Revenge

Some people are downright nasty.

I don’t mean that as a put down, I’m just being frank, some people really are. I’m not sure if it’s due to some chemical imbalance or bad upbringing, but some people seem to be just born mean.

There are some that are worse. Some are born killers.

I’m not making excuses for them. I am merely saying that things are what they are.

To try to imagine what it would feel like if one of these people hurt my little girls is something I cannot even think about. The amount of pain that would bring me in indescribable. My heart goes out to those who have been hurt by such evil, and I feel we should help them in every way possible.

But killing the killers is simply not a solution that I abide. I refuse to become evil, just because someone committed and evil act against me or those I love. This is not a question of turning the other cheek, this is a question of the survival of my own morality in dark times.

Life must be precious to us for us to maintain our humanity. Life in the womb, life in our autumn years, life in saints, and life in sinners, it all must be precious to us. For us to take it, there simply must be a better reason than revenge.

There are times when the death penalty is appropriate. This is actually rather easy to assertain. If the murderer is unstoppable, and we have no way to take away his ability to kill, we are allowed to take his/her life as a protection of our own. For example, if a soldier on the battlefield goes crazy and starts killing his comrades, and you are far from friendly lines, you may not have a choice. If you allow him to live, he may pick everyone off, one by one. Another example would be a tribe living in isolation who has no ability to hold a criminal for an extended period of time. To make it simple, if the man can be incarcarated, then you can’t kill him. If there is no way to hold him, and he continues to be a threat, then for the protection of life, you may end his.

The key here is “for the protection of life”. No one can seriously suggest that we do not have the ability to incarcerate a criminal or that that person continues to be a threat to the average person. He is locked up tight in our culture. The only reason for killing him at this point is for revenge.

Revenge. No, I will not become evil for the sake of one who is evil. To be honest, I feel a lifetime without liberty is a far better punishment anyways.

There is another thing to think about. The reality is, we have killed men who were innocent. One such death should be enough cause to end this forever, and yet, it goes on. I simply cannot trust any human system with the choice between life and death, not only because it is wrong, but because we make mistakes.

I can’t vote for murder at any time. I cannot allow murder to be socially acceptable. I totally understand that there is darkness in the world that we must deal with, but I refuse to let death be the answer. 

Marriage Confusion

Fifty years ago this would have been a no-brainer, but today, expect to be hung on a cross if you even suggest homosexual “marriage” is anything but the most perfectly acceptable thing. How has this happened? What has changed in the psyche of man that would account for this massive shift in our way we view relationships? How can I explain the deep seated issues with this idea while still showing compassion towards those who have this problem? Did I already ostracize them by calling it a problem?

This issue is really hard for me to talk about for two reasons. The first is that I grew up in California, which is probably the homosexual capital of the world. I have been surrounded by the homosexual agenda my whole life, and so it is hard for me to see the issue clearly while I live surrounded by it. The second issue, and the one deeper to my heart, is the fact that I have a close family member who I love and cherish very deeply who is homosexual. If there ever was someone who really has this problem naturally, it is this young man. He is burly, tough, manly, and has never been interested in a girl, ever. He is not a case of social engineering, I promise you. I would never want him to think I had anything but the deepest respect, love, and admiration for him.

But were he to decide to get “married”, I could not go. Do I want to support him? Do I want him to be happy? Don’t I want him to feel love? Of course I do, but I know that he cannot find it there, even if he doesn’t.

Sigh. Let’s start from the beginning.

My issue is not with homosexuality. I don’t care what science says, I know there are some people born this way, as I have watched this happen in my own experience. I cannot say otherwise with a good conscience.

My issue is not with homosexual sex. (Did he just say that?!) Well, that’s not what I mean. What I mean is I don’t feel any differently about homosexual sex than I do about any other sex that happens outside of marriage. I truly feel they are both fundamentally wrong. Do I see homosexuality as unnatural? Yes I certainly do, but then I would have to quanitfy what is natural in everyone’s sex life and I’m just not willing to go there. I think two men having sex is as bad as a man or woman having sex with someone other than their spouse, or having premarital sex. Sex outside of marriage is fundamentally a really bad idea, and can only bring hurt to those involved. I’ll save that post for another day.

