Mike Clancy Is a Liar

This originally was a comment left on Leila's excellent post about Mike Clancy's ineptitude, and she suggested I make it into a blog post of my own.

Well, he's done it again. Mike Clancy at the Arizona Republic has made a mockery of his profession, not to mention the truth, with another lame-ass article about the Catholic Church (specifically, the Church's reaction to the HHS mandate). Let's explore some of his more egregious falsehoods, shall we?

1. Why is Clancy unable to take five seconds to look up the definition of "abortion"?

...Olmsted ousted the hospital [St. Joseph's] from the Catholic family after a dispute about a medical procedure that Olmsted considered an abortion.

 St. Joseph itself admitted that they "terminated an 11-week pregnancy". [Note the source of that link.] Abortion is defined as the termination of a pregnancy. Olmsted didn't "deem" it an abortion, St. Joe's itself and the DICTIONARY did! Is Clancy really that ignorant, or is he purposefully lying? I'm guessing the latter.

2. Where does the Catholic Church keep its time machine?

From the article:

The church has taught that birth control is 'intrinsically wrong' since 1968, around the time the pill came into widespread use.

See, according to Clancy, the Church first condemned contraception in 1968, and then Pope Paul VI travelled back in time, masqueraded as Pius XI, and wrote the encyclical Casti Connubii in 1930 that also reiterated the Church's teachings against contraception. And then, presumably, he went back in time again to 195 A.D. to write about it.  Amazing, really, that the Church has the ability to time-travel that only Mike Clancy knows about.

3. Is Clancy aware of this fabulous new invention called "the Internet"? I wonder due to the lies from Clancy that are in these two paragraphs:

"According to Catholic News Service, bishops in nine of the nation's 195 dioceses are preparing letters to be read at Masses on Sunday encouraging churchgoers to lobby against the measure. Several others, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York and retired Cardinal Roger Mahony of Los Angeles, have written or spoken against the mandate.

Of the group that has gone public so far, Olmsted appears to be the only one who has said specifically that Catholics should defy the law, according to the Catholic news agency."

Thanks to the Internet, I found, rather quickly, that many more than nine bishops have written or spoken about this issue. (I suppose in Clancy's little world of pseudo-journalistic integrity, one questionable CNA article - with no URL to said article provided - suffices as adequate fact-checking.)

At last count? TWENTY-THREE. Obviously Mike Clancy is as terrible at math as he is with telling the truth, because last time I checked, 23 > 9.

Also from the link above, and contrary to Clancy's claim, Olmsted is NOT the only bishop "advocating civil disobedience":
"Archbishop Timothy Broglio of the Archdiocese for the Military Services in the United States said, "We cannot - we will not - comply with this unjust law".  (Note: The letter here is based on a form letter sent out by the USCCB, so similar letters will be seen at other dioceses.  It is rather strongly worded and the bishops sending it out are basically saying, "it speaks for me."  In some dioceses I'm reading that the bishop wanted it stuffed into bulletins or shared at Masses.  Those using variations of this form letter include Archbishop Schnurr of Cincinatti, and Bishop McFadden of Harrisburg, and Bishop Sample of Marquette and probably many more.)"

4. Here's clear evidence that Clancy hasn't bothered to so much as do the basic, bare-bones research on Catholicism.

The Roman Catholic Church is the only significant denomination opposed to contraception.

Hey, Mike! Ever hear of the Eastern Catholic Church? They're also opposed to contraception. How about the Orthodox Churches? They allow condoms in special circumstances but are generally opposed to abortifacient contraception and sterilization. Many Protestant denominations oppose abortifacient contraception as well.

But you know what? It doesn't matter, because this is an issue about religious liberty, not contraception. As Kaitlin at More Like Mary, More Like me wrote yesterday,

[H]ow on earth can the government force a religious organization to pay for something that they believe will send its employees to hell?

I'm outraged. And you should be too. Even if you think contraception is the best thing since sliced bread. Even if you cannot begin to understand the reasons for the Church's teachings.

