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Breaking the Tie for Catholic Voters

I, like the vast majority of Americans, have grown weary of politics. It seems that the political discourse in America has become much more harsh and much less civil of late. I suppose that if I am honest with myself, I have fallen prey to this phenomenon. This most recent presidential election has been the nastiest that I can recall in my lifetime. Perhaps it is because I have become much more politically aware, but I doubt it.

As Election Day draws near, my gut tells me that just about everyone has made their decision about who they will vote for. There may be some of those elusive “undecideds” left, but I have not run across any lately. Just in case there are any Catholic voters who have not yet made up their mind, or are at least persuadable, I want to share one final thought before that all-important ballot is cast.

Per IRS regulations, the Church must remain non-partisan. The Catholic Church cannot advocate for or against a particular candidate or party. As an individual, I do not have to hold to that standard. The Church can speak out on issues, and has been very vociferous on numerous issues leading up to this election.

As the host of a nationwide show on Sirius XM’s The Catholic Channel, I hear from people of all different backgrounds, both Catholic and non-Catholic alike. I hear often from Catholic supporters of President Obama. The most common reasons they give for supporting the president have nothing to do with his record. Rather, they have to do with their perceived negatives about Mitt Romney.

“Romney supports abortion (in cases of rape, incest and life of the mother.) He supports the death penalty. He wants to do away with support for the poor. So, Mitt Romney can’t possibly be the candidate that Catholics support. Neither candidate is truly in line with Catholic teaching.”

That last statement is certainly true. Neither candidate falls in line perfectly with Catholic teaching. To my knowledge, there has never been a candidate for office whose policies would all line up perfectly with Catholic teaching. President Obama is the most pro-abortion president in history. Governor Romney supports the death penalty. There are a host of things that people can point to with either candidate.

For the sake of argument, let’s say that in some alternate universe President Obama and Mitt Romney were dead even when it came to Catholic teaching. You pulled out a big sheet of paper and wrote down the pros and cons of each and at the end, the columns came out exactly equal. (Note: that’s not the way it works. Issues must be weighted, and the sanctity of life issues must be given much more weight. But play along anyway.)

At this point, what is the Catholic voter to do? Flip a coin? That seems rather arbitrary for such an important decision. Is there anything left that could break the tie? Allow me to make a suggestion. You should vote for the candidate that has not orchestrated a full out assault on your Church. I’m talking about the HHS Mandate contained in Obamacare. It is not only an assault on religious liberty, but I believe it is a frontal assault on the Catholic Church.

President Obama is demanding that Catholic organizations pay for products and services that are in direct contradiction with the teachings of the Church – contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilization procedures. While the president has declared that he has made an “accommodation” to the Catholic Church, in reality it is just smoke and mirrors. While facing dozens of lawsuits from organizations and companies – Catholic, non-Catholic and secular – this president has refused to budge. His strategy is to hold on until after the election. If he is reelected, you can be sure that the hammer will then come down hard. When Barack Obama is unencumbered by the need to be reelected, he will have no need to try to capitulate or placate the Church any more.

Once President Obama has gotten the Catholic Church in line, who will be next? This is an issue that should be of the gravest concern to everyone, not just Catholics. Even if you don’t agree with any of the doctrinal beliefs of the Catholic Church, you will be affected by this issue. If the government can toss aside the First Amendment rights of Catholics, then what makes you think they won’t at some point toss aside your Constitutional rights? While public funding of abortions and the marginalization of religion become the order of the day, free speech will become a thing of the past. Those who dare speak out against the almighty state will be silenced, if they are heard at all.

President Obama seems hell bent on forcing the Catholic Church to accede to his will, all in the name of the public good. While many seem to applaud his efforts, let me ask you to bring this down to the more personal. If your daughter were in a relationship where a man was forcing her to do things against her will while justifying his actions by telling her that the things he is forcing her to do are in the best interests of everyone, would you support that? I highly doubt it. So how can any Catholic possibly support this president? Because Obama is not doing this to individuals, but to “the Church?” Remember, the Church is made of people. The Church is a family – the family of God. And if you claim to be a member of the Catholic Church, then President Obama is attacking you and your family.

My dire predictions may not come to pass in a second Obama administration. But you can rest assured that each and every one of them will be fast-tracked if Barack Obama is in the White House for another four years. For Catholics, Mitt Romney is not a perfect candidate. But I am convinced that he will show far greater respect to all people of faith, and defend our Constitutional right to the free exercise of your religion, whatever religion that may be. If for no other reason, this is why I, as a Catholic, support Mitt Romney for president. I urge all of my fellow Catholics to do the same.

