07 April 2012

Awake. Alive!

In the dark and silent tomb
there is suddenly a gentle wind

Father and Spirit are there

He leans in close to whisper in a blood-stained ear

"Son...Son, it's Me. It's Dad. Wake up.
It's time to get up."

(Fr. John Congdon)

20 March 2012

Women Star in the President's Political Theater: Who's Really Getting Played?

at Catholic Online

After Sandra Fluke's testimony before Congress recently, two things became clear:  1) This controversy is political theater if I ever saw it, and 2) modern, secular "feminism" makes women stupid.

With a pen stroke and a press conference, President Obama used women to initiate a war on Religious Freedom and with the media lapdogs panting at his heels, he made sure the Republicans, and especially the Catholic Church, were painted as misogynist zealots.

Ms. Fluke has become the latest player in a drama that President Obama has manufactured and fueled for his own political gain.  Fluke, the Georgetown law student who's actually an activist for Reproductive Justice, joined Nancy Pelosi, Kathleen Sebelius, Barbara Boxer, Cecile Richards (Planned Parenthood), Nancy Keenan (NARAL), and scores of other Congressional leaders and political activists who are bemoaning the trials of life without free birth control pills.  With the President leading this contrived and fraudulent battle over "women's health", these so-called feminists have pinned women's entire well-being to a package of pills and reduced women to just vaginas and uteruses.

Fluke, who was portrayed as a 23 year-old co-ed, is actually 30 years old and by her own admission chose to attend Georgetown precisely so she could battle their insurance policy since it does not cover contraceptives.  What a handy witness she turned out to be last week on behalf of Obama's contraception mandate. So important was she to Obama's theater show that he personally called her to apologize for things Rush Limbaugh said on his program concerning her testimony.

Fluke testified that she and her classmates have to spend $3,000 during their time at Georgetown on contraception, and it's simply an unbearable financial burden for them.  If they paid top-dollar for birth control pills, that would be about $600 a year; $1,800 for three years.  A box of condoms ranges from about $4.00 to $15.00.  That's maybe another $100 a year, but still nowhere close to $3,000.

To put this in perspective, I can sponsor two children through World Vision for less than $100 a month.  That money actually helps feed, clothe and educate a child, and improve the lot of her community as well.  So you can feed, clothe and shelter a child in a poverty-stricken country, or you can subsidize an Ivy-league college student's sex life by buying her birth control.

To give you another perspective, consider what's happening to active-duty military families and veteran retirees. Active-duty families will soon see their prescription costs increase while their access to civilian pharmacies shrinks.  Military retirees are going to see their health insurance premiums skyrocket very soon, as Obamacare tries to force them off Tricare and onto one of the government exchange programs instead.

So while active-duty military families are paying more for all their prescriptions -- medicines needed for actual illnesses -- Ivy-league college co-eds simply MUST be provided with free birth control.

Meanwhile, unionized civilians health care benefits will be untouched.  No additional costs for them, no sir. Protect union workers; ask military families to sacrifice even more.  From whom much is already asked, even more will be required.  Is this the new American way?

What Fluke and her peers need is not a legal education but a common sense, moral education.  In about 30 minutes, they could all be taught how to manage their fertility without drugs, and their "birth control" would cost them absolutely nothing but self-control and mature decision-making.  It's called personal responsibility.  And you know what?  It's very empowering!

In the real world, when you don't have the money to pay for something you want, you do without it.  Contraception is not food and water.  It's not electricity and shelter.  It's not a need at all.  If Fluke wants birth control pills, fine, she can have them.  She can also pay for them herself.  No one is obligated to provide them for her.

This is the epitome of the entitlement society and mentality that we now live in.  To insist that government or our employers must subsidize our sexual habits and behavior makes us officially the most selfish, lazy, immature, and embarrassing society America has ever seen.

Not to mention the most hypocritical.  We demand the government stay out of our bedrooms while also demanding the government pay for our contraception.  These modern "feminists" like Fluke will shout, "My body, my choice" and "stay out of my uterus" and most of all, "the Church has no right to tell me what to do with my body!"  But now she is demanding that same government, that same Church must relieve her of the cost and responsibility for her own personal choices and bear the burden themselves.

