December 18, 2014 by Leave a Comment
December 17, 2014 by Leave a Comment
December 16, 2014 by Leave a Comment
December 16, 2014 by Leave a Comment
In an inexplicable bit of terrorist logic, the Taliban attacked a school in Northwest Pakistan yesterday.
Mohammed Khurrassani, a Taliban spokesman, said the murders of these children were in retaliation for Pakistani Army operations which they claim have killed hundreds of Pakistani tribesman.
The Taliban attackers murdered an estimated 132 people, most of them children, and wounded another 122. They made students watch as they burned a teacher alive. It is reported that they beheaded some of the children.
The thinking that goes into specifically attacking a school and slaughtering children as a political statement is beyond me. This sort of thing seems to be happening more and more. In 2004, Islamic militants attacked a school in Beslan Russia and killed 385 people, most of them children.
Boko Haram has made something of a career out of attacking schools and churches. On February 25 of this year, they attacked a Christian boys’ boarding school, killing 29 students. Later in the year, they attacked a girls’ school, kidnapping 200 girls. These girls were forcibly converted to Islam and, according to Boko Haram, then “married,” which I believe means used to concubines, by their fighters. A truce in which the girls were supposed to be returned never happened. In July, they attacked another school, killing 42 people, most of whom were students. Then, on November 10, Boko Haram attacked yet another school, killing 47 and wounding 79.
We’ve been hearing for years about the big, brave men who throw acid in school girl’s faces. And now it seems the world is going to be treated to an increasing number of attacks on schools and school children.
This is organized barbarity. It is also cowardice. I don’t know what they teach people in the Taliban, ISIS and Boko Haram, but real men don’t murder, kidnap, rape school children.
December 15, 2014 by Leave a Comment
I think it’s much greater than that. Employers are missing a bet by punishing both mothers and fathers for putting their families first. Not only are they aiding in the destruction of our society, but they are cheating themselves out of employees who are the kind of people who can and do commit and go the distance.
Giving motherhood the respect it deserves is a much needed antidote for the the sins of this world. The video below describes a movement that began in Italy which seeks to do just that. This movement and those like it are an important step in the right direction.
The evil of abortion — and through it a plethora of life-destroying movements — found traction in the public imagination precisely because child bearing and motherhood had been used as a means to justify discrimination against women and to limit their lives.
Women don’t need the “right” to kill their own children. They need respect and support for motherhood. No woman should be forced to chose between a murdered child and a ruined life. I believe this so passionately that I’m currently writing a whole book about it.
December 13, 2014 by Leave a Comment
December 13, 2014 by Leave a Comment
I thank you Father … that you have hidden these things from the wise and the learned, and revealed them to the little ones.
“CCChristian people, I am come hither to die for the faith of Christ’s holy catholic church; and, I thank God, hitherto my stomach hath served me very well thereunto, so that yet I have not feared death; wherefore I desire you all to help and assist with your prayers, that, at the very point and instant of death’s stroke, I may in that very moment stand steadfast without fainting in any one point of the catholic faith, free from any fear. And I beseech Almighty God of his infinite goodness to save the king and this realm, and that it may please him to hold his holy hand over it, and send the king a good council.”
St John Fisher, at his execution
God’s warriors have always been the most unlikely people.
He sent Moses who stuttered to speak to Pharaoh and Gideon who was a coward to fight a war. He chose Deborah — a woman in an ancient middle-eastern country — as commander in chief during another war, and He was Himself born in a manger and raised by a carpenter.
God likes the little people, the unlikely people. Jesus’ disciples, who would ultimately change the world, were fishermen and disreputable tax collectors and such.
Jesus Himself once thanked His Father for revealing the truth of the Kingdom to the “little ones.”
We see this lived out in our world every single day. How often do we see the powerful and puffed up professional followers of Christ who have done quite well for themselves, thank you very much, cut and run when trouble comes? How often do we see those who claim that they speak for God and we must honor and respect them for that reason, collude with the world and do its bidding rather than Our Lord’s?
