terms, right from the start. It made me look a little closer at God, and what it’s all about.
Faith rubs off. Respecting Marcie’s faith made me act more faithful; you cannot act faithful for very long without becoming more faithful, unless you are a total deceiver, of yourself and others. It got a little more serious in the pre-caana (pre-marriage) classes / discussions that are required before getting married in the Catholic Church. I had some lively, gentlemanly arguments with the priest, and his arguments were good, and took root. A good argument is always food for thought.
I believe that the opposite is also true; unfaithfulness rubs off. With us, thank God, it was the other way round. But if you act in an unfaithful manner and hang out with unfaithful people, and only visit Church for weddings and funerals, you will gradually become unfaithful. If you had any faith at all to begin with you will gradually lose it. That’s how I got to where I was before Marcie hit me like a bombshell, and brought me back to Earth, and serious manhood. Like everything else – manners, dignity, decency, honor, etc. – faith needs to be tended. And it needs to be reinforced by surroundings, associations, liturgy and sacrament, which amount to, in essence, living a life of faith in a faithful community and environment.
As I said before, Marcie’s faith crisis made me dig into Catholicism in a really big way, and ultimately brought me to my strong commitment to Jesus Christ, His Gospel and the Church He founded. That’s the greatest gift she’s ever given me, although she was not conscious of giving it at the time. She made me what I am today; so if you see any defects in me, it’s all her fault. (That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.)
Rapidly closing in on our retirement years, and facing the relentlessly increasing threat of job outsourcing of old, mainframe COBOL/CICS computer programmer dinosaurs like me, I took a plunge into a business venture, which failed to produce; then another, which also failed to produce. But in that process, while looking for new ways to make income, I learned how to build a WebSite, and you're looking at the results of that learning process. When I get time, I’ll write another web page about my home-based-business and work-from-home experiences.
Currently, I've re-entered the job market to keep things going until we completely retire. I got my Class A CDL (Commercial Driver’s License) and started trucking. I put in a year over-the-road with one of the largest American haulers, and then changed jobs to join a smaller company that allows me to get home on a daily or near daily basis, and sleep in my own bed in my own house, with whole weekends off, just like a regular person. This usually means 300 or so miles out, and then back home. If you watch the ads, one year (two with some companies) seems to be the magic mark for over-the-road trucking experience. Once that’s completed with no accidents and no tickets, there usually seem to be lots of opportunities for more local driving jobs.
It was a rough life, living and sleeping on a truck for weeks at a time. It meant missing all sorts of family events, including funerals, weddings, reunions and holidays. It also meant missing Mass on an almost continuous basis. You just cannot get a big truck into the small neighborhood streets where most Churches are and get it back out again safely and legally. You can’t even turn it around on blacktop without damaging the blacktop. And, contrary to popular opinion, Churches cannot always send someone to take you to and from Mass from some truck stop or rest area on short notice. By company rules, and common sense, you cannot just unhook and drop a trailer and then bobtail (drive the tractor only) anywhere because that puts the trailer and the cargo at risk, and is usually illegal anyway. Even the tractor alone is still too huge and heavy for a lot of streets and parking spots. Thank God that’s all behind us, we pray permanently.
When I started this web site, I determined to write about the two things verboten in common civil discourse, those being, religion and politics. I submit that the most important subjects to man are tied up in those two things – religion, and politics. And yet, when you have company visiting or you are visiting someone else, or when standing around the water cooler, we are not supposed to talk about religion or politics.
Religion is supposed to drive our every day actions, including even our language, our dress and appearance, and other things associated with the virtues of modesty and common decency. Our politics, in so much as we have anything to say about their direction, will ultimately determine what part of our every day actions are encouraged, allowed, discouraged or prohibited, by civil law. We lowly citizens have something to say about that only so long as our government remains a representative government.
So, this WebSite is my newest hobby; I write and argue about my two favorite topics: religion and politics. I still pray, and I still fish, and I still get out into the woods, and I still read, and I still participate in liturgy, and we still demonstrate against abortion. And we still go for long drives. But this is one more “recreation” thing that I really love to do in my spare time.
A long time ago, seemingly in another life, I began gathering and ordering information for a book, which never really became a book. It started when I got really ticked off about the clearly false way that the mainstream news media was reporting on the Vietnam War, in a manner not merely dishonoring, but outright slandering to American, Australian, South Korean and, not just incidentally, South Vietnamese veterans who served there, living and dead. Seeking to understand the why of it lead to some competing culture studies. Then, I did all my Catholic research, leading into some very serious formal studies, and all of that material, like the Vietnam and Competing Culture material, was saved on electronic media. So, once I had this new WebSite building methodology down, I already had a lot of content ready to be massaged, modified and uploaded into WebPages. And, of course, current events just keep providing new material. Luckily for me, I can type pretty fast, and I enjoy writing.
