Women Priests Are Back!


Are what?? The suspense is killing me.

If you’re anything like me, you may need to sit down and watch this video before you read this post. It’s that important.

I’ll wait.

Great! You’re back. So, other than

a)      the blatant misuse of St. Therese de Lisieux (who I imagine wouldn’t appreciate being used in this video);

b)      the self-centeredness (“I can lead the way! Forget those Saints and that pope-in-a-hat”); and

c)       the weird juxtaposition of a desire to be Catholic with an abhorrence of patriarchy (go be Episcopalian! Seriously!)

that video is hilarious. In a somewhat similar way, this Reuters (their logo is actually a toilet flushing) story is hilarious.

(Reuters) – “In an emotional ceremony filled with tears and applause, a 70-year-old Kentucky woman was ordained a priest on Saturday as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.”

What. Was. That. That, my friends, is one doozy of a paragraph. Let’s see that again, in slow-motion:

“ In an emotional ceremony filled with tears and applause…”

I definitely don’t feel like Mr./Ms. Reuters here is trying to lead me by a leash into an emotional swamp of sappy emotions. Nope, no pre-bias here, folks…

“…a 70-year-old Kentucky woman…”

Actually, this particular line was fine, other than the fact that we’re being subverted by septuagenarian hillbillies. Something to think about.

“…was ordained a priest on Saturday…”

Okay, no. She wasn’t ordained a priest. You’ll see why in a second. But second of all, wouldn’t it be priestess? Don’t you want to emphasize the “feminine qualities” she’ll bring to the altar that the male priests can’t handle? I’ll offer you a deal: you can call her Catholic, as long as you call her priestess. Or priest-ish. Catholic priest-ish. Boom, nailed it.

“…as part of a dissident group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.”

And this is why she isn’t a Catholic priest. Or priestess. Every group that isn’t Catholic is definitionally a “group operating outside of official Roman Catholic Church authority.” And every group that is vocal in its disagreements with the Church could count as a dissident group,like anti-theists, for example. Now, if an anti-theist group ordained a woman a Catholic priestess, would it be news? Maybe, but only because the whole situation is patently absurd. Just as it is here. A group that isn’t Catholic pretended to make a woman priest today. Yippee ki-yay.

And if this wasn’t already ridiculous and insulting enough, the article goes on for another 650 words. Woo boy. You can read it here.

No, excommunication is not “a bullying stick”  in any way. It means you are outside communion with God, and it’s your own fault. The Church doesn’t excommunicate. You excommunicate yourself and the Church announces it so true Catholics aren’t led astray. Yes, the Women Priests movement was started by an “Independent Catholic Bishop” (bonus points for anyone who figures out what that means (how anyone could be both outside the Church and still Catholic is beyond me)).

Honestly, the prevalence of the personal church (no one can come between me and God, I don’t need other churches’ rules, religion is all about how it feels, not what you do. Faith! Love! Good works? Eh, take ‘em or leave ‘em) really irks me (thanks, Enlightenment). It’s all born out of a self-centeredness that can only be described as “supreme.” A friend of my wife’s has written:

“Some people decide the Church’s teachings don’t coincide with how they feel, so they adopt personal spirituality rather than institutional teaching. I couldn’t do this… [A personal church] would consist of self-worship and accommodation. I need standards external to myself so I don’t create a God in the image of my desires.”

Can I get an “Amen”?

Now, in light of my new model of blogging, I don’t just want to ridicule and leave it at that. I want to give you guys something you can walk away with. So as far as it relates to this story, would you rather see an apologetical follow-up post on a defense of the all-male priesthood, a defense of excommunication, a raking over the coals of the media at-large in another attempt to show their blatant bias, something about how the post-Enlightenment age is killing Christianity in the West, or none of those, and just want another post calling out people attacking the Church?


Do You Know What the Church Really Needs?


Read my post at The Apostolate to find out!


A Word of Warning About the Cart Pulling the Horse


This is a guest post, written by The American Left-Footer, about what Liberation Theology gets right, and how they get it wrong.

Since the election of Pope Francis, liberation theology has once again risen up from the black lagoon where we keep the other parts of the ‘70s that embarrass us, such as leisure suits and Jimmy Carter. Because the former Jorge Cardinal Bergoglio is an Argentinean and a Jesuit from a certain time, the amateur theologians in the media deduced that he must be a practitioner of that philosophy which has plagued the modern Church. Although the Pope has been very frank about his dislike for that strain of theology, this hasn’t stopped commentators from asking why the institutional Church doesn’t support liberation theology. Don’t they care about the poor? Don’t they stand up for the marginalized? The answer to both those questions is obviously yes. So why not support Liberation Theology?

