Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A Baby's Breath Silent Auction

The Silent Auction to raise funds for a local crisis pregnancy center is on November 9 at Columbia Station. Please come, just don't bid against me for the Wii.

Some of the items up for grabs are: a set of braces (val $5,000, min bid - $2,600), signed Eagles (Westbrook and Dawkins) jerseys, signed Dawkins football, signed Chase Utley baseball, tickets to the Eagles, Sixers, Villanova and Wings games, the hot video game Wii, a home catered dinner for six by Satisfying Suppers, tickets to The High School Musical, Rivercrest, artwork, jewelry and more.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Public Service

I became a catechist for my parish as a way to serve, and to study the schooling system as it exists in the modern world. As a teacher in-service evening, we attended a dinner and presentation designed to give catechists from all over the county (technically cluster) a chance to learn and share ideas and helpful pedagogy.

The discussion amongst me and my fellow teachers was truly invaluable and enlightening. It was the best advice and encouragement I could possibly have received, including support in my desire to have my children homeschooled. Unfortunately, the presentation by Dr. Eileen McGrath of RCL publications was, at best, unhelpful and, at worst, a temptation away from the faith. I could only stomach an hour of the presentation since it was a better use of my time to return home and tuck my girls into bed. Her sources and experts consisted primarily of self-help gurus like Robbins, Dyer, and Chopra. Her main thrust seemed to be the power of positive thinking as "self-care." I had no idea how this applied to catechists and the best application I have come up with in the last week is not to harangue your students. As if I needed that warning.

Some of her talking points seemed to directly contradict Church teaching, such as, "We are not born negative." I believe that original sin and its stain are pretty big negatives. The other tired teaching she spouted was, "We are made in the image of God so we are divine." If I was divine, there would have been a small, concentrated spurt of fire and brimstone at that point, therefore, I am not divine. I can only send out this small public service announcement to my readers. If you want to learn the faith, read a the life of a saint or the Catechism or the Bible just not anything written by Dr. Eileen McGrath.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Real Education

David Warren has another brilliant essay. Not an explicit advocation for homeschooling, yet a mighty strong stab at the beast of industrial education.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

What I Need to Know about Feminism, I Learned in Kindergarten

The most basic precept of kindergarten: boys go in the boys' restroom and girls go in the girls' restroom.

I pray that this distinction is never forgotten, although some states are attempting to eradicate it. In this spirit, I have segregated my links appropriately and added two brilliant blogs: Feminine Genius and Et-tu. Check them out if you haven't already.

Class Already!

We will be teaching a class on Friday October 26. It's a feast or famine business, sometimes we have no students for months, other times we have to start one class before we have finished the previous one.

E-mail me if you want to sign up for this class as a refresher or a new student couple.

Too Much, Too Fast

Peter, at With a Grain of Salt, has two excellent posts up. The first pertains to birth control and over-population with an excellent chart showing that while the population has doubled in the last fifty years, the GDP has quintupled. The second deals with some snide comments that Church is not for men.

Thanks Peter, for all the great thoughts to mull over.

Monday, October 22, 2007

In Case You Haven't Considered Homeschooling Yet

This is a great article, I am thankful when anyone on the AP notes that this is happening. The only thing I don't like is the figures used. They naturally encouraged comparison but were not on the same scale. The article says that there were 2,570 teacher who were punished for sexual misconduct in the years 2001-2005. The number given for the Church was 4400 priests accused from 1950-2002. The first problem is comparing punishments to accusations since obviously there are more accusals than punishments. The second problem is comparing a 4 year span to a 52 year span. The yearly rate of abuse is 662 punishments/year for teachers versus 89 accusations/year for priests. That means for every 8 teachers who are found guilty of abuse, one priest is accused.

I know that number is this field are hard to acquire and difficult to trust and I don't fault the AP for reporting what it did, since I'd rather some news about this come out as opposed to the media blackout which is the norm. It would be nice for a follow-up article to go into the governmental protections afforded to public schools (for example, a cap on potential awards in a trial) and the lack of protections afforded to private schools and the Church since this disparity is why so many sharks circled the Church yet none feast on public schools.

CHT: Curt Jester

Stop Me If You've Been Here Before

Well, I've been reading Rich Dad's Prophecy for the past few weeks, and I'm thinking of investigating further. Now, I've read a few books like this and I hate the power of positive thinking but this guy seems different. It could be that I'm frustrated with work. It could be that I've seen a few "signs" and I might be making too much of them. It could be that my daughters are growing faster than daisies on Miracle-Gro and I just want to be home so much. But the author makes a lot of good points based on reason, economics, and law, and I feel obliged to investigate but I don't want this to consume me or my family either through loss of time or loss of money.

I would love to hear from any father who has tread this ground before. I could use some good advisors and prayers. I hope to figure this out quickly.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Every now and then I get the hankering to track down someone I was friends with in college just to see what google can turn up. To that end, I recently made my best discovery ever when I turned up this page. Apparently, the husband of a dear college friend took the time to write a book and get it published by Lulu, a publish-on-demand company. I ordered the paperback yesterday so I am eagerly waiting its arrival. Although my book queue is pretty deep and this book isn't a genre I would usually read, I hope to delve into it soon.