And, as it turns out, I also thoroughly enjoy working on this WebSite and creating new WebPages. My job career dealt with the very largest mainframe computers, involving smaller PC type computers only to the extent that they were necessary bridge-tools of use to get into the giant mainframe software systems I designed, developed and maintained. And, of course, to use typical business office PC tools, like email, appointment calendars, spreadsheets, schedules, data-bases, word processors, presentations and so forth. Which is to say, my PC skills are probably comparable to those of most who work in any business office today; certainly not vastly superior. And my WebSite-building experience? Well, you're looking at it.
I built everything on this WebSite using SBI!, known alternatively as Site Build It!, using the block-by-block methodology, which is the simplest way to go. How technical is it? Hey, I’m doing it. I think a monkey could do this.
Our marriage began as a holy sacrament and a partnership, a two-way commitment for the duration of our lives. Over the years our partnership has only strengthened. We stand by and take each other’s part against anyone. We recognize that behind every decision and every contentious issue lies the real contention, which is the contention between The Spirit and The Flesh, that is to say, between The Kingdom and The World. Just as we are mutually committed by marriage to loving and supporting each other for life, so are we mutually committed to seeking and promoting The Kingdom, and so are we mutually committed as co-conspirators against The World. We are not perfect, and we are not “big shots,” but we try to do whatever we can, in whatever circumstance, by personal example if nothing else.
I hope you enjoy the content, and that you might contribute to it yourself.
The two subjects of most vital importance to you and yours are your religion, and your politics. Think about it.
What kind of person are you?
What kind of people are we?
What kind of nation is this?
The eyes and ears of the Second Armored Calvalry Regiment.
Vic the Recon Scout (West Germany, 2nd A/C, early 1960s)
The dinky little airstrip at Amberg
Refueling the H13 Scout
The L19 Recon Spotter
Vic the Arial Observer. (No, I was never a pilot.)
Boots on the ground recon
Vic the Judo, Ju-Jitsu Karate freak
Sneaking up on each other; playing Cowboys and Indians.
Fun and games; taking each other prisoner, or trying to.
Vic's 3/4 ton radio rig at Ft. Hood Texas; call sign for that operation was Speedy Rascal. I think this is somewhere in the Mojave Desert on Operation Desert Strike, 1964.
Serious soldiering began in Vietnam, 1965 - 1666. 864 Eng., MACV.
Vic is the one in the swimming trunks.
Near the Bong Son River Bridge.
Marcie the Young Maiden
I had to make her mine
To make her mine, I had to become a better man than I was
A glorious journey that continues
Coming home, October, 1966
Courtship days - I think this is at Eddy's house.
Christmas, 1967, when we were engaged.
May 31, 1968, Memorial Day.
Vic and Team at Computer Sciences Corp. on DoD software contract.
Vic the Systems Analyst
Marcie (Marcia) the Bookkeeper
This is just us being us.
This is us at home
This is us at the park.
Posing for the camera.
Same pose, better half
Us old farts
Vic the fisherman.
Lake Meade, Nevada. My favorite picture of Marcie. My dad running the boat; my shadow obscuring the bass.
Marcie the fisherman
Vic the hunter
Us out camping (Marcie won't hunt)
Vic the Bicycle camping tourist.
Vic the Hot Rodder. Dropping an engine into an Olds 442.
Vic the Cross-Country Skier.
Marcie the Cross-Country Skier.
Marcie; Florida Vacation Time.
Marcie in Marguaritaville.
Some of our political demonstration signs. Abortion is Marcie's hot button topic.
More signs. I started going with her because I feared for her safety. Now, it's my hot button issue too.
Vic the Theology Student. Class Picture, Athenaeum of Ohio LPMP.
Nephew Mark Wacker lives with us. Mark is disabled by frostbite injury to his hands and feet, substantial amputations on his feet, and some loss of sensation and precision in his extremities. Mark takes care of us.
Vic the not so brilliant private business man.
Vic the over-the-road Long Haul Trucker.
Trailer is 53', whole system 74', over 9' wide, 13.6' tall. 34,000 lbs unloaded, 80,000 lbs w/max load. Tractor alone is 17,800 lbs.
Marcie took vacation time and went with me over-the-road living on the truck for a week or more, three different times. The truck number is an address number of a house she once lived in.
Marcie and Mark with the tractor.
Working in the sleeper section of the cab. That's a refrigerator to my left.
A very serious strategic and tactical error.
All the world's greatest musky fishermen in the same spot at the same time! One grenade could have gotten us all.
Nephew Randy Brunnemer and his catch, which was the biggest musky any of us ever actually caught. Of course, I have hooked into many, many much, much larger muskies, but they all managed to get away.
