Don’t Go to Battle for Christ Before You Go to Spiritual Boot Camp

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Waiting for the Word https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Waiting for the Word https://www.flickr.com/photos/waitingfortheword/

Make no mistake about it: The culture wars are going to get hot and hotter.

The recent revelations about Planned Parenthood dialed up the heat. The president’s response (which I’m going to write about next week) tossed dynamite onto the burner. This is going to get ugly.

Another shooting adds a new line to the column of proof that our society is deconstructing. Wishy washy responses about the gay marriage decision from some of our religious leaders leaves those of us in the pews wondering just how authentic they are, and agitation from the atheist-backed satanists lets us know that old scratch is getting less and less afraid of showing his face.

We are the soldiers in a war, my friends. We are the Lord’s army.

How does a Christian get ready for battle?

I took a few moments from my conventioneering this week to write a prescription for would-be pro life warriors for the National Catholic Register.  Here’s a taste of what I said. Go here to read the rest.

May the meditations of my heart
and the words of my mouth
be pleasing in Your sight,
oh Lord, my God and my Redeemer.
—King David 

I was all set to write a post that would get right down to the nitty and the gritty of hardball, pro-life politics. I’m still going to do that. But not today.

I try to pray the prayer above, which is an old, old prayer from the Psalms, before every speech I make, and before I put my fingers on the keyboard to begin writing. Sometimes, I get caught up in the moment and just start writing without praying. Those are the times when I have to go back and say, I’m sorry, I was wrong, I apologize.

Because, you see, without God putting a brake on my inner jerk, I give vent to that inner jerk. Me without the Holy Spirit, is a real mess.

Which leads me to today’s post. I prayed before I sat down to write this, and when I prayed, I was reminded that the real nitty and gritty of pro-life politics begins before the tactics and the ways to fight the fight in a technical sense.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/ask-the-holy-spirit-to-put-your-through-spiritual-bootcamp/#ixzz3goSiu2Y2

 

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Macbook Air 11 vs iPad: Which is Better for Travel?

MBA 11 and iPad 1. Mine is an iPad 3 or 4, I forget which. Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Paul Hudson https://www.flickr.com/photos/pahudson/

MBA 11 and iPad 1. Mine is an iPad 3 or 4, I forget which. Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Paul Hudson https://www.flickr.com/photos/pahudson/

I’m going to the Catholic Writers Convention next week.

Or, I suppose I might say that I’m running away for the week. I’m leaving Mama in the care of my husband and sons. They’re apprehensive that she’s going to be downright rebellious about it. Me? I’m a mix of shared apprehension and giddy anticipation of freedom from diaper changing.

I really do feel like an escapee of sorts, leaving my 90-year-old baby behind and all. I am worried, big time worried, about how it will be, with me gone. Nobody else can calm her down and keep her going the way I can.

I’m praying it works out.

In the meantime, I’ve been pondering just what technology (if any) to take with me.

The iPhone goes. No question there.

The desktop stays behind.

The remaining question is whether to take my Macbook Air, or iPad, or nuthin’.

Nuthin’ only applies if I decide that I am not going to do any writing at all while I’m there. I actually did put together a short post on my iPhone, and (Surprise!) it is do-able. But, you know, using a paintbrush to write a post on buffalo hide is do-able also. I’m just not inclined.

Maybe if I ever replace my itty-bitty iPhone 4s with a phablet, that will change. I can sorta see me carting around a keyboard and a phablet, especially when Scrivener (I’m the eternal optimist about this, folks. I think they’re eventually gonna do it.) comes to IOS.

But for today, right now, this weekend, I’ve gotta decide between iPad and Macbook Air.

The MBA is the 11 inch model, and yes, it does fit in my purse. (I carry a messenger bag when I travel, but let’s just call it a purse.) It’s slightly heavier than the iPad, but not all that much.

The big reason for all the hemming and hawing — and also why I’m unlikely to go with just the iPhone, no matter what — is that when I travel to conventions and such, I really enjoy going back to my hotel room at night and watching movies. I have Netflix and Amazon Prime and I relish the alone time (which I don’t have at home) when I can just kick back and enjoy myself.

The MBA is a much better machine for doing stuff. Any kind of writing, even an email, is better on the MBA. Since Scrivener for iPad is still the vaporware that writers dream about, the MBA is the best way to keep the flow going on my book.

However, the iPad ain’t totally shabby for that. If I drag a keyboard along, I can write with it and then move what I’ve written back to Scrivener. I won’t have access to all the Scrivener goodness, including my research files, but I can write straight narrative.

As for blogging, don’t hold your breath. I may take the whole week off. In fact, I’m kind of planning that. If something happens that I just can’t resist blogging about, I will do it. I’d do that if all I had was an iPhone. But, to be honest, I don’t much want to try to conventioneer and blog, both at once.

So … which is it?

iPad and better movie watching, or MBA and better writing?

I can’t seem to make up my mind. I mean that. I may not know what I’m going to do until I pick up one or the other and shove it in my bag.

What would you do?

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So … What Did Cecile Richards’ Statement Do for Planned Parenthood?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by David Shankbone https://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by David Shankbone https://www.flickr.com/photos/shankbone/

So … what did the president of Planned Parenthood accomplish with her statement a few days ago?

It appears that her house is collapsing. But appearances in politics are not only deceiving, they are meant to deceive. In the world of hard ball politics where “bans” on partial birth abortion are nothing of the kind and tax-payer monies vanish underground like a kind of dark matter coinage, big houses like Planned Parenthood very seldom collapse.

They get kicked around and called a lot of names, but their tentacles in government and funding are like a web of roots that spread and intertwine throughout the subsoil. Their alliances and beneficiaries reach out to the most powerful back room lords of political creation, and that’s on both sides of the partisan divide.

So … I ask again, what did the president of Planned Parenthood accomplish with her statement?

I explain a bit of the politics of it in the National Catholic Register.

From the National Catholic Register:

… Cecile Richards most emphatically was not speaking to “our” side of the political divide in her statement yesterday. She was speaking directly to those who regard the nefarious “religious right” and “woman hating anti-abortion zealots” as the devil. This was an easy pitch for her to make. It’s so well established in this war by both sides that the other side is the devil that all she had to do was use certain code phrases to evoke the full freight load of message in her listeners on both sides of the debate.

Her statement was not designed in any way to persuade pro-life people to back down or to get them to support Planned Parenthood. It was not an attempt at conversion.

Her statement was intended to rally and hold her troops on the ground, to soothe Planned Parenthood’s followers out there in the hustings who might be feeling a little shaky because of the sheer grisly disgustingness of the video in question. Her message was designed to bolster courage among her own and keep them from running scared. Planned Parenthood’s operatives in the media and the blogosphere hit the ground running almost as soon as the video surfaced. They had their talking points, and they talked them, loud and clear.

Ms. Richards didn’t need to make a statement  to accomplish that. But she is, in a very real sense, a general in a war of ideas and attitudes. She is a leader, and, I would add a most effective one. Any leader knows that at critical points when their followers are scared and heading toward demoralization, it is incumbent on them to stand before their followers and give them a shot of courage.

Ms. Richards’ statement was a spine injection into her followers,

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/pro-lifers-must-become-clever-as-serpents-innocent-as-doves/#ixzz3gF7lR6Se

 

For a dose of pro life outrage, check out the Catholic Patheosi mama bear, aka, The Anchoress. 

