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Third World problems...we've got them.

It is going to get worse and it may never get better, kiddies. Just watch for the reaction to come... GOP Rep. Steve Scalise shot at co...

"Let no freedom be allowed to novelty, because it is not fitting that any addition should be made to antiquity. Let not the clear faith and belief of our forefathers be fouled by any muddy admixture." -- Pope Sixtus III

Friday, January 13, 2006

Someday, some Americans are going to take the law into their own hands and kill people like Judge Edward Cashman and child rapist Mark Hulett...

...and then it will be too late, kiddies.

ABC News: Calls Arise for Vermont Judge to Resign

Michael Savage believes America's endgame will result in a rightist fascist dictator who is allowed to rise to power because he promises to restore law and order. (Sound familiar?)

Before it is too late (and for his sake and ours), judges like Cashman must be removed from the bench and imprisoned.

Before it is too late (and for his sake and ours), perverts like Hulett must me locked up until they are no longer a threat to those who cannot defend themselves.

Have you ever noticed...


...Georgia Pacific's En-Motion automatic commercial paper towel dispensers kind of sound like they scream when they spit out the paper?

"The greatest generation" doesn't even come close.

My dad went to have a tooth pulled yesterday. He said the dentist looked young enough to be my son.

Before pulling the tooth, the guy told my dad "This might hurt a little."

My dad said "It won't hurt as much as having shrapnel pulled out of your leg without the benefit of anesthesia."

(See WWII, Battle of the Bulge, Ardennes Forest.)

If John Tierney gets whacked by the NYT, here's the motive.

Wow. A guy with a non-lockstep (or goosestep) opinion at the Old Gray Mare. I hope he has his resume ready.

Black Students Lose Again
By John Tierney

Who is harmed by school voucher programs like the one recently declared verboten by Florida's Supreme Court? I'll give you one hint: It sure as heck isn't the kids.

Democrats once went to court to desegregate schools. But in Florida they've been fighting to kick black students out of integrated schools, and they've succeeded, thanks to the Democratic majority on the State Supreme Court.

The court's decision on Thursday was a legally incoherent but politically creative solution to a delicate problem. Ever since Florida's pioneering statewide voucher program began, Democrats have been struggling to deal with the program's success.

Watch closely as The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion kicks poor black folks struggling to make the world a better place through education in the teeth.

Most of recipients have been black students like Adrian Bushell, whom I wrote about last year. Without a voucher, he would have attended Miami Edison, a big public high school in a poor area with a 94 percent black student body and a total of six non-Hispanic white students.

Instead, he's now a 10th grader at Monsignor Edward Pace, a Catholic school that is 24 percent black. His experience is typical. In other places that have tried vouchers, like Milwaukee and Cleveland, studies have shown that voucher recipients tend to move to less segregated schools.

Here's something the vouchernazis won't tell you:

Besides helping Adrian (who's got a 3.1 average and plans on college), the Florida program has also benefited students in public schools like Miami Edison. Because each voucher is worth less than what the public system spends per student, more money is left for each student in the public system. And studies have repeatedly shown that failing Florida schools facing voucher competition have raised their test scores more than schools not facing the voucher threat.

A program that desegregates schools and improves test scores wasn't easy to attack in the Legislature, but the courts offered a more promising battleground for the teachers' unions trying to stop it. Florida's Constitution has a version of the Blaine Amendment, a ban on aid to religious institutions that might be construed in some states (but not in others) to prohibit school vouchers.

A lower court in Florida ruled that the voucher program violated the ban on religious aid. The State Supreme Court could have simply affirmed that conclusion, which would have been legally defensible (although mistaken, in my view). But then it would have faced a messy new set of questions.

If the Blaine Amendment prohibited vouchers, couldn't it also prohibit the state aid now going to hospitals, colleges and preschool programs run by religious institutions? Would the court have to end programs that were popular with the public and inoffensive to Democratic teachers' unions?

The judges ducked these inconvenient questions by ignoring the Blaine Amendment and using another rationale. They ruled that the voucher program violated a state constitutional requirement to provide a "uniform" system of public schools.

The majority's decision was eviscerated in a dissent by two Republican judges who use adjectives like "nonsensical" to describe the legal reasoning. The dissenters argue persuasively that nothing in the Constitution forbids the Legislature from setting up other programs beyond the public school system.

The decision has disillusioned Adrian and his grandmother, Ramona Nickson. "I just don't even want to think of sending him back to public school," she said. Other parents in Florida worry that more programs are in jeopardy, like the scholarships given to thousands of disabled students in private schools. Or the many charter schools in the state, which may not suit the judges' personal vision of a "uniform" system. "

May God bless and protect Ramona and other women like her who are filled with enough love to care for one more generation.

It's difficult to predict what will happen next after a decision as devoid of legal principle as this one," said Clark Neily of the Institute for Justice, which represented the voucher recipients in the case. "The judges decided what decision they wanted to reach and worked backward from there."

Welcome to Ruth Bader Ginsburg's America!

Adrian was supported by the Urban League of Miami and other advocacy groups for blacks and Latinos, but not the N.A.A.C.P. It abandoned him - and the majority of African-Americans, who favor school vouchers - and sided with the teachers' unions.

For shame!

On the other hand, the NAACP is a political power kind of thingee, not a help people kind of thingee.

The group that once battled the segregationists' fiction of "separate but equal" schools signed on to the legal fiction that there's something admirably "uniform" about a public school monopoly that keeps students in Adrian's neighborhood trapped in a segregated, inferior school.

It's sad to see the N.A.A.C.P. working to keep them there, but it's not surprising now that the group is virtually an arm of the Democratic Party. The unions dominating that party have no qualms about sending Adrian back to a segregated school that has just lost its chief incentive to improve. The party now has a new educational motto: separate but uniform.

May God have mercy on those of us who allow the thugs and criminals in power to destroy the lives and souls of decent folks like Adrian and his grandma.

Those folks on the Gulf Coast are our neighbors. You know what to do.

First, last, and always, PRAY. Pray for the survivors. Pray for the repose of the souls of those who were killed. Pray for the families and friends. Pray for the relief workers, the cops, the firemen, the troops, and the technicians. Pray for the volunteers.

It is time to step up once again, kiddies. "Do unto others", "I was naked and you clothed me", et cetera.

As time passes, the memory of these disasters will fade for those of us fortunate enough to live outside the devastated areas, but recovery and restoration will take years.

Please, whatever you do, don't become a cynic. (I know, I know. But I just play one on the computer.) Of course there will be more horror stories like the abuse of the debit cards and that $250-odd billion federal package will produce insane amounts of corruption, but our fellow Americans will be suffering from Katrina for a long time.

True charity, (News Flash! Taxes ARE NOT charity.) like the money you donate to Catholic Charities will help the truly needy and will not foster dependency.


Catholic Charities USA is collecting financial donations to Catholic Charities agencies’ emergency and long-term recovery efforts in the wake of both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

Mail Checks To:
Catholic Charities USA
2005 Hurricane Relief Fund
PO Box 25168
Alexandria, VA 22313-9788

Call:(800) 919-9338

Contribute Now Online


News
1/06/2006 — Catholic Charities USA, 13 Other Major Nonprofits Reaffirm Commitment to Human Needs Aspect of Gulf Coast Recovery
12/14/2005 — Catholic Charities Agencies Help Hurricane Katrina Victims Celebrate the Holidays Away from Home
12/14/2005 — Catholic Charities Providing Door-to-Door Mental Health Counseling for Hurricane Katrina Victims
12/14/2005 — CCUSA Grant to Catholic Network Florida Funds Graduate Program in Long-Term Disaster Recovery Management
12/13/2005 — Catholic Charities Agencies Giving Hope For Christmas In Times Of Increasing Need
More news...


