Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Quandry of Trump's Abortion Exceptions

At an open-air town hall of sorts, broadcast by the Today Show, Donald Trump came out strongly in favor of abortion exceptions – rape, incest, and life of the mother. That he did this so publicly, yet many are unaware, strikes me as odd – until I remember that the Trump machine is ‘yuge’. Even previously (somewhat) conservative information outlets are running defense on anything that would show their ‘savior’ in his true light. Fox News, the Drudge Report, and even Breitbart are in the tank, as the adage goes.

The irrefutable proof of his pro-life weakness, however, is in Donald Trump the candidate’s own words and prior positions. Give a listen to the video included in this article (at the ten minute mark). If that isn’t enough, give a read to Brent Bozell: An Open Letter to Conservative Friends Supporting Donald Trump. Those who are still in denial after that are on their own and don’t want to know the truth.

Elsewhere I have written about how Trump, ‘absolutely’ wants the Republican Party Platform to include rape, incest, and life of the mother exceptions. When compelled to confirm his abortion exceptions, Trump responded, “Absolutely, for the three exceptions.” 

A Danger to Those Conceived In Rape

As true pro-life advocates have always maintained, this line of thinking is dangerous for the personhood of people conceived in rape. That someone in the public eye would voice such an opinion is problematic but especially when the person is running for President of the United States.

A Questionable ‘Savior’

I’ve been in a quandary, trying to understand how otherwise orthodox, believing Christians can be so enamored by someone whose beliefs are in such conflict with their own professed ones. When I finally found someone to answer this question the response left me speechless. “He’s the savior of the United States, sent from God.”

What the what??

Yes, you read that correctly. Upon further questioning and a reminder that we already have a Savior and He’s coming back, the second response further floored me. “God uses sinners to do great deeds all the time.” 

Divergent Party Platforms

I give up! That type of spiritual blindness cannot be argued against. But just in case some of those who are still discerning have an open mind, I’d like to reiterate a few points. For example, take a look at the divergent directions of both parties concerning human life:

National Democratic Committee Platform

· Strongly and unequivocally support Roe v. Wade
· Invest in stem cell and other medical research
· Pursue embryonic stem cell research
· Support right to choose even if mother cannot pay
· Choice is a fundamental, constitutional right

· Support human life amendment; oppose abortion funding
· Promote adoption & abstinence, not abortion clinic referrals
· Human Life Amendment to the Constitution
· Ban abortion with Constitutional amendment
· Alternatives like adoption, instead of punitive action

There is a vast difference in the approach to the sanctity of life between the two parties. The solidification of these opposing positions, one a Culture of Death the other a Culture of Life, have been hard fought. It is up to pro-life citizens to defend the progress made. 

Hard Won Ground, Worth Defending

The Republican Party developed the platform it now has by winning many hard-fought battles against the Culture of Death. People like Rebecca Kiessling, a lawyer and pro-life advocate, are still manning the battle stations – one person, one politician at a time. She has a personal story that demands her public actions. Kiessling, herself, is one of the 1% - those conceived in rape.

Those innocent victims, who along with their victim moms are struggling to deal with the violent hand that has been dealt, seem out of sight and out of mind. But when you stand and look such a person in the eye, it’s much more difficult to tell them that they should have been aborted.

Weak Representation Equals Weak Laws

Weak representation of the unborn begets weak laws. When politicians, or society, indicate that an entire class of people is less worthy of life the Culture of Death wins. With a foot in the door, they can further claim that the value of life is relative – dependent on certain criteria. In essence, we are then admitting that there may just be some instances where abortion is justified. Yet, if we choose that position, we are also saying that someone other than God can decide human value. Who is equipped to make that decision? What will the criteria be? What if someone else doesn’t agree?

The Pandora’s Box this opens, weakens the pro-life stance and allows other qualifications in. We already see how some measure the worth of human life. Commodification of embryos, aborted baby parts, and even human eggs is a thriving ‘business’. Others abort according to gender, genetic deviations, and budgetary concerns. How cheap we’ve allowed life to become!

