Wardrobe malfunctions afflicted our pope today as he prayed for strife-torn Ukraine.
St Patrick went to Ireland.
St Paul went to most of the Roman world.
The apostles traversed the known world bringing the message of eternal salvation through the Lord Jesus Christ everywhere they went. With the exception of St John, they paid for their fealty with their lives.
Not today’s Catholics.
Somewhere along the line, the missionary paradigm shifted to the build-it-and-wait-for-them-to-come-to-us paradigm. Today’s discussions of evangelizing the world revolve around how to shape our catechesis of the people who show up for regular meetings at our churches. “How can we change our catechesis so that we catechize them into faithfulness?” is the question we ask ourselves.
In other words, we’ve abandoned the Gospel call to convert a lost world that is dying for lack of the saving grace of Christ. We’ve gotten so far away from it that we’ve even lost the ability to effectively convert the people who are sent to us or who come to us of their own volition, actively seeking conversion.
The working Catholic paradigm of converting the world is that we may — or most likely may not — build a church to house the people we already have, and if anybody else wants Jesus, it’s up to them to come to us. Worse, we turn people away for not qualifying, or in the case of our serpentine annulment process, because they can’t find everyone they need from their misspent pasts to fill out the right paperwork.
The miracle in all this is that, in spite of everything, the Church is growing. Year after year, our cathedral in my archdiocese is jam-packed through one mass after the other for the Rite of Election.
We are growing, not due to our missionary fervor, but due to the great hunger for God that runs throughout our lost world. People are hungry for the words that lead to eternal life. They want meaning and love in their lives. Most of all, they want to belong to somebody or something bigger than themselves. They want, they hunger for, Jesus Christ.
People are weary of the no-hope nihilism that our society offers them. They want a way out.
And we have the Way. We are not saved just for ourselves and our families. We have the only Way there is, and it’s our job to lead people to it.
Despite the full cathedrals at the Rite of Election, there are vast fields of lost humanity ready to harvest for the Lord that we ignore. They are, to be specific, everyone who does not come to us, requesting entrance, which, to be even more specific, is everyone who has not found some way to partly Catechize themselves.
Everything we do, from our indifference to converting people, to our diffident refusal to ruffle the feathers of those who oppose Jesus by talking about Him, says that Jesus is our private little g god and that there’s nothing about Him that other people need trouble themselves to find.
Sitting around and waiting for people to convert themselves and then beg us for entrance into our Church is the exact opposite of what Jesus told us to do. It eschews the example of the many saints that we quote at one another in our endless arguments during our internecine battles about nothing much.
The Catholic Patheosi have recently discussed Catechesis in depth and with their deep understanding of churchy things. Now, I am discussing, in my usual backwards way, what I think catechesis truly is. Catechesis is conversion, or it should be. As such, it is not limited to specific periods of formal instruction.
The base problem with our Catechesis is simply that it is not converting people. It is not even converting people who come and ask to be converted and who faithfully attend meetings in an effort to become converted. There are many reasons for this, and I’m not expert enough in this area to have ideas about the specifics.
But I can say from quite a bit of first-hand experience that when it comes to most of the world outside our church doors, we not only aren’t catechizing anybody, we aren’t even trying. We do not go to these people and talk to them about Jesus. We simply ignore them, as we ignore everybody else who doesn’t come to us first.
We need to forget the paradigm of build a church and wait for the world to come to us. Because more and more, even if we build it, they won’t necessarily come.
It’s hard to get into the Catholic Church today. You not only have to be the one to convert yourself, you’ve got to be the one to take all the initiative about joining. Then, you’ve got to jump through all sorts of hoops.
If you have a complicated past involving messy marriages — as so many people in this post-Christian age do — you may very well end up having to go through preparation for what amounts to a court proceeding to have your past legally expunged. If you can’t be a good enough lawyer for yourself in this court to get it done, you are not welcome at Christ’s table.
I have a suggestion on this, which I know will offend a lot of people. But perhaps the Church could begin the annulment process for converts by establishing a sort of triage system. If it was a common law marriage, or the person was married by a judge or in a church that worships satan or trees or whatever, then there’s no real reason for them to take the full canonical dose to get an annulment. Those marriages are invalid on their face. We also need a process for people who can’t go back decades and find everyone, or if they do find them, are physically afraid of them.
