Friday, December 29, 2006

Justice is served. Dessert, anyone?

It's confetti time in hell.

And frankly, I loved the headline. "Saddam Hussein officially starts his homosexual relationship with Satan"

I know. I'm a terrible person. I should be praying for the repose of his soul right now, and instead I'm envisioning the poor fella arriving in hell, disoriented, disappointed, and wondering where his virgins went. Or perhaps since he wasn't really a "religious" man, maybe his soul just crumbled like dust and he got no afterlife at all...

I wonder which would be worse?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Woman After My Own Heart

Have y'all read this yet?

One of the dispossessed in the whole Kelo Vs New London fiasco has sent the most thoughtful sort of holiday greeting to those who forced her out of her home (and helped destroy personal property rights in the US.) Apparently the supreme court have yet to recieve their cards, but I do hope she sends them as well. Stevens, Kennedy, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer should all choke on their Christmas pudding thinking of what they have done to those poor people, and to the rest of us in time.

You know, with the war, and the usual media scandal du jour, it's easy to lose sight of the bigger picture. But as time goes on, I think we will come to see that Kelo Vs New London was the first step along a disastrous road for our country. I think the judges' statements on the decision will be regarded as perhaps the most wrongheaded bits of legislative fiction in more than a century; the decision itself the equivalent of Dred Scott in warped reasoning, (if Roe V Wade itself doesn't take that dubious honour.)

At any rate, a Merry Christmas to those who fought so hard in a futile attempt to save their homes. And Lord forgive me for hoping that curse carries at least a little weight, and some karma for the guilty.

Monday, December 18, 2006

At least ONE fella in Hollyweird gets it...

Wow. I feel all weird now. Because at this moment? I'm finding Danny Bonaduce incredibly hot. Having a reasonable amount of sense, the ability to speak coherently, and the balls to put a moonbat in his place, is just downright sexy! Thanks to the Jawa Report for bringing this gem to our attention.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Enviro-wackiness Continues to Ensue...

Sigh. Take a moment to remember what "Everybody knows." Not too long ago, everybody knew that bad air caused malaria. Everybody knew that you could determine a person's criminality by the bumps on their head. Everybody knew that regular bathing would kill you. Everybody knew that the world was flat. Everybody knew that the brain existed to cool the blood. Everybody knew that demonic possession made you sick, and your neighbour could curse your cow and make it die.

So right now everybody knows that the planet is succumbing to something called Global Warming.

In a hundred years, what will everybody know?

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Hot Priests??? Huh?

Okay. For the record? I have no problem with pretty priests. In fact? I'd probably enjoy mass a little more with a handsome young priest to look at. Purely aesthetics, right? Just as I enjoy beautiful cathedrals and beautiful music, I can see myself definitely appreciating a beautiful priest.

But Blogger AtHomeInRome had such an interesting link up I felt I had to discuss it over here. Because somebody has decided that hot priests, in Priest-of-the-month-format, is the next big thing in calendars.

ooh, boy. I'm not at all sure what I think about this. It seems... unseemly. And yet? I sort of want to look at the rest of the pictures.

Friday, November 10, 2006

I swiped this well timed quote off another blogs comments section...

""A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear."---Cicero

This is the fear that lurks in my heart, when the optimism begins to fail. That the weaker elements in our society, compounded by the open complicity of the media, have substantially damaged our strength both in the war, and in the world. When I saw This this morning, it made me shake. I cannot hear those words in any context but jihad, anymore. Brutal, bloody jihad that kills innocent Americans.

If and when the next volley comes, will those who gave aid and comfort to the enemy finally feel shame and remorse?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

I guess it's too much to expect a little sanity right now...

Oh, My God. Am I reading this right? Are they really trying to say that Republicans fixed the election- and threw a win to the dems in order to set Repubs up for a cheating win in '08?

Oi. My head hurts just trying to wrap it around liberal groupthink. Someone get me an aspirin or ten.

Some positive thoughts for the day...

After a good night's rest and a fresh cup of coffee, I'm trying to see the positives in yesterday's elections. And there were positives- the negatives are scary things, involving national security. But let us not forget a few other salient points. Things to be thankful for today:

1. We have now seen, in four separate elections, that every single vote counts. No one should ever feel that "my vote doesn't mean anything" because we are getting closer every time to single digit differences in vote tallies. Your lone vote literally could be the difference in the direction your country takes, on myriad positions.

2. The public gives a damn. Sure, I think most of them were WRONG yesterday- but if the networks were right, then voter turnout was huge. Fewer folks opted out than anybody expected. And in a democracy, that is never a bad thing.

3. The pre-election rumblings of "voter fraud" and "voter intimidation," and the legal teams the democrats were supposedly keeping on standby, are not materialising to make us relive the Florida debacle. Most defeats were handled graciously, without lining up soundbytes and legions of lawyers. I have yet to see my compatriots threatening to relocate to Canada or anywhere else.

4. Many of the newbies on the left side of the aisle campaigned on very conservative positions. There were Pro-life dems, fiscal responsibility dems, even a pro-weapon ownership dem. If their positions were represented honestly, then Ms. Pelosi may find they don't dance to the tune she pipes for them quite so well as she'd like them to.

5. George may finally feel how the administration's leadership has let us down with regards to the immigration issue, and perhaps he'll harden his line against illegals now.