Is this really the future of young American women?  Do they really not have the brains to figure out that if they don't have promiscuous, premarital sex, they don't need to worry about paying for contraceptives?  As an added bonus, they also won't have to worry about STD's and unwanted pregnancy.  Why is that simple concept so hard to grasp?

It's infuriating to me as a woman that this entire controversy is being played as a "war on women" and that this asinine contraceptive mandate is for the sake of "women's health."  Artificial hormones bring with them serious risks for women and pose a real danger to women's health.  Pumping a woman's -- worse, a young girl's still-growing body -- full of these artificial hormones should not be anyone's idea of the right way to take care of a woman's health.

Fertility is not a disease.  How insulting to suggest that women require artificial hormones, contraceptive devices, and abortion in order to be happy, healthy, and prosperous.

The language of this mandate and the rhetoric being used to defend it is insidious. Preventing pregnancy is equated with women's health.  Preventing children is equated with women's well-being.  Pregnancy = unhealthy and expensive.  No pregnancy = healthy and cost-saving.  Children have become the enemy.  Children are now threatening, ominous dollar signs that we must strategically avoid.

This is really a mandate against life.  What begins with pills in order to prevent pregnancy and save money will eventually become mandated abortions to eliminate children, especially disabled, "imperfect", medically expensive ones.  America is not immune to this progression.  We're submitting to it right now, and modern, secular "feminists" are leading the way.

The "feminists" swear that this is all about protecting women and their choices, blah blah blah.  Baloney.  The irony they don't get is this mandate only further puts the responsibility of pregnancy and children totally on women, leaving men with nothing to do but use women for their sexual gratification and then walk away. Train the guys well to make sure their girlfriend is on the Pill so he can get what he wants, and then when the contraceptives fail, she can walk into Planned Parenthood where they've been waiting for her and she can get "her problem" taken care of.  Teach those young boys now that girls are just vaginas with a pretty face.

Greater access to contraceptives does not prevent unplanned pregnancy.    Just the opposite.  If people think they can have worry-free, consequence-free sex, they have more sex more often with more partners.  And since contraception fails, more pregnancies result.

Face it, Cecile Richards doesn't love this mandate because she wants to reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies.  She doesn't want to put herself out of business.  She loves this mandate because she knows that it will bring her more business.  More promiscuous sexual activity means more STD's and more pregnancies.  And those "unwanted" babies will need to be gotten rid of for the sake of the woman's future, so Cecile and company will be there holding the doors open to their abortion mills, happily counting their cash.

President Obama has created this contraception brouhaha for the express purpose of getting women in a tizzy before November.  He plans to stoke the fire even further at Barnard College in NY, where he just made himself the commencement speaker.

Word of Mr. Obama’s appearance at Barnard, a 123-year-old women’s college in New York City, comes as the White House and Democrats have seized on Republican attempts to block a requirement for contraception coverage in the new health care law, saying it amounts to a “war on women.”
Democrats believe the issue could be an effective rallying point with women voters in a presidential election year, and the decision to appear at the prestigious women’s school could provide a high-profile forum for the president on that front.

He called and invited himself, displacing Jill Abramson from the NY Times, who was already scheduled to give the commencement speech.

Whatever else he talks about in his speech, it ought to be alarmingly clear that this President is not interested in freedom.  Barack Obama doesn't want to be the leader of a free republic.  He wants to be King.  He wants to be the Sovereign.  He doesn't govern or lead -- he simply issues mandates from on-high.  So what if our Constitution guarantees the Freedom of Religion?  He's been telling us for years now that it's really just the "Freedom of worship", and if it gets in the way of his dictatorial edicts, well, then to hell with it.

C'mon ladies, wake up and stop being used and played for political points.  This contraception theater show is insulting and women deserve better.

17 December 2011

Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary

The 1st Joyful Mystery:  The Annunciation

“Hail, full of grace! The Lord is with you!” “You shall conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus.” 

The fruit of the mystery is humility. 

Mary’s answer to Gabriel is simply incredible, but it became much more precious for me when I stopped to ponder the middle of this story. We may miss the best part is we fail to recognize the humanness in Mary. Not sinfulness, but humanness. That’s the quality that makes this event so marvelous.

“But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and considered in her mind what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, ‘Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.’”

She was greatly troubled! Scared, even? Can you see her expression; hear the thoughts racing through her mind?

