Monday, February 26, 2007

Dissecting a deleted comment

A few days back, I posted an entry entitled "The next US President".In the post,I compared legalized abortion to the legalized slavery in 19th century America.A day or so afterwards I was notified via email that a comment had been posted.I found the comment to be filled with intellectual garbage and I deleted it from the blog.I kept the comment in my email and after having re-read it, I decided to comment on it here.First, I will paste the comment below,then dissect it,putting in my comments.

"Abortion has been practiced since the beginning of time, and will be practiced till the end of it whether it is legal or not. I agree that it is immoral, and that it is murder, but it is essentially the choice of the mother, because the baby IS the "mother until it is born and functions separately from her. The baby does not really matter because it is not conscious, and doesn't know it is being killed, and "doesn'thave anything to leave behind. It will go to heaven. It is not the baby that matters, it is about the choice the woman makes. She will perhaps be punished accordingly when she dies, but it must always be her choice to make. It is different from murdering a child or adult because they have a consciousness and thus are aware of what is happening. A 6 week old foetus can't. Women must be given the choice about these matters because to take it away takes away equality in society and thus damages democracy in other ways. Reproductive rights are essential. Whether it is moral or not does not matter."

"Abortion has been practiced since the beginning of time, and will be practiced till the end of it whether it is legal or not."
Murder,rape,stealing and all sorts of evil has been practiced as well.That is no excuse to continue the behaviour

"I agree that it is immoral, and that it is murder, but it is essentially the choice of the mother, because the baby IS the mother until it is born and functions separately"
If you agree that it is immoral and an act of murder then how can it be justified?
The fact that the unborn child has differnt DNA shows that it IS NOT the mother.

"The baby does not really matter because it is not conscious, and doesn't know it is being killed"
If that ignorant statement were true, then an unconscious adult could be murdered too.

"It is not the baby that matters, it is about the choice the woman makes."
How can so called "freedom of choice" matter more than an innocent human life?

"It is different from murdering a child or adult because they have a consciousness and thus are aware of what is happening. A 6 week old foetus can't."
Again,what about adults or children who do not have consciousness?

"Women must be given the choice about these matters because to take it away takes away equality in society and thus damages democracy in other ways."
Fathers do not have a say in the where is the equality?

"Reproductive rights are essential."
'Reproductive rights' is an attempt to justify recreational sex without consequences.

"Whether it is moral or not does not matter"
Morality matters most of all.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Gustav Zappa?

Growing up,I was exposed to an incredibly wide variety of musical genre.There was always music playing and the sounds from the radio or record player could range from Country to Big Band to Modern Jazz to Rock.

My own musical library today continues this eclectic tradition. The main difference now, is that I've a style of music in my collection that my father did not listen to while I was a kid....namely Classical.

So,now, not only do I have Sinatra and Nat King Cole in my CD collection but Mozart, Bach and even Frank Zappa.

Not having grown up on orchestral music I still have much to learn about it. The first time I listened to Gustav Holst's "The Planets" I vaguely recognized part of it. But, it took awhile before I identified where I'd heard it before. Frank Zappa had "borrowed" a portion of the work...but, at first I couldn't recall which of his pieces contained it. Now I know. It's included in his "Call any Vegetable". I listened to it today and I think he may have put it somewhere else as well.

It make take a bit before I find it......I can't listen to Zappa or Holst while my wife is home. Her tastes in music aren't as varied as mine.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Upsetting turn of events.

When Cathy and I decided to marry, we had to deal with three different entities....namely. the United States government,the Philippine government and the Catholic Church.

Taking everything we knew at the time into consideration, the fastest way for us to get together was to bring her to the U.S. on a fiancee visa and marry here,rather than in Philippines.Our plan was to have a small Catholic wedding here.When we first approached my parish priest we encountered a problem.According to Church requirements for marriage, Cathy and I had to attend a Pre-Cana counseling seminar before the priest could marry us.

Because of the scheduling of the Pre-Cana seminars in Atlanta, we would have to wait until that July before we could attend. Cathy's visa said that she would have to marry in 90 days from her arrival in the U.S to remain legal and the time limit would expire before then.The priest would not make an exception in our case. Our only option was to have a civil ceremony and have the marriage blessed afterwards.Of course, according to canon law,we were barred from receiving Communion in the months between the civil and Church ceremonies.

We were married in the courthouse in June of 2004 and again in the Catholic church October the same year. Our plan was to have a renewal ceremony when Cathy received her "green card" and we could return to Dumaguete.We'll be able to go home soon and we already started making plans with mama to arrange the renewal at St. Anthony of Padua Catholic church in Sibulan.
We knew that we could not be married again but we were planning it as a renewal of vows....with gowns, maid of honor and flower girls......the whole nine yards, as we say in the U.S.

We've just learned that that is not permitted by the Church.In Philippines,we can not have a renewal until we've been married 25 years.No walking down the aisle.No wedding dress.Very upsetting to say the least.We'll still have a party at the parent's house but it won't be the same.It won't have the same significance.

