Tuesday, March 24, 2015

What the Terrible Tragedy in France Reminds Us Of

147 people were killed today when their plane crashed in the French alps. They were headed from Barcelona, Spain to Dusseldorf, Germany.  It’s a very tragic and sad story. My heart goes out to the victims and their families. We always hear that air travel is safe, and generally it is the safest method of travel. But usually when a plane crashes, the consequences are very serious. None of those people thought they would die today. There are thousands of flights each day, and statistics overwhelmingly tell us we’ll survive. But then a tragedy like this happens. What it shows is the impermanence of life. It can be snuffed out in an instant without warning.


We need to be ready at all times. I especially need to remind myself of this. Death could be just around the corner and the stakes are so high there is no time for fooling around. I was watching a show the other day about a lady who was in bed asleep and a psychopath broke into her house and murdered her. There was no rhyme or reason for the attack. She couldn’t have anticipated it. The stakes for death are so high because of hell. If it were the case that when we die we just rot in the earth, then fine you can do whatever you like. It won’t matter in the long run. But if you could potentially spend an eternity in hell, then the risk is so unbelievably high, it would make absolutely no sense to ever take that chance, no matter how remote.


Think of it statistically. I remember an idea about expected value. Basically it went like this: A 10% chance of winning $1000 is the same as a 50% chance of winning $200. Both have an expected value of $100. When it comes to hell, the stakes are infinite, i.e. an eternity in hell. So even if you have only a 0.000000001% chance of dying in a particular day, when you multiply this by infinity, the results are still infinitely bad. Therefore we should always strive to be in a state of grace.


It reminds me of Pascale’s wager. He basically said there are four possibilities. Either you act morally good or you don’t. Then with each of these hell either exists or it doesn’t. If hell exists and you act morally you go to heaven, but if you don’t act morally you go to hell. If hell doesn’t exist and you act morally, you rot in the ground, which is the same result if you don’t act morally. So in one out of four of these possibilities, you end up in heaven, one you end up in hell, and two you rot in the ground. The point Pascale goes on to make is that you’re better off living a moral life on the possibility that hell could exist than risking that it doesn’t. Even if you are an ardent atheist, even the slightest possibility that hell exists should motivate any person to act morally.


Many people talk about the end of the world, but really what we should be concerned about is our end. Whether we die before the world ends or we die as a result of the world ending is really immaterial to the question of our ultimate salvation. Also, as an addition to Pascale’s Wager, you can choose to either believe everyone goes to heaven or you can believe it’s very hard to get to heaven. Statistically speaking you’re much better off believing it is difficult to enter heaven than not. You won’t lose anything in the end by following the stricter morality. This is what always boggles my mind about preachers who try to soft-peddle the last four things (death, judgment, heaven, hell). Are they really prepared to put all their money on the possibility that it’s easy to get to heaven? What if they’re wrong? In their moral code, is it possible to be “too” strict and thus be prevented from entering the Kingdom of God? As if God says “Sorry you were too humble… you were too patient.” How absurd! Maybe they believe that by saying you could never go to hell, that makes it the truth? I really see no logic in this way of thinking. Again, you’re better off being “too” holy than not enough.


I think in light of a tragedy like the one in France, we should be on our guard as Jesus Christ warns.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014! (and my experience at Midnight Mass)

Merry Christmas 2014 to you and yours!

Hey everyone, sorry I haven't been writing as much as before. Hopefully that'll improve.

Tomorrow I will be going to "midnight" Mass at the hospital. They have Mass there every day, but for the eve of Christ's Birth, it's a bigger event. But compared to other services in the city, it's going to probably be the smallest.

I find sometimes the Midnight Mass at my local church to be something of a "show". They have a huge choir that seems to be the center of attention. The priest usually gives a very cheery, Christmassy homily. The people in the congregation are overly touchy feely. Right before Mass actually begins there is a lot of chit-chat. For many, this continues throughout the service.

During the night, I see people whom I've never seen before. You can always spot reluctant teenagers who are only there because of some kind of threat.

