“The wife has been on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks. They are up now but for some strange reason, she will not talk to me.”
Archive for November, 2008
“The wife has been on my case to get the Christmas lights up for a couple of weeks. They are up now but for some strange reason, she will not talk to me.”
Paycheck in Freedom, Pro-Life Activism
University of Calgary officials have backed away from a stance that would have seen anti-abortion protesters physically removed, arrested and fined for demonstrating on university property. “This action would elevate the risk of confrontation and give the organization the publicity it is seeking,” the university said yesterday in a prepared statement about the Campus Pro-Life Group and its display of graphic anti-abortion materials. Six protesters and a number of supporters displayed their graphic billboards on campus yesterday that equate abortion to the Holocaust. The university asked the Calgary Police Service “to issue the appropriate summonses to the individuals ignoring the notice of trespass or to take other appropriate steps.” Campus Pro-Life spokeswoman Leah Hallman figured thousands of people, including students, saw the displays yesterday. “I have a lot of people tell me that they disagree with me on the issue of abortion but they support my right to be here,” said Hallman. “I’ve heard people yell, ‘You have no right to be here.’” A group of pro-choice students staged a counter-protest, which Hallman said was welcomed by her group. University security guards told protesting anti-abortionists to turn the signs around, and warned that if the signs were not turned around, security will ask the group to leave. If they were refused, they were told they would be charged with trespassing. Neither threat, however, was carried out by the university. The protesters are slated to be back today at the same location. (Source)
Paycheck in Pro-Life Activism
Sent by E-Mail
November 28, 2008
Dear Mr. Weingarten,
I read a news report of the decision by the University of Calgary to attempt to stifle free speech on the university’s grounds. I’m not sure how you would be able to explain fining or even arresting your own university students for exercising what is guaranteed to them under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I’m sure it will make for amusing news and publicity, although I do not believe it would be a positive impression for Canadians to regard your university as an institution which is at the forefront – not of free and rigorous debate – but of jackboot censorship.
Have you no shame in your university’s conduct? Is your administration’s position on the issue of abortion so weak, so absurd, so lame that you must resort to the tactics employed by a fascist state rather than a western university?
Amazing short drama film which links up some nasty and embarrassing eras in human history with our current abomination of abortion.
First rate flick. Click here to see it.
Sadly, as we discovered during the 40 Days for Life that ended earlier this month, unlike in this movie, the guy doesn’t run upstairs to save his partner or his unborn child….but maybe things are changing and men will learn to be men again….
November 26, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The RED One has been described as the “Lamborghini” of digital film cameras; shooting in 4k resolution with a dynamic range close to that of traditional cameras, the RED prices at about $25,000, with all the necessary gadgets. And so, when a rented RED One was dropped on the second day of shooting the powerful pro-life short-film “Volition,” 22-year-old director Tim Morgan, and his younger brother and collaborator, Matthew, thought the game was up.
“At that point we thought we had to throw in the towel, because there was no way we could continue filming that day,” Tim Morgan told LifeSiteNews in a recent interview. And with only three days to shoot scenes in three different locations depicting three different historical periods, the film was already on a tight, if not impossible, schedule. It was beginning to look as if Volition was not meant to be after all….Read the rest here.
Paycheck in Catholicism, Feminism, Marriage
The twentieth century has been a battleground on which a number of socio-political ideologies have sought to control and subjugate the human race. In the political realm, Communism sought to eliminate the distinction between the “proletariat” and “bourgeoisie” classes through total State control of private industry. This resulted in separating the fruit of man’s work from the enjoyment of that fruit. And because of its atheistic ideology, not only did Communism seek to separate man from God, but it also provided the foundation for the destruction of the family. In 1847, Frederic Engels wrote the Principles of Communism which became, arguably, the defining document for the communist movement. In that paper, in answering a question on the influence of communist society on the family, he prophetically wrote:
Engels’ propagnda sought to separate the marital union from its divine conception in favour of a mere utilitarian ideal, devoid of any moral underpinnings. Indeed, his observation that Communism would reduce marriage into a “purely private matter” between citizens has been tragically accurate. Such a “purely private matter” has found its zenith with the legalization and widespread acceptance of same-sex “marriage”. Russia, as Our Lady prophetically warned at Fatima in 1917, would spread its Godless and immoral errors throughout the world. Today, while Communism’s government structure and economics may have collapsed as a result of the Cold War, its immoral tenets have infiltrated the West and conquered it. The devil is, after all, quite prepared to jettison the trappings of political and economic systems provided, of course, that the immorality fostered under those systems is allowed to flourish elsewhere.
By capitalizing on the divisive effects of original sin between the spouses, Engels was able to create a “foundation of oppression” which later would serve as the rallying cry for radical feminism in the twentieth century.
Precisely because of Engels’ successful association of marriage with oppression, Communism and its amoral adherents in the West were successful in painting the Catholic Church as “backward” and “oppressive” because of Her defense of marriage and, in particular, the Church’s teaching on the indissolubility and inherent goodness of it. In the past few decades, this idea of the Catholic Church being oppressive toward women has been further advanced by the new Communism in the West, otherwise identified through radical feminism. The adherents to this atheistic ideology drove the allegations of female oppression far beyond even marriage. Issues such as contraception, abortion, divorce, and women priests – and the Church’s opposition to these ideas – further helped solidify feminism’s impression that the Catholic Church oppresses women. Oppression, as defined by radical feminists, is a restriction on anything which may impede either their exercise of sexual license or their march to destroy any roles reserved on the basis of gender. Yet, irrespective of the morality of these current issues, it is quite clear that the Catholic Church has been the one of the greatest liberators of women in history. Indeed, the clamor to paint the Church as an oppressor has no real historical basis. Like the Inquisition and the Crusades, the popular media in the West have chosen to distort history on this issue and thereby further Communism’s persecution and attack on the Catholic Church. As with all historical questions, the Catholic Church can be easily vindicated after an investigation into the historical record.
