Wednesday, October 7, 2015 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary. This day commemorates the victory of Christian forces over Muslim invaders in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
What happened was Pope Pius V called for all of Europe to pray the rosary for a victory. There was even a rosary procession in Rome. After everyone said the rosary, the Christians miraculously overcame the invading Muslim forces. Remember, Muslims at the time were centered around war and conquest. They were very powerful and formidable. Most of their time and energy was spent developing new ways of subjugating various lands.
To give you an idea of the immensity of the Christian victory, the Christians killed 20,000 Muslims vs. 7500 Christians that were killed. Also, the Christians were able to release 12,000 captive Christians. This battle was extremely important and decisive. Had Christian forces failed, it is possible all of Europe would be completely conquered by Muslims, and non-Muslims would quickly become second-class citizens.
So today, say a rosary to commemorate this important event!
Wednesday, October 07, 2015
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 is the Feast Day of Our Lady of the Rosary. This day commemorates the victory of Christian forces over Muslim invaders in the Battle of Lepanto in 1571.
Tuesday, October 06, 2015
This is an eye-opening article about how Carly Fiorina, a Republican candidate for president, was right about Planned Parenthood and their employees trying to keep a fetus alive to harvest its organs:
Posted by Phil Lynch at 5:36 p.m.
I am not sure why she is the patron saint of expectant mothers or those seeking to have children. After reading some of her biographies, it seems her father was an angry and violent person who worked Mary Frances very severely, to the point where it threatened her life. Her mother is said to have been a saint to deal with her father.
We know that this saint had a great love for the poor. I'm sure some of those poor women she tended to were pregnant. Perhaps this is why she is the patron saint.
During her lifetime, St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds received the stigmata, which is the pain and often visible sufferings of Jesus Christ. This was in order that she become ever closer to the Saviour. St. Mary Frances passed away on Oct. 7, 2015, at the age of 71. She was the first woman from Naples to be declared a saint by the Church.
If you are expectant or if you would like help having children, please say a prayer to St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds. There is a Shrine devoted to this saint in the historic center of Naples, Italy. It is still customary for women to have their bellies blessed by her relic.
|Shrine of St. Mary Frances of the Five Wounds|
Posted by Phil Lynch at 5:00 a.m.
Monday, October 05, 2015
Do you have a difficult marriage or family life? Perhaps you should consider saying a prayer to St. Rita of Cascia who died in 1457 at the age of 75 or 76. At first, she did not want to marry, but her parents arranged it anyway. Her husband was very abusive to her. However, she remained patient and trusted in the Lord. Eventually after much prayer, her husband changed his ways and was no longer abusive toward her. He begged for her forgiveness, which she gave. However, sadly her husband was killed by political rivals. She had now become a widow. Another great tragedy struck when Rita’s two sons, who after declaring they would seek revenge for their father’s death, fell ill from dysentery and ultimately both died.
Rita was now a childless widow at the age of 36. To make matters worse, she was an only child and had no siblings to rely on.
Rita decided to join a convent and spend her life in prayer.
St. Rita is the Patron Saint of Abused Wives and Grieving Mothers (in many countries at least).
If you are stuck in a difficult marriage, ask St. Rita for her prayers. She will listen. Also, if you would like to share your story below, please feel free to do so.
Posted by Newfoundland Progressive at 3:54 p.m.
Saturday, October 03, 2015
A lot of people have apprehension about confession. Even faithful Catholics sometimes rarely go. I just want to outline some of my own experience of confession to tell people what it's really like. You might read in Wikipedia about confession. There you'll find a lot of the canon laws surrounding it, doctrines about it, etc. But like anything in the Church, there is the official explanation, then there's the reality of it.
I can tell you one thing: It's not as scary as you think. It's also not a lot of other things you think.
Confession was started when Jesus told his disciples to hear the sins of the other. He specifically told this to apostles, that's why we reserve this to priests, and I think that's a good idea overall. So we know Jesus told us to tell our sins to one another. But the question is why and what are the benefits. But before that, let me explain what confession is really like.
"But I don't know what to say"
There is sometimes a fear of not knowing the right words to say. In it's most basic form, you just enter the confession box and simply say "Father I have sinned." Say it in your own words. Even "I'm here to confess" is fine. Nothing to worry about. There is no formal structure. It's not like a secret knock you have to do for the priest to forgive you. It's simply approaching the confessional and telling the priest there are things you need to confess, to get off your chest.
Technically you should probably start by saying "Bless me Father for I have sinned. It's been [time] since my last confession." But like I said, it's by no means required. Be natural. But before saying anything, once the priests knows you are in the room, he will usually begin by blessing you in the familiar Trinitarian formula (In the Name of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit).
What do I say after the intro?
After the initial opening part, you just lay it all out. Tell the priest any serious sins you can remember having committed since your last confession. Don't beat yourself up over not remembering every single detail. Just do what you can. But don't hold back. Don't withhold any particular sin because you think it's too bad. It can be scary, but it's like jumping into cold water. After you do it, it's done and you feel much better. It's a bit of a cliché to say the priest has heard it all before. And it's possible he has not heard your particular sin before. But that's irrelevant. The priest is not there to judge, he will not gasp and ask if you are being serious. He will address the sin at hand in a kind and gentle way. It's not necessary to go into details or explanations. It's important not to blame other people for your sins or to downplay them. Don't justify them. Also, don't confess the sins of other people or say they "caused" you to sin. Simply state your sins.
What will the priest say?
After you confess your sins, the priest will give you spiritual advice. It will be customized according to your sins. He will be loving and caring. There will be no anger or scolding. He will not tell you he is disappointed in you or that you are a bad person. This is a time of reconciliation, which is also another word for the sacrament. He will usually tell you that you seem contrite and that it is a wonderful gift that you are seeking God's grace and forgiveness. I guarantee you will appreciate what the priest has to say.
