Thursday, December 26, 2013

The Parable of the Talents in India

This researcher found that for an exceptionally impoverished group of women in India, of the Dalit
caste,  there's a connection between becoming a convert to Christianity and improving their economic situation.  The Christian converts, as opposed to their Hindu and/or Muslim counterparts, invested monies they received from a microfinance program thus generating more capital for themselves and improving their lot.  Say, there's something to the parable of the talents after all!

Also noteworthy is the importance of owning a home, something those of us (even those who rent) in an affluent, free(ish) and democratic (still more or less so) society may take for granted.  As the researcher notes:
The impact of home ownership is crucial, since “by being able to own a house, these poor women were able to get bank loans, commercial loans, which they didn’t have access to before that. When you have a house you can get a loan at 3 percent, instead of from a money lender at 18 percent.  So having a house is a very important investment in your future, so you can have access to very affordable credit.” 
 An unexpected finding linked home ownership among these women with a greater likelihood of seeking help for abuse at the hands of husbands.   I think, though, that it's not so much the home ownership that does this, but rather the sense of worth that the Christian faith builds up in these women who realize the value of their existence. They become secure in the knowledge that they matter, that the fruits of their labor matter and that they don't deserve to be beat up by a bully not yet acquainted with the special gifts offered by Christianity.   The providential effects of Christianity for women have not gone unnoticed over the ages, being written about most recently by our own Cardinal Dolan.  He wrote up a good riposte to the imaginary "war on women" so popular with some in our society.  The cardinal writes specifically about the way in which early Christianity and now Catholicism elevate women, beginning with Mary, a teenage girl who finds herself pregnant and unmarried and becomes one of the central figures of the Catholic faith. 
Historians of the Roman Empire document how much the Church’s elevation of women threatened the status quo: in an empire that treated women like chattel, the Church declared her equal in dignity to man; in a culture that declared she could be dismissed from a marriage by a selfish husband (she could never divorce him!), the Church taught, with Jesus, that marriage was forever; in a society that coerced abortion against the natural maternal instinct, the Church proclaimed, no! In a culture where women were viewed as objects of pleasure for men, Christianity objected, raising sexuality from just the physical to a very icon of God’s love for us: personal, passionate, faithful, forever, and life-giving.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Michelle Obama On Living Out Your Faith

I know it's an old article, from 2012, a year and five months old to be slightly less than precise, but who can resist Michelle when she's "speaking truth to power" and talking about Jesus as an example for our lives.  I just read the article again after seeing Mrs. Obama's wise words quoted regarding Liberty Ridge Farms, a business that is doing just what First Lady Michelle is advocating--living out one's faith every day of the week.  Moved to speak about Christ, clearly Michelle is not an angry black woman.

“Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well, especially in those quiet moments, when the spotlight’s not on us, and we’re making those daily choices about how to live our lives.
“We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church,” she said. “He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives.”

The owners at Liberty Ridge Farms remained  true to their beliefs not just on a Sunday when it's easiest to be faithful, but on a weekday when they explained to a probing caller that their business couldn't host a same sex wedding.  Now they're involved in a lawsuit and being asked to pay damages. 

Michelle talks about "our faith journey" though for all she and her husband are now affiliated with a faith journey, minus their perfunctory Easter family visit,  the Obamas are presumably among the 60% or so of Americans who seldom or never attend church.  (That's  except for the 20 years when the Obamas weren't really regular attendees at that Jeremiah Wright church in Chicago and didn't listen anyway when they were there.)  The President's administration is notably hostile to the practice of religion in the public square--exactly what the First Lady is advocating here--with its HHS mandate, its attempts to limit religious freedom in the military, its disinterest in America's commitment to religious liberty globally and the President's narrow interpretation of what religious freedom and the First Amendment mean.  From an article in First Things:
Barack Obama once asserted that “our deliberative, pluralistic democracy demands . . . that the religiously motivated translate their concerns into universal, rather than religion-specific, values.”   
As the article points out, this is precisely what our democracy doesn't call on us to do.  Our "religiously motivated. . concerns" are our particular religious beliefs, particular to us, to the dictates of our conscience.  They are, as James Madison writes, our property to which we have that God-given right as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. Referring to President Obama's commitment to religious liberty internationally, which differs not at all from his commitment to religious liberty domestically,  the article goes on to say,
The current administration, while it has delivered some nice speeches on the subject, has invested its energy and resources in the promotion of “LGBT” interests, not religious liberty. Obama took two and one-half years to get his ambassador-at-large for religious freedom, Suzan Johnson Cook, in place, and even then she was buried deep in the bureaucracy, with little authority or resources. Clearly the Obama administration has subordinated religious liberty to the international pursuit of what it believes to be superior rights claims. 
Michelle reminds us that what's important are "those quiet moments" when we make choices about how to live our lives. Speaking truth to power.  Fighting injustice.  Finding Christ "everywhere" by "how we live our lives."  Saying one thing but meaning another.  Probably.  Deception comes in many guises and turns of phrase.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Adrian Peterson and his "fraternity of brothers"

It could be that professional football and the media that covers the sport might be breathing a collective sigh of relief that 1) Adrian Peterson, Vikings running back, seems to have pulled through his "private matter" and can play ball today and,  2) the sports media doesn't have to report that it was one of the NFL's own being charged with beating his 2-year old son to death.

Peterson  recently learned that he was the father of a little boy in Sioux Falls, Minnesota and he was planning to go out and visit his newly-discovered son when the child met a violent end at the hands of his mother's boyfriend.  Most of the news coverage is about the boyfriend and his past history of domestic and child abuse.  Some of the news is about the fact the two year-old who died on Friday is not Peterson's other two-year old son, Adrian Jr.  Some of the news mentions that  Peterson also has a daughter.  Not much of the media mentions that Peterson isn't married but a while back they did report that Peterson enjoyed reading about marriage while at training camp this summer.   Some reports comment on the "world of pain" Peterson is experiencing.

Peterson himself  is tweeting blessings to his fans and expressing his thanks to his "fraternity of brothers" in the NFL. He's thanking the Vikings organization.  He has explained that he's always used sports to get through the tough times. Peterson says that he'll play today because God "wants good" to come from his son's death.  (Good like a Vikings football game maybe.)  Peterson says that he's at peace because his son got the "baddest" welcoming party in heaven.  Peterson feels "joy" because his loved ones are in a "better place."   Peterson, it looks like, has decided that everything is okay.   Whew.  Back to being a pro athlete.  

But in Peterson's "private matter," there is a dead child to think of.  Or ignore.  There's also the fact that at 28, Peterson is the father of three children, one of whom he didn't know existed until a few months ago,  and that he is apparently married to neither or none of the mothers whoever those women might be. What do the fans, the Vikings organization, the media and all Peterson's fraternity brothers think about that part of Peterson's private matter. 

