Religion: July 2004 Archives

politics and me

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I really do try to be apolitical on this blog, mostly because there are others out there who do a much better job than I possibly can. There are a lot of political bloggers out there, Catholic and otherwise. My degrees aren't in political science, history, or any of the other stuff out there that relates to public policy. My degrees are in Nursing, Literature, and Midwifery. Along the way I came close to a degree in French and I took exams equivalent to 21 units of Health Insurance law and policy. (It's a long story of a job I did for 4 years).
I frankly have many other things to mull over and hopefully to blog about. I am heartsick about the direction that the political action this year. I have stopped reading a few blogs just because I can't handle the degree of uncharity and stridor.
However, I did just get around to reading Kelly Clark's July 19th posting on the so-called "Communion Controversy" and I can highly recommend it. It says a lot of what I would have said had I chosen to address the topic.
On a sort of related note - my dh and I high-tailed it out of town just as the DNC was getting into full fury - a decision for vacation time that I think was more than just a little Providential. It is a good time to be nowhere near New England.
(side comment - DNC is how some laypeople write D&C, the abbreviation for Dilitation and Curretage, a surgical procedure for emptying the uterus which is employed for many reasons, including abortion. everytime I hear a radio person commenting on the DNC I get a flash of the image of a D&C).

(full text here)

Recent years have seen new approaches to women's issues. A first tendency is to emphasize strongly conditions of subordination in order to give rise to antagonism: women, in order to be themselves, must make themselves the adversaries of men. Faced with the abuse of power, the answer for women is to seek power. This process leads to opposition between men and women, in which the identity and role of one are emphasized to the disadvantage of the other, leading to harmful confusion regarding the human person, which has its most immediate and lethal effects in the structure of the family.

A second tendency emerges in the wake of the first. In order to avoid the domination of one sex or the other, their differences tend to be denied, viewed as mere effects of historical and cultural conditioning. In this perspective, physical difference, termed sex, is minimized, while the purely cultural element, termed gender, is emphasized to the maximum and held to be primary. The obscuring of the difference or duality of the sexes has enormous consequences on a variety of levels. This theory of the human person, intended to promote prospects for equality of women through liberation from biological determinism, has in reality inspired ideologies which, for example, call into question the family, in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and make homosexuality and
and heterosexuality virtually equivalent, in a new model of polymorphous sexuality.


One thing that constantly amazed me, through the years, has been the inconsistent use of the idea of 'biology as destiny'. Modern 'feminists' (who I actually see not as feminist but as masculinists, as their approach has been to masculinaize women in the name of 'equality') have loudly proclaimed, "Biology is NOT destiny" and that the gift of fertility need not interfere with 'self-actualization'. Yet the modern apologists for homosexual behavior are equally fervent that their attraction to members of the same sex, being 'biologically programmed', in indeed their destiny and one that no thinking person may deny.

reprinted via ktc

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over at Revolution of Love

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Anti-Catholic American Girls
My daughters had a few of the American Girls dolls and books, but not many, mostly because of the cost. I also became concerned after the first few years that the series seemed to be developing an agenda that was borderline on politically correct.
However, this one takes the cake!

A cause for our times?

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Martyred for the sanctity of marriage? Kevin Miller (over at HMS) suggests asking these men to intercede for the situation in our country.

Catholic Nerd Day

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We are in week 3 of the empty nest (dd is still in France) and we decided to drive to the Divine Mercy Shrine, about a 3 hour drive from home. We got there just in time for the trifecta - Mass, Benediction, and Devotions. Since there was a Spanish speaking tour group there, we said part of the Chaplet in Spanish. We then visited the gift shop, went to confession, toured a small part of the site, visited the gift shop again and filled a couple of bottles with holy water. It was a wonderful way to spend the day - and the drive gave us an opportunity to talk about all kinds of stuff.
While we were in the gift shop I got into a conversation with a lovely young woman - we got to talking about books and marriage and being Catholic. She is contemplating marriage to a young man but is concerned about the fact that he is not Catholic. Please pray for her and for him.
I am so pleased that this shrine is reasonably close by. There are some others locally that we would like to visit on day trips. In California, I would often go visit one of the mission churches to pray (we lived only a couple miles from Mission San Fernando) but in Oregon, and here in New Hampshire, it has been more difficult to do that kind of mini-pilgrimage. Still, it restores the spirit much more than any trip to an amusement park could.

Why the Pagans are Correct .

When we encounter a society that equates sex with fast food, that treats women as objects, we have stumbled upon an essentially atheistic (male) error. Women might embrace this way of thinking, of course, but men are much more likely to. Women, by and large, understand that atheismís response to sex cannot be true. Because women embrace the relational, they know instinctively that sex is holy, that women are to be treated as goddesses for they are made in the image and likeness of God.

