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The rise of the anti-abortion feminist

May 19, 2012

Lila Rose the pro-life advocate writes in Politico an article on the anti-abortion feminist. You may be asking, does one exist? Indeed, Rose affirms that a true feminist speaks out for the unborn and protects all life from conception to natural death:

In the ongoing debate over women’s health care, one voice has been mostly absent: that of the anti-abortion feminist.

Most cultural conservatives have correctly focused their attention on the constitutional issues at stake, in particular the threat to religious liberty posed by the Obama administration’s mandate that religious employers underwrite their employees’ abortion-inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization procedures.

Many liberal women, meanwhile, have eagerly embraced the role of victim, advancing the idea that women are casualties of a “war on women.” Women are now, as various cultural liberals have put it, “facing sexual McCarthyism” from “conservative cavemen” who want to return to the “Dark Ages.”

But women are not a monolith. And there is a growing group of passionate young women who are transforming what it means to be a woman. Allow me to introduce them to you. We are women who reject both the anti-male feminism of the 1960s and the “girls gone wild” mentality that’s pervasive today.

We are women for whom the idea of artificial birth control as “preventive care” is deeply insulting.

We are women who view the intentional killing of children not as a constitutional right, a matter of privacy or a necessary evil but, rather, as profoundly anti-woman and the antithesis of love.

Read the rest here. What we are witnessing is the rise of intelligent and courageous women in the 21st century, no longer content on being the victim of political and social persuasions. They are defending the lives of future generations.

Our Mother of Perpetual Help, pray for us!

Holding on to the beauty of marriage

May 9, 2012

photo: The marriage of Joseph and Mary by Walwyn

North Carolina yesterday passed a state constitution amendment that prohibits same sex marriage. Is it a surprise that 61% bipartisan voted to keep the definition of marriage between that of a man and a woman?

One is bombarded by the media, Hollywood glitterati, academics with a leftist bent, homosexuals (their stories I empathize with), that same sex marriage is freedom and progress [insert your choice of noun describing utopia where are all is milk and honey and everyone pays no taxes]. Their demand is usually accompanied with polls reflecting the American people now–more than ever–are for same sex marriage.

However, every time the American people head to the voting booths the results show otherwise. And yet advocates for same sex marriage keep pulling out the worn out polls; statistics; studies; and personal anecdotes from their pocket to prove objective reality wrong. A sad sight to behold because you know they are hurting but their hearts are hardened away from listening to the eternal truth, the Logos, that actually sets one free. And so I shed a tear of joy and thanksgiving that human beings still hold on to Beauty, with her sisters Truth and Goodness, in the sacredness of marriage.

As the debate continues, reason with faith, channeling into hope, will triumph over mere theatrics of same sex marriage proponents. As Pope Benedict XVI points out in his encyclical Spe Salvi:

“[I]ndeed, reason is God’s great gift to man, and the victory of reason over unreason is also a goal of the Christian life. But when does reason truly triumph? When it is detached from God? When it has become blind to God? Is the reason behind action and capacity for action the whole of reason? If progress, in order to be progress, needs moral growth on the part of humanity, then the reason behind action and capacity for action is likewise urgently in need of integration through reason’s openness to the saving forces of faith, to the differentiation between good and evil. Only thus does reason become truly human. It becomes human only if it is capable of directing the will along the right path, and it is capable of this only if it looks beyond itself. Otherwise, man’s situation, in view of the imbalance between his material capacity and the lack of judgement in his heart, becomes a threat for him and for creation. Thus where freedom is concerned, we must remember that human freedom always requires a convergence of various freedoms. Yet this convergence cannot succeed unless it is determined by a common intrinsic criterion of measurement, which is the foundation and goal of our freedom. Let us put it very simply: man needs God, otherwise he remains without hope. Given the developments of the modern age, the quotation from Saint Paul with which I began (Eph 2:12) proves to be thoroughly realistic and plainly true. There is no doubt, therefore, that a “Kingdom of God” accomplished without God—a kingdom therefore of man alone—inevitably ends up as the “perverse end” of all things as described by Kant: we have seen it, and we see it over and over again. Yet neither is there any doubt that God truly enters into human affairs only when, rather than being present merely in our thinking, he himself comes towards us and speaks to us. Reason therefore needs faith if it is to be completely itself: reason and faith need one another in order to fulfil their true nature and their mission.” (paragraph 23)

“For the greatest poverty is the lack of love.”

