Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Pope meets with County Clerk Kim Davis

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.

Alex Jones WRONG on Pope Francis and Jesus's "Failure"

I've been an active listener to the Alex Jones Show for many years. I enjoy listening to him, he is a good speaker, and has a lot of good information. But in his attempt to "tell it like it is", he has woefully misrepresented the pope. Look, I don't agree with the pope on a lot of issues, especially economic ones. But I will not say the pope is satanic like Alex Jones is claiming. Get your facts straight Alex!

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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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.

For Alex to use this as "proof" that the pope is satanic is beyond the pail.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Bill Nye is WRONG about Abortion

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.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Is the Pope Too Approachable?

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!

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

The pope today canonized Junípero Serra

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pope Francis is in America now: My Concerns

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.