FAQs
FAQ - Donations
FAQ - Hurricane Relief

Agencies Impacted:
Catholic Charities of Miami
Catholic Charities of New Orleans
Catholic Community Services of Baton Rouge
Catholic Social Services of Houma-Thibodaux
Catholic Social and Community Services of Biloxi, MS
Catholic Charities of Jackson, MS
Catholic Social Services of Mobile, AL


How you can help:
Unfortunately, Catholic Charities USA is unable to accept contributions of food, clothing, blankets and other relief supplies. Monetary donations will be used to provide for the emergency relief and long-term recovery of Katrina's and Rita's victims. Catholic Charities USA is consistently ranked among the highest and most efficient organizations across the country. Approximately 96 percent of contributions made to the 2005 Hurricane Relief Fund will be used for emergency response and recovery efforts.

About the Disaster Response
OfficeCatholic Charities USA, which has been commissioned by the U.S. Catholic Bishops to represent the Catholic community in times of domestic disaster, responds with emergency and long-term assistance as needed. Its Disaster Response Office connects the Church's social service agencies and disaster planning offices across the nation.

And, as always, give generously to the special collections for hurricance disaster relief in your local parish.

Fyodor's Pro Football Playoffs Picks of the Week.

1) The guys who set the lines are professionals. Their job is to make each game look as attractive as possible to everyone. That way they even out the amount of money bet on each side.
Instant translation: The house wins no matter who wins. That's why people get into the gambling business.

2) I am just a fan. I won't even keep track of these picks week to week if it gets too embarrassing.

3) There is no such thing as "inside information". Especially in the pros.

4) If those idiot touts on tv and in the paper were any good, they wouldn't go public with their genius. They'd sit at Harrah's sports book from open to close and then go out and buy $2,000 an hour hookers who dress like high school girls.

5) Gambling is stupid. You cannot win.

That being said, here are my NFL picks for this week.


Saturday 1/14


Washington (+9.5) at Seattle
That's a good number if Seattle is at the top of their game and the Redskins play like they did last week. I'll take the Redskins and the points. Seahawks will win, but by no more than three points.
FINAL: Seahawks 20 Redskins 10 - Fyodor loses!



New England (+3) at Denver
I have been waiting for Jake Plummer to revert to form all year, but he seems to have learned not to throw interceptions. Going against most of my instincts, I will take the Broncos to cover.
FINAL: Broncos 27 Patriots 13 - Fyodor wins! (Wow. The Patriots are human.)


Sunday 1/15



Pittsburgh (+9.5) at Indianapolis
I think the Colts will cover, but since I'm not really betting and I'd like to be able to root for my Steelers, I'm taking Pittsburgh and the points. If the Steelers' O line can dominate the game and open lots of holes for Fast Willie and The Bus, the Steelers have a chance.
FINAL: Steelers 21 Colts 18 - Fyodor wins! (Yippee! For more, look here.)



Carolina (+3) at Chicago
I'm taking the Panthers and the points. Chicago will win 10-7, or something similar to that.
FINAL: Panthers 29 Bears 21 - Fyodor wins! (Don't blame Rex Grossman. The Bears O put up 21, but their vaunted D came up small.)

The Rally and March For Life is January 23.

The 33rd Annual Rally For Life and March For Life will be held on Monday January 23, 2006 in Washington, DC.

Please attend if you can and speak some Truth to those who think they are the Power.


Call your priest and ask to reserve a seat on one of your parish's buses. And if he says your parish has no buses, politely ask him why. (Remember, you may live in Idaho and a bus trip to DC may be out of the question. On the other hand, I have met people from Idaho at the March...)

Also, please pray for the health and safety of all who are traveling to Washington and, as always, pray for the end of infanticide in America.

Our evil, racist, nazi judicial system failed to execute an innocent man.

DNA: Virginia executed the right man
CNN.com (AP) -- New DNA tests confirmed the guilt of a man who went to his death in Virginia's electric chair in 1992 proclaiming his innocence, a spokeswoman for the governor said Thursday.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Hilary, convert, husband and father, bishop, defender of The Faith against Arianism, and Doctor of The Church. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading for the Feast of St. Hilary is
1 John 2:18-25.
Today's Gospel reading is
Matthew 5:13-19.


[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]


Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today


Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.


St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.


Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Speaking of crap you can find in newspapers nationwide...

...Herr Doktor Peter Teufel advocates killing the old, feeble, useless, ill, unwanted, you (Not today, of course. Later, when you can't fight back. Right now, you'd kick Herr Doktor Teufel's ass if he tried to kill you. But you should remember one thing, kiddies. You'll be old too someday.)


When faith and medicine meet

Q: I am a nun. About two months ago you replied to a letter about a 92-year-old man who was in good general health and broke a hip, then refused food, water, medicine and therapy for two weeks. I was unable to respond to that letter because I didn't have your address at that time. I have a problem with your advice — specifically, "If ... your uncle still has a death wish, respect it. At 92, his decisions should be honored." Basically, you are saying that if he wants to commit suicide then let him do it. Intentionally causing one's own death is as wrong as murder, and God gave us the commandment "Thou shalt not kill." Suicide is NOT a dignified death: It is a rejection of God's sovereignty and loving plan for the individual. God alone gives life; God alone ends that life.

A person who is in good general health is capable of eating and drinking without a feeding tube, but even if a feeding tube is necessary, this is still considered an ordinary means for sustaining life. A 92-year-old in good general health is NOT in a dying condition, where death is immanent. Therefore, food and water are morally required for him; otherwise, he chooses to reject God and commits a grave violation of the law of God.

We have a culture-of-death mentality in the world today that needs to be changed into a culture of life. The late Pope John Paul II wrote in his letter of 1984 On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, "Each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ." The 92-year-old man (as well as many in the world today) needs to be instructed on the value of carrying one's cross with Jesus. Jesus said, "If you do not take up your cross daily and follow me, you cannot be My disciple." Acceptance of old age with its limitations is a powerful means of union with Jesus Christ. What a beautiful example we saw in the life of Pope John Paul II, who died peacefully a natural death, after living for years with physical decline. He did what St. Paul wrote in his letter to the Romans, "present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship." In 1999 the pope wrote a letter to the elderly. He said, "when God permits us to suffer because of illness, loneliness or other reasons associated with old age, He always gives us the grace and strength to unite ourselves with greater love to the sacrifice of His son and to share ever more fully in His plan of salvation."

I beg you to share with your readers a culture of life. Do not suggest to them an immoral choice that would have serious consequences for all eternity. One cannot honor the decision of a person who wants to be allowed to kill himself; one may never cooperate in evil.

Lord, bless and protect this brave Bride of Christ!

Now watch the evil Doktor Teufel blithely run roughshod over the Hippocratic Oath:

A: I am publishing your letter in its entirety because it represents a strikingly opposing belief to my own.

