Monday, April 30, 2012

Glass Houses

From The Gateway Pundit via The Curt Jester:
“This contraception fight in particular was illuminating. It was like being in a time machine,” Obama told the crowd, many of whom had purchased tickets that cost $1,000 to attend. “Republicans in Congress were going so far as to say an employer should be able to have a say in the health care decisions of its female employees. You know, for a party that prides itself on being rabidly anti-regulations of almost any kind, for folks who claim to believe in freedom from government interference and meddling, it doesn’t seem to bother them when it comes to a woman’s health.”
Now, let's take a minute and look at this. Here is a man who wants to take the decision about what constitutes women's health care not only away from women, but away from their employers, and reserve it to himself, and he has the audacity to point a finger at anyone else? How does this even make sense except in doublespeak.

Drink More Pepsi

You've probably seen this in other blogs but Pepsi has announced that they will not be using aborted fetal tissue in the development of new flavors. Children of God for Life had broken the story a year or so ago about Pepsi's association with Senomyx. They have now announced that their call for a boycott of Pepsi products is over because of this new development. For all my friends who tell me it is wasting time to write letters to big corporations I say "not always."

Thursday, April 26, 2012


So, churches in Kansas can't refuse to let gays use their buildings (privately owned buildings) for any purpose, even if that purpose is against the moral teachings of the church. However, New York schools can refuse to let Christians use their buildings (paid for by taxpayers, some of whom belong to the very congregations affected) for the purpose of exercising their first amendment rights to practice their religion.

Saturday, April 14, 2012


"My views are totally consistent with Catholic social doctrine."

$5,540 out of $379,035? Really? Now in fairness, maybe the VP has given $100,000 secretly and doesn't report it on his income tax statement. On the other hand, maybe his adherence to Catholic social doctrine is as faithful as his adherence to Catholic moral teachings.

Understand I'm not criticizing how much he gives compared to anyone else, I'm pointing out his hypocrisy.

Friday, April 13, 2012

The Great Divorce

I am really getting frightened for our country, and our kids. I hear our dear leader being called Caesar, and I don't think of Julius, but Nero. Bread and circuses, fiddling, Christian persecution, he seems to have it all. Worse yet, he seems to have done his homework on how to cause a schism in the Church, or at least exploit the latent schism in American culture.

It's enough to make one think the end times are here. Well, perhaps not, but I do hear everything from (premature) triumphalism to (hopefully premature) despair. There are certainly small triumphs, but also small defeats every day. I do think it's fairly plain if you look without bias that four more years on this same track, and the good cardinal's fears will become fact, and that thought sobers me. From the USCCB letter referenced above:

