Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Ode To Leap Year

This poetic tribute to Leap Year was debuted in an invitation-only, private salon reading in the home of the author on February 29, 2004.  Some will remember that special occasion. . .. .


How oft the clock we wish to turn back to an earlier time,
To celebrate a bygone day we now view as sublime,
To be ourselves once more as we believe that we once were,
As babe-in-cradle, tot or teen, any age we might prefer
To this one. Where we are right now. The unforgiving present.
Where we can only dream a past that memory turns so pleasant.

But stay a moment. Listen up. For this year something’s different.
For this year February has all twenty-nine days in it!
It’s thank ye to Pope Gregory that only leap kiddies may wander
Once every four years backwards where our memories find it fonder.
So this year, leap kids round the world can shout a ‘Hallelujah!’
And turn deaf ears when folks say to us,
“You don’t have a REAL birthday….. Do ya’?”

Of course we do! But not like you who count the years by onesies.
We count our birthdays one in four, growing hardly past our twenties.
We live in a perpetual state of youthful animation
As we calculate our leap birthdate with neat multiplication.
By the time we’ve lived four years we’ve really just completed one.
And when we’re twenty, we turn five. Our schooling’s just begun.
Thirteen times four, our thirteenth year, we’re in our adolescence.
Nineteen times four, not twenty, and full of effervescence!

Oh, time passes for us too. We know. The mirror doesn’t spare us.
Those years between we’re just like you who age as each year passes.
But every four there’s Februar’ with all its days in order,
And we revert to young-at-heart and shout a happy chorus.

Praise leap year then!
Send out to find that special Jack or Jane!
And raise a cheer to those this year who’ll be younger once again.

Amy De Rosa

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nonmarital Births Among Young Women

In this article, the New York Times is basically reporting on one of the themes of Charles Murray's new book, Coming Apart, although there's no mention of Murray until almost halfway through the article!  Oh well.  The Times leads off with the fact that among women under 30, more than half of births are outside of marriage,  'nonmarital births' as Murray calls them. 

The Times puts an objective, neutral, non-judgmental, well, their own spin on it with  phrases like "the transforming family" and "rewards of marriage increasingly reserved for people with the most education."   Ideological mumbo jumbo on the part of the Times journalist!  Here's more mumbo jumbo:  "Money helps explain why well-educated Americans still marry at high rates: they can offer each other more financial support, and hire others to do chores that prompt conflict."

It's exactly the other way around of course.  Marriage is one of the major factors in leading people out of poverty!  Read this article by Robert Rector  and this one on married fathers also by Mr. Rector.  For a lighter treatment of the same issue, see this article.   

What particularly chafes is that this development is another example of the unabashed hypocrisy and deception of feminist ideology.  Unfortunately, young women still seem to be taking the bait--hook, line and sinker---that they'll be able to do it all.  In this case that includes raising children without the benefit of a father and husband while simultaneously bringing home the income necessary to support themselves and their children.  All this while somehow managing to maintain a reasonable standard of living and quality of life for themselves and their children.  If a young woman is thrust into this situation through the vagaries of life, that's one thing.  But for young women to make a choice to be husbandless and for their children to be fatherless is a sad thing for these women, their children and our society.  Unnecessary also.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Some Weasels

According to Bishop Jenky of Peoria, Illinois, there is a place where unfaithful Catholic politicians might eventually find themselves. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Culture War

Following along with the most recent battle in the culture war of Obama vs. the Catholic Church, here are two good articles, one and two, that explain why Obama's 'accommodation' has been rejected by the bishops and others.   A quote from the first article: 
It is morally obtuse for the administration to suggest (as it does) that this is a meaningful accommodation of religious liberty because the insurance company will be the one to inform the employee that she is entitled to the embryo-destroying “five day after pill” pursuant to the insurance contract purchased by the religious employer. It does not matter who explains the terms of the policy purchased by the religiously affiliated or observant employer. What matters is what services the policy covers. 
A quote from the second article explains that many institutions (such as the Archdiocese of NY) self-insure. 
Third, this does nothing to protect churches and other institutions like EWTN that are self-insured. The whole point of the compromise is to stick the burden on the insurer. Well, for many dioceses and folks like EWTN, they are the insurers — so they are still being forced to directly provide the coverage that violates their religion. Ironically, many of these institutions self-insure precisely in order to avoid state-law requirements to provide these drugs. So the president, whether intentionally or not, is eliminating the safety valve that works in many states to protect religious institutions. Thanks for that “compromise.”