May 7, 2012
Cambodia

photo: One Dollar, Sir! by Trey Ratcliff

Pope Benedict XVI gave an address to non-resident Ambassadors to the Holy See. He points toward the increase of globalization, new media, the lure of fashionable ideas that lead to destruction, the need for man to have God not only as a friend but to help with his moral compass, the reiteration of families (with strong marriages between that of a man and a woman being open to life) as a key building block of society, and the solidarity we should all have with those in poverty and in ill economic conditions. Even the Occupy Wall Street movement can find a sympathizing ear as the pope brings attention to the problem of materialism and consumerism. Here is an excerpt:

“The development of mass communications has made our planet, somehow, smaller. The ability to know almost immediately the events taking place worldwide, just as the needs of peoples and individuals, is an urgent call to be close to them in their joys and in their difficulties. The reality of the great suffering caused worldwide by poverty and misery, both material and spiritual, invites a new mobilization to respond, in justice and solidarity, to all that threatens human society and its environment”.

“Urban migration, armed conflict, famine and pandemics, which affect so many people, dramatically develop poverty which today has taken on new forms. The global economic crisis has brought more and more families to an increasingly precarious situation. While the creation and multiplication of needs led people to believe in the possibility of unlimited enjoyment and consumption, once the necessary means to satisfy these needs were lacking, feelings of frustration emerged. Loneliness due to exclusion increased. And when poverty coexists with the very rich, a perception of unfairness is born that can become a source of rebellion. It is therefore appropriate that States ensure that the social laws do not increase inequalities and enable people to live decently”.

“For this, consideration must be given to helping people overcome this shortfall, by rendering them actors in their society, enabling them to take charge of their own future, helping them to occupy a place within society according to their abilities. Because “man is more precious for what he is than for what he has” (CONC. VAT. II, Gaudium et spes, 35). Development for which every nation aspires each should concern the integral person, not economic growth alone. This belief must become an effective will for action. Experiments such as microcredit, and initiatives to create equitable partnerships, show that it is possible to harmonize economic goals with social needs, democratic governance and respect for nature. It is also good, for example […] to promote manual labour and to promote an agriculture that is first of all at the service of the inhabitants”. “The quality of human relationships and resource sharing are the foundation of society, allowing each to have his or her place and live with dignity in accordance with their aspirations”.

“For strengthening the human foundation of the socio-political reality, we must be attentive to another kind of poverty: that of the loss reference to spiritual values, to God. This vacuum makes discernment between good and evil as well as the overcoming of personal interests for the common good, more difficult. It makes it easier to adhere to ideals currently in fashion and avoid the necessary effort of reflection and criticism. And many young people in search of an ideal, turn to artificial paradises which destroy them. Addiction, consumerism and materialism, do not fill the heart of man made for infinity. For the greatest poverty is the lack of love. In distress, compassion and selfless listening are a great comfort. Even without great material resources, it is possible to be happy. Living simply in harmony with what we believe, should remain a possibility, and become ever more possible. I encourage all efforts undertaken, particularly in favour of families. Moreover, education must awaken to the spiritual dimension as “the human being develops when he grows in the spirit” (Caritas in veritate, 76). Such education helps build and strengthen more authentic bonds because it opens up to a more fraternal society which it helps to build”.

“States have the duty to promote their cultural and religious heritage which contributes to the development of a nation, and to facilitate access to all, for in familiarising oneself with history, each individual is brought to discover the roots of his or her own existence. Religion permits us to recognize in the other a brother in humanity. Allowing all the opportunity to know God, and in full freedom, means helping to forge a strong interior personality which enables him to witness to good and accomplish good even if it comes at a cost. “Openness to God makes us open towards our brothers and sisters and towards an understanding of life as a joyful task to be accomplished in a spirit of solidarity” (Caritas in veritate, 78). In this way we can build a society where experiences of sobriety and fellowship will help reduce poverty, and take precedence over the indifference and selfishness of profit and waste, and above all over exclusion”.

