Friday, January 25, 2013

40 = 55

The annual March for Life takes place today in Washington, D.C.  May it demonstrate to all the sanctity of all life, especially the unborn, but also 1) the broad-based appeal of the pro-life movement; and 2) the movement's sanity, humanity, and good will.

We aren't foaming-at-the-mouth bigots spewing violence at all those who disagree with us.  At this point the pro-choice movement seems quite content to claim that mantle all for themselves.  Furthermore, the pro-choicers--or should we at this point just call it like it is and say "pro-deathers"?--seem to think humor and innuendo still serve their purposes. 

It's not a stretch to suggest that the pro-life movement should cease immediately promoting all photos of actual abortion results.  Just let videos like that do the talking--for the pro-life side!

All joking aside, the fact remains that in the past forty years over fifty-five million lives have been ended...before they even began.  That's more 3700 lives per day.  For forty years.

May God have mercy on us all.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

forty years

January 22, 1973 -- Roe v. Wade decided and really things haven't been the same since.

Here's First Things' annual re-post of Fr. Neuhaus' inspiring lecture.  Over at Mirror of Justice Rick Garnett reflects on the Right-to-Live's transformations.  Finally at Vox Nova Kelly W. parses out the meaning of "personally opposed."

"And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness comprehended it not."

That's about it.  The "pro-choice" side--which many of the above linked pieces indicate find the ground underneath them shifting--doesn't comprehend what we seek.  They only perceive as right-deniers...or worse.  Fr. Neuhaus' piece is quite instructive;  we're focused on  life--everybody's life and thus everybody's right to life.

It took me a good long while to come around to this way of thinking.  Hadley Arkes' columns in First Things revealed the roots of abortion access stemmed from male, not female, self-interest.  What a great thing for sexually liberated men:  guilt-free, consequence-free sex!!  That, combined with Fr. Neuhaus' activism and reading John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae, helped bring me around.  When I was a child, I was concerned with childish things, but when I became a man...

The pro-live movement is so much more than "making somebody have a baby she doesn't want."  It's instead a defense of all life--the strong who can protest in streets and the weak who have no voice, the ones who stay (somewhat) pure and those who trapped in all sorts of deceit and pain, those who believe and those who don't.  It's this inclusiveness that also underlines the Catholicity of the pro-life movement.  It's a broader movement and world view than simply saving babies (although it certainly involves that!);  the pro-life movement forces us all to examine just how easily we let casual callousness into our lives so we don't feel the pains of the vulnerable and silenced.

Monday, January 14, 2013

holding pattern

Just a note:  the semester starts today so the posts, already appearing sporadically, will slow a bit more.

You're ripped up, I know.

But the blog will march on...

Monday, January 7, 2013

I heard there's a football game tonight!

Here's a good take on the Alabama v. Notre Dame game.  And a neat head-to-head comparison.

And yet I'll be glad when it's over.  No more "Catholics vs Cousins" jokes, no more self-indulgent comments from the Catholic theological academy.  This isn't as bad as last year's all-SEC match-up but it's getting there.

A wise Fordham historian posted on Facebook the following reminder:
 "The Irish best player is a Mormon. The Crimson Tide's all-time greatest is Joe Willie Namath, Catholic outta Western PA. George Wallace launched his campaign for presidency in 68 in Milwaukee, noting that he spoke better Polish than his rivals."

So much for the stereotypes.  Upon further review the apparent clear and decisive differences are, yet again, much muddier than anyone wants to admit.  Which is why we get even more stereotyping.

Because folks like mud on their players' uniforms, not glopping up neat little categories.

It's this Notre Dame/Alabama overload why Charles Pierce's piece from about Johnny Manziel's Cotton Bowl performance is so needed.  There's more out there than just the Golden Dome or the Crimson Tide.

And...I really want to know, what do the Jesuits at Spring Hill College think?  They're Catholics in Alabama (and have been there for some time!).  I guess divided loyalties don't make good Internet memes unless it involves criticism of the institutional Church....

getting crowded in here

Folks, I sense some people are trying to angle in on my territory of "Spiritual Diabetes."

First, I give you Mary DeTurris Poust, author of Cravings, a neat book dealing with food and faith.  Hey, she's lives in upstate New York so that alone earns her a pass.  Mary's a much more accomplished blogger than I am or ever will be. Furthermore, she seems to have struck a chord, not suprisingly, with her connection of mindful eating and spirituality.