The leadership in a good many of our Catholic universities is a case in point. Many of these universities are institutions that were built by priests, jesuits in particular, and which are still headed by priests.
Education has become a primary means of brainwashing young people into turning their back on Christ. This is a magnificent opportunity for those who run our Catholic universities to make a positive difference for the Kingdom. They could, if they were committed to Christ themselves, make their institutions a primary means of converting the culture.
Instead, many of them have chosen to convert their schools to fit the culture. When push comes to shove, as it has with the HHS Mandate, they bend the knee and kiss Ceasar’s ring without embarrassment. And they continue to wear the Roman collar while they are doing it.
As I said, in another post, enter the Little Sisters of the Poor, stage left. The sisters are, as Jesus said, “little ones.” The word “little” is even in their name. They were, before they decided to make a courtroom stand for Christ, almost anonymous. Their work isn’t the kind of thing that allows them to hobnob with presidents and kings. They spend their days caring for the least of these, for the very people that a good many in our society are pushing to euthanize for their costliness and the massive inconvenience they create. The Little Sister of the Poor care for the frail elderly,
The Little Sisters fit Jesus’ description of “the little ones” pretty well. They serve a Church which is administered by men who do sit down to sup with presidents and kings and many of whom have clearly forgotten that they are servants, not masters.
One of Public Catholic’s readers inspired this post with the comment that they wished the Little Sisters of the Poor would be more like the priests of Notre Dame and just do what the government tells them to do: Accept the HHS Mandate and follow the government instead of Christ.
The reader didn’t put that last bit about following the government instead of Christ in there. That was all me. But I honestly think it reflects the choice that the leadership at many of our Catholic universities have made, and not just in the HHS Mandate.
What the reader was saying, of course, is that they preferred Christians who follow the world rather than Christ; they like cowardly Christian leadership that will lead their people into betraying Our Lord so that the Church becomes a meaningless cypher in today’s world. This reader — and I imagine a good many other people — prefers the priests of Notre Dame to the Little Sisters of the Poor precisely because the priests are so willing to sell out Jesus and the Little Sisters are, however reluctantly, willing to fight for Him.
I wonder if this embarrasses these priests at all. I would take a look at myself if those who have as their outspoken goal the destruction of religion in general and Christianity in particular praised me for not following the Church. Do they consider, even for a moment, the implications in this?
These are difficult times, and difficult times are when the sunshine soldiers who joined to participate in the parades and fanfare lay down their arms and cross over to what looks like the winning side. How many of the English bishops acceded to Henry VIII? I know of one. Cardinal John Fisher was martyred for his faith and is now Saint John Fisher.
I’ve read letters from the bishops, encouraging the laity to consider St Thomas More when thinking about the HHS Mandate. St Thomas More is special to me. When I was in the process of converting, I thought about him a lot. I’ve always thought that he was there with me, aiding me in that time. St Thomas More is my namesake. During my years in office I wore his medal, all day, every day.
St Thomas More refused to repudiate the Church at the King’s command. St Thomas is precious to me because he had many failings and he did not want to die. He was not aiming for sainthood. He tried his best to live, to avoid his martyrdom. But in the end, when the choice of Christ or King was put before him, he chose Christ.
St Thomas More is a marvelous example, especially for politicians, writers and attorneys. St John Fisher is an equally important example for priests and bishops. I wish there was a St John Fisher Society to promote sacrificial followership among priests and bishops. I wish they could find fellowship and strength in one another. It is not easy to lead people in these times. It takes consistency and courage.
Leadership in the name of Christ is always servant leadership. It is a giving of oneself, rather than a getting for oneself. The people of God are hungry for leadership. Even most of those who criticize and try to bully the Church into acceding to the world would respond to leadership if they saw it. In fact, a good many of these people behave this way because they don’t have leadership. They are, as Jesus put it, like sheep without a shepherd.