Can't you show me and my faith a little respect? Can't you give us the freedom to live and worship as we wish? Can't you see that employees of Catholic organizations have the option to work someplace else if they want birth control paid for? No one is forcing them to stay.

It doesn't matter if you don't understand. It doesn't matter if you don't agree. It doesn't matter if you think we're crazy/total whackos/going to hell/hypocritical zealots. What matters is that the government is infringing on our religious liberty in a big, big way.

What makes you think your beliefs aren't next?

If the Republic's sports editor wrote that the Texas Rangers won the 2010 World Series, or that Derek Jeter played for the Red Sox, he'd be fired in a matter of days. But Clancy can repeatedly lie about his subject matter and get away with it. It must be nice for him to be so embarrassingly inept at his profession but still have that kind of job security. I bet the only way he'd get fired is if he started reporting the truth.

Don't Be a Catholic Butt

The following appeared in my parish's bulletin this weekend.


What about after the baby shower? Will you support the child financially? How dare you!” (-as it was written, including underlines)

Instead of choosing to write a name and participate in praying for the unborn, this unsigned complaint was handwritten on one of our blue cards last weekend for the spiritual adoption of an unborn child. Obviously the person is in a great deal of pain and anger. Please add him or her to your prayers and others who are still angry for whatever reason whenever they hear the Catholic Church preach on legally protecting the unborn.

I do believe that the Catholic Church does a great deal for babies and families. Catholic hospitals, parishes and charities do tremendous good work. Obviously this person can’t see it. He or she points the finger at “you” but who is this unnamed “you?” The person who wrote the message is also part of the “you”, part of the Church that he or she is alleging does not do enough. In fact all of us are “you.”

We must of course respond with prayer and action to promote life as we constantly say, “from the moment of conception until natural death.” An unborn child must be defended and given dignity, but so must the born at whatever age, young or old.

Another person complained yesterday that, “No one else should have a say over my body; abortion is the mother’s decision alone.” This is a common misunderstanding. We are stewards of the Lord’s gifts. Our bodies do not belong to us; they belong to the Lord. And besides, an unborn child is not the women’s body anyway. It is growing inside her body, but it is not her possession. Children are never possessions; they are miraculous gifts from a loving God whether inside or outside the womb.

Of course we should do everything in our power to provide a child with a warm, welcoming and loving family and community with all the proper resources for good health, good education and a firm faith in God and his teachings. Could the Catholic Church do more? YES. Who is the Church? We are all part of the Church including those who complain and get angry at the Church. Jesus teaches us to love...love...love. Let’s all try to do our best to follow him in living the Gospel of Life.

I am deeply grateful to the 1233 people who turned in spiritual adoption prayer cards this weekend. — Fr Hans Ruygt

A little background:

Every January, on the weekend nearest the Roe v. Wade anniversary, my priest passes out pink and blue cards at each Mass. He requests that parishioners pick an unborn child to pray for, give a name to the child, write the child's name on a card, and put it in the collection basket. He also requests that we pray for these children we've spiritually adopted throughout the year, and he includes information about fetal development milestones in the weekly bulletin so parishioners can track the growth of their spiritually adopted child. In October or so, our parish holds a "baby shower" for these babies, in which parishioners bring in baby items to donate to a local CPC.

It is the spiritual adoption, held last week, that prompted the above gripes, and it is to those parishioners that this post is directed.

How dare he? How dare you.

How dare you suggest that children deserve to die because the Catholic Church is allegedly (in your closed, ignorant mind) not doing enough to help them?

How dare you use an event meant to encourage prayer and fasting for the unborn to advance your own ignorant, idiotic, openly anti-Catholic agenda -- at a Catholic Church, no less?

It is a flagrant myth that pro-lifers don't help mothers in crisis. Please do some research into this as you are apparently severely misinformed.

Have you ever heard the old slogan, "you're either part of the solution or you're part of the problem"? If you feel that the Catholic Church, and specifically our parish, is not doing enough to aid mothers in crisis, do something about it. Anonymous bitching and moaning in an offering basket will not help mothers in crisis! Nor will encouraging them to kill their children!