I’m not talking about Catholic marriages here. I am talking about marriages in the pre-conversion lives of converts; marriages outside the Church.
Ditto for things like baptismal certificates. A lot of protestant churches do not keep the extensive records that Catholics do. Many of them stay in business for a few years then close up and go away. If there’s a doubt in the pastor’s mind, then he should just give the convert a provisional baptism. Keeping people out of the Church over things like this is wrong.
The world is changing. We are going to be dealing more and more with people who have never heard the name Jesus; people who have been fully catechized, but not as we mean it. They are fully catechized in the nihilism of hook-up sex, do-unto-others-before-they-do-it-to-you-first, anything-goes post-Christian cultural dissolution.
It’s going to take more than the old build-it-and-wait-for-them-to-come-to-us paradigm if we seriously want to evangelize this new world. It will require the Apostolic fervor that built the Church in the first place.
My thoughts on what the Church needs to do in the New Evangelization are quite simple. Preach Christ. To everybody. And take down the No Room at the Inn sign.
Ravi Zacharias describes an interview where Richard Dawkins overstepped a bit in his never-ending battle against Christianity. He ended up looking almost as foolish as he says Christians are.
Stay with the video to the end. Ravi runs the audio of the interview he’s describing.
This is bad news for us desk jockeys.
It turns out that just sitting on your duff for long periods of time increases your likelihood of becoming disabled. That’s true, even if you exercise every day.
I’m not surprised by this. I had my first symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis when I was 16. But it was never a problem for me until my first few terms in the Oklahoma House. At that point, the ra became increasingly painful — and I do mean painful.
When I quit the House to stay home and raise my kids, it was still with me. But as the years of being an active mom and engaging in daily walks went by, the symptoms receded and, in time, almost vanished. I still took my medicine, whether I needed it or not, and I had achy-breaky, flu-like symptoms every day. But the ra only really flared before big storms.
Then, I got myself re-elected. After just a few weeks sitting in that chair on the House floor for hours at a time, the ra was back. It’s been getting worse ever since.
I have never known if it was due to the prolonged sitting or the prolonged stress. For instance, I get a headache every year. The headache lasts from the beginning of session to the end. Then, when we sine die, the headache leaves. That’s stress, I think.
An article in live science seems to point the finger of blame (at least so far as the ra is concerned) at the long hours of sitting. According to new research, people who sit for long periods of time are more likely to experience disability, even if they engage in regular exercise.
Given our society’s enforced sitting, which begins in preschool and goes on throughout the working years for most people, I would guess that explains a lot of the joint replacement surgeries, walkers and canes that seem to be showing up with younger and younger people.
It’s difficult on most sitting jobs to find opportunities to walk around on a regular basis. Based on this study, maybe that should change.
From live science:
Older adults who spend a lot of time sitting may be at increased risk of having a disability, regardless of how much they exercise, a new study suggests.
Researchers analyzed information from more than 2,200 adults ages 60 and older who wore a pedometer to track their movement for at least four days.
While they were awake, participants spent about nine hours a day sitting down. Every additional hour spent sitting was linked with a nearly 50-percent increase in the odds of having a disability, the study found. The researchers defined disability as having significant difficulty completing daily tasks, such as eating, bathing or getting out of bed and walking across a room.
That means that, if there are two 65-year-old women, and one sits for nine hours a day and the other sits for 10 hours, the second one is 50 percent more likely to have a disability, the researchers said. About 3.5 percent of all participants had a disability.
The Church of England will not perform gay marriage blessings. It also will not ordain clergy who are in gay marriages.
The Pastoral Guide detailing this position affirms that Our Lord taught that marriage is an indissoluble union between one man and one woman. It allows homosexuals and their families, including those who are not living a life of chastity, to participate in the sacraments.
… As bishops we have reflected and prayed together about these developments. As our statement of 27th January indicated, we are not all in agreement about every aspect of the Church’s response. However we are all in agreement that the Christian understanding and doctrine of marriage as a lifelong union between one man and one woman remains unchanged.
… ‘The Church of England affirms, according to our Lord’s teaching, that marriage is in its nature a union permanent and lifelong, for better for worse, till death them do part, of one man with one woman.”
