Sunday, April 14, 2019


I'm personally against global warming, but if someone else wants to make excessive amounts of CO2, that's their prerogative. I'm personally in favor of personal property, but if someone wants to embezzle millions, who am I to judge? I'm personally against slavery, but if someone wants to own another person it is their choice. I'm personally against rape, but if someone feels the need I can't impose my morality on them. I'm personally against murder, but if another person thinks it's ok, we need to realize we are not a nation of Christians only.

All of those statements are absurd, right? I hope you agree with that. The reason is that, regardless of our "personal" views, we see that there are victims. The victim may be future generations (in the case of global warming) or the poor, or lower castes, or women, or anybody, but there is a victim. The law isn't about imposing your opinion on someone but on protecting a vulnerable victim.

Yet too often we hear "I'm personally opposed to abortion, but..." with one of those excuses used above. Making abortion illegal isn't about imposing an opinion or a culture or even a Judaeo-Christian morality upon another person, it's about protecting a vulnerable person.

Many people will accept that it's not OK to have an abortion in the third trimester, because either they see the baby as "human" by that point or because the baby is "viable" at that point. Let's look at that more closely...


 Some people think that before the baby is "viable" it's OK to have an abortion because before that point it is the mother's responsibility to keep the baby alive, and a mother should not be required to do that. Reread that last part again. Would you accept the mother of a newborn, or a one year old letting her baby die because she didn't want to take care of it? The only way to justify a viability test for abortion is if we don't consider the unborn child a human being. For, as John Calvin wrote:
For the fetus, though enclosed in the womb of its mother, is already a human being, and it is a monstrous crime to rob it of the life which it has not yet begun to enjoy. If it seems more horrible to kill a man in his own house than in a field, because a man's house is his place of most secure refuge, it ought surely to be deemed more atrocious to destroy a fetus in the womb before it has come to light.
 If the fetus is not a human being then of course the argument is null and void. And so we come to reason number two...


It is easy to look as a blastocyst and say "that's not a human being" because a blastocyst isn't shaped like a human being. Even the name doesn't sound like a human being.  However, we shouldn't judge by appearance. What do science and logic tell us?

Science tells us that the blastocyst is a separate independent organism, not part of the mother's body. It tells us it is alive. It tells us it is human, with its own unique human DNA. Sounds like a human being to me.

Logic tells us that humans beget humans, not non-humans. It tells us that, if a human being has rights, those right depend on it being a human being, not on it's abilities or dependencies. If it is OK to kill a human being because it is not currently conscious, it is also OK to kill a human being who is asleep. If it is OK to kill a healthy human being because it allegedly doesn't feel pain it is OK to kill a healthy human being to whom we administer anesthetic.

In short, although you may like to pretend that humanity depends on having such and such a level of development, there is no logical or scientific justification for it.


Jesus says "whatever you did for the least of these, you did for me... whatever you did not do for the least of these you did not do to me." (Matthew 25). He calls us to give food and drink to those in need, to clothe the naked, welcome the stranger and visit the sick and imprisoned.

Who is the least among us more than the unborn? Is not abortion the refusal to give food and drink? Isn't abortion a refusal to welcome the stranger, to clothe the naked, to visit the one "imprisoned" in the womb?

As Christians, our mission should be to make abortion illegal, not because we like to impose our point of view on others, but because it is our duty to protect the vulnerable among us.

Friday, April 12, 2019

Shame on you!

I love memes. Funny memes. So when the latest barrage of Joe Biden memes came out I was all in. But then came last Sunday. My wife and I both overslept, and so we missed the mass we like to go to. The alternatives were to wait and go in the evening, or go to a different parish. Although we like the masses as our usual parish, I hate going to mass at dinner time. It means that dinner will be late and rushed, and the whole day feels off because we haven't gone to mass yet. So we decided to go to mass at a different parish in the area where we had never gone to Sunday mass before, to the 12:30 mass.

The priest was one I really like, who usually gives good homilies that explain the readings. That Sunday was no exception. The Gospel reading was about the woman caught in adultery. He focused on the difference between shame and guilt. The Pharisees were not interested in the woman. To them she was someone to put to shame, in order to be used against Jesus. But Jesus wasn't interested in their political games, he was interested in the woman herself. He wanted to take away her guilt and bring her back into a right relationship with God.

It made me think about my memes, and specifically the ones about Joe Biden. What was my motivation? Did I want to shame him for touching women inappropriately, or was my object to effect change to bring him into a right relationship with God and with women? Would I rather see him damned or forgiven? And regardless of my motives, were my actions consistent with that, or was I a hypocrite?

I'm still processing this. On the one hand, I have no way to even contact Joe Biden, so nothing I do or say is going to affect him. On the other hand, I should at least pray for him, and I will. On the one hand, people should expose bad behavior, because there is no other way to address it. On the other hand, do we expose the bad behavior to bring the person and others into a realization that they should behave better, or do we do it to destroy them? On the one hand, he is a public figure and political speech has always used humor to bring across a point. On the other hand should things be that way?

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Christians must oppose Trump

I see this all over the place, articles like The Moral Confusion of Trump Christians. The gist is that Christians who support President Trump are hypocrites, morally confused, immoral, anti-biblical, you-name-it. There are so many ways to refute this, frankly, I am confused (about which way to show that this is ridiculous).