I've been trying to understand the reasoning of the Church's rule in this situation.Of course, there can only be one one wedding and the fact that we didn't have the fancy accoutrement doesn't make the original Catholic wedding less valid. If we were allowed to have a renewal of vows after only three years it would have,perhaps,lessened the meaning of a lifetime renewal.
Maybe that's it. I'm not 100% sure.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

another photo of the weeping statue

When I read the accounts on the bleeding statue in Sri Lanka,I failed to look at jpg properly.It was only after I posted the blog entry that I clicked on the photo and saw the much larger version.Clicking on this one will allow you see it better. Better yet, go to my previous post.....go to the links and you can click on the photo there and get an even bigger jpg.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Statue sheds blood in Sri Lanka

It's been reported ( that in Jaffna,Sri Lanka a statue of Our Lady of Lourdes has been seen weeping tears of blood.The statue was originally in a private residence but has since been removed to a local church.
Not having witnessed this particular event, I'm not able to address the authenticity of this.But, I can speak to the idea of bleeding / weeping statues in general.
The non believers' arguments against bleeding or weeping statues follow one general line of thought......there are no supernatural forces so it must be fraudulent. They say it's impossible for a statue to bleed so it is impossible for a statue to bleed.
This idea isn't a logical assumption. We do not know, beyond all doubt, what is or isn't possible.Our understanding of science shows that the depths of our learning hasn't reached it's limit. Very real objects ( such as PCs or TVS to mention only two) were once unimaginable. We can't say that what we might deem possible two hundred from now isn't seen as impossible to us today.That's not to say that a particular statue is weeping,but there can be forces at work that we currently do not understand or appreciate.
Most of the skeptics arguments alleging fraud simply show how a hoax could have been perpetrated.They never show that a particular weeping statue is a hoax.Showing that "X" happened a certain way does not prove that situation "Y" happened the same way.
The-so called-skeptics' attitude towards the supernatural shows a closed-mindedness they claim the believers of having.
I can't say for certain that this or that statue is actually bleeding but I see no reason to believe that God isn't capable of producing such an event.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

The next U.S. President

Being a political junkie, I'm already thinking of who will be the next U.S. President.I have no clue who the Republicans will nominate but I know that I'm none too happy with the choices coming from the Democrats.I can't possibly vote for anyone in that Party as long as the Democrats are essentially the Abortion Party.It's quite possible that an individual candidate might have an idea or two I could support but as long as the Democratic Party continues in their abortion stance, then voting for anyone of them is out of the question.Legalized abortion is similar to the legal slavery of 19th century America.Just because the law of the land allows something does not make it morally justified.Just as some could not see the humanity of the slaves during that period, there are some today that cannot see the humanity of the unborn child.Unfortunately, we're not likely to see a presidential candidate of Lincoln's stature viz a viz the abortion issue.I'm afraid that legalized abortion will be the downfall of this country. It's one more example of the basic selfishness of the typical American today.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Eyeless in Gaza

Years ago,before PC's were common and the Internet was for the Military only,I would spend hours at a time in my local public library "surfing" the bookshelves (as it were) in much the same way I surf the Internet today. Whenever I found an interesting subject, I would have several books laying open on the table in much the same way I might have several Windows or tabs open on my web browser today. It was during one of these visits -perhaps twenty years ago- that I came across a book, the title of which fascinated me ever since....Eyeless in Gaza by Aldous Huxley.I decided then and there that this book title was the greatest in English Literature.I remember taking the book home but never reading it. I know I started it but never finished, though,I'm not sure why.Looking back, I suspect that I may have been disappointed that the book itself did not live up to the wonderful title.Of course, at the time , I had no idea what the actual meaning of the title might be.A few days ago,the book came back to mind and would not leave.The only thing I could do was search the Internet for information about the work.It was then that I discovered that the title comes from a line in a poem by John Milton (of Paradise Lost fame) entitled Samson Agonistes.
"Ask for this great Deliverer now,and find him
Eyeless in Gaza at the Mill with slaves,
Himself in Bonds under Philistian yoke;"
The poem is based on the story of Samson as found in chapters 13 - 16 of the book of Judges.By now my curiosity was running full speed ahead.It was easy enough finding a copy of the poem online and I could read the biblical story in the Bible here at home.But, I'd have to check out the Huxley book from the library. I'd never thought a great deal about the story of Samson before and reading the three chapters in Judges yesterday did not fill me with any great insights.However,my reaction to Milton's poem was different.Reading it I begin to see the great tragedy of Samson's story.Written three hundred and fifty years ago, the early English can be difficult at times to follow, but I think it's well worth the effort.
I stated re-reading the Huxley book as well.It is not at all like I remember.Of course, that was twenty years ago.It's more interesting than I remember;I'm sure I'll finish it this time around.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Sweet Revenge

None of us can escape pain.No matter how charmed our lives are, we will experience heartache and disappointment.We will be betrayed by a friend or lover.Even the most enlightened of us will feel the need,at some point,to exact some form of revenge on the one who has wronged us.I've never been one prone to actual physical violence of any sort.On those rare occasions when I felt a need to avenge myself, I would use the pen rather the sword.In the past,when song writing was my forte,I would seek my revenge by including the miscreant in a song lyric or two.Now that I no longer write music,I must look for other avenues when the need arises.Perhaps now that I am writing more, the guilty party can expect to see his or her self transformed into a Manananggal or some other odd and bizarre creature like Gregor Samsa in Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis . They could be the prisoner convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment in a short story or novel.
Ahhhh,sweet revenge.