Thursday, June 30, 2005

Dean and the Dems

I have two stories involving the Democratic Party. First, this poll shows just how well the Democrats are doing under Chairman Dean. For some reason I want to make an irrevent salute at the sound of that, but I'll forgo it for the time being.

"A poll on the political mood in the United States conducted by the Democratic Party has alarmed the party at its own loss of popularity.

Conducted by the party-affiliated Democracy Corps, the poll indicated 43 percent of voters favored the Republican Party, while 38 percent had positive feelings about Democrats.

"Republicans weakened in this poll ... but it shows Democrats weakening more," said Stanley Greenberg, who served as President Clinton's pollster. "

Dean was supposed to fire up the base. If he has, it's come at the expense of moderates. I told him it wouldn't work (see my March, 20th post). Despite all his rabble-rousing, the Dems just can't get off the ground. If they do pick up some seats in the 2006 off-elections, it will only be because people are mad at Bush. As of now, the Republicans control the debate.

"Greenberg told the Christian Science Monitor he attributes the slippage to voters' perceptions that Democrats have "no core set of convictions or point of view." "

That's part of it, but Dean has "core values". If someone could tell him to quit making stupid comments about the Republicans for once, we could see, once and for all I believe, that his core values just don't appeal to the American public.

The other Dean story is pretty funny, but it also has a point hidden in all of it.

"Howard Dean was a no-show for a state Democratic Party fund raiser Wednesday after bad weather in Philadelphia kept the Democratic National Committee chairman grounded."

Republicans aren't ones to sit around and mope just because everyone's favorite socialist isn't in town. Nope, they had a scream competition.

The state GOP's scream-off was intended to poke fun at Dean, whose attempt at a troop-rallying "yeah" after the 2004 Iowa caucus became the most laughed about moment of the campaign. Dean lost the next 16 contests, including a next-to-last showing in South Carolina a couple of weeks later.

The scream-off drew a handful of high school and college Republicans who were judged on "lack of poise in appearance" and "extent of angry, insane ranting."

Contestants had to repeat Dean's cry that his campaign was "going to South Carolina and Arizona and North Dakota and New Mexico. We're going to California and Texas and New York, and we're going to South Dakota and Oregon and Washington and Michigan. And then we're going to Washington, D.C. to take back the White House - yeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!"

Richard Hahn, a Dreher High School student, won the contest - embellishing Dean's itinerary by adding Canada and Puerto Rico as campaign trail stops."

Humorous. Oh, and the Republicans out fund-raised the Dems again, bringing in 22 grand to the Dems 20--which was later refunded.

The biggest point is this: "The contest didn't impress McIntosh, who said it is time for Republicans to "stop screaming and start trying to lead again.""

If the Republicans only become anti-Democrats, their poll numbers will continue to slide. The screaming is fine, but let's try coming up with some ideas.

For starters: just how and when are we going to wrap things up in Iraq?

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Oh the Irony

The Supreme Court just decided an emminent domain case that has liberty-lovers everywhere flummoxed. One of the Justices who supported this absurd decision may get to experience the law firsthand.

Freestar Media

"Could a hotel be built on the land owned by Supreme Court Justice David H. Souter? A new ruling by the Supreme Court which was supported by Justice Souter himself itself might allow it. A private developer is seeking to use this very law to build a hotel on Souter's land.

Justice Souter's vote in the "Kelo vs. City of New London" decision allows city governments to take land from one private owner and give it to another if the government will generate greater tax revenue or other economic benefits when the land is developed by the new owner."

Can we let him vote again? Maybe this time he'll read the fifth amendment and come down on the side of justice.

"The proposed development, called "The Lost Liberty Hotel" will feature the "Just Desserts Café" and include a museum, open to the public, featuring a permanent exhibit on the loss of freedom in America. Instead of a Gideon's Bible each guest will receive a free copy of Ayn Rand's novel "Atlas Shrugged."

Clements indicated that the hotel must be built on this particular piece of land because it is a unique site being the home of someone largely responsible for destroying property rights for all Americans."

Oh the irony. This hotel deal hasn't gone through yet, but if it does, it will be the one emminent domain case that I laud. I wish I could see Souter's face as he reads this. If he truly has no problem with the government taking our land, he shouldn't have a problem giving up his own land.