Quite obviously they think it's not worth mentioning and they have the tacit consent of the popular culture to go on thinking that.  Peterson's children are among the 40% of children born to unmarried mothers--make that 72% in the black community as of 2008.   Since Peterson probably makes a hefty salary his children will most likely not have to worry about joining the ranks of those 70% of poor families headed by single-parents. That is, if his children know who their father is and live long enough.  And, as for the stability and continuity afforded by marriage, Peterson is no different from a majority of Americans for whom marriage is important, but not a priority.

The Sioux Falls Police Department is quoted here as saying that the identity of the dead toddler's father is not important.  But perhaps if Peterson had been married to the mother of the little boy, living with her and his son, being a father and husband to his family, things would be different.  The identity of the father does matter and in this case it's Adrian Peterson.  Can't help but wonder if Peterson and his NFL frat brothers ever stop to think about that.  That's where I think God wants the good to come out of this tragedy. 

Friday, August 16, 2013

Brawn vs. ?

More about the differences between the sexes.

From Blackfive, Deebow asks if you have to work at being as stupid as Col. Ellen Haring at the Army War College.   Why, yes, you do because you have to defy the "Laws of Nature and of Nature's God" repeatedly over a period of many years in order to firmly convince yourself that the sun really does rise in the west, that black really is white and that women certainly are just like men if you will only first strip men of the masculine traits which uniquely define them.  That is, once you re-define the world according to your own terms, you can be as far off base as Col. Haring.

In this article by Col. Haring, reported on here,  the colonel gets to the heart of her argument by calling into question what makes a good combat soldier.  Once she's pointed out that decorated hero Audie Murphy was physically unfit --by today's standards-- and that North Vietnamese soldiers are the size of women, she decides there's no reason to "rely on traditional notions of masculine brawn that celebrate strength over other qualities.”  Precisely.  Traditional notions are dangerous for feminists like Haring because tradition relies on the fact that physiological differences in the male body, like testosterone for starters,  account for greater male strength.  If she can define strength, brawn, out of the equation, women can play the game too.  To be sure, the colonel notes that  "Combat specialties, it turns out, are inherently endurance-based occupations. Evidence in hand, they [Canadian Forces] shifted from strength-based standards to endurance-based standards, and far more women began to qualify for combat specialties."  But as pointed out here, though women may qualify, they will likely not endure.   And as noted here  (8th paragraph), even if able to endure, they may not show. Now why in the world would a woman be more likely to have concerns about her family than a man?  Something about being a woman?

As argued elsewhere and in the comments to Haring's article, there is no reason to have women in combat roles other than to satisfy the politically correct, feminist entitlement argument that because they want it they should have it.  As Deebow writes, " . .  no matter how calm, creative, and quick thinking the fairer sex is, there are still less of them that can lift that 81 baseplate and walk it to the top of a mountain carrying a full combat load and their own gear than there are dudes who can do the same." 

But, even more to the point, brawn has a role to play, not just in being a soldier, but in being a man.   It's important not to define out of existence traits that make men manly and women womanly.  In fact, we can't.  Those "Laws of Nature of Nature's God" prevail. Society has a stake in the sexes knowing how they are different and in maintaining standards for traditional male roles vs. traditional female roles.  Will every man fit the stereotype?  Will every woman fit the stereotype?  Of course not, and those who don't will need to find their place but that doesn't mean the standard isn't useful. Along with re-defining soldiering, Colonel Haring might also wish to re-define the law of gravity, but if she chooses for some odd reason to jump from a 10-story building, she will likely find that she still goes down. With a splat.  

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Saint Maximilian Kolbe

Today is the feast day of The Saint of Auschwitz, the German priest who voluntarily took the place of a fellow prisoner who was to be put in a starvation cell to die.  Father Maximilian Kolbe was unknown to me until my mother mentioned his name in connection with a trip she'd made to Germany.  I paid little attention at the time, not being a Catholic and knowing little of saints or even priests, especially German ones.   However, one night, after reading to my kids from Bill Bennett's Book of Virtues, I flipped through the book absent-mindedly and happened upon the story of Father Kolbe.

The attempted escape of a prisoner at Auschwitz resulted in the punishment of the others.  Ten people in Father Kolbe's barracks were destined for the punishment, death by starvation, among them a man named Franciszek Gajowniczek who called out that, no, he couldn't be among those condemned, he had a wife and child who depended upon him.  That Gajowniczek, knowing himself to be a prisoner in a Nazi concentration camp, might have harbored the notion that his role as father and husband would have any bearing on his fate testifies to a certain irrationality of mind on Gajowniczek's part or maybe an incurable optimism of spirit.  Perhaps though it was the human being's unflagging will to live or some combination of all that.   At Gajowniczek's cry, Fr. Kolbe demonstrated another remarkable dimension of the human spirit and announced himself as a Catholic priest who would take Gajowniczek's place.  A sacrifice. Who would ever do such a thing I asked myself.  Answer, a saint.

The account as it's written in Bennett's book (a highly abbreviated version of which is here) mentions the names of the Nazis but identifies Gajowniczek only as the prisoner.  I tried to tell myself that maybe I was reading a fictionalized account of Fr. Kolbe's fate, but no such luck.  A few days later I found an entire website devoted to the man Fr. Kolbe died for.  Unfortunately, I haven't been able to find the website again coming up instead with this .  There's also Wikipedia of course.   Gajowniczek, not a Jew by the way, did survive and was reunited with his wife.  He died in 1995.  

Fr. Kolbe was the last in the starvation cell to die, murdered by a Nazi who administered an injection of carbolic acid.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Captain Petronio On Differences Between The Sexes

