Friday, August 27, 2010

Happy Belated 100th Birthday Mother Teresa

Yesterday marked Mother Teresa's 100th birthday. She died 13 years ago at the age of 87. She lived a long life despite living in absolute destitution and often going without food and water.

Mother Teresa, who is on her way to becoming Saint Teresa of Calcutta after being beatified by Pope John Paul II, was born in Albania but moved to India to help the poorest people there. Her habit was fashioned after a sari, the traditional clothes worn by Indian women.

For her work of establishing an order of nuns, the Missionairies of Charity, she won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1979. She was also good friends with John Paul II.

Mother Teresa ought to be remembered for her selfless attitude in life. She gave up a relatively comfortable existence to live with the poorest of God's children. She helped all people, Christian, Muslim, and Hindu alike.

Let's honour Mother Teresa in our own special way.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Judge stops killing of embryos

A United States District Court Judge, Royce C. Lamberth, has banned the use of embryonic stem cells in scientific experiments. This is a good ruling because embryos are people - very young people - but people nonetheless.

In his ruling, he said "The Dickey-Wicker Amendment unambiguously prohibits the use of federal funds for all research in which a human embryo is destroyed. It is not limited to prohibit federal funding of only the 'piece of research' in which an embryo is destroyed. Thus, if ESC [embryonic stem cell] research is research in which an embryo is destroyed, the guidelines, by funding ESC research, violate the Dickey-Wicker Amendment."

The bill was passed in 1995 and signed by Bill Clinton. Obama overturned the law, but the judge said a president cannot overturn a law enacted by Congress.

The case will probably go to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals and finally on to the Supreme Court of the United States.

Back in the day when Obama changed the law, he said:



Obama talks about the false choice between sound science and moral values. And he believes in this case, the two don't need to conflict. What moral values is he talking about exactly? What moral system permits the killing of human beings in order to benefit others?

He specifies "in this case". That implies that sometimes sound science can conflict with moral values. What cases would not be problematic for the President, if killing some to benefit others is not?

Plus, I believe "sound science" would be moral science. What else would constitute "sound"? If morality does not play a role in "sound science". Otherwise, Nazi experimentation could potentially be classified under "sound science".

As usual, Obama is using verbal gymnastics in which he attempts to appease both sides of an argument, but ends up producing nonsensical "talking points" which are logically invalid. This, ironically, is what may have allowed him to be president. Another black man was running for president, Alan Keyes. Keyes is a fluent speaker, but he is not as acquainted with politically correct jargon.

One day, he and Obama were being interviewed on the topic of same-sex marriage. They both agreed it was wrong, but their approach was very different. Keyes gave logically consistent moral arguments for why gays should not be allowed to be married, how it is not even possible. However, Obama spent almost the entire time speaking of his concern for gay people and all the struggles they endure and in a very vague way eluded to the fact that he doesn't believe they should have the right to marry.

Unfortunately for Obama, his eloquence this time could not override the fact that his embryonic stem cell legislation was illegal in the first place. Judge Lamberth rightfully barred it.

It is sad that embryos exist outside the mother's womb in the first place. It's even worse that they are killed for experimentation. A sense of compassion for those with various diseases is virtuous. We must do everything we can to help them, but killing other members of the human race to achieve this end is not justifiable. On top of this, embryonic stem cell research has yielded no results. Only adult stem cell research has.

Those who advocate this procedure need to seriously ask themselves why. Is it really for the cures, because it has not achieved any, although adult stem cell research has had much success. Maybe, just maybe, this is their revolt against the morality of some. Perhaps they are rebelling against the moral standards of many simply to rebel.

Hopefully once this goes to the Supreme Court, the justices will rule sagaciously and declare research on embryos to be illegal.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Gay agenda trumps freedom of conscience in England

Anyone who's been looking can clearly see that religious freedom is no longer protected unless you support the most radically "progressive" agenda society has to offer.

This is exactly what is happening in Leeds, England. The Catholic Church is being coerced out of the adoption business by a radical gay agenda.

It's really quite simple. The Catholic Church believes the best place for a child to be raised is in a heterosexual household where there is mother and a father. It is believed this is a natural family, with proper complementarity. A child grows and develops best with both a feminine and masculine influence in their life.