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… and the Plot Sickens. Baby Parts Selling Doc Now Employed by Former White House Staffer

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Neon Tommy https://www.flickr.com/photos/neontommy/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Neon Tommy https://www.flickr.com/photos/neontommy/

This is an example of how things work in the world of interlocking boards and political friends helping each other out.

Dr Deborah Nucatola, the doc who talked about selling the body parts of aborted babies in the now famous video, now works for Sexual Health Innovations, an organization founded by former White House staffer Jessica Ladd. According to The Daily Caller, senior Obama administration officials sit on the organization’s board.

Sexual Heath Innovations is a nonprofit that receives federal money as a contractor. Currently, it is focusing on “Callisto,” which is “an online ‘third party sexual assault reporting system’ for girls on college campuses.”

I could go on a rant here about abortion advocates taking over supposed help for rape victims, but, to be honest, it bothers me too much to write about it. I’ll probably come back to it later. In the meantime, I imagine Public Catholic readers can connect the conflict of interest dots.

From The Daily Caller:

Disgraced Planned Parenthood official Deborah Nucatola’s shocking personal work history is coming to light.

Records reveal that Nucatola was employed by a former White House staffer at the time that she was selling aborted baby fetus parts.

A staunch political advocate, Nucatola railed against the “right-wing” Bush administration. What’s more, she so enjoyed her work in the abortion industry that she touted a T-shirt celebrating a drug used in the practice.

Let’s break it down:

Works for a White House staffer

Nucatola is currently employed at Sexual Health Innovations, founded by former Obama White House staffer Jessica Ladd. Senior Obama administration officials sit on the board of the abortion activist group, including Praveen Basaviah of the President’s Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and Kyle Bernstein of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The IRS-approved 501(c)3 tech nonprofit is a major Obama administration contractor.

The group works on issues including “abortion access,” according to its website. But the group’s biggest project right now is Callisto, an online “third-party sexual assault reporting system” for girls on college campuses. The property in development counts Google as its investor.

 

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The Future of the Catholic Church is the Same as Its Past

Father Stanley Rother Copyright Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved

Copyright Rebecca Hamilton. All Rights Reserved

Ok, so I’m the daughter of a mechanic, the granddaughter of a laborer who at one time dug ditches and was glad for the work on one side of my family, and a real-life horse-breaking, cattle-branding cowboy on the other.

My great-grandfathers were farmers and blacksmiths. Cherokee blood flows in my veins from a time when being Cherokee wasn’t cool.

I am working class from the soles of my dusty bare feet to the top of my frizzy hair. My generation was the first in our family to darken the doorway of an institution of higher learning, and I think we all felt considerably out of place there. Our background, the pond that spawned us, did not fit us for the many pretenses and — to us — absurdities of indirection of the intellectual world. At the same time, our education unfitted us for the world from which we came.

We were, all of us, doomed to wander through life as strangers in a strange land of social dislocation.

Patheos’ symposium on the future of the Catholic Church has some mighty fine thinkers contributing to it. All of them approach the question from an intellectual viewpoint. We have people telling us about how their ministries have informed them of the lacks in the Church’s outreach, others discuss how the future of the Church should be for gay people, or from the viewpoint of clergy.

But I don’t see anything there that even acknowledges the existence of people like me. The working class is right out in discussions of much of anything these days. The people that fight the wars, build the buildings, unstop the plumbing, lay down the roads, grow the food and keep the wiring from frying us, are invisible in almost all discussion of anything in this country, whether that be the ubiquitous “rights talk” that Mary Anne Glendon references, or, sadly, the future of the Catholic Church.

I am going to posit that the major failure of both American government and American Christianity in these past decades is the abject failure to protect, nurture and dignify the working class. It seems that every single thing we’ve done, whether it is the revision of our tax codes, our constant war-making, the destruction of the family or the la-la-la attitude of so much of our clergy, has fallen on the heads of the working class.

Make no mistake about it, our tax code is now constructed so that government is supported by the workers of this country, even while that same government exports jobs, and degrades our public education into a method of transmitting social values that are anathema to the survival of working class social structure and values. At the same time, our religious leaders, both of the right and the left, have gone off chasing after the whiff of close contact with the powerful and abandoned the full Gospel calls for justice and mercy.

How does this apply to the future of the Catholic Church?

It applies because of all the babbling voices of moral exhortation in our splintered and polarized society, the Catholic Church is the only one that speaks for the whole Gospel of Christ. Almost in spite of her clergy, the Catholic Church has refused to hew either to the right or the left, but has laid claim to the calls to human dignity that are inherent in the teachings of Christ for all people. This means that the same Catholic Church which speaks for the sanctity of human life also speaks for the dignity of the worker, the right of working people to earn a living wage and labor in an environment that treats them like people, not chattel.

Instead of following demonic influences that seek to deny the Beatitudes on the one hand or the Ten Commandments on the other, the Catholic Church recognizes that they are both the same and must be equally honored.

Right now, the Catholic Church in America is foundering like a horse that has gobbled down too much soft grass in the springtime. It has imbibed of the cultural riches and now many of its institutions, including its institutions of higher learning, flat-out refuse to honor Church teaching and be Catholic in a real-world way. When they are called to choose Christ or to choose Caesar, they choose Caesar.

Catholics as a whole have taken to heart the unspoken message of do-what-you-want that they frequently get from those in leadership positions in the Church who do what they want themselves. This feels like a kind of freedom to those who are doing well. But for those on the bottom side of the wheel, this moral dissolution leads to life destruction.

Working class people suffer from being disrespected by everyone from presidential candidates to the Church itself. While presidential candidates Obama and Romney both took a turn at dissing working people in private fund-raisers with rich folk, the Church disses them by ignoring them.

It is not enough to lobby for reversals in the legal shearing of working class lambs that has been taking place in government, although that is certainly salutary. It is also not enough to provide ministries of food, medical care, etc, to people who cannot afford them, although that is both necessary and wonderful.

The Church cannot simply “minister” to working class people in their physical needs and stop there. It must lead and convert the exploited and abused working class. I believe that is what Pope Francis has been saying when he tells bishops that they must get out among the people; that the church is not just another non-profit charity.

The future of the Catholic Church lies in the same place as its past. It lies in doing what Jesus directed Peter to do: Feed my lambs.

Too much of Catholic school education has become a rich kids’ privilege. It does not matter if the kids are Catholic or not. It does not matter if the teachers and officials in these schools follow Church teaching or not.

The Church needs to go back and provide Catholic education that is actually Catholic, and it needs to make sure that it is available to the people who need it most. People who are stuck holding down two or three McJobs simultaneously to support their families cannot nurture their children properly and often end up with failed marriages. Add the abominable inner city schools to this, and what you have is a recipe for one lost generation, going on to attempt to raise another generation which will be even more lost.

Meanwhile, the Church closes its parishes in the inner cities and builds both churches and schools in the rich suburbs “where the people are.” The fact is that the moving vans that trundle the vestments and hymnals from the slums to the wealthy neighborhoods are driving past tens of thousands of people who are in desperate need of the Church. They are being abandoned with the idiotic claim that they are not there.

Father Stanley Rother showed us the way, if we would but see it. We need priests who will go into the inner city and into working class neighborhoods with the same missionary fervor and loving heart that he took to Guatemala. We need a Church that ministers to working class people as if they were actual human beings. The bizarre otherness that has been imposed on them by those who are exploiting and using them has no place in a Church that follows Jesus the carpenter.

Father Rother, servant of God, is a true priest for our times. He embodies both the Church’s past and its future.

