Initiating detonation sequence in 5…4…3…2…1….
So, the Gay Marriage debate.
Yeah, folks, this one is a doozy. The problem is, it really shouldn’t be. But the human trend of being overly emotional, irrational, and just plain nuts rules the day on Planet Earth, and so we have this fracas that, as Marc Barnes so eloquently put it, has all the sense and reason of a Snorlax who just snorted his weight in high quality crack cocaine (Note: They weigh about 1,000 Ilbs).
Which is to say, NONE.
With the recent reviewing of the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8 by the Supreme Court, and the surrounding media mess, I figure that it might as well be time to put up my thoughts on the entire situation, from same-sex marriage itself to the origins of homosexuality.
See, I happen to think that this whole “Gay” movement has only gotten as far as it has due to misinformation, misunderstanding, misrepresentation, and general falsehood, intentionally or unintentionally pursued and promoted by either side of the debate. Well, that and a toxic mix of hypercharged fear and misplaced compassion.
So now that I am dropping this multi-megaton bomb on y’all, I might as well lay out how I intend to go about it. My position, and the subject itself, is far too nuanced and complex to cover in a single post without addling the brain. Because of this, I will be covering it in many, many parts.
Part 1: The Big Gay Dance-Introducing the Gay Rights movement and why they have the power they have. Part of this is the Opposition’s fault.
Part 2: In Which I Rip the APA and Kinsey a New One- You know, for being scientifically unprofessional and intellectually inconsistent. Because, you know, they were just enlightened and so far ahead of the rest of us…
Part 3: You Sold Me Queer Giraffes-Dealing with homosexuality in the Animal Kingdom and how it pertains to the debate.
Part 4: Starscream, Shine on You Crazy Diamond-Breaking down homosexuality into its base components. Also, pertaining analysis of the transgender issue.
Part 5: Putting Together the Rainbow-Final thoughts and a conclusive message on where we should go from here.
I reserve the right to extend various parts into multiple posts if I have to. Get ready, because it has begun!
I also reserve the right to interrupt this flow with anything I find cool enough to write about. ‘Cause it’s my blog.
So, I have managed to come up with a rather fun idea to pass the time, and I think the rest of you would enjoy it as well. The concept was inspired by, or almost ripped entirely from, to be honest, this photo:
Pardon the language, of course.
I found this humorous.
Anyway, the rules of the Super Hero League Game are as follows: Use Google Image Search. Find a random image of a group photo. Facebook is also good for this. Proceed to give them heroic names and assign each superpowers or gimmicks based on how they look in the image, and leave a link in the comments! Here is one of mine below. Naturally, you don’t have to choose kids, but I wanted to stay in keeping with the original.
It really, really is. It is one of the greatest travesties of the Modern Age.
Wait, you thought I was complaining about racism or sexism or homophobia or something like that?
I think the entire concept of Hate Crime is ludicrous and in direct violation of the First Ammendment. I’ll prepare my battlements for the undeniably massive wave of angry partisans bearing torches and machetes that now comes to claim my life and sanity.
But still, there, I said it, and I feel better.
Why do I hate the concept of Hate Crime? How could anyone who loves diversity and tolerance hate Hate Crime?
Well, firstly, the fact that I can appreciate diverse worldviews, cultures, and lifestyles has nothing to do with this. Neither does the fact that I can tolerate the existence of behavior or schools of thought I find obscene or worthy of ridicule.
I hate Hate Crime because it is entirely unnecessary and punishes a man further than he has already been punished based upon his beliefs. I do not care if those beliefs include a raging hatred of Catholics, Europeans, people with brown eyes, or any other thing that I am or believe in. People have the right to hold those beliefs and preach them to the multitudes. It makes no difference whether a man assaults me because he does not like my face, or if he harms my person because I am partially Irish or German. The law already punishes the crime of assault, but with Hate Crime, it punishes the ideology of the criminal as well. Therefore, it gives the state a sudden power over what I can and cannot believe. It also opens up a giant can of worms as to what specifically constitutes a Hate Crime, and takes things to a near-1984 level of police work.
Doubtless, many of you reading this will scream “But what of the poor African Americans and Hispanics and Homosexuals and Jews and Muslims and and and and and…? Who will protect them from bigotry-induced violence?”
As already mentioned, the law actually covers threats of all varieties, harassment, physical abuse, assault, robbery, vandalism, and pretty much every way you can harm a human being. The perpetrator will be punished regardless of motive, so why add the extra punishment due to his motive? It is folly. I am perfectly fine with letting down this so-called extra protection against people like Neo-Nazis, Radical Islamists, and the KKK, all of which HATE Catholics and have a history of violence against them. Any of them can come after me and, once they have dealt with my response, which will be very not-fun for them, they will deal with the entirely effective laws already in place.