How we handle end-of-life decisions is a private matter for which each of us must take responsibility. The only reason I am readdressing this issue is that it has medical, social, political, personal and legal considerations.

How we live, perform and contribute to society is the culmination of years of experience. We don't need organized religion to demand (inappropriately) of us what we wish for at the end of life.

But, of course, we are talking about faith here — solid convictions that are not built on facts.

The fact is you are advocating the murder of innocent people you black- hearted son of a bitch.

When my elderly patients tell me that their lives are over, they've done on this earth what they were meant to do, and they don't want to experience physical as well as psychological and spiritual suffering, I respect that. Clearly, I won't engage in any behavior that could be misinterpreted or considered criminal, but I am certainly willing to accept their wishes and will engage in any lawful activity to support their decisions. So I am sorry to reject your viewpoint, but I stand solid, and so, I suspect, do many others.

Ah...I smell democracy! Since lots of people want to die and lots of others want to kill them, murder is a good thing. Doktor Mengele, benennen ihr büro.

Because issues of dying, suicide and other very personal matters are at the forefront of our concerns, I strongly urge my readers to purchase the astonishingly pertinent book "The End of Faith" (W.W. Norton, 2005) by Sam Harris.

I can only imagine the horrors present in that tome.

Let me know your reactions, readers, once you have completed your homework assignment.

May God have mercy on all souls.

SEX IS DEATH. (Fear of the boomers)

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions

The latest Parade magazine offers a perfect example of what rampant disordered sexual desire has done to the dimmest generation.

The New Seasoned Woman
By Gail Sheehy

In her books about adult development, including her landmark “Passages,” Contributing Editor Gail Sheehy has inspired women and men to think about the possibilities inherent at every stage of life. In her latest book, “Sex and the Seasoned Woman,” published this month by Random House, Sheehy reports on the emergence of a new phenomenon in female growth. Traveling across the country, Sheehy spoke with women from their 40s to their 90s. What she found may change how we think about ourselves–and the women in our lives. Here is an adaptation from the book.


A Seasoned woman is spicy. She has been marinated in life experience. Like a complex wine, she can be alternately sweet, tart, sparkling, mellow. She can be maternal and playful. Assured, alluring and resourceful. She is less likely than a younger woman to have an agenda–no biological clock ticktocking beside her lover’s bed, no campaign to lead him to the altar, no rescue fantasies. The seasoned woman knows who she is. She could be any one of us, as long as she is committed to living fully and passionately in the second half of life.

“Sex” and “older women” used to be considered an oxymoron, rarely mentioned in the same breath. It was assumed that a woman’s sexual pilot light was extinguished by menopause, and she was content to slip into the desexualized role of on-call grandma and caretaker for whatever members of the family got old and sick first or whined the loudest. Do people really think we all trade the delights of touching and being touched for some hobby utilizing yarn?

What makes a woman seasoned? Time. This year, the oldest Boomer-generation women turn 60; the youngest are 41. This is a new universe of passionate, liberated women–married and single–who are unwilling to settle for the stereotypical roles of middle age and are now realizing they don’t have to. They are open to sex, love, dating, new dreams, exploring spirituality and revitalizing their marriages as never before. They are rediscovering who they are, or who they set out to be before they became wrapped up in the roles of their First Adulthood, when their primary focus was on nurturing children, husbands or careers–or all three. Now millions of them are bursting out into a whole new territory: a Second Adulthood. This is a huge cultural shift, making possible what I call the Pursuit of the Passionate Life.

Instant translation: Women, surrender to your passions. You don't need to listen to your consciences. Copulate with anything that moves and most things that don't. That'll make you happy.

Carole Smith is not young, not thin, not rich and not gorgeous, but she is one of most sensual and satisfied women I met in the course of my research. “Dating over 50 is great,” she enthuses in one of the many group interviews I’ve held with women 50 or over. “I’m looking for fun and companionship and romance.”

Carole is an old and lonely woman who swallowed the big lie of powerful men: Behave like perverse men and you'll be forever happy.

Before she can finish, another woman interrupts: “You don’t go as far as sex?”

“Oh, I have a lot of sex,” Carole says, her voluptuous chest rippling with hearty laughter.

It isn’t the first guess one would make about Carole. She is a 50-year-old manager of a doctor’s office who has been divorced for more than 20 years. (Now there is a surprise. - F.G.) Her naturally full body is probably 50 pounds over the national standard. She describes herself as “a big, bubbly, fun-loving Jersey girl.”

Springsteen doesn't want to do you either, honey. Wake the hell up and be responsible.

When asked how sex has changed for her from 40 to 50, she tosses her hair and grins. “Better,” she says. “I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant. And I haven’t had the same trouble separating the ‘mother me’ from the ‘sexual me’ since I launched my child. If you’re a sensual person, by the time you’re 50, you’ve become much better at it. And it can be just about you and him.”

How sad is that last paragraph?

Carole had a lot of lost time to make up for, having married at the age of 19. Before she was 23, this good Catholic mom was separated (Ah ha! - F.G.) and left alone with a 2-year-old boy. The struggle of mothering while working full-time drained her energies. Her desire for men and sex fell dormant.

It couldn't be the fact she violated her solemn vow before God and man, could it? That might have turned off the ol' g-spot, Carole. So now you try to replace quality (love) with quantity (EXPLETIVE DELETED.). Brilliant! Why hasn't anyone tried that one before?

At 42, she decided to start dating, but how? She bought a new computer and asked her son how to access the Internet. “The first man I met online was pivotal in my life,” she says, but when he asked her for a picture, she backed off. He pressed to meet her in person. She confessed that she was afraid to meet and that she was, well, oversized.

Sweet. Make your kid complicit. But keep on pluggin' there, Carole baby. Bill Clinton will get around to you sooner or later.

“Hey,” he responded, “I’m a big guy. My ex-wife was big. I like big.” He was a police officer like her first husband, and Carole says she will love that man forever. Unfortunately, she admits, she zeroed in on him as her next husband. Weighted with Carole’s repressed desires of two decades, the relationship collapsed. “Even though it didn’t work out, he got me out of the house,” she says. “The universe sent me exactly what I needed–not a husband, not a soulmate, but knowledge.”

Sweetie, if you don't know how to do it by 42, you should take up knitting.

Carole’s big guy is what I like to call the Pilot Light Lover (Awwww. Isn't that a cute way to conceal mortal sin from one's conscience? - F.G.) –a transitional figure who appears in many of the stories of seasoned women I have interviewed. The Pilot Light Lover reignites a midlife woman’s capacity for love and sex. He seldom lasts. But he gave Carole the confidence to try online dating, which she found to be a candy jar full of interesting men who became lovers or friends.

She has, by now, developed a truly seasoned woman’s philosophy of life: “I may never get that perfect soulmate, but you know what?” she says, raising her glass of sparkling water and rolling her eyes. “I’m going to have a heck of a time trying.”

Ignorant men have always defined themselves by what they do with their gonads. Women used to know better. How can you expect to find a "soulmate" when you can only attract men who see you the way you see yourself, as an empty vagina?

Sexual revitalization is only one of three paths to a more passionate life. In my interviews, women routinely describe the “aha! moment” that came sometime in their 40s or 50s, when they realized, “I don’t have a new dream.” This is more than a search for a new hobby. It is truly a new concept of your self in the world–one that will generate exhilaration and commitment to the future.