Act of Contrition
After some spiritual guidance, the priest will ask you to say a prayer called the Act of Contrition. Although it can sound intimidating, it's not. It's simply a prayer where you say you are sorry for offending God with your sin and that you will do everything you can to avoid the sin in the future. Sometimes people worry that they haven't fully memorized an act of contrition or they don't remember it from their childhood. Again, don't worry. Just tell the priest. You can ask him if it would be okay to say it in your own words and they almost always agree. Sometimes they will tell you not to worry about it and you are then not required to say it. And sometimes they just tell you to say it later on your own time. Priests will sometimes do this to speed up the process if there are many other penitents waiting or they must say Mass soon or some other reason.
When are my sins erased?
After giving some advice and spiritual guidance, the priest will, with the power entrusted upon him by the Church through Jesus Christ, bestow forgiveness upon you. Besides some very rare sins like assaulting the pope, the priest will always give immediate absolution. You don't have to beg for it or prove that you are worthy. It's an unwarranted gift. It's important to remember that it's not the priest that's forgiving you, it's Jesus Christ, who imparts this gift to the Church and her ministers - the priests and bishops.
So if you make a valid confession, confessing everything you can remember that was a serious sin, you will immediately receive forgiveness.
How do I make up for it?
After confessing your sins, there is a great weight lifted from your soul. You feel much better, much lighter, you are now filled with hope and grace. It's an amazing feeling. The priest will now give you some small penance to perform. Almost always the penance will be small and easy to do. The point is not to outweigh the sins with the penance. You sins are already forgiven. This is just a small step in the right direction.
Common penances include:
- Say an Our Father and a Hail Mary
- Say 3 Our Fathers and 3 Hail Marys
- Spend 2 or 3 minutes in prayer thanking God for his forgiveness
- Say a prayer to St. Joseph and your Guardian Angel
The point of the penance is to give you something you can do quickly and easily right after confession. It's also important to note the penance is not related to the seriousness of the sins. I suspect many priests give the same penance to everyone.
Why not just tell God?
Some people ask, why can't I just approach God and ask forgiveness directly? Why do I have to tell everything to a priest who I might not even know that well? First of all, even in Catholicism, with perfect contrition, you can go directly to God and your sins are forgiven. You are still told to go to a normal confession when possible, but the point is God forgives sin in every circumstance. But the real answer to this question is that this is how Jesus designed it. We are social creatures, when we sin we sin against ourselves, those we hurt, and the community. There is a different quality to the entire situation when there is a human being acting on behalf of Christ through the Church who utters the words "Go, your sins are forgiven."
This human element is the reason people pay thousands of dollars to visit psychologists. If you have a psychological issue, you could ask: why can't I just deal with it myself at home? Why do I have to go to a professional for help? Well, in theory it's possible. But we recognize the value of getting things off our chest to another person. Plus, the confession box itself is located in a holy and quiet place, a place of reflection and prayer. And to get there, we have to make an effort, to go out of our way, to prepare ourselves. This contrasts with saying a quick private prayer to ourselves. Our mind marks the event as more significant.
Why not Today?
When it comes to confession, there is no better time than the present. You will never be "completely" ready I don't think. And we can always put it off until some other time. But trust me, you won't regret it. It's like hitting the reset button spiritually. You will feel more at peace and tranquil.
For me personally, often after confession I can sometimes become a little obsessive. Usually this disappears after a day or two. I become extremely careful not to commit a sin and it can border on scrupulosity, which is an obsession that our actions may be sinful. It's kind of a spiritual OCD. But like I said, after a day or two it subsides. I guess you could compare it to buying a brand new cell phone. At first people are extremely cautious, they barely want to even touch it, it's just too delicate. But after some time, you are throwing it around all over the place, dropping it, etc. I'm not saying you shouldn't be concerned about sin, I'm just saying we should not become scrupulous.
What if I fall again
Even if you fall to sin very soon after confession, don't fret. Simply go back and confess again. If you feel too embarrassed you can always visit another priest in a different church. It's no big deal. Christ is always ready to forgive you and will be waiting there with open arms.
What if I forgot something?
Even if you honestly forgot to confess a particular sin, you are still fully forgiven. It only becomes a problem when you willfully withhold a sin. If the sin you forgot is of the mortal (i.e. serious) variety, simply go back again soon to confess it. If however, it's something minor you probably don't need to worry about it. Something like this is currently happening to me. I confessed several times over the past couple of months. However, after yesterday's confession, I wonder if I forgot to confess something in particular. It's pretty minor and I'm pretty sure I already confessed it, at least in general. So I will have to think about it. But I have been known to become obsessive about certain things anyway.
The main thing is, the whole process is not as scary as it seems. Once it's done you'll feel much better. And you don't have to learn or memorize anything beforehand. God is there, waiting with open arms for his child to come back to him like in the parable of the Prodigal Son. The Son didn't memorize a long speech or do anything formal. He simply came back to his father who, upon seeing his son, ran - not walked - to embrace him. That's how God embraces us when we seek reunion with him.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 12:59 p.m.
Thursday, October 01, 2015
Today there was a serious tragedy which occurred at Umpqua Community College in Oregon, USA. There were at least 10 people killed and 20 additional people injured. This is according to Oregon State Police spokesman Bill Fugate. In this overwhelming tragedy, what is the Catholic response.
Many instinctively believe the best response is to enact a gun ban. However, we can see that criminals like this lunatic who killed these people do not follow these rules. The school where the massacre occurred is strictly anti-gun. This didn't stop the carnage.
What are we to do in such circumstances as Catholics? Many suggest we "turn the other cheek". But this will prove futile in such a hostile situation. You will simply end up dead. We have a moral obligation to protect not only ourselves, but others as well. To find out how to deal with such a situation, we turn to the Angelic Doctor from whom we derive so much Catholic thought: St. Thomas Aquinas.
