Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Not All Women's Rights Are Right

The following is a list of some of the rights women should have:
  • The right to have any job that a man can have, and get paid the same amount for it.
  • The right to work outside the home, if she so chooses.
  • The right to be a stay at home mom, if she so chooses.
  • The right to breastfeed in public.
  • The right to be treated equally with men.
  • The right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In 1973 in the United States, women were granted a right that is outright wrong, and that is the right to kill her unborn child via abortion. This right is just as wrong as the right Americans were given many years ago to own slaves. Americans finally came to realize that slavery was wrong, and made slavery illegal. Americans, and the entire world, need to realize that nobody should have the right to take anyone's life, no matter what their stage of development. Women, men, and children, both born and unborn, have the right to life, liberty, and the the pursuit of happiness. Women who experience unwanted pregnancies are in very difficult circumstances, without a doubt, but disposing of an unborn child is never a viable solution. 

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Effect of Artificial Contraception on Society

Blue and White Striped Umbrellas
I've been having discussions with several people on Twitter recently concerning artificial contraception (birth control). As a Roman Catholic, I believe that the use of artificial contraception is wrong. If people want to avoid or regulate pregnancies, I believe that Natural Family Planning (NFP) should be used. NFP takes advantage of the natural cycles of fertility and infertility that are built into a woman's body to avoid or regulate pregnancy, and can even be used to achieve pregnancy. Artificial contraception, on the other hand, is only used to avoid pregnancy. Some types of artificial contraception have serious possible side effects. For example, one of the possible side effects of using the birth control pill (BCP) is stroke. I personally know of a woman who suffered a stroke as a direct result of using BCP's.

Yesterday someone said that they could understand my opposition to the use of BCP's (presumably because of the aforementioned side effects), but they couldn't understand why I'm against the use of condoms. While I can see the benefit of using condoms to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like AIDS and STD's, I am against condoms and other forms of artificial birth control because of the effect that artificial birth control has on society. The easiest way for me to explain what I mean is this: imagine what the world would be like if artificial birth control was never invented. Some people might say that STD's would be rampant, and our world would quickly become overpopulated. I believe that the result would be different. If there was no artificial birth control, people would think twice about having sex outside of a marital context. This would result in a decrease in divorces due to marital infidelity, a reduction in STD's, a reduction in the number of unwanted pregnancies, which in return would result in a reduction in the number of abortions. NFP could be used to regulate the number of births to avoid a population explosion.

So, to answer my friend's question about why I am against the use of condoms, I say that it is not so much because it is bad for me, but because of the negative effect the use of condoms and other forms of artificial birth control have on society. I feel the same way about the use of alcohol. If I had it my way, the use of alcohol would be banned. I can drink alcohol responsibly, but I can see that there are many people in society who can't. Some people become addicted to it. Many people die every year at the hands of drunk drivers. I feel alcohol consumption should be banned for the good of society.

While I feel artificial contraception should be banned for the good of society, also, I do realize that if we just ban artificial contraception, and do nothing to instill morality in people, we will run into a lot of problems. In addition to telling people not to use artificial birth control, I also share with people the benefit of only having sexual relations within a marital context. It will be difficult to eliminate the use of artificial birth control until we can find a way to infuse morality into our society.

If people can begin to see the "big picture" of sexual morality, this world will quickly become a much healthier and happier place to live.

More information:

Papal Encyclical Humanae Vitae (Catholic teaching on the use of contraception) (Natural Family Planning Information)

The Catholic Catechism on Contraception

Contraception: Humanity's Rebellion Against God's Plan for Life

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

U.S. Representative Trent Franks on Abortion, Slavery, and Personhood

U.S. Representative Trent Franks of Arizona gave a talk recently regarding abortion, slavery, and personhood. He made several excellent points in his talk, especially how people dehumanize the human fetus in order to make abortion seem morally acceptable. He was also right-on when he referred to abortion as a "holocaust".