Because so many of the parishioners never go throughout hte year, they are not familiar with proper etiquette. For example, there is applauding at some of the choir songs. But this is not completely the fault of those in the pews. Much, or most, of the blame goes to the choir itself. Inevitably, the choir decides to have a solo performance following communion. Normally everyone has already received communion by this point and really the priest should be concluding the Mass.

But instead, once everyone has taken their seat again, you'll hear the piano begin to play Ave Maria or O Holy Night. I do a mental facepalm and wait while the soloist performs his or her dramatic piece. Once it's over, there is silence.

This part is crucial. During this silence, the priest should quickly react by starting the ending prayers. But of course he doesn't. Instead, nothing happens. It is now beyond the point of no return. Applause is inevitable. First a few people will start to clap, as if we are at a concert, and then, as is customary in a recital hall, everyone else will join in. I just sit there cringing.

Some people ask why I'm so negative and possibly mean-spirited. But they misunderstand. I would simply ask what the Mass IS. Is the Mass a gathering of the community to hear pleasant things about Christmas and to listen to some nice holiday music? No. The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the re-presentation of Christ's sacrifice on the cross. We are transported through time and space to Calvary where Jesus gave his life for our sins.

Any music or reading or anything else any human does during this sacred event is only to highlight the life and death of Jesus Christ. Therefore applauding the singer, or the choir, or any other human is missing the point altogether of the liturgy. This is not a concern, it's not a form of entertainment. Applause is the recognition of a human accomplishment. During Mass, it represents a misunderstanding of the purpose and meaning of the Mass.

Bottom line: I will be going to a smaller service in the hospital. Hopefully it will stay true to the real meaning of Christmas.

Saturday, December 06, 2014

You'll never guess who I saw at the airport [Hint: He's a Catholic Answers Live Guest]

On one of my many connection flights from Phoenix to St. John's, NL (specifically the flight from Chicago to Ottawa), I saw the one and only Tim Staples of Catholic Answers Live. Of all the guests on the show, he is tied for first (along with Jimmy Akin).

At first, I wasn't sure it was him and I'm somewhat shy naturally. But then he took off his jacket, and his shirt said "Don't leave Peter because of Judas." Then I knew for sure it was him.

It was awesome getting to talk to Tim in person. He's very friendly. He told me about a conference he was having in Ottawa on the subject of his new book called Behold Your Mother which is a biblical defense of the Marian doctrines of the Catholic Church.

After the flight, I had to pick up my bags, as did Tim, so I went to speak with him. I worked up enough courage to ask to take the selfie you see above.

Tim told me his wife just gave birth to their sixth child. What a blessed family.

I hope his conference goes well in Ottawa!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Libertarian inconsistency on Abortion

As many people know I consider myself a libertarian. I do not believe this conflicts with my Catholicism, although many have said it does. The bottom line of the philosophy is that individuals act and we cannot demand the state force people to do something to accomplish our goal. But enough about that for now. Let's talk about abortion and libertarian contradictions.

First off, many libertarians are pro-life including Ron and Rand Paul, Julie Borowski, a famous libertarian vlogger, and Libertarian Party Candidate Bill Barr. I believe the rates of pro-life people in libertarianism is close to the general public.

Many famous libertarian philosophers have put their support behind legal abortion, but on very shaky ground in my opinion. Let me explain.

Ayn Rand, someone whom many libertarians follow but whom I do not much like, said the idea of a fetus having rights is nonsense. Only at birth does the fetus acquire rights, according to her. But what changes in her opinion? It seems more of a subjective, opinion-based idea than one that is logically consistent. From where does a fetus magically receive his rights after leaving the mother's womb? I'm not sure if she explains this at any point.

Walter Block supports an idea called "evictionism". Basically he says you can evict a person from your body but you cannot kill them. Strangely he says the woman may legally abort if the fetus is not viable outside the womb. Given those two facts, he is basically saying a woman can only remove a fetus from her body if she's sure the baby will die.

The idea of evictionism is absurd in this context. It is derived from the idea that one can use force on a trespasser who refuses to leave your property. However, can you really consider an unborn baby a trespasser? First of all, the fetus developed directly from a woman's own act. This is an implied invitation for this possibility. It would be akin to inviting someone onto your property. Once you do this, can you legitimately forcibly remove the person? Not morally you cannot.