My issue is with homosexual “marriage”, and it has two main problems as I see it.

The first is that I see this as a gateway. Right now the issue is with with a same sex couple wanting to spend their lives together as a married couple. It will not stay there, I promise you. If we allow this, the boundary will be pushed further. Soon the issue will be whether or not you can have three person relationships. Then it will be open polygamy. All of this will happen one step at a time. Already the seeds are being sown, we already have had a reality TV show based on a polygamous marriage, and let me tell you, it showed them in the best light possible, getting us ready for the issue.

I hate to even post his in writing, but that is just where it begins. I promise you that NAMBLA (The national man/boy love association) is watching this issue with baited breath, waiting until it’s their turn to challenge the status quo. Think I’m being extreme? You did hear that fifty years ago, where we are at would have been considered extreme, right?

This ever consistent degrading of the family structure will continue if left unchecked. Don’t think this darkness started with homosexuality though, this started in the fifties with divorce. Divorce too used to be an ugly word, and stigmatized by society. Now it is the norm. THE NORM! I think we all know how terrible this has been for families. Homosexual marriage is just the next step down the road to the oblivion of the family.

The second issue I have with homosexual “marriage” has nothing to do with society, it has to do with those who are involved personally. I am called to love every human being on the planet, and that means I must have compassion towards every person, and as homosexuals just happen to be persons, it is important that I look towards their best interests.

Homosexuality is naturally disordered. Not meaning to be crass, but man parts don’t fit with man parts and woman parts don’t fit with woman parts. It’s not rocket science, its just the good old birds and bees. When you want to put your parts elsewhere, it’s simply disordered. I don’t care if you have an intense desire to rub your parts against elbows, walls, or cheese graters, it’s not within the intrinsic order of things. Maybe in our world that so deeply lacks common sense this is not apparent, but nevertheless, it is so. So we have people in this world with a disorder that the world is telling us we should enable, rather than help them deal with. Thank goodness we don’t have this same tactic with alcoholism or people with learning disabilities.

These people need our love and care, and instead we let them wallow in their problems. We all have issues that we need help with, tendencies that we have to keep in check. The answer is not to just let us live out our disorders to their fullness, as that really only hurts us more. The answer is to help us deal with our issues and problems in the most constructive way possible. Homosexuality is just one of many such issues, and needed to be dealt with in a way that will enrich the lives of those involved.

This is especially apparent to me every time I see a gay pride parade. These men and women have been encouraged in their disorder, and what do you see? More disorder. A gay pride parade is always a spectacle with people walking down the streets dressed like some naked form of a disco ball, riding a unicycle and playing an accordion. Funny as a one man show in a circus, truly sad when en masse as a statement of sexuality. The disorder has grown, and instead of creating a warm, family environment, it has created a perpetual Mardi Gras. This is not healthy for them and can only leave them more empty then if they had dealt with the disorder, and come out stronger because of it.

So for me it is simple. I cannot vote for anything that would continue to degrade the human family. I cannot allow kids to be brought up either in a home where this is considered normal behavior, or where anyone is taught that sickness is health. I cannot vote for further agitating the disorders of otherwise good and healthy people. My job as a human involves the enrichment of mankind, not wholesale abandonment to their vices.

I wanted to take this opportunity to encourage you to visit Courage, an incredible ministry designed to actually help people with these issues. If you know and love someone who has these issues, and is ready to work towards wholeness, I strongly suggest you send them here.

Respect Your Elders

Anyone who follows my blog  knows that I spend a lot of my time with the elderly in nursing homes, convalescent hospitals, and retirement communities. In fact, I would say I spend more time bringing communion to these men and women who simply are unable to get to Mass than any other ministry I am involved in.

