Monthly Archives: May 2007

OT: Article by one of my professors!

Found this linked on Catholicity. Dr. DeMarco is one of my professors!

Catholics against Rudy

Rudolph the Red-faced Catholic
Was embarrased by his faith
And when he talked abortion
He would lie right through his teeth.

All of the social conservatives
Used to laugh and call him names
They could see that ol’ Rudolph
Cheated on his wife with dames.

When disaster struck one day,
Rudy came to say,
“I’ll lead you in this sad event,
So I can run for president.”

Then all the war hawks loved him,
They would holler out with glee,
“Rudolph the Red-Faced Catholic,
We don’t care about babies!”

USCCB Responds to "Gang of Eighteen"

Reminds them that those who are in a state of mortal sin should not go to Communion and that the Church has every right to speak on matters pertaining to public affairs; further admonishes them to seek pastoral counselling about the states of their own souls.

The Limbo Debate

You know, in all the recent “limbo debate,” it never dawned on me that I should be discussing it, in honor of the one for whom this website is named.

Now, I have a lot of problems with this recent statement from the Vatican. First of all, it really doesn’t say anything new. What it says, that there is a difference between “ordinary” and “extraordinary” means of salvation, is already established Catholic teaching.

However, it basically encourages parents not to have their kids baptized. On the other hand again, in this day and age, that’s probably a good thing. Why, you ask? Because those who are baptized and go to Hell suffer far worse than those who are unbaptized, plus they scandalize the Church. The Church says you’re only supposed to baptize an infant if you, as the parent, have the intention of doing everything possible to raise that child as a good Catholic, which most “Catholic” parents these days have no intention of.

But in the “mercy” and “making people feel good” department, the “trust God’s mercy” attitude is one of the main reasons we started the Lewis Crusade, and why we named it that.

When Little Lew died, we wanted to give our baby a Christian burial. That that would be possible is, in and of itself is one “post-Vatican II” change in this regard.

When Mary was going through the miscarriage, I put holy water everywhere I could in the hopes of baptizing the baby.

The response we got from the Church, though, was that it didn’t *matter*. It didn’t *matter* if the baby was baptized. It didn’t *matter* if the baby was formally buried. It didn’t *matter* if we had some kind of funeral service for the baby. Trust God’s mercy was what we were told.

But God’s mercy wasn’t the issue: recognizing our dead baby as a real baby in a society that said he was just a “blob of tissue” was the issue, and the Church wouldn’t help us get that kind of formal recognition.

Meanwhile, the article linked above makes the following claim:

The issue behind such ungraceful teaching is rooted in the arrogance of the
church, both Catholic and Evangelical, that it holds exclusive rights to the
gates of heaven.

Actually, it’s the “arrogance” of God Himself, who said,

Jesus answered, “Amen,
amen, I say to you, no one can enter the kingdom of God without being born of
water and Spirit (Jn 3:5)


Although, the question becomes whether “born anew” or “born from above” requires being “born” to begin with?

New! News and Links

I’ve done some upgrades to the page. I’m hoping to make it more a “one-stop” shopping for Catholic and pro-life news and commentary. Blogger/Google now allows topical newsreels on blogs, so I’ve added several of those both to the sidebar and to the bottom, under the posts frame. I’ve also added more links to organizations I support and to some of my favorite columnists and bloggers.

Christina Blizzard, aptly-named Canadian airhead

Earlier, I blogged a column that Mark Shea linked to about Canadian Premier McGuinty’s McGuilty conscience. I also wrote directly to the columnist, Christina Blizzard. Here’s what I said:

You and Mr. McGuinty miss two important points. First, abortion is evil,period. That is not just a Catholic teaching. It is a tenet of the NaturalLaw (see, for example, the Hippocratic Oath). If Mr. McGuinty truly servedall the people of Canada, he would help those innocent children that arebeing slaughtered in abortuaries and IVF clinics.
At least he gets one thing straight: he and the Pope have different”constituencies.” The Pope’s “constituency” are those who actually followJesus Christ and His Church. That is the same Jesus Christ who said, “Whatdoes it profit a man to gain the world and lose his very soul in theprocess?”

