Blast from the past

Monday, August 16, 2004

Woman Purees Newborn
Acquitted on Technicality

“… Tremendous breakthrough”, says ACLU spokes-person. “This case represents a giant leap in the right direction.”

Dateline: Massachusetts

Exact details are sketchy, but what is known is that a woman, known only as “Jane Doe” gradually fed her two day old baby into a food processor.

In arguments before the court, Ms. Doe’s lawyer, Mr. Sharq, argued that the alleged murder was in fact an abortion. Mr. Sharq noted that Ms. Doe had not wanted the pregnancy, but didn’t know that federally funded abortions were her right as a woman. As she did not have enough money to pay for an abortion, she had been forced to bear an unwanted child. The lawyer then focused on the legality of abortions, centering on the viability of the fetus.

Noting that in the Roe v Wade decision the Supreme Court had left the ultimate determination of the viability of the fetus up to the doctor, Mr. Sharq then called in a pediatrician as expert witness. The pediatrician, responding to Mr. Sharq’s pointed questions, admitted that a new-born baby was just as helpless as a fetus. Elaborating, he acknowledged that a new-born was just as dependent on the mother for survival immediately after birth, as before. With the term “viability” hinging on survivability outside the womb, the pediatrician commented that a baby wasn’t able to survive “on its own…” until it was able to feed itself. A newborn, not being able to feed itself, would not survive outside the womb on its own, and was therefore not viable. In summation, Mr. Sharq said, “So, a new-born is in actuality simply a post-uterine fetus, and a non-viable one at that.” Turning to the judge, he continued, “A non-viable fetus is subject to abortion, under the laws of this land.”

The court then focused on the grisly manner in which Jane Doe had disposed of her baby. In testimony, Ms. Doe asserted that she had only heard of two methods of abortion, suction and D&C. When vacuuming the baby did not have the desired result, she resorted to D&C, or chopping the baby into little pieces.

The court dismissed the charges. The judge, in the written opinion, noted that “in court case after court case the right of a woman to terminate an unwanted pregnancy has been upheld as an interpreted constitutional right. As the natural result of pregnancy is a child, it can be argued that the prevention of an unwanted child is implied. Further the Supreme Court has rejected the notion that a fetus is a human being entitled to protection under the Constitution. It has been here established that a new-born is simply a post-uterine fetus. As such it has no standing under the law, and no crime has been committed. May God help us all.”

In a related story, you will no doubt be fascinated to learn that in Santa Clara County v The Southern Pacific Railroad(1886) the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation was a “person” under the meaning of the Fourteenth Amendment. It is Unconstitutional to pass laws applied specifically to corporations and not to flesh and blood persons, as such laws deny corporate “persons” civic equality. (Conlin, The American Past, A Brief History. Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Copyright 1991)

I originally wrote this in 1991 in a joke newspaper I ran called The Global Exclaimer and which I printed and mailed out to my nine subscribers (all family). When I printed it in my first blog, the Glob Blog in 2004, people freaked out. I saw it as simply the end point of the whole abortion mentality in 1991, and in 2004 we had the ghastly horror of partial birth abortion. Just to be clear what is meant by this procedure, labor is induced in the mother of the child and when the baby is partially birthed, and the (witch) doctor has the baby’s head in his or her hands, they ram a scissors or scalpel into the back of the baby’s head and kill the child. I pointed out that this fiction of “partial birth” to get around the fact that they were simply killing a baby was only the final step toward just killing babies after they are born.

It made people really angry. And now we have this:
So, I’m right. So was Jeremiah. We are in the time of Jeremiah.

The Synod on the Family and the Developing World

Frater Bovious:

Robert J. Delahunty brings up a very good point – and a very pointed challenge.



First World Problems?

