I have seen too much to ever leave the Catholic Church

This morning I was reading over at the other place, as I do from time to time. I read Brian Watt’s post, The Church’s Ongoing Gay Orgy, and the first page of the comments. The first comment was Bryan’s, and he proposed a solution to the gay-clergy crisis:

The laity should abandon the church. Stop giving money. Leave it. Only that will force it to change. It was so 500 years ago.

There are a few ways I can argue why this isn’t a good idea, and they involve using arguments that have already been used over and over, none of which are really my own. And I see that others have attempted this strategy over there.

Rather than rehashing old arguments, I’d like to share something dramatically more personal. I don’t think people here have read my book (and for a couple of you, that’s my fault since I still haven’t sent the copies I promised to send!). I mention the book because it outlines some of my experiences that led me to become Catholic.

The bottom line is that I couldn’t have seen what I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality had I recommitted myself to any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because what I saw about the distortion of those things has its roots and foundation in contraception. Everything that I saw about God’s plan for marriage and human sexuality, much of which Protestants can and do affirm, is grounded in the notion that contraception is contrary to God’s plan.

Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase, “contraceptive mentality” in 1981 with his encyclical Familiaris consortio (The fellowship of the family)

You’ve probably all heard of the Catholic phrase, “the contraceptive mentality.” Pope St. John Paul II coined the phrase in 1981. I have noticed that the phrase doesn’t seem to make sense to non-Catholics, so I prayed hard for a long time about how to convey the idea in a different way. I finally settled on the following that I believe says essentially the same thing: that fertile opposite sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus. I have used this phrase online many times, and it resonates with people. They believe that they do have such a right. I like this phrase because it captures something dear to people. We all do have rights, and rights are important. The State is obliged to recognize our rights.

Here is how the phrase applies to abortion: if fertile opposite-sex couples have a right for pregnancy-free coitus, then abortion must be legal, because it upholds that right. A right for pregnancy-free coitus positions the unborn as unwelcome invaders. Their humanity is irrelevant because they have violated the right. This is why they can be terminated.

Here is how it applies to same-sex marriage: I’m sure you recall the marriage wars at the other place. Those on offense argued repeatedly that marriage, sex, and children were not linked in a principled way. And in one sense they were correct. What I mean is that contraception is what unlinked sex and children in a apparently-principled fashion. The right to pregnancy-free coitus is so appealing that people don’t realize that it is a new right. It did not always exist.

Because of the new-found right for pregnancy-free coitus given by

Pope St. Paul VI reaffirmed the ancient Christian teaching on contraception in his 1968 encyclical Humanae vitae (Of human life)

contraception, children are added-back to marriage in an ad hoc, couple-by-couple manner. If sex is a presumptively sterile act, making the ad hoc approach to children the correct approach, then same-sex marriage is logically justified since same-sex couples cannot conceive their own children.

Let me make it clear that when I use the word “right” in this sense, I am not referring to a clearly articulated legal right. I am using the word in a colloquial sense, although certain significant SCOTUS decisions allude to it. For example, see Planned Parenthood v Casey and Obergefell v Hodges.

I know, beyond any doubt whatsoever, what God’s full plan is for marriage and human sexuality. I would never have understood this plan so thoroughly had I reaffirmed any sort of Protestantism after leaving the Gnostic cult. This is because the Catholic Church is the very last Christian body that understands the problem of contraception.

The gay-clergy and those who affirm them are wrong. They may do tremendous damage to the Church, along with the entire sexual revolution. Much damage has already been done. But for me, leaving the Church is not the answer to the destruction. The question is: who is right about the entirety of the sexual revolution, including contraception? We all think we’re on the “correct” side, but how we got there matters. I know where I stand, where I have driven my stake into the ground, and most importantly, how I got there. I can’t predict the future, but if I ever wanted to leave I don’t know where I’d go. By God’s grace I have seen so much of which I have shared a little here.


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Detective time: can you find the lie?

I came across this New York Times article about abortion and wanted to show it to you. It is by somebody named Cindi Leivi and it is called, “Let’s Talk About My Abortion (and Yours).”

If you like playing detective, I’d like you to read it, and to try to find the lie that I see. The lie I’m referring to is a big lie, actually, but if you’re not paying attention you might breeze right past it. So think carefully as you read. I will put the lie below. Here is a hint: it appears in the first half of the essay. Continue reading “Detective time: can you find the lie?”


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President Trump delivers on pro-life promise, but needs our help

RE: diversion of Title X funding from Planned Parenthood to health clinics that don’t perform abortions. From the National Catholic Register:

“On May 18 the Trump Administration proposed new rules that would direct taxpayer funding away from abortion businesses like Planned Parenthood. In proposing the new rules to the Title X family planning program, President Trump has delivered on a key promise to pro-life voters who worked to elect him.

“President Trump confirmed the new policy on May 22 at the National Building Museum in our nation’s capital, where he was keynote speaker for the Susan B. Anthony List’s 17th annual Campaign for Life Gala.