The Catholic Church is either a missionary Church, bent on conversion and mission, or it is a sacrament dispenser that has no part in the lives of its people.

I could go on and on about the plight of working people in America. I could, and I probably should, write a book about it one day.

The future of the Catholic Church in America could not possibly be brighter. This nation is imploding morally in both the social and the economic realms.  There is one answer to the anguish and misery this will create, and that answer is the shed blood of Jesus Christ.

The Catholic Church is the full repository of the faith. It does not trim the Gospels to suit secular power politics. As such, it is the one institution that has the prophetic and moral voice to speak for everyone.

As Jesus said, the fields are ripe for the harvest. What the Church needs is laborers who will bring in this harvest.

I don’t think it will find them in its various ivory towers and islands of privilege.

 

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Abortion Apologists Defend the Mother Ship

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by mjtmail Tiggy https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjtmail/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by mjtmail Tiggy https://www.flickr.com/photos/mjtmail/

Planned Parenthood’s mega funding from the federal coffers might be – might be — in a bit of danger.

I don’t honestly think it’s in all that much danger. Planned Parenthood has weathered worse. Several times.

But the video of their medical director swilling wine, chomping on salad and discussing the sale of body parts from babies that she’s aborted is … ummmm … damaging to their claim of being all about women’s health and whatnot.

Abortion apologists — who, as luck would have it, usually turn out to also be euthanasia, egg harvesting, embryonic stem cell research apologists, as well — rolled up their sleeves, picked up their verbal brass knuckles, chains and clubs and went to work as soon as the video broke.

The “arguments” on Planned Parenthood’s behalf have been rolling in from all the usual places. Their virtual watering holes have chimed in with a story that is all lined up and squared like it came with instructions.

The Christian-bashing atheist bloggers, the sad little faux feminists who think that abortion is all there is to women’s rights, the nihilist web sites, and, of course, Planned Parenthood’s cable news networks have all repeated PP’s talking points like a chorus line dancing and twirling to the beat in a Broadway show.

The basic line of attack is the same the basic line of attack that Planned Parenthood has used with each of these revelations. They used it when their clinic personnel were shown arranging forced abortions for pimps and human traffickers. They used it when their clinic personnel were shown arranging sex-selected abortions to murder baby girls because the parents wanted a boy, instead. They used it again when their clinic personnel were shown instructing teens on how to practice sadistic sex.

Here, in case you’ve missed it, is the standard line.

1. It’s all lies!!!!

In the case of this video, the “lie” is that this exchange of $$ for baby body parts is the cold-blooded commerce it appears to be. The hearts, lungs, livers, arms and legs discussed in the video are “tissue” and the talk of $100/body part is really an at-cost “donation” of $100/per “tissue sample.” No money is being made here, you ignorant, woman-hating religious fanatics.

2. It’s entrapment!!!!

The video is edited, because, you see, the doc who said flat-out that the law banning partial birth abortion could be gotten around by just saying that she didn’t “intend” to do a partial birth abortion, but just, you know, happens — and happens it seems quite a lot — to do them, also said some touching things about her dedication to women. The lengthy video, however, was cleverly edited to focus on the baby-body-parts-selling. The complete and unedited video was also released, but that doesn’t matter. This is foul play, you ignorant, woman-hating religious fanatics.

3. It’s just the crazy Christians and their hatred of women!!!!

This is standard Christian-bashing boilerplate. It gets taped onto just about every debate or discussion that people of faith have an opinion about. It’s prejudiced, discriminatory, intolerant and unjust. But it’s working, so we’re going to keep on doing it.

4. It’s complicated, and the dimwits who are so outraged don’t understand complication!!!!

Medical procedures are messy and ugly. Discussions about medical procedures can be upsetting to small-brained, ignorant, woman-hating religious fanatics. We will ignore, as we always do, that this “medical procedure” is in fact a murder and what we are talking about is selling the body parts of the innocent murder victim at a profit, not cost, since the mother of the murder victim already paid for the “procedure,” and disposal of “tissue” is figured into that payment, and the United States government subsidizes us like we were the military. We won’t admit for a minute that what we are calling “messy” is, in fact, grotesque. Nope. This is “medicine” and it’s “messy.” Only ignorant dim-witted religious fanatics like our critics fail to understand that.

5. Anyway, without our political clout, where would you pro abortionists be? So line up and start attacking. Now!!!!

Planned Parenthood is the mother ship of the entire nihilistic super-culture that has taken over American institutions and thinking. It must be defended at all costs.

It depends somewhat on which personal axe the culture of death apologist in question has to grind whether they emphasize points 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5.

Professional Christian bashers, for instance, can’t write a blog post about how to plant a geranium without attacking Christians. So, you know they’ll lead with the crazy, women-hating Christians trope, with a big layer of it’s complicated and you dimwits don’t understand complication layered on top.

Those who don’t have a stomach for base prejudice, or who, say, make a lot of money from the $$$ of Christians, go for numbers 1 and 2, coupled with a more politely-worded version of the it’s complicated story.

Number 5 doesn’t get talked about in public. But it’s the reason for all the crazy attack-mode carrying-on. Every member of the culture of death inner world knows that this is circle-your-wagons time. In fact, these people pretty much keep their wagons circled, 24/7.

Planned Parenthood is the mother ship. They will defend her with everything they’ve got.

Don’t get upset by this, my friends. It’s expected.

Did you honestly think that Planned Parenthood was going to sit down and say, “You’re absolutely right. We did it?”

If I had asked you three days before this video broke to list who would be most likely to defend Planned Parenthood if another of their embarrassments surfaced, wouldn’t you have already had the names of who has been doing it on your list?

To put it even more directly, if I had asked you what they would say in defense, wouldn’t you have come up with points 1 through 4 without half a thought? These are, after all, their standard boilerplate attack-defend-mode thingies they say.

Don’t get upset when the guns start blasting from the other side. All that means is that they took a hit and they’re replying, as best they can.

YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image YouTube Preview Image

 

For Planned Parenthood’s reply, go here.

For the Center for Medical Progress’ counter reply, go here.

For other reactions to this video, read Simcha FisherKatrina Fernandez, Fr Dwight Longenecker and the Anchoress.

 

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Boehner Announces Investigation into Planned Parenthood

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons, by Gage Skidmore https://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/

Speaker John Boehner announced today that the United States House of Representatives will begin a process of looking into Planned Parenthood’s sale of organs that it obtains from aborted babies.

According to the Daily Caller, this process will begin with reviews of Planned Parenthood’s activities by the relevant committees of the United States House of Representatives. The phrase “public hearings” was used, but no definite plan of action was attached to it.

My hope — which I wouldn’t call a high hope — is that this will be a legitimate investigation that will result in shifting the massive amount of funding that goes to Planned Parenthood to state departments of health. I would also like to see the huge grants for sex education to be taken out of the hands of the nation’s largest abortion provider. The conflict of interest in this is obvious.

However, I caution pro life people to hold their elected members of Congress to a high level of accountability in these proceedings. The most like scenario is that we will be treated to all sorts of electioneering via this “investigation” in preparation for the elections next year, but that nothing substantive will come of it. 

We can not allow ourselves to be patted down and mollified by speechifying and electioneering. I believe quite firmly that if any substantive change comes out of this, it will be because we demand it and don’t allow ourselves to be manipulated for political gain.

From The Daily Caller:

Speaker of the House John Boehner on Wednesday called for congressional hearings into the practices of Planned Parenthood — and one House committee confirmed it will investigate the organization.

