Monthly Archives: July 2007

On Checking Cervixes

One of the “catch-22s” in NFP is that cervical position is a fairly definitive sign of ovulation. The trick is knowing how to measure it. Most things we’ve read say, “It can be confusing and subjective, so don’t bother if you’ve got the other two signs down.”

Trouble is, temperature charting requires certain ideal circumstances which work well for couples with no kids but become difficult once you have children, especially if you’re using “ecological breastfeeding” as a form of NFP. Temperature charting says “Get a good night’s sleep in a perfectly dark room, wake up at precisely the same time each day, and measure your temperature after as little movement as possible.” Ecological breastfeeding says, “wear your baby, co-sleep and breastfeed on demand.” The two just don’t work together.

Mucous can be very confusing. Female anatomy issues various kinds of fluids, including “arousal mucous,” which can be mistaken for cervical mucous. For some women, “if it’s wet, abstain,” means pretty much abstaining for all but 3 days of the month.

So, with each baby, we’ve tried to start NFP afresh and hit certain snags related to breastfeeding. Many of our friends have had the same experiences. A few weeks before we found out Mary was pregnant with Clara Agnes, she was visiting some former roommates. They asked her when she was due, because all of the women they’d lived with were pregnant, and all within a few weeks of each other.

Anyway, with that in mind, I have found some interesting stuff on the cervix. Ironically, one of the most clear-cut explanations I’ve seen is on the site of an artificial birth control product. The cervix is “hard and closed” for most of a woman’s life. It is also “low.” One of the “mistakes” we’ve made is thinking the cervix changes gradually: it doesn’t. It changes very quickly, which is what makes it such a clear-cut sign of ovulation. We’d *hoped* we could better predict ovulation by finding a pattern to the cervix, but that apparently is impossible. Because what I learned from the above site is that, when the cervix gets “open and high,” it does so *immediately* at the time of ovulation.

One day, it’s closed and soft and low. Next day, it’s open, “high” and soft. At the end of three days, it’s closed and hard and low again. We had thought the cervix felt differently before ovulation than it did afterward, but it doesn’t.

Adding to this confusion is another interesting fact of cervical position that I found on only one site, Beyond Fertility. It turns out that the os never fully closes after a woman has given birth! Before Mary was pregnant with Allie, I could always tell whether the cervix was closed or open.

After the return of fertility after each child, though, it’s been confusing since the cervix alway feels “open.” When it’s “low”, i feel a gap. They always say about feeling “like a nose.” Well, I always feel a hard bump “like a nose” high up in the vagina during fertility (probably just one side of the cervix, or another muscle). The rest of the the month, the cervix is there and feels “open”. so we’ve been confused about what exactly the position is. We’ve been inverting ovulation and infertility, or (based upon the above thing about not knowing the cervix is low *before* ovulation), thinking fertility has already come and gone when it hadn’t.

The Billings Method people have an informative website on this, as well, including animated diagrams of the cervical cycle, but the videos don’t show “low and high” positions.


More media ignorance of Vatican II

Considering that I have a great idea for an article, I’m going to stop responding to these people.

The most common surgery in the US is least seen.

Now, as close as aortic root replacement for Marfan syndrome is to my heart (literally and figuratively), it is a rare procedure. Yet you can see a graphic depiction of that surgery on _The Operation_ on cable. But abortion is the most commonly performed “surgery” in the US, yet to show any images–photographs or just diagrams–of abortion is “too disturbing”.

Congress funds umbilical cord stem cell research

An interesting column from the Philippines, relayed via CBN(!) about Pope Benedict

A fairly good article by Sheila Rauch Kennedy

Mrs. Kennedy has become quite the crusader–albeit from the left–aganist the liberalized annulment process in American Catholic diocese. It would be interesting to see her team up with Bai MacFarlane, in left/right one-two punch. Not to mention Maggie Gallagher (The Abolition of Marriage is a must-read!)

Anyway, the point of this particular column, though, is that she wants the Church to change what she thinks is its theology of annulment. She thinks an annulment means a marriage never happened. Of course, this gets to the definition of marriage itself. She seems OK with the divorce, but just not the annulment. But she says that the Orthodox will declare a marriage “non-sacramental but valid”. That is an inherent contradiction and shows her own ignorance of the annulment concept, which is due to the fact that her husband was a Kennedy.

An annulment *means* “invalid, no sacrament.” It does not mean “no marriage,” (at least not in the civil sense that she means).

So there’s no need for a change in theology.

Greeley Gripes about GenXers Longing for Latin

Greeley says that young, conservative priests are “out of touch” with the laity.

First off, given the recent scandals, I don’t think priests should be touching laity at all.

Secondly, most of the laity I associate with want more conservative priests and think Andrew Greeley’s out of touch with reality.

