This lil guy knows what's up!
So apparently Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere are all aflame because of Time's new cover. It pictures an attractive, young blonde standing against her adorable and well-nourished 3 year old son. Both of them are staring straight into the camera with an almost "What are you gonna do about it?" look.
The little boy is standing on a chair that sets him at the perfect level to have his lips clamped around Mommy's nipple in a suggestive manner. The suggestion?
The giant, flame-inciting caption reads: ARE YOU MOM ENOUGH? ("Mom Enough" being bolded in red, of course, just to hit home the flame-factor). The subtext goes on with: Why attachment parenting drives some mothers to extremes - and how Dr. Bill Sears became their guru.
Apparently Time's been hurting for readership, because this is a blatant attempt to solicit a very venomous response from people from every angle of the issue.
This image and caption immediately polarize Moms. Those who breastfeed, those who don't. Those who breastfeed for 6 months, those who breastfeed for 5 years. Those who recoil in horror at the thought of a child breastfeeding in public, those who think breastfeeding is the most natural, beautiful thing in the world. Those who think breasts are nothing but sexual objects to be kept private, to those still looking to burn the bras of yesteryear and go topless around the world. Heck, you can even throw in those who CAN'T breastfeed into the mix, or those who choose to use breast milk, just not from the breast, in daily food (cereal and such).
Seriously - there is NO other reason to choose to create an image like this. This is SPECIFICALLY for shock value and it serves its purpose well. Everyone and their mother is now talking about it.
Unfortunately, they're also delving into the awful area of judging others for their parenting choices (and that never ends well).
My Opinion / Experience
I believe that breastfeeding is a wonderful, beautiful thing that gave both Vincent and myself a chance to bond in a way that nothing else could. Even though I had a rough start, it proved to be the most rewarding part of motherhood for me. In fact, courtesy of my dedication to breastfeeding, my risk for certain cancers has dropped, my risk for cardiovascular disease has dropped, and I my baby dropped weight faster than my non-breastfeeding friends. Seriously. I was fitting into my jeans within a month.
But all the health benefits for Vince were great, too! Chance for higher IQ, stronger immune system, greater sense of security... all that fun stuff. Plus, all the money I saved on formula could be spent on things like a college fund, toys, diapers, or trips to the zoo. Win win for everyone, right?
Now I realize that not all women are as blessed as I've been with breastfeeding. I had the time and ability to do it. I stayed at home with Vince for the entire first year. I produced milk - and a lot of it - without trouble. Sure Vince had trouble latching for the first few weeks, but thanks to a kind nurse, I was given a shield which helped him figure it out. I sometimes wonder if I'd've been able to nurse at all if it weren't for her giving me that little stepping stone of help.
I was also lucky enough to have a willing breastfeeder for 2 years (a little over two years, actually). Vincent loved "the bobies" as he used to call them (BOB + EES was his pronunciation - ha). He was never more content than when he was in my arms nursing. However, when it came time to wean, he pretty much did it himself. He simply stopped asking when I stopped offering. He was much more interested in grapes or pork chops or pasta. Mommy's "bobies" didn't offer that, and his little body knew it was time to give up the comfort of nursing. For Vincent, that was the right time for him.
I was shy for a while when people would ask me about how long Vince breastfed for. Even while I was still nursing, I'd get sideways looks from folks (especially because Vincent always looked about a year ahead of his actual age). I got some mean comments about being selfish... being a poor mother... being foolish because I'd screw up his idea of breasts because he'd remember nursing as he got older. I responded by keeping quiet. I would just do my best to hide the fact that I still breast-fed Vincent because I didn't want to deal with the negative judgements I'd get.
However, I soon got over it. The people who scoffed at my nursing habits usually didn't have kids themselves. So what right did they have to belittle MY choices? I started responding to their negativity with Vincent himself.
"Do you see how happy Vincent is? Do you see how well-adjusted, secure and trusting he is? He is a direct result of my parenting choices. Obviously I know a little better than you do about raising my son."
That has shut them up every single time. BTW, that works for the Negative Nancys who complain about the schedule I try to keep him on, too. When it comes to things like this, you'd think everyone knew how to parent your kid better than you do... *shakes head*
Anyway, back to the article (and the frenzy it has caused). I'm not a fan of them choosing this picture to startle folks into reading about Dr. Sears. The woman and her child have little to NOTHING to do with him. Also, the 3 year old (while a product of long-term breastfeeding) isn't even the typical child Dr. Sears mentors on. So again, this was a very specific, underhanded PR move to sell print. That irritates the heck out of me, especially since it's now got people going for the jugular.
Crazy! There are enough myths floating around about breastfeeding. Let's not add to the foolishness, k?
So let's remember our heads in this one, ladies. Try not to be judgemental or overly-critical. We all try to do what's best for our own children. Let's be supportive and instead of turning our anger on each other, let's turn it on Time for stooping so low as to attempt this charade of a cover in order to sell magazines. Humpf!
Mattie, a reader, started an avalanche of thought for me last week. Ever since, I've kinda been on the hunt for answers to the many questions that've come from her simple, "Can ya just go get IVF?"
The short answer is No - for a variety of reasons.
IVF is considered immoral by the Church. Every child deserves the right to begin life at conception through the loving embrace of both parents who are in a stable, dignified and ordered marriage. In fact, a beautiful quote from the Church in Her DONUM VITAE states as much:
The child has the right to be conceived... to be the fruit of the specific act of the conjugal love of his parents; and he also has the right to be respected as a person from the moment of his conception.
That, my friends, is true respect. That is dignity. To acknowledge the right exists, even before this tiny person comes into existence, for a loving, sacred and nurturing place of refuge proves the respect and care Catholics take in our role as stewards of life.
This is why the Church so staunchly defends marriage and sexuality. These two unalienable gifts from God are the building blocks of healthy procreation. It is through the ordered marriage relationship that true sexuality reaches fulfillment - that fulfillment being the union of husband and wife and thus the creation of the physical, living sign of their love - children.
These children, having been created in the ordered and sacred manner in which God decreed, will be blessed to grow up in an ordered, loving household in which their own development can best be discovered, ordered and reach fulfillment.
This is not to say, however, that children from single-parent households, children of rape, children of adoption, etc cannot grow up to reach their full, ordered potential. Through the grace of God, anything is possible, and He certainly loves these cherished souls as much as those co-created in the marriage embrace. However, He desired that we order ourselves in the aforementioned manner because it is through this ordering that we afford our children the best chance for emotional, psychological and spiritual stability.
Thus, IVF (specifically the act of joining a sperm and an egg in a laboratory setting) is considered immoral because it removes this dignity and order from the person(s) created.
Credit: Glassanos - Click image for info
However, this leaves a really big question wide open, and the Church has yet to get entrenched in the details.
After answering the above question for Mattie, my mind traveled down the rabbit hole a bit farther. Since IVF has already been utilized countless times by infertile couples looking to have children, what happens to all the embryos created that are simply frozen in time?
There's no easy answer for this - and I've looked!
I've taken several key folks to task over this. Priests, two professional theologians, an incredibly smart and spiritually sound couple, and a smattering of ordinary lay-Catholics who have been touched by issues of infertility, adoption and even eugenics. None were able to provide a concrete answer because as of yet, there simply isn't one.
The married couple, however, provided the best resource I've yet seen on this! My special thanks to them for their incomparable knowledge and willingness to share that knowledge with others. I link it here for your own illumination.
In it, you will find two heavy-weight Catholic ethicists duke the issue out at a bioethics conference late last year.
Though I take issue with the attempt of Father Pacholczyk to denigrate the discussion into one of spousal rights (since this isn't so much about fertilization so much as adoption of a life that's already been created), what he says about causing us to tumble down a slippery slope is certainly a concern I agree with.
However, most of what Dr. Smith relays (comparing this to adoption / breastfeeding) falls right in line with my own views.
As a person who believes that God opens a window every time we close the door on ourselves through sin, I can't help but wonder if embryo adoption is God's way of answering the problem we created through the sin of IVF.
This is a question that, as of yet, has no real answers. As one of the women I talked to put it, though, I'd be hard-pressed to condemn a married couple who bore a child in this manner. Granted, I'd be hard-pressed to condemn anyone for anything, but I digress.
I can't help but wonder if God allowed infertile married couples to exist specifically so they could answer the call of these poor children stuck in a frozen limbo.
There is a woman on Facebook who has taken my Darkest Secret entry into over-the-top territory. I just found her posting the below questions on yet ANOTHER wall. Granted, she's driving traffic to my site, but I'm really wondering at what cost.
The insinuations she's making and the threads they then spawn (based on how she words her questions) have ended up turning this discussion very ugly. These are the threads in which people end up accusing John of being the spawn of satan or me being an inept child stuck in slavery caused by my blind zeal for religion.
She did end up asking a really great question at the end, though.
Anyway, a priest ended up answering one of her pointed comments. I felt the need to redirect a bit of that conversation (so that others didn't fall into erroneous thinking), so I responded. I'm going to post that here because apparently answering them in the commentary repeated times did absolutely nothing to satiate her curiosity.
I'll bold her commentary and leave as normal my responses. For the love of all that's fluffy and golden in the world, if you still have questions, direct them to me.
Please answer this as no one else seems to give a satisfactory answer.
The Catholic woman in the blog below is being forced to remain childless because her non-Catholic husband refuses to have more kids. A bunch of women have written in to comment and many - MANY - of them are struggling with a similar situation (myself included). I think you should do a segment that deals with how to answer this question from a Catholic standpoint.
1 - Is she committing a mortal sin by allowing him to do use birth control?
I'm NOT in the state of mortal sin. I'm not in the state of sin at all by being forced into a contraceptive union. My illustration is thus: Mike hits Jane. While Jane feels the pain incurred by Mike's slap, Jane is not at fault for his sin. Jane is blameless. So while I feel the emotional pain caused by John's decision to do this, I will not be held accountable in God's eyes because I'm not the one contracepting.