The video showed a top Planned Parenthood doctor admitting clinics routinely sell body parts after abortions.

“When an organization monetizes an unborn child — and with the cavalier attitude portrayed in this horrific video — we must all act,” Boehner said.

“As a start, I have asked our relevant committees to look into this matter,” the Ohio Republican added. “I am also calling on President Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell to denounce, and stop, these gruesome practices.”

 

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Colorado State U Buys Planned Parenthood Aborted Baby Body Parts

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Why is abortion so hard to stop? Why is Planned Parenthood seemingly impossible to de-fund?

Part of the answer is that both abortion and Planned Parenthood are entwined throughout the supra-culture.

It appears that Colorado State University has been indirectly buying aborted baby parts from Planned Parenthood by purchasing them from StemExpress, which in turn purchases them from Planned Parenthood.

I would guess that Colorado State University used tax-payer monies to pay for these body parts which were taken from murdered babies. Given the nature of the purchase, it is likely that federal grant monies were involved.

So. We have Planned Parenthood, which is funded by direct federal appropriations as well as huge amounts of grant monies and direct pay of state monies from state governments, including money for “sex education,” selling murdered baby body parts to a second-party vendor. The vendor re-sells the murdered baby body parts to a publicly funded university which almost certainly gets massive amounts of federal grant money to do “research.”

Follow the money, my friends. Who is paying for buying and selling the organs of murdered babies? You and I.

To see the purchase order from Colorado State University to StemExpress, go here.

From LifeNews.com:

On January 10, 2013, Colorado State University purchased fetal body parts from Planned Parenthood’s flagship abortion facility in San Jose, California via a company called StemExpress.  In total, nine specimens were harvested from eight different aborted babies killed in abortions at that Planned Parenthood clinic and the purchase order reveals CSU bought two body parts, including an aborted baby’s liver.

SIGN THE PETITION! Congress Must Investigate Planned Parenthood for Selling Aborted Baby Parts

At the time, StemExpress paid Planned Parenthood $50 per specimen, which means that in one day they received $450. Additionally, Stem Express harvested body parts from Planned Parenthood facilities in Fresno, Sacramento and Stockton.

The documentation from StemExpress (below) reveals that Leila Remling, an employee of CSU’s Microbiology, Immunology and Pathology Department, purchased the body parts.

 

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German Chancellor Angela Merkel Comes Out Against Gay Marriage

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Duncan Hull https://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Duncan Hull https://www.flickr.com/photos/dullhunk/

Just when I thought that there were no independent thinking heads of states left in the Western world, here comes German Chancellor Angela Merkel, swimming alone and against the tide.

Her common-sense approach is to end unjust discrimination against homosexuals, but to maintain marriage as between one man and one woman. She favors allowing homosexuals to register as domestic partners.

This takes guts folks. Real guts. It’s the mark of a statesman to think for yourself and not play follow the leader.

From The Independent:

Angela Merkel has come out against gay marriage, saying that she agrees with civil partnerships but believes matrimony is just for men and women.

The German Chancellor backed equal benefits for same-sex couples, such as tax breaks, and said discrimination should be ‘eliminated’.

But the committed Christian, who has been married twice, gave her personal definition of marriage as ‘a man and a woman living together’, in a YouTube interview with Florian Mundt, a YouTube known under the alias LeFloid who has a significant online following.

“I’m someone who is very supportive of us eliminating all discrimination … ”

… Ms Merkel went on to say stress that marriage should be strictly defined as between a man and a woman, adding: “I am for registered civil partnerships. I am for our not having any discrimination in tax legislation. And wherever we still find discrimination, we will continue to dismantle it,” according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.

Explaining further, the German leader said: “I don’t want discrimination and [I want] equality, but I make a difference at some point.”

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Why Would Any Woman Submit to Partial Birth Abortion? Why Would Any Doctor Do It?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Bridget Coila https://www.flickr.com/photos/bibbit/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Bridget Coila https://www.flickr.com/photos/bibbit/

At first, I thought partial birth abortion was a hoax.

I mean, why would any woman submit to this procedure? Why would any doctor do it?

It made no sense.

Now it does.

Read how I came to understand the whys of partial birth abortion at The National Catholic Register:

Partial birth abortion.

The phrase is an oxymoron of itself. How does one do both birth and abortion in one procedure? It appears that doctors perform this feat by inducing a “partial” birth … which then turns into an abortion.

I never heard the phrase “partial birth abortion” until the late 1990s. The procedure, as I understood it then and understand it now, is as oxymoronic in medical terms as it is in linguistics.

How and why would it ever be in the best interests of the mother to induce labor of a near-term baby, which is then delivered feet first with all the tearing and agony to the mother that this entails, then stop the delivery long enough to suction out the baby’s brain before pulling out the head backwards?

How graphic do I have to get to demonstrate that this would be agony for the mother, that it would damage her physically, and that it is far more dangerous to her medically than just delivering the baby normally and trying to save it?

Partial birth abortion is so obviously bad for the mother that I did not, when I first heard of it, believe that it existed. I honestly thought that the term and the procedure were both fictions that someone dreamed up.

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/partial-birth-abortion-is-all-about-the-money/#ixzz3fyN8lGU2

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10th Circuit Rules First Amendment Protections Don’t Apply to Little Sisters of the Poor

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Goat_Girl https://www.flickr.com/photos/112363286@N08/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Goat_Girl https://www.flickr.com/photos/112363286@N08/

The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the Little Sisters of the Poor are not affiliated with a specific church and they are a non-profit, so the First Amendment doesn’t apply to them.

Ditto for the Christian Brothers Services and Christian Brothers Employee Benefit Trust, the Catholic organization through which the Little Sisters buy their insurance.

While that may sound a bit off-the cuff, it’s the gist of the ruling.

This is how the on-going war against people of faith is played out. It rides in on the back of the legal sophistry that the First Amendment only applies to recognized churches and then only to what is done within the aegis of that recognized church. The verbiage is to limit “freedom of religion” to “freedom to worship.” This kind of limitation effectively destroys our most cherished freedoms, including freedom of speech as well as freedom of religion.

The 10th Circuit has bought into this fiction big time, because … well … because they are idiots. Or rather, because they are ideologues. But, to paraphrase Mark Twain, I repeat myself.

There is a growing — and I mean rapidly growing — opinion in this country that We the People should begin to ignore the courts. That is a dangerous notion that I will write about at length later. But the public attitude underlying it has its roots in this kind of absurd ruling. This is a re-writing and abrogation of the First Amendment that damages the freedoms and liberties of every American citizen today and into future generations.

The people who support this are throwing away their own freedoms for no other reason than a desire to get at someone whose opinion and beliefs they do not share. The courts are playing fool to this because — and this seems obvious — at least a number of members of the judiciary are ideologues with only a narrow understanding of their responsibilities to our country.

This particular move is a result of the HHS Mandate which is a result of the hubris of a president who seems addicted to an imperial view of himself and his office. How many times has President Obama made statements that he can enact policy without Congress? How many times has Congress answered him in the affirmative?

Congress has always had the power to rescind the HHS Mandate. They did not have to let it go into effect in the first place. They have not used this power in any way except as a campaign tool to win elections. If campaign promises were Congressional action, this would be an entirely different country. It would be a country in which We the People would have some hope of making a difference when we vote.