Keeping with the theme of the previous post, I revisited this very well-written article on women in combat.  There's no substitute for the article itself, but in a nutshell, Captain Petronio acknowledges that there are women who are physically qualified to meet Marine combat standards, herself included, but she questions the female's endurance ability over long periods of time while also pointing out higher attrition rates for females even during training.  Regarding combat:  
It was evident that stress and muscular deterioration was affecting everyone regardless of gender; however, the rate of my deterioration was noticeably faster than that of male Marines and further compounded by gender-specific medical conditions. At the end of the 7-month deployment, and the construction of 18 PBs later, I had lost 17 pounds and was diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (which personally resulted in infertility, but is not a genetic trend in my family), which was brought on by the chemical and physical changes endured during deployment. Regardless of my deteriorating physical stature, I was extremely successful during both of my combat tours, serving beside my infantry brethren and gaining the respect of every unit I supported. Regardless, I can say with 100 percent assurance that despite my accomplishments, there is no way I could endure the physical demands of the infantrymen whom I worked beside as their combat load and constant deployment cycle would leave me facing medical separation long before the option of retirement.
Regarding training:
This said, we need only to review the statistics from our entry-level schools to realize that there is a significant difference in the physical longevity between male and female Marines. At OCS the attrition rate for female candidates in 2011 was historically low at 40 percent, while the male candidates attrite at a much lower rate of 16 percent. Of candidates who were dropped from training because they were injured or not physically qualified, females were breaking at a much higher rate than males, 14 percent versus 4 percent. The same trends were seen at TBS in 2011; the attrition rate for females was 13 percent versus 5 percent for males, and 5 percent of females were found not physically qualified compared with 1 percent of males.
If life were simple and human beings weren't complex creatures, it might actually be the case that  the only differences between men and women really were just superficial.   But scratch the surface, apply some thought and look a little more closely.  One can fit square pegs into round holes, but there's a cost.  Something gets destroyed in the process. 

Differences Between Boys and Girls - Not What They Seem

Yet,  there's still that list of stereotypical traits that's true.  Impressionistic and anecdotal evidence aside, there are studies that support the differences between the sexes.  Admittedly, I read the Cliff notes version, but what I read does cite what are most likely reputable studies.

This article  discusses boy/girl differences in terms of eight traits:  social skills, spatial skills, toy preference, physicality, aggression, walking, talking and toilet training.  Brushing aside the article's preamble that the differences really aren't that great and ignoring their post-amble advice as to how to neutralize the differences they said didn't exist,  the eight traits are nonetheless  a good starting point.  Oh, and quite similar to those on my list.

Concerning social skills, baby girls show a preference for gazing upon human faces over mobiles while baby boys prefer mobiles, a tendency magnified in adulthood.  A bit more here.

In spatial skills, boys show an early and consistent edge over girls in the ability to visualize how an object will appear when rotated in space. Read more here.   And here. This relates to the boys-are-better-at-math stereotype which is apparently not without foundation. (It may also explain male pre-schoolers' fascination with construction sites and heavy machinery.  I've yet to see a girl of that age who wants to make an outing of going to watch a backhoe.)

Toy choice shows some evidence of innate preferences, beginning age one. 

Physicality is not necessarily any more the province of boys than girls, but I like the paraphrase of the researchers' summation--if there's a child who's more active than others, that child is more likely to be a boy.

Aggression, yes, boys more than girls due to testosterone.  Read about testosterone in the womb. Girls, too, have their ways with aggression, relational aggression.  Read here.

Walking, early or late, is not gender related.  And why would it be.  Humans have to walk.

Talking, yes, girls talk earlier than boys, have a larger vocabulary than boys earlier on, but the inequality evens out with age.  Differences in the proficiency of different areas of the brain and the larger corpus callosum for girls may play a role here.

Toilet training is apparently the domain of girls who train earlier.  This was never my own experience and I find the explanation that girls can sit longer a bit lame.  Also, what does it matter.  All toddlers finally have to toilet train.  It's a fundamental part of socialization.

If you look again at the traits, it's not that males have trait X and women don't.  It's not as if boys are active and women can't run, boys don't talk, but girls do, boys are aggressive, but girls aren't.  In fact, it's pretty much the opposite.   According to this hasty study, there are really only one or two traits that stand out as more the province of one sex than the other and that's the male's greater proficiency in the area of spatial skills and their greater amount of testosterone.  The sexes have the same traits  but manifested differently.

Males and females, boys and girls, men and women, the same yet clearly different and yet not always in the ways that at first we seem to think so obvious. What to make of the conundrum. Cutting to the chase and an abrupt conclusion, this is just a way of directing our attention to John Paul II's Theology of the Body,  and the original unity of male and female, his Mulieris Dignitatem and all his other writings in which he explores the human person, male and female, as being of the same nature, complementary to one another, but distinct from others of God's creating.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Differences Between Boys and Girls - Not What They Seem

I joined an Endow group.  Yes, a Catholic New Feminist type group, but more about that later.  As our group explores what femininity means in Catholic terms, we touch on any number of topics.  Since the basis for our group study is Pope John Paul II's Letter To Women and since he is discussing the uniqueness or "genius" of women, we often end up mulling over those characteristics that distinguish the sexes, one from the other. 

Most recently, we asked the mothers in the group with children of both sexes, myself included,  to reflect on the differences they may have observed when their children were young.  I brainstormed a bit and came up with a few ideas but realized that my list had nothing to do with my own children. My boys are talkers, my daughter is not.  My boys did show a preternatural pull towards footballs, tennis balls and rubber balls, but my daughter showed no interest in either dolls or girly chit-chat. Anyway, I never noticed many sex-related differences when they were young, say before the age of 3.  ( Actually, there's something to that. Read first paragraph here.)

Funny thing is, you don't have to be a parent to know that there's a reason for stereotyping male and female behavior.  Parent or no, anyone who's walked into a roomful of kids, gone on a field trip with a second-grade class or attended a family party where there's a gang of 4-10 year olds will be struck by differences in behavior.  At the family party, the girls will most likely have their heads together jabbering about the color of their dress.  The boys will be jumping from high places.  On the field trip, the girls will hold hands quietly with their partner and listen to the museum guide.  The boys will need reminders to get back in line and look at the exhibits-that's-why-we're-here.  We're speaking now in generalities of course.  This isn't to say that if a good game of hide-and-seek is underway at the family party, the girls won't be just as engaged as the boys.  And there will be those boys on the field trip who are captivated by the museum exhibits.  What gives.

My own list of typically boy traits was the pretty standard one.  Males are physical, doers not talkers, action-oriented not observers. They tend to excel at gross motor, but not fine motor skills.  They are risk takers, adventure seekers and have a greater sense of freedom to do as they wish.  Boys are less given to exploring their feelings and emotions, but if they do so at all, it won't be through hours of talking.  They are bottom line, likely to problem solve and reach a conclusion rather than obsess and discuss.  Girls?  Why, they're the opposite of course.

The only problem is that this list doesn't get you very far. If males are so inept at verbal expression, shouldn't all comedians, politicians,  teachers and therapists be female?  Shouldn't all neuro-surgeons and violinists --fine motor skills--be women?  Yet, real world experience aside, my list of typical boy traits is accurate, and, if today's PC gender-neutral propaganda is taken off the table, my list is widely-held, widely-acknowledged and probably exactly the same as yours.