However, "progressives" believe this only one of countless possible environments in which a child can grow up health and happy. They ignore our universal cultural wisdom in favour of a radical redefintion of family life. A child can equally be raised in an environment with
- a loving mother and father
- two women and no father
- three men who often have other male "friends" over and no female influence

Of course, sticking two men together and calling it a "good environment for a child to be raised" is no different than placing a chick to be raised by snakes.

However, for the sake of argument, I will go as far as to assume there is no objective difference between any environment for a child to be raised in.

The Catholic Church in England runs a large adoption agency. They happen to believe children should be raised in a heterosexual environment because it is best for children. Even if you consider this to be some crazy belief, what gives anyone the right to force them out of business. The government is forcing the Catholic Church to either adopt to gay couples against every moral fiber in its being or be shut down. EVEN if the Catholic adoption agency agrees to refer gay couples elsewhere, this will not suffice.

It is clear that freedom of conscience and freedom of religion are mere shams. The communists in Russia were more open about destroying opposition, but the political agenda of many is no less determined. The only difference is that the "modern" way of doing this is hiding behind political correctness and making people believe they have some sort of freedom.

How the government can force a good group of people to adopt kids into an environment they deem dangerous is beyond me. And this is not just a British problem. It has happened in Massachusetts as well.

The question is often asked "How does gay marriage affect your (heterosexual) marriage?" Well, this is just one example. This is how gay marriage affects the lives of countless children. Those opposed to gay adoption are targeted and shut down. The thousands of children that were helped no longer can be. It's a travesty of the highest magnitude.

Don't ever be lulled into believing that gay marriage won't affect society. It has and will continue to.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Relic of the True Cross returned to Boston Church

A fragment of the true cross which was stolen sometime between June 30th and July 1st, was returned to the Cathedral of the Holy Cross (appropriately) on August 9th. The relic has been part of the Cathedral for over 200 years.

Earl Frost, who returned the relic said he did not steal it but rather came into possession of it from an anonymous third party. Despite this, police say they are planning on charging him with possession of a stolen item.

The street value of this relic is said to be around $2,300 to $3,800, but of course the church cannot sell this item and considers it priceless, as it is.

Pieces of the true cross, which are said to have been discovered by Constantine's mother, Helena, are particularly valuable as relics. Many fragments exist in the world and are contained in many places. Some non-Catholics claim there are enough fragments from the true cross to build a warship, however recent scholarship shows that the total remaining collection of wood from the true cross would only be enough to build one third of a cross.

It's a really good thing that this first-class relic was returned.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

How many Muslims are there?

This is a very brief post. How many Muslims are there? Everyone seems to have a different number. Is this number being inflated sometimes? Maybe it's just notoriously hard to estimate something like this.

Anyway, on Wikipedia, they give a range of 1.2 to 1.57 billion Muslims. This is a difference of 370 million. Not a small difference. It also said that this represented about 25% of the world population of 6.8 billion, but this is patently wrong. Even if we use the high estimate of 1.57 billion, the percentage would be 23%, and if we get the average of those two numbers, the percentage is 20%. I changed the article to reflect this.

But even this upper estimate is not high enough for some people. I am watching Larry King Live and Russell Simmons is on and he claims there are 2 billion Muslims worldwide.

When I searched for "number of muslims" in Google, half of the first page contained links to pages promoting Islam, compared to 2 out of 10 when searching for "number of christians". Just from my own observation, it seems many Muslim websites attempt to report the highest numbers they can.

The estimate of the number of Muslims worldwide varies from 1.2 billion to 2 billion, a huge difference in numbers. Compare this to estimates for the number of Catholics. The official Vatican count on Catholics is 1.147 billion. Not between 1 and 1.5 billion, for example. This may be because the Catholic Church is very organized compared to other religions. Overall, it is estimated that there are 2.1 billion Christians in the World. Statistics show that for the past 100 years, around 33% of the world has been Christian. This estimate is well established and accepted. There is not one estimate for 1.5 billion Christians and another estimate for 2.5 billion.

My question is, why are the estimates for Muslims so variable?

Friday, August 20, 2010

Double standard for Catholics and Muslims

There's been a lot of controversy over the building of a giant mosque next to Ground Zero, but something that constantly comes up is people qualifying terrorism by saying that most "moderate" Muslims are peaceful and condemn violence. They say only a tiny fraction of extremists are responsible for terrorism and that we shouldn't paint all Muslims with the same brush. In fact, many in the media are falling over each other to proclaim that most Muslims wouldn't ever commit a terrorist act and are in fact peace lovers.