6. We have further evidence the majority of the country supports defending traditional marriage.

It was a bad night for us, no doubt about that. But perhaps the new folks will come up with something useful for us, something beyond "We hate Bush," as a party platform. Hope springs eternal. I have to think that among at least a portion of their party, are a number of people who will take the issue of terrorism seriously, who will recognise that we are in the middle of a war, and that the war must be fought. That the troops must be provisioned, the intelligence funded, the course plotted, and the battle carried through to a victory. It is now their obligation to do so, and perhaps now they can stop shouting about the last two elections long enough to realise that.

What part of "They want to kill us" Don't you Understand? Part Two

I'm coining a new word tonight: Demmitude. It's the state of being dhimmi by choice.

I'm watching the coverage on television, and I've come to a profound and disappointing realisation... Bin Laden was right about us all along.

That's right. We're soft, we have weak stomachs. We don't like war, and death is unseemly. It makes for nasty soundbytes on tv, and ugly pictures in the paper. We are a peaceful lot, by nature. We like to mind our own business, and keep to ourselves. We don't always keep our word and we lack the gumption to see through difficult tasks. We want to watch American Idol and eat Cheetos and listen to our Ipods and not have to think about ugliness in the rest of the world. Tell us nice things, like you're moderate and you love America, and we'll believe anything. Tell us scary things, and we'll throw you out of office. We don't like being scared. Much more comfortable not to look at the bad pictures or talk about the scary things.

Do you think that the Romans knew what was coming, as they paid their money to the waves of barbarian hordes? Did they foresee their end? Or did they think, "It's only money, and we've got plenty of it. We'll buy their friendship and they'll leave us in peace." How long was it, in human terms, between an international empire, and complete subjugation? One lifetime? Two?

Incessant whining on the daily news has taken its toll. The public is tired of war. We don't want to watch it, or read it, or hear about it. Round the clock coverage has given us all ennui. And we've long since become immune to the mudslinging of political ads. And the war is so far away. Who really cares what happens in places we can hardly find on a map, to people with names we can't begin to pronounce?

Yes, I know, the final counts are not in yet. It does not matter; these races should never even have been close.

I hear Ms. Pelosi assures us the dems won't try to cut funding to the war, at least not immediately. That's nice. Reassuring, isn't it, that they aren't going to turn off the supplies and money first thing in the morning? I'm sure our boys dying in the desert are going to be so relieved to hear that they'll still have bullets in their guns for a few weeks. Nevermind the targets we've just painted on their backs for our enemies.

I am disgusted. Because we cannot be isolationists in the modern world, as much as we might like to. The islamofascists will never leave us alone. They will scent the weakness on this country like blood on the cattle that they think we are. And they will move in for the kill.

If the dems have their way and we pull out of Iraq, then we will have delivered a clear message to those who want to kill us. It is an engraved invitation to another 9/11, more bombed embassies and ships, more hijackings, and more beheaded Americans abroad. When Bush1 pulled out after the Gulf War, he left our allies to be slaughtered and dumped like garbage into mass graves. Hussein is one part on a multiheaded hydra; we cut him out and more grew in his place. They will carry on his atrocities. And anyone who has helped us fight this war has a deathmark. When we leave, they are as good as dead. We promised our soldiers and our allies that we would stand by them, we would support them.

And every vote for the democrats today was a vote not to keep our word. It was a vote for Sharia law.

Appeasement never works. You cannot negotiate with terrorists. They want us dead, or in subjugation.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

My friend Cyndi sent me this link just now. The original is broke, but here's google's cache.

Despite the fact this was posted in April, I'd never read it. Wow. Just- Wow. Good piece. I'm shaking a little.

Now I want to read more of this guy.

Friends don't let friends vote Democrat....

I've just come back from doing my civic duty. I hope everyone reading this did so as well. If you didn't vote today, I don't want to hear diddly squat from you in the months to come about how the congresscritters are "ruining the country."

Nobody is ruining anything. Democracy is messy business, all those differing opinions demanding equal time and discussion. But equal time is not equivalence; indeed, some of those opinions are more valuable than others. He who screams the loudest is not always the most important, honest. And perhaps the least valuable opinion of all belongs to he who couldn't be bothered to collect his identification and show up at the polling place today. Okay, scratch that. It probably belongs to he who showed up, but still couldn't fill out his damn ballot.

A little not-so-common sense for y'all on election day. Part of me wants to cut 'n paste this link's contents into an email to every leftwing, bleeding heart, liberal friend in my address book. Nice folks, my friends. Good people, sweet people... but in some cases, damnably wrongheaded, impractical people. But I think I know what would happen if I did that. They'd see "Political linkage from the Ornithophobe, " and think, "Poor Ornithophobe- she didn't go to college. This is what happens to smart girls who don't go to college. They wind up in a Red State, raising babies, and never amount to much." And then most of them would hit delete, sight unseen.

Because every argument, every bumpersticker tag line discussed in that blog entry- I've seen them before. I've read them almost daily, in the journals and blogs and on the backs of the bumpers of so many of my friends. And whenever I see that, when I read "Bush Lied, People Died" and "No Blood For Oil," I wonder- do they really believe that stuff? Have they ever sat down, and picked through the idea logically, looking for evidence of truth or falsehood? Have they ever even ASKED a soldier who has served in Iraq, what goes on there? What we're doing there? What do they think really happened on 9/11 and have they ever considered the fates of our supporters after we pulled out of Iraq under Bush 1? Do they even give a thought to the allies we left to be plowed under into mass graves all over the country? Do they watch the news and see the same things I see every night? Have they yet realised, will they EVER realise, that militant Islam is at war with the whole world?

