Monday, January 28, 2019

Miracles And The Modern Mind

 Nothing will generate more smiles and snickering among the educated people of today than expressing belief in miracles. The Modernists of the Vatican II sect, having subscribed to naturalism, reject the supernatural. Atheism and agnosticism alike breed contempt for any notion of the supernatural as well. Modernist Bible scholars consider the miracles of Sacred Scripture to be mere myths that can be explained away. Christ didn't really feed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. This is merely a myth to show that God provides (so they assure us).

It's no wonder that the modern world rejects miracles as superstitious fables. Not helping the situation are expressions which misuse the word miracle, e.g., "It's a miracle I made it to work today;" "Life is a miracle." There are also people who, while well meaning, ascribe miracles when none exist seeing them in any fortuitous set of circumstances. This post will set forth Church teaching on miracles, as well as responses to the modern minds who reject them.

The Church's Teaching On Miracles
1. Miracles are an effect wrought in nature by the direct intervention of God. They are proofs of the truth of the Catholic religion.

Proof: From the Oath Against Modernism promulgated by Pope St. Pius X for all clerics on September 1, 1910:

 "Secondly, I accept and acknowledge the external proofs of revelation, that is, divine acts and especially miracles and prophecies as the surest signs of the divine origin of the Christian religion and I hold that these same proofs are well adapted to the understanding of all eras and all men, even of this time." (Emphasis mine)

From the Vatican Council (1870):

"If anyone shall say that miracles are impossible, and therefore that all the accounts regarding them, even those contained in Holy Scripture, are to be dismissed as fables or myths; or that miracles can never be known with certainty, and that the divine origin of Christianity cannot be proved by them; let him be anathema."

2. While we must believe in miracles (especially those contained in the Holy Bible), we are not bound to believe in every specific event claimed to be miraculous. We should only give credence to those events considered miracles by the authority of the Church. 

Proof: Many events thought to be miraculous were denied as such by the Magisterium of the Church prior to the defection of the hierarchy at Vatican II.

  • Many people claimed that they saw the statue of Our Lady of Assisi move and smile. (1948) The Church later declared there was no apparition of Our Lady in Assisi, and no miraculous events.
  • There are people hundreds of years into the canonization process as of  1958 (death of Pope Pius XII) whose alleged miracles were never confirmed despite large numbers of witnesses.
  • Theresa Neumann (d. 1962) was alleged to have survived only on the Eucharist for 30 years, and claimed the stigmata. The Church has never confirmed nor denied these miraculous claims which were investigated beginning in 1928.

 3. Miracles cannot be used to help give credibility to that which is false. Any "miracle" that does so is either (a) naturally explained, and therefore not a miracle, or (b) of demonic origin.

Proof: A miracle is a deed that is sensible, extraordinary, and of divine origin. Hence, since transubstantiation is not sensible, it cannot be considered a miracle in the strict sense. Miracles can only be used to support that which is true and good. It is impossible for God to deceive. Moreover, God would equivalently be producing falsehood if He were performing some miracles in order to demonstrate that some false doctrines or a doctrine that is altogether human has been revealed by Himself. We should recognize that God allows extraordinary things to be performed by the devil. (See theologian Tanquerey, A Manual of Dogmatic Theology,Desclee Company, [1959], 1:40-45; Emphasis mine)

In Exodus 7: 8-13, we read:

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "When Pharaoh says to you, 'Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh,' and it will become a snake." So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron’s staff swallowed up their staffs. Yet Pharaoh’s heart became hard and he would not listen to them, just as the Lord had said." (Emphasis mine).

Modern Objections to Miracles and Responses

 The three main objections to miracles are a denial that:
  • miracles are possible
  • we can know that a miracle has happened
  • we could ever recognize a specific event as a miracle
Since those who deny miracles do not heed the teaching of the Church, my replies will be based on reason. In brief, I would reply:
  • Given an omnipotent God, miracles are certainly possible
  • We can know that miracles have occurred if we have experienced one, or have been provided credible testimony of them
  • We can recognize a miracle if the circumstances are sufficiently unusual and it makes sense to infer God as the Agent
Let me be clear that I'm not positing the existence of God to prove miracles, and then using miracles to prove God (fallacious and circular reasoning). If someone believes in the existence of the traditional concept of God, the possibility of miracles, and the ability to ascertain them logically follow. What of those who don't believe in God or the Christian (True) God? The Vatican Council says miracles can be used to prove the divine origin of Christianity. Let's define the term first.

The definition of a miracle. According to theologian Parente, the word miracle comes from the Latin word miror---I wonder. In the broad sense, it is an extraordinary event which calls attention and excites wonder. Theologians explain it is: (a) done by God as principle cause; (b) done in the world; (c) in a way superior to all forces of nature; and outside or above, but not in violation of the laws of nature, but by an exceptional happening brought about by a divine power that intervenes in created things, producing an effect superior to their natural power. The possibility of the miracle rests chiefly on the absolute dominion of God as the First and Free Cause of the Universe, Whose laws are subordinate to Him and cannot limit either His freedom of action or His power. Only the logically impossible and that which violates His Nature (sin) are impossible to Him. (See Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology, The Bruce Publishing Company, [1951], pg. 188).  

