Friday, March 30, 2012

Women in Video Games

And now for something completely different.

Catholic Gamer (a site referred to me by JC Saunders) writes about women in video games and geek culture in general.  I like her perspective on the situation and I think a sane voice in gaming culture is a welcome sight.

Her post got me thinking about an article I read in Game Informer about the challenges from both a tech perspective as well as the more obvious issues with political correctness and whatnot.  To put it simply, adding women into video games and making it believable is quite difficult.

One of the main issues with having women in video games is that the medium isn't exactly a place for nuance.  Oftentimes the story is simply a backdrop for adding context to the tasks to be performed.  For games like Role-Playing games the emphasis shifts to more developed characters, but even then the focus on a good game is what the player actually does.

Another obvious issue is how do game developers represent women in a way that will both appeal to women and men, while still maintaining a traditional focus on game goals.  If the woman is too butch, she runs the risk of being unattractive.  If she is too frail, she doesn't make a good heroine for traditional game goals.  If she is sexy, ultra-strong, etc. she runs the risk of being labeled a male fantasy.  With this in mind it is entirely understandable why game developers would say "screw it" and make a traditional male-centered game.  This last point is especially relevant to AAA developers trying to reach the largest segment of the market, which is (drum roll please) men.

Finally I will, not without some risk, point out from a purely male perspective, that to a man in general the female perspective makes no sense.  We don't get you.  Sorry.  Your goals often make no sense to us, and when they do they are achieved in a fashion that is unfathomable to us.  We can't read the blueprint.  And once we think we have cracked the code the rules change on us.  This is especially true of our perception of the modern woman, who seems to want to be both man and women.  

Speaking as a nerd male I think there is a lot of enthusiasm among my fellow nerd males for nerd women to be more involved in the gaming culture.  But as it stands a great deal of communication must take place before that occurs.  And there are going to be great growing pains in the process.  For myself, I don't see it happening in the near future.  As video games become more mainstream, more criticism is going to be levied against honest efforts to portray women.  This is a bad thing.

For the nerd women, I have a piece of advice.  Please start talking about how a woman should be portrayed in video games.  We got the picture of what is wrong (sort of).  What positive things would you differently?  How can women be developed as characters more appropriately in video games?  And finally with any suggestion ask yourself, does this make sense in a video game context?

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ah memories

Good and Evil: Analysis

My offering for IGNITUM TODAY.

Update:  Thanks to New Advent for linking to my post.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It's IGNITUM Wednesday again!

So as usual my regular Wednesday post is pushed to Thursday with a link to IGNITUM TODAY.

In short, no post today.  We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you.

The Management

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

One of the curious things

about the Obama admin is how it wades into things that arguably has no business in and only proceeds to polarize the country.

One of the comments to me explains it best:
It's the natural reaction of somebody in over his head. Every bad boss I ever had micro-managed everybody else's work because they didn't know what they were doing. The feelings of anxiety and despair at not knowing what to do are alleviated by the illusion of control that focus on some trivial matter provides.
This isn't particular to the Obama Admin.  But this administration seems to have a particularly acute case of it.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Broken Families - Broken Lives

One can simply look around and see the mistrust in institutions today.  From religion to academics to politics, the institutions that formed the bedrock of the Great Experiment are now treated with scorn and contempt.  The only arbiter of truth is the individual, and even truth itself is subject to the whims of such.

To me the crisis of the family lies at the heart of the loss of religious and civic identity today.  The collapse of the family as an institution in the West is responsible for the widespread mistrust of those institutions that are necessary for the Republic to continue.

The family is the most basic unit of society.  And through the family the children learn about the basics of duty.  Duty to one's parents.  Duty to one's siblings.  They learn that life points to something outside themselves, and it is both normal and healthy to turn one's attention outward toward others rather than inward on themselves.

The family is an institution of the most intimate sort.  The institution which forms the view of a child at their most vulnerable stage.  It is the rock on which a child's sense of love and the importance of the practice of virtue is taught in the most intimate of ways.

