Monday, August 27, 2018

Let it Bleed

I have been contemplating what to say about the recent events and revelations within the Church.

Awful, outrageous, infuriating, heartbreaking, shameful.

And not surprising.

'The most important scene in Godfather III is Michael’s conversation with Cardinal Lamberto. Walking by stone pillars and fountains surrounded by pigeons, Michael explains his Vatican problem to Lamberto. Agreeing how this is scandalous, the priest reaches into the fountain and pulls out a stone. “Look at this stone,” he says. "It has been lying in the water for a very long time. But the water has not penetrated it.” He breaks the stone open, showing it to Michael. It’s dry. Michael motions into his pockets, then pulls them out, unsteady. Lamberto continues. “The same thing has happened with men in Europe. For centuries, they have been surrounded by Christianity. But Christ has not penetrated it. Christ does not live within them.” ' 

Christ entrusted His Church to men.  Not to angels, not to beasts, but men.  Men with concupiscence, pride, temptation, lust and greed.  Men, who with God's grace can become reflections of His divine light, or the darkest of miserable creatures.
There are many facets of this current scandal, and I can't begin to address them all.  The reports from Pennsylvania span decades, and reveal the horrendous details of actions perpetrated by priests.  And some were not just sick men who succumbed to temptations and victimized innocents, but thoughtful planners who organized a dreadful network of crimes.  

But then there were the revealed crimes of McCarrick and how he preyed upon young men and young seminarians under his authority.  And allegations of bishops trafficking men from South America to be groomed for homosexual relationships.  And allegations and reports of priests and bishops in scandalous relationships themselves acting like the mafia, using their power and authority to squash those who might shed light on their misdeeds.  

And now allegations that Pope Francis himself acted to protect McCarrick despite knowing what he had done and placing him back in a position to shape the future of the Church.

It gets worse and worse.  

And I say, rip the scabs and let it bleed.  

I was, for a time, a seminarian for my diocese.  I spent two years at St. John's Seminary in Boston, graduating from the college program in 2001, just as the first waves of scandal were starting to come to light there.  In my time in seminary, I got to know men from all over New England and the Midwest, some from Mexico, Vietnam, and Haiti.  And some of the priests and seminarians I got to know there are some of the finest men I have ever met.  Faithful, devoted, and ready to lay down their very lives.

And there were some that were asked to leave.

My own understanding from what I learned at that time was that many (though I know not all) of the misdeeds that had happened were mainly in the 60's, 70's, and 80's, and that the bishops who had handled allegations of priestly abuse relied heavily on the advice of psychologists who advised that these men could be treated and even cured.  They were sent for treatment, then given a bill of health and reassigned, until new allegations arose, and they were sent for more treatment.  (To be fair to the bishops and their advisors, it seemed that no organizations at that time really had a full grasp of how to deal with sexual abuse in a full way.)  But soon enough, it became clear that the standard treat and release approach was neither helpful nor responsible.  And so quietly, the bishops removed offending priests and stepped up the screening process for new candidates to the seminary. 

When I applied to study for the priesthood, not only did I have to undergo background checks, collect character referrals, and submit myself to psychological testing, but once I was in seminary, it was very clear that while spiritual direction was a closed forum (confidential) time to explore my vocation, everything else was fair game for the faculty to assess and scrutinize my suitability to become a priest.
And while many of my classmates graduated and did not continue on to the priesthood, we left on good terms, realizing that the priesthood was not what God had intended for us, but nonetheless strengthened for our vocations that God had prepared.  And yet, there were some who were asked to leave immediately. 

But the process isn't enough.  Protocols aren't enough.  Charters by the USCCB and lay oversight boards aren't enough.  What is required is radical.  What is required is sacrifice, humility, reparation.  Whitewashed Catholicism, gentrified toward respectability after leaving the ethnic ghettoes of the early 20th century, is hollow. 

I've heard it said that young people desire more than anything else, sincerity, and no wonder so many have left the Church.  They see a bunch of rules handed down by people who don't really believe in what they're saying, all the while pandering to youth with one more fun and accessible activity meant to just get kids in the building.  Fluffy Jesus, coloring books and rock concerts. 

