Saturday, March 28, 2009

Clear Creek

I found this (the link in the title takes you to a story) online today, while looking for some scholarly discussion of connaturality. Unfortunately, such discussions are not frequent or easy to find in the general public mass of information which is the internet. Anyway, that is another post, another discussion. Come to think of it, that's probably two or more discussions. Sitientes, venite as aquas, dixit Dominus.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

PRI Reports

Obama Turns Back The Clock

by Colin Mason

At a time when highly significant—even historic—breakthroughs in adult stem cell research have become almost daily occurrences and almost to the point of being mundane, President Obama has chosen to turn back the clock, and starting today, will force taxpayers to subsidize the unethical over the ethical, the unworkable over what works, and hype and hyperbole over hope.

Human embryo destroying stem cell research is not only unethical, unworkable, and unreliable, it is now demonstrably unnecessary.

--Congressman Christopher Smith (R-NJ), March 9, 2009

This speech, at which were present so-called “snowflake babies” (former frozen embryos, implanted and carried to term), was made in response to President Obama’s March 9th executive order, which sweepingly legalized embryonic stem-cell research in an attempt to remove “limitations on scientific inquiry.”

“Rather than furthering discovery,” said Obama in his March 9th statement immediately preceding the signing of the order, “our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values. In this case, I believe the two are not inconsistent. As a person of faith, I believe we are called to care for each other and work to ease human suffering.”

While most pro-lifers are vigorously opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, many have difficulty defending their stance because of supposed medical advances which the research has made possible. Many would be surprised to learn that any and all medical breakthroughs made regarding stem cells have been made without using embryos. Work with these cells has produced promising research and may lead to dramatic cures of all manner of diseases. As Michaela Kingston writes, in an article entitled “Pardon Me, Your Ideology is Showing”:

ESCs may have the potential to cure many diseases. But after ten years and billions of dollars, they still have not realised their potential. In the meantime, stem cells isolated from adults have proven to be quite effective in relieving human suffering. Even better, if you’re on the ESC bandwagon, are "induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells", which behave almost exactly like ESCs but do not involve embryo destruction. These iPS cells do not involve costly embryo manipulation and can be made from a patient’s own cells, avoiding immune rejection.

So, in other words, Obama has not only signed off on a procedure which would be morally unacceptable no matter what its scientific advantages, he has done so in the face of all medical and scientific evidence. In addition to this, Obama also rescinded Bush’s Executive Order 13435, which poured funding into research involving adult stem cells. In short, Obama has effectively worked to kill adult stem cell research (i.e., the only stem cell research that has produced results) to pour money into a dead-end, highly controversial research instead.

The president’s supposed desire to “work to ease human suffering” rings hollow when it is clear that the procedures he espouses have proven scientifically fruitless. In addition to this, morally concerned scientists have not only identified the moral hazard, but they have even offered a workable solution.

But it is to no avail.

Obama’s ideological bone-tossing apparently extends to forced abortion, as well. The FY2009 Omnibus Bill, signed into law by the president on March 11th, contains a loophole that allows funding to go the UNFPA, regardless of whether or not they are involved in forced abortion or sterilization. The Reagan-era Kemp-Kasten amendment, clearly dictates that American tax dollars cannot be used to fund coercive abortion or sterilization overseas. Even when House pro-lifers proposed an amendment that would essentially force the UNFPA to be regulated under Kemp-Kasten like everyone else, it was overturned.

The message that this sends is very clear: Obama wants his programs funded, regardless of the costs. He is perfectly willing to cut a swathe through both legal and moral concerns to achieve this goal. However, not only is he willing to cast aside concerns, he is even willing to disregard the basic cold logic of the matter, the logic upon which delicate, bi-partisan agreements are made.

This logic dictates that, while we may not agree on abortion, we agree that women should never be forced to have abortions; that, shelving the moral controversies, embryonic stem cell research is a sterile science and should be abandoned in favor of more productive investigations. This logic dictates that Americans are split on the subject of abortion, and it is thus irresponsible to use their tax dollars equally to fund something that so many of them find morally repugnant.

