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Archive for June, 2010

We do not live our lives in a compartmentalized fashion, much as we might like to think that we do. What we do in one area, affects all of the others, for good or ill. Can a Congressman have a 68% negative voting record on abortion-related issues and not become unhinged? North Carolina Representative Bob Etheridge (D) seems to have lost it when approached on the street by two persons identifying themselves as college students. The Congressman assaults both the cameraman and interviewer, when all he needed to do was politely say, “Here’s my card. Contact my office. I don’t do street interviews with non-mainstream media.

People who vote for the slaughter of innocents have a mindset that allows for victimizing those without a voice. I doubt that the good Congressman would have had the same response to two men in their forties with much more sophisticated and expensive equipment. See the video here:

Here is some of his voting record from National Right to Life:

Status …Name of Legislation … Date Voted …Score
P Obama health care bill: abortion and rationing 03/21/2010 Yea
A Stupak-Pitts Amendment (to prohibit federal funding of abortion and federal subsidies for insurance coverage of abortion) 11/08/2009 Yea
F Deny certain federal funds to Planned Parenthood (Title X) 07/24/2009 Nay
P District of Columbia funding bill (public funding of elective abortion) 07/16/2009 Yea
P Foreign Relations Authorization Act (Office for Global Women’s Issues) 06/10/2009 Yea
F Deny certain federal funds to Planned Parenthood 07/19/2007 Nay
F Smith-Stupak Amendment to protect pro-life “Mexico City Policy” 06/21/2007 Nay
P “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007” (S. 5): passage 06/07/2007 Yea
F Phony ban on human cloning (DeGette clone-and-kill bill) 06/06/2007 Yea
P Medicare Prescription Drug Price Negotiation Act (H.R. 4): passage 01/12/2007 Yea
F “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act” (H.R. 3): anti-cloning amendment 01/11/2007 Nay
P “Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act” (H.R. 3): passage 01/11/2007 Yea
F Unborn Child Pain Awareness Act: passage 12/06/2006 Nay
P Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act: (CIANA): passage of revised bill 09/26/2006 Yea
F Funding of embryo-killing stem cell research (H.R. 810): veto override 07/19/2006 Yea
F Abortion in military medical facilities 05/10/2006 Yea
F Coercive abortion / United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 06/16/2005 Yea
F Abortion in military medical facilities 05/25/2005 Yea
P Funding of embryo-killing stem cell research (H.R. 810) 05/24/2005 Yea
F Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act: (CIANA): hostile Scott Amendment 04/27/2005 Yea
F Child Interstate Abortion Notification Act (CIANA): hostile Lee Amendment 04/27/2005 Yea

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The Boys of Summer

In answer to the oft-repeated slur that pro-lifers care only for the fetus and not for the child beyond the womb, I offer the following as a refreshing break from the weighty subject matter that is regrettably routine on this blog.

I’m in my third year of coaching little league baseball, having done so on my son’s team since second grade. We are a parish Catholic Youth Organization (CYO) team, which is to say not nearly so competitive or advanced as a typical little league. We have five boys on the autism spectrum on the team, including my son.

Last year in spring training, we had a team where several of the boys had never picked up a baseball in their lives. That’s rough, especially as third grade is the first time that the boys play by standard rules. So the three coaches got together and agreed on our coaching philosophy and drafted the following letter to the parents:

23 April 2009

Dear Parents,

As the baseball season is about to begin, we would like to take this opportunity to send you the team schedule and share with you a few thoughts and pointers for making this a great experience for our sons.

First, this year will be very different from the boys’ previous experiences. We are now playing regular innings, three strikes, etc. This is usually a difficult adjustment for the batter when called out on strikes, and for the pitcher when he walks eight batters in a row!

Of course it would be wonderful if the boys won every game, but realistically, we need to be prepared for a few losses. That preparation begins with understanding why we are here (parish CYO as opposed to Babe Ruth League), and what it is we wish to accomplish.

The point of it all is to teach the boys the love of the game, improve their skills, build their self-confidence, and most of all to teach them the value of fair play and good sportsmanship. We coaches need your help with all of this.

Some boys will be more advanced than others. Some have been playing longer than others. On this team, every boy plays, and plays frequently! There will be no boy riding the bench. On this team, there will be no superstars and favorites. We coaches pay close attention to each boy at practice and in games, and we find something, no matter how small to praise them about. We ask that you do the same.

We will offer gentle correction in order to help the boys learn from mistakes. We will never criticize them. Experience shows that this works best when left to the coaches and left on the field. What the boys need most is PRAISE, PRAISE, PRAISE.

