Saturday, November 23, 2013

Quick Takes: Facebook withdrawal edition!

Yep, so it's been a few days now since I've been off facebook, and it's an adjustment to my daily routine for sure. So, I will work off my detox here on my Quick Takes by posting some of the stuff here that I would have posted there!

1) I would definitely have posted several really cool quotes, such as this one from the Venerable Fulton Sheen:
Our humor and disposition are not so much the reflection of the weather or the wrong side of the bed, as they are the reflections of the state our soul. What is outside of us is beyond our control; but what is within us can be mastered and woven to any desired pattern.
(Wait, I did post that one before I left!)

2) I was much more political on facebook than I have been on the Bubble (well, at least since the election). I'd post things like this:

And I'd post a teacher's devastating assessment of Common Core and its consequences, here.

You all know I'd be flipping out about Obamacare and the fully-predicted disaster in the form of (supposedly) unintended consequences that are flowing from such a boneheaded (or evil) scheme, by posting numerous articles telling the tales, including:

People who weren't on Medicaid before and don't want to be now but were given no other options by our Benevolent Betters. Like the guy in the five million dollar house, or the senior citizen who wanted to keep her dignity and pay her own way as she'd always done.

And things like the hilarious (and brilliant) Mark Steyn:

(And I'd likely include an excerpt)
The most telling line, the one that encapsulates the gulf between the boundless fantasies of the faculty-lounge utopian and the messiness of reality, was this: “What we’re also discovering is that insurance is complicated to buy.” Gee, thanks for sharing, genius. Maybe you should have thought of that before you governmentalized one-sixth of the economy. By “we,” the president means “I.” Out here in the ruder provinces of his decrepit realm, we “folks” are well aware of how complicated insurance is. What isn’t complicated in the Sultanate of Sclerosis? But, as with so many other things, Obama always gives the vague impression that routine features of humdrum human existence are entirely alien to him.

I'd let my facebook friends know that wacky Seattle voters elected an avowed socialist to the city council and that even before she took office, she did not disappoint her comrades:

I'd direct them to the end of the article for a hearty (if slightly alarmed) laugh about her idea for workers to "re-tool" the machines at Boeing to make mass transit buses instead of "war machines", i.e., commercial airplanes.

I would also link to excellent articles on Public Discourse (an online journal from the Witherspoon Institute), like this one from Doug Mainwaring (a man with same-sex attraction) addressing Jonathan Rauch (a gay activist) which is summarized:

Jonathan Rauch, in his memoir Denial, argues that only access to the institution of marriage can make gays and lesbians whole. In doing so, he purposefully suppresses the truth that there are many other options available to those who are attracted to persons of the same sex.

Oh, so much politics, so much cultural upheaval to discuss. One of the big reasons I had to exit the scene. I'm tooooo addddiiiiicccttted to that stuff!!!!!!!

3) I'd have talked about my daughter's ER trips for IVs and meds to deal with her severe pregnancy sickness. I would also make sure that everyone knew about the HER Foundation ( website, which advocates for those who suffer from Hyperemesis Gravidarum (HG). As the site explains:

"HG is a debilitating and potentially life-threatening pregnancy disease marked by rapid weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration due to unrelenting nausea and/or vomiting with potential adverse consequences for the mom-to-be and the newborn(s)."

I'm not sure if that is my daughter's diagnosis (as she's been doing a bit better), but honestly I had no idea about HG, even though I have watched two friends go through it. One member of our community almost died from it. Where have I been? The information on the site is copious, including help and advice for family and friends of women with HG. 

On a happy note, I also would have posted about getting to see my daughter's baby and his/her strong heartbeat on ultrasound during one of the ER visits! What sweet peanut! So loved already. 

4) I'm sure I'd put up a status report that offered profound ponderings such as this:
I've pretty much realized that I can no longer genuflect and make the sign of the cross simultaneously or else I will fall over. So I now genuflect first, while grasping the side of the pew, then as I ascend and regain full balance, I make the sign of the cross. Have I lost some of my Catholic cred? 
Of course, then there would have followed a whole slew of comments by Catholics responding with their own stories or thoughts! Ah, the fun of it all!

5) I'd certainly re-post a meme like this one, quoting St. Augustine:

Amen, brother Augustine! There surely are not 1,600 years separating us, are there? Our Faith is just the same, our love of the Church is just the same. I love being Catholic. Did I ever mention that?

6) As I go through my withdrawals (I admit to sneaking on my husband's nearly-dormant facebook page every once in a while to see what our mutual facebook friends are up to), there is one thing that is left of me back the site, and that is a Little Catholic Bubble page that Margo (Bubble supporter extraordinaire!) set up for me. If you are on facebook and want to "like" the page, you can find it here. Margo will be linking my latest posts there so that folks won't miss anything here.

7) Finally, I would have posted a plea for an orphan across the world, who is going to "age out" of the system in March of 2014. Eliah has a cleft palate and needs a couple to nurture him as their son, before it's too late for him to ever have a family.

Click his image for more information, and pray for him!


Thanks to Jen (who's never been sucked into facebook) for hosting!


  1. I think that it is a shame that so many doctors discount HG as a real disease. You would think that that they know it is real.

  2. Your daughter and her little one are in my prayers!

  3. P.s. Isn't it amazing how much can be seen in ultrasounds?! I recently got to have one just for dating at 8 weeks. The little one was already wiggling around. Wow.

    The ER trips are awful, but the ultrasound - awesome!

  4. Leila, after last years pres election. I made the decision to go on a cold turkey diet from politics in order to heal. I'm pretty sure in the book of revelation an angel draws back his bow and America doubles down on irreversible big government.
    The bubble has been a relatively safe harbor from ulcer producing current politics. Now you are going more political?
    I'm game:) bring it on!
    I'd be happy to help roast silly Bolsheviks like the Seattle councilperson or the common core poo. Build transit busses hahahahabah! God help us
    And we're so done with government schools and their sheep training agenda. We've done charter/home for two years now and I'm hear to say its about, oh , 10 times better. Not even close, good night. My eight year old has read 56 books in the last year, most of them well above her grade level. They all do Jr Toastmasters which is just about the greatest thing I've ever seen for kids to learn. Everybody needs to either find or start a jr. toastmasters. Best thing ever.
    Mark Steyn is great .
    Love what you said about my pal Augustine. I think he feels like a contemporary because of his training in Roman rhetoric. To bad we couldn't tune into the Fulton Sheen show with special guest Augustine of Hippo.
    We will add Cecily and baby Francis to our Rosary. May St. Gianna bring momma and baby through safely.

