Sunday, April 30, 2017

When you accept a lie as truth... have to twist all sorts of logic to try to make it work.  See the conversation below.  

The names have been changed in this converstaion.  The flyer below was shared by Bob.  I chimed in and his friends join in the conversation.  And note, I never did get a good answer to my question. 

Me Equating eating pork to killing a child. That’s great logic right there.
Like · Reply · 4 hrs

Sarah You compared “eating pork to killing a child.” The post states different religions beliefs as a point of topic defining personal choice. It was your personal choice to go off topic with your gross comparison of pork and children as if that were the original discussion which it was NOT. I hope that cleared up how to read for you.
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Me It’s a false equivalent, which is what I was pointing out. A table has four legs and so does a dog. But sawing the legs off of those two things has a very different meaning for each.
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Sarah Yes, if you took a leg off for no reason sure but sometimes tables get repurposed because they are no longer functional and sometimes legs get necrotic and need to be removed to save the body and soul... VERY different! Again NO ONE EVER COMPARED THESE TWO THINGS BUT YOU! 
So you keep presenting your thought to all of use over and over again that they are the same... 
Like · Reply · 1 · 33 mins

Me No I’m pointing out that two things that may have some attributes in common doesn’t mean that they make a good analogy or comparison. See above...the comparison between eating pork and killing a human life. It doesn’t work as a basis for saying that arguments made by a religious person are universally equivalent and should be outright rejected in a discussion of law.
Like · Reply · 21 mins

Bob You are the one insisting it is a human life at a point where in is not independently viable. That is the point.
Like · Reply · 1 · 19 mins

Me I’m still just trying to figure out what you guys think is a good basis for discussing what laws we ought to have.
Like · Reply · 18 mins

Sarah Empathy, compassion and a love of science!!! Discussion ended!!! After I’ve explained something to the kids 3 times I decide it’s time to walk away and let them figure it out...
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Me Empathy and compassion are religious values. Just saying...
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Me This write has clearly equated mistakenly moral arguments for religious ones. The law is a reflection of the morals of the people and the founding fathers clearly wanted a moral people and moral laws. Just because an argument happens to be made by religious people doesn’t make it a religious argument. In the case of abortion it is a moral argument based on science and natural law.
Like · Reply · 4 hrs · Edited

Bob Mike I can’t understand it for you.
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Me Help a dummy out, would you?
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Bob I understand your claim that this is a moral issue not religious. 

That the unborn child is a person and morally it is wrong to have an abortion is your personal opinion.

You are applying your beliefs to what another sentient individual may or may not do to their body, inside of which is, you claim is another individual who has superiority over the first?

So stop being suprised that I believe this is a religious issue. It is not based in science, or medecine.
Like · Reply · 1 · 2 hrs

Me I make no claims of superiority of one over another. I make the claim that as a living human being, albeit in early stages of development, that as the scientific study of embryology recognizes, that a distinct human life begins at the moment of fertilization, arguments regarding viability notwithstanding. To deny that is to make unfounded argument based on one’s own moral judgment of superiority of one (adult) over another (child). No religion comes into play in this argument. As you stated, you believe this is a religious issue. I don’t. So don’t ascribe that to me. But to go back to my original point, yes, moral arguments very much have a place in law.
Like · Reply · 2 hrs

Me I don’t expect to change your mind on abortion, but the writer of this flyer you shared clearly doesn’t understand the relationship between law and morality and is trying to claim that discussions of morality (which, by the way are distinct from discussions of religion, even though there may happen to be overlap) have no place in discussing the law. All of our laws are intended to impose a standard that our society recognizes as moral.
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Frank Hey Mike, are you by any chance someone who enjoys a steak or hamburger? Just wondering.
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Sarah Watch a video on where your meet comes from and see what gruesome abortions of life really look like.
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Frank I don’t have an issue with it if he does eat meat, but I do have an issue if he is going to attempt to pull a pro-life stance, like he currently is, but is completely ok with the murder of animals for his diet. Oh wait, he’s religious, so animals don’t have souls so it’s ok to destroy the environment around him. Just as long as he benefits from the destruction.
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Frank I hope he doesn’t own a pet of any kind because we all know that he will immediately not give a shit about it due to his religious standing.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Me Are you making a moral argument?
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Frank I also wonder if he wears two different types of materials at once. Because that’s a sin as well.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Me Can someone point to me where I made a religious argument?
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Frank The concept of religion is to create a set of “moral guidelines”. They are one in the same.
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Frank You were attempting to create a separation of the two, but without morality, religion can not exist.
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Me I thought the stereotype was that religious people were the ones who claimed that you could only be moral if you were religious. And you’re the ones claiming that they are inseparable. And yet, no one has attempted to refute my main point, that all laws are a reflection of a society’s understanding of morality, however imperfect it may be.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Bob Where is the morality in de-funding Planned Parenthood?
Sex Ed?
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Frank Actually, I’m claiming that you can’t have religion without morality. You can have morality without religion though. Here’s the difference though. If you actually cared about the possible “life” that is ended in an abortion, you would look at the possible outcomes for that “life” if it weren’t aborted. Are you forcing a life to go through a life of neglect and torture from it’s parents? Are you putting that life through a living hell if it does continue to exist? These are questions that are never even though about because the first thing that religious people jump to is, “There’s a life in your body and you are killing it!” Actually, no. The life can’t sustain itself without the body in which it is currently host of, there for the “life” you are trying to defend is no more than a parasite or tumor. Now, you can either continue to have that grow in you and eventually have a living organism, aka a child, or you can decide that you don’t want to have it growing due to a multitude of reasons, which you are choosing to ignore.
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Frank The only reason why you have your stance is due to your religious beliefs by the way. Why do I know? Because of your profile. Which, by the way, makes you look like you are attempting to parade around as if you were Jesus, which we know you aren’t. That’s a sin.
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Me Wow Frank, I guess you don’t need me to argue my side, since you’ve got it all figured out. You excel at deductive and inductive reasoning, merely from a picture! And you’ve found me out for my own blasphemy. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Frank No, I’m not claiming that at all. I’m actually only using your own form of judging people without actually knowing their situation. You didn’t think of that because you’d rather just be angry.
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