Electing politicians who don’t stand solidly in the ranks of those who are 100% pro-life only endangers more lives. It undermines hard-fought boundaries and feeds into a relativism that is morally bankrupt. Don’t fall for the deception. Having a’ pro-life except’ outlook isn’t pro-life at all. It’s pro-choice with fewer choices. When you fool yourself into this line of thinking, you are administering the death penalty on humans who have a God-given right to life - as do we all.

"For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world, and forfeit his soul?" ~Mark 8:36

Friday, April 29, 2016

This Too Shall Pass

When the world crowds in around you and you feel the weight of a thousand stones on your chest. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When your heart feels as if it will be broken into a million pieces, and those you love are unkind to you. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When illness rears its ugly head and your life feels threatened and the unknown is more frightening than the reality you eventually find. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When your nerves jangle with a thousand nails across a chalkboard and you want to run screaming into the sunset. Give it to God and know, this too shall pass.

When your children are young and a thousand sloppy kisses smother your face and you glow with love. Remember, they were given to you by God, and this too shall pass.

When your love is fresh and new and your heart feels like it will burst with it all. Remember, it’s a gift from God and it will continue to grow until you pass from this life to the next. This life, too, shall pass.

When all is right with the world – birds chirping in the springtime dew, flowers inquisitively poking fresh new blooms through the brown, rich earth. Cherish the moment. It too will pass.

When you are surrounded by generations of love. Cling tight to the riches with which you are endowed. Know that God is there but this life, too, will pass.

All that we have, all that we are given, all that we feel, all that we do, see, hear, feel, and touch. This, too shall pass. But what awaits us in Eternity – that will never pass. Know that God is at your side. He loves you enough to give you all that you have and only asks your love in return. Give it to God and pass Eternity with Him. Eternity is forever.

(Time Up)


Here we are again, joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday #fmf  - a fun way to participate in timed free writing with other bloggers.

Today's #fmf prompt is 'pass'. Follow the link to check out some truly inspirational entries.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Let’s Unite Behind the Exception Babies

Unity, it’s a strong word. One that invokes the power of the like-minded coming together.

As a prolife advocate, this word of unity has a special meaning to me. When the prolife movement becomes compartmentalized it weakens its own stance in the big picture. Once a class of individuals is deemed not as worthy of saving as others, we’ve diminished the entire message of the value of life – each life.

In unity we can conquer the Culture of Death. In division we let open a gap in the door – allowing exceptions. Exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother already exist in many minds. With this way of thinking, we can abandon the 1% of those conceived by rape and still maintain our support for the other 99%.

In essence we are saying that some lives are more worthy of saving than others. A child has no control over whether she was conceived in romance and true love or in the violence of an aggressor against her mother. The child remains, with her mother, as an innocent victim.

If we don’t learn to unify behind all life, the entire prolife movement will suffer. Who will then become the judge or jury who decides worthiness? What will the criteria be? Will it be the accidents of conception? Physical or mental infirmity? Being planned or a surprise?

You see, when unity crumbles, so does strength. United we stand, divided we fall. Let’s unite behind all children!

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Here we are again, joining Kate Motaung for Five Minute Friday #fmf

Today's #fmf prompt is 'unity'. Follow the link to check out some truly inspirational entries.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Don't Take Easy Street #fmf

Sometimes, in life, we think that taking the easy way out is the right way to go. We wander in and out of what is pleasing to the ‘animal’ side of our moral lives. Food, comfort, pleasure, and entertainment are at the forefront of these feelings. Yet does it make us happy?

The honest answer is most likely, no. If we really ponder true happiness, joy, we will see that these things leave us empty. They are fleeting pleasures, and a side path taken, away from the true purpose of our lives.