I know many adults who have only a 3rd grade understanding of their faith because that's as deep as their catechesis went.  We can't make it too hard.  We can't make it uncomfortable.  We can't expect too much. 

But Christ expects much of His Church.  Christ laid down His life for the Church.  And we had better be ready to do the same.  God, by your grace, help us to be ready. 

As I said above, I want all the ugly truth to come out.  There is much more at work here than just incompetent bishops bungling their responsibilities.  Some have outright abdicated their responsibilities.  Others have abused their positions for their own corrupt gain, whether that be money, fame, power or sex.  It is not new, but it must stop. They have made this temple into a den of thieves.  It is time that we start overturning the tables. 

Bishops and priests who are guilty of abuse need to go.  Those guilty of crimes need to be handed over to authorities.  And bishops need to start leading like the God-given shepherds they were ordained to be.  The times ahead are going to be hard, very hard.  And many innocent people are going to suffer, and many will have their faith tested beyond their strength.  These are the times that try men's souls, as it's been said before. 

Innocent priests, and many lay people of faith will suffer rejection and persecution because of the acts of heinous men.  But it is their suffering, and maybe even their martyrdom, united to that of Christ on the Cross, which will win the graces that will replenish the Church. 

Mary, Mother of God, pray for us in our hour of need.

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.
Like · Reply · 1 · 45 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 40 mins

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...
Like · Reply · 16 mins

Me Empathy and compassion are religious values. Just saying...
Like · Reply · 10 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Frank Hey Mike, are you by any chance someone who enjoys a steak or hamburger? Just wondering.
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

Sarah Watch a video on where your meet comes from and see what gruesome abortions of life really look like.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

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.
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

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?
Like · Reply · 1 hr

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?
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Frank The concept of religion is to create a set of “moral guidelines”. They are one in the same.
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr

Frank You were attempting to create a separation of the two, but without morality, religion can not exist.
Like · Reply · 2 · 1 hr · Edited

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?
Like · Reply · 1 hr

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.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

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.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

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.
Like · Reply · 1 hr

Bob There is nothing funny about this.
Unlike · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

Frank Bob knows how I am and where I am coming from. Otherwise, he would have stopped me on my first comment.
Like · Reply · 1 · 1 hr

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.
Like · Reply · 50 mins

Me You clearly didn’t read the flyer, then.
Like · Reply · 50 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 39 mins

Me And you would be wrong in saying that.
Like · Reply · 39 mins

Frank Ok. What’s your stance on abortion and why?
Like · Reply · 38 mins

Frank Give you a chance here so carefully think before you post.
Like · Reply · 37 mins

Me See above. Science clearly shows that life begins at conception and I can’t claim superiority of one human being over the other.
Like · Reply · 36 mins

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?
Like · Reply · 35 mins

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?
Like · Reply · 34 mins

Frank Also, please link evidence of “life starting at conception” because in my research, that has never been stated by a scientist.
Like · Reply · 33 mins

Me It was stated categorically by Alan guttmacher former president of planned parenthood
Like · Reply · 30 mins

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.  
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 28 mins

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
Like · Reply · Remove Preview · 25 mins

Frank Also, just because the conception creates a human entity does not mean it creates life.
Like · Reply · 24 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 22 mins

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?
Like · Reply · 19 mins

Frank It would live longer than a few seconds.
Like · Reply · 18 mins

Me So intentionally killing someone by a slow death is wrong but a quick one isn’t? That certainly would change our gun laws...
Like · Reply · 16 mins

Frank Nice try. That’s not what I’m saying.
Like · Reply · 16 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 15 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 11 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 9 mins

Me I agree with that statement
Like · Reply · 8 mins

Frank So you can’t reject my opinion because you don’t agree with it.
Like · Reply · 8 mins

Me Well somewhat. We will never have full agreement from all sides on every issue
Like · Reply · 8 mins