You could ask this person to leave and if they do not you could use force as a last resort. However, a fetus cannot be asked to leave. Especially if it is not viable. It has no choice but to stay. Removing the fetus would mean certain death. It would be like inviting someone onto your property into the middle of the dessert. Then after they arrive, you tell them to leave knowing they will certainly die without any water. In fact I would go further to say you didn't even invite them. They had no control over being there, then you demand they exit into certain death. This is more similar to a fetus. A fetus does not decide to enter a particular woman's womb on its own. It is formed in the womb of the mother and only others decision causes his or her existence. Therefore, the eviction is even worse morally speaking.

Other positions in support of abortion in the libertarian community rely on the idea that a woman, like anyone else, should not be forced to be a slave to someone else or to breed because someone else demands it. A couple of issues arise. According to this logic, a mother of a 1 year old baby living in a rural community can choose to simply abandon her child or expose it to the elements knowing he or she will probably die because "no one is a slave" and should not be forced to take care of someone if they do not want to.

Logically speaking libertarians in favor of abortion must also be in favor of child-abandonment even when this means death to the child. However, no libertarian I've heard has so far has dared suggest this. Libertarian pro-choice is not different than any other form of pro-choice philosophy. I hesitate to even call it a philosophy because it's based purely on emotion. As usual, the only argument exists in whether or not an unborn child is a person. If so, no justification for taking his or her life is sufficient. If not, no justification is necessary.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

7 Steps of Writing News About the Catholic Church

I was watching a very formulaic report about the Catholic Church and I assumed it was from some internet news agency with a small budget. I found out that it was actually from the BBC. I was boggled at how simple and overdone the format is and was shocked anyone still took these organizations seriously.

Here is every report you will ever hear about the Catholic Church:

1) The pope is holding a synod, council or assembly of some kind.
2) With Pope Francis in charge, many feel he will make some change that will popularize the Church in the eyes of the general public.
3) Mention contraception and/or abortion and/or divorce and/or gay marriage
4) Talk about hope for change, but warn that huge changes (the kind ultimately wanted by the general population) will probably not happen.
5) Vaguely analogize the Church as a large vessel being turned around.
6) Imply that given the chance, Pope Francis would endorse gay marriage, abortion, and contraception, but he is sensitive to the "bigots" of the Church.
7) Finish up by looking forward to when the Church will truly "advance" and be acceptable to the general population.

This formula is applied to virtually every news story about the Catholic Church. It implies the church only cares about sexual issues, and that the Church's main goal is to be popular with everyone. I'm getting kind of fed up with every news article being the same.

Friday, June 13, 2014

First communion and confirmation

I attended a first communion and confirmation at my local church a couple of weeks ago. If there is a crisis in the church, I think this event could explain a lot of it. I discovered a lot of what is wrong with how Christianity is portrayed to children and families.

I will say the sacraments were conducted in a very childish way. First of all, there was no seriousness in the congregation. People were acting the same as they would at a child's recital. They were talking, laughing, and everyone was commenting on how cute all the children were.

Then the actual event began. First, two girls came out dressed in ballet outfits and did some sort of interpretive dance. No one knew what was going on and it had nothing to do with Christianity. After this, the confirmation children began singing a silly and childish song which included a lot of sign-language-type gestures for rainbows, unicorns, and other things.

To an outside observer, the ceremony could have easily been a school play for pre-schoolers or some form of dance recital. It had nothing to do with Christianity. The entire atmosphere was very egocentric. Look at us perform! The children are not to blame, they were being manipulated. Those to blame are the organizers.

Encouraging the charade and making it much worse were the parents and families. Most weren't paying any attention to the Mass or sacraments whatsoever. They were talking, laughing, talking about their children, etc. No spirituality whatsoever. Just something "fun" to do on the weekend.

The problem with all of this is that it presents Christianity as something childish and silly, something like Sesame Street. The lapsed Catholic parents obviously didn't think what was going on was a big deal. Jesus is just a buddy or chum for children to make them feel better when they get scared at night.