If on the other hand, he truly believes in our right to the "pursuit of happiness"--which Locke, who was a profound influence on Jefferson, categorized as property--is real and just, he's just another example of a left-wing hypocrite.

Either way, it's embarrassing to have someone like him on the bench.

Monday, June 27, 2005

A Matter of Faith

I have recently been engaged in a debate of sorts with a fellow named Jon over at Loyal's blog.

Saving Aenaes

I will address his last comments. It might be advantageous to read the whole thing, but the beginning is slightly cryptic. I will even admit that it is my own lack of intellectual prowess that may render his argument seemingly contradictory. Nonetheless, I shall strive to find some truth in the bit of mess we have.

A Wiser Man Than I:
Jon: You say: “When we are the biggest and most important things in lives--as you surely believe, after all, Man is God--we not only take ourselves far too seriously, but we lead such sad existences. Is there no wonder in a sunset or a baby's laugh?”

Now, c’mon, do you really think the man who proposed to set up his beach chair on the supposed truth of the believer takes himself too seriously?

Me: Actually I do. You have said that you are God. How can you not take yourself too seriously? The brevity of the rebuttal makes me think I have struck a nerve. You are certainly not completely heartless, but what wonder is there in a sunset or a baby's laugh without a God other than yourself. There is no wonder in the random chance that has given us life. It simply is. Facts are not beautiful, they simply are. It is only the meaning we put upon these facts that render them meaningful. To the Christian, the babies' laugh is wonderful because of the value that God--not us--has placed on human life.

Jon: I think it is the Christian nihilist who takes himself too seriously. The Christian nihilist (and I am talking about you here) cannot worship God, because God does not exist. So instead the Christian nihilist worships himself; the Christian nihilist worships his ability to put his faith in an illusion and finds solace only in comparing himself to the unbeliever. (What would Moses say if he knew you had become your own idol?) It is for this reason that you must claim that I lead a “sad existence.” If you did not continue to say things like this, to create some pitifully small meaning the only way you know how, by petty opposition—for, in this statement of yours you have mistakenly proven my entire point—you will be unable to convince yourself that you are happy. Unlike the Christian nihilist, I say “Yes!” to life in all its meaninglessness and absurdity. I say “yes,” and I am happier saying “yes” than I was in the 10 straight years of attending religious services every week in which I constantly drowned “No”.

Me: This is my biggest problem with your argument. You assume that God does not exist. That very well maybe, but as long as there are things that are unexplained by man, there is the possibility that He does in fact exist. How do you explain the preservation of bodies--the so-called uncorruptibles--of Christian saints? If mankind had answered every question in the universe, then you would be right. However, as long as there are these unknowns which float in the mist that transcends the scientific explanation, unbelief requires a certain amount of faith. I know that my belief in God does take a degree of faith. You seem reluctant to admit that your lack of faith is a leap of faith too.

Also, I do not feel vindicated by being better than the unbeliever. I am happy because I am in God's hands. I do not feel better than you. I feel sorry for you, and wish you know the peace and joy that I have. Slightly condescending perhaps, but the Christian motive is love. We wish all could one day share in the Father's glory. And aren't you the one worshipping himself? You are God after all. If there is no God, I only end up in your boat it would seem.

Jon: “It is only when we realize that we are not the most important thing in this world that our lives take on any meaning at all.”

That may be, but I am not willing to sacrifice my life in order to create a meaning which is unreal. Certainly, I will not sell myself into slavery at the hands of an imagined god just so I can sleep more easily at night.

Me: You assume that my belief is founded on the principles of something shaky such as Pascal's wager. This may be true for many you encounter, but I can assure you that, near as I can figure, Christianity accurately explains the world as it is. And once again, you believe that there is no meaning. First, thank you for tossing the heavy-handed rhetoric and just admitting what TomFoolery tried to get you to say. You said earlier, "I did not say, “our universe is a meaningless one.” I said, “our universe is an *inherently* meaningless one.” I will rephrase, since I am familiar with your linguistic difficulties." I'm going to assume that this latest take on things is a slip on your part. I forgive you.

Me: Furthermore, I assume you do sleep easier at night because you have found truth--or rather, a complete absence of truth. Don't you suspect your own motives? Or is it that you do not sleep well at night at all?