??? Don't you guys believe me? ???
Vic the Courier Driver
Marcie in the Square Foot Garden; taken from the office window, before the apple tree got so big.
My Marcie, bearing witness for the babies.
Here's Vic, the heavy burden of global responsibility weighing on his mighty shoulders, occupying the chair of the Supreme Allied Commander of the entire Thinking Catholic Strategic Center.
Believe it or not, this is actually the super-hero Nemesis of Falsehood, in his ingenious disguise as Vic Biorseth, mild mannered local delivery driver. You can ask his wife, his boss, his pastor, or anyone who knows him; not one of them could see him as any kind of super hero, or the head of any giant think-tank, or even as being particularly smart.
Which proves the absolute brilliance of the disguise.
Honky Biorseth. Note the different colored eyes: one blue and the other gold. Honky is stone deaf from birth. The only cat I've ever been able to sneak up on. To see more about Honky click on the image.
Smokey Biorseth Smokey isn't deaf, but he may as well be. He doesn't listen to a thing I say either. Update: Smokey has passed on; to read the updated kitty info at our house, click on the image.
Hover-Link Footnotes: For the convenience of those readers using devices that lack a mouse, these footnotes are provided for all webpages, in case any webpage contains any hover-links. (If you don't have a mouse, you can't "hover" the mouse over a link, without clicking, to just to see the related Acronym appear.)
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Respond to This Article Below The Last Comment
Date: Thu Jan 22 21:40:52 2009
From: Luis Soto Jr.
Date: Fri Jan 23 06:55:31 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Luis: Thank you; I may need to know what page you were on where the rollover didn’t work. The rest of the line of HTML code I use for that link is as follows: OnMouseOver="window.status='Them There Real Scientifical Type Fellers'; return true">TTRSTF As you can see there is a final close-quote; but maybe one is missing somewhere on this site. This code works fine on my computer, as it is set up. Note that I had to turn off POPUP BLOCKER in my operating system and use the one in my firewall software to get this rollover code to work. There is a nearly impossibly vast array of combinations of computers, operating systems, add-on toolsets, firewalls, filters and blockers out there to contend with. If it doesn’t work, the reason is most likely related to some security setting, or combination of settings. In the past, several of my users who had this problem solved it by temporarily turning off their popup blocker; one solved it by changing from one popup blocker vendor to another. Believe it or not, one user solved it by changing his cookie settings, which doesn’t make sense to me, because when you “roll over” a link you haven’t even clicked it yet. Anyway, for him, accepting all cookies solved his problem. Try turning off your popup blocker first. If it then works, you might need to experiment with combinations of settings to get the exact security level you want. Everything is a compromise. Once upon a time, this code was universal, and it would work everywhere. Hope this helps you and others; if not, let me know the page you were on and I’ll take a look at it. Regards, Vic
Date: Tue Feb 24 17:44:40 2009
From: Mike Rizzio
Location: Robstown,TX USA
Vic, You are an original and I mean that as a great complement. Thanks for your candid sharing of a very inspiring story. All our prayers go out to you, Marcie and Mark. My clan includes me (49); Jen (39); John Michael (9) a future priest (a very premature baby with multiple congenital amputations); his impetuous sidekick Joseph (7)(who might be a father of 12) and our newest, the recently adopted little flower, Gianna Rose (2). We had four straight miscarriages after JoJo and yet God has so blessed us with so much to be thankful for over the years. GiRo is our latest prize. We are lay members of the Society of Our Lady of the Most Holy Trinity. I served in Wildflecken and Aschaffenburg in Germany 1982-1985. I was a Systems Analyst in my last assigment as a Captain in 1991. You on the other hand worked for a living. :) GBU P.S. I have been blogging at http://eucharist-emc2.blogspot.com (Opens in a New Window).
Date: Tue Feb 24 19:54:58 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Mike: Thank you for the kind words and your prayers. Your family sounds like such a blessing! Please kiss them all for us, and we will add you and yours to our prayers. I dare say that I served in West Germany during a period that displayed a far different temperament of the German people toward American soldiers; it was a very good time for Yankees to wear the uniform out on the street. I could hardly pay for anything. Some unknown citizen would frequently pay my waiter or waitress for my beer or my food before I got the bill, wherever I was. The Germans loved us then. Kennedy came to Germany, and he spoke German, and the German people were nuts about him. He visited the troops everywhere; he called us Freedom’s Frontiersmen, and we all pretty much loved him, too. (I don’t think I knew what a liberal was back then.) I remember that he got us a raise. He also designated the Green Beret. The German citizens were so afraid of the Russians, so enamored of Kennedy and so grateful for our presence that they were always going out of their way to show their gratitude in some small way. East Germans and Czechoslovakians were daily risking their very lives to get out, any way they could, and get into West Germany. Many didn’t make it. I still think of them sometimes during my prayers. God bless, Vic
Date: Thu Apr 23 15:11:14 2009
From: Mary Casalino-Jellerson
Location: Moriarty, New Mexico, USA
I have read a lot of your site and I am so pleased that I have found it. I recently came across a group of Orthodox Catholic Franciscans in Lubbock TX, and I have talked with one of their priests. He talked to me about the modernism heresy, and that is how I found you.
