Friday, June 1, 2012

Republican Posturing on Abortion

A few days ago Lila Rose and her group, Live Action, who have gone under cover in the past and exposed the evil practices of Planned Parenthood, did just that yet again.  This time they filmed Planned Parenthood giving advice to two different women posing as pregnant mothers who wanted to abort their babies if they were pregnant with girls merely because they wanted boys instead.  The problem with this is that an ultrasound cannot determine gender in an unborn baby until 18 to 20 weeks, which would mean a late term abortion. There are other tests which can determine the sex of a baby earlier, but the earliest would probably be about 13 to 14 weeks.  The following is a description of a 14 week old fetus from
Your baby measures about 3.2 to 4.1 inches from crown to rump now and weighs almost an ounce. The ears are shifting from the neck to the sides of the head, and the neck is getting longer and chin more prominent. Facial features and unique fingerprints are all there. Your baby is beginning to respond to outside stimuli.  If your abdomen is poked, the fetus will try to wriggle away. [This would also mean that a baby would try to "wriggle away" from an abortionist's tool.] 
14 Week Old Fetus
The shock and outrage could be heard across the nation.  Many seem to feel that abortion based on gender is somehow worse than abortion for any other reason, such as "inconvenience" or that the baby is just not wanted.  The problem is that whatever the reason for abortion, the result is always exactly the same:  a dead baby. 

Among those who expressed horror and shock at this video from Live Action were the Republicans in the House of Representatives.  And of course we can always trust the sincerity of politicians. The House Republicans immediately put a bill together to outlaw abortion based on gender selection,    But as the article below from explains, it seems the Republicans introduced the bill under rules that minimized debate and required a larger than normal majority to pass.  Once the inevitable defeat of the bill was accomplished, that was the end of the discussion 

So it seems that we are right back where we started, with thousands of babies being aborted every day in the United States for any reason whatsoever.  The Republicans continue to claim that they are "pro life" and want to outlaw abortion, but somehow it just never seems to happen.

And the beat goes on.
House rejects bill penalizing doctors for sex-selective abortions 
By Pete Kasperowicz - 05/31/12 02:15 PM ET

House Speaker John Boehner
The House on Thursday rejected a Republican bill that would impose fines and prison terms on doctors who perform abortions for the sole purpose of controlling the gender of the child, a practice known as sex-selective abortion.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act (PRENDA), H.R. 3541, was defeated in a 246-168 vote. While that's a clear majority of the House, Republicans called up the bill under a suspension of House rules, which limits debate and requires a two-thirds majority vote to pass. In this case, it would have required more support from Democrats.  [So the Republicans bring up this bill and in effect doom it by bringing it under a rule that limits debate and requires the Democrats to vote for it in order for to ensure passage.  Is that just a coincidence,  is it stupidity, or is it deliberate?]

Twenty Democrats voted for the bill, while seven Republicans opposed it. The bill would have needed 30 more yeas to pass.  [And if you think the Republicans did not know what the outcome would be, I would like to sell you the bridge that is pictured at the top of my blog.] 

Suspension votes are normally used for noncontroversial bills, but the GOP-backed measure was clearly controversial. [Hmmmmm.  Seems very suspicious to me.] Republicans have occasionally put controversial bills on the suspension calendar in order to highlight that Democrats oppose certain policies. 

In some cases, Republicans have rescheduled these bills for regular consideration after they have failed, allowing for passage by a simple majority. But Republicans gave no sign that they would try again with PRENDA.  [I am shocked, shocked.]

Earlier in the day, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated that the issue of stopping sex-selective abortion is important enough that they would try again, but he was not specific.  [You better believe he was not specific.  This bill will never be spoken of again in the House of Representatives.]