There you have it, America. Get rid of Hate Crime. It is irrational and wrong-headed.
So, one day, around a year ago, I was in my basement, fiddling around, multi-tasking (well, really, being easily distracted is more accurate, but I’ll make myself sound diligent and focused) a number of things like cleaning up trash, working out, organizing my large dinosaur model collection, and futzing with my Sci-fi and Fantasy miniatures. I do these things a lot.
I also happened to be thinking about something completely different from any of those things when I managed to stub my bare toes. I ought to have learned by now to protect them better, but I am from Cain-tuck-ee and therefore must go barefoot in my own home, and other places when permissible. State Law.
This, of course, hurt.
After snarling some choice incoherent half-swears and staring furiously at my foot for being so clumsy as to injure me, my gaze then burned its way into the old metal bed frame that had caused the damage.
Then suddenly, it hit me. Not the bed, that already happened when it threw itself maliciously into the path of my perfectly-balanced-with-just-the-right-amount-of-hair foot. We had a little discussion. It knows not to mess with me again.
Anyway, I had realized something tremendous. I had been going about my own personal Philosophy of the Mind all wrong.
See, I was having a problem justifying what I had been taught, and felt to be true, all my life, from the first time we ever discussed anatomy in school and beyond.
For the life of me, I could not, and still do not, understand how my nervous system transmits pain.
Please bear with me, as I am fully aware of how thick-headed and uneducated this sounds.
Let us look at our bodies and minds as anyone of the Reductionist Materialist persuasion does, especially in relation to the Universe at large. It starts out with a particle, whether quark or neutrino, or for the sake of the aforementioned neural transmission, electrons or hormones or other such things. Try this on for size:
Every particle in the universe can be represented by a ball. It may have certain properties that allow it to react in specific ways with another ball of a different variety, but it is still, all in all, just a ball. (Please forgive my intentional atrocious, purposeless rhyming. I didn’t want to throw off our timing…and now I’m quoting Yugi-oh the Abridged Series…will my tangents ever cease?)
This ball collides with another ball, and they move off in different directions, or snuggle quietly together and have some cocoa in front of a fire. Maybe even have a weekend of it and wind up with an unplanned Metaphorical Ball Jr. after nine months.
I apologize, I will stop diverting from the point for little humorous asides.
Anyway, those two balls collide. Do either of those balls consciously register what has just happened? No. Of course not. Now, keep in mind that everything in the Universe is made of ball-equivalents. Including your brain and the rest of your nervous system. So how, with a neurochemical message of pain traveling along what can be likened to a series of balls bumping into one another in a definite pattern, do you actually feel anything?
Some might say that the physical center of consciousness in your brain recognizes what has occurred. But, whatever part of the brain is doing the sensing is ALSO made of balls bumping together. So by the fact that matter and energy interact the way they do, YOU SHOULD NOT FEEL. EVER.
In fact, neither should you be able to think, or dream, or build a wicked looking castle, or throw your worst enemy off a cliff. Because there should be no YOU. A member of the species Homo Sapiens should do what a computer does, which is react and interact with an environment based upon the mechanisms of its construction. Granted, it might look like it actually possesses a mind, as various persons, who are usually disciples of the misguided Alan Turing, would suggest. They would state that as long as it can pass a Turing Test, which consists of basically convincing a human being (or an insert sentient being here) that the machine is likewise sentient, than the apparatus or contraption my be officially classified as sentient.
I have to admit, that logic is a bit foggy for my tastes.
Dr. John Searle, who remains a practiced materialist to this day, easily rips that concept in half with his Chinese Room thought experiment. I will attempt to sum this up below in plainer language than official sources present.
You stand outside a room. You are fluent in Mandarin Chinese, which is no small feat of linguistics. You are told that there is a man inside that room. The man inside that room has a list of directions in English that do not translate Mandarin, but explain only how to respond to various Mandarin characters thrust under the door. You, speaking Mandarin, decide to show off your knowledge of the language and write down some things in that language and pass them under the door. The man inside uses his set of instructions and responds by placing the results back under the door.
The final effect is that you are fooled into thinking you are having a conversation with a fellow Mandarin-speaker. In reality, your counterpart has no knowledge of the actual exchange taking place. Now, the code for a computer is like the set of instructions the man in the Chinese Room has. No matter how cleverly a computer may appear to respond, it is never actually thinking. It merely follows a pre-ordained set of responses.