I bumped into an embodiment of this principle, literally, when I heard a neighbor walking down our street in New York one evening, singing “On the Street Where You Live.” She wasn’t just humming, she was swinging her arms and warbling. Madeline is an attractive journalist and photographer in her late 50s. She appeared to have had quite a glamorous existence, living much of the time abroad with a successful husband.

Heck, maybe she's just nuts. I knew a guy who used to sing on the streets. He wore a lot of tin foil and said the CIA had put a chip in his head.

What I didn’t know was that Madeline had been depressed and in limbo since she extracted herself from a marriage where both sex and emotional intimacy had drastically deteriorated. Valiant attempts to find a spark within the singles scene had only deepened her loneliness. For her, the path out of darkness would not be through sex or romance.

“I’m taking voice lessons,” she told me, as excited as a child. “I keep singing this song over and over! It’s like not being able to eat enough chocolate. I always got great pleasure from singing, whether it was singing my son to sleep or singing in the car.”

But when she sang, her husband and son would admonish her to be quiet so they could listen to “real singers” on the radio. (Obviously, those brutes must be castrated and killed. - F.G.) Madeline was always afraid to try out for a chorus, and it was only now, at 58, that she was giving in to her core passion for expressing joy through music. She will never achieve her girlhood dream of singing backup for Stevie Wonder, of course, but that’s not the point. Singing reawakened her hunger for intimacy, physical touch, someone to dance with, and she is dating again.

Aw, man...Why did you have to drag Stevie into your tawdry little farce?

“It gives me a passionate thrill,” Madeline says about her new dream. “I can only liken it to that feeling of when you’ve just met somebody. I feel like I’ve got a crush on singing.”

A third path to the passionate life is through spiritual exploration. “You don’t have to be divorced to evolve,” Sandy McCall, a silver-haired psychotherapist tells a group of seasoned Texas women who have gathered for an interview with me. Sandy describes herself as “a small-town woman with red-state values, a marriage of almost 40 years, two grandkids and a sex life that is still extremely satisfying, though probably not as often.” The other women nod in recognition.

But she believes promiscuity will make up for all she lacks.

Ha!

And those of us who champion chastity, fidelity, and family are the naive and unrealistic ones.

“I think all women in their 40s or 50s come to a choice,” she continues, “but mine was not a sexual revolution. It came from a desire of the spirit to be set free.” She pauses, then blurts a strong religious metaphor: “Mine was a death and resurrection.”

Sandy started off like millions of women who came of age in the ’60s. Nobody then asked a woman what she wanted to do. It was assumed she would want what her husband wanted. In Sandy’s case, Ron wanted her to support his dream of becoming a doctor. After teaching to put him through med school and raising their four children, Sandy arrived at midlife longing for a new identity.

Going back to school and gaining a psychotherapy degree did not change the pattern now well-etched into her marriage: “I was the dissatisfied one,” Sandy tells our group. “I thought it was my turn. I wanted to be heard.”

Instant translation: If I let you have sex with me, will you pay attention to me?

She began to explore her suspended religious faith, attending the conservative Christian church in town. Once she began defining her values and her core self outside the realm of her marriage, Sandy’s self-confidence began to build. Ron could not relate to what she called her “faith walk.” Their arguments became bitter, repetitive, exhausting.

Find the real Church, honey.

Love is never free of the struggle over balance of power. (Yeah, there's a really healthy model for a marriage: Politics! - F.G.) As a couple enters midlife, resentments may surface. One partner may declare an ultimatum: Either things change, or this relationship will be over. The McCalls agreed on a trial separation. Each would pursue separate counseling. At some point, they’d get back together and see if they “meshed.”

Five months later, Sandy and Ron were resigned to divorce. Then she ruptured a disc in her back, and her husband stopped by to bring her dinner. People were telling him the same thing, he said to her: “She needs to know how tough it’s going to be without you.” Sandy’s response came from her core: “Then they must not understand our relationship,” she said, “because I know what it’s like to be without you. I don’t have a clue what it’s like to be with you.”

From that moment on, the disruption in the old balance began to be different, interesting, yeasty. Sandy suggested that they go out on a date and get to know each other again. When they did, they talked about the things newly dating couples talk about–movies, books, what they like, who they are and “would you care for another glass of wine?” When he walked her to the door, he reached for the knob. She laid her hand gently on his. “No. I don’t do that on the first date,” she said.

After two months of dating, they took a weekend trip to Santa Fe. For the first time, he agreed to go to the opera with her; and, for the first time, she relented on going for a balloon ride with him.

Ron could see that the woman he’d once known as his wife was, in reality, becoming reborn. They began to discuss how, as part of their “new contract,” they might rebuild the marriage on a faith foundation that was bigger than the two of them. Finding a basis for a faith they could share has been important in allowing this seasoned couple to move on to a true and lasting love.

Sandy was in her mid-40s when she set off on her midlife passage. She is 59 now and looking forward to more serenity in her 60s.

What happens when her next crisis rolls around? Does he have to dress as a cop or Stevie Wonder?

Once you commit to pursuing the passionate life, any one of these three paths may start you on the journey. A sexual resurgence may be the stimulus for a burst of new hopes and a personal renaissance that is also spiritual. Or the decision to follow a new dream, and the wit and work it takes to build it, can generate the gradual transformation from a two-dimensional young woman into a flourishing seasoned woman. And the seasoned spiritual woman, animated as she is by a purpose beyond the maintenance of self, is a naturally seductive creature. Sex, passion and soul go together.

Here's a hint, ladies:
Carefully note everything La Sheehy tells you and then do the opposite.


What a Seasoned Woman Offers

– “what-the-hell, life-is-short” joie de vivre (Immorality and insane risk-taking)

– Emotional stability (Ha! Where's the evidence of that?)

– Financial independence (That's not what the data tell us.)

– The ability to talk about anything (Except the lies she believes.)

– No ticking biological clock or toddlers underfoot (Kids are a burden and a curse! I hate my womb! )

– Knowledge of what she wants sexually and the appreciation of a good lover (Watch me match your penis perversity by perversity.)


What a Seasoned Woman Wants

– Romance, fun, flirting, finesse (Since she has given up on love, she will settle for atmospherics.)

– Good conversation (Defined as conversation that does not call into question or disprove the lies she believes.)

– Mutual sexual pleasure with emotional connection (NO PROCREATION! I HATE MY WOMB! )

– Not to be tied down (Unless you're into that sort of thing, big boy. Oh, yeah, and I have to really, really like you. A lot. You do use safe words, don't you?)

– Men who are not threatened by her accomplishments (Like taking half the stuff of her previous "husbands".)

– She wants to go dancing! (Boy, you better make damn sure the band is loud enough to drown out her screaming conscience.)