In his Summa Theologica, Thomas Aquinas addresses the question of self-defense. He brings up objections from sources such as Augustine and others which seem to say that defending your life by killing another is sinful because we should instead let the other person kill us. But then the Doctor replies.
He first quotes the Bible:
On the contrary, It is written (Exodus 22:2): "If a thief be found breaking into a house or undermining it, and be wounded so as to die; he that slew him shall not be guilty of blood." Now it is much more lawful to defend one's life than one's house. Therefore neither is a man guilty of murder if he kill another in defense of his own life.Aquinas continues to lay the groundwork for self defense by thoroughly dismantling the anti-self-defensers. He explains his reasoning by explaining the law of double-effect. Basically this law says that what is important is the intention of what a person is seeking to accomplish. This is to be distinguished from the side-effects. Under certain rules, an act is permissible, even if the unintended side effect would normally be immoral. It's much more complicated than I just stated, but that's the essence of it.
Accordingly the act of self-defense may have two effects, one is the saving of one's life, the other is the slaying of the aggressor. Therefore this act, since one's intention is to save one's own life, is not unlawful, seeing that it is natural to everything to keep itself in "being," as far as possible. And yet, though proceeding from a good intention, an act may be rendered unlawful, if it be out of proportion to the end.Bottom line here is that we have a duty to protect our own bodies, especially against an aggressor, however we must not go overboard. If killing the aggressor is unnecessary then we shouldn't do it.
The same principle applies to protecting our loved ones.
I think when it comes to guns (something not yet invented in the time of Aquinas), he would say it would be permissible to carry a gun for the purpose of self defense or the protection of innocents. In more modern day terms: the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.
Let us pray for the souls of those killed in this tragedy, and for the recovery of those not killed, and for everyone involved in general.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 6:28 p.m.
Pope Francis just left after a 6-day tour of the United States. He is very popular now with many people, Catholic and non-Catholic alike. But there are some things about Pope Francis that are downright shocking. Here is a list of the top 10 most shocking things about Pope Francis:
10. Pope Francis lives in much smaller apartment in the Vatican
Upon being elected as pope, Francis decided to live in the Domus Sanctae Marthae guesthouse, which is reserved for visiting priests or cardinals participating in an conclave to elect a new pope. The room is much smaller and not as grandiose.
9. The Pope Drives an Ancient 1984 Renault 4L!
The pope drives this 31 years old vehicle which has already clocked in over 186,000 miles. It gose along with his deisre to live simply.
8. He's the First Jesuit Pope
Pope Francis is the first Jesuit pope ever. The Society of Jesus (the official name) was formed 1540. For a while it was suppressed, but later became one of the largest congregations of priests in the Catholic world. It marks a complete turn-around that Pope Francis comes from this order of priests.
7. The Holy Father Doesn't Speak Very Good English
The most difficult language the pope has tried to conquer has been English. In an interview, he once said: “The hardest [language] for me has always been English. Above all, the pronunciation, because I don’t have an ear for it.” He did a pretty good job when he was in the US recently.
6. Francis Often Visits Prisoners
In his recent visit to the States, the Holy Father met with inmates in Philadelphia's Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility. Earlier this year, on Holy Thursday, the pope washed the feet of several prisoners in Italy.
5. Instead of the Traditional Fisherman's Ring, Francis Wears a Simple Silver Ring
Unlike Pope Benedict who wore his Fisherman's Ring daily, Pope Francis chooses instead to wear a silver ring he had as archbishop of Buenos Aires.
4. Francis Enjoys Dancing Tango
Pope Francis is known to enjoy dancing the tango. The dance is popular in his home country of Argentina.
3. He's the First Non-European Pope in almost 1300 years!
The current pontiff is the first one born in the Western Hemisphere or the Southern Hemisphere. He is also the first non-European pope in almost 1300 years, the last being Pope Gregory III from Syria, who ended his reign in 741 AD.
2. He was a Bouncer at a Night Club
The pope was at one point a nightclub bouncer in Buenos Aires
1. He had Part of his Right Lung Removed.
After a severe lung infection where doctors discovered 3 cysts, part of Pope Francis's the upper part of his right lung was removed. He is said to have experienced great pain during this ordeal. Many news sources originally erroneously reported that Pope Francis only has one lung which isn't really true.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 7:30 a.m.
Wednesday, September 30, 2015
According to several news sources, the pope met with Kentucky County Clerk Kim Davis. She was headline news a week or two ago when she refused to issue any marriage licences whatsoever after gay marriage was legalized nationwide because it would violate her conscience.
I was kind of torn about this at first. My thinking was that if someone works for the government, then they have to carry out its functions. You cannot just pick and choose which laws you will enforce. Look at the Supreme Court for instance. Their job is to rule on the legality and constitutionality of a case before them. A judge cannot simply object on moral grounds. That's because the type of government is a democracy.
However, more important than this is a person must follow their conscience. Otherwise the person becomes a cog in the government wheel no matter how immoral the government becomes. We know that during WWII, many Nazis claimed they were "just following orders". However, this does not remove moral personal responsibility. We are all accountable to God, and we cannot simply say we were asked to do something as our reason for disobeying a moral law.
Morally speaking, two people of the same sex cannot be legitimately married. This is not arbitrary. Marriage predates Christianity and is defined as the lifelong union of a man and woman for the purpose of unity and procreation. We've chiseled away at this definition for a century or more now, but moral people must uphold its truth.
Pope Francis meeting with Kim Davis is a clear endorsement of her actions. This is a teaching moment for everyone. We are morally obliged to follow our conscience. If this involves quitting our job, then so be it. Just like the priest explained at Mass a few days ago, the reading about cutting off limbs if they cause you to sin is not to be taken literally. Rather, it's a hyperbolic way of saying, if anything stands in our way to being morally good, we must eliminate that thing from our lives.
