Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Perhaps "catch up" is not the right phrase to use in reference to pregnancy anyway. Today's feminists discourage pregnancy. We women are told that to be as successful as men we must suppress our fertility with birth control pills, so that we won't be held back in the workplace by employers unwilling to pay for maternity leave. Our supression of fertility also allows us to enjoy sexual freedom, without consquences, wich the feminists claim men have had an unfair monopoly on.
"Goody!" many of us replied. "Now we can treat men as they have been treating us!" and we proceeded to treat them as sexual objects, to disregard their feelings, opinions, and wishes just as much as (we assumed) they would disregard ours.
But we are forgetting something. This also meant that we bore the whole of the burden. It is our responsibility to remember to take the pills, to carry the condom, or the sponge, or whichever item is necessary. Ours is the burdon of making the "choice" about what to do about an unplanned pregnancy. Men are as much without consequences as ever (if not more so), and we have exchanged one set of burdens for another.
Authentic feminism must recognize the dignity of the whole woman, including her fertility. It must recognize that just because a woman unlike a man in some respects, she is not unequal to him. this also means that the dignity of the man must be recognized as well.
We women were born with a womb. Our fertility was not foisted upon us by a massive anti-feminist cosmic conspiracy. It is a part of who we are as women. Just ask women who face infertility. It does not upset them simply because they want children and are unable to bear them. It is felt to be a slap in the face of one's femininity. Many women suppress as a nuisance what others would give anything to have. We should all value our fertility as something beautiful.
The early feminists recognized that a society that truly values women will allow them to be women, and that includes supporting them as they nurture new lives within their bodies. This is something that only women can do. We are the only ones who can carry a child within ourselves. It is our heartbeat that our children hear for the first nine months of our lives. Our breathing, our voices are the first comforts they have. We are the only ones who can use our own bodies to feed our children after they are born. This beautiful gift of self that we have had from our mothers is unique and should be treated as sacred.
Mattie Brinkerhoff, a 19th century feminist said, "When a man steals to satisfy hunger, we may safely conclude that there is something wrong in society - so when a woman destroys the life of her unborn child, it is an evidence that either by education or circumstances she has been greatly wronged." (The Revolution, 4(9):138-9 September 2, 1869)
The nature of fertility, when it is given due respect, requires that both men and women give careful consideration to their behavior with respect to the opposite sex. This is why the Catholic Church is so in favor of Natural Family Planning methods, which require even married couples to give consideration to their fertility. When we can't have something every time we wish for it, it should teach us to appreciate it all the more when it is available. Respect for women, for men, and for the fertility of each requires that we not take our partners in life for granted. That we treat one another as equals, and not as objects.
Related link: Feminists for Life of America
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
VATICAN CITY, JAN 24, 2007 (VIS) - Made public today, Feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of journalists, was Benedict XVI's Message for the World Day of Social Communications, which this year is due to be celebrated on May 20, on the theme: "Children and the Media: A Challenge for Education."
The Holy Father's Message has been published in Italian, English, French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. Extracts from the English language version are given below:
"The theme of the Forty-first World Communications Day," the Holy Father's Message begins, "invites us to reflect on two related topics of immense importance. The formation of children is one. The other, perhaps less obvious but no less important, is the formation of the media.
"The complex challenges facing education today are often linked to the pervasive influence of the media in our world. ... Indeed, some claim that the formative influence of the media rivals that of the school, the Church, and maybe even the home. 'Reality, for many, is what the media recognize as real.'
"The relationship of children, media, and education can be considered from two perspectives: the formation of children by the media; and the formation of children to respond appropriately to the media. ... Within this framework, training in the proper use of the media is essential for the cultural, moral and spiritual development of children."
"Educating children to be discriminating in their use of the media is a responsibility of parents, Church, and school. The role of parents is of primary importance. They have a right and duty to ensure the prudent use of the media by training the conscience of their children to express sound and objective judgments which will then guide them in choosing or rejecting programs available. In doing so, parents should have the encouragement and assistance of schools and parishes in ensuring that this difficult, though satisfying, aspect of parenting is supported by the wider community.