“Known as the “Protect Life Rule,” the new proposal would redirect tax dollars to community and rural health centers that do not promote or perform abortions. Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, thanked President Trump for taking action to disentangle taxpayers from the abortion business. “Planned Parenthood,” Dannenfelser said, “is responsible for more than 300,000 abortions a year and has been receiving $50-60 million in Title X taxpayer funds annually. The Protect Life Rule doesn’t cut a single dime from taxpayer funding.”

“Dannenfelser anticipates that the Supreme Court will uphold the regulations…

“But even as pro-life groups are celebrating the initiative, Planned Parenthood has posted a “Red Flag,” actively recruiting its adherents to oppose what it calls an “extremely dangerous gag rule.”

“The Department of Health and Human Services is inviting public comment on the bill before it is finally enacted into law.”

Planned Parenthood has a campaign to encourage people to leave comments to express their disapproval of the Title X money being diverted HERE. And yes, PP is referring to the diversion of funds as a gag rule.

As of now, there are almost 4,000 comments on this proposal. I don’t know what the mix is. I left one a little while ago. Here is what I said. I pieced it together from a few different articles that I read:

I am in favor of the proposal known as the Protect Life Rule. This proposal will redirect tax dollars from centers that perform abortions to community and rural health centers that do not promote or perform abortions. This proposal does not reduce Title X funding or money for family planning programs. It will direct funding to more than 9,000 Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) around the country, as well as community health centers, non-profit clinics, state and county health departments. These centers already serve women every day under the Title X program. They will be receiving much-needed financial assistance that will enable them to serve those women even better. Please support the Protect Life Rule. It does not reduce Title X funding or money for family planning programs.

If you’d like to add a comment, here is the link. You can do so anonymously. That is what I did. Feel free to use what I said:

https://www.regulations.gov/comment?D=HHS-OS-2018-0008-0001

Comments become part of the public record, and close on July 31.


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Plug for my book

I read Scott Wilmot’s essay today over at R. He wrote about an incident at a Catholic college, where one of the students was harassed and intimidated “‘for affirming on a bulletin board the truth and beauty of marriage according to nature, the Church, and Jesus Christ.'” It is outrageous and deeply troubling that such a thing would happen at a Catholic school. It is not the first time this sort of thing has happened at a Catholic school, I fully realize. But I am always shocked when it does.

During the marriage wars that raged online before Obergefell, the most popular argument my side put forward is known as the complementarity argument. I won’t go into its details since readers here probably already know what it is. I think it is a fine argument, but it has a weakness. It requires those on the opposing side to accept a presupposition that they have already rejected. They have already rejected the idea that sex differences matter (of course, they are not consistent in that rejection, but that is basically what they say they believe). So to rely on an argument that requires them to accept sex differences as a legitimate phenomenon may have been asking too much.

I don’t know how many of you know that I wrote a book that is part memoir, part argument, about my life as a child of divorce, and some of the things I came to see about marriage as a result of that experience. The argument that I put forth there was something that I mentioned on R a few times, more towards the end of my tenure there. I took the concept of equality and built an argument for natural marriage on it.

I’m not on Facebook or Twitter any longer, but when I was, I would present this argument from time to time to social liberals and Democrats. I have not yet received a rebuttal to the argument. This doesn’t mean I’ve changed anybody’s mind. But I believe it means that I have given them something they actually have to wrestle with. They can’t simply disregard it like they did the complementarity argument, since I don’t require them to accept the complementarity of the sexes as a starting point. Instead, I show how natural marriage creates equality among children (and between the generations). When natural marriage is disregarded, I show how the inequalities among children multiply. And I literally show it, with diagrams. The argument is very clear.

The reason I bring this up now is that I often wonder what would happen if the argument were widely known among liberals. What would they do if they really had to take a concept they highly valued—equality—and reconcile it with natural marriage in a way that might change their minds? Or at least, it might give them pause to think that maybe they don’t have all the answers, or that perhaps those dinosaur social-conservatives might have been onto something all along. Might incidents such as what happened at Providence College continue, or at least might they tone down and become less harsh and more open to actual dialog? I don’t know. And I won’t know unless I tell people about my book and get it more widely distributed.

The complementarity argument had a drawback: it didn’t resonate with liberals. My book has a drawback as well: it doesn’t resonate with conservatives. This is because they don’t value equality very much. They realize that life is unfair, and so are reluctant to get behind an argument that encourages fairness. It is true that life is unfair, but conservatives will agree that:

  • we have a duty to think carefully about our choices.
  • we must consider how our choices affect those around us.
  • we must avoid willful ignorance of what our choices do.

I think my book fulfills all three of those points. It helps people understand, in a new way, how the sexual and marital choices that adults make today impact subsequent generations. For example, those choices often impose burdens on subsequent generations that the adults themselves would never choose to bear.

I don’t like promoting myself and this is why you won’t see me writing about my book very often. After reading Scott’s post, I felt strongly that I had to step out of my comfort zone and say something that I believe will be helpful. If you are in a position to recommend my book to liberals, would you please consider doing so? If you would like to read it first, here are a few suggestions:

  • I am happy to loan you my Kindle copy.
  • You can read it for free on Kindle Unlimited.
  • I can send you a hard copy for $10.
  • You can buy the Kindle version or the hard copy version through Amazon. I have it setup so that if you buy the hard copy for regular price, as an optional upgrade you can also purchase the Kindle version for $1.99 more.