… The victimisation or diminishment of human beings whose affections happen to be ordered towards people of the same sex is anathema to us. We assure homosexual people that they are children of God, loved and valued by him, and deserving of the best we can give of pastoral care and friendship.
Now we’re safe.
A federal judge has removed that arch-fiend, 84-year-old Sister Megan Rice, from the streets by sentencing her to 35 months in prison.
Sister Megan was convicted of breaking into the Oakridge Nuclear Weapons Facility in Tennessee. She and her band of desperadoes admitted to spray painting peace slogans on the facility. When a guard finally found them, they offered him food and began singing.
This mirrors a conviction in 2003 of three elderly nuns who broke into a missile silo and smeared their own blood on a Minuteman missile.
The whole thing reminds me of the scene in The Search for Red October when the American diplomat looked at the Russian diplomat and asked, “Have you lost one of your submarines again?
I keep wanting to ask our military security people, “Have those nuns run circles around you again?”
What the military/judiciary complex with its courts, prisons and really big guns, can’t seem to understand is that all their security, which costs the American taxpayer many billions of hard-earned dollars, is no match for a bunch of elderly nuns. Do they really think they can keep these sisters locked up in prison if the sisters want to get out?
The only thing saving this nation from a deadly nun attack is the nuns’ confounded insistence on following the Prince of Peace. Instead of blowing things up, they sing songs and offer food to the guards.
And, oh yes, they don’t seem all that terrified by the courts. When the nuns were sentenced in 2003, one of them made the sign of the cross over the jury, judge and spectators.
When Sister Megan stood before the court today, she asked the judge to not consider her age in sentencing her. “To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor,” she said, “I hope that happens.”
Since she’s 84, her 35-month sentence may be long enough for her to get her wish. I would normally worry about a woman as frail and elderly as Sister Rice, going to the big house. But in this case, I think the real danger is to the big house. It would be interesting to see the result if something as revolutionary as genuine Christianity broke out behind those bars.
It looks to me like Sister Megan walks with God. When that’s true of a person, anything can happen.
From Nuclear News:
Sister Megan Rice, 83, was able to beat USA’s most secure nuclear weapons facility
(Reuters) – A U.S. judge sentenced an 84-year-old nun, Sister Megan Rice, on Tuesday to 35 months in prison for breaking into a Tennessee military facility used to store enriched uranium for nuclear bombs.
Two others accused in the case, Michael Walli and Greg Boertje-Obed, were sentenced to 62 months in prison.
The three were convicted of cutting fences and entering the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, in July 2012, embarrassing U.S. officials and prompting security changes.”(Rice) does not have the extensive criminal records the others have. Her crimes are minimal in comparison to the others,” U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar said.
The three were also sentenced to three years of supervised release after leaving prison and ordered to pay restitution for the damage they caused.
Rice asked the judge not to take her age into consideration when handing out the sentence.”To remain in prison for the rest of my life would be the greatest honor,” the nun said in court. “I hope that happens.”Rice and the others admitted to spray painting peace slogans and hammering on exterior walls of the facility. When a guard confronted them, they offered him food and began singing.
Denmark’s government has banned the religious killing of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat.
The move has been labeled “a clear interference in religious freedom,” by the non-profit group Halal, while Jewish leaders are calling it “anti-Semitism.”
Israel’s deputy minister of religious services, Rabbi Eli Ben Dahan said, “European anti-Semitism is showing its true colors.” The Danish group Halal, said it was a “clear interference in religious freedom limiting the rights of Muslims and Jews to practice their religion in Denmark.”
The predictable blog posts labeling Jewish and Muslim opposition to the move as “much ado about nothing much” and just more religious overreaction have already started.
From The Independent:
Denmark’s government has brought in a ban on the religious slaughter of animals for the production of halal and kosher meat, after years of campaigning from welfare activists.
The change to the law, announced last week and effective as of yesterday, has been called “anti-Semitism” by Jewish leaders and “a clear interference in religious freedom” by the non-profit group Danish Halal.
European regulations require animals to be stunned before they are slaughtered, but grants exemptions on religious grounds. For meat to be considered kosher under Jewish law or halal under Islamic law, the animal must be conscious when killed.
Yet defending his government’s decision to remove this exemption, the minister for agriculture and food Dan Jørgensen told Denmark’s TV2 that “animal rights come before religion”.