Part 1: SEX IS DEATH. (Stories for Boys) is here.
Part 2: SEX IS DEATH. (Distaff Death) is
here.
Part 3: SEX IS DEATH. (Joyously dispensing death) is
here.
Part 4: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is depression) i
s
here.
Part 5: SEX IS DEATH. (When self-pleasuring becomes self-destruction) is
here.
Part 6: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is theft) is
here.
Part 7: SEX IS DEATH. (A review of Bareback Mountain) is
here.
Part 8: SEX IS DEATH. (What is the ultimate penalty?) is
here.
Part 9: SEX IS DEATH. (Haven from reality) is
here.
Part 10: SEX IS DEATH. (Sin-redemption-reasons-reason) is
here.
Part 11: SEX IS DEATH. (Mommy loves you) is
here.
Part 12: SEX IS DEATH. (George Gilder offers a clue) is
here.
Part 13: SEX IS DEATH. (Post-killem depression) is
here.
Part 14: SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood) is
here.
Part 15: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 1)
is
here.
Part 16: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 2) is
here.

The free market (that's all of us, kiddies) beats down 'The Book of Spamiel'.

'Book of Daniel' has ad shortfall
UPI --- NBC's controversial new series, "The Book of Daniel," had just 23 commercials spanning 12.5 minutes during its two-hour premiere, it was reported Wednesday.

Wow. Even the sodomites have noticed. Maybe they can blackmail Bill Gates into advertising on it.

More Stations Drop 'Book Of Daniel'
365Gay.com --- Two more stations have cancelled NBC's "The Book of Daniel" bringing the total to four.


Advertisers drop 'Book of Daniel'
WorldNetDaily --- Three of the five national advertisers that had commercials run during the debut airing of NBC's controversial "Book of Daniel" will no longer advertise on the program, states the organization leading the protest against the show.

Fyodor is told he does not bash the so-called conservative protestants often enough.

Israel ends all business with Pat Robertson over Sharon comments
Sun-Sentinel -- Israel will not do business with Pat Robertson after the religious leader suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's massive stroke was divine punishment for the Gaza withdrawal, a tourism official said Wednesday.

Okey-dokey. Here goes.

I figure ol' Pat was trying to scare the Israelis into getting tough and maybe taking back Gaza.

Ha!

If nearly sixty years of ignorant goat rapists killing their women and children hasn't done the trick, one old man's stroke certainly won't!

There.

You don't want to be remembered this way: A Divorce Tale

A 20-year-old Mountville man who recently opened a marketing firm died Monday when his sports car crashed into a cement wall.

Jordan J. Bullock, of 207 Providence Road, was pronounced dead at the scene of the 2:30 a.m. accident in the 2700 block of Marietta Pike.

The 2003 Hempfield High School graduate started JWay Group in October in a small office at Gallery 141 on Water Street. He was building a Web site and working to attract clients, said his parents, L. Jay Bullock III, of Mountville, and Cheryl A. Hefft, of Centerville. The couple divorced in 1997.

"He was a very bright kid," Mr. Bullock said, "just not bright enough to slow down."

If L.C.Greenwood and Dermonti Dawson don't get in, the Pro Football Hall of Fame is a joke.

L. C. Greenwood

Dermontti Dawson

Steelers Playoff Update.

Williams lends support with visitsChomping away on a dried-out cigar butt, Hank Williams Jr. stood out like a 20-gallon hat Wednesday at the Steelers' practice facility.

Bengals in disarray during, after loss
Matchup of the Day: Roethlisberger vs. Manning
Steelers notebook: Big Ben reacts to Lewis' remark
Colts want to win for Dungy
Colts hoping to limit number of Steelers faithfuls
Colts notebook: Dungy not concerned with rust

Penguins Update.

Therrien rips Penguins after loss

Penguins' coach Michel Therrien was, shall we say, not pleased with the Penguins' effort in their 3-1 loss to Edmonton Tuesday night at Mellon Arena.

"I'm not impressed," he said. "It's a pathetic performance. Half the team doesn't care. These guys would see if we take 50 percent of their salaries because they only play 50 percent of the time. That defensive squad, I really am starting to believe their goal is to be the worst in the league.

"And they're doing the best job to be the worst defensive squad in the league. They turn the puck over, they have no vision, they're soft. They pretend to care, but I know they don't care."

The Catholic-when-it's-convenient Senator Plagiarism throws a hissy fit and reminds some of his past anti-sodomite hate speech.


LEFT: Tail-plagiarist Joe.

Sen. Biden Suggests Scrapping Hearings
Washington Post -- Supreme Court nominees are so mum about the major legal issues at their Senate confirmation hearings that the hearings serve little purpose and should probably be abandoned, Democratic Sen. Joe Biden said Thursday.

Biden on Everything
Wonkette -- Joe Biden tells the Today show the Senate Judiciary Cmte. Hearings for Supreme Court nominees are “broken.” Biden suggests returning to the pre-1925 practice of sending nominees directly to the Senate floor.

Biden says chatter during Alito confirmation hearing 'a mistake'
Delaware Online -- After a day of nonstop ribbing from his colleagues and the national media, Sen. Joe Biden was ready to admit Wednesday that he should have done less talking and more listening during his questioning of Supreme Court nominee Samuel Alito.

And finally, from Thinking Right:

Joe Biden: Sexist and Homophobic?

Ok, a little over a year ago Joe Biden showed up at Princeton to give a speech. He repeatedly praised Princeton and said he wished that he had gone there. On top of that, he maid some really creepy remarks about a young woman he and his son met while 0n a tour. One remark was about how attractive she was, the other was a weird reference about how he would be worried if his son wasn’t attracted to her. Senator Biden, if you are so pro-homosexual why on earth would you be worried if your son wasn’t attracted to her? Here is a partial transcript of the speech he gave at Princeton.

JB: It’s an honor to be here. It would have even been a greater honor to have gone here. I have three children who have mercifully have all finally completed undergraduate and graduate school, and I tried to get all three of them to apply here…I committed a serious mistake, Dean. I’ve learned now, any advice I give…when you become parents, whatever school you want your child to go to, don’t mention it. And so I had been pushing Princeton, and this magnificently attractive, intellectually and physically, beautiful young girl, was a sophomore, was showing us around, and I figured we’ve got a lock now. My son is going to really be interested, and I know Senators aren’t supposed to say things like that, but if he hadn’t been interested, I would have been worried…

Today — like his Presidential wanna be John Kerry — he flip-flopped and was very clear that he didn’t like Princeton. Here’s the text:

JB: This is just by way of…you know, why some of us are puzzled, because if I was aware of it, and I didn’t even like Princeton…No, I mean I really didn’t like Princeton (laughing). Yeah, I was an Irish-Catholic kid who thought it hadn’t changed like you concluded it had. I mean, I admit. I have little…you know, one of my real dilemmas is I have two kids who went to Ivy League schools. I’m not sure my grandfather, Finnegan, will ever forgive me for allowing that to happen. But all kidding aside, I wasn’t a big Princeton fan.

Joe Biden was a Princeton fan before he wasn’t… Heh. Oh, by the way, courtesy of Radio Blogger here’s the Joe Biden Princeton waffle compilation.

The dumbass madmen who champion Big Babykilling continue to bang their heads on the brick wall of Sam Alito's reality.

Once again the leading dimbulbs of The Party of Blasphemy, Buggery, and 'Bortion have brought penknives to an intellectual gunfight.

From National Review Online's
Bench Memos:


ALL EYES ON THE COURTS
[ home archives e-mail ]

Biden's Round 3[Ed Whelan 01/12 10:43 AM]
Windup takes about 4-1/2 minutes.

President's war powers. Biden: Does President have authority to invade Iran tomorrow, w/o congressional approval and in the absence of any imminent threat? A: Unsettled.