This is all fine and dandy. But none of this of this has happened for the sex abuse scandal in the Catholic Church. Even though we know only about 1% of priests ever abused anyone and most of these involved post-pubescent males, every Catholic priest, and indeed the Catholic Church itself is painted with the same brush of pedophilia. There have been numerous attempts to implicate high church officials and the pope. People go to very unreasonable lengths to try to convince others that the entire Catholic Church supports sexual abuse of minors.

News agencies are willing to disregard normal journalistic standards by getting their information from plaintiffs' lawyers who are suing the Church. They disregard the obvious bias in favour of defaming the Church.

It's become commonplace for comedians to joke about "pedophile priests" and implicating all churchmen into this immoral behavior. I wonder, would you ever hear a standup routine calling every Muslim a terrorist? And would you hear it from the likes of Jay Leno? Of course not. There's obviously a huge double standard.

Just to give you an idea of the double standard, let's look at some back to back quotes from people concerning Muslims and Catholics:

Jay Leno on Catholic priests and bishops:
"As you've probably heard, the Pope has asked all the Cardinals to return to Rome. You know how they got them all to come back? They told them that there was going to be a performance by the Vienna Boys Choir."

"They say (the Pledge of Allegiance) violates the separation of church and state. How about the separation of church and altar boy? That's what I'm worried about."

Jon Stewart (the Daily Show) on Catholic priests:
"The Cardinals will be staying at the Domus Sanctae Marthae, the new hotel at the Vatican, where turn down service means the bell boy isn't interested."

Over the last several nights on the Daily Show, Jon Stewart, when speaking on the mosque building controversy, will show clips of anyone opposed to the mosque and mock them or show how they are being ridiculous for even questioning it. He continually makes the point that only a tiny fraction of Muslims are violent.

David Letterman on Catholics and Muslims:
"There's a lot of tension in the world. Over the weekend, Pope Benedict apologized to the Muslims. Altar boys, on the other hand, are still waiting for their apology."

Joy Behar
When speaking on the Catholic Church, Behar said the Church has to do a "complete overhaul", that it should scrap celibacy, allow women priests, etc. She also has said she remembers when she was younger all the priests were drunk all the time. On top of this, she has declared her belief that saints were "crazy".

However, on her show on Headline News, she interrupted a guest who was against the building of the Ground Zero mosque saying, "You have to differentiate between Muslims and extremists". A few seconds later, she again stresses this point by saying they didn't run a Danish cartoon because "Islamic fundamentalists and jihadists are objecting to that, not Muslims." On this 3 vs. 1 show, Behar constantly reminds everyone that there is a huge gulf between extremists and Muslims. Why then doesn't she do the same when talking about the sex abuse scandal in the Church?


I could go on with this list for some time. We see over and over that bias against the Catholic Church is completely acceptable and even encouraged, while at the same time the greatest of care is taken to avoid offending other groups, such as Muslims. We must demand an end to this unfair discrimination.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

5 Reasons Pakistan may be ripe for terrorism

Pakistan is suffering a terrible flood with one-fifth of the country underwater. On top of this, there are many problems in that country which could reinvigorate its extremist element. Here are five reasons Pakistan may become quite dangerous.

1. Perceived lack of concern over flooding
Pakistan is receiving relatively little aid from donors in the Western world, especially when compared to Haiti during its time of need. The UN says it has only collected 35% of its required relief fund and that most of this came from the US and UK government. Because of this low level of giving, many Pakistanis will resent the US and the rest of the Western world and believe they do not care.

Another piece of information is that World Vision was able to raise $44 million from private donation in the United States for Haiti, but only $660 thousand for this flood in Pakistan.

2. Taliban providing better assistance.
The Taliban seems better able to provide necessities than the US or the UK in this time of need. They are giving out food, water, and shelter, while the Western world is lagging behind. People there are developing favorable attitudes toward the Taliban which will aid in its recruitment of terrorists.

3. Pre-existing bad reputation of the United States
Only 17% of Pakistanis hold a favorable opinion of the United States, and 59% described the United States as an "enemy". More (18%) of Pakistanis hold a favorable view of Al-Qaeda.

4. It is Ramadan
Because it is the season of Ramadan, Muslims increase religious devotion and practice fasting. This increased fervor may serve to amplify any negative feelings Pakistanis have toward the United States.

