Tuesday, May 31, 2005

The Constitution

A high school student from Louisiana wrote perplexed on how to begin a paper analyzing the way the constitution applies to an individual Supreme Court case. She selected “Roe v. Wade” for this assignment.

She asked: “Specifically, the teachers want me to thoroughly analyze the Roe v. Wade case. I am to approach the essay in critical format, providing my arguments based on the written Constitution.

“I have no idea where to begin. I believe that I have good facts about abortion (ie, what it is), and I most certainly know how immoral it is. However pinpointing how the Supreme Court misinterpreted the issue with regard to the Constitution is a little intimidating.

“Overall, I suppose they want to know why the Supreme Court was constitutional incorrect.

“If someone could, at least, point me in the right direction(s) where information of the nature is concerned, I would be forever grateful.”

I hope my response below helped to steer her in the right direction. I am in no way an expert in constitutional law, but do have an interest in such a subject, as I’m sure you all can tell by now! It is also essential to understand the bizarre lack of understanding that the 9 most powerful people in the United States have of the Constitution as well as basic human rights.

The basic premise under which Roe v. Wade was decided was an erroneous interpretation of the 14th amendment among other applications of so-called constitutional law and international law and theory. The "Constitutional" reasons for abortion are addressed in Section V of the opinion. Read the entire opinion on the Priests for Life website. You will notice underneath this in Section VI of the opinion that the court lists 8 other references that attempt to validate abortion. None of these are based on the Constitution; yet they hold the most weight in the outcome of the case. You will also notice that Section VI is over 17 pages long while Section V is only half of a page!

The court is also so bold as to say in section VIII that "The Constitution does not explicitly mention any right of privacy" (410 U.S. 113, 152)! The second paragraph of section VIII also attempts to justify abortion according to the Constitution.

It is also very important not to neglect the companion case to Roe, Doe v. Bolton, which made abortion legal through all 9 months for virtually any reason. The text of this opinion is also found in its entirety on the Priests for Life website.

Sadly, many Americans are also in the dark when it comes to the actual text of the Constitution. Read The Constitution on the Priests for Life web site also.

For other assistance in your project, I encourage you to contact the WallBuilders. This organization is dedicated to restoring the original meaning to the Constitution.

Monday, May 30, 2005

We remember our loved ones who died for our freedom

Memorial Day is the day we remember all of our troops fought and died for our country and freedom. All of these heroic men and women are in our prayers today.

In addition, I am especially grateful for all of our troops currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. May God bless you all abundantly, and know that you all are in our thoughts and prayers.

Visit this website for Memorial Day History and Information.

Friday, May 27, 2005

The Euthanasia Mentality

It will not be stunning legislation that will legalize euthanasia, it will merely become commonplace. While the instances of euthanasia are more frequent, it is the "I don't want to be a burden" mentality that is spreading like wild-fire.

The contraceptive mentality, which derives from an improper understanding of human sexuality and the vocation of marriage, this euthanasia mentality will be more deadly than it seems at surface value. The contraceptive mentality is a philosophy espoused by many people, and many people have never even heard this term. It means that a person does not recognize the dignity of the conjugal act as an act that must always remain open to procreation. In its lies, this philosophy states that the death of a child is okay for the sake of one's own life, or rather, lifestyle. The euthanasia mentality states that my life ought to end as soon as I lack a certain "quality of life."

This term is ambiguously dangerous! "Quality of life?" The true quality of one's life comes from our intrinsic good in that we are made in the image and likeness of God. Rather, this term is the slogan of choice of the euthanasia mentality and the euthanasia movement.

God's own Son suffered immensely on the cross and died, and he did not need to. He did this because he loves each and every one of us. Through his suffering and death, he sanctified suffering. Those who suffer from bodily, emotional or financial burden are especially close to the Heart of Jesus. These sufferings are united.

The sufferings of others also serve as a witness to those who are not suffering. We see in the sick an opportunity to provide care and service. We see in the poor an opportunity to give them the material needs they have. We see in the depressed the opportunity to bring love, hope and friendship. This creates a world free of selfishness, greed and hate, a world full of selfless giving and love.

When I was a child, my dad owned a business next door to Holy Angels, a home for children and adults with severe mental and physical handicaps. Our family volunteered there regularly. In my early teen years spent my summers volunteering at the Hospital. When I was a teenager, my grandparents moved into our home where my mother was their 24/7 caregiver. These examples of selfless love have taught me the true value of human life.

Please read the weekly briefing from the Population Research Institute.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Prayer

The Catholic News Agency reports that Viacom broadcasting company has made a documentary on Showtime that bashes Mother Teresa and her Sisters of Charity. The article explains some pretty colorful language that I will not repeat!

Mother Teresa is a woman who taught us how prayer and work fit harmoniously together. Her life was an example of love and of unity of people of good will.