    And yeah, that description of a genuflection is pathetic. You're pretty much a Methodist now!

    1. "with special guest Augustine of Hippo"…funny! That is probably one of the things we'll get to see in heaven!

    2. ahh Sharon, I could only imagine! All these brilliant loving souls from all generations, exchanging thoughts with perfect beauty and total uniqueness, all within the same "I am". I think we will be stunned at the brilliance of the individual souls maybe especially those of the innocent and simple. And you'll get to meet my grandma who will be serving fresh zataar bread in the St. Joseph pavilion. ahh if people just had the slightest glimpse.

    3. Hope to see you there! :) And your grandma!

  5. From what I've heard, I'm really not liking Common Core. On the other hand, early childhood education has been broken for probably decades. In elementary school, our "Everyday Mathematics" textbook neglected to teach the "normal" method of multiplication, and I know a few people who still can only do it with the lattice method, which takes slightly more time and involves drawing stupid boxes. The stuff they're doing in new textbooks seems even weirder, based on some pictures I've seen online lately. I think the people who design textbooks and curricula are too far divorced from the way teachers and students actually think. I'm not sure if federal education standards are necessary, but they should probably have a lot more input from regular people.

  6. I had HG for my second pregnancy. I kept telling myself to suck it up, but couldn't function and eat or drink anything, so I finally went to urgent care (talked myself out of it being an emergency), where they were shocked at my vitals. If I had waited a day longer...ugh, it could have been bad. I was very blessed to have excellent midwives who were supportive of me and helped me find a good solution, which in my case was medication - I took it until about the third trimester. Depending on what your daughter is taking (if she's taking meds), though I'm sure her docs have told her or will tell her about this too - you need to slowly wean off them instead of stopping altogether (I halved my dose from 2 to 1 pills, then to half a pill, then to half a pill every other day, before stopping). And then, of course, the side effects can be nasty too. I was on Zofran, and I hated it, though I hated the sickness more. I am praying hard that if I'm blessed with another baby I won't have to take it again!

    I haven't ever had an early ultrasound (just the 20 weeks anatomy scan), but I'm always amazed at seeing my little baby! What a cool experience it is.

    Prayers for your family as they work through this! It isn't easy, but I know your daughter's got great support from you and her husband. :)

  7. If you bring politics into this blog, it will weaken your religious arguments. It will show that your religious opinions are in fact driven by your cultural and political prejudices. God is not a Republican.

  8. That Fulton Sheen quote was awesome. As his usually are..... Hope your daughter continues to feel better.

  9. @captcrisis - I'm just curious. Couldn't it be the other way around - that a person's religious convictions drive them to adopt certain political views over others? I'm not Republican (and I never have been), but my political views were definitely altered as part of my conversion.

    1. No, I don't think that's true. There are very few people who would honestly say that their religious convictions form the basis for their opinions on the minimum wage, Obamacare, gun control, and a number of social justice issues where reasonable minds could disagree on how to implement the Church's support for a strong safety net. Of course people SAY this frequently (conservatives, especially, are fond of saying God is on their side), but you can't draw a line from a certain religious belief to a certain political position. As for your conversion, I think it was more than just a religious one.

  10. "If you bring politics into this blog, it will weaken your religious arguments. It will show that your religious opinions are in fact driven by your cultural and political prejudices. God is not a Republican."

    Captcrisis, that's odd to me. Secular folks are always saying how devout Catholics "cannot think for themselves". Suddenly, though, my having strong opinions on political issues weakens my religious arguments. Huh? Makes no sense.

    I am Catholic first. I am also allowed to have political opinions (gasp!). The Church is okay with that. When you find a political opinion I hold that is against Church teaching on Faith or morals (i.e., when you see me advocating for abortion, gay marriage, etc.), then you can call me out. Till then, it's my personal blog and I will still write about things that matter to me, religious, political, and familial.

    Here's what I have had written on my blog under my photo (for years now): "Politically, I am a conservative. Theologically, I am a faithful Catholic who loves apologetics."

    By the way, I am disgusted with the establishment Republican Party (the "Stupid Party"), if that makes a difference to you. Never met such a bunch of bumbling fools. I don't give a dime to the RNC anymore. But as with mcbabyadventures, my politics were altered when I reverted (death penalty, my thoughts on illegal immigrants, etc.)

    mcbabyadventures, thank you for your advice and prayers and support! I will make sure that she knows to wean off slowly, when that day comes.

    Chris P, that is ridiculous! I am so sad that we are letting down our children, dumbing things down, losing our common sense. What the heck is wrong with people? Again, as I say a million times here: Where have all the grown-ups gone? We are leaderless in so many ways.

    Chris Sawaya, bwahahaha! "pretty much a Methodist now"! You always make me laugh.

    Thanks to everyone else for your great comments and prayers for my daughter. :) You guys are the best.

  11. You wrote, "And I'd post a teacher's devastating assessment of Common Core and its consequences, here." I looked at the link and found NOTHING about CC.

    1. The "modules" are the curriculum that is derived from the CC standards. It's where the rubber meets the road, in the classroom. Like it or not, this is how the CC standards are playing out in many places.

  12. "I'd direct them to the end of the article for a hearty (if slightly alarmed) laugh about her idea for workers to "re-tool" the machines at Boeing to make mass transit buses instead of "war machines", i.e., commercial airplanes."

    Omg, wha-?
    Take over Boeing to make buses? Hi there.
    She wants a take-over of a commercial plane manufacturer to make buses- riiight.
    Tip: the heavy trucking industry already manufactures buses. That's the more logical consideration in her urgent advice of a take-over for bus production.
    Why not include, "take over a school and make it into a bus production plant". You don't just walk in, change out the tooling, and make the building into something it's not even designed to produce.