"This is an important issue to the American people," Boehner said to reporters off the floor. "This type of sex selection most Americans find pretty repulsive, and our members feel strongly about it. That's why it is being brought to the floor."  [This bill was brought to the floor so that the Republicans could say, "See, we tried to fight abortion, but the big bad Democrats stopped this."  This bill was not brought to the floor in order to stop sex selection through abortion.  It was merely an attempt to quiet the public outrage so that the abortions could continue unimpeded. ]

During debate on the bill Wednesday, Republicans said the bill is consistent with the broader U.S. position that sex-selective abortion should be condemned around the world.
"In 2007, the United States spearheaded a U.N. resolution to condemn sex-selective abortion worldwide," said Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.), the sponsor of the bill. "Yet, here in the land of the free and the home of the brave, we are the only advanced country left in the world that still doesn't restrict sex-selective abortion in any way."  [And this is one of the major reasons why our country is self destructing.]

While some Democrats made it clear that they oppose sex-selective abortion, they indicated that they oppose the bill's enforcement provisions, which they said would put in place an unacceptable limit on women's rights to choose abortion.

"We can all agree that women should not choose to terminate a pregnancy based solely on gender, but this bill criminalizes a legal procedure," Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (D-Ore.) said Thursday afternoon.  [That is exactly the problem.  The Democrats are showing very clearly why this bill was nothing but a sham.  People express shock and outrage at gender selection through abortion, but why aren't they just as outraged in general that abortion is legal upon demand in our country?  Selective outrage does not impress me.]

"The bill includes a provision that would allow a women's husband or parents, by merely alleging that an abortion is because of gender, to seek injunctive relief to prevent the doctor from performing abortion procedures, sending an incredibly private and personal decision into the courts," Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) added Thursday.
 It is another Republican intrusion into a woman's right to choose," said Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) of the GOP bill on Wednesday. "Women should be able to make such sensitive and private decisions with their families, their doctors and their god, free from the fear of the police."  [Interesting, "god" is spelled with a small "g."]
Republicans voting against the bill were Reps. Justin Amash (Mich.), Charlie Bass (N.H.), Mary Bono Mack (Calif.), Robert Dold (Ill.), Richard Hanna (N.Y.), Nan Hayworth (N.Y.), and Ron Paul (Texas).
Democrats voting for it were Reps. Jason Altmire (Pa.), John Barrow (Ga.), Dan Boren (Okla.), Jim Cooper (Tenn.), Jerry Costello (Ill.), Mark Critz (Pa.), Henry Cuellar (Texas), Joe Donnelly (Ind.), John Garamendi (Calif.), Tim Holden (Pa.), Larry Kissell (N.C.), Daniel Lipinski (Ill.), Stephen Lynch (Mass.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Mike McIntyre (N.C.), Collin Peterson (Minn.), Nick Rahall (W.Va.), Silvestre Reyes (Texas), Mike Ross (Ark.) and Heath Shuler (N.C.).
So there you have it, folks.  The Republicans put on a nice show with no intention of changing anything.  As far as I'm concerned, it was nothing more than a diversionary tactic.  Something happens to remind the public of just how evil abortion is, the politicians react in a way that makes it seem they agree in order to mollify the public's concern  and outrage, but nothing changes.  If the Republicans were truly serious about stopping abortion, they would completely defund Planned Parenthood of the $500 million this evil organization receives in taxpayer money every year.  Instead, the killing continues on unabated, and we as a nation and as a world, draw ever closer to our own doom.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Jesus, The Great Physician

We hear in our world all the time that all religions lead to God.  We may get there by different paths, but we are all headed toward the same place.  St. Augustine, the great convert and bishop of Hippo back in the 4th Century, would be deemed unacceptably "politically incorrect" because he most vehemently disagreed with this point of view.  Below is a reading from today's traditional breviary in which St. Augustine discusses the "Great Physician", Jesus Christ, who came to this world not to condemn man but to save him.  The catch is that we can find our salvation only in Christ and no other and we must cooperate with him.  Jesus cannot and will not save us against our will.  Then St. Augustine makes the incredibly politically incorrect statement that "he that believeth not is condemned already. Though the condemnation be not yet openly pronounced, it hath nonetheless already taken place." 

The reading is a response to the Gospel of John 3:16-21, which is as follows:

16 *For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.