There will be some who will persecute me for being “too political.” Honestly, I don’t have time to care about that. This issue is far too important for me to remain silent. Should you decide to no longer listen to my radio show or support my ministry because of my position, I pray for God’s blessings upon you and yours. May Almighty God give us wisdom and peace.

Messages from Priests About HHS Mandate

Below are three videos that I played on Seize the Day. They are from priests with powerful messages on the Obama administration’s HHS mandate requiring Catholic institutions to purchase contraception, abortifacient drugs and sterilizations for all women for whom they provide health insurance. As I have stated numerous times, this is an affront on the Catholic Church and on the First Amendment of the Constitution. Preach on, Fathers!

Religious Liberty

On February 5, 2012 Father Sammie Maletta delivered a Homily at St. John the Evangelist Parish in St. John, Indiana. This Homily addressed how President Obama is threatening our Religious Freedom and declaring war with the Catholic Church. Please take a few moments to listen. No one sums it up quite like Father Maletta. Go to http://bit.ly/zPdgpw to fight the HHS Mandate.

I have a say!

My parents chose life over selfishness, and therefore….I have a say!!!
The song at the end is Matt Maher’s “Isaiah 61″

We Hold These Truths

“We Hold These Truths” is a video that we felt needed to be produced in order to clearly state the main issue in regards to the (HHS) Health and Human Services Mandate. The main issue is Religious Liberty. The mandate, as it stands right now, violates the Constitution and specifically the 1st Amendment. We have a right to the free exercise of our religion without violating our consciences. Every American should see this as an important issue. It is not a Catholic issue. It is an American issue. Join the movement at http://phatmass.com/action

The Reviews are Coming In!

As more and more people read Magnetic Christianity, they’re letting me know what they think. Here are some of the early reviews. I would love to know what you think! Email me your review at GusLloyd@verizon.net and please post it on Amazon.com’ s Magnetic Christianity Page.

The Best Book I Have Read in Years
Your book arrived last Thursday, and I have already finished it.I must say in all honesty that it is the best book I have read in years. I was sincerely compelled and touched by it. You have truly created a wonderful gift for the Church. It is concise and easy to read, yet incredibly powerful.
Your 11 attributes are right on. My daughter is only 4 years old, so she is not ready for this book yet, but when she is old enough, I want to make sure she reads it.
Your messages are so very important. I am deeply grateful for what you have done.

Thank you and bravo!
Dave in MA

Move over Tony Robbins, Brian Tracy and Zig Ziglar!
Gus Lloyd has hit a Grand Slam Home run with his latest book, Magnetic Christianity.
If you are a fan of motivational messages from the all time great speakers of the last 30 years then you are going to love this book. Gus’s ability to meld all the positive messages you are familiar with in a spiritual context is just fantastic.

This is not just another “feel good about yourself” book that has initial impact but no staying power. The straight forward insight into the deeper meaning of having a positive attitude toward everyday life is refreshing and contagious.
In a world that is so obsessed with getting more stuff and a media that only reports and focuses on all the negative in our world, you can’t help but be uplifted and re energized after reading Magnetic Christianity.

I am a business owner and plan on sharing this treasure with my staff especially the sales people who need to be proud of their profession that has been bashed for years.

Congratulations Gus for having the guts and faith to write such a book in a time when most people are viewing the glass of life half empty.

Glenn in Florida

I just finished reading your new book and wanted to send you some feedback. In one word: AWESOME!
What I liked most about this book:
  • Reading it was like listening to you. You write just like you talk on the radio. This is so cool. So down-to-earth. So people-to-people oriented. So sincere.
  • Everything you wrote is so applicable but I have to say the chapters on Approachability and Encouragement spoke to me most loudly. When you share your own personal stories, it encourages me, proving your point about the best way to evangelize is by sharing your story.
  • I really like having the book mark with the attributes listed on them. It served while reading this book and will serve as a reminder when reading other books.
  • I really appreciated the questions for reflection at the end of each chapter. They hit home!

Thanks, Gus, for writing such a meaningfull book! The Lord was truly with you in this writing. I pray for you and your ministry every day and I will add a request that this book be widely spread. I know that I am doing some advertising! This is definitely a book that I will re-read often. You are right up there with my favorite authors: Matthew Kelly, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, and of course, Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (these are in no special order of preference).

Doris in Michigan

Magnetic Christianity Passes the Debbie Test!

What is the Debbie Test? Find out by reading this article that appeared in the Tampa Tribune on Sunday, April 1. My thanks to Michelle Bearden of the Tribune, and to Debbie! I hope you’ll share this article with your friends!

