Saturday, October 29, 2011

And this is soooo different from other abortion clinics because...?

Go ahead, read the article first. It's short. I'll wait.

Former Gosnell employees Adrienne Moton and Sherry West.

Done reading? Great.

Now, can anyone tell me what the salient, essential difference is between Gosnell's abortion mill and any other?

I'm serious. What's the difference?

Sanitary conditions?

If sanitation's the issue, then this part shouldn't be so horrible to read:
According to testimony by former employees, Gosnell and his assistants killed “hundreds” of newborn babies by severing their spinal cords rather than killing them in the womb...
Because, severing a baby's spinal cord outside the womb (rather than dismembering a baby or crushing his skull in the womb), can be done sanitarily, I'm certain of it.

So, I'm truly interested in what the big deal is? If they had cleaned the place up (assuming anyone cared about standards for abortion clinics), there would be no moral objections, right?

And this: abortion worker has been found guilty of murder for killing a baby… 
Seriously, rest for one moment on those words; take them in. Are you laughing at the absurdity?

I thought "killing a baby" was the very goal of the abortion industry? Isn't the success of an abortion measured by the production of a dead baby? After all, when a baby survives the attempt on her life, we call that a "botched" abortion. A mistake. A goof-up. A fail. So if the workers can make things right just moments later and kill that same baby out of utero, what's the moral difference? Seems to me like they're just finishing the job they were paid to do.

Anyone else see the irony in this story? Any of you "pro-choicers" out there?

Just a teeny bit of irony amidst the horror?


Thursday, October 27, 2011

Subsidiarity: Why haven't I heard this before?

I think of this as a boring but important post. I'll keep it short, so stay with me. (And try to stifle your yawns!)

You've heard of "social justice" but have you heard of "subsidiarity"?

I hadn't, until about a year or two ago. The Catholic principle of subsidiarity has been added to my list of "Why haven't I heard this before??" (along with the three stages of holiness and the natural law).

So, here we go...

The definition of "subsidiarity" according to Wikipedia:
Subsidiarity is an organizing principle [which holds] that matters ought to be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority. 

The definition of "subsidiarity" according to the Oxford English Dictionary:
[T]he principle that central authority should have a subsidiary function, performing only those tasks which cannot be performed effectively at a more immediate or local level. 

In other words, if something can be done by a smaller and more simple organization (as opposed to a larger and more complex one) then it should be. The family is the simplest, most "local" organization in the social order, followed by such organizations as the neighborhood, city, state, nation, and the like. The more complicated, further removed and more centralized an entity or authority, the less effective, more impersonal, and even more harmful are its interventions into areas proper to smaller and more local authorities.

Subsidiarity holds that decisions and policies should be made at the lowest level possible, and intervention by higher and bigger social organizations should only be undertaken when those lower levels truly need and desire a supporting (not usurping!) action.

What's really cool is that subsidiarity is a Catholic principle, sprung from Catholic social teaching.

Pope Pius XI wrote of it here:
As history abundantly proves, it is true that on account of changed conditions many things which were done by small associations in former times cannot be done now save by large associations. Still, that most weighty principle, which cannot be set aside or changed, remains fixed and unshaken in social philosophy: Just as it is gravely wrong to take from individuals what they can accomplish by their own initiative and industry and give it to the community, so also it is an injustice and at the same time a grave evil and disturbance of right order to assign to a greater and higher association what lesser and subordinate organizations can do. For every social activity ought of its very nature to furnish help to the members of the body social, and never destroy and absorb them. (Quadragesimo Anno, 1931)

Sixty years later, Blessed John Paul II warned of the dangers that come from violating the principle of subsidiarity, namely, the modern welfare state:

[E]xcesses and abuses, especially in recent years, have provoked very harsh criticisms of the Welfare State, dubbed the "Social Assistance State". Malfunctions and defects in the Social Assistance State are the result of an inadequate understanding of the tasks proper to the State. Here again the principle of subsidiarity must be respected: a community of a higher order should not interfere in the internal life of a community of a lower order, depriving the latter of its functions, but rather should support it in case of need and help to coordinate its activity with the activities of the rest of society, always with a view to the common good. 
By intervening directly and depriving society of its responsibility, the Social Assistance State leads to a loss of human energies and an inordinate increase of public agencies, which are dominated more by bureaucratic ways of thinking than by concern for serving their clients, and which are accompanied by an enormous increase in spending. In fact, it would appear that needs are best understood and satisfied by people who are closest to them and who act as neighbours to those in need. (Centesimus annus, 1991)

The role of the family must not be usurped by communities and cities, the role of cities must not be usurped by states, and the role of states must not be usurped by the federal government. Worst of all is when the federal government overtakes a role proper to the family.