2 - Should she refrain from having sex if he's going to continue to use bc against her will?
To refrain from sex in order to "punish" my husband or guilt him into children is akin to breaking my wedding vows, so dear Father, I must disagree with you on this.
Sex is not just for procreation and it is not just for pleasure. It is also an important renewal of my wedding vows which serve to strengthen our relationship as husband and wife. He is already using one barrier to our union through his choice to use contraception. I will not be a party to creating another barrier through refusing to unite myself more closely to him through the act of sex.
That would be akin to Christ refusing me in the Sacrament of Holy Communion because I consistently fail adhering to His Will as we're called to do. I still lie, I still struggle with pride, and I don't accept the crosses He gives me with charity. I'm failing to uphold my end of the Catholic deal, right? Would Jesus ever refuse me (barring mortal sins) in the Eucharist? No. Thus, how can I place myself above His example and react to my husband in such a way?
No - it is better to leave this in God's Hands and continue to be the best wife I can be to him. Maybe through my example of love, he will come to know something of God's Love.
3 - Is she a candidate for an annulment since he's breaking one of his marriage vows?
I'm NOT a candidate for annulment as John changed his mind after marriage. Also, we're not LOOKING to separate as we still love one another and wish to remain a family. As Father stated, if John had lied during our vows and never had any intention of creating children, that'd be different. The fact remains that his mind changed and regardless, we still love one another.
4 - Since her husband is refusing, if he remains obstinate, would she be allowed to go to an IVF facility and "adopt" an embryo without facing a moral dilemma?
I'm actually on the fence with IVF. That's actually a REALLY interesting point that I never thought of.
Father is correct - IVF itself is morally objectionable due to the fact that science is not how God decreed life to initiate, but if an infertile married couple chose to "adopt" a life that was already made through the sin of another, wouldn't this be kinda like adopting the child of a rape victim? Or adopting a forgotten / abandoned child from an orphanage?
Since these embryos remain in a state of frozen suspension, a loving, infertile couple who are open to life but simply unable to conceive may have been created infertile by God specifically so they could be the Hand of Divine Providence for those forgotten lives.
I honestly have no idea about that one, but it's definitely something to think about. Anyone else have opinions on this one, 'cause it's actually a really interesting point.
Shhh - I've got a secret to share...
This is a post I've attempted to start dozens of times. I'm half wondering what's going to happen to this one.
Will this be the one that gets published? Or will this one, too, be drowned out by tears, frustration, anger or sadness?
Guess the only way to find out is to keep typing.
My earliest memories revolve around my two younger siblings (both sisters) whom I always tried to "mother hen." I'd initiate games, I'd always be the "teacher" during pretend play, and I'd be the one that would organize and direct whatever mischief we'd get ourselves into.
However, I never liked dolls. That was my sister's thing. Maria was the quintessential "mother." She'd run around carrying her dolls everywhere, being sure to feed, diaper and burp them. I was much more interested in real babies. Plastic recreations simply made me feel cheated. I wanted real children to play with!
Like this in hot pink molded plastic!
I remember one Christmas, "Santa" brought me a swing for dolls. Santa, mind you, was our neighbor, Stan, who would dress up and bring us gifts on a random night leading up to Christmas - we all looked forward to that special visit every year. Anyway, the year he gave me the doll swing, I knew a mistake had been made. "Santa," I said, "I think this is Maria's gift."
Truth be told, Maria's eyes were glistening with jealousy. She hadn't opened her present yet, but boy did she want mine! It was pink and white and perfect for any doll lucky enough to find itself seated there.
Santa replied that he was certain the swing was mine because he picked it out especially for me. He knew I'd need it for the gift Maria was getting. Turns out she was given a Baby Alive type doll - moving parts, eyes that opened and closed, and she even giggled after sipping her bottle. Maria was absolutely in her glories, and she immediately went to town cooing over the new "baby doll" she was given charge over. I took its spoon and tried to figure out how the disappearing peas worked.
That night, feeling completely gypped, I went to bed angry with Santa for not knowing that I thought baby dolls were stupid. What he said about me needing it for Maria irritated me even more, because my Christmas present should've been for ME, not for Maria.
Obviously I was a selfish little brat at 5 years old. *Sheepish grin*
Anyway, I'd love to say that I immediately learned my lesson but I didn't. It took me a few days of sulking before I understood that "Santa" had wanted to foster sharing between my sister and I. Shannon, at this point, was still too young to really play with Maria and I (though I remember trying to get her into the doll swing at one point). I also tried to get our cat, Sparky, in there, but he refused to have any parts of it.
Finally, Maria said to me that her dolly wanted to take a ride in my swing. I knew her dolly didn't want to do anything of the sort. Dolls don't have emotions or desires. Maria just wanted to use my swing. Stupid doll. No, no she can't use my swing. It's my swing, and even though I think it's a stupid present, she can't use it because it's mine.
Maria (being extremely sensitive at this point in time), crinkled her face at me and said I was being really mean. I should be nicer to the baby doll because her feelings were hurt now that I was being so mean.
Just like I knew Maria was expressing her own desire to use the swing through the doll, I understood then that she was also letting me know she was hurt because I was being mean to her.
Fully reproached, I handed over my swing to let her play to her heart's content. I was the big sister... it was my job to be nice to Maria, even if I thought what she wanted to do was stupid. I realized, too, that letting her play with the swing made me feel like a mom. I spent a while with her, just helping her play, wondering if that's what our mother felt like when she sat down to play a game with me.
I was proud of myself because I knew what I was doing was right. I was acting like a real mom - something I'd always, always wanted to be - even from an early age.
Anyway, fast forward through the years. I began keeping a diary. The diary wasn't just a collection of angst-y whining that is typical of a tween (but boy is there a lot of that in there!). It was a history lesson meant to show my future children that I was once exactly like them.
My entries always called out my future progeny. I'd write letters to them, or when I'd describe the mischief I'd get into, I'd say "So don't think Mommy doesn't know what kind of games you're playing when you just say you're going out with friends! I know better!"
Really. I did this from my very first diary entry (I still have them all) and continue right up until present day. All throughout my pregnancy with Vincent I'd write him little love notes telling him about all the excitement his very existence brought. I'd mention his future brothers and sisters, telling them that I couldn't wait to feel the same excitement for them, just so they didn't feel left out at all the talk about Vincent.
I always imagined my kids finding my set of diaries in a forgotten box in the attic. They'd laugh at the same entries that now make me cringe, they'd be surprised by some of my antics, and they'd learn something from my more vulnerable moments. It was always my hope that these diaries would give them a window into who Mommy is outside of just "Mommy." I always wanted my kids to understand that I'm a person with emotions that rival their own... that Mommy DOES understand the hurt of lost friendships, the joy of new romance, and the thrill of independence.
You see, in my mind, these children already exist. They always have. I've been longing for them from my earliest memories. I've thought of them, planned for them, and made many decisions based on what their future perception of me would be (hence my lack of tattoos even though I've always really, really wanted one). I've just been waiting for them to finally arrive so I could meet them.
That's what makes this entry so incredibly difficult for me.
I am the mother of children I'll never meet.
I am not infertile. John is not infertile. Neither of us are sterilized, and there isn't even an age issue considering we're both young enough to not have the fear that accompanies the pregnancies of older mothers.
Why, then, am I lamenting the fact that I will never have the family I'd always envisioned?
Here is my secret...
My husband does not want any more children and defends his desire to use birth control to ensure I remain barren.
This is typically the moment I delete the entry and lock myself in a bathroom. The thought of other people knowing that this is my reality is incredibly scary. To even admit that this is my reality is tantamount to me "giving up" on my kids - the ones who always have (and always will) exist in my heart, just waiting to be given a body to hug me with.
Ugh - each passing sentence has me feeling like I'm walking through thicker and thicker mud. I keep stopping mid-sentence, unsure if I can continue, half-wanting to retreat and find that aforementioned bathroom.
However, I won't stop this time. The pain of secrecy is almost as much to bear as the pain of vulnerability now. The last couple weeks have been particularly thorny for me, which I think is why I'm now feeling the overwhelming "urge to purge" through writing.
Several friends recently had children (with about a dozen more expecting). I'm both ridiculously happy for these friends and admittedly jealous. I am truly thrilled for the new life they're bringing forth because they all deserve the happiness that these children will undoubtedly bring, but I also have a twinge of jealousy that I don't get to experience growing my family as well.
Every time I hold their newborns or see the pictures on Facebook, my heart both grows with joy and falls apart with grief. I don't say anything to anyone about this, because God forbid anyone feel guilty about sharing their joy with the world. I would never want that. I really do enjoy sharing in their joy, and I am content to keep my grief my own. I really am.
However, the questions are getting to be too much, the insinuations too hurtful, and the comments too overwhelming.
Over Christmas, we spent time with a family that just had a newborn. Of course, I was more than happy to hold her to give her mom a break. Several comments were made by my family that I looked good with a baby girl (or maybe I'd be next, etc). I both appreciated the comments and just about died from how overwhelmed with grief I felt. More than anything I'd like to add a few more names to the family tree, but I knew what they didn't. Their longing for grandchildren / cousins / nieces / nephews pales in comparison to mine. Couple it with the fact that I needed to keep that tid-bit to myself only made it worse. I was walking around choking back tears knowing that I couldn't provide what we all wanted.
Over Easter, we spent time with this same family. The new mom asked when John and I would be having another. Thank God for sunglasses, because tears immediately sprang to my eyes. Having been bombarded for weeks with babies and pregnancy reveals, I was barely able to conceal the pain as I murmured, "Hopefully one day. Still haven't quite convinced John the timing's right."
I then looked up at the ride my niece was on and made some sort of comment about her making an adorable face. I couldn't actually see Alliya's face, but it immediately brought the conversation to a halt as the mom tried to search her out among the crowd.
My beautiful Alliya!