Science fiction is moving toward science fact, and that can be good news for a lot of people.
University of Texas scientists grew a human lung in a laboratory. Then, they did it again.
The lungs were grown from cells obtained from the lungs of children who were killed in an accident. Their lungs were too damaged to be used in transplant. Joan Nichols, a researcher at the University of Texas, Medical Branch, says it will be about 12 years before laboratory-grown lungs are ready to be used in human transplants.
If the CNN story is accurate, nobody was killed, paid money to have their body harvested, or was otherwise exploited to grow these lungs. That means there is no moral impediment to using them when they become available.
From CNN Health:
An Oklahoma pharmacy, The Apothecary Shoppe, says it will not provide drugs for the Missouri execution of Michael Taylor. The execution in scheduled for February 28.
Mr Taylor’s attorneys filed suit against The Apothecary Shoppe in an effort to stop them from providing the drugs. Taylor pled guilty to the kidnapping, rape and murder of a 15-year-old girl.
This story raises all sorts of interesting questions. It’s one thing to support the death penalty and another to take part in an execution. A lot of people support the death penalty in theory and have not thought through the ramifications of what it actually involves.
My personal feeling is that Pope John Paul II’s teaching on this subject are exactly right. The death penalty is not necessary to protect the public. We can lock these people up and never let them out again.
I read Ann Rule’s book about Ted Bundy because Bundy is the single best argument for the death penalty I know of. He escaped from incarceration twice. During the second escape, he committed a number of heinous murders, including the rape and murder of a child that he abducted from her school. This murder is the one for which he was finally executed. If we can’t keep these guys locked up, then the death penalty is a necessity.
An Oklahoma pharmacy has agreed not to provide Missouri with a made-to-order drug for an inmate’s execution scheduled for later this month, according to court documents filed Monday.
According to the documents, The Apothecary Shoppe, of Tulsa, will not prepare or provide pentobarbital or any other drug for use in Michael Taylor’s execution. The documents ask a judge to dismiss the case that Taylor’s lawyers had filed against the pharmacy seeking to stop it from providing the execution drug. A hearing is scheduled for Tuesday.
Taylor’s attorney, Matt Hellman, said that as part of the deal, the pharmacy acknowledged it has not already provided any drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for the execution, which is scheduled for Feb. 26.
The department and the Missouri attorney general’s office did not immediately return calls Monday night seeking comment about the agreement or the status of Taylor’s execution.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon indicated last week that the state has drugs to carry out Taylor’s execution. Nixon, speaking at a news conference Thursday, did not directly answer “yes” or “no” when asked about availability of the execution drug but said, “In order to complete that ultimate responsibility, that’s necessary. The Department of Corrections is prepared to carry out that execution.”
Taylor pleaded guilty to abducting, raping and stabbing to death a 15-year-old Kansas City girl in 1989.
Following the teachings of the Catholic Church means that you will always be on the right side of history, which is the side of human dignity.
Fellow Catholic Patheosi Kathy Schiffer who writes at Seasons of Grace found this video.
I’m posting it here for all you Yankees.
Note: This link was disabled. You can go here to watch the video.
I urge, then first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people — for kings and all those in authority.
1 Timothy 2:1-2
I’m looking at three cards that were left on my desk on the House floor by people who visited this chamber when we were out of session.
Each of these cards promises me that the person who placed it here will pray for me while the legislature is in session.
To the people who left these cards, I say thank you.
We all like to take pot shots at our elected officials, especially our president. There’s nothing wrong with that. In fact, it’s the American way.
But it’s also good to pause from time to time and pray for these individuals. Whether you agree with them or not — whether your like them or not — I can tell you that those who hold elective office carry a heavy burden. It is sobering to know that your mistakes can cost people their lives, their livelihoods, or that they can give people a hope and a future.
I want to ask Public Catholic readers to take a moment on this President’s Day to pray for one specific elected official. Let’s offer prayer for President Obama.
People who read this blog may have realized that I have serious areas of disagreement with the President’s policies. But he needs my prayers … and yours.
Billy Graham Evangelistic Association has good information about how to pray for elected officials. Go to the link below and check it out.