Or are their politics another bloodless, murky idea, that they picked up at University? Another bit of intellectual masturbation, an unproductive mental release that doesn't generate anything of substance? A bit of social affectation that doesn't really have an impact on their everyday lives?

I know without a doubt that our everyday lives will feel it, in a million ways, if the democrats have their way and pull us out of Iraq before we achieve a comprehensive victory and lasting regime change there. I don't know about you, but I'm not much looking forward to Sharia Law and wearing a burka, no matter how great I look in black. And that environment they're all so worried about won't fare particularly well if too many whackjobs get hold of nukes. Nuclear Winter is bad for the environment, y'all. It kills trees and little woodland creatures and other growing things. Of course, on the plus side, it'd probably clean up that whole "global warming" problem...

Saturday, November 04, 2006

What part of "They Want to Kill Us" don't you understand?

This is a PSA. Please make time to watch "Obsession" on Fox News Saturday or Sunday. It is required viewing for an educated electorate. In the meantime, head over to the website and look at a few trailers, or read some of the press kit stuff.

I know it's easy and comfortable to fall into old patterns, to blame and mock and enjoy politics as a sport. I know I do it. But this election is about much more than who gets to decorate what in Washington. We cannot afford to forget what is at stake here. It is no less than the future of Western Civilisation itself.

If a tree falls in the woods, and no one is there to hear it....

The story that nobody in the mainstream media is talking about. Why is this not on CNN and Foxnews nonstop?

Ah, yes. Because there are smutty stories and stupid politician tricks to discuss, instead.

Friday, November 03, 2006

More murdered babies

There must be something in the air, or the water. Lately, it's all about the babies. The murdered babies, alas.

I suppose that if you're hired to abort a baby, there must be some pressure to provide a dead one at the end of the "procedure." It can't be good for business when they come out pink and breathing, after all.

Holy mother, bless the souls of the innocent who die today. And every day. Amen.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Just in case you've been living under a rock for the past few days.

Yeah. I'm so glad this man was not elected president. Oh, boy. Can he really be that dim? For what it's worth, The Ornithophobe was not a first class student. She made abysmal grades. She does not purport to be even remotely well educated about most subjects.

And yet, even I know better than to say something so stupid. Poor John. Open mouth, insert foot, insert other foot, and land on ass. He's backpedalling now, but it's comically painful to watch.

And another goody from the religion of pieces. Pray for the souls of the martyrs. If you can, pray for the souls of their killers, too. Myself, I'm not nearly a good enough Christian to do that, but I'm working on it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's only Murder when it's not done by the mother?

Clearly I need to spend more time reading blogs. Because somehow I missed this last week.

A Virginia court has decided that it's okay for a woman to murder her baby during labor. That's right. Third trimester, when it's typically illegal to kill an unborn baby. Unless you're its mother, apparently. There was no antiseptic doctor's office, there was no "medical procedure" euphemism... there was only a bullet fired into her abdomen as labor commenced. A child was murdered in a parking lot by its "mother" and the state has seen fit to call this an "abortion." And despite the fact that third trimester abortions are supposed to be illegal there, this one is okay. That's right. It's okay to "abort" your baby in the third trimester, in Virginia, if the means implemented are a pistol in a parking lot.

This hideous woman, this wretched excuse for a human being, is raising two other children. My first thought is for them, not their poor murdered sibling. Because what does it say to you, to know that your mother killed your sib? I wonder, were they looking forward to the new baby? Did she have a nursery set up, had she let any of them feel the baby move? What did it mean to them when Mommy left, not to go to the hospital, but to kill one of their number?

If there is any justice in this world, the state will remove both of them from her care, and some kind family will raise them as their own. Because these children have no mother. No mother would do this awful thing. As her baby moved inside her, preparing to be born into this world, she shot it dead.

She is evil. She is unholy and rotten to her core, and should have spent the remainder of her life in a prison cell. What she did should be unacceptable to any thinking, feeling human being. That we even have to discuss whether what she did was a crime, is a sign of how far our society has fallen into the Culture of Death and Murder.

How can she walk the streets of her town, when people know what she has done? Does anyone speak to her? Look at her? Or do they cross the street to avoid contact with someone so horribly inhumane?

Because I would. I would have to avoid her, if only to avoid the temptation to spit upon her.

May she never ever cross my path. Because I lack the compassion of my faith; I cannot find it in my heart to pray for her, only for her babies.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Teh Left must hate teh Babies...

The Anchoress knocked it out of the park again, as usual.

Micheal J. Fox is prostituting himself and his condition to lie to the public. I'm not going to be PC and say, "oh, what a shame, poor Micheal." He's pissing me off. He is LYING to us, and we're all supposed to just let it slide because he's sick. Well, I'm not letting it slide.

Let's go over this one more time, shall we? Thus far, the only successful stem cell treatments have involved Adult Stem Cells. Early reports to the contrary have been subsequently shown to involve patient death and worsening conditions, or to be outright frauds. All questions as to the morality of ESC treatment aside, it's not a success, folks, when it leaves the patient with worse symptoms than before treatment began. It's definitely not a success when it kills the patient.

