Awkward Catholic

Living my faith as the awkward man of God that I am.


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The Antidote to Death

Mother and ChildThe awkward moment when you realize that aborting a baby after it’s been born is no different than aborting a baby in his mother’s womb, except location.

There’s a saying about one of the most important things to consider when starting a business, “Location, location, location.” What this means is that it doesn’t matter how awesome of a product you are selling, if your location stinks then nobody’s going to buy it and your business will not thrive. Well, just today the Center for Medical Progress released yet another sting video exposing the horror that is Planned Parenthood. Of all the videos released this is by far the most difficult video to watch. In it a young woman describes a post birth dissection on a live fetus. And it is truly horrifying. To her credit, it seems she deeply laments her involvement and is actively striving to make amends.

And now, all over social media people are horrified and sickened to know that such acts happen at Planned Parenthood all the time. But come on, what’s the difference really between harvesting the organs from a born fetus as opposed to crushing it’s head in the womb? In fact, isn’t the womb an even more sacred place? Is there really any difference though; It’s all about the location, eh? Out of sight, out of mind I guess?

A philosopher named Paul Holmer once said, “What we know depends upon the kind of person we have made ourselves to be.”(1) I think this is a profoundly true statement and that it also applies to our nation. What we know depends upon the kind of nation we have made ourselves to be. And what kind of nation have we made ourselves to be? A nation of secular humanist butchers(2).Let’s make no mistake, our society is the direct result of the people who make it up. Our society is that of the rugged individual; it’s fine and good to be a rugged individual when talking about Manifest Destiny (though it wasn’t so good for the Indians). But we’ve carried that principle to it’s logical, yet unforeseen end.

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We are a nation of individuals striving to achieve our greatest goal of self-actualization. The “I” has become our god. We have turned ourselves into ego driven madmen who know only death. Remember, “What we know depends upon the kind of person we have made ourselves to be.”

Whether the baby is born or in the womb, it is still a human life. There is no arguing that; science, the other “god” of the secular humanist, has proven beyond a doubt that the clump of cells is a unique, living, human being. It is not a cat or a dog or a human-being-in-potential. A human sperm about to fertilize a human egg is a potential human being. A fertilized human embryo is a human being, just a lot smaller than you and I are at this moment. Abortion, at any stage is murder. There is no possible way to argue against this truth without committing some sort of fallacy. Yet, in our society where truth is relative to the individual, it doesn’t matter. Why does individualism lead to death? Nothing is accomplished in isolation. All you have to do is look at just about anything. Take an army for instance. If the enemy is able to separate a section of troops from the main body of the army, it’s much easier to kill those troops. In sports, no person can win on their own; even in something like swimming it takes a team of coaches and trainers, etc. to create a champion. Alone we die, together we thrive. We are meant for community. Yet, in our society we have become individuals and we know only death.

Now, back to the recent sting video from CMP. Obviously, I’m not arguing that it’s not as bad as everyone says. Rather, now that we’ve seen the reality of what happens with our own eyes, perhaps we will wake up. I’m sorry to say, while I’m usually an optimist in almost every area of life, in this instance I’m a pessimist. Our society has gone so far down the slope I don’t see a way back. All things are possible with God and I pray every day for a great miracle, but limited by my unsaintly life, I don’t see it. The only possible antidote is an army of saints. Chesterton once said that “a saint is medicine because he is an antidote. He will generally be found restoring the world to sanity by exaggerating whatever the world neglects… Each generation seeks its saint by instinct; and he is not what the people want, but rather what the people need… It is the paradox of history that each generation is converted by the saint who contradicts it the most.”

Well we certainly need some saints today. Pope Saint John Paul II and Blessed Mother Teresa certainly were a good start, but let’s keep on going. Somebody please step up to the plate! Perhaps you and I could do it? As I said, I’m usually an optimist and this is the perfect example. You and I could be the antidote. You and I could speak up, our lives could proclaim life, love and the hope of heaven to a desperately lonely world. I hope in the grace of God. And if there’s hope for you and me, maybe there is hope for our society after all.

Helping Hand

  1. As quoted in “What Would It Mean to Believe in the Resurrection?” by David Fagerberg, published in Assembly: A Journal of Liturgical Theology by Liturgy Training Publications and the Notre Dame Center for Liturgy, 2010.
  2. That’s a funny coincidence, don’t you think? Secular humanists tend to be the liberals fighting the hardest for women’s rights (to abortion), they call themselves humanists (pro-human) yet they are vehemently fighting to destroy human lives in the womb.


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The Lion in the Middle of the Room

The awkward moment you realize that our society cares more about a famous lion than about innocent babies and their often desperate mothers.

Cecil the Lion

In case you’ve not turned on the news or checked social media in awhile, you might have missed two tragic stories that have been in the news within the last few weeks. The more recent story and the one that’s garnered the lion’s share of attention is the murder of an innocent and famous lion called Cecil. This lion was hunted and slaughtered by a seemingly narcissistic dentist from the US. He has subsequently been hunted himself by the media and animal rights advocates and his life is in shambles.

The other piece of news, the one you’re more likely to have missed is the one about clandestine videos made of unaware representatives of Planned Parenthood who were led into a trap by an anti-abortion organization which bent on destroying the worldwide provider of so-called “women’s health”. The videos, three of them have been released up to this point, show the high up representatives of PP casually discussing their business practices of selling aborted baby parts and one even shows the dismembered and shambled remains of one of these babies.

PP

Both of these stories are tragic. Both of these stories deal with the death of innocence to inhuman aggression and selfish destruction. But these stories are not equal, not even remotely! All life is sacred, from the crown of creation (humanity) to the tiniest amoeba, but not all life is equal. That which is made in the image and likeness of God, and that alone is truly incalculable. And yet our society and media are in more of an outrage against a lion killer than an organization responsible for the murder of more innocent human beings than any other organization in history.

Also in the news this week is the trial of a woman who foolishly called in threats to an abortion clinic. Yet those who have been calling in threats on the life of the dentist are pretty much assured safety and forgiveness. Something’s wrong with a society that values the life of a lion more than the lives of millions of innocent babies and millions of mothers and fathers who tragically made a bad decision. All of the above deserve our forgiveness and mercy. But I wonder if we, as a nation and world, will be able to stand before our God and look him in the eye and dare ask for his welcoming embrace when we’ve shared more images of a dead lion than of the murdered babies.

I would wager to say that the heartless act of the lion killing dentist is a direct result of a culture that places little value on life and respect for creation at any level. As Pope Francis so eloquently pointed out in his encyclical Laudato Si!, all of creation is good and beautiful and deserving of our respect and protection, especially the most vulnerable aspects of creation. And last I looked a fully grown lion has some pretty formidable defenses.

But what’s been on my heart even more is the fact that in the 40+ years that abortion has been legal in our country, countless women have died, innumerable stories of the evil of abortion have surfaced and this is not even remotely the first video that “The Center for Medical Progress” has released highlighting the inhuman and evil practices Planned Parenthood engages in. Yet, it is only now that our country seems to be waking up to the evil that is Planned Parenthood and abortion. The selling of aborted baby body parts is deplorable but pales in comparison to the murder of the babies in the first place! Those that are up in arms over the revelations made in the recent videos are a kind of missing the point, don’t you think?