The single best way to lead is by example, by inspiration. Do you want people to stand for Christ? Then stand for Christ yourself. Do you want people to sacrifice for Jesus because He is worth any sacrifice? Then, sacrifice yourself. The Church is built on the blood of the martyrs, not the crisp linens and fine serving ware of dining with presidents and kings.
The prominent priests of Notre Dame are a fine example of how not to do priestly leadership. Being the big dog and aping the world are not examples of servant leadership or even Christly leadership. They are examples of betrayal.
I thank You Father … that you have … revealed these things to the little ones.
Enter the Little Sisters of the Poor, stage left.
It seems I’ve run afoul of the atheist portal here at Patheos One. More. Time.
Nobody sticks in these folks’ collective craw more than I do. They love to hate me and they love to trash me. If one of them was slowly slipping away, I think the doc could show them one of my blog posts to get their poor little heart started beating again.
I’m not sure how I do it, and to be honest, I don’t care, but I do get under their skin. They react to me the way Tribbles react to Klingons.
I’ve studiously ignored this carrying on up to now, and I intend to go back to that same path as soon as I finish here. But I do have a small bone to pick with one of the more outlandish claims against me that has been published on that portal.
Dan Arel, who blogs at Danthropology, has a big case of outrage going over my recent blog post about the Prez. It seems that calling President Obama an idiot is a bridge too far for Mr Arel. That’s his opinion, and he’s welcome to it. Writing blog posts trying to get at me is also his call. It actually would be difficult for me to come up with a description of how little I care.
I’m not even all that exercised about the one point that I’m going to discuss here. I just think it leads into an important point that needs making.
In his outraged defense of the president, Mr Arel — as atheists seem wont to do — veers off into personal attacks against me. As often happens with personal attacks against me, he immediately goes into fantasyland and presents made-up nonsense as fact.
This paragraph is a case in point (emphasis mine):
Rebecca Hamilton is a former politician who spent her career attacking women’s rights. Now it seems in retirement, her life will be no different. She does not think women are able to make the choices that are right for them and instead wants the President to give her and her religion the privilege of making these choices for you.
Oh me. Oh my. Such a big fat lie.
Here’s just a sprinkling of things I’ve done (This is just off the top of my head. I’m sure there’s more.) during my career-long “attack” on women’s rights:
1. One of 6 founders of the first rape crisis center in Oklahoma.
2. Got first funding for statewide domestic violence shelters.
3. Author of the original protective order in Oklahoma.
4. Creator of the first statewide rape hot line in Oklahoma.
5. Authored legislation to allow rape victims and victims of domestic violence time off work for counseling, court visits, medical care without losing their employment.
6. Authored legislation to provide state funding for day care.
7. Authored legislation to make human trafficking illegal in Oklahoma.
8. Passed a law to keep rape victims’ information private.
9. Host and co-creator of the Oklahoma Day of Prayer for an End to Violence Against Women.
10. Authored bill to stop doctors from paying women to allow their bodies to be harvested for eggs.
11. Authored bill to stop forced abortions.
12. Authored bill making it a felony to beat up a pregnant woman.
13. Authored bill outlawing female genital mutilation in Oklahoma.
14. Authored bill to make rape by instrumentation a crime in Oklahoma.
Lessee now. What might I have done that could possibly be construed as “attacking women’s rights?????”
Tap, tap, tap …
Could it be the fact that I oppose abortion?
That’s all I can think of. And it does fit.
Because in some people’s minds, “women’s rights” is abortion. They think that if you aren’t in favor of abortion on demand, then you must be opposed to “women’s rights.” On the other hand, they think that if you favor abortion on demand, then that’s all there is to women’s rights.