When it comes to the abortion issue, Representative Franks "gets it". Do you?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Music Video: Breathe, by John Tesh

The song entitled "Breathe" is one of my favorite worship songs. One of my favorite versions of the song was sung by John Tesh, who used to co-host the Entertainment Tonight show. Here is a recording of John singing Breathe at Red Rocks. I hope the video brings you closer to Jesus, and to those in the world around you. Peace be with you.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Fernando Ortega - Give Me Jesus

This is a beautiful musical tribute to Billy Graham's wife Ruth by singer and song writer Fernando Ortega. The song is called "Give Me Jesus". I hope it touches your heart.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

How Do You Distinguish Right from Wrong?

San Diego Sunrise - Photoshop Crop

Most people have a general sense of right and wrong. For example, people who drive automobiles know that it is right to stop for a red traffic light, and know that it is wrong to drive through (run) a red traffic light. Most people realize that it is wrong to steal from another person, and that it is right to help other people who are in need. But where does this sense of right and wrong come from? Are all human beings born with it, or is it learned?

In order to be able to determine whether a given action is right or wrong, a person has to have some sort of rule or guideline by which to judge the action. What rules or guidelines exist in the world that people can use to distinguish right from wrong? One guideline that immediately comes to mind is civil law. For example, a person can decide that stealing is wrong because it is against the civil law. Another guideline that some people follow is religious law. Many people believe that murder is wrong because their religion tells them it is wrong. Some people distinguish right from wrong by what society considers right and wrong. Some people believe that cheating is wrong because most people they know think it's wrong.

Unfortunately, the different rules and regulations in existance in the world don't always agree with each other on all issues. Take the issue of abortion, for example. As it currently stands on January 17, 2010, federal law in the United States says that it is legal for a woman to have an abortion. Some religious organizations, like the United Church of Christ, agree with U.S. federal law and teach members of their church that abortion is right. [1] Other religious organizations, like the Roman Catholic Church, disagree with U.S. federal law and teach that abortion is wrong. [2] There are other religious organizations that leave it up to their believers to decide if abortion is right or wrong.

How do you know which law to follow regarding the abortion issue? Hopefully, you want to follow the law that is right. Unless you believe in moral relativism, they can't all be right. In other words, you can't say that abortion is right if you belong to the United Church of Christ, but it's wrong if you belong to the Roman Catholic Church. Abortion is either right, or it is wrong, regardless of who teaches what. Either the United Church of Christ and the U.S. federal government is right in their support of abortion, or they are wrong. Either the Roman Catholic Church is right in its opposition to abortion, or it is wrong.

This brings us to the key question: How do you know which law is right regarding abortion? It is a difficult question indeed. I am not going to tell you how you should determine whether abortion is right or wrong, but I will share with you how I determine whether it is right or wrong. It is totally up to you to decide if what I'm saying is true or not. I'm not trying to force you to believe anything.

As a practicing Roman Catholic, I believe that I must follow God's laws above or before any other law. If God's law says that abortion is wrong, I believe it is wrong, even though the civil law says abortion is right. Since there are other religions that interpret God's law to mean that abortion is right, how do I know the Catholic Church is interpreting God's law correctly? I believe that Catholic Church is right about abortion and other moral issues because Jesus Christ, when he founded the church, promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide the church to the truth regarding moral issues. Jesus promised that the gates of hell would not prevail against the church, meaning that the church will always exist, and will never lose the ability to distinguish right from wrong. Since the Catholic Church teaches that abortion is wrong, as a member of the church, I am bound to believe that it is wrong. Catholics that believe they can go against church teaching and support abortion are wrong. They mistakenly believe that the Catholic Church is a "Burger King® Church", where they can pick and choose what teachings they are going to follow, and which ones they aren't. If a Catholic disagrees with the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion, they should either seek deeper understanding of the teaching, or find another religion to belong to. That may sound harsh, but I must believe that way or fall headlong into the abyss of moral relativism.

How do you distinguish right from wrong?