Me Are you reading a different conversation? This is getting funny.
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Bob There is nothing funny about this.
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Frank Bob knows how I am and where I am coming from. Otherwise, he would have stopped me on my first comment.
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Sarah When every bible thumper stands outside a Planned Parenthood or advocates for keeping sex education out of schools they are causing abortions to happen. For fuck sake the morning after pill has existed for how long now and it seems to be a mythical unicorn that is only found in fairy tales because new generations are being dumbed down by people who want to shut down the exchange of information necessary to combat these problems through the very organizations being chastised for helping without judgment... it’s asinine.
Like · Reply · 1 · 59 mins

Me I’ve merely pointed out logical flaws in the original flyer and have been called angry, judgmental, and hypocritical. If you read what I’ve written, you’ll see that’s not actually the case. But I guess that’s what you go with when you can’t answer my original point.
Like · Reply · 57 mins

Frank You only have that stance because you are angry, judgmental, and hypocritical.
Like · Reply · 56 mins

Frank And before you get started with a dumb response. The reason for your stance is to separate your religion so you aren’t “in the wrong” in your own mind.
Like · Reply · 52 mins

Me Uh, yeah, OK. and Bob, this started because your flyer claims that morality is not the basis for discussing what laws should and should not be. So why do you ask me about my moral stance on Planned Parenthood? You’ve taken that off the table.
Like · Reply · 51 mins

Frank The flyer doesn’t state that. The flyer states that we shouldn’t make laws due to your religious beliefs.
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Me You clearly didn’t read the flyer, then.
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Frank I did actually.
Like · Reply · 50 mins

Frank You read it as well, but you jumped to your conclusion to defend your religious belief and no more than that.
Like · Reply · 49 mins

Sarah I believe the whole point is the “reflection of understanding” as you put it is wrong and needs to change. You can’t pass judgment on others beliefs or choices that are not your own because their life is not yours to choose and instead of passing judgment on anyone everyone should remember the moral guidelines “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” We would not pass judgment if you didn’t want to have an abortion. Don’t be the mortality police but seek the answers to things you don’t understand and these false images reflected by society will diminish. 
I believe everyone has responded to your original post take your blinders off and maybe you’ll finally see the light.
Like · Reply · 43 mins

Me No I’m trying to make the case that morality is the study of what is right or wrong action and that law is the codification of morality. We can have discussions on what is right or wrong. We may have disagreements on that. We may have these discussions without mentioning religion whatsoever. I fail to see how we can discuss what laws ought to be or not to be without discussing what is right or wrong, whether we agree on what those conclusions are or not.
Like · Reply · 42 mins · Edited

Frank And what I’m saying is that the only reason for your belief of “right and wrong” is because of your religious stance.
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Me And you would be wrong in saying that.
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Frank Ok. What’s your stance on abortion and why?
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Frank Give you a chance here so carefully think before you post.
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Me See above. Science clearly shows that life begins at conception and I can’t claim superiority of one human being over the other.
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Frank So if I take the “life” out of the womb before it is correctly birthed, without sustaining it in an incubator of any sort. Just leaving it how it is. Will it live? At all?
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Me If I said it is wrong to intentionally take an innocent human life, would you reject that as a religious belief? And if not, would you at least agree with me? And to my original point, what is the basis of law if not what ought to be and not to be?
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Frank Also, please link evidence of “life starting at conception” because in my research, that has never been stated by a scientist.
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Me It was stated categorically by Alan guttmacher former president of planned parenthood
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Frank I said link. Not state.
Like · Reply · 30 mins

Me And he wasn’t alone...
When Does Life Begin?: Quotes from Many Sources - Resources - Eternal Perspective Ministries
When does human life begin? Many people say that this is a philosophical or religious question. Christians maintain that life begins at conception.  Does this mean that the question of when life begins is purely religious?  In reality, scientists agree on when human life begins.  
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Frank Is it wrong to kill someone. Yes, if I shot someone or stabbed in any manor to cause a fatal injury, you are correct. However, this is not the case. If the host of the “life” you are defending dies, does the “life” die as well? Yes. Just like with any tumor or parasite. That “life” can not live without it’s host. Now, obviously baring life to give birth is different depending on what the host wants for the future of that “life”.
Like · Reply · 25 mins


As Planned Parenthood Turns 100, This Is Their Biggest Lie
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Frank Also, just because the conception creates a human entity does not mean it creates life.
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Frank And even better, both of your sources are far right/religious sources so of course that lines up with what you want to hear.
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Frank Now back to my question: If I take the “life” out of the womb before it is correctly birthed, without sustaining it in an incubator of any sort. Just leaving it how it is. Will it live? At all?