I believe that the Church left me after Vatican II and what remains is something I don't recognize. I go to Mass again, but it feels like it isn't real, like maybe when I wasn't looking, it became Protestant.
My children and I are a little lost. I have 7 children and I am divorced, my ex has subsequently died. I remarried 6 years after the divorce and 3 years before the death of my ex. Throughout our marriage of 22 years, my husband was very abusive. I went to the Church for help and they told me to go home and be a better wife and pray.
When I just couldn't anymore, I divorced him. When he petitioned the Church for an annulment, it was granted here in Albuquerque, but didn't make it to Phoenix for a second opinion before he died. When I asked why he could get this done I was told that he couldn't seem to tell the truth, so he was probably incapable of contracting a marriage. I asked why no one brought this possibility up before my life and those of my children were ruined, and no one had any answers for me. Evidentially, the old idea that marriage is for life is now open to discussion, and you are not bound by the Sacrament unless you want to be. When I went to the Chancery and asked if my marriage was annulled, the Defender of the bond said No, because it hadn't made it to Phoenix, but my understanding is that basically, going to Phoenix is just a "rubber stamp" and it would have been granted if he had lived long enough.
It hardly seems to me that the Catholic hierarchy would bind one partner in a marriage but not the other, just because the partner decided to be a liar, or as my sister believes, because it was the male partner who was asking. I think that just the possibility of that happening would make marriage null. Unfortunately, my children saw the same thing, and now as adults, marriage means very little to them. Catholic marriage seems like prison for the girls, with no way out, and no incentive for the guy to behave, because he can always get an out. Some are married, but not the same way I was, and all of them find it acceptable to have children without getting married. Six of them are girls, and they don't want my life.
I think there are a lot of families out there who are dealing with issues like this, and it is making us, as Catholics, incredible, and our beliefs laughable because of the fact that the Church will not support us in our attempts to live it's teachings, in a world which places no value on family, morals or virtue. You can see this at Mass on Sunday when everyone frowns when children act up, and the Priest looks at you and is silent until you can get the child to shut up. There is also the fact that if you have many children, there is no way you can afford a Catholic education for them, Catholic high school here costs 10,000 per year per kid, and the alternative, CCD is a joke.
We would be well advised to take a lesson from the Mormons in their support for families. They take care of each other. No Mormon family ever has to depend on the state for help during times of trouble, but, we do. We do not put the emphasis on community that we need if we are going to deviate from the current acceptable "norm" as much as we seem to have to in the current social climate.
Thank you for your site, I will visit it often and I will share it with my children, at least those of them who are willing to listen.
Date: Sat Apr 25 14:45:16 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you for your kind remarks; I hope you find some things of value to you and yours on the site, and I am glad that you found some Catholic orthodoxy in Texas that steered you toward more enlightenment.
I encountered the tip of the “Catholic Divorce” iceberg in my studies at the LPMP in our own archdiocese. One of the classes I took involved the annulment process, and the professor early on in the course laid out, in most positive terms, the statistics of radical increase in the granting of annulments in America during the post-Vatican II period. Too me, and I’m sure to you, there is nothing positive about that. I addressed the matter, perhaps too lightly, in the Culture War page, and probably under the various Cafeteria Catholic navigation buttons, among other places.
Essentially, a declaration of nullity, when granted, declares that there was never a valid marriage to begin with, thus affecting both parties, not just one. It usually involves some impediment of a more serious nature than the at least 22-years-later discovery that one partner had a problem telling the truth. If an adult could function in society and hold a job, then that seems, at least from this distance and with this limited information, to be a fairly thin excuse for an annulment. I suspect that many who work in the annulment process in America today are far too willing to grant the person submitting the request a response that will please him or her. This goes for both clerics and lay investigators.
The most important thing to recognize is that “The Church,” meaning, the Catholic Church in communion with the Holy Father and the Holy Spirit, did not leave you. It was a bunch of Catholic Bishops and their dioceses and archdioceses, in America and in Europe, that, to varying degrees, turned Protestant when you weren’t looking. My wife felt exactly the same way when the New Mass suddenly appeared on the scene and radically disrupted her prayer life and her traditional devotions.