"Media education should be positive. Children exposed to what is aesthetically and morally excellent are helped to develop appreciation, prudence and the skills of discernment. Here it is important to recognize the fundamental value of parents' example and the benefits of introducing young people to children's classics in literature, to the fine arts and to uplifting music. While popular literature will always have its place in culture, the temptation to sensationalize should not be passively accepted in places of learning."
"Like education in general, media education requires formation in the exercise of freedom. This is a demanding task. So often freedom is presented as a relentless search for pleasure or new experiences. Yet this is a condemnation not a liberation! True freedom could never condemn the individual - especially a child - to an insatiable quest for novelty. In the light of truth, authentic freedom is experienced as a definitive response to God's 'yes' to humanity, calling us to choose, not indiscriminately but deliberately, all that is good, true and beautiful. Parents, then, as the guardians of that freedom, while gradually giving their children greater freedom, introduce them to the profound joy of life.
"This heartfelt wish of parents and teachers to educate children in the ways of beauty, truth and goodness can be supported by the media industry only to the extent that it promotes fundamental human dignity, the true value of marriage and family life, and the positive achievements and goals of humanity. Thus, the need for the media to be committed to effective formation and ethical standards is viewed with particular interest and even urgency not only by parents and teachers but by all who have a sense of civic responsibility.
"While affirming the belief that many people involved in social communications want to do what is right, we must also recognize that those who work in this field confront 'special psychological pressures and ethical dilemmas' which at times see commercial competitiveness compelling communicators to lower standards.
"Any trend to produce programs and products - including animated films and video games - which in the name of entertainment exalt violence and portray anti-social behavior or the trivialization of human sexuality is a perversion, all the more repulsive when these programs are directed at children and adolescents. How could one explain this 'entertainment' to the countless innocent young people who actually suffer violence, exploitation and abuse?"
"Again I appeal to the leaders of the media industry to educate and encourage producers to safeguard the common good, to uphold the truth, to protect individual human dignity and promote respect for the needs of the family."The Church herself, in the light of the message of salvation entrusted to her, is also a teacher of humanity and welcomes the opportunity to offer assistance to parents, educators, communicators, and young people. Her own parish and school programs should be in the forefront of media education today."
Thanks to the American Papist for drawing attention to this. :)
But there's good news from the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, if you're interested in getting some of your money back. Apparently, we're entitled to have some or all of that money refunded, depending on our membership status. Can't imagine why the union is so quiet about this...
Monday, January 29, 2007
Sunday, January 28, 2007
This past Saturday my husband and I hopped on a bus to Austin, TX, to attend the Texas Rally for Life. We marched about four blocks to the capitol building, stood on the steps, and made our presence known to the city where the Roe v. Wade tragedy began.
In the thirty-four years since the Supreme Court's supreme error, over 47.3 million tiny American lives have been lost to abortion. (That's more people than populate the metropolitan areas of New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston combined).
And then there are the women and men who bear the psychological scars of abortion. One of these women came forward and told her story at the rally. At least one for every aborted baby.
Thats 47.3 million dead, and even more wounded on our own soil, by our own hands. That's Hiroshima and Nagasaki more than 20 times over. It's 1,446 times the casualties of 9/11. Even Al-Qa'ida can't equal those numbers.
As is true of those who marched in Milwaukee, San Francisco, and Washington DC in previous days, those of us rallying in Austin are appalled at the staggering casualties of abortion. Particularly those of us who were born after the Roe ruling. We realize that it could have been us. We realize that at least 1/4 of our peers, who could have been our friends, classmates, or our spouses, and in some cases who might have been our siblings never appeared. That whatever they may have contributed to the world is missing. That their children will never play with our children. The highest court in our land decreed that our lives had no value other than what others placed upon them--that we had no right to be here unless someone else "wanted" us. Nobody was interested in our opinion when we couldn't speak for ourselves.
