Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Children Behaving Badly: Traditional Ways to Act Up at Mass

I'm not going to pile-on here about cell phone games and loud and/or garish toys at Mass.  I know there are serious issues about what people think is acceptable in church.  When I picked up the Red Bull can that I found under the pew in front of me at Mass, the amount of lipstick on the rim told me there had been a wedding the day before.  I don't want to add to the list of misbehavior and sacrilege.

This is a celebration of youthful exuberance that is a time honored source of consternation to parents, and discrete smiles from those whose children are too old to do it anymore.

1.  The first family I want to tell you about has 5 boys and one girl.  The oldest can't be more than 7.  None of the children have made their first communion.  The parents make sure the girl wears a dress and the boys wear suits and ties.  The parents of this swarming mass of youthful energy are calm, devout, and do not pander to the children with toys during Mass.  Still, you can regularly witness one brother turning a bulletin into a telescope or megaphone so his brother can hear him whisper, "I'm watching you."  I know I did this with my 11 siblings growing up.

2.  A toddler has just learned to take her offering up to the priest by herself.  The parents wait, beaming with pride for her return up the aisle.  She comes walking solemnly back towards their pew.  She smiles, and pauses.  Then she makes a mad dash for the door, parents chasing her with chagrin.

3.  Once again, children are walking up to make offerings to the priest at offertory.   The family that is bringing up the gifts have told their children to dress-up for Mass.  For their three-year-old daughter, this means accessories.  She proudly walks ahead of her family with her pink sparkly dress, purple sparkly mary-janes, matching handbag, hat and sunglasses.  She looks like a movie-star incognito.  The parents smile sheepishly, but the congregation is in love.

4.  A toddler is being held by a parent during the Eucharistic Prayer.  The parent is kneeling, the toddler is balanced on the back of the pew in front of the kneeling parent.  In the first scenario, the toddler, using all of the strength of high-pressure vise grips, holds the parent's face in her hands and starts kissing the parent's face.  When the parent tries to stop the child, the child becomes boneless and flops into the pews in front.  Crying ensues, but the congregation is torn between sympathy for the parent and child.

5.  The contagious sibling poking-fest.

6.  After getting caught by the parents as the one instigating the sibling poking-fest,  the children engage in the ancient meditative chant of, "Mom, he's touching me."  This chant is frequently performed as a round.

7.  Contagious laughter of no discernible cause.

8.  Contagious snorts, coughs and bathroom trips caused by laughter of no discernible cause.

9.  Toddler and pre-school aged children have scoped out the soft-hearted-adults-for-whom-they-can-do-no-wrong.  These children will make faces at said adults, talk to them about their plans for the day, show off new items of apparel, and generally be too cute to be denied.

10.  A young girl or boy is making her/his first communion.  The younger brothers and sisters spend the Mass trying to sit closest to this impressive family member.  They crawl over each other, squishing themselves into a bare inch of space, just to be able to share the moment with their older sibling.

These behaviors were a problem when my son did them, or when I did them as a child.  Now, I'm part of the loving congregation that finds God and the Joy of his many gifts made real to me by these simple pleasures.  I hope you won't mind if I make a face and poke your child back.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Why I Hate the Main Stream Media's Coverage of Candidates

1.  Because they have limited time and resources, news outlets try to pick a winner in a political race as early as possible.  They have to follow the money in order to pay the bills, so only rich candidates or good fundraisers get on the news.  Tonight, there's another lotto drawing.  If I bought a ticket, and won, I would give half of the winnings to the person I thought was the best candidate regardless of name recognition.  But in our current world, I don't buy lottery tickets, and people who win spend their money foolishly, and those who have money go where money is already going.  It's like a dog chasing its tail.  When I see relatively small websites like Creative Minority Report backing Perry and asking who his running mate should be...  AAAAARGH!