Later that afternoon, my niece saw me with the baby again. As she and Vincent were dancing around the living room, she said,
"Aunt Gina, do you want another baby?"
I smiled at her and said, "Alliya, I'd like 100 more babies."
She laughed (as did my mother-in-law) and replied, "Why did you have Vincent?"
I said, "Because I loved him so very much."
My mother-in-law was trying to answer her as well, but Alliya was pretty intent on my response. She's a smart one! She didn't accept my answer as good enough, so she pressed me further with:
"Then why don't you have more?"
Her innocent question was more loaded than she realized, and I fault her none for the immediate torrent of grief that coursed through me. I pulled the newborn against me and kissed her head, once again taken hostage by my pained knowledge that the baby I held wasn't mine and likely never would be.
I soon handed the baby back to her mother so I could recollect myself in private. I could see John sitting on the porch talking to the men and it made me slightly irritated that he never got these kinds of questions. These were conversations for women, not men. Besides, even if someone did ask him about children, he'd nonchalantly express his contentment with Vincent (which is fine).
Then this weekend, we spent some time with my best friend's family. She and her brothers have exactly the kind of relationship I always knew my kids would have with one another. Watching Mary and her siblings play ball in the yard together was both wonderful and painful. When I think of the children I'll never have, I can't help but feel like I'm cheating Vincent out of his siblings. I mean, I even asked John about that - he and his siblings have a good relationship. Didn't he think that Vincent deserved the same?
And then I worry about when we get older - will Vince be forced to care for us by himself? Will he have no support system with which to rely when John and I die? It's one thing to share this sorta pain with your friends - it's entirely different to share it with those who know EXACTLY the loss you feel. Who but a sibling can share that sort of grief with you?
And then what if Vincent does grow up and decide to become a priest (I can only pray - ha!). In addition to me not having children, I would then also be denied grandchildren. These things are painful to me alone. John doesn't really desire these things, so there isn't any loss for him in that regard. And that's fair. I can't (and wouldn't) force him into caring for something that is a non-issue. He can't be faulted for his feelings on this subject. Considering how bombarded we are anymore regarding children being nothing more than a hinderance to personal gratification and success, I really am unsurprised.
He was afraid I'd resent him for his feelings, but I can't. I understand his feelings and they are valid. So please don't attack him for that which he has no real control over. His feelings are just as strong (and valid) as mine.
Hiding this flood of emotion has become extremely taxing. I don't like to bombard John with it, and I certainly never want to "out" him to his family (because no doubt there would be some head-wagging from certain corners). I also never want to make others feel bad for sharing their joy - or even making comments that imply the children I'd bear are wanted.
But the pain is there. It is palpable, and I honestly think this must be what couples struggling with infertility face. It has made me much more sensitive to my own comments regarding children and time-frames that revolve around them. After all, I'm kind of dealing with a forced sterility.
No, that's not fair. It's not forced. It took me a while, but I've recently come to understand that this is something I have willingly accepted for the benefit of my husband.
Lady and the Atheist
For a while, he was worried I'd grow to resent him for his unwillingness to grow our family. He'd avoid the topic like the Plague, afraid that if he was honest about his desire to remain a one-child family, I'd divorce him for someone who would give me what I wanted.
In fact, he suggested I do that, himself, during one of the many heated debates we had about this.
He was also concerned I'd attempt to force a pregnancy. God only knows how he thought I'd do that. I explained I'd never force a child into a situation in which he or she might end up resented. For as much as I want these children, I'd never want to raise them in an environment in which they weren't given the unconditional love due to them.
Besides, I didn't marry John because he'd be my baby-factory. I married John because I love him and saw a future with him. We did have discussions on children before marriage, and I've always envisioned a large family. His vision changed along the way (hence the situation I now find myself in). Regardless, I vowed to stick it out with him. I didn't vow to stick it out with him so long as he conformed to my desires for a large family.
Now two of my friends who are aware of the situation have pointed out that John, himself, vowed to be open to life. That opens the door to an easy annulment so I could drop him and move on.
While I understood they were attempting to help me "out" of my situation, they didn't understand that I didn't accept divorce (or even annulment) as an answer. Even though I technically have every right to dissolve the marriage because of his refusal to accept this particular vow, I would never do such a thing. It's non-sensical.
Well, for starters, I know without a doubt in my mind that John was meant to be my husband. When I prayed to Our Lady for a good man who would be an incredible father, the response was John. He is a good man and an incredible father. His ideas on the size of our family may have fluctuated, but his integrity as a person never has. Also his ability to provide a life for Vincent and I can never be called into question. I have more in John than most women could find in 100. For that, I am eternally grateful.
Besides, if you think about it, marriage is a covenant. It's a promise between two people to uphold certain things, right? Well, how many covenants did God make with the Israelites? Plenty - each one of them broken by humanity. However, God never reneged on His end of the deal, right?
Maybe this is the cross Christ is asking me to bear. Thus, I offer this to Him for whatever it is that He needs it for. I admit that I really, REALLY struggle under the weight of it at times. These last few weeks have been the toughest by far. But I believe that He never gives us something so heavy that His Grace can't prop us up enough to handle it.
In accepting this, I think I really came to understand what I've always said about Christ's love. When I explained to John the sacrifice I was willingly making for him (and thus, for our marriage), he responded with, "I don't deserve so much sacrifice. It's too much."
I heard myself in his voice. I really did. We were having this heart-to-heart in bed when he said that, and I can honestly say I immediately pictured myself at the foot of the Cross saying the same thing to Jesus.
The point of sacrifice is NOT that the person you're sacrificing for deserves it. A real sacrifice is a gift of love, given freely because you WANT to give it without any expectation for repayment. That quote I found a few months ago was right:
Love transforms suffering into sacrifice.
It is LOVE that enables me to make this sacrifice without contempt, without resentment, and without anger.
That doesn't mean I won't feel intense emotional pain. Love just gives me the strength to survive it... to endure it willingly for the benefit of both John and Christ.
That knowledge is the only thing that gives me solace. I understand this is a wound that won't heal... and maybe it's not meant to. Maybe it needs to stay fresh with each innocent comment, each new pregnancy, and each new experience I have seeing siblings tottering around the park together while Vince unsuccessfully tries to butt in and play, too.
My ways are not His ways, and maybe He's got something in store for me up ahead.
Just keep me and my family in your prayers. As I said, this has been an incredibly difficult few weeks (on an emotional level), and I'm hoping this entry lets off some of the steam that's been suffocating me.
Also, for those of you still with me ('cause wow... this really got long), I appreciate the time you spent. Blessings to you and yours.
***PS - I've written a rebuttal to several of the more Negative Nancys who have written in to lament the many shameful things I've said. That can be found here.***
***PPS - I've now had to swap commentary to "Approve First" due to the overwhelming number of respondents who have declared themselves Christ by judging my husband and I guilty of mortal sin. So feel free to comment, but know that if you overstep your bounds, I'm very friendly with the delete button.***
Geez, I'm on a roll today.
Just stumbled across this article summarizing one man's journey through a whirlwind taste-test of 12 different faiths.
He and his wife suffered the trauma of miscarriage. Wife, Heather, finds solace in the Baptist Christianity and husband, Andrew, spends a few years hating the idea of a god who could so cruelly take away the miracle of life they'd participated in creating.
When Andrew finally hits a wall where his hatred threatens to destroy him, he develops the idea for what he calls Project Conversion (complete with its own Facebook page). He took it upon himself to follow 12 different faiths for 12 months, spending half the month learning and half the month practicing these new faiths.
In theory, this is a fairly decent idea. He was reaching out to God in the only way he knew how - to sample the various faiths and see which one fit him the best. I know a lot of hard-line Catholics will razz me for that (considering that faith should not conform to you, but you to the Truth), but I think it's very important for someone with no real religious background to do a bit of digging. It's important for cradle Catholics (or cradle Buddhists, Muslims, etc) to broaden their perspectives, too.
I'm not advocating trying to practice other religions, mind you. I'm suggesting learning about these different theologies and cultures because, as Andrew Bowen found out, there truly is something to be gained from each.
I've always believed the idea of God to be similar to a mountain. God is at the top of the mountain, and our journey to Him can take us through many paths. Some may find their way to Him through Islam. Others may find their way to Him through non-denominational Christianity. Others, still, might find their way to Him by virtue of their defense of all that is good in the world. I believe Catholicism offers the straightest path to God, but I don't discount the virtues in other faiths.
I think that's what this guy was trying to get at as he made his way through the cycle of religions.
However, I wish the author of the article pointed out that it is impossible to even skim the surface of these religions - many (though not all) of which date back thousands of years.
I also take the statement "But this was no reality TV stunt" with a grain of salt. Considering the pictures that accompanied the article, it was obvious that from the start he was looking to do something with this "Project Conversion." Also, you don't start calling something a "Project" unless you've got an idea in mind of what you plan to accomplish. Ha ha ha.
But that's fine. He's now looking to write a book about his experiences, and more power to him if he cashes in. It's a great idea that could very well have a very positive impact!
However, I still wish that you can't "immerse" yourself in any religion within the confines of one month. There simply isn't enough time, and no mentor (no matter how brilliant) could possibly cover the nuances of the various faith sets.
Regardless, it's an interesting experiment, and I'm curious to see where it will lead. Thought you folks might be interested, too! :)
by Ron DiCianni (click for info)
I just read a heartbreaking story. I'll link it here with the warning that the image is painful to view. While the child is most certainly at peace, her little body enfolded in the burial shroud while her agonizing mother openly grieves her will sear your soul.
Jesus... have mercy on us.
Please offer your prayers for this woman and all families who are faced with this violence. There are still so many cultures throughout the world that do not value women... so many that cruelly neglect, hurt and murder innocent female children simply because of their sex.
Again, may God have mercy on us. We are victims of ourselves with no way of obtaining relief.
