Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Same Sex Marriage in New York

What was supposed to be decided on Monday is still undecided.  The battle to pass a same sex marriage bill is just that, a battle.  Here are comments from Ed Mechmann's blog about what's happening in Albany.  He is referring to the saints JohnFisher and Thomas More when he mentions the "great witnesses for truth."  

As we recall the memory of these great witnesses for the truth, powerful men are in Albany redefining marriage, and threatening the liberty of the Church. They sit behind closed doors, making a mockery of democracy with their secret political deals, not disclosing even the language of the bill they will soon foist upon us. That bill will certainly threaten the liberty of the Church to fulfill her apostolic mission, even as it redefines the family and the nature of every marriage. A few people stand in their way. A few brave legislators have resisted the inducements, threats and pressures, and are defending the truth. Ordinary people of all faiths have sacrificed to go to Albany to give witness to their belief in the sanctity of authentic marriage, and to their fears of religious persecution. They were met with derisory anti-religious chants.

This calls to mind the way Obama, Pelosi and Reid forced the health care bill through.   Andrew Cuomo, another Faux Catholic, is following in their example.    Here is Archbishop Dolan's blog with his message about marriage.

Book Review--Unnatural Selection

This review of the book Unnatural Selection covers some unpleasant territory and shows the cruel irony of what the ill-fated feminist movement has delivered to women and girls, namely, more ways to be an oppressed group.   To quote:

In the mid-1970s, amniocentesis, which reveals the sex of a baby in utero, became available in developing countries. Originally meant to test for fetal abnormalities, by the 1980s it was known as the "sex test" in India and other places where parents put a premium on sons. When amnio was replaced by the cheaper and less invasive ultrasound, it meant that most couples who wanted a baby boy could know ahead of time if they were going to have one and, if they were not, do something about it. 

The book explores how sex selection, by means of abortion, has skewed the male-female ratio in some countries, especially India and China. The resulting shortage of women not only fuels the practice of abortion but also turns women into a commodity to be bought and sold.   Again, from the review:

The economist Gary Becker has noted that when women become scarce, their value increases, and he sees this as a positive development. But as Ms. Hvistendahl demonstrates, "this assessment is true only in the crudest sense." A 17-year-old girl in a developing country is in no position to capture her own value. Instead, a young woman may well become chattel, providing income either for their families or for pimps. As Columbia economics professor Lena Edlund observes: "The greatest danger associated with prenatal sex determination is the propagation of a female underclass," that a small but still significant group of the world's women will end up being stolen or sold from their homes and forced into prostitution or marriage. 

In a screwy twist of logic, the author of the book (a woman, no surprise) worries that this shortage of women might endanger the sacred cow of  abortion that feminists champion. 

This is a very interesting review and makes a number of good points, most all of which were accounted for and predicted in Pope Paul VI's Humanae Vitae.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Single Sex Dorms at CUA

Having a special interest in what goes on at The Catholic University of America (CUA), it was especially exciting to read that CUA will be phasing in single sex dormitories this fall.   President Garvey laid out his thinking on the matter in this op-ed piece in the Wall Street Journal. 

One sassy coed, a CUA alum, bragged that she had hooked up to her heart's content,  that single sex dorms won't change a thing.  A coed from some other university lapsed into political correctness saying that  "choice" is important.   Fortunately, what these girls think doesn't matter.  President Garvey did not say that a questionnaire will be sent around to see how students like the new arrangement.  No university-wide study is being planned to ask for feedback.  No one is suggesting that input from students will help Mr. Garvey decide how he'll implement the phasing-in process.    The grown-ups are in charge of the university as they should be.  

I don’t believe any parent honestly wants to send their high school senior off to four years of partying and casual sex, but with little support from the popular culture, and far too little from our churches, parents acquiesce to the culture’s insistence that sex and alcohol are obligatory rites of passage for college students. When the president of a university--and how fitting that it should be The Catholic University of America--steps forward with  real leadership, the message resonates.   

You can read more here about President Garvey's idea of a university and the relation between intellect and virtue that he discusses briefly in the Wall Street Journal article.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I've read bits and pieces of what Pope Benedict has been saying about the digital age, but here is a more complete statement that I ran across.  He talks about a " . . . .   fundamental desire of people to communicate and to relate to each other. This desire for communication and friendship is rooted in our very nature as human beings and cannot be adequately understood as a response to technical innovations."        

On the subject of friendship, here are a couple excerpts:  
The concept of friendship has enjoyed a renewed prominence in the vocabulary of the new digital social networks that have emerged in the last few years. The concept is one of the noblest achievements of human culture. It is in and through our friendships that we grow and develop as humans. For this reason, true friendship has always been seen as one of the greatest goods any human person can experience. We should be careful, therefore, never to trivialize the concept or the experience of friendship. 
Friendship is a great human good, but it would be emptied of its ultimate value if it were to be understood as an end in itself. Friends should support and encourage each other in developing their gifts and talents and in putting them at the service of the human community.
The Pope is never trivial, even when talking about Facebook or Twitter. He manages to go from cyberspace to the early Church and pull it all together.