When discussing liberation theology, coming up with a good definition for it is an important first step. According to James Nickloff, a follower of Rev. Gustav Gutierrez, the founder of the movement, liberation theology is about raising the consciousness of those at the base of society. I’ll let him explain to you exactly how this is done, based on a quote from the National catholic Reporter:

The first is social, political, economic, structural transformation. The political and theological projects come together in the second level, which is psychological transformation. The third level is transformation in Christ, which is the turn from self-centeredness and sin to God.

I won’t discuss the second and third levels here, as it that enters into some odd, scientology-esque territory. However, the first level seems reasonable. Why don’t we want to transform society in a way that benefits the poor and marginalized? The answer: we do, but not in the way liberation theologians seem to want. After all, liberation theologians make clear that they are interested in liberation, not mere charity which is preached by the institutional Church. This difference becomes most profound when discussing the way in which social change should be won in wider society, which for them means through the state. This explains why the political aspect of liberation theology is so important; the state is influenced by the will of its people, whether that will is expressed through protest in the streets or choices made in the ballot box. Political activity is popular among Christians across the political spectrum, whether they are fighting against abortion or the death penalty, for traditional marriage or for universal health care. The problem is that for the sort of problems liberation theologians want to fix (and all problems really), the place to fix them is on the most basic society: the family. But all Catholics should already know this, of course, because Pope Leo XIII beautifully explained it over 100 years ago in his encyclical Rerum Novarum, the foundational document of Catholic social teaching.

Rerum Novarum is the Church’s response to the Industrial Revolution and everything that came with it. For Catholics, especially those interested on what the Church has to say about economics, it should be required reading. It manages to refute the main tenets of Liberation Theology despite being written before Gustav Gutierrez was even born. To quote the previously mentioned document,

“Man precedes the State, and possesses, prior to the formation of any State, the right of providing for the substance of his body”.

This is to say, man can exist without the state, and so has a right to his labor and the fruits he bears from it. Thus, man has a right to private property. But what happens when a man has a task too big for himself to care for alone? Doesn’t he need the state to step in and help him? No. The most pertinent point, and the most dangerous to forget, is that the family is the fundamental building block of society. Not the individual, not the state. As Pope Leo XIII says:

A family, no less than a State, is, as We have said, a true society, governed by an authority peculiar to itself, that is to say, by the authority of the father . . . the family has at least equal rights with the State in the choice and pursuit of the things needful to its preservation and its just liberty. We say, “at least equal rights”; for, inasmuch as the domestic household is antecedent, as well in idea as in fact, to the gathering of men into a community, the family must necessarily have rights and duties which are prior to those of the community.

Here lies the central flaw in liberation theology. In attempting to fix all of society’s social problems on the level of the state, liberation theologians deny the primacy of the family as the heart of society. Each family is its own state, with its own sovereignty, only relying on the community and the State for what it cannot do itself. The amount that the family can or cannot do is a topic up for debate, though certainly one for another day. But no one can deny that, at the very least, we ought to attempt to solve these problems on the simplest level possible, that of the family, before taking them into politics and the level of the State. We must help those within our own families with their struggles, as well as the other families around us. But until that point, we should not attempt to bring the state into the lives of our families. Liberation theology insists on going to the state immediately and, in doing so, contradicts the teachings of the Catholic Church.

About ALF:

“Left Footer” is a mildly obscure epithet for Irish Catholics. It came into being because the Catholics in Ireland continued to use their left-footed spade instead of the technologically superior two-sided spade that was adopted by Protestants. Therefore, the term “left-footer” referred to those who continued to use those left-footed spades, showing themselves to be stubborn and technologically backward. This is a term that could be used for practicing Catholics throughout the world today, holding on to a philosophy and faith that is seen as backward by the modern world. As a Catholic he wears this title proudly.


You Are Not Alone


I want you to be ready. We have a very real goal, a duty we are charged with from the time we are confirmed: to win souls for Christ.

There are many modes of spirituality by which to live out an example for others, but there is one mode of intellect. “ON.”

We can’t let our knowledge of our faith grow stale as soon as we graduate from our Catholic high schools. There’s a reason Pope Benedict XVI declared this year a Year of Faith, and thereby charged everyone to read their Catholic Catechism and to engage their friends: teaching them about the faith, correcting their misapprehensions, and demonstrating the most beautiful, most holistic approach to knowledge that only the Church offers.

People deserve to get the best chance they possibly can to become baptized and join the Church. Nothing will ever trump the importance of mental prayer and good example in showing others the beauty of our religion, but even these benefit from the added power of the scholarly weight of the Church’s 2000-year old teachings, when faithfully represented. The Catholic philosophy will speak for itself, so long as it gets a real chance to speak.

