Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Can't we just get the truth?

Yesterday’s Gospel (Jn 15:26-16:4a) is a timely passage:

“Jesus said to his disciples:
"When the Advocate comes whom I will send you from the Father,
the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father,
he will testify to me.
And you also testify,
because you have been with me from the beginning.

"I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me.

I have told you this so that when their hour comes
you may remember that I told you."

There were a lot of words spoken on Sunday at Notre Dame’s graduation ceremony and the analysis that followed. I watched much of it, but could only take so many "words” (plus, there were sports on TV). To many of us, it was just words. Let’s not forget an important axiom: “Actions speak louder than words”. Our President spoke of reducing the number of abortions, and yet he has worked since the first week of his presidency to increase the number of abortions.

In the Gospel passage above, Jesus is telling his disciples that they will be persecuted for speaking the truth. They will be expelled by people who think they are doing the right thing – “offering worship to God”. I have no doubt that most of the Catholics who cheered and stood for Obama on Sunday (they even cheered his position on embryonic stem-cell research) think they are doing the right thing. They think they are offering worship to God in dismissing the truth about human life. Jesus makes it clear that they don’t know Truth: “they have not known either the Father or me”.

Ultimately, the blame for why “Notre Dame Catholics” are ignorant of Truth falls on those who are the primary teachers of Truth in the Church – bishops, priests, and parents. On one of the news networks yesterday, a priest erroneously presented the teachings of the Church – he suggested that the issue of war had the same moral weight as the issue of abortion. A non-Catholic corrected him! I imagine that many, many Catholics walked away from Sunday’s coverage confused about what the Church’s true position is on all this stuff. Can’t we just get the truth?

The truth is that abortion is evil. Direct abortion is wrong every time. President Obama knows that abortion is evil and concedes this whenever he says that we need to reduce the number of abortions. If he thought there was nothing wrong with abortion, then why would he say that it needs to be reduced?

The truth is that over 3,000 babies are aborted in the United States each day and well over 1,000,000 each year die to abortion. President Obama has aligned himself with the largest provider of abortions in the United States, Planned Parenthood. Is he aware that the vision of the founder of Planned Parenthood, Margaret Sanger, was to use abortion to eliminate minorities? Almost 70% of abortion centers in the U.S. are in minority neighborhoods. The abortion movement in our country is more about power, money (it is a billion dollar industry), and discrimination than it is about a woman’s right to choose. Abortion is a holocaust and the greatest civil rights issue of our time. Has the truth about abortion reached the ears of Notre Dame Catholics?

Historically, God’s people have not consistently taught their children Truth – Truth about God, life, morals, etc. In the Old Testament, some generations of Israelites were ignorant about faith and morals because their leaders and parents didn’t teach them. We are seeing that today in our Church, especially in the United States. Many, many Catholics are ignorant about the sacraments, moral issues, Church history, the Church, and the Bible. We who are open to the Spirit of truth need to teach Truth more effectively and more boldly. Sunday’s expulsion of Truth at Notre Dame was an historic indication of that.


At 1:38 PM, Blogger Nick said...

The most revealing and sad moment was when the graduates chanted "Yes we can!" to shout down the protestors. Yes we can what? Abort children.

Simply amazing.

At 1:48 PM, Blogger fran said...

Words, from the ND commencement speech.

Abortion has both "moral and spiritual dimensions.."

"Remember that each of us, endowed with the dignity possessed by all children of God, has the grace to recognize ourselves in one another; to understand that we all seek the same love of family, the same fulfillment of a life well lived."

Yep, only words which sound so pretty and mesmerize many. Words, which came from the same person who seeks to reduce abortion while funding them overseas and possibly in the District of Columbia, with federal funds. Words, which will remain only words, ringing hollow, unless there is some action behind them.

If that action does not come from Mr. Obama, then maybe it will come from ND president Fr. Jenkins, who had this to say about the invitation from Notre Dame, in the first place: "We see his visit as a basis for further positive engagement."

More words?? We shall see.

And on another note, after reading today's post, I now see that on issues where common ground cannot exist, it isn't about what is right and what is wrong. Instead, it about what is truth.