Jon: “For though those in power can exert meaning on our lives, and on aspects of it, it is a meaningless gesture. If life is "inherently" meaningless, it is surely all together meaningless. Quote whoever you will. When it comes down to it, you seem to have a mistaken philosophy.”

This quotation shows that you have not understood at all what I have been saying. That’s fine, what I am saying is not palatable to the Christian nihilist, because Christianity is idolatry and I am an iconoclast. I have explained myself three times and I will do so no longer. You are now free to wallow in your pseudo-pious, self-worshiping idolatry; you will not get any more trouble about it from me. I do not care if the Christian nihilist spends the rest of eternity denying life; for he is the last man, and I am going to live forever.

Me: That's right I have misunderstood you. I am not pseudo-pious, I am merely trying to engage in a conversation to arrive at truth. It's a pity you can't bring yourself to my intellectual level to explain yourself again. Perhaps, the problem is not in my ability to understand, but in your inconsistent philosophy. Just a thought. I am not sure what you mean by living forever. I do plan on living forever in heaven with Christ, but that is part of my faith. I am unfamiliar with the facet of the atheist creed that allows him to live forever.

Jon: God is dead; it is the Christian who has killed him, and it is I who is joyfully dancing upon the grave.

Me: This is a pretty poor metaphor. Yes, I get the Nietzke reference. But if God does not exist, the Christian could not have killed him at all. Keep joyfully dancing. May your belief that you haev found the truth serve you well, but remember that it is only that. Reason is a very valuable tool, but when tossing around the mysteries of this universe, it is not enough. At some point we must put stock in something. I have come down where I will. I hope your choice serves you as well as I believe and know that mine will.

A Peace of the Truth

I went to church last Saturday. The closing hymm caught my attention for some reason. I've sung the tune before, but for it irked me this time around. The song is called "Let There Be Peace on Earth". For those unfamiliar, here are the words:

Let There Be Peace on Earth and let it begin with me.
Let There Be Peace on Earth, the peace that was meant to be!
With God as our Father, brothers all are we.
Let me walk with my brother in perfect harmony.

Let peace begin with me. Let this be the moment now.
With ev'ry breath I take, let this be my solemn vow;
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally!
Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me!

The writers are well-intentioned, but misguided. Unfortunately, there will never be "peace on earth". It's certainliy a wonderful concept, but it's about as practical as socialism. Peace on earth was not even the goal of Christianity. Luke 12:51 is rather clear on this point: "Do you think that I have come to establish peace on the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division."

Christianity is not here to set up a Utopia. A Utopia is quite impossible. Clearly, Jesus is more then some moral teacher coming to clean things up here. C.S. Lewis puts it nicely:

"It is quite true that if we took Christ's advice we should soon be living in a happier world. You need not even go as far as Christ. If we did all that Plato or Aristotle or Confucius told us, we should get on a great deal better than we do. And so what? We never have followed the advice of the great teachers. Why are we likely to begin now? Why are we more likely to follow Christ than any of the others? Because he is the best moral teacher? But that is even less likely that we shall follow him. If we cannot take the elementary lessons, is it likely we are going to take the most advanced one? If Christianity only means one more bit of good advice, then Christianity is of no importance. There has been no lack of good advice for the last four thousand years. A bit more makes no difference."

Christianity is not here to "let there be peace on earth". It is here to let us live at peace knowing this world is temporary. With that comes an internal peace, a "peace that surpasses all understanding" (Philippians 4:7) will be ours.

And may that peace spread throughout the whole earth.

Supreme Inconsistency

As of yet, there are no retirements on this court.

Yahoo Article

The other news is the Ten Commandments cases. There were too cases, and the Supreme Court came down on the side of... it's hard to tell.

My Way News Article

"The Supreme Court struggled in a pair of 5-4 rulings Monday to define how much blending of church and state is constitutionally permissible, allowing the Ten Commandments to be displayed outside the Texas state Capitol but not inside Kentucky courthouses."

Millions across the nation were poised as the Highest Court in the land was at last going to decide things for the nation. We owe them are heartfelt thanks for clearing this one up.

As usual, one of the conservative justices is thinking most clearly. "Justice Antonin Scalia released a stinging dissent in the courthouse case, declaring, "What distinguishes the rule of law from the dictatorship of a shifting Supreme Court majority is the absolutely indispensable requirement that judicial opinions be grounded in consistently applied principle."