On a personal note: It's frustrating when well-meaning Catholic proponents of social justice claim that a vote against more and bigger federal social programs is somehow "un-Catholic." Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as the Catholic principles of social justice must never be divorced from the Catholic principle of subsidiarity.

But the misunderstanding is not really their fault, as they probably have never even heard of subsidiarity. Which leads me back to my original question:

Catholics, were you ever taught about the principle of subsidiarity?


Friday, October 21, 2011

Quick Takes: New Missal edition and more

It's still Friday here! Just in the nick of time….

1. Catholics! In case you haven't heard, the Mass is changing! Well, the essence of the Mass never changes, but beginning on November 27 (the first Sunday of Advent) the new English translation of the Roman Missal will be implemented. It's been a long time coming, and I for one am so excited!

Pick a video below if you'd like to know more about what's happening and why. Personally, I like the first and second videos the best, because my little mind needs things simple. Middle school or high school level… that's about right for me!

For middle school youth:

For high school teens:

The next two are a little more involved and scholarly. Fr. John Muir, a great priest from my own diocese, narrates these….

For parish leaders:

For parents and adults:

2. Remember my post called Laughing at Dead Babies and the Avenging Conscience? Well, here is another manifestation of how that works. Notice how pro-"choice" congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee cannot bring herself to say "heartbeat" when referencing the...wait for it...heartbeat of unborn human beings. She makes quite a linguistic gyration in order to avoid the word. Simply bizarre, unless you recognize the avenging conscience at work. Check it out:

3. Let's contrast that stalwart supporter of the Culture of Death to Jon Scharfenberger, the 22-year-old Students For Life staffer who died after a horrific car accident that also took the life of SFL Field Director Kortney Blythe Gordon and her unborn daughter Sophy. I speak often of a crisis of manhood, but Jon stood out from the crowd of his peers -- a rare, true Christian gentleman. As Dr. Gerard Nadal says, all who revere life and strive for virtue "knew" Jon, even if we didn't know him:

An excerpt:
Jon wasn’t typical of most men his age. For one thing, he was a man. A real man. Not in some pseudo-masculine macho sense of the term, but in the truest sense of masculinity. 
He was principled, and all in the pursuit of virtue. He had unusual strength of conviction, all aligned along the axis of moral clarity. Such clarity only comes in self-giving and not in self-assertion. It comes through self-discipline, of subordinating one’s appetites to a vision of the other as worthy of our best and not as an object for our consumption. It’s the stuff of which the more cynical among us who have only ever known being used cannot believe exists in reality.
The loss of such a truly good man is difficult to grasp, and as a parent, my heart goes out especially to his mother and father.

4. For anyone who wants to see a glimpse of Jon's gentle heart and firm conviction, take a look at him in action:

 Resquiat In Pacem

5. Oh, hey, did you know that there's no such thing as evil? Because some super-duper smart neuroscientists have said so, so rest easy...
Of course, people still commit innumerable bad actions, but the idea that people make conscious decisions to hurt or harm is no longer sustainable, say the new brain scientists. For one thing, there is no such thing as "free will" with which to decide to commit evil. (Like evil, free will is an antiquated concept for most.) Autonomous, conscious decision-making itself may well be an illusion. And thus intentional evil is impossible.
Check out the whole pathetic thesis if you must, here. I've heard of people trying to weasel out of moral responsibility, but this takes the cake.

6. So Life Site News picked up my last post, which was an honor and very humbling. Humbling especially because the post that gets the most attention is the one in which I lay out all of my sins and deficiencies! Maybe if I write a post detailing the contents of my next sacramental confession it'll be picked up by the New York Times!

