Monday, October 27, 2014

Politically Incorrect And Intellectually Void

There's no polite way to say this---Bill Maher is a bigoted idiot. The stand-up "comic" and host of the left wing show "Politically Incorrect" has turned his vitriolic criticism, (usually reserved for conservative politicians), to those who believe in God. Maher made a 2008 documentary ("mock-u-mentary" might be a more appropriate appellation) entitled "Religulous" the premise of which is that unless the "enlightened" agnostics and atheists unite against raving religious fanatics, civilization will be brought to ultimate ruin. The very name of the movie is coined from combining "religious" and "ridiculous." The film panders to secularists like Maher, and portrays everyone who believes  in God, especially Christians, as either uneducated buffoons or dangerous lunatics.

 Now, Maher has been seen parading around with Dr. Sam Harris (b. 1967), one of the so-called "Four Horsemen of the New Atheism" (the other three being the late Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, and Richard Dawkins). During one of his tirades with Harris as his guest, Maher had this to say:

 "I don't know what happens when you die. I'm honest. These religious people not only can tell us what happens, they know with great certainty and detail. You get 72 virgins, not 71, not 70, exactly 72."(This is a reference to Islam--Introibo) 

 Maher then goes on to excoriate the evils of Islam (along with Harris) to the consternation of actor Ben Affleck, who said they were being intolerant. Harris said he had studied Islam and it was evil, per se, and Maher ended the conversation by telling Affleck, "We'll have to disagree on this one Ben." Well, I'll have to agree and disagree with Harris and Maher.

 I have two bones of contention to pick, one is epistemological (the study of how we know), and the other is ethical.

1. Absolute certainty
 When Maher claims that no one can know what happens when we die, I have to ask, "What do any of us know with apodictic (absolute) certainty? Not much. We can be certain that we exist, because if we think or say "I don't exist" we must first exist in order to make the claim. To say otherwise violates the logical law of non-contradiction, and it is self-refuting. We also can know our immediate sense impressions must be true. I know what I'm sensing even if I'm hallucinating or dreaming. Everything else is simply a matter of probability. I'm morally certain that other people exist and the world is not an invention of my mind. I have good reasons for holding this as true. Mr. Maher can do no better. Therefore, when he tells us exactly how many people are in his studio (e.g. 235, not 234 or some other number), he's acting on moral, not apodictic, certainty.

 His second error is to confuse natural theology (things which can be known about God from reason) with supernatural revelation (things which we believe based on God revealing it). The Moslem who claims he gets 72 virgins from Allah, does so based on his acceptance of the Koran as divinely revealed. The error of the Moslem is his error in accepting the Koran against the manifest weight of the credible evidence. On the other hand, if it can be shown that the Bible is morally certain to be true, and the Traditionalist Catholic Faith is the custodian of the Bible, then we are rational in accepting what it reveals about the afterlife.

2. Islam is evil.
 As any reader of my posts knows, I'm in full agreement with Maher and Harris on this point. Ironically, neither has any reason for saying so, but I'm fully justified. How so you may ask?

Atheists can be good without BELIEF in God, but no one can be good without God's existence. If God exists then so do objective moral values.  By objective morals, I mean something is right or wrong whether or not anyone else believes it to be the case. Murdering an infant for fun is evil even if everyone disagrees. The genocide of Hitler was wrong even if he won the war and made everyone think what he did was just.

Our moral duties flow forth from the moral nature of God. He made the Ten Commandments because they are good; they flow from His divine nature. Furthermore, God holds us accountable for our actions. The moral choices we make are infused with eternal significance. Compare this to atheism.

On the atheistic viewpoint, what is the foundation for moral values? If God does not exist, then there is no reason to think humans are special in any way. As a result of social-biological pressures, there evolved among homo sapiens a sort of "herd morality" that may be advantageous for perpetuating our species, but nothing that makes it objectively right or wrong. That's not to say atheists can't work out a system of ethics with which a theist would mostly agree, nor does it mean that they don't believe in objective moral values. However, they are without any foundation in reality; no ontological anchor.