Not long after his election, the new Pope explained why he had taken the name “Francis”: “Ah, how I would like a church,” he said, “that is poor and is for the poor.” It was refreshing: the Pope was going to change the basic terms of the conversation between the Church and the world. Instead of waging a grinding “culture war” against a secular West, the Church would instead speak to the most urgent concerns of the global East and South. The first Pope to come from beyond Europe and the Mediterranean basin promised to be the champion of those who lived in the parts of the earth where hunger, injustice and persecution abounded. Places like the Philippines, Mexico, and Nigeria had already become the true center of gravity of a global Church, displacing Quebec, Chicago, Milan and Vienna. The new Pope would speak for the…

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Mutual Participation – Now there’s a concept


So, what you're saying is, if I decide, by my actions, that I am not part of a group - then, I'm not part of the group?

So, what you’re saying is, if I decide, by my actions, that I am not part of a group – then, I’m not part of the group?

(CARROLLTON, TX – Cradle of Civilization) The upcoming Synod on the Family – heard of it? Know what it is about? Yeah, me neither. Because if you read the press, and I am sad to say I mean all press, including Catholic Press, it would seem this is the upcoming synod on where the Church gets with the times and lets divorced people* receive Communion because that’s all pastoral and stuff, unless of course you have bought into the “Oh my GAWD Pope Francis is the Anti-Christ!” meme, in which case it’s the Synod on where the Church finally and completely apostasizes and lets divorced people receive Communion because that’s what Churches do when they are in league with the Devil.

Or, it’s the upcoming Synod on the proper definition of marriage as an institution that has no definition unless of course it is the Synod on the proper definition of marriage as it’s all about love, love between anything and everything as defined in the moment and for precisely as long as it stays in that moment.

However, I have the persistent suspicion that the upcoming synod on the Family will be about Family. And this would be the right place to start because until you get the idea of family correct, it will be difficult to talk about either of the two topics above.

BUT – I will hazard that the focus of such a Synod probably should be the one thing that is common to all of the above – the concept of Chastity. Until the beachhead of a proper understanding of Chastity is established, it will be meaningless to discuss much else. Family properly springs from Chastity.

Chastity shares a Latin root with Caste – which, in its early usage, included meanings such as cut off, separated, pure. I would like to point out that some of the same meaning is applied to the word Holy. As in set aside for a special purpose. And I would remind that one of the Standards around which to rally coming out of Vatican II was the universal call to holiness.

Meaning, bluntly, that if we are called to be holy, then we are called to be chaste. which, among other things, would entail honesty and fidelity.

And what has all this to do with Communion and Marriage? Please think about it, both broadly and deeply. If you are married, you ought to love your wife and cleave to her, forsaking all others. You can’t dabble with other women, other men, other beings of any kind. There is a sacredness in the holiness, in the chasteness of the marital relationship.

Abrupt shift: Please note the phenomena of Church Shopping. One dabbles here, one dabbles there, not really committed, partaking in the sacraments of first this, church, this ecclesiology, this communion, then that one over there – is this not a sort of fornication? A betrayal? Is this not a relationship of all take and no give? Is this not a one-sided relationship? Where is the mutual participation? Sure, you are showing up, but why?  Looking to be fed, to be energized, to be validated, to “feel the holy spirit?” Is that mutual participation?

Let’s examine the concept of “open marriage” where the usual rules don’t apply. You can go out, break all your marriage vows, then come home for Sunday dinner and sit at the table as if you are truly married. And everyone sits there and pretends things are just ducky. Is this not what happens when people come to Communion “unprepared” (a particularly saccharine way of saying “in a state of mortal sin) and receive communion because that’s what Jesus would want? Really? As if Jesus would say, “I don’t really care what you do on your own time, whom you sleep with, how you spend your money on other men or women, just be home in time for dinner.”

Yeah, no.

There has till now been no need to define the family – everyone knew what the constituent elements of a family are. The loss of the virtue of chastity has caused this crisis in the understanding of family – and the ripple effects are to be seen in the lack of understanding regarding Communion and Marriage and the fundamentally indissoluble nature of both.

There are many images of Church – Christ is the Head, we are the Body. Christ is the Bridegroom, we are the Bride. The Church is our Mother. We are family. When someone walks away from the family, they walk away! Yes, as the Prodigal Son, they can come back. But, the Prodigal Son came back changed. Ready to be family. Wanting to be family. Willing to “sin no more.” Ready, in other words, to be chaste, to be holy, to fully participate in the family, not just be the recipient of its goods – that is to say, no longer willing to just take.

