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Monthly Archives: August 2011

Papa, the Young Catholics and Amanda Marcotte: Hope in Madrid

at Catholic Online

I watched part of the World Youth Day welcoming ceremony in Madrid, Spain, and talk about great television!   From every ethnicity and country stood throngs of youth jam-packed into the square, waving their countries’ flags and they were all absolutely beaming.  They were exuberant with joy and excitement at welcoming the Holy Father and being welcomed by him.

I readily admit I was overcome with emotion at the sight.  So many young people in every manner of dress, yet they all seemed to be clothed with the same electrifying spirit.  I watched some of them present a thoughtful gift to Pope Benedict on behalf of their nation, and each of them got his childlike warm smile and blessing.  The rice from a young Korean woman; a flower garland from the young lady from Japan (she looked like a walking flower herself — so lovely!); the sombrero from the young man from Honduras; each one given with sincerity and gratitude, and equally received.

It was a striking thing to watch.  Young Catholics in full-spectrum color, bubbling over with enthusiasm.  This, after all, is supposedly the Church that has abandoned young people and oppressed women.  I defy anyone to watch what’s going on in Madrid and tell me the Church is not alive with young blood!  What I saw tonight gives me great hope for my Church, and I shamefully admit I am often susceptible to discouragement.  We, the Church, will indeed climb the steep hill before us because the souls doing the climbing are young and strong.

I saw young people screaming, crying and jumping for joy like lovesick fans at a rock concert, but their affection is for their Papa!  This young flock knows him and they respect him.  They know him because he speaks the truth without condescension or apology.  They know him because he offers them hope that will never be shaken.

They recognize in Papa’s voice the One who truly loves them and gave Himself for them.  They hunger for that love and so they long to hear the words of the Holy Father, for he communicates the joy, the love, and the promise of Divine Mercy.  He dares them to build their lives on the firm foundation of the Person of Christ rather than the flimsy, shifting sands of their era.

Those who wag their finger and look disdainfully at the Catholic Church and pile up their scathing criticism about this World Youth Day are yelling with their eyes shut.  They have no idea what they’re describing because they’ve never seen it.  They’re filled with hatred, anger, resentment, disappointment, and other, less understandable motivation.  Like scrawny, feral cats backed into a corner and sprayed with a hose, they’re just hissing and clawing, all fangs and screeches.

One such cat is Amanda Marcotte.  Slate had the bad sense (or was it endorsement?) to publish her latest round of anti-Catholic vomit this week.  There was nothing at all new in her ravings, just the same ol’, same ol’:  The Church is misogynist and hates women; the Church hates sex and thinks sex is dirty; the Church hates women who’ve had an abortion; the Church is full to the rafters will creepy pedophiles who practically eat little children for lunch; the Church has no remorse whatsoever for the crimes of her priests and couldn’t care less who got hurt; and on and on it goes.

Well, Amanda, there’s only one thing to say.  Sit down, honey.  You must be exhausted!  I mean, the energy it takes to perpetuate this much venomous anger toward the Church must be enormous!  It’s clearly consuming you, so why don’t you just let it go?

Seriously, Amanda, come on home.  Are you Catholic?  It’s not your fault if you were never properly taught your Church’s teachings.  Sadly, most of us weren’t.   However, you’re an adult now, so it is your fault if you don’t now seek out the truth and learn to separate fact from twisted fiction.

The good news is there’s a plethora of great books, CD’s and other material that can bring you up to speed real quick if you just make an effort.  You’ll find a much different Church than the one you’re railing against so viciously.  You’ll find a very different God than the one you slander so callously.  But you have to seek.  That’s the rule:  seek and ye shall find.

If you’re not interested in seeking, well, I’m sorry to hear that.  But in that case, please close your mouth and keep your vile and ignorant screeds to yourself.  You don’t know what you’re talking about, and you don’t have the right to spread lies and hatred.

Did you see those people in Madrid, Amanda?  Did you see the life and freedom on the faces of that crowd?  Do those really look like mindless sheep to you?  Do those vibrant young women really look oppressed or restricted to you?

They are filled with something I believe you desperately want and need:  real joy.  The pure joy that comes from knowing you are loved.  Endlessly, completely loved.  And you are, Amanda.  I’m truly sorry you don’t know that.  There’s no way you could know that and still behave the way you do.