But, recognize this: “The Church” has not changed. Go to the Catechism; you will find that, essentially, nothing has changed. Liturgy, yes; but doctrine, absolutely not. And now even Liturgy is settling down and trending back to the traditional. See the 1962 Latin Mass page for an example of how it’s coming back.The most horrible thing is less the scandalous annulment process as practiced in many dioceses today than how many Catholic clerics do not push simple Catholic morality hard enough. The whole secular culture today appears almost degenerate, and not enough of our priests, led by their bishops, are in open attack mode against this hideous trend. A few of them – too few – simply react to negative moral trends. You can count the ones who openly and publicly attack the enemy on your fingers. Father Frank Pavone of Priests For Life is the best example I can think of right now. It ought to be the other way round.
The Church – the one most of us recognized, because it involves our own Pastors and our own bishops – should be in open, constant, relentless, public attack mode against the open immorality on the airwaves, in print, on-line, in public education, in social trends, in law, and in politics. These men should be setting the topic and the tone in predominant cultural discussion, not standing on the sidelines until something really egregious gets their attention. Often, by that time, it’s too late anyway.
It’s too bad your pastor doesn’t love children as much as ours does. His usual response, if one is given at all, to a child crying or otherwise sounding off is to smile and continue. Children are just that; children. They occasionally make noise and disrupt conversations, and we adults just deal with it, because, they are children, and we expect that from children. On the rare occasions when a little one just goes bananas, the mother, father or older sibling usually takes him or her to the crying room, enclosed by glass but equipped with speakers, so they can still hear what’s going on. Most often, a child fusses a little and quiets down, and nobody pays much attention, least of all the priest.
We will pray for you and for your children. See if you can get them to go before the Blessed Sacrament for a periodic holy hour. Sometimes Jesus can do more for our souls in silence than all the study and all the logic and all the correct arguments available. Know that He is always aware, and that He is the ultimate goal and destination, and all of these troubling things may begin to be not so troublesome.
May He grant you some peace, and may He be with you and yours.
PS: Re the Mormons – I have some new Arguments Pro And Con pages rattling around in my head that will eventually be laid down in this site, arguing against Mormonism and Jehovah’s Witnesses as being non-Christian sects, due to nothing more than their own official teaching. There are some more critical secular/political arguments that cry out to be laid down first. But, despite the heretical and erroneous Mormon doctrines, you are quite right about the strong, moral living standard and the strong sense of community, which are nothing short of exemplary. If you can find a good, orthodox parish and/or a good, committed Catholic prayer group, you may find the same sort of supportive community there. Be aware that some of these strong Mormon “communities” may involve polygamy and cult-like groups with secrets. By and large, most Mormons make excellent and highly moral American citizens.
Date: Thu May 14 10:16:34 2009
Just happened upon your blog.
You are wrong, the Catholic Church has changed with regards to marriage/divorce/annulment.
This is undeniable and is the reason I am a former Catholic.
Just wanted to say that but did not drop in to argue.
God be with you.
Date: Sat May 16 09:35:02 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Karl:And also with you.
No, we are both right; the only difference in our positions is in what we have in mind when we say the words “The Church.”
”The Church” of Cincinnati (or, insert other heterodox diocese / archdiocese name), Daniel Pilarczik (or, insert other heterodox bishop name) presiding, has indeed changed in its treatment and adjudications regarding marriage/divorce/annulment. A declaration of nullity is much easier to get approved on much flimsier grounds in most American dioceses and archdioceses today than in the past. This is what some of us call the public scandal of “Catholic Divorce.” However …
”The Church” Christ founded upon Peter over 2,000 years ago, today headed by Benedict XVI, has not changed in its treatment and adjudications regarding marriage/divorce/annulment. Nor has it ever changed its position on any other matter of faith and morals first established in the Fidei Depositum, which was established by our Lord Jesus Christ and his chosen apostles in the first century AD. This “Public Revelation” closed with the death of the last apostle. Nothing in the Public Revelation has ever been changed, and nothing has been added to it or omitted from it. This, and this alone, is the deposit of faith to which the term Infallibility relates, and about which The Church teaches infallibly with the aid of the Holy Ghost.
Nothing new; nothing deleted; nothing changed.
The history of it is quite clear. As noted elsewhere in this site, the whole, sole reason for the very existence in the world today of the Church of England (Anglican Church) was the desire of an English king to get an easy divorce and remarriage, and the Church’s refusal to allow it. That’s it; that’s all there is.
Karl, if you want to see the faith presented in its original form but in modern language, visit the Catechism of the Catholic Church (opens in a new page) site, and either enter a search term, or go through the index or table of contents, and just read.