5. Mosque proposal in New York
With all the talk of the Mosque being built in the United States and the opposition by 70% of Americans, the Taliban will capitalize on this brouhaha to show the Pakistanis how Americans "really" feel about Islam and further push the line that the United States is in a war against the religion of Muslims.

Conclusion
The United States and other Western countries needs to get into Pakistan and give lots of aid along with plenty of pro-American marketing. For example, they could distribute flyers in Urdu (the official language) telling people what they are doing. They could also explain that the United States is not anti-Muslim. These steps may be necessary to subdue any upsurge in terrorist activity.

Sources:
http://www.nytimes.com/gwire/2010/08/17/17greenwire-western-donations-lag-for-pakistan-flood-victi-56219.html

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mosque near ground zero: from a Catholic viewpoint

As everyone knows by now, there are plans to build a giant mosque and Islamic community centre near Ground Zero, where two hijacked jumbo jets destroyed the twin World Trade Center towers. I want to analyze this issue from a somewhat Catholic perspective.

First of all, this is legal and I believe that's a good thing. Since religious freedom is guaranteed in the United States, there cannot be a ban placed on building a mosque anywhere as long as it's legal to do so. The plans for this building place it in a legal area. As far as I know, there is no legal basis for rejecting this large structure.

I am not arguing from this point of view. Legally, this is acceptable.

What about from a moral point of view? The Catholic Church is usually at the forefront of demanding religious liberty. For example, in Switzerland, the Catholic Church voted against a ban on Muslim minarets. The Church seeks religious freedom for Christians in Muslim places such as Saudi Arabia. It would be logically inconsistent to ask for such things which voting to deny them to Muslims.

The Church believes in religious freedom, unlike other religions like Islam. The Church believes that if everyone is exposed to the Gospel, conversion of hearts will soon follow. The Church does not fear religious freedom because it presents the truth and ultimately the truth prevails. However, many Muslim countries are hostile toward Christianity and some outright ban its practice. Similarly, atheist countries like North Korea and Soviet Russia banned all forms of religion.

So, from the perspective of religious freedom, the Church says Muslims are allowed to build a mosque wherever it is legal and desirous to do so. In a letter, Archbishop of New York, Timothy Dolan wrote: "What is not acceptable is to prejudge any group, or to let fear and bias trump the towering American (and for us Catholics, the religious) virtues of hospitality, welcome, and religious freedom."

He went on to say: "Yes, it is acceptable to ask questions about security, safety, the background and history of the groups hoping to build and buy," Archbishop Dolan wrote. "What is not acceptable is to prejudge any group, or to let fear and bias trump the towering American (and for us Catholics, the religious) virtues of hospitality, welcome, and religious freedom."

Dolan continued by noting that both the current and former popes advocated the Muslim right to build a mosque in Rome.

Therefore, it is safe to say that from a Catholic point of view, such a construction would not seem "immoral" or wrong. It comes down to "do unto others".

Having said all that, I still question the entire idea from a prudential point of view. Who decided to build a mosque so close to ground zero, at a location which was actually damaged by the attack? This is no small building. It will cost $100 million to build. Where there, why now?

There is widespread opposition to the building of this mosque and cultural centre with around seventy percent of Americans against it. It is obviously being built on a very sensitive area. So even with these considerations, why didn't those building this structure consider a different location?

To me there is poor judgment here and I cannot understand the motivation. Imagine if there was an attack in Northern Ireland where a group of extremist Catholics entered into a protestant area, and detonated fifty bombs simultaneously, killing one thousand people. Then nine years later, with the destroyed area still in ruin, the Catholic Church decides to build a $100 million Church and cultural centre. This would seem very insulting and a form of triumphalism. Even if the extremist group was all excommunicated from the Church and publicly distanced from it, it would still seem insensitive. Almost like raising a flag after a war. And how about if 70% of Northern Irelanders were against such a structure? I think from a purely prudential point of view, such a construction project would be rightfully considered a poor choice.

Muslims and all other religious people should have the right to build a place of worship wherever they want if it is legal. However, everyone also has the right to act logically when making decisions.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Abortion protester refuses to pay taxes

David Little of Atlantic Canada has refused to pay taxes since the year 2000 in protest of the Canadian Government's abortion laws. Finally today, after a long battle with the Canada Revenue Agency, charges against Mr. Little were dropped and they believe he would be unable to pay taxes anyway.

He was fined $3000 in 2007, but did not pay it.

David Little believes it is his moral right to refuse to pay taxes because some of the money he provides pays for abortion.