This is not about Canadian or US politics, as such. This is about the Body,Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in the blessed Sacrament. Thosewho favor legalized abortion are in a state of objective mortal sin.Politicians who support pro-abortion legislation are enabling others to haveabortions, which warrants automatic excommunications under Canon Law.

By receiving Communion, they are commiting an act of sacrilege, just likeeveryone else who goes to Communion in a state of mortal sin. By going toCommunion in a public state of defiance of Church teaching, they also committhe sin of scandal, which also warrants excommunication (if only suchexcommunications were applied to the liberal, pro-feminist, pro-homosexualbishops who’ve been sheltering gay priests accused of sexual molestation).After all, people like Premier McGuinty teach other Catholics that it’s “OK”to be “pro-choice,” and it’s not.

And, yes, the same goes for “same sex marriage,” which is ontologically impossible, since people of the same sex cannot have sexual relations. Theycan engage in acts of mutual masturbation, but sexual relations are onlypossible when there are two sexual organs that can relate to one another.Satanic regimes always try to redefine reality.

The American South tried todeny humanity to African Americans; the Nazis denied humanity to Jews. Modern day “liberals” deny humanity to the unborn and try to
redefine reality by saying it’s possible for people of the same gender to have sexual relations.

And, no, the Pope is not barring Catholics from public life. He’s juststating the age-old position of the Church that Catholics *must* engage inpublic life and *must* do so by upholding the dictates of the natural law.

Notice how I emphasized natural law, not “religion,” and how I noted that it the religious side is entirely within the Church and not a matter of politics. In other words, Catholic politicians have a duty to enforce the Natural Law, but they do not necessarily have a duty to require a national Sabbath day or ban the sale of meat on Fridays (although both things would be kind of nice). They *do* have an obligation to legislate against intrinsic moral evils like abortion and homosexual behavior.

They *do* have an obligation not to compromise their purported religious beliefs for the sake of power.

On the other hand, the Church has every right to determine who is welcome or unwelcome at the Altar. This is not particularly a political issue. After all, it applies to anyone who publicly endorses legalized abortion, regardless of being a political official or not. It also applies to everyone who publicly “lives in sin” or publicly proclaims the kinds of ideas expressed in The Da Vinci Code.

Well, impressively, this lady replied. I was expecting some sort of vitriolic spew of insults. Instead, her only response to my e-mail was:

From Christina Blizzard

Sent Friday, May 18, 2007
11:59 am
To John and Mary Hathaway

Subject RE: Your article on
the Premier and the Pope

You can’t mix politics and religion.

Christina Blizzard
Queen’s Park Columnist
Sun Media

??????????

Where did I say any such thing? And, more importantly, who says you can’t mix politics and religion? In my reply, I asked her what deity she worshipped that decreed such a thing?

OT: International Affairs

Slightly off topic to this blog, but related loosely in terms of spiritual warfare issues and the “Why do they hate” us question (with its various answers including our moral decadence), one of Mark Shea’s readers sent him the following passage:

The warring nations are jealous of America and bitter against her for her neutrality. Americans are snubbed and insulted everywhere in Europe and even in Australia. The best intentions of our President and his own personality are ridiculed–so blind are the poor people in respect to the real issues of the war.

The quotation came from Charles Taze Russell of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, regarding World War I. Now, Shea discusses it in regard to apocalypticism (hence relevance to spiritual warfare), but I notice something else.

“The warrning nations are jealous of America and bitter against her for her neutrality.”

Nowadays, those on the Left, along with the Libertarians and Washingtonian conservatives, try to say that international anti-Americanism is due to our “imperialism.” This was of course made a national issue a few days ago by Ron Paul’s statement at the Presidential Debate in Columbia, SC.

Yet, here we have a quotation from the days when the Monroe Doctrine was in effect, about foreigners condemning America for non-intervention.

Just goes to show that anti-Americanism is really about our system of government and not about any particular policy. Liberal foreigners hate us for our conservatism; conservative foreigners hate us for our liberalism. Whether or not we intervene in foreign problems, we’re blamed for meddling too much or not doing enough. What it all boils down to is that they’re envious of our Republic and how well it actually functions.