Rather than a nasty note to Father Hans, why not donate to Maggie's Place? I have tried to lead a pro-life group at St. Clare's, but I'm unable to do so due to time constraints. If you start one, I'll join and work as hard and as much as I am able in the service of the unborn and their parents.

As to the person with the nasty comment about it being "my body" -- a woman's bodily autonomy ends where her baby's body begins. It is a human rights violation to deprive an unborn child of his or her right to life. Not only is that Catholic doctrine -- which, if you're attending a Catholic Church, you should be living out and following faithfully! -- but it's also common sense. Non-religious pro-lifers defend life on these grounds.

Both of you need to seriously examine your attendance at a Catholic church. If you think the Church is wrong on the issue of abortion, then I must wonder why you are Catholic at all. If the Church is wrong about this, then what reason do you have to believe She is right about anything else?

When I concluded that my old denomination (ELCA) was wrong, I left it; I didn't stay within the faith that I believed taught error. It made no logical sense to adhere to a faith that promulgated incorrect teachings.

I'm not encouraging you to leave the Church, but I'm asking you to take a look at your reasons for being Catholic. If you're Catholic, you need to adhere to the teachings -- all the teachings -- of the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. You can't pick and choose which ones to follow like you're at a Chinese buffet trying to decide between broccoli chicken or lo mein. It's all or nothing.

We are all one Body but no one should be the butt. The mindset of "I'm Catholic, but I believe contraception is okay" or "I'm Catholic, but I believe abortion should be legal" is absolutely untenable in the Catholic Church.

Don't be a Catholic Butt. We have enough asses to fill the stable as it is.

7 Quick Takes Friday - January 27, 2012

--- 1 ---

Collin, the kids, and I went to the Phoenix March for Life last Sunday! About 700 people came out and we had a great time. It was so wonderful to be among such young, enthusiastic people all celebrating life! We met up with Kara, who wrote a great recap. Here are the pictures I took:

getting ready to go

starting out

Mommy's little pro-lifer :)

crowd shot at the rally

more of the crowd

love the balloons!

My Violet (in the stroller) with Kara's little Tessa

Here is our family (plus Kara's Amelia, lol) with Bishop Olmsted, such a holy man and a great warrior for life!
He thanked us for being a witness for families.

Bishop Olmsted's homily at the Mass prior to the March was fantastic, by the way.

--- 2 ---

For an excellent recap of the non-coverage by the MSM, see Bad Catholic's Media Stupidity at the March for Life. At the Phoenix march, I saw a TV camera here and there but I didn't see any broadcast about it (if anyone knows otherwise, please inform me!).

--- 3 ---

My grandmother arrives tomorrow! Yay! I should probably get around to taking my Christmas decorations down tonight... might be weird to walk into our house and see the Christmas tree up. :)

--- 4 ---

This is going to be a great weekend to see family! On Sunday, two of Collin's aunts (one from ND, one from MN) will be in town, and we're going to meet up at the Surprise Community Park so we can visit while the kids run wild. I'm going to invite them over to see our house, too, as I don't believe either have ever been there. I can't wait!

--- 5 ---

Elanor's been asking a lot of questions about death and dying lately. Anyone have a good book recommendation (preferably one with a Catholic perspective)?

--- 6 ---

Gabriel was two months old yesterday! I can't believe it; time is just flying by. He has his two-month old well-baby checkup today. He's supposed to get vaccinations but I'm not sure if he will because he's had a bad runny nose the past day or two (yes, again - poor kid is only two months old but this is his second cold of his life!).

I was going to take a two month picture, but I forgot. I'll have to try and remember to do that tonight.

--- 7 ---

My first week back at work has gone well - better than I expected, actually - so thank you for any and all prayers in that regard. I'm glad it's Friday, though, and I'm looking forward to sleeping in past 5am the next two days!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

Back at work

Daycare reports that Gabriel is doing well. No problems taking a bottle, thank goodness. Can't wait until the day is over and I get my baby back!