Apparently the man is living off the hand-outs of others and spends his time between PEI and New Brunswick.

Is there a moral basis for this man's actions? What are the impacts of this?

I have heard many times people who believed it was within their rights to refuse to pay taxes because they fund abortion. In the US, virtually all abortions are paid for privately. This makes a lot of sense since abortion is always optional. In the event that the life of the mother is threatened, civil and moral law would allow the mother's life to be saved, even if the child were to die as an unintended consequence.

Therefore, the government should not pay for an optional procedure which causes the death of at least half of those who enter the abortionist's room (the child).

But can we refuse to pay taxes because of this? When I first read the article, I wondered how he could justify not paying ANY taxes whatsoever. Obviously, not all tax money goes toward abortion. In fact, only a percentage does. By refusing to pay taxes, Mr. Little also refuses to pay for heart surgery, roads, and care for the elderly. But then I thought about it further. If he pays taxes at all, he cannot dictate where the money goes. If he owes $1000, and only pays $900, then he cannot specify that his $900 pay for non-abortion costs. Therefore, even if he pays one cent, it could potentially go to abortion.

But if this man wanted to subtract the percentage of tax dollars that go to abortion, what perecentage would it be?

According to Life Canada, a low estimate for the cost of abortion is around $80 million per year in Canada (estimated around 2001). Total tax expenditure in Canada for 2008-2009 was $238.8 billion. However, in order to compare apples to apples, let's use Canada's 2001 expenditure which was $196.5 billion. Therefore, the government spends about 0.04% of its budget killing children. If a man filed a tax return for $10,000 for the year, he would have to subtract $4.

We are not required morally to refuse to pay taxes for abortion. However, we cannot support it in any direct way. I think it's good that this man is bringing attention to this travesty. More people need to stand up for their values.

Sorry about my long absence

I have not posted any new articles since last Monday. Don't worry, however. I will be posting several articles over the next few days. There should be one shortly. Thanks for continuing to read my blog. I am now up to 20 followers.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Atheist does something surprising


Today I read an article about a rich atheist Robert Wilson. He gave an enormous financial contribution to the Archdiocese of New York. He gave a whopping $5.6 million! This is a very awesome gift from Mr. Wilson.

He believes the Catholic schools do more good than union-run state schools in the inner-city. He says they do a better job with the 3 Rs - reading, writing and arithmetic.

Robert Wilson has a lot of money. He turned an initial investment of $15,000 into $225 million. He now wants to give away about 70% of it before his death.

At age 84, Mr. Wilson is good friends with the archbishop Edward Cardinal Egan. They sometimes sit down for a meal and conversation. The archbishop applauded this donation. According to Business Week, Wilson is the 23rd largest giver in America.

Of course the archbishop says he is looking forward to the day that Robert WIlson believes in God.

Friday, August 06, 2010

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Nun killed by drunk illegal alien

A man from Bolivia illegally came to the United States, was convicted twice of DUI charges and released both times back into the public. This third time he got drunk, got behind the wheel of his car, and ended up hitting and killing a Benedictine Sister from Virginia.

The nun's name is Denise Mosier. Two other nuns were injured in this incident: Charlotte Lange and Connie Ruth Lupton. This is a very sad story. The convent where these nuns were from say we must follow Christ's example and forgive. This is a very powerful statement.

Let's pray for everyone involved.

Full article here.

Prop 8 Overturned Against the Will of the People

A judge has overturned California's Prop 8 ruling. Of course, when it went to referendum, the people of California upheld the definition of marriage as the union of a man and a woman. But a judge claims this is unconstitutional and it has been overturned.

Of course, we also know that in Argentina, the government is allowing same sex marriage, the first South American country to do so. How is this happening? Who is to blame? Should anyone be allowed to get married?

I think it all comes back to the definition and purpose of marriage. Heterosexual couples are as much to blame for this situation as anyone else because everyday people have lost the true meaning of marriage.

Our modern day view of marriage is quite different than it has been historically. Nowadays people view marriage as an arrangement indicating that two people have loving feelings for each other and decide they want to be together. That's it. That's marriage.

With this definition, how can you deny any two people the possibility of marrying? I believe that's why heterosexual couples are to blame for this current state of affairs.

Historically, marriage was viewed as a covenant between a man and a woman to form the building block of society which is the family. Children naturally sprang forth from the love of spouses. Childlessness was seen as a very sad thing. Also, love was not a fleeting feeling, but rather a decision of the will. Divorce also was not an option because it was believed that God joined this couple together.