For scientific research.
Like · Reply · 21 mins · Edited

Me Why would you do that? Just like if I took a child and locked out in the closet with no food or water. For scientific research?
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Frank It would live longer than a few seconds.
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Me So intentionally killing someone by a slow death is wrong but a quick one isn’t? That certainly would change our gun laws...
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Frank Nice try. That’s not what I’m saying.
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Frank You are putting a confirmed life, because it is something that has been birthed, there for living without a host, in danger. I’m just removing a tumor.
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Me Wow. Tumor. So according to the words a human life is a tumor but not a human being. Look, I don’t expect to change your mind about abortion because you don’t have a consistent view of the value of human life. I get it. And I reject it.
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Frank And there’s the problem. For us to create a law on something, we need to understand both sides of the situation to create a law that is fit in all eyes. Not just yours.
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Me I agree with that statement
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Frank So you can’t reject my opinion because you don’t agree with it.
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Me Well somewhat. We will never have full agreement from all sides on every issue
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Frank You find a middle ground. One that everyone might not “agree” fully on but can understand why it is that way.
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Me Frank I just put that citing those embryology textbooks because you said in your research no scienctist has ever said that life begins at conception. If you choose to reject it because a pro-life person cited it, that’s your decision.
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Me Frank You are absolutely right, which is why I’ve consistently made my arguments without recourse to my religious faith.
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Frank No, the research you linked stated that “conception creates a new human entity”. Meaning you can be human without having “life”.
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Frank You don’t have to link me btw.. I am paying attention to my notifications.
Like · Reply · 1 min

Me just trying to reply to certain comments to keep the comment tree readable, but it put my comment at the end.
Like · Reply · Just now

Me and if you look at the first link, all the citations of human being, entity, and life, use those terms interchangeably.
Like · Reply · 34 mins

Frank Life, meaning a human life, starts at birth. Life, meaning an organism is alive, starts at conception. It’s a misconception that people fall into. You don’t celebrate your conception day. You celebrate your birthday, because that’s when your life started.
Like · Reply · 23 mins · Edited

Me Your statement that human life begins at birth is not a scientific claim by any definition, and as a philosophical claim, is not widely held.
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Frank A lot of our laws are actually there because of philosophical claims though. So are you stating that they shouldn’t be laws because those claims aren’t scientific?
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Frank Hell, a lot of laws are there for religious claims. Most have been removed, but there are still some.
Like · Reply · 19 mins

Me No, I’m just pointing out that it is not scientific, but as a philosophical statement, is up to either a philosophical discussion about morality, or a popularity poll.
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Frank Therefor, just because you have scientific opinions stating that life starts at conception does not mean that abortion should be illegal because a good portion of our laws are there, not because of scientific reasoning, but philosophical reasoning.
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Me Check mate.
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Frank Not really.
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Frank If you really think this was a “battle” for some sort of “win”, you are sorely mistaken. We have two extremely opposing views. The law should take a middle ground based on how the law will effect individuals. Not a mass group.
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Me You have just said that we should have abortion not because of scientific reasons, but because of philosophical (moral) reasoning, which is what you rejected to begin with.
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Me Two extremely differing points of view that have life or death consequences for all involved. And you began by rejecting my arguments not because of what I was actually saying, but because of who I am. And then you came around to arguing your point on the same basis you sought to deny me. On your own opinion, not on facts.
Like · Reply · Just now

Frank Actually, no, I rejected what you said about the flyer above. I didn’t state anything that says abortion should be legal based on scientific reasons. That’s your side.
Like · Reply · Just now

Frank I simply state abortion should be legal.

Me You think we should be able to have abortion. I think we shouldn’t. Your solution is to compromise and have abortion.
Like · Reply · 7 mins

Frank My solution is my wife having an abortion doesn’t effect your shitty life, so make it legal.
Like · Reply · 6 mins

Frank As I stated before, the law should take a middle ground based on how the law will effect individuals. Not groups.
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Me I agree, and am wishing that the law would consider how it affects individual human lives being killed in abortion.
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Me And am sorry for your loss.

Frank And I’m hoping that the law will take in to account that the person(s) may not be able to financially support a child or even emotionally support a child. To have a child should be the decision of the person(s), not ignorant religious groups and individuals.

Frank And don’t be. My wife never had an abortion. I was strictly using it to show you that my life and other’s lives have no effect on you or your family. It is their decision and has no strings to you.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Me The same could have been said to abolitionists. Actually, it was. The only difference is that people who support abortion claim that babies are not people that deserve the protection of the law. Wait, that’s not different. That’s exactly the same.

 Frank If it is in the womb, it is not a baby. It is merely an organism living off a host, just like a tumor. Remove the organism and it can’t continue the “live”.

Life starts when you are birthed. A developing organism can not live longer than a few seconds if it is removed from it’s host.