7. Get ready for Mass this Sunday by studying the readings ahead of time:

And have a great weekend!

Thanks to Jen for hosting!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I never should have had eight children

A few months back, I told you how to raise eight children without even trying. Today, I'm going to tell you why I never should have had eight children in the first place. Had I listened to the devil and modern conventional wisdom, that is.

When I was a happy mother of four, seriously considering and deeply desiring another child, an odd feeling overcame me. Over several days, my excitement at the idea of a new little soul became mixed with feelings of discouragement and fear. It began to dawn on me that I was barely good enough "mommy material" for the four treasures I already had, and that any further parenting would be irresponsible. It came to a head one evening: I remember standing in my kitchen, full of fear and anxiety, telling myself that I had no business -- no business! -- having another baby. Not now, not ever.

All my shortcomings and sins came to the forefront of my mind, and I stood there reeling from the truth of it*:

I can't cook.
I can't grocery shop.
I can't bring the kids out alone without help.
I have nooooo patience.
I am not crafty in the least.
I can't sew.
I can't throw a party.
I'm not athletic or outdoorsy.
I don't know how to make a pretty home.
I don't know how to make anything fun.
I am lazy and a procrastinator.
I'm used to being served, not serving.
I am sarcastic and cranky.
I am a complainer.
I like to be alone.
I hate to be interrupted or inconvenienced.
I am not particularly good with children.

In that moment, I knew all of these things. And I was discouraged. Any one of these reasons could be enough for a woman to convince herself that it's imprudent to have another child. In fact, you might just be saying to yourself now, "My gosh, that Bubble woman shouldn't have one child, much less eight!"

But see, there's the thing: Moms of big families are told constantly by other women that "I couldn't do what you do!" or "You must have so much patience!" or "You must have a real way with children!" They think we were given a special gift or have a mutant gene that they do not possess. But they have no idea how much we are just like them. In fact, most of the women who say those things to me are better suited to raise a large family than I.

As I stood there in the kitchen that night, a moment of grace overtook the moment of discouragement. How many times had I told others, "Discouragement is not from Christ, as Christ only encourages. Discouragement is from the devil!" I remembered it then, and my fears and anxieties were banished. Only the devil himself, the one who hates human beings to his rotten core, would taunt me with the notion that my lack of gourmet skills should preclude new life in my marriage. I saw the evil of it then, and I called him out. I still cussed a lot back then, and I am pretty sure I told the devil what he could do with his putrid flood of discouraging thoughts. Yeah, that was a good moment.

Since that day, five eternal souls have been created in our family, four of whom my husband and I have the privilege of raising on this earth. And, while I can't claim to have conquered all the deficiencies and vices on my list (not even close! drat!), the existence of all my children has moved me along the path of holiness. Because that's how it works: The souls in your life are gifts, each of whom is meant to sanctify you in a particular way. My little sanctifiers are the artisans who change and mold me in all the ways God knows I need, and they are their father's and their siblings' artisans, too.

That my family exists as it does is living proof that "with God, all things are possible" -- even Leila Miller mothering eight great kids.

Deo gratias.

*In the interest of full disclosure, when I began to write this post a couple of nights ago, I wrote out full paragraphs for each bullet point, explaining my shortcomings in detail. Let's just say by the fifth point, I was so depressed that I couldn't go on! I turned off the computer and went to bed, ha ha!

Related post:  Parenting: What I've Done Right!


Thursday, October 13, 2011

Quick Takes: The Happy Edition!

Often, life is just too dark and depressing, and so today it's time to be happy!

1. Sometimes I use the term "LOL" which of course means that I'm laughing out loud which of course I'm really not. I am only laughing in my head. It is a very rare moment when I am actually moved to laugh out loud at anything that I see or read. So when that rare moment comes, I promise to share the source with you. I did that when I saw this from Devin Rose and now I share the following with you as well:

I was laughing raucously (interiorly only) until I hit a point at #5 which just made me burst out, audibly. Thank you, Marc Barnes, for making the world (and the blogosphere) a happier place!