What I’m saying is that our job is to win souls. They are hungry for the truth. They are desperate for it, whether “they” is our friend, our co-worker, or our in-laws, and they deserve our best. Furthermore, the Church deserves our best.

Think about it. Your coworker down the hall who’s always making little comments about the Church, trying to gauge your reaction—he’s probably trying to figure out a way to talk to you about your faith. When he finally does start that conversation with you, though, and you shut him down with nothing more than a, “That’s just what I believe,” he’ll walk away, satisfied with the thought that you don’t have the answers. You’ll walk away feeling like you could’ve done more—that you just let a soul slip through your fingers. Gone. He could have become someone’s Catholic husband, Catholic father, maybe even a Catholic priest. There may never be another opportunity as great as the one you had to bring him to the Church.

It’s far-fetched, maybe, but it could happen. And situations like this happen often. Far more often than you think, if you know what to look for.

I want to help, because by helping you, I’m getting better myself. I spent most of my grown-up life in a state of constant debate with many of my closest friends who are atheists, Anglicans, Fundamentalists Neo-Cons, progressives, heretics, a-religious, and  fallen away. They all want to hear what the Catholic has to say, because the Catholic Church is the 800 lb. gorilla in the room of religion. Sometimes, they even want to talk with you, instead of at you.

Most of the time, though, you’ve got to earn that. Let me help.

I’ll do the footwork. I’ll go through the research, find the talking points, and venture out into foreign territory, continuing on my sociological study of “How Many Ways to Fail at Attacking the Church.” And I’ll put all my findings here, in the Backroom, where we can mull over it and work to fundamentally alter the way our friends, families, and co-workers see our faith and the world.

Your part of the deal? Just keep reading. Read books by people of other faiths. If you want to, go talk with people who are not Catholic (and can hold a reasonable conversation; obviously don’t tolerate the trolls). Then come back here, and let me know either in the combox or in an email what they said so that I can incorporate it.

How’s that sound? Are you in? Can we do this?

I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging,  and it’s very difficult to find anyone.

You are not alone. Not in the Backroom.


Marriage: It’s a Big Deal, Guys


Joe Ferullo, a blogger at the National “Catholic” Reporter (which, if you don’t know, “is not connected to the Church itself and is independent”) published a post titled “A missed opportunity to celebrate a young couple.” In it he bemoans Church teachings on the sacraments, which (let’s face it) is exactly what the readership of the publication has come to expect. He outlines the story of a young mixed-religion couple struggling to get married in the Catholic Church:

The couple approached several parishes, but they required the young couple to be active members for at least six to nine months.

“What kids in their 20s belong to a parish? We didn’t,” the mom told me. She’s right — we all know Catholic youths drift away from the church after high school or college, come back to get married and reform close bonds when they start a family.

Well right off the bat, I do believe we have something a little misleading here. Canon law requires that you be married in the parish where you are registered (Canon 1115), though the pastor or bishop can grant permission for you to be married in another parish. The reason for this is that, like all liturgies, a marriage is a celebration of the community. The community that you belong to should be the community you get married in—though as I said, exceptions can be made.

But our dear author Joe seems to be conflating the membership requirement with the mandatory six month engagement period necessary to be married in the Church. You see, to register with a parish is a snap, and can be done online with no trouble at all, at which point you can be married in that parish. There is no required membership time in the parish. So, the couple has to wait six months to be married anyway, why not sign up with a parish, become active members of the community, and do their marriage prep with that parish while they enjoy their engagement? (But what kids in their 20s belong to a parish? So uncool.)

Part of the reason for the six month engagement is to give the couple time to discern whether or not they are truly compatible for the cooperative duties of marriage, and to grow and mature in each other’s company before getting married. There is also the matter of attending a pre-marriage class, which is something like 8 hours one day on a weekend (like when you had to go to that defensive driving course after getting a ticket for 95 in a 75? Was that just me?) and they give you food and everything. Both the waiting period and the class are designed to make sure the young couple understands that marriage forms an indissoluble bond that cannot be broken by men. All in all, if every marriage required this, maybe the divorce rate would be lower… but don’t quote me on that.

So in short, yes, the couple has to wait six months and join a parish, but they do not have to be members of the parish for any specified length of time. (Though obviously it would be preferable if they participated in the community in which they are getting married.) Either Mr. Ferullo was mistaken, or he was deliberately misleading to slander the Church, and neither action is something you’d hope to see from any diligent reporter at a self-designated Catholic news source.

As a side note, I was married at 22. I lived in D.C., my wife lived in Dallas, TX, and we were both residing in South Bend, IN when we got engaged. We were ultimately married at my wife’s family’s parish in Dallas. Talk about logistical nightmare, but we were married six months to the day after I proposed here.