Biden twice confuses John Yoo (former DOJ official and author of recent book on war powers) with "Ho". Misstates A's testimony.

Biden indicates that he thinks that "international law" is somehow binding on the President and Congress. And this is one of the Dems' experts on foreign policy?? Let's put that issue to the American people.

Stare decisis. Biden: No scholar says that a justice is required to follow precedent, right? A: Not an absolute requirement, but a presumption. Proper factors should be applied. Need special justification to revisit precedent.

Unitary executive. Biden: Discusses (and, I think, misstates) Scalia's dissent in Morrison v. Olson. Are you with the majority or Scalia? Is FDA constitutional? A: I don't know that there are removal restrictions on FDA Commissioner. (I don't think there are; Biden picked a bad example.) Where there are removal restrictions, line of developed precedent applies.


Has Biden Never Heard of Appropriations Riders?[Jonathan Adler 01/12 10:40 AM]

According to senator Biden, Congress cannot cut off funding for specific federal functions without defunding entire departments. That must be news to Congressional appropriators. For years, if not decades, Congress has attached riders to appropriations bills barring the expenditure of funds for specific purposes, in some cases on quite narrow items, such as drafting, implementing or enforcing a specific regulation.



Kennedy Flunks Administrative Law[Jonathan Adler 01/12 10:33 AM]

Senator Kennedy's questioning this morning about the unitary executive and administrative agencies reveals a profound misunderstanding of bedrock principles of administrative law, including the difference between agencies that are a part of the executive (such as the EPA, FWS, APHIS, etc.) and independent agencies (FTC, CPSC, FCC, Federal Reserve). Judge Alito patiently tried to explain this to him, to no avail. As it happens, I'm in the midst of grading my students' administrative law exams. Based upon his comments this morning, Senator Kennedy would easily hold down the bottom of the curve.

Heehee!

Earthjustice Errs (Again) on Alito[Jonathan Adler 01/12 10:31 AM]

Yesterday Judge Alito was asked about his opinion in the Magnesium Elektron case. Earthjustice did not like Judge Alito's decision in the case (as I discussed here). In a new release, Earthjusitce continues its patern of misrepresenting the holding of the case, in which the Third Circuit found environmental plaintiffs lacked standing because they failed to provide any evidence of any adverse environmental impact resulting from a companies violations of the Clean Water Act. "Unless people can prove they are sick from drinking the water, citizens are going to have a tough time protecting waters that they use and care about from industrial pollution if Alito is confirmed," commented Joan Mulhern, a senior legislative counsel at Earthjustice. "Effectively, what Judge Alito is saying is: don't drink the water."

This is wrong. The opinion does not hold that the plaintiffs have to "prove they are sick" from pollution. All they had to show was some impact on the water — any impact at all — from the illegal pollution. A tiny, yet measurable, increase in contaminant levels in the water would have been sufficient, yet they showed none at all. All three judges on the panel believed this was insufficient for purposes of standing under then-prevailing Supreme Court precedent. The only dispute was whether the plaintiffs should get another chance to provide additional evidence. Environmental activists are correct that this aspect of the decision has been overruled by the Supreme Court's decision in Friends of the Earth v. Laidlaw, but even under that case it is unlikely the Magnesium Elektron plaintiffs would have standing, as they failed to allege any connection to the area most likely to be effected by the illegal discharges, instead relying upon their interest in portions of the Delaware River, miles downstream. Earthjsutice errs further by claiming that Magnesium Elektron "relates directly" to the two Clean Water Act cases the Supreme Court will hear in February. This too is false, as standing is not an issue in either of the two cases. Nor is Earthjustice's characterisation of the issues in these cases accurate. Alas, this sort of thing has become par for the course.


Kennedy's Round 3[Ed Whelan 01/12 10:14 AM]

More Kennedy confusion about what the unitary-executive theory means.
And now more Vanguard! I guess that Kennedy will soon demand that Ruth Bader Ginsburg resign from the Court because of taking part in cases in which she was actually required to recuse. And I'm sure he'll re-examine the far more serious allegations against Justice Breyer that he treated dismissively at the time of Breyer's nomination.

Kennedy: Steven Calabresi is one of the originators of the bizarre, radical theory of the unitary executive. Yes, along with Alexander Hamilton and Article II of the Constitution.

More fulminating on CAP.
Kennedy wraps up with a summary of his case against Alito. Ridiculously weak and distorted. This is what the Left has degenerated into.


GOP Not Afraid of Filibuster[Ed Whelan 01/12 09:39 AM]

From a senior Senate GOP leadership aide:
1. Run against President Bush, like it’s 2004 all over again—NSA, 2000 Supreme Court election decision, etc.
2. When not doing 1, continually hammer at abortion—which the majority of America is uncomfortable with, to say the least.
3. When not doing 1 or 2, keep talking about CAP, which no American understands.
4. When not doing 1, 2, or 3, tick off Chairman Specter: first threaten to postpone the markup date, then pull a procedural stunt behind his back.
5. When not doing 1, 2, 3, or 4, and all else fails, don’t even apologize when the nominee’s wife cries.
Good plan.
And these guys still want to threaten a filibuster?
Bring it!


Re: Washington Post as Cheerleader for Democrats[Ed Whelan 01/12 07:20 AM]

The Post article asserts at one point that Alito's answers on Roe and stare decisis "departed notably from those that [John Roberts] gave when asked similar questions during his confirmation hearing four months ago." But three paragraphs later, it contradicts itself, noting that Roberts was "reluctant" to address the issue and relying instead on his statements from his D.C. Circuit confirmation hearing in 2003.

The article does note that Roberts stated the tautology that Roe is "settled as a precedent of the court." But in Roberts's usage, every precedent is settled; that is the necessary predicate for calling it precedent and for addressing whether it should remain settled. The article then quotes as seemingly authoritative Senator Durbin's statement that Alito "would not use those same words." In fact, Alito, in his exchange with Durbin, said essentially the same thing that Roberts did:

"If settled means that it can't be reexamined, then that's one thing. If settled means that it is a precedent that is entitled to respect as stare decisis and all of the factors that I've mentioned come into play, including the reaffirmation and all of that, then it is a precedent that is protected, entitled to respect under the doctrine of stare decisis in that way."

In sum, Roberts's and Alito's answers on Roe and stare decisis are substantively identical.


Rusher Update[Kathryn Jean Lopez 01/12 07:19 AM]

Following from what Ed told us last night, a committee-circle source tells me that Alito does not show up on "on cancelled checks, lists, minutes of meetings, nothing." Expect to see a memo from the committee on the Rusher papers this morning.


What Would George Orwell Say?[Kathryn Jean Lopez 01/12 07:04 AM]

The Democrats were too nice to Alito!! From the NYTimes; it's the "paper of record" so I have officially forgotten everything I witnessed yesterday and have adopted the accepted conventional wisdom from the head of NOW:

Ms. Gandy said Republicans had, to some extent, hamstrung Democrats by creating a public expectation that they would antagonize Judge Alito.
"So I think the Democrats are leaning over backwards to be extremely, very, very nice," she said. "I don't think it's an un-nice thing to ask follow-up questions and really expect the nominee to answer the question."

That is power, man. When a reporter will buy your line even when we all witnessed a reality to the contrary. AND THE NOMINEE'S WIFE LEFT THE ROOM IN TEARS.