Those of your unbelieving family members, co-workers, neighbors, friends, etc, are really saying one of three things when they deny the miraculous.

1. They claim to know with certainty that miracles cannot happen. 
How do they know miracles are impossible? They must assume the non-existence of God first, or that God would not/has not performed a miracle. If they expressly or implicitly deny the existence of God, that shifts the ground of the debate. Their problem is not about miracles. If they claim God has not or would not perform a miracle, how do they know the Mind of God? What is their source of this alleged knowledge?

2. Science disproves the existence of miracles. 
Science is confined to the observation of natural phenomena. You cannot replicate something that is unique, like a miracle. Scientists believe in the Big Bang, yet that can't be replicated. I believe my mother loved me, but I have no scientific proof, nor is any possible. Must I conclude she didn't love me? Science is but one way to knowledge. Ask them, "Do you believe that water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius at sea level?"  They will respond "yes" because it can be proven. Not so fast. All you can prove is that all water that you have seen in the past or at present has frozen (or is freezing) at 0 degrees Celsius at sea level. You assume that the future will be a constant repetition of the past--that it will always continue to do so. But how do they know this? Ironically, they take it on belief! 

3. Miracles were just ways superstitious people explained things they didn't understand.
Similar to #2, they accuse Christians of making a "god-of-the gaps" to explain gaps in knowledge. When we don't understand something, we ascribe it to the action of God. However, they assume that everything has a natural explanation which cannot entail the supernatural; a "science-of the gaps." They do not follow the evidence where it leads, only seeing where they want to go, and not really looking for the truth.

Miracles can and do happen. The Modernists, atheists, and agnostics have denied any possibility of the supernatural based on assumptions, not evidence. A short post can never do justice to the great and many proofs for, e.g., the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. However, it is shown that miracles can happen, and they can prove the truth of Christ's Church. If God exists, He can perform miracles. These miracles can be proofs of faith, such as the Miracle of the Sun at Fatima witnessed by over 100,000 people. The greatest miracle is the Resurrection of Our Lord, proving He was God and He founded the One True Church.  

The modern minds claim to know everything, but as the Bible tells us, "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,..." (Romans 1:22). 

Monday, January 21, 2019

Can Unbaptized Infants Achieve Salvation?

Baptism is necessary for salvation. Every Traditionalist Catholic believes this as it has been defined by the Church.  However, what of the fate of unbaptized infants and those unborn who die in the womb? What of the severely retarded and habitually insane (born that way)? The Church teaches that these people go to Limbo,  a state of natural happiness, yet deprived from all eternity of the Beatific Vision of God. They suffer poena damni (pain of separation), but not poena sensus (pain of sense). In this post, I wish to explore the possibility, taught by some theologians, that the unbaptized in these cases (I'll refer to them all as "unbaptized infants"--if not in age, "infant-like" as they have no use of reason) might be able to achieve salvation (at least in some cases) instead of Limbo.  The study of this subject is fascinating, and the overview of the question comes from theologian Dyer's work, Limbo: Unsettled Question. It was written in 1962-63, just prior to the Great Apostasy.

I want to make it clear, yet again, that I have no Magisterial authority, and I'm neither a theologian or canonist (nor have I ever claimed such). I was really intrigued by the theological theory, and hold it as plausible. As every Traditionalist must, I stand willing to submit to Holy Mother Church in all things. Should a pope be restored, I shall adhere to his decisions in this, and all other matters of Catholic Faith and morals without reservation.

St. Augustine's View and Those of Modern Theologians (pre-Vatican II)

 St. Augustine took a harsher view of the effects of Original Sin than did the modern theologians. (I define a "modern theologian" as an approved theologian from the end of the Vatican Council [1870] until the beginning of Vatican II [1962]). Under St. Augustine's teaching, unbaptized infants are damned to Hell. Most modern theologians agree, but have reservations about "damned" meaning consignment to Hell in the usual and ordinary theological use of the word. Essentially, damnation for the unbaptized infant consists exclusively in banishment from the presence of God. As a corollary, the modern theologians can imagine the soul of an infant under the sentence of damnation who would not suffer the torments of Hell (poena sensus) nor grieve the loss over the Beatific Vision, to the point of having a degree of purely natural happiness. 

St. Augustine could not conceive of damnation apart from suffering. He was willing to concede that even if unbaptized infants spent eternity apart from Hell, they could not be free from the pain of the loss of the Beatific Vision (poena damni). When St. Augustine lived (354-430 AD), he was fighting against the Pelagian heresy. Simply put, Pelagius denied Original Sin and taught that the human will, as created with its abilities by God, was sufficient to live a sinless life. The bishops gathered in a non-ecumenical Council of Carthage, which drew up nine canons against the Pelagians.

The Third Canon states, "If any man says that in the kingdom of heaven or elsewhere there is a certain middle place, where children who die unbaptized live in bliss--- (beate vivant), whereas without baptism they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, that is, into eternal life, let him be anathema."