What in the world is going on?!? He’s telling me not to be afraid… what is this all about? A son? Now I’m confused. How can this be? I do not know man. God Himself will do this? The child will be holy? The Son of God? 

Now comes the glorious ending: “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” 

She went from being troubled and confused one moment to being perfectly willing and trusting the next because of true humility. Her reply is remarkable not only because of what she said but because of all she didn’t say. She didn’t say, “Me? Why me?” Or, “But, but, wait…” She didn’t say, “I can’t…” Gabriel gave her precious few details about how this would all unfold, yet she didn’t hesitate to agree.  She understood it wasn’t really about her; it was about Him.

Mary didn’t say “yes” with a proud spirit or a self-congratulatory attitude, nor did she refuse out of a feeling of inadequacy or unworthiness. She knew she was a mere mortal, most unworthy. She also knew God was wise and loving and able. Her “yes” had nothing to do with her and everything to do with Him.

Yes to His plan, His will, His power, His authority. She took Gabriel at his word and believed that God knew what He was doing, and her part was to simply say, “I am at your disposal.” It was up to God to do everything else. It’s also noteworthy that she didn’t offer any assistance. She didn’t presume that she could add something to the mix that would make it better. She said yes, and then carried on as usual. Not knowing what would happen next or how it would happen, she left everything after that moment up to God.

That’s real humility. To say to God, “As You wish. You will do it. Do with me whatever You please. All glory is Yours.” It seems plain enough, but so often real humility gets all mixed up with false humility (which is actually pride). It seems more humble to refuse when asked to do something, especially something important, and we say self-deprecating things like, “Oh, I’m not that good,” or “I’m not smart enough,” or “I’ve never done that before,” or “There are lots of people who are better at this than me,” and on and on and on.

Don’t you shudder to think what might have happened if Mary had responded that way?  She may have felt there were smarter, more capable, more experienced women in the community. She could have tried to defer and list all the reasons why she was right to defer. But thank God she was humble enough to say yes.

It’s not a mark of humility to say to God that His plan can’t be done because you’re not the one, you’re inadequate, you’re not smart enough, you’re not good enough, you’re not ________________ (fill in the blank).

Of course you’re not good enough. So what? God is good enough.  God has everything, God is everything and humility is just saying “yes” and not thinking too much or too little of you, but only of how great God is.

“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed for the Mighty One has done great things for me – holy is his name.” Luke 1:46-49 

Mary, most mild, pray for me that I will humbly say “yes” to God in whatever He asks of me.


The 2nd Joyful Mystery:  The Visitation of Mary to her cousin, Elizabeth

“At that time Mary got ready and hurried to a town in the hill country of Judea, where she entered Zechariah’s home and greeted Elizabeth… Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.” Luke 1:39-40, 56 

The fruit of the mystery is love of our neighbor.

Gabriel had just left her, and the first thing she does is prepare to leave and visit Elizabeth, her cousin. Gabriel had told her Elizabeth was in her sixth month of pregnancy, a testament to the power of God.

It wouldn’t have seemed unreasonable for Mary to have stayed home to rest and take care of herself, now that she herself was expecting. And after all, the angel had said this child would be the holy Son of God! That certainly deserves some pampering and special treatment!

But I suspect Mary was overjoyed at the news of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, and couldn’t wait to get there and share the wonder of it all with her. Now the two of them could delight in each other’s miracles and bask in the glory of God and all He had done by His power alone. I can easily imagine them hugging and laughing and fussing over each other.

It’s really a simple lesson this mystery teaches – take care of each other. Even when you have good reason for worrying only about yourself, try to find a way to care for someone else also. I’m your neighbor and you’re mine. There will be plenty of opportunities for us to care for each other and meet the other’s needs. But will we?

And what about the neighbor we don’t particularly like? What about the neighbor we can’t stand? There’s where it gets sticky! Even then, we are asked to find ways to show love. Love that is hard to give, love that requires a real sacrifice, love that is on-purpose-even-though-I-really-don’t-want-to is the truest of all.

A good place to start is our own families. Love-on-purpose that family member you don’t like being around. Love-on-purpose the one who irritates you to no end. Love-on-purpose the relative you have nothing in common with. Love the one who just plain drives you crazy. Do it as unto Jesus, and watch how your heart changes.