The list isn't wrong but its interpretation may be.  I'm reminded to consider my women's group New Feminist readings.   The observable differences between the sexes belie our connectedness, our very sameness, our complementarity. Men are really not from Mars nor are women from Venus.  We're cut from the same cloth, fallen from the same tree and, if it weren't for our human pride, we'd probably be able to peacefully co-exist without the persistent need to articulate the differences between us.

More to follow.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Marriage Bullies

Right.  All of us opposed to same-sex marriage are bigots and homophobes, just like Barack Obama was before he "evolved."  There's no commentary needed for this article which articulates a much-needed message for those on both sides of the same-sex marriage aisle. 

A Shepherd Among His Sheep for World Youth Day

Pope Francis is in the silver Fiat, Rio de Janeiro
This article about Pope Francis 's entrance into Brazil for World Youth Day is pleasant to read and highlights so nicely the essence of Pope Francis's papacy as he moves freely through crowds of people seeming to have little regard for his own safety and most regard for connecting with his flock.
Pope Francis simply chooses to continue his way of doing things as he’s always had when he was Archbishop of Buenos Aires. And this simple act is drawing the attention of millions as evidenced yesterday when the papal motorcade came to a standstill as the Pope’s car was surrounded by faithful wishing to greet him.Even more surprising, the Pope didn’t hide; on the contrary, he kept his window open, greeting people as if nothing. The Pope’s security detail, however, broke a sweat.It may seem irresponsible for some, or even careless that a man of the Pope’s stature be allowed to be swarmed like that but it truly is a testament to the bravery of Francis. It takes only one disgruntled or mentally unstable person to mix in with the crowd and endanger his life, yet he doesn’t shy away. He opens his window and extends his hand. He wants to be a part of their lives, he wants to comfort them; a shepherd 'who smells like his sheep.'
What a lesson for some of our secular leaders, seemingly completely divorced from even the knowledge of what courage is, who display nothing of the humility due their office nor any of the enthusiasm for connecting to the people who've placed them there.  Our own anti-gun Mayor Bloomberg travels with an armed security detail and doesn't take kindly to the suggestion that he's a hypocrite (not to mention a coward).  Barack Obama made sure to sign into law coverage for himself and his family guaranteeing lifetime--lifetime!--Secret Service protection.  Celebrities spend millions on security for themselves. And then there's the Rosie O'Donnell brouhaha of several years ago in which Rosie denounces guns--for everyone but her bodyguard. 

It would do us all good to read more about the true leadership that Pope Francis demonstrates daily to the world, but, alas, the mainstream media is slow to understand.  Hmmm, perhaps I spoke too soon.  There is this coverage from MSN.  It's not a bad article either, until about the fourth paragraph from the bottom where the writers tell us that despite the million or so expected for World Youth Day, most of Brazil's Catholics have turned to evangelical religions.  Not untrue perhaps but not the point either.  Besides, maybe Francis's humble, exemplary leadership and his love for the Church will bring all those Brazilian Catholics back into the sheepfold.

Monday, July 15, 2013

NYC Schools Distribute Plan B

Here's another example of New York leading the country in progressivism as our governor proudly trumpets we do so well here in the Empire State. 

About 50 schools in The Big Apple are dispensing Plan B to students, no parental approval necessary unless a parent is fortunate enough to receive an opt-out notice from the school as given to the parent by their child.  The article is a mish-mash of sketchy background information and quotes by teen-age girls who have no idea what they're talking about.

This article,  a slightly more balanced coverage of the issue,  calls the distribution of Plan B Bloomberg's "stealth war" on teenage pregnancy.  It's actually more like Bloomberg's stealth war on young, uninformed females from lower socio-economic backgrounds.  What does it matter to the mayor if 16 year old girls from the Bronx are sexually active and then ingest high levels of hormones to prevent their 'unwanted pregnancy?'  At least he doesn't have to get either his heart or hands dirty by actually caring about the girls and what they're doing.  Give 'em a pill and call it a day.   I've already written about this as stealth population control here. 

Moralistic Therapeutic Deism

It is a mouthful. There's a whole book on the subject by sociologist Christian Smith and co-author called Soul Searching:  The Religious and Spiritual Lives of American Teenagers.  It examines the religious life and leanings of teenagers through conversations and interviews, but I think this readable article  which contains a lot of pithy information must be a pretty good stand-in for the book.

Mr.Smith describes this 'religion' (which he's careful to point out is not a religion any one teenager would every claim as his own, but is rather Smith's term for what he uncovered) as having five characteristics.   To paraphrase:  1) there is a God who created the world and watches over it,  2) God wants people to be good, 3)  the goal of life is to be happy, 4) God isn't involved in one's life and isn't usually called upon unless there's a problem, and  5) good people go to heaven when they die.
As Smith himself points out by the end of the article, Moralistic Therapeutic Deism (MTD for purposes of this blog) can be said to describe not only the spiritual lives of American teenagers but the spiritual lives of any number of adult Americans who have
passed on their particular brand of sketchy Judeo-Christianity to the next generation.  "The religion and spirituality of most teenagers actually strike us as very powerfully reflecting the contours, priorities, expectations and structures of the larger adult world into which adolescents are being socialized."
Moralistic Therapeutic Deism is a little bit like a new word that enters a language.  For a time the word hangs on to its history and everyone knows where it came from so to speak.  (So for us ancient types, we know that the word 'xerox' evolved as a verb meaning 'to copy by machine' because there was a company Xerox that invented the machine.)  But after a time,  the word's history becomes only so much baggage and falls away.  The word becomes just another word to its new generation of users.  Its original meaning may even change completely and end up as an archaism studied only by fuddy-duddies interested in ancient history. 

The MTD faithful know a little bit about the history of their 'word.' They know there's a Bible, sort of.  They know there's an all-powerful God, kind of,  and they know there's something good about being good, for some reason.   But the whys and wherefores of their new religion are  history, only so much baggage that has fallen away, no longer of interest for its new generation of users.  Words coming and going and changing meaning along the way is one thing.  Language has to behave that way to serve the needs of its speakers who use it as a tool.  Moral teaching isn't supposed to behave that way.  It's foundational, true at once and for all time and it changes its users who use it as a guide and model.

Though perhaps unbeknownst  to the Therapeutic Deists, the Judeo-Christian bedrock is still there underneath all their feel-good add-ons.  As Smith writes,  "It [Moralistic Therapeutic Deism] cannot sustain its own integral, independent life.  Rather it must attach itself like an incubus to established historical religious traditions, feeding on their doctrines and sensibilities, and expanding by mutating their theological substance to resemble its own distinctive image. "

If the MTDers were to take a look at the source of their mutated religion, they might see how much  more sense the real thing makes and how much more they might gain by believing in the whole truth rather than the bowdlerized fairy tale version.