Final related note: Pope Paul the VI was under tremendous pressure to “approve” contraception. It was enlightened, it was with the times, it was what the people wanted. However, he knew that he could not approve this lie. His decision was tremendously unpopular. It was not in practice upheld – when the lay faithful came to their shepherds for guidance, the were led astray and fell into sin.

But Pope Paul was also correct. If you read the document, you will note the logical explication of what will happen if contraception becomes commonplace. Everything he said came true. Everything. Let us pray for Chastity and Holiness, and let us remember, if you want to be part of the Church, then you have to be part of it.

Holy Family, ora pro nobis.


* (editor’s note: should have read as “civilly divorced and civilly remarried” with the presumption of a sacramental marriage)

Apologetics 101

# 8 in a series


"Take no prisoners"

“Take no prisoners”

… continuing from last week, we have this example of a cordial exchange between Thomas More and Martin Luther regarding certain comments that Luther made about Henry VIII:

Martin Luther then attacked Henry VIII in print, calling him a “pig, dolt, and liar”.[10]:227 At the king’s request, More composed a rebuttal: the Responsio ad Lutherum was published at the end of 1523. In the Responsio, More defended papal supremacy, the sacraments, and other Church traditions. More’s language, like Luther’s, was virulent: he branded Luther an “ape”, a “drunkard”, and a “lousy little friar” amongst other insults.[10]:230 Writing as Rosseus, More offers to “throw back into your paternity’s shitty mouth, truly the shit-pool of all shit, all the muck and shit which your damnable rottenness has vomited up”.[20]

I think the lesson is clear enough. On to the next topic…

The Truth and All That

How Simply Being Positive Is Simply Being Foolish


If you have the words, they are useless if you don't use them correctly.

If you have the words, they are useless if you don’t use them correctly.

I found the attached video on Seth’s Blog. It actually makes a point that applies to my previous 2Cellos post, and factors in to what will be the follow-up to that post.

While the circumstances depicted in this meeting are exaggerated – I have been in this meeting. Please Watch.

This, to me, is an example of a certain mind ailment – a weakness of thought – which is a result of Political Correctness (which is another word for Indoctrination) and the very loose way words are used for style rather than for substance.

I think consideration of what happens in this meeting will apply to the discussion of Friendship and Love, and then eventually tie back to my post on Identity Politics.

2Cellos, Love, Language

Friendship And Love and sorting it all out


If you don't have the words, you may not know what you are talking about.

If you don’t have the words, you may not know what you are talking about.

(CARROLLTON, TX – Cradle of Civilization) So, I have a few friends that come over, sometimes two at once, but typically one at a time, and so far never all three at the same time, but sometimes in the same week.

With Don I smoke cigars and drink Pyrat rum. With Gary I smoke cigars and drink scotch. With Frater Cowculus I smoke cigars or a Missouri Meerschaum pipe and drink whiskey. Often it is rye whiskey. Gary and Don have their doubts as to the actual existence of Frater Cowculus. They have their reasons. We meet in the Parthenon when the weather is fine, and in the Theological Armory when it is not. Generally I have one or the other over about once a week. My son-in-law would be the fourth musketeer, but he does not live as close and he is trying to get into medical school, so we don’t talk often enough. But there are the cigars and the strong spirits. And the talking. About Stuff.

Last time Don was over we were talking about Friendship and Homosexuality while we were smoking cigars. Freud would have had a field day. Ok, so really, we were talking about the nature of true friendship and Aristotle’s definition of the friend as your other self, and the idea that without such a friend life is not worth living, and that he defined friendship as two friends contemplating Truth.

Here, I have a diagram:

friend diagramSo, here we have two friends talking to each other and contemplating Truth. Lest the general light tone of this post lead you astray, this idea of two people fundamentally attempting to come to grips with Reality and their place in it is seen as possibly the highest endeavor to which one can devote their energies. It is critical to note that Aristotle contends that one cannot contemplate truth satisfactorily by oneself. There is a Proverb: “As iron sharpens iron, so man sharpens his fellow man.” (Proverbs 21:17). Aquinas would go on to point out that the Truth is God, so true friends help each other on their way to their voluntarily joining their wills with the Will of God. (That’s my synopsis of Aquinas’ thought.)