Trust Women?

Many of the signs being held by Planned Parenthood supporters at the State Capitol rally said "Trust Women." I'm assuming this is a shorter version of the pro-choice slogan, "We trust the women of this nation to make their own morally correct choices."

I've been thinking about this more, and I've come upon a contradiction that seems irreconcilable on several levels.

(1) This slogan assumes that the choices involved have equal moral weight. Choosing adoption or choosing to raise the baby on one's own are indeed choices with equal moral weight, and pro-lifers do indeed "trust women" to make either of those choices and support either one wholeheartedly. However, the choice of abortion involves killing an innocent human being, which is an intrinsic moral evil. It does not carry the same moral weight as the other two choices, which are not intrinsic moral evils.

An analogous situation would be if the choice were between giving a newborn baby up for adoption or strangling him just after birth. Do PP advocates "trust women" to make either of those choices? That is, do they believe a woman should have the complete liberty to make either of those choices for themselves? (Sadly, in Canada, they do...)

(2) If we trust women to make their own morally correct choices in terms of abortion, then why do we NOT trust women to make their own morally correct choices when it comes to murder, theft, kidnapping, child abuse, prostitution, drug use, etc.?

What purpose do these laws serve if we can (apparently) trust women to make the morally correct choice 100% of the time? Given that women are regularly convicted of various crimes, that doesn't seem to be the case.

Moreover, abortion would be unheard of if we could "trust women" to act responsibly and not have sex (the act of which conception is a natural biological consequence) if they aren't prepared for the possibility of conception.* After all, shouldn't we "trust women" to know that all birth control has a failure rate?

(3) PP supporters oppose legislation that gives women the choice to view an ultrasound of their unborn child (such legislation was recently enacted in Texas, when an appeals court overturned an earlier injunction).

PP supporters trust women to make their own moral choice against abortion as long as women remain ignorant about accurate medical information regarding their child's level of development.

If this information is made available, however (or if pro-life sidewalk counselors are allowed to be seen or - O horrors! - heard), then suddenly women become feeble-minded fragile china dolls who must be saved from their own gullibility, for their own good.

So, "trust women" - but ONLY on the issue of abortion, and ONLY if they remain ignorant of medical facts regarding fetal development.

That doesn't seem like "trust" at all.

*Obviously, this applies to the 99% of women who conceive after consensual sex and not rape/incest situations.

7 Quick Takes Friday - January 20, 2012

--- 1 ---

I didn't get to Quick Takes last week because I was busy preparing for Elanor's 7th birthday! We had a small celebration at home, with homemade pizza and birthday cake, and she was delighted to receive The Muppet Movie and Muppet Treasure Island on DVD (ever since we saw The Muppets, she's been in love with Kermit and the gang).

We spent the entire next day at our local zoo, along with her aunt, uncle, and cousin, and she had her cousin (also her best friend) spend the night as well.

I can't believe my eldest is 7 years old already! *sniff*

--- 2 ---

My maternity leave is almost up. I go back to work on Monday. *sigh* I don't want to leave my baby but I have no choice.

--- 3 ---

I didn't watch the debate the other night, but I did see the clip of Newt Gingrich skewering John King.

Now, I'm not a Newt fan; some of his political stances aside, the fact that he's a serial adulterer seriously puts me off. I get that he's allegedly had a genuine conversion of heart, but that doesn't mean I necessarily want to put him in an incredibly stressful job that isn't going to help his struggles against temptation. He's already admitted that the reasons he's cheated before were because he was working too hard and loved America too darn much. Well, Newt, that's exactly the position you'll be in as President, so....

However. This article made me realize something... it takes two to cheat. Remember, Marianne Gingrich cheated with Newt when he was a married man, so she's just as guilty of adultery. Maybe she didn't know he was married when their relationship started, but she should have broken it off the minute she found out (actually, she shouldn't be having sex outside of marriage at all, but I digress...), and she certainly shouldn't have been surprised when the adulterer she married cheated on her as well. Married men couldn't cheat if they didn't have someone willing to cheat with them. It takes two to tango.

