Thursday, August 25, 2011

Chalk one up...

What activity requires almost no money and minimal time commitment yet saves lives and impacts a whole school campus?


Students for Life of America is promoting National Pro-Life Chalk Day! Sounds kind of silly at first, but if you think about it, it is a good, non-confrontational way to raise awareness about pro-life issues. Follow the link and chalk it out (sorry).

Monday, August 22, 2011

What's another word for thesaurus?

Mark Twain once said "The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."

I was reading this post by Jeff Miller about the inherent conflicts of parents using IVF. Several interesting posts have been generated by the New York Times article on "half abortions." I know, there's a lot of links there, but they are all worth the read.

But since I've been reading "Dehumanizing the Vulnerable" I've noticed something. The culture of death is gradually dehumanizing unborn children (even more than they already have) by controlling the language we use to talk about them. Even staunch pro-lifers are bullied, by a desire to appear to be "accurate" and "factual" to pro-aborts, into using medical terms like:
  • Zygote noun \ˈzī-ˌgōt\ : a cell formed by the union of two gametes; broadly : the developing individual produced from such a cell
  • Embryo noun \ˈem-brē-ˌō\
    1. archaic : a vertebrate at any stage of development prior to birth or hatching
    2. : an animal in the early stages of growth and differentiation that are characterized by cleavage, the laying down of fundamental tissues, and the formation of primitive organs and organ systems; especially : the developing human individual from the time of implantation to the end of the eighth week after conception
  • Fetus noun \ˈfē-təs\ : an unborn or unhatched vertebrate especially after attaining the basic structural plan of its kind; specifically : a developing human from usually two months after conception to birth
These are terms which, while scientifically accurate, server to obfuscate the humanity of the unborn. I propose we should start calling these people what they are - our children.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Minty Fresh

We took the kids to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia last week. If you have kids, this is not a good place to take them. The mint is pretty well automated, and there's pretty much nothing for them to see. There is a self-guided tour that takes you past many many many many coins behind glass with plagues under them. There is nothing interactive. Even the gift shop was boring, with cheesy giant rubber coins and key chains containing a "lucky" penny.

There were a number of special medals made to honor various public figures. They generally had a likeness of the person on the obverse side (a term I learned at the mint) and some quote or something about the person on the reverse side. One of the medals features Jackie Robinson and featured this quote by him
"A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives."
Meaning no disrespect to Jackie Robinson or the designer of the medal, but that's about the worst quote I saw at the mint. While it sounds reasonable and even noble (who doesn't think it's worthwhile to touch other lives?), it's totally wrong.

You see, every life is important. Adolph Hitler had an impact on almost every life in the world in the last century. And yet the life of a child who dies in the womb (and thus only has impact on his parents) is equally important.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Fall 2011 40 Days for Life starts Sept 28

...but the work continues even today. A message from Frank, one of our local pro-life leaders and captain of our team from 40 Days for Life:
Saturday is always one of the busiest days at the Toms River abortion clinic.

This day, August 13, started off with several of the women entering the clinic accepting literature and speaking with the Sidewalk Counselors.

A mother and her two young daughters arrived. They stopped their vehicle in the street and spoke with a Sidewalk Counselor. The mother and one daughter were BOTH pregnant. The daughter was there to abort her baby, the mother was keeping hers and did not want the daughter to have an abortion.

They parked, got out of their vehicle, continued to dialogue and were joined by one Prayer Warrior. The daughter said that she and her Mother could not both have babies at this time. She decided that she would give up hers. They spoke about other options, local assistance and even adoption. The young girl was determined to have this procedure.

They said they were Catholic, they had Rosary beads hanging from the car mirror. They pregnant daughter was even wearing a Scapular around her neck. They prayed together and our Sidewalk Counselor got on his knees to pray that she would not do this to herself and her baby.

They said thank you but entered the clinic. Outside a group of Prayer Warriors were ready to begin the Rosary. They were told about the family that just entered the clinic, and prayed for all mothers, but specifically for this young girl who was inside the clinic. A prayer intention was clearly expressed that the Holy Spirit would touch this girls heart, give her the vision to see the alternatives to abortion, give her the strength to say YES to God and keep her baby.

About 30 minutes later, the abortionist arrived. Although women have found the courage to change their mind after his arrival, it was becoming less likely that this mother was coming out.

Prayers continued.

As women who had this horrible procedure done started to exit the clinic, hope was lost that our prayers would be answered.