Alice Von Hildebrand

A good article by this Catholic philosopher.  I've come across her name frequently but have never taken the time to read anything by her.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Deebow Speaks - Women in Combat

Molly Pitcher In Combat
I have no first hand experience in the military, let alone in combat, which causes some to peremptorily declare that I can't be against women in combat because, with no military experience,  I'm not eligible to have an opinion on the subject.  This is of course not good thinking.  Plenty of people are against all kinds of things with which they have no first-hand experience.  People who have never starved decry starvation, confirmed bachelors declare marriage a waste of time and secular humanists rail against organized religion though the last time they were in a house of worship,  if at all, is when Mother and Dad took them as mere babes. 

Anyone can be for or against something based on principles, beliefs and logical, common sense reasoning in addition to relying on experience.  Speaking of the latter,  here is someone who can talk about the senselessness of women in combat based on his experience.   It all makes sense, but here is a taste of Deebow's thinking:
This idea that we can reshape our force by allowing women to be snake eating Navy SEALS and make us more combat effective is the pinnacle of Libturd thinking.  General Dempsey believes that the US Army can make standards in these unique career fields "gender neutral."  Well General, they already are.  You have to be able to demonstrate for the Blackhats that you can do the buddy-run carrying the man next to you until they say "ENDEX" and not end up with stress fractures in your hips and shoulders. You have to be able to do as much as the man next to you in your boat crew, for as long as the Navy SEAL screaming at you from the top of the berm tells you to do it.  You have to be able to carry your battle rattle, and maybe that of your wounded buddy, for miles and not completely destroy your body doing it.  The battlefield is an unforgiving place and you don't get safety stand downs when you get hot and tired and the fighting doesn't stop just because your needs aren't being met.
Joan of Arc in Combat


Elbert Guillory Speaks!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Father Capodanno

Today is the anniversary of Fr. Vincent Capodanno's death 46 years ago in Vietnam.  Known as the "Grunt Padre,"  you can read and hear more about him here .   He's a native son of New York and served as a Navy Chaplain to the U.S. Marines.  He was awarded a Medal of Honor for his faithful heroism.

After reading about Fr. Capodanno, it might, for some, be a strain to the imagination to conceive of a military without such as the Grunt Padre to offer strength and support to embattled and dying soldiers.  But, the imagination need not strain after reading this document from the current White House, especially this paragraph referencing the freedom of members of our military to worship as their consciences dictate.

Expansion and Implementation of Protection of Rights of Conscience of Members of the Armed Forces and Chaplains of Such Members: The Administration strongly objects to section 530, which would require the Armed Forces to accommodate, except in cases of military necessity, "actions and speech" reflecting the "conscience, moral principles, or religious beliefs of the member." By limiting the discretion of commanders to address potentially problematic speech and actions within their units, this provision would have a significant adverse effect on good order, discipline, morale, and mission accomplishment.
That is, religious observance, faith, worship, could have an "adverse effect" on order.  Fr. Capodanno, pray for us!


Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Saints and Heroes

A popular writing assignment for elementary school children, and sometimes older as well, is the task of writing about someone the student admires, writing about one of their heroes.  One of my kids' middle-school teachers remarked to me after giving this assignment that her students didn't seem to have any heroes. She was confused as to why this would be so (she was British and a feminist) and disappointed that the kids often felt they were their own heroes.

An antidote for such an affliction is to read about Blessed Jerzy Popieluszko.  His short life is one of remarkable faith and fortitude, eclipsed only by the immense suffering he endured at the hands of the unspeakably brutal state which tortured and killed him.

His mother is interviewed in the series, Raising A Martyr, the first part, second part, third part and fourth.

Supreme Court Weighs Marriage

This is a good explanation of the two marriage cases before the Supreme Court.  The article is from New Yorker's Family Research Foundation

Parent, Child, Marriage

The same-sex marriage movement is presented innocently as nothing more than endorsing the 'right' of same-sex couples to marry just as heterosexual couples marry.  Supporters of same-sex marriage are quick to label any opposition to their view as bigoted, homophobic, hateful and just plain old stupid.  Those of us on the other side of the aisle look upon same-sex 'marriage' first as an oxymoron, but moreover as a move to re-define marriage, to toss out the traditional notion of marriage and to reduce the uniqueness of (heterosexual) marriage to naught, to profoundly change what is natural and normal. 

This slightly dry and tedious article illustrates how same-sex unions and same-sex 'marriage' include re-defining the relationship between parent and child.  Better to start at the end of this article with this quote,
As the sociological bonds between parent and child are perverted through a redefinition of marriage, it seems the resistance to breaking the biological bonds wanes as well. Replacing the marital act with various assisted reproductive technologies dehumanizes children and treats them as commodities to be manufactured and marketed for the pleasure of adults.
and read backwards.

Born This Way?

Michael Voris over at Church Militant.TV (also here) leaves few stones unturned.  Below he addresses homosexuality and whether it can validly be claimed that there is a sexuality other than heterosexuality.  This video is worth watching from the beginning, but if you're pressed for time, start watching at 2:14 as he develops the point that homosexuality is not another choice, but is disordered heterosexuality. (The presentation is original to him, but not the idea which is the position of the Catholic Church.)   His argument also attends to the claim that homosexuals are "born that way" and so can't help their behavior.  Were we to accept that view, then we would logically be led to accept, for example, that some people are just "born" wanting to have sex with children.  That is, we would be led to acknowledge pedophilia as a permissible and normal sexual preference, just as many are demanding that we believe homosexuality is a normal sexual preference.

 Voris borrows the analogy of colored vases to illustrate his point that homosexuality isn't just a vase of a different color but rather a broken vase. Vases, clay vases, clay pots, clay vessels.  Hmm.  Calls to mind that verse from 2 Corinthians 4:7 about the treasure we have in earthen vessels, the power of which comes from God and not us.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

At The Bottom of the Slippery Slope

I wouldn't have come across this article except for the fact that I'm a Family Research  Council (FRC)reader---oh yes, they're the "hate group"--and so I was able to get Jillian Keenan's perspective on why social change shouldn't stop with same-sex marriage.    Jillian Keenan is she who had the "courage" to write about her spanking fetish published in the paper of record.  That's news.  In this article, Keenan writes that legalized polygamy would be good for women, good for immigrants and good for shoring up our constitutional right to religious freedom.

Keenan takes the following line to try to defend her enthusiasm for legalizing polygamy.  Since heterosexual marriage has its flaws and two-parent families are no longer the norm for Americans anyway, why penalize those who want the choice of being married to multiple men or women.  And, since we've already opened the door to everything else why not add legalized polygamy as well?  As she says:   "Divorce, remarriage, surrogate parents, extended relatives, and other diverse family arrangements mean families already come in all sizes—why not recognize that legally?"   Ideology obviously trumps reason here.  And it can also create strange bedfellows.  Keenan favors legalized polygamy because she wants to defend the rights of her Mormon fundamentalist friends.  I'm guessing she voted for Mitt Romney? 