In her 1994 speech at the National Prayer Breakfast, she gave us the following words.

“When He was dying on the Cross, Jesus said, "I thirst." Jesus is thirsting for our love, and this is the thirst of everyone, poor and rich alike. We all thirst for the love of others, that they go out of their way to avoid harming us and to do good to us. This is the meaning of true love, to give until it hurts.”

It may have also been Mother Teresa who told us that everyone needs one holy hour a day. And if we’re too busy for that, then we need two holy hours a day!

Let us pray…

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

A Christian woman’s response to pornography

In the random pieces of mail today, I came across a very graphic and inappropriate sex-education manual for use for fifth graders. This manual condoned various sorts of immoral sexual activity, and an understanding of human sexuality that did not recognize its dignity or origin as a gift from God. This was greatly disturbing to me.

May is Victims of Pornography Month and is remembered by pro-family organizations such as Concerned Women for America. On the other hand, organizations such as the Planned Parenthood dupe many innocent and well-meaning people into thinking that sexual promiscuity and dysfunction is normal and proper for human development. These organizations do not promote a just cause as is commonly thought. In reality, they promote behavior and attitude that leads to sexual addictions including pornography.

Pornography is not innocent. It is the root of many sex crimes including serial killings, rapes and even abortion. Even worse, its primary victim is the user who looses his or her soul and possibly the prospect of Eternal Life.

Pornography comes in many different media and degrees. Many young men think it is “okay” to have magazines such as GQ, Stuff or the SI Swimsuit Issue, and that these are harmless. Though obscenity laws do not prohibit the sale of these items, the content of those magazines (as seen from the cover!) is dangerous. “Hard core” porn involves violent attacks against women and children who become victims during the making of this disgusting material. In return, the consumers of this material tend to turn to such violent acts themselves.

As a woman, my heart aches to see these magazines in the bathrooms of houses of my guy friends. When this material is prominently displayed on the back of a toilet, not only do I know automatically that this young man, in some way, sees me as an object of lust, and not a person to be loved, but I also know that there is a deeper tragedy in his life that attempts to justify his use of this material. Sadly, many young men are never told of the evil or the dangers of pornography.

Just as with any addiction, experts speak about the peculiar challenges of overcoming an addiction to pornography. For any young man or woman with this particular struggle, I urge you to seek the forgiveness and healing mercy of our Lord in prayer and through the Sacraments. Also, surround yourself with good things. Throw out those magazines, keep your computer filtered and in a public location like the family room, listen to music that with a positive message. But, again, mostly pray.

“Stem cell research” is sometimes a really mean way to say murder

Late yesterday, the House of Representatives once again failed to uphold life by passing the Public Health Service Act to provide for human embryonic stem cell research. This would not have been possible just a few years ago, but public opinion has changed, and people fail more and more to realize the humanity of even our smallest brothers and sisters: embryos.

This comes just one day after the Senate, by the power of just 13 Senators, decided to keep the filibusters in tact in order to block any nominee they want to block for any reason.

Pro-lifers worked hard in the last election to elect what we thought were people who would stand up for life, and now we are humiliated and trampled all over.

Please see The National Right to Life Committee and Life News for updated news and information.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Would you like abortion, contraception or both?

The Silent No More Awareness Campaign and other post-abortion ministries have brought attention not only to the devastating after-effects of abortion in the lives of women and men, but it has also lead the way in exposing the complex and devastating emotions experienced by women who after years of contraceptive use realize that this too brings intense feelings of grief and remorse. Co-founder of the SNMAC Janet Morana brought much attention to this matter through her testimony.

For many years, the pro-life movement has skirted the topic of contraception for the sake of “unity.” Catholic pro-life organizations typically take a formal stance against contraception, under the guidance of Church teachings, but remain largely silent on the issue. Non-Catholic or non-religious organizations typically take no formal stance on contraception, though most people in those groups personally oppose contraception. Almost no pro-life group promotes contraception as a means of combating abortion.

Both groups recognize that chemical abortion is wrong. Chemical abortion is also called an abortifacient. This includes RU-486, the Morning-After Pill, and every chemical contraceptive pill or device, such as the IUD, Depo-Provera, the Pill, etc. With these medical breakthroughs (not advances!) the line is now being blurred between abortion and contraception.

While the abortifacient factor makes chemical contraception “more wrong,” over stressing the abortifacient factor of contraception fails to address the fundamental reasons why contraception is a grave moral evil. The use of any device or chemical in order to prevent pregnancy attacks the act of conjugal love between husband and wife. It almost sounds like pro-life organizations finally will proclaim their disgust at contraception now that it promotes the anti-abortion agenda. Teaching against abortion promotes the anti-abortion agenda in a deeper and more profound way because it promotes a full understanding of human sexuality in light of the Divine Plan.