Here’s paragraph 1629:
1629 For this reason (or for other reasons that render the marriage null and void) the Church, after an examination of the situation by the competent ecclesiastical tribunal, can declare the nullity of a marriage, i.e., that the marriage never existed. In this case the contracting parties are free to marry, provided the natural obligations of a previous union are discharged.
Now, right above it in the Catechism are paragraphs describing the legitimate establishment of a valid marriage; one or more of those requirements must have been violated in order for the marriage to have been null – I’m sure you will agree, by the time the couple is at Mass before the altar and the priest or deacon and making their vows, this would be an extreme rarity. Catholic marriage is not (or should not be) a quick and easy path to the state of matrimony. It takes a lot just to get to the altar. This ain’t Vegas, by any means.
The American and European problem today is that so many bishops allow a grossly liberal interpretation, using even Freudian arguments, to weaken the local Church’s defense of the bonds of marriage. To me, that is a scandalous situation.
I’m sorry that you are an ex-Catholic. I hope you will reconsider what you owe to your tradition, to your spiritual and mental well-being and to your soul and look into what the true faith teaches with an open and objective mind. It has not and it will not change, until He comes again. Regards,
Date: Fri Jun 12 15:53:34 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
Re the previous "annulment" entries, see the new Catholic Marriage Annulment page. Regards, Vic
Date: Mon Nov 30 20:44:25 2009
From: Susan Greve
How are you? Guess what happened to me and my husband? On JUNE 29 OUR HOUSE BURNED TO THE GROUND. What a shock. It was caused by spontaneous combustion of the mulch---totally bizarre and surreal. A great opportunity for offering up, for sacrifice and all that goes with it. Just wanted to let you know since everything burned up my pc, et al, is gone. Have you written anything since June 28? How about ACORN and the CCHD?
Date: Tue Dec 01 05:39:34 2009
From: Vic Biorseth
I’m so sorry to hear about the fire; what a horrible loss. We can hope and pray that good may come out of it in some way, in new beginnings perhaps. Sometimes in starting from scratch we see and appreciate things in a new way.
Yes, I’ve written a ton since late June. Probably the best place to start is to click the BLOG button. It’s not a BLOG as most people think of them; it’s an automatic Website log that keeps track of the latest Webpages added or changed on this Website. Whatever I’ve just done automatically moves to the top of the stack, by date. Some of it is just updated because of comments added to the bottom of a page. Unfortunately, some time ago I started a site reorganization to put navigation buttons on all my arguments, among other pages, and to organize my pages so that I can more easily find what I’m looking for. That re-org work updates the BLOG too, and the BLOG only holds the last 50 updates, and that knocked some current work off the 50-entry automatic BLOG. There are now a whole lot of pages here and it’s getting hard to keep track of them all. Some day I’ll git ‘r done.
Re ACORN and the CCHD, a lot has been written. Probably the best place to start is in The Church is Rotten to the Core page and it’s links, and the following dialogues and links. The beginning point was a submission from the Submit An Article page.
In between work, and keeping up with dialogues, and writing as the spirit moves me, I’m still updating the site to get it organized into some sort of sensible arrangement. There never seems to be enough time to do it all.
VicP.S.: You might subscribe to the free E-Zine – each time I do a new Webpage it goes out to all subscribers via e-mail.
Date: Wed Sep 08 16:47:46 2010
From: Deacon Channing Fell
Location: Round Rock, Texas, USA!!!
Thank you for your thoughtful application of your God given talents.
I have only read a couple of your blogs to date.
In reading your and Marcie's story, I was moved by the raw, tender experiences. They echoed much of our own.. Phyllis and I were married in 1976. Spiritually, our challenges were similar...and brought up memories of difficult times where it was all we could do sometimes to just see God's sandals.
Our lives, however, had other struggles... 3 sons... feeding, clothing, educating, tolerating, praising and above all, loving them. We felt so "ill prepared" to care for such glorious gifts of God's grace... and we still do.
Somehow God led me to the Diaconate .. a miracle I cannot explain, comprehend or understand ... I can only "accept" the mystery ... This is not because I am so "good", but because God is ... and because of my loving, faithful Bride.
I shall continue to read your blogs .... may God's blessings be with you, Marcie and all you love and hold dear.
No need to "post" to your blog ... this is for your eyes .... and soul ....
I am unable to read at long stretches, so this may take me a few weeks to get through all your current blogs...
Should you desire to contact me, you have my email here.. and I have given you my full name ...
Peace and blessings of Jesus Christ be with you!
Your brother in Christ,
Deacon Channing Fell
Date: Wed Sep 08 17:59:05 2010
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you for your kind words and wishes. I hope you will read with a critical eye and keep me straight in my Catholic theology. We will pray for blessings for you and yours, and that you may be a channel for the spreading of the Word.