This is Divine Mercy weekend. If you're not already aware, please take the time to learn about the Promises of Divine Mercy Sunday. Make a good confession, and accept Christ in the Eucharist while praying for entry into His Compassionate Heart.
Join us in the Divine Mercy Novena.
Humanity - we truly need His Mercy. We are lost if not for His Grace.
I sometimes go home for lunch and today I lucked upon some leftover Indian food John had shared with Faith. That meant I also got to see Faith for all of two seconds before she ran off to complete some errands. Yay on both counts.
However, after I finished lunch and started the 2 minutes drive back to work, I saw a couple of kids on the side of the road, one hunched over the other one. I slowed down to make sure they were okay when I realized I recognized one of the kids as a student in my CCD class.
I stopped the car and rolled down my window, calling his name and asking if everything was alright. Apparently his buddy took a turn too harshly, and since there isn't any pavement over that area (it's a grassy mess), his bike must've come out from under him and he went careening into the curb.I put the car in park, turned on my flashers and went around to check on him. He wasn't crying, but he was definitely in some pain.
I'm not a nurse or anything, so I wasn't really sure what to "check." So I said, "How far are you two from home?" My student told me they were about 10 minutes off from his friend's house (he was staying there while his mom was at work during break). I cautioned his friend against driving his bike for the 10 minute trek home, but when I asked if he'd called his mother to pick them up, he said she wasn't answering her phone.
So I said, "Alright, we should be able to get your bikes into my car. Just get in and I'll take you home."
As soon as it was out of my mouth, my heart dropped. I remembered the orientation class I'd had specifically instructing CCD teachers never to offer rides home to their students because of child-abuse allegations. Then, when I realized that I felt guilty for offering a ride to these kids, I got angry with myself for even thinking that leaving them there was an option. Then I got doubly irritated that society has become a place that makes this inner struggle a reality.
This thought-process took less than a half-second to run its course, but I'm still grumbling about it. I dropped the boys off after making sure the injured boy's mother was aware of the situation. She was thankfully very nice and it's doubtful she had any concern about me taking them home, especially after my student explained I was his CCD teacher (so not a total stranger). But still... I've now got this nagging worry that I'm going to be either reprimanded or, God forbid, accused of something.
I realize this is the stupidest worry ever, but is it really all that far-fetched? How horrible are we as a society that good samaritans can no longer feel free to help a child on the side of the road? How horrible is it that children must fear every single person they come across?
I should honestly be happy that I got to help a kid out today. I should be doubly happy that my student was there to witness what it means to be Christ's Hands, and how he helped Divine Providence along (a theme we've talked a lot about this year). Instead, I'm worried that me helping the kid into my car could be misconstrued as touching him inappropriately. I'm worried that the Director of Religious Education is going to find out and chide me for being negligent. I'm worried that if my student recounts this story to his parents that they're going to wonder if I'm stalking him or something.
Seriously - how the heck did our world get so messed up that anyone should end up thinking this way about the simple act of helping a kid?
What the heck?
And how many teachers / priests / coaches go through this thought-process on a daily basis regarding things like hugging a student, having students after hours in their office / room going over a project or paper, even offering a student a quick ride home on a rainy day when you know the kid walks a mile and forgot an umbrella?
And I wonder how much easier I must have it being a woman. I wonder if that boy's mother would've been just as grateful if it were a male teacher bringing her son home...
He's not gone - he's in Canada!
Many of you are aware of the situation in Philadelphia's Archdiocese regarding the closure of schools. Surprisingly, this post won't be about them (though you can add that as yet another symptom of our increasingly-ill system of education). This is about Canada's battle with the homosexual agenda and how it's poised to affect their Catholic schools.
Parliament member Glen Murray (a homosexual himself), said in a public comment to Canadian bishops, "You can't teach that anymore" (meaning Catholic doctrine regarding homosexuality).
He then went on to say "...can you imagine me describing a husband-and-wife relationship as inherently depraved?"
Sure I could imagine you saying it, Mr. Murray... same as I could imagine me telling you that the sky is yellow with pink polka-dots and that I cured 30 types of cancer while blindfolded with both hands tied behind my back.
All are ridiculous statements, and you're free to believe or not believe them to your heart's content.
Catholic teaching is one of those things you kinda KNOW you're getting when you enroll in a Catholic school. Parents who send their children to Catholic schools WANT the education that goes with it. They should all be very aware by now of what the Church teaches regarding abortion, contraception, the death penalty, and yes, even homosexuality.
Thus, your attempt to stick your nose into Catholic lesson plans is a gross injustice. How dare you attempt to stifle the religious liberty of your people? How dare you attempt to tell Catholics what they can and cannot teach?
I wonder if there'd be any confusion as to how wrong this is if the government were attempting to force Catholic schools to allow pro-abortion or pro-slavery clubs?
You can't force a religious institution (regardless of government funds received) to do something that goes directly against a well-documented set of beliefs, even if you find those beliefs to be contrary to your opinion on the matter.
That's the whole point of religious freedom - something folks tend to forget, especially when dealing with homosexuality.
Anyway, as this thread (which is on Facebook) stretched out a bit, I was reminded of a professor I had back in college. She was one of the most brilliant literature professors I've ever had, and I always walked away from her class feeling as though I'd learned something.
I took this professor twice. That first, basic Literature class was wonderful. I learned a lot, read a lot, and contributed a lot. I was very excited when I saw this same professor was offering a Women's Literature class. I thought, Wow! This is gonna be great!
Turns out she was a die-hard, ultra-liberal feminist who fully supported utilizing her required reading lists to advance an agenda in-line with her belief system, and Women's Literature was the perfect place to do that. Woe to anyone who sought to speak out against what she felt to be gospel.
It all kinda went downhill after she had us read The Vagina Monologues.
Now at this point, I was nowhere near my reversion to the faith. I was dating a bisexual man, my two close friends were in a lesbian relationship, I rarely went to Mass, and I was railing against what I decried as an inept, morally suspect government.
However, even being that far from identifying myself as a proper "Catholic," I cringed while reading the garbage that is TVM. Seriously - I'm not even going to bother linking that trash here. Suffice to say it actually sets the women's movement back about 20 years as the women portrayed routinely rely solely on sex and men to validate who they are as individuals. Bleck.
Anyway, the intro really irritated me. I forget who wrote the forward, but she attempted to compare a woman's vagina to a Catholic church. I tore apart her incredibly offensive (and shallow) analogy through the online discussion forum we were obliged to utilize. I thus found myself on the front line of a "The Catholic Church is evil" war in which I was the only soldier.
Several students responded, one who dragged Our Lady through the mud. I was so taken aback that I fired off a pointed response, effectively proving their misleading statements to be incorrect representations of Catholic teaching. This went on for about a week. Through it all, our professor remained absolutely silent.
Now for each class, she'd print off the responses and grade us on them. I'd get mine back with a check and no commentary. I honestly assumed that's how everyone got theirs back. Foolish, naive little Gina. I got mine back blank because she had nothing to say to me. Others in the class (two being friends of mine) showed me they would get responses all the time. Their responses typically fell in line with her opinions in class, so they were given all sorts of praise for their intelligence.
Me, on the other hand... probably the only person to actually quote from the prime source, the only one to seek outside support for my discussions, the only one to dissent from that which she set forth... I was met with silence.
And what's worse, I found out from one of my friends that she was reading my entries aloud to the class to mock me before I arrived. (I had to come from the South side of campus, so it took me the entire 10 minutes to walk from one end to the other.) It was then she confided to me that she understood through that mockery not to contradict this professor. She'd much rather regurgitate lies than speak the truth and be treated like me.
While I understood her sentiments, I really felt very alone and unsupported.
Yet I was undeterred. I continued to speak out against the vicious rhetoric directed against Catholicism (because no one could let up on beating the Church down). After all, much of what she chose as reading specifically brought up the Church as an example of all that's wrong in society, so it was a little hard to steer clear from the discussion. Finally I was called into her office. She basically told me to stop talking about Catholicism because it was offensive to other students.
I pointed at the Crucifix which hung in her office (why it was there, I honestly don't know because she had stated several times that she finds the Catholic Church to be full of deceit and hypocrisy). I said, "You do realize you teach in a Catholic University, right?"
I walked away absolutely disgusted.
I went to seek out the student with whom I'd had the bulk of my discussions with regarding Catholicism. She's the one who had attacked the Blessed Mother. I wanted to know if this professor had contacted her in regards to how often she brought up religion (since I only ever spoke about it to defend it - never to just start a Catholic conversation in the middle of a Literature class - ESPECIALLY considering I was always the odd man out).
Imagine my complete surprise when I learned that she had no idea what I was talking about.
Of COURSE the professor didn't contact her. Why would she? This student was not only falling in perfect step with her belief system, she was actively advocating them. Me, on the other hand... my Catholic viewpoint was creating trouble and took precious time away from decrying how unfair it was for the patriarchal Church to ordain women priests or allow them administrative duties, or to utilize birth control / abortion.
The surprise was short-lived. It was my first taste of anti-Catholicism. I honestly didn't understand it well at the time, but I DID understand that what had happened to me was not only unjust; it was unconscionable. A respected professor at a Catholic institution was reprimanding a student for speaking out in defense of Catholic doctrine...
Incredible. Absolutely incredible.
And we wonder why Catholic education is suffering? We wonder why the government thinks it can dictate what we teach?
We've made quite the mess of things, haven't we, Lord?
Real men pray the rosary.
St. Joan of Arc, pray for us!
I just finished reading Father Z's defense of the clergy in the middle of this HHS Mandate mess.
Here is my favorite highlight:
There is only so much the bishops can accomplish in the public square on their own: the rest is your job. Don’t shirk your role even if you think bishops and priests are being lazy or craven. Stand up and get to work right now, even if you are disappointed that bishops aren’t beaming lasers out of their eyes or issuing decrees of excommunication while they levitate to the strains of Verdi’s Dies Irae.