PFL’s Fr. Pavone, HLI’s Fr. Euteneuer and ALL’s Judie Brown to "Gang of 18": Stop calling yourselves Catholics

LifeSite quotes Frs. Frank Pavone (Priests for Life) and Thomas Eutenauer (Human Life International) telling the “Gang of 18” (Rosa DeLauro & co) to leave the Church.

Meanwhile, Judie Brown (American Life League) has started a new petition drive asking the bishops to excommunicate these killers

President of Ontario Bishops Conference rebukes Premier

The Canadian bishops, like their country, are notoriously more liberal than those of the US, but the defiance spoken by Premier McGuinty against the Holy Father is garnering a response from them.

The “premier” (I don’t know why any post-Cold War country would use that title for its prime minister, but it’s telling in itself) claims his duty is to “all Canadians,” yet that’s the point: he’s not serving all Canadians, but allowing the weakest and most defenseless Canadians to be slaughtered.

Meanwhile, the ignoramus columnist linked above says that the Pope is basically banning Catholics from public life, which is ridiculous.

Wow! A cardinal with the courage to admit he was wrong!

Cardinal Oscar Andres Rodriguez Maradiaga of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, who had originally made McCarrick-like statements about not having the authority to turn anyone away from the altar, recanted those statements in the light of the letter then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote to the US Bishops in 2004.

God bless him!

Great column by Judie Brown

Rep. Ryan’s Food Stam Challenge

For some reason, blogger won’t let me paste the URL as a link, so you’ll have to copy and paste:
http://www.house.gov/htbin/blog_inc?BLOG,oh17_ryan,blog,999,All,Item%20not%20found,ID=070515_0589,TEMPLATE=postingdetail.shtml

Anyway, Rep. Tim Ryan, who was one of the signers of the rebellious letter discussed in my last post, is doing a “Food Stamp Challenge,” living off of food stamps. That sounds great, and is something all elected officials in DC should be required to do: live off of the minimum applicable government program.

However, his “experiment” began with shopping at hugely overpriced yuppie supermarket Safeway. I think I might have actually gone there once in an emergency.

18 Demonocrats rebel against Pope–seems that they should *definitely* be excommunicated.

“The fact is that religious sanction in the political arena directly conflicts with our fundamental beliefs abotu the role and responsibility of democratic representaties in a pluralistic America,” the 18 write; “it also clashes with freedoms guaranteed in our Constitution.”

Typical of liberals, I think they have the First Amendment upside down. It says, “Congress shall pass no law respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” It does *not* say, “Religious leaders shall make no laws respecting the political exercise of their adherents. . . .”

The Pope’s original statement, which the Vatican spin doctors went back and amended, was that they should *not* receive Communion, since they’re in mortal sin, and if they continue to receive Communion, they risk excommunication.

These guys are just begging to be excommunicated.

Children are bad for the environment, but estrogen pollution isn’t

There have always been two major issues in the overpopulation myth: poverty and environmentalism.

So it should really be news that some British think tank, especially one called the “Optimum Population Trust,” argues that children are a threat to the environment and that large families are among the worst sources of “Global Warming.” You know, you’d think these people would *want* to win support from conservatives, but they do everything they can to alienate us.

First of all, as I’ve discussed previously, the whole “large families hurt the environment” thing is just contrary to fact. The kinds of families who have lots of kids tend to be more economically challenged (interesting thought that just came to me: we always hear that “wealthier people have less kids,” but isn’t really that “people who have less kids end up wealthier”?). So they live in smaller houses. Because of budgets, coordinating so many family members and certain counter-cultural ideas, large families tend not to “do” as much as other families. They don’t have as many gadgets, generally speaking (for which they’re criticized). They tend to stay home and do “family stuff” instead of going out all the time (again, they’re labeled anti-social freaks).

Meanwhile, they’re also usually concerned about the environment to varying degrees. First, Catholics believe in stewardship of God’s resources. Large families usually live on tight budgets, so “reduce, reuse, recycle” is as much an economic principle as environmental: in that sense, it goes back for thousands of years. People with large families usually have a certain “naturalism” going on (e.g., “natural family planning,” “natural childbirth,” etc.) which includes concern for the environment, concern about nutrition, and so forth. In short, there are a lot of commonalities, and you would think that the environmentalist movement would want to get more conservative Catholics under their wing. Instead, they do everything they can to alienate conservatives, showing that, like all liberals, they really don’t care about what they claim to.