Oh, and just to clarify, the first amendment reads, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."

There is no explicit seperation of church and state. That comes from a letter Jefferson wrote to a clergyman--if memory serves me correctly. We certainly like to abide by the deist's position on organized religion. Too bad we don't agree with the man's positions on everything else.

If the ruling went against the Commandments I wouldn't be thrilled, but I wouldn't be surprised. The Constitution has been misinterpreted, especially in regard to religious rights, for so long that it's hardly worth mentioning.

What is worth mentioning is this absurd notion that depending on where something is, it can mean different things. When the Constitution is ignored, there is no standard to judge any of this. Inconsistent rulings should become even more commonplace.

Here's hoping someone retires and the court can get another judge who actually follows the Consititution as Scalia--the medicinal marijuana case not withstanding--does.

Lately most of them have just been making stuff up.

Sunday, June 26, 2005

The Chinese Elephant in the Living Room

China is in the news again. Tran Sient has one story:

Tran Sient's Watch

Essentially, China may purchase Unocal Corp., which is only the ninth largest oil and gas company here in the U.S.

For those who aren't worried that a Communist Regime may control a good part of our energy, Bill Gertz may change your mind:

Bill Gertz

"China is building its military forces faster than U.S. intelligence and military analysts expected, prompting fears that Beijing will attack Taiwan in the next two years, according to Pentagon officials.
U.S. defense and intelligence officials say all the signs point in one troubling direction: Beijing then will be forced to go to war with the United States, which has vowed to defend Taiwan against a Chinese attack."

I know many of us just love Walmart's low prices, but it seems America's dependence on China for cheap goods has been fueling their economy quite nicely. The trade deficit of 160 billion is one big reason that the Chinese economy has been growing for 10% a year for the last ten years.

More from Gertz:
"For China, Taiwan is not the only issue behind the buildup of military forces. Beijing also is facing a major energy shortage that, according to one Pentagon study, could lead it to use military force to seize territory with oil and gas resources.
The report produced for the Office of Net Assessment, which conducts assessments of future threats, was made public in January and warned that China's need for oil, gas and other energy resources is driving the country toward becoming an expansionist power."

So are we going to give them Unocal so that they don't attach Taiwain. I don't think it's so simple, though certainly fears of China have rendered Americans a bit gunshy on this one. Talking ill of Saddam and Osama is cupcakes compared to dealing with the red power from the East. Still, appeasement didn't work for Chamberlin. We'll see how it goes this time around.

Essentially then, China will need to be confronted. I'm certainly no war hawk, but we have agreements with both Japan and Taiwan in case China goes to war with them. We need to act soon to avoid a showdown with China, that, quite frankly, will be a bloody mess that severs the life of this Republic.

"Richard Fisher, vice president of the International Assessment and Strategy Center, said that in 10 years, the Chinese army has shifted from a defensive force to an advanced military soon capable of operations ranging from space warfare to global non-nuclear cruise-missile strikes.
"Let's all wake up. The post-Cold War peace is over," Mr. Fisher said. "We are now in an arms race with a new superpower whose goal is to contain and overtake the United States.""

Indeed we need to wake up. Let's equalize this trade deficit, keep our energy companies in the hands of Americans, and do something to prevent war with China.

At the very least we need to formalize this nation's policy on China. The time for tepidity has long passed.

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Same-sex Nonsense (and NFP Too)

Those who have read any of my writings know that I am quite conservative. My viewpoints, which once constituted reasonable thought amongst a majority of men and women, are now clutched to my a distinctly small minority in this country. Buchanan bemoans this very thing: “Nietzsche called this the transvaluation of all values; the old virtues become sin and the old sins become virtues.” I will not dwell on the social factors that have led to this, but will rather outline and back up my belief system.

One of the biggest misunderstandings raging in America concerns human sexuality. Once deemed abhorrent, homosexuality is now considered acceptable by a growing number of Americans. Contraception, which was at one point rejected by every major Christian faith, is now defended against by only the Roman Catholic Church and a decided minority of her members. In fact, surveys put the number of married American Catholics who do not practice some form of birth control—other than the Church accepted Natural Family Planning—at about 4 percent.