But from that original definition, we have dramatically strayed. Marriage has become about fuzzy feelings of a couple. Children are no longer a natural offshoot of a marriage but are carefully planned through contraception and possibly abortion. Parents will "design" a perfect family - them and one boy and one girl. The children are almost ego-boosts.

Once the fuzzy feelings end, many couples decide to divorce, caring nothing about the develpoment of their children. They are falsely told it's much better for the children if they split up. Plus, why just stay for these kids. They have needs which aren't being met. It's completely selfish.

Many couples even choose to not have any children at all. Not that they are unable to have children, they simply choose that path. Children are completely optional to a marriage. In fact, the permanence of marriage is something fewer and fewer people believe in.

So if marriage is nothing more than a mere feeling between two people, how can we justify it being only between a man and a woman.

Homosexual marriage is not valid as it is opposed to what marriage actually is. Marriage IS something. It has a definition. What exactly IS marriage? Well, nowadays there would be many different answers. However, historically the answer has always been the union of a man and woman for life for unity and the procreation of children. Therefore, I find it odd when people say marriage is a "right" for gay people. Obviously if the definition of marriage precludes relationships other than man-woman, then it is not a right.

Where do rights come from in the first place? Rights have limitations by definition, so to claim that everyone has the same rights is not true. Would it be correct for a 14 year old to claim he has the right to drive a vehicle? How about a drunk person, or someone with poor eyesight? The right to drive is given to people who are capable of fitting the definition of what constitutes a legal driver.

So what is marriage? If we include two people of the same sex as a possible combination for marriage, then we radically change the definition. It now comes down to a fleeting feeling. It's not about children, or procreativity, or sexual complementarity, or complementarity in general, or permanence. Obviously it loses its religious basis, since virtually no religion endorses same sex marriage. It becomes a legal agreement between two individuals.

What then would prevent a father and daughter from marrying, or two buddies, or any other combination of people? Why not three, four, five, or more people in a single marriage?

Obviously the government recognizes marriage for some reason. It does not recognize mere relationships. You do not have to apply to the government to date someone or to fall in love with them. So the government recognizes something more than an intimate relationship in marriage that makes it worth official government status. They recognize its benefit to society. Marriage is the building block of society because as the family goes, so goes the country, and ultimately the world.

Once the government recognizes any grouping of people as "marriage", it will lose all benefit. There will be no need for the government to even recognize marriage at all.

Prop 8 is probably going to go to the Supreme Court of the United States. Hopefully there they will do the right thing.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Larry King is taken over by adultery advocates

Tonight on the Larry King Live Show, there are three women talking about adultery. Out of the three, only one is against it, and the other two claim that adultery can be a good or beneficial thing. It's almost hard to believe that people have such opinions. The basic premise is that men are natural cheaters because they are naturally polygamous. Therefore it is better to negotiate an arragement with the husband than to be emotionally affected when he cheats.

One of the ladies, Holly Hill, who seemed unable to stop speaking the entire time, continuously compared men to dogs and said it's better to give them a leash and control them somewhat than to force them to stay completely committed cause them to eventually dig a whole under the fence and escape.

The way she was speaking about this was the same way proponents of abortion speak when they say it's better to keep abortion legal and safe rather than illegal and unsafe. But this presupposes that it will happen regardless. But by making something acceptable only increases that behavior.

Bethenny Frankel is the only one on the show who disagrees with this belief and she is rightfully flabbergasted that these two other women can so easily accept and condone infidelity.

But what about the claim that men are by nature polygamous? I believe this is a total fabrication. As people, we are called to a higher standard than farm animals, because we have a rational mind and can make moral decisions. We do not need to indulge our every urge no matter how fleeting.

Saying a man is naturally inclined to have sex with lots of women is like saying a man is naturally inclined to empty his bowels wherever he happens to be at the time or to kill anyone he gets angry with, or to constantly eat junk food and nothing else, or to lie on the couch all day and do no work. These things all represent giving into our concupiscence and base desires. They do not represent commendable traits.

Our society is built on the idea of proper order. Those who refuse to follow this order create chaos and discord. Marriage is a natural union that has developed in all cultures around the globe. The reason is that it is the best building block of society. If cheating were "natural", then divorce would be easy, as would breakups. Children would easily get over their father leaving them. Yet none of these are true.