This, and the above information I have provided, pretty much demonstrate that there not only might, but MUST be a non-physical component of the mind. This terrifies many Atheists, as Theists like myself of all religions will, and rightly should (especially if they are Catholic, for their Church holds philosophical and theological views that slide in nicely with the information presented here) instantly point to the necessity of a soul for anything we know about sensate and sentient life to make an ounce of sense.
In fact, they become so irate and terrified, that they claim that Science will one day provide them with a Theory of the Mind that can somehow get around the simple, demonstratible fact that no matter how complex a mechanism is, nor how numerous its individual parts, something purely material should never be able to actually feel a darn thing.
This is even more notable in the light of the Theory of Evolution. Mainly because there is not actually any reason for Natural Selection to provide anything with a means to feel hunger, pain, sexual pleasure, or anything else for that matter.
For the second time, bear with me here. On the surface, it sounds like the most asinine statement ever, until you seriously think about it.
If Evolution truly is the process by which various organic compounds are assembled due to inner and outside forces into different compounds until we have the Building Blocks of Life, which then are assembled mechanistically by outside forces, then, as demonstrated, there should never be feeling involved. The most that would happen would be the placement of several trigger mechanisms that caused the production of more copies of the organism, or began gene transfer (what we would call mating), or the ingestion of resources (feeding). There would be no sense of pain, only a reaction to system damage. There would be no seeing the color blue, there would be a reaction to and absorption of data that recorded a certain wavelength of light reflected off of something. I could go on and on, but judging by the fact that we see a blueness of blue, feel the sting of pain, the gnawing of an empty stomach…well, Evolution is either actively working in conjunction with a nonphysical soul, or, well, is complete and utter bunk.
Given the nigh-insurmountable wall of evidence for Evolution’s existence, I should think it were not bunk.
And before everyone gets up in arms and begins citing thousands of research papers showing the effects of hormones, the nervous system, and various physical stimuli on thought and consciousness, have no fear. I never said the mind was not influenced by any of these things. There is definitely a physical process that occurs in the brain that affects thought. However, I leave that to more talented men than myself to sort out the nitty-gritty of. That is the realm of neuroscientists and psychologists, and I travel that land only on casual visits.
In case any of you forgot or were unaware, yesterday was All Saint’s Day. The Catholic Church holds this annual Feast to celebrate the earthly and now unearthly lives of those who have made it to Heaven. All in Heaven are Saints, but the ones who we know by miracle to be there are Canonized Saints, who are officially recognized by the Church and whom we are allowed to ask for intercessory aide. There are a thousand and one interesting, insightful, beautiful things I could talk about with this expansive subject, but I think I will take the simple road and share with you some poetry prayers pertaining to some of my go-to Saints that I have written. Naturally, you may use these for your own devotions. However, if these are reproduced in part or in whole, I ask simply that you give credit of authorship to myself, Mr. Nathaniel Thomas Hall of Cain-tuck-ee (broken English pronunciation of the Native American name for my home commonwealth).
Like My Fellows: In the Style of Saint Peter
Though I am the mangiest of mongrels
The most scurrilous of curs
A sinful dweller of back alleys and dark dredgings
I call out to you to pull me from the mires of my sin.
For even if I forsake You thrice and thrice again
Your Love remains to abolish the words of my fearful flesh.
Though I abuse Your Tenets and Commandments
In my own self-righteous Wrath
You redeem me and show me the better path.
Though in my Pride I think I know Whom You Are
You shame me that I might know You better
And in so doing
You forge me into solid rock upon which to build the Salvation of Many.
Like My Fellows: In the Style of Saint Francis of Assisi
With all the swiftness of the Falcon
With all the resilience of the Bear
With all the passion of the Wolverine
With all the hunger of the Wolf
With all the solemnity of the Badger
With all the ceaseless movement of the Shark
And with all the keen discernment of the Eagle.
Like My Fellows: In the Style of Saint Joseph
Oh Almighty Savior
I am but one small man kneeling before you.
In all my strength and cunning and earthly resilience
I am nothing.
Even if my word be treated as Law across the Universe
Before You I am dust in the wind.
Still I offer you what service my puny body can give
Be it used to tear down corruption
Or build a Civilization of Love.
In all manner of tasks
My staff is yours to command.
Even should that task be so small yet so grand
As to found a family for a King.
Like My Fellows: In the Style of Saint Michael the Archangel
In my hands I unceasingly pray
That the Sword of Truth remains
All the days of my life.
So that in this I may always defend myself
And my Brothers and Sisters
From the snares and the talons of The Adversary.
I pray that my arm be strong like my desire
For You and all things Holy.
That my heart be so pure
That I cast aside the Denizens of Shadow
By my very Fiat to You my God.