2. After a terribly sad and disappointing outcome with Grace In My Heart's failed adoption (a process that I initiated), I was just so grateful at how kind she was to me in her loss. But I never expected the level of graciousness that followed, when I received an unexpected package in the mail, with a lovely thank you note and a set of the most adorable onesies I've ever seen! Check this out:


Yes, this beautiful and talented woman custom made little Bubble onesies for me and for you. She knows I love to give out prizes and suggested these could be an option! I don't think I stopped smiling all day. If you feel you have or could have a Future Bubble Reader, tell me why you want need this onesie (Mr. Bear not included)! It's a giveaway on this very happy edition of QT! (Because only the Good Lord knows when I will get around to another Doctrinal Quiz Show!)

3. Last weekend we rounded up everyone and went to visit our two oldest children who are away at college. The boys especially missed their elder brother, whom they had not seen in two months. This shot, of my oldest son taking some of his brothers on a private walk to the underpass, is a personal favorite. It was taken within minutes of the happy reunion:

You should've seen their smiles!

4. Did you know that there is only one passage in the Bible that describes Jesus as "rejoicing" here on earth? What would cause Him this joy? Here it is:
In that same hour, he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank thee, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hidden these things from the wise and understanding, and revealed them to babes; yea, Father, for such was thy gracious will." (Luke 10:21)
Jesus loved children profoundly ("Let the children come to me, do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God"), and that fact causes me to rejoice and be happy as well.

5. Speaking of Jesus (and LOLing -- though this did not make me actually laugh out loud):

But it did make me happy. :)

6. Remember "Gayle in the Bubble"? I happily announce that I will link to Gayle's weekly reflections on the upcoming Sunday readings just as often as my very slow brain remembers to do so. For this Sunday:

What a great way to prepare for Mass!

7. If there is something you want to share that made you laugh or made you happy recently, I'm all ears. Let's hear it!

Thanks to Jen for hosting!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Why gay "marriage" can't be hitched to the Civil Rights train

You all know of Lauren and her uplifting blog at Magnify the Lord With Me, but did you know that her amazing husband also blogs? He writes at The Whole Armor (which I highly recommend) under the moniker of One Man. One Man is a black American who, like so many other black Americans, strongly opposes the push to artificially link "gay marriage rights" to the Civil Rights movement. He has graciously agreed to write a guest post on that topic.

Thanks, Leila, for inviting me to write this guest post for you.

This past week, Lauren and I had the occasion to visit Birmingham, AL. Although we didn't have time to visit any of the specific Civil Rights landmarks -- we were focused on our little girl's surgery -- it was amazing to think that 50 years ago, in this city that was the hub of the struggle against Jim Crow, we would likely not even have been allowed to marry.

As I thought about that struggle, and the many who sacrificed and literally risked and gave their lives, it began to bother me even more that the "gay marriage" movement is comparing itself to that struggle. The rub of it is that some who fought so hard back then for the equal treatment of those of us whose skin happens to be a few shades darker, including Coretta Scott King, are either not speaking up or, worse, are supporting this wave that would sweep the foundation of the family out from under our culture.

Before getting too far into it, I should start by reiterating the Church's teaching on "Chastity and Homosexuality," from the Catechism 2357-2359. I know that not everyone turns to the Catechism as their first source, or any source at all, but there are so many misconceptions of why the Catholic Church opposes homosexuality (i.e., homosexual activity) and so-called "gay marriage" that the truth, in black and white, has to be laid on the line:
Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures.  Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity (cf. Gen 19:1-29, Rom 1:24-27, 1 Cor 6:10; 1 Tim 1:10), tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are gravely disordered. They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. (2357)
Ok, so the Body of Christ stands staunchly, unshakably against homosexual acts. Nothing new there. It's worth highlighting (after the underlining above) that it's the acts themselves, not any tendency or attraction to them, that are wrong. The difference results from one of two very powerful gifts given to us that distinguish us from the animals: our will, or ability to act decisively. (The other is intellect, our ability to reason.)
...They do not choose their homosexual condition; for most of them it is a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.  Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God's will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord's Cross the difficulties they may encounter… (2358)
If there is any point of commonality between the Civil Rights struggle and the struggle of those living with homosexuality, this is it. Bottom line, we have to love those who are struggling with the burden of same-sex attraction—and all others—without  exception. Loving is the only way that Christians truly imitate Christ. But loving doesn't mean rolling over and accepting actions that are contrary to what the Author of Life has laid out; to do that would be to separate love and truth, falsifying one and bearing poor witness to the other.