But now ABC is asking us to take the word of an one adulterer over the other. Newt claims it's not true that he asked for an "open marriage," and it may not be. Or maybe it is. Regardless, this was back in 1999, and I can tell you that back in 1999 I was a Democrat who didn't favor making abortion illegal, had no problem with contraception, and supported homosexual "marriage." I'm not proud of the views I held then, and perhaps Newt isn't either.

Anyway. I still favor Santorum for the nomination, but Newt has risen slightly in my estimation based on his answer last night. Is it something that should be addressed at some point? Yes, especially in the context of Newt's support for the sanctity of marriage. But the first question of the debate, and using what's essentially a tabloid expose to do it? No. Inappropriate.

--- 4 ---

Here's another good political blog post worth reading. Caelum et Terra asks Obama supporters:

How would you have reacted in 2008 if any Republican ran promising to do the following?

(1) Codify indefinite detention into law;
(2) draw up a secret kill list of people, including American citizens, to assassinate without due process;
(3) proceed with warrantless spying on American citizens;
(4) prosecute Bush-era whistleblowers for violating state secrets;
(5) reinterpret the War Powers Resolution such that entering a war of choice without a Congressional declaration is permissible;
(6) enter and prosecute such a war;
(7) institutionalize naked scanners and intrusive full body pat-downs in major American airports;
(8) oversee a planned expansion of TSA so that its agents are already beginning to patrol American highways, train stations, and bus depots;
(9) wage an undeclared drone war on numerous Muslim countries that delegates to the CIA the final call about some strikes that put civilians in jeopardy;
(10) invoke the state-secrets privilege to dismiss lawsuits brought by civil-liberties organizations on dubious technicalities rather than litigating them on the merits;
(11) preside over federal raids on medical marijuana dispensaries;
(12) attempt to negotiate an extension of American troops in Iraq beyond 2011 (an effort that thankfully failed);
(13) reauthorize the Patriot Act;
(14) and select an economic team mostly made up of former and future financial executives from Wall Street firms that played major roles in the financial crisis.

--- 5 ---

Anyway. In non-politics-related news, my grandma Violet is coming for her annual visit! She'll arrive January 28 and leave March 8. Hooray!

--- 6 ---

The Phoenix March for Life is this weekend! Last year's was a lot of fun, so I'm really looking forward to it! Stay tuned for pictures and a report next week.

--- 7 ---

Also stay tuned for a new blog post on Sunday, as I'm participating in the 2nd Annual "Ask Them What They Mean By 'Choice'" blog event.

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

How Bizarre

Apparently, last June a Rick Santorum staffer sent a private e-mail from his personal e-mail account to a friend. The e-mail questioned if there was a Biblical basis for the stance that a woman should not be president. (Not a stance I share, personally.)

Now the left is claiming that since Santorum did not immediately and publicly denounce a private e-mail that wasn't even sent to him, and that there is no proof he ever saw, it means he shares and celebrates this staffer's opinion.

The hell? Are they holding Obama to the same standard of analyzing his employees' personal e-mails and publicly denouncing any personal viewpoints with which he disagrees?

My Encounter with Planned Parenthood Supporters - updated

I updated My Encounter with Planned Parenthood Supporters to include a picture of the pro-life crowd taken at the very end of the rally (photo credit: AZ Right to Life). Aren't we a nice-looking bunch? :)

Gabe and I are in the front row, next to Kara and 3 of her girls!

My Encounter with Planned Parenthood Supporters

Planned Parenthood of AZ held a "Stop the War Against Women" rally (*groan*) at the State Capitol today, so Arizona Right to Life asked for people to come and stage a counter-protest. I went, as did Kara, and here are my reflections on the event.

