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Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Culture of Life Institute

A lethal war is being waged against unborn babies with special needs. This war is instigated out of the sight, minds, and consciences of most Americans. It is waged by physicians who believe that “designer babies” are the solution to the prevention of babies born with Down Syndrome or 4,000 other genome “problems.”



The war against the unborn babies with mental and physical birth defects is made easier by those who insist that private schools don’t have enough money to fund students with special needs. It is ameliorated when others dismiss the fact that special needs babies are created equal to “extra-ordinarily gifted children” in God’s sight. We understand these issues; our daughter Kyra has Down Syndrome.


The silent war against the elderly is another sinister war; this one is waged by disparaging the elderly people’s influence, importance, and worth. This war hopes to “re-assign” the aged population to elderly “reservations,” assisted living places, or nursing homes that are essentially devoid of children, grandchildren, close connections with their families, hope, life, and service to others.


I have a dream -- someday I hope to help start a Culture of Life Institute. This Institute would open its school doors for my Kyra and all the other Kyras of the world. But it would also welcome their brothers and sisters, grandparents, and others. This Institute (K-12 independent Catholic-school/assisted living/nursing home community) would re-unite the old to the young; it would re-connect families; it would provide opportunity for the elderly to give of themselves to the young children; it would allow children to give back to the elderly; it would be a lively place full of example, faith, life, and learning.


If you are interested in helping us carry out this special enterprise, please send me a note.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Designer Baby: Part One of Three

The news has been filled with information about the Octo-mom, Designer babies, and other salacious information, yet the ethics and/or morality of the technologies used to create the stories remains unexplored in any meaningful or thoughtful manner. This post will attempt to engage the reader in this type of examination.

The procedure which makes multiple fertilizations possible – beyond what nature allows - is called In-vitro Fertilization. This reproductive technology allows infertile couples and others to “achieve” pregnancy. n-vitro Fertilization occurs outside of a mother’s body; multiple eggs are gathered and fertilized with pre-washed or pre-screened sperm; this generates multiple (eight and more) fertilized embryos with each in-vitro procedure. Invitro Fertilizations are the artificial means used to “make a baby”; it is an illicit procedure according to the Catholic Church and its reasons for this declaration run deep and wide.

Recall how Caiphas, the Jewish high priest, justified the crucifixion (sacrifice) of one (Jesus) for the greater good of all. His illogic, misguided, and immoral justification is duplicated today when we use illicit methods, such as In-vitro Fertilizations, as justification for the greater good they produce, i.e. giving couples what they want – pregnancy. Procedures which facilitate the natural processes of reproduction are normally not illicit; however, artificial procedures which replace any of the natural reproductive processes necessary for creating a baby by its mother and father are wrong. Replacement processes are an affront to the dignity of the mother, father or new life. Furthermore, they fail to protect all human life it generates.

Consider how the dignity of a man is stripped from him by the procedures, techniques, and preparations necessary to gather sperm. Other times the dignity of a woman is interrupted when she is used for gathering eggs or as a surrogate mother. Many times a number of fertilized eggs are sacrificed while reproductive specialists search for the more “perfect” specimen. Other times, the new life is held in a permanent frozen state awaiting the dictate of mother, father or state.

It has been argued that the goodness or evilness of an action is evident by the “fruit” that it produces. Well, eight, underweight, babies born to a single, unemployed mom gives us a glimpse of the fruit of In-vitro Fertilization. Are there any more examples? More next week.

Parenting Teens

“Awake from your slumbers, arise from your sleep, a new day is dawning for all those who weep…” This song pleads with us to wake up and help usher in a new day.



A refreshing day for society will be when families won’t be accosted by evil; parents won’t feel ineffective and impotent when raising children and teens; teens won’t be driven to accept dangerous catch phrases, notions and philosophies; and spirituality will be viewed as a strength rather than a weakness.


A major network carried the story about two teens (age 13) living in Massachusetts. They were videoed having sexual relationsby a third party. The vidoegrapher shared the cell phone- generated, home-style kiddie porn video with an entire school community. Several things come to mind: where were the parents? What are they teaching their children regarding morality, sexuality, faith, and one's duty to God and their fellow man? What was the videographer thinking? How old was this person? When will the parents wake up and realize that their communication and dialogue about sexuality, morality, ethics, authentic love, self control, faith, and self discipline is vital, and it can’t be limited to “the talk" or passed off to someone else.


Recently I gave a talk about this to a group of adults and I expressed my concerned about parents for a number of reasons. Parents cannot wait for or expect that someone else should/will inform their teens about sexuality, personhood, and faith and morals. Parents must not hope that someone else will teach their children -- including teens. They cannnot rely on the Church to be the sole and primary educator of their children! They certainly must not depend on the child's grade or high schools to teach morality, ethics, authentic love, and the other areas mentioned earlier.