No one in their right mind opposes adult stem cell research. Fox's deceptive tactics conflate one type of research with the other, confusing a public too apathetic or lazy to do their own damn research. This is not accidental, this is intentional, and it's immoral and intellectually dishonest.

Incidentally, Fox's Parkinson's case is intriguing for an altogether different reason. I had to google to find it, but I did recall watching a program that discussed potential environmental factors in his condition. That program may have been "The Parkinson's Enigma," a Canadian documentary about Parkinson's clusters. (Fox and several other coworkers on a late seventies Canadian sitcom all contracted Parkinson's early, in a strange statistical anomaly.) If it turns out to be a preventable condition, whether disease or brain injury, then research into this area could put a stop to all of the squabbling over what stem cells are acceptable to use in treatment.

But the left will probably still want to chop up baby bits for research, you know that, don't you? I don't even pretend to understand why. There must be something threatening about any form of research that doesn't involve getting government funding to slice'n'dice baby bits for your lab...

Friday, October 06, 2006

This made me weep...

In an act of ultimate Christian charity, Amish leaders have set aside a portion of the funds donated by a sympathetic public, to help provide for the family of the man who murdered their little girls. Apparently, the hand of friendship has been extended to the nutjob's widow, and forgiveness extended to the nutjob himself.

I am awed, I am humbled. I can only admire what I do not possess. I don't think I would have it in me to forgive someone that way. There is too much anger, too much vindictiveness, in me. I harbor grudges. I am filled with the sin of pride, and the thirst for vengeance when I am wronged. I engage in schadenfreude from time to time, when the opportunity presents itself. I am not a very good Christian. I want to be, but I sin and fall short, time and again.

Every time one of these psychos goes and kills a bunch of people- going all the way back to the Standard Gravure thing when I was a child- I entertain notions of packing up, and moving out to the country. I think about how much safer I'd feel, and how much more simple and peaceful things would be, with fewer neighbours and a more rural setting. I allow myself the fantasy of raising my boys in more traditional, more nurturing, surroundings.

My mental safety net is shattered. If the Amish ain't safe, ain't nobody safe.

I can only marvel in wonder at the amazing goodness being displayed by these folks. They are living the example of Christian love, living their faith in a very visible and moving way. I wish I was more like them.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Good, the Bad... and the Pervy

So Mark Foley is a perv. We're all pretty much in agreement on that, right? So let's start from there. The man made inappropriate overtures to minors via email and instant message. And by 'inappropriate' I mean lewd and repulsive, the sort of overtures one typically makes to paid strangers in the dead of night, for 3.99 a minute or something.

But let us examine things more closely. Hastert claims republican leaders were only made aware of the one email, the first message 'leaked' to the media. This would be the "how ya doing after the hurricane, can I get a recent picture?" email. Which is ... weird, but not vulgar. And apparently Foley was told this sort of chumminess with the pages just didn't look well, and would he please not do it again? Gingrich points out that anything beyond that might have been taken for homophobia, for an attack on Foley as a gay man. So congressional leaders treaded softly for fear of being un-pc. How lovely. How very enlightened and thoughtful. Not.

So where did the five years or so of lewd IMs come from
? Who held onto them for this long? Why did they not come forward? Surely they weren't holding them for an October Surprise! Why that would be... unthinkable. Immoral. And hey, possibly illegal.

So now Foley is claiming the liquor made him do it. That or the priests. Would this guy go away already? It's past time he fell on his sword. Or ate the end of a pistol.

Now let's think for a moment about the boys he conversed with. The ones who talked about their girlfriends, and measured their parts for him. Do you ever wonder what they must have thought amongst themselves? Did they think the guy was a great big joke? A skeezy, dirty old man? Did they avoid him, did they fear him, did they think that by flirting with him a little, they could get ahead in Washington? So now is there a new twist on being "gay for pay?"

I don't think Mark Foley is a pedophile. He clearly is interested in postpubescent, adolescent males. This, by definition, makes him gay. Just a really skeezy, grotesque sort of gay. The sort of gay the homosexual lobby don't want the rest of us to think about. Which is sad. Because you can't judge all gay people by one dirty old man. That'd be like judging all heterosexuals by the actions of one William Jefferson Clinton. Shudder.

And I think focussing on "pedophilia" actually does us a disservice here. The issue isn't Kiddy-touching, it's abuse of power and the subsequent cover up- by whomever did the covering. If it was members of my own, beloved, Republican party- I want heads to roll. If it was people hoping to damage us in the coming elections? I still want heads to roll. And either way, if we can prove someone knew about this and did not come forward? There ought to be charges involved. This perv was permitted to carry on in this manner for YEARS... a crime could have been prevented, and was not, most likely for political gain. Somebody needs to go to prison for that.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Conversion Stories

I always enjoy reading conversion stories on other people's blogs. In 2001 I was asked to give a speech during mass, detailing my experience with RCIA. I wrote the piece below at Deacon Charles' request, and I delivered it with shaking hands and an uneven voice. But afterward I had numerous people come up to me and tell me how moved they were. One lady even asked for a copy of it, to show her son, who had fallen away from the Church. Anyway... I have been toying with the idea of writing up my conversion story for this site, for some time. Today I realised, I already have that story- all I need do is post the speech. It says everything I want it to say.

"Looking For God In All the Wrong Places,"- speech by the Ornithophobe, August, 2001.