May my soul ride to War and Armageddon
Aside Archangels and all the Heavenly Host
For the Glory of Your Sacred Name.
Like My Fellows: In the Style of Saint Thomas Aquinas
In my pursuit of God
Let there be no distractions of the carnal.
Let me plumb the depths of Man
And in so doing
Let my heart and soul be thrown open
Bare before the infinite mysteries and processes
Of the Uncaused Cause,
The Unmoved Mover,
The Unordered Orderer,
The Uncreated Creator
And the vast but yet finite workings of His Creation.
Allow my mind to soar with Angels and Archangels
To dance and sing among the Hosts of Heaven.
For what I desire most is the perfect alignment
Not only of my Intellect
But my Soul
With His Perfection.
Like My Fellows: In the Style of Saint Thomas More
May it be that I always pursue the Highest Law
That of the One True Lawgiver.
May it be that His Precepts be written on my heart
Like a wound carved into the flesh
Always fresh and mindful.
May it be that my will stands like iron
Not for my own Pride and Honor
Nor that of my Native Land
But for His Truth and His Glory
And that of His Holy Church.
So that when Death’s abysmal rending axe
Comes hewing down upon my lifeblood
The poesy and magic I have written in the Mind of Man
Serves the Judge of Judges
The Arbiter of Arbiters
The Author of Authors
And the Poet of Poets
Yet more in His Kingdom,
So that even my Death lies among my masterpieces signed in His Name.
So recently, a friend of mine posted this on my Facebook wall: http://gizmodo.com/5954779/how-t-rex-ate-a-triceratops-in-four-easy-steps
I will do them one better. Today, you are in going to learn about one of the possible ways in which a T-Rex likely hunted.
Yes, that is correct. Tyrannosaurus Rex and Triceratops very rarely duked it out horn to maw during the normal course of Late Cretaceous events. In fact, the above picture is even less accurate, because instinct would probably drive one away from biting the deadly end of an opponent. Especially when that deadly end has a chance to make your killy parts less killy for the duration of the fight.
It is far closer to reality to picture the scene I am about to describe to you.
Picture yourself in the branches of a large tree at the forest’s edge during a pleasant Mesozoic evening. Before you is a fairly large migration pathway browsed and trampled by massive herbivorous dinosaurs into low-growing plants. Each of these creatures is at least a ton of muscle and sinew lumbering peacefully along, grazing as they go. Their number is mixed, with drastically different dinosaurs mingling together for mutual benefit. You see triceratops, ceratopsians, dangerous horned animals similar to the mammalian rhino is build and demeanor, lowing and grunting as they shuffle around through the ferns. Edmontosaurus, a hadrosaur, is also present, and these duck-bills pause while eating every so often to raise their heads and glance around them for any sign of danger. The two work well together, with the hadrosaur’s higher profile allowing for a better vantage point to watch for predators, and the ceratopsians providing the serious defense in a wall of horns and frills if one should show its face.
You see something huge move briefly in the shadows below you. A beast as black as night stands there, barely breathing, and nearly silent despite its gratuitous size. You find it hard to believe that a predator so powerful, so lethal, should be hidden in ambush, doing its best not to be seen until that one, final, critical moment. The bull Tyrannosaurus Rex is waiting for something to happen with all the patience of a Zen master.
And then everything does. All at once.
Looking back on the incident after the dust clears and blood and viscera stop going everywhere, you understand that one of the nearby Triceratops turned its body just a little too far, so that its head was not within 180 degrees of the T-Rex. However, what you saw then was a rush of impossibly fast motion and a horrific roar as the eight-ton carnivore barreled through the trees and into the open. The entire herd panics, bolting or desperately trying to close ranks and fend off this threat. They are too spread out and too terrified to do this effectively. The targeted animal tries to spin and face his attacker, but is not quick enough. If he had been angled just a bit differently, his powerful triceps and pectorals could have easily launched him into a rotating slash with his horns that would have disemboweled the T-Rex. Instead he is hit with freight-train force as the predator’s jaws close down hard on his hip joint and bite the whole thing off, completely removing the bone, muscle and tendons as the mighty fangs come together with the precision of a demonic cookie cutter.
The Triceratops tries to turn again and strike back, but with one of its rear legs out of commission, all it can do is thrash uselessly and try to land a blow. The second bite comes within moments of the first, separated from it only by the time the T-Rex needs to take a step and a half. When it comes crashing home, a man-sized hole in the ceratopsian’s ribcage is the result. The rest of the herd has realized the futility of rushing to help, and now sits angrily in a protective ring, with horns out and lungs bellowing at top volume. In some cases, they might have then charged the predator in shear rage, but not today. The attack is too sudden, and they are too shocked by what has just occurred. Meanwhile, their compatriot bleeds out rapidly and stops moving. The T-Rex then begins to feed, tearing off the head and limbs and stripping the carcass of flesh.