But now we have grown up. And we see what Roe meant for us. And we're insulted. And we're making sure everyone knows it, because so many of our generation never had the chance to say anything.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place.
Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied. Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.
You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants!
The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty.
You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there were one, but there isn't - so you carefully but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume "The Stance." In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance." To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the
seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!"
Your thighs shake more. You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail.
Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet. "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT.
It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl and then sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too, at this point you give up.
You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks. You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women, still waiting. You are no longer able to smile politely to them.
A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."
As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?" ...
This is dedicated to women everywhere who deal with a public restroom (rest??? you've got to be kidding!!). It finally explains to the men what really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked question about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other gal can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you Kleenex under the door!
Thursday, January 25, 2007
One source of frequent frustration for 19th century women was that they often had to marry for survival, rather than for love. One source of frequent frustration for the men was that the little porcelain doll they married spent so much energy catching a husband, she became a very hollow woman.
In the 20th century, all of that was supposed to change. Women gradually were able to make their own way in the world in a variety of professions. This gave us the freedom to be picky about whom we choose to marry, and the freedom not to marry if we do not meet a man who fits our criteria. It also allowed us not to fall into utter destitution if something (heaven forbid) happened to our husbands. Many women also find they benefit from having a bit of independent living under their belts before marriage. Many others wish they had some.
This ideally saves women the frustration of being married to a bad husband, and men (to some degree anyway) the unhappiness of being married to a chronically frustrated wife.
Besides that, men who are serious about marriage generally prefer to marry women they can respect and admire--and with whom they can have intelligent discussions.
And if that isn't enough, the critical and creative thinking skills that advanced education offers can come in very handy when raising children--a task that takes all the brainpower a person can muster, if you ask my parents. :)
Now, it is true one doesn't have to have a bachelor's degree to be a thinking woman. But it certainly does help to do a little something beyond high school. Nursing school is a noble option. An associates degree. A vocational training program. Something.
And then I hear the occasional young girl say she just wants to get married, and since she's just going to stay at home with her kids, she'd rather just get down to business and find a husband instead of wasting any unecessary time in school. I have had women suggest that my own education (especially my Master's degree) are a waste of time because, when I have children, I'd like to be an at home mother.
I could argue against this, but I have already presented the advantages of being a thinking woman in addition to being a married woman.
But, ladies, if you insist on taking yourself back an entire century, go ahead. Just remember you have no right to complain if your prince charming and castle in the air don't live forever, and you find yourself living in reality instead.
If your attitude is that college is a waste of time and an "expensive way to meet a husband", please, don't take up space at the university. You don't deserve to be there.
I wasn't surprised to find out that Rice has a Catholic background. After seeing the film rendition of her most famous vampire novel, I was struck by the conflict Louis experiences between his conscience and his nature. He must kill--it is what a vampire does, but his moral sensibilities tell him it is wrong to do so, and his struggle is a deep one. Louis's character was so well rendered in the film, that I have added the book to my very long list of novels to read*. The story of Louis, the vampire with a conscience, and Lestat, who is distinctly without one, is not so much a story that romanticizes vampires, but one that explores the darker side of human nature.
We Catholics are fairly unique among our brother and sister denominations, especially Evangelical Christians, in that we ourselves face the same kind of internal struggle between our nature and our wills on a daily basis, and our theology does not run away from it. While all Christians believe that we must have deep love for Christ, and faith in his power to save us, we Catholics do not believe that once we are "saved" we are guaranteed entrance to heaven. After our baptism, our sins can damage the close relationship we ought to have with our Savior. And in some situations, where the sin is especially grave, we can even choose to reject the grace he has offered us. The life of a Catholic is a constant cycle of sin and redemption. He saves us, we fall, we repent, and he picks us up again. It is evidence of the great love and mercy of our Lord that He does this over and over again for us, because as humans, we are weak, and unable to lead blameless lives unaided. He never gives up on us. The struggle is still a painful one, as each time we fall we are reminded of our humanity, and natural tendency toward sin. The impression this struggle leaves on one's consciousness is often derisively referred to in the secular world as "Catholic Guilt". What many do not realize is that guilt, like physical pain, can serve a useful purpose. It tells us something is wrong, and sends us to the Doctor in search of healing. To choose not to go, or to bury ourselves in our suffering can have disastrous results.