Hello. My name is (deleted for privacy) and Deacon Wayne has asked that I speak to you today about my experience of the RCIA program here at Our Lady. I consider it both an honor, and a privilege, to do so.

I am still in my neophyte year- I was baptized and confirmed this past Easter. It was the culmination, I thought, of a lifelong dream, the dream of belonging to God, of feeling at one with Him and with His Church. I now realize it was merely the first step of many, in a never-ending commitment to follow Christ, and his teachings.

I was a Catechumen; an unbaptised querant into the rituals, and doctrine of our catholic faith. My family background was a hodgepodge of Christian traditions, punctuated by infrequent attendence in churches of one denomination and another. I grew up saying grace and bedtime prayers, and learned to sing “Jesus Loves Me.” We had rosaries in the house but no one prayed them.

I was never baptized. Despite the efforts of well-meaning neighbors, shepherding me to and from Vacation Bible School, and Sunday School, it never happened. I never quite made that long, arduous trek down the aisle to Get Saved and Get Dunked. And no, Jesus himself never reached down from heaven and gave me that shove- Besides, it was so awfully PUBLIC. To Go stand up, before all of those people, and do something so intensely personal? I am just not that bold.

Not that I didn’t WANT to do it. I wanted it desperately. I wanted to feel His presence, in His house. I just never could.

I began services here in 1997. On Easter Sunday. I went for three weeks. Then, in 1998, I did it again. Easter Sunday, and for a couple of weeks after. Some people make new year’s resolutions; Apparently mine coincide with Easter.

Last year my son started Prekindergarten here, and I came to the realization that if I didn’t make a place for our family here at church, then my boys could both grow up with that same emptiness that I had. The idea seemed divinely inspired- I thought that if I went through RCIA, then my kids could be “cradle catholics” in the truest sense, living and breathing their faith throughout their whole lives. They’d never have that feeling that they didn’t belong in Church, And Maybe- Just maybe, they’d never question the presence of God there either. And I thought that perhaps, if they never questioned it, then He’d be there, for them. At the beginning in RCIA, I was doing it for them. As for me- I’d rather given up on feeling God’s presence on Sunday morning. Id stopped thinking it was the churches, and started thinking maybe it was really me- I started too late, I couldn’t feel comfortable in church, Whatever- I just knew that I was spiritually Colorblind- Everyone else obviously felt fine, So the problem lay with Me.

I began the classes here on Wednesday nights, not too long after he started School. Every
day, he’d go off with his backpack, and every Wedneday, I’d go off with my Binder. I wanted everybody to like me, so I bought them off with Food. If I brought Cake, everyone would think that I was nice and nobody’d suspect I couldn’t find God in church. I took meticulous notes in class, read a lot of supplemental material, and even answered all those little discussion questions on the handouts. I tried to spend a lot of time in prayer, and in meditation. Was I doing the right thing? I honestly didn’t know, half the time.

I asked lots of questions, and hoped I was arriving at the right answers.

I went dutifully to mass, too. Although I always felt very strange when everyone would go up to receive holy communion on Sundays. A little ashamed,too, hiding in my seat, wishing no one would notice me or that I wouldn’t have to get up and draw attention to myself to let my neighbor out of the pew. But, humiliation or no, I went, most every week. I threw myself into my studies, determined to get the most I could get out of the process.

Christmas Eve I went to midnight mass. I was exhausted, having been up almost 24 hours straight dealing with gifts and festivities and family visits. The holiday season is always a mess for me,as I’m sure it is for many of you, with Baking and Christmas Cards and about a blue million relatives. But I made time to come listen to the beautiful music, and to pray. And as I prayed, I felt renewed, and calm. I didn’t get to sleep until very late Christmas morning, after Santa came at our house- But I didn’t feel tired.

As the Lenten Season Began, I was really looking forward to being taken into full communion with the Church. Not just so my kids could have a Catholic Home, but for my own sake. I was suddenly very excited about it, full of energy and joy. I had this sense that something mystical and wonderful was about to happen to me. I was in a good mood no one could shoot down. I think my Cynical-side was on vacation through most of April. I became Relentlessly “Chipper”. I decided to throw myself a Baptismal Party. So what if I’m a grownup? All the kids in my family who got christened had parties- I made myself a gorgeous cake to celebrate, and I went out and I bought a hat. I invited my whole family. I made my Husband promise to attend- and he’s not seen the inside of a church since our Wedding Day. My poor, aged Mamau, who is on Oxygen and Never Leaves the house, came. Despite her Baptist upbringing and thinking Im a hellbound Papist. My mother came, though I had a hard time convincing her that it was okay to wear slacks, and that no one would pin a napkin to her head if she didn’t wear a hat. She not only came, but she cried happy tears for me. My Uncle Came, my kids came- and they made me “Happy Baptism” cards. Mrs. Layman, My sponsor, Stood right up here next to me as God took me in and made me his own. It was one of the most beautiful, most profound moments of my entire life.

I finally feel like I belong here on Sunday mornings. When I take holy communion I am part of something larger than just this building, just this congregation- I am genuinely part of the body of Christ. I am united through His Body and His Blood with Christians across the globe, and with all of those throughout history who have shared our traditions and our faith. I know most of you have been able to feel part of that closeness for a long while- but for me, the newness hasn’t worn off yet- I’m still bowled over by it every Sunday, by that perfect moment when we are all one.