Yes and yes. So many people are complaining about how little they see priests and bishops doing. I'm always confused by this, mainly because I see them doing so much. We can't expect them to hop onto the pulpits and scream bloody murder. We can't have them running around denouncing entire political parties or trying to convince folks that all Pro-Choice candidates are going straight to hell. We can't expect them to fight, fight, fight while we cower in the corner waiting for the spat to be done with.
And yet that seems to be what's happening by and large. I've seen the Church in the US mobilize in a way I've never encountered. Bishops are uniting and are extremely vocal on the issues that face us as a people. Leaders from other faiths are coming out in support of us. Catholic who have been wayward now feel a calling to defend the Church that blessed them with their faith and traditions. They can only do so much, and Father Z is right... we need to pick up the beacon ourselves to carry forth the Flame of Truth.
We can, and we MUST. WE are the Church... all of us. Not just the priests, not just the bishops, and not just the little old ladies praying the rosary after Mass.
WE are the Church, and we really need to start acting like it.
This sculpture is the first (and as yet only) piece of art that has ever made me weep. I came across it in my travels, and the reaction was instantaneous. The tears were coming before I even understood what it was I was looking at.
The tender love and comfort extending from the child as she reached out to touch her agonizing mother is intense. That flood of intensity was then made into a deluge of sadness as I realized the child was "invisible," the symbolic soul of a child this mother lost. Then, when I realized what the title of the sculpture actually was, I just about died of a broken heart.
Though this sculpture doesn't necessarily have to speak of the post-abortion grief many woman feel, that was what I took it for at first glance. Then I realized this grief could easily be felt by women who suffered miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, or even hysterectomies before fulfilling their vision of a family. This sculpture could also encapsulate the grief of a mother denied children through birth control, social pressures or infertility... maybe even a mother who lost her child to illness, violence or trauma.
Such ceaseless pain is perfectly juxtaposed with undescribable love. This ghost child is peaceful, seeking no solace for itself; she is only looking to comfort her stricken mother. The mother, overcome by her emotions, cannot feel the touch of this angel. She wants to... she yearns to... but she cannot.
Oh my heart. I'm actually writing this entry with my "window" scrolled up just enough that the image is not visible on my screen. I can do nothing but weep when I see it.
May the Lord grant us mercy for our transgressions against these innocent babes. May those who seek reconciliation find peace, and may the Holy Spirit alight in the hearts of those who don't understand that life begins at conception.
Special thanks to Creative Minority Report for not only having the full ad, but the full text here.
Another special thanks to Nicole for dropping this off via FB. I'd seen it being talked about on a few blogs, but I hadn't gotten the full text until now!
I'll deal with the Catholic vs. Muslim NTY Ad issue at another time. Today I want to focus on the Catholic ad.
I'm all for free speech. I honestly don't mind that they paid for an ad that voiced their opinions. That being said, I'm unsurprised that they chose to exercise their freedom of speech by once again attacking Catholicism and seeking to muddy the real issues that surround US Catholics at present.
I'll take the text and respond - one at a time - to their ludicrous statements. My comments are in red.
Dear ‘Liberal’ Catholic:
It’s time to quit the Roman Catholic Church.
It’s your moment of truth. Will it be reproductive freedom, or back to the Dark Ages? Do you choose women and their rights, or Bishops and their wrongs? Whose side are you on, anyway?
Common ploy to polarize! You're attempting to juxtapose issues that don't actually exist. For example, in attempting to contrast our Bishops and "their wrongs" with women and "their rights" it appears that the two are at odds. In truth, Catholics are
attempting to continue
providing women with
the most comprehensive
And these are only a few examples - a very tiny sampling of the almost unfathomable amount of resources we dedicate to providing reliable, charitable healthcare to ALL people all over the world. But sure - this is simply a matter of us suddenly wanting to stop providing what is a vital part of our Catholic identity. Of course. That makes perfect sense. <sarcasm>
It is time to make known your dissent from the Catholic Church, in light of the U.S. Catholic Conference of Bishops’ ruthless campaign endangering the right to contraception. If you’re part of the Catholic Church, you’re part of the problem.
I didn't realize that practicing my faith somehow trampled on your rights. In speaking out against this mandate, I'm not stopping you from purchasing condoms, pills or even abortions. I'm simply attempting to keep myself from footing the bill for your lifestyle choices, especially when those lifestyle choices go directly against my faith. Isn't this what you've always wanted? This is the Church attempting to stay out of your bedroom. Stay out of my wallet, k?
Why are you propping up the pillars of a tyrannical and autocratic, woman-hating, sex-perverting, antediluvian Old Boys Club?
Your proof for any of those completely fallacious statements is where? And that whole sex-perversion comment makes me laugh. We're upholding sexual intercourse to be a holy, beautiful and intimate bond between husband and wife. You folks are the ones attempting to make it a free-for-all that is free from emotion, respect, and responsibility.
Why are you aiding and abetting a church that has repeatedly and publicly announced a crusade to ban contraception, abortion and sterilization, and to deny the right of all women everywhere, Catholic or not, to decide whether and when to become mothers?
Because the Church is correct in attempting to stamp out that which is morally bankrupt. We're NOT attempting to refuse women the right to choose whether / when to become mothers. They're perfectly capable of doing that on their own. It's as simple as saying "No, honey, not tonight." Or are you attempting to assert that women are ignorant and incapable of understanding their own bodies well enough to address this issue themselves without the aid of harmful chemicals /invasive procedures?
When it comes to reproductive freedom, the Roman Catholic Church is Public Enemy Number One. Think of the acute misery, poverty, needless suffering, unwanted pregnancies, social evils and deaths that can be laid directly at the door of the Church’s antiquated doctrine that birth control is a sin and must be outlawed.
Oh really? Reproductive freedom goes both ways, dear. How about we call it Reproductive RESPONSIBILITY. Folks don't want to accept responsibility anymore. It has nothing to do with freedom. It has to do with a refusal of responsibility. Freedom is as simple as saying "No, I'm not ready for a child, thus I'm not ready for the act that goes into creating a child" or even "I'm not ready (or willing) to have a child, thus I need to be aware of my body's signals that I'm fertile."
In the eyes of the Church, birth control, abortion and sterilization are mortal sins. Our doctrine on this is not something that can become "antiquated." So regardless of how much public opinion is influenced by your liberal thrust, the Church will remain firmly rooted in the Truth of the Teachings of Christ. Thus, call us outdated all you want. Truth is timeless, and no matter how many times you try to say 1+1=7, the Catholic Church will always discern your folly and seek to correct that folly for the good of Her people.
A backer of the Roman Catholic presidential candidate says that if women want to avoid pregnancy we should put an aspirin between our knees?
Apparently we must take his word for gospel because he's a Catholic. Good thing there haven't been any folks who parade themselves as Catholic and do / say some REALLY anti-Catholic things (Pelosi, anyone? Cuomo? I could go on).
Catholic politicians are urging that the right to contraception should be left up to states?
Nearly 50 years after the Supreme Court upheld contraception as a privacy right, we’re going to have to defend this basic freedom all over again?
Back to that whole "Truth is timeless" point. Just because the SC said something's A-OK doesn't mean we have to agree. We'll keep plugging away until all life (even that within the womb) is viewed with the respect and dignity it deserves.
You’re better than your church.
Correction - we ARE the Church.
So why? Why continue to attend Mass? Tithe?
To worship God in a way He specified was holy and good.
To join together as a community to renew our covenant with God as His family.
To listen to the Word of God and participate in His Death and Resurrection.
To partake of the Blessed Sacrament - something no other religion has.
To bear our petitions before the Throne of the Lord on the wings of our angels.
To unite ourselves more fully to the Church Triumphant, Penitent and Militant.
To express thankfulness for the blessings we've received through Divine Providence.
Annnnd, this list could seriously go on forever.
Why dutifully sacrifice to send your children to parochial schools so they can be brainwashed into the next generation of myrmidons (and, potentially, become the next Church victims)?
Of course it's seen as brainwashing to you. And that's fine - no one's asking you to send your kids to Catholic school. However, I know I intend to send mine to a Catholic school so they gain a firm foundation for TRUE Catholic teachings - not the misinformation you spread as fact.
I also appreciate the comfort of knowing Catholic education does a much better job of helping children succeed academically than its secular counterpart. And for the record, that information was compiled using the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).
For that matter, why have you put up with an institution that won’t put up with women priests, that excludes half of humanity?
This simply shows your ignorance of Catholicism. ALL people are part of the royal priesthood (men and women alike). However, only men can belong to the ministerial priesthood through Ordination, and that's because women are NATURALLY able to become vessels of life. Men can only gain that gift through the vocation of priesthood (in bearing Christ to the people through Consecration). But since folks like you can't seem to grasp that dignity is not something measured by things you can pat yourself on the back for, just read this and learn why we believe women cannot be priests.
No self-respecting feminist, civil libertarian or progressive should cling to the Catholic faith.
Again, you're attempting to polarize things that honestly have no reason being a part of this discussion. You're attempting to shame folks into leaving the Church because you view it as anti-feminist, stifled and archaic. The Church is none of these things. We respect our women, we revere tradition, and we are able to grow in spirituality courtesy of the Holy Spirit. Just because we aren't willing to fall into the muck you call "progress" doesn't mean we can't be progressive. We just think your version of "progress" is highly suspect and can be likened more to humanity slipping BACKWARDS into slime and filth.
As a Cafeteria Catholic, you chuck out the stale doctrine and moldy decrees of your religion, but keep patronizing the establishment that menaces public health by serving rotten offerings.
You have completely misunderstood the concept of Cafeteria Catholic, haven't you?
Your continuing Catholic membership, as a “liberal,” casts a veneer of respectability upon an irrational sect determined to blow out the Enlightenment and threaten liberty for women worldwide. You are an enabler. And it’s got to stop.