While schools, religious educators, clergy, can certainly support parents’ efforts, formation, and education, the parents must form, teach, instruct, love, support, and protect their children. Parents must impart the faith to their children. These efforts must take place on a personal level.

Parents must awake from their slumbers and step up to the plate; they must lead the dance that engages their teens and pre-teens.

Daughters Forever, Sons Forever is the curriculum that helps parents to exercise this duty. The curriculum offers a text, working workbooks for parents and their teens, DVDs and CDs, prayers for teens, and more. It is inexpensive and easy to implement.

Visit http://www.fortifyingfamiliesoffaith.com/ to order. Companion works will soon be ready also, including: Black and White: An Examination of God’s Moral Laws and A Book For All Seasons.

Is Conditional Love a Precursor to Limited Breastfeeding?

Breastfeeding is best for baby, mother, father, family and society; I believe this with my whole being. This personal philosophy stems from personal experience, knowledge gained from research and observations, and the acceptance/acknowledgement of God’s natural laws.




Today, many parents accept the notion that breastfeeding is best for baby on some level but fail to appreciate it from its many possible angles. This limited acceptance of breastfeeding can lead to “conditional breastfeeding” rules which usually results in limited, short-term breastfeeding. One's conditional acceptance of breastfeeding will compound any problems encountered with early breastfeeding and its long term execution.


Breastfeeding is equally important for a baby with special needs. Having a baby who has difficulty breastfeeding is one of the many cases in which mothers will avoid breastfeeding "because it is too difficult". Some mothers practice conditional breastfeeding; they will only breastfeed as long as it is easy and convenient.

Sometimes people love conditionally; they resolve to love another person only as long as loving someone comes easy and is convenient. Is conditional love a precursor to limited breastfeeding? Not necessarily, however, this argument could be made in a few circumstances.


A mother’s decision to breastfeed or not, however, does not change the physical, emotional, psychological, or medical needs of her baby. Her baby will thrive best -- in every way -- by receiving mother's breast milk via breastfeeding. Even when circumstances prohibit breastfeeding due to a baby’s inadequacies, the mother should nevertheless be encouraged by providing her baby’s best start by providing pumped breast milk.


It could be argued that special needs babies actually need mother’s milk above and beyond our “normal” babies for a host of reasons. This is not the point of this posting however, since all babies thrive best given mother’s milk.


Couples need to learn early on about all of the reasons to breastfeed; furthermore, they need to be convinced that all babies are worth their unconditional love and support which is in part demonstrated by the mothers’ commitment to giving their babies the best start in life; this is accomplished in part by exclusive and continued breastfeeding.


I suggest reading The Art of Breastfeeding: Giving Babies their Best Start. This book advocates breastfeeding; it is clearly best for baby, mother, father, family, and society. This book along with several others are offered by Fortifying Families of Faith; our mission is to provide intellectual material that benefits the whole family.



Visit us online at http://www.fortifyingfamiliesoffaith.com/
Please feel free to forward this blog to any friends, family, or acquaintances. I welcome your comments.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Parents and the Pill

Many parents claim they don’t know what to do or say to their teens about sexuality, yet, their actions belie their claims! Parents using these excuses are often responsible for bringing their teens into clinics for birth control pills, shots, or other contraceptive devices. Other times, they allow school based clinics or Planned Parenthood clinics to insert themselves as the parental authority in matters of sex, drugs, alcohol, or other areas of concern.


When parents either directly or indirectly let others form their teens in matters of faith, morals, or sexuality, they are giving their consent loud and clear- this communicates their own personal disinterest, fear, approval of the others' message, and more.

It seems disingenuous to claim they don’t know what to do or say as they take their teens in the doors of Planned Parenthood. It seems equally disingenuous when parents don’t resist the efforts of the school based clinics or doctors’ offices which prescribe pills, shots, or vaccinations for sexually transmitted infections. It also seems disingenuous for parents to claim they don’t know where to start when they haven’t searched for material to work with! Parents have got to stop using lame excuses while pretending not to know what is going on!


Everybody knows what is going on! Many parents have handed their responsibilities and duties over to secular, irreligious institutions which promote immoral sexual behaviors. Teens are looking for leadership, guidance, and spirituality. Pills, shots and condoms won’t give them what they are searching for. Visit http://www.fortifyingfamiliesoffaith.com/ for help connecting with your teens! Daughters Forever, Sons Forever may be just the type of curriculum you are looking for.


On a side note. Have you ever wondered why there is a high percentage of heavier teens today? Look no further than the birth control shot: Depo-Provera! This type of contraception causes an average weight gain of 11 pounds and a 3.4% increase of body fat when used for 3 or more years! Users are more likely to become obese when compared to girls who do not use hormonal birth control. Furthermore, over one fourth of girls and women who were given the shot experienced “significant and dangerous body composition changes.”