I thought it was funny ...
From Shine of the Holy Whapping
I thought it was funny ...
From Shine of the Holy Whapping
Second Meditation - On the End for Which We Were Created
1 For the leader; "upon the gittith." A psalm of David.
3. Why did God make us?
corrected for some sloppy wording
ACOG Statement of PolicyIt is no shock that they are against it. The ACOGs problem is one, it seems, of assuming that just because they are doctors people should just turn off their brains and trust them. Many people see a pretty clear monetary conflict that could be at play on this very matter. After all, if more people choose out-of-hospital options, doctors lose clients and become more and more necessary only in the case of a medical intervention. Furthermore, they offer very little support for their positions in these public statements. Instead we get a vague statement like "Studies comparing the safety and outcome of U.S. births in the hospital with those occurring in other settings are limited and have not been scientifically rigorous." There is some truth to this statement as I have mentioned in our post regarding our decision NOT to homebirth with a VBAC. The average intelligent reader today, especially in this hyperlinked age, demands the evidence used to make the decision arrived at by the ACOG. They should be able to clearly demonstrate the faults of the studies. I have found that evidence on the internet after much digging but it should be very public so that you don't sound like you are whining just because you might lose some business.
In this day and age you have to give them a REASON to trust you even if you are an expert. After all, there are intelligent people out there besides doctors. We expect the president to provide reason for his actions and this nation recently voted accordingly when many felt he didn't provide adequate reason justifying some of the actions of his administration. It only stands to reason that other fields be expected to fall under the same public scrutiny.
On a related note that this statement makes very clear -- The logic of the world today regarding choice is telling:
1. Kids will decide to have sex anyway SO
2. We have to provide them condoms and access to the morning after pill and abortion
1. Parents will decide to have out-of-hospital births anyway SO
2. We will not support them in their decision (i.e. by being a backup doctor) because it is a bad one
ACOG: "Although ACOG acknowledges a woman's right to make informed decisions regarding her delivery, ACOG does not support programs or individuals that advocate for or who provide out-of-hospital births."
In a practical sense this results in the number of doctors willing to backup a homebirth or birthing center birth in Louisiana being extremely small.
Excepting a few states midwife assisted homebirth is legal. Unassisted homebirth is legal no matter where you are in the US. In the UK doctors have to backup midwives. Women truly do have a choice and they can feel comfortable knowing doctors are at their service when they are needed. That is what mothers should fight for.
FYI I am looking for an official online link to the statement containing the above quotes - it is forthcoming.
Posted the following on DCF: Favorite Catholic resources
Include books, blogs, websites etc. -- I am only including websites tonight ... I have to give the books some thought ...I may update this post as I find more awesome Catholic resources ... then I will likely add them to the right of this blog.
Breastfeeding may not do much for verbal skills
A number of past studies have linked breastfeeding with higher childhood IQ scores. Certain fatty acids found in breast milk are known to aid nervous system development, and researchers have speculated that this explains the IQ gains.I think it is great for a pro-beastfeeding blog like HMS to post something like this. Intelligent parents are typically going to breastfeed. From what I can tell of the studies that breastfeeding itself is the cause of intelligence gains are at best inconclusive for this very reason.
Still, I recommend breastfeeding and I wish they would do far more long term studies to further clarify the facts on breastfeeding.
Supposedly Stem Cells Used to Create Artificial Liver - but that would be those useless non baby killing cord blood ones. Move along.
I read a recent objection that this novel historical angle that my site presents is a good start for Catholics, after all there is no reasonable biblical reason to become Catholic... A fresh and new approach. Lordy, we might convert somebody yet!
Well .... not really. It is an old and tried approach. It is the one that led Cardinal Newman to Rome over a century ago. It is the appeal the patristic writers made 1600 years ago. There are most often no new responses to objections to the Catholic faith. They are all tried and old ... just recycled and believed new.
I was reading an honest thread on DCF between a searching atheist and a bunch of Catholics. The following statement was made.
...the Church has been around 2000+ years and there isn't a question she hasn't heard and answered.
You see, I converted to Catholicism because my experience is as the quote states above. I have yet to find an objection to Catholicism that I didn't feel had a reasonable response and as I read ancient debates from both the time of the reformation, the time of the Arian heresy and even before, I found common objections and almost always the same reasonable biblically based responses.
Or, I guess you could say that Catholics have been using the same stale responses for 2000 years.