    Does she know about vehicle design, production, and manufacturing?

    And Common Core- I can't even. We want to be competitive globally? It will not happen through Common Core. Math is so necessary to practice at home- lots of geometry, even while young, (think fort building with cushions, tying strings at angles to support the "roof", teaching as you go, etc., lots of creative problem solving questions, asking the kids to reason two or three ways they'd approach and work to solve the problem.)

    Sure hope your daughter feels well soon.

  13. Don't do it Nubby, don't try to explain them. You'll end up with Belles Palsy and draggin your left leg.

    1. lol that's ok, those things will just enhance the twitch I've already developed in my right eyelid after reading that article. That she speaks so casually about it, 'Oh, just take over the place and give it a remodel. You can make buses.' Mmm, k. Did no one brief this woman?

  14. The article on the elected Seattle council member is a perfect tie-in to Captcrisis's astute comment. It's been stated on here time and time again indirectly or directly that you simply cannot be Catholic if you a) appreciate Marx's work or are intrigued with socialism b) vote based on the actions or opinions of a candidate on issues other than abortion c) if you voted for Obama.

    But back to the article you linked: the "Hot Air" piece neatly leaves out what the original reporting cites at the end, which is that the council member meant drones when she said "war machines" not airplanes.

    Also, Boeing is a notoriously bad company to work for and every few years they lay off all (or a significant number) of their employees. My partner worked for them for several years in Seattle so I speak with some confidence about it.

    Lastly, you neglect the good things (of course) that the council member is pushing for like $15 minimum wage. Does that mean you also don't support worker's rights or people making a living wage? It makes me wonder if yet another concession of being Catholic means you have to be pro-captialism all the time?

  15. Incorrect on your top points. Leila, I'm sure will address them.

    To your other comment: Boeing (as every major commercial manufacturer does) lays off people when the demand for the product is low. It's across the board in most vehicle production, but especially so in aeronautics. No one is buying planes, no need to manufacture them.

    As to the drones/Boeing bit: It makes no difference if she meant planes or war machines. She's talking buses, for God's sake. The plant is set up to produce planes. Not buses. She's urging machinists to take over and build, as if that's even possible (no design ownership, no engineering support beyond immediate, cost of new tooling changes, new presses, many more variables she casually dismisses). Who's going to pay this tab? And who's going to buy these buses? Heavy trucking has that market.

    Further, Lockheed Martin makes advanced aeronautics. Is that okay with her? Or should we stop making those, and take over to make buses because hostile take over is what she recommends?

  16. Oh lovely, so you condone thousands of people being laid off? Am I also to assume that being pro-union is not Catholic?

    Second, meaning "drones" and not airplanes makes quite a bit of difference since you are putting words in the mouth of the council member-words she never uttered.

    I can't speak to the council member's opinions on Lockheed Martin, but maybe you can, since you read her mind so well?

  17. Nubby, paleeze! Government will buy those buses. Just like in Cuba. What did were you thinking?

    Sorry, couldn't resist.

  18. Better use the preview button before publishing next time. That's puhleeze, and "what were you thinking?"

  19. Miss G: Catholics are not pro-union OR anti-union. To be either one of those extremes would mean that one is always good and one is always bad. The unions and management teams themselves understand they are both needed and they have to work together to the best of their ability. Yes, they are often wanting resources used in different ways which puts them on opposite sides of the table- but that doesn't mean one or the other is evil.

    Catholics are interested in social justice and believe workers should have a safe working environment and fair wages. There are Catholics on both sides of those tables.

    No one wants anyone to lose their jobs. But we don't live in a perfect world- companies can not always afford to keep a large workforce. I am sure we all feel for those who have been laid-off.

    Before you get upset with me, you should know I live close to Wichita, KS. Boeing has pulled a lot of their business out of Wichita and it has devastated the city. Those horrible jobs you are upset about......there are a lot of Kansans who want those jobs back. It is hard to make a living wage when no one is hiring.

    The councilwoman's comments are silly. She's advocating for a riot and out right stealing. She would never stand behind her words if the workers actually did what she wants them to do. She's using passionate rhetoric for her own ends. Either that or she is an idiot and has no clue how a major manufacturing plant works.
    - Kathleen

  20. Do you condone the business model of the government that is based on spending until bankrupt, producing when no product is necessary, and failing at breaking even?

    Do you condone the business model of the government to "fix" the employment problem by inviting people to partake in a hostile take over of a plant to produce a product that the people don't even have the design rights to, the proper tooling or capital to begin, no prototype, nor production method of their PD in place, no executive purse, to even manufacture for consumption?

    Do you condone the government using your tax dollars to buy those buses, since no one else will need them?

    Do you condone an elected official spouting off about a plane manufacturer necessarily turning into a bus manufacturer when one has no idea what one is talking about?

    Or maybe you condone the business model that works, where economic correction can be made in a fair market based on supply and demand?

    Sebastian- haha- buy all those buses that no one needs or will use- with tax dollars. Excellent business model, yeah.

  21. Personally, I have found that it is always the Democrat Catholics who say things like "God is not a Republican" when someone opposes their party whether Republican or no, and then say they're views aren't influenced by their politics, or something.

    That Mark Steyn article was great and also terribly depressing. I have this kind of lackluster loathing for this presidency, I keep wishing it would just go away, but then I know that that is magical thinking and the gifts are going to keep on giving, for years to come. Because the republican party, as you put it, are bumbling fools; I'm just having a lot of trouble recognizing this country right now.

    1. "Personally, I have found that it is always the Democrat Catholics who say things like "God is not a Republican"."

      There's a good reason for that. It's Republicans who keep saying God is on their side. Democrats rarely accuse Republicans of being "Godless".

  22. ElizabethK, I feel ya.

    Gwen, wait… do you honestly believe that half the country is secretly or not so secretly happy when businesses have to lay off people? I have never met such a person. Never met a business man who wanted to lay off his employees, either. I'm sure there are some, but I'm just saying I've never met them.