As it is, most of us have figured out that, no matter who we elect, they end up lying to us, ignoring us and doing things that hurt us. Why should we be surprised when the judges these folks appoint behave in the same way?

The 10th Circuit does not necessarily have the last say on this issue. The Supreme Court can chose to hear the case and overturn this ruling. The question is, will they?

As for the Little Sisters of the Poor, they intend to continue in their ministry and stay faithful to their faith. This is the challenge and the example for each and every one of us.

From CNA Daily News here at Patheos:

Disappointment follows ruling against Little Sisters in mandate case

Denver, Colo., Jul 14, 2015 / 11:29 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Little Sisters of the Poor have reiterated their commitment to following their conscience as they care for the poor and dying, following a federal appeals court ruling that they must obey the federal contraception mandate.

“As Little Sisters of the Poor, we simply cannot choose between our care for the elderly poor and our faith,” said Mother Provincial Sr. Loraine Marie Maguire.

“And we should not have to make that choice, because it violates our nation’s commitment to ensuring that people from diverse faiths can freely follow God’s calling in their lives. For over 175 years, we have served the neediest in society with love and dignity. All we ask is to be able to continue our religious vocation free from government intrusion.”

Sr. Maguire responded to a Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against the Little Sisters of the Poor on July 14.

The sisters are among several hundred plaintiffs that have challenged the federal contraception mandate, which requires employers to offer health insurance plans covering contraception, sterilization and some drugs that can cause early abortions.

Employers who fail to comply with the mandate face crippling penalties. In the case of the Little Sisters, the fines could amount to around $2.5 million a year, or about 40 percent of the $6 million the Sisters beg for annually to run their ministry.

Met with a wave of protest, the contraception mandate has undergone a number of revisions. However, the sisters say that it still requires them to violate their beliefs.

 

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Planned Parenthood Medical Director Filmed Selling Baby Body Parts

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Charlotte Cooper https://www.flickr.com/photos/cecooper/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Charlotte Cooper https://www.flickr.com/photos/cecooper/

“Laws are open to interpretation.”

That’s how Planned Parenthood’s Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr Deborah Nucatola, described the organization’s attitude toward federal law prohibiting partial birth abortion. This 2014 video shows Dr Nucatola engaging in conversation with someone she believed to be a Fetal Tissue Procurement organization.

She goes into grisly detail about the baby body parts that she will provide to buyers, and she names prices. She also explains her attitude — which, given her position, is probably also Planned Parenthood’s position – toward the federal ban on partial birth abortion. Here is what she said:

The Federal (Partial Birth) Abortion ban is a law, and laws are up to interpretation. If I say on day one, I do not intend to do this, what ultimately happens doesn’t matter.

In other words, the wording in the statute has a loophole that means it cannot be enforced unless the government can prove that the doctor deliberately intended to violate the law. Intent is a difficult thing to prove, as Dr Nucatola seems to know.

I think this is the portion of the statute that she is referencing. I put the verbiage that I believe Dr Nucatola probably believes supports her reasoning in bold.

Any physician who, in or affecting interstate or foreign commerce, knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion and thereby kills a human fetus shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both. This subsection does not apply to a partial-birth abortion that is necessary to save the life of a mother whose life is endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering physical condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself. This subsection takes effect 1 day after the enactment.

(b) As used in this section—

(1) the term “partial-birth abortion” means an abortion in which the person performing the abortion—

(A) deliberately and intentionally vaginally delivers a living fetus until, in the case of a head-first presentation, the entire fetal head is outside the body of the mother, or, in the case of breech presentation, any part of the fetal trunk past the navel is outside the body of the mother, for the purpose of performing an overt act that the person knows will kill the partially delivered living fetus; and
(B) performs the overt act, other than completion of delivery, that kills the partially delivered living fetus; and
(2) the term “physician” means a doctor of medicine or osteopathy legally authorized to practice medicine and surgery by the State in which the doctor performs such activity, or any other individual legally authorized by the State to perform abortions: Provided, however, That any individual who is not a physician or not otherwise legally authorized by the State to perform abortions, but who nevertheless directly performs a partial-birth abortion, shall be subject to the provisions of this section.

It will be interesting to see if Dr Nucatola and Planned Parenthood will be prosecuted under this statute, given that it sounds as if Dr Nucatola has confessed on this video to deliberately violating it for profit. It will also be interesting to see if federal and state monies continue to go to Planned Parenthood in light of this video.

I’ve said before and I will continue to say that there is no reason why this money needs to go to Planned Parenthood to provide the services that the American public wants to continue. Many other organizations could provide pap smears and contraception. We also need to remember that Planned Parenthood teaches their philosophy to our children in our public schools under the guise of sex education. They receive large amounts of federal and state monies to indoctrinate our children in their death-dealing attitudes about human life.

I would also like to make the point that college-aged women who are targeted by egg harvesters are not protected by any law. These unethical doctors run ads in college newspapers to induce young women to undergo dangerous and damaging medical procedures so the doctors can harvest their eggs. The doctors to sell these eggs to researchers who use them to create embryos which are then killed and experimented on, or the doctors use the eggs to create babies that they then also sell. No doctor should be allowed to pay people to undergo unnecessary and dangerous medical procedures that are not in the patient’s best interests in order for the doctor to make money.

The barbarity of doctors making well people sick in order to harvest their bodies so the doctors can make money is one issue. It could easily be settled by simply making it illegal to pay women to undergo egg harvesting. All it would take would be to add egg harvesting to the statute prohibiting the sale of human body parts. The major reason this is not done is the lobbying efforts of the medical associations.

The issues surrounding the human rights violations inherent in using these eggs to create embryos for medical research or to create babies that are then sold on the open market like heads of lettuce should also be addressed. These baby-creating-selling clinics should be shut down and their operators put in prison. No doctor who makes well patients sick to make money for themselves should be allowed to practice medicine. No one should be allowed to buy and sell people.

Egg harvesters, abortionists and doctors who practice euthanasia are the ethical and moral twins of the doctor in Michigan who told well people they had cancer and then subjected them to cancer treatment in order to make money. I would also add the doctors who perform the procedure known as gender reassignment surgery on people who are mentally ill to this list.

The videos below were released by the Center for Medical Progress. I think their web site has been hacked. I was able to access it earlier today, but now I can’t. According to First Things,

The investigation was carried out by the Center for Medical Progress. According to their website, the “Center for Medical Progress is a group of citizen journalists dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.”

The video is the first by The Center for Medical Progress in its “Human Capital” series, a nearly 3-year-long investigative journalism study of Planned Parenthood’s illegal trafficking of aborted fetal parts. Project Lead David Daleiden notes: “Planned Parenthood’s criminal conspiracy to make money off of aborted baby parts reaches to the very highest levels of their organization. Elected officials must listen to the public outcry for Planned Parenthood to be held accountable to the law and for our tax dollars to stop underwriting this barbaric abortion business.”

I’m posting two videos. The first one is an edited version of Dr Nucatola’s conversation with what she thought were representatives of an organization seeking to buy baby body parts from Planned Parenthood. The second is the entire conversation, without editing.

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For Planned Parenthood’s reply, go here.

For other reactions to this video, read Simcha Fisher and Katrina Fernandez.

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Cancer Doc Who Gave Healthy People Chemo Gets 45 Years.

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Nicki Dugan Pogue https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenickster/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Nicki Dugan Pogue https://www.flickr.com/photos/thenickster/

What happens when you cannot trust your doctor?

Dr Farid Fata is an example.