I think Kim Davis would be willing to resign rather than do something she feels is immoral, and for this she ought to be applauded. I think she is a brave person.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 10:37 p.m.
I understand that Alex Jones wants to be unfiltered and politically incorrect, and usually I applaud such an approach. But this time he has taken a few things he legitimately doesn't like about Pope Francis and turned them into something monstrous. One of his recent issues was during a speech by the Holy Father in which the pontiff said the following:
We can get caught up measuring the value of our apostolic works by the standards of efficiency, good management and outward success which govern the business world.Some people, such as Alex Jones have taken this to mean the pope is saying Jesus Christ failed in his salvific work on the cross. But nothing could be further from the truth. This is a clear example of purposeful defamation. It is obvious from the context what the pope is saying here. He is simply saying what Christians have said for centuries - to the outside world, to humanly standards, by being scourged, then crucified on the cross, Jesus seemingly failed, just as our efforts sometimes seem to fail. We as Christians know the difference. However, this apparent failure was indeed a great success for humanity. We were now saved from the eternal consequences of sin, because Christ died for our sins, so that we could have everlasting life.
Not that these things are unimportant!
We have been entrusted with a great responsibility, and God’s people rightly expect accountability from us.
But the true worth of our apostolate is measured by the value it has in God’s eyes.
To see and evaluate things from God’s perspective calls for constant conversion in the first days and years of our vocation and, need I say, it calls for great humility.
The cross shows us a different way of measuring success.
Ours is to plant the seeds: God sees to the fruits of our labors.
And if at times our efforts and works seem to fail and produce no fruit, we need to remember that we are followers of Jesus… and his life, humanly speaking, ended in failure, in the failure of the cross.
Pope Francis isn't the first person to say this. St. Paul said something very similar IN THE BIBLE: In 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, St. Paul says the following:
The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.Pope Francis is simply making the same point. To the outside observer, Christ's death on the cross is the ultimate sign of failure, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles. To the non-Christian, in a human sense, Christ failed. This is what both Paul and the pope are saying.
19 For it is written:
“I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the learning of the learned I will set aside.”
20 Where is the wise one? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made the wisdom of the world foolish?
21 * For since in the wisdom of God the world did not come to know God through wisdom, it was the will of God through the foolishness of the proclamation to save those who have faith.
22 For Jews demand signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we proclaim Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those who are called, Jews and Greeks alike, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength.
For Alex to use this as "proof" that the pope is satanic is beyond the pail.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 12:39 p.m.
Monday, September 28, 2015
Lately it seems Bill Nye has become the "go-to guy" for anything related to science, even though he's not even a real scientist, and even if the topic is more about philosophy than science. First of all, he is a mechanical engineer. No one ever calls an engineer a scientist. Anyway, he recently released a video about abortion for Big Think.
He is wrong on virtually every point. Many of his statements will leave any educated person wondering how someone who even pretends to be a scientist could make them. I will break down what he says one-by-one to show how utterly absurd his statements are:
1. Many many many hundreds more eggs are fertilized for each that becomes a human.
Where does this information come from? It's a complete exaggeration. It is estimated that around 40-65% of conceptions end in miscarriage. Bill Nye is off by hundreds of times. It's more like 50/50.
2. If you're going to say after an egg has been fertilized it has the same rights as an individual, then whom are you going to sue/imprison? Every woman who has had a fertilized egg pass through her? Every guy whose sperm fertilized an egg then didn't become a human? Have all these people failed you? It's just a reflection of a deep scientific misunderstanding.
Not even sure where to begin with this one. Bill asks a rhetorical question. The question itself is very unclear. Who is being sued? And for what? I'm not even sure his question. But the point is no one has killed an embryo or fetus that miscarries. If a person naturally dies, no one is sued. It's a simple open and shut case. So how does he jump from that to saying this reflects a deep scientific misunderstanding? About what? We've already established that it is he who has deep scientific understanding since he knows nothing about human reproduction. He also seems to have no understanding of law, murder, or anything related to those.
3. He continues to say pro-lifers have a deep-seated scientific misunderstanding, then says "we should leave it to women". Then he says "we have a lot of men of European descent (another way of saying white) passing these laws based on scientific ignorance.
First of all, the makeup of the pro-life movement is about 50/50 men and women. There are probably more laws passed by men simply because there are more male lawmakers. Non-whites are also more pro-life on average than whites. So Bill is wrong on both counts. Not surprised. And the only scientific misunderstanding I have observed so far is Bill's.
4. It's based on your interpretation of a book written "5000 years ago, 50 centuries ago".
I can only assume he is talking about the Bible here, since this is a continuation of his previous statements about men of European descent. Once again, he is completely wrong. Doesn't seem there's been a single correct statement in this entire video so far. On a side-note, why does Bill constantly use code words. "European descent" instead of white, "Book written 5000 years ago" instead of Bible. Maybe it's so that later he can claim he was talking about something else. It's also interesting that he repeats the alleged age of this book in two different ways. The bottom line is the oldest book of the Bible, according to scholars, was written no more than about 800BC, meaning the Bible is at most 2800 years old.
Also, Bill implies that the only reason people are pro-life is because the Bible tells them to be. Well, the Bible also condemns murder in the 5th commandment. Does this mean people only believe that because it's in the Bible? Why did so many other systems of ethics also condemn abortion, including in Ancient Greece, Japan, India, etc? Did they also have access to the Bible?
5. Then it gets absurd. Bill Nye seems to say some people think this "book" as he calls it, tells people every time you have sex you have a baby, and somehow the laws reflect this.
It's difficult to address sheer lunacy. The Bible doesn't say that, and laws don't reflect that. Case closed.
6. "Nobody likes abortion."
My question whenever someone says this or a variant of it is "why not?" If the fetus has no rights, is not human but a clump of cells, then why would anyone care about abortion? Unless he's simply saying people don't particular enjoy going to clinics for medical procedures?