    Is corporate America corrupt and greedy? Often, yes. And still that's only half as greedy and corrupt as politics and government, which has uspeakable power over all of our lives. To tax, fine, ruin, jail, execute depending on which corrupt group is in power. So, I'll take the corruption of business over the corruption of government any time.

    To be a true socialist? Not in line with Catholicism as far as I have been able to ascertain. It would fly in the face of the Catholic principle of subsidiarity. And as for Communism, which has spawned unfathomable evil, murder, and general degradation of human dignity across the board, I believe it was our own dear soon-to-be-canonized JPII who helped to bring down that scourge in Eastern Europe.

    As for raising the minimum wage… Catholics do not have to support such a thing. If it does more harm than good (how much "good" can come to workers whose employers go out of business or have to lay them off?), why would anyone with common sense (and a basic understanding of economics) support it?

    I go back to my old "holey soap" premise (or just look at Obamacare):

    With leftist ideology, you get to feel good inside about accomplishing nothing (and usually making things worse).

    Speaking of the horror that is Obamacare: Would any sane person put Obama and his minions in charge of running their business? I'm telling you, if this debacle had played out with people's money in the private sector, the major players would not be throwing out a little apology while blaming everyone else, they would be in jail, along with their wingmen.


    Don't get me started.

  23. Miss Gwen you said: the "Hot Air" piece neatly leaves out what the original reporting cites at the end, which is that the council member meant drones when she said "war machines" not airplanes.

    No, the Hot Air piece didn't leave that out at all. It's right there at the end of the article for all to see, just as it was when I posted it. Not sure what you are talking about?

  24. On common core: many years ago we made the unpopular and maverick decision to home educate our daughters. Our oldest who just graduated HS was always home schooled. We do not regret it. If you can do it, home educate.

    Here is a short list of reasons:

  25. Poor Cecily! I am glad she is feeling better. I had never heard of HG before Princess Kate became pregnant and suffered from it last year.

    I read how division is taught in Common Core and couldn't believe it. The method I was taught was much simpler than CC's method. Frustration is deadly to learning. I guess the point is to make learning more frustrating and difficult in order to dumb the nation down more. I wish, when it came to programs such as this that are sold with much propaganda, that the masses would do their own due diligence (due diligence ≠ listening to your friends or the mainstream media) and read the actual literature on a program or legislation.

    Re: Genuflecting. Some of us **cough, cough** need both hands after genuflecting, one to grab onto the pew for balance, and the other for catching ourselves from falling if the first one doesn't work!

    captcrisis: One of my friends is a liberal "Catholic" who thinks that the Church (which includes us as Catholics) shouldn't be involved in politics. We greatly disagree on that point. Politics determine our rights as citizens of this nation (rights which are under attack); how could we not speak our minds and get involved? I, too, describe myself as conservative politically, not "a" conservative since there is no conservative party. I registered last year as an independent, after having always been registered as a Republican (even though I did vote Democrat/liberal at times, though I won't do so again). The Republican party is a mess. It's full off RINOs (Republicans In Name Only). It won't be worth it for me to vote for RINOs, including Gov. Christie, if he is the GOP's nominee in 2016. I'll vote 3rd party, or not at all.

    Miss G, I work in education and am part of a union (not a choice). It's run by liberals that use MY money to put and keep leftwing thugs, with whose policies I disagree, in office. I'm not just one of the minions - I've worked with union "leadership" and at the state level and have seen the agenda, first-hand. Unions are not about the workers. They're about power and money. Ours cheated thousands of us not too long ago under the guise of "saving jobs," by a voluntary temporary wage reduction, and our goodwill was rewarded by no evidence of how many jobs were saved. Oh, the propaganda for that fiasco. Where did that money go? No answer, but we have some ideas. Save your breath by selling unions to me as "for the workers!" and as a Catholic, how I should be pro-union. I don't run on emotion. I run on truth.

  26. Kat, thanks I appreciate your thoughtful comment and I'm sorry to hear your city of Wichita has been hurt by Boeing. You said "Catholics are not pro-union OR anti-union. To be either one of those extremes would mean that one is always good and one is always bad." I might agree wit this except that that's not the case on this blog where heated arguments have often surfaced in which Leila et al rail against anyone claiming to be Catholic in faith who has less than uber conservative ideas or opinions. In fact, there seems to be much glee in telling "Catholics" that they aren't really Catholic and they're positions/ideas are conflicting with everything Holy and True.

    @ Nubby, Really? I might take the time to respond to your deluge of questions but what's the point? You just like to bark out "Incorrect" "Wrong" in response. Maybe instead of listing your questions, you should step back and answer the ones we've all been waiting to hear like just what your superior "methods" were that you used at your job before you became a mom?

    @ Leila, I didn't necessarily say Catholics have to support the minimum wage or unions; I'm more interested in what Catholics are not permitted to believe in or approve of and clearly, an interest in socialism is one such subject.

    @ the girl from NY you sound very upset to me, good thing you have "Truth" to back up the emotion. Sorry you have no choice in being in a union and that it's clearly cheated you from all things good. I'll heed your advice and save my breath (or would it be my finger typing?) from more words with you.

    1. Oy vey! make that "with" and "their" in my first paragraph. And Leila, yes you are right the Hot Air article did mention the council member's clarification at the end, I didn't see it first read through.

  27. lol -
    You're hung up on my on-the-job "superior methods"? Mm, k. You sure you want to discuss this again? Last you brought this up, you listed tools. Not methods. Just want to be sure that you know the difference.

  28. Miss Gwen, you said:

    "...that's not the case on this blog where heated arguments have often surfaced in which Leila et al rail against anyone claiming to be Catholic in faith who has less than uber conservative ideas or opinions. In fact, there seems to be much glee in telling "Catholics" that they aren't really Catholic and they're positions/ideas are conflicting with everything Holy and True."

    This is where my face hits my palm. Gwen. You have been reading this blog for YEARS. You cannot possibly have missed the word "non-negotiable" when I have often talked of issues in the public square. The non-negotiables are those things that are, well, non-negotiable. All else is relegated to the realm of prudential judgement, with Catholic principles and the virtues guiding us to keep us from going completely off the rails.