These canons were approved by Pope Zosimus, albeit non-infallibly. This would seem to rule out the existence of Limbo. The historical context shows it to be no problem at all. True, Limbo is a place or state between Heaven and Hell, yet it is a place of damnation insofar as you are deprived of the vision of God. The "eternal life" of the Pelagians was a state of innocence that implied a denial of Original Sin. It was this denial Carthage condemned. 

The Second Ecumenical Council of Lyon and The Ecumenical Council of Florence

 The Second Ecumenical Council of Lyon (1272-1274) defined the following, "However, the souls of those who die in mortal sin, or with Original Sin alone, shortly go down to Hell, to be punished with different punishments, however." The Council of Florence (1431-1449)  repeated these words almost verbatim. Doesn't that ratify what St. Augustine taught? Isn't Limbo rejected? No. The Church did not considered the matter closed and allowed theologians to hold the doctrine of Limbo. There were four interpretations of these definitions that were permitted:

1. There are those who die only in Original Sin

2. There is no teaching that anyone does actually die only in Original Sin alone; it defines only what would happen if someone did die in Original Sin alone

3. The Councils are actually defining the Limbo of St Thomas Aquinas

4. The Councils are defining the teaching of St. Augustine

Remember that the Angelic Doctor (Aquinas) ruled out the pain of sense for unbaptized infants. But is not the pain of the loss of God greater? The answer of Aquinas was ingenious. No one regrets not having something which he is totally unequipped to have. Hence, a person would regret the the loss of his house, or family, or good name, but not the fact he cannot fly naturally like a bird. Sanctifying Grace becomes "lumen gloriae" ("the light of glory") upon the soul's separation from the body and entrance into Heaven, thereby allowing the soul to enter the Beatific Vision of God for all eternity. (See theologian Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma, [1955], pg. 22).  Since they had not the knowledge of Faith, they have no idea of their possible supernatural destiny and will be happy contemplating God insofar as their nature permits. God need not allow them to know what they could have achieved (Beatific Vision) which they are unequipped to have by nature. No one dared to state (or even imply) that Aquinas (1224-1270), the greatest of all theologians and Doctors of the Church was meant to have his opinion condemned by Lyon and Florence. Hence, the Church did not condemn Limbo. The second interpretation above seems to imply the possibility of at least some unbaptized infants somehow saved, and that will be explored in the next section after one more development is explained. 

In 1794, Pope Pius VI issued the decree Auctorum Fidei condemning the teaching which rejected Limbo as a "Pelagian fable." The Jansenist heretics denied Limbo (along with some approved Catholic theologians), but unlike the approved theologians, libeled their opponents' idea as a "Pelagian fable." Pope Pius VI was condemning the characterization of Limbo as a Pelagian fable, and something heretical. He was not making it a dogma, or censuring theologians who held the Augustinian view.

An Interesting Development at the Council of Trent
On the discussion regarding Baptism, the great theologian Cardinal Cajetan, proposed that infants in the womb could be saved by the desire of their (Catholic) parents. He reasoned thus: "In [the womb] the infant is capable of receiving Baptism of Blood; if a child yet enclosed in the womb of his mother could receive death for Christ, he would be a martyr as are the Holy Innocents. It is then reasonable to admit that the faith of his parents could produce the same result..." (See Dyer, pg. 141). What a blow to Feenyites who claim Trent condemned all but Baptism by water! There was no condemnation of Cardinal Cajetan!

We know infants and those deprived of reason can receive Baptism of Blood (BOB). (See theologian Ott, Ibid, pg. 357). Cajetan held that a pregnant woman who dies by BOB would have her unborn child share in her glory. At Trent, theologian Andrew de Vega, proposed the following proposition to be condemned:
"Children who die without baptism may be saved." His suggestion was denied by the Council Fathers. Another theologian, Leoninus, suggested condemning the idea children can be baptized in the womb. His suggestion, too, was rejected at Trent. Interestingly, on August 21, 1901, the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office under Pope Leo XIII declared baptism "in utero" performed by a needle inserted into the womb by doctors/nurses to be valid. There can be no doubt that the Holy Ghost was at work during the Council of Trent. 

 Some Council Fathers put forth the proposition that: "Children in the wombs of their mothers can be saved by blessing and the invocation of the Trinity" to be condemned. After thirteen days of deliberations, on February 22, 1547, the Secretary of the Council declared that the Fathers could not come to a decision. Therefore, the proposition was removed from the list of proposed condemnations because "it does not pertain to the teaching on baptism." It has been claimed Pope St. Pius V ordered this teaching removed from Cajetan's works, but the decision came from the editor of the book. There is no solid historical evidence Pope St. Pius V had any influence on the decision. So what did Trent mean by "it does not pertain to the teaching on baptism"?  Three things become clear from the deliberations:

1. When Trent defined the necessity of baptism for infants, it was speaking of a general, not absolute necessity, as BOB can substitute for the Sacrament
2. The definition was prompted by the Protestants who disputed the necessity of the sacrament to the extent of refusing to baptize their children
3. The infants who were the subject matter of Trent's decree were understood to be outside the womb, not in utero, as Cajetan suggested

The "Moment of Choice"?