This has been an unbelievable experience for me. It has truly opened my eyes to the wealth of love, knowledge, and common sense that we as a culture have cast aside. I have learned so much that I could never express enough gratitude to these men and women for what they have given me, and all I had to do was be there, and ask.

It isn’t all a bed of roses though.

I also bring communion to some who are in a near coma state. I bring communion to many who don’t remember who I am week to week. (It’s kind of funny to have visited someone every week for a year, and have every time be the first time!) I have several who do not remember who they are week to week. I have some that would truly like to die. They are just waiting for the dark man with the scythe to knock on their door.

This is part of my daily experience, and I have watched as many of them have slowly declined, passing onto that journey we all must make. It has been hard, and I have often wondered why the Lord lets them suffer so when they are so close to Him already.

That does not mean they are worthless, and should be discarded. People should never be discarded.

Now in this case I am pointing this conversation towards the elderly, but this is not a concern that only applies to them. There are many cases in which a younger person might feel the desire for voluntary euthanasia, due to something as intense as terminal illness, or clinical depression.

Let’s start working this out.

First, involuntary euthanasia. This is where someone else decides to end the life of another. In any other circumstance, this would be considered murder. If I decide to take your life, and plan it out, then I am killing you, plain and simple. I don’t care if you don’t have room in the facility, or if you think I’m vegetative, it amounts to the same thing. If I am happen to be walking around mumbling to myself, it gives you no right to kill me.

Even thinking of walking down this path is a very slippery slope. How are you going to decide who’s life is worth keeping, and who’s is not? At what point do we start killing people with mental disabilities like cerebral palsy or downs syndrome? Hopefully no time soon, as some of my most meaningful relationships were with kids with these issues as a counselor in my youth. At what point do we decide it’s just people who think differently then ourselves?

A story seems a good idea, so here goes. I have a very good friend who was taking care of his father for many years. He had to feed him, change him, take complete care of him to the point where he could not really go on vacation with his family. It was an intense struggle for him, but he simply loved and respected his father too much to throw him in a home, even if his father could not communicate with him anymore. I saw this go on for years. He would stand there, holding onto the mantle and give intermittent yells for no reason. I have no doubt this was terribly frustrating for the whole family, but it was grandpa, and they just loved him. Then one night, I was over at their house for dinner, and we decided to pray a rosary. My friend grabbed a child’s rosary and put it into his father’s hands, and his father came alive. I watched a man who I had never seen any real communication from suddenly become articulate as he prayed the entire rosary with us. It felt downright miraculous, and I have never forgot it. Afterwords he disappeared back into his former self.

He couldn’t eat, or go to the bathroom or hold a conversation, but he sure knew how to pray. I remember him crying.

There is no way I can vote for anyone who would support the killing of the innocent. Don’t get me wrong, if someone you love is being kept alive artificially by machines for an extended period of time, it might be time to pull the plug. But if all they need is a feeding tube and they can continue their lives, then their life is worth living, and we have no right to take it from them.

What about people who want to die? Is this something we as a society should accept?

Let’s shoot straight here. If someone really wants to die, good luck stopping them. There are no shortage of high buildings, bridges, guns or knives in this world. Good luck stopping someone who is serious about killing themselves.

The real question here is should we make it clean, easy and socially acceptable for them to do so. This is a very different question indeed.

Let’s not use hope as a reason, I think that’s naive. Sometimes there is no hope. Sometimes all there is is pain, loss, and loneliness, and in endless quantity.

Unhappiness and pain is simply not a good enough reason for the premature ending of life. Yes, I know it can hurt, but life is simply like that sometimes. That does not take away the value of the life itself. Much of what is truly great in this world was born of suffering. Suffering is an important part of the human experience, and has true and real value.

More importantly, life has value, and we as a society cannot condone it being taken prematurely as a matter of course. To take any life unnecessarily is evil, and wrong in the deepest sense. We can never allow this to become a socially acceptable way to handle problems, and must fight any legislation that would allow it to become so with every ounce of power we have.