But enough about me, let’s move on:

On top of this, the groom isn’t Catholic— this added another layer of complications. Requirements for conversion were dense and daunting. Some priests were open to conducting a joint religious ceremony, but their pastors were against it, and— of course— no church would host such a thing inside its walls.

Again! Really? Sigh.

Well, if you are baptized, you are not required to convert to join the Catholic Church. That means any Christian denomination that baptizes (if I’m not mistaken, that’s all of them by definition) does not need to convert to be married in the Catholic Church. Even if your spouse is not Christian (which isn’t clear from Ferullo’s narrative) you need to obtain a special dispensation from the “ecclesiastical authority” (bishop or archbishop) as stated here (some good catechetical references there). Usually that will require an interview with said authority, and requires vows from the unbaptized (actually, in the case of non-Catholic Christians a vow is still required) to the effect of promising to live his married life according to the sacramental rules of marriage (having children, raising them Catholic, etc.). All in all, it’s a lot for someone who isn’t a Catholic, but marriage is a vocational duty on par with the priesthood. It’s the path to sanctity, and it’s best not to treat this shit lightly.

Seriously. Heaven is a big deal. It’s weird that so many Catholics don’t get that.

Also, this nonsense about a joint religious ceremony is ridiculous. There is no such thing as a joint religious sacramental marriage. If a priest said he’d go to a non-Catholic wedding and act as a witness or something, that’s fine, that’s his prerogative; but then he’s not acting as a priest as such. It’s either a Catholic marriage or it’s not. None of this half-and-half stuff, uh-uh.

Alright, the home stretch:

Now, I know, I know: If these young people were really committed to the church [some capitalization would have done nicely, but carry on], none of these obstacles would matter. And the church— well, it can’t open the door to young cafeteria Catholics unwilling to sit down and eat the full meal. And, heck, what is this bride doing falling in love with someone who isn’t Catholic in the first place?

If only life and love followed the rules we lay out for them. But inasmuch as they don’t now and never have, it seems the church would be smart to help out this couple and many others like them. If a parish back East [oh, East gets capitalized? Really?] had been more flexible and welcoming and created a positive experience, that could have been a turning point in the spiritual life of these two young people and the family they will someday form.

But that opportunity seems to have been frittered away. To what end, I don’t know. For whose good, I’m not sure.

If you read this blog with a little regularity, you understand that— while I am not a rad-trad— I do believe that the way to lure people to the Church is not to change the Church into a Protestant Church. The hierarchy, the rules, these things are the Church’s greatest strength, passed down from God through revelation. To throw away tradition would be to un-sacramentalize marriage, which deprives the recipient of the graces necessary to live a holy married life. The Church does not rely on strength of numbers to thrive; it relies on the rock, the seat of Peter, upon which Christ built his Church. We want to bring others to the Catholic Church, but not by sacrificing Catholicism on the altar of public opinion.

But that opportunity seems to have been frittered away. To what end, I don’t know. For whose good, I’m not sure.

The end is the preservation of tradition, and the good belongs to the mystical body of Christ. While Mr. Ferullo paints a picture of a couple victimized by the Catholic Church for being in love (“If only life and love followed the rules we lay out for them…” That line comes straight out of a romance novel (not that I’d know, I’m certainly just guessing here)).

Having gotten married in the Church under some of the more extreme geographical circumstances I’ve witnessed, I can tell you it’s really not that hard, when you want to follow the rules. If you don’t want to wait 6 months, then the Church can’t marry you. It’s imprudent for a whole host of reasons. If you don’t want to be a Christian, you’ve got to prove that you will be an active participant in the sacrament of marriage, and not just “tolerate” it—or, even worse—be an obstacle to it.

When marriage is, for the majority of people, the path to Heaven, it doesn’t serve anyone to fling open the doors like a drive-thru chapel in Vegas. It’s something to be approached with prudence and equanimity. But at the end of the day, if you can’t deal with the six-month waiting period or don’t think it’s important your children should be raised in the Church, then what business do you have marrying in the Catholic Church?


You’re an Idolater *UPDATED*


wealth[1]

One question that has been asked quite often, by non-Catholics and Catholics alike, is about the wealth of the Church and its seeming juxtaposition to the Church’s mission to take care of the poor. I for one have never received a satisfactory answer, so I did something that very few people ever do these days. I thought about it, and here’s what I got.

There are probably three areas of wealth that earn the Church criticism and alleged hypocrisy: the objects used for sacramental purposes (vestments, chalices, ciboria), the extensive art collection of the Vatican, and the bishops’ residences. Each of these deserves its own response, so I’ll lay it out below to empower you, my lovely readership, to educate the Church’s naysayers.