Our culture has all but shattered this institution.  It has become the plaything of our worst desires.  Its dignity reduced to a mere contract, which can be terminated at any time for any reason.  It is no longer the expression of love. And the product of that love, children, are at best a burden and at worst a disease.  The institution is turned inward rather than outward.

To me then it is no surprise then that trust in other institutions is at an all time low.  Churches, government, media, and schools all have suffered from a lack of trust (a lot of it deserved).  The bond between citizen and government is broken, between student and teacher, between pastor and layman.  Without the foundation of trust in the most intimate of institutions the ability to form a bond with other institutions is greatly compromised.

Because of this lack of trust it naturally follows we as a society are less religious, less educated, less civic minded, and less sacrificial.  The discourse of such issues is not one of the exchange of ideas but of wounded people venting rage at one another.  And the cohesiveness that is needed for a society to survive is nonexistent.

As a people we need to relearn what true marriage and what true family is.  Until we recover the fundamental understanding of this most basic institution, we will continue to find ourselves at the mercy of our wounded nature.  And we will only continue to lash out at each other.

In order to heal these wounds, we must turn to God.  But that is a subject of another post.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Words mean things

When I used to listen to Rush Limbaugh, there was one phrase he often used when calling out the lies of President Clinton.  "Words mean things."  It was a critique of the method of warping words to suit one's purposes while attempting to retain the original feeling of the words.  Such as using the word "accommodation" while the action itself is simply one side imposing one's will on another.

We see this all the time in modern discourse.  Torture becomes "enhanced interrogation".  Abortion is "choice."  The warping of these words is used to disguise the actual actions being performed.  By dressing up evil using neutral language, the nature of the action itself is softened when it is communicated to us, and therefore becomes more acceptable.

The problem with such a strategy is that it corrupts the process of communication.  As stated, "words mean things" and to misuse the words corrupts their meaning.  When we misappropriate words to attempt to redefine an action, we corrupt our ability to communicate effectively.

A personal example.  When I first heard of the notion of "worker's rights" was in the context of Communism and the "revolution of the proletariat."  So imagine my surprise (and ignorant horror) to find that Catholic Social Doctrine has such a concept of "worker's rights."  The Communist revolution used a valid concept to launch their bloody wars.  This in turn prevented me from recognizing a real truth, and for years I held this notion that Catholic Social Doctrine was "Communism-lite."

Perhaps the most obvious abuse of a word today is "bigotry."  There was a joke around the late '50s where it was said "when someone said 'Mr. So-and-So a fascist', he meant 'I don't like Mr. So-and-So'".  I feel today that such tactics are used with the word "bigot".

The word bigot has morphed from "an ignorant hatred of a class of individuals" to "someone who thinks homosexual acts are sinful."  The attempt on the part of the pro-gay movement to silence the critics fundamentally warps the word itself.  And sadly they have had great success in this.

But the thing about warping words is that it eventually backfires.  The word bigot is now so overused it has lost its original meaning, and with it the force of the charge.  Thus legitimate bigots, such as white-supremacists, will find themselves no longer hampered by the term 'bigot'.

By overusing words and ripping them bleeding from their original definitions, the word loses its meaning.  It simply becomes a name, and conversation quickly dissipates in the face of such ignorance and dishonest tactics.

We as Christians must do our part to adhere to objective truth.  This includes words.  As our Lord says, "Let your yes be yes and no, no".  To do anything less is to obscure our meaning at best and at worst deceive our listeners.  

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


As things have appeared to quiet down I have lifted the moderation of the comments.  I hope I will not have to change the settings again.  Behave yourselves and this shall not come to pass.

The Management

Why no outrage?

It's because the offender is not a Catholic Priest.

Hopefully it will start to dawn on us that sexual abuse is a human problem, not a stick to beat the Church with.  And we ignore that distinction at our children's peril.

About that Dutch Church Castration story

GetReligion with the needed corrections to the record.