On top of this, many studies show that married men are the healthiest and happiest overall of all men, as opposed to men who just always sleep around.

Finally, look at divorce. I believe people who go from partner to partner before marriage are more likely to divorce than people who seek commitment and fidelity. Most marriages in India are arranged and their divorce rate is around 1%. Compare this to the American model where divorce rates are as high as 50%. It is common for people to have 5, 6, 7, even 10 or more sex partners before they decide to marry. This only paves the way for future infidelity.

This idea may sound outrageous to many people, the concept of incorporating infidelity into marriage as a normal thing. Keep in mind though that many even more immoral things were initially met with ridicule but now only those who speak up against them are the victims of ridicule!

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Fr. Tom Kelly - You will be missed

Father Tom Kelly passed away on Friday, July 30th at the Leonard A. Miller Centre in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. He will be missed. I attended his funeral today at St. Teresa's at 9:30am. The entire church was packed with people. You could tell many of them were touched in their lives by Fr. Tom. He was a very down to Earth man and had a very simple message of God's love. He also had a really good sense of humour. I discovered today that Fr. Tom spent many years teaching at a seminary.

Fr. Tom preached in a very simple manner, as St. Alphonsus Liguori had envisioned when he founded the order. St. Alphonsus brought the gospel to the poor and working class using simple language, which contrasted the often theologically-heavy homilies of many priests of the day.

Fr. Tom was kind of like an old buddy. He always had a witty comment to make or a joke to share. He didn't concern himself with the details and was unconcerned or against what he viewed as superfluous or unnecessary things in the Church.

From many illnesses and hospital visits, Fr. Tom always seemed to bounce back. He was definitely a fighter. At the same time, he often wondered aloud what his first encounter with the Lord in Heaven would be like. He had an answer prepared for this time, and I can imagine him saying it now as he meets Jesus: "Here I am Lord".

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Here is Fr. Tom's obituary:

Kelly, Fr. Thomas Irving, C.Ss.R. - Fr. Tom Kelly C.Ss.R., born May 10, 1928 at Amherstburg, Ontario passed away peacefully at the Leonard A. Miller Centre Palliative Care Unit on July 30, 2010 at the age of 82 years. He was predeceased by his parents Irving T. Kelly and Monica Scott Kelly; sister Eleanor (Frabotta) in 1993 and his brother Fr. James Scott Kelly, C.S.B. in 1996. Leaving to mourn his passing his sister Eileen (Norm) Purdie; his brother Fr. Abbott Timothy Kelly OCSO, Rome; five nieces and one nephew and their families; and close personal friends Clyde, Carol and Nadine Hodder. He will be lovingly remembered by his Religious Community, his brothers of the Edmonton-Toronto Province of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer (Redemptorists). His passing will be mourned by his parish family at St. Teresa's in Mundy Pond as well as his dialysis family at the Waterford/HSC. Resting at home - St. Teresa's Church, 120 Mundy Pond Road on Sunday from 7:30 p.m. - 10 p.m. and Monday from 12:00 noon - 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. - 10 p.m. Vigil of prayer to take place on Monday at 8 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Teresa's Church on Tuesday, August 3, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. Mass as well on Thursday, August 5, 2010 at St. Patrick's Church, McCaul Street, Toronto. Burial will take place in Toronto at the Redemptorist Plot, Mount Hope Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Vincent de Paul - St. Teresa's, Kidney Foundation of Canada or a charity of one's choice. Mother of Perpetual Help, St. Teresa, St. Alphonsus, pray for him.

Latin vs. Vernacular Mass

A big debate among strong Catholics is whether to attend the Tridentine Mass, which is celebrated in Latin or to attend the vernacular Mass which was made a possibility following the Second Vatican Council.

There are two extremes in this debate. One side is strong proponents of the traditional Latin Mass. They believe it continues a liturgical tradition dating back many centuries and is preserved to this day. They believe the new form of Mass, in the vernacular, represents an unnecessary novelty in Catholic worship. Some even go so far as to say the vernacular form of Mass is invalid.

On the other extreme are those who are strongly opposed to the Latin Mass. They see it as going back to the past and refusing to modernize. They believe the Mass hasn't gone far enough, and that even more changes need to be made, including the removal of priestly vestments, the inclusion of women in the priesthood, married clergy, and much greater lay participation. This is only talking about the liturgy. They also want the church to change on many moral issues.