For the objects of the Mass, and other sacraments, churches traditionally aim to use fine materials. Marble for the sanctuary and altar, gold for the tabernacle and holy vessels, various fine fabrics, often heavily embroidered, for the vestments. The money spent on these things would be far better spent on the poor, would it not? God doesn’t care what your church looks like; He’s immaterial! He doesn’t even have eyes!

Some people say that the reason for these fine things is to capture the attention of the parishioners, to help them focus on the Mass. I don’t think that’s right, that sounds a little too circus-y for Church. Besides, as anyone knows who’s gone to Mass at the same Church for years, no matter how opulent the sanctuary, after a while it becomes familiar, and is no longer fascinating.

I think the true reason is that God does want His dwelling place to be magnificent, because that’s how you worship. That’s how you truly put your money where your mouth is. If the most important person in the world came to your house (you know, like Barack Obama, or the Fonz), would you serve them food and drink on paper plates and Dixie cups? No! (I know I run the risk of alienating my redneck readership, and I apologize.) You’d serve them on your fine china and crystal. If you knew in advance they’d be coming, you’d probably go out and buy fine china and crystal. It’s a sign of respect, and while it’s debatable whether the examples above deserve that respect, it is completely not debatable that God does.

   Now when Jesus was in Bethany, at the home of Simon the leper,a woman came to Him with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at the table.But the disciples were indignant when they saw this, and said, “Why this waste? For this perfume might have been sold for a high price and the money given to the poor.” But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me. For you always have the poor with you; but you do not always have Me. For when she poured this perfume on My body, she did it to prepare Me for burial. Truly I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.” (Matthew 26: 6-13)

The second form of wealth we laid out was the collection of art the Vatican has. These are priceless works, and the Church could sell them for obscene amounts of money that could be used for the poor. To hoard the works like they do is a crime against humanity, says the antagonist.

Well, let’s think about that for like two seconds.

If the Church were to sell the works for obscene amounts of money, who would be the only people who could buy them? The obscenely rich or national governments. If the former bought them, it’s likely these works would never see the light of day again, being “hoarded” by that terrible 1% (let’s face it, it’d be more like the 0.00001%). If the latter bought it, the works become subject to potential abuse, being brought out only on certain occasions, and always with political motivations. While the Church maintains them, they remain open to all comers, imparting Beauty and Truth on all who come, and in some cases, leading to a deeper relationship with God through Beauty.

And even if the Church did sell them, that’s a one-time gift of money. There’s no sustainable way to take care of the poor through the one-time influx of money (see my UPDATE below if you disagree, the art already functions as the most secure possible investment) and the Church is already the greatest philanthropic organization on the planet (not that we should be grading on a curve or relativisticly, but still). The works do far more good in the hands of the Church than in the hands of the wealthy or the politically motivated.

And finally, we come to the final area of wealth, the bishops’ residences.

This, in a way, is the most difficult to justify. On the one hand, we hear stories about bishops like our Pope Francis who sell their residences and live in the priestly apartments, with far more modest accommodations. Also, there are many dioceses where the bishop’s residence is little more than a house. But for those bishops who have grand, mayoral palaces, well, it belongs to the diocese, and so it’s not just simply a call the Vatican can make. Furthermore, there are many uses for a bishop’s manor that go well beyond simple comfort and/or opulence of the bishop. Maybe he opens up the hall to the poor and sick during Lent for soup dinners. Maybe he knows the only buyers who want his palace want to tear it down and build a strip mall, and he thinks there’s a good in preserving the historic manor.

The fact of the matter is that it’s an intensely personal matter belonging, usually, solely to the bishop. While Christ did say to the rich young man “Go, sell what you have, take up your cross, and follow Me,” he said it to a man who had many things and was so attached to them, it was the main thing keeping him from devoting himself to God. It wasn’t a general injunction for all Christians to sell all their possessions. It was a personal injunction to a man who was too attached to his things, and it is a general injunction to not be attached to worldly things.

Bishops who sell their mansions to live in more humble dwellings should be admired, like a man who sells his house and late model car to go pray in a monastery. That doesn’t mean everyone should sell all of their possessions, but it does mean that we are all called to detach ourselves from anything we are attached to, addicted to, depend on, because these things separate us from God. The materialistic age we live in raises up anything and everything as an idol, whether it’s wealth, food or drink, or power. Get rid of your idols, so that God is truly your only support.

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*UPDATE* After some wonderful back and forth with the redditors at r/Catholicism, I want to add in one more very pragmatic point about the art galleries in the Vatican, and why they should stay where they are.