    For more on the non-negotiables, I will relink this post:

    As for your comment to Girl From New York. It is possible to be speaking both emotionally and truthfully. The two are not mutually exclusive. She spoke things that are true. Why not address those points, regardless of her level of passion about the things spoken of?

    I could say, for example, "My boss cheated me out of $200!" and be upset or emotional about that fact. But I would find it quite curious if my debate partner rejected the fact (or refused to discuss it) simply because it evoked passion in me. Do you see what I mean?

  29. captcrisis, please don't hit "reply" when commenting, unless it's a correction or a very obvious side conversation. What you were addressing is germane to the general discussions here.

    Ironically, the Democratic Party used to be the party that Catholics traditionally were proud to be a part of. Until it became godless, frankly. It's now rightly known as the Party of abortion or the Party of Death. Godness, did you see the Democratic National Convention last year? Chilling -- abortion and sexual license and not much else -- well, except for trying to excise God from the Platform. The whole thing was a spectacle of anti-Catholic values. The Democrat Party long ago left believing Catholics in the dust.

  30. Miss G, I really have a problem with this:

    "In fact, there seems to be much glee in telling 'Catholics' that they aren't really Catholic and they're positions/ideas are conflicting with everything Holy and True."

    Can you please back that up with a couple of examples? Or even one? If not, you should retract that statement. I've been reading this blog for a while and I have no recollection of anyone telling anyone else that they aren't really "Catholic". You are indicating that there is a nasty unkindness in the discussions here, and even if a discussion gets heated, I don't think people make the kind of statements you are saying they make. So I'd appreciate it if you'd back your comment up, or retract it.

  31. Miss G, do you support a living wage? So are you opposed to the concept of equal pay for equal work? Are you actually in favor of paying a man with 6 children more than a single woman, since her "living" needs are less than his? Or would you say that the mother of the six children also has to work, and she and her husband will each be paid half of a living wage? I honestly don't understand how the concept of a living wage is supposed to play out in reality.

  32. Well......God isn't a democrat either. Honestly, from what we have from the Lord and His Church it appears God is a monarchist. :-)

    Just wanted to lighten the mood.
    - Kathleen

  33. Miss G- I understand your frustration but a big problem right now is on a national level the Democrats are trying very hard to make sure Catholics (and other conservation religions) CAN'T vote for them.

    Don't you think it is strange we have a contraception mandate in the health care law? You can go to Dillions and buy a box of condoms for $4 but there is such a NEED for contraception we are going to put it into a federal law and then tell religious employers who say this is a great evil they must provide it. Why contraception? Why not flu shots? Why not tooth brushes? Why not cancer screening?

    There are so many different ways to avoid this issue and to compromise on it but the federal government refuses to take those paths. Why?

    I'm not really sure of the answer. But I can tell you, in the history of western civilization governments start behaving this way when they want their citizens to look to them to decide what is or isn't moral behavior.

    Everyone loves to point out that religion is a wonderful way to control the masses. Everyday I hear someone tell me that the religious are brainwashed, dumb and just wanting to believe in fairy tales. That we are being used to make others rich. Yet, they can't see that the US government is starting to operate on those very principles. And when governments get that type of power and control over their citizens......well, that tends to lead to a lot of bloodshed.

    It isn't so much we are arguing against the dems as it is we are arguing (screaming, really) that the path the government is taking trying to take the place of religion is extraordinarily dangerous.

    At least that's how I see it.

  34. @leila

    Surely you can think of at least *one* issue where it's Democrats who are more in line with Catholic values and Republicans who are "godless".

  35. @captcrisis I think you're looking at this the wrong way. Both parties are way, wayyyyyyyyy off the mark when it comes to how Catholics need to live their faith out in the world. But the Republicans, at least by platform, are right on the "non-negotiables." The Democratic platform may throw a bone to immigration reform, for example, but in no way does that "make up for" other issues.

    If Catholics could only vote for either of the major parties, they would have to vote Republican in a lot of cases. Of course, I think of lot of Republicans (at least at the federal level) have seized on that so they pay lip service to pro-life issues without actually giving a crud. But even so, that doesn't mean that there's something wrong with Catholicism, it means there's something really, truly, seriously wrong with the way politics operates in the United States.

    1. I'm just going to highlight that I said Catholics would have to vote Republican ONLY if they had to choose between them and the Democrats, based on platform alone. But of course we have the right to refrain from voting, or we can vote third party or write in a candidate. And there are individuals who break party platform, too.

  36. Captcrisis, I agree with mcbabyadventures.

    Just because the Party of Death (which is against all the non-negotiables) wants the "trains to run on time" (so to speak) does not erase the evil (intrinsic evil) that it supports and makes its centerpiece. Again, did you actually watch the DNConvention? Shiver.

    And speaking for myself, I will never vote for the third party candidate in a general election (primaries are a different story), because as a woman steeped in politics for decades now (my husband works in the field, one could say), I have a major, major concern about judicial appointments. Folks forget that a Democrat who wars against the Church (most of them now) is not only there for a few years and then gone. His major damage is the judicial appointments that last a LIFETIME. Federal judges, circuit judges, appellate judges, Supreme Court judges, etc. On the municipal, state, and federal levels…. So scary. One could argue that those appointments are more damaging than anything else, as they serve for life. Republican nominees and justices may be bad in many respects, but they are still usually preferable to leftist judges. Since politics is dirty and corrupt to begin with, I prefer the slower road to destruction when I can take it.

  37. @Nubby, Ok, I'm just going to revert to my previous policy of ignoring you completely. You ask people to share their opinions and experiences and you never share yours when asked to do so. You're such a lousy ambassador for your faith.

    @Leila, I'm sadly aware of your "non-negotiables" and the posts around the last election when you basically warned people that to vote anything but Romney was a sin and a "non-negotiable." I'm also thinking about the many times you use quotes around "Catholic" to denote those who are not uber-orthodox-conservative like you. I just find it very hard to believe a "non-negotiable" factor for someone being Catholic is appreciating Marx and elements of socialism. Is that a deciding factor in how long someone winds up in Purgatory working it out so they can redeem themselves?