‘Magnetic’ book draws you in

By Michelle Bearden

Gus Lloyd’s newest book passed the Debbie Test.

It works like this: Occasionally, I pass on books to the woman I hired a year ago to get my house (and, by extension, my life) cleaned and organized. Debbie is my personal miracle maker. If she comes back with a thumbs-up on the book, I know it’s worth investing my time.

Debbie is a voracious reader. Since I’ve known her, she’s read more than 100 books, mainly sticking with nonfiction that centers on spiritual life, personal motivation and biographies. I’m not sure where she finds the time, given her work schedule and a son at home, but organized people have a knack for knowing how to make the most of a 24-hour day.

I figured she was the perfect person to assess Lloyd’s latest book, “Magnetic Christianity: Using Your God-Given Gifts to Build the Kingdom” ($11.99 in paperback, $9.50 for the Kindle edition.)

Lloyd was the longtime familiar voice on the local Spirit FM, WBVM, where he hosted a morning show for nearly 12 years. Five years ago, he made the jump to The Catholic Channel on satellite radio to host “Seize the Day,” heard on Sirius XM weekday mornings from 7 to 11 a.m. He does the national broadcast right from his home in Carrollwood.

Nice guy, but I wasn’t too excited about the book. The label “Christian” has been abused, misused and overused (especially by vote-seeking politicians). Many who claim to be followers of Christ don’t follow through with their actions. I’ve covered too many religious scandals regarding greed and lies and seen too much bigotry not to be a bit skeptical.

Don’t tell me, don’t preach to me. Show me. If you’re going to be a light in the world, let that speak for you. Like Debbie. She’s very committed to working daily on her faith walk — and that starts by being kind, thankful and putting others first.

So I gave the book to her. I knew if it was a stinker, she’d tell me.

A week later, she came back all giddy and excited.

“This book gave me goose bumps!” she gushed. “Everyone I love is going to get a copy of it. It gives you a guideline on how to be a better person. Isn’t that something we’re all trying to do?”

Well, if that’s not a ringing endorsement …

Today is Palm Sunday, the beginning of the holiest week for Christians. The Lenten season — the 40 days leading up to Easter — is supposed to be a period of spiritual reflection, prayer and sacrifice. Ultimately, it’s a time of cleansing and renewal. If you messed up on your New Year’s resolutions, like I do each year, Lent is a chance to regroup and start over.

“Magnetic Christianity,” it turns out, is a wonderful little guidebook to help you do that, to get back on course.

In a straightforward and easy-to-read narrative, Lloyd identifies 11 attributes to make you a better person and to enhance those qualities in your life. Most of them are already there within you, but he shows you how to illuminate those characteristics. It may sound a little oversimplified, but that’s exactly why Debbie liked it.

“He gets right to the point and gives great examples on how to make it happen on a daily basis,” she says. “It’s like he’s right there with you, talking you through it.”

Here are the attributes that Lloyd believes will attract others to you, allowing you to share your faith on a personal level: positivity, enthusiasm, friendliness, confidence, humility, honesty, kindness, compassion, approachability, generosity and encouragement. He pairs each one with Scriptures, a “magnetic insight” (personal commentary from Lloyd) and questions to reflect on.

What are Lloyd’s strongest attributes? “Probably enthusiasm and positivity,” he says. “I love motivating people. It’s what I build my radio show around and the purpose of this book.”

He admits that living one’s faith is not an easy thing to do. He has shortcomings like anyone else. All the work he still needs to do in his own life is “enough to keep God very busy.”

But what he tries to remember every day is that the best way to introduce Christ to others is to be an example, so that others can see Christ in you.

If we really want this world to be a better place, he says, it has to start first by looking in a mirror. Each one of us can be a game-changer in this very complicated, distracted and divisive world we’re living in. Is this really so hard to do?

See the article at http://www2.tbo.com/news/faith/2012/apr/01/banewso1-magnetic-book-draws-you-in-ar-386897/

A Minute in the Church Gets Bishop’s Approval

After the first printing of A Minute in the Church, I sent a copy of the book off to my bishop, Bishop Robert N. Lynch of St. Petersburg, FL, asking if he would grant an Imprimatur for the book.  Here is the text of the letter I received from Bishop Lynch:

Dear Gus,

Thank you for your letter of January 3, 2011 and for the accompanying monograph entitled A Minute in the Church: One-Minute Catholic Apologetics. Somewhere in the back of my mind I remembered that during my tour of duty at the episcopal conference the bishops defined that only catechetical texts or textbooks for seminarians needed an official Imprimatur which often takes some time to obtain.

