Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Keeping one's head in turbulent times

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise: 
 
    I could not help but think of Kipling's poem given the current events of the day. When one opens the newspaper or turns on the computer, ones sees so much angst and frustration over the failures of government, the statements of politicians, the articles on the media, the rudeness and discourtesies on social media. It is not unusual to simply want to throw up one's hands and scream.

Then I think again of the lines in this poem;
 
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
 
    A lot of people are mourning the "death" of the "conservative" movement. Some are proclaiming its demise with gleefulness.  Others are perplexed and do not know what to to. Again the poem offers a way of thinking that gives one a direction that is neither depressing nor foolish.

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’ 
 
 Now is not the time to quit. now is not the time to give up. Now is the time to demand accountability and honesty from those who would claim the role as leaders and policy makers. You and I have the responsibility to demand them to act consistent with the promises they have made. As for those who would abuse the system, ask a simple question. Is this the way my mother would want ME to behave?  Now presuming your mother was not Ma Barker, the answer is pretty straight forward. Yet for many years now people have ignored this simple test for behavior. Then again the other question is, are your actions something you can live with and come judgment day explain to the Judge of all.  

It brings us back to the final stanza and what we are all called to be.
 
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!
 
 
note: no disrespect intended toward women - obviously we are all called to be the persons God intends us to be and so such direction applies also to everyone.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Today's Widows and Orphans and What to Do

In the Scriptural readings for this Sunday in the Catholic calendar, there is a great discussion about the law. However, rather than comment on the obvious admonitions presented in the gospel,  I would draw your attention to the second reading taken from the Letter of St. James (1:17-18, 21b-22, 27).

James reminds us that all good things come from God. He calls us to welcome the Word of God and be "doers" of the Word and not hearers only.

Then he explains what "religion," that oft times picked on word, truly is in the eyes of God.

                        To care for orphans and widows in their affliction 
                        and 
                        to keep oneself unstained by the world.

Now I do not intend to go into a discussion on the origins of the word "religion." There is an interesting commentary on the subject one may find here.  For my purpose in writing is to focus on the point and purpose of living out ones religion, that is our concern for our neighbor and specifically identified in the widow and the orphan.

God calls us to love him with our whole heart, our whole mind and our whole soul. Christ explained that this was the first and greatest commandment. He then explained that the second is to love our neighbor.  James reminds us that religion "that is pure and undefiled" before God is caring for the widow and orphan.

So who are today"s widows and orphans?

Who are the women and children abandoned by the men in their lives?

Who are the women and children being told their relationship is of no consequence?

The unwed mother and her unborn child.

For the last 42 plus years, our society has told women that their relationship to their child is only important if someone says so. For the last 42 plus years, the culture has thrown women "under the bus" and told them to handle the "complications" that happen after intimacy. Fro the last 42 years women have been told they have a right to "choose" but are never reminded that the "choice" means death to their child and death or damage to their own soul.

And we as a society are obsessed by our smartphones, the latest fads, the most recent scandal..

So what to we as believers do?

How do we practically help the modern day widow and orphan?

Here are so very practical things one can do NOW.

1.   Join your local pro-life or right to life group.
2.   Once you join, offer to help.
3.   Learn the arguments that support and explain why the law should protect unborn children. These will be based upon biology (science) and logic. Natural reason compliments Divine revelation (the gospel). however using religious arguments will not impress skeptics and non-believers. Stick with science and reason,.
4.   Help out at your local pregnancy resource center.
5.   Participate in pro-life protests, demonstrations, pickets.
6.   Know where the candidates stand on the issue and ONLY support pro-life candidates.  If they cannot pass over your threshold of being pro-life, then you do not even consider them. once they pass the threshold,  then you should examine everything else, i.e. elect-ability, etc.
7.   Donate. These organizations cost money to operate. Find a few that are being good stewards and supports them.
8.   Contact your legislator and thank them if they are pro-life and if they are not....explain what they should be..
9.   Ask your minister, priest or religious leader to preach on the subject.
10. Learn about post abortion groups and organizations that offer help and healing to women, men and others who have been affected by abortion. Pass the word. support their efforts.
11. Talk about current events such as the planned parenthood scandal use such events as teaching moments to promote the Gospel of Life.
12. PRAY ALWAYS.  There is a phrase "Ora et Labora." Pray and work.  We need to be in union with the Lord's will and give our best efforts.

These are practical ways to help the widow and orphan.

Now let us begin  (or continue as the case may be).