We’re glad that God has given you a heart to pray for our President, members of Congress, the Senate and other elected officials. This is a fundamental privilege and calling we have as Christians. The Apostle Paul linked these prayers to the peace of a nation: “that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness” (v. 2).
But there’s something more. Paul followed this with an insight into God’s underlying work throughout all history: “This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth” (vv. 3–4).
At the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, our mission is to share this Good News of Jesus Christ around the world, so that all people may hear of God’s saving power and come to know His truth. By completing the form at the right to get your free download, you’ll also be signed up to receive updates about the lifesaving work of the Gospel across the globe.
Thank you for joining with us in prayer. May God bless you.
Archbishop John J Myers, the New Jersey bishop who allowed a convicted child-molesting priest to return to ministry with children, is retiring.
According to NJ.com, Archbishop Myers is planning to retire to an $800,000 mansion, which he is refurbishing with diocesan dollars to the tune of another $500,000.
Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the “Bishop of Bling.”
That doesn’t compare with the 40-million euros the Bishop of Bling spent, but it’s far beyond what seems needed and necessary for the comfortable retirement of one elderly priest, even in New Jersey’s inflated real estate dollars.
He is adding a 3,000 square foot addition to the already large house. The addition will have an indoor exercise pool, three fireplaces and an elevator. To top it off, the half million to build this thing does not include fees for the architects, cost of furnishings (furnishing this much real estate won’t be cheap) or landscaping.
I think we should also add the inevitable cost of upkeep, cleaning, etc. I rather doubt that Arichbishop Myers plans to do his own vacuuming and dusting.
My own Archbishop lives in a modest ranch-style home. The retired Archbishop of Oklahoma City, who I think of as my spiritual father, also lives modestly.
It is possible that this building will not be used solely as a residence for Archbishop Myers. Maybe it will be a retirement home for a number of priests, and not just the Archbishop. Frankly, I’m having a hard time believing that he would do something this stupid and destructive in these times.
Nothing in the news story indicates that the residence is intended to be anything more than Archbishop Myers’ private home. But if it turns out that there is another side to this story, I will be happy to write about it here.
In these times of imploding culture, when the Church and the faithful are under attack from so many quarters, we are desperately in need of inspiration and leadership from behind the altar. What Archbishop Myers appears to be doing with his retirement home isn’t it.
Update: My friend and colleague Kathy Schiffer has a different take on this here.
The 4,500-square-foot home sits on 8.2 wooded acres in the hills of Hunterdon County. With five bedrooms, three full bathrooms, a three-car garage and a big outdoor pool, it’s valued at nearly $800,000, records show.
But it’s not quite roomy enough for Newark Archbishop John J. Myers.
Myers, who has used the Franklin Township house as a weekend residence since the archdiocese purchased it in 2002, is building a three-story, 3,000-square-foot addition in anticipation of his retirement in two years, The Star-Ledger found. He will then move in full-time, a spokesman for the archbishop said.
The new wing, now just a wood frame, will include an indoor exercise pool, a hot tub, three fireplaces, a library and an elevator, among other amenities, according to blueprints and permits filed with the Franklin Township building department.
The price tag, the records show, will be a minimum of a half million dollars, a figure that does not include architectural costs, furnishings and landscaping.
Construction is progressing as Myers asks the 1.3 million Roman Catholics of the archdiocese to open their wallets for the “archbishop’s annual appeal,” a fundraising effort that supports an array of initiatives, including religious education, the training of future priests and feeding the poor.
More significantly, it comes at a time when Pope Francis has made profligate church spending a target of his early tenure.
Francis, who eschewed the papal palace for a modest guest apartment and who gave up a Mercedes in favor of a Ford, has criticized bishops for living “like princes” and has called for a “poor church for the poor.”
In a move that signaled his impatience on the matter, the pope suspended the bishop of Limburg, Germany, in October for spending $42 million to renovate his residence and other church buildings. The German press dubbed the free-spending cleric the “Bishop of Bling.”
It slipped past quietly, while we were ordering roses for Valentine’s Day and chattering about the latest political gaffe story.
Even those who watch these things were distracted by the stench of death rising from Belgium in the wake of their parliament’s vote to allow doctors to euthanize children and people with dementia.
It got lost, mostly, in the many federal court rulings hacking down votes of the people concerning marriage in the various states. These decisions keep coming with the click-click-click of falling dominoes as unelected judges flatten the will of the people.