There are a number of areas where the Church has defended the dignity of women. For instance, the Church ended the practice of stoning women to death for committing adultery and other such offenses, which was the prescribed custom under the Mosaic Law. Because of Jesus’ example, however, the Church did not do this with an adulteress, but respected her as a human being and called her to repentance. And this was merely a subset of the fact that Christianity regarded women as full human persons, and not as mere property to be used by selfish men, or, within the context of Communism, by the State. Before the advent of Christianity, of course, a woman held the role of an object in society – first owned by her parents, and then owned by her husband. But, Christianity recognized a deeper and truer dimension to a woman’s identity. For example, Christianity, prescribed that husbands were not merely to “own” their wives, but had to love their wives “as they loved their own bodies,” and to lay down their lives for their wives, even as Christ loved and died for the Church (Cf. Eph. 5). This was a revolutionary concept which simply did not exist before the time of Christianity; and it gave women rights, not only in Christianity, but in society in general. And why? Because it declared that women were full persons, to whom men had an intrinsic moral obligation. In Christ’s time, therefore, the Church taught against the prevailing attitude that saw women as mere objects for a man’s fulfillment. And this opposition to the debasement of women remained firm right up to the advent of Communism. Indeed, as the destructive political turmoil gripped the twentieth century, the Church did not waiver but consistently reminded us that Communism did not represent a victory for women but merely shifted the context of domination from ownership by men to ownership by the State.
And, indeed, as part of authentic emancipation, Christianity recognized that women had souls. Before the advent of Christianity, this was seriously debated in both Judaism and in Platonic Greek philosophy, the latter even having an influence on the Greek Christian fathers. However, both the witness of Scripture (which depicts women as among the most faithful and courageous of Jesus’ disciples) and that of St. Augustine, who argues brilliantly in defense of a woman’s spiritual nature, any lingering doubt that women had souls (that they were full and equal human persons with men) was driven out of the mindset of the Church. But while the Church was driving out the subjugation of women to men by insisting that both had equal dignity before God, the Communist State was busy stripping that dignity from both men and women by insisting that there was no intrinsic dignity in either of them. Since child bearing and Christian motherhood were not palpably seen as assets to the Communist State, it was essentially marginalized and ostracized. Not only was Communist Russia therefore aborting at an alarming rate – far surpassing all other nations in the world, the State was also destroying the feminine mystique inherent in all women. By effectively forcing them into roles and workplaces previously held by men, women lost much of their unique sense of nurturing, warmth, and receptivity. They became more like men as they sought to liberate themselves from their own femininity. Sadly their liberation came at their own expense as they sought to unsuccessfully muzzle the feminine consciousness within them. The result has been sadness, loneliness, and emptiness.
Unlike male-dominated Communism, the Catholic Church also recognizes that the greatest Christian, indeed the greatest human being, who ever lived is, not a man, but a woman – Jesus’ mother Mary, who, unlike any man (with the exception of Jesus, of course, but He was a divine Person possessing a human nature) was free from the weakness and damage of original sin, and possessed mental and spiritual faculties that were superior to the rest of sinful humanity, including, suffice it to say, all men. Thus, Mary is our paragon, and the model for ALL Christians, both women and men, to follow. She defines what being a Christian is. She is our example; and her example hammers home the fact that, in Christianity, the proper spiritual approach of both women and men to Christ must be a female; that is, a receptive and cooperative approach. This is why the Church is viewed as Jesus’ bride. In fact, the charges of Catholics being “oppressors” of women become absurd since we believe that salvation (i.e. Jesus Christ) literally comes through a woman!
Aside from Mary, from its earliest days, Christianity also celebrated the heroic achievements of saintly women who testified to the truth of the Faith, and whose witness arguably out-performed and out-numbered that of common men. For example, in the list of martyred saints in the Roman Liturgy, we find the names of Felicity, Perpetua, Agatha, Lucy, Agnes, Cecilia, and Anastasia – all of whom were celebrated heroes of the early Church, and who enjoyed the devotion of both Christian men as well as women. And this tradition certainly did not stop with the ancient Church. Indeed, the Church continued to celebrate the witness of great female saints and to raise them up as examples for all Christians. Thus, we have a myriad of additional women saints like Catherine of Alexandria, Eudoxia, Monica, Sabina, Blandina, Clotilda, Bridget of Ireland, Ethelrieda, Dymphna, Winnefred, Clare of Assisi, Rita of Cascia, Catherine of Sienna, Clare of Montefalco, Teresa of Avila, Therese of Lisieux, Catherine Labore, Bernadette of Lourdes, Edith Stein. The list is seemingly endless. This devotion and appreciation for the spiritual achievements of women does not stop there. Indeed, the Catholic Church has also formally proclaimed numerous female saints to be “Doctors of the Church” – a distinguished title held by only the most brilliant of spiritual thinkers. Doctors of the Church, of course, set the example for us in terms of explaining and clarifying aspects of Catholic theology. Among the female Catholic Doctors of the Church are Catherine of Sienna, Teresa of Avila, and Therese of Lisieux, all of whom produced works which are almost essential to modern Catholic spirituality. The Church recognizes and celebrates this fact.
