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.