Accordingly, we will not tolerate parents ridiculing other children, their own children, other coaches, our coaches or umpires. We have cell phones and the numbers of CYO officials if an umpire shows that he is not up to the job, though that is unlikely. That having been said, CYO has implemented a new program of training and certification for umpires and has fielded the best group of umpires and coaches in its long and impressive history of fostering character formation in our children and those who serve them.

If there are any special accommodations your son requires, if there is any special information we need to know to make this a terrific and memorable experience for your son, please don’t hesitate to tell us. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you at the games and look forward to providing our sons with memories that will last a lifetime.

Respectfully,

Don Rizzo, Coach

Gerry Nadal & Joe Pigott,
Assistant Coaches

And so it began last year, a perfect season. Zero wins and 15 losses!! Though it was tough to swallow, the boys never complained, cheered one another on, and never, ever quit. Not one! Not even with a 43-0 defeat one game. We coaches agreed that we would never invoke the mercy rule and call a game. We weren’t going to quit on them, and expected them to follow suit. We simply told the boys that the lopsided games were to be treated as great fielding practice. And so it went. Every boy played every game, and we found something, ANYTHING to praise, even if it was the commanding way the boys swung that bat as they went down on strikes!

This year they all returned, in the words of one of the grandfathers, “Full of piss and vinegar.”

This year these same boys shut out 2 teams, one of them 20-0. They made the playoffs, and won their first playoff game 13-4 against a team that they tied 3-3 at the beginning of the season. The scores in the lopsided games would have been much higher had we coaches not held the boys back (out of sportsmanship) in base running.

Today is the second playoff game, if the rains hold off.

It’s been a team effort all the way with parents, kids and coaches. Many dads have pitched in at practices, and we have welcomed all of their input. We coaches have lived that letter to the parents, and the approach has been transformative in the lives of all the boys. More than a few parents have teared up at the sight of their autistic boys being cheered by their teammates, at our sons being embraced and high-fived in the dugout.

And when not exhorting batters from my position as third base coach, or leading the cheers, I sometimes find myself being an outside observer of this wondrous sight: Of handicapped boys made less so by dedicated parents and coaches, by peers who welcome them with hearts as wide as the ocean. It’s just one small contribution to building a Culture of Life and a Civilization of Love. The other boys on the team are growing in the realization that there’s a place for everyone at the table, even those shy and otherwise socially hesitant kids like my Joseph who brought two of them around to score with a 2 RBI double, and a triple that turned the tide of their last game.

The score of today’s game later this afternoon doesn’t matter.

We Won!

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Authentic Feminism

This weekend, Jill Stanek asks the question: How do you define feminism?

The backdrop is fifty years of radical, pro-abort feminist philosophy which targets family and children as the major obstacle to women’s advancement, and which holds sacred the “right” to abortion (52+ Million), and chemical contraception as the great leveling of the playing field with men. One of the readers, Robert, made an apologia for abortion rights and had that apologia matched by Michelle, who today has thundered the most authentic feminist formulation I have ever heard. Hers is a response for the ages.

Robert

Where are women’s “rights” if the government is going to decree that they must all give birth if they happen to be pregnant even if they lack the means to take care of those unborn children or a pregnancy would either kill them or ruin their helath? Some freedom and equality.

Michelle

Yeah, we know, Robert.

Women can’t.

We can’t help it if we “happen to be pregnant.” It just happens to us through none of our own devices. We’re victims- we just wake up pregnant one day, no idea how it happened to us, and we need you and your friends with poison and scalpels to rescue us from our pesky uninvited uterine hitchhikers.

Women can’t.

We can’t choose to not create babies when we’re not in a good position to raise them. We can’t control ourselves, or make good decisions before we make babies. (Oh sorry, forgot for a sec, we don’t make babies, we “happen” them. Or they “happen” us, since we’re the victims.)

We get it. Women can’t.

We can’t, even when we “happen to be pregnant” at inconvenient times, solve problems, can’t work harder, can’t get help from others, can’t adapt our dreams, can’t wait for later, can’t be selfless, can’t try new ideas. All we can do is poison or dismember to try to survive.

We can’t be equal to men without the availablity of abortion. We are victims, incapable of taking responsibility for our own actions. Our bodies are inferior to yours, and we resent the dreaded possibility that we may “happen” to be invaded by life-destroying, health-ravaging fetal homo-sapiens. We need you to level the playing field for us with violence and chemicals.

What would we do without you, Robert?

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Tangled Ball

Susan Raisch and her husband Ken are members of my parish, and the kind of individuals and a married couple who always leave one feeling edified for the visit. They are extremely community-minded, utterly generous with their time and talents, and leave in their ever-widening wake a trail of helping, healing, and wholeness.