In opposition to this, Communism sought to blur the distinction between men and women by assigning them identical roles in society in order to allow women “equal rights” with men. But, as political commentator, Sam Vaknin, once wrote in his article, Women in Transition: From post-feminism to past femininity, (Jan.15. 2001), “in reality, it was a gender-neutral hell. Women under Communism were, indeed, encouraged to participate in the labour force. An array of conveniences facilitated their participation: daycare centres, kindergarten, day-long schools and abortion clinics, to name a few. Reality was much drearier. Women, however mettlesome, groaned under the ‘triple burden’ of work, marital expectations cum childrearing chores and party activism. They succumbed to the lure and demands of the (stressful and boastful) image of the Communist ‘super-woman’…But the ‘underslippers’ (as brow-beated Czech men are disparagingly self-labeled) still had the upper hand. In short, women were now subjected to an onerous double patriarchy, both private and public (the latter propagated by the party and the state). It is not that they did not value the independence, status, social interaction and support networks that their jobs afforded them. But they resented the lack of choice (employment was obligatory) and the parasitic rule of their often useless husbands.” Unlike Christianity which sought to respect, develop, and nurture not only the differences between individuals but sexes as well, including their respective roles, atheistic Communism viewed the female sex as merely another instrument of production in service to the State.
Before our extolling of the Blessed Mother and female saints is dismissed (as radical feminism tends to do) as the Church merely “giving a gold star” to the “good little girls” in its ranks, consider, if you will, any comparable examples from other world religions. Ah! But, there is the rub, because, there aren’t any! Where, for example, are all the celebrated names of saintly or spiritually advanced women in Judaism, or Islam, or Hinduism, or Buddhism, or any other religion anywhere? Indeed, one would be hard pressed to name even four or five Jewish or Buddhist female saints, and totally unable to name any female spiritual geniuses. And, once this is appreciated, the revolutionary nature of Catholic Christianity’s approach to women can vividly be seen. Under Communism, while women had their quota in parliament and climbed to the top of some professions, many positions were also simply inaccessible to them. Indeed, where were all of the major women political leaders and thinkers within Communism? After seven decades of Communist rule, can we remember even one woman who had a significant part to play in that political system? Even by its own standards of “equal rights” for women, can Communism (and by extension, radical feminism) be considered even remotely as successful as the Catholic Church has been in this regard?
Continuing with our list of other specific rights that modern women can thank the Catholic Church for, there is also the privilege of a woman having her own name. In Roman society, before the advent of Christianity, a woman simply did not possess a formal name of her own (a name that could be used on legal documents, etc.), but, in her early years, she merely held a female version of her father’s name. Once she was married, she changed her formal name to a female version of her husband’s name. Her personal identity, therefore, was always totally dependent on the primary male figure in her life. For example, if a Roman woman was the daughter of a man named “Julius”, her formal name (and that of all of her sisters too) would be “Julia.” Then, if she married a man named “Marcus”, her named would be formally changed to “Marcia.” However, in Christian society, because a new name was always taken at Baptism, by both men and women, women in the Church possessed their own names; and, once Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, this practiced eventually carried over into the general scope of society. This is why women have their own exclusive names today, not being tied intrinsically to the identity of their fathers or husbands. How is that for women’s liberation?! Communism, on the other hand, was successful in blurring the distinctions between men and women and expunging the unique personality that each contributes to the human family. As the West accepted the notion that men and women served as mere functional instruments for the State, the masculine and feminine qualities inherent in the sexes became blunted and suppressed. In 1937, Pope Pius XI warned us of the pernicious assault that Communism would have on the West. He called it “a pseudo-ideal of justice, of equality and fraternity in labor”. “Communism”, he wrote, “strips man of his liberty, robs human personality of all its dignity, and removes all the moral restraints that check the eruptions of blind impulse. There is no recognition of any right of the individual in his relations to the collectivity; no natural right is accorded to human personality, which is a mere cog-wheel in the Communist system…Communism is particularly characterized by the rejection of any link that binds woman to the family and the home, and her emancipation is proclaimed as a basic principle. She is withdrawn from the family and the care of her children, to be thrust instead into public life and collective production under the same conditions as man. The care of home and children then devolves upon the collectivity. Finally, the right of education is denied to parents, for it is conceived as the exclusive prerogative of the community, in whose name and by whose mandate alone parents may exercise this right. (Divini Redemptoris,10-11)
But lest our detractors insist on the Church “chaining” women to the matrimonial bond, it was the Church who supplied women with the choice to either marry or not. Indeed, from its earliest days, the Church gave any woman in its society the option to live a celibate life; and, since they would not have a husband, the Church financially supported these women if they chose to live such celibate lives. This eventually developed into the female monastic tradition, whereby women were free to devote their lives to both spiritual and intellectual pursuits – something that they would otherwise be unable to do within the normal scope of society, where women were expected to marry, keep homes, and raise children. In short, the Church was responsible for creating the first “career women” – monastic “islands” in an otherwise male dominated society, where women were permitted and encouraged to become theologians, philosophers, chemists, and physicians. Indeed, where else in the world, during ancient times or throughout the Middle Ages, could a woman pursue such things? Within the context of monastic life, some women became Abbesses; that is, heads of both local and international religious communities. As such, they were responsible, for not only maintaining the spiritual rule of their society, but for controlling and managing vast estates and other property that was literally worth millions in terms of modern dollars. In this, as early as the 6th Century, women wielded administrative and institutional authority comparable to that of a modern CEO of a Fortune 500 company! And so, again, where else, aside from the Catholic Church at the time, do we see women holding such levels of power and influence in society? Perhaps if one were a secular queen or duchess, this could be achieved, but that, of course, was based on inheritance or marriage, whereas an Abbess or Mother Superior might even come from the lower classes, and attained her position based on personal ability and intelligence, not on her family’s wealth or her desirability as a mate.
