Saturday, July 16, 2005

Been a While

It's been a while since I've blogged, but I haven't run into much I felt worth blogging about. That is, until yesterday of course. The statement, "empty barrels make the most noise", wisely recalled from an Augustinian priest accurately depicts American society. It's America's ignorant who spend more time arguing topics of current affairs rather than learning about them. These same people will denounce beliefs of the Church, devalue Sacred Tradition, or even condemn the theory of God and Christianity as a whole. On a more influential scale they vote. They vote Terri Shiavo to starve to death, they vote pro-death, the ordination of women, embryonic stem cell research, or homosexual marriage. Better yet, these people vote for Logo, the new gay channel to premiere on cable television nation wide. Ever hear of the Golf channel; all golf all the time? Well welcome to the gay channel: all gay, ALL the time. This means another lesson of immorality, another representative of the unnatural law as natural will be viewed by the children of America. The same people denouncing the Church, questioning Sacred Tradition, rejecting the theory of Christ and demanding the same respect as an intellectual individual regarding moral issues and then preaching to others the rights and wrongs of the world today, especially to children, are the same people who go to psychics to get their palms read, the same people who see a penny faced down and refuse to pick it up. These same people are pro-death, but when it comes to the murder of a pregnant woman consider it double homicide. Last night a person in the book store struggled to understand my interest in theology and whispered to her friend with mannerisms reflecting how unimportant religion was to her also waited several hours for the new Harry Potter book to come out. I asked her if she was Christian and her response was, "No, I'm not Christian, but I am Catholic". My soul let out a loud sigh.

During a brief discussion with Father Pacholczyk, the Director of Education for the National Catholic Bioethics Center in Philadelphia, the topic of stem cell research arose. Father Pacholczyk is far from an empty barrel. His Ph.D in neuroscience was obtained from Yale University and preceded his studies at Harvard Medical School, later of which was followed by advanced studies in theology and in bioethics in Rome. Many may have seen him on television, as he has spoken on networks including EWTN, CSPAN, and MSNBC. He spoke about society's unending belief that embryonic stem cells can be used to save lives, when in actuality never has an experiment on healing a disease or damaged tissue been recorded successful. I'm curious to know how many of my fellow neighbors who openly disrespect those unsupportive of the rights to use stem cells from embryos for scientific purposes actually know the difference between an adult stem cell and an embryonic stem cell. Do they know that embryonic stem cells frequently cause tumors in an individual or are likely to be rejected by a person's body? Have these same people discovered success of adult stem cells or even know what are adult stem cells? So easily do the supporters of the immoral and ineffective destruction of embryos for what they believe saves lives brush aside those unsupportive as the conservative and overly religious population, when in actuality a small glance at mere natural law, undeniable and inarguable, will reject a pillar argument for them. We need not the words of Christ, or divine revelation but rather just the recorded scientific facts to understand that an embryo is a human being. An embryo is no more or less a human being than an 80 year old woman or a 15 year old boy. Christ didn't say that, a scientist did. Therefore, would these same people destroy the life of a 15 year old boy to increase the value of an 80 year old woman's life? One must not be affiliated with a religion to see the ramifications of embryonic stem cell research as immoral.

So why is it that these individuals are making the most noise? Perhaps it's merely because there are just more empty barrels than not, but everybody wants to have an opinion. An opinion is a dangerous thing, but an uneducated one attached to a voice is deadly. I myself try not to speak much on topics I don't know much about, or affairs I haven't researched. It simply exasperates me to see America or even the world corrode into a moral wasteland. I watch as Christ's body adamantly works towards destroying itself without understanding the consequences of their actions. My exasperation is matched by my sorrow as the innocent children unwise to the devil trustingly listen and follow these people. As Christ so wisely put it, "And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit." (Mt 15:15) My heart prays for the modern day Pharisee, as they lead our children into a pit. With the Apostles I ask Our Lord, "Who then can be saved?", and so lovingly and passionately He responds to my heart, "With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." And so I trust my faith and I travel one Hail Mary at a time through a world infected with the cancer of immorality and stained by mortal sin. I watch as society volleys grave matters like a child with a ball. Well needless to say, I thank God many times over that these people aren't voting for Pope.

