Wednesday, May 31, 2006

CULTURAL CHANGE
Advocates against abortion or against condom-based sex education are often told that it is fruitless to try to get teenagers not to have sex. And since they are going to have sex anyway, they should be provided with condoms and have access to abortion so that this sex is not catastrophic.

But thinking back, my first weeks at a top-20 university and several training courses at mt jobs have been attempts to indoctinate me into the wonders of diversity, that I should accept homosexuality, and that any man who derived pleasure from seeing an attractive woman is guilty of creating en environment of rape.

In other words, it's apparent that these people think indoctrination works. And isn't bigotry a deeply ingrained characteristic?

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

OK, ONE MORE POINT
And this is for the, "We want bishops who will lead us, not tell us how wonderful we are!" crowd.

As things stand right now, whenever a bishop takes any action whatsoever, he is attacked by the political side he is not acting for. So, if a bishop condemns a death sentence, or speaks out against the war, he is confronted with questions about why his statement doesn't mention the unborn or the threat of same sex marriage. If he speaks out against abortion or same sex marriage, he is asked why he doesn't speak out equally vociferously against the war or capital punishment.

So we end up with leaders who speak up as little as they think they can get away with. Yes, the bishops should be willing to face criticisms to speak the truth. But it's human nature not to engage in activities that are going to get you whacked in the head.

I can't help but wonder if those who "want their bishops to lead" would get what they want if they would just shut up and go along with the bishops, even if they think what the bishop is pushing on might not be the highest current priority.

Part of what got my thinking about this was this post. I'm sure Archbishop Hunthausen would be in the "bad" column for most "orthodox" Catholics. But there he was, witnessing in a hostile environment on behalf of the unborn.

The differences many of us have with the bishops are one of degree, rather than on first principles. It's not like we have bishops out there campaigning for pro-choice legislation or promoting abortionists. It's questions like whether pro-choice politicians should be denied communion, or who are appropriate speakers at Church events.

We can disagree on these issues, but if we fight over these issues to the point where we don't have the energy or will to confront the larger culture with which we have more pressing differences, then what good are we doing?

I am not saying we should let it slide if a bishop promotes something explicitly contrary to the faith. But if our objection is one of the bishop pressing one issue instead of our favorite issue, maybe we could let it slide. These guys are on our side, and can provide a courageous witness, if we don't beat that ability out of them first.
MORTAL COMMENT
I will only make this comment on the whole Diocese of Orange / kneeling thing.

A lot of the commentators have made the assertion that this is the first time the concept of "mortal sin" has been mentioned in this Dioces of Orange in several decades.

Are these commentators experts on the state of catechesis in the Diocese of Orange? Or are they reaching this conclusion because the bishop is pushing something on the "liberal" side of the political ledger.

Kind of like when people say pro-lifers don't care about the living....

Sunday, May 28, 2006

YOU HAVE YOUR FUN, I'LL HAVE MINE
Scott Adams has been having some fun on his bog recently with the idea that religious believers are irrational and stupid and should be shown that.

Fine -- Adams can tell himself he's so much smarter and rational than me. Go ahead. Enjoy.

But then, I get to see something like this -- four men dedicating their lives to bringing people closer to God, including one man I've had the pleasure of meeting along the way and who baptized my daughter last year. And I got to share that with about a thousand other people.

Somehow, I think the joy I experienced this weekend is greater than the joy Adams derives from thinking he's so much smarter than me.

So, he can enjoy his flights of fantasy about eradicating religion. As for me and my house...

Friday, May 26, 2006

IVERSON OVERRATED
Malcolm Gladwell reviews a book that concludes that players like Allen Iverson are overrated. It includes this:

We see Allen Iverson, over and over again, charge toward the basket, twisting and turning and writhing through a thicket of arms and legs of much taller and heavier men—and all we learn is to appreciate twisting and turning and writhing. We become dance critics, blind to Iverson’s dismal shooting percentage and his excessive turnovers, blind to the reality that the Philadelphia 76ers would be better off without him.

I would amend that and propose that, say, the Detroit Pistons are better off without and Allen Iverson who plays like he does on th Sixers.

I have not read the book, but it seems to place a high value on scoring efficiency; i.e. a high shooting percentage.

But the reality is that in order to score, somebody has to shoot before 24 seconds elapse. So to say that the Sixers would be better off without Iverson, it's not sufficient to say that he scores his points in an inefficient manner. You must also demonstrate that the shots Iverson takes and misses are inferior options to the alternatives. An what alternatives have the Sixers had?

I agree that a team with an offense built arouns 2005-6 version of Allen Iverson is not a contending team. But how much of Iverson's play is determined by his environment. If you put Iverson on the Pistons or Spurs or Mavericks, would he take as many shots and commit as many turnovers? I tend to think not.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

65 Roses
My one year old daughter, Meagan Rose, has cystic fibrosis. My wife has organized "Meagan's 65 Roses" for the upcoming Great Strides walk. If you'd like to support us, please follow this link

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

WHO WE ARE
Mirror of Justice carries a Commonweal piece about adoption by same sex couples that includes a lot of what is wrong with today's thinking.

Similarly, gay couples, having staked everything on love in a world that is often hostile toward them, let alone tolerant, are better suited than most to the challenges of caring for children who need unconditional acceptance. If, having risked being ostracized and rejected by the community they-like anyone else-desire to be a part of, they are still willing to offer their lives and their hearts as a haven for children in the most desperate need of protection and unconditional acceptance, who on earth are we to say they are unworthy?

Well, we're the Church founded by Christ Himself, carried forward from apostolic succession, that's who. We are the Body of Christ on earth, that's who. We are an institution that has cared for countless orphansober the past two thousand years, that's who. We're the Catholic Church.

I have no doubt that same sex couples have withstood challenges. But to say that trumps the unbroken 2000 year teaching that a child has a right to be raised by a mother and father is quite silly.

Beyond, that this logic is quite faulty. If we were to apply it, we would think that children who had had an alocoholic parent or who had been sexually abused would make the best parents for those who had experienced similar difficulties. I think our experience has shown that this is not the case.

Experience matters, but not more than the wisdom of our Mother Church.
Hmmmm
This article, which catologues public demonstrations but manages to carefully avoid pro-life marches got me thinking....

What if we organized pro-life people to not show to work each January 23? And not just held a march in Washington, but larger prayer vigils throughout the country. (Yes, I'm sure these already exist, but likely not on this scale). I think people perceive that in order to participate in the preo-life march they must be able to travel to Washington. But what if they just gathered in local churches that day?

I think it would deomonstrate that there are pro-life people in all walks of life, not just fringes, and they're not all preo-business Republicans.