That Rice would be sensitive to this issue, even though she was far from her faith at the time when she wrote her novel, is interesting to me. Sometimes the impressions that our early experiences of the Church leave with us in childhood teach us more profound theological lessons than anyone would realize--the kinds of lessons that a novelist might (consciously or not) incorporate into her work. Sometimes it is these that ultimately bring us back to God, even after years of wandering.
(*Unrelated parenthetical note: The quality of Interview with the Vampire as a film undoubtedly has something to do with the involvement of the novelist in its production. This was not done for Queen of the Damned, which lacked the depth of Interview and was, in this blogger's humble opinion, not a worthy sequel.)
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
My husband and I discovered the wine at this place when we took a class on Natural Family Planning, as part of our marriage preparation. The class was held at this winery, and yes, refreshments were provided! Needless to say, the experience was both educational and enjoyable!
So, I encourage everyone to try a bottle of the wine from the Martin & Weyrich Winery in California. Not only is it good stuff, but you can reward them for supporting couples interested in healthy marriages!
If you are pregnant and scared, the good news is, we pro-lifers don't just want you to not get an abortion. We want to help you take care of yourself and your baby.
If you regret having had an abortion, we are here for you too.
And men, you are part of the picture. You can contact any of the above places if you need help as well.
Unfortunately, yes. And it is a particularly insidious kind.
are aborted as are born.
A black baby is three times more likely to be
murdered in the womb than a white baby.
Since 1973, abortion has reduced the black population by over 25 percent.
Twice as many African-Americans have died from abortion than have died from
AIDS, accidents, violent crimes, cancer, and heart disease combined.
Every three days, more African-Americans are killed by abortion than
have been killed by the Ku Klux Klan in its entire history.
Planned Parenthood operates the nation's largest chain of abortion clinics and
almost 80 percent of its facilities are located in minority neighborhoods.
About 13 percent of American women are black, but they
submit to over 35 percent of the abortions.
---Taken from Blackgenocide.com
BlackGenocide.com also lists the following statements from Margaret Sanger, Planned Parenthood's revered founder:
"The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."
"Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race."
"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don't want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…"
"Eugenic sterilization is an urgent need ... We must prevent multiplication of this bad stock."
"Eugenics is … the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems.
"Birth control itself, often denounced as a violation of natural law, is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives."
"The unbalance between the birth rate of the 'unfit' and the 'fit,' [is] the greatest present menace to civilization… the most urgent problem today is how to limit and discourage the over-fertility of the mentally and physically defective."
"The campaign for birth control is not merely of eugenic value, but is practically identical with the final aims of eugenics."
"Our failure to segregate morons who are increasing and multiplying… a dead weight of human waste… an ever-increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all."
"The undeniably feeble-minded should, indeed, not only be discouraged but prevented from propagating their kind."
"The marriage bed is the most degenerative influence in the social order..."
"Give dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilization."
Margaret Sanger, Founder of Planned Parenthood, proposed the American Baby Code that states, "No woman shall have the legal right to bear a child… without a permit for parenthood".
Sanger would be thoroughly pleased with the way her organization continues to run itself, and especially with the support it gets from Black leaders such as Senator Obama. In every town in which I have lived, Planned Parenthood operates its clinics in poor, minority neighborhoods, and works to sell its services as the only choice.
Several leaders of the Pro-life movement in the African American community spoke out on this issue at the March for Life in Washington, DC. and the Walk for Life West Coast in San Francisco, CA. this past week. Their voices deserve to be heard.
My husband also comments on this issue on his blog.
Update: Alvida King speaks out on this subject as well.
Mp3 Audio: Speaking about abortion and the African American Community, including her own experiences as a post-abortive African-American woman.
More on her personal experiences.