NOTE: A reader by the name of ProChoiceGal made some serious accusations against the Catholic Church in a comment she left below, and my response was longer than the comment text box would allow to be entered. Since I believe it is important for the readers of this post to see my response in its entirety, I'm going to include it here in the body of the post. I can do that, because I own this here blog.  :)  Anyway, here is my response to her comment:

ProChoiceGal - Thank you for your response. The first link you provided was to an article by a group called "Catholics for Choice" (CFC). According to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Catholics for Choice "is not a Catholic organization, does not speak for the Catholic Church, and in fact promotes positions contrary to the teaching of the Church as articulated by the Holy See and the NCCB." Their first president was a Jesuit priest that was eventually kicked out of the priesthood. I wouldn't give a lot of validity to what they say regarding Catholic history and teaching.

There are a couple things you need to understand about infallibility:

1. An act does not need to be declared wrong or evil via infallible pronouncement to be considered wrong or evil. According to, an infallible pronouncement—whether made by the pope alone or by an ecumenical council—usually is made only when some doctrine has been called into question. Most doctrines have never been doubted by the large majority of Catholics.

2. The pope is not the only one in the Catholic Church that can make infallible pronouncements. The bishops can make infallible pronouncements also. According to the Vatican II council, "Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they can nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly. This is so, even when they are dispersed around the world, provided that while maintaining the bond of unity among themselves and with Peter’s successor, and while teaching authentically on a matter of faith or morals, they concur in a single viewpoint as the one which must be held conclusively. This authority is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church. Their definitions must then be adhered to with the submission of faith" (Lumen Gentium 25).

The Catholic Church's teaching regarding abortion can be considered infallible because Pope John Paul II, while he was writing the papal encyclical Evangelium Vitae, took a survey of all bishops around the world as to whether they thought abortion was wrong, and that all agreed that abortion is wrong. Since all of the bishops believe, in union with the pope, that abortion is wrong, the belief can be considered infallible.

For a clearer understanding of the Catholic Church's teaching on infallibility, see For more information regarding the Catholic Church's teaching on abortion and the value of human life in general, refer to the Catholic Catechism ( and the papal encyclical Evangelium Vitae (

The second link you provided was to the web site. The accuracy of the information provided by this site regarding the Catholic faith (and other faiths) is questionable at best. Your quote from this web site would have given a more accurate view of the Catholic Church regarding the subject of abortion had you included the statement from John Cardinal O'Connor, Archbishop of New York, which followed immediately after the text you quoted. Here it is:

"Pope Paul Vl declared that the teaching of the Church about the morality of abortion 'has not changed and is unchangeable.' Although some people point out that Saint Thomas Aquinas thought the soul did not come to the fetus ('ensoulment') until sometime after conception, the fact is that he considered abortion gravely sinful even before this time. He taught that it was a 'grave sin against the natural law' to kill the fetus at any stage, and a graver sin of homicide to do so after ensoulment."

The Catholic Church has always believed that the killing of human being, born or unborn, is evil and morally wrong. What has changed over the centuries is the Catholic Church's understanding of the point at which the fetus becomes a human being (is "ensouled") and has the right to be protected. As science and technology has advanced, the Catholic Church's understanding of when the fetus becomes a human being has become clearer. The Catholic Church now firmly believes that the fetus becomes a human being worthy of protection at the moment of conception, which occurs at fertilization (not implantation).

God bless you.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pro-Life and Pro-Choice - Can't We Just Get Along?

There is a lot of bickering, back-biting, and name calling on Twitter these days between people in the pro-life and pro-choice movements. As far as I can see, these are the primary goals of the pro-life and pro-choice movements:

  1. The goal of the pro-life movement is to protect unborn human life.
  3. The goal of the pro-choice movement is to protect the rights of women experiencing unwanted pregnancies.