In summation I could enumerate the things I learned in RCIA; I could pray rote prayers, discuss church history, Church Doctrine, Biblical Symbolism, and our lovely stained glass windows! But you can learn all that yourself by coming to the classes this fall. But RCIA is about Formation as much as it is Information. It is the art of making brand-new Catholics. I’ve just shared with you how God, and the church, made me.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

"Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam..."

Everybody's already covered the Pope's citation and the subsequent Muslim outrage. I'm too late to the party to deal with that. But, fear not, Gentle Reader... I'm going to hit upon it in a more roundabout way.

Today, I want to talk about Marriage. And while there are endless words to be said about the subject as it exists in my own country, today I want to discuss Marriage as it exists somewhere else.

Nikah Misyar, the Traveller's Marriage, is an option practiced under Sharia law in Muslim countries. In this arrangement, a man and woman are legally 'married' but the man has no responsiblities to this wife. He may visit her, in her parents' home, at any time he wishes. But he owes her no financial responsibility, no home of her own. He may contract such a marriage irrespective of other, traditional marriages he has made. The first, second, third, and fourth wives do not have to approve of the Misyar bride; they do not even have to be informed that the misyar marriage has occurred.

My search of the web has turned up numerous people looking to contract such 'marriages' all over the globe. It has also turned up something more interesting: the opinions of Muslims the world over. It seems that 'no respectable woman would consent to such a marriage.' Most often, Misyar marriages are a last, desperate hope for widows, spinsters, and girls living in abject poverty. Often they are hoping the misyar marriage will somehow become a real one.

But wait! It gets better!

Nikah Mut'ah is a temporary marriage! In this arrangement, a couple agrees to marry, but with a fixed termination point. The husband has no obligations to provide for the wife, or live with her. A maximum of four temporary wives can be taken, in addition to the maximum four true wives under Islamic law.

The apparent purpose of both these forms of "marriage" is to allow men to copulate with women, without responsibility (beyond the financial support of offspring, that is) and without the sin of Zina, fornication.

This is good, since Zina tends to result in little girls and women of all ages being stoned to death or hanged. Isn't it lovely that Allah's One True Pedophile was so thoughtful as to provide us with this alternative?

I could now go on at length about the apparent hypocrisy in a culture that abhors the decadence of the west, while crafting nifty 'marriage' definitions that put a new face on the old sin of prostitution. But I won't.

Because I honestly have to ask, how do Misyar and Mutah differ all that much from the customs of our own country? Every day, women enter into relationships in the hope that they will end in marriage. Young girls give their bodies in hopes of getting love, in exchange for sex. Like their sisters in the Muslim world, they hope, often vainly, that if they are just good enough in bed, and kind enough out of it; if they work well enough, forgive easily enough... if they just try HARD enough, the boyfriend will metamorph into the ultimate status symbol: The husband. Because even after the "sexual revolution," after decades of women having the vote- after women's lib, ERA, RoeVWade, the pill, "Having it all"... after all of this, women still want husbands. Feminism hasn't managed to eradicate that biological drive for safe pairbonding.

But at no time in history has there been less incentive for a man to marry. He no longer needs to do so in order to find sex. He doesn't even need it for the production of legitimate heirs; as illegitimacy has become passe'. He can have his bachelor abode, and his bachelor life, and send out his laundry and take out his meals. When the urge for sexual gratification overwhelms him, he can boot up his computer and enjoy a wide variety of pornography. Or he can head out into the world and, without much difficulty, find a willing woman to warm his bed for a night. nevitably, he knows some man who can (and will) tell him horror stories about divorce court, alimony, and court ordered child support. Understandably, he may not look at the women he dates as potential mates; he looks at them as potential adversaries or a resource to be exploited.

And most of those women are hoping, just like their Muslim counterparts, to find "true love." They're mortgaging "right now" for a shot at "til death do us part." "Pleasure Marriages" and "Sleeping Together" are morally equivalent, and equally disrespectful of the institution itself. They deprive men, women, and children, of the most basic and vital aspects of the human pairbond, substituting mere physical union for a deeper, more spiritual one.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Bizarro World- Ornithophobe tries on liberal groupthink for a moment.

So let me get this straight- we're only in support of stem-cell research when it kills embryonic babies, right? I know, I know- but it gets so confusing. I mean, the only stem cell trials that have actually KILLED anybody so far involved embryonic stem cells. And the only successful uses of stem cell research so far have involved ADULT stem cells. But it's very important to preserve the right to harvest baby bits. It's a matter of "choice", y'know. Our bodies, ourselves, and all that. Oh, wait- there is no ban on using embryonic stem cells in research? There's only been a ban on using taxpayer funds to do it? You can still hire someone to cut up baby bits for your research if you want to pay for it?

The "Alternative Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies Enhancement Act" (the bill to sponsor alternative stem cell research-that doesn't actually KILL anybody, born or unborn) was sponsored by Santorum and Spector, an unlikely combination under any circumstances. The efforts to defeat it were led by republican Mike Castle, who shames his party by helping to sponsor a bill that would spend my money and yours on embryonic stem cell research. You know, research that kills babies. And teenagers. And apparently will injure/kill lots of other people. (See "Medical risks of embryonic stem cells (including ES cells in TC) " about halfway down this page. )

Wow. Unless I had read about this stuff online, I would never have known any of that.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

A little dignity, please?