17 For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him. 
18 He that believeth in him is not judged: but he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

19 And this is the judgment: *because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light; for their works were evil.

20 For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.

21 But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.

A Homily by St. Augustine the Bishop
Jesus, the Great Physician, healing the blind man
The Physician cometh to do all he can towards the healing of the sick. And the sick person who will not attend to the advice of the Physician bringeth on his own death.  [Jesus Christ came to save all, but he will not force anyone to accept the salvation he brings.  We must make a personal decision to accept Jesus Christ as the Saving Physician.]  This Physician is come, as a Saviour, to the world. Why is he called the Saviour of the world, except that he came, not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved?

Hast thou no desire to be saved through him? by thine act be thou condemned. [Christ does not condemn us.  He came to save us.  It is our action of turning away from him that condemns us] And why do I say, Be thou condemned? Because it is written : He that believeth on him is not condemned. What then dost thou expect will be said to him that believeth not? This shall be said : He is condemned. [Those who refuse to believe Christ, who refuse to accept his saving graces, will be condemned]  Indeed he hath already said more than that, to wit : He that believeth not is condemned already. Though the condemnation be not yet openly pronounced, it hath nonetheless already taken place.  [A very grave warning to all who refuse to believe Jesus Christ.]

We condemn ourselves when
we refuse to listen and believe
The Lord knoweth them that are his. He knoweth them that will continue unto the crown, and likewise he knoweth them that will continue unto the fire. He knoweth the wheat on his threshing floor, and the chaff. He knoweth the field (which is the world) with its good grain, and its tares. He that believeth not is condemned already. Why? Because he hath not believed in the Name of the only-begotten Son of God. [The only Name under heaven by which men are saved.  Acts 4:12]

And this is the condemnation : That light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Whose deeds, my brethren, doth the Lord find to be good? None. [Romans 3:10 - "All have turned out of the way; they are become unprofitable together: there is none that doth good, there is not so much as one."]  He findeth the works of all men to be in themselves bad. How then do we hear that some there be who do the truth, and come to the light? For it is written : He that doeth truth, cometh to the light.

But he saith : Men loved darkness rather than light. And here he maketh the great point of difference between such as love darkness, and such as come to the light. There be many who have loved their sins. [How many of us can admit that we actually love our sins] Also there be many who have confessed their sins. He that confesseth, thereby denounceth his sin, and is working already with God. God denounceth thy sins, and if thou denounce them likewise, then dost thou join thyself with God in his act.  [When we confess our sins, we have denounced them and put ourselves on the side of God.]  The man and the sinner are, as it were, two different things. God made the man ; man made the sinner.  Destroy what thou hast worked in thyself, and God will save what he hath already made. [If we are willing to denounce and turn away from the sinful beings we have become, God will save what we were originally created to be.] Thou art behoven to hate in thyself thine own works, and to love God's work. When thine own works begin to displease thee, then is it that thou beginnest to do well, because thou denouncest thine own evil works. The first thing to do, if thou wouldest do good works, is to acknowledge thine evil ones.
Too many people believe that as long as they are "good" people, and don't try to hurt others, that they will go to heaven.  We too often fail to realize that we are spiritually and morally sick, and the only One who can heal us is the Great Physician, Jesus Christ.  Someone with AIDS needs to do more than eat well.  When we admit our sins and destroy the evil we have created by denouncing it, then and only then will the Great Physician be able to heal us. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Story of Pentecost

Below is the hymn from today's Traditional Breviary.  It is a beautiful hymn filled with great meaning about this most special day, Pentecost, the day in which the Father and the Son sent the Holy Spirit upon the Church. 

The Hymn - "Jam Christus astra ascenderat"

Now Christ, gone thither, whence he came,
And throned midst the stars aflame,
Desired God's Promise to bestow,
The Father's Gift to man below.

The solemn time was drawing nigh,
Replete with heavenly mystery,
On seven days' sevenfold circles borne,
That first and blessed Whitsun-morn.

When the third hour shone all around,
There came a rumbling mighty sound
And told the Apostles, while in prayer,
That, as 'twas promised, God was there.

