Daily Archives: May 27, 2009

Chlidren in Two Parent Households have less Discipline problems at school

A couple months ago, I watched the appearance of Dr. Steven Rhoades on Colleen Carroll Campbell’s Faith and Culture on EWTN. Rhoades claimed that bullies tend to be boys who grow up in fatherless households because such boys do not have fathers to teach them how to properly handle masculinity.

Well, Family Research Council reports on a new study that children from single-parent or broken homes are more likely to have disciplinary problems at school.

Now, there are obvious psychological issues involved in these things: if a child is grieving a lost parent or suffering the psychological effects of divorce, that may effect behavior.

But I’d posit that something more along the lines of nurture has to come into play.

Two of the classic defenses of a divorcing parent are, “Kids are resilient” and “The kids will be happy as long as I’m happy.”

In her classic The Abolition of Marriage, Maggie Gallagher asks why the parent is so reliant on the kids: Why can’t the parent say, “I’m resilient” or “I’ll be happy so long as my kids are happy”?

Divorce comes for a variety of reasons. It can come from alcoholism, or abuse, or adultery, or just from “I’m not happy.” But it *always* comes from some exemplification of bad behavior on the part of one or both parents.

Let’s not even get started on why unwed motherhood that results from fornication may have an effect on a child’s behavior.

But doesn’t it stand to reason that, when the parents act like “The Rules” don’t apply to them, the children will act the same way?

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Chlidren in Two Parent Households have less Discipline problems at school

A couple months ago, I watched the appearance of Dr. Steven Rhoades on Colleen Carroll Campbell’s Faith and Culture on EWTN. Rhoades claimed that bullies tend to be boys who grow up in fatherless households because such boys do not have fathers to teach them how to properly handle masculinity.

Well, Family Research Council reports on a new study that children from single-parent or broken homes are more likely to have disciplinary problems at school.

Now, there are obvious psychological issues involved in these things: if a child is grieving a lost parent or suffering the psychological effects of divorce, that may effect behavior.

But I’d posit that something more along the lines of nurture has to come into play.

Two of the classic defenses of a divorcing parent are, “Kids are resilient” and “The kids will be happy as long as I’m happy.”

In her classic The Abolition of Marriage, Maggie Gallagher asks why the parent is so reliant on the kids: Why can’t the parent say, “I’m resilient” or “I’ll be happy so long as my kids are happy”?

Divorce comes for a variety of reasons. It can come from alcoholism, or abuse, or adultery, or just from “I’m not happy.” But it *always* comes from some exemplification of bad behavior on the part of one or both parents.

Let’s not even get started on why unwed motherhood that results from fornication may have an effect on a child’s behavior.

But doesn’t it stand to reason that, when the parents act like “The Rules” don’t apply to them, the children will act the same way?

Apparently, there’s another bruhaha about African priests having mistresses and kids.

I am a big critic of what I call the “Rev. Dimmsdale” syndrome. I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, and I think of it a lot.

I wish we had greater courage and freedom to say, “I struggle with this myself, and here’s how I’ve overcome it.”

I wish a priest could say from the altar, “You know what? I’m a sinner. I’m not going to excuse my sin, as some might do, by saying I’m ‘only human’ or by trying to justify my sin. But I *am* human, and I am weak, and I struggle, like we all do. And I know you out there in the congregation are struggling with your own sins. One of the things that made some of the greatest saints was the ability to use their previous falls to help others up. St. Augustine learned from his mistakes and shared that knowledge. Many are afraid to come to Confession because they’re trapped in various addictions. Others come to confession over and over for the same addiction and don’t make any progress.”

It’s one of the things I admire about Fr. John Corapi-he actually *says* this. He uses his background and his past sins to help others.

I like what he says at the beginning of his talk about addiction and recovery: “I’m not a medical doctor. I’m not a psychologist. I don’t have a degree in this area. But do you know why I’m qualified to talk about this subject? Been there, done that.”

It’s also a cliche in “rebellious teen” mentality: “You did this when you were a kid, what right do you have to criticize me?”‘
“Well, it’s precisely because I’ve done it, and I know how it can hurt you. I also know now how to overcome it.”

Or the old “No playa the game, no make-a the rules” joke: who better to teach us chastity than someone who has lived (presumably) in perfect chastity?

I’ve had Confessions with so many different priests.
Rare are the ones who start snapping, “You shouldn’t have done that! That’s a mortal sin!” (Duh, that’s why I’m here)

So many these days say things like,
“That’s not a sin.”
“That’s a matter of personal conscience.”
“You’re young; you’ll grow out of it.”
“You don’t need a priest; you need a psychologist.”
“That’s a matter of psychology; it’s not a sin.”

But phenomenal is find a priest who will say, “On the one hand, we need to take into account how addiction, physical duress and psychological factors can mitigate culpability, but you don’t want to be enslaved to objectively evil behavior.”