Abolitionists wanted to enslave already conceived lives of other people. Pro-choice people want to make sure that people who are pregnant actually want to have a child before bring it into the world. If a person is pregnant and doesn’t want to have a child, that child is going to go through emotional and mental issues strictly because the parent did not want it. Even if we bring adoption into this, that kid may go to a foster family that only wants them because they bring in a pay check.
Like · Reply · 34 mins

Frank And then, you’ll probably be angry at the child because they are living off of government means, which you don’t want to pay for because TAXES.
Like · Reply · 33 mins

Frank Grouping you in with the right-wing “pro-life” crowd with that one but I’m pretty sure I know that’s what you are.
Like · Reply · 32 mins

Me So when it comes down to it, your approval for abortion is not based on science, reason, or morality, but is allowed just on your own opinion that personhood is magically conferred on a human life as it travels eight inches down the birth canal. That’s a convenient definition.
Like · Reply · 19 mins

Frank Now you are jumping to conclusions as if you have me read.
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Me No, I’m just summarizing based on what you have said...
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Frank You’re really bad at it.
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Me You first rejected my arguments based solely on my religious beliefs.
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Me Then when I pointed out that my arguments were not based on religion, but reason and science, you dismissed it as mere opinion.
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Me Then you said we had to base the discussion on understanding between people and that we ought to compromise by going with your opinion to protect individuals.
Like · Reply · 16 mins

Frank Separation of Church and State. And I know that only reason you have those beliefs is because you are a religious person. Sorry. And the only way you can back up your claim is by using religious sources so you don’t feel wrong.
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Me When I pointed out the individuals being killed by abortion you denied their personhood merely because of their being in the womb.
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Frank An organism in the womb is not an individual.
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Me With no rational basis for recognizing the personhood outside of the womb (small child) vs the personhood inside the womb.
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Frank Actually I have very rational basis. Life starts at birth.
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Frank We don’t celebrate conception day, we celebrate birthday.
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Me You have no rational basis for claiming that ... unless you also deny the personhood of many people outside the womb.
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Frank Because that is when a person is brought into the world. At birth.
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Me Birthday parties? that’s it?
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Frank Birth certificate. Not conception certificate.
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Me So according to your own words, birth changes living organisms from a tumor into a human being?
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Frank That’s where I was going with that one if you couldn’t connect the dots.
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Me Paperwork doesn’t confer personhood.
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Me Neither does location.
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Frank Actually it does. You aren’t considered a citizen of the United States or any other country unless you have a birth certificate. That’s why they were created. To cement that a person has started their life, which is at birth.
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Frank That can change a little after the Birth Certificate is created, but that’s the main point of it.
Like · Reply · 9 mins

Me So people without birth certificates are not persons? It’s amazing the logical hoops you have to jump through to support your opinion.
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Bob Look at the tradition of recording births and deaths at parish churches. Today that tradition and understanding confers person hood at birth.
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Me If what you say is right, then there was no problem with slavery in the South. Slaves had no birth certificates and their owners had bills of sale.
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Frank And you are right. Location doesn’t confer life. That’s why I think we should take in refugees.
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Frank Different subject.
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Frank Stay on point.
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Frank We are talking about abortion. Not slavery. Slavery is a different beast.
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Bob Now you bring slaves into this. Of course they were people. They were born.
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Me But they had no birth certificates.
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Frank Bob, he is grasping for straws to attempt to discredit my stance.
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Frank He is only bring slavery into this because he believes he is “losing” when there is no losing here.
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Bob They were born. They existed. Lack of a paper trail is immaterial.
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Me There is losing for the babies that are killed. We’re getting nowhere here.
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Frank An organism in the womb is not a baby. Sorry for that fact.
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Frank It’s a fetus.
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Me That is your opinion, which flies in the face of scientific research. Calling it a fetus is symantics. Fetus is Latin for offspring.
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Me Not tumor.
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Bob Again your religion opinion.
Not your body.
Not your choice.
You have no uterus, you have no part in the discussion of a medical issue between a woman and her healthcare provider. 

Not your choice.
Like · Reply · 3 mins

Me I used to reside in a uterus.
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Frank That’s a long stretch.
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Me No, I have pictures!
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Frank Just because you resided in one doesn’t mean you controlled it.
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Frank Your mother controlled what happened in that uterus. She decided to have you. That has nothing to do with you now and you have nothing to do with any other human’s uterus.
Like · Reply · 1 min · Edited

Me Wow. Just wow. And I’m stretching?
Like · Reply · Just now

Frank Also, fetus is the term used for an organism that has been conceived after the 8 week period. So even then, it’s still not a baby.

Frank Yes, you are stretching. You are stating you have a say on how another human’s reproductive organs are maintained because you “resided in one”.
Like · Reply · 5 mins

Me Doesn’t work. We use the terms zygote, fetus, infant, toddler, child, teenager, adult, elder. All these terms describe different stages of human development, but all presuppose that we are talking about a human being. (Unless of course, we’re talking about donkeys, monkeys, etc.) Calling someone a child doesn’t mean negate their personhood. Calling someone an adult doesn’t negate their personhood.
Like · Reply · 3 mins

Me Look, I’ve got to go to work. I can’t keep arguing down the rabbit hole with you guys. I wish you well, and I hope that someday you will see the truth for what it is.
Like · Reply · 1 min

Frank Very true. I am happy you know the stages of the development. However, that does not change the fact that if a zygote or fetus is removed from the womb, before their actual birth, that they can live without their host.
Like · Reply · 1 min

Frank Running away because he feels he “lost”.
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Frank I thought this discussion was a matter of life and death for people. Well, not this particular discussion, but the general topic. Why run away from that for a little bit of money?
Like · Reply · Just now

Me Wow.