When we come to our senses we realize that there is more to life than taking the easy path. As Jesus tells us, the path to salvation is narrow. It is not the easy route. When we being to think of the Eternal, we find that easy is not fulfilling. With the aid of prayer, the sacraments, and loving like Jesus loves we begin to see that easy can easily slide us toward hell.

Eternal Life is our aim. This world is just a fleeting moment, a blink of the eye, as far as Eternal Life is concerned. It’s alright to enjoy the moment, the here and now, as long as it doesn’t distract us from the true purpose for our existence – to live in joy with Jesus for all Eternity.

What makes you truly happy? Share!


There you have it. Another Five Minute Friday - on the topic 'easy'. Check out this post and others over at  five minute friday :: easy

Monday, April 11, 2016

Please, Don’t Believe the Abortion Hype

Catholic (?) University of Notre Dame recently hosted pro-abortion Wendy Davis, famous for her urinary catheter-wearing filibuster of a Texas prolife law. Her address relied “on the well-worn argument of pro-abortion activists" - contraception and abortion are necessary for women to succeed. Davis' speech “Rising Up: From Single Mother to Harvard Law, How Every Woman Stands to Make a Difference”, revolved around the talking points of the Culture of Death.

My own experience, however, offers a completely different perspective:

Living the Prolife Except Experience

As a young teen of fourteen, my life was forever changed in a brutally eye-opening experience. The cute boy down the street had a violent side and I was his naïve young victim. A few weeks later it dawned on my mother that a persistent stomach bug was not the real diagnosis. When thoroughly questioned I acquiesced and shared what had happened. This incident would, indeed, change our lives forever.

As my adolescent, willow-like body blossomed with this unexpected new life, our family attended Mass elsewhere – away from prying eyes. The 1970’s were not like current times, with relaxed moral views and blasé reactions. Unwed motherhood was taboo and our family, Catholic and prolife, hunkered down to await the new arrival. It was decided that the child would be adopted by my parents and become a special sibling to us.

Life Moves On

After our new addition arrived we continued our small town American life. Returning to school was unnerving but college was in my future, so the prerequisite grades were maintained. Aside from a few hushed whispers, our tiny community continued on without much ado. At my parents’ stipulated timeframe, my dating life began promptly at sixteen.

Remarkably I met a young man who won approval from my parents almost immediately. We dated throughout high school and married during my senior year. My husband and I tried unsuccessfully to persuade my parents to allow us to adopt my brother (son) but the mother-child connection was too strong. My mother simply couldn’t give up the three-year-old son she now called her own.

College-bound after completion of high school, four years later found me as a married college graduate with a one-year-old son. Life had successfully and beautifully moved on. The scholarship I had been denied (because I was married), the teen birth, and youthful marriage had not marred my future. If anything, these life circumstances had enhanced my ability to cope with responsibility and the unexpected. The graces flowing from our sacramental marriage allowed us to weather any storm and remain committed in love.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

As unhindered as my education was, my career was equally flourishing. The prolife experience of my youth strengthened the drive to become a prolife advocate. The BA acquired enhanced creative endeavors toward that goal. Tempered by the fire of punitive experience, my organizational skills were finely honed as well. Life lessons had prepared me for numerous employment experiences including: Executive Director of prolife groups, art teacher, and Field Representative for a prolife U.S. Congressman.

Career Choice

In the end, my strong affinity for a traditional family won out. My preeminent career move was achieved. Stay at home mother became the most rewarding career choice for me. First, as the mother of three children attending Catholic schools and then as a home educator. Now that my own children are grown and parents in their own right, I continue to relish home life by having grandchildren around me as much as possible. The life I have lived, the life I am living was not hindered in any way. In some ways the experiences I endured prepared me for who I want to be today.

There were myriad options along the way – but the choices were mine to make. In the end, an early pregnancy did not prevent the achievement of becoming who I chose to be. I became exactly who I was meant to be: A woman with many choices, armed with strength and faith and endless possibilities.