On adoration nights I am going to summarize my often disjointed thoughts regarding the particular topic that I am focusing on. Notes and helper quotations, however many or few, will be posted that night.
It is interesting that the first 6 weeks of CCD for the Kindergarten class we are teaching is on creation yet not a single week yet has focused on man. That is upcoming. I find it timely that the chapter I am on in Introduction to the Devout Life focuses on that very thing.
See Introduction to the Devout Life - Chapter 9
Meditations on creation and my own existence
I acknowledge the reality that God's love is the source of my dignity.
It is He who holds me in existence for without His will that I exist I return to that from which I was created, which is nothing.
The root reason for human dignity lies in man's call to communion with God. From the very circumstance of his origin man is already invited to converse with God. For man would not exist were he not created by Gods love and constantly preserved by it; and he cannot live fully according to truth unless he freely acknowledges that love and devotes himself to His Creator.- Vatican II - GAUDIUM ET SPES
Whether God exists? Summa - St. Thomas Aquinas
Wow ... I just thought I would leave with a resounding I LOVE BEING CATHOLIC
Google Search: I rarely finish at the top on Google searches but today I found one. I am THE leading expert on the following: chad johnson halloween outfit
I bet you didn't know that 38 high profile muslims responded favorably to the Popes call to dialog -- you know -- the one that offended so many Muslims
Find out more (see also The Regensburg Effect: The Open Letter from 38 Muslims to the Pope) - From the first
Now take this in. In a moment of increasing worldwide violence and tension, Pope Benedict XVI issued a call, echoing his predecessor John-Paul II, for a real dialogue between religions at the highest level of reason. And authoritative spiritual leaders of the Islamic umma responded favourably to this, and declared, in a fine, noble, and open spirit: “Let the dialogue begin!” This is news of very great significance. It should have been the top headline in every newspaper in the world.and the second
The authors of the letter welcome and appreciate without reservation the clarifications made by Benedict XVI after the wave of protests that issued from the Muslim world a few days after the lecture in Regensburg, and in particular the speech that the pope addressed to ambassadors from Muslim countries on September 25, and also the reference made by cardinal secretary of state Tarcisio Bertone, in a note issued on September 16, to the conciliar document “Nostra Aetate.”-- source Mark Shea
A couple of topics I want to post on in the near future
Sacramental marriage (its obvious graces)
Tempering of the flesh by doing without -- Either you are in control or your appetites are in control and when you are not in control you are less able to serve the Lord.
So the Cincinnati Bengals have the ball 1st and goal at the 1 yard line. I have Chad Johnson (WR) and Rudi Johnson (RB). Chances are they are going to hand the ball off to Rudi a few times until he gets in the end zone.
1 yd touchdown pass to Houshmandzadeh (who has become the goto receiver over Johnson -- what happened to Top 5 fantasy lock at WR Chad Johnson?).
(tears his hair out) ...
During my conversion relics was a stumbing block. Since converting I have scanned thousands of thread headings regarding Catholicism (more specifically apologetics) and only TWICE has the topic of relics come up.
Today I saw it come up the second of those two times and I posted the following link in response.
My struggles with incorrupt saints and relics
This kept staring at me on the AP headlines all day: U.S. population passes 300 million mark
Earlier today it had a picture of a Los Angeles traffic jam cleverly implying that people are a huge burden and if they would just NOT exist life would be so much better.
2258 "Human life is sacred because from its beginning it involves the creative action of God and it remains for ever in a special relationship with the Creator, who is its sole end. God alone is the Lord of life from its beginning until its end: no one can under any circumstance claim for himself the right directly to destroy an innocent human being."
Found this on a forum with the colors ... I got sick of looking for it every time I had a piece. It stripped the prize amounts. I will fill that in later
Here are the rare game pieces of McDonald's Monopoly Game 2006:
Lord of all pots and pans and things ...
-- Brother Lawrence
Always loved VeggieTales
‘VeggieTales’ creator follows a new fork in road to success from HMS
“I was miserable,” he said flatly. “It was affecting everything — affecting my marriage, my family. And that was in my good days. I realized God hadn’t called me to become the next Walt Disney and build a giant entertainment company. He called me just to tell his stories,” he said.
THE Pope is taking steps to revive the ancient tradition of the Latin Tridentine Mass in Catholic churches worldwide, according to sources in Rome. -- Of course the title is "Pope set to bring back Latin Mass that divided the Church" ... I still, for the life of me, cannot figure out what is so objectionable about Latin or the Tridentine mass.
