Why Ordinary Agreements with North Korea are Destined to be Futile

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Open Doors1 noted that “Christians [in North Korea] try to hide their faith as far as possible to avoid arrest and being sent to a labor camp.”2  Given such a threatening environment for people of faith, we can conclude that attempting to solve the recent arms development problem with Kim Jong Un by negotiating routine treaties is not a high percentage strategy.  Why?  As Bishop Fulton J. Sheen (1895-1979) once said:

“Can we not see that if law is divorced from morality and religion, then treaties cease to be obligatory and begin to be mere arrangements, binding only so long as they are advantageous?  Rob international justice of its roots in morality and treaties are hypothetical, not categorical; convenient tools, not honorable obligations, while law becomes an attorney’s cloak woven from the flimsy fabric of legalistic phraseology artfully placed on the shoulders of arbitrary power.”3

Perhaps this is why Ronald Reagan used the Russian proverb “trust but verify”4 in his meetings with Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev on armaments in the 1980’s.It was essential in those discussions given the forty years of the Cold War.  It may be too optimistic with North Korea given their approach to life and religious rights.

 

1 – “Open Doors USA is a non-profit organization focused on serving persecuted Christians in more than 60 countries through:  Bible & Gospel Development, Women and Children Advancement, and Christian Community Restoration.”  https://www.opendoorsusa.org/about-us/

2 – “North Korea’s War On Christianity: The Globe’s Number One Religious Persecutor,” by Doug Bandow, https://www.forbes.com/sites/dougbandow/2016/10/31/north-koreas-war-on-christianity-the-globes-number-one-religious-persecutor/#25c3033556e3, 10/31/2016.

3 – “The Quotable Fulton Sheen,” edited by George J. Marlin, Richard P. Rabatin, and John L. Swan.  Doubleday, New York, 1989.  Quote was taken from “The Divine Verdict,” New York: P. J. Kennedy and Sons, 1943.

4 – “doveryay, no proveryay” according to Google translate https://www.google.com/search?q=russian+to+english+dictionary&oq=russian+to+english&aqs=chrome.3.69i57j0l5.11111j1j8&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

5 – Including: “doveryai, no proveryai,” as found in http://www.usmedicine.com/editor-in-chief/doveryai-no-proveryai-trust-but-verify/, by Chester “Tip” Buckenmaier, July 2014.  His article focused on the problems with and approaches to fix the problems with VA hospitals.

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Atheist is Suing Against “In God We Trust” on Currency — Perhaps We Simply Don’t Deserve to Use It

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A California atheist, Michael Newdow, will be in a federal court in Cincinnati arguing that the presence of the words “In God We Trust” on U.S. currency violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 by infringing on his religious freedom.1,2  He’s ignoring the prominence of religious belief in our republic since its beginnings.  As George Washington said in his farewell address:

“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports… Let it simply be asked, Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths, which are the instruments of investigation in Courts of Justice?  And let us with caution indulge the supposition, that morality can be maintained without religion.  Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect, that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”3

The courts will continue to ponder this thorny issue of how to allow expressions religious belief in our public lives without violating constitutional rights.

Putting that aside, a review of where our U.S. culture is headed strongly suggests that using the motto “In God We Trust” is giving ourselves more credit than we deserve.  Oh sure, we made slavery illegal in this country in the 19th century – a mere eight centuries after “both Saint Wulfstan and Saint Anselm successfully campaigned to remove the last vestiges of slavery in Christendom” 4 (unfortunately, it resurfaced later in more “enlightened” times).  And we started allowing women to vote in 1920, or twenty-seven years after New Zealand did the same and we were also later than ten other countries.5

But, we have had legalized murder of the unborn for 44 years resulting in about 59 million victims6 not counting the physical risks and emotional scars suffered by the mothers.And our latest creation, where we think  the state can redefine the institution of marriage (something not created by the state in he first place) and toss Natural Law out the window with same-sex “marriage.”

These are strange ways to prove we believe “In God We Trust.”

 

 

1 – “Does God have a place on money?, by Chris Graves, The Cincinnati Enquirer, 6/18/2017.

2https://www.congress.gov/bill/103rd-congress/house-bill/1308

3https://www.crossroad.to/text/articles/WashingtonFarewell.html

4 – “Bearing False Witness,” by Rodney Stark, Templeton Press; West Conshohocken, PA, 2016.