In terms of unwed mothers, the Church also provided unprecedented advantages for women there in terms of social care. Before the days of Christianity, an unwed mother was completely on her own. However, the Church would care for such women and their children, giving them financial support. In fact, Christian society also considered the idea of bastard children disgraceful, and so it basically obliged a man to either marry his mistress (thereby giving her legitimacy and social rights) or to, at the very least, acknowledge and financially support his illegitimate children. So, we would have no sense of modern “child support” without the influence and moral leadership of the Catholic Church. On the other hand, Communism’s solution to crisis pregnancies, which the West has gleefully adopted, was to offer abortion to women. Russia is currently estimated to have nearly 13 terminations for every 10 live births, and the highest abortion rate in Europe after Romania. One Russian woman, who has had seven abortions, her “emancipation procedure” this way: “You stand in line before the door of the operating room, seven or eight of you, waiting to be taken in. The clinic’s staff is too busy to do anything but operate, so as each woman who’s finished staggers out you take turns getting out of line for a few minutes, just to help her get to the resting room down the hall. Then it’s your turn, and you go into a hall splattered with blood where two doctors are aborting seven or eight women at the same time; they’re usually very rough and rude, shouting at you about keeping your legs wide open…if you’re lucky they give you a little sedative, mostly Valium. Then it’s your turn to stagger out to the resting room, where you’re not allowed to spend more than two hours because the production line, you see, is always very busy” (Gray, Francine du Plessix, (1989) Soviet Women Walking the Tightrope. Doubleday, New York, p.19). This woman estimates that, by the end of her child bearing years, she will have undergone fourteen abortions, which she believes to be the national average. She knows women who have had twenty-five abortions.
In the Middle East, Christian bishops forbad native communities (such as the Nabathaean Arabs) from circumcising their daughters, seeing it as an unnecessary and inhumane thing to do. The custom, of course, was later resurrected under Islam. However, in Arab and African countries where female circumcision is practiced today, it is still rejected and condemned by the ancient Christian communities there (e.g. the Copts of Egypt, the Abbyssian Christians of Ethiopia, etc.). In this, abuse of women in any intentional form came to be regarded as cowardly and disgraceful; and so men were no longer permitted to strike their wives or daughters, or to verbally abuse them. Otherwise, these men would receive condemnation from the Church and from society in general – another revolutionary concept which is still a driving factor in the defense of women’s rights today. Yet, today’s pop apologists for women’s liberation have nothing to be proud of. Since jettisoning its Judeo-Christian roots, western society has reached nearly epidemic proportions regarding domestic violence. And the first daughter of Communism herself, Russia, is no better. According to the Executive Director of the National Violence Prevention Center, it is estimated that 60 percent of the women murdered in Russia every year are killed by their husbands. Domestic violence occurs in 25 percent of Russian families. Yet it is rarely discussed. She reports that approximately 14,000 women die each year as a result of spousal abuse, while 3,000 women retaliate and kill their husbands.
Yet while Communism was responsible in removing any remaining vestiges of respect accorded to women by men, it is the Catholic Church today which still insists on the proper respect and deference be given to women. After all, the Christian Church was also responsible for the creation of chivalry, which is the origin of Western society’s respect for, and deference to, women. In contrast to Islam, this difference was quite pronounced. Bernard Lewis, the great Middle East scholar, once remarked that the status of women is the single most profound difference between Christian and Muslim civilization. He noted that early Muslim visitors to Europe spoke with astonishment, often with horror of the incredible freedom and deference shown to Western women. In 1665, for instance, right at the peak of Muslim conquest in Europe, a Turkish writer and diplomat, Evliya Celebi, visited Vienna. In his report, he wrote:
As the aforementioned examples conclusively show, therefore, it is clear that the Catholic Church is not the oppressor of women but rather its authentic liberator. The true oppressor of women is Communism and its harlot-daughter, Radical Feminism. In 1920, Russia’s law on abortion became one of the most barbaric in the world as Vladimir Lenin gave Russia divorce and abortion on demand. Since then, Russia and the world have been reaping the carnage of this hell-sent ideology. While Communism no longer has the political and economic infrastructure to attack the Church, it has been successful in infiltrating Western culture and working within its socio-political institutions to undermine Catholic influence. Today, it merely operates under a different name and peddles the culture of death and its anti-Catholicism within a capitalist system. Now and in the future, the Church and her children must be vigilant and militant in defending Her historical record against the calumny of radical feminism – a immoral movement whose genesis comes from atheistic Communism. Whatever the form of attack or the charge being levied against our holy faith, Catholics must become educated and rise to the challenge.
John Pacheco and Mark Bonocore
This triangle of truisms, of father, mother and child, cannot be destroyed; it can only destroy those civilizations which disregard it. – G. K. Chesterton (The Superstition of Divorce)
Paycheck in Life & Family Issues, LifeStyle Choices, Marriage, Social Conservativism
As proud parents of seven children, my wife and I are often amazed at the comments we receive when people discover the size of our family. Because it is hard to stand out in this day and age, more traditional rebellious behaviors have become mainstream, while traditional family activities and attitudes have become counter-cultural.
Everybody’s A Critic
This means that if you are a man who stays married to one woman, has more than two children, and attends Church on a regular basis, people treat you as if you are from another planet. The big difference between the old rebels and the new rebels, however, is that faithful Catholics are rebels with a cause. The cause, in our case, is to pass the gospel message on to our children and to set a living example of authentic faith so that the Church can become strong once again.
As a father of so many, one of the most popular topics of conversations with friends, co-workers, and even relatives concerns my family’s size. You would think that after the third or fourth child, family and friends would stop expressing shock and disbelief after learning about another pregnancy. Most of the time, however, the opposite reaction occurs. It seems that they are just waiting for my wife and me to make the big announcement: “Well, that’s it. We are ‘done’. Now we can have our life back.”