By her way of thinking, Keenan also keeps company with her oppositionthose who argue that same-sex marriage will open the door to polygamy and other types of sexual relationships regarded as harmful to society.  We're right!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Light of Day

Some insight into New York state's governor and legislature is provided here by New Yorkers for Consitutional Freedom

Friday, April 19, 2013

On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;

Seventeen seventy-five, that is!  Paul Revere's midnight ride is recounted by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in his poem 'Paul Revere's Ride,' a great poem to read anytime, but especially on the eighteenth of April just 238 years after the fact (and just slightly after midnight).  Or 153 years after Longfellow wrote it.  Gets the blood going and causes one to remember what the fight was all about.

  "A voice in the darkness,  a knock at the door and a word that shall echo for evermore!"

Listen my children and you shall hear
Of the midnight ride of Paul Revere,
On the eighteenth of April, in Seventy-five;
Hardly a man is now alive
Who remembers that famous day and year.
He said to his friend, “If the British march
By land or sea from the town to-night,
Hang a lantern aloft in the belfry arch
Of the North Church tower as a signal light,–
One if by land, and two if by sea;
And I on the opposite shore will be,
Ready to ride and spread the alarm
Through every Middlesex village and farm,
For the country folk to be up and to arm.”
Then he said “Good-night!” and with muffled oar
Silently rowed to the Charlestown shore,
Just as the moon rose over the bay,
Where swinging wide at her moorings lay
The Somerset, British man-of-war;
A phantom ship, with each mast and spar
Across the moon like a prison bar,
And a huge black hulk, that was magnified
By its own reflection in the tide.
Meanwhile, his friend through alley and street
Wanders and watches, with eager ears,
Till in the silence around him he hears
The muster of men at the barrack door,
The sound of arms, and the tramp of feet,
And the measured tread of the grenadiers,
Marching down to their boats on the shore.
Then he climbed the tower of the Old North Church,
By the wooden stairs, with stealthy tread,
To the belfry chamber overhead,
And startled the pigeons from their perch
On the sombre rafters, that round him made
Masses and moving shapes of shade,–
By the trembling ladder, steep and tall,
To the highest window in the wall,
Where he paused to listen and look down
A moment on the roofs of the town
And the moonlight flowing over all.
Beneath, in the churchyard, lay the dead,
In their night encampment on the hill,
Wrapped in silence so deep and still
That he could hear, like a sentinel’s tread,
The watchful night-wind, as it went
Creeping along from tent to tent,
And seeming to whisper, “All is well!”
A moment only he feels the spell
Of the place and the hour, and the secret dread
Of the lonely belfry and the dead;
For suddenly all his thoughts are bent
On a shadowy something far away,
Where the river widens to meet the bay,–
A line of black that bends and floats
On the rising tide like a bridge of boats.
Meanwhile, impatient to mount and ride,
Booted and spurred, with a heavy stride
On the opposite shore walked Paul Revere.
Now he patted his horse’s side,
Now he gazed at the landscape far and near,
Then, impetuous, stamped the earth,
And turned and tightened his saddle girth;
But mostly he watched with eager search
The belfry tower of the Old North Church,
As it rose above the graves on the hill,
Lonely and spectral and sombre and still.
And lo! as he looks, on the belfry’s height
A glimmer, and then a gleam of light!
He springs to the saddle, the bridle he turns,
But lingers and gazes, till full on his sight
A second lamp in the belfry burns.
A hurry of hoofs in a village street,
A shape in the moonlight, a bulk in the dark,
And beneath, from the pebbles, in passing, a spark
Struck out by a steed flying fearless and fleet;
That was all! And yet, through the gloom and the light,
The fate of a nation was riding that night;
And the spark struck out by that steed, in his flight,
Kindled the land into flame with its heat.
He has left the village and mounted the steep,
And beneath him, tranquil and broad and deep,
Is the Mystic, meeting the ocean tides;
And under the alders that skirt its edge,
Now soft on the sand, now loud on the ledge,
Is heard the tramp of his steed as he rides.
It was twelve by the village clock
When he crossed the bridge into Medford town.
He heard the crowing of the cock,
And the barking of the farmer’s dog,
And felt the damp of the river fog,
That rises after the sun goes down.
It was one by the village clock,
When he galloped into Lexington.
He saw the gilded weathercock
Swim in the moonlight as he passed,
And the meeting-house windows, black and bare,
Gaze at him with a spectral glare,
As if they already stood aghast
At the bloody work they would look upon.
It was two by the village clock,
When he came to the bridge in Concord town.
He heard the bleating of the flock,
And the twitter of birds among the trees,
And felt the breath of the morning breeze
Blowing over the meadow brown.
And one was safe and asleep in his bed
Who at the bridge would be first to fall,
Who that day would be lying dead,
Pierced by a British musket ball.
You know the rest. In the books you have read
How the British Regulars fired and fled,—
How the farmers gave them ball for ball,
From behind each fence and farmyard wall,
Chasing the redcoats down the lane,
Then crossing the fields to emerge again
Under the trees at the turn of the road,
And only pausing to fire and load.
So through the night rode Paul Revere;
And so through the night went his cry of alarm
To every Middlesex village and farm,—
A cry of defiance, and not of fear,
A voice in the darkness, a knock at the door,
And a word that shall echo for evermore!
For, borne on the night-wind of the Past,
Through all our history, to the last,
In the hour of darkness and peril and need,
The people will waken and listen to hear
The hurrying hoof-beats of that steed,
And the midnight message of Paul Revere.

Monday, March 18, 2013

White Smoke

Scarcely a week ago, on a Wednesday afternoon about 2:05 PM, I returned home and had the fortunate idea of going directly to EWTN on the computer just in time to see the white smoke announcing the election of a new pope.  An exciting hour followed waiting to hear that it would be Jorge Mario Bergoglio, whose name had not been bandied about even by the Catholic press,  to be the successor to chair of Peter.

EWTN along with the Moynihan Letters and Whispers in the Loggia  provide all the news about Pope Francis I and his papacy. 