Thirdly, why should that *matter*? Isn’t it far more important to be “in touch with” God’s Will than the laitys?

More Eugenicists Criticize President Arroyo

What Genesis has to teach us about "Population Control" and Bioethics

At family Bible time tonight, we read Gen. 11-14, and two things struck me about the Tower of Babel.

First, is apropros to “overpopulation”:

Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in
the sky, and so make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered all
over the earth.” (Gen 11:4, NAB)

The Tower of Babel was an apartment building! Their objective was to build one big city to hold everyone so they wouldn’t “overpopulate” the earth.

Then God says, “If now, [. . .] they have started to do this, nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do” (Gen 11:6).

Of course, in bioethics (and most moral issues today), the main focus is the belief that human beings should be allowed to do anything they can intellectually conceive of. It’s the belief that the ends justify the means, and that the pursuit of scientific achievement is an end in itself such as to override all other concerns, particularly moral concerns.

New book explains Ovulation Method in an easy-to-understand way, directed at all Christians

Let’s hear it for the President of the Philippines!

According to this article, the President of the Philippines is oppressing her people by refusing to release UN “population control” funds and only funding NFP promotion. According to these people, the “poor, ignorant” Catholic (and Muslim) population of the Philippines needs to be given artificial birth control so they don’t overpopulate the country.

Maybe the extremely devout Philippino Catholics don’t want to use that stuff?

Somebody making sense on federal funding of research

This fellow is pro-ESCR but anti-government funding. It’s what I’ve been saying for years: if Bush were a real Republican, and not the big government liberal that he is, he’d just say, “I don’t believe in federal funding of research.” I commented more extensively on USA Today‘s blog, so I’ll let you read my comments there.

New book explains Ovulation Method in an easy-to-understand way, directed at all Christians

Upside-down world: WHO and Johns Hopkins say the Rhythm Method works!

OK, weird. A few years back, Georgetown came out with what they call “cycle beads“. Basically, it’s rhythm with a string of beads instead of a calendar. Many NFP teachers called them a gimmick, warning against it.

Advocates of sympto-thermal NFP, Billings, Creighton, etc., say, “NFP” and doctors, politicians, liberals, etc., shoot back, “Rhythm doesn’t work.”

Yet now, we have WHO and Johns Hopkins saying that cyclebeads, a modern version of “rhythm,” are “safe and effective birth control” for “women with regular cycles” (the operative condition, of course, since how many women actualy have “regular” cycles?)

But that’s pretty astounding.
IT’s also astounding that they acknowledge the dangers of chemical contraception.

We have a Motu Proprio!

It’s been reported all over. Benedict has finally done what we prayed for him to be Pope so he’d do.

Both his election and this motu proprio were things I’d waited for my entire life, but the M.P. seemed, after all the anticipation, somewhat anti-climactic.

But *what* Benedict has done with this document is rather interesting. Most reports emphasize the “widening” of the Traditional Latin Mass, but Benedict has done more than that. He has permitted the readings in vernacular, and he has permitted the use of modern feast days and the modern calendar (both of which JPII specifically forbade in _Ecclesia Dei_). It would be cool if he took the step of allowing the optional use of the modern lectionary.

This document actually does a great deal to heal not just the outcast feelings of traditionalists, but also to heal a key division among conservative and traditional Catholics.

On the one hand, there are supporters of the Traditional Latin Mass.

On the other hand, there are those who advocate the use of the Paul VI Mass in Latin, as it used to be done on EWTN, with only the readings and certain prayers in the vernacular. Really, this is the way Vatican II intended the Mass to be. It’s what every major liturgical document from Rome calls for. It’s what Cardinal Arinze advocates.

It’s what most of us who’ve been to such liturgies prefer.

But it’s the one that’s least done. Traditionalists and Progressives alike call it a “weird hybrid,” even though it’s advocated by all the actual documents.

Last year, I read where a Vatican cardinal advised against widening use of the TLM for fear that people would *not* say the modern Mass in Latin.

So Benedict is trying to bridge the gap between the *traditional* Latin Mass and the *modern* Latin Mass.

Anti-Defamation League is Anti-Latin Mass-go figure

Apparently, some members of the Jewish community think it is anti-Semitic of Catholics to want them to go to Heaven. Weird. I always thought that, if you *hated* someone, you wanted them to go to Hell or you wanted them to die. I alwas thought that inviting someone to join your community and hoping for them to go to Heaven were signs that you *liked* that person. Go figure.

If a doctor gives me a prescription or diagnosis I disagree with, I ignore the doctor and find another one. I may argue against him or her, if necessary, and I may question the doctor’s professional knowledge, but I wouldn’t assume the doctor *hated* me just for bad judgement or ignorance.

