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Posts Tagged ‘food for thought’

If you’re wondering why, say, The Little Sisters of the Poor can’t just sign off on a form and let others go along with the HHS mandate for them, read this (“St. Thomas More, The Little Sisters of the Poor & the Casualness of Conscience,” Tod Worner, January 7, 2014, at Patheos). Well, even if you know already why they can’t, you might want to read the post. It’s a good overview, and a good reminder of some of what’s at stake.

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I Think We May Be Missing Something Very Important

In all too many cases, I think she’s right.

hat tip: @sarahmae on Twitter

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You’ve probably seen this wonderful and wise article elsewhere (in the slang of the day, it has ‘gone viral’), but here you go anyway: Marriage Isn’t For You.

If you haven’t read it, please do. The people around you will appreciate it.

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Dominic Verner discusses Graduation Prayers, “Religious Bullying,” and Our Reason for Joy, over at First Things.

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Back in 1949, C. S. Lewis wrote an essay on the humanitarian theory of justice, and how it leads to tyranny and the dehumanization of citizens, instead of justice. Looking at the verdict handed down for a mass murderer in Norway, John Piper revisits that essay in Life Is Cheap In Norway.

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Gerard Nadal writes:

This book addresses one of the burning issues of our day. With prenatal diagnostics leading to the abortions of the less-than-perfect among us, with parents who are frightened into paralysis by these diagnoses and a medical establishment increasingly surrendering to the cowardice of eugenics, over thirty mothers and three fathers of special needs children have stepped forward to share their journeys.

If one is looking for a feel-good easy read, this book isn’t it. This book tells the story of fear, bewilderment, broken hopes and dreams, and the triumph of love in all of its raw and untamed beauty. It is a window into the human soul, into souls that have been forever transformed by children whose needs call forth what love demands most:

Sacrifice.

For those of us who have known the unspeakable beauty of being loved by another, we know that the love we have experienced has come at a cost to the one who has loved us. They have given us their time, attention; material, spiritual and emotional substance. They have accepted us with our strengths and pursued us in spite of our weaknesses–even because of our weaknesses. They have wrapped us in their love and esteem, and lifted us to heights we never could have attained by our own efforts.

That is the sort of love that flows through this book like a rampaging river, overflowing the banks that would contain it, and flooding the surrounding countryside. It is the sort of love that is desperately sought after in a world desperate for authentic love, and purpose, and meaning.

The stories in this book are the stories a frightened and weary world needs to hear, a world that has bought into the counterfeit culture for so long it mistakes love’s essence–sacrifice–with servility, and fails to see its reciprocity…

Read the whole thing.

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It matters what you base your ethics on.

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Statues are being unveiled and streets renamed.

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From Mark P. Shea, answering a question on how he’d deal with a couple that aborted a baby diagnosed with severe deformity (which certainly would have been fatal, if the diagnosis was correct):

Part of the difficulty here is that such questions usually involve several parts. What does God think? What would I do? What should I make of what those people over there did? And then we start feeling torn between obeying God when He says “Don’t kill” and obeying God when He says “Don’t judge.” And in our culture, “Don’t judge” has much the louder voice because of the great terror of “imposing our values.”

Let’s start with the loudest voice: “Don’t judge.” We are bound to obey that command of Our Lord, but we are also bound to understand what it means. It does not mean, as our culture takes it to mean, “Remain agnostic about the possibility of ever knowing what is right and wrong.” It means, “Don’t play God. Don’t imagine you know the souls of others and what motivated their choices, how culpable they are, etc.” The funny thing is, our culture is ready to play God all the time, while remaining unable to say if there is such a thing as right and wrong. So let’s set aside the people in the story, whom it is not ours to judge, and simply consider the act in abstract: the deliberate taking of innocent human life. Is it wrong always?

The answer is: Yes. Always. That’s what “You shall not murder” means.

That’s the other command we have to deal with here. I think, pastorally speaking, the best thing we can do with this situation is not adjudicate the souls of people we don’t know anything about concerning a choice they have already made (since that is way too much of a temptation to judge them, especially in cyberspace where judgment and condemnation flow like wine), but to first ask ourselves how we might respond rightly in a similar situation.

In talking to my wife (the actual baby carrier in this family), she points out the following: First, ultrasounds have been wrong. Second, miracles happen sometimes. Third, and most salient here: Every baby she has had is dying. The question is, simply, when?

When we put it that way, we suddenly realize something: Knowing that the baby is going to die sooner rather than later is no reason to kill the baby. It is, says my wife, a reason to love the baby for as long as you can while it’s here. That’s very painful, but that is the risk we take every time we choose to love, because everything we love in this world is mortal.

It may be objected that a headless baby cannot appreciate our love. I would reply that a healthy baby cannot appreciate our love either, because a healthy baby has no more mind than a headless one. The whole point of parenthood, especially in its earliest stages, is radical self-giving (like Christ) to a being who is wholly incapable of giving anything back besides a sucking reflex and a poopy diaper. It’s an analogy of the grace of God, the great wake-up call enfleshed, that It’s Not About Me and What I Get From It — a short course in the life of the Blessed Trinity.

Read the whole article.

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Food for thought from Anthony Esolen:

The welfare state begins by compelling people to put money aside for their old age — the fiction of the Social Security trust fund comes to mind.  There, at least, there is some correspondence between what the state takes from you and what the state will give back.  And the state has a genuine interest in keeping people from destitution.   But what happens eventually is that people in charge of a welfare state come to think of all things as belonging to them: children, for instance, are wards of the state, lent out to their parents conditionally; families are creations of the state; money is all the state’s to play with, so that refraining from raising people’s taxes is viewed as a “gift” to them.  I don’t see that.  Nor do I see that Death is some game-scrambler, the great opportunity to ignore the generation-spanning essence of the family, so as to rifle half of an estate, often compelling people to sell a homestead just to pay the taxes on it.

Read the whole post.

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