 Me because I have a house full of persons with birth certificates I need to feed this week.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Frank Well, don’t spend that money on meat because that’s murder.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Frank Oh wait. Back to what I originally said on that one. Right, animals don’t have souls.

Sarah When people are treated as individuals and not groups then it all becomes much more understandable... 

I wonder how many people who don’t understand these things actually go and seek out the other sides point of view. ...See More
Like · Reply · 3 · 1 hr

Bob It will never be your body. 
It will never be your choice. 

Isn’t it immoral to pre-judge someone else in a situation you will never face.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

This is Not a Political Post

This is not a political post.  There you have clearance to read it.  (I drafted this a few years ago but never published.  Sorry the end is unfinished, but I'd like to get this out.)

A question has been bugging me for a long time, and a recent conversation (that I didn't initiate) brought it back into the forefront of my mind.

I make political posts on FB, and I'm sure I've had my posts blocked by friends.  I know many people ignore my posts, and some have even defriended me.  I see people who express annoyance in general at political or religious conversations.  Many people will walk away from conversations if they drift toward anything political.  Even among family members, there seems to be an unwritten agreement to avoid any topic that may lead to a difference of opinion. 

Why are we so averse to engaging in any conversation that may lead to a difference of opinion?  What are we afraid of?  Do we think that we may lose friends?

One person said recently that she doesn't like to engage in political discussions because they get too heated.  I think the reason they get too heated is because we have to bottle up our opinions so tightly that when they are able to come out, we're like pressure cookers, ready to explode.  If we were able to express our opinions freely and if not change anyone's mind, at least know that our voice was heard, discussions could be much more civil.

The exchange of ideas is tantamount to our freedom as Americans.  If we censor ourselves to the point that we say nothing controversial, what good is having our First Amendment rights?

For what reason are we so afraid?  Are we afraid to offend?  So what?  What harm is there in that?  We have no guarantee against being offended.  Are we afraid to lose friends?  Look, if someone will stop being friends with you because of your opinions, they're probably not a good friend to you anyway.  Are we that thin-skinned and fragile that we think our relationships can't survive a difference of opinion? 

If we then form our relationships on the foundation of not sharing anything of importance, we are only setting ourselves up for loneliness and isolation.

From a civic point of view, it is the role of the citizen to criticize, to engage, to question, to get angry, and to voice his concerns.   Voicing our concerns, we enlist the support of our community to form bonds and work together.  But we bully ourselves into a corner.

Speaking of bullying, I believe that we have gotten to a point where the voicing of unpopular opinions is now being misunderstood for bullying.  I was bullied as a kid, and I've had people take me to task for my opinions.  And I know the difference.

My wife brought up a good point.  Many people have become jaded either by religious figures or the political system, that people want to guard themselves against further hurt, or they are cynical of the intentions of anyone who wants to engage in discussion of issues, for fear that they are merely the target of manipulation and exploitation.

burying heads in the sand...nothing I can do about it anyway...
have a business, don't want to offend customers...
leave it to the exremists I'm independent-minded

what do we do about it?

moral relativism, no truth, so claims on truth are just one more opinion

not saying people have to do things like I do, find your own way, bu

i see discussing politics as a means of something else of importance.  the tangible vs idealistic/theoretical

If this post applies to you, I don't apologize.  But neither will I call upon you to do anything you're not comfortable with.  I merely posit this as food for thought.  And it is, in my opinion, a very important meal.

I had a very interesting conversation with a couple of colleagues this morning.  The gist of it was that we have become so afraid of offending anyone--ANYONE-- that we self-censure to the point that we don't say anything at all. 


Checking if the facebook link still works to this blog...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Letter to the editor of The Day regarding physician-assisted suicide

Dear Editor,

I would like to add a few reasons of my own for opposing physician-assisted suicide.

I believe that it is contradictory for us as a society to tell at-risk teenagers and veterans suffering from PTSD that suicide is not the solution to their grief and suffering when we turn around and hand a poison pill to those suffering in other ways. 

I believe that the push to legalize PAS is not for the benefit of those who are ill.  After all, law or no, a person can find a way to end his life if he really wishes it.  It’s not like the person who takes his own life has to worry about the legal consequences of such an action.  No, physician assisted suicide is to make it legal for family and friends to be complicit in taking the life of their terminally ill loved one. 

As I understand, those who choose PAS will have their cause of death listed as their underlying terminal illness, not the poison pill they willfully ingested.  Such falsification is designed to avoid nullifying death benefits on insurance policies.  It is easy to see where this can be an occasion of temptation and abuse.

[200 word break, the following will be included in my letter to legislators]

In The Day’s February 24, 2015, article, “Medical, Catholic groups oppose bill to allow suicide drug prescriptions,” Tim Appleton of Compassion and Choices sought to downplay objections that physician assisted suicide would in the future become a mandatory aspect of healthcare: “A physician wouldn't be forced to write a prescription, and a pharmacist wouldn't be forced to fill it.” 

