Monday, November 1, 2010

Priorities

"How can it be a large career to tell other people’s children about the Rule of Three, and a small career to tell one’s own children about the universe? How can it be broad to be the same thing to everyone, and narrow to be everything to someone?"

--G.K. Chesterton, The Emancipation of Domesticity




Tip of the Schoolmarm Ruler to Emily Lunsford of the Distributist Review.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Examine your OB/GYN

(Photo Source)
Would you let Dr. Kevorkian take care of your grandmother?

Neither would I.

It's just a little creepy to think that the person looking after one's loved one would be equally comfortable killing her as caring for her.

For the same reason, it is important to many of us pro-life women that our OB/GYNs not perform abortions.   Someone I know recently changed doctors mid-pregnancy because she discovered that her Obstetrician was doing so.  She had been seeing this doctor for some time before she became aware of this.

How was it possible that she didn't know?

Many of us don't ask. Sometimes, it is because we don't want to know. It may be because we assume that the wonderful person cheerfully taking care of us and our babies couldn't possibly be one of "those doctors".

It is also true that some doctors don't exactly advertise that end of their practices to patients who do not ask.

Take, for example, Houston based OB/GYN Dr. Bernard Rosenfeld, who is the abortion provider for a National Abortion Federation (NAF) Clinic.  He also has a private practice, with a website to which the NAF clinic links.  The main site for his private practice makes absolutely no mention of the fact that this doctor also specializes in performing abortions, and the only link back to the NAF facility from this site is buried deep in his "Other Resources" menu, out of the way of the eyes of those who aren't looking for it.

Well, as long as he's doing the abortions somewhere else, and not in his private office, some say...

Incidentally,  a simple Google search for this man's name also reveals a second website for his private practice, dedicated to the abortion "services" that he offers in the same office where he also provides prenatal and fertility care to women with, or desperately trying to achieve, wanted pregnancies.

Interestingly, if you want an abortion from Dr. Rosenfeld at his private office, it will cost you twice as much as the exact same services at the NAF facility a short distance away. Quite a price to pay just to avoid having other patients in the waiting room know why you are really there.

According to a video on the NAF website (watch it in Windows or Quicktime format), he has been doing abortions since 1980, and both abortion-related websites indicate that he prides himself on the quality of his work, even to the extent of performing abortions on patients other abortionists will not take! Why does he not advertise this on his main website, along with tubal ligation reversals and obstetric care?  After all, are we not constantly being told that abortion is just another legitimate part of women's health care? And are we not also told that abortion providers are heroes?

I think we can figure out the answer to that little puzzle.

At least Rosenfeld's association with abortion can be readily found on the internet by those patients who are determined to examine his background. Not so for many other doctors, including the one my friend is now no longer seeing.

Many of us avoid patronizing businesses that support Planned Parenthood, and refuse to vote for political candidates who support public funding for abortion.  The same policy should apply to our choice in doctors.

Sometimes the hard questions must be asked.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Say Cheesy!

There are many little things that serve to make life more pleasant, and they are often the patient work of skilled hands. Good meals made from scratch, beautiful music, and richly worded poetry are among them.  The mass-produced, the inane, the vulgar, and the bland become much less appealing when held alongside these things.

Tonight my husband drew my attention to this post over at Fr. Z's blog which links to a recently composed sample of bland lounge music a setting for the new translation of the Gloria in the forthcoming new (and, dare I say, improved) missal.

If you are interested in assailing your ears for a moment, click here.

Here I must paraphrase the fictionalized version of Mozart in the film Amadeus. "One hears such sounds and what can one say but... turn of the century liturgical music!"
 
I once saw a T.V. documentary explaining the process by which perfectly good cheese is adulterated with procesed fats and artificial colorings in order to produce the ubiquitous single slice of American cheese.  Oddly enough, this composition put me in mind of that.

I have been a liturgical singer since I was in my teens. Up to and during that period of my life, the works of Haugen and Haas, as well as much protestant worship music, made up the bulk of the music I heard and sang at mass. It was not until my college years (at a secular university) that I was exposed to truly traditional and well-performed Catholic music, and knew it for what it was.  I had to take courses from the Music department at my university and join one of the performance choirs in order to learn about and sing what had previously been hidden from me.  It had been hidden, in part, because many in the generation before mine had ignored it, laboring under the misconception that the young have no capacity to appreciate that which is old.

Hearing traditional music after a lifetime of hearing the new stuff is much like trying gourmet cheese after a lifetime of eating Velveeta.
 

What I have seen of the new English translation is more poetic, more faithful to the Latin, and more theologically "meaty" than that which we currently use.   It is the hope of many that this will lead to a more beautiful liturgy and better catechesis for the Faithful.  In particular, I would like to see the Latin Rite liturgy in America better retain its Catholic identity. (We can take a lesson from Eastern Catholics as well as our Orthodox brothers and sisters here, whose worship suggests a preoccupation with tradition over superficial modernization.) Maybe the new translation will even encourage a higher level of composition for liturgial music?   Maybe?

