Don’t Let Economics Fool You Into Rationalizing Wrongful Actions

The article in last Monday’s Cincinnati Enquirer read “Advocates push for syringe exchanges.”It described an advocacy group’s concern that an increase in intravenous heroin use by white males was leading to higher rates of HIV and hepatitis C.  They were going to approach the Hamilton County health board with a request to set up a syringe exchange.  Their request included a program “to offer clean heroin preparation materials, such as cotton and a small heating dish commonly referred to as a spoon or cap, as well as two applications – either nasal spray or an injection – that can reverse the effects of an opioid overdose by restoring the victim’s breathing.”2

As much as we white males might appreciate a little recognition in our politically correct society, this is detrimental to everyone.  Money is an important aspect of our lives, but we must not allow it to obscure the real issues.  Just because “Naloxone kits cost about $40,” and “bought in bulk, syringes cost pennies” plus “the lifetime cost of treating a hepatitis C infection can run from $350,000 to $600,000” are not reasons to forget that the real problem is addiction.

“Used needles are frequently discarded by heroin users in public spaces…” was another reason given to create a needle-exchange program.  While this might partially reduce innocent citizens from being exposed to danger, it is still a case of treating a symptom and not the “disease.”   Citizens face greater overall risk from the crime that ensues from addicts’ needs.  Next, we’ll be hearing about federal subsidies under the HHS mandate to lower the cost of heroin, and thus, reduce crime…

And that “187 municipalities across the United States have needle-exchange programs” (according to program advocates) isn’t jermaine to the argument either.  “Everyone does it” didn’t work when we were teenagers and it doesn’t work in the adult world despite political rhetoric to the contrary.

Why do destructive or disordered behaviors tend to bring out the “enabler” in us as a society?  Instead of facing a social problem squarely, we lean on “they can’t help the way they are wired” or “we’ll appear judgmental.”  If we’re going to help fellow citizens improve their lives, let’s attack the root causes.  In the end, it will lift them up and ultimately all of us.

 

1 – Cincinnati Enquirer, by Mark Curnutte with Terry DeMio contributing, 4/8/2013
2 – The use of the word “victim” is a clever euphemism.  For example, if one drives a car too fast for the conditions and loses control of the vehicle, is the driver a “victim” of the laws of physics?

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Abortion Proponent Shows His Camp’s Pro-Slavery Mentality

“An underdeveloped fetus incapable of surviving outside the womb belongs to the human being carrying it, not to you, your church or your government.”1

 

A century and a half after a bitter civil war to end human ownership of other humans in the United States and we still have this?

So, when does this human cease being owned:  when he/she is born or when the child is capable of eating without assistance?  Does the lien on the child’s body expire when leaving home to go to kindergarten on a bus and ownership transfers to the school district which is more capable of raising the child than the owner-parents?  Can freedom not be granted until the attainment of a high school diploma or must emancipation be delayed until the object leaves home?  Perhaps human property remains as such until married to another human who has also been owned by either parents or school or federal government up to that moment?

It used to be much simpler when we recognized that human life comes from our Creator and regardless of an individual’s dependence on us, we are only stewards of human life, not the owners.  Of course, if one does not believe in a Creator, then a lot of current “equality” causes and “rights issues” being proposed in Congress or debated before the Supreme Court make sense after all.

1 – Part of a letter written by David Hoeltje, printed in USA Today’s “Your Say” column, 4/2/2013

Margaret Thatcher’s Message Must Live On in Britain AND in the U.S.

“The problem with socialism is that, sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.”  — quote from Margaret Thatcher as remembered by Stuart Varney1

The free world lost one of its all-times greats today with the passing of Baroness Margaret Thatcher, as she was called on British news services.  The other half of the Reagan-Thatcher Dynamic Duo has completed her final chapter in the history books.  With this comes the reminder that those of us who do not learn history will be bound to repeat its mistakes.

Thatcher  Protected  Her  Nation  From  Losing  Sovereignty

She was not pleased with Britain’s involvement in the Common Market and was vehemently opposed to her nation joining the Euro economy.  As Stuart Varney recalled, she was against any situation which would render her people subject to laws formulated on the continent and outside of their control.  The accelerating Euro economic turmoil has proven her point.