H/T Mark Shea

Why asking for forgiveness

is important.

Prayer Request

The Pocta family has been through quite a harrowing experience and could you your prayers.  Best read in their own words.

Implied assumptions

One of the dangers in argumentation is the notion of the implied assumption.  A premise that is not only undefended but is not even stated, but nevertheless is asserted by way of implication.  This is often tricky to see because the one asserting it is oftentimes not realizing that such an implication is taking place.

In a recent discussion on this blog a commenter asserted the following:
 I've said that I don't think the HHS mandate is a violation of conscience after the compromise; but I agree with you that violations of conscience are bad, and we should work to stop them. 
Given that the commenter had no desire to defend this point, it would have been fine to drop it.  Except he then continues:
My whole argument has taken place on a different plane: even if it's a real case of persecution, it seems to me that the bishops are after a bigger goal than religious freedom, and it seems to me that it's wrong to use the persecution-claim as a way to further that goal. 
This second comment has two unstated assumptions.  What the goal is.  And how such a claim is being used to further that goal.  If the claim were true, then the persecution claim is valid, and should be worked against to stop it (per first comment).  Thus it is perfectly valid for the bishops to voice their objection to the persecution.  Now one might argue that the claim is being used to further some unstated goal, but this lacks any real evidence either in terms of what that goal is or how it is to be achieved.

This in turn implies that the bishops are falsely claiming that persecution is taking place.  This comment is a backdoor attempt to make the implied notion that the persecution claim is false by attacking the credibility of the bishops.  If the bishops are cynically manipulating the persecution "claim" to further some ultimate goal, then the claim can be dismissed by virtue of who is making it, the evil bishops.

What this comment does is little more than participate in the Know-Nothing-ism that is all too apparent today.  It has all the earmarks of a Dan Brown novel, complete with shadow conspiracies and ignorance of actual Catholic teaching.  The only thing that distinguishes it is the fact that it is far less entertaining.

The lesson to take away from this is that the insinuations made are assumptions that ultimately beg the question. And by attempting to frame the issue away from the initial claim (that the persecution claim is false) to the question of the bishops integrity, it attempts to smuggle in the statement "the persecution claim is false" through the back door.

This is an analysis of the argument, not of the commenter.  I do not claim what the commenter actually thinks about the bishops or where he got the argument from.  But the analysis of the argument leads us to conclude that the argument itself is dishonest, even if the arguer is attempting to be honest.

One of the best ways to avoid the type of fallacy is to cultivate an attitude of charity.  If the commenter had refrained from attempting to malign the bishops credibility the argument would not suffer as a result of it.  Instead, by placing the weight of the argument on the unsubstantiated attack against the bishops, the whole argument collapses under its weight.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wikipedia Paradox

Wikipedia Paradox – On Wikipedia, you should trust what you normally expect to be wrong, or, scientifically stated, the presumable veracity of any Wikipedia article is inversely proportional to the familiarity of the topic to the general public.  This is due to the fact that obscure articles, by escaping the interest of the dubious know-it-all misinformers of wiki media, and gaining the interest only of those who devote their lives to such topics, are likely to be true. 

H/T Truth and Charity

LGBT movement is anti-modern

Ben Stevens argues at First Things.

When you reject truth

sentimentalism replaces thinking.

Monday, March 19, 2012

A day in the life

So how's Lent working out for you?  I think I've failed just about every promise up to this point.  From curbing my video game time (total failure) to new purchases of such (mostly successful) to Facebook fasting (I only checked notifications, I swear) this Lent has been particularly bad.

My best excuse is allergies.  And oh boy have they been terrible.  It was a mild winter here in Texas and so plant life is, er, "vibrant."  Ended up leaving work early on Thursday and just have been sleepwalking last two weeks.  And since my brain is the first thing to go when allergies hit the only thing I can seem to do is play video games.  Which means my wife is right, video games don't require any brain power.