Many I know who follow secular reporting of the Church have said this particular writer is one of the worst offenders in distorting facts about the Church that there is. Thus, I am treating this with a high level of skepticism. You have been warned.
Update: This has been confimed by Catholic World News - Pope will broaden use of Latin Mass
A couple of posts from ZIppy Catholic A Collection of Magisterial Citations w.r.t. Torture
The Doctrinal-Juridical Two Step answering the objection about torture during the Inquisition.
I am currently reading another in the long line of discussions going on between Mark Shea and others ... Wanted to save this link somewhere ... enjoy.
Mark Shea: A response (probably inadequate) to the Big Ol' Torture Roundup Post at Against the Grain
First set of meeting notes from the collected monasteries of the new Dark Ages ...
or The FIRST ever Catholic Homeschooling Carnival is up!!!
Here you go -- It's a Carnival
This is all speculation on my part ... but you get it anyway ... I pulled this post that I wrote from a forum that I visit
OK, I went to a brief talk on Theology of the Body and it got me to thinking ... in Ephesians 5 Paul links the relationship between Christ and the Church to that of a husband and wife. So I got to thinking a little more ... We have our 4 marks of the ChurchIn other words, the visiblity of the Catholic Church better represents the reality of marriage and vice versa. Ok enough of my theorizing ... carry on
I heard my wife mention that she heard a man on the radio who wants to eliminate religion from public discourse altogether. It seems his theory is that, historically speaking, all of the ills of the world can be pinned on "world religions". This view suffers from a shortsignted view of religion, mostly the following two points
All religious persons tend towards fundamentalism
No religious belief (i.e. that there is a God) can be arrived at through logical reasoning
I take exception with both of these because I personally would not believe if it were not reasonable and I find that excessive recourse to simplification of matters is at the root of fundamentalism of all types including secular fundamentalism which rejects religion because a religious world contains those who do evil. To turn the tables the increasing secularization of the west has not resulted in less evil in the world. Murders, rapes, molestations and all manner of evil stull occur even in the name of no religion. It is pure foolishness to presume that secularization of the world will remove the consequence of sin. For all the evils done in the name of Catholicism, the TEACHING of the Catholic faith resoundly rejects evil and those who FOLLOW the faith are shining examples of good. Judging religion on the basis of those who do not practice it is, as a famous quote points out, like judging medicine by those who do not take it.
Faith and Reason
or "Why it isn't a bunch of rules"
Since becoming Catholic I have realized that EVERY single good thing that I had as a Protestant is available to me in the Catholic Church. It took me a few years to get to that realization but I can safely now say that is the case. No Protestant would defend his faith against the secular attack that the Bible is nothing more than a bunch of stodgy rules without recourse to a common retort also used by Catholics to defend the teachings of the Church as being nothing more than a series of rules that are difficult to keep. Most readers of the Bible come quickly to the conclusion that grace is the avenue by which we are all moved to salvation, and further to conform ourselves more perfectly to the will of our Lord. External eyes see "rules" but a man of faith realizes that the rules are to protect us from things that really bind and hinder us from achieving the final end for which we are all intended -- that is -- eternal life. It is our faith that this grace will be provided that allows us to assent to difficult teachings in order to find far greater freedom than we could have ever imagined.
Which brings me to a litany of things that we have gained since becoming Catholic
We have gained, through papal encyclicals and ecumenical councils, authoritative teaching that is living and comes to us in the same way that teaching was passed to the churches even in Bible times (by letter and council - Acts 15)
We have gained physical reception of our Lord in the Eucharist
We have gained deep history
We have gained centuries of classic art
We have gained centuries of sacred music
We have gained centuries of world renowned architecture, all built for the glory of God
We have gained the recorded lives and devotional writings of the saints
We have gained the intercessions of prayer partners, in the saints, whose prayers are far more efficacious than those of our friends on earth
We have gained, as married persons, the freedom to love each other in the unitive and procreative aspect of marriage in having rejected the bondage of contraception with its multitude of physical and emotionally destressing effects
We have gained an understanding of the many beautiful and sacramental ways that God wants to provide His grace to us by means of His Church.
We have gained a greater understanding of the truth ... and in greater understanding of the truth lies greater freedom.
First off, I am a total bum with this blogging thing as of the past few weeks ... Honestly, I just haven't had the time. I have a rant for tonight so I will leave you with it.