She  Saved  Britain  Then,  Perhaps  Us  Now

Mr. Varney, born a British subject, said he would not have left his home country in early 1973 had she been in office earlier.  His departure was initiated by the realization that the British individual had little chance to succeed in an economy becoming more and more socialist.  When she began what would be an eleven year reign as prime minister in 1979, the British government controlled many industries.  She sold many of the government’s holdings back into the private sector.  Although it took a while for the British economy to be revitalized, she stuck with her plan despite significant criticism.  In time, it became possible once again for people to succeed on the basis of their talents and drive.  As a result Britain regained not only a healthy economy, but a leadership position in the protection of freedom.

Or as he put it, “she restored Britain to more of what the U.S. was – and used to be.”  We should ponder his comment as we permit, and some expect, Big Brother to be the provider and moral decision-maker in our lives.

1 – as broadcast by Fox News this morning

Catholic Church’s Declaring Saints is Not Contrary to Matthew 27:52

One of my fellow WordPress bloggers,”The Majestic House” (whom I have not “met” online yet), wrote an article recently claiming to have shown several ways how the Catholic Church is part of “false Christianity.”  The writer dealt with several subjects and used Scriptural passages to support his claim.  As it is with remedying most misunderstandings, it is better to deal with one error per article or risk losing the attention of the audience with a thesis.

The  Disagreement

This blog article in question is “The Truth About the Catholic Church.”  In one section, he (actually I do not know the gender of the author but the English language doesn’t provide for an alternative) says the above Matthew passage: (“tombs were opened, and the bodies of many saints who had fallen asleep were raised.”1) indicates that there are more saints than what the Church lists. He also quoted Act 9:13 and Romans 15:26 to show how those who believe in Christ, allow their faith to change their lives and who are received into eternal life are also saintly.  Consequently, he said he does not believe that we must wait for the Church’s declaration of sainthood to know that anyone is in Heaven as this would be overriding God’s authority on the matter.

The  Reality

The Church has always understood that such individuals are saints.As the early Church grew, it began to be used more often for those declared to be saints by the Church.The process of beatification is not to announce the entire roster of souls in heaven, but the declaration that we are certain that these individuals are experiencing eternal life with God.

Why  Have  Saints?

Why is this important?  Well, Jesus is a tough act to follow.  While we know from the Bible that equality with God is impossible, we also understand that we are still required to live as saintly as we can.  The Sacraments aid us in this mission because “The seven sacraments are the signs and instruments by which the Holy Spirit spreads the grace of Christ the head throughout the Church which is his Body.”

However, as we are also very human, we like to look up to people who achieved any degree of greatness.  In the case of holiness, knowing about “people just like us” who lived extraordinarily good lives encourages us by reminding us that such a life is possible.6  In addition, the canonization process affirms that it is appropriate to pray for their intercession because two confirmed miracles are required to complete each canonization process.

Conclusion

The Church is not trying to tell God who deserves to be in Heaven.  Rather, the Church is listening to be told who of the Church Victorious may be honored and who may serve as an inspiration to us as we strive for holiness.                 

 

1 – “The New Catholic Answer Bible,” Fireside Catholic Publishing, Wichita, KS, 2005
2 – “The word ‘saint’ literally means ‘holy,’ and, in the New Testament, ‘saint’ referred to all who believed in Jesus Christ and followed his teachings. St. Paul often addressed his epistles to “the saints” of a particular city (see, for instance, Ephesians 1:1 and 2 Corinthians 1:1), and the Acts of the Apostles talks about St. Peter going to visit the saints in Lydda (Acts 9:2). The assumption was that those who followed Christ had been so transformed that they were now different from other men and women and, thus, should be considered holy.”  (Scott P. Richert, “What is a Saint in Roman Catholicism,” www.about.com)
3 – “The word ‘saint’ thus became more narrowly applied to such people, who were venerated after their deaths as saints, usually by the members of their local church or the Christians in the region where they lived, because they were familiar with their good deeds. Eventually, the Catholic Church created a process, called ‘canonization,’ through which such venerable people could be recognized as saints by all Christians everywhere.  (Scott P. Richert, Ibid.)
4 – “By canonizing some of the faithful, i.e., by solemnly proclaiming that they practiced heroic virtue and lived in fidelity to God’s grace, the Church recognizes the power of the Spirit of Holiness within her and sustains the hope of believers by proposing the saints to them as models and intercessors….”  (from Paragraph 828 of the “Catechism of the Catholic Church,” Liguori Publications, Liguori, MO, 1994)
5 – from Paragraph 774 of the “Catechism,” Ibid.
6 – We do not believe, as a pastor of a non-denominational church claimed several years ago, that saints “were given special gifts.”  Rather, we believe that saints are ordinary people who lived extraordinary lives.