At 1:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I found it ironic that Obama’s speech addressed respecting one another’s values and yet he does NOT show respect to the majority of taxpayers who do not want their tax dollars to fund abortion. He said we should "honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion," and yet he seeks to repeal the Provider Conscience Clause. Word, words, words.

He also used the verbiage “tragedy of abortion” and yet, he seeks to enable this “tragedy.” More words, words, words.

He talks out of both sides of his mouth and people stand up and cheers. It baffles me.

At 3:57 PM, Blogger fran said...

Another sad and revealing moment occurred before the president even spoke.

In his introductory remarks, Fr. Jenkins referenced all of the brouhaha surrounding the invitation to Mr. Obama, adding, in a concilliatory tone and a gesture toward the president, that we did not hear a word from the 'one who had been invited.' Plenty of applause followed.

For a brief moment, I actually bought it, thinking that the president had taken the high road. Then, I came to my senses. What in the world would the president have said, other than 'thank you very much for allowing me the platform to further my agenda.'

Father Jenkins may or may not have realized it, but he took a jab at truth when he called out those who spoke their minds and signed petitions, re: the ND invite.

At 9:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, in some states a doctor is not required to tell a woman the entire biological truth regarding her pregnancy when she seeks an abortion. A few years ago, there was a case (can’t remember which state) in which a woman asked the doctor if it was really a “baby” inside her. He told her it was just some tissue and blood. Later, when she had complications, a nurse told her the doctor left part of the “baby” inside her. When she sued the doctor for not giving her complete information, the courts upheld that the doctor was not obligated to give her the full biological truth- that the BABY inside her, at that stage of gestation, had organs, a brain and moving arms and legs (even though the mother couldn’t yet feel any movement). That’s some kind of “truth” there!!!

At 9:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think most do not see past Obama’s façade. He puts up a front, even has a tone about him that is moderate in style. But he is anything but moderate. He’s extreme (to the extreme) when it comes to abortion.

I agree with Fran- no Catholic can find common ground on the abortion terrain. The teaching of the church is clear- abortion is intrinsically wrong and no amount of charisma or engaging language provides an escape from that.

Instead of working to find common ground maybe the language should be working toward common good. You know, in the 1990’s, the abortion rate dropped. It was credited to the prosperity of the economic time, and I think that belies most women’s preference to have a baby versus having an abortion. So how about Obama thinks about working on making conditions for a woman possible to be able to make the right choice?

At 10:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The "truth" we must face is that abortion is murder. Geneticists and scientist all contend that "human life begins at conception." Yet, that "truth" is never upheld- it is discounted with the discussion of ensoulment and other such debates. However- ALL science tells us life begins at concetion- PERIOD. Terminating a pregnancy is ending a human life- it is murder. Murder is already illegal.

I think sonograms should be a requirement for women considering abortions. Therein lies the truth of what is inside the womb- life.

At 6:17 AM, Blogger CynthiaBC said...

Anon 10:04pm

I suppose the resolution of sonograms has improved since I was pregnant with my daughter 8+ years ago. While the tech pointed out head, fingers, etc, all WE could see was a vaguely baby-shaped blob. When I took the pictures to work the next day, someone asked me if I were having an amoeba.

At 7:49 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's continue to pray for President Obama. As Archbishop Burke said at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast (one of the strongest statements I have ever personally heard for life issues, http://catholickey.blogspot.com/2009/05/archbishop-burkes-address-to-national.html), if this fight were only up to us, it would be impossible. Fortunately, we have God and His Church. Fr. Greg - we will pray that your courage never waivers in speaking the Truth.

At 10:23 AM, Blogger fran said...

I think when the term 'politically correct' came into vogue, many shied away from speaking the truth for fear of being viewed as judgmental, opinionated or offensive. Today's phrase of choice, when speaking the truth, seems to be that that person is demonizing the other.

I hope that all who wish to engage in truthful discourse will do so with a modicum of civility and respect. This is the only way to advance truth. Do not ever view an expression of truth as demonization of another. You may actually open that person's eyes to another perspective.

Most importantly, let us all support and encourage one another when one gives voice to truth,... especially our priests.

At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another point of irony is that Obama said “the strong too often dominate the weak.” Isn’t that EXACTLY what abortion does? In fact, they not only dominate the weakest members of society, they kill them.