2.  Polls are for suckers.  I want you, dear reader to consider how many times you have been polled about your political thoughts.  Do you take the call?  Do you, being a good conservative with children and a job  have time to respond to their questions?  Polls are skewed by the people who have the time to answer the questions.  An unemployed man or woman who receives benefits from the state is far more available to answer questions while they T.VO. the latest about the Kardashians on V-H1.

3.  News outlets feed the entertainment arms of their media monstrosities.   So you settle in to watch a nice crime show at the end of the day, and you see the criminals are all priests, white people, men, Christians, republicans, whatever the demonic flavor of the month is.  Adding the fantasy story-telling to the MSM news scheme reinforces the beliefs of those sitting on couches around the country.

4.  If you are a really good candidate with a real plan, but no money, how do you get the coverage necessary to get your name in the public consciousness?  You probably have to have a ridiculous gaff, or say something really scathing.  A scandal might help too.  But if you have a scandal, you lose the votes of the very people who wanted you to succeed.  If you are a good, honest person like McCotter or Santorum or Cain, what could you possibly do to get some press?  McCotter or Santorum could let one of their children have a child out of wedlock, or go on dancing with the stars, but that hasn't helped Palin.  Maybe they should all state forthrightly and with conviction in plain and even base language what they really think of our current president.  If they think he's a narcissistic jerk with a hidden past and dangerous ties to and ideas from people who hate America, then say so.  It's working for Perry.

5.  I want a boycott of any media show that pushes frontrunners this early in a presidential race.  Be fair.  Be balanced.  Or we won't watch you anymore.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

August 2011 Iowa Debate

The Fox News Debate between GOP presidential candidates (8/11/12)  was aggravating.  As a country we are facing some of the biggest foreign policy, economic, and social problems of the past 30 years.  Yet Chris Wallace asks about turnover in Gingrich's campaign staffing that has been covered ad nauseum by the media lefties, and Byron York asks Bachman if she can be a submissive woman to her husband and still be president?  And let's not forget the way Santorum was ignored, Ron Paul encouraged in nuttiness, Pawlenty and Cain Baited with old controversies, and Romney given nothing but soft marshmallows so that he can simply rise above it all.

Okay, Fox News, we get it.  You have decided that you think Romney should be the nominee.  You saw how the blatantly liberal media outlets chose The Mighty and Powerful B.O. over every other stinkin' progressive.  Now you want to take a page from their playbook, flex your influence muscles and see how far you can go.

I would be okay with that, but in choosing for us, you are denying us the freedom to choose.  Why, for instance would you insist on polls showing  a minimum percentage of a vote before allowing participation in a debate, if you know the person to otherwise have apropriate credentials and credibility to run for president?  Doesn't that feed into the millionaire culture that says only the wealthy can run for office?  I'm thinking in particular of Thadeus McCotter who would be a far better candidate than Huntsman or Romney. 

And now because he made a dirty attention grab this week to steel thunder from the other candidates by leaking his intentions on Thursday, and announcing during today's straw poll,  Rick Perry is poised to replace Romney as the Fox News darling.  I've cheered and jeered Perry.  I'm happy to see Romney the Rino disappear, but not sure Perry is our man.

As for the Straw Poll in Ames, Iowa:

If I had my way, Rick Santorum, Herman Cain, Thaddeus McCotter, and Michelle Bachman would share the top four slots at every straw poll from here to January.  These are all serious conservatives and each one can prove it.  I would feel comfortable with any configuration of those four in the POTUS/VPOTUS positions.  And those configurations matter.  I pray every day for B.O.'s health because the thought of a Biden presidency can cause men to weep like babies, and women to abandon hope, and children to run wild in the streets.

I will post the results as an update to this post as soon as I see them.  Pray hard for good leadership, and may even the candidates we distrust surprise us with their courage and faith in word and deed.

Update:  Bachman wins, Paul 2nd, Pawlenty 3rd.  Here are the others in order from most votes to fewest:  Santorum, Cain, Romney, Gingrich, Huntsman, McCotter.