Oddly enough, even in this, Mr Arel’s hateful hyperbole overreaches the facts by a few miles. I opposed abortion in the second half of my career. During the first, pre-conversion half, I was the pro choice poster girl of Oklahoma. I’ve got enough Margaret Sanger awards and other pro choice attagirls from that phase of my life to paper the walls of my house with them. I was the de facto go-to person in the Oklahoma legislature for those who wanted pro life bills killed dead. And I delivered, because I was, as one of my fellow House members told me, “one hell of a legislator.”
Before I was ever elected to office, I was the Oklahoma director for NARAL.
So puhllleeeezzzz Mr Arel, consider who you are tarring with your abortion-is-women’s-rights brush. I know more about this issue — from both sides — than you will ever learn.
One of the things I know, and that I have learned to my horror and grief, is that abortion kills a living child. I can’t tell you how devastated I was when I realized the full horror of what I had done during my anti-God years.
Not only was I shattered by my own crimes against humanity, but as a woman who cares deeply about women’s rights, I felt trapped in a conundrum. How could I work to ensure women’s rights and prevail in my life-long work to speak out for justice for womankind and still protect these unborn children’s lives? That was the question.
I found the answer in the place where we all must look: The abundant mercy and love of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jesus is Lord of every life, whether the person acknowledges this or not. He loves Mr Arel just as much as He loves me, or you. He loves him and wants to offer him forgiveness and the free gift of eternal life just as He loves and cherishes the unborn child.
We are all His brothers and sisters, all God’s children.
Jesus loves women with a special depth of love because He is the author of life and women are the bearers of life. We are His cooperators in the life force. He chose to be born of a woman Himself.
This does not mean that God intends His daughters to be limited to that one single role. We are not walking uteri. We are human beings, made in His image with all the hungers, desires and needs for significance, achievement and the fullness of life that men have. Diminishing us to the role of childbearing as if that was all there is to us is not God’s plan. It is the devil’s curse on humankind.
Misogyny is the human race, at war with itself. And abortion, which strips women of their uniqueness, is an attack on women’s humanity at a profound level. Women should not have to chose between a murdered child and a ruined life. That, and not some nebulous “right” to murder both their own child and their own maternity is what women’s rights should be.
Pregancy and childbirth should never be used as a weapon to terrorize women or limit their lives. Rather than ending this discrimination and misogyny, abortion cooperates with it. Abortion is just the old misogynist double standard, turned sideways. It puts the whole burden of human sexuality back on the woman once again.
I don’t blame Mr Arel for being such a twerp about all this. He is, after all, both a man and an atheist, which is a combination that, based on my reading, seems to struggle with ideas of women’s rights based on women’s humanity. In fact, this group seems to struggle with ideas of intrinsic and universal human rights for any group of people. Based on things he’s said and done, I would guess that he’s also got a special hate going toward me.
All that adds up to a king-sized pair of blinders. When he puts forth the women’s rights = abortion equation, he is repeating the mindless cant he’s been taught around who knows how many intellectual campfires.
What I would like him to do is to take those blinders off, or at least peek around them, and see the love and compassion that Our Lord extends to him. Mr Arel is wrong about abortion, wrong about God and, in a far lesser question, wrong about me.
I wish him the best thing I could wish anyone, that he accepts the love of Christ and begins the journey to heaven. Whether he knows it, or wants to believe it or not, he is my brother; my lost and angry brother.
I pray for you Dan. You are a child of the living God.
Now, I’m back to ignoring the atheist portal.
I don’t know that I’ve ever used a title that provoked such comment as when I put “President Obama is an Idiot” at the top of a post about his idiotic lawsuit against the Little Sisters of the Poor.
I’ve been huzzahed and tsk, tsked, accused of being a racist and told that I really need to learn how to address my betters. I’ve gotten the full blast of self-righteous, sanctimonious how could you say that??? from people who engage in vendettas, personal attacks, character assassination and name calling as their ordinary means of discussion.
It was one of the most obvious cases of pot and kettle disowning projection I’ve witnessed in my young life. And I spent 18 years in the Oklahoma House of Representatives.