Consider the following:
  • HHS mandate for contraception, sterilization, and abortion-inducing drugs. The mandate of the Department of Health and Human Services has received wide attention and has been met with our vigorous and united opposition. In an unprecedented way, the federal government will both force religious institutions to facilitate and fund a product contrary to their own moral teaching and purport to define which religious institutions are “religious enough” to merit protection of their religious liberty. These features of the “preventive services” mandate amount to an unjust law. As Archbishop-designate William Lori of Baltimore, Chairman of the Ad Hoc Committee for Religious Liberty, testified to Congress: “This is not a matter of whether contraception may be prohibited by the government. This is not even a matter of whether contraception may be supported by the government. Instead, it is a matter of whether religious people and institutions may be forced by the government to provide coverage for contraception or sterilization, even if that violates their religious beliefs.”
  • State immigration laws. Several states have recently passed laws that forbid what the government deems “harboring” of undocumented immigrants—and what the Church deems Christian charity and pastoral care to those immigrants. Perhaps the most egregious of these is in Alabama, where the Catholic bishops, in cooperation with the Episcopal and Methodist bishops of Alabama, filed suit against the law:
It is with sadness that we brought this legal action but with a deep sense that we, as people of faith, have no choice but to defend the right to the free exercise of religion granted to us as citizens of Alabama. . . . The law makes illegal the exercise of our Christian religion which we, as citizens of Alabama, have a right to follow. The law prohibits almost everything which would assist an undocumented immigrant or encourage an undocumented immigrant to live in Alabama. This new Alabama law makes it illegal for a Catholic priest to baptize, hear the confession of, celebrate the anointing of the sick with, or preach the word of God to, an undocumented immigrant. Nor can we encourage them to attend Mass or give them a ride to Mass. It is illegal to allow them to attend adult scripture study groups, or attend CCD or Sunday school classes. It is illegal for the clergy to counsel them in times of difficulty or in preparation for marriage. It is illegal for them to come to Alcoholic Anonymous meetings or other recovery groups at our churches.
  • Altering Church structure and governance. In 2009, the Judiciary Committee of the Connecticut Legislature proposed a bill that would have forced Catholic parishes to be restructured according to a congregational model, recalling the trusteeism controversy of the early nineteenth century, and prefiguring the federal government’s attempts to redefine for the Church “religious minister” and “religious employer” in the years since.
  • Christian students on campus. In its over-100-year history, the University of California Hastings College of Law has denied student organization status to only one group, the Christian Legal Society, because it required its leaders to be Christian and to abstain from sexual activity outside of marriage.
  • Catholic foster care and adoption services. Boston, San Francisco, the District of Columbia, and the state of Illinois have driven local Catholic Charities out of the business of providing adoption or foster care services—by revoking their licenses, by ending their government contracts, or both—because those Charities refused to place children with same-sex couples or unmarried opposite-sex couples who cohabit.
  • Discrimination against small church congregations. New York City enacted a rule that barred the Bronx Household of Faith and sixty other churches from renting public schools on weekends for worship services even though non-religious groups could rent the same schools for scores of other uses. While this would not frequently affect Catholic parishes, which generally own their own buildings, it would be devastating to many smaller congregations. It is a simple case of discrimination against religious believers.
  • Discrimination against Catholic humanitarian services. Notwithstanding years of excellent performance by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Migration and Refugee Services in administering contract services for victims of human trafficking, the federal government changed its contract specifications to require us to provide or refer for contraceptive and abortion services in violation of Catholic teaching. Religious institutions should not be disqualified from a government contract based on religious belief, and they do not somehow lose their religious identity or liberty upon entering such contracts. And yet a federal court in Massachusetts, turning religious liberty on its head, has since declared that such a disqualification is required by the First Amendment—that the government somehow violates religious liberty by allowing Catholic organizations to participate in contracts in a manner consistent with their beliefs on contraception and abortion.
Religious liberty is not only about our ability to go to Mass on Sunday or pray the Rosary at home. It is about whether we can make our contribution to the common good of all Americans.

The above excerpt is just a list of some of the issues discussed. The entire letter is well worth a read. The thing that gives me hope (and despair) are the words of St Francis - "Sanctify yourself and you will sanctify society." There is a Church Triumphant, but it is not on this Earth. St. Jude, ora pro nobis.

[N.B. The title of this post is an excellent book by C. S. Lewis - highly recommended by yours truly.]

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It's no joke

Sometimes Pro-lifers can be jerks. Hey, even I have been a jerk (maybe, once). Sometimes in the zeal to be right we want others to be wrong, and we forget that they are people too, and not everything they do is always wrong and evil. And so it is that I can't agree with my fellow pro-lifers in the condemnation of the laughing abortionist.

Yes, there is the 911 call audio, and yes, he laughs during the call. But from the outrage and headlines and accusations you might picture him cackling maniacally over the writhing body of a suffering woman, as he kicks her in the teeth and steals her baby.

I listened to the audio. Despite the fact that he is an abortionist he doesn't sound maniacal. To me he sounds scared. The laughter isn't the snide, contemptuous laughter of someone who despises the woman in their care, nor is the the "nudge nudge wink wink" laughter of someone cavalier about the well being of another. To me it sounds like nervous laughter of someone who feels powerless to help the person in front of them and really wishes they could.

For all I know I am wrong and everyone else is right. But I think rather than condemning this man for his laughter I'll pray that both the doctor on the phone and the woman in distress are OK, and that they experience and know God's mercy and love.