How times have changed. Two generations ago, the reaction would have been quite different. Instead of expressing shock and horror at the arrival of the sixth child, a Catholic friend might instead say, “And to think that you still have ten more child-bearing years left” or “Well, you’re halfway there.” Sadly, though, all too often the remarks my family receives are sarcastic, cynical, or just plain insulting. The following list is a sample of some of the most common remarks we sometimes hear along with a few of my imagined, but unspoken comebacks:
• “Are these all yours?” (Is this all you have?)• “I don’t know how you do it.” (Did you miss biology class?)• “I can barely handle one child.” (That’s because you need to grow up, dear.)
• “I wanted more but my husband got fixed.” (Actually, your husband is broken and he needs to be fixed.)
• “We tried NFP but it didn’t work for us.” (What part of “no” didn’t he understand?)
• “Are you done yet?” (Have you begun yet?)
• “So how many children do you want to have?” (We haven’t learned to count that high yet.)
• “You’re crazy!” (You’re lazy!)• “Just what do you two do in that bedroom anyway?” (Have productive sex which is more than you can say)• “Have you two ever heard of birth control?” (Yes. Have you ever heard of a retirement home with no prospect of visitors?)
• “You have almost got enough for a baseball team.” (You almost have enough for a tennis match.)
• “Is your wife pregnant yet?” (No, but I’m sure you’ll let us know)
• “Don’t you two have a TV?” (Yes but we’re having too much sex to be bothered watching it.)
• “I didn’t know you ran a daycare facility!” (Not a problem. We’re investing in future income earners for our pensions. How’s your retirement planning coming?)
While most of these comments are somewhat irritating, I must always remind myself that the people expressing these thoughts are being challenged with the Gospel of Life through the mere presence of my large family. A number of these incidences have remained with me, and a few of them bear relating here.
A Sideshow on Wheels
One memorable episode occurred when the seven of us walked through the door of our local McDonald’s restaurant. As my wife struggled to get our newborn daughter out of the car seat, the four older brothers and I entered the restaurant ahead of them. Sitting at a booth by the door was a mother, father and their two young children. As I stood holding the door open, waiting for my wife and my daughter, the children and their parents gave us a long stare. In a very loud voice, one of the boys blurted out, “Mommy, daddy, look at the size of that family.” The other boy then piped up and said, “Look, there are four boys.” As I continued to hold the door, my wife made her way through the door with our daughter. Glancing over at the family, I noticed a look of utter shock on both of the parents’ faces. Their children then went ballistic and I heard them say, “O my God, there are five kids!” In order to avoid making a scene, the parents quickly moved to quiet their children. Being a little embarrassed, my wife and I shuffled our five children to the nearest booth. As I glanced back over my shoulder, I noticed that all four family members were staring at us. My wife later remarked that we had become the topic of conversation for the duration of their meal.
Perhaps in the course of the parents’ conversation about our family’s size, the Holy Spirit used us to plant a seed in their hearts to conceive new life. Indeed, it would be a great grace for them and for our dying culture if the parents thought to themselves, “If they can have more than two children, then why can’t we?” A large family can reawaken the truth of the sanctity of human life which has been smothered by an aggressive anti-life culture. A seemingly innocuous incident such as this provided my family with a great opportunity to evangelize for the Gospel of Life. This particular form of evangelization does not require a lot of words, only mere presence.
Another occasion for evangelization occurred when a co-worker found out that my wife was expecting our sixth child. In the past, he would typically remark, “Well, is that it?” Traditionally, my reaction would have gravitated toward deflecting attention away from the issue by responding in an ambiguous way and quickly changing the topic. Sensing the Holy Spirit’s guidance, this particular incident would be different. Instead of avoiding the issue, I confronted it. I replied, “Well, we always wanted to have six children.” His next question was truly hilarious. “So are you going to get a hysterectomy?” After clarifying that the correct term was “vasectomy,” he added, “Yeah, I mean are you going to get snipped?” At this point I started to get a little hot under the collar. I thought to myself, “Who does this guy think he is? Is it not enough that he obsesses over my family size? Now he wants to know if I am going to neuter myself for good. Has he no shame?!” Instead of my normal polite response, I decided to employ the tactic that these people so often employ on faithful Catholics. I looked him straight in the eye, raised my voice and with a firm sincerity replied, “No, I am not a dog!” I then added, “I can’t think of anything more repulsive. We neuter animals by force, and yet we humans do it by choice. How sick is that!” He then let out an uncomfortable laugh and quickly changed the subject.
Hungry for Children
When women inquire about my family size, I tend to be a little gentler with my responses. Most of the women I know want more children, but societal and economic pressures — through what the Holy Father calls “sinful structures” — plant seeds of doubt in their minds. During my last dentist appointment, for instance, my hygienist asked me about my family. When I told her that we were having our sixth child, she asked, “It is so rare these days for a family to have as many children as you have. May I ask why you have so many?” Now I could have responded in a number of ways, but on this occasion the Holy Spirit inspired me to respond with simplicity and humility. Before I had a chance to even think of a response, these words fell from my mouth: “Because we love them.” A moment of silence followed my response, as if some great truth had been revealed to her. Instead of trying to find an excuse or provide an “intelligent” reason for more children, I had allowed God to guide me to the most effective and authentic response possible. Love of children is why we have more of them. This is the simple truth. We have children because they reflect the love that we have for the Creator. To share in His creative power is awesome because it is to share in an infinite love. When we have children, we participate in the creation of something that never existed before yet will live for all eternity. What a beautiful and awesome gift and responsibility this is!
Our experiences in engaging our culture serve to remind my wife and me just how blessed we are. We are also reminded that our children will likely grow to share our pro-life views and hopefully fill the twilight of our existence with many grandchildren. What our secular society fails to understand is that love never divides — it multiplies.