Anyway, Aristotle has a very high opinion of friends and friendship, and Don and I were discussing how many people have true friends, close friends, with which they can talk about things besides the game or cars or what have you. And I had a thought which I tried to express. I noted that in older movies, it was not uncommon to see men walking with an  arm draped on his friend’s shoulder, or some such other contact which seems very rare today and has been viewed with suspicion of the sort that is expressed as “What are you, gay or something?”

I wondered aloud about the fact that we have this dichotomy – on the one hand if you were too friendly or too touchy then you might be viewed as “gay” and most manly men want to distance themselves from any appearance of being gay; on the other hand, being “gay” is now almost a virtue and certainly not anything that can be viewed in any light other than acceptance. My half-formed wondering did not quite come out this way in our conversation, but basically I wondered if this artificial dichotomy created a situation that excluded the authentic middle, where two people can be very close friends, spend time in rather intimate discussion about things that matter, and then not feel any need or desire to “take it to the next level” and strip down and get after it. But, my thoughts/hypotheses were not well-formed and it was difficult to say what I was wondering about. Basically, if I can dignify it with the term, my hypothesis was that some folks may very well enter into a same-sex relationship because it just seems that they have to – because the option of just being really close friends without physical intimacy seems unavailable in our sex-obsessed culture. This, I think can be recognized, is not limited to same-sex relationships, I think it plays out in heterosexual situations as well. “Well, we’ve been on three dates, it must be time for the sex.” (I will also note that all gay friends are not sexually active with each other, at least I don’t think so. Just like a guy and a girl can be friends without getting naked. No really.)

Later I saw a video from Elton John regarding these two guys that play the cello. He said something that caught my attention and helped me to think this through a bit more. So, I have provided the video below. Watch the whole thing, because it’s basically worth it because of the awesomeness of the cello playing. But, at about 2:26 Sir Elton begins a series of interesting comments about the way these two guys play. Go ahead, I’ll wait.

So, if you just skipped, then I’ll have to just say it. He says at one point, “it is a most beautiful homo-erotic way they play together.” So, if you skipped it, then go back so you can get it in context because the context matters. Plus, they really play a mean set of cellos…

Got it? OK.

It seems to me that Sir Elton is using the vocabulary that he has available to him, and consequently relating something that he sees in the only way available to him, but he clearly knows his description doesn’t really capture what he is seeing. But one thing I think anyone watching them can agree upon is here is an example of friends who are for each other “their other self” as Aristotle put it. And, are they not contemplating the truth of their cello playing? I would wager that if you asked them if either of them would play the way they do had they never met, the answer would be a unanimous “No.”

So, what does Sir Elton mean by their playing having a homoerotic quality? I think he lacks the vocabulary to accurately describe what he is seeing. In English, we have a narrow definition of eros. If you look it up, you will usually see it associated with erotic, i.e., physical love. Keep looking and you will see it described as a certain losing of control. Terms like “I want to fall madly in love” come to mind.

Pope Benedict the XVI wrote a piece called Deus Caritas Est. He has a discussion about this eros, and the other Greek words, agape, and filia, which are the three most common Greek words that come into play when attempting to define the word “love.” But I want to focus on his discussion of Eros. In the next post.


State Religion

How We Get One by Default

BY Frater Bovious

It's either something, or is nothing.

It’s either something, or it is nothing.


The curtailment and violation of religious freedom are in contrast with  man’s dignity and his objective rights…It is therefore difficult, even from a “purely human” point of view, to accept a position that gives only atheism the right of citizenship in public and social life…

Redemptor hominus, JPII

The current excesses of the principle of separation of Church and State, wherein one’s religion is becoming restricted from the public square and relegated behind the closed doors of church and home (making of religion essentially a private hobby) have the de facto effect of raising atheism to the status of state religion, or at least state philosophy.

Just a little something to think about during Lent.