In the win column, I've managed to not buy Mass Effect 3, and that has been torture.  I've been winning that battle thus far.  I did download some content for its prequel, but I missed that before I hunkered down for the "drought" of Lent so I figured that didn't count (stupid conscience, it doesn't count, now shut up).

I also attempted to start doing the Office of the Readings for the Liturgy of the Hours.  This started out well but collapsed in week 3.  Clearly there needs to be a correction.

Lent is not just about giving up something, but confronting the things that keep us from God.  This Lent in particular has revealed:
  • I need serious work in my life
  • I am way too weak to do the work
  • God needs to do the heavy lifting
But that is what Lent is for.  This time of penitence is not just to do the usual "giving up something."  The Church calls us to take a hard look at the things that keep us from God.  The things that rule us rather than the other way around.  Lent is a time for re-conversion.

At Easter, those who have been going through the RICA process will be received into the Church.  They have gone through their own conversion process. As the community, we go through our own conversion again as we try to draw closer to Him before Easter.

Conversion is a full contact sport. If you don't feel bruised, beaten, and a little frustrated with yourself, maybe you aren't doing it right.  Jacob wrestled with God.  But in conversion we wrestle with ourselves and our nature as we try to reform our will to His will.  It's a lifetime journey.  Lent is simply "Hell week" for 40 days of intensive training.  It's ultimately good for you.

And now back to work, as I do my best to avoid Mass Effect 3 articles.  Happy Lent!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Catholic Vote

files lawsuit.  Resist the Tyrant!

How not to argue from Scripture

Reflecting on another issue with the commenter in the last section is the notion of harmony in Scripture.  The main objection to my post about persecution and the HHS mandate stems in theory from the notion that combating the administration via political means runs contra to the words of our Lord when He says to "turn the other cheek."

Scripture is to be taken as a whole.  Our interpretations and reading must not only be done in the light of Sacred Tradition, but even in cases where there is genuine ambiguity the interpretation must be consistent with the whole of the text.

The problem lies once again not with the particular claim but the demonstration of such.  And in this case the onus lay with the accuser to prove that the notion of "turn the other cheek" prohibits the use of political force in this matter.  And in order for this to hold, this interpretation must resonate with the other passages of Scripture in which the political and religious intersect.

For a defense the commenter does something unconscionable, he inserts words into Scripture to make his point:
You have heard it said, beat (hate) your enemy or get even with your enemy (eye for an eye); I say don't resist, let the enemy "win" (take your cloak, go the second mile, etc.)
 Not since Martin Luther wrecked Romans have I encountered anyone so brazen as to attempt to pound a meaning into a text that does not belong.  That such an action occurred should alone be sufficient to demonstrate the weakness of the interpretation.

While such an observation alone is enough to defeat the defense we can go one step further.  No person in the Bible used political means to proclaim the Gospel than St. Paul.  For example, Paul allowed himself at one point to be beaten and jailed, only to be revealed later that he was a Roman citizen.  This put the guard in a awkward position, since jailing a Roman citizen without trial is punishable by death.

This is but one example of how Paul furthered his ministry (and kept himself alive) by using the political means at his disposal.  Clearly the political, far from being off limits when it comes to spreading the Faith, are simply tools to wield provided they are done so in a moral manner.  Thus the Christian is perfectly free to use political means to help shape society in conformance to the will of God.

There is much more to say on all the topics here.  But suffice it to say that if you intend to prove from Scripture a particular truth, you'd best be prepared to not only defend the interpretation, but be able to harmonize it with the rest of Scripture.  It's all truth.  Not just some of it.  And we ignore the rest at our peril.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

New York Times editors are

a bunch of cowards.  Run an attack ad against Catholics who won't fight back?  Sure.  Run an anti-Islamic ad with basically same wording?  Fear.

Not that I support running either ad.  But the spinelessness of the Times only demonstrates that secularism is ultimately a coward's view.

Update: Mark Shea at the Register makes the same connection.