There were a lot more abortion supporters than pro-lifers there, but I think that's because PP had a lot more planning time (and they're also better funded -- I'm willing to be that a lot of the people there were employees). The vast majority of PP supporters seemed to be elderly women. There were some younger women, a few men, and a group of teens, but I'd estimate that 70-80% were retirees. Check out this article about the event, for example:

"Women's rights have been part of my life forever," said Donna Ellis, 69....

Malinda Briggs, 63, of Tucson, said...

Here are some pictures of the PP crowd:

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
(the signs read "No Laws on Our Bodies" and "Hands off My Womb"

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App

In contrast, here's a group picture of some of the Arizona Right to Life crowed (this was at the very end of the rally so many people had already left):

Gabe and I are in the front row, next to Kara and her girls!

Pro-abortion supporters in person seem to be just as ignorant as pro-abortion supporters online. They kept chanting "Our bodies, our choice." When I would challenge this assumption with "It's a CHILD, not a choice," one response was, "No, it's an EMBRYO."

Last time I checked, an embryo was just the scientific term for a child in a certain stage of development, just like zygote, blastocyst, fetus, neonate, adolescent, etc.

I kept asking one lady why she thought that anyone had the right to kill an innocent human being, and all she would (could?) say in reply was, "It's a CHOICE. It's a CHOICE." She had the gall to say that we need "choice" in this country so we don't become like China and have forced abortions. When I told her that 60% of all abortions in this country were forced or coerced, she didn't believe me and demanded to know where my data was from. I told her to visit http://theunchoice.com, but I doubt she'll stop drinking the PP Kool-Aid long enough to do so.

When I asked why one human being has the right to kill another, or why human rights were bestowed based on location or stage of development, she refused to answer me. She just kept repeating, "It's a choice."

Of course, I also got the typical, "Abortion is a religious issue. There's separation of church and state" comment from one bitter old lady. (That was my impression of her - she was old, and her facial expression was very bitter.) This comment came despite the fact that I had not once brought up any argument pertaining to religion. I told her that abortion was a human rights issue, not a religious issue. I also told her about SecularProLife.org, the Atheist and Agnostic Pro-Life League, and Pro-Life Pagans. Her response? "Abortion is a religious issue. There's separation of church and state."


Another PP supporter had the gall to lecture me about bringing my infant son with me; she said all the shouting (by their side!) and the sun were bad for him. Seriously, lady? You're standing there advocating for the murder of unborn children and you're telling me how to parent? If I'd chosen to have an abortionist dismember him in the womb you wouldn't bat an eye, but now you think it's bad that I have him out in the sun, and around loud people?!

I guess they only care about children after they're born. (Hmmm, where have I heard that before...?)

I also had several of the PP supporters say things like, "I hope you support education reform and funding for women in crisis." Um, yeah, of course I do. Like I wrote yesterday, the myth that pro-lifers only care about unborn children can be easily refuted.

One guy kept repeating The Lord's Prayer over and over. I was tempted to ask him if he'd ever read the part of the Bible that said, "Thou shalt not murder."

Another PP supporter asked me if I was against death penalty. I said, "I am, but surely you can see the difference between a convicted felon and an innocent unborn child." Her response was, "They're not innocent."

Yes. That's what she said. They're not innocent. Apparently unborn children maliciously hijack a woman's uterus and there's nothing she can do about it. *facepalm* What, does she think they wear little T-shirts that say "Occupy Womb Street" while they're in there?

It was rather depressing to see so many misguided, deluded people, but it was encouraging to see that most of them were elderly women, as mentioned above. I'm sure AZRTL could have put together a larger protest if they'd had more time, but it was organized via Facebook with only a day or two of notice. I should've invited the PPers out to the Phoenix March for Life in two weeks!

Refuting a Common Myth

This is a comment I recently left at the birth blog Stand and Deliver, which I'm posting here for easier reference. I find myself repeating this argument many times in various places across the blogopshere. What makes me sad is that this argument is so easy to refute, but pro-choicers don't seem interested in doing any research that might challenge their assumptions.