I agree that Cafeteria Catholics have to stop, but I think we differ on the reasons why, as these folks do nothing to cast ANY sort of respectability upon those of us who are faithful Catholics. And as for your talk of Enlightenment... well... that's obviously hogwash as Catholicism is a beacon of truth in your sea of folly. As much as you want to claim we're threatening women's health / liberty, we're probably the last bastion they've got that is willing to provide them the compassion and dignity they desperately need.
If you imagine you can change the church from within — get it to lighten up on birth control, gay rights, marriage equality, embryonic stem-cell research — you are deluding yourself.
For any Catholic that thinks they can change that stuff, you're not understanding the concept of dogma, and I'd agree with the statement of "you are deluding yourself."
If you remain a “good Catholic,” you are doing “bad” to women’s rights.
Not only is a non-Catholic attempting to tell me I'm being "bad" but an atheistic one who HATES Catholicism. No conflict of interest there, right? Excuse me, waiter... can I please have a heaping serving of salt to go with this garbage?
You’re kidding yourself if you think the Church is ever going to add a Doctrine of Immaculate ContraCeption.
I bet you thought you were hilarious with that one, didn't you? *Shakes head* That's pathetic.
It is disgraceful that U.S. health care reform is being held hostage to the Catholic Church’s bizarre opposition to medically prescribed contraception.
No, what's disgraceful is that the current administration is attempting to dismantle our 1st Amendment rights and a portion of the population is perfectly content to stand by because they don't understand / care what's going on.
No politician should jeopardize electability for failure to genuflect before the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Again, while I'm sure you thought your imagery was hilarious, you fail to make any sort of substantial point. No one is expecting politicians to genuflect before a bishop. We (meaning faithful Catholics) want politicians to uphold the office they were elected for. We want them to hear our voice and protect our right to freedom of religion. If they fail to uphold the dignity of their office, we'll be sure to give them a good old-fashioned boot come next election.
(Question to ask your Bishop: Does he hold up an umbrella against the rain? Isn’t that just as “unnatural” as using a condom or diaphragm?)
Again, this foolish question makes no sense, but it betrays your view of sex. For Catholics, sexual relations are a renewal of wedding vows. It is the total giving of self by husband to wife (and vice versa). Exactly what sort of loving, self-giving exchange is occurring between a human being and rain?
Your Church hysterically claims that secular medical policy is “an assault against religious liberty.”
It's not a hysterical claim, but I know you're trying with increasing fervor to make others believe that's all it is. This is a proclamation of TRUTH.
You are savvy enough to realize that the real assault is by the Church against women’s rights and health care.
I see what you attempted to do there. I know you're attempting to stroke my ego and make me go "Yeah! I AM smart enough to realize the Church is really anti-women!"
Unfortunately for you, I'm actually much more intelligent and knowledgable about my faith than you are. So how about you back off with attempting to tell me what my religion stands for and you go about your business of trying to prove to yourself that there is no higher power awaiting you at death.
As Nation columnist Katha Pollitt asks: Is it an offense against Jehovah Witnesses that health care coverage will include blood transfusions? The Amish, as Pollitt points out, don’t label cars “an assault on religious liberty” and try to force everyone to drive buggies. The louder the Church cries “offense against religious liberty” the harder it works to take away women’s liberty.
Mark Shea answers this way better than I ever could, so just read this.
Obama has compromised,
No, no he didn't. In fact, he outright lied.
but the Church never budges, instead launching a vengeful modern-day Inquisition.
Yup. And I'm quite pleased that She's finally mobilizing the Church Militant in defense of Truth!
Look at its continuing directives to parish priests to use their pulpits every Sunday to lobby you against Obama’s policy, the Church’s announcement of a major anti-contraception media campaign — using your tithes, contributions and donations — to defeat Obama’s laudable health care policy.
Have you actually been to any churches on Sunday? That's an obvious "no."
The Church has introduced into Congress the “Respect for Rights of Conscience Act, ” a bill to place the conscienceless Catholic Church’s “rights of conscience” above the rights of conscience of 53 percent of Americans. That the Church has “conscience rights” to deny women their rights is a kissing cousin to the claim that “corporations are people.” The Church that hasn’t persuaded you to oppose contraception now wants to use the force of secular law to deny contraceptive rights to non-Catholics.
Wow - to be quite honest, you lost me at "conscienceless Catholic Church." Also, what is this "53 percent of Americans" you're referring to?
But is there any point in going on?
Plenty, as you've yet to give me any solid reasons to leave what I know to be the fulfillment of God's promise for salvation. We have the Sacraments, we have true, moral guidance, we have a community of good, charitable people who seek to extend their hands to help Divine Providence along. We have the Church Triumphant and the Church Penitent pulling for us, and we've got the guidance of the Holy Spirit to navigate us through your treachery.
You've got what? Pills and condoms? Moral bankruptcy? A hopeless future in which life amounts to nothing more than personal gratification and selfish ideas of how others can be utilized for your own ends?
Yeah... no thanks.
After all, your misplaced loyalty has lasted through two decades of public sex scandals involving preying priests, children you may have known as victims, and church complicity, collusion and coverup going all the way to the top.
Ah, there it is... I was waiting for this to rear its head. Yes, we've had our share of fallen leaders, same as everyone else. There really isn't much we can do to rectify all the hurt and pain we've caused, but good luck to the world in attempting to pay us back for all the good we've done. We are a sinful people, but in the end, our track record is much more golden than tarnished. Though this is an ugly scar we will bear forever (and rightly so), it doesn't diminish the humane, holy, and charitable good we've done all over the world.
Are you like the battered woman who, after being beaten down every Sunday, feels she has no place else to go?
Really? You seriously went with THIS imagery? I guess you're really trying to bring home your whole "the Church hates women" argument. Again - very sad.
But we have a more welcoming home to offer,
Like all those wonderful things I mentioned above??? Again - no thanks!
free of incense-fogged ritual,
Also free from holiness, blessings and God
free of what freethinker Bertrand Russell called “ideas uttered long ago by ignorant men,”
Apparently free from common sense and knowledge of what Catholicism actually teaches, too.
free of blind obedience to an illusory religious authority.
And to top it off, free from absolutes, tradition and reality. Again, no thanks!
Join those of us who put humanity above dogma.
You're confusing humanity for personal gratification and immaturity - a life free from responsibility, meaningful relationships, and most importantly, God. Pardon me if I don't come rushing over to sign up.
As a member of the “flock” of an avowedly antidemocratic club, isn’t it time you vote with your feet? Please, exit en Mass.
Again, I realize you think you're hilarious, but wow. It's like your puns get more cringe-worthy with each passing paragraph! I'll continue voting with my feet straight up the Communion line where I can kneel before my Lord and my God to accept Him with love and joy, content to bear Him forth to others.
Amen, dear Lord - never allow me to tear myself away from Your Heart.
Remember who our priests represent!
Some of you know from my other posts that I'm a huge fan of the Franciscan Missions. However, instead of pushing them this go-around, I'd like to draw attention to another incredible organization. I originally heard of them through a recent post on Father Z's WDTPRS and I wanted to pass it along here as well.
The organization is called Opus Bono Sacerdotii, and their mission is to "Work for the Good of the Priesthood."
They are a lay organization that seeks to provide financial, emotional, psychological and legal support to thousands of priests all over the United States. There really isn't any other organization quite like it.
As I was reading through their site, a lot of what they said really struck me. So many priests, as they get older, simply don't have the family (wife, children, grandchildren) that the rest of us rely on as we age. Also, with all the issues surrounding the nation-wide scandal, many are being unjustly turned out or taken advantage of by a system that is cruel and lop-sided. These priests... these vicars of Christ... they need our support. They provide us a vital service, and yet they are being cast aside as if uncared for, unloved, or unworthy of basic necessities.
If at all possible, please offer financial assistance to this worthy organization as a Lenten offering. If that isn't possible, please offer prayers for these priests and those who support them. This is truly a wonderful organization that I hope to get to know better!
My beloved Archdiocese of Philadelphia... what happened to you?
Have you really succumbed so gently to the false whispers of satan? Have you become pliant through his fiery caress? Have you become so blinded by the gilded treasures of worldliness, power and carnal gratification that the Beatific Vision is completely obscured from you?
God help us. We are lost if not for Your Grace.
For those of you unaware, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia - my home, my foundation, and my heart - has been reaping the fruits of a decades long abuse cover-up. We most certainly have been in the wrong for the reshuffling of priests, the silence of cardinals / bishops, the treatment of victims, etc. We have turned ourselves away from Truth and found an angry, unsettled and disordered home in the filth of sin.
Oh, what agony now befits us! Due to such negligence and willful perpetration of violence against the innocent among us, we suffer! We suffer as well we should, but dear Lord - Mercy!
We are being stripped of our priests. Sinners though they are, we haven't the vocations to fill the holes they leave behind. Sinners that we, the laity, are - we are left with no one to shepherd us via Sacraments and pastoral care.
Oh Lord, this truly is a punishment we bring upon ourselves! Catholicism in Philadelphia is on the cusp of abolition. For years we've allowed this cancer to metastasize, invading all parts of our clergy and administration. For years we've ignored the wounds of our victims - which, left untreated, became mortal and spread to others. As a result, when the blinds were opened and the public saw these festering, horrifying injuries for what they were, trust was lost, faith wavered, and hope for healing became almost laughable.
The pain to those of us who love this Archdiocese! The pain of feeling her members torn, battered and broken! The pain of helplessness as we could do nothing but watch as priest after beloved priest was targeted and accused, convicted and removed... as we saw our friends and family defect, turning away from the Church and even condemning Her due to the impossibly grotesque offenses of Her representatives! Oh the pain of listening to report after report of the ever-increasing details of the accusations... and seeing the devastating pain of our victims!
This ongoing chastisement is necessary, but dear Lord, again I cry "Mercy!" I understand and trust this unparalleled "cleansing of the Temple" is something we brought about on our own, but please guide us to safer waters!
Ugh. I am so beyond heartbroken by this entire mess, and it seems like a never-ending rabbit hole.
