Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Demise of Prop 85 (Parental Notification For Abortion) is victory for Death and Insanity

I want to make a few comments about the elections and some appalling results the nation, and our “great” state of California had earlier this month. First, it seems that Hillary Clinton thinks she is a “California” senator…I thought she was from New York…Of, course, she is a “national” politician, and no one would be surprised at her comments on Prop 85
(http://www.noon85.com/multimedia/2006/10/30/sen-clinton-against-prop-85/). Remember that Prop 85 was the doomed proposal that would require parental notification and a 48 hour waiting period for a minor to receive an abortion. Please go to my July, 8, 2006 article to see more about my thoughts on Abortion and some resources for those who are considering or have had an abortion and are looking for some reconciliation and healing. The Church, by no means, wishes to damn anyone to Hell; it in fact is an agency of forgiveness and love…unfortunately all too many people can’t open their eyes to it. They instead call “pro-lifers” “religious extremists” and “Anti-Choice”… Anyhow, I figured the usual suspects of Planned Parenthood, the ACLU and leading liberal Democratic officials would be behind the crusade to stop Prop 85 (I was right), but I was surprised to find “clergy” behind the “abortion crusade” as well… “strange bedfellows”…:
…As people of faith, we are called to consider the well-being of the most vulnerable in our communities. One of the primary teachings of the world's religions is to love our neighbors as ourselves and to care for each other in times of need…. for entire text and signatures of those clergy involved, click on article title above).

I noticed a lot of “Rev” which is not always Catholic, but I did see one Father on the list. The ridiculous argument of these people is that mandating a child to “notify” (notice it omits the word “consent” as the law in no way even mandated consent, just notification) a parent of an impending abortion would put children in “troubled” homes at higher risk. They would have to traverse the dangers of the “Big City” and battle the legal system to get a waiver from a judge in order to get an abortion. This is an absurd argument. The politicians sound the same, “for most of us, we communicate with our children and would be there for them, but for the less fortunate…” or some similar load of junk…the statement above refers to the “most vulnerable”. Who is more vulnerable than a baby inside the mother’s womb? I realize that there are a lot of young girls who feel (or legitimately cannot) speak to their parents about an unplanned pregnancy, but at what expense do we go to pave a golden pathway for them? Society seems to want everything at the “lowest common denominator”. When we think about it practically: What child would actually feel comfortable going to a parent in this situation? I certainly would not have at a young age. It certainly reigns true, though, for a majority (a vast majority) of families, that the parents have the GREATEST concern for the child. But because some parents are “TERDS”, we have to concede these decisions to Planned Parenthood? God save us!! Does anyone REALLY believe that this organization (of course partnered with NARAL and the ACLU) has in mind the best interest for our children? This argument has nothing to do with our children and everything to do with keeping abortion on demand legal. Hear me know, I believe that abortion is wrong in EVERY CASE, including rape and incest…ok…you know where I come from…now let’s hear where others come from…(Please read about St. Gianna Berreta Molla http://www.catholic-forum.com/saints/saintgaq.htm) . She was a pediatrician who was given a choice of aborting her child or dying, she chose life for her child. St. Gianna’s death is an eye opener about sacrifice and living for something more than ourselves. Prop 85 in no way, would have eliminated any of the Pro-Choice movements “greatest achievements” such as Late Term Abortions, Partial Birth Abortions, Mid-Term Abortions, Early Term (1st trimester) Abortions, or any Abortion whatsoever. It simply attempted to put parents a little closer to being in the driver’s seat. Of course, don’t let anyone attempt to give a child an Aspirin for a headache, or some Pepto for a tummy ache…that of course would be WRONG and would violate our rights as parents. The law does concede many legal rights to the parents (such as for schooling, contracting, medical, etc.), so why is it so difficult to think that a child should have to talk to a parent before having an abortion. An abortion will most certainly have a lasting affect on the child…absolutely emotionally and likely physical as well. As we all know, Californians spoke out against Prop 85 by a 46% to 54% margin (Hurray for Southern California Inland Counties who seemed to be the only ones voting yes on it).
What do we do know? The nation seems to be leaning toward a Democratic (as opposed to a Republican) point of view. Say what you will about “blue dog” Dems, or “moderate” Dems, they are shifting the leadership to the older-school liberal Democrats like Nancy Pellosi (who is a San Francisco liberal). The tide is not good for the Pro-life movement. No one should disagree with the following:
“The inalienable rights of the person must be recognized and respected by civil society and the political authority…among such fundamental rights one should mention in this regard every human being’s right to life and physical integrity from the moment of conception until death” (Catechism 2273).
Remember this when voting next time. Remember what your politicians stand for. Are they against life, or for it? Don’t buy into their lies. Think carefully before voting Democrat, and certainly don’t assume a Republican is Pro-life. Be smart and informed. Do not forget the most important thing, PRAY…PRAY…PRAY…Oh, yes, if you have not figured out yet, “I am an anti-choice extremist”...because the only choice we can make is the choice for life…GOD BLESS!!