Then from the Father's light there came
That beautiful and kindly Flame,
To kindle every Christian heart,
And fervour of the Word impart.

With joy the Apostle's breasts are fired,
Thus by the Holy Ghost inspired;
And straight, in divers tongues and speech,
The wondrous works of God they preach.

All nations to their voice give ear;
Barbarians, Latins, Grecians hear,
And lo, the wondrous word to all
Doth in familiar accents fall.

But Jewry, faithless even yet,
With mad, infuriate rage beset,
To mock Christ's followers, combine,
As drunken all with new-made wine.

Thereat, with signs and works of might,
Stands Peter forth to teach aright
How Joel's words, fulfilled this day,
Refute what these maligners say.

All praise be thine, O risen Lord,
From death to endless life restored;
Whom with the Father we adore,
And Holy Ghost, for evermore. Amen.

Here is the hymn from Youtube:

Happy Birthday! It's Pentecost

Today is the birthday of the Catholic Church.  Fifty days ago we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus from the grave, in which he overcame death and sin and opened the gates of heaven to mankind.  Ten days ago we celebrated the ascension of our Lord into heaven, in which he rose to heaven with his resurrected body to sit at the right hand of the Father.  But before he left us, he said, "And I will ask the Father, and he shall give you another Paraclete, that he may abide with you for ever, The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, nor knoweth him: but you shall know him; because he shall abide with you, and shall be in you."  (John 14:16-17). 

The Holy Spirit, Third Person
of the Trinity, descends upon the
Blessed Mother and Apostles
As we say in the Nicene Creed, "And we believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceedeth from the Father and the Son, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spoke by the prophets."  This sentence is packed with so much meaning. "The Lord and Giver of Life".  The Holy Spirit is the one who conceived Jesus Christ in the Blessed Virgin Mary and brought Jesus Christ into the world, and yet at the same time, the Holy Spirit proceeds from and is given to us by both the Father and the Son.  It is a great mystery which my small, infinite human mind cannot begin to comprehend.  We are told that the Holy Spirit is to be worshipped and glorified.  Since worship belongs only to God, this means the Holy Spirit is God just as much God as the Father and Son are God.  This member of the Trinity is the very One who descended upon the Blessed Mother and the Apostles in the Cenacle on that first Pentecost, transforming the Apostles from weak, timid men to courageous and powerful men, standing up for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and unafraid of any man.

The Holy Spirit never leaves us but is always
guiding, comforting and protecting us
The Holy Spirit is the great gift given to us by the Father and the Son to walk with us in our Christian lives, guiding us and comforting us, and as the Apostle Paul wrote in Romans 8:26, "Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with sighs too deep for words."  When we go before the great God, we are like babbling babies, completely unable to express ourselves, but the Holy Spirit intervenes and interprets our prayers to the Father.  Satan accuses us before God day and night (Rev. 12:10), but the Holy Spirit is our advocate on our behalf, which is the meaning of the word "Paraclete" used in John 14:16.  The third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, is our defense attorney before the Father. 

Jesus pouring himself out on the cross for us

Philippians 2:6-8 tells us that Jesus "being in the form of God, thought it not robbery, to be himself equal to God: But debased himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in shape found as a man. He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross." Jesus took on the form of man, completely humbling himself. He then took on the sin of all mankind and spilled his blood to save us from sin. While dying on the cross, our Lord gave us his very own beloved Mother to be our Mother, to intercede for us before His throne in heaven. On that first Pentecost, which we celebrate today, he sent a member of the Godhead to be our advocate, guide and comforter and even interpret our weak and ineffectual prayers before the Father. Jesus has left nothing back from us but has done everything possible to bring us to salvation and eternal life with him in heaven.

Pentecost is a day of great celebration.  Although Jesus has left us and gone in his glorified body to sit at the right hand of the Father, he and the Father have sent the Holy Spirit so that we are never alone, never without a guide and protector and advocate.  All we need to do is follow the example of Jesus' most beloved Mother, and say "Be it done to me according to thy word". 

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