5 – “First 15 Countries To Grant Women’s Suffrage, http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/first-15-countries-to-grant-women-s-suffrage.html

6 – http://www.christianliferesources.com/article/u-s-abortion-statistics-by-year-1973-current-1042

7 – “In a series of 1,182 abortions which occurred under closely regulated hospital conditions, 27 percent of the patients acquired post-abortion infection lasting 3 days or longer… Researchers have reported that 3 to 5 percent of aborted women are left inadvertently sterile as a result of the operation’s latent morbidity… Other countries which have legalized abortion have seen the same dramatic increase in ectopic pregnancies…

“Within 8 weeks after their abortions, 55% expressed guilt, 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% had experienced sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychotropic medicine by their family doctor… Thirty to fifty percent of aborted women report experiencing sexual dysfunctions, of both short and long duration, beginning immediately after their abortions. These problems may include one or more of the following: loss of pleasure from intercourse, increased pain, an aversion to sex and/or males in general, or the development of a promiscuous life-style.”  From The After Effects of Abortion,” http://www.abortionfacts.com/reardon/the-after-effects-of-abortion

Coping With Election Losses: Most Conservatives Turn to God and Prayer, Many Liberals Turn to the Streets

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This presidential campaign season was clearly the most unusual our nation has ever seen.  But its uniqueness did not end when the election was over.  After a stunning defeat, liberals went to the streets to demonstrate, often not peacefully, when the younger ones weren’t looking for “safe places” to hide in universities because a Democrat would not be in office for the first time since they were in grade school.

Please don’t be misled.  Tuesday, November 5, 2012 was one of the top five disappointing days of my now eleven presidential elections.  Persons of faith knew that the infamous “phone and pen” would bring more attacks on all freedoms, especially religious.  So, what did we do?  We turned to the one who is ultimately in charge, despite all human attempts to destroy His plans.  We continued our prayers to God and promised to redouble our efforts to try to live in His will, regardless of the outcomes in our lifetimes.

However when they suffer defeat, many liberals feel an especially strong leaning toward despair as their hope is in man, as the data in the footnote shows.1   Man is not the ultimate power in determining his destiny.  Many may disdain religious faith and Natural Law as being crutches for the weak by saying, “And it’s not surprising then that they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them…”2 or attempting to justify same-sex “marriage” as being modern justice in place of timeless values.

It not only doesn’t work, but it does not bring the peace needed to deal with stinging adversity and achieve constructive change.  Thus, we have the violent demonstrations against Trump’s election.   So, who are the real hate mongers?

1 – “In a poll about American’s attitudes toward religious freedom, Republicans, and especially conservatives, are standout churchgoers. For Republicans, 46 percent said they “regularly attend,” Democrats 23 percent. Just a quarter of Republicans, 24 percent, never attend or refused to answer the question compared to 46 percent of Democrats.”

“And when separated by ideology, only 18 percent of liberals said they regularly attend church and 62 percent said they never go. For conservatives, 41 percent regularly attend and 34 percent never go.”

While the article adds, “But among the nation, belief in God remains high, even among those unaffiliated with any church,” the true priorities are displayed by actions, not just lip service.

From “Church poll:  Just 18% of liberals regularly attend, 62% never,” by Paul Bedard, http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/church-poll-just-18-of-liberals-regularly-attend-62-never/article/2569673, 8/6/2015.

2 – “Obama : ‘They cling to guns or religion,’” http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2008/april/obama-they-cling-to-guns-or-religion.html, 4/13/2008.

Forget Conservatives’ Alleged Phobias, Hillary — Rather, You Need to Reclaim a Healthy Fear of God

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Hillary Clinton and her Democratic followers like to claim that those who disagree with them as suffering from phobias.  For those who want to be careful about allowing people from Islamic terrorist strongholds to immigrate at will, the charge of “Islamophobia” is levied.  If a Christian does not accept revisionist morality called “marriage equality” and accept that two men or two women can marry, he is suddenly a “homophobic.”  Besides being a stupid term, because it actually means an unreasonable fear of humans, it falsely wishes to say that such a person is fearful of homosexuals.

“Fear mongering” is also thrown at Donald Trump because he has the audacity to accurately explain the current dreadful condition of our nation.

With all of this talk of fear from the Left, it’s sad that the perpetrators of these false claims have lost their fear of God along the way.  In case any of them reads this, here is a summary on their actions which should cause them to pause and reconsider their possibilities on their judgment day.

Thou  shall  not  bear  false  witness  against  thy  neighbor:  In simple terms, this Commandment refers to lying.  The Left should feel at home with this otherwise they wouldn’t join Hillary in continuing to label their adversaries as having psychological disorders (re: “phobias”).