In the words of Kingston, far from promoting “responsiblility,” Obama has only paved the way for “pressure on scientists from media hype, special interest groups, lobbyists and a poorly informed but well-meaning public to pursue dead-end research.”

Simply speaking, Obama really is willing to turn back the clock—to turn it back to a time when the people had little say in government, and when government took little interest in the scientific or moral conundrums placed before it.

God save us from “change” like this.

Colin Mason is the Director of Media Production at PRI.

Interview with Archbishop Burke has a transcript of an interview between Randall Terry and Archbishop Raymond Burke. I found it very clear and to the point. Read away.


Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Joseph

I rather wish that I could find the time to post more regularly. I seem to get bogged down in the day-to-day actions of my life. I wonder if anyone else struggles with this....
For today, I wanted to say something about St. Joseph. While he is not a patron of mine, I wish to grow my devotion to him. I know he has aided me in the past, but I am lazy in my devotions, so my prayers to the Foster Father of Christ are sporadic, at best.
One thing that really came to my attention not so very long ago was something that in turn shed a great light on St. Joseph. I have been teaching many children of different ages, and interacting regularly with many others. What struck me then, and strikes me now, is how much they model themselves, consciously or not, upon their parents. Especially as children, but even as grown adults, children are the mirror of their parents, in many ways. I suppose this might not be the case in unhealthy families, but I am blessed to work with children from families that live their Faith. The point in all this is that if St. Joseph was the Foster Father of Our Lord, then it was from St. Joseph that Our Lord learned to be a man, a human (in His human nature, anyway). To know Our Lord is to know the man who formed Him, to whom He was subject. St. Joseph, the just man, was chosen by God as the best man to form the Son of God. That is no little privilege, and only a really and truly great man, whose image (human) we see in his Foster-Son. Sancte Joseph, Ora pro nobis!


O Glorious Descendant of the kings of Judah, Inheritor of the virtues of all the patriarchs. Just and happy St. Joseph, listen to our prayer. Thou art our glorious protector, and shall ever be, after Jesus and Mary the object of our most profound veneration and tender confidence. Thou art a hidden saint, one of the greatest of saints, and art particularly the patron of interior souls. In union with all those who have ever been most devoted to thee we now dedicate ourselves to thy service; beseeching thee, for the sake of Jesus Christ, who vouchsafed to love and obey thee as a son, to become a father to us; and to obtain for us the filial respect, confidence and love of children towards thee.

O powerful advocate of all Christians, whose intercession, as St. Theresa assures us, has never been found to fail, deign to intercede for us now, and to implore for us the particular intentions of this Novena.

(Mention your intentions here)

[Recite one Our Father, one Hail Mary, and one Glory Be.]

Present us, O great Saint, to the adorable Trinity, with Whom thou hast so glorious and so intimate a correspondence. Obtain that we may never efface by sin the Sacred Image, according to the likeness of which we were created. Beg for us that Our Divine Redeemer would enkindle in our hearts and in all hearts, the fire of His Love, and infuse therein the virtues of His adorable infancy, His purity, simplicity, obedience, and humility.

Obtain for us likewise a lively devotion to thy virgin spouse, and protect us so powerfully in life and death, that we may have the happiness of dying as thou didst, in the friendship of our Creator, and in the immediate protection of the Mother of God. Amen.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

A Look at the Public School System

I stumbled across this video today. I knew that public school education was bad, but as bad as I thought it, it did not compare with what I saw here. The good news is that at this School (Locke High School in Watts, CA), people rebelled, and began to reform the school. More efforts like this, and the minds of our children will have an opportunity to reopen.


Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Interview with Archbishop Chaput

Lifesite News has a transcript of a conversation with Archbishop Chaput of Denver. He has some excellent things to say, and clearly has good thoughts about the current state of affairs in the Church. It is perhaps surprising how grim his outlook on the situation is, at least practically speaking.