Be happy for the blessings in your family member’s lives and celebrate with them. Rejoice in their good fortune without envy, and bear their sorrow with them whenever you can. Pray for them. Bring Christ to your family, as Mary brought Christ to Elizabeth’s.

These are simple, ordinary bits of guidance, and most of the time we’ll do these things without earthly applause. We just do it because it’s the right thing to do. We may fail miserably and often in loving our neighbor, but the good news is we’ll never run out of chances to live this mystery, and practice makes perfect!


The 3rd Joyful Mystery:  The Birth of Jesus

“She gave birth to her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.”  Luke 2:7

The fruit of the mystery is poverty.

When I think about poverty, my immediate reaction is to be repulsed.  Poverty is not something I find enchanting.  My instinct for self-preservation vehemently rejects the idea of poverty.  It inspires fear and dread in me.

Poverty means to be vulnerable, shunned, and perhaps worst of all, invisible.  Poverty is empty and deprived.

What a stunning paradox then that God would offer Himself to us in poverty.  Omnipotent, All-possessing King lies helpless and needy in humiliating surroundings.  He who commands the sun to shine and our hearts to beat within our chests comes powerless into our world to be greeted by cows and sheep.

It’s disarmingly brilliant.  We cannot refute the love of a God who sheds His riches and might and gives Himself to us in poverty.  He did not come with frightening awe and intimidating splendor so we would cower before Him in fear.  He came to us small, weak, dependent and poor.  He sought to inspire our affection and devotion rather than command our submission.

As much as I may dread the possibility of material poverty, I must learn to embrace the mystery of being poor in spirit.  Who are the poor in spirit?  Only those brave souls who willingly admit their wretchedness before a holy God, who know exactly how undeserving they are yet humbly bow before Him, grateful for His mercy.  Those souls who never presume to be good enough on their own to stand before Him, but know how truly pitiful is their human state.

More than just a superficial knowing, the poor in spirit live the knowledge of their sinfulness truthfully, without making light of their sin.  What courage and honesty it requires to see myself as I truly am, without shining up my sin and spritzing perfume on my foul offenses.

If gold could have relieved our troubles and lifted us out of our darkness, then Jesus could have simply come in His Royalty and tossed us bags of coins.  If physical power and strength was all we needed to defeat our enemy, then the Invincible One could have come with His armies and settled the whole matter in minutes.  He came to us in poverty so we would see that all we will ever need is who He is.

We need Him, the person of Jesus.  Only He can save us, because we don’t need wealth or power – we need mercy.  We need forgiveness to cleanse us.  Only His blood can do that.  The illusion of our goodness keeps us full of ourselves, but the poor in spirit have Christ as their inheritance, for they know how empty they truly are and so they are filled with Him.  “Blessed are they who are poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of God.”   Isn’t it just like our God to turn poverty into unfathomable riches?


The 4th Joyful Mystery: The Presentation in the Temple

“When the time of their purification according to the Law of Moses had been completed, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord, (as is written in the Law of the Lord, “Every firstborn male is to be consecrated to the Lord.”) and to offer a sacrifice in keeping with what is said in the Law of the Lord: a pair of doves or two young pigeons.” Luke 2:22-24

The fruit of the mystery is obedience.

It’s rather humorous to read that paragraph. Mary and Joseph took the Lord to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord! The Lord presented Himself to Himself!

The Father demanded no special treatment for His Son. No exceptions, no favoritism. The Law of Moses was the Law and the Law was to be obeyed.  He came to fulfill the Law, not toss the Law out the window. He came to live our human experience is every single way that we do, including obeying the law.

But notice, please, which law we’re talking about here. God’s law – the law that is always just and right and good. We needn’t ever worry when obeying God’s law. It will always be for our benefit and His greater glory. Obeying God’s law will never steer us wrong or lead us down a destructive path. God’s blessing is always in His law.

We live in a time when there are many unjust and just plain immoral laws, and one day we just might have to choose between following God’s law and following the law of the land because the two may be in irreconcilable contradiction. In fact, that day is fast approaching.  For today, there will most assuredly be occasions, however small, where I have to choose to obey God. I may be sorely tempted to ignore or “forget” His commands and then try to justify my rebellion. No surprise – that never works out well!