Don’t Believe the Abortion Hype

The telling of my experiences is in no way intended as a long list of self-congratulatory achievements. On the contrary, my hope is to inspire those who are thrust into similar circumstances. Never forget that Planned Parenthood and their ilk exist as money making businesses whose success depends on taking the lives of helpless unborn babies by seducing their mothers by abortion promoting hype. Wendy Davis may be a successful woman by some measure, but her success was not dependent on aborting her unborn child.

As with people who grow up in poverty, broken homes, and abuse, success is dependent on a strong will and faith in the human person who was created by an almighty God. He has endowed all people, from conception, with a right to life and an undeniable ability to achieve. To use an unexpected pregnancy as an excuse not to achieve is a morally bankrupt denial of the human will.

Abortion Hurts Women

In my prolife work, I have been privileged to know many women who pulled themselves up out of their post-abortion desolation. Without fail, their regret is profound but their conviction for life is greater. Many of these women unselfishly relive the most painful experience in their lives in an effort to help others. They speak and write and volunteer in their vocation as pro-life advocates. Their pain is unspeakable and lingering guilt drives them to a profoundly selfless love of others. Although forgiven, a passionate resolve to bring something positive out of past flawed choices makes them insightful ambassadors for life.

Let us all do as much as we can to promote a Culture of Life. We no longer live in a time of scientific ignorance – even secular science confirms life begins at fertilization. Likewise, our faith in God confirms that all people are conceived as equals – each life is important, no matter its origin. Educate yourself, speak out, and pray to end abortion.

Friday, April 8, 2016

What Makes Us Whole? #fmf

Whole: the sum of all parts of something.

What makes you feel whole?

I feel whole when I’ve been to confession, maintained my prayer life, and receive the Eucharist.

I feel whole when I’m surrounded by those I love. Holidays or any days, it doesn’t matter. Put me in connection with family and friends and I feel complete – whole.

At other times I feel whole when I’m off by myself. Nature, budding blossoms, chartreuse leaves – the ones you see in early spring. Their newness painfully beautiful. Unblemished. Grass, lush and green. Unmarred by the presence of the weeds that will come later. Shining in their newness like the glowing skin of an infant. So perfect it makes your heart sing. So precious, new, unblemished, and pure.

Later things won’t be as new. Yet you can still feel whole. Because the entire experience of life – from birth to natural death makes up the whole of our earthly existence outside the womb of our mother.

Whole, having family to call your own. Husband, wife, children. Generations blending together – the continuous cycle of life. God made them. Male and female He made them. And they proclaim their wonder at His creation.


This is my second week of joining the dedicated, fun writers participating in the Five Minute Friday challenge - FMF writers at Kate Motaung's blog. What a fun way to challenge your writing!

This week's writing prompt was WHOLE #amwriting #fmf

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Substitute Teacher – Homeschool Style

“My head is bad. Could you do some school with the kids?”

This or a similar text message sometimes appears on my phone and my mission for that day promptly solidifies. Today my job is to be a substitute teacher – not at a public school somewhere in our local educational system, but right here at home. You see, my daughter, who was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was twenty weeks pregnant, is suffering from side effects of chemotherapy and the many associated surgeries her diagnosis required.

Home Education When Mommy is Ill

Like others who suffer from some hidden disease, her outward appearance is tragically deceptive. Putting on a deceptively happy face is a part of the lives of many who suffer from fibromyalgia, thoracic outlet syndrome, migraine headaches, and myriad other outwardly indistinguishable illnesses. These chronic conditions take their toll but there is no broken arm, missing limb, gaping wound, or any other outward symptom to illuminate how (and how much) the victim is suffering.

When these debilitating days happen – and they don’t come with advance notice – life abruptly gets put on hold. Any plans to take the kids to the park on a sunny, early spring day vanish in an instant. The disappointment of not being able to do even the most mundane, household tasks is mind numbing. Yet life marches on. Family still gets hungry, household chores still demand attention, and home educated students still need to hit the books.