Again, these are the two extremes. There are those in the middle as well, from both sides. Some people really enjoy the Latin Mass and believe it is the best form of liturgy or at least their preference, but they are also not against the vernacular service. As well, there are those who prefer the vernacular Mass, but think it's fine to have the Latin Mass as well.

I believe what has actually happened is that many have gone beyond what was promulgated in Vatican II.

For example:

- It is common for lay people to be present in the sanctuary during Mass, however this was not mentioned during Vatican II

- Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion have become "ordinary". In some churches, they are present at every Mass as a matter of course. In fact, these ministers are only supposed to be used as their name implies, in "extraordinary" circumstances. For example, the priest is injured and cannot give communion to all people.

- Everyone goes to communion. It is now common practice for every person at church to go to communion regardless. However, only those in the state of grace should go, and only Catholics.

- Latin was never forbidden in the vernacular masses. Many Latin and even Greek phrases can and often should be used in vernacular Masses.

- The Latin Mass was never replaced by the vernacular Mass. Many are under the false assumption that with the advent of Vatican II, the Latin Mass was relegated to history. This is not the case and the current pope is reintroducing the Latin Mass as a more common form of the Mass.

- Some of the language used in the vernacular does not properly reflect the Latin. This will be corrected very soon.

My personal opinion is that I generally enjoy going to the vernacular or common Mass. I can understand it better and take a lot from it. I believe they need to incorporate Latin elements because they can be easily learned and can add some history to the experience as well as reverence.

I also attend Latin Mass occasionally. I find it offers a different perspective and reflects the fact that we are offering a sacrifice to God which is eternal and it's not about the priest's homily or the good music or "having fun", it's about celebrating God as well as Jesus in the Eucharist.

I think our best approach is to come to an appreciation for both forms of the Mass.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Safe, legal, and COMMON?

A common saying in the pro-choice movement is that abortion should be "safe, legal, and rare". But why not "safe, legal, and common"? Why does it have to be rare? In fact, the pro-choice side should advocate abortion as a form of contraception, if they are to be logically consistent.

Why should abortion be rare? If abortion is the killing of a child, it shouldn't be rare, it should be outlawed completely. It should be non-existent. Is it possible that the pro-choice side is admitting that abortion kills a child but still say that it should be rare? This would represent a barbaric viewpoint. "Killing children should be rare". What person with any morals would advocate this?

So let's assume the pro-choice side believes a fetus is not a child and is only a "blob of cells". Then why would they say abortion should be "rare". Eliminating unwanted blobs of cells should be rare? Why? I don't hear them protesting liposuction or tumour-removal. Again, this does not make sense.

Is abortion safe? According to the abortion industry, it is extremely safe. So then why would a safe procedure need to be rare, if it involves no moral dilemma?

Obviously, this saying, which makes absolutely no sense and is logically self-refuting simply uses keywords and contradictions to appeal to all groups. Pro-life people will see this message and say "well, looks like the abortion industry is with us. they want to make abortion rare." while at the same time they appease the pro-choice side.

Is it possible that the Pro-choice side by using this slogan is actually logically consistent. Yes! Here are some possible ways:

1) Abortion should be rare because driving all the way to the abortion facility and getting the procedure takes a few hours, which I could be using for the spa.

2) Abortion should be rare because it costs too much. Who has that kind of money to spend on something?

3) Abortion should be rare because I hate having unnecessary blobs of cells removed from my body.

These possibilities may sound flippant, but there are not many. The only moral question is whether what is growing inside the mother is a baby or not. If it is, then nothing can justify its murder. If, however, it is not a living person, no justification is necessary. The commonality of a non-moral issue is not important.

In order to justify an evil, logical inconsistencies must be used. Good morals are logically consistent.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Saint Lucifer?

Strange though it may sound, there was a bishop in the fourth century named Lucifer. For those not too familiar with the Bible, before Satan was sent to Hell, he was known as Lucifer, or bearer of light. However, nowadays, when people hear Lucifer, they think of Satan.

Well, this bishop lived in Cagliari, on the island of Sardinia in Italy. He was around during the Arian controversy and fought vehemently against it. He stood with the true church in defending the Nicene Creed.

It is hinted by Ambrose of Milan and his student Augustine of Hippo that Lucifer was excommunicated, and his followers became known as Luciferians. It's unclear why he was excommunicated and some believe the excommunicated individual was actually another Lucifer.

His veneration as a saint is controversial and he is generally only venerated in Cagliari.