Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The First Amendment: More Conscience than Speech

EWTN over the weekend reported that a bill, titled "Every Child Deserves a Family Act" ... "would prohibit 'discrimination in adoption or foster care placements'  based on sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status of any prospective adoptive or foster parent, or the sexual orientation or gender identity of the child involved.

"The bill would affect any adoption or foster care agency that receives federal assistance or contracts with an entity that receives federal assistance."  Read more: http://ewtnnews.com/catholic-news/US.php?id=3291#ixzz1NwtNBvFG

We now need to read and parse the First Amendment of the Constitution. and I do mean NEED:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
The first two phrases of the amendment are exactly relevant to this issue.  Congress cannot interfere with the free exercise of religion, and cannot establish one itself.  By forcing religious groups to participate in adoptions to and of homosexuals, the government is in fact establishing a religion and interfering with the free exercise of religious beliefs.  

Now that isn't exactly what the proposed bill says.  What it says is that Congress will not provide federal assistance to agencies or make contracts with agencies that don't allow homosexual adoptions.  The federal funds are used by states to encourage adoptions of children in foster care, and children with special needs.  There is another $13,170 dollars in federal adoption tax credits that can be allowed for the adoptive family.  All of these funds are designed to encourage adoption.  The figure for Federal spending on adoptions was over $1.5 billion last year.  By comparison, and understanding that Planned Parenthood claims to provide adoption referrals,  Planned Parenthood received $317 million in federal funding last year.

The proposed bill would take funds away from Catholic Charities and other adoption agencies, or rather cease to augment private funding of adoptions at religious affiliated agencies.  In March of 2006, following similar regulations in Massachusetts, Catholic Charities of Boston shut down their adoption agency.  Then Governor Mitt Romney decided at the time that his administration would not act against other adoption agencies that refused to accept gays and lesbians as adoptive parents.  He used his executive office like a benevolent despot to allow religious beliefs to be expressed in action.

This is exactly what President Obama is doing in providing waivers to states, corporations, unions, etc., releasing them from the onerous expense of his healthcare program.  

And that is the crux of this issue.  The government should not be involved in adoptions and child care.  Our government should not be involved in abortion or health care.  As soon as our tax dollars are sent away, we allow someone else to determine how to allocate the money we have earned.  And then they tell us that we must follow their rules before we can get it back.

Many Catholics of good conscience would say that de-funding programs for adoption and children, or care for the elderly, is evil.  What they are missing is the fact that government intervention denies freedom of conscience.  The government can and does determine which beliefs are acceptable, and which are not.  If we don't accept those determinations, our money leaves our pockets, and never comes back to anything we can support in good conscience.  We are left to hope that our current executive will be benevolent and overlook our 'discrimination' of others based on strongly held beliefs.  We cease to be free in our exercise of our religion. 

Congress has established a religion. It is the religion of anything goes, except Catholic or Christian values.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

RINOs Please get out!!!

Romney, Gingrich, Perrry, Pawlenty, Daniels, Trump, Huckabee, and others are either jumping into or leaving the presidential race.  I want the RINOs to leave.  Rush Limbaugh recently spoke about Newt as the McCain candidate.  I don't care what anyone says, we don't need a McCain candidate. 

What we need is a real man. I know I'm stepping on the toes of feminists while wearing cleats, but feminists have fought to provide food, housing, abortions, birth-control, child care, schooling, health-care for children, health-care for the elderly, nursing homes, mammograms, everything except ultrasounds for those considering abortion.  And given their largess, one would think they were in some real sense 'liberal'.  But they are not.

What they really want is to abdicate the basic functions of women.  My sister Amy once said that being a mother is like living the beatitudes.  I think it is more like the corporal works of mercy.  Caring for the sick, feeding the poor, visiting those in prison (or time-out), clothing the naked (when you can catch them), all of these and the other works of mercy are part and parcel of being a mother.

What real men do is support women at home by taking what I believe to be the easier task.  Yes, I know, men work hard to provide for their families.  That is not the issue.  The fact is that the roles of men and women are fundamentally different.  Everyone from Matt Archbold to Pope John Paul II recognize this difference.