So when Maher and Harris denounce Islam's jihad bombing of innocent people, they merely don't like it because it's not biologically or socially advantageous, but it can't be deemed wrong in an absolute sense. Furthermore, Harris is a materialist who believes that there is no mind distinct from the brain. Everything we think and do is determined by our environment and genes, i.e., there is no free will, and Harris admits as much. How then can we be held accountable for our actions? They have no moral significance. The Islamic men who attacked the Twin Towers had no choice, so why do Harris and Maher condemn them?

Harris and Maher are fools. What has the Vatican II sect done? Antipope Francis tells us, "Atheists can go to Heaven." So not only has Frankie given up on converting them, he has thrown away the metaphysical underpinning of objective moral values. He leads millions to Hell under the very Theistic guise he seeks to eliminate.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Dead Wrong

   On November 1, 2014, Brittany Maynard will commit suicide. You read that last sentence correctly. Twenty-nine year old Ms. Maynard will (future tense) commit suicide (this post being written 10/20/14). How do I know this gruesome event will take place? Ms. Maynard is making her suicide public and in the state of Oregon, it's legal. Ms. Maynard's story is a very tragic and sad one; she was diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer and given less than a year to live. She is spending the last days of her life with her physician husband trying to persuade others to enact "Death with Dignity" Laws in their own state. Her video can be found here

  The video, just over six minutes in length, is heartbreaking. I'll be the first to admit that I don't know how I'd react to a diagnosis like that. I hate the thought of pain, suffering and death. However, I'd like to think I would face my death as a True Catholic. Both my parents died from cancer, and both (my dad especially) met their end bravely with a Christian resolve. I remember 20 years ago when my father told me, "I don't blame God for my cancer." He was wearing his ubiquitous scapular and, like my mother 14 years later, died with it on and fortified with the Last Rites of the One True Church. Conspicuously absent on Ms. Maynard's video is any mention of God, religion, or the afterlife. It's as if it were directed by Richard Dawkins and peppered throughout with the purposely chosen words and phrases to tug at your heart strings and make you feel bad if you don't have the "option" to kill yourself.

 Euthanasia is the ugly twin of abortion at the opposite end of life. In law school we were taught that "Hard cases make for bad law." Norma McCorvey (the Jane Roe in the infamous abortion case Roe v. Wade ) lied and claimed she had been gang raped. The truth was she was made pregnant by a man she thought she had loved, and didn't want to carry the baby. The result is that abortion is legal on demand throughout all nine months of pregnancy. My home state of New York has no restrictions whatsoever.

 Now the Hemlock Society (renamed "Compassion & Choices) is trying to do the same with euthanasia. Although Ms. Maynard insists that she "is not committing suicide," she wants to live and give the same "choice to others" as in Oregon, the facts show differently.

1. Theological errors

 Ms. Maynard is obviously not Christian. She sees no redemptive value in any suffering. On the atheistic view, life is painful and ends in death. The correct attitude is to shun the former and delay the latter. On the Christian worldview, Christ showed that suffering has meaning, can be redemptive, and there is a better place awaiting us if we follow Him. No one likes pain, and to be against euthanasia is NOT forcing someone to suffer. The San Francisco Chronicle reports:
“I considered passing away in hospice care at my San Francisco Bay Area home,” Maynard wrote for CNN. “But even with palliative medication, I could develop potentially morphine-resistant pain and suffer personality changes and verbal, cognitive and motor loss of virtually any kind.” Note she writes things “could” go wrong, which means they could work, too.

Palliative care specialist Dr. B.J. Miller of the Zen Hospice Project told me that he didn’t know the particulars of Maynard’s case. “Globally speaking, people do develop intolerance to morphine, and delirium is very common at the end of life” for patients with brain cancer, he noted, but “it’s also true that much of that is treatable.” Palliative sedation cannot reverse cancer, but it can provide relief.

Marilyn Golden of the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund in Berkeley is concerned that Maynard’s story obscures the larger picture. “For every individual with a happy family who’s not at risk for abuse, there are many other individuals who may be subtly steered toward assisted suicide by their insurance company or pressured by their family.” For every Brittany Maynard, there are others who face serious illnesses — aging, maybe — without Maynard’s extraordinary support system. Golden worries lest “profit-driven managed health care” subtly steer the sick in the direction of — what’s the word? — dignity."