In order to understand why homosexuality and contraception are wrong, I must lay out the Catholic views on sex. In 1968, Pope Paul VI came out with the encyclical Humanae Vitae confirming the Church's position on human sexuality. According to the Roman Catholic Church, sex had two purposes: unity, and procreation.

The first purpose is pretty obvious. Sex is a powerful act and the two participants are drawn closer together because of it. It is, partly because of this power, that the Church has consecrated sex only for marriage, but more on that later.

The second purpose is rather evident. Without procreation, the human race would cease to be. God has provided for, in sex, the vehicle through which humans will be disseminated. “God blessed them, saying: 'Be fertile and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and all the living things that move on the earth.'” (Genesis 1:28) By telling us to be fertile and multiply God is giving a stamp of approval on sex, when used for the procreative purpose it was intended for.

Isn't there another purpose though? Sex is pleasurable, and many may argue that this too is a purpose. To which I would ask: “What is the purpose of eating?” or “What is the purpose of sleeping?” Eating and sleeping are necessary if humans are to continue to exist. Eating provides nourishment and sleeping provides rest. Sleeping, eating and sex are all pleasurable because God, in his wisdom, made them this way. If they were not enjoyable we would not have done them, and the human race would be consequently extinct.

Pleasure is a kind side affect, but it is no more the reason for eating and sleeping than it is for having sex. After all, if all we did all day was eat and sleep, we wouldn't be very healthy. Sex, too, has natural consequences built into it, namely pregnancy. Humans could not have sex all the time unless they wished to have children. Birth control has minimized, though not eliminated this risk, but sex still has consequences, which I shall address a bit later.

One could infer from my analogy, that since if we do not eat and sleep we will die, if we do not have sex we will die. Thus, abstinence is unhealthy and birth control allows us to have sex, as necessary to life as eating and sleeping. It is true that if one goes without eating and/or sleeping one will die. Likewise, without sex, human life will cease, so we need it to live, although I am unaware of anyone who has died as a result of abstaining from sex. Furthermore, abstinence is not sexual repression, but acceptance of God's gift of sex and His desire for it's use in the correct context of marriage.

Marriage was instituted by God to provide for mankind the best way to perpetuate itself. “The Lord God said: 'It is not good for man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.' The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be a suitable partner for the man.” (Genesis 2:18, 20) Thus God created the woman, Eve, to be a partner for the man, Adam. “He said in reply, 'Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female' and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?” (Matthew 19:4-5)

This is all well and good for those who believe in the Judeo-Christian creator God, but it should be just as apparent to non-believers as well. As procreation takes a man and a woman and unity is enhanced through sex, marriage between man and woman is a natural institution.

What good then does it do for two homosexuals to become married? The sexual act will of course unify the two, but without the ability for procreation, the act is intrinsically infertile. Thus, if the purpose of sex is procreative, homosexual sex is both impractical and immoral.

It is important to draw a distinction between homosexuals and homosexual behavior. Christians are called to obey the two greatest commandments, “He said in reply, 'You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your being, with all your strength, and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.'” (Luke 10:27) Jesus calls His followers to love everyone unconditionally as He did.

Unconditional love does not mean acceptance of immoral behavior. When Jesus caught the woman in adultery, He did love her, but he didn't allow her to go on her way without improving. Under Jewish law, she was to be stoned to death for he sin. “Then Jesus straightened up and said to her, 'Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?' She replied, 'No one sir.' Then Jesus said, 'Neither do I condemn you. Go, and from now on do not sin any more.'” (John 8:10-11)

Some may say that because Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, it must not be sinful. This is an absurd argument. He never mentioned abortion either, although Jesus would of course be very much against abortion. There are chastisements of sexual immorality in the Bible. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; such a thing is an abomination. Everyone who does any of these abominations shall be cut off from among his people.” (Leviticus 18:22,29)

The New Testament mentions homosexual behavior as well. “Do you not know that the unjust will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators nor idolators nor adulterers nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor robbers will ever inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) “[Or] do you not know that anyone who joins himself to a prostitute becomes one body with her? For 'the two', it says, 'will become one flesh.' (1 Corinthians 6:16) “Let marriage be honored among all of and the marriage bed be kept undefiled, for God will judge the immoral and adulterers.” (Hebrews 13:4) “Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own person the due penalty for their perversity.” (Romans 1:26-27)

It is readily apparent that St. Paul was against sex outside of marriage especially homosexual relations. Still, should the fact that Jesus did not mention this sway us? Of course not. Jesus spoke to Jews who were familiar with Jewish law, which clearly prohibits homosexual behavior. The Corinthians and the Romans were not familiar with Jewish law and because of this, Paul had to enlighten them.