 Is there a possibility that at least some unbaptized infants can be saved apart from BOB and the sacrament of baptism? Notable theologians have taught such without condemnation or censure. Such are theologians Klee and Schell. French theologian Glorieux seems to come up with a most interesting theory, that complements Klee. Does the moment of death belong to this life or the next? All human activity ends at death, and all possibility of merit and demerit. This is dogma. "Night is coming, when no one can work." (St. John 9:4). 

Death is the separation of the soul from the body. It is instantaneous, not something gradual over time. Hence, the moment of death is the same as the last moment of life. If that moment is considered part of your life, then it is possible that the soul, freed from the confines of the body, could be illuminated by God and given a test similar to the angels to either accept or reject God. If the former, they pass and go to Heaven, if the latter, they fail and go to Hell. Would this apply to all unbaptized infants? Just some? Why?

There is much to criticize. It seems close to Baptism of Desire (BOD), which Pope Pius XII taught cannot happen to infants. "In the present economy there is no other way of communicating this life to the child who has not yet the use of reason. But, nevertheless, the state of grace at the moment of death is absolutely necessary for salvation. Without it, it is not possible to attain supernatural happiness, the beatific vision of God. An act of love can suffice for an adult to obtain sanctifying grace and supply for the absence of Baptism; for the unborn child or for the newly born, this way is not open..." (See Address to the Congress of the Italian Catholic Association of Midwives [Oct. 29, 1951] Emphasis mine). 

A disembodied soul is not a complete person, so it would seem that the final moment of life is more appropriately the first moment of death, therefore no merit is possible. It might open the door to abortion by thinking the child still has a chance to see God if I kill him/her. 

The doctrine of Limbo has developed over centuries and is not fully settled. Without a pope, it cannot be. What does seem likely is that at least some unbaptized infants might have a path to salvation. How they are chosen and how it happens is known but to God--if it is true. This discussion does bring home the tremendous love God has for every person, and how He will go to any length to save a soul who is willing to turn to Him, repent, and be part of His One True Church. Let that be the lesson for us and do all we can to merit the grace of Final Perseverance. If we do our part, God will do His because He died for us and desires our salvation.

As to the possible salvation theories, theologian Ott said it best, "[extra-sacramental means of salvation for unbaptized infants] are indeed, possible, but their actuality can not be proven from Revelation." (Ibid, pg. 114). 

Monday, January 14, 2019

The Science Of Life

 On January 22, 2019, it will be 46 years since seven members of the United States Supreme Court made murdering unborn babies legal in America with the decision in Roe v. Wade. Here in New York State (America's answer to Sodom and Gomorrah), our apostate, adulterous governor, Andrew Cuomo, has made one of his gubernatorial priorities enshrining abortion as a "right" in the NYS Constitution should Roe be overturned. Moreover, he is seeking to get a law passed in the meantime, the so-called "Reproductive Health Act" which will codify Roe, and make abortion legal by NY law during all nine months of pregnancy.

With the Democrats having taken control of the State Senate last November (and already having control over the State Assembly), it will surely pass.  If you think the Vatican II sect "bishops" have excommunicated Cuomo, or refused him "communion," guess again. Bergoglio has said and done nothing, just like when Ireland was trying to take its Constitutional protection away from the unborn last year. The formerly Catholic country declared war on unborn babies by passing a repeal of the Constitutional protection afforded pre-born children with 67% of the vote.

I have been involved with the pro-life movement since my conversion to Traditionalism in 1981. I know the ins and outs of the issue. All pro-abortionists call themselves "pro-choice" because they don't want to be called "anti-life." Everyone knows it's wrong to take an innocent human life. No sane person would even try to defend the morality of torturing an innocent baby to death. The whole case for abortion collapses if the zygote, embryo, fetus are recognized as the names designating different stages in the development of a human being, just like an infant, teenager, and senior citizen are different names for human development on "the other side of the womb." If the unborn are human beings, abortion is murder--and even the infamous Justice Harry Blackmun, author of the Roe majority opinion, conceded the point. Those who advocate the "right to choose an abortion" must deny the humanity of the subject of their choice, just as the Confederates had to deny the humanity of African-Americans to justify their "right" to "choose owning a slave."

The abortionists began undermining the human status of the unborn by asking a simple question, "When do you think life begins?" It made it seem like the question was a subjective matter of opinion. You would receive numerous responses to that query, such as:

  • Life begins at conception
  • Life begins at viability
  • Life begins at birth
  • Life begins when there is social interaction
  • That is a matter of religious belief, no one knows the exact moment when life begins
All of these answers are wrong. Surprised? Thought the answer was "life begins at conception"? In this post, I will demonstrate that the question asked is ambiguous and improper, and that secular science proves beyond any reasonable doubt the humanity of the unborn. God's design, which can be known through the scientific method to which even atheists subscribe, compels one to acknowledge abortion as the taking of an innocent human life, i.e., murder.