Date: Thu Dec 09 22:11:43 2010
From: DAVID BARRY MCKNIGHT
THANKS AGAIN VIC FOR YOUR EMAIL A FEW DAYS AGO ABOUT LARRY NELSON. I HAVE ENJOYED YOUR WEBSITE VERY MUCH. I AM FROM OAKMONT/VERONA PA. 14 MILES NORTH OF PITTSBURGH,PA. BAPTIZED CATHOLIC/BA DEGREE GOVT/POLITICS ON GI BILL AFTER USAF 1970-1973. HAVE A GREAT CHRISTMAS/GOD BLESS YOU,WIFE AND FAMILY/YOUR VETERAN FRIEND/DAVID BARRY MCKNIGHT.
Date: Fri Dec 10 05:41:45 2010
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you again for finding Larry’s grave and paying your respects; we were buddies.
May the infinite peace of the Christ child descend upon you and yours, and remain with you throughout the New Year.
Date: Wed Apr 13 22:20:12 2011
Email: Monterey, CA
A very intriguing and inspirational story, but it leaves some strings untied. For instance, what about the business you tried – is there any detail you want to talk about? And what ever possessed you, after a 38 year programming career, to a retirement choice of truck driver, of all things? Love what we have read so far; keep it up.
Date: Thu Apr 14 07:02:51 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Juan: I think our personal business attempts will take a whole other webpage to describe because they are so involved. I tried several things, all things that could in theory be done entirely or mostly from home. All failed to produce. Eventually, I had to do something to supplement our income, so I looked at what could be done other than a home based business. I was drawn to trucking by two things; first, I love to drive and I love to see this country, and two, I held a perhaps naive and immature view of truckers as being the last of the American cowboys, living a life of freedom out on the open road. As it turned out, they are not so free. They are inconstant contact with a dispatcher, and seldom are given time to breath between loads. And, it is a very hard life out on the road, living on a truck, particularly if you have a house of your own to maintain, and you are neglecting it for multiple weeks on end. And, the pay isn’t what it is cracked up to be, especially considering all the family events and church attendance that you miss. Some day I’ll do a new page titled something like Home Based Businesses That Have Had Me and add it to this site. Right now, I’m supposed to be working to finish the series of pages I started in the Shut Down Unneeded Bureaucracy page, involving America’s largest bureaucracies and our national debt problem. But then, in current events, the Republican leadership dropped the ball again, and we had Obama’s Let’s Tax Our Way Out speech, and I just got depressed with it all. So I’m going to do a couple of more enjoyable pages before I get back to cost cutting and bureaucracy. For one thing, I got a nostalgic wild hair and decided to add some pictures and updates to this page, and ran into a module limitation problem that may force me start a new linked-to page to show the current headquarters of the Catholic American Thinker here in Ohio. For another, I really want to do a page on our beautiful little Lithuanian Church, highlighting the windows and the beautiful artwork and design. When that’s completed, I’ll go back to treating unneeded tax paid bureaucracy, and when that’s completed – maybe I’ll do the home based business – work from home treatment. Thank you, and may God bless.
Date: Fri Apr 15 23:24:16 2011
May I humbly ask why none of my submissions on any pages on this site have ever appeared here? I have said nothing crude or vulgar, so what are you afraid of? I make submission after submission, and I wait, and I check, and nothing. It looks like you only pick submissions in which you think you can win the argument, and you drop the rest and pretend you didn’t see them.
Date: Sat Apr 16 07:23:58 2011
From: Vic Biorseth
Dionysus: See the submission rules in the Contact Me page. None of your submissions contain so much as a coherent thought, let alone a decent argument. Mindless one or two liner “chants” or slogans regarding how Obama is no Marxist, or how Communism favors religion, or how Mohammed favored Jews, are simply not worthy of publication on this site, let alone response. I do not argue with fools, nor do I choose to stand by and witness any fools in argument. Air-headed – meaning, statements with nothing behind them but air – that come in to this site are just deleted outright. I have neither the time nor the inclination to deal with them. The only reason I’m publishing this submission of yours is so that others like you might see it and be advised. This is my site, and I make the rules. Either develop a well reasoned and civil argument for this site, and back it up with something, or take it elsewhere.
Date: Mon Jul 25 01:06:21 2011
From: Benjamin L
Interesting Site. Interesting pictures, and thanks for serving in the United States Army. Thanks for being Roman Catholic, Hunting, Fishing, Camping, and disliking communists.
Date: Wed Dec 12
From: hideo hamaguri
Thank you for sharing your life through photos. Very interesting and inspiring. God Bless
Friday, January 18, 2013
Updated pictures to take advantage of the newly released "picture gallery" feature of BB2. All pictures are now in a "gallery," except for the ones that are also clickable links, which are the cat pictures.