Slaughter of the Innocents

I am astounded at how many people will happily identify themselves as Catholics, and then in the same breath say that they understand abortion. I’m not going to lie here, I don’t understand how you can be HUMAN, and support the killing of babies, let alone say that you are God loving in any form.

That might piss you off. I don’t really care if it did. I am sick and tired of people thinking that I’m the one being insensitive here. I want to protect babies, and I’m insensitive?

“It’s not really a baby yet Dance, you are no naive.”

Bull&%$@. If you were pregnant and all excited about giving birth to a fine young copy of yourself, and I kicked you in the belly and made you miscarry, you would call me an animal, and probably vie for my execution. Not a baby my @$$.

Sometimes to sound more moral, these “so called Catholics” will quickly add a caveat to say they only agree in certain circumstances. Let me be the first to say this is total and complete nonsense. In what circumstances is it right to slaughter a baby? Heck, at least we kill our animals before we cut them to pieces.

Okay, yes, I know about the gal who was raped, or abused by her father. This is terrible, evil, really bad stuff, I agree. I don’t wish that on anyone, but it doesn’t make me want to go on a killing spree at the local nursery. I realize this child is going to represent pain for this abused woman, but that doesn’t mean that it’s right to kill the poor child.

You may not like what I am saying. You may have been taught that abortion is really a form of compassion. You may think that I am being sexually repressive. You may think I am being insensitive. If you do, then you are not thinking of the child, you are thinking of yourself. Every human being has life, a reason for existence, a purpose all their own. Who are you to take that voice before it has sounded its first chord? To kill babies is the least compassionate, most repressive, most insensitive thing I can possibly imagine.

So on to voting. If you think that it is permissible to vote for any congressman or presidential candidate that supports abortion, and still be on the correct moral side of the fence, I am sad to tell you that you are not. You are another Nazi following Hitler blindly as he slaughters the Jews.

You might not think you are evil, but you are participating in the greatest evil this world has ever known.

And no, I don’t think I’m exaggerating one single iota.

Voting Guide

So yesterday, a member of my parish handed me a voting guide. I didn’t even look at it.

There is simply no need to. It’s so dang frustrating to me, but the truth is, most politics are simply irrelevant. Well, that’s not quite what I mean. Politics are very relevant. It’s just that I do not get to choose who I am voting for through any view on how I feel the country should be run.

What I mean is this. I have very real opinions on how the finances of our country should be run. I have deep concerns about the health care of everyone, and deep concerns about doling out health care for free. I have deep concerns about corporate law, taxation, the financial backing of banks, the 99%, the 1%, the interstate commerce clause, our presence in the middle east, our relations the European nations, exploitation, how we should relate to the third world countries, and every other political issue that comes up.

I have a very real opinion on all these things, but my opinion is completely irrelevant. Totally and completely useless. I cannot vote my opinion on any of these issues for the simple reason that there are intrinsic evils that I must vote against.

There are two things about this that I just despise. First, I’m always a negative voter. I never get to vote for something that I like, because I always have to vote against that which I hate. This just sucks. Second, when I explain this basic voting philosophy, people have a tendency to think I am being shallow, uncompromising, disinterested, or extreme. This also sucks.

So I wanted to take a minute to explain myself. There are six things that in my opinion are uncompromisable, because they are intrinsically evil, as in really, really bad stuff. I simply cannot vote for any positive change until these evils no longer exist. I think anyone who was more concerned about their tax rates in Germany while the Jews were being rounded up into the slums were being shallow, uncompromising, disinterested and extreme. Stopping great evil comes before small goods.

So here are the six things I cannot vote for in any way, because they are too evil to abide.

  • Abortion
  • Euthanasia
  • Homosexual Marriage
  • Death Penalty
  • Embryonic Stem Cell Research
  • Human Cloning

No, I did not put them in order of “evilness”, I’m not even going to attempt to rank these, but in an effort to explain why these things are such a real issue, I will treat each one of these individually over the next six posts.