They’re also brimming with the excitement of being part of the Body of Christ on earth.  By God’s grace, they are hearing the call to transform their generation by the witness of their lives.  They’re getting ready to fling their nets wide and haul in the catch of the century.  And through their faithfulness, our dying culture will be reborn.  By God’s grace…

As I said, I’m prone to discouragement about all of this.  I, too, see the statistics revealing the chasm between what Catholics are taught and what they’re actually doing.  I know there is much, much work to be done in catechizing generations of Catholics who don’t know two bits about their faith.  I’m frustrated on a daily basis by so-called Catholics who give the Church “the finger” and live like any other pagan.

I’m disgusted by the betrayal of public officials who are supposed to be Catholic, yet devote their lives to tearing down every moral truth when they should know better.  But you know what, Amanda?  Those folks are not the Church.  They’re just hecklers and criminals in sheep’s clothing.

The Church — the real Church — is seen in the faith and hope now gathered in Madrid.  God is still in His heaven, and our High Priest still offers Himself for us every second of every day.  Our Blessed Mother still intercedes for us.  She’s still teaching us the only way to freedom is through humble obedience to the lovable will of her Son.

I am not ashamed of being Catholic.  I’m not ashamed to join with the youth in Madrid in expressing profound affection, love and loyalty toward our courageous Holy Father, our Papa! Nearly half a million young people traveled to Spain for this WYD!  You can’t diminish that no matter what you say.

The Catholic Church is both Spirit and mud.  We bring the mud; Jesus brings the Spirit.  In recent years there’s been way too much mud.  There is much house-cleaning yet to do, and many of us are standing with broom at the ready.  You’ll find, Amanda, that no one is more disgusted by the filth that infiltrated our House than faithful Catholics.

Yet Christ has not and will not abandon us.  The gates of hell will not prevail.  And neither will you, Amanda.  Lay down your hurt and hatred.  Wouldn’t you rather be joyful?  Come home.  We’ll leave the Light on for you.

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Posted by on August 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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America’s Shop of Horrors: Manufacturing Babies Only to Destroy Them

at Catholic Online

The Republican presidential candidates have agreed lately that one of America’s big problems is that we don’t manufacture things here anymore.  That’s not entirely accurate.  We manufacture babies now, and business is booming, both for the makers and the destroyers.  One of the women featured in that hideous NY Times magazine story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy” articulated it perfectly:

“If I had conceived these twins naturally, I wouldn’t have reduced this pregnancy, because you feel like if there’s a natural order, then you don’t want to disturb it.  But we created this child in such an artificial manner – in a test tube, choosing an egg donor, having the embryo placed in me – and somehow, making a decision about how many to carry seemed to be just another choice.  The pregnancy was all so consumerish to begin with, and this became yet another thing we could control.”

The story attempts to deal with the ethical dilemma caused by the increasingly common practice of “reducing” triplet and twin pregnancies when the mother says she only wants one child.  The author, Ruth Padawer, asks, “What is it about terminating half a twin pregnancy that seems more controversial than reducing triplets to twins or aborting a single fetus?  After all, the math’s the same either way: one fewer fetus.”

Indeed, she has a point.  Just the wrong point.  The point is it’s reprehensible no matter how many babies are being terminated.  But in this case it’s particularly odious because these parents requisitioned their babies and then discarded the “extras” they decided they didn’t want.  In a bid for sympathy, we’re told how these women keep their “reduction” to themselves for fear of disapproval.

“Secrecy is common among women undergoing reduction to a singleton.  Doctors who perform the procedure, aware of the stigma, tell patients to be cautious about revealing their decision.  Some patients are so afraid of being treated with disdain that they withhold this information from the obstetrician who will deliver their child.”

Awww, the poor, poor people so afraid of disdain and the sting of judgment!  Sorry, I can’t spare a tear.

It is astonishing that our society still isn’t shocked and sickened by what we’re doing to our own children.  Good grief, people, what does it take to get your attention?  What does it take to awaken the natural instinct to protect a child from harm?  What does it take to blow away the fog and see things as they really are?

(Ironically, the abortion zealots took great offense at the NY Times story, too.  Sunsara Taylor over at RH Reality Check had a hissy fit over the “Moral Agonizing about Women’s Reproductive Rights.”   She writes, “The only basis for viewing the decision of a woman not to carry every fetus to term as a “moral” or “ethical dilemma” is the unscientific lie that treats fetuses like people, rather than as a subordinate part of a woman’s body.”)

One of the more outrageous segments of the NY Times story was about Shelby Van Voris who became pregnant with triplets while under the care of a fertility specialist.  With her husband deployed in Iraq, Shelby was pumped full of hormone injections and then artificially inseminated with the sperm he’d left behind.  When the doctor told her she was expecting three babies, she yelled at him, “This is not an option for us!  I want only one!”  