We didn’t notice that one of these federal judges reached up and switched off the light.
If his ruling stands, Judge John G Heyburn II will go down in history as the man who killed marriage.
Last week was the week that marriage died, along with the notion that the evil of euthanasia is at least contained inside the platitudinous promises we’ve heard for so many years that it is about “helping” people die who are terminally ill and suffering unendurable, untreatable pain, and who ask for and consent to it to exercise their “right.”
Now we kill children and those with dementia who can not, by definition, either understand or consent to such a thing. We kill those whose minds are muddled by dementia, but who may not be suffering either physical or emotional pain at all. They may, in fact, be quite happy. The only reason for granting them the “right” to be medically murdered is that they are a burden to someone with the wits to “consent” to their death for them.
The Belgian Parliament’s crime against humanity was quite enough for most of us. It slipped right past most people that this ruling by this federal judge was a lot more than another member of our imperial judiciary, doing his part to destroy our culture by one falling domino at a time.
This ruing is different. It is, as they say, the whole ball of wax. Federal Judge John G Heyburn II ruled that Kentucky must recognize gay marriages that are enacted in other states.
Judge Heyburn did not issue this ruling based on a vagary of the Kentucky law. He extended last summer’s Supreme Court decision in the Windsor case that overturned DOMA to the states. What I mean by that is that he did not overturn the Kentucky law, he created a new law.
Judge Heyburn extended the DOMA ruling to the states. That federalizes marriage and legalizes gay marriage by fiat in all 50 states. Even though his ruling did not require the state of Kentucky to allow the performance of gay marriages within its borders, there was considerable verbiage in support of that move within what I can only describe as the patronizing preaching of the ruling.
What Judge Heyburn did was require the state to extend the full legal protections and privileges of marriage to homosexual marriages that are performed elsewhere.
At the same time, he clearly and specifically placed homosexuality under the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment. He defined sexual preference as a class of people rather than a trait found in many classes of people.
If this ruling is upheld, it will have the effect of forcing every state in the union to recognize gay marriage. It also has implications that go far beyond the question of marriage.
It’s no longer click-click-click. It is now, zip-zap-game-over. Marriage is federalized and the states have nothing to say about it. In less than a year, last summer’s hydra-headed DOMA decision will have done its do.
That is why I say that last week was the week when Western civilization became a dead man walking. These two actions — the legalized killing of innocents and the destruction of marriage — taken together, are the end of who we have been and the beginning anew of what we spent a very long time in our ancient history overcoming.
Congratulations Judge Heyburn and members of the Belgian parliament. Your footnote in history is reserved.
This is the story of the real Monuments Men on whose work the movie is based.
Americans should be proud that we did this. It is a powerful demonstration of who we were.
To what extent is it who we still are?
The video below is a newscast describing the vote to euthanize children in Belgium. It does not mention it in this video, but the same law also allows doctors to euthanize people with dementia.
Dementia is a vague diagnosis that is not necessarily life threatening. It can range from mild forgetfulness to a complete loss of mental faculties.
Dementia can be a cause of emotional distress in its early stages, when the person realizes they are forgetting. But once they pass this, it is no longer a problem for them. Dementia is not painful physically and it does not mean the person is unhappy.
My mother, who has dementia, is quite happy and enjoys her life. She tells me over and over again how much fun she is having when we go out for drives or she eats her daily ice cream cone. She always tells me that it’s been months since she’s eaten ice cream, and she enjoys it with the relish of someone who really hasn’t had ice cream for months.
My mother is not useless. She is a totally lovable and rather spoiled elderly child. She is not suffering.
My father, who did not have dementia, went through a period of increasing helplessness and decline before he died. That is nothing terrible that must be shortened to “spare” either the dying or their caregivers. It is a natural phase of life. Rather than a call for us to take up killing people, it is an opportunity for us to show our love in tangible and wonderful ways.
The opportunity to care for the people you love as they take their leave of this life is a gift to you. It is an exhausting experience, sometimes sad, sometimes surprisingly joyous. It is tender and so full of love that it lights up your life, even as you grieve the many losses of their decline.
My father died twenty years ago. No one urged me to dump him in a home or to withdraw food or water to “allow” him to die. But that was then. My time of caring for my failing Mama is in this new now of the post Christian West.