Right now, you are on the internet, reading a blog. This gives me sufficient reason to believe that you know a bit about the World Wide Web. So I am going to assume that you have probably heard about online trolling, even if that lone word is all you have seen of it.
You know, it is interesting, there is a vast body of material that most people throw under the label of “trolling”, but given the general definition I have gleaned from some self-described trolls, most of it does not really apply at all. For example, playing a prank, ribbing someone, and all other varieties of tomfoolery often receive the trolling label, but are not bona fide trolling. In fact, all of these are usually just lighthearted fun and games, and are things most healthy people take part in.
You can even find self-proclaimed trolls who use harsh pranks or deceptive means to enlighten people to new ways of thinking about subjects that normally are too taboo or too hotly debated to deal with in everyday discussion. While I do not really condone this sort of tactic, as head games feel dishonest and I prefer to be direct and up front, this again is not necessarily harmful or mean-spirited. In many cases, even the more brutal trolls seem to consider themselves some sort of vicious, unforgiving Schoolmaster sent to educate the poorly informed and misguided. Naturally, this can easily lead to some swelled ego and other such problems, but the desire to uplift others, in however rough and unkind a manner, is not in itself a bad thing.
What trolling is, in its purest form, is simply the introduction of chaos and suffering into a situation. It does not matter if the situation was already chaotic and full of suffering. A true troll will find his amusement in this chaos and the negative reactions of others. According to the nigh-omniscient Wikipedia, trolls of the most uncouth sort have gone so far as to send families images of the mutilated corpses of their relatives, children even, who recently died in car wrecks. Others have conducted postmortem smear campaigns against those who have committed suicide, in full view of their grieving friends. Granted, not all trolls are that vicious, and many simply stalk the internet looking only for attention of any kind, but the fact that there are people so depraved as to do the above is a sign of the times.
It is a sign that people are thoroughly bored and unsatisfied with their lives. To the point where they will deliberately inflict cruelty upon their fellow human beings just for the fun of it, or worse, just because. There has to be something deeply lacking in your existence when you look at a sentient being, made in the image and likeness of God Almighty, and say “You seem like you would be fun to make suffer.” Note how that phrase sounds like a poorly written villain from a child’s cartoon? That is because both things are equally feeble minded and weak. What loneliness brings a person to find comfort in the spite and rage of others? What insecurity allows a person to find pleasure and self-worth in their ability to cause emotional harm to others? What desperate need for control and stability propels a man to incite disorder and confusion, so that at least he pulls the strings of that turmoil, even if his strings are being pulled in every other area of his life?
The answer is simple: nothing good.
Over the years I have gradually come to believe that trolling is a major warning sign of how far our culture has fallen. It is the symptom of the rot of the age. Only when Man forgets that he and all his brothers and sisters are the Children of God, can he truly be cruel for the sake of that cruelty. Only when he loses sight of all Purpose and Meaning because those things have been either ripped from him by force, or taken by sleight of hand and replaced with shallow caricatures of Freedom and Love, can he be so truly bored and unsatisfied that his cruelty can become a welcome distraction from his emptiness.
An absolutely perfect example of this decay is illustrated by the character Discord from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now, you may be asking, why would a grown-ass man know anything about a cartoon for six-year-old girls? Because there is this thing called the Brony Phenomenon, and I was curious as to why so many men my age counted themselves as fans of the program. While the show has many excellent and wonderful qualities as a Tame Aslan (if you do not understand my reference, read more C.S. Lewis), and if I had young daughters they would be watching it for certain, it was, in the end, just a show for young girls, and it could not hold my interest. But, for the record, FLUTTERSHY IS BEST PONY. Anyone who says otherwise receives a fierce jackboot to the neck. Props to John C. Wright for that violent phraseology.
One of the more notable episodes I viewed was the Season 2 pilot. Well, I guess it’s not a pilot if the show got off the ground already, but it was not a finale either. Hmmm…enough digressing. On with the thrust of the matter! Discord makes his appearance, turns out to be voiced by the guy who plays Q in Star Trek: the Next Generation (in some ways, they’re practically the same role), and sets to some relatively harmless but chaotic hijinks until he finds that not everyone wants to play along.