Time to refresh my memory about why it’s so good for me to follow God’s law:

“The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” Psalm 19:7-8

“I gain understanding from your precepts; therefore I hate every wrong path.” Psalm 119:104

“The wicked have set a snare for me, but I have not strayed from your precepts. Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.” Psalm 119:110-112

“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165

Strength, wisdom, joy, light and clarity, understanding, courage, and sure footsteps… all the benefits of obedience. God is good!


The 5th Joyful Mystery: Finding the Child Jesus in the Temple

“While his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends…After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers…His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Luke 2:43-48

The fruit of the mystery is joy in finding Jesus.

To be honest, it really seems to me like Jesus got a pass here!  He really didn’t think that by staying behind he’d scare the living daylights out of his parents? He didn’t think they’d mind him just disappearing? Worrying them that way was not a very thoughtful thing to do!

There’s Mary, worried out of her mind after searching for three days, and this is his response: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”

Well no, Son, actually, we didn’t know that! How would we know that?!? You could have just said so before we left, instead of making us look for you for three days!!

Anybody else thinking they would have wanted to dish out some serious punishment if their teenager had done this to them? (Who knows, maybe Mary and Joseph did!)

His boyhood thoughtlessness aside, there’s an important message in this mystery for the whole world: our worrying ceases when we find Jesus. Our hearts are anxiously searching for Him, and we are troubled and frightened until we find Him. There is joy in finding Jesus; there is worry and fear without Him. This is true for every soul that has ever lived whether they realize it or not. “Our hearts are restless, O Lord, until they rest in You.” St. Augustine

In every event of our day, in every encounter, every task, every challenge, every burden, every struggle, there will be joy once we find Jesus in it. We will be overcome with worry til we do. He is there with us in everything and He wants to be found. It only remains to be seen whether we will look for Him.

There are a hundred opportunities every day for me to look for Jesus in what’s happening in my life and in the people I encounter. If I don’t see, it’s probably because I don’t look. I’m too wrapped up in my own head, too caught up in a hectic schedule.  And so I find stress and anxiety instead of joy. I find worry and fear instead of Jesus.  Silly me.

“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you, declares the Lord.” Jeremiah 29:13-14

Blessed Mary, ever patient Mother, teach me how to find Jesus… always… in everything.

16 November 2011

The Divided State of America: How Long Can We Stand?

at Catholic Online

"Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand."

Our house is divided and may not stand much longer.  We've been bitterly divided once before, and just as the evil of slavery nearly tore our nation in two, so will the evil of abortion and the desecration of marriage.  We seem poised on the verge of a new Civil War.  (The difference now, of course, is that those who value the sanctity of human life will not wage war on fellow citizens.  We cannot kill in the name of stopping the killing.)

The modern-day battle is for true marriage and the humanity of the child in the womb.

There's no way to satisfy the demand of full "equality" for cohabiting homosexuals in a newly-invented view of "marriage" and still protect religious liberty.  Any exception written into same-sex "marriage" laws to protect those people or institutions who define marriage as between a man and a woman will always be rejected by homosexual marriage equivalency groups.

The two views of what constitutes marriage are irreconcilable; there's no way to accomplish so-called "equality" in marriage and still allow individuals or institutions the freedom to reject that so-called "marriage equality" based on their faith teachings or upon the Natural Law.  The stage is set for a bitter clash that has no solution.  The writing on the political wall right now clearly says that the Constitutional right of religious freedom will be sacrificed on the altar of the homosexual equivalency movement.

This is the divided state of America.

It is the same with abortion.  It comes down to a stark and unyielding difference:  one side says the unborn are human beings from the moment of conception; the other side says it's just tissue, just cells, an insentient thing that has no right to anything.  Both cannot be true.  Both cannot be even partially true.  One is entirely true and the other is entirely false.

Science tells us that at the moment of conception, a genetically unique human being is created and exists.  The size of the human being is not the issue, nor is that human being's independence or awareness or intelligence.  There exists, in point of fact, a human being who did not exist before.

With science against them, those who demand abortion now switch their argument to whether or not this human being is a person.  Personhood, under their rules, requires physical separation from the mother, as well as the ability to survive apart from her.  Many go even further and insist that personhood requires a certain degree of intelligence, self-awareness, and function.  By their standards, a newborn, a 2 month-old infant, even a toddler is not a person.