Compromise - soviet style

via CatholicVote.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Democrazy has

the best line I've heard today on his post:

On a related note, Obama’s approval rating since February to now has dropped 4 percentage points among men and 12 among women. Either the women of America are really, really into gasoline, way more than men, or there’s another explanation for the drop in Obama’s approval ratings . . . perhaps something related specifically to women, like women’s health? 

The Bishops speak

read it here.

When PC stupidity meets the real world

by Theodore Dalrymple


One of the more entertaining notions I encountered on this blog was the accusation of being incorrigible.  That I cannot be allowed to be corrected.  What the accuser failed to realize is not that I am unwilling to be corrected (being a Catholic this is a requirement) but that the correction must actually be correct and defended.

The exchange went like this:
Joachim: The one example that comes to mind, though, is that what was held to be a heretical position on church power in the 14th century (that the church didn't have jurisdiction over temporal or 'secular' affairs, but left that to secular governemnt) is the official position at least since Vatican II.
My reply:
Regarding this, the Church has always taught two things:
*There is a distinction between the temporal and religious authority. 
*The temporal is subject to the religious authority.
This only makes sense as the law must conform to morality rather than the other way around. All laws in some sense reflect a moral viewpoint(or at least seek to establish order). 
You're incorrigible! In the literal sense: you won't allow yourself ever to be corrected. I repeat: that makes a bad conversation partner.
I don't know what to say to your response about ecclesial power, which completely avoids my point. The position in the 14th century was that the church, and specifically the Pope, had the power and jurisdiction to intervene in civil matters. 

Now notice the first part where not only am I insulted but accuser misses the point of my reply.  The spiritual authority is above the temporal, and as such is capable of ruling in temporal affairs.  This is why the Church can speak out against things like the Iraq war for example, which typically the legitimacy of a just war is up to the discretion of the secular authorities.  Thus the principle of the Church ruling in secular matters is preserved.

My accuser takes as a matter of fact that I am wrong, which is not the issue.  But in order to be corrected my accuser must in fact attempt to demonstrate that I am wrong.  Simply stating it is not enough.  And missing the point of a reply doesn't help matters.  And an insult simply demonstrates the emptiness of the objection.

Ultimately I suspect that the problem was that the commenter misunderstands the nature of ecclesiastical power as understood by the Church.  But rather than be corrected the commenter assumed that my argument missed the mark.  And given that no reply was made after I explained this, I suspect the problem is not on my end.

But I'm open to correction on the matter.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hitler wasn't evil

he was just ahead of his time.

God help us.

H/T The Anchoress

Mark Shea writes

about how American Catholics tend to view the world through very narrow lens.  And why that view doesn't reflect reality.

Charismatic personalities and pitfalls

With the fall of popular heavyweights such as Fr. Marciel of Legion of Christ fame and Fr. Corapi the question of how charismatic people who are either con artists or simply weak can fool people for so long.  It seems even after the fact that the scandal hits people seems willing to believe anything the person in question says.  

Having been the victim of such a charismatic personality who subsequently was revealed to be a fraud I can attest to how this comes about to some degree.  This entry will not name names but I will simply write my understanding of how this phenomenon occurs.

The charismatic personality is just that.  Usually charming, polite, and quite admirable, the charismatic person is someone you want to like.  They say the right things, seem to have the proper attitudes, etc.  They hit all the right notes, and are able to put on an air of sophistication and virtue.

When a charismatic person is doing something wrong, the deception is always two parts deception on the part of the charismatic and one part willingness to be deceived on the part of the victim.  As the saying goes, it takes two to tango.

The victim at first will not hear of any criticism.  The critics are "simply out to get this wonderful person."  They are misinformed at best and at worst enemies of the truth.  The charismatic person is pure, virtuous, even special.

But the rumors keep circulating.  And the charismatic begins to act in stranger fashions.  Things that were at first open to interpretation quickly become less ambiguous.  Finally events happen that call into question the charismatic.  

Now this is where the victim must make a choice.  Having already made excuses over and over again for the charismatic even as the evidence mounts, the pattern of making excuses is deeply ingrained, almost to the point of defying reason.  Pride too enters the picture.  The victim can't admit to themselves that they have been deceived, and for so long.  