Pope Benedict packs a lot of issues in five paragraphs that encompasses modern day man. It leaves one to further contemplation. There is a poverty of thought, solidarity, spiritual growth, but “the greatest poverty is the lack of love”. Isn’t that the problem–the lack of authentic love, agape–that infests our society, relationships with one another, our homes and families?

Dan Savage the Sophist

May 1, 2012
Bullying

photo: Bully by Thomas Ricker

Dan Savage recently spoke to a group of high school students in the JEA/NSPA High School Journalism Convention. He cited different passages in the Bible to persuade the audience to agree that homosexuality is normal and to denounce the Bible as holding any absolute truth. Savage used colorful expletives in a passive aggressive manner with a hint of anger around the edges. (As a concerned healthcare professional in training, I have to earnestly ask: when was the last time he checked his blood pressure? Hypertension kills if left untreated.)

One can only watch and listen to a person speak in a vacuum for so long. Numerous students vacated the auditorium as Savage devolved into a fit; remember in 2011, when the United States and other delegations in the U.N. also walked out as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denounced America—basically Western civilization.

Later on, Dan Savage called the self-aware students who left “pansy assed”. Touching. This is the bullied now as the bully.

I tweeted Savage’s diatribe as “hate speech; bigotry; and uncivilized.” A Twitterer replied:

“explain how correctly citing the Bible, and noting that ppl ignore other passages is hate speech? some of the words of the BIBLE qualify as HATE SPEECH. that is not bigotry… that is ridiculous to call it such.”

Please watch and listen to Jimmy Atkins, as he intelligently brings the cohesiveness of sacred scripture,  in reply to Savage’s sophomoric  understanding:

At best, Dan Savage is a sophist that even high school students know isn’t very good at commanding attention. How much weight does his words carry compared to Jesus Christ who is “the way, and the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). For Christians and especially those with same sex attractions, remember Matthew 5:11-12 when Jesus Christ says:

Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you [falsely] because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Stay strong and keep the faith.

Further Reading:

LGBT: An Open-Minded Movement? by Ben Stevens at First Things

We no longer dare to believe in beauty…

April 28, 2012
Blessed Sacrament

photo: Enlightened by Lawrence OP

“We no longer dare to believe in beauty and we make of it a mere appearance in order the more easily to dispose of it. Our situation today shows that beauty demands for itself at least as much courage and decision as do truth and goodness, and she will not allow herself to be separated and banned from her two sisters without taking them along with herself in an act of mysterious vengeance. We can be sure that whoever sneers at her name as if she were the ornament of a bourgeois past — whether he admits it or not — can no longer pray and soon will no longer be able to love.”

– Hans Urs von Balthasar, The Glory of the Lord: A Theological Aesthetics, Volume 1

Many books are read but some books are lived

February 26, 2012

Many books are read but some books are lived, so that words and ideas lose their ethereality and become experiences, turning points in an insufficiently clarified existence, and thereby acquire the almost mystical (but also fallible) intimacy of memory. In this sense one’s books are one’s biography. This subjective urgency bears no relation to the quality of the book: lives have been changed by kitsch, too. What matters is that one’s pores be opened, and that the opening be true. “What is the Ninth Symphony,” Karl Kraus declared, “compared to a pop tune played by a hurdy-gurdy and a memory!”

-Leon Wieseltier, Voluminous

From the depths

October 31, 2011
[Song of Ascents] From the depths I call to you, Yahweh:
Lord, hear my cry. Listen attentively to the sound of my pleading!
If you kept a record of our sins, Lord, who could stand their ground?
But with you is forgiveness, that you may be revered.
I rely, my whole being relies, Yahweh, on your promise.
My whole being hopes in the Lord, more than watchmen for daybreak; more than watchmen for daybreak

Psalms 130:1-6