Video: Dr. King in a television advertisement for the above mentioned website:
Monday, January 22, 2007
"Men" like that are the reason the Feminist movement was invented.
The early feminists did a number of useful things for women. We get to vote, hold jobs, own property. We have the freedom to make our fortunes, rather than marrying them.
But somewhere on that journey, the movement got carried away, and things got ugly.
And that is why, around this time of year I feel very lucky. And very sad. And very annoyed. And angry.
Lucky because my mother could have had me killed, but she didn't. Sad, because other mothers made different decisions, and now live with the horrifying emotional consequences, instead of with their children. Annoyed that the pain these women feel, and the relief I feel at being alive are cheapened by "feminists"in order to advance a political cause. Angry that it is all perfectly legal, and in the name of social progress.
Thirty-four years ago, the Supreme Court of of the United States of America made a decision that has been fatal for millions. (See the counter in my earlier blog post), and left others deeply wounded. It marked a shift in our culture which has been a distinct step back in the cause for Human rights in general, and for women's rights in particular.
Abortion, my parents' generation was told, would be liberating. It would allow women to escape the tyranny of men who controlled them through pregnancy. Women would die less frequently as a result of childbearing. It would end child abuse, because every child would be wanted. It would reduce poverty (which, it was implied, was clearly the result of irresponsibly having too many children), and in the process it might even help with overpopulation, pollution, and maybe even global warming. Plus, if it were legalized, abortion would be safer.
But, for some reason, women are still abused by men, and even bullied into having abortions by men who are terrified of paying child support, and are often abandoned by these same men if they choose not to abort. Child abuse and abandonment is still rampant. Families and children who live in poverty are still with us. People still talk about overpopulation, there is still smog in the air. Al Gore says the planet is heating up like an oven and the ozone layer still has that stubborn hole.
On top of that, abortion remains among the most unregulated of surgical procedures. Many states (including my home state of California) do not require that women be informed of potential medical risks of the procedure, including death. Children under 18 can still get abortions without this information, or even their parents' consent, but the school nurse can't give them a Tylenol without a permission form. It is being discovered that abortion clinics often fail to report child abuse victims to the authorities, and that they do not always staff doctors with hospital privileges--just in case a patient needs emergency care if something goes wrong. Several abortion doctors do not even have up-to-date licenses. Planned Parenthood will happily give a young girl an abortion, and then send her back to the statutory rapist who made her pregnant. This puts the lives of girls and women in danger, and yet we are told that it is safe!
There is also a growing number of women who have had abortions, who are now speaking out about the physical and psychological damage they have endured as a result of this barbaric procedure, very often leading to years of mental anguish, and self-destructive behavior. Many speak about the intense pressure they experienced when they faced the "choice" of abortion, and the sensation they had of having no other option. Many were pressured by their boyfriends, husbands, and even their fathers. Yet the "feminists" who should have stood up for them in such situations now tell them that their feelings of grief are ridiculous.
With abortion legal and unrestricted, our fertility has come to be thought of as a chronic illness, to be treated and suppressed. Pregnancy is a sexually transmitted disease, and unborn children treated as malignant parasites. Men can have their fun, and not worry about paying child support.
We deserve better than that. We deserve to have our intelligence recognized with complete patient information. We deserve properly certified physicians. We deserve to be protected when we are victims of rape and incest. We deserve not to be ridiculed if we regret an abortion.
Another vivid moment I remember from high school was in a class on Christian Morality. (Yes, I went to a Catholic high school) We were doing an exercise where the teacher would make a statement and we would stand in a part of the room that corresponded to our opinion. The issue of the day was abortion. The students who were most in favor of abortion, who most unwaveringly supported a woman having one, were all male, and, by reputation, anyway, the most likely to find themselves paying some unexpected child support. It is into their hands that the Supreme Court played on January 22, 1973. The promiscuous, love-em-and-leave-em young male, who prefers to abdicate responsibility for the consequences of his decisions: who prefers to be oblivious to the dignity of women, and use them as toys. It has been over thirty years, and some of us are still waiting for the "feminists" to get wise to this.