Home Educating Nana

That’s where I come in. As a mother who previously homeschooled, I am now a good choice for substitute teacher. Since our families are close, both in relationship and geography, I can be available at a moment’s notice. If there is an obstacle to my performing home education duties, the children can pack up and go to another grandma’s house – books and all. One of the bonuses of home education is that it can happen anywhere as long as there is teacher and student.

Some home educated children live a highly structured life, as far as lessons go. The curriculum is planned in advance, there is a set amount of work to be completed throughout a particular school term, and these requirements are on a schedule much like their public school counterparts. Others take the opposite approach and set a wide goal, working daily to accomplish the work, but at the pace of the children. A happy medium can also be found – some structure and some freedom. Our system falls loosely somewhere in this mix.

As a homeschooling mother myself, I have taught using the highly structured Seton curriculum yet adapted it to a cross-country trip from Kentucky to Maine. On the other hand, we have set a rigid schedule and stuck to it. The method ebbed and flowed with the student’s needs. An ADHD son required some flexibility, yet a modicum of structure gave him some much needed security as well.

The Grands

When our daughters’ children came of age, school wise, I became their first teacher. It was a natural progression for me, since my husband and I always wanted a large family but were denied by the infertility caused by a cancer diagnosis. What a wonderful time! Being a stay at home, homeschool ‘mom’ a second time around was an immeasurable blessing!

Then our daughter’s cancer experience was met with another harsh side effect - she was let go by an employer, after nine years of exemplary service. The reason? She was seeing too many doctors. Never mind that her performance never suffered, her case load equaled (or exceeded) that of healthy coworkers, and she produced quality work.

I have to admit that I went through a period of mourning at the discontinuation of my established status of being in charge of two littles. Yet being home with her children was such a blessing for their mommy – so we adapted. Taught by their mother, the kids still spent both quantity and quality time with me. Sometimes ‘school’ was held at my house – on the balcony, in the backyard, or the living room.

Homeschool Reset

Now our daughter’s symptoms don’t only persist, they are gaining frequency and intensity. Today there will be yet another appointment with a neurologist. Pray that he finds an acceptable answer and a way to make life just a bit more normal. In the meantime, I will gladly remain ‘on call’ for a homeschooling assist – whenever the need arises.

All in all, with the flexibility of home education the two students are thriving. These bright little sponges soak up what we teach them and more. They eagerly seek out knowledge and reluctantly adhere to the ‘only 25 books each’ limit on frequent library visits. A repertoire of prayers that would be the envy of many Catholic high school religion teachers and a commanding knowledge of scripture as well as the lives of saints, from common to obscure, are also stored in their little minds. Whenever we encounter strangers (read new friends) they are quickly amazed at these articulate, bright little conversationalists. We (and they) are truly blessed!

Homeschool, where a Spring Break visit from cousins turns into biology class!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Letdown or Joy, Easter Musings

In our flawed human existence, we often experience a letdown after major holidays (holy days). The buildup leading to the event, in this case, Easter, has been fruit-filled and intense. We may have ramped up one, or all, of the three expressions of faith during the Lenten season – sacrifice, prayer, and almsgiving.

Perhaps, this year, we were even moderately successful in creating ourselves anew in anticipation of His rising. Even if we were less than successful, the awareness and anticipation insinuated their way into our lives.


With the Triduum, our efforts intensified. Our God is a forgiving God, given to second and endless chances – right up until the moment of our death. Holy Thursday brought the delight of sharing, in our small way, in the elation and wonder of that first Holy Mass. Of the institution of priesthood and Eucharist. And the command to go out, mercifully, and serve others.

Then came the somber, exquisite pain of Good Friday. The empty tabernacle left us feeling desolate and mournful. An entrance and recessional of silence only emphasized that this day was like no other.

No Mass – how could that be? The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, readily available 364 days of the year, was taken from us. Yet, the nourishment of His Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity sustained us still, having been reserved the night before.

