Friday, December 10, 2010

PBR and Other Pleasantries

My Third Installment of the series, so get excited...


From the Donnybrook blog- an anecdote was worth sharing from my friend James:

"I got a new job back on Capitol Hill. After a brief stint of unemployment (survived only by winning a liquor store’s promotional PBR camping equipment giveaway), I landed on my feet with a job that paid bills. Now, I pay the bills by doing something that I’m pretty excited about."

Congrats on the job James... but you paid bills in D.C. via a PBR giveaway? I think that deserves a gold star for resourcefulness! And major hipster street cred.


I'm interviewing Dr. Janet Smith today for an article. Who's that? A professor of moral theology at Sacred Heart Seminary and one leading scholars and sought after speaker on sexuality, bioethics and contraception. She is absolutely fantastic!


Perhaps you've heard of the site; perhaps not. I, personally, had been avoiding it. It's a site a [liberal-but-they-don't-like-labels] couple (Pete and Alisha) set up and have allowed people to vote on whether or not they should abort their child. The voting has ended and a decision was reached this week: they are keeping "Baby Wiggles." I think it is safe to say they are dismayed by the 1+ million fraudulent votes they got and the "liberal media" attacking the couple, i.e. not talking and discussing the issue with them (the husband's words, not mine). The final votes was around 73.70% keep the baby, 26. 21% abort it.

Before the voting ended, however, my friend Trent sent the link to me, where I read a post by Alicia entitled "What I Learned from the Poll":

"This vote has also taught me that you can be for a woman’s right to choose but that doesn’t make you anti-life (as the name “Pro-life” would lead people to believe). Just like being “Pro-life” doesn’t automatically make you anti-choice, the two ideas aren’t mutually exclusive. The titles themselves actually distract from the actual topic which is whether or not abortion should be legal and although I am firmly in the liberal camp on the issue of legal abortion in the U.S., I discourage women from using abortion as a repeated form of birth control."

This is fascinating. Truly. The ways people's minds are shaped and formed, the conclusions and arguments they come up with, the way they are influenced and prejudiced are fascinating. I would love to interview this couple at some point, maybe for a book or article.

But first: Uh, yes. I would also discourage women from using abortion as a repeated form of birth control because that is super bad for a woman's body.

The issue to ponder comes down to what is the value of a human life and the the seemingly logical right to life (guaranteed at the very, very least in the second paragraph of the U.S. Declaration of Independence). Being pro-abortion is swung not as pro-death but pro-the ability to make the choice in favor of ending the fetus's life. Being pro-life, therefore, is not just being against a person's ability to choose an abortion: it is being pro-someone else's life. And no Pete, the term is not bunk. Killing a plant with pesticide or an animal to make tasty hamburgers is simply not the same thing as killing a person.

I had someone tell me over Thanksgiving break that ethics can't be taught. I disagreed on the grounds of natural law theory. (Hello Summa Theologica!) When I used the example of murder, I asked her if I could defend myself in court by saying, "It was a hard decision, but, personally, I think it's better off that he's dead now." She said no and when I pressed her a bit further, she responded, "Well, you have good ethics." But if ethics can't be taught, how can there be a good and a bad?

Fr. George, an amazing Dominican priest at St. Gertrude's, says that the Church is pro-choice in the sense that morals are choices; the difference is making the right choice. Following Christ and being a Christian is a choice. Following the Church and being faithful to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church is a choice. It is interesting that abortion's legality is the actual topic the couple raises as the point for ponderance, which I can agree with to an extent-- but then does allowing abortion to be legal justify its severe moral implications and consequences?

Bonus reading: "A Life Beyond Reason" from The Chronicle of High Education is phenomenal.


This was a busy week for Catholics-- Monday was St. Nick's Day, Wednesday was the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, a holy day of obligation, and Sunday is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. It is also exams time! Wooot! Here is a prayer from St. Thomas Aquinas, Dominican priest, Doctor of the Church and patron saint of all universities and students:

Grant, O merciful God, that I may
ardently desire,
prudently examine,
truthfully acknowledge,
and perfectly accomplish
what is pleasing to You,
for the praise and glory of Your Name. Amen

Also, St. Joseph of Cupertino is the patron saint of test-takers, if you want to ask his intercessions:

O St. Joseph of Cupertino who by your prayer obtained from God to be asked at your examination, the only preposition you knew. Grant that I may like you succeed in the examination.

In return I promise to make you known and cause you to be invoked.

O St. Joseph of Cupertino pray for me

O Holy Ghost enlighten me

Our Lady of Good Studies pray for me

Sacred Head of Jesus, Seat of divine wisdom, enlighten me. Amen.

I used to invoke St. Jude, saint of hopeless and desperate cases, for a few of my exams during college-- and, from personal experience, that usually worked out great too!


I've decided to take this attitude towards the muscle-tensing, teeth-chattering winter season:

Ice cubes for all!!


In this week's WikiLeaks coverage via The Onion, "Kim Jong-Il interprets Sunrise As Act of War":

PYONGYANG, NORTH KOREA–Increasingly defiant toward international pressure since his nation's first nuclear test in early October, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il condemned this morning's sunrise, calling it "another hostile, deliberately timed act by the world community" and "a clear and blatant declaration of war."

Too bad he really is this crazy... Oy vey. I liked "Kim Jong-Il's Approval Rating Plummets to 120%" and "Assange Fired from IT Position at Pentagon" too.


Speaking of WikiLeaks, I was asked me to write up a piece for a symposium The Imaginative Conservative. The symposium, WikiLeaks and the Republic, was published on Monday night and had so many great entries. I feel very blessed to have been asked to participate and must admit my enjoyment of being the only female writer among eight men. My piece is called "Taking Romance out of Schmoozing Sources, and Other Bad Habits."

Happy Friday and check out Conversion Diary for more!

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