This discovery also allowed me to do one of my favorite hobbies, which is giving free publicity to my friends' various ventures.

You better click all those links! Don't you want to know what my friends are up to? C'mon!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

In Unheard News

Not that I follow any major media outlets anymore, but this story is heartening, not just for the right thing being done, but for judges actually judging instead of arbitrarily striking down laws.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Good News

Though many of us were saddened at the loss of ProLifeSearch, it seems a trustworthy group has taken up the mantle and started ProLifeInternet on the same premises. Hopefully, this time the money will do more good.

It's good to have a home page again.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Smart Women Reveal All

There is a great post on Danielle Bean's site. The best quote from the comments is:

Men, generally, do not understand the concept of the "hint."

Guys, read it all to learn what your wives are thinking. There are many treasures in this refreshingly frank conversation.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Imagine, if you can...

The Kippley's blog has an excellent, speculative post on breastfeeding education in the 50s. It is based on the idea that if ecological breastfeeding had been advocated in the 50s, the ground might not have been fertile for the widespread dissent from Humanae Vitae.

Mr. Kippley correctly points out a correlation which is often ignored: the increase in bottlefeeding coincided with the decrease in space between children. So it was not the Church which caused children to be born too close together, the blame can more properly be placed on the formula companies who opened a new market by targeting healthy mothers for their product instead of being satisfied with saving the lives of thousands of orphans who had no other choice but formula.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Pushing the Limits

I recently finished reading the book, Everything Conceivable by Liza Mundy. I knew picking it up that it would be one of those books that was a challenge to make it through without throwing it out the window. I was right. There were definitely a lot of "chuckable" moments. But since it was a library book I refrained from chucking it, managed to finish it and decided to share some of my thoughts with you here.

The book is about all the new technologies which are making it possible for almost anyone and everyone to have children, regardless of their age or level of natural fertility.

It starts out recounting an unusual request made to a California pastor. A parishioner who recently had given birth to twins was requesting that the pastor write in some part for the egg donor at the baptism. The pastor says, later in the book, that she thought for a minute then had no problem writing the ceremony.

This is just one of the many subtle, or not so subtle, ways in which the author normalizes the use of these technologies. She repeatedly points to religious and pro-life people who think that these technologies are perfectly acceptable, as a way of implying because there is no consensus on these issues, then there are no moral guidelines at all. Relativism at it's best.

Despite the slant however, it was an interesting, if horrifying, read. The book details all aspects of assisted reproductive technologies, from artificial insemination to IVF, from sperm and egg donors to surrogates, from married couples who want a child, to gays, lesbians and single-by-choice moms. There are several chapters dedicated to discussing the boom in multiple births, twins, triplets or more. And one dedicated to discussing what to do with "left over" embryos.

One of the most horrifying chapters to me was the one on "selective reduction," the process by which a high-order multiple pregnancy is "reduced" down to a "manageable" size, usually twins. Ms. Mundy reports that the doctor who pioneered "selective reduction" had seen one pregnancy of twelve fetuses. She goes on to say that the woman's doctor was not truthful about the number of fetuses, telling her that there were six instead of twelve. Ms. Mundy does not report on the outcome of the pregnancy, but one can assume that all but two were aborted.

The way in which the doctor lied outright to this woman is just one example of how unscrupulous many in this field are. Even Ms. Mundy refers to assisted reproductive technologies as the "wild west" of medicine. Of course, she thinks more regulation is in order.

In this she is mistaken. More regulation will not change the essential problem with these technologies, as that lies in the fundamental immorality of most of the methods. Only when people stop trying to play God and instead repent will there be any end to the horrors that are detailed in this book.

For anyone who wants a better view of what's wrong with the world this book is for you.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Unknown Death

There has been an interesting and sad debate afoot in Connecticut. The Catholic bishops there have decided to comply with a law saying that Plan B must be offered to victims of rape without depending on the results of an ovulation test. Since Plan B may prevent implantation of a newly conceived life, this could result in an early chemically-induced abortion.

It is interesting to read about the moral debate as the Church develops its doctrine on the topic of non-marital contraception. It is tremendously sad that this debate occurs while an unknown number of little ones are flushed down the drain. Join me in praying that the number lost is zero.


This is my one hundred and oneth post at this blog. Thanks to all of you who read it. I hope I may one day share an illuminating thought on it.

Maybe I can come up with invisible text for my eleventy-first post!


I promised myself that there would be some punishments that I never used on my children. I came very close to crossing that line this weekend when my adorable little one woke me up at 7am on a weekend where my eldest chose to sleep in until 7:30am. I could have really used those 30 minutes so punishment was in order. I subjected my little one to Julia Robert's acting (Mystic Pizza). My eldest awoke and spared my little one further punishment. As a demonstration of contrition, I put in a Dora video and let them be purified of foul influences.

Jen and I finished the movie later and I was surprised that I enjoyed most of the movie. Primarily due to a young Vincent D'Onofrio who delivers the best line in the movie, which is unfortunately soiled by a mild vulgarity. To paraphrase, he tells his fiancee how bad he feels because he wants to marry her and she only wants his body and won't commit. It sums up fornication quite nicely and pleasantly contains the role reversal of the man being more committed to love than the woman.

By the way, a free trial month of Netflix to the first person to get the reference in the title of this post.