I have written in the past about isolation and lack of community. In an older post on lack of community I find myself ranting on the giant fences that divide our yards. After watching the whole process for even longer I propose that the real root of the matter is selfishness but cleverly packaged up under the guise of social "virtues".
Specifically speaking those would be independence and self-sufficiency.
I spend less time agonizing over talk radio than I used to. When I do expend the effort I find that most people are complaining because someone isn't taking responsibility for some grave action that occurred that day. In order to shift blame from their preferred candidate or political ideology people choose to place the burden of collosal societal failures on a single individual if at all possible and call it "personal responsiblity". In my opinion this has caused people to think too highly of themselves. To have a consistent worldview they have elevated individualism onto a pedestal of near godlike quality. *I* can do anything -- and damn anyone who dares to get in my way.
Now I am pretty sure that talk radio or blame shifting is not the cause but I think the attempt to create a consistent worldview that panders to individualism and selfishness requires jettisoning a significant amount of contact with the community in order to develop a greater level of privacy with which to perform any of a number of untold "expressions" of individuality. Time AWAY = greater freedom (in modern times even in a legal sense) to perform whatever acts I deem appropriate. After all, whatever is within my walls stays there. To take things further is to retreat into self sufficiency, where you are so independent you don't need much of anyone. *I* can do everything -- there are no people in my way.
None of this is real freedom though. Freedom comes from the One who gave it to us. The problem is *I* need people and that is simply admitting that I need Christ. Christ often comes to us through those who SERVE us. Furthermore Christ calls US to service. If there is nobody there, who hears the gospel? Who feeds the hungry if we decide that isolation and self-sufficiency are our highest ideals?
Each of these virtues can be good as long as they are pursued within the means for which Christ has given us. The problem is we can idolize them and that takes us away from God and away from being vessels of Gods love to the world.
I was raised without ever considering the question for or against abortion (link is admittedly incomplete). The fact that I didn't even know about it stemmed from a family life that wouldn't have even considered such an option. In high school, prompted by other relativist teens, I took a stab at developing some nuanced position on abortion. After all, intelligent people have nuanced positions on everything. Thus, at the time I accepted the "extreme cases" position. "Well ... I figured ... we should most likely leave it legal because after all women should have access to it in the 'difficult cases' of rape and incest". Today I can look back and see that its those "extreme cases" are what always seem to chip away at the foundation of our moral fabric on issues of all sorts ... as I grew older, I grew stronger in my faith and the question of abortion became clearer ... mostly because that was what good Christians told me I should believe. I never reasoned through the issue myself until I had the good fortune of debating a good spirited pro-choice person on a sports forum. The discussion was pretty much a train wreck surrounding the discussion I was having with him. Ad hominem attacks dominated the rest of the thread.
My opponent argued from a certain philosophical angle. The idea goes something like this -- "I think therefore I am" ... "I do not think, therefore I am not" -- His position was that a child prior to rational thought was without value or, at least in terms that I could tell, not a child at all. The child simply "was not" and thus his argument for abortion was founded solely on the rights of the woman bearing the child that "was not". I quickly moved to point out that there are some instances of children describing what it was like to be in the womb as if they DID actually have some amount of reasoning at that point. That muddied the matter a bit for him just enough to admit that he couldn't know for sure that the life within the womb was rational or not ...
At that moment I made the only point that resonated with him.
In many modern nations we take it for granted that we have the right of presumed innocence when accused of a crime. It is so fundamental in the United States that few would dare to suggest that right be denied. I simply asked him "If we are innocent until proven guilty in this country, shouldn't we be considered alive until proven otherwise?"
He stumbled and admitted it was a good point with which the whole discussion ended. In the end, I don't think I changed his mind and he certainly didn't change mine. I left with only one small taste of hope ... a seed
To press the issue of life a little further -- A local college student recently argued quite effectively for an early definition of when life begins -- and what that is worth. You see, Plan B is an abortificient and there is evidence that the birth control pill is as well. I want to press the same question to those reading this reworded for these cases -- "Shouldn't these also be considered abortions until proven otherwise?"
That question rocked my world and started me down a most amazing path that culminated in the work of this blog and website and has resulted in 3 beautiful children in our family and one in the womb. God IS the author of life. We have to trust that He knows what He is doing and truly believe the scriptures when they tell us that "children are a gift from the Lord". (Psalm 127:3)
Let us prepare the way for Him to write more names in His book of life.
One only need to note that the majority of my hits right now are coming from an Altavista image search for Napoleon Dynamite