Mostly though, their demand for abortion revolves only around the woman and her "rights" to do whatever she pleases with her body.  Do not bother them with the logic that it is not the woman's body being destroyed in an abortion, nor with the logic that the woman's actions (her choices) are the reason the baby is now residing in her womb.  They insist that the baby is nothing more than a parasite and no woman is obligated to play host to such an unwanted intruder.

So which is it?  Will we decide once and for all that a newly conceived child in the womb is a meaningless, parasitic clump of tissue or a human being?  We cannot continue to have it both ways.  A choice -- a real choice -- must be made.  We can dispassionately look at reality and science and acknowledge the truth, or we can continue to write our laws based on sophistry and willfully blind, self-interested, and unjust emotional demands.

No longer can we continue to hide behind euphemistic rhetoric.  We take cover under the deceiving phrase "terminating a pregnancy".  Childbirth terminates a pregnancy, but it doesn't kill the child.  A pregnancy does not happen apart from a baby.  We're terminating babies, not pregnancies.

We spit out the word "fetus" with a pejorative tone and use it as a shield, as though the term magically empties the child of all human value -- because that's exactly what we want the term to do for us that we might more comfortably live with our "choice."

When we scream for "choice", we have to summon the guts to admit what choice we're talking about.  We want the right to kill our babies.  We want the right to kill our babies.  That's what we're talking about.  Is that who America is?  Is that who America wants to be?

We want the right to take a chemical poison and cause a 9, 10, or 11-week fetus to die and be expelled from the womb as though he or she were nothing more than a large blood clot.  We want the right to suction a baby out of the womb as though we were vacuuming out our cars of junk and stray french fries.

We want the right to reach into the womb and dismember a 23-week fetus.  We want that right so badly that we delude ourselves into thinking it's moral and just and even compassionate.  Which of us would find it compassionate to dismember a 2 month-old infant?  Why is it any different simply because the dismembering is done on a smaller baby who is still in the womb?  Does that make the dismembering kinder?  Does it make the dismembering less grotesque?  Does it make the act itself respectable?  Of course not.

We can't delicately operate on a 23 week-old fetus in one room and stab the heart and crush the skull of a 23 week-old fetus in the room next door.  We call the first an example of life-saving, miraculous medical advancement and the other a sacred "right" and protected "freedom."  One child is considered a patient and the other child is not considered anything at all.

How long can we perpetuate this absurd incongruency?

This intellectual dishonesty is leading us toward national schizophrenia.  We simply cannot insist that to kill one child is moral, right and respectable while to kill another child is abhorrent and criminal.

Either it is moral, right and respectable to kill a child at any age and stage of development or it is abhorrent and criminal and the height of evil.  It must be one or the other.  Either we will protect our defenseless children from harm, or we'll inflict the harm ourselves and call it our right.

It's time for honesty.  Those who demand abortion must come clean and say out loud, "We want the right to kill our babies."  Those who legislate for abortion on demand must come clean and say, "We will make sure it's legal to kill our babies and pay for it with our taxes."

Those who want to sit on the fence rather than "tell someone else what to do" must come clean and say, "I'm content to let it be legal to kill our babies.  That's okay with me."

The issue is not "reproductive rights" but the humanity of the child in the womb.  The question is not one of "equality" in marriage, but of defending the foundation of the family, and the unchangeable meaning of marriage.

In both cases, the conflict demands a final and coherent answer.  Government does not have that answer.  The Church does.  But we're not really "one nation under God" anymore, are we?  Soon we may not be one nation anymore either.

25 October 2011

China's Shame: Two year-old Wang Yue Crushed Under Two Vans, Left to Die

at Catholic Online

Little girls are worth next to nothing in China.  Baby girls are killed on a regular basis in China.  We all know that.

Yet little YueYue's story may finally succeed in accomplishing what up to this point has not quite been done:  bringing shame upon China for their abhorrent and violent treatment of their daughters.

The Chinese government routinely rounds up women who violate the 1-child policy by getting pregnant with a second child and forcibly aborts them, even well into the third trimester of pregnancy. Some mothers die along with their preborn babies. Sometimes they threaten and beat up fathers and husbands who refuse to cooperate; they threaten families' homes and businesses; in short, they destroy people's lives in every way they can -- literally.  All for the sake of their evil, anti-human policies.

Yet inexplicably, this has failed to draw the international ire it deserves.  Even our own government tries not to really notice, and certainly goes out of its way not to criticize.  I don't really expect intelligent or courageous talk from Vice President Joe Biden, but his political-correctness sank to an inexcusable low when he told the Chinese, "We understand."

