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Archive for June, 2010

The following is a letter from Bill Donohue of the Catholic League regarding a protest outside of the Empire State Building on August 26, the 100th birthday of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. Owner Anthony Malkin is a craven and cowardly revisionist who refuses to honor the woman who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Medal of Freedom–the two highest civilian honors bestowed by the United States. Come dressed in blue and white, the colors of Mother’s order.

I’ve written twice before about the war against Mother Teresa here and here.
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June 2010

Dear Friend,

As president of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, I have witnessed many assaults on Catholic sensibilities. But of all the indignities that Catholics have had to endure – movies, plays, songs, artistic exhibitions, books, articles, newspaper cartoons, classroom diatribes, television shows, lawsuits, obscene street fairs, music videos, and the like – nothing has insulted Catholics more than to see Mother Teresa dissed by the owner of the Empire State Building; a request to honor her on the 100th anniversary of her birthday, August 26, was denied without explanation!

The Empire State Building frequently beams into the sky the colors associated with all kinds of persons, organizations and events. From Mariah Carey to the Simpsons, and from NASCAR drivers to the Ninja Turtles, tribute is offered by way of the tower’s lights on a regular basis. But not for Mother Teresa – she doesn’t qualify.

Lit to Honor Mao's Chinese Communist Revolution (77 Million Murdered Under Mao)

Indeed, the Empire State Building’s owner, Anthony Malkin, honored the genocidal regime of Communist China, even though 77 million innocent men, women and children were murdered under Mao Zedong. So you can see why I was stunned when I learned that my request to honor Mother Teresa was denied; I asked that the tower lights shine blue and white, the colors of the Missionaries of Charity, on her birthday. By contrast, the U.S. Postal Service is honoring her with a commemorative stamp.

When I made my request in writing on February 2, I was told by two women from the Empire State Building that my application looked fine; they said they would get back to me in a few months. Then on May 5, I was faxed an unsigned letter denying my request. I quickly contacted Malkin, but he never replied to my letter. In fact, he has steadfastly refused to speak to the media.

After being pummeled with bad publicity, Malkin said they have a policy barring an honor to any religious person or group. But that is a lie. In the past, they have honored John Cardinal O’Connor, Pope John Paul II, the Salvation Army, the Salesian Sisters and Rev. Martin Luther King. And they further lied when they said this “policy” – which was just made up out of thin air – was in place when I applied. I have a copy of the application and it says no such thing. Moreover, no one ever indicated there was any problem with my application. It looked like a slam dunk.

On August 26, there will be a demonstration in the street outside the Empire State Building. There are many costs associated with this event, ranging from ads in newspapers, mailings, renting a stage, etc. In addition to your prayers, we need both your participation at the rally and your contributions.

Mother Teresa deserves better. Just as important, Catholics do not deserve to be treated like second-class citizens by snobby elites who think they can stick their middle finger in our faces. The time to support Mother Teresa is now.

Bill Donohue
President
Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights
450 Seventh Avenue
New York, New York 10123

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If anyone is inclined to support Breast Cancer Research, may I respectfully suggest that Karen Malec’s organization can get a much greater bang for the buck by getting the word out about PREVENTION. This is the message that the media will never divulge. This newsletter and related article are a must read.

Dear Friends:

The Daily Mail (London, England) published a very thoughtful article on the Sri Lankan study last week that found women with abortions more than triple their breast cancer risk. A link to the article is provided below.

Even though the Sri Lankan study, De Silva et al. 2010, was a small study of 100 breast cancer cases and 203 controls (health women), Professor Joel Brind (Baruch College, City University of New York) argues:

“It’s still a good study, just not quite as powerful. I would emphasize that it is typical of studies that have come out early in countries where breast cancer and abortion are not yet that common, like studies in the 1980’s in China, Japan, Australia and even the US: RR’s (relative risks) between 2 and 4, where the baseline lifetime incidence is closer to 2% rather than 10%. Once abortion is very common, the link is more like 1.1-1.5–relatively lower, but still impacting a similarly large number of women.”