Many of the people clamoring for the art to be sold have taken a relatively simplistic economic view of the art in the Vatican. As it is right now, they are an asset that is actually generating income. Tourism is one of the principal revenue streams of the Vatican, so not only are they hard assets that will not depreciate (There were always be obscenely wealthy people who want to buy priceless works of art) and act as a sort of securities fund, but people go to the Vatican in part to see these works of art, which helps to feed into the Vatican tourism stream, which helps to fund the Vatican so they can continue to do what they do.

This was a little more pragmatic than the lofty idealism I was aiming for, but I do believe that this an crucially important point to remember.


Kermit Gosnell: How, and Why, We Got Here


It’s hard for me to talk about this. Please, bear with me.

Today at work, I spent five hours in a huge Tweetfest about #Gosnell, a terrifying trial going on right now of which many of you have not heard—but not because it isn’t a huge deal.

Those of you who follow me at The Backroom Catholic will know that I was putting out word about this monster as early as January of this year, when I first found out about it. He was apprehended, though, back in 2011. This man was an abortion monger, plain and simple. Pregnant women came in, and left “unburdened.” Sometimes forcefully.

If you don’t know about the inhumanity that is a “Dr.” Kermit Gosnell, you have to watch this video, and read my previous post on it.

So the scary thing here? I mean, aside from hundreds of babies, late-term and born, who were slaughtered in this “House of Horrors”? The way the pro-aborts are talking about this:

If they even know about the Gosnell trial at all, people will tell you that it’s a horrific but isolated incident. This statement, though, is based on nothing more than feeling. Surely there can’t be many clinics like that one. It’s too gruesome for words—or even thought. People like Gosnell are one in a billion.

But that is wrong.

Every state that has been pushing through clinic regulations in the past couple of years (which is quite a few) has only done so after at least one incidence of horrifying and grotesque conditions at an under-supervised abortion clinic.

What’s thatYou hadn’t heard about those incidents?

It’s not surprising, given that a man is finally being put on trial and facing a possible death penalty for his absolute “House of Horrors,” and we’ve barely heard about it in major media. The man’s clinic wasn’t inspected in 10 years. 10 years! Imagine if a hospital was not inspected in 10 years. It’s outrageous.

So these abortion clinics, and others like them (seen enough instances to know this isn’t isolated?) are disgusting places—not just morally, but physically. But unfortunately, isn’t this where we’ve come to as a society?

The lines have been blurred, and the pro-aborts are trying to blur them further. They’re all in on abortion, whatever it takes. Whether it’s the Salon article saying So What If Abortion Ends Life? or the FL Planned Parenthood representative saying that a child who survives abortion can be killed by the mother at will, they will say whatever they have to in order to get you to accept their twisted logic. Even the moderates use the old “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” logic to look the other way.

Now, science, logic, and common sense all tell us that life begins at conception. Mary Beth over at Salon accepts that fact! Real threshold distinctions between fetus and baby, potential life and life, cannot be made. Liberals know it in their mind of minds and heart of hearts, no matter what they say.

So when abortion is allowed in one instance, it necessarily invites abortions under any and all instances Someone who thinks abortion is only okay in the first trimester is essentially no different from someone who thinks abortion is okay through the birth and after the birth; the former is just more squeamish about it all.

This is the truth that terrifies moderates everywhere, but this is what the Gosnell case is bringing to light. By burying the case for so long—by remaining silent and not passing judgment on Gosnell—the mainstream media has given a tacit “OK” to Kermit Gosnell, and is playing damage control so their precious pro-choice alliance retains its card-carrying members.

But the screams of children will not be denied. I dare you to look at this casewatch this video, and tell me that even one abortion is something that’s okay.

Dear readers, the iron is hot now. The media is beginning to cave in to the pressure from conservative microbloggers, and is beginning to cover the story (just like you’d think the media would, but at least it’s getting out there). Press on, move forward with this, and strike! Share this with your friends. Educate your acquaintances. Open their eyes! Sometimes apostolate is soft and kind. Sometimes it burns fiercely—but always, always with love. Lovingly share this with everyone you know, so that we can save the children, born and unborn, that the world forgot to love.


Stealing Your Children – A Guide to Dominating Culture


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Culture is like an animal in the wild. Left on its own, it will continue on its way, but if you want, you can wrestle it to the ground, force it into submission, and eventually break the beast’s spirit so it’s domesticated, though it will always dream longingly of the freedom it had before, and will strive to break the chains you’ve thrown around it.

Or, if that sounds like too much work, you can wait for the animal to have offspring, kill the animal, and raise the offspring in a domesticated environment, and they’ll never know the freedom their mother always longed for.

Why the hell am I talking about this? I’m afraid we’re being killed off, so that the ever-wise, ever-just man can raise our children without us.

It sounds crazy, does it? Well, I am crazy, but I’m also right.

Read the rest here.