Because of this difference, I think any RINO who is willing to cave on life issues should be cast aside.  Here's where I get really controversial.  I don't think that any young(er) mother should be considering a run for the presidency.  This includes Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin.

Both women have children who are not of adult age.  To subject your children to the scrutiny of the media would be nothing short of negligence.  If children have a father who takes on the high profile job, you can expect some scrutiny.  Women, by nature and nurture, will not be afforded the same restraint.

What we need is a real man.  We need a man who understands that life has value from conception to natural death.  We need a man who doesn't play games with his beliefs or his origins.  We need a man who loves his country more than he loves popularity.  We need a man who will oppose the de-christianisation of the Middle East.  We need a man who will tell the household that the money has run out.  We need a man who will say we can't borrow our way out of debt.  We need a man who will cut off the uncle who refuses to earn his own way.  We need a man who will refuse to pay for the children of people who refuse to care for their own children. 

If we want a real man in the White House, we should agree to:

Feed and protect our own children.
Provide health-care for our own children.
Discipline our own children.
Teach our own children.
Care for our Elderly parents.
Pay for our own homes.
Provide for those who need charity.
Care for the disabled.
Grow our own food.
Produce our own fuel.
Protect our own lands.
Offer care and sustenance to our friends, locally and abroad.

When we truly do these things we will be a nation in which men and women are strong and proud.

If any Republican runs on any platform less than this, we are doomed.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Praises for and Pitfalls of the Combox

There are days when I know I am blowing-off every important activity in which I should be engaged.  Those days are marked by the number of times I write in a comment box on a favorite blog.  I comment because I want to be a part of the conversation, feel sassy, want to promote my blog, have something funny/mean/irreverent to say, or any combination of the above.

The internet makes commenting very easy.  Just imagine if you had to stop with a screaming toddler in a public place, to write something by hand, and put it in this thing every time you wanted to respond in a snarky way! 

Notice that I include three of them.  Comboxes multiply like rabbits on the internet.  I can, and sometimes do, comment on the site with the article, and referring site from which I arrived at the article, and any links sites at which I arrived because of the article.  It's like repeating to my son seven times that he needs to let the dogs outside, brush his teeth and put on his best clothes, before he actually does it.  Or more likely, before I can be certain that all steps have been followed.

There are also times when I'm certain that I am writing in a combox so I don't feel compelled to argue with my husband, a colleague, neighbor or friend.  Those of you who do the same know who you are.

And there are also the sentimental comments that fall into the category of, "I think you are really smart.  I wish you were my neighbor, colleague, or friend.  Will you like me as much as I like you?"  I fall into this sometimes by leaving my blog-link in a combox.  I always feel dirty when I do it.  It's too much like being one of the cranks at www.theblaze.com. 

Such are the pitfalls of comboxes.

But what is worthy of praise in comboxes must be the information shared by those who actually know something.  It happens all the time.  I read an article, and then the combox discussion.  I notice that people who offer real information that is relevant tend to use something close to a real name. They are not ashamed or afraid to be known. 

Sometimes they seem to know the person.  Granted, sometimes  when a commenter seems to know the person writing the blog the comments are complimentary.  When that happens I often think they must be friends.  The whole thing seems to reek of face-book and starts to violate my trust in the blogger.

But overall, when a great combox discussion gets started, I feel like I'm at a fantasy cocktail party.  Everyone is engaged.  You may have to leave the conversation to say hello to the schmo that has a cubicle next to yours, but you make a point of spending time with the people who excite your intellect and stir the conversational pot.  Even the cranks at  the Blaze are like the crabby uncle in the corner that somebody felt certain it would be rude to exclude, even though he doesn't contribute more than the occasional request for someone to refill his drink.

So fill those comboxes.  Look for me at the party.  I'll be looking for you!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

John Boehner is Less of a Weenie than I Thought


 Having criticized Speaker of the house John Boehner for making tax and spending cuts that were so tiny that they could have danced with some angels on the head of a pin, I am glad to hear that he has changed his tune.