However, such a statement is, in my opinion, either naïve or duplicitous.  Such reassurances were given to opponents of same sex marriage, and yet the news has had stories of bakers, photographers and marriage planners who have had their livelihoods threatened by lawsuits from same-sex couples who were denied service to their weddings. 

Lastly, I believe that the push toward such legalization is supported strongly by those who want the United States to become a single-payer health care system.  The problem with such a system is that people cease to be the customers of the health care industry, and instead become costs.  Any business owner will agree that customers are to be served, while costs are to be reduced.  I believe legalizing physician-assisted suicide is a step in the process towards euthanasia for those deemed unfit.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

It's not surprising...

that our Founding Fathers' words in general apply to the headlines today in particular.  Our system of government was designed with the frailty of the human person in mind.

(Reuters) - The Obama administration's opening bid on Thursday in negotiations to avert a year-end fiscal crunch included a demand for new stimulus spending and authority to unilaterally raise the U.S. borrowing ceiling, a Republican congressional aide said.

 Yes, Obama is asking Congress to hand over their Constitutional authority, the "power of the purse."  This is one of the most important checks and balances between the three branches of government and must not be handed over.

"It would be a dangerous delusion were a confidence in the men of our choice to silence our fear for the safety of our rights; that confidence is everywhere the parent of despotism; free government is founded in jealousy, and not in confidence; it is jealousy, and not confidence, which prescribes limited constitutions to bind down those whom we are obliged to trust with power; that our Constitution has accordingly fixed the limits to which, and no farther, our confidence must go....
 In questions of power, then, let no more be said of confidence in man, but bind him down from mischief by the chains of the constitution."
--Thomas Jefferson, "The Kentucky Resolutions of 1798, Annals of America, 4:65-66)

This would be a gross aggrandization of power, even if it were done by a President Romney.  The Congresscritters had better stand their ground and not yield on this.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Tact is not charity.

"Stop all this false Charity!  Tact is not Charity!  ...  Letting someone burn for all eternity is not Charity--it's cowardice because you're afraid of what others might think of you."
Read the whole thing at Redneck Reflections...

Saturday, November 10, 2012

So about that election...

The election wasn't the problem.  It was the symptom.  This election was the result of 50 years of crappy catechesis in the Church here in America. 

We have an administration that essentially put its boot on the Church, all its members, all its institutions, saying to it, "You know those things that you've been saying for 2,000 years are intrinsically wrong?  Yeah, well, not only do you have to be OK with it, but we're going to force you to be complicit in it and even pay for it or else face stiff penalties."  And half the Catholics who voted said, "Yeah, I'm OK with that."  Whatever one's opinion of abortion, contraception, or even of the Church, this was an opportunity to assert that religious liberty still means something in this country.  It is clear that in this country, religious liberty is a dead sentiment.

Who would support compulsory measures to force vegans to butcher, sell and eat meat?  How about forcing the Amish to fight in war?  No one would.  Because we recognize that religious freedom is sacred.  But in this day and age, all must be sacrificed to the "Sacrament of Abortion." 

I've been told many times that I can be very diplomatic.  I can be very pleasant and patient with people that I disagree with (especially when they extend the same courtesy to me).  While I disagree with all people that are pro-choice, I have a certain amount of patience for them, especially those of no faith.  Their view on abortion is not necessarily inconsistent with their (un)beliefs.  But I have no more patience for self-proclaimed "pro-choice Catholics."  There is no such animal.  One can be pro-choice, one can be Catholic, one can be neither.  But one cannot be both. 

I'm done dancing around that.  Intrinsically evil acts are always and everywhere wrong.  There is no prudential judgment.  The intentional killing of an innocent human being is always wrong.  Those who support it, always fall into one of two general categories: 1. those who deny the personhood of the baby in the womb or 2. those who have the audacity to take upon themselves the authority to declare that some lives are not worth living. 

Catholics who support intrinsically evil acts are committing mortal sin.  Mortal sin endangers one's soul to hell.  This is no longer the time for trying to lead people by persuasion, reason and fact.  Though we must never give that up entirely, we are immersed in a society that cannot tell the difference between fact and opinion, between reason and emotion, between history and bias. 

This is now the time to engage with, as Subvet said, lines clearly drawn.  Barak Obama was reelected because half the Catholics in this country are OK with intrinsic evil.  And no amount of volunteering at soup kitchens mitigates the intrinsic evil of murdering innocent babies in the womb to the tune of 55,000,000 since 1973.  No improvements in welfare programs erases the fact that we are killing the vulnerable. 

No appeals to the authority of Fr. Whitewash change the teaching authority of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church on faith and morals. 

You can't be Catholic and pro-choice.  One cancels out the other.  So if you think you are one, this is the time to choose.  Pick one.  But stop saying you're both.  And God help you to make the right decision before it is too late.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Magister Christianus has it right

This is the time to speak boldly.  Right is right.  Wrong is wrong.  St. Polycarp, pray for us.  Holy Spirit, give us peace.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

So Let it be Written, So Let it be Done.