But Christianity is meant to be for the real world, for the worst tragedies in life. Christianity is meant to give us peace and joy and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. It's not a children's cartoon on Saturday morning.  But that's what children and their families are being presented with and that's why people stop going to Mass when they reach 12 years old.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Funny spelling mistake on Vatican Youtube video

I came across a video that was uploaded a few days ago by the Vatican on Youtube. Check out the funny spelling error in the title:

Instead of Sacred "Heart" of Jesus Parish they typed "Hart".

The video is here.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Catholic Teaching on Sperm Banks

This might sound like a weird topic, but I bring it up because I just heard a news story about a felon who switched his sperm with another man's and the man's wife was impregnated with the wrong sperm. So she ended up not having her husband's child, but some random person's whom she didn't know. This probably happens more than people expect. And it's all too possible with all these immoral sexual practices.

If a couple follows God's natural law on conception, this craziness would never happen. The Church says sex must be both potentially procreative and unitive. If either element is missing, it's an immoral act.

Children are not some sort of trophy. People nowadays just plan out their perfect family the same way they buy furniture or a new car. Then if they find out the child they ordered turned out not as they'd hoped, they just destroy it for another one. That's why 92% of Down Syndrome babies are aborted. Just like sending back an ipad that you didn't like.

So couples think of children as an accessory to their lives, just something on their to-do list that they can check off. And then when they have their ideal 1 boy and 1 girl, they mutilate their bodies through vasectomies and hysterectomies so they won't have any more kids. I guess that goal has been accomplished.

Another belief is that sex and procreation are two completely separate ideas, as if they have nothing to do with one another. It would be like thinking eating and nourishing your body as two separate acts with nothing in common. In reality, in nature, procreation is a product of sex, they are inextricably linked. In nature, they aren't two different things.

So Pope Paul VI said contraception was bad. It's pretty obvious, unless you're a "modern" person, that this is true. It's true because when you separate sex and procreation, all kinds of weird things happen. For one thing people start using sperm banks and fertility treatment. Instead of having sex with each other, the couple does their own thing separately and the woman ultimately ends up pregnant on a hospital bed with a doctor impregnating her. Or two gametes are artificially joined together in a sterile lab then inserted into a woman's body. What a strange way to be conceived.

That's procreation, but sex becomes weird too. No longer attached to procreation, sex is just about pleasure so as long as two or more (or fewer) people are having fun then it's totally legit. No one stops and says, hold on a second, this is not procreative so it's stupid and pointless. That's what they would say back when everyone did not have a contraceptive mentality. It'd be like eating a pile of food and then going to the bathroom and forcing yourself to vomit it out. We still connect eating with nutrition so people still say that's weird. Well, having sex while preventing procreation makes just as much sense.

But also inherently infertile sex is totally legit in this new paradigm. Extramarital sex, gay sex, or any other kind of sex is fine, it's just for entertainment. Kind of like games. Some people like video games, others like board games. I wouldn't judge someone for liking video games, even if I don't like playing them. Well that's how people think about sex. Since it has nothing to do with procreation, then who cares who you do it with.

Anyway, people gotta snap out of it. It's all an abomination. A child deserves more than to be born in a test tube and surgically inserted into a woman. He deserves dignity. It's ironic that we kill so many kids through abortion and then go to incredible and immoral lengths to conceive. Why don't the women who don't want their babies just give them to families that do.

To read more about the criminal who switched his sperm with the real father, click here.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Is the New Canadian Cardinal orthodox enough?

Quebec Archbishop Gerald Cyprien Lacroix talks the National March for Life in Ottawa in May. The archbishop says Softening the message has nothing to do with the New Evangelization, though some people have tried to make the Gospel “sweeter” and “easier." Photo by Debroah Gyapong / CCN.

Whenever a Catholic prelate is assigned to a high office, many Catholics wonder if he will be orthodox or not. There is always a fear that a church leader will try to implement some newfangled theology or be a big fan of interpretive dance taking place during Mass.