"The hypocrisy of many pro-life arguments, which glorify motherhood (by wishing all women to become mothers, however unwilling) yet do nothing to actually support mothers or babies, incenses me."

This is incorrect on two points: We on the pro-life side believe that women (and men) become parents the moment the child is conceived. However, we acknowledge that neither parent may be able or willing to parent the child after birth, in which case adoption is encouraged as an alternative to killing an innocent child who didn't ask to be conceived in less than ideal circumstances, or (in the case of rape/incest) executed for the crime of its biological parent.

As for the myth that pro-lifers do nothing to help those in crisis pregnancies, I beg you to do more research on this. See here for MANY examples.

Personally, in my city, I donate to the 1st Way CPC and am a big supporter of Maggie's Place, a home for mothers in crisis. When I lived in ND, I donated to St. Gianna's Maternity Home. Pro-lifers work their butts off to give women in crisis a viable alternative to killing their child, and it's disingenuous of you to suggest that they don't.

I believe that all human beings have a right to life from the moment of existence, and that neither the circumstances of their conception or their degree of "wantedness" by their biological parent(s) should affect that right to life. It's not a matter of "valuing the embryo more than the woman who carries it." It's about doing our utmost to respect the rights of BOTH human beings in a less-than-ideal situation. No human being deserves to die because s/he isn't wanted by the person who, 99% of the time, made the free, consensual choice to engage in the act that brought him/her into existence. It's a human rights issue, pure and simple, and I don't think the deliberate murder of an innocent human being should EVER be a legal, safe, accessible choice, because it's a grave moral evil and a human rights violation regardless of the circumstances involved.

That doesn't mean I don't support helping women in these situations in every way possible in the ways you describe -- but I think it's not an either/or situation, in that we EITHER oppose abortion OR we support helping women. In fact, it's both/and -- we BOTH oppose abortion AND support helping women. I've been involved in the pro-life movement for several years now, and I've never once met a single person who thought that a fetus should have more rights than the mother, or who opposed helping women in crisis pregnancies.

Something to add to your reading list, if you're truly interested in gaining a more balanced viewpoint on this topic - "The Hand of God" by the late Dr. Bernard Nathanson. He's the former head of NARAL, and also a former abortionist. His conversion story is chilling and moving, and he became pro-life purely based on the scientific, philosophical aspects of the argument, as well as the advent of ultrasound technology.

7 Quick Takes Friday - January 6, 2011 - Baptism Edition

More pictures from Gabriel's baptism (there are more than seven, but who's counting?!)

Anointing his chest with oil
Carrying Gabriel around so everyone could put the sign of the cross on his forehead.
"Do you reject Satan, all his works, and all his empty promises?"

"This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord."

"I baptize you in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."

Godparents carrying the baptismal candle to us

Anointing his head with chrism oil - mmm, love that smell!

Introducing the newest member of the Catholic Church, Gabriel Keith Wahlund!

Deacon Luke, Gabriel, me, Collin

Our third (and, sadly, best) attempt at a family pic. Sigh.

Gabriel's godparents are our good friends Joe & Luisa. Joe is Deacon Luke's son!

The whole crew!

The new member of the Church, chillin' out in his sling. Being baptized is hard work!

For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!

For Sale, Cheap -- Or Maybe Not

The kids were watching The Small One today, and the following conversation ensued:

William: "Why does Small One have to be sold?"

Me: "Because he can't work enough to pay for his food anymore."

William: "Why can't he work?"

Me: "He's getting too old."

William: "Why is he getting old?"

Me: "All living things eventually get old except for Dick Clark."

William: "I'm not old."

Me: "No, right now you're a little boy, but someday you'll get old like Mommy."

*long pause*

William, with a slight hitch in his voice: "And then you'll have to sell me?"

(After working hard to smother laughter, I assured him that we weren't going to sell him, ever. Violet, maybe, but not him.)

Baptism Day

"This is our faith. This is the faith of the Church. We are proud to profess it, in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Gabriel Keith, child of God

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