I once asked a priest, on a chastity-related issue, “How do you handle it as a priest? How do you remain faithful to your vow of celibacy? Do you have any practical advice?”
“I’m afraid I don’t have any advice to offer,” he said, sheepishly.

In the early Church, confession was public. You stood in front of the priest, and in front of everyone, and confessed your sins.

People think that celibacy is the root cause of scandals in the priesthood, but it’s not. The false idea of “scandal” is. As Fr. Corapi and Fr. Groeschel both admit, in their respective manners, that priests are human, too, and that, precisely because of the challenges of their vocation, they are subject to intense temptations.

While I think it would make more sense for the Roman Church to adopt the model used in the Eastern Church where celibacy is concerned, it certainly would not be for reasons of preventing corruption, since scandals occur just as much amonng married priests. Indeed, married priests in the Byzantine Church experience problems due to such things as the inability to remarry after being used to married life, or juggling their married life with the requirement of continence before divine liturgy (many married Byzantine priests “sleep on the couch” on weekends or, if they live near celibate priests, stay with their celibate colleagues on weekends).

No, the real way to prevent these kinds of scandals would be if priests and laity could be more openly supportive of each other in our trials. There are some newer movements in the Church, like the Youth Apostles, which are criticized for being perhaps too open about such things: “How many of you are guilty of doing X? Show of hands!” Sort of thing. But there’s something to be said for that.

Apparently, there’s another bruhaha about African priests having mistresses and kids.

I am a big critic of what I call the “Rev. Dimmsdale” syndrome. I’ve mentioned it on this blog before, and I think of it a lot.

I wish we had greater courage and freedom to say, “I struggle with this myself, and here’s how I’ve overcome it.”

I wish a priest could say from the altar, “You know what? I’m a sinner. I’m not going to excuse my sin, as some might do, by saying I’m ‘only human’ or by trying to justify my sin. But I *am* human, and I am weak, and I struggle, like we all do. And I know you out there in the congregation are struggling with your own sins. One of the things that made some of the greatest saints was the ability to use their previous falls to help others up. St. Augustine learned from his mistakes and shared that knowledge. Many are afraid to come to Confession because they’re trapped in various addictions. Others come to confession over and over for the same addiction and don’t make any progress.”

It’s one of the things I admire about Fr. John Corapi-he actually *says* this. He uses his background and his past sins to help others.

I like what he says at the beginning of his talk about addiction and recovery: “I’m not a medical doctor. I’m not a psychologist. I don’t have a degree in this area. But do you know why I’m qualified to talk about this subject? Been there, done that.”

It’s also a cliche in “rebellious teen” mentality: “You did this when you were a kid, what right do you have to criticize me?”‘
“Well, it’s precisely because I’ve done it, and I know how it can hurt you. I also know now how to overcome it.”

Or the old “No playa the game, no make-a the rules” joke: who better to teach us chastity than someone who has lived (presumably) in perfect chastity?

I’ve had Confessions with so many different priests.
Rare are the ones who start snapping, “You shouldn’t have done that! That’s a mortal sin!” (Duh, that’s why I’m here)

So many these days say things like,
“That’s not a sin.”
“That’s a matter of personal conscience.”
“You’re young; you’ll grow out of it.”
“You don’t need a priest; you need a psychologist.”
“That’s a matter of psychology; it’s not a sin.”

But phenomenal is find a priest who will say, “On the one hand, we need to take into account how addiction, physical duress and psychological factors can mitigate culpability, but you don’t want to be enslaved to objectively evil behavior.”

I once asked a priest, on a chastity-related issue, “How do you handle it as a priest? How do you remain faithful to your vow of celibacy? Do you have any practical advice?”
“I’m afraid I don’t have any advice to offer,” he said, sheepishly.

In the early Church, confession was public. You stood in front of the priest, and in front of everyone, and confessed your sins.

People think that celibacy is the root cause of scandals in the priesthood, but it’s not. The false idea of “scandal” is. As Fr. Corapi and Fr. Groeschel both admit, in their respective manners, that priests are human, too, and that, precisely because of the challenges of their vocation, they are subject to intense temptations.

While I think it would make more sense for the Roman Church to adopt the model used in the Eastern Church where celibacy is concerned, it certainly would not be for reasons of preventing corruption, since scandals occur just as much amonng married priests. Indeed, married priests in the Byzantine Church experience problems due to such things as the inability to remarry after being used to married life, or juggling their married life with the requirement of continence before divine liturgy (many married Byzantine priests “sleep on the couch” on weekends or, if they live near celibate priests, stay with their celibate colleagues on weekends).