He then referred her to another doctor who did “reductions”, but was told the staff refused to reduce pregnancies below twins.  Three other doctors told her the same thing.  “It was horrible,” Shelby said.  “I felt like the pregnancy was a monster and I just wanted it out, but because we tried for so long, abortion wasn’t an option.”

Shelby eventually found her way to Dr. Evans in New York and flew there for the “procedure.”  She told Dr. Evans, “You choose whoever is going to be safe and healthy.  I didn’t give him any other criteria.  I didn’t choose gender.  None of that was up for grabs, because I had to make this as ethically O.K. for me as I could.  But I wanted only one.”

But wait, didn’t she just say that since they’d tried for so long abortion wasn’t an option?  Then what exactly did she pay to have done to two of her babies?  A “reduction”?  How is that not an abortion?  What did she think was done to them?  Where are they now?  They’re dead.  For $6,500, she got precisely what she wanted:  one.

Shelby left the doctor’s office “incredibly relieved.  ‘I went out on that street with my mother and jumped up and down saying, “I’m pregnant!  I’m pregnant!’  And then I went out and bought baby clothes for the first time.”

Someone please tell me what kind of person is relieved that two of her babies have been destroyed?  And spare me the admonishment not to judge.  It’s appropriate to judge these acts evil and question the morality of one who commits such evil.  We have to call it what it is.  It flourishes in our nation precisely because people are afraid to “judge.”   They fear nothing like they fear being labeled judgmental.  They’d rather hide behind sophistry and euphemisms, like “reduction.”  What are we reducing again?  Oh, that’s right – innocent human beings.  How, exactly?  Just a lethal shot in the heart.  No biggie.

That a mother could dance in the street and celebrate after having paid for the execution of two of her babies because she “only wanted one” is chilling and grotesque beyond words.  Two babies had to die for this woman’s intolerable selfishness.  Stop calling it an option or a personal choice.  It is the most abhorrent violence.

We have a thoroughly backwards sense of the unthinkable in our culture.  It ought to be unthinkable for parents and doctors to target babies in the womb for execution.  Instead, we find it unthinkable that they should not have that “option.”  We find it intolerable that they should be criticized and disgraced.  Pitiful are we who find it more objectionable to hurt someone’s feelings than to expose evil and defend the helpless.

In the slavery of the modern age, we buy and sell children as our property.  We “own” them in the way that gives us absolute power over their very lives.  We do not receive them anymore as gifts; instead we manufacture them at will and afford them no greater value than any other expensive trinket we buy for our momentary craving.

We pay to bring them into existence for our own purposes and then when they become inconvenient, we arrange for their demise with barely a second thought.  When the ethicality of their deaths becomes a bit muddled for us, we employ clever terms like “reduction”, “choice” and “reproductive rights”.

We assuage our guilt (what little we feel) by insisting that the baby isn’t human, isn’t a person yet, but merely a “fetus” (a term which now has a pejorative cast) and that makes it all better.  Never mind that it’s absolute bull.  We want to believe it because we need to believe it in order to prop up the illusion that we’re not really exterminating our own kids with less compassion and concern than the pest control guy has for the cockroaches in our homes.

We kill our babies, but we add unthinkable insult to unimaginable injury by denying them their humanity.  We call them blobs of insentient tissue; parasites; invaders.  But worst of all, we call them unwanted, even after we’ve gone to ridiculous lengths to manufacture them.  We order ‘em up, and we order ‘em killed.

But heaven forbid we should suffer any moral agonizing.

 
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Posted by on August 18, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

Self-control or Birth control? Contraception is the Wrong Mandate

at Catholic Online


The mandate has come down from on-high, and the pundits and political operatives are gushing as though it’s the greatest gift to women since suffrage or waterproof mascara.  They cheerfully tell us that beyond preventing those pesky “unwanted” pregnancies, this new birth control mandate will finally provide women with the counseling they need to prevent STD’s.

We must be really stupid.  Do women in 2011 really not understand how STD’s are spread or how babies are made?

If it’s information that’s needed, let’s take care of that right now.  Here’s the deal:  Sex makes babies.  Sex often makes babies despite the birth control you’re using.  Very often, sex also passes icky diseases between partners, like an extra little “gift” that may stay with you for life.  You could get a whole lot more than you bargained for from what’s-his-name.

The good news is all of this is completely preventable.  You needn’t risk your health or your future as though you’re playing the wheel in Vegas.  It is amazingly simple to avoid getting a nasty STD or becoming pregnant when you don’t want to be pregnant:  don’t have sex.  (If you’re married, be faithful.)