7. "You can't tell her what to do. She has rights over this. Especially if she doesn't like the guy who got her pregnant."
So we can't tell women they can't kill their child? Then by extension, laws are a violation of privacy in general. And the comment about not liking the guy? What if she stops liking him a few weeks or a few months later, does this child's life then go from safe to in danger? Plus, if this logic holds up, then if a mother doesn't like the father of a child who is now 4 moths old, why can't she just kill this child then also?
He also mentions rape. Rape is a terrible crime and ought to be persecuted. But having an abortion after a rape doesn't erase the rape, it just creates a new victim. It's also false that women are reminded of their rape every time they see their child. The opposite is true, women see the baby as something good that came from a tragedy.
8. We have so many more important things to be dealing with. To squander resources on this issue, on "bad science", from this lack of understanding, it's very frustrating.
Oh yeah, like what? Is there something happening where more people are killed than the 55 million since 1973 Roe vs. Wade in the US, or the almost 2 BILLION worldwide? Please Bill Nye, enlighten us as to the greater tragedy than this.
What resources are being "squandered"? If each abortion costs an average of $1000, that's almost $2 trillion that has been squandered in the last 40 years. Again, is the pro-life movement wasting more than this?
Also, Bill keeps going back to what he calls "bad science". But the "bad science" is just his original mistake, which logically wouldn't make a difference anyway. Even if he were right about 100 miscarriages per born baby, that wouldn't make killing a person okay.
9. You wouldn't know how big a human egg was if it weren't for microscopes, if it weren't for scientists. So you shouldn't make assertions about abortion because that's scientific and you don't accept science because you reject what I said above.
I sort of paraphrased. But Bill Nye's entire point rests on the idea that he presented some kind of scientific truth (which turns out to be totally false) and therefore if you claim to use science, you have to accept what he said and be pro-choice. Again, makes little to no sense. His information is patently wrong, and therefore should not be believed. But even if he were correct, his conclusion does not follow and is illogical.
10. Recommending abstinence has been completely ineffective.
Shockingly he does not provide evidence for this assertion. But I fail to see how it's even related. Whatever method works best for preventing pregnancy is one thing. Once the female is pregnant, that's another story altogether. So it really is unrelated.
11. Not giving women access to birth control and abortion has not been an effective way to healthier societies. I think we all know that.
Well, reducing abortion is clearly healthier for some members of society. Plus, abortion does not treat a medical ailment. It subjects a healthy woman to an unnecessary procedure. Giving access o birth control doesn't really seem to help much at all. Look at research by Edward Green of Harvard University.
12. I understand you have deeply held beliefs ... but I encourage you to look at the facts.
Again, Nye goes back to the idea that anti-abortion people arbitrarily base their ideas on the Bible, and in reality it's just a matter of opinion. But there are also groups of pro-life atheists which disproves this theory. But this part is very patronizing. It implies that while he "looks at the evidence", pro-lifers just blindly follow a doctrine that has no scientific basis, which is false.
13. We are now critical of the term "fact-based".
First I heard about this. Again, he just sets up a straw-man argument here, that pro-lifers don't listen to the facts, while he, on the other hand, is a logical, unemotional, rational entity who does.
14. I encourage you not to tell women what to do, and to not pursue these laws which are really in nobody's best interest.
Again, we tell people what to do all the time. To be consistent, he would have to advocate an end to all laws. Secondly, laws which prevent abortion are certainly in the best interest of many people, especially the unborn.
Overall, Bill Nye presents a fact-less emotional diatribe directed at those he believes to be inferior to him. He consistently tells everyone to "check the facts", yet provides few himself and what he does present are completely false. If Bill were a true scientist (which he isn't), he would tell people that by the time a woman decides to have an abortion the embryo has a heartbeat and brainwaves, has its entire genetic code, is a unique individual. The only thing he/she needs is nutrition and time. To kill such a person is murder, and it's not just because it's in the Bible. We also must have compassion for women who have undergone abortion. Many were unaware of the gravity of their actions and we must pray for them.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 4:25 p.m.
Thursday, September 24, 2015
The pope spoke at Congress today in the US. This is the first time a pope has ever spoken there. At work I only have access to our official propaganda machine known as the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. It broadcasts leftist viewpoints to Canadians and receives over a billion dollars to do it. So, as expected, the only “highlights” of the pope’s speech involves him saying we have to accept immigrants and global warming will destroy the planet. Also, allegedly he mentioned something about weapons manufacturing and how that is evil or something. But they didn’t give any details.
So I have a few fears here. The first is how the pope is presenting himself. Common politicians speak in front of congress, not the Prince of the Apostles. I can already hear the objectors: “But the pope is a servant! He’s humble, so why can’t he present himself here!” It’s not about him personally. It’s about his office. That’s why there is so much pomp and pageantry surrounding the pope in general. It’s to indicate who he is. He’s the Vicar of Christ, not some average Joe Schmo. He’s the unifying element of the entire faith throughout the world. I think the pope ought to be much more discriminating when it comes to where and to whom he speaks. Otherwise, he risks watering down his image to that of some random politician from a foreign country.
The other fear is that Pope Francis is notorious for making statements off the cuff and for saying things which seem to contradict Catholic doctrine. Inevitably, spokespeople or the pope himself will issue clarifications. This is one of the dangers of being too laid back and casual in one’s approach.
I will not right now focus on the content of what the pope allegedly said at Congress. I will address that later. I am right now just referring to his casual papacy and the dangers it can cause. I think he must be very careful!
Posted by Newfoundland Progressive at 3:17 p.m.
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
So Pope Francis has arrived in the United States, He landed in Andrews Air Force Base in Washington DC to be precise. He'll also be visiting New York and Philadelphia during his 6 day trip. He will also be speaking at the United Nations in New York City.
It's really great that the pope has finally come to America. I'm in Canada, but this is as close as he's ever been to my country.