Today they hosted the Holy Name Society’s annual picnic, as they have for many years, at their beach house. In talking with Susan, I was sharing my experience of blogging when she shared that she too has a blog:

Tangled Ball: Pulling Out One Strand, One Problem and One Perspective At A Time.

I raced home to read it, and find it an extraordinary family resource. It’s all about bullying: school, cyber, etc. A bit out of the normal line-up for Coming Home, but not out of the spirit of this blog. I’m adding Tangled Ball to my blogroll, and believe that this great resource deserves a place on all parent’s blogrolls and other lists of resources. Per usual with Susie, it’s extraordinarily insightful and well done.

Do stop in for a virtual cup of coffee with Susie. A mother of four (three college grads, one high school junior), she is a source of great wisdom and practical knowledge, deeply alive in her faith, and a wonderful companion along life’s road. It’s a joy to introduce her to such a group of kindred spirits here at Coming Home.

And please do be sure to share this great resource with other parents, teachers, pastors, and principals.

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Laying the foundation for an authentic Christian bioethic is what this blog is all about. It is about Coming Home; Coming Home to certain truths that have been lost over the past fifty years, as our churches (Protestant and Catholic) have veered to the edge of heresy in advancing the notion that Jesus is so taken up with love, that there is for many, no more sin, no more culpability.

On this blog, I continue to work at presenting the objective truth of the human person, as evidenced by science. Such objective truth which establishes human identity in areas of life where many say it has not yet existed, or no longer does, demands respect in its inviolability.

The famous psychiatrist Karl Menninger saw the writing on the wall in 1973 when he wrote his landmark book, Whatever Became of Sin? The answer to that question requires less science than it does a faithful response to God, and those whom He placed in authority over His Church.

Father John Corapi, a former Green Beret, leapfrogs the issue of personal sin, and writes about how our behavior leads us to participate in, and share the culpability for, the sins of others. His words are essential to reestablishing an authentic Christian anthropology and bioethic.

Here now, Father Corapi:

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that, although “sin is a personal act, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them” (CCC #1868).

How can we participate in the sin of another:

1. By counsel. i.e. “I think you should have an abortion; go ahead and have the abortion. It will help preserve your lifestyle.”

2. By command. i.e. Telling your child, your friend, or your co-worker, “Have an abortion, you may lose your job if you don’t.”

3. By consent. i.e. “If you and your partner feel it’s the best thing, go ahead and have a sexual relationship, get married; even if you’re both of the same sex, etc. It’s nobody’s business.”

4. By provocation. i.e. “Have the abortion! Aren’t you in charge of your own life? The Pope is old and out of touch, who cares what he says.

5. By praise or flattery. i.e. “Oh, Senator, you are so courageous and kind in defending a woman’s ‘right’ to an abortion.”

6. By concealment. i.e. The pastor allows the senator, judge, president, etc. who has voted for, or otherwise promoted, abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, same-sex marriage, etc. to appear to be in good standing, when, in fact, they have caused grave public scandal by their actions. When the sin is public, the redress must be public. Although, I don’t disagree with the courageous bishops who would deny such persons Communion, I do believe that the “confrontation” should take place, without question, long before they arrive at the altar rail.

7. By participation. i.e. “I’ll drive you to the clinic. You need that abortion to be able to continue your lifestyle.”

8. By silence. i.e. You refuse to speak out against what is a clear violation of human rights, an incredible persecution and prejudice against a class of human beings (the unborn). You hide behind the Supreme Court’s unjust and inherently illicit decision on abortion, saying it’s the law of the land, when in fact it is the subversion and perversion of authentic law. The Nazi SS officers tried for war crimes used a similar defense, saying they were only following orders. They hung them, guilty as charged!

9. By defense of the evil. i.e. “It prevents child abuse by eliminating unwanted children; Women are more in charge of their lives, more liberated; it’s so much more sophisticated and educated a thing to do etc.”

Your conscience must be formed to the objective norm of Truth, which is Church teaching in faith and morals. Since a physician needs to be concerned with what’s sick, let’s get right to the point. It is not morally possible for any Catholic to support abortion, euthanasia, fetal stem cell research, human cloning, or same-sex marriage. There are no ways around this, no justifications what so ever!! They are all intrinsically evil, which means they are always evil, all the time, no exceptions.

Father John Corapi

Edited by: Jeffrey David
Retrieved from:

http://www.courageouspriest.com/how-else-can-we-participate-in-the-sin-of-another

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Euphemisms in 4D

Here are a couple of videos of babies at 11 and 12 weeks of gestation, putting the lie to the euphemisms. This is the stage of development that the baby in Phoenix had achieved before Sr. McBride signed off on its death. The Phoenix baby was close to 12 weeks.

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