A Trick Question and a Definitive Answer
"When do you think life begins?" is properly rephrased as "In human reproduction there is a point in time when life begins. When do you think that point occurs?" There is a false underlying assumption that no one knows the answer, but we can all agree that a newborn is human, so abortion on demand at any point in pregnancy should be allowed. If anyone believes life to begin at a certain point prior to birth, then that is just a religious belief, and we live in a pluralistic society. You can't impose your religious beliefs on others (thanks to Vatican II and the Masonic "separation of Church and State" God is effectively rendered irrelevant). 

Since Vatican II, and now with the advent of the Internet, we have a rise in ultracrepidarians,i.e.,those who express definitive statements and give opinions on topics clearly outside their scope of expertise. We see this in Traditionalists who think they can read Magisterial documents and fully comprehend them apart from the teaching of the Church's approved theologians. In daily life, we see people attempting to "diagnose themselves" on Web MD, and "give legal advice" based on something they read on a lawyer's website. We shouldn't have lawyers (judges) pontificating on matters of defining human life. The Church has been banned from the public forum in the United States, and virtually all other countries since Vatican II, so an appeal to theologians or Church authority gets you no place fast. 

Given this state of affairs, who is qualified to answer questions about human life? The study of life is known as biology (literally "the study of life"). Biologists are uniquely qualified to answer this question, and their findings are not based on theological teachings.  My sources in biology date from before the time of Roe, to just after, demonstrating that these facts were known back then and before. They are not recent developments in the field.

The answer to "when do you think life begins?" when analysed and properly rephrased as above is simple: In human reproduction, biological life does not begin---it is continuous. There is no period when life stops and then starts up again. Cells can only come from other living cells. If the ovum were not alive and mature, it could not be fertilized. If the sperm were not alive it couldn't reach the ovum, let alone fertilize it. According to biology professor Dr. Garrett Hardin, "But when does life really begin? The true answer is simple: Never. Life ends, often, but it never begins. It is just passed on from one cell to another. All biologists...are in agreement on that answer. (See Psychology Today 8: No. 6, 42, November 1974; Emphasis in original).

There is no point between fertilization to birth where the human offspring is not alive. All biologists accept this fact, and it holds true regardless of religious belief.

Another Trick Question and Another Definitive Answer

 Undaunted, the abortionist will now complain, "That's not what I'm talking about. OK, the cells are living, but when does it become human life?" 

The Answer: Human life, like cellular life, is transmitted. At fertilization, the zygote is a complete (though not completed) human being. It is a unique human organism having 46 human chromosomes with DNA different from every other human, including his/her own mother and father. It has an information content equivalent to 1,000 volumes of a hard copy encyclopedia. All the cells, tissues, and stages that arise from the zygote are human. None of them can ever be characterized as belonging to any other species. According to biologist Dr. Leo Schneider, "You are composed of trillions of cells now, but at one time in your life you were just a single cell." (See You and Your Cells, Harcourt, Brace, and World, Inc. [1963], p. 205; Emphasis in original).  Even the notorious baby-killers, Planned Parenthood had this to say in 1963: "An abortion requires an operation. It kills the life of the baby after it has begun." (See Plan Your Children for Health and Happiness [pamphlet]).  These facts are not matters of religion, opinion, conjecture, or theory. They are expressions of reality as determined by scientific observation and analysis. A unique human individual is present from fertilization onward.

How do the abortionists respond? The only way they can: it's not enough to be a unique biological individual, you need to be a "person." In other words, they will add additional qualifications to be considered human, besides the biological necessities. You now need to acquire "personhood." There are myriad problems with that as we shall discover.

A Person is Simply a Biological Human

 The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution (adopted July 9, 1868) says the following:

"All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

If the unborn are not "persons" then they can be deprived of life without due process of law. What, precisely, is meant by the term "person"? Under Federal law, corporations are considered "persons" but unborn babies are not! This "person" is a legal fiction, and it simply makes things more nebulous. Questions arise, such as: Do you have rights because you are a person, or are you a person because you are given rights? Is the term "person" one that corresponds with objective reality, or is it a term in search of a subjective definition? 

A "human person" is nothing more than a biological human individual. Does anyone really think (or have any evidence to support) that the Founding Fathers of the 18th century understood a "person" as being anything more? Personhood=Biological identity as a human. Anything else (like a corporation) is a legal fiction. While personhood may indeed have a theological or philosophical definition, the biological definition is the one upon which all must agree, and secures the right to life--even in a pluralistic society. 

Objections Answered
1. Death is the permanent cessation of all vital functions, such as a beating heart, brain waves, respiration, etc. even though cellular life continues. Why should cellular life without these functions be considered life? 
Answer: The absence of these functions at early stages of development is neither permanent, nor irreversible. All the cells are alive and functioning in their own way. The vital functions in the early stages of life are merely different, not absent. The vital functions of the zygote are metabolism and cleavage. You are no more justified in asserting the zygote isn't alive because it doesn't have a beating heart, than in asserting that an infant isn't alive because it can't chew, crawl, reason or procreate.