Washington Post as Cheerleader for Democrats[Ed Whelan 01/12 06:57 AM]

The banner headline in today's Washington Post — "Alito Leaves Door Open to Reversing 'Roe'" — and the article's lead sentence, which states that the "once-sluggish confirmation hearings" for Alito "turned confrontational yesterday, as the nominee signaled he might be willing to revisit the ruling that legalized abortion nationwide," are nothing more than partisan cheerleading for the Democrats' feeble attack on Alito.

The simple fact is that Alito's testimony yesterday on Roe v. Wade and principles of stare decisis was exactly the same as he delivered the day before. And it is hardly news that a Supreme Court nominee will not give hints, previews, or forecasts on issues that might come before him. The headline could equally have been "Alito Leaves Door Open to Embracing 'Roe'".

If there was any news from yesterday, it was how desperate and nasty and empty the Democrats' attack on Alito was. But I concede that there is nothing new about that either.

Saint of the Day and daily Mass readings.

Today is the Feast of St. Tatiana, martyr. Pray for us, all you angels and saints.

Today's reading is
1 Kings 4:1-11.
Today's Gospel reading is
Mark 1:40-45.


[Links to the readings will be from the NAB until I can find another chapter and verse searchable Douay-Rheims Bible on-line.]


Everyday links:

The Blessed Virgin Mary
The Rosary
Our Mother of Perpetual Help
Prayers from EWTN
National Coalition of Clergy and Laity (dedicated to action for a genuine Catholic Restoration)
The Catholic Calendar Page for Today


Just in case you are wondering what exactly Catholics believe, here is

The Apostles Creed

I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son Our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended into Hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth at the right hand of God, the Father almighty; from thence He shall come to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body and life everlasting. Amen.


Memorare

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that any one who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession,was left unaided.Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.


St. Joseph, her most chaste spouse, pray for us.


Prayer to St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire

Dear St. Anthony, you became a Franciscan with the hope of shedding your blood for Christ. In God's plan for you, your thirst for martyrdom was never to be satisfied. St. Anthony, Martyr of Desire, pray that I may become less afraid to stand up and be counted as a follower of the Lord Jesus. Intercede also for my other intentions. (Name them.)


PRAYER TO SAINT MICHAEL THE ARCHANGEL

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil; may God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou O Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the divine power, thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls. Amen.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 2)

I came to Carthage, where I found myself in the midst of a hissing cauldron of lusts. I had not yet fallen in love, but I was in love with the idea of it, and this feeling that something was missing made me despise myself for not being more anxious to satisfy the need. I began to look around for some object for my love, since I badly wanted to love something. —St. Augustine, Confessions


Part 1 concentrated on the theoretical. Part 2 is concerned with the practical use of Catholic psychology by professionals.

I would hope students in Catholic colleges find all this quite familiar, but I won't hold my breath. Whether you are Catholic or the customer of a psychologist, this is important stuff.


The Lost Sense of Sin in Psychology (Part 2)
(Thanks to Catholic Online for the heads up.)


Q: How can a sense of sin and vice contribute to the field of psychology?

Sodergren: In 1995, Pope John Paul II said in an address to the Roman Rota, "Only a Christian anthropology, enriched by the contribution of indisputable scientific data, including that of modern psychology and psychiatry, can offer a complete and thus realistic vision of humans."

Any psychology that is going to be true to human nature must take into account the revealed knowledge present in the Catholic faith as well as two millennia of theological and philosophical reflection of the human person. Such an account takes seriously human freedom and necessarily contains the concepts of sin and vice.

That is the main point here. And everywhere at all times, for that matter. Every human endeavor must be viewed and evaluated in the light of God's revelation and the tradition of His Church on earth. That is how one lives his life as a Catholic. We do not do it often enough. Or seriously enough.

Unfortunately, the present age seems to be one in which the sense of sin has been lost due to the effects of secularism and secular psychology. And this loss of the sense of sin has detrimental effects not only on individuals but on the social development of the world.

Q: What then is the answer to this state of affairs, specifically for those seeking to propose a psychology grounded in Catholic anthropology?

Sodergren: First, as John Paul II continually warned, we must not fall into the trap of giving an account of the human person limited to this temporal sphere.

Rather, he said, a psychology integrated with Catholic anthropology "considers the human person, under every aspect -- terrestrial and eternal, natural and transcendent. In accordance with this integrated vision, humans, in their historical existence, appear internally wounded by sin, and at the same time redeemed by the sacrifice of Christ."

I would put it this way: Remember that you and everyone else is an utterly unique immortal soul created by God in His image with free will.

How difficult is that? From my admittedly incomplete reading of history, the answer seems to be very.

Thus, in our academic and clinical psychologies, we must strive to rekindle man's innate "religious awareness," that is, the inner longing of the human heart for God, which St. Augustine so eloquently articulated and has been echoed in the Church for centuries.

Note to Madame Butterfly: This is why I use that particular passage from St. Augustine's Confessions for my SEX IS DEATH posts. All men want to love and to be loved. If love of God does not come first (and remain there), man will lurch wildly from thing to thing, desperately seeking something (anything!) to love that will love them back.

Remember Augustine is writing about his life before his conversion, a time when he was a great sinner whose dedication to sins of the flesh made his salvation seem impossible. (Except of course to his mother, St. Monica. Augustine credited her prayers on his behalf with changing his "love" of things to a love of Love.)

While human love can never be better than a pale reflection of God's love for us, it is sufficient. Such love is all around us, and despite the best efforts of the
foolish one, it always will be. From the selfless sacrifices of soldiers and marines in Afghanistan and Iraq, to the countless faithful married couples and their children, people are living lives of love in imitation of His Son's life as one of us.

We must love because God is Love. How dare we refuse to love both God and man as best we can? If God is, we dare not.

Wow. That was one heck of a digression. Or is it?

Secondly, we need to recover an authentic understanding of human freedom: one that underscores the fundamental connection between freedom and truth, the ability for man to shape himself through his free choices, and neither takes an overly pessimistic view nor an exaggeratedly optimistic view of the power of freedom in the face of human weakness.

Such a notion of freedom, springing from our Catholic anthropology, must penetrate both theoretical and clinical aspects of a renewed psychology.

I fear we just lost whatever protestants were still with us. Pity.


Thirdly, as Robert George said in his 2002 commencement address to the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, "A sound psychology takes sin seriously."

Amen to that.


We need to adopt a rich understanding of the dynamics of sin. That is not to say that Catholic psychologists should begin blaming their patients for their own troubles as some authors would suggest. On the contrary, our anthropology impels us to the highest level of compassion and gentleness.

Nor should we go to the extremes taken by people like Szasz who deconstruct mental illness altogether. When someone comes for psychotherapy, there really is "something" wrong for which they need some form of treatment. The question is, "How is that 'something' to be understood?"

For what it's worth, that makes sense to me.


This is where the work of integration must be done. We must strive to parse the relationship between sin and mental illness.

Presently, I see three ways of construing this relationship, although there are probably more.

One view is that sin and mental illness are two mutually exclusive ways of conceptualizing the same phenomenon. In that perspective, to the extent that one wishes to begin from a Catholic anthropology, one must reject modern understandings of psychopathology. Though there is some truth to this, I think it would be foolish to discard this whole area of the discipline.