In other words, in countries where abortion and breast cancer are still uncommon, scientists are able to detect that women with abortions multiply their breast cancer risk between two and four times. The fact that the study was conducted in a country where abortion and breast cancer are both uncommon is one of the strengths of the Sri Lankan study.

Once abortion and breast cancer become common, it becomes more challenging for scientists to detect large risk increases because it is harder to find a satisfactory control group of women who have never been exposed to abortion. In countries where abortion and breast cancer are common, scientists report lower relative risks, i.e. women with abortions multiply their risk of the disease by 1.1 to 1.5 times.

Please send us a donation today so we can help women in two African nations whose religious leaders have requested our literature and a video. Your assistance is urgently needed during the summer months.

Be sure to read the story in the Daily Mail below.

“Abortion ‘Triples Breast Cancer Risk': Fourth Study Finds Terminations Linked to Disease”

Sincerely,
Karen Malec
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

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My article in today’s Headline Bistro.

If there is one potential social-scientific study that cries out to be performed, it is the measure of the Culture of Death’s activities in a nation as a function of Christian belief and practice. In formulating a hypothesis for such a study, it would seem the anecdotal evidence suggests that as faith and its related activities decreases, there is a proportional increase in the activities of the Culture of Death.

This shouldn’t come as any great surprise. Rejection of our fundamental identity and great dignity, which is inherent in Christian anthropology, leaves the human little more than a sentient animal on the taxonomic tree in any biology classroom.

By way of example, the Netherlands appears to be a bellwether. Religion overall has declined there throughout the twentieth century. While several studies give varying percentages, the most reliable indicate 61% of the population has no religious affiliation, with that number climbing to 69% for those under 35 years of age. In that period of decline, legalized prostitution, abortion, homosexual marriage and euthanasia have been adopted and taken deep root. Far from a grab bag of licentious issues, these issues share an organic unity in purpose and function.

They are the foundations of an anti-Christian “civilization.”

As Saint Augustine teaches us, heterosexual, sacramental marriage is meant to be an earthly icon into the inner life of the Blessed Trinity, where the radical and reciprocal self-donation between the Father and Son in Love generates the Holy Spirit of God. The completeness of this Love forms the oneness between the three persons in the Godhead. So it is supposed to be between spouses in God’s design. The two become “one flesh” both literally and metaphorically, whose radical self-donation produces new life, which is both a product of that love and the object of that love.

Artificial contraception represents a fundamental rejection of complete self-donation, and has taken millions one long step toward abortion when the contraception fails. Prostitution builds on the use of contraception and further distorts conjugal appetites and expression by making sex and the body of the prostitute a mere commodity, as opposed to the priceless treasures that they are.

Homosexual marriage builds on all of the above by accepting their prerequisite ideologies and then removing the opposite sex from the equation.

Enter the perversion of science.

Having rejected God’s wise design for His creation, children have come to be regarded as a right of possession, rather than a blessing issuing forth from sacramental mutual submission. The mentality of rights demands further distortions of the created order through scientific machinations such as artificial insemination, in vitro fertilization and surrogate motherhood. In the latter, a child may rightly claim up to five parents: sperm donor, egg donor, gestational mother, and adoptive parents.

Finally, having entirely redefined the parameters of marriage, family, conjugal expression and life’s beginning, the last area of radical autonomy is over life’s ending.

In the Netherlands, this began with the Dr. Jack Kevorkian model of physician-assisted suicide for patients in end-stage terminal illness, driven by fear of unimaginable pain and suffering. It rapidly degenerated into a system where the fear of suffering in those terminally ill, but not yet in end-stage, was sufficient to merit the consent of two physicians. Now, physicians routinely sign the death order, without the patient’s knowledge or consent, if the physicians believe the patient is “suffering.” This process now encompasses the mentally ill. Such cases of “involuntary euthanasia” number approximately 550 per year.

It’s cold-blooded murder, and it’s spreading across a European continent increasing marked by atheism, agnosticism and hedonism. On May 17, the Canadian Medical Association Journal reported that in Belgium, cases of euthanasia were up 40% in 2009 over the previous year, and in one region of the country 30% of cases were performed without the patient’s knowledge or consent.