I believe the best route to allow you to proceed is to permit you to place in the beginning of the book this phrase: Published with the permission of Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg. Please feel free to proceed.

It is a nice aid, Gus.

With every best wish, I remain Sincerely yours in Christ,
Most Reverend Robert N. Lynch, Bishop of St. Petersburg

So…we have just ordered the third printing of the book. You will see the note at the beginning of subsequent copies of A Minute in the Church. Praise God!

A Public Apology

On Wednesday, March 14, a man who called himself Tommy called in to Seize the Day. Tommy was belligerent from the outset, and claimed that he had decided to leave the Catholic Church, and that his leaving was my fault. This all came about after I had read the text of an ad that was published in the New York Times by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The ad was filled with lies, falsehoods and innuendo, and I called them out on it; I wanted to set the record straight. This is when “Tommy” called.

After his brief rant, Tommy hung up on me. After Tommy hung up, I spent the next 4 minutes responding to Tommy. My response was less than charitable. I acted out of woundedness. That is why I want to take this opportunity to make a public apology.

I am sorry. While I stand by my claim that I am not responsible for Tommy leaving the Catholic Church, my tone and my tenor were not in the spirit of Christian charity. In retrospect, it breaks my heart that Tommy, or anyone else, would walk away from the Eucharist. That Tommy would leave the Sacraments because of any reason is a tragedy. I don’t know Tommy’s heart. I don’t know if he was a “plant” or was sincere. All I know is that I acted out of anger and did not exercise the self-control that I should have as a Christian “leader.” And so I apologize. I apologize the Tommy, and to anyone that I may have offended or led astray.

I cannot say that something like that will never happen again; I’m pretty sure that it will. But hopefully next time I will give a bit more thought before I go shooting my mouth off. I ask only your forgiveness.

By the way, if you’re thinking of leaving the Church, please take some time to think it over. Get educated, learn the true teachings of the Church. And don’t let the actions of a person or persons determine whether or not you will remain a part of Christ’s Church.

God Bless!

Gus

The Angel Effort

The Angel Effort
This year for Lent, I propose what I call the Angel Effort. Each day during Lent, I want to do something positive. You may think of them as “random acts of kindness.” Only they won’t be random. They will be planned and thought out. So I’m looking for suggestions for simple little things that we can include in our Angel Effort. Let me give you a couple of starter ideas; simple things that we can do to help make someone’s day better.

Pay for the person behind you on a toll road.
Call a friend or family member you haven’t spoken to in a long time.
Take on a chore that someone else in the house usually does.

Get the idea? Then give me some ideas that we can use. Every day during Lent, we’ll use a suggestion and offer it up to the community. What are you waiting for? Log in and comment and let’s get the ideas flowing!

Ash Wednesday: Call a friend or family member that you haven’t spoken to in while
Thursday, March 10: Give someone a compliment today
Friday, March 11: Leave a note for someone

Monday, March 14: Open a door for someone (hint to husbands: always open the car door for your bride!)
Tuesday, March 15: Prepare/buy a meal for someone
Wednesday, March 16: Pray with someone today
Thursday, March 17: Give someone a hug today
Friday, March 18: Email a note of encouragement to someone

Monday, March 21: Make an online donation to a charity
Tuesday, March 22: Pray for a sick person
Wednesday, March 23: Be extra courteous in traffic today
Thursday, March 24: Give someone a surprise gift today
Friday, March 25: Do a household chore that someone else normally does

Monday, March 28: Pay it forward! If you go through a drive-through or toll booth today, pay for the next person in line
Tuesday, March 29: Choose to forgive someone today
Wednesday, March 30: Pray with a family member today (spouse, child, parent, sibling…)
Thursday, March 31: Use a sticky note to brighten someone’s day

Tuesday, April 5: (Be careful with this one!) Wink at someone today
Wednesday, April 6: Sing a song for someone (Note: you don’t have to be a good singer. Just sing!)
Friday, April 8: Give money to a homeless person

Monday, April 11: Say “God Bless You!” to people, even if they didn’t sneeze!
Tuesday, April 12: Ask someone to pray for you
Wednesday, April 13: Fast from one meal today and offer it up for someone you love
Thursday, April 14: Give someone a sign of peace (Make sure to say “Peace be with you!)
Friday, April 15: When someone asks, “How ya doing?”, respond with, “I’m blessed!”

Monday, April 18: Tell someone today that you love them
Tuesday, April 19: Pray the Rosary for someone’s intention
Wednesday, April 20: Invite someone to Easter Mass at your church
Thursday, April 21: Wash someone’s feet