2. The zygote, embryo, fetus, are all dependent upon the mother for life. It's part of the mother's body to do with as she pleases.
Answer: Wrong. Unlike a tooth or an appendix, the zygote has its own unique DNA code, marking it different from all other humans, including his/her own parents. As far as dependency is concerned, are newborn babies not human because they also depend on the mother for sustenance? Does a man who needs an iron lung to live cease to be human, and now is "part of the machine" because he cannot live independently from it?   If a mother refuses to feed her baby, or the hospital turns off the iron lung, is that not murder? 

3. There is no person until the unborn has a soul. Religions differ on when this occurs. No one knows when life begins.
Answer: As stated before, human life is a continuum. In a pluralistic society, we are using biology, not theology to determine human life, and that can be accepted by all. Even if, ad arguendo, "no one can know" when life begins, this demands the same result as the biological definition. If someone goes hunting and isn't sure if what he sees moving in the bushes is a deer or a human, shouldn't you refrain from shooting because it could be human and you must err on the side of caution? 

As the fight against abortion continues, we must make the case that it is biology, not any other discipline, that compels us to protect the unborn. Biology and true theology are both from God and can't contradict each other. This is a perfect case in point. In the early 1980s there was a proposed amendment to the United States Constitution that we should all remember and work towards. It perfectly protects all human life from the twin evils of abortion and euthanasia. It stated, "The paramount right to life is vested in each and every human being from the first moment of biological fertilization until a natural death." May God hasten the day this becomes reality for all countries. 

Monday, January 7, 2019

Singing For Satan---Part 18

This week I continue my once-per-month series of posts regarding an informal study I undertook in the early 1990s regarding rock and pop music. The purpose of my study (and the background to it) can be read in the first installment of August 7, 2017. If you have not read that post, I strongly encourage you to do so before reading this installment. I will only repeat here the seven (7) evil elements that pervade today's music:

1. Violence/Murder/Suicide
2. Nihilism/Despair
3. Drug and alcohol glorification
4. Adultery/ Fornication and sexual perversion
5. The occult
6. Rebellion against lawful superiors
7. Blasphemy against God, Jesus Christ in particular, and the Church

 The exposing of the bands/artists continues.

Hall and Oates
Daryl Hall (b. Daryl Hohl in 1946) and John Oates (b. 1948) were two aspiring musicians who attended Temple University in Philadelphia. In 1967, when Hall was a senior and Oates was a junior, they were in a "battle of the bands" competition. Hall was with a band called The Temptones, and Oates was with a band called The Masters. When a fight broke out among band members, the two of them tried to stop it, only to have the angry participants turn on them both. They ran into a service elevator together and escaped. Exchanging phone numbers, they became friends and roommates, as they enjoyed the same type of music. They decided to form a "pop-rock" duo, and when the building super put a sticker on their mailbox labeled "Hall & Oates," the appellation became their professional moniker.

 The two landed a recording contract with Atlantic Records and released three albums beginning in 1972. They were not very successful. In 1975, the duo was picked up by RCA Records, and they released their fourth album entitled  Daryl Hall and John Oates, which was moderately successful with a ballad called Sara Smile, written by Hall for his then-girlfriend Sara Allen. With their 1976 album Bigger Than Both of Us, Hall & Oates scored their first mega-hit, Rich Girl, which became ubiquitous on radio stations across the United States in 1977.  The song was the first major hit to feature an uncensored vulgarity--b*tch. Their hits continued at a rapid pace, and by the mid-1980s, they were a household name.

Hall and Oates have sold an estimated 40 million records, making them the best selling music duo in history. Billboard magazine named them the most successful duo of the rock era, surpassing Simon & Garfunkel and The Everly Brothers. In 2014, Hall & Oates were inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 

Satanic? Are You Joking?
As I've stated before, my research on rock, pop, and rap artists was restricted to those groups and artists generally thought of as being "tame" or "innocuous." It doesn't take much to see that bands like AC/DC and artists like Ozzy Osbourne are overtly Satanic. However, when I call Hall & Oates the most duplicitous group singing for Satan, even some of my friends have raised their eyebrows, and gave me the look that says, "You're pulling my leg, right?" The generally clean-cut image portrayed by the duo, and the sappy love songs they mostly sing, makes it extremely hard to imagine them as "Satanic."

Yet, this is exactly what Satan wants you to believe. We must not judge their music based on their looks or some of the love songs that are unobjectionable. We must judge them based on their lifestyle and lyrics taken as a whole. A small dose of poison in an otherwise good drink can kill you. Remember also, the words of Sacred Scripture, "For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. And no wonder: for Satan himself transformeth himself into an angel of light." (2 Corinthians 11:10-14).

The devil and his demons do their best work when they come in the guise of something good, or at least something considered harmless. I ask you to read the rest of this post with an open mind and then discern for yourself if Daryl Hall and John Oates are benevolent (or harmless) singers, or if there is something deceptive and nefarious going on with them. Obviously, I have come to the conclusion that the manifest weight of the credible evidence shows the latter, and their music should be shunned.