No, the real way to prevent these kinds of scandals would be if priests and laity could be more openly supportive of each other in our trials. There are some newer movements in the Church, like the Youth Apostles, which are criticized for being perhaps too open about such things: “How many of you are guilty of doing X? Show of hands!” Sort of thing. But there’s something to be said for that.

Creative Minority Report Explains the "Hate Crimes" Pedophilia thing

It has been widely reported for the past week that the new Hate Crimes bill, H.R. 1913, provides legal protection for pedophilia.

This is sort of true and not, depending upon how you look at it, illustrating perfectly what happens in politics and how liberals make conservatives look stupid, and how they make it not look like they’re doing what they’re doing.

If that’s confusing enough, read this text (there are a lot of quotes within quotes within quotes, so I fall back on Creative Minority Report):

During floor debate on H.R. 1913, the Local Law Enforcement Hate Crimes Prevention Act, Rep. Alcee Hastings (D-FL) admitted that this so-called “hate crimes” bill will protect the 30 mostly bizarre sexual orientations listed by the American Psychiatric Association.

So, here’s what happened: a committee member–presumably a Republican–called for an amendment to the bill that would specify that, in defining “sexual orientation” as a protected class, it did *not* mean to include 30 “sexual orientations” (or perversions) listed in the American Psychiatric Administration’s DSM-IV-TR.

“The term sexual orientation,” this proposed amendment said, “as used in this act, or any amendments made by this act, does not include apotemnophilia, asphyxophilia, autogynephilia, coprophilia, exhibitionism, fetishism, frotteurism, gerontosexuality, incest, kleptophilia, klismaphilia, necrophilia, partialism, pedophilia, sexual masochism, sexual sadism, telephone scatalogia, toucherism, transgenderism, transsexual, transvestite, transvestic fetishism, urophilia, voyeurism, or zoophilia.”…

Now, again, this is right out of the DSM-IV, and this has a very serious aspect to it, but Rep. Hastings referred to it rather disparagingly:

We had an amendment offered by one of our colleagues to this particular legislation. I guess it was done in a creative fashion, and certainly We had an amendment offered by one of our colleagues to this particular legislation. I guess it was done in a creative fashion, and certainly the author of it did spend some time looking in the dictionary or creating new terms. And I apologize to our transcriber, but I am going to put in the Record what we have to put up with in the Rules Committee.

Now, let’s contextualize here:

1. Hate Crimes Law says that, if one commits an act of violence that is motivated by hatred towards a “protected class,” that crime is somehow worse than just doing your ordinary run of the mill act of violence. It was originally a loophole to prosecute violence against African Americans that was not being properly pursued at the state level (but they should have come up with a better way of achieving that laudable goal).

2. This law is trying to *expand* the groups who will be protected. Often condemned (including by yours truly) as a “hate speech” law, like the one in Canada, Democrats and the Main Stream Media insist this is not really the case. However, hate speech that contributes to a particular act of violence may be prosecuted. Also, Republicans have attempted–both in the current debate and when this bill has been brought up in 2007 and 2008–to put riders that specifically protect religious speech, and those riders have been rejected.

3. So, a Republican says, “OK, you want to say that, if someone kills a homosexual qua his being homosexual, that’s a hate crime. To how many ‘sexual orientations’ does this apply? Does it apply to voyeurism? Pedophilia?”

4. The Democrats *refused* to allow that amendment, saying that they do not want to make any exceptions. Once again, as with the “hate speech” aspect of this legislation, they didn’t explicitly say they want to protect pedophiles, but they did so by implication.

Take that back, Hastings in the following part admits she does want to protect “all of these philias and fetishes and isms”:

Mr. Speaker [funny that Nancy Pelosi gets referred to as “Mr.”], this bill addresses our resolve to end violence based on prejudice, and to guarantee that all Americans, regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or disability–or all of these philias and fetishes and isms that were put forward–need not live in fear because of who they are.

Right there.
There it is.

Catholic priests have to live in fear of being accused of pedophilia. The Democrats want to suspend the First Amendment and remove our right to privacy in the Confessional so they can catch pedophiles and sexual abusers among the priesthood (usually singling out Catholicism among religions or religious ministers among professions that deal with children), but then they turn around and say they don’t want pedophiles “living in fear.”

She also admits that this is really a backdoor “hate speech” law by saying that the goal is to try and change people’s minds:

This legislation may not rid us of the intolerance and prejudices that continue to taint our society, but it will provide an added deterrent to those for whom these feelings manifest themselves into acts of violence.

So, let’s look back at some of the things listed up above.

Voyeurism: pervert looks through your window, you can’t throw something at him, because he’s a protected class, and your act of self-defense would be a “hate crime.” We don’t want voyeurs living in fear. It’s OK, say these alleged feminists, if women live in fear.