I have had a number of people, including medical personnel, urge me to do things that would either destroy my mother’s happiness and quality of life, or that would result in her premature death. Their reason? Sometimes they say that caring for her is too much “burden” for me. Other times, they don’t even bother with that gloss but demand that I do these things as if it was my responsibility to them to kill my own mother.
Make no mistake about it: Advanced directives and carping medical “advice” that has nothing to do with medicine and everything to do with social values can be and often are used as a not-so-subtle way to bully people into euthanizing their loved ones.
We are not even one step away from the full-blown slaughter of “useless eaters” of our horrific past. We keep inching toward it in a movement fueled by media propaganda and sophisticated lies concerning what we are doing. The glam we put on murder only hides the reality of it from those who want to be deceived.
I have not — ever — expressed the thought that caring for my mother is a “burden,” much less that it is “too much” for me and I should institutionalize her or even hasten her death to save myself from the trouble of taking care of her.
I am appalled and angered by these repeated, intrusive and usually censorious and judgmental demands that I do away with my mother. But that is the world in which we live. It is a bleak, selfish and utterly cold culture of death.
Wendy Davis tried to broaden her appeal with a bit of mushy political-talk about 20 week abortions. But instead of making herself sound nuanced and thoughtful, she ended up looking all flip-floppy on her core issue.
The internet is all a-tweeter over comments she made in an interview with the Dallas Morning News. I had seen the claims that she had come out in favor of a ban for abortions after twenty weeks into pregnancy. Reading them made me kinda wonder who was smoking what.
After a bit of digging, it seemed clear to me that everybody involved had a toke or two.
Here’s what Senator Davis actually said. She is referring to the bill which was the target of her famous filibuster:
I would have and could have voted to allow that to go through, if I felt like we had tightly defined the ability for a woman and a doctor to be making this decision together and not have the Legislature get too deep in the weeds of how we would describe when that was appropriate.
Huh? Or, as we say North of the Red River, Come again?
Did she say she was in favor of banning abortions after 20 weeks, with provisos? Or, did she say was opposed to banning it? Or … maybe … she said she was in favor of abortion anytime, but would vote for a ban that didn’t stop a woman from having an abortion if she (and her doctor, of course) made the decision herself.
Humph. So … what she said was … nothing, all dressed up to look like something?
You betcha, boys and girls. That’s exactly what she said.
This is the woman who engaged in a 13-hour filibuster, complete with pink running shoes and a catheter, in a desperate fight to kill legislation that, among other things, banned all but a few abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
Now, she’s saying she could have voted for that bill, if … well, if what?
Read her statement again.
If you think that statement says Senator Wendy Davis supports banning abortions after 20 weeks, I’ve got a bridge in Brooklyn we need to talk about.
This is mushy political-talk designed to give the appearance of a softer stand for the upcoming election. She’s not backing off of anything. She just doing what she has to do with an issue like abortion in red-state Texas. She’s trying to look like she’s nuanced and fair-minded and could be persuaded by other nuanced and fair-minded people.
She is, in Okie parlance, trying to pull the wool over our eyes.
President Obama engaged in some famous back-tracking of his own when he ran for president. In fact, he flat-out lied when he said that he had not used his power as an Illinois State Senate committee chairman to kill an infant born alive bill and then in another legislative session, voted against it.
The difference is that the boys who write the stories went along with then Senator Obama and his lies. It would have been as easy as taking a breath for a reporter to come back with, “But Senator, the record/recordings/testimonies show that what you say is untrue.”
But they didn’t. They let him lie, and by doing that, they helped him lie.
Senator Davis may well have been counting on the same kind of help with her electoral twists and turns. But it appears she’s wrong. The same commenters and reporters who shamelessly bearded the American public for Senator Obama are going at Wendy Davis with their full force.
The facts are that Senator Wendy Davis has built what national reputation she has entirely on her absolutist stand for abortion.
When she tries to soften that with obfuscations, she forgets that she’s not playing to the home crowd anymore. The same national notoriety that gave her the idea of running for Governor of Texas is going to plague her every step of the race.
The national press is not going to beard for her the way they do President Obama. When she gets lost on the way to the rodeo, everyone, everywhere, will know about it.