A second view of the relationship is to see them as entirely separate domains: sin and vice pertaining to the moral domain and mental disorder pertaining to the medical domain with no intrinsic connection between them.

This view must absolutely be rejected. No patient arrives at the psychotherapist's office unaffected by original, actual and social sin. Nor have they been unaffected by the call of grace, and these have the utmost bearing on the human person's psychic and interpersonal life.
(Emphasis mine.)

The third perspective is to recognize that sin and mental illness are not exactly the same thing, but they are closely related. Current standards for identifying and classifying mental disorders use a descriptive approach based on observable signs, symptoms, course and onset. This approach makes few if any claims regarding etiology.

What a rich concept of sin provides is a sure grounding for speculation regarding the etiology of mental disorder. Simply put, there is no clinical disorder whose genesis cannot be accounted for through the dynamic interplay of original, actual and social sin. These do not however, provide much detail about the concrete manifestations of such a disorder. Here modern psychopathology offers us a genuine service through systematic observation and data collection.

However, such procedures on their own cannot give a complete account of the phenomenon of psychic and/or interpersonal suffering. In a sense, the two perspectives need each other.

An authentic psychology that successfully integrates these concepts will be poised to give the clearest, most comprehensive explanations of human phenomena and offer forms of treatment that will truly help the human person overcome the effects of sin, become more human, and progress toward his ultimate end.

Q: In light of this discussion, is guilt a good thing -- or it is something to be resolved by the psychologist?

I find the answer to this question fascinating. There is at least two or three great books waiting to be written on this topic.


Sodergren: First, there is such a thing as neurotic guilt, i.e., guilt that is unfounded and misguided.

In such a situation, the task of the therapist would be to examine why the patient is inappropriately taking this guilt upon himself. Often, underlying such guilt is an experience of rejection and utter shamefulness.

A related problem is when the patient is Catholic and has been sacramentally absolved of a given sin but continues to feel profound guilt over it. In such a case there could be two things happening.

First, the person, through their prior relationship experiences -- going all the way back to infancy -- may have developed an interpersonal style in which he or she cannot accept the mercy, beneficence or care of another. This internalized view of self and other can prevent the objective fact of forgiveness from taking hold.

Second, a person who has committed a particular grave sin for which he or she is embarrassed and ashamed may have difficulty separating this experience from the sense of self. In other words, the experience of having done X, even though X has now been forgiven, overpowers the person's sense of self, leaving feelings of guilt and shame.

The goal here is to help the patient engage in positive behaviors that will strengthen the self-image that is currently being overshadowed by X. These patients may need to identify further ways to do "penance" for their sins that allow them to "pay the debt" of their misdeeds.

Rather than fixating on the morbid nature of their misdeeds, patients in this way can use the experience of their past sinfulness as a motivation to do good.

On the other hand, guilt is not always a bad thing and indeed, is an important part of the moral life.

Because of the sanctity of the human conscience and the tendency of psychology to diminish the sense of sin, psychologists must be extremely careful when dealing with patient guilt. In most cases, it is not the place of the therapist to absolve patients of guilt. This should be worked out between the patient, God, a confessor and perhaps a spiritual director.

Rather, the therapist can help the patient to identify the underlying causes of his difficulties, which led to the guilt, and work together to resolve them. When a therapist attempts to absolve a patient's guilt feelings, he steps into the arena of conscience, a sanctuary that one ought not trespass upon lightly.

When thinking about their patients' guilt feelings, it is important for therapists to keep in mind how subtly human beings can affect each other, often without a conscious awareness that it is happening, as well as how one's actions shape one's character, tuning the cognitive, affective and volitional powers of the person in a particular way.

With these dynamics in mind, how can the therapist be absolutely certain that a given patient has no reason whatsoever to feel guilt for something?

Q: How does a sound psychology, which takes sin seriously, relate to understanding the concepts of forgiveness and a God of mercy?

Note to Madame Butterfly: With a little help from John Paul the Great and Mr. Sodergren, my ruminations on love continue:

Sodergren: In his encyclical "Dives in Misericordia" about the Father who is rich in mercy, John Paul II noted that the "present-day mentality, more perhaps than that of people in the past, seems opposed to a God of mercy, and in fact tends to exclude from life and to remove from the human heart the very idea of mercy. The word and concept of 'mercy' seem to cause uneasiness in man."

Without a sense of sin, the need for mercy and the possibility of giving and receiving mercy are impossible. This places a horrible limitation on humanity for as John Paul taught, mercy is the form that love takes in the face of sin, i.e., in a fallen world.

Without a sense of sin, then, it is impossible to fully love.

A sound psychology does not restrict itself in this way. Recognizing that self-giving love involving the whole person is the goal of human existence, a goal of such a psychology will be the ability to give and receive forgiveness.


Madame, I think that wraps up my understanding of the Catholic conception of love. I hope it may be of as much use to you as it was to me. Thanks once again for kick-starting my poor old brain.

Psychotherapeutic interventions based on such a psychology will seek to help patients forgive others who have wounded them and to grow in the ability to seek and accept forgiveness for one's own misdeeds.

In regard to the latter, this means also taking responsibility for one's condition and using the gift of freedom in positive ways in accord with the Truth.

In the early stages, the patient's freedom will likely be fairly impaired, requiring much assistance from the therapist and others to counteract the habitual patterns of thinking, feeling and acting that have developed over time.

In the end, the patient will hopefully embrace these goals for themselves and continue to pursue them with the full force of their humanity.

A patient, who has been helped to give and receive forgiveness with other human beings, will be more able to accept the overwhelmingly profound fact of God's love.

As St. John explains, the measure of our love of God is our love for one another. The psychologist who can help his patients to love others more authentically, which necessarily requires the recognition of sin and the need for forgiveness, will do his patients a great service indeed.


Part 1: SEX IS DEATH. (Stories for Boys) is here.
Part 2: SEX IS DEATH. (Distaff Death) is
here.
Part 3: SEX IS DEATH. (Joyously dispensing death) is
here.
Part 4: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is depression) is
here.
Part 5: SEX IS DEATH. (When self-pleasuring becomes self-destruction) is
here.
Part 6: SEX IS DEATH. (Sex is theft) is
here.
Part 7: SEX IS DEATH. (A review of Bareback Mountain) is
here.
Part 8: SEX IS DEATH. (What is the ultimate penalty?) is
here.
Part 9: SEX IS DEATH. (Haven from reality) is
here.
Part 10: SEX IS DEATH. (Sin-redemption-reasons-reason) is
here.
Part 11: SEX IS DEATH. (Mommy loves you) is
here.
Part 12: SEX IS DEATH. (George Gilder offers a clue) is
here.
Part 13: SEX IS DEATH. (Post-killem depression) is
here.
Part 14: SEX IS DEATH. (Whither womanhood) is
here.
Part 15: SEX IS DEATH. (Saving psychology 1) is
here.

About Me

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First of all, the word is SEX, not GENDER. If you are ever tempted to use the word GENDER, don't. The word is SEX! SEX! SEX! SEX! For example: "My sex is male." is correct. "My gender is male." means nothing. Look it up. What kind of sick neo-Puritan nonsense is this? Idiot left-fascists, get your blood-soaked paws off the English language. Hence I am choosing "male" under protest.

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