2. The Truth about Oregon

When Barbara Wagner’s doctor prescribed a drug that would likely extend her life and would make her more comfortable, her state insurance program refused to authorize payment for it.  Instead, it sent her a letter saying it would pay for doctor-prescribed suicide.

Randy Stroup, who had prostate cancer, was also offered doctor-prescribed suicide by the Oregon health plan.Some terminally ill patients in Oregon who turned to their state for health care were denied treatment and offered doctor-assisted suicide instead, a proposal some experts have called a “chilling” corruption of medical ethics.

According to the Patients Rights Council:

Lethal prescriptions under the Oregon law are supposed to be limited to patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less. However, during the first two years of the law’s implementation, at least one lethal dose was prescribed more than eight months before the patient took it.

The sixth annual report noted that two patients who received prescriptions in 2002 and another who received the prescription in 2001 died from the lethal drugs in 2003.

The DHS (Division of Health Services) is not authorized to investigate how physicians determine their patients’ diagnoses or life expectancies. If physicians are prescribing for patients whose life expectancy exceeds six months or who do not have a terminal condition, there is no way to find out since the same doctors who are violating the guidelines would have to report their own violation. “[N]oncompliance is difficult to assess because of the possible repercussions for noncompliant physicians reporting data to the division.”

The DHS has to rely on the word of doctors who prescribe the drugs. Referring to physicians’ reports, the reporting division admitted: “For that matter the entire account [received from doctors] could have been a cock-and-bull story. We assume, however, that physicians were their usual careful and accurate selves.”

While assisted-suicide advocates claim that patients are given new rights under Oregon’s law, nothing could be farther from the truth. Prior to the law’s passage, patients could request, but doctors could not provide, assisted suicide. It was illegal and unethical for a physician to knowingly participate in a patient’s suicide. The law actually empowers doctors by promising them legal immunity if they provide a patient with an intentionally fatal prescription. Yet, advocates still say that the law grants patients a new legal right –the right to ask their doctors for suicide assistance, even though such a request was never illegal. Suicide requests from patients may have been cries for better pain control, support or psychiatric help – but they were never a crime.

In addition, doctors who prescribe assisted suicide under Oregon’s law are exempt from the standard of care that they are required to meet when providing other medical services. Under the assisted-suicide law, a health care provider is not subject to criminal or civil liability or any other professional disciplinary action as long as the provider is acting in “good faith.” This subjective “good faith” standard is far less stringent than the objective “reasonable standard of care” which physicians are required to meet for compassionate medical care such as hospice, palliation or curative treatment.

As a result, a doctor who negligently “participates” in assisted suicide cannot be held accountable so long as he or she claims to have acted in “good faith.” On the other hand, a doctor who negligently provides other medical interventions can be held legally accountable in civil court regardless of his or her “good faith.”

This lowering of the standard of care for assisted suicide could serve as an inducement for doctors to recommend assisted suicide over palliative care at the end of life.

In the coming months, several states will be considering Oregon-type laws. It remains to be seen whether decision-makers will rely on the deceptively rosy picture painted by assisted-suicide supporters – or on its reality."

3. Where's Francis?

The Antipope who claims to be Catholic has done NOTHING about this situation. He has not denounced it, asked for her to reconsider, or requested prayers for her conversion. He and his episcopal lackeys are too busy trying to justify adulterous unions and sodomy all in the name of---oh, yeah---"dignity." Please pray for Ms. Maynard's recovery and conversion.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Adulterating Marriage

 As Antipope Francis attempts to allow the divorced and "remarried" (i.e. adulterers) to receive their "communion," I believe there are machinations brewing for far more than the denial of the indissolubility of marriage. As any of my regular readers know, I'm not one given to wild-eyed conspiracy theories, or sensationalism. However, I will attempt to demonstrate that the logic of the Vatican II sect is leading to places unthinkable even a few short years ago.