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

5 Comments:

Anonymous Drew Z said...

Alright Sean not bad. Maybe it was a good thing that you held off from blogging for a while. You seemed to have taken many recent encounters and thrown them all into the mix.

America is the greatest country in the world, we both know that. And of course there are many ignorant people who live here. You seem to be surprised that not everybody sees it your way(our way). I seem to think that "America's ignorant" argue not because they have firm, opposing beliefs, rather they have agendas set up to attack those beliefs we Christians hold so dearly. We want life, they want death. We want freedom and prosperity, they want enslavement to their immoral ways. The left for sure has slowly matured under Satan to become what only he could be proud of.

You can do only so much by concerning yourself with these sometimes Satanic people. These same people who don't pick up the penny while faced down, do the same while it faces up. "In God We Trust" does not appeal to Satan or his followers. Esta bien, more pennies for us.

And for the non-Christian Catholic from the bookstore, its probably not her fault her parents fell away from the Church and decided not to rear her Catholic or at least explain to her what a Catholic is, like Christian for one.

Fr. Pa-Hole-Chick, what a guy. It makes you feel so proud and secure knowing that there are such nice and brilliant people on our side. His simplicity while discussing such difficult bioethical issues is just as impressive.

I like your analogy that uses the 15 and 80 year old. How appropriate, how true. But now you are trying to use commonsense while adressing the commonsense-less. They don't want to hear how an embryo can be compared to a human being like you and me. That is just wrong and degrading (note the sarcasm). "One must not be affiliated with a religion to see the ramifications of embryonic stem cell research as immoral." Oh how right you are Sean. But in this case, one must only be opposed to a particualr religion in order to see why embryonic stem cell research should be legal and federally funded.

Your ending is perfect for this blog. When hope seems to have faded away, we whould still continue to pray. For indeed, "with God all things are possible," and I shall pray with you.

7/16/05, 3:08 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

The idea of an agenda seems more true to me with those of the learned and still opposed. I don't think the world any longer understands what true freedom and prosperity is. As for the Catholic in the bookstore, if her parents, which we cannot know, do not impress upon her the true fruits of her faith or have as you have said fallen away from the Church, then again we are faced with another "blind leading the blind" situation. It's unfortunate but certainly common.

7/16/05, 5:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.thedesertsun.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20050713/COLUMNS25/507130340/1085/NEWS01
http://www.qtelevision.com/site/
http://www.qtelevision.com/site/iwantqnetworkpop.asp

Mayor's vision fully in focus
Cindy Uken
The Desert Sun
July 13, 2005

As a member of the Palm Springs Human Rights Commission in the 1990s, Ron Oden was instrumental in getting Black Entertainment Television included in the local programming lineup. Now Mayor, Oden is lobbying to get more programming included that focuses on yet another minority group - gays and lesbians.

But his vision for what it could bring is much broader than local programming; it's an economic opportunity.

Oden, widely thought to be the country's first openly gay black mayor, is lobbying strenuously to get Q Television Network, a Palm Springs-based network, included on the Time Warner Cable television lineup. Q Television Network is a nationally syndicated gay television network run by and programmed for an audience that identifies itself as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender - and straight. It would be a natural fit for Palm Springs, which boasts a significant gay and lesbian population.

But for Oden, this is about so much more than just adding a network that is gay- and lesbian-based; it's about doing what's right for Palm Springs. And that's what really gets his creative juices flowing.

This is the place where noted retailers like Nordstrom and J. Crew frequently come for print advertising and catalog shoots.

More than 800 shooting days - including movies, TV shows, commercials and still photography - netted the valley $28 million in revenues in 2004, according to the Inland Empire Film Commission.