I understand the purpose of the exercise. The teachers in question were hoping to help straight students better understand and accept their homosexual counterparts. It's a noble gesture, and a kind thought. I have issues with whether or not one can "educate" or "enlighten" by subjecting students to what can only be classified as sexual harrassment. But other, better blogs have dealt with that aspect of the story. I prefer to deal with this one:

Asking people very personal, intimate questions, is RUDE.

We used to know this. You would no more ask someone how they know they liked guy bits, than you would ask a lady how much she weighs. At one time, there were limits on what was socially acceptable. The discussion of deeply personal, private affairs, was limited to ones mate, and the closest, most intimate friendships in ones life. A new bride might discuss her wedding night with her best friend, her husband, and in rare instances, maybe her mother. The only quizzes on the subject might be filled out furtively in the pages of a Cosmo magazine.

But she'd be unlikely to discuss the matter in a public, classroom forum, with her teachers and her classmates. Even today, such raw, personal frankness is unlikely to be warranted amongst certain levels of society. I did not grow up particularly well-off, nor did I grow up in a ghetto. But no one I grew up with would have ever had a friendly chat about their sexual predilections in a high school classroom. It was not done.

Of course, most of us would never have felt the need to march down Main street in a purple thong, groping our significant other, either. Most of us do not need to identify ourselves by our sexual history and choice of partners. Ones worth and value is predicated upon more concrete things- family, religious affiliation, community ties, employment capacity, and the magnitude of one's own character. But across the board, a certain segment of humanity now revels in matters once too ugly to discuss in polite society. It's an entire substrata of our culture. One afternoon watching daytime talk shows is enough to illustrate this; indeed you can turn on Maury Povich and see scores of women shamelessly declaring that they've bedded so many men they can't account for the parentage of their children. You can take a seat on a park bench in any town and overhear the coarsest of language coming out of adolescent mouths. You can spend an afternoon in your county courthouse and see no end of men being charged for making unsupported babies with women they never had any intent to marry. And even nice people, decent people- who would never discuss their own sex life in public- will speak frankly about birth control, venereal disease, and the lewd sexuality of others. Their own pecadilloes need never see the light of day, but their eyes glint enthusiastically speculating about celebrity bastards and Who Might Have Died From Aids.

We as a society have lost all sense of decorum. We need to rediscover the virtue of personal dignity, to stop poking our noses into everyone else's business, and to stop airing dirty linen in public- our own dirty linen, and anyone else's. Who you sleep with and why, should be of interest to only yourself, and your lover. Everyone else's concern about it can only be prurient, and demeaning.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

With apologies to Mr. Frost

I have simply GOT to make a point of posting more frequently in this thing. I have this niggling fear at the back of my mind that one day, I'll go to put something up and find that the gods of the internet have repossessed my blogspace for inactivity. I'll find one of those "your domain here" sites, or perhaps some hideous porn with small rodents or somesuch.

But I did have a point when I sat down today, I'm certain I did. Ah, yes. There it is- wandering the outer fringes of the Ornithophobe's head, like some nasty bird looking for an inconvenient place to spatter a windshield. You know, for all that I support gun rights wholeheartedly- I'm scared to death of them, wouldn't want one in my control. Perhaps that's because I suspect I'd go off half-cocked (excuse the expression) one morning and blow away some obnoxious little songbird that doesn't respect that SOME people have nocturnal schedules.

But I digress. What I wanted to talk about today, is the border problem. Depending on where you live (or what side of the political fence you sit) they are "illegal aliens" or "undocumented workers" or even "Jose', my pool guy, and Senora Sanchez my babysitter." No, actually, make that "Senora Sanchez, my nanny." Babysitters tend to be employed by people who can't afford to hire pool guys, I think. And their names tend to be things like Brittany, Staci, or Beth.

Many years ago I worked as a babysitter/nanny for a wealthy couple. Both parents were veterinarians, one of whom worked exclusively with thoroughbred racehorses. My days were spent in laundry, cooking, dishwashing, and games of "got your nosey!" with two small children. I sometimes worked twelve hour days, six days a week, without overtime pay, for less than minimum wage. I did so for cash, off the books, without paying into any federal programs.

I was a teenager. I had all the time in the world, and it was good money for someone with no skills beyond playing with babies.

Don't tell me that illegals are taking jobs American citizens won't do, because I've done more than one of them.

"Something there is, that doesn't love a wall." I think it's inside of us all, this unsettled feeling about walling things out, and walling things in. It makes us uneasy. Nobody likes the ugliness of a fence, no one likes saying "you stay on your side and I'll keep to mine." No, we're a gregarious society, contentious and involved and sometimes downright nosey. Everyone wants to know everbody else's business, and at the heart of it all, no one wants to feel alone. We like to think we're "social" and "sociable," a nation of warmhearted, welcoming people. "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. "

But the wretched refuse is getting three deep in parts of this country. And make no mistake, some of it IS refuse. I speak not of honest, hardworking, decent people who come here to become citizens in the legal fashion. I speak of the gang members, the bums, the criminals, and the like: those who could never hope to get in by legal methods. And our ability to take care of our own is threatened by these people and their get. California hospitals spent 500 million providing emergency care to illegals last year. The federal government only kicked in for 70 million of that. Guess who paid the rest?

Well it certainly wasn't Mexico.