I am not insisting that we all have to install massive pipe organs in our churches and start singing nothing but FaurÄ—, Mozart, Byrd and Palestrina.  Not all choirs have the skill for that.  Simple, traditional hymns have enough of the poetic and the reverent in their lyrics and their composition to sound lovely with less traditional guitar or piano accompaniment.  For new mass settings, it might be worthwhile to take some of our cues from these.

Or, if I may continue my cheese analogy, if you can't have brie, try a good, everyday cheddar!

Alas, listening to the sample above is like watching someone pour Cheez Whiz all over a delicately prepared filet mignon.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Take The Pill for Spider Veins!

(Photo Source)
If you want to have spider veins that, is.

According to Web MD and the US Department of Health Services, taking medications containing estrogen and progesterone can contribute to the development or worsening of spider veins.

Avoiding spider veins is not merely a question of vanity.  They can be very uncomfortable, and can also be a sign of serious circulatory problems in the legs.

Of course, there are plenty of other factors that contribute to spider veins, including heredity, pregnancy, aging, menopause, and lack of exercise.

But, considering that the Pill is also associated with increased risk of cancer, stroke, heart attack, decreased libido, bone loss and many other unpleasant side effects, why give your body one more reason to develop spider veins?

Natural Family Planning keeps looking better and better.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Woman Power in the Primaries

 This blog would like to offer its congratulations to Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina.  I hope they beat the pants off of Jerry Brown and Barbara Boxer.


No doubt there will be much discussion of pro-life feminism (versus the more well-known pro-abortion feminism we have seen in this country over the past 50 years) over the months between now and the election.   Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, rightfully recognizes that abortion, instead of empowering women, has instead created a cultural atmosphere that makes it easier for men to use us as playthings for their own pleasure, and requires us to sacrifice our natural femininity as a condition of full participation in society.  I excerpt her comments below:
 

It’s surprising, really, that abortion-rights feminists are so unequivocal in their insistence that “pro-life feminism” is an oxymoron. After all, the pro-life feminist argument relies upon feminism’s better angels. It is a communitarian argument for one thing.

The pro-life feminist looks out for the interests of other people affected by her decisions. She refuses to take terrible advantage of another vulnerable group - the unborn - in order to advance her own case. She makes the “both/and” argument: both the woman and the unborn child deserve respect.

Secondly, the pro-life feminist relies upon empirical and scientific datum. She makes a rational argument about when life begins or about the psychological or physical harm some women suffer after abortion; she is not shouting down or pressuring her opponents, or belittling them personally.

Finally, she insists that what women alone are capable of doing – bearing and mothering children–– merits more respect than it presently receives. Abortion rights have unburdened men from the fathering role. His freedom from sexual responsibility is premised on the woman's choice to abort or not.

It is no coincidence, suggests the pro-life feminist, that 37 years after women were granted the “right to abortion,” the number of women and children living without the presence or the support of the father is at an all-time high. She thinks it’s no accident that elite jobs are regularly populated by women who, often with regret, felt pressured, with no support available to them, to avoid parenting in order to advance in their career.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Blue Dogs fall for New Trick.

Via Christopher Blosser and Donald McClarey at American Catholic:


US Catholic Bishops: Executive Order Deal A Non-Starter:
We’ve consulted with legal experts on the specific idea of resolving the abortion funding problems in the Senate bill through executive order. We know Members have been looking into this in good faith, in the hope of limiting the damage done by abortion provisions in the bill. We believe, however, that it would not be fair to withhold what our conclusion was, as it may help members in assessing the options before them:

“One proposal to address the serious problem in the Senate health care bill on abortion funding, specifically the direct appropriating of new funds that bypass the Hyde amendment, is to have the President issue an executive order against using these funds for abortion. Unfortunately, this proposal does not begin to address the problem, which arises from decades of federal appellate rulings that apply the principles of Roe v. Wade to federal health legislation. According to these rulings, such health legislation creates a statutory requirement for abortion funding, unless Congress clearly forbids such funding. That is why the Hyde amendment was needed in 1976, to stop Medicaid from funding 300,000 abortions a year. The statutory mandate construed by the courts would override any executive order or regulation. This is the unanimous view of our legal advisors and of the experts we have consulted on abortion jurisprudence. Only a change in the law enacted by Congress, not an executive order, can begin to address this very serious problem in the legislation.”

Richard Doerflinger
U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


A further roundup of commentary from other sources here.

One would think that a politician would know all of the tricks in the book well enough to avoid falling for one.

It's too bad we'll have to wait till November to vote these people out of office.