To be honest, it reminded me of Aunt Pitty Pat, reaching for her smelling salts.
All this approbation and excoriation seems to fall (surprise!) along party and ideological lines. If, say, I had written a post called W an idiot, I rather imagine the applauders and the outraged would have switched sides.
The one point of attack that had validity was the simple one based on the fact that I so often call other people down for name calling. I’ve made a big point of not allowing name-calling on this blog, and then here I go, calling someone an “Idiot” in a title. What gives?
I made an exception to my own rule in the case of our president going to court with the Little Sisters of the Poor because any politician, much less the president of the United States, who would do such a totally idiotic thing, is, well, behaving like a political idiot.
From the viewpoint of governance, politics, justice, proportion and common sense going forward with this lawsuit is idiotic.
We are talking about the president of the United States. This is the man who has told us that he’s “got a phone and pen” and he can pretty much govern as a reigning elected monarch from the Oval Office. Congress, (speaking of idiots) to this man is a cypher. He’s the Prez; he’s cool and he rules.
We are discussing the man who has his finger on the nuclear button. He can, with a whim, kill every single thing on this planet. He can melt the mountains down to glass, burn the forests to ash, boil the oceans dry and leave this sweet blue globe a smoking cinder.
He can order troops into any corner of the planet, send the bombers and reduce any city, any nation, any spot to rubble in a matter of hours.
And he’s decided to go mano y mano with the Little Sisters of the Poor.
I said he was an idiot for doing this. I kind of regret that. I think it was too mild.
How stupid does a politician have to be to get into a fight with a bunch of elderly nuns who don’t want to be involved in supplying contraceptives and abortifacients? He’s the most powerful man in the world and he’s maneuvered himself into a lose/lose fight with, of all people, The Little Sisters of the Poor?
Idiot? Oh yeah.
Because, you see, all this power that President Obama wields, every single smidge of it, comes from we the people. We put him in power.
When the day comes that an American cannot call a president — any president — an idiot, then we’re in big trouble. That’s what we do in this country, and it’s a fine thing. President Obama may be able to melt the mountains down to glass and legislate with his mighty pen. But he’s still a sitting duck for we the people and our right to whittle him down to normal-sized anytime we chose.
So far as I can remember, every president I’ve ever lived under has been called an idiot by somebody. Also, every president I can remember has been called a Communist. And most of them were likened to the Anti-Christ. Is President Obama more disrespected than other presidents? I don’t think so.
I’m old enough to remember thousands of people marching in the streets chanting Hey, Hey LBJ, How Many Kids Did You Kill Today?
I remember Richard Nixon, otherwise known as Tricky Dicky.
And President Clinton, who was Slick Willy.
I’m not old enough to remember Franklin Roosevelt, who was a “traitor to his class,” Thomas Jefferson who was a “destroyer of civil liberties,” or Andrew Jackson who was a “whoremonger.”
I don’t like name-calling, and I do not usually allow it on this blog. But, I would defend without reservation the right of any American to call their president one of these names and a whole lot worse.
President Obama is the Prez. Being called an idiot isn’t specifically named in the Constitution as part of his job description, but the set-up for it is right there at the top of the list in the Bill of Rights. First rattle out of the box, we were given the right to have our say, petition our government, engage in free assembly and (enter the Little Sisters of the Poor, stage left) freely exercise our religious beliefs without government interference.
That’s what has made us who we are. It is who we are.
I was in Taiwan a few years ago with a group of Americans and a high-ranking Taiwanese guide. The Taiwanese man shepherded groups of people from many nations through Taiwan on official visits. Our little group was hard to keep corralled. We kept going off on our own in different directions. At one point, when our guide was particularly exasperated because of this, I said, “I suppose this happens with every group.”
“No,” he answered, “just Americans.”
That’s us. That’s us right down to the ground. We’re so accustomed to doing whatever we want, going wherever we please, saying whatever we think that we stand out among groups from many nations in this regard.
I hope and pray that never changes.