In truth, Obama said nothing that surprised me. The most disappointing thing to me was that Notre Dame gave him an honorary law degree. Laws exist to protect human rights, and yet, this man who has before claimed NOT to know when a child is entitled to rights, seeks to negate them. How can anyone say they defend human rights when they do not know who has them? And if one is unsure whether or not they (children) should have them, wouldn’t one with any kind of conscience move on the side of caution and protect rights when unsure if they are entitled or not?

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a pro-life Democrat. How politically incorrect is that? He's a brief piece from Beliefnet:

But to be a "pro-life" Democrat is to be a very lonely political creature in America, as U.S. Catholic's Heidi Schlumpf explains in our cover feature. Former Pennsylvania Gov. Robert Casey, a pro-life Catholic, was denied the opportunity to speak at the 1992 and 1996 Democratic conventions. It didn't matter that Casey was progressive on economic and foreign policy questions and an outspoken supporter of women's rights; he didn't have the right position on abortion. Former Ohio Rep. Tony Hall, an evangelical Christian, experienced similar discrimination as a pro-life Democrat despite being perhaps the most courageous congressional champion on issues of hunger and poverty. The Democratic National Committee refuses even to allow a link on its Web site for pro-life Democrats.

So, I gather, the party in office views its own "polically correct" stance on abortion inssues to actually preculde the open discussion and listening to one another Obama often refers to, even within his own party, much less with those "right wing extremists."

At 4:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another point of political correctness that irks me is one calling themselves pro-cgoice rather than what they really are- pro-abortion. The pro-abortion movement wants to be referred to as pro-choice, not pro-abortion; abortion carries a stigma that they don't want to be identified with. But, you can't have it both ways, especially when these "pro-choic" people discuss the topic of reducing abortion.

If there is nothing immoral or wrong about abortion then why would we care how many people had them? Why would we want to reduce something that is perfectly ok? If you want to reduce them then you must think there is something wrong with them; what is it that is wrong?

This is one of the ways that Barack Obama has tried to characterize himself to people. He tries to sound like he is not the pro-abortion advocate that he really is. His own words and record contradict that.

I will not cheapen the sanctity of life by sanitizing the pro-abortion movement by using the term pro-choice.

At 8:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Friday, May 22nd

My grandfather fought in WWII. My grandmother worked in a ball bearing factory during the war to produce products to support the troops. Both of my grandparents knew people who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the fight to uphold freedom and truth.

It seems to me that the concept of freedom has been grossly confused. Freedom has become distorted to include such ideas that freedom of expression should include pornography, and freedom of choice includes the legality to take another’s life.

When I think about the good men and women who continue to fight to secure freedom for others in the world, I pray these other countries will use this gift of freedom better than we have.

Happy Memorial Day!

At 3:54 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here is a disturbing story from the Salt Lake Tribune -

Police in eastern Utah say a pregnant teenager asked a man to beat her up so she would miscarry.

The teenager suffered severe bruising around her stomach. The unborn child appears to be OK, but doctors won't know for sure until it is born, said Naples police Chief Mark J. Watkins.

Both the pregnant teenager and the man have been arrested for suspicion of attempted murder against the unborn child.

"Never in my 21 years [in law enforcement] was I shocked so much," Watkins said Thursday. "It's just cold and ruthless."

The 17-year-old girl is seven months pregnant, Watkins said, and has told police she had carried the child too long and did not want to give birth.

The girl went to an acquaintance, 21-year-old Arron N. Harrison, and asked him to assault her and spur the miscarriage, Watkins said. The chief said the girl also offered some incentive to Harrison. Watkins declined to elaborate.

Late Tuesday or early Wednesday, the girl went to Harrison's home in Naples and Harrison beat her with his fists, Watkins said. Then the girl went home and told her family an unknown person mugged and sexually assaulted her, Watkins said.

The family called police, but the story did not make sense to officers, Watkins said. Eventually, the girl admitted what happened, Watkins said.

The girl is in a juvenile detention center. Harrison on Thursday night remained in the Uintah County jail in lieu of $10,000 bail. Formal charges have not been filed.


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