Another one of our priests was removed today. News came out yesterday afternoon that he was being investigated for an improper relationship and possible abuse of minors. This priest was someone who mentored me, my siblings, and many of our friends.
I have no idea if the allegations are true or not, but the fact that Archbishop Chaput reacted swiftly and harshly to his case leads me to believe there is some validity to the claims against him.
My prayers are with him, the possible victims, and the families of those he may have harmed or turned away from the Church. May they all find peace, healing, love and forgiveness.
Le sigh... I truly have such a heavy, heavy heart right now. However, even in this hailstorm of folly, I recognize the mercy we've been given in Chaput.
Thank You, Lord, for the gift of Archbishop Chaput. No doubt You put him in place to steer this mostly capsized ship to harbor. May You be his strength and wisdom. May You be his beacon. May You be the wind that straightens our mangled sails.
Just a quick tally of a few links I found particularly interesting / edifying today. Hope you enjoy! :)
Canonical info regarding Father Guarnizo and Barbara Johnson by Edward Peters, an actual Canonical lawyer.
***NEW*** Here's an awesome response from Phil Lawler to the horrible letter written to appease Johnson from the Archdiocese. Spot on. Evil has permeated our ranks. May God save us.
A great "advice" letter written by Supertradmum that was originally meant for seminarians, but can really be utilized by anyone looking to advance in holiness and charity.
A super nerdy look into the size and scope of the universe both big and small, and how we fit into it. Our God is an incredible God!
Incredible music / art video with extraordinarily powerful lyrics that young women everywhere need to hear.
Here's the video so you don't even have to go clicking anywhere! :)
Consider my heart both horrified and shattered.
We were talking about Good Friday during CCD class and one of my students raised her hand and asked if it was true that "all Jews went to hell because of what 'they' did to Jesus."
That question seriously made me feel like I was just mugged in the middle of Madison Square Garden on a Sunday afternoon.
After shaking what must've been the most stupified look ever from my face, I replied, "That's not true at all. No one can be sure of which souls are worthy of Heaven and which are punished in hell but God. Where did you hear that?"
She replied her father had told her. Another kid called out that he'd heard the same thing from his dad.
I was so beyond floored I simply don't have the words to express how distraught I was that there were parents teaching their impressionable children this horrifying prejudice!!!
So I attempted to redirect them and make it painstakingly clear that NO ONE can claim they know anyone (let alone an entire group of people) will end up in hell. NO ONE.
I gave them the example of Osama bin Laden. Of course every kid balked at first and basically said, "Surely you're out of your mind, Mrs. G. Obviously that SOB is using molten lava as mouthwash right now." However, I asked them to remember that even bin Laden was a child of God. God created him, too, with a soul and a heart just like the rest of us. I pressed them to answer if God loved bin Laden any less than the rest of us. Though they fought against admitting it, they finally relented and agreed that, yes, God "probably" loved bin Laden as much as He loved the rest of us. So with that in mind, would it be possible that God granted bin Laden a tiny moment of grace before his death in which bin Laden understood the pain he caused and sought forgiveness?
Again, this is all to prove a point to them. In their young minds, bin Laden is the most evil man ever - even worse than Hussein. So to be able to admit that even bin Laden might've somehow found his way into Purgatory forced them to admit that there's no way anyone could throw an entire group of people into the fire.
But wow. I was totally not prepared to have that one tossed my way last night. I'm seriously not even sure what I should do with the parents of these kids. Do I give them a call and say, "So hey... Dick and Jane brought up something interesting in class this week that I'd like to discuss with you" in the hopes that they realize what they say DOES have an effect?
Ugh - I don't know. I'm still truthfully a bit loopy from that. Thinking about it makes my heart hurt. It really does.
Dear Lord, these folks need to remember that Jesus, Himself, was a Jew! Those calling for His Death weren't just Jews - there were gentiles present as well! Christ died not just to save the Jews - He died to save ALL of us!
Le sigh - may God forgive us our foolishness.
Judas, too, was ordained a priest.
So the entry from yesterday was a lot more venomous than I had originally meant for it to turn out. I guess I was still a lot more angry and disgusted than I thought.
Anyway, a comment on one of the articles gave me pause. The woman wrote, "Jesus gave Communion to Judas, even knowing that he had betrayed Him, didn't He?"
He did! And He most certainly knew that Judas had already betrayed Him. In fact, as I mentioned before, Louisa Piccarretta described this scene in The 24 Hours of the Passion. As Jesus knelt before Judas to clean his feet, His Heart was torn in agony as He foresaw the end Judas would meet because of his stubborn refusal to ask forgiveness. In Judas, Christ saw all priests who would fall away from their callings. Yet still, He persisted in His blessings, He persisted in allowing Judas to partake of the Eucharist.
Soon after reading this comment, I came across one of Maria Valtorta's visions in which Jesus appears to 500 followers after His Resurrection. Sts. Peter and John are present, and Jesus teaches them the importance of obedience and perseverance. He says to them:
"And remember also that I did not refuse Myself even to Judas of Kerioth… A priest must try to save, by all possible means. And let love always prevail, among the means used to save. Consider that I was not unaware of Judas' horror… But, overcoming all disgust, I treated the wretch as I treated John [the Beloved Disciple]... One must work even then… always… until everything is accomplished."
Honestly, I have no idea how I came across that particular passage save for Divine Providence. In my own arrogance, I had also disregarded Church teaching by reacting with such anger towards Johnson. I think Christ wanted to remind me that I needed a bit more humility and a lot more charity if I wanted to fancy myself a follower of His.
Well played, Good Sir, well played.
So while I'm still disgusted by Barbara Johnson's actions (those actions being her willful attempt to commit a sacrilege and her subsequent lambasting of Father Guarnizo), I no longer wish that she and her hoard of supporters drop off the Catholic radar. Instead of praying for an early bout of Spring Cleaning that sees them all ostracized or relegated to protestant denominations, I should be praying that the Holy Spirit alights in their hearts so that they can see the error of their ways and return to the faithful, Catholic fold.
After all, in the same vision, Jesus stated to the crowd:
And those that for any reason should separate from the Mother Church, would be members cut off, no longer nourished with the mystic blood that is Grace coming from Me, the divine Head of the Church. Like prodigal sons, separated through their own will from the paternal house, in their short-lived wealth and constant and graver and graver misery, they would be blunting their spiritual intellects by means of too heavy foods and wines, and then they would languish eating the bitter acorns of unclean animals until they returned to the paternal house, saying with contrite hearts: "We have sinned. Father, forgive us and open the doors of your abode to us". Then, whether it is a member of a separated Church, or an entire Church - oh! if it were so, but where, when will so many imitators of Me arise, capable of redeeming these entire separated Churches, at the cost of their lives, to make, to remake only one Fold under only one shepherd, as I ardently wish? - then whether it is only one person or an assembly that comes back, open the doors to them.
And may they all feel the Light of the Spirit. May their minds be opened to His Wisdom, and may their egos be enveloped by His Glory. May mine, too.
However, let not this testimony give anyone the opinion that I will no longer strike out against such folly in the future. I still stand behind my opinion that this woman should be barred from the Eucharist until she reconciles herself to the Church through means of a true confession. I still stand behind my opinion that the priest did exactly what he should have done in preventing the sacrilege to occur. I also stand by my opinion that the superiors who shot out an apology should be ashamed of throwing their brother under the bus when he was only acting in the way our Church teaches he must (in protecting the Eucharist from sacrilege and by refusing to allow the public to be led astray by erroneous pastoral example).
May this brave and blessed priest ever feel the smile of Our Lady upon him, and may his superiors learn the error of their ways, seek forgiveness, and move forward with greater faith and solidarity.
Okay - the premise of this article is as follows:
Parents should be allowed to have their newborn babies killed because they are “morally irrelevant” and ending their lives is no different to abortion, a group of medical ethicists linked to Oxford University has argued.
Pay close attention to the shifting of vocabulary. We're not calling it infanticide or murder. Instead, because those words carry severely negative connotations, they call it "after-birth abortion."
Why? Well because the word "abortion" has the connotation of CHOICE! It's got the connotation of women's liberation and sexual freedom!
Is there no hope for the world my son is now forced to grow up in?
If we are capable of this, this, or this, we're simply opening the door to allow even worse things to become commonplace (and LEGAL).
For the sake of His Sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world...
Mother of Sorrows, Pray for Us
***Disclaimer - this entry has the capacity to offend / upset sensible Catholics due to outside content.***
I found the following link through Father Z's WDTPRS page. The link will take you to the Huffington Post for a supposedly "tongue-in-cheek" piece by Larry Doyle (of Simpsons / Beavis and Butt-Head fame).
However, when I followed Fr. Z's link to the article in question, I was floored by the absolute disgust he wrote of Catholicism. I saw nothing "humorous" in his prejudiced, anti-Catholic tirade.
This has nothing to do with me "taking this personally" or "reading too much into it." I'm all for poking fun at stuff, and I've heard (and dished) my fair share of Catholic jokes. This, however, has a tone that is completely inappropriate, hostile and indecent.
Just offer up a prayer for Doyle, the fools laughing at this garbage, and those Catholics who commented bad dogma in a weak attempt to defend the faith. Oh, God... help us. We are in such need of guidance and wisdom!
How folks remain blind to anti-Catholic sentiment is beyond me. If this sort of banter had been leveled against any other group, the media would be all over decrying it (regardless of the false "satire" tag it gave itself to hide behind).
Deplorable. Yet we were warned, and for our part, we must take up the Cross of our Chastisement and move forward. Pray for these people. They truly are in need of the Holy Spirit.
"In short, not only does the Administration not comprehend Catholic moral reasoning and the full-meaning of the principle of religious liberty, it does not even understand the basic economics of health-care insurance. "
Click HERE to read the rousing statement the Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist issued regarding Obama's lack of compromise on the HHS Mandate. It hurts so good!