Those who curse homosexuals and urge God's wrath upon them are doing all of us a disservice. The only consistent Christian position on homosexuality is one of disdain for the act. However, this must be coupled with a love for the people. After all, if homosexuality is a serious sin—and indeed it is—how much more are practicing homosexuals in need of our love and prayers?

In today's world, it is increasingly considered intolerant to deem certain behavior immoral. Christians may be told to follow Jesus' advice and “Stop judging, that you may not be judged.” (Matthew 7:1) Yet if homosexuality is indeed a sin and sodomites will not inherit the kingdom of God, it is surely worse not to speak up. Our love for others compels us to help our brothers and sisters to reach God's kingdom. As Christians we cannot watch idly as our neighbors falter.

Close in connection with homosexuality, is contraception. Both are immoral because they render, or at least attempt to render, the sexual act infertile. Fertility is a gift from God. Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, was barren for a long time before she conceived John. “'So has the Lord done for me at a time when he has seen fit to take away my disgrace before others.'” (Luke 1:25) At the time, it was believed—falsely—that the reason a woman was infertile was that she or her husband had sinned against God. Conversely, woman who were fertile were seen to be good. Children were correctly understood to be a gift from God.

Society has certainly turned this one on it's head. Children are now considered secondary to having a job. Since women desire to work, and yet still want to have sex, the pill has seemed like an immense gift. The pill allows women the “freedom” to put off having children until it is convenient. This freedom comes at a great price however. Contraceptive sex makes an emphatic no to God's will. “Do you think it right to say, 'I am just rather than God?'” (Job 35:2) For that is what contraception does.

Contraception says to God, I want the unity and the pleasure but not the procreation. God is not invited because He is wrong. We reason that sex should be for our pleasure and we do not need Him. God brings pregnancy which only complicates our lives. We will have children when we want to. After all, we cannot afford to have twelve children. Although I do find it hard to believe that the richest nation on earth cannot afford to raise its children, the point, though presented in an extreme form, is a valid one.

There are two replies I wish to make to those who argue that for personal reasons contraception is acceptable. First, have you no faith in God? Surely He will not bless a couple with so many pregnancies that the children will starve. Also, if a couple does not wish to have kids, why would you have sex?

This should be practical and logical, but is seen as archaically oppressive instead. Self-discipline, once honored as a virtue is now deplored as not needed. Yet, if I cannot swim, I do not jump into the sea. Why do we have sex if pregnancy is not wanted? I can't possibly be so callous as to wish to prohibit all sex within a marriage can I? No, and again, God has provided an answer. Catholics call it natural family planning, or NFP.

The way NFP works is that it determines when a woman is likely to be pregnant and when she will not be fertile. The specifics involve the mucus surrounding the woman's reproductive organ and may be researched if that is wished. The obvious benefit of NFP is that if a husband and a wife cannot have a child at the moment—according to Pope Pius XII, for “medical, eugenical, economic, and social order” reasons—the couple may abstain from sex during those times where the wife is fertile. They can still, in good conscience participate in sex during the infertile times of the month.

What is the difference though? If contraception is immoral because it renders the act infertile how come it is okay to participate in sex during the infertile times without damage to the soul? The difference is simple. With contraception, humans are playing God and choosing to render the act infertile on their own. With NFP, couples are abstaining when God has blessed the woman with fertility. God has provided, through the natural rhythms of a woman's cycle, time for a couple to engage in sex without procreation. He realized that it would be stupid to expect two people who love each other from having sex for all of eternity. Sex is a powerful binding force and God wishes husband and wife to be unified in Him.

That being said, it is clear that NFP is meant only for extreme matters. A couple should not abuse this in order to actually plan their family. The role of NFP is to provide a means for unity and a protection from insanity and irritability if it will be too difficult for the couple to have a child at the present time. In faith, a married couple should trust God to give them as many children as they can handle in accordance with his plan.