The third paragraph hits the nail on the head regarding the "call" mentioned above:
Homosexual persons are called to chastity. By the virtues of self-mastery that teach them inner freedom...they can and should...approach Christian perfection. (2359)
That is the call of all sexual people, which means...all people. We are all sexual beings, and so we are all called to be chaste -- i.e., to live within God's plan for human sexuality -- regardless of our station in life. As much as society would have us believe that we should be driven by our urges, no matter how superficial or deep-seated they may be, it simply is not true. We are not animals.

So, what does this have to do--or not have to do with Civil Rights? It all comes down to the natural law and choice.

Natural law

First, the natural law. Every human society, from before recorded history, has been founded on the family based in marriage: The bodily union of man and woman, and the children that are generated from that union. Putting aside any religious understandings, marriage has always existed as a natural institution.

Regardless of what flawed civil law has tried to tell us time and time again throughout the centuries, this reality of man + woman = children is not and never has been affected by race. This natural aspect of marriage depends on sexual complementarity that is definitely present in a man and woman of different races, but is positively not in two people of the same gender. Even if children do not come from the marriage (due to bodily disorders), the possibility is still there because the marital act itself is ordered toward procreation, unlike homosexual acts. Lauren and I would not have been able to civilly marry in a lot of places as recently as fifty years ago, but that was because of unjust human (civil) law, not natural law or God's law.


The second reason that the "gay marriage" movement cannot be fairly compared to the Civil Rights movement is that sexual activity contains the element of choice. God gave us the gift of free will, to be able to either (1) choose his (all-knowing, wanting-the-best-for-us) will over our own, or (2) insist on having our way. Marriage is first and most significantly represented in the marital act. That act is an act of choice, just like participation in the unchastity of sexual activity outside of marriage (homosexual or heterosexual) is a choice. It may not seem like much of a choice in the heat of sexual attraction, but the reality is that the choice remains.

Race is not that way. We do not choose our ancestry, skin tone, hair texture, or any of the other characteristics that generally differentiate people of one race from another. We did not choose what we look like, but we absolutely choose how to make use of our sexual faculties. Though our physical characteristics (unchangeable characteristics, not changeable ones like weight, dress, etc.) are amoral and more or less defined at the time of our conception, whether or not we engage in licit or illicit sexual activity is far from a foregone conclusion and has a monumental moral dimension.

These are two very big differences that unfortunately are being overlooked by those trying to hitch the "gay marriage" push to the Civil Rights train. For the sake of the truths championed by the Civil Rights movement, which so many fought and even died for, these realities must be brought back into the discussion.


Thursday, October 6, 2011

Remember "college student"? She's back. ;)

It's been a while since we've heard from "college student" (who is now a college graduate, by the way -- congrats!).

Longtime readers will recall that she sparred often with the Catholics here over abortion, contraception, women's biology, the hook-up culture and Planned Parenthood. She provided one of the most memorable moments on the blog when she mentioned that all her friends, whom she polled, could not see any downside to the hook-up culture other than the constant sobbing.

I was pleased when "college student" (who is an agnostic) struck up an email conversation with me a while back, and we have occasionally kept in touch. Then, a few days ago, she sent me the following, reprinted with her permission:
I know you are not a Priest and have better things to do than listen to your 22-year-old pen pal confess, but I need someone to agree with me today ;) 
One of the boys I told you about earlier and I starting seeing each other (#3 -- he's a good guy I swear). He was home for the weekend and I went over his house. We went out to dinner with his parents and it was late so I decided to stay over in the guest room. Boy walks into guest room, takes off his pants (non sexually), gets into bed. I tell him to get out, we are in his parents' house. He asks why. His mother comes in and I am just mortified. I tell her not to worry and that [boy's name] will sleep in his room upstairs. She shrugs nonchalantly and says to sleep where we want and no one will bother us in the basement!! 
Thinking it was hilarious and ridiculous I told my friends, "[Boy]'s parents let us sleep in the same bed, can you believe that!" The unanimous answer: "So What?" "We are Adults." Apparently this is normal and a lot of parents are cool with it including my girlfriend's very Catholic parents!! 
Furthermore, when I yelled at my mother for letting me go out of town to see said boyfriend and told her leniency was the result of letting my older sister get away with too much stuff, she told me to stop being so judgmental and live my own life, I love you mom, but C'MON!
So we agree, the world is indeed. GOING. TO. HELL.