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Who needs consent? The Stem Express Planned Parenthood Baby Parts Scandal Continues

While the nation, especially Cecile Richards and Planned Parenthood, waited all day Tuesday for the Center for Medical Progress to release the next video of their underground investigation on Planned Parenthood's illegal trade in fetal body parts, many of us were hoping that CMP would wait just another day to keep the pro-abortion media on the edge.

Well, CMP did wait until today, Wednesday August 12, to release its next video which consisted of an interview with a young woman who worked for Stem Express, explaining what happens when the Stem Express employees go to retrieve "specimens" (read body parts) from the aborted babies.


The ensuing conversation reveals violations of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) at many levels, including the failure to obtain proper consent from the women having the abortions.

Ms O'Donnell explains that Stem Express and Planned Parenthood conspired to obtain bodies without the patient's consent.

Watch the video. 

Then call your local news station and ask them if they intend to tell the story.

Ask them if they have been bought off by Planned Parenthood's million dollar PR firm.

Ask them if they have even watched the videos.

Then pass this on to your friends, neighbors, acquaintances, and people you know. 

This nation needs to be outraged.

Otherwise we owe an apology to the German people.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Planned Parenthood - Public Enemy #1

Five videos released by the Center for Medical Progress showing planned Parenthood executives discussing the sale of fetal body parts have unleashed a firestorm that shows no sign of abating. Indeed Tuesday another video is expected to make its way into the public consciousness challenging conventional wisdom and calling for the de-funding of Planned Parenthood by the federal government.

But no one should be fooled into thinking that Planned Parenthood is going to walk away from 500 million dollars without a fight. It has already hired a major public relations firm to deal with the fallout. Its success can be seen in the silence of the big 3 television news networks.  ABC, CBS and NBC all have quarantined the story. The standard line is that the videos are heavily edited (not true, one can watch the unedited versions on the CMP website.  The next line is that PP only does 3% of its business on abortions.  A nifty video put out by Students for Life of America puts that argument to rest in short order.  Planned Parenthood leaders claim PP is only getting "reimbursed for costs. Another SFLA video destroys that argument.    Finally the leadership at PP has been claiming that the people behind the videos are evil extremists.   That is so absurd. The fellow behind the videos is 26 years old and was not even born in those days of rage.  So much for the pot calling the kettle black.

So here are my thoughts as we look at week 6.

Expect the debate to get uglier.

Expect more in the media to finally have their "come to Jesus" moment.

Expect the Washington insiders to try to muzzle it again.  They are very frustrated. and this includes some who are suppose to be on our side. In fact unless GOP leadership gets an earful during this recess, they will do nothing when they return. Many are truly afraid of PP. It is critical that your elected representatives know you will hold them accountable if they do not do EVERYTHING in their power to de-fund PP.

Expect the media to continue its blackout of the story. Note the media likes diversions. Two weeks ago it was Cecil the lion.  Last week it was Trump. Look for them to find something this week to distract the public.

So what do we do.

It was the social media, including Facebook and Twitter that has delivered a staggering blow to PP. It still has not figured out the truly guttural anger and outrage of the American people toward PP and its actions.

1. Keep talking and writing about it.

2. Participate and join in any public protest against PP.   The next nationwide event is AUGUST 22 in front of a local PP abortion mill in your home town.

3.Call your elected representatives and voice your outrage that PP is getting funded at all (especially when the government is broke).

4. Contact your local right to life organization and make sure you are getting the latest in information. Sign any legitimate petitions to stop the funding of PP by state or federal governments.

5. PRAY

6. Speak to your priest, pastor, minister, rabbi or preacher and ask him to mention the current scandal. Inform him of what is happening in your state. ask him to have the congregation pray for an end to abortion.

7. Participate in the social media and comment on the various websites and blogs.  always act and write charitably. We are seeking  the conversion of the lost.


8. Know what is happening. do not speculate. READ up on the latest. Know the talking points. Again SFLA has some great links  to bring you up to date.


Here are a few.

1. The videos speak for themselves. The PP executive is talking about body parts. That is proof of the child's humanity.

2. The ends never justify the means. "killing" a baby to help research so we can save lives. . Do you not see the craziness of such a position.  Kill a healthy child to help save another - are we nuts!

3. The PP executives are haggling over price. 

3. The Stem Express paperwork and promotional material clearly promote a profit motive for the "clinic."

4. The lawsuits do not prevent CMP from publishing the videos that do not involve Stem Express or NAF.

5. The videos show in all their starkness that abortion kills a human being.


There are points more but these are the clearest.

Finally what Planned Parenthood and its minions have relied upon is the short attention span of the public. It is crucial that the story remain in the public eye.  Only our efforts will make that happen. And every day that the story continues to be discussed provides another opportunity for lives to be saved.