    @ Sharon, nope, not retracting a word. But I encourage you to dive into the archives and read them.

    1. :(

      I'm so glad you're here to set me straight.

  38. Gwen, here are a few hastily found links about Catholicism's incompatibility with socialism, if you are truly interested. I did not read the first one thoroughly, but skimmed it, and it looked fine:

    Papal quotes re: socialism:

    You are right that I have used the term "Catholic" for certain politicians who use their Catholicism to undermine the Catholic Faith and mislead others. It is their disingenuousness that I am highlighting. They know full well what the Church teaches on very serious subjects (matters of life and death, heaven and hell) and they boldly go forth thumbing their nose at their Church and professed Faith.

    Technically, a Catholic is anyone who is baptized Catholic. Many Catholics do not believe or live their faith in any real way. If one renounces his faith later, then I am not sure what we call that. I wouldn't still call him Catholic, but he would still have the mark of baptism on his soul, for eternity.

    Hope that helps!

  39. basically warned people that to vote anything but Romney was a sin and a "non-negotiable."

    This is absolutely a misrepresentation of what I wrote and believe.

    Voting itself is not a "non-negotiable" so how could what you say possibly be true? I said that not voting for Romney (as the only other viable candidate in the general election) was imprudent. Yep, that is my opinion, and I meant it. I absolutely believe that voting for an anti-Catholic pro-death candidate like Obama is sinful, if one knew and understood what he stood for. Heck, even Cardinal Mahoney, for whom I have no affection and who is the opposite of a conservative, said as much.

    1. In other words, not voting at all, or voting for a third-party candidate (i.e., "voting anything but Romney"), is not sinful. I never said it was. I said it was imprudent, for sure. But it is within one's rights not to vote, or to vote for a non-viable candidate.

  40. Ok, thanks for the clarification.

  41. You're welcome, and I am sincerely interested in your take on the links I provided re: the Church and socialism. Even if you disagree, do the links make sense?

  42. Leila, I'll admit to being one of those third-party voters, but I never felt around election time that you saw people like me as "bad Catholics." I thought long and hard about what I was going to do, and I'm not disappointed with myself for the choices I made (then again, I have the wonderful "luxury" of being able to "throw away" my presidential vote as protest because I'm in a bluey blue state.) I don't do it for every race - my husband is in government, too, on the local level, and those elections are so critical and so few voters realize that. Then again, the "D" or "R" tends to matter less on that level.

    But you and I can disagree on our approach, and neither of us has to disregard critical areas of our religion to do it. We can argue about the details (in the spirit of not just trying to prove ourselves right but also learning to do the best we can) but we're both looking for the greater good - and we agree what that looks like. One major party platform is so outside that now that it's just not going to enter the realm of possibility for practicing Catholics. (And I used to pull the lever for them every single time until about 2011! But they didn't change - I did.)

  43. Miss G, it's been a long time since I read Marx and Engels, but my recollection is that the underpinnings of their worldview were pretty antithetical to Catholicism. If you don't mind sharing, what sorts of things do you see in Marx that are admirable?

  44. Leila, thanks very much for the articles. At the moment, I'm sifting through the Searle article and very much enjoying it. Sarahcecelia, absolutely I don't mind sharing my opinion on Marx, thanks for the question. 'm poring over the Searle article and will be back in a bit with my answer and thoughts on Searle.

  45. So, after reading the Searle article, I better understand the scripture that leads Catholics to the idea that Socialism threatens the Catholic Church in its adherence to private property ownership, the specialization of the priesthood, the call of specific vocations and the authority of parents as leaders of family.

    My difficulty with the arguments presented in the article is: I think it can be easily argued that the Catholic Church benefits from private property ownership so it comes as no surprise that that issue would be a contentious one. Also, it seems disingenuous to argue for the rights of private property when the Church is as guilty as the rest of us, being part of U.S. settler-colonialism, of claiming land owned by Indigenous peoples.

    As for the argument that Socialism dictates vocations, such as preventing someone interested in being a doctor from becoming one, I'm not sure that holds much water anymore as disparity continues to grow in this country at an alarming rate. Yes, one can hope to become a doctor and realize that there will be many challenges, but so often that choice is made up for us by very real socio-economic, environmental and even cultural determinants. I'm not suggesting the alternative is to have the state decide what each of us should do for a living, but the nature of our capitalist society is such that there are actually quite a few societal determinants involved in our choices.

  46. Gwen, I read the Searle article closely just now, too. I think you might misunderstand the perspective. He's making the case that even in the best circumstances (voluntary, with supernatural aid after a supernatural call), socialistic living is very hard. And it can only work within the context of the Church: Again, voluntary, with supernatural aid. He is arguing that common sense and human nature shows us clearly that socialism via the State, and widescale, cannot work.

    It's not about the Church benefitting from private property, or any "threat" that the Church has from the State re: priesthood, etc.

    Also, "vocation" is used differently in the lexicon of the Church than in the vernacular, so that may be one other point you misunderstood. Maybe one has to read the article with Catholic eyes (and Catholic lexicon) to understand it clearly?

    We got two very different things from the article.

    1. In other words, he was arguing from knowledge of human nature and experience, not "what is a threat to the Church".

    2. Ugh, sorry, to be clear: He does mention that socialism is a threat to the living out of our God-given rights as Catholics, but that was not, as I read it, the bulk of his argument, which was summarized at the end.

  47. To answer sarahcecelia, I find Marxism a useful analytical tool. I've been inspired by academic literature that uses Marxism to interpret aspects of different cultures, to examine the concepts of power and colonialism, and to tease out the ways in which ideology naturalizes power differences. I've also always appreciated the analytical platform provided by Marxism for feminist critique. No, I don't consider myself a socialist but I do find the ideas of Marx and Engels, and a host of intellectual thinkers and writers they inspired, to be very influential and worth considering.

  48. Miss G said,

    "@ Sharon, nope, not retracting a word. But I encourage you to dive into the archives and read them."

    Are you kidding me? You make an accusation and then tell me to go prove you right myself? I'll take that as evidence that you can't' support your own accusation, Miss G.