Perhaps Wang Yue, by her horrible, brutal death, will begin to arouse a disinterested world; perhaps she can revive the death-cold heart of her country by forcing the Chinese people to see her for what she was:  a human being; a helpless child they trampled and threw away.

On October 13, Wang Yue, nicknamed "Little Yueyue", was crushed nearly to death in the street in the Chinese province of Guangdong.  She'd wandered out alone into the small street near her parents' shop, and she was run over by a van.  The driver hit her and she fell under the front wheel.  The van slowed to a stop, and then drove on, crushing her a second time under the back wheel.

The driver never stopped again.

Now mutilated, smashed and broken, bleeding profusely onto the ground, Little Yueyue lay there as a total of 18 people passed her by.  The first man to encounter her practically had to step over her as he walked past.  He never stopped.  Others walking down the street stopped to stare for a moment before turning their heads and continuing on their way.

Her little arms still moving from time to time, she waited in agony for help.  Not a single adult who witnessed her suffering did anything to help her.  A 2 year-old child lay in the street crushed and dying, and no one would even acknowledge her there.

Then, unbearably, along came a second van.  The driver made no apparent attempt to avoid her, and she was crushed under the wheel for a third time.

As more people continued to pass her by, her blood flowed into the street.

Finally, an older woman carrying a trash bag sees her, set her bag down, and walked over to the mangled child.

She grabbed Yueyue by the arms and dragged her across the pavement, out of the way of oncoming vehicles and people.  Then, the child's mother appeared, and she half-carried her dying child away.

Little Yueyue died of brain and organ failure on Friday, October 21.  The intensive-care doctors treating her said her injuries were too severe and treatment had no effect.

The entire, horrific, unspeakable scene in the street was captured on surveillance video and posted online for the whole world to see.  There can be no denying what happened to this child; no one can attempt to explain or rationalize or ask us to understand.

I watched the video and fought the intense urge to vomit.    The violence, apathy, callousness, and stone-cold indifference of the people who crushed and then ignored this little girl is sickening beyond words.  It will leave you shaken to the core.  If it does not, something's very wrong.

We must call China to account for this act of brutality and inhumane cruelty.  Chinese officials may attempt to conceal from the eyes of the world their violent treatment of pregnant women, their destruction of preborn babies, their brutality against families who violate the inhumane one-child policy, but this, this they cannot conceal.

They cannot pretend it did not take place, nor shroud it in political language. The images and facts of Yueyue's death give indisputable testimony to the truth that China has lost its humanity and its soul.

We can take some small measure of encouragement from the cries of outrage being voiced by many Chinese citizens who are asking what has happened to their country to cause such apathy in the face of a child's suffering.

A BBC news story said that many people in China choose not to help for fear that they will end up being charged for the crime.  Without evidence to prove their own innocence, they will not interfere.

A professor of social science at Hong Kong University of Science "said he believed China's political environment had 'no tolerance' for people with a social conscience."

Can anyone still seriously question the destructive effects of a government that rejects the moral laws of human freedom, religious freedom, and the sanctity of human life?  Look at China: see what happens when people become mere instruments of productivity for the sake of economic prosperity.

Will the United States government now finally voice an unequivocal condemnation of China's brutal and cruel human-rights violations?  What do you think, Joe?  Do you still understand?  How about you, Mr. President?  Any comment?

Be wary and pay attention, America, because China's present could become our future if we do not cherish our freedoms and guard our hearts.

I saw a beautiful photo of Yueyue, her mother and her older brother, and the thought occurred to me, "Wait -- she's their 2nd child?  How'd they manage to have a 2nd child?"

Is it unreasonable to question whether perhaps this little girl was targeted and killed intentionally because she was her parents' 2nd child?  It's a chilling thought, but is it really an unreasonable one?

For now what we know for certain is that a little girl has demanded through her death the attention her country refused her as she lay bleeding in the street.  She died a victim of apathy and cruelty.  Shame on China!  Shame on every person who passed her by and ignored her.  Shame, shame, shame!

Rest now in peace, little Yueyue, in the loving embrace of your Heavenly Father.  Those who mourn your death beg your forgiveness and ask for your prayers.  Please pray for your lost country.


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