In the meantime, I've called my mother to thank her for my life (and my dad too, since he was man enough to stick around). She deserves some credit for the sacrifices she made to raise me, especially since she never planned to.
Welcome to the 21st century.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Welcome to Pottersville, everyone.
Number of babies
killed by abortion since
January 22, 1973:
Counter provided by Priests for Life
Thursday, January 18, 2007
"Death was ever present... Kings made tombs more splendid than the houses of the living, and counted old names in the rolls of their descent dearer than the names of sons. Childless lords sat in aged halls musing on heraldry; in secret chambers withered men compounded strong elixirs, or in high cold towers asked questions of the stars. And the last king...had no heir."
And so, a once great kingdom fell to ruin, because its monarchs and its people spent so much energy avoiding death and pestilence, that they no longer lived their lives. The great cultural achievements of their forefathers were neglected fell into decay, and every new endeavor was corrupted by hedonism and fear of death. Lives became, if not shorter, more filled with fear. Lives were offered on an altar to Morgoth, king of Darkness, in exchange for an escape from death; an escape that was never granted. And when the people of Númenor became so enraptured by their own works, and forgot utterly from whom their gift of life came, their fall was complete, and their civilization destroyed.
That's at least 1 in 4 people conceived since 1973 who never made it.
Tens of millions offered in darkness and in secret to Morgoth,
That others may live as they choose.
Friday, January 12, 2007
Thanks to Bill for blogging about this after he found it on the Curt Jester's Blog.
US skunk seeks ride home: only brave need apply
TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian wildlife officials are looking for a brave driver prepared for a 3,500-kilometre (2,200 mile) trip to take a stinky stowaway skunk back to her home in California.
But the skunk, who survived a seven-day journey across the United States and into Canada without food and water, after being accidentally locked away in a transport truck, is having a hard time finding someone to give her a ride home.
"We can never give a no-spray guarantee, of course," said Nathalie Karvonen, executive director at the Toronto Wildlife Center, which has been caring for the skunk since January 5, referring to the black-and-white striped animal's foul-smelling defense mechanism.
"It would have be somebody who would be prepared for that possibility."
Releasing her into the wild in Canada is out of the question, Karvonen said.
"It's totally and utterly illegal from a provincial and federal standpoint to release a California skunk in Ontario."
As well, "skunks are very territorial animals ... "They won't just readily accept a stranger in their territory, so there will be a big skunk fight." Continued...
Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Tuesday, January 2, 2007
Professor Tolkien experienced the horrors of war before he "sub-created" this little history. He understood that even just wars were ugly, and like the Church he held so dear, he professed that the best course of action is for killing of one's brethren to be avoided whenever possible. Hence Frodo's insistence that Hobbit blood not be shed during the Scouring of the Shire (a chapter which, unfortunately, Mr. Jackson left out of his film entirely). We should feel how tragic it is when one human being takes the life of his brother, even if it was to justifiably defend his own. In an ideal world, such things would not even be necessary.
As do the peoples of Middle Earth, we live in a fallen world where a few men become too attached to power, and so greedy that they suck up as much of it as they can, and abuse it in the most heinous ways. Such tyrants terrify us with the sheer magnitude of their crimes, and justifiably we are angry that they are able to perpetrate them. And sometimes we are forced to take their lives ourselves, or the lives of the men in their armies, because we must protect the world from their dark will.
But we should not allow our anger to let us feel good when we must remove them from the world ourselves. Such tasks should disgust us, and we should take them on only when we have absolutely no other choice. When we can learn to take the life of another human being gleefully, uncontainable despot and incurable criminal though he may be, we should fear for ourselves. It is a short step from this, to learning to take the lives of men less criminal than he out of anger and revenge, and eventually, when our hearts have become hardened enough, even ending the lives of the innocent for our own convenience. Our just God also offers us mercy, and we are called to make both Justice and mercy a reality in our world whenever it is humanly possible.
Justice, revenge, distasteful necessity, and selfishness must not be confused with one another.