And further proving the hypocrisy is that estrogen pollution is becoming a huge ecological problem, and has been reported for several years now, but the mainstream media and the so-called “environmentalists” never touch the subject. Domenico Bettinelli says it very well.

Hate speech

So, the Demonocrats are trying to do in the US what was already done in Canada a few years ago.

The very concept of “hate crimes” is stupid. It seems to me that most crimes are commited because of “hate”. If a man finds his wife in bed with another man and shoots them, I’m pretty sure he hates them when he does it. If a starving woman steals a diamond necklace from an heiress, she’s being driven by envy, which has a pretty good component of hate in it. Usually, drug addicts are trying to drown some sort of psychological pain caused by *someone* in their lives, and therefore they probably hate that person.

OK, so in the past, there were plenty of injustices done to African Americans, and the “hate crimes” concept was instituted to let the federal government step in when local governments refused to act. But they could have come up with a better, and more constitutional, way of going about it.

If you’re going to talk about “hate crimes,” it ought to work both ways, but it doesn’t. “Hate crimes” theory creates a new kind of “class warfare,” since the only people who can be victims of “hate crimes” are so-called “protected classes.” If you’re not in a protected class, anyone can say any hateful thing they want to.

So Don Imus (noting that I think the man is loathesome) uses the term “nappy haired” (whatever that means). That is considered “hate” speech, but the many hateful things said about him in response were “OK.”

My wife cries at night from her African American students calling her names like “honkey” and “hillbilly,” but that’s perfectly acceptable in our culture. She writes them up, and nothing happens to them.

Saying that homosexual tendencies are the result of a psychological disorder is considered “hate speech,” but homosexuals make death threats against Catholics, and that’s OK.

It is impossible to have a concept of “hate speech” that is in keeping with the First Amendment. The whole purpose of the First Amendment was to allow people to express opinions that might be “politically incorrect” for the health of society. Obviously, the American system works because, despite rhetoric on boths sides of the aisle, we have never been taken over by Fascists or Communists.

“Hate speech”, and “hate crimes”, by extension, are really about trying people for their ideas, and specifically for their disagreement with the ideas of the constituents of the party in power, which is the very thing the First Amendment was meant to protect. Yet the people who say that the First Amendment protects pornography are the same ones who want to gut its political intent.

Granted, neoconservatives do the same thing: if you criticize President Bush or his wars, you are labelled “anti-American.” (Now, a great many of the war’s critics really are anti-American, but that doesn’t mean they all are).

If you say, “abortion is wrong,” or “homosexuality is a disorder,” or “Why are we giving Israel privileged treatment compared to other third world nations,” that is called “hate speach.” Yet liberals say they want to kill the president, and that’s OK.

In The Abolition of Man (if you haven’t read it, read it now), C. S. Lewis discusses an English textbook he’s been asked to review. He gives it the pseudonym The Green Book, and talks about how the book twists the concept of description. According to The Green Book, any emotional or aesthetic description says more about the speaker than the thing described.

For them,
“This is such a peaceful place” = “I feel peaceful.”
“That woman is sexy” = “I want to have sex with her.”

And, eventually,
“You are being hostile” = “I feel hostile towards you.”

Now, Lewis uses this textbook–which he says is typical of the textbooks of his day–as a launch pad for a discussion of subjectivism, human nature, the soul, Natural Law and the dangers of the Twentieth Century.

But what for Lewis was dangerous innovation has become, for our era, an ingrainted way of thought, especially for secular humanists.

So, when conservatives hear of “hate speech,” we’re puzzled. We think that we’re making an objective description of some behavior, or an intellectual criticism of an idea. But liberals have been raised in the theory of The Green Book, such that any purported objective statement is a mask for the speaker’s hidden feelings.

So, when a liberal hears one of his or her sacred cows criticized, however intellectually and rationally, that is extracted to “He criticized my idea” = “He doesn’t like my idea” = “He hates me.”