The Second Vatican Council imposes a variation of the doctrine on marriage contrary to the Catholic Church's constant teaching.In the Vatican II document, Gaudium et Spes (hereinafter GS), the married state is referred to as "the intimate partnership of life and love which...has been established by the Creator..." (GS# 48), whose proper end is procreation:

"By its very nature the institution of marriage and married love is ordered to the procreation and education of the offspring and it is in them that it finds its crowning glory" (GS #48).

Note that it does not find its raison d'etre, or "reason for being" in the procreation and education of children, but its "crown." This leads one to believe that the end of the state of matrimony is mutual perfection of the spouses, that is, the secondary end becomes the first, since the true end (the procreative one), becomes secondary because it is proposed as a consequence (or "crowning glory") on the Modernist view of marriage.

  Furthermore, GS states:
 "Many of our contemporaries, too, have a high regard for true love between husband and wife as manifested in the worthy customs of various times and peoples. Married love is an eminently human love because it is an affection between two persons rooted in the will...; it can enrich the sentiments of the spirit and their physical expression with a unique dignity and ennoble them as the special elements and signs of the friendship proper to marriage." (GS # 49)

Here, the robber council places the secondary end of marriage (mutual love and support) on par with the primary end (procreation).  "Married love" (the conjugal act) is justified solely through corporeal manifestation and not by virtue of procreative value first and foremost. Pope Pius XI taught in Casti Conubii that married love is properly viewed as a natural act committed to procreation and, therefore, allowed in relation to the first end of marriage, (which is the begetting of children). It is not used for satisfaction and pleasure itself, understood  as the secondary end of marriage, and limited by its primary end.

 In an article for the National Catholic (sic) Reporter, writer and sodomite supporter Robert McClory offers this bit of logic from his piece entitled, "Why Church Disdain for Gay Marriage is Dead Wrong":

"When the subject of Christian marriage was taken up by the bishops at the Second Vatican Council in its document on 'The Church in the Modern World,' (that's the English title for GS--Introibo) they made a point of not repeating the old formula. In fact, they first discussed mutual self-giving and sharing as essential to marriage and only after spoke of its role in increasing and multiplying the human family. The bishops decided not to use any primary or secondary terminology in the document, and just to make the matter clear, insisted that 'procreation does not make the other ends of marriage of less account' and that marriage was 'not instituted solely for procreation' "

 The online edition of People Magazine  reporting on  Antipope Francis' synod on the family had this to write:
"On Monday, Catholic bishops showed unprecedented openness to accepting the real lives of many Catholics today, saying gays had gifts to offer the church and should be accepted and that there were "positive" aspects to a couple living together without being married."

Do you see the writing on the wall?

Mr. McClory does when he writes, " Gay Catholic (sic) couples are daily fulfilling that central requirement of Christian marriage; love and fidelity."  While it's true that not every normal couple is fecund due to age (e.g. widows who remarry, etc) or due to medical concerns, they are reproductive in principle and reflect the male-female model established by God for the human race. Apples are edible in principle, even if this particular apple in my hand is rotten and can't be eaten. Rocks are never edible by nature.

 Francis admits of a "gay mafia" in the Vatican. The sodomites they admitted to the seminaries in the late 1960s going forward are the "bishops" and "cardinals" of the second decade in the 21st century. Adulterers receiving the invalid communion of the Vatican II sect will seem unremarkable the day we witness an Antipope Adam "marrying"  "Cardinal" Steve.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Question Authority

  This is the kick-off of the big Synod in Rome (rightly spelled "Sin-od" by my friends at Novus Ordo Watch) where Antipope Francis is putting Catholic Faith and Morals up for grabs. Francis (Mr. Jorge Bergoglio) is meeting to have an "open discussion" about issues where many "Catholics" (i.e. members of the Vatican II sect) disagree with True Magisterial teaching on many issues; especially the use of artificial contraception and giving their "communion" to the divorced and remarried (i.e. adulterers).

  In an article published at entitled "Pope Francis wants Catholics to Doubt the Church. He's Right," writer Kyle Cupp opines:

" Would it be weird to say that the Catholic Church under Pope Francis has encouraged a sense of uncertainty about God?