Saturday, the anticipation became palatable. The Vigil Mass, the candle light (His Light) leading us toward hope as it brightened with each succeeding participant. Readings, telling and thorough, guided us toward the tomorrow of Easter joy. Yet still, we waited.

Easter Joy

The bells ringing, Gloria triumphantly singing, and Alleluias resounding on Easter morning all called us Home. The parish church, whether a cathedral or modest country chapel, was resplendent in festive flowers, white vestments, love-filled faces, and joyful hearts. The springing of hope was resounding and rose to the rafters. The long anticipated Resurrection had come. He has risen! He is alive!

As our Easter Joy spilled into the afternoon, family and friends gathered. An atmosphere of celebration was in the air. Souls, cleansed from confession and nourished by the Eucharist, exulted in an atmosphere of joy. Prayers and meals shared, we were reunited with coveted pleasures formerly sacrificed.

The Letdown

So why is there now a letdown? Our human experience leads us down this path because we are weak. Lent holds us accountable. It reminds us, day after penitent day, that there is something magnificent coming. Because we know it has an end, we feel a false sense of finality. This, too, shall end and we will once again take up our earthly pleasures.

Is this the righteous mindset? The tomb is empty but our resolve shouldn’t be. The true test comes from maintaining what Lent has taught us. The cross is still a reality. Eucharist still brings us to the foot of that bloody sacrifice – at each and every celebration of Mass. Sin is still real, relevant.
Lent As a Stepping Stone

Flying without the net, the accountability of the Lenten season of penitence, almsgiving, and prayer leads us to temptation. Our earthly vessels need the reminder. Easter isn’t over; it’s a season, which gives us the opportunity to mold Lenten habits more firmly into lives. Our spiritual duty is to avoid falling back into old habits – to move forward and seek more.

Living Easter Joy

That extra reading, that prayer life more fully developed, and those small mortifications performed in the name of love need to be nurtured. Each year’s Lent can be a stepping stone toward sainthood as we train for more spiritual endurance.

The Easter Octave is the perfect time to hone our spiritual skills. Taking advantage of the opportunity of turning Lenten sacrifice into holy habit will reap much fruit. In turn, our lives will joyfully march toward the holiness so vaunted by God Our Father and Jesus Our Brother. The Holy Spirit whispers encouragement if only we will heed it.

Living Easter Joy, while maintaining our Lenten growth is well worth the effort. Growing in faith is the only way to prevent the stagnation on the other side of the spiritual coin.


This post first appeared at Catholic Stand

Friday, April 1, 2016

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, decisions. Should I stay or should I go? When you don’t fit a particular blogging niche sometimes you’re your worst enemy. Where do I fit? What shall I write about? Who is my audience? These are just a few of the questions I ask myself as I sit and stare at that blinking cursor.

Sometimes I’m a reporter with a conscience - like my posts about the collaboration between Girl Scouts and Planned Parenthood. Or the time I exposed the ties between the Salvation Army and abortion.

Other times I challenge my spiritual side and post about how Lenten growth doesn’t have to grow stale after Easter has come and gone.

Then there’s the creative side of me. I love photography – putting on paper what my mind’s eye sees. The little drip of drool on my 6 month old granddaughter’s pink lips. Her ocean blue eyes – so different from the chocolate drop eyes of the rest of our family.

I also love to craft, and draw and plant and nurture and cook and sew. These creative endeavors are a big part of me.

How did I become so diversified? What is my niche? Am I the pedantic who never met a rule she didn’t like or am a flitting butterfly, landing on every fragrant flower that comes into view?

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The dog barked (meaning the timer went off on my iPhone) STOP

Note: This is my first effort of linking to with Kate M for  5 Minute Fridays #fmf
What a fun idea! Next Friday set your timer on five minute, type until it goes off, and stop. That's all there is to it. You might find it as enjoyable as I did.