True to troll-form, he ups the stakes because people (or in this case, ponies) had finished with his attention-whoring. He, in full knowledge of what he is doing, and laughing every minute of it, deceives, mind-warps, and generally corrupts the main characters. It works on everyone except Fluttershy, because she is supposed to represent kindness, love, innocence, you know, all those tender things. I will get to why in a minute. He has to practically shatter her mind and rebuild it to his specifications in order to have his way. He breaks her with extreme prejudice.
Why? Because Fluttershy is the solution to Man’s Modern Decay. The only way we are going to heal the wounds caused by our devouring boredom and our inhumanity to ourselves is through authentic love and kindness. When Discord gets all up in her grill, she simply responds with meekness, respect (despite the fact that he’s an oddly shaped dragon-monster-thing hell-bent on throwing the world out of whack), and compassion, even in the face of his mutterings that her gentleness will one day allow her to be hurt deeply by others. This is Christ-like, honest-to-goodness LOVE we are seeing here. And Discord cannot stand it.
See, Discord is a wonderful way to teach kids about Satan. He is proud. He is arrogant. He is cruel.
And he is absolutely lonely.
Note well how this also sounds like the average serious troll. Have you ever noticed how trolls, or any truly hurting people, tend to lash out at those who try and help them? They cannot withstand the goodness, for the healing it brings puts them in a place where they feel they have less power. The Devil removed himself from God in Pride and in a desire to control. He feared being beholden to another. Accepting kindness leaves you at the mercy of the one giving it to you. Love is practically synonymous with vulnerability. The Devil, Discord, and trolls hate the weakness that comes with Love, the lack of control, the lack of power it entails.
Therein lies the rub. In order to end the rot of the Modern Age, and in so doing the symptom of trolling, we must end two things, our boredom and our objectification of ourselves. We must remind Man that he is Man again. We must remind him that he is made in the image and likeness of God, the Creator of the Universe. We must get him to think and feel and leap with joy and cry out in despair and all those other beautiful things that Man was made to do by his Creator. We must regain our Humanity. No one can truly see another as human and view them as private pawns for self-amusement.
The beautiful thing is that the boredom will fade after that. Man is capable of choosing to follow his Purpose, is capable of finding Meaning, by the very nature of being Man in the truest sense of the word. The lifeless Turing machines so many see themselves as these days, however, are not. They might have functions, oh yes, and some of those functions might be pleasurable, but when life is just lived because it is there, because we can, it becomes dull. With no end game, with no real soul, we lapse into the deathly boredom we have now. No matter what we invent, our souls will cry out for still more, and eventually we will all come to the realization that running in a hamster wheel is pointless.
The even-more-beautiful thing about this situation is that we can accomplish both by unselfishly loving. It is truly that simple.
Now get out there and save the world.
I’m going to do something new, dear readers. I am aware that you are small in number, and because of this, I have a favor to ask. I think what I am about to say is critical to the state our great country is in. Therefore, I will ask that you share this in every way possible, by Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, and Tumblr. I am asking you to do your best to make this next post viral. So many are unaware of what exactly is being done by certain men and women that their ignorance has become as a powder keg ready to ignite.
Now, to the alarum bell!
The HHS Mandate is a very foul and dangerous thing. Say what you wish about the overall Obamacare Plan; it is not the issue here. Many on either side of the political spectrum will attempt to make it seem as if it were. Some have even accused the U.S. Council of Bishops of despising Universal Healthcare. This is blatantly not so, they have been for the welfare and care of all peoples, however disadvantaged, for quite some time now, if there was ever even a time they were not. In fact, many are like myself, who oppose the Mandate, but not the idea that all men should be cared for and looked after when ill or injured. We oppose this loathsome Mandate because of one reason: it forces people to act against their religious beliefs in a drastic and harmful way. Namely, it threatens any institution that holds Christian (and Islamic and Jewish and occasionally Buddhist and Hindu) pro-life values and is not exclusively run for and by members of that same religion. It hammers them with large financial penalties if they do not grievously violate their own religious tenets. Basically, it forces the organization to pay for sterilizations, birth control pills (abortifacient), morning-after pills (distinctly abortifacient) and other such things. It forces the Catholic Church, among others, to pay for the murder of children and the degradation of human beings made in the image and likeness of God.
Naturally, this is intolerable to many in this country. “I’m sorry, you have deeply held religious beliefs about the sanctity of sexuality and human life? Violate them or we run you into the ground with fines.” This applies to every school (pre-school through University level), hospital, and social work organization that is part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church. And, as I have said, many other churches besides. This act is an abomination, and devastates Religious Liberty by financially threatening us unless we violate our beliefs. To look at it from another angle, imagine if the Freedom from Religion Foundation were forced to pay for Religious Counseling as part of its insurance plans. This is madness enough, but our Dear and Doting President Barack Obama has taken advantage of this time and place in History to do something far more vile than what first appears, methinks.