The group praying outside the clinic started to disburse. Only a few were left when the pregnant mother of the young girl came out. She was smiling. Both her daughters followed her out. They went straight to the person they prayed with before going in and announced that they didn't have the abortion. She just couldn't do it. They knew we were praying outside, and they prayed inside, they talked, they discerned, they struggled; this young mother was waiting for the abortionist and in that time was touched by the HOLY SPIRIT and said NO TO ABORTION and YES TO GOD'S GIFT OF A NEW CHILD.

They were filled with joy (AND SO WERE WE !) They exchanged hugs, and took literature about local assistance.

They drove off, waving and smiling.


DO NOT LISTEN TO THE ENEMY WHO TELLS YOU THAT OUR PRAYERS AND PRESENCE DO NOT MAKE A DIFFERENCE because it made a difference today. Our prayers were heard. "So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, 'Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.'" John 11:41-42

DO NOT LISTEN TO THOSE WHO SAY WE SHOULD NOT REACH OUT TO THE MOTHERS ENTERING THE CLINIC, because reaching out this day opened a mother's heart to the power and love of God. "Rescue those who are being dragged to death, and from those tottering to execution withdraw not. " - Proverbs 24:11

DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED BY THE ENEMY'S NEGATIVE COMMENTS, but "Rejoice always. Pray without ceasing. In all circumstances give thanks, for this is the will of God for you in Christ Jesus." - 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

DO NOT BE DISTRACTED BY THE ENEMY WHO PULLS YOU AWAY FROM PRAYER. "So submit yourselves to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you." James 4:7-8

THERE IS NO GREATER WORK TO BE DONE and THERE IS NO CHOICE BUT TO JOIN THIS SPIRITUAL BATTLE. “You must feel the full urgency of the task. Woe to you if you do not succeed in defending life.” - Blessed Pope John Paul II

Please join us in this fall's 40 Days for Life. You could save a life.

Friday, August 12, 2011

A Rose

The Dred Scott decision in 1857 declared that blacks were not "sovereign people" and "are not included and were never intended to be included in the word 'citizen' in the Constitution." In 1936 the Reichsgericht (the German equivalent of the Supreme Court) said that Jews were "not persons in the legal sense". In March of 1938 Jewish congregations were officially deprived of legal protection by law. By 1942 Jews were referred to as "transport material" or "pieces" of "material". In 1973, Roe v. Wade declared that the word "person" does not include unborn humans, and huge numbers of unborn children lost any hope of legal protection of their lives. In 1974 patients at the Sunny Hill Convalescent Center were referred to as "work units". These changes in language and legal definitions played a large role in dehumanizing their subjects, and made it possible to mistreat and even kill them in large numbers.

These facts and more come from a disturbing scary book, "Dehumanizing the Vulnerable". Scary because of the dark side of human history exposed. Scary because it exposes how the meanings of words, and the words we use can kill. Disturbng because it relates to what's going on in U.S. Heath Care legislation.

The dictionary defines "contraception" as "the intentional prevention of conception by artificial or natural means." In fact the word's originated in 1886 from Latin contra (meaning against) + ending from conception. However, over the past few years modern medical dictionaries have altered the definition to "(birth control) prevents pregnancy by interfering with the normal process of ovulation, fertilization, and implantation."

Why has this been altered? Note that with the new definition, and abortifacient can be called a "contraceptive". What does that have to do with the new health care legislation? Because the administration that claims that no tax payer dollars are funding abortions is going to require taxpayer dollars be used to pay for contraceptives (which cause abortions). What's perhaps as bad, women who use these "contraceptives" will not even realize that they are undergoing abortions.

As reported in this news story:
"All women do use contraception at some point in their lives, and we think it should be available to them as a preventive health service," said Judy Waxman, vice president for health and reproductive rights at the National Women's Law Center.
I beg to differ. Not all women use contraception, and even if they did, why does this justify funding it 100%? Note that all people (men and women) require vitamins as a preventative health service, but the health care bill does not fund vitamins 100% (or at all). All people require exercise, but the health care bill does not fund gym memberships 100% (or at all).

So what then is the real justification? Profits for big pharma. Profits from the death of humans whose lives have been whittled away by words.

Thursday, August 11, 2011


Earth's gravity pulls my rock down at 9.8 m/s2 but your rock may fall at a different rate. My 2 + 2 = 6. The North won the civil war, if you believe it. Rape is wrong, for me, but may be not for you. Who knows if the Holocaust happened? Nobody. Abortion is right for you if you think it is. Water is necessary for some people to live. The Earth goes around the sun in my neighborhood. A pound is 16 ounces when I buy goods, but when I sell them I use an 8 ounce pound to charge customers.