    1. I want to add that the reason Miss G's statement matters, and its truth or lack thereof matters, is because it is just so typical. Make a blanket statement without backing it up, and it's true because - you said so? It especially gets me when I think of the people Leila might tend to call "Catholic". I have never gotten the impression that she was at all gleeful about the positions of such people. There is nothing glee-inspiring about Nancy Pelosi or Joe Biden taking the stands they do on abortion, for instance, and especially Ms. Pelosi with her "as a Catholic" statements. It is nothing but sad, and I am sad for her that she is so blind. So many lives lost because she works hard to make sure it is legal to mercilessly take those lives. No, I don't think the word "gleeful" applies at all. I am sure you won't back up your claim, Miss G, but not because it would take too much time for you to dig through the archives. You won't back it up, because what your'e saying isn't' true.

    2. Sharon, I don't have time to scroll through thousands of posts over a period of three years. Do you? Leila has already addressed my comments and assertions above, did you read that? Also, I find it amusing that because my opinion doesn't jive with yours suddenly it's cause for Sharon's "truth police" There have been many comments on this blog I haven't agreed with and find incorrect but I don't immediately call people liars.

    3. Expecting you to back up your claim is not calling you a liar, Miss G. If you make an accusation, back it up. That is not asking too much of you, Miss G.

    4. As soon as you provide evidence of how my statements are "typical," providing legitimate sources and an explanation of what you mean about calling for evidence has nothing to do with truth versus fabrication after you made the following statement: " I want to add that the reason Miss G's statement matters, and its truth or lack thereof matters, is because it is just so typical."

  49. Miss G, That's interesting. Do you think the worldview and philosophical underpinnings of Marxism need to be true for it to be a useful analytical tool? Or conversely, can the analytical platform be valuable if there are significant flaws in the underlying model?

  50. @ Leila
    Is there a way to view a comprehensive list of your posts without scrolling back through them all? Thanks. I can think of one that might answer Sharon's question.

  51. @ captcrisis
    "but you can't draw a line from a certain religious belief to a certain political position."

    I disagree. I spent ten years as a Quaker and it would be impossible to be a Quaker and not hold to certain political beliefs (e.g. pro gun-control, anti capital
    punishment, etc.). They have a long and noble history of political activism, such as being part of the underground railroad, etc.

  52. Johanne, no, not unless I give you my password, ha ha. And even then, it's not a list that is easy to see like that. If you give me an idea of the subject matter or title, I can try to find it for you, or search the email comments in my inbox.

    Sharon, that is so true. There is ZERO glee when I speak of the Kennedys, or the Pelosis or the Bidens of the political world. It is more like frustration, righteous indignation (at the number of folks who are misled and tempted into sinful positions and betrayal of Faith by their example, which is dangerous to eternal souls), and deep, deep sorrow. No glee, not ever. We cannot concede a single soul to the devil. Not one. Every soul lost, every soul that betrays Jesus Christ, is a tragedy of eternal proportions, not cause for joy or glee. Jesus came to save ALL. One lost is one too many. His precious Blood was shed for the worst sinner as well as the most glorious saint.

  53. @saracecelia, yes I do think there are flaws to Marxism and there certainly hasn't been a successful working model of Marxism either; but what it does offer is invaluable as an analytical/critical tool.

  54. Miss G, I think we're miles and miles apart on this, but I really appreciate it that you gave me a sense of where you're coming from. Thanks!

  55. @Miss G
    One can appreciate and build on Marx's insights without buying into his apocalyptic "dictatorship of the proletariat" nonsense (which in the hands of Lenin and Stalin became a self-defeating prophecy). For example, he was the first to analyze the boom-and-bust nature of capitalism. He also pointed to the role of social and economic classes in education, politics, warfare, and religion. (The Church was in the pocket of the aristocracy and obviously didn't want people to notice this.)


    It's true that sometimes there's a direct line between doctrine and a political position. As you point out, Quakers opposing war (*any* war) are one example. (I used to be a Quaker and I have nothing but good things to say about them.) But

    1. with ordinary political issues reasonable minds can disagree. Open the paper any day and you will see editorials expressing viewpionts that can't be called Catholic or non-Catholic. Bishops sometimes endorse this or that position but don't use doctrine to support their arguments.

      This is true even as to some "life" issues. For example, capital punishment. You might think that it's obvious that Catholics would be opposed to killing people. But some might think capital punishment deters murderers and ends up saving lives. (I think they're wrong about this, but that's not my point.)

      Another is abortion. You might think that criminalizing abortion is an obvious pro-life position. But people who advocate criminalization usually oppose other things (like sex education, an ample safety net for pregnant women, easy access to medical care, loosening restrictions on adoption) which would actually decrease the number of abortions. As it is, their program just results in greater numbers of uninformed, desperate women and girls and more abortions. Others think that, to truly eradicate abortion, one must not criminalize it but support the means to prevent it.

    2. Captcrisis, "One can appreciate and build on Marx's insights without buying into his apocalyptic "dictatorship of the proletariat" nonsense" I agree with you. See my comment at 8:45pm

  56. Captcrisis- "you might think that criminalizing abortion is an obvious pro-life position. But people who advocate criminalization usually oppose other things (like sex education, an ample safety net for pregnant women, easy access to medical care, loosening restrictions on adoption) which would actually decrease the number of abortions"

    I think you are being a bit unfair here. I do not know anyone who is pro-life who doesn't agree sex education, and medical care are important. The difference is the medical care and sex education they support is DIFFERENT from what you think they should support.

    It is an old argument trick to act like if you reject one idea you must accept another because nothing else makes sense.

    Personally, I think those differences are exactly why Leila should include more political commentary on the blog. After all, most of us can agree abortion is an evil- but do we all agree on how to go about living that in our lives? What actions we should take politically?

    I think those are discussions worth having and could help bring the catholic community together.

  57. Captcrisis, I think Kat was being generous when she said you were being "a bit unfair". I don't know where to start. First, the death penalty is *not* a non-negotiable, as it is not an intrinsic evil. Read the Catechism and the words of the popes on that (back to the link I provided further up).