After all, this is an institution that has devoted centuries to hammering out and polishing an authoritative system of doctrines concerning who God is and what God expects. It claims to have been founded by Jesus Christ and to be guided infallibly by the Holy Spirit. It has warned of eternal damnation if its authority and precepts are ignored or rejected. In other words: If Catholicism is true, you don't want to be in doubt about its teachings. But by giving the impression that longstanding teachings of the faith might significantly change, Pope Francis and other church leaders have invited just such doubt.

No surprise, Catholic writers have expressed concern. Responding to reports that the church might stop denying communion to Catholics in permanently adulterous marriages, Ross Douthat wonders what the appropriate response of Catholics should be to such changes. Michael Brendan Dougherty, mindful of the church's turbulent history, fully expects that a pope or governing council in the church will eventually issue a policy flatly contradicting church teaching — and he believes that most Catholics will be wholly unprepared for it. In such conditions, some among the faithful would doubt the church itself. Lasting heresy or disbelief might take root and grow in this soil.

According to Catholicism, the core doctrines of the church express absolute truth and therefore cannot be altered, but paradoxically this premise doesn't preclude changes to its teaching. In the parlance of the church, it only means that a previously proposed understanding wasn't really unchangeable doctrine. Still, a big deal. By merely entertaining doctrinal development, the church entices believers to question its authority and the exact content of its faith.

In fact, Pope Francis has explicitly endorsed doubt in the life of faith. In a 2013 interview published in America Magazine, the pontiff said that the space where one finds and meets God must include an area of uncertainty. For him, to say that you have met God with total certainty or that you have the answers to all questions is a sign that God is not with you. Be uncertain, he counsels. Let go of exaggerated doctrinal "security." A devout faith must be an uncertain faith:

'The risk in seeking and finding God in all things, then, is the willingness to explain too much, to say with human certainty and arrogance: 'God is here.' We will find only a god that fits our measure. The correct attitude is that of St. Augustine: seek God to find him, and find God to keep searching for God forever.'"

 Mr. Cupp, and of course, Mr. Bergoglio, have it all wrong. Cupp is correct that Bergoglio wants to eviscerate whatever remains of Catholicism in his sect. Bergoglio is wrong and takes St. Augustine out of context. Just because God is infinite does not mean that we can't know very definite Truths about Him which He reveals to us. We may not be able to fully comprehend them (e.g. the Trinity), but they are absolutely veridical. Both are wrong insofar as that whatever the Church holds out as Truth cannot change; the contrary view is that of Modernism.

Pope St. Pius X, Lamentabili Sane (1907), CONDEMNED proposition number 58:

  Truth is no more immutable than man himself, since it evolved with him, in him, and through him.

Condemned proposition numbers 64 & 65:

Scientific progress demands that the concepts of Christian doctrine concerning God, creation, revelation, the Person of the Incarnate Word, and Redemption be re-adjusted.

Modern Catholicism can be reconciled with true science only if it is transformed into a non-dogmatic Christianity; that is to say, into a broad and liberal Protestantism

It's scary how this has come to pass. Remember too, that Bergoglio is the one who infamously stated, "Who am I to judge?' (In reference to sodomites). My prediction for the Sin-od is that they will formally adopt the antipope's "Jiminy Cricket" view of morals, "Let your conscience be your guide." If you ever watched the Disney movie classic Pinocchio,you'll remember that before the title character goes out to face the world, his friend, Jiminy Cricket advises him to just let his conscience be his guide. Ironically, after receiving this advice, Pinocchio gets into all sorts of trouble, suggesting that his conscience wasn't such a great guide after all. It's a rightly formed conscience that matters. One formed by the Truths revealed by Christ and His One True Church. This is the only way we can have full and accurate morals.

 But now, Antipope Francis will be attempting to find creative ways to sin. He will flaunt God's unchanging moral code--at the very least by making it seem that you can "discuss it" as though it were possible to change. Not only is this blasphemous in and of itself, it gives people the scandalous idea that morality is uncertain, relative, and even unknowable. Soon we may very well have the Vatican II sect officially sanction Jiminy Cricket ethics as "Pope Pinocchio's" nose grows longer and longer with each relativistic and Modernistic lie he tells his followers. Most ironically, the man who wants us to question the authority of the Church has no authority. Question Francis.