Dr Fata lied to patients who were not sick and told them they had cancer. Then, he subjected them to the horrors of cancer therapy. He also gave patients who actually did have cancer many more chemotherapy treatments than they should have had. All of his patients were subjected to the terror of cancer and were harmed by these treatments. Dr Fata also murdered some of these people, since they died from his unnecessary treatments.

Dr Fata was backed up by other doctors and by the hospital where he practiced. I would imagine that he also was aided in getting away with this crime by the abject terror with which people greet a diagnosis of cancer.

There are several things we can take away from this situation.

First, get a second opinion. Doctors often fight you on this. I’ve experienced this medical resistance to patients seeking second opinions myself, as have friends of mine. If you want to avoid being Dr Fata-d, you might also consider getting this second opinion in a different medical circle than the doctor who originally gave you the diagnosis. By that I mean go to a different state. If you’re in Oklahoma, go to MD Anderson. If you’re in Texas, go to UCLA. But do not go for a second opinion from a doctor who is either enthralled with your original doc or who is in debt to him or her.

Second, current medical practice gives us many reasons to mistrust our doctors. Commercial medicine is predatory by its nature. Consider doctors who make designer babies and sell them on the internet. Consider doctors who harvest the bodies of healthy women for eggs that they sell on the internet. These women are not sick, but the doctors pay them money to undergo dangerous amounts to hormones and unnecessary surgery which punctures their ovaries repeatedly in order for the docs to make money in the manufacture and sale of human beings. These procedures endanger women’s lives, health and future fertility, but they are marketed to callow college girls as safe.

Consider the trendy new medical barbarity of gender reassignment surgery. This ghastly procedure mutilates people who are suffering a mental illness. It also subjects them to massive, life-long dosages of unnecessary hormones that further mutilate them and endanger their health. The push right now is to extend this procedure to minor children, even without parental consent.

Third, consider the barbaric practices of euthanasia and abortion. When we give doctors a legal right to kill at will, do we seriously expect that they will not become junior Mengeles who murder babies who survive abortions and euthanize people for no reason and without their consent?

Dr Fata was, due to the courage of a whistle-blowing employee, exposed and brought to judgement in our courts. He did not get the sentence he should have gotten, and he was not charged with the crime he committed, which was torture and murder. But hopefully, he will never walk free again.

However, if what he had been doing was legal, how difficult would it have been to mount a prosecution against him in court? Egg harvesting doctors who exploit young women are often respected members of their communities. They are, like the original Mengele, considered scientists and physicians. They are highly educated, smooth, and wealthy. They can easily schmooze their way past a tearful coed who has been harmed, or her distraught family when she dies.

Doctors who murder outright through abortion and euthanasia have a whole socio-political movement behind them which lionizes them and characterizes them as heroes of compassion. The same goes for doctors who practice the quackery of gender reassignment surgery.

Dr Fata’s crimes will probably lead to more government regulation and oversight of medical practice. The same thing will eventually happen with each of these legal crimes of euthanasia, egg harvesting, abortion on demand, the quackery of “gender reassignment” surgery, and creating and selling human beings.

Government intrusion into anything is always heavy-handed and destructive. In medicine, it creates timid doctors who put compliance with regulations created by hand-picked committees of bureaucrats with agendas ahead of the needs of their patients. It makes doctors reluctant to prescribe and act on what their training and experience has taught them is their patients’ best interest.

The irony is that no amount of regulation can control the legal practice of medical barbarity and make it into something other than the barbarity it is. There are no laws that will ensure controlled killing and exploitation of innocents once other laws have made such things acceptable. You can’t kill, mutilate and exploit people for a living and, as Himmler said of the SS, “remain decent.” Himmler was self-deluded in this pretense, just as those who histrionically jump up and down and defend these barbarities today are self-deluded.

The only way to stop medical exploitation of patients and the barbarities that come with it is to make such things illegal in the first place. Certain medical practices, among them elective abortion, and the commercial harvesting and selling of human body parts to the detriment of living patients, as well as the creation and selling of human beings, should be illegal.

At the very least, doctors who pay women to harvest their bodies, who sell babies, who murder their patients, either born or unborn, should lose their license to practice medicine and be subject to civil suit. It would be preferable if they went to prison for these crimes against humanity, but given that the medical associations support these practices, that is impracticable right now.

I think increased government regulation and oversight of medical practice will harm patients, as well as doctors. But when the medical profession throws its weight behind exploitative practices such as egg harvesting, creating and selling babies and what is nothing more than trendy, politically-correct abuse of the mentally ill, it makes the case that medicine cannot police its own house. The failure to stop Dr Fata just puts the cherry on top.

It is ironic that the political power of the medical associations, which has always been used to protect medical practice from government intrusion, will end up being the cause of greater government regulation and surveillance of medicine. If the medical associations continue down this path of defending barbarity, their behavior will inevitably lead to heavy-handed government intrusion into medical practice. It will also lead to the loss of public trust and faith in doctors.

Dr Fata is, in many ways, the tip of the iceberg of true medical malpractice in this post-Christian world of ours. The difference between him and his brothers in blood is that he fell over the tripwire of illegality, while they are protected by nihilistic trendiness that pushes the poisonous philosophy of social deconstruction at all costs, including, sadly, human life.

From The Detroit News:

Detroit — The notorious oncologist who gave chemotherapy to cancer-free patients, and overmedicated others, as part of an expansive insurance fraud scheme cried and apologized Friday before being sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Dr. Farid Fata will be behind bars until he’s 95, but tearful, grief-stricken victims and their family members who attended the sentencing — many wearing yellow to symbolize their hopes for healing and closure — insisted that’s not long enough. They and prosecutors hoped Fata would get up to 175 years.

… Fata’s conspiracy ensnared several hundred patients across Metro Detroit. He was accused of giving cancer patients overly aggressive doses of chemotherapy while treating others with the powerful drug for cancers they did not have.

The once sought-after oncologist was silent during sentencing hearings this week, refusing to glance at his victims as they recounted how he deceived them and left them with chronic pain and suffering. Friday, his stoicism crumbled as he pleaded, with tears in his eyes, for leniency.

“I stand before you ashamed of my actions … it all went wrong,” Fata said. “I cannot bring back the past. My quest for power is self-destructive.

“I pray for redemption … I ask the court for mercy,” Fata said. “They (patients) came to me seeking compassion and care … I failed them.”

 

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How Do You Leave the Catholic Church?

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Robert Cheaib https://www.flickr.com/photos/theologhia/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Robert Cheaib https://www.flickr.com/photos/theologhia/

How can you leave the Catholic Church?

I ask this question and give my answer at the National Catholic Register.

How can you leave the Catholic Church?

The question was rhetorical, not literal. I asked it of the air, more or less, as my husband was driving the car. At the same time that I asked it rhetorically, I meant it absolutely.

I recently talked to someone I know who told me that she’d “left” the Catholic Church. She’s now attending one of those smorgasbord mega-congregations where they serve you Jesus-as-you-like-him. I felt as if I was listening to a person who’d told me that they had decided to give up eating balanced meals and ingest nothing cotton candy and donuts.

I get as aggravated with the Church as the next Catholic. I don’t mind at all saying that I think this bishop or that has gotten it wrong. I’ve been very outspoken about the failure to stop child sex abuse by priests. Very. I’ve been equally outspoken about the failure in some quarters to take a strong stand on basic Church teaching, and the propensity of some bishops for throwing hapless underlings under the proverbial bus so the bishop can pander to the crowds. I just recently wrote a rather strong series of posts on the question of the Church and rape.

