There are not over a 100 people in the U.S. that hate the Catholic Church, there are millions however, who hate what they wrongly believe to be the Catholic Church, which is, of course, quite a different thing.- Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Real Problem, The Wrong Solution.

Apparently, if I promote chastity and human dignity, then that means that I support rape.

I hope that sounds as ridiculous as it is, but that is the position of a new "march for us" type movement called "SlutWalk." I was first made aware of it through the wonderful facebook feature called "Friends' Events," otherwise known as things I was not invited to, but for some reason facebook thinks I should attend. So, this is the page for the "SlutWalk" nearest to me: Washington DC.

On one hand, they appear to want to help end rape. To quote them, they want to not "blame the victim in sexual assault cases." Their rallying cry is the patently obvious "No one asks to be sexually assaulted."

On the other hand, "blaming the victim" is new code for asking women to wear chaste clothes. This blew up from the Toronto Police simply "advising young women not to 'dress like a slut' in order to be safe." I will not link to the official website, as their sponsor has placed a pornographic picture on it. They plan to "take back" the term "slut" but it is unclear what they want to turn it into (other than use it as a provocative title for their movement). To quote "We are tired of being oppressed by slut-shaming; of being judged by our sexuality and feeling unsafe as a result. Being in charge of our sexual lives should not mean that we are opening ourselves to an expectation of violence, regardless if we participate in sex for pleasure or work. No one should equate enjoying sex with attracting sexual assault." So, this movement is also a cover for supporting prostitution, homosexual activity, and "free love." And, if you bring up opposition to these to a person who was raped, then you are "blaming the victim."

Their solution: to DEMAND respect for an unchaste lifestyle. They want "meaningful dialogue." Their idea of doing something about it is simply "coming together." In other words, they want the Thought Police to punish rapists.

Are they right? If a person walks up to you naked, should you treat them the same as if they had on long parkas and snow pants?

Are they wrong? Does what a person wears send a message? Would wearing less provocative clothes decrease the occurrence of rape? 

I think it's a selective surgery of both. You can tell someone that they're sending a message with their clothes, while being respectful of them. If you wear provocative clothing and get raped, there is a sin on both sides. The solution is not societal acceptance of self-proclaimed "sluts." The solution is an increase for respect of human dignity occurring in the form of both chaste clothing and prevention of rape.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Holy Trinity

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity, and also Father's day. 

So what is the Trinity? To quote from Frank Sheed's Theology for Beginners:
"The notion of one God who is three persons must be profoundly mysterious. We could not know it at all if God had not drawn aside the veil that we might see...Since he wants to be known by us, we must respond by making the effort to know him. In its barest outline the doctrine contains four truths:
1. In the one divine nature there are three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit
2. No one of the persons is either of the others, each is wholly himself. 
3. The Father is God, the Son is God, the Holy Spirit is God
4. They are not three Gods, but one God. 
...Even Catholics sometimes appear to think that we have here a mathematical contradiction, as if we were saying, 'Three equals one.' We are not, of course. We are saying: 'Three persons in one nature'. The trouble is that, if we attach no meaning to the words person and nature, they tend to drop out; so we are left with the two numbers...We can say that there is but one divine nature, one answer to the question 'What is God?', one source of the divine operations. But there are three who totally possess that one nature. To the question 'Who are you?' each of the three could give his own answer, Father or Son or Spirit. But to the question 'What are you?' each could but answer 'God', because each totally possesses the one same divine nature, and nature decides what a being is. Because each possesses the divine nature, each can do all that goes with being God. Because each is God, there is no inequality, either in being or operation... the three persons do not share the divine nature... it can be possessed only in its totality... the three persons are distinct, but not separate... they do in fact what three men could not do--they know with the same intellect, love with the same will." 

A review of the readings from Sunday:
First Reading:
Ex 34:4b-6, 8-9
Early in the morning Moses went up Mount Sinai
as the LORD had commanded him,
taking along the two stone tablets.
Having come down in a cloud, the LORD stood with Moses there
and proclaimed his name, "LORD."
Thus the LORD passed before him and cried out,
"The LORD, the LORD, a merciful and gracious God,
slow to anger and rich in kindness and fidelity."
Moses at once bowed down to the ground in worship.
Then he said,  "If I find favor with you, O Lord,
do come along in our company.
This is indeed a stiff-necked people; yet pardon our wickedness and sins,
and receive us as your own."
A good passage for if someone tries to say that God in the Old Testament was wrathful in contrast to Jesus in the New Testament. God does not change!
Second Reading:
Brothers and sisters, rejoice.
Mend your ways, encourage one another,
agree with one another, live in peace,
and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss.
All the holy ones greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ
and the love of God
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.
The final prayer here is a Trinitarian formula. If you were to just say it to me, randomly, I would recognize it as being a prayer of the Mass, I wouldn't immediately point you towards 2nd Corinthians. But here it is. Also, the verse "the God of love and peace" stuck out to me, as "love and peace" seems to be borrowed by the culture (e.g. hippies, and the anime Trigun) sadly without reference to the fact that without God, there can be neither love nor peace. 

Jn 3:16-18
God so loved the world that he gave his only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him might not perish
but might have eternal life.
For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world,
but that the world might be saved through him.
Whoever believes in him will not be condemned,
but whoever does not believe has already been condemned,
because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

During Mass, my Dad leaned over to my Mom and jokingly said "But that's a Protestant verse!"
It made me wonder, to what extent has today's Protestantism scrapped 34Sola Scriptura in favor of Sola John 3:16? Would it surprise an Evangelical to know that Catholics not only accept this verse but proclaim it as the Gospel at Mass all around the world? It is unarguably a really good passage, but like any part of the Bible, it does not do to take it out of context or interpret it contrary to Sacred Tradition or the Magisterium. I feel it has been overused to the point of being a slogan, people have become tired of hearing it, and so it has lost its meaning. Which is sad. Catholics should bring it back. Y'know, a "Take back John 3:16" campaign. No, not really. It's funny to think about, but Catholicism doesn't work that way.

Lastly, as Father's Day was yesterday, and I do thank my father, my grandfathers, and all priests and bishops and other men who are good fathers. Being a good father is a reflection of the love of God the Father. Unfortunately, due to the moral decline of our culture and the prevalence of contraception and abortion, fatherhood is not appreciated in our culture. Half of all marriages end in divorce. This article says a lot (it's a bit old)  but things haven't changed much. With so many families with only a single parent of a mother, of what importance is Father's Day? I find that really sad.

1 Year!!!

It's (a little after) my blog's birthday! It's a silly thing to celebrate, but it's a good time for reflection. It's not like any of my little thoughts here went viral or anything, but I did appreciate the space for putting thoughts down. I have one follower (a family member). If there's anything I would do differently, it's to try to write about the liturgical seasons more often. So, my next post will be about Trinity Sunday!