Part of the reason birth control has become so acceptable is that certain people—Malthus and Ehrlich—predicted that the world population was becoming too large. Our food supply could not keep up with the population boom and mass starvation was ahead. Malthus and Ehrlich were wrong, of course, but their advice was heeded. No longer are large families the norm, as most couples have one to three children in America and the Western world. Even Catholic Italy has a birth rate below that of replacement level—a birth rate 2.1 children per couple is needed to sustain population.

While this was undertaken in some respects for a good reason—no one wants mass starvation—it againg showed the lack of faith we have in God. What kind of God would allow His people to be fertile and multiply and then allow them to perish by starvation? “'Do not worry about tomorrow; tomorrow will take care of itself.'” (Matthew 6:34) If that is not evidence that God is looking out for us, then nothing is.

Another claim people make regarding NFP is that it is unreliable. Fortunately, they are wrong. This is not your grandmother's “rhythm method”. NFP has a .004% failure rate. This is not only not unreliable, but actually more reliable than conventional birth control. The failure rate is statistically insignificant. God does indeed know best.

Perhaps it will be acknowledged that I was thorough in my defense of the Catholic faith, but I did use Scripture to do it. This is to help my fellow Christians, but what about agnostics and atheists? This circular logic will probably not hold much weight with them. The only meaningful argument is that NFP is more reliable than birth control. Yet I doubt that will sway many. The major draw of birth control is that it allows us to have what we want when we want it. NFP offers no such luxury.

I'm not going to confront atheists and agnostics. My arguments against homosexual conduct and use of birth control are primarily of a moral nature. While atheists and agnostics often have a moral guide, it is impossible for me to formulate an argument for every possible value system. Instead, I offer the Judeo-Christian tradition as my background and defend from there. As a majority of Americans are Christians, this should have some affect upon them. Of course, all too often, our pursuit of God rings just as hollow as our lifestyles.

Inherent in the Christian religion is the belief that God's will is more important than ours. We serve Him first. “Yet I live, no longer I, but Chirst lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20) If we are living for God, we should have no trouble accepting children in marriage. It is only when we are selfish that we reject God's plan. It is time Christians stopped neglecting God and turned to Him. Out country and our children need Him more than ever.

Taking a Stand

The readers of my blog know that I'm a libertarian minded fellow who likes to hold the Republicans feet to my pathetic little fire when they stray from the ideals of conservatism. Conservatism seems misconstrued. True, conservatism should not be a reactionary habit, but rather a progressive one. The government should not conserve tradition if tradition is a bad thing. Put another way, if things are running poorly in Washington—as almost everyone I am sure would agree—changes should be made to make them run more smoothly. Keeping the status quo is a stance for gutless cowards. It came as a surprise that I too was a gutless coward, by my own standard.

I still have no political clout. I have a vote, and may influence, however lightly, the votes of a few others, but I cannot as yet change the political clime. Without power, I thus have little responsibility. If I am not a hypocrite politically, what then could I be talking about?

I am a Catholic Christian. I don't often write concerning social considerations, but I think it is obvious that I am not socially liberal. In truth, I support my Church in all her majestic teaching. No, I do not have a lot of power on the religious front, I cannot yet defrock and excommunicate pedophile priests, but I can still shout loudly. This is my statement to a move to be more vocal on the religious front.

My reasons for this are twofold. First, if I am going to criticize the Republicans for being wimps, I cannot be one as well. If I am as adamant about my Catholic faith as I am about my dedication to conservatism, I must back it up.

The other reason is that religious considerations are infinitely more important and needed more desperately. If our leaders continue to reject the wisdom of the founders, we will either end up in a socialist mess, a corporate controlled fiasco, or an amalgamated cacophony of the two. This is clearly regrettable, and I am doing what
I can—however little that may be—to try to prevent that from happening. If this country continues its slide into moral decadence and complete relativism, the consequences will be much more dire. Believing as I do, in the existence of a hell, the squandering of our freedom by bureaucrats seems almost insignificant. It is my duty then, to preach what I believe.

I can almost hear the groaning now. I don't think I have gone off the deep end here. I shall continue to use reason and tact to make my points. It has been my experience that the American public has a terribly false view of Christian, and especially Catholic ideology. Falwell's heart may be in the right place—and again it may not be—but I am not sure where on earth his head is sometimes. I will try to fill what I see as a void in my limited scope in this, the blogosphere.