Dan Brown has been a thorn in my side for a while. Since I now live in his home state of New Hampshire, it is impossible to avoid the adulation that most locals give him. I have learned to shut up when asked my opinion of his books.

Either Or? no, Both And

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How are we saved? How are we brought into the Kingdom? It is a most wondrous mystery, the Mysterium Fidei of God's mercy towards us.
"For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven." (Matthew 5:20)
and again:"Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God"(John 3:5).
For we are born sinful, tainted from the sin of our first parents, besmirched by the disobedience and pride of Adam and Eve. In Ephesians 2:8-9, we are told " For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not from you: it is the gift of God; it is not from works, so no one may boast." And yet we are also told (2 Corinthians 5:10) - "we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive good or evil, according to what he has done in the body. " And let us not forget Matthew 25: 31-46, where Jesus speaks about how we will be judged on how we treat one another. We have been given the gift of salvation, but we can cherish it and live accordingly - or we can choose to cast it away, trample it in the mud, and squander this precious gift. Are we saved through faith, works, or grace? I think that salvation involves all of these. God does not present us with an eithor/or, but rather a both/and.
And let us not forget the warning Jesus gave us about the sin of presumption:
"Not every one who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 7:21).
I pray that God will show me mercy above justice, as I know too well my sins and failings. I can not earn my way into Heaven, but I can pave the way to Hell. Lord, who bought my salvation with your blood, help me to live in your will and to accept and act upon that great gift.

Worried about New Age issues?

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Oh beautiful for spacious skies

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Father closed the homily yesterday by quoting the second verse of "America the beautiful"

O beautiful for heroes proved in liberating strife,
Who more than self their country loved, and mercy more than life!
America! America! God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control, thy liberty in law.

He started by discussing the Gospel reading (Luke 10:1 - 20) - Jesus sending out the 70 disciples, 2 by 2. They were to carry nothing with them, not even shoes. Faith for the journey would be their only luggage, faith and the name of Jesus. Father then talked about those who came to North America to bring the Gospel and to try to live a life of faith. How we were once a beacon of hope, and have now become so much a target of scorn. How we need to pray, and act, and pray, and live such that our ultimate destination is heaven.
I was struck by the words of the song, "Confirm thy soul in self-control". So much of our current woes have come from the lack of self-control. I was talking with the nurses at the hospital the other day, and we were discussing how different expectant moms are now than they were 20 years ago. Then, many moms were willing to bear pain to protect their babies from drugs, and it was sometimes difficult to help them through labor. Now, most come in wanting and expecting a painless childbirth, and even for the easiest of labors they want all the drugs available. One nurse pointed out that on TV, the ads for painkillers talk about not wanting to wait even 10 minutes for the drug to take effect. Made me really think, too.
The problem of pain and suffering is one that has plagued believers. We Catholics have an explanation of the salvific value of suffering that has helped me personally. But I can see that for so many other people, pain and suffering are useless burdens that could and should be relieved no matter the cost (and I am not talking just money here). It is not that big of a step from saying that all pain needs to be eradicated to saying that we have a right to physical (and other) pleasure all the time, anytime.
Don't get me wrong here, I am not saying that it is wrong or evil to use painkillers or to relieve suffering (physical, mental, or emotional). But I am saying that this comes at a cost, and that sometimes the cost is higher than the pain that is relieved. And even more, I think our culture of perfection is what has led to the culture of death, because in death all pain is relieved (or so they say).
I just had 2 post-abortive women tell me that they don't feel guilty about their abortions (though they grieve for themselves that they won't be mother to that child) because by aborting the child they saved the child from pain. And the euthanasia advocates, well they are also about saving people from pain. "confirm thy soul in self-control" - is this not a recipe for preventing pain? in some ways? self-control in not seeking out the short term pleasures that contribute to the long-term pain?
Another seeming paradox - (confirm) "thy liberty in law". How much does our culture say that true liberty is freedom to act according to ones' own desires, free from such artificial constraints as 'law'? How often have we denied that there are universal moral laws, that there is a natural law that is written on our hearts? A false understanding of liberty is so akin to a false understanding of conscience - and both of these false understandings so permeate our culture that I am unsure if their effects can be reversed.

Chuck Colson weighs in

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Something we agree on
The Liberal Case Against Gay Marriage
Links via Envoy Encore
After you read the articles, go over to Envoy and read the comments.

Stockholm (ENI). A Swedish court has sentenced a pastor belonging to the Pentecostal movement in Sweden, Ake Green, to a month in prison, under a law against incitement, after he was found guilty of having offended homosexuals in a sermon.
(Via Thomas)

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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Religion category from July 2004.

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