January 2009

Two completely different shows.  The Bachelor and a Very Duggar Wedding.

The first, which must be in its fiftieth or sixtieth season now, involves several women all vying for the same man, doing everything they can to be noticed and stand out from the rest.  Intimacy … in an oxymoronic way… abounds.

A Very Duggar Wedding involves the marriage of the oldest son in the now-famous family of 20, a simple homemade affair where love abounds and intimacy is saved for the wedding night.  (all forms… even the first kiss)

Two very different shows.  And while TLC does manage to make the Duggars look a little eccentric (I know, hard to believe), I appreciate that the “other side” is given some air time.  Josh spent some time explaining the difference between courting and dating and why he chose to court Anna the way he did.  He spoke about the fact that each time you date someone, you give a piece of your heart to that person– so by the time you are ready to get married, you don’t have your whole heart to give, even if you wanted to give it.  He didn’t want that to happen to him.

Juxtapose that with the girls on the Bachelor, who are all simultaneously dating Bachelor-man.  While they know this in their heads, their hearts are still affected by it.  They complain that it feels like they’re being cheated on or get upset when Bachelor-man kisses another girl.  You know they don’t want to take their hands off of him– because another pair of hands will take over.  I’m sure it’s truly heartbreaking when they don’t get a rose– because they’ve given so much of themselves to him.  They’ve put themselves out there and made themselves vunerable, only to be insecure about where they stand.

Is that what falling in love is about?  Giving of yourself, making yourself vunerable- absolutely.  But in such a way that you’re selling yourself to someone like a product?  Making an object of yourself and hoping he picks you off the shelf? 

Tonight, Anna couldn’t stop holding Josh’s hand… because she was in love… not because she was insecure.

What if, just for kicks, they put someone on the Bachelor who had the courtship mentality?  It would never happen, but boy, would it make for that drama that the networks are always craving.  Courtship-girl wants to talk to Bachelor-man to get to know him- not to show him what a good kisser she is.  In fact, she refuses to let him kiss her.   She’s not willing to backbite or trash-talk and she wants to be treated with respect, not as an object.  Modestly clad, she’s not willing to hang out in a hot tub with Bachelor-man or prance around in her underwear.

You know what?  I think that in the end, if Bachelor-man gave her a chance, he would give her the final rose.

But she may just turn him down.  ’cause she’s in this for love, not a rose.


While I’m not completely over-the-moon about all technology and I don’t think everything we have right now is quite necessary, and I think Google and YouTube are taking over the world slowly,  I will say that this is very exciting for me.  It’ll be interesting to explore it and see what all lies within it.  

But some of us have to tear ourselves away and go to work.  Rats.

Now if they could have streaming video of all the Pope’s events…  

(I remember when my roommate’s friend Marcel came to visit us one spring, when the Swiss Guard were celebrating their anniversary (and he happened to be a Swiss Guard) and we felt sorry for him because he was missing some of the festivities, he said, “Don’t you get CTV?” [the Vatican TV station]  Sorry, that’s not in our satellite package…


Someday, God willing, our children will look upon this day and shudder, wondering how their parents and grandparents could have lived during a time when the most defenseless were the most endangered.

Someday, January 22, 1973 will be in the same column as March 6, 1857 – dates when the Supreme Court of the United States forgot why our forefathers founded this country: to testify to the truth that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

We have our work cut out for us.  

There are young women out there who need to hear the truth, who need to hear that they don’t deserve to suffer from abortion.  There are alternatives to abortion here.  

There are men and women out there who are suffering from the trama of abortion, who are looking for answers.  Help is available here.

[Father Avram has a profound reflection on the anniversary that’s worth reading.]

“And so to all other peoples and governments who are watching today, from the grandest capitals to the small village where my father was born: know that America is a friend of each nation and every man, woman, and child who seeks a future of peace and dignity, and that we are ready to lead once more.”

First, I thought they didn’t like it when America led?  I thought those other countries wanted us to stay home and mind our own business?

And… America is a friend to every child who seeks a future of peace and dignity?  Riiiight.

But this is the best…

“For as much as government can do and must do, it is ultimately the faith and determination of the American people upon which this nation relies. It is the kindness to take in a stranger when the levees break, the selflessness of workers who would rather cut their hours than see a friend lose their job which sees us through our darkest hours. It is the firefighter’s courage to storm a stairway filled with smoke, but also a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.”

Come again?

“It is… a parent’s willingness to nurture a child, that finally decides our fate.”

Really?  You mean, to nurture that child they’ve been “punished” with??

If that decides our fate, Mr. President…and I agree… it will…

Well,… so help us, God.

We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Benedict, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own Bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality.

Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance.

To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

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As I’ve written here before, Americans are, generally, pretty ignorant of history– our history.   On top of not learning basic American history, our students are being fed myths and propaganda in the name of history, or we hear tales of history that sound nice and slowly become truth as they are repeated.

How is Obama getting away with this display of Lincoln-worship?  The American public is eating it up, as if he’s Lincoln reincarnated or something.  (this whole train ride?!  Lincoln quietly arrived in D.C. for his inauguration in disguise because of assasination threats.)   Does he realize that he would probably disagree with Lincoln on many counts if he was alive today? 

  • Lincoln did not believe that the Africans should remain in American as citizens.  In the beginning of the Civil War, he would not say that the United States forces were fighting to free the slaves.  He wanted to ship all the slaves back to Africa.  (Not that this would impact Obama, whose ancestors were slave-owners, not slaves.)
  • Lincoln’s greatest passion during his presidency was winning the war– at any cost.  He authorized Union forces to destroy the Southern infrastructure and thus destory morale.  (Obama doesn’t like war.)
  • Lincoln believed that all are created equal.  (Obama believes that you’re equal if you’re wanted.  If you’re not wanted, you can go die in a closet for all he cares.)
  • Lincoln believed in suspending civil liberties.  He suspended the writ of habeas corpus, spent money without congressional authorization, imprisoned his enemies without trial, etc.  (I don’t think Lincoln would be so upset about Gitmo.)

The only sizable political similarity I can find is that they both favor the power of the large federal government over states’ rights. But I’m open to your input.

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