So when Pope Francis chose Archbishop of Quebec GĂ©rald Lacroix those questions naturally arose. At first I could not find much information on the subject. Media outlets were simply presenting objective facts and did not give any clues as to the Cardinal-elect's positions or opinions.

Then I dug a little further and found out some interesting information. It seems Lacroix is very interested in orthodoxy and presenting a historical and full Gospel. He is not interested in innovation and in fact he is very critical of this approach.

As educated Catholics know, there is no such thing as conservative or liberal when it comes to Church teaching. You are either orthodox or not. Lacroix is definitely orthodox. To prove this, here are some things the prelate has said over the years:

Here's a great interview he did with the National Post. I like how he questions the questions. So the first query asked by the Post was how the new archbishop (this was written in 2011) would get people into the pews of the churches in Quebec. He said "I think the first thing is not to try to bring people back to the pews. People in Quebec will resist that." He goes on to say the focus is not to increase numbers in some utilitarian way, but rather to change hearts and minds and people will come naturally. To read the rest of the interview, go here.

In another great interview, Archbishop Lacroix, whose name means "The Cross" is asked about softening or watering down the message of the Gospel to attract people. He flat out rejects this proposition, stating: “We’re not telling people, listen we have a new message, It’s not going to be as demanding as we were before, we’ve found a smooth version of the Gospel; it won’t be so difficult to live, it’s going to be easy, come right in, no that’s not what it’s all about”. To read the rest of this interview, click here.

Overall, from everything I've seen so far, Lacroix seems like a very solid choice, and given the fact that he was chosen by the Holy Father, it says a lot about the Pontiff as well.

Happy Feast of Christ's Baptism everyone.

God Bless.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas to all. Today Christ our Savior is born!

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Mass In Scottsdale Arizona - from one extreme to another

While in Scottsdale AZ, I attended two churches. One is St. Bernadette's and the other is in the Fransican Renewal and Retreat Centre and is called Our Lady of the Angels. The contrast couldn't be more stark.

Last week on the feast of Christ the King, the priest spoke about Fr. Miguel Pro who was killed during the Mexican Cristero War in 1927. He talked about how Fr. Pro reached out his arms in imitation of Christ because he was killed by a firing squad. The homily continued with the priest condemning both abortion and euthanasia. He said they are both very evil. He also said we must obey just laws and that gay marriage is not real marriage and we should oppose it.

I was surprised to hear such clear and direct teaching on these subjects.

But this morning I decided to check out the Fransican Renewal Centre and their Mass. I had checked out this place earlier with my girlfriend during the week. They have a very large area where they hold spiritual retreats. They have areas for people to stay overnight and they even prepare meals. It seems like a very large operation.

I arrived a minute or two late for Mass and the entire place was completely jam-packed. Not only was every seat occupied, there were people outside the church either in the lobby or in the yard. But they would not be witneesses to a traditional Mass, that was clear from the outset. Right when Mass began, two women appeared in front of the altar and proceeded to do a liturgical dance - something forbidden during Mass. They danced and moved their arms flowingly to the music. At that point I really didn`t know what I had gotten myself into.

After the performance, the congregation enthusiastically applauded. There was no hesitation, it was just expected. The music in general was very modern and included an electronic keyboard and complete drum set. Also, there would be a sort of background music during much of the time the priest spoke.

Of course during the Our Father, everyone held hands, well except me. Also I noticed the people took on the actions of the priest quite frequently. The homily was not too controversial. The priest said we must be ready for the coming of Christ. He briefly mentioned something about people from other "traditions" should also be ready, but I'm not sure what he meant by that.

After the homily, the congregation once again applauded. Throughout the whole Mass, the congregation probably applauded about 5 times.

The communion was a thick consecrated piece of bread, not the usual communion.

During the prayers of the faithful, the priest wished Jews a happy Hannukah.

Finally during the announcements, they announced a get together for gay and lesbian group for spiritual discussion. Can't really comment on that much since I don't know much about it.

So as you can see, within Scottsdale there are several very different types of Masses.

Thursday, November 07, 2013

do we even need sex ed in schools?