Updat 2:  If you were a Pawlenty fan, visit www.mccotter2012.com and send your donations and support to a better candidate than you started with!!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Hospitals, Schools, and Insurance, Oh My!

For the progressive left, there is nothing worse than the notion that Catholics may want to provide an alternative to public health care, schools and insurance options.  The tyrany of the federal Department of Education and Health and Human Services is quickly becoming omnicient and all powerful.

1.  What do they want Catholics to accept? 
Cardinal Daniel DiNardo explained:  “Under the new rule our institutions would be free to act in accord with Catholic teaching on life and procreation only if they were to stop hiring and serving non-Catholics. “Could the federal government possibly intend to pressure Catholic institutions to cease providing health care, education and charitable services to the general public?”

The simple answer to the Cardinal's question is, "Yes." The Federal government wants to provide all education and health care. They do not want others involved.  In particular, the use of contraceptives must not only be promoted, it needs to be enforced.  So, since the World Health Organization considers chemical contraception to be a class 1 carcinogen, causing breast and ovarian cancers, then forcing women to contracept kills not only the children conceived with these abortafacients, It also kills the women who used the chemicals.  That's one way to reduce reliance on social security.

2.  What does the USCCB promote that helps the disinitgration of Catholic beliefs? 
During this past lent, I couldn't seem to get away from a USCCB suggestion that Catholics give up, among other things, plastic grocery bags for lent as a way to do something penetential that would also save the planet.  As we know, saving the planet from too many babies is the primary reason many give for birth control.  Just look at the scolding the Beckhams are recieving for having a (outrage of all outrages) fourth child.  Never mind that they can clearly afford it, and love their children.

Back to the age old Catholic lenten practice of giving up plastic grocery bags...  Oh wait.  I forgot.  That is just one more way the USCCB aids in the disintigration of Catholic beliefs.
3.  How are the two working together from an ideological perspective?
I guess the only 'green' way to have children is to adopt them from people so poor that they would sell you their newest child in order to provide for the others, like Madonna's or Angelina's kids, or to be a homosexual who hires a surrogate. After all, we wouldn't want that pesky natural conception and birth thing getting in the way of protecting nature, would we?

In his wonderful analysis of the Catholic church in Boston, The Faithful Departed, Philip Lawler outlines the gradual loss of spine among clergy as they strove to be politically relevant, rather than spiritually grounded.  Now when I see a Cardinal or Archbishop smiling with a known apostate politician, I wonder, "Quo vadis?"

I know this seems like a little thing following all of the issues mentioned above, but in its home-spun-sense verses big-government-obtuseness, the following story tells it all:

 Healthy Eating Costs More

If you do any grocery shopping at all, you know that heavily processed foods like margarine are far less expensive than natural products like butter.  Why are fresh peaches more expensive than canned? It's because more of them rot on the way to the store.  We pay for the transportation and cost of the ones we buy, and everyone that was shipped and had to be thrown away.

Use this as an analogy for the free birth control debate.  Thanks to government run healthcare, education, and insurance payments for contraception, we will now pay not only for the baby that is delivered, but for everyone that is discarded, and for the health costs to the women who carried them for a short time.  Public education costs more than twice as much per student as Catholic schools, with a much worse result in terms of graduation rates and college attendance.  Like the groceries, it's more expensive, but not necessarily better for you.

Let's seperate the sadistic nonsense of the green movement from the Catholic faith once and for all.  Killing babies, attacking Catholic hospitals and schools and insurance companies, and shaming people who seek to provide for their families by buying fresh in season, and canned the rest of the time because that's human and normal, is the craziness of the green movement.  If the USCCB thinks we should use paper instead of plastic, perhaps they have departed from the faithful, as Lawler would say.  If they are unwilling to tackle the freedom of conscience issues of forced funding of contraception, then maybe they should not be telling us how to respond to, "Paper or plastic?"