Daryl Hall: Pervert and Occultist
On the cover of their fourth album Daryl Hall and John Oates, the duo look like effeminate drag queens, complete with blush. Many people thought them to be sodomite lovers, despite protests to the contrary from them at the time. Hall once remarked, "I was looking like the girl I always wanted to go out with."
Daryl Hall and John Oates, when dressed properly, were considered handsome men, and many women in their 20s and 30s were smitten by them. In actuality, Hall is bi-sexual, and promiscuous. In Rolling Stone magazine, 4/21/77, pg. 15, Hall said in an interview, "The idea of sex with a man doesn't turn me off...but I don't express it. I satisfied my curiosity about that years ago. I had lots of sex between the ages of three or four and the time I was fourteen or fifteen. Strange experiences with older boys. But men don't particularly turn me on. And, no, John and I have never been lovers. He's not my type. Too short and dark." (Emphasis mine).  John Oates is quoted as saying, "Rock music is 99% sex." Hall chimed in, "I wish you were allowed to use more raw language.You should be able to say 'f**k' in a song without being banned." (Expletive censored by me).

Sex certainly is one of the main subjects of their songs. The hit Maneater is about a prostitute:

She'll only come out at night
The lean and hungry type
Nothing is new, I've seen her here before
Watching and waiting
Ooh, she's sitting with you but her eyes are on the door
So many have paid to see
What you think you're getting for free
The woman is wild, a she-cat tamed by the purr of a Jaguar
Money's the matter
If you're in it for love
You ain't gonna get too far
Watch out boy she'll chew you up
(Oh here she comes)
She's a maneater
(Oh here she comes)
Watch out boy she'll chew you up
(Oh here she comes)
She's a maneater
I wouldn't if I were you
I know what she can do
She's deadly man, she could really rip your world apart
Mind over matter
Ooh, the beauty is there but a beast is in the heart  (Emphasis mine)

Their song Family Man is also about a prostitute. She wants a married man to be with her so she lowers her price for sex. Defenders of Hall & Oates will say that the song is good because the married man says no to her. The last line of the song actually tells a different tale:

She had sulky smile
She took her standard pose as she presented herself
She had sultry eyes
She made it perfectly plain that she was his for a price

But he said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite
He said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
If you push me too far I just might

She wore hurt surprise
As she rechecked her make up to protect herself
Dropped her price and pride
She made it totally clear that she was his for a night

But he said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite
He said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
If you push me too far I just might

She gave him her look
It would have worked on any other man around
He looked her up and down
She knew he couldn't decide if he should hold his ground

But he said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite
He said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
If you push me too far I just might

She turned, tossed her head
Unlike her opening move, her final exit line
He waited much too long
But by the time he got his courage up she was gone

And he screamed, leave me alone, I'm a family man
And my bark is much worse than my bite
He said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
If you push me too far I just might...
He said, leave me alone, I'm a family man
Don't leave me alone 'cause I got to go hungry (Emphasis mine)

The "family man" got his "courage" up to pay her for sex, but she had already left. The last line tells us he does not want to be left alone because he's "got to go hungry" (slang for "not having sex"--ostensibly with his wife--so he wants the prostitute).

Hall was raised Methodist. He converted to Judaism for his first wife. He speaks about it in an interview and admits there are spiritual themes/messages in his songs.

[Interviewer] I never spotted religious themes in your lyrics before.

[Hall] Well, religion has always been a part of my life, and yeah, there are inadvertent references to religion. I grew up singing in the church, but when I moved to Philadelphia, I got heavily involved in West Philadelphia. I married a Jewish girl and converted to Judaism in 1969, or 1970. Something like that. But now I’m not a member of any organized religion.

[Interviewer] So you converted for a girl? No way.

[Hall] Yeah, that's the power of the West Philadelphia Jewish community. I spent almost a year under its tutelage. It became a part of my life. I wasn't married to her very long, but Judaism still gives me an understanding of life. I do feel more akin to Judaism than Methodism, that’s for sure. And not to be stereotypical, being Jewish gave me more of an insight into the music business.
(See; Emphasis mine).

Hall, ever interested in the occult, is rumored to have been into the Kabbalah. The word "Kabbalah" means "to receive," and refers to "divine revelation" allegedly given to the Jews and passed on to succeeding generations through oral tradition. At first it was used by the mainstream of Judaism, but eventually it became identified with those who believed that the Kabbalah was an esoteric, occultic tradition that explained the true meaning of the Hebrew Scriptures. It was kept hidden from the masses and only made known to those who were spiritually ready to receive it--it's the Jewish counterpart of Gnosticism, if you will. Kabbalah is extremely evil, blasphemous, and anti-Christian.

Hall admits to being a student of Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), the English Satanist, who was dubbed, "The Wickedest Man in the World" by the press. Interestingly, Hall & Oates didn't become popular until 1977. In 1974, Hall became involved with both Satanism and the occultist George Gurdjieff (a Russian Occultist, d.1949) and then his career took off.  Hall had this to say:

[Interviewer] You also at the time were interested in mysticism, and reading up on things like Aleister Crowley--

[Hall]: ...A lot of people go through that kind of thing. And I went through it, and I retained a lot of it, and I discarded a lot of it. My life was unbalanced at the time, when I was doing that.