As you can guess, my response was to affirm her assessment and her disgust. I also experienced an internal joy that she gets it! Even though it was never explicitly taught to her, she gets, on an instinctive level, that this permissive attitude and lack of judgment on the part of parents today just isn't right. "College student" gets a sense of her own dignity, the dignity of her boyfriend, and the (dare I say?) reverence that is due human sexuality.

In a subsequent email, she went on:

But something didn’t make sense. Parents don’t exercise the same amount of control over a 22-year-old as they do a 16-year-old. Nor should they, we as young adults are charged with making responsible choices. Yet when we are in their presence they still reserve the right to tell us what to. We are still yelled at, still disciplined, and still not allowed to swear. Yet, that on that day at my boyfriend's house, we were autonomous adults who governed ourselves. Go figure.
I suppose it is easy to think the only parents who would allow this are perhaps bringing their own boyfriends to spend the night or are liberal moral relativists. Yet every single person I talked to whose parents allowed them to cohabit was the child of married parents. One was the daughter of a Catholic family who never missed Sunday Mass and educated all of their three children in Catholic Schools. Another was the son of self-proclaimed fundamentalists who devoutly attend church every Sunday and Wednesday. Some voted for Republicans. 
The question is not why are parents who have moral and sexual failings failing to uphold strong standards for their children. That is hardly a paradox and the answer is rather obvious and uninteresting. 
Rather what has me perplexed is why are doting parents committed to structure and safety omitting sex from the discussion? Why are they okay telling their son, even their adult son, to make up his bed and not to smoke so long as he is in their home, but they can not tell him to at least wait to have sex until he gets back to his own apartment? Why do they bombard him with texts whenever he travels to make sure he is safe, yet say nothing when he is potentially catching a disease in their basement (and they are both doctors)? Why? Because I cannot figure it out.
With those questions, "college student" has proven herself wiser than many twice her age. I've yelled out my own similar question for years now: "Where are the grown-ups?!"

And she's right to push further and ask how it is that even Christian parents can wimp out on this issue while taking a stand on things that don't necessarily affect their children's souls and eternal destinies. I believe it has to do with a confusion about God Himself, a profound lack of courage, and/or the all-pervasive desire to be "friends" with one's children above all else.

J. Peter Nixon describes the devastating effects of a generation of Christian parents who refuse to form their children morally:
Our children and grandchildren are abandoning the faith because they perceive -- rightly -- that its demands are at fundamental variance with the lives we have prepared them to lead. We have raised them to seek lives characterized by material comfort, sexual fulfillment, and freedom from any obligations that they have not personally chosen. Should it surprise us that they fail to take seriously our claims to follow one who embraced poverty, chastity, and obedience to the will of God? (From the article, "Only the Saints Can Save Us")
"College student" is obviously on to something with her observations, and she is hoping that her questions and general bewilderment will be the catalyst for a good discussion here. In her words: 
I am really looking forward to what everyone says, as I could use some adult advice on the matter! 
Thoughts, readers?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Laughing at dead babies and the avenging conscience

A few weeks ago, I read a disturbing blog post by Abby Johnson, former director of a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic and author of the book, UnPlanned.