Our wonderful Church gives us great freedom to think and let think, and I exercise that freedom.

But … leave the Church?

I mean, how does one do that?

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/blog/rhamilton/how-can-you-leave-the-catholic-church/#ixzz3fVe8nwAU

 

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Oregon Allows 15-Year-Olds to Get Sex Change Operations without Parental Consent

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Magic Productions Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Magic Productions Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike

This story of politically correct excess speaks for itself.

Oregon is now allowing children as young as 15 to undergo sex-change surgery without parental consent. This, in a state that does not allow 15-year-olds to drive a car or smoke a cigarette.

This irresponsible action by the state of Oregon is symptomatic of the nihilistic push in our nation that is clearly running ahead of both common sense and our long-understood ideas of freedom.

Sex change surgery is just the new pre-frontal lobotomy. It is medical barbarism practiced on the mentally ill.

Now, we we’re doing it to children.

Read it and weep.

From FoxNews:

The list of things 15-year-olds are not legally allowed to do in Oregon is long: Drive, smoke, donate blood, get a tattoo — even go to a tanning bed.

But, under a first-in-the-nation policy quietly enacted in January that many parents are only now finding out about, 15-year-olds are now allowed to get a sex-change operation. Many residents are stunned to learn they can do it without parental notification — and the state will even pay for it through its Medicaid program, the Oregon Health Plan.

“It is trespassing on the hearts, the minds, the bodies of our children,” said Lori Porter of Parents’ Rights in Education. “They’re our children. And for a decision, a life-altering decision like that to be done unbeknownst to a parent or guardian, it’s mindboggling.”

In a statement, Oregon Health Authority spokeswoman Susan Wickstrom explained it this way: “Age of medical consent varies by state. Oregon law — which applies to both Medicaid and non-Medicaid Oregonians — states that the age of medical consent is 15.”

While 15 is the medical age of consent in the state, the decision to cover sex-change operations specifically was made by the Health Evidence Review Commission (HERC).

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Pope Gets Gobsmacked by Bolivian President’s Adolescent Blasphemy

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Edgar Jimenez https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilangoco/

Photo Source: Flickr Creative Commons by Edgar Jimenez https://www.flickr.com/photos/chilangoco/

Here’s what happened:

Pope Francis was on a Papal tour of Bolivia. He was in the process of greeting Bolivian President Evo Morales.

Now President Morales is a head of state. One would expect him to behave like a head of state and not a middle-schooler, bent on a deliberately blasphemous prank. But then … this guy’s bad news from jump street.

He removed the Bible and the cross from the presidential palace as soon as he took office and began using Andean rituals at official state functions. He is, in short, part of this army of Christian attackers and Christian bashers who are marching around the globe.

So … maybe somebody should have expected him to behave like an adolescent jerk when he was formally greeted by the pope. But evidently the assumption was that he would behave like a head of state.

Wrong.

President Morales must have gone to a lot of trouble to come up with the insult he directed at the pope, Christ and the Catholic Church. He gave the pope a large cross with the Communist hammer and sickle emblazoned on it. This particular cross takes on heavier significance when we remember that it was identical to a cross carried by a priest who was killed by the military regime that ran Bolivia back in the 1980s.

President Morales’ action wasn’t just a nasty prank. It was overladen with symbolism of several kinds. It was a direct affront to the teaching authority of the papacy, since St John Paul II and every pope since has condemned this blending of Catholicism and Communism that we call Liberation Theology.

Most of of us here in America look at the photo of President Morales handing this thing to the pope and think, what a creepy, childish thing for a head of state to do. But people in Bolivia are going to understand all this symbolism and react to it far more forcefully.

The pope went into a country that is being led by a man who wants to destroy the Catholic Church. By doing this he put himself in the line of attack. What has happened instead is that he has been overwhelmed by the love of the people. The cheering crowds have been enormous.

This was a dangerous journey for Pope Francis to make. It was, in some ways, akin to St John Paul II’s trips to Poland and other Communist countries. This deliberate blasphemy by the president of Bolivia was an attempt to publicly insult the pope and tarnish both him and his message of faith and hope.

Pope Francis is, when you see the photos, clearly gobsmacked by this thing the president of Bolivia is holding up. Anyone would be.

Would I have reacted in exactly the right way if someone had done something like this to me? Would you? I doubt it on both counts.

It’s ez pz when you are sitting at home in front of your tv to go all he-should-have-said and he-should-have-done. But when you’re the one in the barrel, it’s not always possible to assess, react and do precisely the right thing in a split second of surprise.

Who would have thought that the president of a nation would stoop to such behavior?

Pope Francis got gobsmacked by a jerk who was trying to assert his own primacy over the Church before the eyes of his electorate. The fact that he stooped to such a crude, juvenile method to do this tells you most of everything you need to know about the type of governance he gives to his people.

I have no doubt that the Bolivians understood this gesture far differently than we do here in America. They know the history behind the symbol and they know the policies of this president.

The photo that resulted from this will probably be used for propaganda purposes inside this country. That is a shame. But it will also be understood for what it is by a large number of Bolivians: An embarrassment to their national honor by a president who can’t behave properly.

It doesn’t matter all that much what the nuts in the USA think. Nobody outside the weird world of Limbaugh and Malkin worshippers believes that the pope is a “marxist.” We all know that is corporatist propaganda by paid talking heads who are dancing to the tune.

Most people will understand immediately that the pope was gobsmacked when the President of Bolivia started waving this thing around at a formal greeting. The danger in this lies with how the photo will be used in Bolivia, where its symbolism has more power and where the government will use this symbolism for its own purposes.

I hate to say this, but the Vatican may need to inspect the gifts that heads of state intend to offer the pope before they let these people near him. They may even need to start frisking heads of state ahead of their audiences with the pope.

It appears that we live in a world where we can no longer expect a head of state to conduct him or herself in public gatherings with the dignity and responsibility that their office requires. Instead, they can, and will, act like jerks.

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Oklahoma Governor Says 10 Commandments Monument Can Stay

Photo Source: Oklahoma Governor's office. File Photo.

Photo Source: Oklahoma Governor’s office. File Photo.

Oklahoma’s governor, Mary Fallin has decided that the 10 Commandments Monument can stay on state capitol grounds.

The Oklahoma State Supreme Court recently ruled that the monument violates the Oklahoma State Constitution.  They made this ruling despite the fact that the United States Supreme Court has ruled that a similar monument in Texas does not violate the Constitution of the United States of America.

The reaction from legislators was predictable, with calls to impeach the Supreme Court members who voted against the monument, and development of legislation to let the people of Oklahoma vote on whether or not to remove the verbiage from the Oklahoma Constitution on which the ruling was made. Attorney General Scott Pruitt is asking the Supreme Court to reconsider its ruling, and now Governor Mary Fallin has announced that the monument can stay, pending this appeal.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Resistance to the Oklahoma Supreme Court has been growing in the Oklahoma legislature for quite a while. This legislature, unlike Congress, is not a paper tiger. It can and does legislate. It overturns vetoes and deep-sixes executive proposals on a regular basis. It also goes off and passes laws on its own.

Several bills reforming the nomination process for the judiciary have been considered in the past few years. I would not be surprised is this recent ruling gives them a fresh life.

From the Washington Post:

Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) said that the state’s controversial Ten Commandments statue is staying put despite a state Supreme Court ruling ordering it to be taken off the statehouse grounds.