Frank You find a middle ground. One that everyone might not “agree” fully on but can understand why it is that way.
Like · Reply · 6 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 4 mins

Me Frank You are absolutely right, which is why I’ve consistently made my arguments without recourse to my religious faith.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Frank No, the research you linked stated that “conception creates a new human entity”. Meaning you can be human without having “life”.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 21 mins

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?
Like · Reply · 20 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 10 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 5 mins

Me Check mate.
Like · Reply · 3 mins

Frank Not really.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 1 min

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.
Like · Reply · 1 min

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.
Like · Reply · 5 mins

Me I agree, and am wishing that the law would consider how it affects individual human lives being killed in abortion.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 18 mins

Me No, I’m just summarizing based on what you have said...
Like · Reply · 17 mins

Frank You’re really bad at it.
Like · Reply · 17 mins

Me You first rejected my arguments based solely on my religious beliefs.
Like · Reply · 17 mins

Me Then when I pointed out that my arguments were not based on religion, but reason and science, you dismissed it as mere opinion.
Like · Reply · 17 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 16 mins

Me When I pointed out the individuals being killed by abortion you denied their personhood merely because of their being in the womb.
Like · Reply · 15 mins

Frank An organism in the womb is not an individual.
Like · Reply · 15 mins

Me With no rational basis for recognizing the personhood outside of the womb (small child) vs the personhood inside the womb.
Like · Reply · 15 mins

Frank Actually I have very rational basis. Life starts at birth.
Like · Reply · 14 mins

Frank We don’t celebrate conception day, we celebrate birthday.
Like · Reply · 13 mins

Me You have no rational basis for claiming that ... unless you also deny the personhood of many people outside the womb.
Like · Reply · 13 mins

Frank Because that is when a person is brought into the world. At birth.
Like · Reply · 13 mins

Me Birthday parties? that’s it?
Like · Reply · 13 mins

Frank Birth certificate. Not conception certificate.
Like · Reply · 13 mins

Me So according to your own words, birth changes living organisms from a tumor into a human being?
Like · Reply · 12 mins

Frank That’s where I was going with that one if you couldn’t connect the dots.
Like · Reply · 12 mins

Me Paperwork doesn’t confer personhood.
Like · Reply · 11 mins

Me Neither does location.
Like · Reply · 11 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 10 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 8 mins

Bob Look at the tradition of recording births and deaths at parish churches. Today that tradition and understanding confers person hood at birth.
Like · Reply · 7 mins · Edited

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.
Like · Reply · 7 mins

Frank And you are right. Location doesn’t confer life. That’s why I think we should take in refugees.
Like · Reply · 1 · 7 mins

Frank Different subject.
Like · Reply · 1 · 7 mins

Frank Stay on point.
Like · Reply · 1 · 7 mins

Frank We are talking about abortion. Not slavery. Slavery is a different beast.
Like · Reply · 1 · 6 mins

Bob Now you bring slaves into this. Of course they were people. They were born.
Like · Reply · 6 mins

Me But they had no birth certificates.
Like · Reply · 6 mins

Frank Bob, he is grasping for straws to attempt to discredit my stance.
Like · Reply · 1 · 6 mins

Frank He is only bring slavery into this because he believes he is “losing” when there is no losing here.
Like · Reply · 1 · 5 mins

Bob They were born. They existed. Lack of a paper trail is immaterial.
Like · Reply · 5 mins

Me There is losing for the babies that are killed. We’re getting nowhere here.
Like · Reply · 5 mins

Frank An organism in the womb is not a baby. Sorry for that fact.
Like · Reply · 4 mins

Frank It’s a fetus.
Like · Reply · 4 mins

Me That is your opinion, which flies in the face of scientific research. Calling it a fetus is symantics. Fetus is Latin for offspring.
Like · Reply · 3 mins

Me Not tumor.
Like · Reply · 3 mins

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.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Frank That’s a long stretch.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Me No, I have pictures!
Like · Reply · 2 mins

Frank Just because you resided in one doesn’t mean you controlled it.
Like · Reply · 2 mins

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”.
Like · Reply · 1 min

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?