Guest Workers are a misnomer- they will be a minimally employed underclass who will move money out of our economy and into Mexico's. Citizenship conveyed by birthplace is impractical in a world where a short walk across an invisible line is the difference between AFDC benefits and the inherent corruption of the Mexican government.

I like the Hispanic culture. I read spanish better than I speak it, but I can get by anywhere I need to. I've celebrated Dia de los Muertos, and I make some damn fine sopapillas. I've slogged through everything from Cervantes to Gabriel Garcia Marquez. Ask me about my Shakira records.

But you'll forgive me if I think that Good Fences make Good Neighbors.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Biblical historicity goodness...

I clearly don't read enough jargon-y scientific journals. Because somehow I missed out on new evidence supporting the validity of the Shroud of Turin.

If you can get through the more complex terminology in the faq, I highly recommend that too. Fascinating stuff.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Seen in another blog's comments section...

"I'd rather go hunting with Dick Cheney than ride with Ted Kennedy."

I need say nothing more, I'm in total agreement.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

The Tech-Savvy Congresscritter...

This is SUCH a great idea!

Okay... So they make more money than God. I know they can afford their own Ipods. But frankly, so many of our legislators are a trifle, erm... elderly. They're set in their ways, they dislike change. And the only folks that have their ear right now are the MPAA and the RIAA.

We need to change that.

Ipods are so simple a child can work them. My nine year old mastered the intricacies of Podkayne (my own Ipod Photo) in a matter of minutes, without a booklet, an FAQ, or a tutorial. Put one of these babies into the hands of every senator, every representative, and they may finally understand what is at stake, what vital technical advances these corporate behemoths hope to quash and stifle.

I'm thinking bake sale. We can call it "Buy Congress a Clue" and we'll have little napster-head icons iced onto the cupcakes. Oooh. And those little circle-slash logo thingies around RIAA and MPAA? We'll put those on the cookies...

I could get entirely too excited about this.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Spoiled Brats at the International Table

There is something fundamentally wrong with any person or group of persons, benefitting from anothers largesse, being unable or unwilling to express a modicum of gratefulness. The problem begins with arrogance and an attitude of unjust entitlement.

You see it every day, it's become a common theme. People who just expect the world (or their more productive neighbours) to do for them. From the arrogance and ingratitude of people on the dole, collecting welfare, or begging on streetcorners, to class warfare rhetoric in our politics. The same rude cause that is at work when a teenager kills for another kid's shoes. "He had it, I wanted it, I'm entitled to it. It should be MINE." And this attitude is never pretty, and is largely responsible for the worst violent excesses in human history: the Terror in revolutionary France, the Holocaust in WW2 Europe, the elimination of the native populations in our own US history. It's always about wanting something you didn't earn, and feeling entitled to take it from somebody who did.

So imagine then that some of those people who have what you want, decide to give you some of it. Not all of it, but a portion. And they hand it to you free of charge. "Here, it's a gift."

Would you be grateful? Touched? How would you feel about your benefactor?

If you're one of those productive people I was talking about earlier, you would be thankful. Perhaps you might be made to think kindly of your patron, and wish to do good for them. At the very least you might wish to curry favor with someone so generous, in order to keep the handouts coming.

But unfortunately, if you're one of those NOT productive people, people who are accustomed to taking what doesn't belong to them, and living off the work of others... in that case? You're not going to be grateful. You're going to be surly.

"I deserve it anyway. I deserve all of it, and you should have none."

You will resent and hate your benefactor, because nothing breeds contempt so much as a sense of your own unworthiness. And prolonged acceptance of charity does nothing but encourage that sense. It reminds you you cannot achieve on your own. You're not good enough, bright enough, strong enough. In desperation to retain your dignity, you begin looking for excuses why you cannot be productive. It cannot be YOU, so it must be THEM. And then, it becomes necessary to hate those who have and do what you cannot. It's a survival mechanism, the need to break the world down into "Mine" and "Other," into Us and Them. The haves, vs. the Have-nots.

The way to fix this problem is to stop throwing money at the spoiled brats who won't do for themselves. To stop treating them like children and force them to act like adults.

And in the realm of international politics, we have done part of that. The Palestinians have chosen a government. The will of the people has spoken, and they've voted themselves a shiteload of disaster. Like recalcitrant children, they've opted for the entitlement mentality. A people gets the government it deserves, and this bloodthirsty lot have got exactly what they wanted.

Let them choke on it for awhile. It may force them to grow up.

But the worst thing in the world we can do is try to monkey with their decisions. "Be good, or we'll take away the money." This disrespects the will of a fledgeling populace attempting, ever so painfully, to govern itself. And this is OUR highhanded arrogance, the arrogance of the western world- that we think we can solve the world's problems for them. We're often like the well meaning older brother who keeps picking up after our siblings and fighting their battles for them. In the end, all it does is raise a weak younger sibling who resents us for everything we never let him do for himself.

Sometimes people- and societies- simply need to make their own mistakes.

The first step is to Stop. Giving. Them. Money. How hard is this? Take every backward western-world hating culture and STOP FUNDING THEM! They don't appreciate it. It doesn't give us their good will. Look at the wording in that article. "BLACKMAIL," Haniya calls it. There is no appreciation for charity, only malice to the giver.

We cannot make their decisions for them. But neither should we support them in their foolishness. There is no kindness in that.