With the right production studio, Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley just might be able to take things to the next level. Theoretically, it could become a Hollywood satellite that turns media production into a source for year-round, high-paying jobs?

"If they get on Time Warner, they are going to build a production studio in the city," Oden said. "It gives us another opportunity to do things here. They're going to syndicate some national shows and broadcast from here on a daily basis. We're moving, baby."

Oden said one of the complaints he often hears is that there is no place in Palm Springs to produce programs; if Q Television Network builds a studio here, that would void that complaint.

Time Warner corporate officers are trying to negotiate a nationwide agreement with the type of network product Q Television Network offers, said Kathi Jacobs, director of government and community relations for Time Warner. The company is considering three different products in the same network genre; Q Television Network is one of them. She said a decision in expected "sometime in the future."

Carol Hinnant, vice president of acquisitions for Q Television Network, said Tuesday, "We are still talking with Time Warner and hope for a positive resolution in the next couple of months."

As I've gotten to know Oden better during his tenure as mayor - and watch how he works - there are no accidents. Most everything he does is by design.

Earlier this year, he talked of his vision to reestablish Palm Springs as a playground for the stars. He enlisted the help of actors, singers, writers and others to brainstorm ways to attract more stars and visitors to the city - and bring the Hollywood allure back to the desert.

Once a bit static, the picture is starting to become much clearer. It's becoming a don't-miss drama.

7/20/05, 7:48 PM  
Blogger Sean said...

That's unfortunate. The positives include more jobs and obvious economic providence, but at the cost of truth? Helping an individuals economic status in this world is like a pill, although it brings relief it is only temporary.

This isn't to say that I am a fan of poverty, but my point is mirrored by Christ when in Matthew He said, "29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell." (Mt 5:29) It is far better to experience the removal of your eye, and have your remaining days be lived out in blindness than to risk your soul. Similar in which it is far better for Palm Springs to continue without the gay pride television network studio, without the jobs and the economic growth if it means preventing the encouragement to stray from the narrow path given to us by Christ.

7/21/05, 12:14 AM  
Blogger Joey G. said...

The great (British) Catholic writer Evelyn Waugh once wrote that he supposed America would be the next great proving ground of the Church. The Tiber and the Nile and the Thames would be supplanted by the Hudson and the Delaware and the Mississippi. It might be hard to see it, but I think that he was onto something.

Americans are lazy and arrogant and rude and ignorant, incurably and invincibly it sometimes seems. And yet there is a great spirit at the root of our nation that gives me hope. Satan is a liar and a showman, and that is the answer to the ancient question, "why doth the heathen rage, O Lord." Christianity is quieter and more subtle, moving on levels of spiritual reality with seldom visible repercussions in the immediate world. It was a religion that began in catecombs and underground lairs and grew like a wave, silently, from underneath, and was only at last heard from when it broke and crashed upon the shore. These breaking points, from Nicea to Trent to Vatican II, are the end of the wave and wise men look out into the deeper, quieter waters from whence they know the next one will come.

The point is, America has a lot of undercurrents. Call them agendas, call them social unrest, or what you will, but we're as factioned and divided and various a society as has ever been. But movies like the Passion of the Christ and Presidents like GW Bush (for all his fundamental craziness) show that there is something bubbling underneath the surface with explosive potential. Look at my last post and watch that video, or look up pictures from the last US World Youth Day, and you get the idea that it will be the upstart, punkish American Youth who rise up and take our Church into the New Millenium. I don't think this is an arrogant or presumptious belief. I simply think there are all the signs of reformation beginning in America. But like I said, it will be as a wave: turbulent, and almost incomprehensible, revealing itself for what it is only at its breaking point, and only much longer down the line, when the tide has receeded, will we know the true impact this nameless generation has made. Gadium et spes, brothers.

7/21/05, 6:23 PM  

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