I am somewhat concerned about this pope. Every time he speaks, his apologists come out in droves saying "oh no, he didn't really mean what he said. he in fact meant the opposite." No one seemed to have to do this much with Pope Benedict.
Some people attribute this to the liberal media trying to put words in the pope's mouth which advance their cause, but why didn't this happen before? Again, no one put words in Pope Benedict's mouth except bad ones. So why, all of a sudden, are they using the new pope to push their agenda?
Often, papal apologists will say you have to put the pope's words into context. But even after reading the context, I still find the words troubling in some ways. There are many examples. From telling people they don't need to "breed like rabbits" at a time when Catholics are not even reproducing enough to keep the population going.
Or doing things like accepting a hammer and sickle shaped into a cross with Jesus on it. Vatican spokespeople will clarify these gaffs by essentially removing the pope's agency and saying he will pretty much accept anything. Are we to believe the Prince of the Apostles and the Vicar of Christ is incapable of standing up for himself? As a cardinal, he wore red to signify his willingness to die for his faith, but now that he's wearing white we are meant to believe he is not even willing to refuse a distasteful gift?
I believe the pope is the Vicar of Christ. I do not believe the See of Peter is empty or any other such thing. The Church will continue and the Holy Spirit will protect it from error. But should the pope even be speaking to the public as often as he does? I understand that he wants to cultivate a very approachable and loving image, but I think it can go too far. It's like the more you say, the less serious people take each word. In my opinion, the pope should mainly issue papal decree and be very careful about every utterance. We can already see the damage that he is happening from misinterpretations.
But it's not all bad. The pope has forcefully spoken against abortion, and even transgenderism. He has spoken rightfully about our duty to protect our fellow man and our need to care for the poor. Try as they might, the pope will never fit neatly into a Liberal soundbite.
But even the good things the pope has spoken against seem to lack something in my opinion. They lack the concept of individual holiness. He seems to focus instead of societal ills as he sees them. He appears to think of people in groups rather than as individuals. He even seems to oppose inanimate objects or concepts like air conditioning or economies of scale. In another post I will address the pope's economic theories and ideas. But I will briefly say with this topic too, instead of advocating personal responsibility, the pope seems to criticize an entire system of economics.
I hope this trip of the pope proves fruitful, but I am somewhat fearful that it will simply be exploited by the liberal media and institutions for their own purposes.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 6:47 p.m.
Tuesday, July 28, 2015
There is a persistent myth being perpetrated by feminists that men and women should be exactly alike. This philosophy could be seen this past Friday when three sisters decided to ride through Kitchener Ontario topless. Everyone knows men and women are not alike, but feminists try to convince us otherwise. This all comes from a faulty understanding of equality. First of all, we are not equal in many ways. I find many modern-day philosophies are about simplifying concepts without nuance or distinction. Many socialists believe in “income equality”. Then they go around looking for any inequality in income and cry foul. They don’t consider the fact that the economy is rewarding the activities of some people and not others. They don’t consider that some people work long, hard hours, while others do very little. They see the simplistic inequality and that’s enough.
Same goes for sexuality issues. To any normal person, women’s bodies above the waist are much more sexualized than men’s. Part of the reason we wear clothes at all in western society is for modesty. This is such an important reason that it trumps every other purpose. Even if you are extremely warm you would never take off your pants in public. If you did you would be arrested. It’s not as if it’s not warm enough. In fact, during the summer in many places you could probably be fairly comfortable wearing nothing all day. Yet our norms about sexuality do not allow this and most normal people are embarrassed about walking around naked.
The fact is our bodies are different. The fact that this needs to be stated is surprising, but apparently it does. Also, men’s and women’s reactions to bodies of the opposite sex are different as well. As mentioned before, women’s bodies are much more sexual than men’s. A man not wearing a top will illicit much less sexual desire and stimulation in general than a woman doing the same. The fact is, everyone knows this. It is only brought into question by people who believe that rather than discovery human nature, it is our job to create and modify it to our liking. This has disastrous outcomes because God created us a certain way and if we try to act against it we only end up hurting ourselves. I might “decide” that I can live on just drinking Pepsi and nothing else. But this will have obvious negative consequences. I can protest as much as I like, I can join pro-Pepsi groups, but the reality will still hit me.
Another thing is how easily people dismiss cultural norms without ever investigating where they came from or what purpose they serve. I recently watched an episode of VSauce which briefly touched on the idea that people wear clothes to protect and hide their sexuality from the public which promotes monogamy and ordered sexual relationships. I don’t have a thorough or full answer to the purpose of clothes at this moment, but suffice it to say, there are true and valid reasons which developed over millennia.
As a side note, I find it funny that these women have Muslim-sounding names (last name Mohammed). In general, that religion seems more concerned about modesty than most, yet these women seem to have none.
Posted by Newfoundland Progressive at 2:12 p.m.
Monday, June 29, 2015
There’s been a lot of hoopla over five American Supreme Court justices deciding there is a right to gay marriage contained within the constitution. As Justice Scalia pointed out, finding things like this in the constitution somewhere is essentially legislating from the bench. Clearly the Founding Fathers did not see any such right and did not believe that marriage was some amorphous concept that should incorporate all definitions. In any event, the job of the supreme court is not to create legislation, but to interpret existing legislation in the face of challenges. This is not what happened here. Here, the justices somehow discovered the right of same-sex couples to marry. As Scalia pointed out in the dissent, this means for well over 100 years, states were unconstitutional.
The dissent for this ruling by the 4 in opposition was rather scathing. Scalia’s criticism basically amounted to the idea that 9 unelected lawyers are now creating legislation, overriding the desires of so-called democratic states. Many states in the US had even amended their constitutions to say marriage is, by definition, the union of one man and one woman. Then using no actual legal basis, the supreme court overrides the will of the people by discovering a right that had never previously existed.