It is noteworthy that Catholicism represents 75% of Belgian religious affiliation, and that Sunday Mass attendance has steadily declined from 42.9% in 1967, to 22% in 1985, to 11.2% in 1998, to 7% in 2006. After weekly Mass attendance dipped below 25%, the following were adopted in rapid succession: abortion, 1990; euthanasia, 2002; gay marriage, 2003.

Last week the Federal Court of Justice of Germany legalized euthanasia.

According to Gallup, here in the U.S., Catholic Mass attendance has steadily declined from 75% in 1955, to 55% in 1973, to tie with the Protestants at 45% in 2008. The narrow margins between pro-choice/pro-life voters, pro-gay marriage/traditional marriage are reflected in those attendance data.

There is reason for hope in all of this. We are without a doubt in a period of great disintegration. So was the world of Saints Peter and Paul, whose solemnity we celebrate today. Rather than curse the darkness around them, these men rejoiced in their sufferings, and saw the world about them as a harvest waiting for workers to bring in the sheaves. They looked upon the pagans as utterly bereft and boldly proclaimed their dignity and true worth. We must do the same.

Catholicism has become the fodder for comedians who ceaselessly riff on our faith as being nothing more than a compendium of rules to be obeyed mindlessly. Our most persuasive arguments will not be intellectual apologias of dogma and canon law, which seem parched and lifeless to the parched and lifeless. Rather, our evangelization must target people’s hearts, address the issues of isolation, meaninglessness and despair that drive people to contraception, abortion, euthanasia, and the rejection of sacramental marriage. We must appeal to the fruits of faith and not its rules. People buy the rules only when they desire the fruits that follow.

The letters of Peter and Paul and the Acts of the Apostles form the template that these two extraordinary men have laid down for us to follow. Their feast is a perfect day to rededicate ourselves to a new evangelization of a world desperately seeking meaning in all the wrong places.

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In the 1997 movie Amistad about the true story of African slaves who mutinied on the slave ship carrying them to America, President John Quincy Adams delivers a stemwinder to the United Sates Supreme Court on behalf of the slaves:

“James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington… John Adams. We’ve long resisted asking you for guidance. Perhaps we have feared in doing so, we might acknowledge that our individuality, which we so, so revere, is not entirely our own. Perhaps we’ve feared an… an appeal to you might be taken for weakness. But, we’ve come to understand, finally, that this is not so. We understand now, we’ve been made to understand, and to embrace the understanding… that who we are IS who we were. We desperately need your strength and wisdom to triumph over our fears, our prejudices, ourselves. Give us the courage to do what is right. And if it means civil war? Then let it come. And when it does, may it be, finally, the last battle of the American Revolution.”

We fought that Civil War not long after Adams spoke those words, a war finally precipitated by the same Supreme Court in the infamous Dred Scott decision, a war that ended the national tragedy that was slavery.

That same Supreme Court went on to enshrine in law the segregation laws of the South in Plessy v. Ferguson, enshrine eugenic sterilization of the developmentally disabled under Buck v. Bell, enshrine concentration camps for Japanese-American citizens during WWII in Koramatsu v. United States, and finally enshrined abortion in Roe v. Wade.

Again and again the injustice of this Court has poisoned the body politic and torn this nation asunder. Again and again people have marched, and clashed, and spilled one another’s blood in senseless fratricide.

Justice has always prevailed, but never before the effusion of much blood. So it is with abortion.

In New York State, a bill may come to vote before next Friday’s recess of the legislature, the so-called “Reproductive Health & Privacy Protection Act”
(“RHAPP”) would:

• Promote late-term abortions of fully-formed infants
• Authorize non-physicians to perform abortions
• Lift the current age restriction on over-the-counter sales of the “morning-
after pill”
• Thwart any efforts to involve parents in the abortion decisions of their
children

In addition, it could:

• Compel hospitals, including Catholic hospitals, to allow abortion
• Compel schools and charitable agencies to facilitate abortion

More from the New York State Catholic Conference Here.