First off, let's look at the claims.
  • Trump is an immoral man, who has had affairs, divorces, etc.
  • Trump is a boorish person.
  • Trump is racist
  • Trump is divisive
  • Trump is anti-Christian values
Therefore anyone who votes for him or thinks he is doing a good job is not a "real" Christian, but is betraying Christ.

Is Trump what they claim he is?

First off, does he even exhibit these attributes for which Christians should allegedly avoid him?
  • Has he had affairs, divorces, etc.? Yes (well, the "proof" of affairs is circumstantial).
  • Is he boorish? Yes.
  • Is he racist? No. When asked to back claims of this people point to his immigration policy (enforce existing law) which is not racist, or that his economic policies favor one group over another (a dubious claim, given how minorities are thriving under his economic policies) or that he supports white supremacists (a lie).
  • Is he divisive? In the sense that liberals have distanced themselves from the rest of the country because they don't like him. But in terms of fostering division between people, no.
  • Is he anti-Christian values? Emphatically no. He has reinstated the Mexico City policy, reversed religious discriminatory practices and championed the pro-life cause.
Is he worse than the alternatives, in immorality?

Secondly, if we are to avoid supporting Trump, who should Christians support instead? Certainly there are third party alternatives, and I have posted quite a bit about them in the past. But the majority of people in the US fall into the "I must vote for a party that has a chance to win' camp. And that means if you don't vote Republican, you vote Democrat.

Who are the Democratic candidates who will be running against Trump, and do they align more with Christian values? Let's look at a few.
  • Kamala Harris claimed that Catholics should not be allowed to serve in government due to their bigotry. She believes in abortion up to birth, and with Bernie Sanders, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand and Amy Kolbuchar voted for legalized infanticide.
  • Elizabeth Warren, aside from her vote above, lied about being a Native American.
  • Bernie Sanders, aside from his vote above, argues for socialism, directly against Christian teaching.
  • Cory Booker, aside from his vote above, defends his groping of a woman in college against her will.
  • Joe Biden, aside from his notable use of the F-word, is now the subject of multiple, well documented accounts of sexual harassment.
100% of these people are pro-abortion and in favor of Obamacare, with its restrictions on religious freedom (remember the Little Sister of the Poor). They may or may not have as much of a "shady past" as Trump but consider that, unlike Trump, their anti-Christian views are current, not in the past, and they defend those views as "right thinking" whereas Trump has never defending sleeping with a porn star (for instance) as the "right" thing to do.

Does it Matter?

What all these claimants seem to miss is that, unless Jesus (or Mary) is on the ballot, everyone we vote for will be a sinner. But we are not voting to say we approve of every aspect of their lives, we are voting to hire them for a job. When you hire a roofer, or a landscaper you don't choose them by whether they sinned in the past, but by whether or not they will do a good job for you. To the extent that you consider their moral character at all you might look at their current beliefs. We have a religion based on repentance and forgiveness. The criteria for a Christian to support a candidate is not "is the person saintly" but "will their actions in office advance or detract from Christian morality."

In that sense we can see Trump has clearly been on the plus side, especially as compared to any of the above candidates. As noted above, he restored the Mexico City policy, has rerouted money from Planned Parenthood to actual women's healthcare groups, has reversed or eliminated may religious discrimination policies, such as Obama's "weaponization" of the IRS against religious conservatives, the HHS mandate and others. He has welcomed Christians into the White House for prayer and council. He has spoken at and supported two Marches for Life. He prays publicly.

As Christians, we can disagree on Trump's immigration or economic policies (although I really don't see how, but that's another topic), but in general, even taking that into account, there is much more good there, from a Christian perspective, than not.


Christians should not oppose Trump. In fact, Christians should support President Trump. God help us if any of his opponents are elected in 2020. People claiming Christians who support Trump are morally confused are, well, morally confused themselves.


To those Christians who oppose him on the grounds of wanting abortion to be legal, as a Christian I must warn you to consider your opinion on the matter. The Bible clearly forbids murder, and abortion, whether you like it or not, falls into that category, from a Christian perspective. If you think this is some new thing Catholics invented, consider the Didache, which was written by first century Christians (possible predating some of the New Testament) [emphasis mine].
2:2 Thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery; thou shalt not corrupt youth; thou shalt not commit fornication; thou shalt not steal; thou shalt not use soothsaying; thou shalt not practise sorcery; thou shalt not kill a child by abortion, neither shalt thou slay it when born; thou shalt not covet the goods of thy neighbour;
For those who want to fall back on "science", claiming that the ancients believed a fetus was a child but we know better, you need to rethink your source of scientific knowledge. If anything, we know now unequivocally that from the moment of conception (fertilization) the child is human (DNA tests prove this) is alive (exhibits all the activities necessary for life) and is an independent organism.

The only differences between that 1 day old blastocyst and that two year old are location and dependency. And nobody can argue that a mother has no obligation to care for a child dependent on her (well, people do argue that, but it's a ridiculous argument, and doesn't change the fact of the humanity of the child).

I make these statements not to win an argument but to save your souls. You will be judged by what you did not do for the least of these, thy brethren. Consider that thoughtfully.