Intellectual disagreement does not constitute hatred. Hoping for reconciliation with the person you disagree with is not hatred.

But, according to the ADL, it is. And it’s not just their position on the Traditional Mass. (Isn’t it anti-Catholic to say that we can’t have our traditional form of worship because they don’t like it?)

They “make their case” that Pat Buchanan is an “anti-Semite” with a bunch of out of context quotes that don’t even sound so bad out of context. For example, suggesting that a Nazi scientist who came to the US and did a lot of good may have reformed himself and shouldn’t be castitgated for past mistakes. Or where he points out that we overthrew the Nazis, but there are various regimes committing similar atrocities uncriticized. Or where he just describes the “merits’ that helped Hitler win control of Germany, while acknowledging the man was reprehensible (see here).

Or Buchanan is “anti-semitic” because he criticizes US policy regarding Israel.

Not according to the ADL. According to them, if you invite Jewish people to come to your church, you’re a hateful anti-Semite. According to them, if you hope Jewish people can make it to Heaven, you’re anti-Semite.

But then, let’s look at what they say on their own homepage about anti-Semitism:

New Swiss bishop sounds great; his flock needs serious conversion

Apparently, Swiss Catholics are as full of holes as their cheese, since they refer to anyone who actually upholds church teachings as “ultraconservative.”

You could say that Swiss laity are downright cuckoo.

In any case, this article refers to the allged “right of women to become priests.”

It used to be that the only “rights” were “life, liberty and property.” Now, the right to life is almost non-existent, but anything people *want* is considered a “right”: right to privacy, right to socialized health care, right to socialized education, right to fornicate without any worldly consequences, and so on.

No one has a “right” to be a priest. Men certainly do not have that “right.” Men are “eligible” to be selected for the priesthood, but the Church has the right to reject them. Being ordained is a privilege, and while the Church has often selected the wrong people for this privilege, or perhaps rejected some who may have been great priests, we must remember that Jesus ordained Judas to the priesthood.

There are two categories of “rights.” There are “human rights,” unalienable rights given to us by God and His Natural Law in virtue of our being human, and then there are “civil rights,” which are given to citizens by their governments in virtue of being citizens. While the natural law provides guidelines about what should or should not be civil rights, there is no mandate in the Natural Law for society to grant them.

Eligibility for the priesthood is the purview of the Catholic Church. Even setting aside God’s role in things, if it is to be called a “right,” it is, at best, a civil right. And only the government of the Catholic Church has the “right” to declare what is or is not a “civil right” in the Church.

Today is World Eugenics Day! Let’s Celebrate!

Apropos of women brutalizing other women for being disabled, today is apparently “World Population Day”! Whoopee!

Today is World Population Day, when countries focus on their commitment and actions to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/Aids and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

Where is the dignity and respect in having their womanhood stripped away so that they can be treated as sex objects without consequences?

What does preventing HIV/AIDS have to do with “World Population”? I mean, if these people are so concerned about population, you’d think they’d be fans of HIV/AIDS for killing off huge segments of it?

“Every birth is safe”? Yeah, right.
“Every pregnancy is wanted”? Uh-huh.

You know, all of these things can be truly achieved by teaching abstinence until marriage.
Yet I sincerely doubt that’s what these people are talking about.

Disabled woman brutally assaulted by mob of other women: a sign of the Apocalypse

IT used to be just men who engaged in this kind of brutality.

Scottish School: Pornography is OK; saying "abortion is murder" is offensive

Usual pro-life teacher controversy: a pro-life student, in this case a girl who just gave birth, wore a pro-life t-shirt on casual day. School said it was “offensive,” even though students wore plenty of truly offensive t-shirts.

The school is Banff Academy in Aberdeen, Scotland.

To e-mail your criticisms of these Thought Police, click here.

Dear Administrators of Banff Academy,

When I hear stories coming out of the UK such as your school’s treatment of Sarah Scott, it makes me so proud that we have the First Amendment here in the US.

Now, I don’t really think students should be wearing t-shirts to school, anyway. The only times I ever wore t-shirts to school were souvenir shirts after vacations, and usually over my usual school clothes.

But to see a pro-life singled out when other students were allowed to wear t-shirts advocating pornography, rock bands and other “offensive” topics, I cannot see the consistency.

How is it “offensive” in a school environment to state a simple fact of biology and of natural law that abortion is murder?

Anyone with a brain can know that. Only middle-aged hippies who killed their brain cells with the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, marijuana and LSD, then killed their own children with the Birth Control Pill can possibly think otherwise.

Thank you for showing that things haven’t changed much in the UK since the days of Henry VIII and Bloody Elizabeth.


John C. Hathaway
The Lewis Crusade