The future is truly in the hands of large families. As the birth rates in North America and other developed countries continue to plunge, children from large families will fill the gaps left by the families that choose voluntary extinction. “Blessed are the meek”, our Lord says, “for they will inherit the earth” — or, in this case, their children will.
- Chris Beneteau
No. You’ve found life.
Paycheck in Abortion, Gutter Morality
When a child is subject to the disposable culture of abortion that our society promotes, it devalues human life in general and unborn children in particular. This is only logical. That’s why we have an increased amount of child abuse and neglect in this culture too. One goes with the other.
The other logical consequence is, instead of aborting the child on the cheap, you go through with the pregnancy and cash in at the end. Not a bad pay out, a five figure amount.
Watch for more of this as we go on in the Obama years.
Abortion has led to human trafficking. It’s the new slave trade of the 21st century.
Watch for the justification for it in the future too: “Well, they are going to do it anyway, so let’s make it safe. We should regulate it and then tax it. Just like abortion and porn! Then everyone wins!”
Keith Martin has reintroduced a private motion’s bill to repeal S. 13(1) of the CHRA and has further called for a full scale investigation by the Justice Committee into the CHRC’s activities.
I think we should consider asking an MP – and Keith Martin looks like the go-to guy right now – to consider being our Parliamentary representative who is responsible for collecting all of the evidence against the CHRC’s illegal, fraudulent, unethical, and immoral practices.
So, in other words, if you have been persecuted or prosecuted by the CHRC and found their techniques to be objectionable and even illegal and you have documented proof of that OR if you, like me, have found some serious fraud and unethical behaviour by CHRC operatives and their satellites in your research and investigation, then it might be a good time to organize it in a logical and coherent manner and submit it to Parliament.
That way, when the Justice Committee is convened, our Parliamentarians have all or most of the evidence before them and can start calling on interested parties to testify.
I think this is a good way to get the ball rolling and keep it rolling right over the CHRC, and it helps focus the Committee’s attention on the meat of the allegations against the CHRC.
I’m sure there will be volumes of evidence submitted so it’s important to get going on this now.
Lighten up, Lady. It’s all about freedom and sexual identity. And who in their right minds could be against that? Didn’t I see you at the last year’s gay pride parade downtown? Didn’t you vote for the liberal politician? Don’t you want to teach your children to be inclusive?
Paycheck in Catholicism, Feminism, Homosexuality
Modern Catholic apologetics is often associated with historical questions or scriptural exegesis. Theological questions such as justification, the role of the Bible in the Christian Church, and the nature of Church authority, for instance, remain very common and popular topics today in discussions between Protestants and Catholics.
In the early Church, too, theological battles were very common as competing sides fought over the famous christological and mariological issues of the time. The Trinity, the divinity of Jesus, His human and divine natures and wills, the virginity of Mary and her identity as theotokos were all hotly-contested theological controversies fought and won by the Catholic Church.Needless to say, theological controversies among Christians and between Christians and non-Christians will exist until the Second Coming of Christ when they will be, thankfully, settled once and for all. While these disagreements are still very important in the religious realm, their relevance in the current culture war has fundamentally changed.In the past, the attacks on the Catholic Faith came through the aforementioned theological questions. Today, while these attacks still remain — and in some cases have even intensified — they have been upstaged somewhat by a new and pernicious menace. The new heresy, which some are now calling “Genderism,” seeks to recreate man away from his divine origin into a mere human invention.
The war being waged in our modern culture is over this very question. The major issues of today — abortion, contraception, euthanasia, divorce, invitro-fertilization, cloning, stem-cell research, and same-sex “marriage” — all involve, at some fundamental level, a direct attack on the dignity and image of the human person as created by Almighty God. This conflict is particularly heated in the case of so-called “gender-identity” issues in which proponents of radical feminism or gay “marriage” have tried to argue that gender is mutable.
The Church rejects this position as a perversion of God’s revelation concerning man and his nature. The Church teaches that in man, God created one human nature with two distinct and complementary relational expressions of that nature. These expressions, what we know as “male” and “female,” are not merely tangential or incidental characteristics of our human nature, but are intrinsic and fundamental to it.
We know this to be true because this relational expression is reflected in the physiological features of the male and female bodies which, although sharing the same flesh (Cf. Gn 2:23), are nonetheless distinct from one another in their physical appearance. The physiological composition of the male and female bodies — far from being incidental or transitory — is a reflection of a person’s inner psychological nature. A man’s genitalia, for instance, shows him that his human nature is expressed as a male with all of the attendant traits of masculinity which flow from it. The characteristics corresponding to masculinity naturally engender him to assume a certain role in relation to a female who, corresponding to her phsyiology, has a different yet complementary psychology.
The male and female cannot insist on playing the same role in their relationship with one another for the simple reason that their human natures are not precisely the same, at least insofar as the expression of that nature is concerned. It would be analogous to a nut and bolt wanting to fulfill the same function in the operation of a mechanical device. If they both insisted on doing so, the machine would break down. And this is precisely what has happened to marriage in the latter part of the twentieth century. Similarly, gay “marriage” advocates fail to realize that two nuts or two bolts will also fail to work because the intimacy required for success in coupling success demands complementarity, not uniformity.
The clamor for gay “marriage” and the push for the legitimacy of gay sex is rooted in radical feminism’s blurring of the unique and distinct personalities inherent in the male and female sexes. Radical feminism and the “gay rights” agenda are nothing more than two sides of the same coin, much like communism and materialist capitalism are rooted in the same philosophical system which sees man as a mere commodity, either of the state (communism) or of himself or another (capitalism).