The state’s highest court handed down a broad 7-2 decision last week, which found that the monument violated the state’s constitution.

In statements issued Tuesday, Fallin defended the statue and said that “the court got it wrong.” She added that the statue will remain in place while the state appeals the court’s decision and the legislature considers changes to the constitution.

“Oklahoma is a state where we respect the rule of law, and we will not ignore the state courts or their decisions,” Fallin said. “However, we are also a state with three co-equal branches of government.”

“At this time, Attorney General Scott Pruitt, with my support, has filed a petition requesting a rehearing of the Ten Commandments case. Additionally, our Legislature has signaled its support for pursuing changes to our state Constitution that will make it clear the Ten Commandments monument is legally permissible,” she added. “If legislative efforts are successful, the people of Oklahoma will get to vote on the issue.”

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Was St Maria Goretti’s Purity in Her Body? Let’s Ask St Augustine.

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Purity is a virtue of the soul … not even when the body is violated is it lost. St Augustine

St Augustine had a lot to say about rape.

His teaching on this subject is the historic Christian attitude toward rape victims. It speaks comfort to the victims of ISIS and sex slavery today, as well as rape victims all over the world and throughout history.

St Augustine also discusses at length the practice — which is certainly still practiced in certain cultures today — of women who have been raped killing themselves from shame. He speaks forcefully against this.

St Augustine’s words on this subject separated Christianity from the world around it, and continues to do so today. It is a powerful affirmation of women’s rights as full human beings and, more importantly, as co-heirs of eternal life.

Augustine states clearly that rape does not defile the person who is raped. He says without equivocation that purity does not reside in the body, but in the soul of the person. He even goes so far as to say that the purity of soul of women who has been raped keeps their bodies pure, as well.

This is an enormous advance in the moral thinking of the world.

Christianity began in a world where baby girls were murdered for no other reason than that they were baby girls. It was a world in which women who committed suicide after being raped were thought admirable for having killed themselves; that they are “reclaimed” their honor by their suicide.

This carries over into our world today in many guises, including the gendercide of baby girls and demands from whole communities that women who have been raped commit suicide. In some countries women are actually sentenced to be raped for the crimes of their menfolk and then are expected to commit suicide afterwards to clear the family of the shame of having a woman who has been dirtied in this fashion in its midst.

Christianity, with its powerful affirmation of the eternal value of every human life, changed this. It stand as a sign of contradiction to it now, as if always has.

Christianity affirm the human rights of all people of every stage of their lives in a dramatic and powerful fashion. We do not offer our children to the Baals. We do not bend our knee to Moloch by murdering our children, our disabled, our elderly and our mentally disturbed.

We also do not condemn women who have been raped to the living death of life-long shame.

Or, at least, we shouldn’t.

The story of St Maria Goretti, as it has been told and is presented, is a reversion to the pre-Christian notion that women should commit suicide if they have been raped. Only with this story, the suicide comes before the rape.

I have a tremendous sense of oneness with Maria Goretti, this little girl who died at the hands of a murdering pedophile. But her death was a wanton murder by a grown man who wanted to rape a child. The miracle is that she forgave this man and converted him from the grave.

A few Public Catholic readers seem focused on whether or not there was “penetration” of Maria Goretti’s body by her murderer. I have trouble following their logic, and, to be honest, I find the whole line of reasoning disturbing.

St Augustine taught what has become the constant Christian teaching that purity resides in the soul. Nothing that is done to the body can defile a pure soul. In other words, if Maria Goretti’s murderer had raped her, her purity would still be intact. If it wasn’t for the misogynist character of the discussion, that would be a clear point.

If, say, we were talking about a man who had been drawn and quartered for his faith, no one would be debating whether or not the knife had “penetrated” his abdomen or if the rope had crushed his larynx. Everyone would understand that his body could not be defiled against his will, that the blood, gore, stink and filth of having his intestines yanked out and emptied around him could not touch the purity of his soul.

It is only women, only rape victims, who are subjected to the indignity of this kind of discussion.

The power of this shame is so strong that it multiplies when the victims of rape are men and boys. They feel the shame of having been raped and the additional shame of misogyny, once removed.

I’ve encountered a number of male rape victims, both in rape counseling situations and in my work as a legislator. I’ve actually passed new laws because of my encounters with adolescent boys who were violently assaulted.

The misogynist attitude toward women that informs much of our attitude about rape increases male victims’ shame. Part of their horror is that they have been used as if they were women. They feel debased and degraded in a unique way.

Rape is an attack on the humanity of another person. It is an attempt to deny and destroy that humanity. Because of its sexual nature, it is a powerful attack on the sexual identity and sexual pride of the victim. It is an attack on the life-force itself.

Because of the underpinning of misogyny that seeks to deflect victim’s rightful and righteous anger at what has been done to them, rape is also a kind of cultural warfare. This unspoken social construct of rape as a terrorizing thing men do to women which shames women and puts the in their place makes the shame and self-loathing of men who have been raped even greater.

The quotes below are the City of God, by St Augustine. They have been explicit Christian teaching for almost 2,000 years. St Augustine wrote at a time when an old world — the Roman Empire — was ending. He wrote in the midst of terrible persecution of Christians.

We live in just such a time today.

I copied this from the book itself, which I’ve read and have on my Kindle, so I don’t have a link. You can find a low cost (mine was free) Kindle copy of The City of God on Amazon.

The Violation of the Consecrated and Other Christian Virgins to Which They Were Subjected in Captivity and to Which Their Own Will Gave No Consent; and Whether This Contaminated Their Souls.

But they fancy they bring a conclusive charge against Christianity, when they aggravate the horror of captivity by adding that not only wives and unmarried maidens but even consecrated virgins were violated.

But truly, with respect to this, it is not Christian faith nor piety, nor the virtue of chastity which is hemmed into any difficulty; the only difficulty is so to treat the subject as to satisfy at once modesty and reason.

… It is, in the first place, laid down as an unassailable position, that the virtue which makes the life good has its throne in the soul, and thence rules the members of the body, which becomes holy in virtue of the holiness of the will; and that while the will remains firm and unshaken, nothing that another person does with the body or upon the body is any fault of the person who suffers it … But as not only pain may be inflicted, but lust gratified on the body of another … shame invades even a thoroughly pure spirit.

… is there a fear that even another’s lust may pollute the violated? It will not pollute, if it be another’s …

… purity is a virtue of the soul, and has for its companion virtue the fortitude which will endure all ills … and since no one, however magnanimous and pure, has always the disposal of his own body, but can only control the consent and refusal of his will, what sane man can suppose that, if his body be seized and forcibly made use of to satisfy the lusts of another, he thereby loses his purity?

For if purity can thus be destroyed, then assuredly purity is no virtue of the soul … If on the other hand, it belongs to the soul, then not even when the body is violated is it lost. Nay, the virtue of holy continence … sanctifies even the body and therefore when this continence remains unsubdued, even the sanctity of the body is preserved because the will to use it holily remains.

For the sanctity of the body does not consist in the integrity of its members, nor in their exemption from all touch … so long as the soul keeps this firmness of purpose which sanctifies even the body, the violence does by another’s lust makes no impression on this bodily sanctity, which is preserved intact by one’s own persistent continence.

… We maintain that when a woman is violated while her soul admits no consent to the iniquity, but remains inviolably chaste, the sin is not hers, but his who violates her.

 

For another take on our modern world and rape, check out Simcha Fisher. 

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