WOW! I just went overboard there, didn't I? I mean the only real question is how much or what kind of sex ed we need in schools. Some say we need abstinence only sex ed, while others believe kids should be given information about everything related to sex under the Sun. The more informed they are, the logic goes, the better off they'll be. But I'm asking a different question. Is ANY sex ed needed? If so, why?

My revolutionary idea is that no sex ed is required whatsoever. Think about it. It's a very new concept to begin with. It's only been about a generation since we've even had this in schools. No one in past generations seemed to have any problems with sex, look how many children they had. Oh, I can sense the first objection! "That's the whole point! People had more kids than they could handle because they didn't know about contraception and things like that!"

First of all, Catholics believe contraception is immoral in the first place. Secondly, who says people were having too many children? I remember watching a documentary which was saying how before the first world war, women had few rights and they all stayed home and raised their children, their many children. Only 4% rated themselves as unhappy when asked. The rest said they were happy or very happy! You'd be lucky to get 50% saying that these days.

But back to the main topic - why do we even need sex ed? We don't have Eating Ed or Talking to People Ed or Going to the Bathroom Ed. These are all natural things which humans have engaged in since the beginning of time, and now suddenly we need explicit and detailed lessons about sexuality?

Another disturbing trend is teaching explicit sexual content, including homosexual acts, to children who are very young, even kindergarten and younger. What possible reason would there be for this? The obvious answer is indoctrination. Many pro-gay-acts groups have often spoken about the need to "get them while they're young". Everyone knows if you want to indoctrinate people, you must start with the youngest people you can get your hands on (figuratively speaking hopefully). That's another reason to oppose universal daycare. If it's state-run you can be sure it will promote immorality.

The whole point of sex ed these days is to indoctrinate children. Within my age cohort, there is almost universal acceptance of contraception. In fact, most people my age view it as not only a good thing, but necessary for modernity. Without contraception we'd basically be living in the stone age, so the reasoning goes. You would be surprised how many people think contraception is basically the foundation of our modern culture.

Over the past few years, I have started to question fundamental paradigms instead of only operating within them. Instead of asking the best form of sex ed, I ask if it even necessary at all. What prompted the whole sex ed movement? This is something I must look into further. Was there some public outcry because people did not know "what to do"? That seems very unlikely and frankly absurd. Clearly people knew how to engage in sex.

Many will say the main thing is about STDs, or as they are now called STIs, and how to avoid them. But really the system we have now only promotes STIs. How? By making acceptable the practice of multiple partners, perhaps dozens. This is the greatest contributing factor to the spread of venereal diseases. Just try to find a classroom in Canada which advocates monogamy. It would be harder to find than a needle in a haystack.

If a couple was monogamous and waited until marriage, there would rarely ever be any cases of STIs and they could be dealt with much more effectively. Certain STIs should prevent a couple of engaging in any sexual act. Why would you expose a loved one to a deadly disease?

If you are reading this from a Western country, I know 95% of people will strongly disagree with me on this. If so, please state why you think sex ed is necessary in school.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Exciting new project - A Catholic Facebook

I am currently working on an exciting new project to develop a Catholic Facebook. This will be a very valuable website. No longer must you scroll through countless articles about cats or some random celebrity. The topic is very focused. Find out what is happening in the Catholic world in your diocese and around the world. Some big names in the catholic world are involved with this project. It is very exciting and promising.

I will be releasing the website address later so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Disappointed with my CBC interview

Yesterday morning I was asked to do a CBC Radio Interview for the Central Newfoundland morning show. I found out the previous Friday and prepared over the weekend. I was meant to be on the air for about 5 minutes to answer the interviewer's questions about the pope's recent comments.

Unfortunately there were some technical difficulties to say the least. I was asked the first question. It had to do with how young Catholics have responded to the Pope Francis's recent comments on how to approach evangelization. I gave what I felt was a pretty good answer. When I was completely done, there was silence. I waited a while, but there were no further questions, there was no speaking. After about 20-30 seconds I said "hello?" but no one answered. I didn't know what was going on. Eventually the call was dropped.