I've seen people on FB throw themselves into breathless fits of hysteria over the fact that Santorum believes that Griswold v CT was wrongly decided. It must be that people have so lost all understanding of how our government works that the opinion of the President has the weight of law. Guess what? It doesn't! I'll guarantee you that with a conservative president, four or eight years down the line, contraception would not be outlawed, nor would even abortion. Why? Because conservatives govern by the rule of law. We are a country with a government of laws, not of men. If those on the left would say that a conservative president COULD NOT outlaw the coverage of contaceptives under your own health insurance, then HOW COULD a liberal president mandate them for ANY price?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Quick story

A couple of days ago, I hear a scream from the front yard. Fred (4) is on the ground and Sweetie-Pie-Baby-Girl (<2) is standing over him brandishing a two-foot stick she found in the yard.

Mind you, this is pretty normal.

Anyway, I'm bringing out the trash so we can get ready to go to my nephew's graduation party and I'm feeling a little cheeky, so I grab SPBG (TM), throw her over my shoulder and threaten to throw her into the dumpster (while tickling her the whole way, of course, 'cause that's how we roll). All of a sudden, it's like Lord of the Flies or that scene from Jurassic Park 2 when the little girl is on the beach surrounded by those cute little dinosaurs. I've got boys from three sides of me protecting their little sister, whaling on my legs, slapping, kicking, head-butting. Fred, the aforementioned victim of assault, throws his head back and starts crying, "NOOO!!! I don't have another sister like her!!!!! Don't throw her away!"

Tears are streaming down his face and I realize the joke is over. I put the little Hoolagirl down and crouch down to Fred's level. "Don't worry," I said, "I'd never throw your sister away. I was only joking."

"Oh! [sniff, sniff]. You were only joking? Thank goodness. OK." [sniff]

Meanwhile, Fric (7) and Frac (6) are continuing to practice every kickboxing move they can think of on my back and legs. I spin around and grab Fric, the first kid I can reach. "BUT THIS GUY IS GOING IN HEAD FIRST!"

And Fred throws his fist in the air and screams, "Yeah!"

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Wow, two posts in a week!

From Chez Pere Z:

"Zmirak argues that we must stand up to evil instead of seeking “opt-out” clauses. “The little “opt-outs” we win in return amount to little more than the bones that the Nazis threw Marshal Petain; we got to keep our police chief in Casablanca.” And also, “Political philosopher and convert Hadley Arkes explains that when we cease to say, “This is evil, and no one must engage in it,” and instead say, “This goes against our religion,” we as good as admit that our position is not based in reason and justice.”

Hear hear!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Just be nice

I have emerged from the cave I've been dwelling in in order to share a quote I found today that is too good to be missed:

From Red Cardigan:
'I actually do believe that most Catholics in America have very little understanding of Catholic moral issues because they, like most Americans, have almost no training in philosophy or logic. In addition to the decline in quality catechesis, most Catholics are wallowing in a syrupy moral mess where the only commandment God ever gives anybody is, "Always be as nice as possible!" The corollary to this commandment is: good is that which is sort of nice and makes people feel good about themselves, while bad is that which is sort of mean and makes people experience a loss of self-esteem. In that calculation, divorce, homosexual sex, fornication, pornography use, and similar ills can be called "good," while the Church's rules about marriage are "bad" and "hurtful."'

Thursday, March 24, 2011

So I wasn't abducted by aliens...

...but my wife does liken it to me giving birth to a newborn.

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that there was big news to share and then I dropped off the face of the earth. Well, it's because I was so busy with doing the project I didn't have time to blog about it.

So here goes.

I've started a new print service company.

The company I was with for ten years is closing down. There are various reasons for it that I don't need to go into here, but it gave me the opportunity to do something I've been thinking about for a long time.

I'm not hawking my wares here, so I'm not giving out the company info on Exultet, but my new company has teamed up with several print providers to allow us to offer high quality printing to our customers with great service and very competitive prices. We're keeping the overhead low so we can pass our savings on to our customers and we should be able to match or beat the local competition almost every time.

Not only do we do printing, but we also offer graphic design and layout services for those customers who don't have the capability to do that themselves.

In the near future, we will be teaming up with marketing professionals to offer digital services, email marketing, social network marketing, etc., for a whole package deal.

Needless to say, I've been busy building the foundation. Many of my customers have already moved over to the new company with few glitches.

That's where I've been the last few weeks. I hope to come back here from time to time and actually maintain the blog, but posts may be few and far between for a while.

In this economy, starting a new business offered much more potential than looking for a job elsewhere. Please pray for the success of this business on behalf of my family. Also, please pray for all those who are out of work and struggling to provide for their families. There are far too many people in that situation.

God bless.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Big News to Come Soon!

...and no, we're not pregnant, if that's what you were thinking.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Reflections from a funeral

This past week brought the tragic event of the death of my second cousin Max, called to God in His perfect time, but a time too soon for the family and friends close to him. He died alone in an accident, rolling his truck over into a stream.

I have to admit that I didn't know Max very well, he was seven years younger than me and was in a branch of my extended family that we drifted apart from after the deaths of my uncle and my mom. It's sad that some families drift apart, but I guess it's part of the cycle; kids grow up, have families of their own and start their own life stories when the previous generations have passed on. I don't think I'd seen Max since my wedding almost eight years ago, and then he was an awkward but friendly teenager. I liked him, as I liked his whole family.