The victim must either embrace reality or continue the charade.  Either out of fear of loss of friendship or an unwillingness to admit to being deceived (or a combination of both) many will continue with the false narrative.  This is why even those charismatic personalities that are colossal liars and scoundrels still maintain a following long after the truth is revealed.

Sadly, far too many close ranks around the charismatic and vilify the ones who speak out about the truth are traitors.  Friendships are shattered (if they existed at all and were not just a ploy).  

Charisma is a gift of God.  But like all gifts they can be used for good or evil.  Charisma has the unique status of being able to uplift or ruin so many lives.  Which is why we must always be on guard, that our own pride is not invested in our perceptions of others.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Pat Archbold

sums up how I and many others feel about this moment in the history of the Church.

(H/T New Advent)

It's the little things

One of the things that puzzled me about older practices of the Sacrament of Reconciliation is the confession of venial sins.  The reason for this is that it seemed so unnecessary.  Venial sins are remitted via the reception of the Eucharist.  So why would anyone waste time on such a thing?

I'm not sure when it occurred to me but I began to realize that the "habit" of receiving the sacrament of Reconciliation was important.  It struck me that if I could not confess small things I had done wrong (I stole a penny) then what were the odds I actually would confess something more serious (I killed three people).  It is hard enough to own up to something minor.  Imagine when one would have to admit to a more serious fault.

Just as small evils lead toward bigger ones if left unchecked, doing small good works, if continued, lead toward higher and nobler actions.  A person who gives often will find it easier to give during the Bishop's Appeal.  A person who offers small things during Lent will find the grace and strength to sacrifice for greater needs.  The actions we do in small things prepare our souls for larger things, both good and evil.

So what does this have to do with truth?  Like other habits, telling the truth and pursuing the truth are actions that require a foundation.  If one is inclined to tell the truth in small things, the capacity to tell the truth in greater matters is increased.  Likewise, pursuing the truth and being faithful to truth in smaller matters builds us up to confront the truth in greater matters.

One of the things that motivated me to leave the Evangelical group that I hung out with in college was the anti-Catholic rhetoric that I encountered from time to time.  It wasn't so much the ignorance of the Catholic position, but the unwillingness to be corrected.  It was as if the misunderstanding was necessarily a part of the creed of certain individuals in the group.

My thinking was that how could those who are not concerned about the truth in small matters could be trusted in their pursuit of bigger matters?  The kind of truths that make you question fundamental assumptions about humanity and the Divine.  If we cannot be bothered to be corrected about small matters what are the odds we will be willing to be corrected about the things we do wrong.  This is not to say that they were evil by any means, but that there is a blind spot in this way of thinking.

The small things we do matter.  When we tell a small lie, cheat a little on a test, or even pose online as someone we are not, we misrepresent ourselves and compromise our ability to be honest with the things that matter.  We do ourselves no favors when we compromise our integrity in small matters.

 We can only do our best.  And we must do our best.  A life of virtue is one built in small steps.  Without constant vigilance for the truth in all things we leave ourselves open to the lies we tell ourselves to make life easier.  Embrace truth.  It's good for you.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Will never see this in mainstream news

girl gets death threats from homosexual advocates.  Tolerance is not enough.

H/T Mark Shea

As the Church is embattled

more continue to stream in.  Welcome home!

H/T New Advent


Given the latest spat of childishness in the comments section I have turned on moderation.  Please feel free to comment provided that it is respectful and constructive.  I will do my best to attend to the comments and hope to lift moderation sometime in the future.

Apologies for the inconvenience.

The Management

George Weigel

writes a nice summary of the situation.

The winning quote:
They imagine that accusing the bishops of partisanship is going to spook them into acquiescence; they are wrong, because in this debate we are down to first principles.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Something for me to keep in mind

given the recent tone of some comments here.  Enjoy.