If I hadn't been called to a marriage vocation - I'd've been one of those fresh-faced college kids joining their ranks. These aren't your typical sisters - they're NUNS!
And while you're at it, bask in the united front of US Bishops who have (finally) unanimously denounced this mandate. Don't look now - it seems like we're beginning to act like the Church Militant!
In the brilliant words of my newest favorite blogger (from whom I stole this picture and subsequent statement):
When any creature that normally takes half a century to form a complete statement starts a united effort to destroy your plans, think twice about your own brilliance.
I'm about 90% sure the above quote is a variation on commentary regarding the Ents of LOTR finally joining in the war against Saruman. Regardless, it works!
Religious Freedoms are in the Lions' Den right about now...
Gay marriage - this is one of those topics that John and I strongly differ on. There was a time in which I saw no reason for anyone to say "No, homosexuals, you can't get married." However, in coming to terms with what that actually spells out for religious freedom - I have a huge bone of contention now with "Gay marriage."
Upon solidifying my stance that homosexual marriage is morally wrong, I came to the concession that homosexuals could "marry" all they want so long as those who understood homosexual marriage to be morally deficient wouldn't be forced to be a party to it.
Well, apparently that's not good enough for folks in power as they're attempting to yet again stifle religious freedoms in the sake of "equality."
Can I go ahead and wave the BS flag wildly?
Much like in Australia, Washington State (in the US) just signed off on a marriage bill that would require Churches (or Synagogues, or Mosques, etc) to offer their buildings / services to homosexuals or face fines for being discriminatory.
Um, excuse me? I can be fined because I practice my religious beliefs in not participating in the sham of homosexual marriage? And that's EQUALITY?
Again - I don't care if homosexuals want to get married in churches that welcome their belief systems. I don't care if they want to get married in the middle of a McDonald's, jumping out of a plane, or in the middle of a park at dusk. More power to them. They're not infringing on my rights, and they're not forcing me to be a party to what I consider to be not only a farce, but a morally degrading and socially crippling sin.
So again - this has NOTHING to do with homosexuals getting "married." It has EVERYTHING to do with having my rights ignored and my very faith threatened. This is a religious rights issue, not an equality issue.
The government is attempting to force me, through threat of financial punishment, to open my doors / services to homosexuals. If the homosexual lobby wants to get even more asnine than they currently are, they could easily stir up bogus claims against a few churches in any given area, successfully crippling them due to fines / fees / etc.
That would effectively shut down still more Churches / Synagogues, etc. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see how dangerous this move is.
Once again - homosexuals can get married all they want under law. I don't really care. What I DO care about is seeing any religious institution being forced to go against their beliefs just so these homosexuals can feel vindicated in their chosen lifestyle.
But yeah - let's keep sticking with the tired "We demand equality" shtick. Let's keep ignoring the fact that this has absolutely nothing to do with equality so much as 1st Amendment freedoms.
Again - for shame...
Karen Handel resigned today from the Komen Foundation. She didn't take the severance, either, which means that upcoming meeting with journalists could get HIGHLY entertaining.
I didn't take part in the Pro-Komen hype of this past week because, though they briefly altered their association with Planned Parenthood, they still act like complete jerks when it comes to others who are attempting to raise money to fight against cancer.
Unsurprisingly, after generating a massive flood of donations from grateful Pro-Lifers who rewarded them for cutting ties with Planned Parenthood, they changed their tune and went right back to their old ways. Bah. Pathetic.
Anyway, I'm interested to see where this press-conference goes later on today.
I feel like the crazy lady to your right. I want to scream and yell and stamp my feet in utter frustration. Argh.
The next person who attempts to blame what's going on to schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia on the abuse scandal might find themselves on the opposite end of the "Charitable Catholic" patience spectrum I've been working so hard at perfecting.
I realize that for most folks the HHS mandate is the big news right now (as well it should be). For those of us in Philadelphia, though, the massive closings / layoffs / restructuring still takes the cake... especially as deadlines are right around the corner and every day brings new preparations for the shuffling of students from one school to the next to "acquaint" them with what is to come.
Anyway, since this is still the topic of conversation for many in the area, I was bombarded with it after Mass. Then when I got home, I saw it rear its ugly head on Facebook, too. I really should've just allowed it to roll on by, but something snapped in me and I went off the deep end.
I am SO tired of folks attempting to blame the closings on abuse litigation. I mean, are you absolutely out of your mind? As someone who has worked within the Catholic school system, as someone who was taught by the Catholic school system, and as someone who still has many, MANY family and friends still within this system's gears, I know the nitty gritty of Philadelphia's Catholic education... and let me tell you something - it ain't pretty.
I remember a few years ago substituting for both third and seventh grade. They were still using the SAME TEXTBOOKS I used when I was a kid. I graduated elementary school in 1997. How shameful is that?
Desks were mostly broken and had more graffiti than I care to admit. Though mostly clean, bathrooms always had at least one broken toilet and several broken stall-doors. Parts of the floor / wall were chipped, and the ceiling? Oh Lord, let's not even get me started on the ceiling. Even the outside of the school was littered with glass, drug paraphernalia, trash and weeds.
And teachers - oh, our Catholic school teachers. First of all, they simply don't get paid enough. They don't. As a result, they come fresh outta college with their fancy degrees with no experience. Once they do a stint of 1-3 years at our schools to gain their experience, they ship themselves off to public schools where they'll find a decent wage. We, again, have to settle for fresh-faced college kinds instead of finding and keeping truly gifted teachers.
Our education suffers, and enrollment slips.
Then you've got the all-around lack-luster faith we present our families. Catholicism in our communities is a dying art. Folks are only Catholic on Sundays... and barely even then. As a result, our enrollment dwindles even further.
Toss in a complete misappropriation of funds, a failure to collect tuition, and an administration that is so scared of expelling problem students because they'd lose "tuition" causes the cycle to swallow itself yet again.
Not a one of these things has to do with abuse allegations. We should've been shuttering half these schools years ago, but our previous Archbishops were simply unwilling to do what would have been a highly unpopular (though painfully necessary) thing. If they'd've closed some of these floundering schools a decade or two ago, it would have stymied this almost unbearable desecration of Catholic education we currently face.
But sure - let's keep on blaming the abuse litigation. Let's keep crying "They're closing our schools so they can pay the victims!" That nonsense only serves to blow smoke in the face of the REAL issues. I sincerely pray that those in charge don't have the same asnine view on this as these folks do. We need good, strong, intelligent people who can sift through the problems so they can find REAL solutions.
Ugh - seriously... I have a headache. This level of stupidity absolutely astounds me.
Click the pic for the link to FB
So I came across this on my Facebook page through several Catholic friends of mine. The newsfeed was buzzing with this picture, so I followed a link to the page that originated it.
Considering that I, too, am appalled by this ridiculous mandate, I willingly reposted my support of the opposition to my page.
In the past, I've used Facebook as a means to inform folks about everything from politics and social issues to zombie make-up and adorable kittens. As my husband became increasingly embarrassed by my outspoken tirades (usually of the political / religious variety), I had agreed to abdicate my "soapbox" (his words, not mine) in order to make him feel less embarrassed by his outspoken and passionate wife.
However, with the advent of this threat against the faith that I hold dear, I reasserted my rightful place as Newsfeed Nancy, willfully blasting my opinion to anyone who would hear me. A few friends commented, a few more messaged me, and one actually left a nasty note on my wall that I had to delete (my mother, nephew or young cousins could've seen it - eeps!).
Anyway, the prevailing consensus with these comments (both in the thread and the messages sent to my inbox) was that this wasn't a big deal and the government wasn't actually trying to force anything on anyone. Catholics could simply "not take advantage" of birth control and all would be well.
It would force the Church to pay for the option... it's akin to forcing us to buy a gun for someone we know aims to kill a child. After all, the Church doesn't only hire practicing Catholics.
Besides, this is about forcing us to participate in something that goes against everything we teach. This isn't as simple as just "preaching against" birth control or suggesting folks not "take advantage."
We'd still be footing the bill for abortions (abortifacients). That is against the Catholic faith, and to be forced by a government into abiding by such a thing is against the 1st Amendment.
Much as in other countries, it would force Catholic institutions to shutter as opposed to stoop so low as to adhere to this grave offense.
My belief is that is part of our government's intent, anyway. They were successful with Catholic adoption agencies that refused to cater to homosexuals, in Germany with the entire Church for refusing to marry homosexuals, and now they're attempting it here through subversive laws that aim to cripple our institution in the eyes of everyone else who doesn't seem to think there's anything even remotely wrong with their actions.
_"It's not a big deal" they say. "It's just birth control" they say. Yeah, and already look at the wide-reaching consequences of this being "not a big deal." And if they're willing to start with an issue "so small" that reaches its tentacles out so far, what next? I shudder to think of the rights they are eying to siphon from us next...
And again, by "us" I don't simply mean Catholics. I mean anyone with the intelligence and decency to realize we're being quietly bent over a barrel to feel the steel end of someone's rifle up our behinds...
And again, the Catholic Church doesn't only cater to Catholics - they serve non-Catholics, too... and as the Catholic institutions shutter as they refuse to be a party to this nonsense, there are going to be a ton of people who lose their jobs and even more people who go without healthcare / education / work that they would otherwise have access to.
If Obama had stuck by his promise to allow religious institutions a pass on paying for this stuff, I wouldn't be opening my mouth against him. But since he went back on his word, and is now opening the door to all sorts of persecution against us for simply living our faith and not expecting to pay for things that go directly against it... he should be absolutely ashamed of himself. This goes against the 1st Amendment... DIRECTLY. Shameful.
Well, at least they're showing just how asnine they really are. I love how they label those of us who disagree with their agenda "anti-women's health groups." What a load of BS there. Pregnancy isn't an illness, though it's interesting to note that most BC actually causes illness... including the Pill.
But hey - admitting that would defeat their entire thrust to make money off the uneducated (or willfully ignorant).
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