Note well that the following is theory and hypothesis alone, and that I have no secret documents nor overheard conversations to fill out more than the framework of my discovery.
People of Faith are notoriously hard to deal with. Especially those of the Abrahamic variety, it would seem. The more you push us around, the more we fight back, and sometimes we fight in the most dangerous way possible. We Forgive and Love. We cling to the Lord, and even when slain we grow in number, for the Blood of Martyrs is truly the Seed of the Church, both Theologically and Sociologically. In truth, the only way to really beat us is through defamation, and that takes time and a great deal of exaggeration or lying, because it is hard to hate the nun feeding the armless leper soup. One has to focus entirely on the Evil done by members of the Faith, and ignore anything to the contrary. To beat Holy Men, you must make them look like demons.
The Catholic Church is currently a great thorn in the side of men like our President, and women like Nancy Pelosi or Kathleen Sebelius. How strange it is indeed that all three of them are members of Christian and Catholic Churches. Yes, you heard me right. We are under attack from within our own flocks. Yet, if you think about it, this really is not so strange…Peter denied Christ, Judas betrayed Him…we have a long and sinful history of not sticking to our guns or turning them on our brothers and sisters. But I digress. We of the Faith are a stumbling block on the road to their political goals. They are for gay marriage, abortion, and numerous other things that most of us are dramatically against. The number of people against these things comprise a vast portion of the votes that put men like Obama in power, and allow him to do as he sees fit.
So it comes down to this: WE are in the way, and they don’t like it. It would be far easier on them if all they tried to restructure or tear down with legislation was approved at lightning speed because America had suddenly become a mass of heads nodding politely in their direction.
You see, when this mess first broke, naturally the Church was outraged. When many of our members, including Bishops, came out in support of the Healthcare Bill, they did so thinking that our right to follow our conscience would be protected. So we complained. And the President told us to calm down and that we would forge a compromise that did not trample our Freedom. Cardinal Timothy Dolan met with him and was assured that this would be the case. Then, the compromise was unveiled for the press, and we found that we had been betrayed yet again. This compromise, was to protect our rights. Instead, it went as thus: as opposed to paying the cost of the procedures and pills we reject as sinful, we would pay the insurance companies, who would then pay the costs. “It’s okay. You don’t have to pay for murder. You just have to pay for someone else to pay for murder.” Of course, this is both insulting and laughable.
I would wager that the real point of this “compromise” was simply to make us look bad and crush any serious opposition to the Mandate. From that point on, our President got to look like he had tried to make peace, but those darned stodgy Bishops just refused to listen. This, of course, effectively hamstrings us in regards to public opinion. And, after all, that was never truly with us anyway, thanks to folks who spread around the lie that 98% of Catholic Women use contraception (skewed polls aside, it’s kind of common sense that more than 2% of Catholic women probably are too old to even need it), and others who shrieked like stuck pigs that we were attacking women’s health. I cannot tell you the number of sob stories I have seen involving endometriosis or some other disorder treatable by the Pill. Well, to clear the air, the Church is completely okay with you taking care of serious illnesses when the side effect mucks with your fertility. Because if we weren’t we would have to be against a fair number of cancer treatments as well.
Remember how I said there are certain things our leaders want done that the Church stands in the way of? This is where it gets ugly. We have three options now with the HHS Mandate
1) Comply. Act against our own beliefs in a horrendous manner.
2) Refuse to comply and continue to hold open our charities. We are then fined slowly to death or crippled to the point where we can do nothing.
3) Shut down. Which leaves us at the bleak point of #2.
Now, if we shut down or are forced to close, this is what will happen: all the people we served, all the needy, the children who need schooling, the sick who need healing, all of them are suddenly cut adrift in the economy. What better people to use as fodder for supporting Obamacare? Or any other expansion of Government aid our dear President might want to ram through the legislature? “See, America, I told you we needed my solutions to these problems! Look at all those who need what I propose!” And of course, few will think to ask where all these poor folk suddenly came from. America will simply panic under the further financial stress.
And if that is not devious enough for you, consider this. If Catholic Schools are closed, it will drastically reduce the number of children educated properly in the Faith. In a generation or two, the functional Catholic population will have dropped to near zero. And that stumbling block in the way of so many things that so many of our leaders desperately want to accomplish will have been effectively removed from the voting population. See, while we are not the largest Christian group in America, we are the most structured and organized. We are the most resistant to attack. And with us removed, the others will come crashing down like dominoes.