The War on Women

While the radical feminists and pro-aborts like to attempt to argue that I, as a male, have no right to any opinion about abortion, I would submit that women might be interested in how abortion is being used throughout the world.  Abortion is being used to destroy women, and while this is certainly "off-message", it might behoove those of the "pro-choice" persuasion just how cultures are exercising that choice, and how the philosophical assumptions that prop up abortion impact our thinking about infants as well.

The first point to make is this article by Msgr. Charles Pope and his analysis of Nicholas Eberstadt's article about The War on Baby Girls.  Both are worth reading.  But here is the summary.  Globally, abortion is being used as a means of selecting the sex of a child, and the preference chosen around the world is exceeding tilted toward male children. Thus there is now an artificial imbalance between men and women in terms of numbers.  In China this is particularly problematic, as forecasts have predicted that a very large number of men will not have the opportunity to marry.

Lest we think this is isolated to those "weird" Asian cultures this issue has reared its head in Britain of all places.  While I don't know if the population shift is that bad, the practice itself is quite prominent.  Fr. Longenecker with the notable commentary on this.  This issue is hardly a local one, nor does it seem to be an anomaly for those who choose abortion.  Even in countries where this sex selection abortions are banned it seems to happen anyway, and the law itself ignored.

At first I thought that this just illustrates the "hypocrisy" of the "pro-woman" feminist movement in the modern age.  That abortion is the only sacrament and nothing can interfere with the reception of that sacrament, be it age, stage of pregnancy, or in this case, the sex of the "fetus."

But reflecting further I see why the silence is necessary from the pro-abortion position.  To admit to the lopsided nature of the exercise of "choice" would surrender two major planks of the pro-abortion position.

The first is that if the "choicer" would admit that they are uncomfortable with this would raise a really uncomfortable question.  Why is this disturbing?  Why is the exercise of the "choice" under this circumstance "wrong" but the others "right?"  If we suddenly admit that this might limit how and when "choice" can be exercised, then we have admitted that such a choice can be limited.  And if so we would then need to think how and more importantly why such choice should be limited.

The second issue is that to admit that this is an issue is to admit that it is "human" girls being killed.  Since the "fetus" is only a "potential" human, the couple who decided to exercise the "choice" of eliminating the "potential" human is not discriminating against women per se.  They are only choosing which potential humans to bring to fruition.  Thus from the perspective of the pro-choicer, this isn't really discrimination against women.  Yet women are disappearing from the human race.

Finally lest we think that will only be an issue relating to abortion, let us finally see how the boundaries of when a "person" is not a "person."  Out from Australia is a recent medical ethics journal about the morality of killing newborns.  As abortion becomes the norm, the boundary of what constitutes an abortion will only expand.  Thus it is likely that the killing of newborn girls (something that already takes place in China) will expand even further.

Far from freeing women, the abortion mindset allows for the killing of women in numbers not scene in history.  The women of tomorrow will have to "choose" between the right of "choice" or their self-inflicted regulation to minority status.

But then again.  I'm a male.  So I don't need to be listened to.  Right?

Monday, March 5, 2012

Truth in Charity

Charity in truth.  Truth in charity.  Oftentimes we sacrifice one for the other.  If we shy away from the truth, we do not have Charity.  If we do not speak the truth with Charity, we do the Truth a disservice.

In the fight for religious freedom against the HHS mandate and beyond.  we must always strive for both.  As Catholics we have the responsibility to speak up for the truth.  This is not so much for the sake of Truth.  Truth ultimately will stand on its own.  But for us to ignore our duty to the Truth is to coarsen our own conscience.

Obama is a tyrant.  I do not use these words lightly.  By attempting to coerce the Church to participate in evil he is usurping an authority that does not belong to him.  This is tyranny at the very core of its definition.

This does not mean that he does not have legitimate authority.  He is the President of the United States.  And while as Americans we hold to the electoral process we as Catholics know that all authority is ultimately derived from God.  Obama has legitimate authority.  And because of this we as Catholics are obliged to obey him with regard to his legitimate authority.