 


New Atheism: A Correlative Analysis


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All you have to do is visit the online comments section of any article pertaining to religion. There they are: Champions of the New Atheism, chomping at the bit for a fight, hoping to contribute in (very, very, very) small part to the embittered modern project of erasing theism from American life.

For the New Atheist (N.B.)(edited), theism’s reign is over. It’s dead; it just hasn’t realized it yet. The advances we’ve made in thought and science have rendered it completely obsolete, now that we can almost explain everything about the universe ourselves.

Atheists see themselves as the conclusion of the 20th and 21st century’s scientific rigor. Because we’ve come so far, we can ditch the imaginary friend and stand on our own two feet. No “God-of-the-gaps” please, I’ll take my mysterious origins of life and let the theists argue about the great sky-bound bearded one. To that, though, I’ll say that this New Atheism has only one piece of the puzzle. And it’s not a very good piece, anyway. It’s like finding a middle piece before you have any edges or corners in place.

I would say, while A(theism) follows B(ook Learnin’), it’s fallacious to assume that A because of B (post hoc ergo propter hoc). We’ve got ourselves a correlation, not necessarily a causation.

Maybe there’s another cause that has propelled atheism into widespread cultural acceptance—a cause that is more responsible than “intellectual advancement.” As you may have guessed by now, I think there is.

As we, the human race, have advanced scientifically, we have been able to solve so many problems of the human condition. No longer do we live in constant fear of death from above, below, or all around. No longer the arduous journey to find food in the wilderness (food that would often kill you as soon as be killed by you, I might add). Sickness will soon be a thing of the past. But there are far more advancements that science has given us than merely being able to survive. In our most modern times, it’s given us the power to live in almost perfect comfort.

Over a hundred degrees outside? Crank that AC up. It’s raining outside? My jacket’s waterproof. Snow-pacolypse approaching? I’ll make sure to stock up on canned food and candles, and maybe buy a generator, just in case I lose power. Oh yeah, electricity is great. Now think about what life was like before electricity, cars, thermal windows, transportation, and the internet. How uncomfortable everyone must have been.

When you’re this comfortable, when your every need is met, then you won’t need God anymore. What could God possibly give modern man that science hasn’t? Eternal happiness and life? Actually that sounds pretty great. How do I get it? I have to live according to someone else’s rules? Well… alright, what rules?

I have to be virtuous, active in the world, trade in my creature comforts for moral fortitude, and seek to better myself according to someone else’s telos (the purpose of life)? Nvm, bro, that sounds… uncomfortable.

Working toward comfort is reasonable, in a sense. Reason is a fantastic tool in the human being’s arsenal, but at the end of the day, it’s just that. A tool, much like a chainsaw. A chainsaw, used properly, is a wonderful aid to achieving a desired end, such as sculpting your bushes, or removing an unsightly lightning-struck tree, or dealing with invading aliens. A chainsaw, used improperly, is still a great way to achieve a desired end, like dismembering innocent people.

The point is, reason is a tool like any other: it can be used as it was meant to, or used in ways it wasn’t meant to be used. It can still be effective, but that doesn’t mean that the end result of a tool’s abuse is a good thing.

In the case of the “New Atheist” (the ones who do so much online pestering), I do believe that the majority of them use reason, but for purposes that it wasn’t meant to deal with. There are truths about the human condition and human nature that run far deeper than reason: love, for example. Not love like how a fat kid loves cake. Love as the primary means of relating to other human beings. Love that wells up in your soul at the littlest thing your child does, like reaching out a hand to lay on your cheek or grab your fingers.  Love that completely rushes over you when you’ve been away from home for too long, and you finally get back and your spouse has laid out your favorite meal in anticipation of your return.

Our pathos is as uniquely human as our reason is, and is equally necessary to the human condition. But in the maelstrom of creature comforts that we live in, our pathos is neglected.

Discomfort—a lack of comfort—is central to the Christian teachings. Christ called us to detatch ourselves from things of this world so that we might take up His cross and follow Him, not to let ourselves grow fat and lazy Stumbling through the internet and wasting hours at a time on Netflix.

Anyone who has gone without so that their loved ones can have more understands Christian love on a material level. There is sanctity in that action, without a doubt.

But what about depriving yourself of salt at a meal, or trading out your hot shower for a lukewarm one? How does that help anyone, and if it doesn’t, then why would I do that?

Well, materially, it doesn’t help anyone in any meaningful way. But it helps you spiritually, by reminding you that comfort is not what we should be seeking. And by helping yourself—by growing in moral fortitude, by working out your moral muscles—you make yourself stronger. And when you make yourself stronger, you can help others out more.