Why would anybody agree with any one of those statements? "Well, because one of those is true," you might reply, and I can guess which statement that would be. But why do you think it is true? In no area of human knowledge do we accept that the rules that govern the universe are subject to personal opinion. Why do you think the morality of an act is subject to your personal whim?

American society (and I suspect others) drill into our heads constantly that there is no such thing as right and wrong, that moral knowledge is not knowledge, that right and wrong are just opinions. Yet, they expect us to follow laws. Why? If rape is right for me, why can't I do it? You can't say because it is wrong, because there is no right or wrong, remember? Oh, because it hurts someone, you say? But so does abortion. And now we're back where we started.

People who claim that morality is relative really mean that only the things that they want might want license to do are relative, and other things are. They will find it OK to restrict what we eat, because eating poorly would cause health problems down the line, but encourage homosexual activity that will cause health problems down the line.

If someone said that the weight of a pound was different for different people in order to make more money selling you stuff you'd stop them pretty quickly. Why should you accept that someone can do something else that's objectively wrong? The classic objection is that different people have different ideas about what's right and wrong? That's true, but different people also have different ideas about where Colorado is on a US map. Their ideas are mistakes or ignorance, and are not accepted as truth. People who believe in moral relativism are the modern day equivalent of flat earthers.

So, who's idea of right and wrong is the "right" one? For that we have to accept morality as a real branch of knowledge based on postulates and logic, just like mathematics. It is a real branch of knowledge, and the moral order as defined by the Catholic Church is based on the natural law - the order of things in the universe. It is not some arbitrary thing that dropped from the sky. For instance. the moral law tells us that killing an innocent human being is wrong. That is a premise. Science tells us that an embryo (or fetus) is a human being. Abortion kills an embryo (or fetus). Therefore abortion is wrong.

To contradict the statement "abortion is wrong" you have to either argue that abortion doesn't kill (it does), a human embryo is not alive (it is), a human embryo belongs to another species (it doesn't), an embryo is not innocent (which implies evil intent) or that it is OK to kill innocent human beings. If you want to disagree with the premise that it is wrong to kill innocent human beings, then we can talk, but let's at least be honest and admit that the statement was properly reasoned from the premise and that the premise is a reasonable one.

Sorry if this post seems to ramble a bit - I've had a day of people arguing vociferously about morality being baseless, irrelevant and arbitrary, and so I'm taking it out on you, dear reader.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Back from camp

As some of you may know I spent the last week camping at Boy Scout camp. I learned a lot of things there, and got some great stories which I will hopefully get to blog about. But what I wanted to talk about today was something that happened on the first evening, last Sunday.

There is a family of Lone Scouts who camp at the same time we do and join us for various events. They get camaraderie, pizza and ice cream from us, but we get the best of the deal. You see, there is a small open air Catholic chapel out in the woods on camp grounds. The Lone Scout patrol hikes to it, with two suitcases carrying the equipment (lectionary, candles, etc.) and matter to say mass. Following them is a priest, who says mass for us in the chapel.

The priest, who is Hungarian, is a very interesting and reverent fellow. While he prepares for mass he explains what he is doing and quizzes the kids on the Sacraments and other aspects of the faith. Not as if he's testing them, but matter of factly. He weaves it into stories.

Last Sunday he spoke about the origins of the word "Sunday." In languages descended from Latin, he told us, the word comes from the Latin "Dies Domini" or "Lord's Day." Hence "Domingo" in Spanish or "Domenica" in Italian. However, in Russian, the word is "воскресенье" which means "Resurrection." He told us when the communists took over, all words relating to Christianity were banned from speech. Yet, the Russians had to say "Resurrection" every time they spoke of Sunday, which left a bad taste in their mouths.

After this conversation one of the simplest, yet most beautiful masses I have attended began. The weather was hot and muggy, and we were all in our dress uniforms, sitting on logs and kneeling on the dead leaves and sticks of the forest floor, but nobody noticed. As the Eucharistic prayer began, a cool breeze blew through and it became quiet and comfortable. And at the elevation, the clouds parted and the setting sun shown down behind the altar.

I'm not claiming this was a mystical experience, but it was a beautiful peaceful moment, which stayed with me the rest of the week. God is good.