The HHS mandate oversteps that authority by proclaiming that we must participate in grave evil.  Obama is attempting to use his legitimate authority to usurp an authority that does not belong to him.  As such it pertains to this, not only are we free to not obey but we MUST resist.  To not do so is to lie to ourselves and the world.

Charity demands we speak the truth.  If we do not speak the truth then we do not love.  We love our country.  It is our home.  It is where our families live.  It has since its inception the heart of liberty and freedom enshrined in the document of the Constitution.  It is not perfect by any means.  And as a country we have at times failed to live up to our ideals.

It is ultimately out of charity that we MUST speak out.  It is precisely that we love our home that we speak truth to power.  It is because of love that we have an obligation to the Truth.  Our country, like ourselves, cannot live on lies.

The Church will survive the persecution of the Obama administration.  She has outlived and taken down previous and more powerful empires.  She has done this with the most powerful of weapons.  Prayer and the witness of her saints.  As Catholics we are surrounded by the witness of the martyrs.

But America will not.  American cannot afford to be on the side of evil.  She is but a human institution, and with human ideals.  But those ideals, as great as they are, do not by definition guarantee continuity into the future.  We must bear witness to the truth if there is any chance to save her.

And never lose hope.  It is never too late.

Friday, March 2, 2012

John Allen Jr.

who writes for the (sigh) National Catholic Reporter (c'mon John, just jump off the sinking ship!) has a fantastic article about three myths that you can do without.  Shake off that mental rust.

H/T New Advent

What is persecution?

A few responses to my post about picking the Church over the world have shown that there is some confusion over what it is that the Church is claiming regarding the HHS mandate.  Three errors seem to be at the forefront.  One is that the Church is not undergoing "real" persecution because compared to other countries, the HHS mandate is a minor issue.  Two is that it isn't really persecution because the Church, blessed by God, has the ability to fight back on some fronts.  The third is that the Church is claiming the status of a victim.  We will deal with all three.

The notion that the abuse must reach a certain level before the object of abuse can claim persecution is on the face of it absurd.  If someone were to insult me or worse, assault me for my faith, this is persecution plain and simple.  I am being subject to evil for the sake of my faith, and someone is inflicting evil on me for the sake of my faith.

Now of course the insults for the sake of my faith are relatively minor compared to my brothers in the Faith who suffer in places like China and in Islamic countries.  It should be obvious to anyone that there is a level of persecution depending on the circumstances.

At the same time though this does not make the evil of persecution "not evil" or "ignorable" simply because other Christians have it worse.  Evil is evil.  And evil only begets more evil.  When we do evil or allow evil we allow it to corrupt everything else it touches.  And when we ignore it it will only grow, and we will have to make more excuses in order to continue ignoring it.

To say that it isn't "real" persecution simply because it is minor is a bit like the abusive husband saying to his wife, "Hey, at least you aren't married to Joe.  He wails on his wife.  I just slap you around a bit."

To the second that since the Church can fight back it is not persecution is just as absurd.  That the abused wife can punch the abusive husband does not mean that the husband is not abusive.  Abusiveness does not become less evil simply because the object has power.  Again, evil is evil.

Third, there seems to be this notion that since the Catholic Church is stating rightly that this HHS mandate is persecution that we are claiming the status of victim.  We are not.  We are not powerless. For the Church to claim such would be to deny the power of God, through Whom all authority derives.

But likewise this does not mean that the state does not persecute us.  The fact we can fight back means that we are being fought.  And like all tyrants the Obama administration is attempting to usurp authority that does not belong to him.  Ultimately he and those who follow him will fail.  That doesn't mean that he won't try.  And that his attempt to do so is evil.

No the Church is not a victim.  Nor are we claiming such.  We will prevail.  We will succeed.  The question is how much will we have to sacrifice.  God willing, the lawsuits currently filed will prevail and overturn this evil and unconstitutional mandate.  I'm not convinced the country will survive the persecution of the Church.