Friday, February 8, 2013

Surrogate Mothers

A report from Ireland's Iona Institue as covered by Zenit spells out very clearly why surrogate motherhood is wrong, as in immoral.  A few quotes from the article:
 “Surrogacy compromises the dignity of the child by making the child the object of a contract—a commodity,” the report argued. “It further compromises the dignity of the mother, even if her participation is voluntary, by merely treating her as a ’womb for hire’,” it added.  
 The commodification of children in surrogacy was highlighted by the report when it mentioned that due to the high costs involved couples tend to have the mentality that they deserve children who are more likely to be good-looking and successful in life.
Adoption is substantially different from surrogacy, the report argued. In adoption the birth mother makes a decision based on what is best for the child. By contrast, in surrogacy the decision is made by the adopting parents based on what is best for them. “It is therefore inherently adult-centred in a way adoption is not,” the report added.
“Women’s bodies become commodities through which others can purchase what they wish to have, and most or all care, concern, and medical attention is directed at the child while the surrogate mother is left to fend for herself,” the report commented. 
And finally,  
The increasing trend to the legalization of same-sex marriages will inevitably lead to higher demand for surrogate babies, with all the negative consequences identified by the Iona Institute.

Benjamin Carson at National Prayer Breakfast

Twenty six minutes which will be well spent listening to Dr. Carson's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Notice the president's demeanor although Mooch seems to be the one who is slightly off camera,  clapping until the topics become a bit more controversial. 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Kings and Christians

A slightly different version of this post was published yesterday at American Thinker under the title  'A King Among Christians.'
At some point, it seems only fair to return Martin Luther King Jr's identity to its rightful owner--Martin Luther King, Jr. himself. Since King's birthday was first celebrated as a national holiday in 1986, MLK Jr's persona has been neutralized, sanitized and homogenized to the point that he is now celebrated as everyone's hero for anything. Providing, that is, one doesn't bother much about the fact that King was a Christian minister.

Every year, my kids dutifully learned that King was a great man, a man of peace. Every year the media informs that he was a great American who changed history. Peaceniks adopt him as theirs because of his dedication to non-violent political action, and since 9/11 friends have sworn to me that King would never have supported Bush's Iraq War. Other friends are sure that King would have been the ultimate Pro-Lifer along with his niece, Alveda. For the likes of Reverend Al and Jesse Jackson, King is a social justice guru and the consummate community organizer. For the Chinese sculptor who created the King memorial, the Civil Rights leader is a glowering giant emerging from a rock.

As he did in 2009, Barack Obama again gently melded his presidential inauguration with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday and asked us to honor King's legacy by participating in a National Day of Service this past Saturday, January 19th ( King's birthday as a day of service dates back to 1994). Various websites tell how to "transform Dr. King's life and teachings into community service" and get involved. Clean a park, volunteer in a soup kitchen. This year, even Governor Cuomo managed to exploit MLK Jr's memory as the reason we need gun control.

Neither Cuomo, the Reverend Al or a National Day of Service do justice to King's legacy. He did not spend his formative years preparing to be a good person who helps the poor and crusades for gun control. The son of a middle-class, Baptist minister, King not only earned an undergraduate degree at Morehouse College, but was a graduate of Crozer Theological Seminary and later Boston University where he completed a doctoral degree in theology. Little is made of King's entry into public life as the head pastor at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church or, later, his role as president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. Though he eventually became the leader of a political movement, King's chosen profession was to be a man of the cloth, a Christian and a minister

Letting King speak for himself is one way to honor his legacy. We usually hear excerpts from his stirring oration at the 1963 March on Washington, but there's also King's Letter from Birmingham Jail written in April of 1963, a few months before the March. The letter, written on bits of newsprint and smuggled out of the jail in pieces, is a response to white clergymen who were critical of the upcoming demonstrations in Birmingham and critical of King's role in them.

In the letter, King likens himself to the apostle Paul in carrying the "gospel of freedom" to those places where segregation prevents black Americans from enjoying their "constitutional and God-given rights." He cites St. Augustine in his discussion of civil disobedience and just vs. unjust laws, the former being anchored in "eternal and natural law." King notes that legal does not mean just and cites the blows to religious freedom in Communist countries where laws 'legally' suppress the right to worship. (King adds that he would "openly advocate dis-obeying these anti-religious laws.") King likens himself and his freedom fighters to Socrates and the Hebrew and Christian martyrs all of whom, like King and his fellow freedom fighters are seekers of truth. He expresses impatience with those he calls white moderates, and he takes comfort in the view of himself as an extremist pointing out that he keeps company with the prophet Amos, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and Jesus Christ.

The letter from King's Birmingham jail cell is hardly the stuff of the bland do-gooder my kids learned about year after year in school. He's a man steeped in and conversant with Western civilization and its Judeo-Christian heritage. Apparently, he believes in its rightness as well. Martin Luther King, Jr. writes as a scholar, an activist, a theologian and a Christian minister.

King did not become great because he was born with black skin and advocated non-violence. He did something to become who he was. Instead of the colorless generalities trotted out each year, teachers could instead talk about King's firm, deeply-held beliefs shaped by family and education. They might mention his skill as a communicator, his ability to extemporize at will and his familiarity with the great ideas of Western civilization. The media might mention his resolute and confident character which allowed him to act on history rather than be swept along by it. The Reverend Als might mention King's strong father figure, his intact family, his Christian faith. The Jesse Jacksons might mention that King rose to the forefront of the Civil Rights movement not because he had been an organizer in the community, but because he was a Baptist minister in the community. The peaceniks might note that King credited the "Negro church" and God for the non-violent approach of the Civil Rights movement. And, instead of tepid requests for service and broad allusions to freedom, a Barack Obama might remind us that King served and died because he believed that personal freedom comes from God and when governments violate that freedom with unjust laws, those laws must be challenged.

It is forty-five years since King's assassination and we have managed to remake him in as many images as there are those who wish to adopt King as their mascot. Certainly the 50th anniversary of his death in 2018 will raise the rafters as the schools, the media and politicians boost him once again as the American superhero. King was a great American but his story is far more interesting than the tired cliches we manufacture about him. We have five years between then and now to get it right or at least come a little closer.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Having Two Mothers

This account of growing up as the son of two lesbians takes an unexpected turn or two.  Usually one expects to read either that the son is excessively normal and had a home life just like everyone else or that the son is a basket case whose life was ruined by not having a father.

Mr. Lopez says neither, but does say that he is weird, different, an outsider who fits none of the gender stereotypes or categories. He would seem to be a heterosexual since he is now married to a woman and has a child, however, Mr. Lopez calls himself bisexual.