Text of Prop 85
Proposition 85: 1186. (SA2005RF0132, Amdt. #1-S) Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor’s Pregnancy. Initiative Constitutional Amendment. Proponent: Paul E. Laubacher, R.N. (916) 381-7094Amends California Constitution to prohibit abortion for unemancipated minor until 48 hours after physician notifies minor’s parent or legal guardian, except in medical emergency or with parental waiver. Permits minor to obtain court order waiving notice based on clear and convincing evidence of minor’s maturity or best interests. Mandates various reporting requirements, including reports from physicians regarding abortions performed on minors. Authorizes monetary damages against physicians for violation. Requires minor’s consent to abortion, with certain exceptions. Permits judicial relief if minor’s consent coerced. Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state and local governments: Potential unknown net state costs of several million dollars annually for health and social services programs, court administration, and state health agency administration combined. (SA2005RF0132, Amdt. #1-S)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Mary, The Rosary, and the story of the Demons and the Swine

I wanted to write this article, somewhat “tongue in cheek”, but also as a reinforcement of the power of the rosary, and my growing devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. As I wrote in an earlier article, my church has put together an Edge group (Catholic Middle School youth group). I am one of the catechists (lead teacher) for one of two sixth grade classes. We recently moved from the planning stage to the teaching stage, with the first day of students upon us. Our motto with middle schoolers is “show no fear”. Well, I don’t necessarily think I had fear, but a healthy dose of nervousness. I wanted the meetings to go well, not just for me, but mostly for the children. What to do, when we need a little “help”…The catechism (#971) tells us:

…from the most ancient times the Blessed Virgin has been honored with the title of ‘Mother of God,” to whose protection the faithful fly in all their dangers and needs…this very special devotion…differs essentially from the adoration which is given to the incarnate Word [Jesus Christ] and equally to the Father and the Holy Spirit, and greatly fosters this adoration…

The Church teaches that Mary helps us, through “liturgical feasts dedicated to the Mother of God and Marian prayers, such as the rosary” to know her son. She can help take us to a deeper sense of the “adoration” mentioned in the second part of #971. She can also help those with their needs…such as strength, courage, peace, etc. She, of course, does not create, or give these things on her own. Mary “continues in heaven to exercise her maternal role on behalf of the members of Christ” (#975). She is not only Christ’s mother, she is OUR mother, and delivers our petitions as only a mother would.

What does this small lesson on Marian Theology have to do with my Edge class? We move to the Gospel of Matthew for the analogy:

When he came to the other side, to the territory of the Gadarenes, two demoniacs who were coming from the tombs met him. They were so savage that no one could travel by that road. They cried out, “What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the appointed time?” Some distance away a herd of swine was feeding. The demons pleaded with him, “if you drive us out, send us into the herd of swine.” And he said to them, “Go then!” They came out and entered the swine, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea where they drowned… (Matthew 8: 28-32)

While the analogy of sixth graders and demons is not a perfect one, we all know that middle schoolers can be little tough to handle, especially 20+ on the first night of youth group. Before the children arrived, I walked to the Church and prayed the Rosary, meditating on the Joyful Mysteries in front of the Tabernacle (the tabernacle is the “container” in which consecrated hosts are preserved for adoration and future Masses). Our Church has the tabernacle in the center of the alter (against the back wall) with a statue of Our Lady on one side, and the Sacred Heart of Jesus on the other, with the large crucifix above the tabernacle. The placement of these items is perfect juxtaposition to the rosary. We keep the body, blood, soul and divinity, and the sacrifice of Christ on the cross as our focus. Mary points to all of this, and strengthens us in our faith.

After praying the rosary, the children began to show up. Our class went as well as it possibly could have. The students were much easier to manage than I could have imagined. This, of course, was only one night, so I am not declaring a miracle yet! The point of this article comes to fruition as the youth director directed me to the story of the demons and the swine (which I was not familiar). We were discussing how the other sixth grade class had some disruptive students that posed some challenges to their discussions. I did not get the impression that they were truly demons, and that they were overly chaotic, but in any case, somewhat challenging. We laughed at the notion that the demons left the children from my class and went into the children of the other class. We also agreed that it may be a good idea to have both of us pray the rosary next week and send the demons to the seventh grade class! We of course were able to learn a little scripture through our humor and challenges.

Let us not forget our Mother. God had the benefit of eternity to choose a woman among all women. St. Luke tells us in the annunciation; as the Angel Gabriel tells Mary:

Hail, favored one! The Lord is with you…do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. Behold, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name him Jesus… (Luke 1: 28, 30-31)

He chose Mary to be the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God. Mary tells us, “…he has looked upon his handmaid’s lowliness; behold, from now on will all ages call me blessed” (Luke 1: 48). If Mary is good enough for God, she certainly is good enough for me! There is so much symbolism throughout scripture that drives the importance of Mary. One, of course is Mary as the Tabernacle, carrying Jesus in her womb. Just as the tabernacle in every Catholic Church has Jesus inside of it, Mary carried him, to deliver him to mankind. Remember your Mother, Mary in your prayers. Give her your prayers; she will take them to Jesus as a Mother petitions for her children.

“Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee.

Blessed art though among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now, and at the hour death. Amen.