As the distinction between men and women becomes more distorted, their traditional roles within the family unit are likewise further confused. With the advent of contraception and the widespread acceptance of sterility, this confusion has logically led to the acceptance of same-sex unions. When women relinquish their fertility and assumed the roles traditionally filled by men, they give up much of what expresses their distinction from men so that, in men’s eyes, they become functionally little different than other men. This has led to the acceptance of homosexuality in popular culture.
In his letter dealing with the Collaboration of Men and Women in the Church, Benedict (then Cardinal Ratzinger) stressed the unique and irreplaceable elements of both sexes and notes that being male and female is an immutable expression of the human person. He writes:
The very capacity to love, the Pope says, is expressed through the “spousal character of the body.” In other words, if masculinity is not tied to the male body or femininity to the female body, as the Church’s opponents claim, then people will discover that their capacity to love will be obscured and gravely wounded. Genderism has sought to create a contradiction between the “spirit” (i.e. the relational expression of sexual differences) and the “flesh” (i.e. physical expression of sexual difference). This false dichtomy between the spirit and the flesh is but another dimension of the first century heresy known as Gnosticism. Instead of declaring flesh “evil” like the early Gnostics did, however, the new Gnostics merely designate the flesh as arbitrary and divorce its masculine or feminine traits from their psychological counterparts.His Holiness also rightly points out that human nature itself cannot be sterile, and because of that, it requires a relational dimension to its existence:
The document goes on to further explain that this “relational reality” is not merely a static, detached relationship, but rather a relationship which rises to the level of interdependence: “In the unity of the two,” the Pope writes, “man and woman are called from the beginning not only to exist ’side by side’ or ‘together,’ but they are also called to exist mutually ‘one for the other’…. The text of Genesis 2:18-25 shows that marriage is the first and, in a sense, the fundamental dimension of this call” (Ibid., 6).Indeed, this teaching on the relational reality of both sexes being called to exist mutually for the other points to a fundamental truth of the limitation and interdependence of either sex. In its natural expression, man cannot propagate the human race alone. He needs, as the Bible says, a “helpmate.” With this realization, man recognizes that he is limited and finite. His dependence on his wife is a reminder of his greater reliance on God Himself who is the infinite and unlimited source of life. In contrast to this, the opposing feminist-gay world view does not believe that both partners exist mutually for the other. In feminism, a woman is not dependent on a man. She is independent of him and merely relates to a man as she pleases. She uses him as a commodity to fulfill her base, materialistic pleasures (and he uses her). Similarly, under the homosexual rubric, there is no context of existing “for the other” since the relationship’s physiology does not correspond to this language. In fact, the physiological language of gay sex points in the opposite direction, where the participants are attempting to join two uniform expressions of the same nature, and therefore, on an ontological level, seek to exist for “themselves.” This is why gay relationships are so unstable — because there is no inherent sense of “existing for the other” as there is in a normal heterosexual marriage.According to the Book of Genesis, the human person is revealed to be made in the very image of God: “So God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them” (Gn 1:27). In the account of creation, not only does God reveal to us that man’s image is a reflection of the divine essence, but we learn that in creating man, God created one image with two distinct expressions of that image. These two distinct expressions of our human nature are as important to Christian theology as the two natures in Christ’s person. Indeed, the modern attack on these two expressions is a form of gender “Monophysitism” — the sixth-century heresy which sought to reduce Jesus’s two natures to only one. In the same way, radical feminism has sought to blur and even negate the distinction between the male and female expressions in human nature.While feminism began in response to legitimate grievances to promote prospects for equality of women, it has evolved a new theory of the human person in an effort to seek liberation from ”biological determinism.” In its latest stages, it has inspired ideologies which call into question the family in its natural two-parent structure of mother and father, and make homosexuality and heterosexuality virtually equivalent — what the Pope called “a new model of polymorphous sexuality.”Indeed, the central question of our time concerns authentic human dignity and how it is defined. On the one hand, secular culture views man’s intrinsic nature as malleable and replaceable. The culture’s materialistic and consumerist philosophy has translated the human person into a mere product of consumption. Since the human body itself can be harvested, destroyed, or manipulated to serve selfish and perverse ends, the physical characteristics that are specific to either gender are consequently seen as tentative and optional.
The Church, in opposition to this lethal view, upholds the sanctity and inalienable constitution of the human person and believes that there can be no separation between the physical characteristics of the human body with the associated psychological and spiritual elements of it. In other words, male genitalia must correspond to a male psychology. This is why, as Cardinal, the Pope highlighted the fact that “male and female are thus revealed as belonging ontologically to creation and destined therefore to outlast the present time, evidently in a transfigured form. In this way, they characterize the ‘love that never ends’ (1 Cor 13:8), although the temporal and earthly expression of sexuality is transient and ordered to a phase of life marked by procreation and death” (Ibid., 12).
In God’s infinite love for us He became “one of us” at His incarnation. This incarnation represents the sacramental dimension which vivifies the teaching that man is created in the image of God. God fulfilled this teaching by showing man that not only would God Himself become man to save him, but also that man’s destiny is to partake in God’s own divine nature (Cf. 2 Pt 1:4). At the moment of the Incarnation, when the divine person of the Son of God assumed a human nature, human nature itself was sanctified. Through baptism we become united mysteriously with Christ’s divine nature. Jesus has therefore united Himself to all men through His incarnation and His baptismal marriage to us, and therefore any attack on man becomes an attack on God Himself.
As the current culture war continues to rage, all of the Church’s efforts to combat the culture of death must be brought forward. To defeat this ominous threat to mankind’s existence, Christians must learn to cooperate with one another despite our theological differences. We must work towards a common “life ethic” which can serve as a unifying beacon of light and a common front against an increasingly darkened and hostile world. When the boat is sinking, there is no time to fight over who is manning the helm. The important thing is to get to work and start bailing.