Same token, exhibitionism: so much for the cliche (and old cartoon/sitcom) gag of the old lady hitting the man (whether rightly or wrongly) with her purse and screaming. Now, if a man exposes himself to that cliche old woman, and she hits him with her purse, it’s Granny who goes to jail for a hate crime.

Pedophilia: We all know liberals don’t believe in the right to self defense, but a child can’t defend himself or herself against a pedophile, since that would be a “hate crime.” So much for Robert Grisham’s A Time to Kill: you kill the guy that harmed your kid, you go to jail for a “hate crime.”

I wonder what the term is for the “sexual orientation” or fetish that makes a man like rape? Since *all* sexual orientations and fetishes are covered by this legislation, does this mean a woman’s just supposed to open her legs for a rapist, since to resist him would be a “hate crime” and might cause him to live in fear?

Well, of course it does. After all, these are the people who say women should carry condoms, but not handguns, to protect themselves from sexual assault.

Fr. Trigilio: Pope Benedict XVI calls on priests to be saints

On Sotomayor

President Barack Obama has apparently picked Judge Sonia Sotomayor to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court.

Sotomayor, if appointed, would be the first “Hispanic” justice on the Supreme Court. Some have raised questions about Justice Benjamin Cordozo (1932-1938), but he was apparently Portuguese, which just gets to the arbitrary nature of our racial divisions. For example, why should an “Hispanic” have any more significant understanding of minority issues than an Irish or Italian justice?

Certainly, advocates of “diversity” are upset that, if Sotomayor is approved, 2/3 of the justices in the Supreme Court will be Catholic.

Some of Sotomayor’s statements are clearly left-wing, which makes sense, or else Obama wouldn’t have picked her.

Mary Ann Kreitzer points out the following:

Consider the uproar if a white male judge made the following statement about a woman or a black:
“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life,” (Statement made in 2001 at the annual Judge Mario G. Olmos Law and Cultural Diversity Lecture at the University of California, Berkeley)

As for her attitudes, two significant quotations give opposite views of her judicial philosophy.

From Les Femmes:

She also waved her judicial activist flag in 2005 (on video) speaking to Duke University Law students saying, “court of appeals is where policy is made….” Do we really need another member of the court who makes law by finding rights in the “penumbra” of the Constitution like Harry Blackmun with Roe v. Wade? Judges are supposed to interpret the law, not make it up according to their life experiences and gender identity

Yet, at a confirmation hearing, she claimed to be a strict constructionist. From MSNBC:

At a Senate hearing in 1997 before she was confirmed to the appeals court, Sotomayor was asked by then-Sen. John Ashcroft, R-Mo., whether she would “read
additional rights into the Constitution” such as a right to homosexual conduct by a prisoner.
“I cannot do it,” she replied. “The Constitution is what it is. We cannot read rights into them. They have been created for us.”

The Catholic Key Blog reports that NARAL is congratulatory but noncomittal.

According to the New York Times, while Sotomayor clearly rules from the Left, she does so in a very well-researched, disciplined fashion, looking at the facts of the case, the letter of the law, and precedent, rather than drawing from ideology.

Some of her allegedly “Leftist” rulings include a dissenting opinion saying that students shouldn’t be strip searched in schools. From the New York Times:

In her dissent, Judge Sotomayor also emphasized how “embarrassing and humiliating” the searches of the girls in Connecticut had been. “The officials inspected the girls’ naked bodies front and back, and had them lift their breasts and spread out folds of fat,” Judge Sotomayor wrote.

It makes no sense that students are obligated to attend schools and then told their most basic civil liberties and human decency are forfeit.
Another “Leftist” ruling was that the First Amendment protected even offensive racist speech by police officers.
Most interestingly, in terms of turning states’ rights and strict constructionism on their heads, she ruled that a New York law banning certain martial arts weapons was not unconstitutional because “the Supreme Court’s ruling last year establishing an individual right to bear arms, District of Columbia v. Heller, had not yet been applied to the states.”

The Specter’s defection has not given Obama a filibuster-proof majority. Reagan had the majority in Congress and couldn’t get Bork through. Plus, we know both from procedural rules and the discussion about Dawn Johnson that, without Specter on the Republican side, the Judiciary committee can sideline any nominee it wants–as the Democrats so often did to Bush-because at least one minority party member has to approve a nominee in order to get out of committee.

Most importantly, her only ruling regarding abortion involved *upholding* the Mexico City Policy in 2002.

I am not a fan of Barack Obama, but I am a big fan of God. Tradition shows that justices, once appointed, often “confound” the presidents who appoint them–especially when they have mixed records like Sotomayor’s.

There is reason to be hopeful about all this. At worst, she’s going to be a pro-choice justice replacing a pro-choice justice, but she may actually be better than Souter.

And, in any case, if Republicans aren’t going to mount a serious effort to overturn Roe v. Wade–as they had six years to do and didn’t–then why should it matter who’s on the Supreme Court?