It is clear that we are in the midst of a civil war over abortion, which is only the tip of the spear for the Culture of Death. It has deadened moral sensibilities with its language of radical autonomy. The radical nature of this autonomy has crept into how we view the elderly, infirm and handicapped–as encumbrances to be dispatched if they threaten our ability to realize our ‘potential’.

Such potency has always been rooted in the communal soil of family and church. The fruits of what we ‘do’ have always redounded to the benefit of the family and community. Now however, the self is viewed as answerable only to itself. Family and community are no longer one’s primary means of self-definition so much as a utilitarian means toward a narcissistic end. This is what we have been enshrining as law for five decades. This is the face of the newest civil war, one which has claimed over 52 million human lives. Compare that to a little over 600,000 lives lost in the American Civil War.

The enemies of life have doubled down with such sweeping legislation as is pending in New York. We must meet them on the legislative battle-field and make our politicians hear our voices and fear our wrath at the voting booth more than they fear the opposition’s.

John Quincy Adams appealed to the character and wisdom of the founders, one of whom, John Adams, was his father. We too appeal to the wisdom of our founders, and our forbears in the abolitionist movement. We must present such a positive and noble lineage to our legislators and ask that they too join this lineage which celebrates the authentic freedom of the human person at its very root: The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The latter two are not possible without the first.

In the decades to come, our posterity too will look back and join in Adams’ words:

“We understand now, we’ve been made to understand, and to embrace the understanding… that who we are IS who we were.”

We have before us today the power and ability to determine for our posterity who we were.

We should choose courageously and wisely.

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Jesus Healing the Man Born Blind

Referencing his miracles in John 14, Jesus told his Apostles, “Greater works than these will you do.”

And do it is today with adult stem cell therapy. What once required the laying on of hands in so many areas is now routine medical treatment. I suspect that this protocol will become very routine in the next five years. Here is a link to a recent news report of doctors treating the blind with their own stem cells to restore sight. The article is wonderfully written and needs no further explanation here.

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There are moments in life when God opens yet another door to yet another room filled with His treasures, treasures to be used for our personal enrichment and to be shared with the world. This past week was one of those moments.

Through my FaceBook community I saw a notice for a newly formed group of Catholic Writers of Long Island and a workshop. Eager to escape the dimension of the internet and the luminiferous ether for some face time with fellow Catholic writers sans computer screen, I contacted the president, Lisa Mladinich. In our subsequent communications, I was invited to attend the organizational meeting of the group this past Wednesday.

The fifteen or so people in attendance were quite an impressive group: an RN getting into bioethics, catechists, columnists, editors, bloggers, high school and college students. Begun in prayer, the meeting was very instrumental in bringing together several people who’ve known one another only through their writing, and who seek fellowship beyond the virtual dimension.

Lisa and Conference Chairperson Peggy Clores have founded a remarkable group of Catholic writers, many who are pro-life authors, and produced a first-ever Catholic writers conference this past Saturday that was notable for its speakers, crisp and vibrant programming, liturgical grounding with Mass and Rosary, three networking sessions, and the presence of Ann Lewis, President of the Catholic Writers Guild, and keynote speaker Rick Hinshaw, Editor of The Long Island Catholic.

The day was held at Immaculate Conception Seminary in Huntington, LI (Diocese of Rockville Center). This is a group for Catholic writers in the NY area to connect with and fellowship. Next year’s conference will doubtless exceed the already 120+ in attendance this year.

Much more to come about this extraordinary group of people. For now, here is a three minute video of the day produced by the TV show Currents

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Coming Home has been recognized by Awarding the Web “a grass-roots group that works with sponsor sites to recognize quality blogs & bloggers in various categories,” and awarded a 2010 Top Pediatrics Blog Award in the Medical Category for its advocacy on behalf of the unborn, and for presenting the truth regarding sex education among children.

The other winners in this category are listed here .

Many thanks to the folks at Awarding the Web and their sponsor organizations for this recognition of the inherent dignity of the youngest pediatric patients, and our collective efforts on their behalf. Such recognition also highlights the shifting momentum in the pro-life direction.

Many thanks to the several people who have given me invaluable guidance and shaped Coming Home with their great wisdom and gentle humor.

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