The world we live in, though, laughs at that. Why make yourself uncomfortable for discomfort’s sake? Our world doesn’t understand the telos, or purpose. It doesn’t want to hear that our actions are insufficient, or that our actions have eternal repercussions. Yet, how fulfilling is living a life of decadence and indolence? How much more fulfilling is living a life of constant spiritual and moral growth?

There are atheists of the “Old Guard” who believed in this kind of moral workout, and believed that it was good for the betterment of mankind as a whole. These were the atheists that believed that religion should be tolerated, and some even believed it was good for the masses (how… benevolent of them).

But this “New Atheism” has at its center a view that “religion should not simply be tolerated but should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises.” As any psychologist can tell you, lashing out like this is frequently an expression of a need to assert superiority or equality; this need stems from the opposite, a feeling of inferiority. The atheists who don’t want to better themselves, and would rather use their reason to justify a life dedicated to comfort and to prove that they don’t have to better themselves morally, understand that they’re not living a complete life, because those damn self-improving theists think they’re so much better than me just because they’re developing moral toughness and a brighter version and vision of humanity.

Yeah, yeah, I know…

NB – This article is referring to New Atheists solely. Any atheists who do not believe that religion “should be countered, criticized, and exposed by rational argument wherever its influence arises” are not the subject of this post. I have many very close atheist friends. That would be impossible if they were “New Atheists”. Also, I didn’t make up that term: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Atheism


Little Lord Moffat, Our Modern Day Prophet


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The Right Honorable the Lord Baron Conrad Moffat Black of Crossharbor, a conservative Catholic, wrote a piece for the National Review Online that serves as an instruction to any and all readers, if you know where to look. Lucky for you, I’m here! Your ever-faithful servant-teacher. You can read the article here (it’s a two page article, most of our lessons will be coming from the second page, if you’d all follow along in your books). The title? Pope Francis, Say Yes to the Pill.

At the bottom of the first page of the article, he starts getting into the meat of his topic. The Church teaching on contraception is held to by a “small and very doctrinaire” segment of the Catholic Church, and even the bishops “largely dissented” when it comes to the Church’s position on this.

Fine. Let’s accept those “numbers,” such as they are, and move on.

“…this counsel is maintained in a way that invites scorn and incredulity as the prohibition commended as moral duty shows no recognition that sexual intercourse has, for billions of people, become a mere extension of the pleasures of heterosexual affection, because of the ease with which it can be assured not to be a procreative act. When almost any coupling with a woman of child-bearing age presented the potential for conception, the Church could plausibly counsel caution for moral as well as practical reasons. But for better or worse, the evolution of mores and the progress of paramedical science in the contraceptive age has routinized the sexual act.”

Alright, so the Church has no practical reason to “moralize,” because we don’t have to procreate to have sex anymore, like in those silly Medieval times. Never mind that Christians believe God created our bodies with purpose—we’ve found new ways to achieve purposelessness! I see where this is going. If you’re reading the article, he’s pretty damn transparent. He’s trying to distance himself from his position by putting it in the mouths of unnamed bishops and other laity. It’s kind of sad. His writing reads as autobiographically as Freud.

On to the next page!

“I do not underestimate, and am not qualified to discuss, the theological arguments involved…. [But] There must be a dogmatically respectable way to execute a dignified climb-down and declare the sexual act a consequential moral commitment appropriate to and generally reserved to marriage, but sometimes unexceptionable when undertaken with contraceptive precautions, and reprehensible only if entered into wantonly.”

Let me translate this into common parlance, for our dear Lord Moffat has forgotten that he’s speaking to the common-folk now. *Ahem* “I don’t know much ‘bout theology, but there’s got to be a way to change it so that it says what I want it to say, and I can have fun sexy-times with no baby-fears.” How was that? Not bad? Thanks.

Well, now we know where he stands, at least. Also, he’s an upstanding and happy man. I’m not saying, I’m just saying.

I’m sick of so-called allies telling the Church what it “needs” to “revitalize” itself. It’s one thing when a hostile media organization does it; that’s to be expected. We don’t expect them to understand the transcendent nature of Truth and Beauty that is present in the Mystical Body of Christ. But a dangerously false image of the Catholic Church is disseminated when men and women publicly say: “I’m on your side, guys, just… this one thing, it needs to change, so you guys don’t look like you’re stuck in the past. I know you’re not, really, but they don’t. So let’s fix this, and move on.”

Stop it.

Truth is not something you find by asking for a show of hands. Truth isn’t something gleaned from general trends of population. Truth doesn’t change. So don’t do that. Don’t bring us approval numbers and crap like that. That’s not how we know what is right, so it won’t get us to change what we believe.

Catholics are not a political body. We’re a mystical body, beholden to Christ. We don’t have platforms, we don’t try to appease an electorate. If you don’t like the Truth, I’m afraid there’s only so much we can do for you.


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