Thursday, March 18, 2013
Added a few more pictures.
Date: Wed Jun 19 22:24:46 2013
firstly WELCOME HOME and thank you for your service Sir! I am your Brother in Arms (retired Navy) and your Brother in Christ. I am new to your site but LOVE your writing. Good stuff! Thank you very much Vic, don't change!
Date: Thus Jun 20 20:20:16 2013
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you, sir. It's good to be here; as bad as it might be today, there's no place I'd rather be. Welcome to the site, and welcome home yourself.
Date: Fri Jul 04 2014
From: Vic Biorseth
Changes pursuant to changing the website URL
and name from
Thinking Catholic Strategic Center to
Catholic American Thinker.
Pulled the trigger on the 301 MOVE IT option June 1, 2014. Working my way through all the webpages. .
Date: Thu Jan 08 12:10:58 2015
Location: Winter Haven, Florida
Wow! Knew you Butch when we were 16. Great web-site. Looks like you have had a wonderful life. Congrats on your accomplishments.
Date: Thu Jan 08 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
Naaah, I don't get no respect.
I would have been 16 in 1959. You have me at a disadvantage. What is (or was) your full name?
Date: Sun Jun 07 07:18:38 2015
Location: Winter haven, florida
My name is Carolyn Prather Groover. I lived on Trinity. We moved to Florida in Nov. of 1959.
Date: Sun Jun 07 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
What a blast from the past! Great to hear from you; hope you've had a happy life. I joined the Army in Oct. of 1960, after a great deal of turmoil at home between me and my step father. God has been very good to us. Some of our fondest memories are from Florida, where I was reintroduced to my real father's family, and eventually to him, in Nevada. Hope this finds you well and happy in the Florida sun.
Date: Sun Jun 07 17:14:46 2015
Location: Winter haven, florida
I have a good retirement life. I dropped out of school but returned to school earning a bachelor's degree in nursing and a master's in healthcare administration. I worked at our local hospital for 38 years. I was married for 41 years before my husband passed from cancer. I have 3 children. One is an owner-operator truck driver. I play bingo, dominoes, go on cruises and all those old folks things. Thanks for your reply. I will continue to enjoy your column. My best to you.
Date: Sun June 07 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
So sorry about the loss of your husband, but glad to hear of the blessing of your three children. May the blessing of the Lord be upon you, and bring you joy.
Date: Mon Sep 07 20:28:18 2015
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
I came upon your website when I googled Modernism, Catholic. It looks like a solid Catholic website, and I look forward to reading more of your posts, time permitted.
I particularly liked your 'about me' introduction.
God bless you and your wife,
Date: Tue Sep 08 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you, and may your blessing return to you and yours.
Date: Wed Sep 23 18:41:57 2015
Location: Winter haven florida
Hope you had the opportunity to see the Pope
Date: Thu Sep 24 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
No, not this time. We are not as excited about Pope Francis as we were about John Paul the Great. We are studying his words and praying for him, but that's it this time.
Date: Wed Nov 25 17:39:54 2015
Location: Paris, France.
My 90 year old mother passed away on Jan. 2nd, 2015. She worked for the US Navy in World War 2. Could you please pray for her ? She was a true American patriot who loved the US. I thank you and God bless you all. Her name is Maria.
Date: Thu Nov 26 2015
From: Vic Biorseth
Please accept our condolences; Maria has been added to our prayer list.
May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in peace, and may the perpetual light shine upon them.
Date: Fri Apr 08 16:54:04 2016
Can't read your whole site (you are very prolific!) but read a few things including your very touching love story with Marcie. It is/was beautiful and just wanted to let you know. God bless you both!
Date: Sat Apr 09 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Thank you; see the Contents page and pick your topic(s).
Writing is cathartic for me, and a pressure valve. Sometimes I think if I couldn't write I might explode.
Date: Sat Aug 13 02:23:08 2016
From: Linda Kay williams
Location: Indianapolis IN
Nothing surprising about your accomplishments.
Blessed wishes to a good man.
Date: Sat Aub 13 2016
From: Vic Biorseth
Wow, another blast from the past!
So nice to hear from you after all these years. Hope you are well and happy. How is Addison doing?
My accomplishments aint' so hot; I'm still working at 73. On the bright side, I figure I can really retire in another 35 years or so. But we are blessed with health, each other and the Lord, and life is good.
Never be lukewarm.
Life itself demands passion.
He who is indifferent to God has already forfeited his soul.
He who is indifferent to politics has already forfeited his liberty.
In America, religion is not mere window dressing and citizenship is not a spectator sport.
Do not allow our common destiny as a whole people to just happen without your input.
Catholic American Thinker
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