Believe it or not, these are both noble goals. Although many people in the pro-choice movement might think so, I seriously doubt that there are many pro-life people who would say their primary goal is to take away the rights of women who are experiencing unwanted pregnancies and "force" them to have their babies. Although many pro-life people might think so, I seriously doubt that there are many pro-choice people who would say their primary goal is to murder unborn babies.

Let's keep this in mind, pro-life and pro-choice people, as we engage each other in debates over the abortion rights issue. If we do, our discussions might be productive, rather than destructive.

To all pro-life and pro-choice people, I leave you with the first reading from today's Catholic Mass. It is one of my favorite scripture readings from the first letter of John, in the Christian (New) testament:

My dear people,
let us love one another
since love comes from God
and everyone who loves is begotten by God and knows God.
Anyone who fails to love can never have known God,
because God is love.
God’s love for us was revealed
when God sent into the world his only Son
so that we could have life through him;
this is the love I mean:
not our love for God,
but God’s love for us when he sent his Son
to be the sacrifice that takes our sins away.

1 John 4:7-10

Peace be with you, and with your spirit!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Everything Starts from Prayer

"Everything starts from prayer. Without asking God for love, we cannot possess love and still less are we able to give it to others. Just as people today are speaking so much about the poor but they do not know or talk to the poor, we too cannot talk so much about prayer and yet not know how to pray." ~ Mother Teresa

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

The Mother of All Christian Churches

Many people don't know this, but for the first 5 centuries after Christ, there was only one Christian Church. In approximately the 2nd or 3rd century, that church became known as the Catholic Church. The term "Catholic" is not a label, like "Methodist", "Lutheran", or "Baptist". The term "Catholic" refers to what the church is, which is "universal". For more information regarding the name "Catholic", please click here.

I found an interesting diagram on Wikipedia that graphically illustrates when the various branches of Christianity began. To view the chart and accompanying article, click here. It is interesting to note that before the Assyrian Church broke off and became a separate branch of Christianity in the year 431, the church prior to that point was referred to as "Early Christianity". In reality, the church that existed from the time of Christ was the Catholic Church. As was mentioned above, the term "Catholic" began to be applied to the church in the 2nd or 3rd century, but the church existed before that. The Assyrian Church broke away from the Catholic Church, not some generic Christian community. Further proof that the Catholic Church was founded by Jesus himself, and was the first Christian church, can be seen in the list of Catholic Church leaders (popes), which began with the apostle Peter and continued in unbroken succession to the current pope, Pope Benedict XVII. For a complete list of popes, please click here.

This post provides just some of the reasons why I am a Catholic. If you are a non-Catholic Christian, why do you belong to the particular Church you belong to? If you consider yourself "non-denominational", why? Please provide any comments you might have in the comment box below. God's peace be with you!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Paul's Profession of Faith

Pidgeon Point Light Station State Historic Park
I believe that God exists, and that God created the universe. The universe could not create itself. Even if the beginning of the universe started with a big bang, something made the big bang go boom. Further evidence of the existence of God is the complexity and intelligence of creation. 

I believe that God became a man like us in the person of Jesus Christ. During his life, Jesus set the example of how we should live our lives. In sacrificing himself on the cross, he redeemed us, making it possible for us to enter heaven when we die.

While Jesus was on Earth, he established a church to carry on his ministry after his death. The church is the body of believers that would later be known as the Catholic (meaning "universal") church. He appointed the apostle Peter the first head (pope) of the church. The apostles became the first "priests" of the church. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit would guide the church to the truth, and promised that the church would always be true. Jesus also gave the apostles the ability to forgive men's sins. This ability has been passed down from the apostles to what is now known as the priesthood of the church.

During and after the life of Jesus, men wrote books and letters about Jesus. These books and letters, along with the hebrew scriptures (old testament), were eventually compiled into what is now known as the bible. It was the Catholic Church that decided which books and letters should be included in the bible.

By dying on the cross, Jesus opened the gates of heaven for us. I believe that if I follow Jesus to the best of my ability, I will be saved. The way I follow Jesus is by obeying his teachings, which are passed down to me through Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition by the Catholic Church.