So there you have it. The HHS Mandate is doom to Religious Freedom. And it, I fear, is intended as a death blow to the enemies of those currently in power. Vote well this November. Remove this devious and underhanded man from office.
I think it high time to explain my silence over the past month or so. First, work became very busy, and I had other tasks at hand to deal with. Second, my personal computer is still in the shop, so I’m doing this little bit on my lunch break at work. I figure that I at least ought to give you something to read over, even if this is only filler until I actually have the time and means to write. As my head has been bursting with ideas for some time and I have had nowhere to put them, there are a good many articles coming in the near future. So without further ado, take a glance at my schedule.
Making Yourself Look Bad-All about what Catholic (and thereby Christian) having solid Christian relationships can and should do for you.
Warning Claxon-Digging through some of the layers of the HHS Mandate debacle we American Catholics find ourselves in.
Going for the Throat-A multi-part, knock-down, drag-out thrashfest targeting Atheism and its results with the very same tactics used by most of its prominent proponents.
Things You Never Expected to See Catholic-Looking deeper into pop-culture and yanking out the Good contained therein.
Clashing Mental Imagery-An exercise in getting your brain to think differently about what the Church really is.
Toy Soldiers and Belief-A critical analysis of Warhammer 40,000 and its various factions, accompanied by an actual ideology that fits each one the best.
Musical Manifestation-The way I practice Catholicism represented as a collection of songs.
Extinguishing the Rising Sun-An evaluation and critique of the Eastern Philosophy that was condensed and used effectively in Avatar: The Last Airbender
Seven Deadly Allegories-A portrait of Evil in Full Metal Alchemist, the manga.
The Savior of Shannara-Terry Brooks and his Word and the Void worldview.
As you can see, you all have an army of words on the march toward your waiting minds. Brace yourselves!
Recently, I had the privilege of celebrating the fact that I have drawn breath on God’s Green Earth for a span of twenty-four years now. The day of my birth was ushered in by the scent of tasty things, the clash of foam and PVC weaponry, and the sound of shouting and thundering feet.
As I thought about my coming into Existence, I began to wonder, and to ponder overmuch the celebration of these and similar days. What are we actually celebrating when we wish someone a Happy Birthday? For most of my life I had understood it to be that we were happy the person was still alive and kicking, that Death had not yet claimed them. Something seemed amiss from the start of that thought. A little twinge of warning echoed through my psyche. You see, like so many other things in our hum-drum modern lives, we have thought like an Atheist about something it is very dangerous to think like an Atheist about.
As the old joke goes, “Happy Birthday, you’re one year closer to Death.” Our Culture of Death, as it so often does, pays homage to the power of the Reaper by frantically trying to ignore the signs of his oncoming stroke. I wonder, just how many of us blow out the candles and dare to think that we might be trying to turn something that rightly scares the crap out of us into a brightly colored burst of partying and overindulgence. I would wager the number is awfully small. No one likes to be honest about the reality of their Worldview, be they Theist or otherwise. At least, not one-hundred percent of the time.
Does it shock you, that I have done the equivalent of rolling a corpse into the middle of a happy family gathering? Birthdays, for those who do not believe in a hereafter, are, in truth, yet another attempt to ignore that Final Destination that awaits us all. Many will argue heatedly that the opposite is true that this is not so, that they celebrate a person’s accomplishment’s and the life they have so far lived. The thing is, that light, however bright, pales and goes out in the Infinite Void that accompanies Modern Thought. Once life is extinguished, there is no one left to hear any congratulations or well-wishes. Every Birthday hoorah is a hollow echo against the wall of a mausoleum.
And yet for those who believe, and I will simply say Christians, which of course in its truest sense means Catholics, Birthdays are exactly what they appear on the surface. We really can celebrate the brevity of the Mortal Coil, because it is put in the beautiful backdrop of the Eternal Revolution. We can celebrate a man’s accomplishments because they mean something. We can celebrate the Gift of Life because God has given him that gift. Like almost all Christian Celebrations, it is a time for praise, joy, and thanksgiving. To quote the Preacher-man from the Alamo movie that starred John Wayne as Davy Crockett, “That’s all the Lord gives any man. A time to be born and a time to die.” Everything else is just icing on that immense and wonderful cake that is a combination of Life and the Free Will that comes with it for Man.
Now that I’m done doing my own little bit of preaching, I have a favor to ask. While this blog is a nice place to put my thoughts where people can see them, and I do not require fame to keep posting, I think what good my words can do will be amplified if more people read them. So, I ask that you who read this guide but one friend to my doorstep, and I shall be thankful that you have helped me place the fruits of my harvest before the Lord.