At the same time, “hate speech” is defined as hatred meant to humiliate or incite violence. One of the intellectual jumps that puzzles conservatism is when a statement like the following is labelled “hate speech”:

The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition. (Catechism of the Catholic Church # 2358).

The answer, from a Green Book perspective, is simple: reading statements like this makes liberals angry. It makes them want to do violence on conservatives. Therefore, they interpret the statement as inciting violence.

News flash! Sympto-Thermal method "just as effective as" (i.e., more than) the Kill Pill!

This study is good news, from a secular perspective, not that anyone will tout it. But isn’t this just what the Couple to Couple League has been saying for years?

According to this study, STM NFP results in a 0.4% chance of being pregnant. Using sympto thermal and then using “barrier methods” during fertility has a 0.6% pregnancy rate (and they say that condoms don’t leak). Overall, 1.8% of the women got pregnant, and that is including those who charted but didn’t abstain!

In terms of bias, though, the researchers are claiming that STM NFP is “just as effective” as “the Pill.” Yet the study indicates it’s *more* effective. They say that the Pill “used properly” has a roughly 1% chance of pregnancy. Looking for a more exact number, I found this website, hardly an anti-contraception site, which says the Pill, used properly, carries a 1.8% “failure” rate. (NOTE: one thing I *hate* about these discussions is the use of terms like”risk” and “failure”. It’s horrible to refer to a child that way, and many experts find it to be common source of extraordinary demonic activity in a person’s life).

NFP “used properly.” has a 0.4% rate of conception, according to this study, which is slightly better than what I’ve heard in the past from NFP sources, but they’ve always suggested it’s less than 1%.

So, according to these people, 99.6% effective is “just as effective” as 98.2%!

Interesting case study in Catholic ethics

In the DVD lecture series that I’ve been listening to for my classes, Janet Smith talks about the increase in infertility problems in our society, and how much of it can be traced to contraception and the “sexual revolution.” There are many reasons why people can be infertile, but most cases are due to the consequences of STDs or the hormonal changes wrought by long-term contraceptive use.

Now, one aspect of the Church’s teaching on birth control that is overlooked is the Church’s teaching on medical matters in general. The Church favors integrity of the body. While body piercing, for example, may not be as severe a sin as contraception, it is still a sin according to Catholic teaching. Circumcision is likewise considered a mortal sin, both on New Testament grounds and on the grounds that it violates the integrity of God’s design.

It is wrong to use cocaine for recreation; it is OK to use cocaine to numb teeth for dental work.

When we introduce drugs to our bodies, engage in self-mutilation (aka body art) or unnecessary medical procedures (e.g., plastic surgery), we are violating God’s plans for our bodies and tampering with nature. Tampering with nature in this way must have consequences, and it usually does.

Some people use birth control pills with legitimate hormonal problems, but most women use them strictly for personal use. In this context, they are really no different in moral value than “recreational drugs.” They’re drugs women take in order to “have a good time”. Like all drugs, they have side effects.

So, women take birth control pills. They suffer side effects. They damage their bodies. Then they use artificial conception methods to have a baby. Then they have pregnancy complications and damage their health even further.

This woman wants us to pity her. You see, due to various infertility problems experienced by her and her husband, they “had” to use in vitro fertilization to get pregnant. Of course, IVF is just as wrong as contraception and abortion, despite “good intentions” or the pitiable state of the people who use it. There are plenty of options for childless couples, not the least of which is adoption.

But they chose the immoral, self-centered route of engineering embryos in a lab.

Now, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a woman with fertility problems might also have pregnancy problems, or that artificially taking an egg out of a woman’s body then artificially impanting an embryo outside the normal hormonal cycle would cause problems?

Well, in her case, it did. So she got pregnant, had complications, and those complications proved life-threatening. She had a “partial birth abortion” (a term which she and her allies claim is inaccurate), killed her surviving baby (one already died) and now wants us to pity her and support her in her anger at the pro-life movement.

Yet we’re the ones saying, “Don’t use birth control; don’t use IVF, because they have horrible consequences.”

It’s sad she’s gone through this horror. And we all make mistakes, and “I told you so” certainly doesn’t help.

But it’s interesting to see someone so ignorant of the chain of events.