Thursday, February 9, 2012

162 Reasons To Marry

From Family Research Council, read them here.

Obama Strong on Defense


Slack-jawed and awed by a marshmallow gun, President Obama said he will deploy hundreds of these to crisis areas around the globe. They will replace the Soldiers and Marines who would ususally keep the world safe for democracy.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Nagasaki Martyrs - February 6

Among the 26 martyrs was Saint Paul Miki who, while hanging on the cross, said “After Christ's example, I forgive my persecutors. I do not hate them. I ask God to have pity on all, and I hope my blood will fall on my fellow men as a fruitful rain.”

Monday, February 6, 2012

Charles Murray in the WSJ

Charles Murray is in the news again because of his new book, Coming Apart.   This article gives a taste of the book I'm guessing.  A couple interesting quotes are below.

In explaining the growing gap between what he calls the new upper class and the new lower class Murray writes,  
As I've argued in much of my previous work, I think that the reforms of the 1960s jump-started the deterioration. Changes in social policy during the 1960s made it economically more feasible to have a child without having a husband if you were a woman or to get along without a job if you were a man; safer to commit crimes without suffering consequences; and easier to let the government deal with problems in your community that you and your neighbors formerly had to take care of.  
In talking about religious affiliation and its decline among the new lower class (i.e. Fishtown in this article) he says,
Whatever your personal religious views, you need to realize that about half of American philanthropy, volunteering and associational memberships is directly church-related, and that religious Americans also account for much more nonreligious social capital than their secular neighbors. In that context, it is worrisome for the culture that the U.S. as a whole has become markedly more secular since 1960, and especially worrisome that Fishtown has become much more secular than Belmont. It runs against the prevailing narrative of secular elites versus a working class still clinging to religion, but the evidence from the General Social Survey, the most widely used database on American attitudes and values, does not leave much room for argument.
His discussion of a remedy to the growing gap between the classes is directed toward the upper classes: 
Life sequestered from anybody not like yourself tends to be self-limiting. Places to live in which the people around you have no problems that need cooperative solutions tend to be sterile. America outside the enclaves of the new upper class is still a wonderful place, filled with smart, interesting, entertaining people. If you're not part of that America, you've stripped yourself of much of what makes being American special.

Such priorities can be expressed in any number of familiar decisions: the neighborhood where you buy your next home, the next school that you choose for your children, what you tell them about the value and virtues of physical labor and military service, whether you become an active member of a religious congregation (and what kind you choose) and whether you become involved in the life of your community at a more meaningful level than charity events. 
In conclusion Mr. Murray kind of plays devil's advocate to his own proposal and says,  "We're supposed to trust that large numbers of parents will spontaneously, voluntarily make the right choice for the country by making the right choice for themselves and their children?"  His answer to this is yes. 

Maybe that's his Libertarian side coming through--you don't need a lot of directives, plans and legislation; just leave people alone and good people will do the right thing.  The problem is that they don't, that the road to hell is often paved with the good intentions of good people and, anyway, there are plenty of bad people out there promoting bad things that destroy the efforts of the good people. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Hosana-Tabor vs. EEOC

Here's a good article, an old one, I stumbled across that clearly explains what was at issue in the now-decided religious liberty case, Hosana-Tabor vs. EEOC.  And here is the article that states Obama called Archbishop Dolan to tell him of the HHS decision.  I didn't read this anywhere else.  The article also states that Obama had assured Dolan in a previous meeting that Dolan would be happy with the results of the conscience rights decision.  Obama certainly has a strange take on life as the president of the U.S.  Seems it's always opposite day for him!
For another perspective on the matter, read Fr. Rutler's parish notes.