Link to my book:

Marriage and Equality: How Natural Marriage Upholds Equality for Children


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TOTD 2018-01-16: Higher education as an older adult

I started my bachelor’s right out of high school, but dropped out in my second year (I’ve written about why over at R and won’t go into the details now).

For decades, the fact that I didn’t finish always lingered in the back of my mind.  It bothered me a lot, and try as I could, I just couldn’t let it go. So in 2010, I began working on it again, and worked on it off and on until finishing it in 2016. I have a BSBA from Edison State University (with a concentration in accounting).

Edison State isn’t a ranked university, but it is an RA school (regionally accredited). So it is good enough to “check the box” on applications for masters degrees… so I applied to a top-ranked accountancy program last spring, and got in. I’m now working on my MSA and should graduate next December.

I suspect that most people here at Ratburger are happy with the level of education they have. But if you’re not happy with it, have you considered going back to school? I do recommend it, if it’s something you continue to ruminate over. There are a lot of good, accredited programs out there for adults.

The second semester for my masters program starts today. I am excited to be hitting the books again.

Image credit: BARA TAHA


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TOTD 2018/01/11: Googling for ancestors

I have a couple recent ancestors that I can find mentions of online. I like this because they died before the explosion of the internet.

My great-grandmother was the executive director for the Easter Seals of California in the 1960s. I can find references to her name in various Easter Seal documents and newspaper articles. For a number of years, the Easter Seals also gave an annual volunteer award in her name, and there are mentions of people who received that award.

My paternal grandfather graduated from USC in 1938 and played football there. There are a few mentions of him in USC documents that are available online now. I wanted to order a copy of his degree, frame it, and put it on my wall, but it costs $125 dollars.

They weren’t particularly notable people, but I like that I can find mentions of them online. I’m sure they’d be very surprised by it!

I have infamous ancestor that I may write about in the future because it is its own post. You may not have heard of him (unless you’re a US history buff), but he made his mark and there are LOTS of online references to him.

Have you ever Googled for your ancestors? Did you find anything interesting?


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TOTD 2018/01/09: Chicken Pot Pie for dinner tonight!

I just love a good chicken pot pie. I used to make them pretty regularly when my kids were little. For a long time I made them with pie crusts, which is the normal way most people make them. At first I bought the pie crusts, but after some time I taught myself how to make them from scratch. They are not hard to make at all, and are much better than the store bought crusts. Cheaper too, which matters when you’re raising three kids and don’t have a lot of extra cash lying around.

One day I came across a different recipe, and my world has never been the same. Instead of pie crusts, this recipe called for biscuits on top. Oh my. Sooo gooood.

At first I made the biscuits with Bisquick. Then I discovered how to make Bisquick from scratch, and made the biscuits with that. Like the difference between the store bought pie crusts and the home made ones, the homemade Bisquick was much better than the store bought stuff, and cheaper too. I used it for biscuits, pancakes, shortcake for strawberries… and that’s about all I can remember.

I made biscuits for the pot pies with my homemade Bisquick for a while. Can’t remember how long, probably a few years I guess. Then, after finances let up a bit, I discovered Pillsbury frozen biscuits. I like them a lot. There not quite as good as homemade, but they’re good enough, and a lot easier. I just make the pot pie filling, put it into a casserole, top it with the frozen biscuits, and bake. Voila! Dinner is served.

And yes, this is what I’m making for dinner tonight. Wish you were here!


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Stephen Miller escorted off CNN’s set after Tapper interview

From Business Insider:

Stephen Miller had to be escorted off CNN’s set after his interview with Jake Tapper went off the rails

White House adviser Stephen Miller was escorted off the set of CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday after a contentious interview with host Jake Tapper. 

Two sources close to the situation told Business Insider that after the taping was done, Miller was asked to leave several times. 

He ignored those requests and ultimately security was called and he was escorted out, the sources said. 

CNN declined to comment.

What do you think? Is it true? Probably doesn’t matter.

 

I thought you might like this video of the rocket launched off the SoCal coast last night

Hi everybody! How’r y’all doin’? I hope everybody is doing great. This is my first post here. Came here via BDB a few days ago. Thanks to BDB for the referral!

I’m in southern California with my family for the holidays. Last night, we were outside and we saw the rocket that was launched from Vandenberg AFB. I shot some video of it with my phone and I thought you all might enjoy seeing it. It was super amazing! It was so high in the sky that it reflected the sun’s light. That’s why it is so bright.

I couldn’t figure out what the little bright spot was behind the rocket. It kept giving off bursts of… something.

The rocket seemed to be traveling parallel to the coast, but then it seemed like it was traveling in a southwestern direction.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/28PaXlWpqFGK08QZ2

Did any of you see it? What did you think?

I hope everybody has a wonderful Christmas!

 

 


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