She recounts her early experiences in the clinic:
It took a few weeks before I got the alarm code to our clinic. I guess it takes that long for them to trust you. I remember getting the code and feeling shocked. The code was 2229. That seems innocent…until they told me what it spelled out…BABY. Really. Wow. We were really joking about that…our alarm code was mocking the murder of children. 
A few weeks later I was introduced to our freezer in the POC (products of conception) lab. This was the freezer that held the fetal tissue until the biohazard truck came for disposal. I found out the name for that freezer…the nursery. Again, that was a joke. How had that become a joke? 
A few days later I learned the password to our phone system…2229…BABY. 
A couple years later I remember walking in on my supervisor making jokes with the abortionist and another employee in that same POC lab. They were joking about how the fetal tissue floating in this dish looked like bar-b-que. Did I hear that right? Did they really just say that? Then one of them said, “I actually think this part looks like strawberry jam.” I turned around and walked out without saying a word. I felt sick to my stomach. How did that conversation begin? How could they say that? Was it enough to make me leave? No. I was one of them now. I am drenched in the evil of this place.
Later, she joined in their ghoulish humor:
About a year before I left, the Coalition for Life group had moved in next door to our clinic. We joked about sending them a “welcome to the neighborhood” gift. Maybe we should send them cookies in the shape of babies with red icing on them that resembles blood. We laughed. We thought we were so witty. It was not wit. 
I could go on and on. I look back now and wonder how I could let my mind become so numb to something so terrible.
Abby's post was remarkable to me, because just days earlier I had read an eerily similar account from another former abortion clinic worker, Jewels Green:
Even the macabre became commonplace. The gallows humor I’d seen in movies about medical staff that work around disease and death day in and day out was right at home in an abortion clinic. 
I vividly remember the cleaning lady who quit after finding a foot in the drain of the one of the sinks in the autoclave room (where the medical instruments were cleaned and sterilized after abortions) and how we all laughed and joked about it in the staff lounge for days and weeks afterward. 
When the power went out one time for hours and we were all explicitly instructed NOT to open the freezer where all of the medical waste was stored (read: dead baby parts in bio-hazard bags) but inevitably, someone did open that freezer and I will never, ever forget the stench of decaying human flesh for as long as I live —but we all laughed as we gagged and joked how at least “they” had it better in that non-functioning freezer because at least they couldn’t smell it. 
[I]n my heart I always knew it was wrong. All of it was wrong….
Horrifying as their stories are, it makes sense that they joked about what they were doing, to the point of mocking the dead babies themselves. For one to cooperate in an unthinkable evil, one must assuage the avenging conscience in some way or another.

Professor J. Budziszewski discusses the conscience -- and the revenge of conscience -- in his book, What We Can't Not Know (which I reviewed here).

The human conscience operates in three modes:

In the cautionary mode, the conscience acts as teacher:  "I shouldn't do that; it's wrong."
In the accusatory mode, the conscience acts as judge: "I should never have done that; it was wrong."
In the avenging mode, the conscience acts as executioner. We shall see how that works in a moment.

The "Five Furies" of conscience that come into play when we transgress the natural law (i.e., the universal moral law) are something we can all grasp:

1. Remorse
2. Confession
3. Atonement
4. Reconciliation
5. Justification

Professor B describes the rightly ordered way that the guilty conscience responds to the Five Furies (emphases mine):
The normal outlet of remorse is to flee from wrong; of the need for confession, to admit what one has done; of atonement, to pay the debt; of reconciliation, to restore the bonds one has broken; and of justification, to get back in the right.
However, if the guilty party does not respond to the Furies in rightly ordered ways and return to moral goodness, the Furies don't just suddenly go away (emphases mine):
But if the furies are denied their payment in wonted coin, they exact it in whatever coin comes nearest, driving the wrongdoer's life yet further out of kilter. We flee not from wrong, but from thinking about it. We compulsively confess every detail of our story, except the moral. We punish ourselves again and again, offering every sacrifice except the one demanded. We simulate the restoration of broken intimacy, by seeking companions as guilty as ourselves. And we seek not to become just, but to justify ourselves.
All the furies collude. Each reinforces the others, not only in the individual, but in the social group.    (pp. 150- 151)
In the buildings where women's wombs were forcibly opened and their living babies were shredded and dismembered and thrown out with the trash:

"We laughed. We thought we were so witty."
"We all laughed and joked about it for days and weeks afterward."
"We all laughed as we gagged and joked."

"In my heart I always knew it was wrong. All of it was wrong."
"I look back now and wonder how I could let my mind become so numb to something so terrible."
Men may keep a sort of level of good, but no man has ever been able to keep on one level of evil. That road goes down and down.    -- G.K. Chesterton
Praise God for the gift of the avenging conscience. For to be pursued by the Five Furies, even to the very edge of the pit of hell itself, is a severe mercy given by a loving God Who will use drastic means to call us back to Himself.