He thanks Mark Regnerus for Regnerus's controversial study and seems to be saying that the very reason for which the Regnerus study was criticized--he compared children in stable heterosexual marriages to children of parents who may have had both heterosexual and homosexual relationships after having children--is the reason it is accurate and valuable. Lopez asks:
Where do children of LGBT parents come from? If the parents are 100-percent gay or lesbian, then the chances are that the children were conceived through surrogacy or insemination, or else adopted. Those cases are such a tiny percentage of LGBT parents, however, that it would be virtually impossible to find more than a half-dozen in a random sampling of tens of thousands of adults.
Most LGBT parents are, like me, and technically like my mother, “bisexual”—the forgotten B. We conceived our children because we engaged in heterosexual intercourse. Social complications naturally arise if you conceive a child with the opposite sex but still have attractions to the same sex. Sherkat [a critic of the Regnerus study] calls these complications disqualifiable, as they are corrupting the purity of a homosexual model of parenting.
I would have thought the Mr. Lopezes would be the exception when it comes to children of same sex parents and that the former category--children of what he calls 100% same sex parents would be the more prevalent type.  Lopez seems to be saying otherwise and praises the Regnerus study, I guess because it looks at the more common (and more difficult?) case of children raised by bisexual parents.  Lopez says this about "100 %" homosexuals vs. bisexuals: 
Those who are 100-percent gay may view bisexuals with a mix of disgust and envy. Bisexual parents threaten the core of the LGBT parenting narrative—we do have a choice to live as gay or straight, and we do have to decide the gender configuration of the household in which our children will grow up. 
Yes, but so do the "100-percent gay" parents.  They could decide that the gender configuration in their household would be unnatural with two men or two women raising children and decide not to have children.   
Mr. Lopez also writes about the opposition to same sex marriage in France and the homosexual men who oppose it.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Heroic Statesmen

And here's another back issue of Imprimis which I happened upon (as opposed to this one mentioned earlier) that seems worth noting.  Historian Paul Johnson gives his 5 'heroic virtues' of a statesman-hero.  They are:

1.  Ideas and Beliefs
2.  Willpower
3.  Pertinacity
4.  Ability to Communicate
5.  Greatness of Soul

The article is readable and thought-provoking.  Statesmen Johnson mentions are Reagan, Churchill and Thatcher.

West Point "Wedding"'s Honor

Brenda Sue Fulton's nuptials at the United States Military Academy at West Point made the news in grand style.

At last reading in July of 2011, Brenda Fulton was appointed by President Obama to USMA's Board of Visitors and she describes herself as having many "informal allies" at West Point. She is also a self-described homosexual (and lesbian and trans-gender) activist and she has major roles in the organizations Knights Out and OutServe. The same-sex ceremony held a week or so earlier at West Point involved friends of Fulton. 

Consequently, these ceremonies look less like a case of West Point grads who just wanted to be married at their alma mater and more like a political ploy on the part of homosexual activists who used West Point's prestige and prominence as the backdrop for showing us how the military will behave in Obama's second term. 

Though the legal facts may be arguable if not downright abstruse, it appears that the United States Military Academy at West Point, which is on federal property, did not have to agree to host Brenda Fulton's lesbian ceremony had West Point chosen to honor DOMA which is still the law regarding marriage as approved by Congress.    Family Research Council (FRC) says,    According to Johnson, decisions about military facilities should be made on a "sexual-orientation neutral basis." And while the "wedding" may have been consistent with Johnson's memo, the DOD's general counsel is no substitute for the 427 elected members of Congress who voted to define marriage as the union of a man and woman for the government's purposes. That means it affects federal employees (which Fulton is) and federal property (where West Point resides). The President may vehemently disagree with the law--but until the Supreme Court overturns it or Congress rejects it, DOMA is still the law of the land.
Earlier in the article FRC characterizes West Point as moving away from the rule of law which seems accurate even though technically the so-called wedding may not have been illegal.  However, as pointed out here,  LGBT Think Progress reports that DOMA merely says that  as pertaining to any federal regulation,  the word 'marriage' refers to the union of one man and one woman.  The article says that it is an " incredible stretch to interpret this language such that a same-sex wedding is somehow illegal merely because the resulting union is not recognized by the federal government."
Not so it seems to me.  In fact, seems to me that's the crux of the matter for Fulton and those she represents--to have same sex "marriages" recognized to be on the exact same plane as traditional marriages defined as being between one man and one woman.  If the federal government doesn't recognize Fulton's union as a marriage, what did she actually accomplish at West Point's Cadet Chapel?
Duty, Honor, Country.  West Point graduates do not behave honorably when they opportunistically exploit their alma mater  as a way to force others to cave to their demands.

Same Sex Marriage, Compromise or Surrender

Going through a few back issues of Imprimis, I came across this one by Midge Decter on same-sex marriage, a talk she gave in 2004.   

After giving a brief history of how we've gotten to our present situation as regards same-sex marriage, she goes on to make still-timely observations.  She makes a distinction between 'gay' activists and those who share that lifestyle but are not activists, an important distinction to remember I think. 
It goes without saying that there are homosexuals who are not and have never been activists, who do not storm the streets, who do not frequent the bathhouses, and who keep their sex lives— as most of the rest of us do—to themselves. But in the current debate these homosexuals are, alas, irrelevant. They are neither the stuff of which movements and flamboyant public gestures are made, nor are they people whose ambition is to overturn the conditions of ordinary, everyday life. 
She makes the politically incorrect observation that, despite claims to the contrary, homosexual men tend to act much like heterosexual men with the same true of lesbian vs. heterosexual women. 
By the way, and not surprisingly, it seems that a number of the male couples admitted they had no intention of getting married—it was merely their having won the battle that they were there to celebrate—while every one of the female couples declared their intention to marry. I say not surprisingly because—some might think it impolite of me to point out—homosexual men are essentially no more like lesbians than heterosexual men are like the women whom they either merely pursue or marry. In short, men are men and women are women, whatever their sexual proclivities.  
That is why the right to marriage, fought for with every weapon at their command by homosexual men, would—or must I say will—be largely acted on by lesbians.Why, then, are these men fighting so hard for it?
But to the heart of the matter, Decter says that same sex marriage is about changing society, proclaiming radicalism as the norm and spitting in the eye of anyone who won't bow down to that.  In her words:
The answer is, the right to legal marriage that they are demanding is not about them—it is about the rest of us. It is, and is meant to be, a spit in the eye of the way we live. And whatever the variety of efforts to oppose it— another law or even a whole set of laws, let’s say, or a constitutional amendment—none of it will matter unless and until all the nice and decent people in America begin to understand that we are in a crisis, and it must be up to them to sustain, and with all good cheer defend, the way they lead their lives. 
That last refers to those of us who support traditional marriage.  It also refers to those who think that homosexual marriage, indeed the homosexual movement,  will have no effect on them---or their children.   Anyone who expects traditional marriage and the family to survive the same-sex marriage onslaught might be, with good cheer,  called gullible.