Monthly Archives: January 2009
To be honest, I feel inadequate to deal with the topic of homosexuality. Eric has a remarkable, stunning, and moving post on homosexuality in general, focused predominantly on the human aspect of those struggling with homosexuality. What I have to say—how homosexual acts fit in the pattern of pitting body against soul, the topic of my series on human sexuality—seems flat and insipid in comparison. Nevertheless, and at the risk of sounding like I’m endless repeating the same message, I intend to complete this series with a discussion of where homosexuality fits in our discussions thus far.
Before we proceed, we should clarify one matter, a necessary distinction. First, I am not condemning any person with homosexual tendencies. My focus is entirely on the action. Whether or not homosexuality is a matter of nature or nurture, same-sex attraction is not in and of itself sinful. I would certainly argue that at least some people train themselves (not deliberately, for the most part) into same-sex attraction, but that is neither here nor there. Every person, no matter how grave his sins be, no matter how unrepentant he is, deserves our love and prayers. As a corollary, every person with same-sex attraction still deserves charity and welcome. The sins we denounce, not because we despise the person, but exactly the opposite. Indeed, if we cared nothing for the person, we would simply say, “Go ahead and do whatever you want,” as though his eternal destination was of no importance to us.
When I first came across this group, I thought it was a joke. Well it is, but they are serious. The humorous side of me wants to say, “Great! I am very happy that people with your views will not be having kids!” The more serious side of me thinks it a calamity that any group of people can seriously call for the extinction of humanity. Needless to say, although I will say it anyway, this group supports abortion.
This ties in with a particularly foolish blog entry by a woman who believes the path to social progress is to end human reproduction.
Pope John Paul II was fond of speaking of “a culture of life”. If we don’t have a culture of life in this century I think we will most certainly have a culture of death that will dwarf the body count of the last century. Silly groups like Voluntary Human Extinction and the deluded blogger are merely ludicrous manifestations of a culture that increasingly views human life not as a sacred gift from God, but rather a disposable commodity. As Catholics we face no greater challenge than rekindling in our society a respect for innocent human life, and an optimism that life, with all of its challenges and pain, is to be embraced with joy.
Blagojevich impeached in a cliffhanger, with the vote for impeachment only 114-1. Here is the House report on which the impeachment vote was based. Blagojevich is the first Illinois governor to be impeached which is rather remarkable when you consider some of the public thieves who have misgoverned my state. Now on to the Senate for the trial. Blagojevich is vowing to fight on, and I expect his legal team to pull every possible maneuver to delay the inevitable.
Jeff Miller explains all about it at The Curt Jester.
A follow up to Walter’s post on pro-abort advocacy groups losing funds in the Madoff swindle. Hattip to Michelle Malkin. Murder Inc., otherwise known as Planned Parenthood, lays off 20% of its staff. I usually have great sympathy for victims bamboozled by con-artists, but I will make an exception for those cheated out of their blood money.
“Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat (or drink), or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds in the sky; they do not sow or reap, they gather nothing into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are not you more important than they?Can any of you by worrying add a single moment to your life-span? Why are you anxious about clothes? Learn from the way the wild flowers grow. They do not work or spin. But I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them. If God so clothes the grass of the field, which grows today and is thrown into the oven tomorrow, will he not much more provide for you, O you of little faith? So do not worry and say, ‘What are we to eat?’ or ‘What are we to drink?’ or ‘What are we to wear?’ All these things the pagans seek. Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom (of God) and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.”
Of course, there is some good news that has come out of the financial turmoil and scandal:
Hattip to Jay Anderson at Pro Ecclesia, Pro Familia, Pro Civitate. Doug Kmiec uses the opportunity of the death of Father Neuhaus to defend his support last year of our pro-abort President Elect. Here is what Father Neuhaus wrote about Kmiec last year in the National Catholic Register:
Update: Powerline has a depressing look at the projected budget deficit for this year as a percentage of gdp. We are getting into very dangerous territory, starting with the 750,000,000,000 bailout under President Bush last year, as to the amount of debt that the Federal government is incurring in a very short time.
Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not so,
For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then;
One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die.
Now that the mythical national championship has been won by the University of Florida Gators as per the bowl oligarchy, I’d like to ask The American Catholic readers whom they would pick as their N.C.A.A. F.B.S. national champion. My pick goes to the University of Southern California Trojans. They’ve destroyed all non-conference competition by wide margins and play in the toughest football conference in the nation where the Pac-10 went five-and-0 (5-0) in bowl games this year.
UPDATED (1-13-2009 A.D.): ESPN crowns the Utah Utes the National Champions of college football.
At the risk of over-doing the Fr. Neuhaus posting, I thought I would post some of the better reflections I’ve come across from around the web for those interested.
Father Neuhaus was instrumental in my conversion. I have to admit that when I was first introduced to him I was a “devout” post-modern liberal relativist and his “conservative, self-rightousness”, as I saw it, really vexed me. Over time I could not deny the power of his arguments, afterall, they were not merely his opinions but the Truth speaking to my heart through him. Father Neuhouse helped bring me home and I will be ever grateful. His humor, wit and intellect will be greatly missed.
From Jody Bottum:
Fr. Richard John Neuhaus slipped away today, January 8, shortly before 10 o’clock, at the age of seventy-two. He never recovered from the weakness that sent him to the hospital the day after Christmas, caused by a series of side effects from the cancer he was suffering. He lost consciousness Tuesday evening after a collapse in his heart rate, and the next day, in the company of friends, he died.
My tears are not for him—for he knew, all his life, that his Redeemer lives, and he has now been gathered by the Lord in whom he trusted.
I weep, rather for all the rest of us. As a priest, as a writer, as a public leader in so many struggles, and as a friend, no one can take his place. The fabric of life has been torn by his death, and it will not be repaired, for those of us who knew him, until that time when everything is mended and all our tears are wiped away.
Funeral arrangements are still being planned; more information about the funeral will be made public shortly. Please accept our thanks for all your prayers and good wishes.
One of the books I’ve been reading off and on over the last year has been Avi Shlaim’s The Iron Wall: Israel and the Arab World. Shlaim is a one of the Israeli New Historians, which is essentially a “post-Zionist” revisionist school of Israeli history, who criticize the “old historians” of Israel of being too personally involved in the 1948 war and its aftermath, and thus writing history which is essentially apologetics for Israel.
There are places where I get the feeling Shlaim is leaning too hard in the other direction (for instance he spends a good deal of time on the expulsion of Palestinians from Israel in 1948, but glosses over the expulsion of Jews from surrounding Arab countries.) However, given that you know where his leanings are, it’s a fascinating read because it’s closely based on documented sources, and it focuses on the very real problem of Israel’s relationship with the Arab world. Among the things it made me realize, however, was how alien the modern sense of nationalism is to citizens of the US.
This may seem a strange conclusion at first,
Kathryn Lopez at the Corner reports that Fr. Neuhaus, editor in chief of First Things, received Annointing of the Sick last night, and is not doing well:
His friends and family are keeping vigil and he was administered last rites shortly after midnight. Fr. George Rutler, who gave him the Catholic Sacrament, says that “he is not expected to live long” and suggests “that it is appropriate that prayers be offered for a holy death.”
Please keep Fr. Neuhaus and his friends and family in your prayers.