Paycheck in Freedom, Religion
The amazing thing about what then Cardinal Ratzinger said was not that it was particularly brilliant or even “prophetic”, but that so few people today recognize the moral and ethical behavior on which our financial system rests. It’s so obvious and apparent, yet people are so blinded in their greed, excess and sin that it has taken a serious financial collapse to drive home the point. Everything from excessive spending to excessive demand for exorbitant returns has fueled this moral collapse. No economic collapse can occur without an underlying moral culpability. Yet, there are lots of KoolAid drinkers out there who think there is no connection between morality and making money. They believe that everything can be fixed by the government pumping in or pumping out money. The focus is on the form and not the substance of the problem. In other words, we want to change the colour of the paint when the whole house is rotten and is about to collapse on our heads.
For decades, liberals who like to pretend they are “economic conservatives” were telling social conservatives to “keep morality” out of politics. Not only will that view turn out to be quite disastrous as we head into an Obamanation term during the next four years, but it seems that keeping morality and God out of economics hasn’t done the socially liberal “fiscal conservatives” too much good either.
The other thing that it has taught us — and this is a lesson for the libertarians out there — is that “freedom” cannot exist without a search for the truth. I tried to point this out to Rob Breakenridge in my discussions with him earlier this Summer, but he didn’t listen. This is one of the things I explained to him:
He wanted to treat freedom as some kind of absolute virtue without acknowledging that without truth and morality, society will collapse just like our markets have. The markets collapsed because moral restraint in lending and spending were simply not present. It was about good times without financial or moral reality. It is not enough for us to demand our freedoms – whether they be economic or civil – if we do not also seek out and submit to the Truth.
The problems with our culture today is that we do not have a proper understanding of freedom. And that’s probably the biggest reason why the financial markets have collapsed. It’s called the “American Dream” for a reason. Because a dream is not real.
Remember this line? It’s the economy, stupid!
Indeed it is, but you must be a big fool to think that morality and truth (with a capital “T”) can be ignored in managing it.
Ezra has ripped the CJC and B’nai Brith a good one. You can check it out here.
Here is the part that I especially liked. (I think Ezra was referring to my recent post here):
The CJC and B’nai Brith are doing more to stoke anti-semitism than 10,000 skin heads could ever do. And they are doing it, ironically enough, with the stated intention of eradicating that which they are blindly fomenting! Just how absurd is that?!
We see whole communities, Christians and conservatives, being picked apart by a law which is supported and instigated by a leadership which claims to represent a racial constituency’s opinion on this law.
So it’s natural to get upset at the leadership of such a constituency when they do such things, and that’s very dangerous to the constituency as a whole.
Before this whole CHRC thing blew out of proportion, I would have looked favourably – or at least neutrally – on groups like the CJC and B’nai Brith.
Not any more.
I know a lot of Catholics. I’ll be sure to warn them about groups like B’nai Brith and the CJC. I’ll do my part to educate the Church leadership – priests and bishops too – of which I have had some interaction with over the years. The leadership of the CJC and B’nai Brith can consider me and thousands like me their opponent.
If regular Joes like me are upset, the Official Jews should ask themselves if there really dumb position in support of the Star Chambers are a smart PR move in trying to build good will and rapport with other communities? Does it do a good job of fighting anti-semitism?
No, I don’t think so. It’s doing the exact opposite. But that’s what they have brought upon themselves.
I hope the grassroot Jewish members wake up and fire their leadership.
Fire. Them. All.
I guess the Prof. Moon decided to read the writing on the wall and recommend the repeal of S. 13(1) of the Canadian “Human Rights” Act. I confess that I am astonished, however. The bolded section below represents some of the points summarized by the CHRC….
1. The first recommendation is that section 13 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA) be repealed so that the CHRC and the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal (CHRT) would no longer deal with hate speech, in particular hate speech on the Internet.
This might be the greatest victory the blogosphere has ever won. Outside of taking down the main stream media from time-to-time, this really is a feather in our collective caps. A great deal of gratitude goes out to our captain-in-arms, Ezra Levant, who led the charge and took the SLAPP suit hits for us during this ride.
Although the whole “hate propaganda” ruse is still on the books, at least Dr. Moon has the common sense to restrict the prosecution of expression to those statements which advocate violence. That’s a big leap forward in the Canadian “Human Rights” culture of corruption and jackboot enforcement. I can hardly believe my eyes in reading this.
This causes me some concern. I wonder if we are simply replacing one jackboot with another more vicious and powerful one. All we need is for CHRC-type employees filling out job application forms with the RCMP. Can you imagine that? This new “Hate Crime Unit” will be like the CHRC on legislative steroids.
Again, we see a more restrictive application of “hate crimes” to advocating for violence only. That’s a good sign.
Poor Mark Steyn. He was having such fun with his complaint. With this sort of NECESSARY provision, he won’t be a target anymore.
I’m not too sure what to make of this. What does this mean? That Dean Steacy and the gang would simply be moved out of the CHRC and into the “investigative wing” of the Hate Crimes Unit under Section 13(1)? What good is that? Some administrative shuffling between departments does not remove the threat of the Human Rights enforcers.
Significant burden for the complainant? Only the CHRC would write such crap, all the while blindly refusing to see the onerous conditions that respondents are under. It’s sick. Really sick. If Parliament had any testicular fortitude, it would completely gut the CHRC, fire all of its managerial employees and put the department under the direct supervision of a parliamentary committee. Furthermore, if there were any justice, there would be a full and impartial judicial inquiry into the illegal and fraudulent tactics of the CHRC with fines and prison terms ready to be handed out. That’s what should happen to make these thugs understand the hell they have put Canadians under for the past thirty years.
Fire. All. Of. Them.
Fine. Most. Of. Them.
Imprison. Some. Of. Them.