Despite Hall's claims that he "discarded" a lot of the occult, he claims to be a witch (practitioner of Wicca), in a long line of witches. In that same interview, he said:

[Interviewer] There's a quote I found from '84 that really interested me. You said, "In my uncle's time, you were a minister. Two generations before that you were a warlock. Now you're me." Is that how you sum up being the frontman, the singer?

[Hall]: [laughs] Yeah. I always look at it as being a continuum. That's true, by the way-- I come from a family of ministers. And my great-grandfather was what they used to call in Pennsylvania a "pow-wow man," which is basically a male witch. It goes back to the old Germanic and English things-- it's like the evil eye, keeping the crops from getting the blight, and the cows from getting sick, and all that stuff. It's just old, old folky things. He was a healer, he used to heal people's warts and give them all kinds of potions and all that kind of stuff. He also had an evil side. And I heard some stories about him. [laughs] I never knew him, but I heard lots of stories about him.

That's how that filtered into that statement. But I see what musicians do, especially singers, as a primal thing. It comes from howling around the campfire. Everybody was sitting around whatever, in the earliest of early times-- pre-literate times, how's that? Pre-conscious times. And pre-sentient times. And somebody would be the guy that would start the howling. And that's what I do. 
(See; Emphasis mine).

The song Adult Education is about a high school girl who wants an "adult education" in sex because the boys are not as experienced as they pretend to be. The video to this song is full of occult imagery and has nothing to do with the perverted lyrics. In the video, while the duo sing, they are in what appears to be a pagan temple. There's a man with a baseball cap on, giving "blessings" with idols. It ends with what appears to be the ritual human sacrifice of a young man and young woman. Yet, the video ends with the boy standing behind the idols' altar and the girl sitting on the stone slab in front of it, as Hall & Oates and their band continue to sing, dance and play instruments in the background. The final shots of the video are of hieroglyphs and ceremonial items scattered around the structure. The video can be seen here:

Music to Kill For?

Hall's 1980 solo album, Sacred Songs, explores his view of the supernatural and his interest in supernatural topics. For example, the lyrics discuss occult "magick" and hint at Hall’s personal philosophy. Notably, the song, Without Tears alludes to Aleister Crowley’s book Magick without Tears. Crowley taught, "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law." That would include murder.

The hit song Rich Girl, which catapulted Hall & Oates to fame and fortune, came out after Hall's deep involvement in Satanism and the occult. I was 12 years old when the tune went to the top of the music charts in 1977. From 1976 to August 10, 1977, New York City was terrorized by serial killer David Berkowitz (b. Richard David Falco in 1953). He was also known as "The Son of Sam" because his neighbor's dog, "Sam" had "told him" to start killing people. He was also known to the police as "The .44 Caliber Killer" due to the weapon he used. Berkowitz claimed, after he was imprisoned, that he was part of a Satanic coven. Personally, I believe he did not act alone and did indeed have help. At one point, Berkowitz asked the controversial Jesuit and author, Malachi Martin, to help him write a book. Martin declined, and Berkowitz then converted to "born-again" Protestantism.

Berkowitz once claimed that he would "pump himself up" for murder by listening to Rich Girl. (See, e.g., Hall wrote the song Diddy Doo Wop (I Hear the Voices) in response. The pertinent part of the lyrics are as follows:

Diddy doo wop, oh oh oh oh oh
Diddy doo wop, oh oh oh
Well, it's the voice that I hear at the subway stop
Keep singing, diddy doo wop

Diddy doo wop, oh oh oh oh oh
Diddy doo wop, oh oh oh
Well, it starts in my head and it ends when I stop
Keep singing, diddy doo wop

Charlie liked the Beatles (ahh)
Sam, he liked Rich Girl (b*tch girl)
But I'm still hung up on the Duke of Earl (duke, duke, duke of earl, duke, duke, duke of earl)
Reaching for the handle
I'm slicing through the air "swish, swish"
Oh, the doo wop voices everywhere
And oh, the Duke is singing (Emphasis and censorship of vulgarity mine)

"Charlie" is a reference to Charles Manson and The Beatles, "Sam" is a reference to Berkowitz and the Hall & Oates song. Someone claims your song helped motivate them to murder and you put that claim in another song? A lighthearted satire in response to something so serious, is in my opinion, seriously wrong! If the song was written by Hall when under demonic inspiration, could the song somehow entice other demonically influenced people to do even more evil acts? I think it's entirely possible. I don't know if it's backward masked messages, or something else, but it seems plausible, especially given the surrounding circumstances.

Daryl Hall and John Oates appear to be harmless singers who perform innocent love songs. A closer examination of the facts proves otherwise. I'm reminded of Our Lord's condemnation of the scribes and Pharisees who liked to appear holy: "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside they are full of robbery and self-indulgence. "You blind Pharisee, first clean the inside of the cup and of the dish, so that the outside of it may become clean also. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness." (St. Matthew 23: 25-28).

A note to my readers: I'm interested in whether or not you find this series of posts on music worthwhile. If you find it beneficial and would like it to continue, could you please comment and let me know why? If not, and you think it should end, please comment and let me know that too. It's a lot of work to pull up my old notes and update/publish it. Yet, I will gladly continue if people find the series to be useful. Many thanks to those who will let me know!---Introibo