    As for sex ed…. oy, vey. Kat is right: It really does depend on the nature of the sex ed, no? We have nooooo problem talking about sex in this house or in the Church either (did you ever read JPII's copious words on the subject?). But you take those same kids (my kids) and put them in a Planned Parenthood based sex ed class and you will see the wrath of Mama Bear. Context and meaning and truth is everything when it comes to sexually educating children. There is sex ed that edifies, and sex ed that corrupts. Don't get me started.

    As for what things help to prevent abortions and also support women in crisis, the pro-life Catholic community is all over it. I wish I could give you tours of our local crisis pregnancy centers and homes for unwed mothers (all free, all with no "payback" by the folks who work so hard in service of these women and families). I don't even know where to begin to recount what I have learned since becoming a pro-life Catholic, but I started here:

    Of course, it's so important to remember that the right not to be killed is a fundamental right, meaning that the right to life exists (and must be protected by law) regardless if any, all, or no social programs are in place. The idea that "well, we will protect your right to life… but ONLY if you can have free lunch programs at school" is absurd on its face, no? The right to life is not dependent on anything else.

    That said, we have very different opinions on what is effective public policy for helping women and children and families in crisis. Some ideas are winners, some are losers. We vote for the public policies that we think do the most good. I have not seen liberal policies to be effective (and this is on top of the fact that Democrats promote intrinsic evils).

  58. @Leila
    "As for what things help to prevent abortions and also support women in crisis, the pro-life Catholic community is all over it."

    I've said this before. I think Catholics are unique in putting their money, time, and effort where their mouth is when it comes to abortion. But other pro-lifers are not like that. Standard conservative rhetoric rails against safety nets while swooning about the sanctity of the fetus. That's one of things that disgusts me about the
    Republican Party. Perhaps you are not as aware of that because you are steeped in the ethics of your Catholic community which are very different than many pro-lifers.

  59. I know we've been over this before, and we disagree on the negotiability of the death penalty (though we agree it's wrong), but this was striking –

    "First, the death penalty is *not* a non-negotiable, as it is not an intrinsic evil."

    and then

    "Of course, it's so important to remember that the right not to be killed is a fundamental right, meaning that the right to life exists (and must be protected by law) regardless if any, all, or no social programs are in place."

    (And the "no social programs in place" could, conceivably, also apply to programs aimed at rehabilitating and assisting prisoners on death row so that they can live out their lives, no?)

    1. To clarify, I know the Church teaches that the death penalty isn't intrinsically evil, so I'm not saying you're wrong about that – just saying that it seems an inconsistent position for the Church to hold. I'm sure it isn't actually inconsistent, but I still don't quite understand how a self-respecting pro-life Catholic could also be pro-death penalty. While I know that's not you, I just wanted to point out that on the surface it can appear to be quite the hefty double standard.

  60. Michelle (existenceandessence),

    I almost changed my word choice when I originally wrote that, from "kill" to "murder". Not all killing is wrong. Killing an aggressor in self-defense, killing armed combatants in a just war, and killing a guilty person to keep the community safe (if there is no other way) -- these killings are not intrinsically immoral and may be allowed. What is never moral is murder: Thou shalt not murder. Killing any innocent on purpose, and any non-aggressor, is immoral. It's murder. So, all murder is intrinsically evil, and since the unborn can never be anything other than innocent (and non-aggressors), they may never licitly be killed.

    Hope that helps!

  61. If you're at a loss for post ideas (probably not the case, though!), a thorough exploration of how this plays out with the commandment not to kill (which to my knowledge has no caveats) could be really interesting. I know the rationale is there, but I'd bet it'd be beneficial for Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

  62. "...a thorough exploration of how this plays out with the commandment not to kill (which to my knowledge has no caveats)"

    That's what I was alluding to. The commandment is better translated as "Thou shalt not murder." Not all killing is murder. Murder is intrinsically evil, killing in self-defense is not murder. If killing in self-defense was murder, then we would have to try folks for murder if they are defending their lives against an aggressor. No one would do that, in justice.

    So, think of the commandment as "Thou shalt not murder" (as it's always been understood in Jewish and Christian Tradition -- the Old Testament is not up for "reinterpretation" to mean something it never has). It helps to remember it that way.

    Hope that makes sense!

  63. Got it, didn't make that connection. Even for this lifelong atheist, "thou shalt not kill" is pretty mentally engrained. Thanks!

    Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, and hope your daughter is feeling better!

  64. Thanks, Michelle! Yep, we would call "Thou shalt not kill (murder)" a matter of natural law, something that God placed on our hearts and something we can all understand by human reason alone.

    My daughter is feeling "eh". But is going to get some in-home IV's and such now, so she won't have to keep going to the ER, so we are grateful for that! Thanks for the well wishes, and I hope you and yours have a wonderful Thanksgiving!! :)

  65. Johanne- "I've said this before. I think Catholics are unique in putting their money, time, and effort where their mouth is when it comes to abortion. But other pro-lifers are not like that. Standard conservative rhetoric rails against safety nets while swooning about the sanctity of the fetus."

    Okay, I have to push on this.

    First, how do you know? There are thousands of charitable organizations which help unwed mothers or mothers considering abortion. You have no way of knowing how or when people are helping out. It can be as simple as donating clothes, blankets, toys and cooking meals. These things won't appear on a tax return and for the most part people don't go around bragging about their volunteer time. So it is impossible to know (except in very few circumstances) if someone really isn't walking the walk.

    Second, what safety nets are all of you talking about? Again- thousands of organizations who will help these young ladies. I don't know a single Church who wouldn't help out a young mother or help her find the resources she needs. I know the local credit unions in my town run fundraisers for people in the community when they find themselves in dire circumstances. The people who support those organizations ARE supporting the young women in need.

    The best safety net is family. No one is going to to be in a better situation to help you than your family. We can't provide that, but we do EVERYTHING to encourage it. As much as the other "right wing conservatives" drive me nuts on some things- they support the family, as well. Those who advocate against the family are not generally on the right politically.

    So again, it isn't they don't support "safety nets" it is they don't support the safety nets you want them to support.

    But I'm still confused how you can "know" these conservatives aren't helping the young mothers. We just don't have all the facts.


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