Saturday, April 24, 2004


I was fascinated as I read the minutes of the local chapter of Voice of the Faithful's recent meeting, particularly this question noted at the end of a lecture given by Fr. Thomas Rausch, S.J.:
Someone suggested that new priests from the seminary seem to be very clerical and conservative in their view of the Church. It was suggested that some sent to Santa Barbara were actually members of Opus Dei. Fr. Rausch suggested we consider the world of chaos in which these new seminarians were raised and thinks that might be crucial in their predisposition towards order. He said he was not aware of seminarians being members of Opus Dei.
Do I smell a conspiracy plot here in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles? It wouldn't be the first one I've heard. However, of all the conspiracy theories I've heard about the goings-on in this Archdiocese, this one is the first more liberal one I've heard explicitly. The sad (or happy?) truth is that such a conspiracy might not be much of a bad thing, given what I now know about the true nature of Opus Dei and the universal call to holiness, accentuated even further in the Second Vatican Council's own dogmatic constitution, Lumen Gentium, which Voice of the Faithful likes to quote. Oh, the humanity!
Pro-life Feminists Speak Up!

Feminists For Life President, Serrin Foster, offers these remarks regarding this weekend's death march in Washington:
Women continue to die from legal and lethal abortion, just as they did before Roe vs. Wade. In 2003, California teen Holly Patterson, age 18, died after taking RU-486. Who will mourn her on Sunday? This march won't bring her back. Women are also rendered infertile and risk future miscarriages. A Montana woman, Lorraine Thul, had a hysterectomy after her uterus was nicked during an abortion in 2002. How will this march help Lorraine? Twenty-nine of 38 worldwide epidemiological studies show increased risk of breast cancer after an abortion, including 13 of 15 studies on American women. Will march organizers continue to deny medical research?

Another march co-sponsor, Planned Parenthood President Gloria Feldt, has said, "Roe v. Wade enabled women to participate in the social, financial and political life of this country." Abortion does not "enable" women. Women need housing, child care, health care that includes maternity benefits, maternity leave, the ability to telecommute, a living wage and a supportive family for themselves and their children. A woman needs and deserves support — both emotional and financial — from the father of the child. The lack of support and resources is what concerns women the most. Addressing these unmet needs must become our priority — not abortion.
I heard Serrin Foster give a very rousing lecture at the university when I was a student. She is always careful to raise some very challenging points that modern feminism avoids like the plague. The truth is that modern feminism is not feminism in truest sense. Foster goes on to suggest that the generational tide is beginning to sway:
63 percent of people aged 18 to 24 are pro-life, making them the most pro-life generation since those now aged 70 and over. It is instructional for those under age 31 to learn that attorney Sarah Weddington argued Roe on the basis that a woman could not complete her education if she were pregnant. Why not? Women are not suddenly stupid because they are pregnant or parenting. Education is essential to combat the feminization of poverty.
Millions of people marched on Washington last January bearing witness to life. We must continue to fight for human rights and for true respect for the dignity of women and children.
John Kerry: Man, Myth, Politician

I haven't used this blog too much to draw out my political opinions. Of course, at times they intersect significantly with my living out of the Catholic Faith in this country, so I am obliged to speak up now and then. I'm a registered Republican, though in more than a few areas, I consider myself to be more moderate politically. I'm largely a student when it comes to politics, and so I'm willing to listen to debates and differing opinions on particular policies and issues. But I vote very strongly according to my conscience, which is informed by the teachings of the Church, the authority to which I am obedient. In 2000 AD, I voted for George W. Bush, and while I have not been a fan of how the situation has been handled in Iraq, nor have I been a fan of other policies of the Bush Administration, nothing sickens me more, at this point, than the thought of a Kerry Administration in the White House.

At one point in my life as a Catholic, I pondered the day when there would be a Catholic in the White House who truly understood the struggle of American Catholics, someone who was willing to truly speak up for real human dignity, one who wouldn't be afraid to stand up for something greater than himself. Well, here we have a Catholic who is selling me and other Catholic citizens over to the wolves. He's telling me that my beliefs don't matter; He's saying that they're convenient for photo ops, but in the end, all that matters is winning an election. He's saying that my conscience, informed by the teaching of the Church, is arbitrary and unimportant to American politics. He's even gone so far as to suggest that voting according to my conscience is a dangerous breach of the highly misconceived separation of Church and State. He says these things and acts this way and expects us to brush if off as being business as usual? What would the early martyrs have thought about such an attitude?

Bush is truly not my ideal candidate. He's a politician, for sure. He has, however, had the guts to severly risk his own reputation to stand up to some very powerful people in this country, and as Kerry proudly picks up endorsements from Planned Parenthood after having stood before and received Our Lord in the Blessed Sacrament, only to then vow to turn back the clock on all of the important abortion reforms we've made in this country over the last few years, I can only imagine what the angels above must be thinking. But they would also be praying for him as well as for President Bush, and as I, myself, am a sinner, I will also pray for John Kerry, but I can't see myself voting for anyone other than George W. Bush this Fall.

St. Thomas More, please pray for all leaders of nations!

Monday, April 19, 2004

Shakespearean Insulter

Certainly there must be a need for Shakespeare's genius!
You scullion! You rampallian! You fustilarian! I'll tickle your catastrophe!
Taken from: Henry IV, part 2

[You] speak an infinite deal of nothing.
Taken from: The Merchant of Venice
Try out the Shakespearean Insulter! :)

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Fruitful Exercise

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 23.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.

From Kernighan and Ritchie's The C Programming Language, Second Edition:
By definition, chars are just small integers, so char variables and constants are identical to ints in arithmetic expressions.
Great wisdom always gives me pause. From the man behind the curtain; Compile this:
main(k){float i,j,r,x,y=-16;while(puts(""),y++<15)for(x
=0;x++<84;putchar(" .:-;!/>)|&IH%*#"[k&15]))for(i=k=r=0;
You'll get a glimpse from on high at the infinity of the universe.


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