Of course, the reaction of most people was one of elation. The hashtag #lovewins has been trending heavily on Twitter. I suppose given the absurdity of this supreme court ruling, you might as well believe the Supreme Court was deciding whether love would win or lose. Or maybe they were deciding if love would win or hate would win. Four justices apparently chose hate and five chose love.
When you search “Scalia on gay marriage” or something similar on Google, who wrote a dissent of the opinion, for about the first 50 results all you see are personal attacks on the justice, calling him close-minded, homophobic, etc. Never mind he doesn’t even express his own viewpoint and is simply interpreting the law, he’s still hated. Justices, as Scalia points out, are not supposed to give their own opinions or imbue them into their decisions. They are meant to be objective interpreters of laws made by the legislative branch or to verify their constitutionality.
There are a few issues here. First, declaring that marriage no longer has any sex-specific requirement simply takes away one more criterion for the definition of marriage. This requirement is so essential to the definition that removing it basically makes marriage a nebulous and unspecific concept with no real definition. Originally, marriage was a permanent union of a man and a woman for the purpose of procreation and raising of children. The definition has already been severely tampered with. First there was legalized divorce. The process for this kept getting easier and easier, to the point where we now have no-fault divorce and people can separate for any reason. This removed the permanency of the union. Then contraception attacked the idea that marriage was procreative. Many couples chose never to have kids. All was left was that it was between a man and a woman. But now even that last requirement has been removed. Now a lot of people don’t thinks twice about 2 men marrying, having a childless relationship, then splitting up after a couple of years. The only shred of the original definition is the number of people involved, but that is now being challenged by those who want to legalize polygamy.
Now that marriage has almost been completely emptied of all meaning from the civil point of view, there is just one step left – complete annihilation, which on a civic level I’m totally okay with. The thing people don’t get about marriage is that they think the people for whom it is legal is some kind of sappy recognition of their love. But why would a faceless entity care about someone’s love? I love my mother, is there some form of official recognition for that? There isn’t even a form of recognition for other unions. Recognition only comes about for some state-related reason. The reason marriage was recognized by the state is because it helps promote a safe and stable environment for the raising of children and creates better citizens. Statistics clearly bear this out. But now people see it as some kind of badge of honor, but for what? Committing immoral acts? What benefit does that have to society? Plus, homosexual activity has been legalized in all first-world countries already, so that’s not the issue. Annihilation of marriage on the civic level would also hopefully destroy any legal hope gay activists would have to force churches to perform them. It should be a strictly religious institution anyway.
Bottom line: marriage has already lost most of its value and meaning when it comes to the state, and declaring something legal does not make it morally good.
This article was prompted after reading the following, a type of personal story we will probably be inundated with in the coming days:
Posted by Newfoundland Progressive at 3:34 p.m.
Thursday, June 04, 2015
So Bruce Jenner is on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing women's clothing. Most people are praising this as a huge step forward for trans rights. But I think we need to step back and analyse the situation a little more closely.
Bruce Jenner is a 65 year old grandfather. He has 6 biological children and 5 grandchildren. Rather than being the patriarch of his family as he should be, he has decided to dress in women's clothing and act like a woman. I am not here to judge Bruce, who has now decided to call himself Caitlyn. I'm here to point out some information that others are unwilling to touch.
As if there is no objective reality anymore, the minute this man decided to call himself "Caitlyn", and say he is a woman, almost every news outlet decided to follow suit. Apparently what determines if a person is a man or a woman is entirely based on what they tell you, not biological fact.
Would we apply the same logic to a white man who insisted he was black? Would news outlets immediately start calling such a person African-American once he decided that's what he is? Would objectors be called bigots. The person in question would argue that despite his outward appearance, he is in fact black. Then I suppose this person could seek out benefits which only apply to visible minorities. On what grounds could anyone object to this person calling himself this, using our current thinking?
Dr. Paul McHugh who has studied transgenderism in depth, and was psychiatrist-in-chief at Johns Hopkins University, believes the modern-day approach to the issue is wrong. A year ago in a Wall Street Journal article, McHugh points out that people who undergo mutilation of their sexual organs to appear more like the other sex, also known as sex reassignment surgery, have a suicide rate 20 times higher than average. Usually pro-trans sources will say this is because society hasn't fully accepted them yet. However, no evidence shows this to be the case.
As an expert who has published 5 books and 125 peer-reviewed medical articles, Dr. McHugh believes transgenderism is similar to body dysmorphic disorder wherein a person believes false things about their body despite being clearly untrue, such as is the case with people suffering from anorexia.
There are disorders similar to this as well, such as body integrity identity disorder, wherein a person believes they should have been born missing a limb. Some of these individuals will go to great lengths to accomplish their desired bodies and will sometimes have healthy limbs amputated, often illegally.
Before you think this is just too weird and abnormal, keep in mind that this is precisely what is happening with "sex reassignment surgery". Often healthy limbs are amputated, fake limbs are added, and unnatural hormones are added to disrupt healthy and normal hormone production. The same type of process could theoretically be used to achieve any number of changes in a person's body.
The clear disregard for the obvious here is just a case of the emperor's new clothes. It goes along a well with the modern-day notion that beauty or even truth is not something to be discovered, but to be invented and is highly personal.
Dr. McHugh wrote a great article, which can be seen here, for First Things Magazine. After conversing with hundreds of pre and post-op transsexuals, he realized certain peculiarities about them. When these operations first started in the 70s, the operation candidates were all men. What he realized is that despite their insistence on being women trapped in men's bodies, they were not true women in many ways. For example, he says they seemed almost completely uninterested in babies and children, and that many of them expressed an attraction to women and preferred to be called "lesbian".
Also, although surgery can successfully lop off certain limbs and change certain body parts, many telltale signs remain, such as a larger Adam's apple, larger hands, smaller hips, and other things only seen in men. On top of this, many people who interacted with these transgender men said they did not "seem" like women. There are certain subtleties about women which these men did not possess.