I don't intend this post to be a hagiography of a relative I didn't know well enough. It would be unseeming of me to inflate my grief, but it was evident from everything I heard about him that Max was a remarkable young man, and his death a great loss to his loved ones.

No, I intend this post to be about faith and humility, both of which those left behind will have to have in the time to come, both of which I've seen in his family. Max's family, just like every other family--mine and yours--has had their problems, problems which I only know of generally and are not my place to discuss here anyway. But let's just say that they are problems that have broken many people.

But in a sense, they are broken people, as we all are, if we care to admit it. What has always struck me is that all of that part of my family still not only have faith, but it is a faith that has seeped in, internalized, and taken root. Not "professional Catholics," whatever that means, theirs is a faith that recognizes the frailty of one's self and knows the limits of one's strength. But most importantly, recognizes that the true strength to sustain comes from God alone. God alone upholds us in our frailty; God alone is the source of strength; God alone is the source of comfort. All other strength and comfort may come through intermediaries, but their source ultimately is God Who is merciful, God Who loves, God Who shares our sufferings.

Ours is a god who did not suffer cruel death so that we may say, "I'm OK, you're OK." Rather, "I'm not OK. You're not OK. But that's OK." For we are broken people. We are sinful man. We are tempted to cruelty, selfishness, pride and arrogance. But the love of God can transform not only clay into flesh, but hearts of stone into receptacles of burning divine life.

Max was not, I'm sure, a perfect person. But then again, neither am I and neither are you. The point is not whether we are perfect, for by definition that's out of the question. The point is whether we recognize our need for God, and if we recognize that need, whether we seek Him.

Like the parable of the tax collector and the pharisee (Luke 18:9-14), we may either say within our heart that we're Basically Good People (TM) and not in need for God's mercy, so we receive none. Or, we may recognize in His wounds our own guilt and need for mercy, and asking it, receive it.

Grief is a terrible pain at the sense of loss of a loved one. But I believe that grief is a manifestation of God's mercy. Grief makes evident to us the fact that our hearts are made for love, and when a person we have come to love is gone, we recognize that our hearts are missing something that we cannot provide. In grief, we have a need that only someone else can fill. All of us have a need that only someone else can fill, and that recognition is a shadow and a glimmer of the need we have in our hearts that can only be filled by God.

May the angels lead you into paradise;
may the martyrs come to welcome you
and take you to the holy city,
the new and eternal Jerusalem.

May choirs of angels welcome you
and lead you to the bosom of Abraham;
and where Lazarus is poor no longer
may you find eternal rest.

Whoever believes in me, even though that person die, shall live.
I am the resurrection and the life.
Whoever lives and believes in me shall never die.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Thinking and praying today...

...not only for the repose of the soul of my cousin's son Max, and the comfort of his family and friends,

but also for the hundreds of thousands walking today in the bitter cold in Washington to give witness to the sanctity of life from the moment of conception until the moment of natural death.

May the slaughter stop, please God.

Debunking the debunking...

Rather than continue to troll my college classmate's Facebook page, I'd like to take this opportunity to refute the Planned Parenthood of Northern New England's recent blog post, "Debunking Abortion Myths, in Honor of Roe".

my comments in red.

1.Emergency Contraception (EC) is an abortifacient.
Well, no, not by design, but the drug manufacturer does admit that theoretically it could act as one and no study has definitively proven that it can't work that way.

2. Women use abortion as a form of birth control.
Actually, 54 percent of women who have abortions had used a contraceptive method (usually the condom or the pill) during the month they became pregnant. Birth control methods fail, and inconsistent contraceptive use, as well as life changes, contribute to unplanned pregnancy. "

Strictly speaking, contraceptives are not birth control. They are conception prevention. Abortion is the action that prevents birth. It is the second line of "defense" in avoiding having a baby. When contraceptives fail, abortion is the final answer.

3. Abortion causes post-traumatic stress and other mental health disorders.
“the best scientific evidence indicates that the relative risk of mental health problems among adult women who have an unplanned pregnancy is no greater if they have an elective first-trimester abortion than if they deliver the pregnancy.”

a. "first-trimester abortion" what about second- third-trimester?
b. Tell that to these people.

4. Women who have abortions will never be mothers.
No, women who have abortions already were mothers.

5. Abortion causes breast cancer.
They cite a 1997 study that denies the link between abortion and breast cancer, but ignore more recent studies, including a federally funded study published in the April 2009 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, as well as a Chinese study that indicates a 17% higher risk for breast cancer among women who have had abortions.

Making abortion illegal will stop women from having them.
Well, probably not, just as rape, theft, murder and assault being illegal have not stopped those occurrences, but no one seems to be on the "let's make them legal" bandwagon.

Pro-choice means pro-abortion.
You're for choosing what, again?

8. All Planned Parenthood does is abortions.
I'm told that the two PPNNE facilities my classmate works with do not do abortions. But what about this article saying that abortions will be at all PP regional affiliates by 2013?

9. Women who have abortions can’t get pregnant, or will have a harder time conceiving.
a. Again, get it done early and you won't have any side effects!
b. Again, tell it to these ladies.

10. Women having abortions are young, irresponsible women who can’t be bothered to take birth control.
Women of all ages have abortions for many reasons..."
Oh, well that makes it all right.