Over at Public Catholic Rebecca Hamilton posted an appreciation with a few caveats.

Second, from the Neo-Neocon, a delightful but sobering read about snacking.  What could possibly be bad about snacking?  Well, LOTS.  Without trying to ruin either blogpost, it seems Neo-Neocon and Mary drum out the same rhythm:  food sustains us but at times we try to satisfy spiritual yearnings (OK, Neocon doesn't mention that specifically but the implication surely lurks there) with material consumption.  Keep eating and all of the sudden we're stuffed but still hungry.


Friday, January 4, 2013

here we go

Forget the Mayans, the revolutionary suicides, the Marxist workers' paradise, Ragnarok, William Miller....forget them all.

THIS is how the world ends.

Uh, let me get this straight:  one of the Women's ordination groups rewrote the lyrics to Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" so the chorus now sings "Ordain a lady" and filmed a video at a Washington DC Episcopal Church.

I would say "Heads exploding in 5...4...3..." but actually this guy might have the best response (especially at :20).

Mark Shea and Rod Dreher, among others, have already considered the weighty argument advanced and find themselves without response.  ;)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

com-box inquisitors

This blog isn't anywhere nearly big enough to have any of those....

But Mark Shea sure is and he makes a very good point about letting them run the joint.

Over the coming months we will expand upon the following:

"Discerning the (in)fallibilities of the Catholic blogosphere"

Plural intended, btw, because there's more than on "infallibility" online.  That doesn't make them all right/correct, btw.

In parsing out I'll spell out a couple places where Shea and I disagree--in some cases pointedly so.  (After all, what's the fun of a blog if you can't disagree with somebody?) But that aside, Shea makes several important points in his post:
*  the Church is filled with saints and sinners...
*  and it is not our job to sort out the former from the latter...
*  and that does not obviate our need to admonish sinners....
*  while not overlooking our need to forgive them, too...

The Yale theologian Hans Frei once described the interpretative shift the modern world brought;  after 1650 or so, all sorts of Bible readers gleaned from the text only what fit their preconceived notions.  E.g., Thomas Jefferson, loving rationality, eschewed all the miracles;  literalists latched onto certain verses, the Victorian moralists latched onto others about feeling good and being nice, social justice folks embrace Mark and Luke but ditch John, etc.  Prior to that, Frei argued--and he included the Reformers as well as the Council of Trent--Christians read the Scriptures with an eye towards fitting their lives--as peasants, popes, and anybody else--into the Scriptural world FIRST and then making sense of their own worlds.  In other words, pretty much the opposite of the modern approach.

Frei developed this argument along two lines. First he published two small books about hermeneutics and Christology.  Second, he developed a typology of Christian theology that incorporated both Catholic and Protestant perspectives, something rather rare for its kind and time.  Frei died suddenly in 1988, so the typology stood unfinished.

One takeway from Frei's work is that com-box inquisitors like those Mr. Shea suffers--and those other bloggers deal with--come more from this latter, "modern" worldview than anything "traditional" or, as Shea notes tartly, "Christian," for that matter.

slandered, libeled...

I hear words I never heard in the Bible...

No, I won't apologize for a Simon & Garfunkel reference.

"And it's the same old story....everywhere I go..."

Actually, everywhere you go today, it seems, there's somebody inventing self-justifying language for a whole host of practices or, maybe better, non-decisions.  I give you the following from a fellow academic:
" I chose not to be a parent and understand my connection to and care for children in other terms that feel more expansive to me than metaphors of biological reproduction."

Did ya catch that?   
Just plain ol' fashioned parenthood ain't good 'nuff anymore, apparently.  We choose to connect and relate to children in "more expansive" ways other than the fact that, apparently, THEY'RE YOUR KIDS.  Adoptive parents--and their friends who know better than to ask "What happened to the real parents?"--would probably acknowledge "biological reproduction" can become a gilded cage.  However, that's not the point trying to be made by this person;  undermining something even vaguely resembling the nuclear family IS.  That's where it's time to draw the line.  Kids have needs, needs which parents (biological or adoptive) _must_ provide, often at great cost to themselves.

"But hey Mr. Spiritual Diabetes, I got needs and dreams and sometimes the kids just need to recognize my need to satify, well, my own needs..." 

SO <<fill in the blank>> WHAT.  Such is life and such is parenthood.  There are times when the kids' needs come first, like when....oh, the kids' needs come first every time.  That's why you're the parent, ace.