If you choose to have sex, you are throwing the dice by your own volition and you could very well lose your bet.  Birth control will never, ever, replace self-control.  Birth control can never, ever, compensate for bad judgment.  Birth control is no substitute for respect and restraint.

As to the inane argument that contraception reduces the number of abortions, thereby making it the only truly acceptable paradigm for society, reality says otherwise.  Abortion statistics reveal that the majority of women having abortions were using birth control when they got pregnant.  (Never mind the fact that many contraceptive drugs are abortifacients, and never mind the fact that abortion zealots will admit they consider abortion itself “birth control” of the last resort.  Whatever it takes to make sure no baby is born!)

Contraception is not the antidote to abortion because fertility is not the problem.  The problem is we’ve buried the law of cause-and-effect, along with the moral laws of responsibility, accountability, fidelity, and the code of honor that used to exist among men.

All these things have been buried under a steaming mound of self-indulgent relativism.  Thanks to this infantile fertilizer we’re growing a nation of people who believe wishes are rights, freedom is license to do anything you please, and all that matters is what you want, think, and feel.

Think of it this way:  It’s like selling a pill that eliminates 75% of the alcohol from your blood so it’s “safer” to drive. You’re still not exactly sober, not guaranteed not to crash and hurt someone, but you’re more protected than if you didn’t take the Alcohol Control pill.

Of course, the only right thing to do is to never get behind the wheel when you’re intoxicated, but for heaven’s sake, you can’t expect people to do the right thing!  So instead of requiring people to be responsible and respectful of human life by not driving drunk, you teach them they can have their drinks and car keys, too, with the Alcohol Control pill!  So it’s not as good as sobriety, but it’s better than drinking without it.  It’s protection against car accidents and deaths that is necessary because people are going to drink and drive anyway, so we should provide them with a way to do it more safely.

And when the Alcohol Control pill fails or someone forgets to take it and somebody dies in a car crash, it will surely lead to demand for a more effective Alcohol Control pill and greater access to it.  Then activists groups will be picketing for free distribution of the Alcohol Control pill, along with education about how the A.C. pill works so “user failure rates” go down.

Meanwhile, young people grow up drinking more alcohol more often, caring less and less about the consequences or how their drunkenness might affect someone else.  They damage their livers, kidneys, hearts and brains; they gamble with their health and future; they regard another person’s life with cavalier indifference but as long as they’re not arrested for DUI’s, it’s all good and victory is declared.

Rather than treating alcohol with due caution and respect for its power to harm, people are trained to complain that they can’t drink whatever they want without getting wasted.  Even worse, some party-pooper has the nerve to say they can’t get wasted and drive.

There’s no burden on them anymore to think or act as a mature adult.  The expectation of self-control and accountability are all but wiped out.  Generations are raised to think society has the burden to remove every and all unwanted, unintended outcomes from every activity they choose to indulge in.

That’s exactly where we are with sex and birth control.  The idea that more birth control will reduce “unwanted” pregnancies is a fairytale.  It’s the sexual equivalent of crack cocaine to a sex-addicted culture.  Just gimme more and more sex, and delude me into thinking it’s safe, I’m safe, and nothing bad will happen.

But the people growing up on top of the steaming mound of self-indulgent relativism don’t want to hear any of this.  It’s not that they’re stupid – they just want what they want when they want it with no strings, no consequences, no obligation, no demands.

They refuse to hear that sometimes not doing what they want is the only responsible choice.  They reject the reality that their actions have consequences.  They are downright indignant at the idea that they have to exercise self-control and say “no” because the choice at hand literally involves life and death.

Just as alcohol has the nerve to intoxicate the person who drinks too much, sexual intercourse has the nerve to transmit diseases and worst of all, the unmitigated gall to make babies.  The audacity!  (Why, in this day and age, we just shouldn’t have to put up with that!)

And so, sadly, we now celebrate the victory of entrusting our lives and our children’s lives to latex and chemicals rather than modeling a real respect for the beauty of sexual love and marriage, and a sense of honor and modesty.  And when the latex and chemicals fail, we don’t learn our lesson and modify our behavior.  No, instead we head over to the human butcher shop to have our babies exterminated.  We toss aside any reverence for human life.  We attack our children when they show up uninvited (as though they created themselves out of thin air).

There’s no pill for what ails us.  We’ve been given a mandate from on-high, alright, but not a contraceptive one.  It’s a mandate of chastity and love.  We ignore it at our peril.

 
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Posted by on August 13, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Moral Clarity and Courage in Action: Santorum 2012

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Santorum Has Courage

Brilliant ad by Rick Santorum and family.  LOVE IT!!!

SANTORUM 2012  (God, please!!)

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 
 
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