All of the economists in the world can't make debt go away by increasing spending and increasing the debt ceiling.  All those economists do by making such arguments is reveal the absolute lack of value of our currency.  If we don't reduce debt and spending, the fire will go out, the smoke will clear, and the mirrors will break.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Doom, Death, Destruction

The truth is that, at this time, Osama Bin Ladin's death means very little to our security as a nation.  Unless you view this episode on a time-line.  The time-line has to include the future as seen by OBL's followers.

Looking back only, only Americans and our friends can celebrate his death.  Or maybe only people who have a primary concern in the continuance of their lifestyles can celebrate.  Go out and drink all night, yell slogans of hate, dance in the streets, eat a BigMac, and sleep late the next day.  I'm not against drink, but the only difference here between us and the Arab street is the alcohol.

I'm going to tell you all about a mystic experience.  Last night, as the attack on OBL was happening in Pakistan, I was sitting on my deck, looking at the sky.

I saw a face in the sky.  Now, I'm not one of those face in a grilled-cheese people.  This never happens to me.  I looked at a face in the clouds, and said, "  Is that you Jesus, or is it some evil face?"  What happened next was surprising.

The cloud face stared at me.  I watched it as it blew away.  But what was weird was how quickly the face blew away, while the rest of the clouds remained unchanged.

And that is what happened to OBL.  The face has blown away.  The clouds remain.

May God forgive him.  May God forgive those who can't forgive him. 

Thank God for the young Navy Seals who took on this challenge.

May God guide our leaders to pursue those actions that are important and meaningful.  May God guide us as we choose those who choose our national course of action.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

A Trifecta of Blessings on a First Communicant

Our godson, John Paul is making his first Holy Communion today.  Imagine that:

  • His namesake is beatified today.
  • His namesake created the feast of Divine Mercy for today.
  • He makes his First Communion to complete the trifecta.
You have to know Johnny to know how special, how beloved, how cherished he is in a family that  has 34 grandchildren for my parents.  He is unique.  A little nutty, but in a really good way.

A few 'Johnny' stories:  When Johnny was about 5, on Christmas day, he came up to the circle of Aunts who were deep in conversation.  The mere fact that he approached his Aunts in conversation shows a fearlessness that is surely a heroic virtue.  He joined the conversation saying, "I'm not really happy with the way my life is going right now."  He was 5.  He was in tune with the greater purpose of existence.  His Aunt Monica responded, "Johnny, you're five.  Go play with your cousins." He did.

Again with Aunt Monica in carpool a few months later.  Johnny says from the back seat, "This song is completely inappropriate."  Monica suddenly pays attention to the radio.  The day was Valentines Day.  The song was 'Love Stinks' by the J. Giles Band.  Johnny says, "I am going to school to celebrate love with my classmates.  This song is completely inappropriate for me to be listening to today."

Finally, with me.  I was watching all of my sister Amy's children one day, and told Johnny I would make whatever treat he wanted while he was at my house.  (He is my Godson after all.)  He wanted Chocolate chip cookies.  I made them.  I brought out the first cookies to him as a special gesture.  He looked at them, but didn't eat them.  I asked why.  He said, "Aunt Suzanne, your cookies are creeping me out."  I don't know why.  Apparently I make creepy cookies.  Johnny is also annoyed by my husband's singing, but that's another story.

He knows today is special. He received the usual First Communion gifts, but he received a few special ones as well.  As his Godparents, we found a medal of Blessed John Paul II with all of the documentation to show that it had been blessed by Pope Benedict XVI.  His cousin Katherine had just returned from a pilgrimage to Rome with what she called, "A very special action figure." It was a statue of JPII that had also been blessed by Benedict XVI.

As I was saying goodbye to Johnny today.  I gave him a hug.  He gives really good hugs back.   We held each other close.  I kissed his head.  I said, "You have two Popes praying for you today."  He looked at me with tears in his eyes and hugged a little closer.  I think he felt the weight of responsibility.

Thank God for John Paul II.  Thank God for Johnny and all of the namesakes our Blessed Pope has across the globe.  Thank God for the Eucharist and all good priests.  That is the trifecta of blessings.