A clear, concise explanation of the Church’s position on contraception can be read in this letter to the editor in the Charlotte Observer. “Love does not seek its own self-interests. It is about giving of one’s self to another. This is the essence of marriage, and of the sexual relationship between husband and wife.”

Monday, May 23, 2005

Grave reasons

I’ve discovered that a clever way to write these posts is to take the “day’s best” from my various e mails at work and post them for all to see… So, the next few days will be a mix of random topics.

A question today comes from a father of 15 children (11 living and 4 miscarried). The Church teaches that preventing or achieving conception ought only be done by Natural Family Planning and must be done for “serious reasons.” Dr. Janet E. Smith is an expert in the area of Catholic sexual ethics and has written extensively on this topic.

The understanding of the word “serious” in this context has created much misunderstanding among the Faithful who wish to follow the Church’s teachings and recommendations in the procreation of children. Some wrongly think that a serious reason can be a stubborn desire to not want children or to buy a fancier car, while others wrongly think that a reason must be as serious as severe illness of the mother or famine in the country.

In her essay “The Moral Use of NFP” first published in “Why Humanae Vitae was Right,” she states the following:

Some Christians believe that in having children they are bringing forth new souls to share an eternity with God, some think that spouses must have children and have as many children as they can care for, since by not having children they would be denying souls the opportunity to come into existence. This view seems to be based on the false view that souls preexist and are, in a sense, awaiting a landing place. But souls do not preexist an act of sexual intercourse, nor is the act of sexual intercourse at a fertile time sufficient to bring forth new life that comes into existence and is thus the immediate source for that new soul coming into existence. Sexual intercourse provides God an opportunity to do his creative work.

These words sum up the not only the Church’s teaching on prudence and the use of our God-given intellect and will, but also explain in a profound way the impact that the contraceptive mentality has had even on faithful Catholics.

More to come on this later. What do you think?


Many of Dr. Smith’s essays are available here.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Societal Suicide

Proposed legislation in California called the California Compassionate Choices Act has been a target for active protesting on the part of anti-euthanasia activists. This legislation is mirrored after Oregon’s “Death with Dignity Act” under which over 200 persons have died (read: have been killed) during the past 8 years.

Here is some text from the bill for your reflection: “[The California Compassionate Choices Act] would authorize an adult who meets certain qualifications, and who has been determined by his or her attending physician to be suffering from a terminal disease, as defined, to make a request for medication for the purpose of ending his or her life in a humane and dignified manner.”

This legislation would encourage the terminally ill by means of empowerment, not requirement, to seek a lethal dose of medication. Eliminating one’s life would become the means by which a terminally ill person would eliminate the pain of illness.

The Catholic Church warns against such legislation that makes a false attempt at creating a right to end ones own life under the spell of moral relativism. Of course, those who hate the Church think honest Christians and Catholics are opposed to such legislation “because the Church said so.” We trust the Church and understand that she has reasons why she says so, and it is the “why” that matters.

A great article about today’s protests at Assemblywoman Patty Berg's office outline very nicely real threats to society that accompany such bizarre legislation.

Just as with the abortion issue, not only is the killing (or causing/ allowing the death) of a person wrong in itself, a society that condones such behavior is committing suicide themselves. Nazi Germany, World War II and the Nuremburg trials are clear evidence.

“Those who refuse to learn from history are bound to repeat it…”

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I’ll load the gun; you shoot

Those who have endured the death of a parent, grandparent or other loved one experience a profound feeling of loss. People grieve in different ways, and for me the death of a loved one becomes a time of deep though and reflection. Though I did not know her personally, such as been the case with the recent death of Terri Schiavo. My thoughts are of her family and polar difference between the reactions of Michael Schiavo compared with Mr. and Mrs. Schindler and Terri’s siblings.

Grief work consists of feelings of loneliness, sadness, prayer and tears. This is our human reaction to a tragedy. Death, though a profound bridge between this life and eternal life, is often a tragedy for loved ones left behind. Funerals, counseling, family time and other activities help the grieving person to cope with their loss.

Though largely ignored, grief work is an important part of healing after abortion. Women and men who have an abortion in their past often endure months or years of feelings of loss and incompleteness, not knowing their loss is due to their participation in the death of a fellow human being. They do not know how to properly grieve, nor that they should grieve.

Neither the pro-life movement nor the pro-choice movement knew in the 1960s and early 1970s that abortion would produce long-term psychological and emotional effects on the women and men who sought this path after news of an unexpected pregnancy. Now, programs such as Rachel’s Vineyard and institutes such as the Elliot Institute have extensive research and programs to study the after-effects of abortion.

So… my question is… in 30 years, where will the Michael Schiavo’s of our world be? Will he have realized in a profound way the abuse he perpetuated against Terri Schaivo? How will he express his sorrow and grief? How will his heart be healed?

I welcome your thoughts and comments.