Even though I have accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior and have been redeemed by his sacrifice on the cross, I believe my salvation is not guaranteed. My salvation depends on the state of my soul when I die. Because of the free will God gave me, I can turn away from him at any time and lose my salvation. I can lose my salvation by committing a serious sin, also known as a mortal sin, and not repent of it before I die. I cannot lose my salvation by committing minor sins, also known as venial sins. When I do sin, and am truly sorry for having committed them, I can receive forgiveness through the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

I am a Catholic because I want to belong to the church that Jesus himself founded. I know that Jesus founded the Catholic Church because the leadership of the church can be traced from the present pope all the way back to the apostle Peter. No other church has a leadership that dates back to Christ. I could not belong to a Christian church that wasn't founded by Christ.

This is what I believe. I am not telling you what you should believe, or trying to force you to believe anything. If you disagree with or don't understand anything I've said in this post, please leave a comment in the box below, and I'll get back to you as soon as I can.

For more information about the Catholic faith, please check out the Catholic web site links on the right-hand side of my blog.

Peace of Christ be with your spirit!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Prayer for Christians

Bridge Over Troubled Pebbles
"I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come." ~ Ephesians 1:17-21

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Your Boyfriend Supports Abortion and Premarital Sex, and You're OK With That. What?

Consider this scenario:

A single woman "Jill" is living with her boyfriend "Jack". Jack and Jill share an apartment together. Jill is a stong believer in abortion rights, and Jack supports her pro-abortion beliefs. Jill thinks it's wonderful that Jack is so supportive of her "right to choose" abortion if she so desires. Jack doesn't want to wait until marriage to have sex with Jill. That's OK with Jill, so Jack and Jill walk up the hill to their apartment and enter into an active pre-marital sex life.

If Jill was my daughter, this is what feedback and advice I would share with her:

  1. Jack's support of your pro-abortion beliefs seems noble, and may very well be, but the fact that he is unwilling to wait until marriage to have sex with you casts doubt on the nobility of his support. Is it possible that he supports your pro-abortion beliefs so that it he gets you pregnant, he won't need to worry about the complications of having a child out of wedlock because he's confident you would abort the child?
  3. Why isn't Jack willing to wait until marriage to have sex with you? Doesn't he think you're worth waiting for? Is it possible that his unwillingness to wait until marriage to have sex with you is a sign of a lack of commitment to you? He might not want to wait until marriage to have sex with you because he doubts that he will ever marry you.
  5. If Jack really loves you, and is committed to be with you, he should be willing to wait until marriage to have sex with you. If he is willing to wait, you can rest assured that he isn't interested in you primarily to receive physical pleasure from your body.
  7. Do you really want a boyfriend that supports abortion rights? What if you get pregnant, and you really want the baby, and he doesn't, and he pressures you to have an abortion? If Jack was pro-life (against abortion rights), you wouldn't have to worry about being in that situation.
I would also have a separate conversation with Jill as to why she is pro-choice/pro-abortion, and why she thinks pre-marital sex is OK, but I'd rather limit the scope of this post to the pre-marital sex and abortion rights aspects of Jill's relationship with Jack.

If Jill was your daughter, and you were fully aware of the arrangement mentioned in the scenario above, what would you say to her? What advice would you give her? Would you approve of what she is doing? If so, why? If not, why not? Please use the comment box below.

Friday, January 1, 2010

A Prayer for the New Year 2010

Who's Laughing Now?

I pray that the year 2010 is a year filled with:

  • Peace
  • Hope
  • Prosperity
  • Love

for you and your family. May every person you meet in the year 2010 walk away a better person for having known you. May every person you meet in 2010 treat you with the love, compassion, and dignity that you deserve as a child of God.

"The LORD bless you and keep you;
the LORD make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the LORD turn his face toward you and give you peace." ~ Numbers 6:24-26

Happy New Year!