Much of the desire for certain men to "become" female was not from a longstanding view of themselves as women as such, but rather an arousal they achieved from dressing as women and looking like women. What Dr. McHugh also noted was that years after the sex reassignment surgery, most of the patients displayed the same mental issues they had before the operation. The underlying problem had apparently not been properly addressed.
Other startling discoveries were made by Dr. McHugh's associate Dr. William Reiner in the area of males who were raised as girls from birth. In some cases, newborn boys' genitals were so badly malformed, some doctors suggested their genitals be removed and to have female genitalia constructed. Despite their genital mutilation present at birth, all the boys with one particular condition had received all the same hormones as a healthy boy in the womb.
The results were shocking. In 14 out of 16 cases, the boys were raised as girls. In 2 cases, the boys were raised as boys. Out of the 14, 8 had since declared themselves to be male, 5 were living as female, and 1 was of unknown gender. Also, every one of the 16 had displayed typical male characteristics during childhood, such as rougher play and traditionally male-child interests.
What all of this information tends to show is that transgenderism, far from being an indicator that there is in fact a woman born in a man's body or vice versa, what we really have is a person with a mental disorder who needs help. Such is the case with Bruce, now known as Caitlyn, Jenner. This man needs help, and his family needs a father.
Posted by Phil Lynch at 3:11 a.m.
Thursday, May 14, 2015
Alright, so there’s this 7 year old boy who claims he is a girl in Edmonton. His parents want him to be allowed to use the girls’ washroom at the Catholic school he/she attends. There are so many problems with this story.
1) This is a Catholic school. According to Catholic teaching, if your gender identity does not correspond with your physical sex, then there is a mental disorder, but you are in fact your sex. In other words, a person with male genitalia is a male, regardless of their particular mental state. Therefore, if this person is attending a Catholic school, it only makes sense he would be held to their moral standards. If he does not like this (well if his family doesn’t), he should go elsewhere.
2) The reason bathrooms are segregated by sex is because of the physical characteristics of the person, not any form of mental state. It’s actually irrelevant. Urinals, for example, are designed for male body parts. Regardless of if the particular male believes he is a male mentally is irrelevant to the question of the genitalia involved. Some might argue that separate bathrooms are unnecessary and that’s an argument that can be had. But the reason there are separate bathrooms in the first place is the difference in body parts.
To a large degree, much of the reason behind separate bathrooms is safety. Women would not feel safe doing something as intimate as using the bathroom with men around in close proximity. Bathrooms are a rather private area, they are certainly not public like other areas. Often people are alone in a bathroom and there are no cameras around. In the past, anyone seeing a man entering a woman’s bathroom would immediately be concerned. But how can anyone tell anymore? You can’t just “notice” someone’s mental state.
Women are right to feel worried about this. Allowing men to enter a women’s washroom without concern will do nothing but increase the incidence of sexual assault. It could prove a goldmine for men who expose themselves. No cameras, probably no other men, and private areas to “prepare” themselves such as individual stalls. It’s pretty safe to say that “legitimate” cases of transsexualism will go undetected as I’m pretty sure trans people will not be required to wear a visible identifier. I went off on a bit of a tangent, but it’s simply to explain that bathrooms are designed based on sex not gender.
3) The kid was offered the ability to use a non-gender-specific bathroom. This seems like a more than reasonable solution to this problem. Of course, this is not enough for some people. Some Catholic school “trustee” is apparently disagreeing with this whole thing. First of all, how did she even get a job in a Catholic school – clearly she cares nothing about Catholic teaching. Also, the parents are not satisfied either.
4) The school trustee, Patricia Grell, said she’s worried about the child’s mental wellbeing. Is she aware that a huge percentage of transgendered people actually commit suicide. I don’t have very much internet access here, but what I did find was that two-thirds of transgender youth have attempted suicide, according to CBC. I doubt attempted suicide is good for mental health or an indicator of it.
5) One of the many contradictions of the modern feminist movement can be seen at play here. On the one hand, feminists insist that there are no specific gender roles, that men and women should act however they want. A woman can be a construction worker and a boy can play with Barbies. Yet somehow, when a boy does in fact demonstrate any tendency toward a traditionally girl-dominated activity, he’s immediately deemed transsexual, called a girl and referred to as “she”.
Catholic schools must have the ability to act as they wish, not forced to bow to societal pressures. If someone wants to attend a school that does not conform to Catholic standards, they can feel free. Secondly, only the feelings and attitudes of this child’s parents are being considered. What about girls who don’t want to share a bathroom with a boy? Where are their rights? Thirdly, this child is only 7. Just because he enjoys doing traditionally girl activities does not make him a girl. The fact that the parents are pushing this agenda is unconscionable. With the enormous risk that comes from being transgendered, they should give this child plenty of time to see if this is a phase, not propel him down a path to misery.
Posted by Newfoundland Progressive at 2:06 p.m.
Jim Fleming was ordained last night in St. John’s at Mary Queen of Peace Church on Torbay Road. There was a large turnout, similar to a Sunday Mass, plus around 30 priests. I attended with a contingent from our Catholic Young Adults of Newfoundland group. Jim is now a transitional deacon and he mentioned officially he is called “Reverend Dr. James Fleming” although I’m sure he’d rather be just called Jim.
In around one year from now he will ordained to the priesthood. Presiding last night was the archbishop of St. John’s Martin Currie. There was a full choir and Sara Broderick did much of the cantering. She did a great job. Afterwards there was a reception to celebrate the ordination. Jim said it was great to see everyone from CYAN there. He’s a genuinely good guy and very intelligent. Before entering the seminary, Jim had acquired a PhD in organic chemistry and had a very impressive academic career. But he decided to pursue a higher calling.
Congratulations Jim on your ordination and good luck with everything!
Posted by Newfoundland Progressive at 9:00 a.m.