They called me back. The call screener thought the cell phone I was using may have been to blame. I felt it was just a random glitch so I decided to move ahead. I was asked another question. I thoroughly responded. Then I waited for feedback. The seconds seemed like an eternity until I realized once again no one was answering. I was so angry. How could this possibly happen?? I waited there. After about a minute, I could hear something from CBC radio come on my phone but then it disconnected.

I really don't know what happened. I was left extremely angry and confused. Whoever was at fault, technically it was as though the CBC person had placed me on mute, because they could hear me but I could not hear them. I'm not saying that's what happened, but the result was the same.

I later called back to apologize and let them know that I would be more than willing to do another interview in the future. At first I didn't feel this way. I felt upset and angry and didn't want to do this again. If I do do another interview, I will do it from a landline. This has never happened to my cell phone before and I did not anticipate even this possibility. I have friends who live nearby who would have been more than happy to let me use their phone.

There may be some kind of message in all of this. I'm not quite sure what it is. What I was able to say I think was pretty good and maybe some people got something out of it. I hope so. There are forces, some immaterial that are working against the Church and this could have been one of them. We will probably never know.

All I can do is place my trust in God always and believe he is always looking out for me.

Monday, August 12, 2013

End of the World and Fertility

Could humans cause the end of the world? I started wondering this after I began learning more about declining fertility rates. Most people are familiar that world population has been increasing for quite some time now. The fallacy is that it will just continue to grow. The fact of the matter is, as one researcher put it, people are not breeding like rabbits, they just stopped dying like flies. The main factor in growing human population is that old people are living much longer than ever before.

But I found something very scary. Replacement fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman. Almost all Western countries are now below this replacement level and rely on immigration to keep populations up. Some country are particularly concerned with low fertility rates and have enacted national policies to deal with the crisis. The thing I found scary is the precipitous drop in worldwide fertility rate. If this rate sinks below 2.1, the population of the world will soon peak and then start to decline unless something drastic happen. And that's why I brought up my original question of whether humans could cause our own demise.

Here is the data (found on Wikipedia):

World historical TFR (1950–2015)
UN, medium variant, 2010 rev.[2]

According to this chart, fertility has declined sharply since the 1950s. From 1995 to 2010, fertility rates dropped by .43. That's just 15 years. If that trend continues from 2010 to 2025, the fertility rate worldwide will be just 1.93. If this is not reversed, the human world would be on a collision course to self-annihilation! Look how far we've come since the 50s! Our current fertility rate is less than HALF of what it was just a couple of generations ago.

Very scary stuff! Our only hope is to listen to the first thing God commands of the human race: "God blessed them and God said to them: Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it." (Gen. 1: 28)

RIch Preachers (of L.A.)

Check out the following video:

Many people are upset with this new series coming out on the Oxygen network, known to many as Oprah Winfrey's tv station. As you can see from the 3 minute preview, the show follows the lives of several rich preachers. My reaction is not quite the same as most people's. Many react in disgust. How dare these men of God take all this money for themselves. This may be true, I'm not going to judge that. What I will judge is the prosperity gospel which says if you follow God's commandments, he will reward you with material wealth. I believe material wealth is objectively good and more wealth is better than less wealth. But I do not believe that material possessions are an indication of God's favor with a person.

I think the main message of Jesus was to not be attached to worldly things but to instead focus on spiritual things. Attachment to material wealth can lead to dissatisfaction with life and greed. Ultimately it can detract from our spiritual relationship with God. However, I do not think it's anyone's obligation to be poor, unless one takes a vow of poverty. The Catechism has an interesting message about greed. It says it can affect rich and poor. Poor people can become obsessed with money and become jealous of others who are more financially successful. This can lead to dissatisfaction. However, on the other hand, people with a lot of money can become so attached to it that they obsess over maintaining and protecting it. This too can lead to dissatisfaction.

Overall I think wealth creation is a good thing, especially when it lifts people out of poverty. But I think the main problem is attachment to wealth and possessions which can get in the way of our relationship with Christ.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Gay Catholic

I just came across this blog post by a gay Catholic. It's a good read. He talks about his struggles and puts things in perspective. He's already received a massive number of comments and it was only posted earlier today (technically yesterday since it's after midnight):