So does the President they elected.  He said that there was “not a smidgen of corruption” with regard to the IRS unwarranted investigations of conservatives and that with Obamacare, “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”  We know how these comments were exposed to be deliberately false.

Hillary has had a field day with her false statements to the FBI in her email case which endangered national security.  Although FBI Director James Comey admitted in a Congressional inquiry that several of her key statements were lies, she keeps claiming publically that the FBI did not find any of her statements to be false.  But this should be expected from someone who ignored ambassador Stevens’ request for more security then made up the story that the murderous Benghazi attack was incited by a video in order to prevent Obama from losing more votes in the 2012 election.

Thou  shall  not  Steal:  “The Clinton Foundation spent less than 6 percent of its budget on charitable grants in 2014, according to documents the organization filed with the Internal Service (IRS) in 2015.”1  That speaks for itself.

Hillary also wants the wealthy to pay their “fair share.”  She plans to target those making more than $250,000 annually.  In 2014, those making that amount represented 2.7% of all tax filings and they paid 51.6% of taxes paid.2  Also, “The top 1% of households — defined as bringing in more than $730,000 a year — would see their tax burden go up by more than $78,000 on average, according to an analysis of  Clinton’s original tax plan from the Policy Center.”3

We can call these socialist plans a “redistribution of wealth,” but that’s only to disguise what it is:  stealing.  It may be surprising to many, but socialism is itself contrary to Christian beliefs.4

Thou shall not kill:  As of the start of this year, we have killed 58-1/2 million babies via abortion in the U.S. since the Supreme Court determined this was a “privacy” issue instead of murder in 1973.Regardless of the rationalizations calling it “women’s reproductive health” or “choice,” it has been understood to be murder since the earliest days of Christianity.For Hillary Clinton to support late term abortions is even more appalling.

Thou  shall  not  commit  adultery:  Getting the current drama out of the way first, Donald Trump’s deplorable disrespect for women in his words and alleged actions is certainly deplorable.  It’s irrelevant that some could be considered “locker room talk.”  However, it is surprising to hear Hillary speak so indignantly of him when she covered up and vilified those women with whom her husband was adulterous over the years including his time as President.7,8

Hillary Clinton is among a growing number of  proponents who believe in “marriage equality.”  This euphemism is for same-sex “marriage.”  While those afflicted with homosexual tendencies must be treated with love and respect, this charity does not extend itself to enabling disordered behavior.  Ancient traditions are not necessarily irrelevant and such is the situation with marriage.  This institution goes back to the earliest days of Judeo-Christian tradition and cannot be changed by humans as we did not create it.  Any attempt to include disordered behavior is seriously wrong.9,10

IN CONCLUSION, a healthy fear of God would do more to fix our nation than falsely accusing Donald Trump of being a fear-monger.

 

1 – In addition, “The tax records, which were filed with the IRS in November of 2015, show that the Clinton Foundation spent far more on overhead expenses like travel ($7.9 million) than it did on charitable grants in 2014. The group also spent more on rent and office supplies (a total of $6.6 million) than it did on charitable grants.”  From “Clinton Foundation Spent Less Than 6 Percent On Charitable Grants In 2014,” by Sean Davis, http://thefederalist.com/2016/09/16/clinton-foundation-spent-6-percent-charitable-grants-2014/, 9/16/2016.

2 – “From “High-income Americans pay most income taxes, but enough to be “fair’?” by Drew Desilver, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/04/13/high-income-americans-pay-most-income-taxes-but-enough-to-be-fair/, 4/13/2016.

3 – “Here’s how much Hillary Clinton’s tax plan would hit the rich,” by Jeanne Sahadi, http://money.cnn.com/2016/08/11/pf/taxes/hillary-clinton-taxes/, 8/11/2016.

4 – Part of Section 15 of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum, published May 15, 1891, http://w2.vatican.va/content/leo-xiii/en/encyclicals/documents/hf_l-xiii_enc_15051891_rerum-novarum.html

5 – “58,586,256 Abortions in America Since Roe v. Wade in 1973,” by Steven Ertelt, http://www.lifenews.com/2016/01/14/58586256-abortions-in-america-since-roe-v-wade-in-1973/, 1/14/2016.

6 – “Since the first century the Church has affirmed the moral evil of every procured abortion.  This teaching has not changed and remains unchangeable.  Direct abortion, that is to say, abortion willed either as an end or a means, is gravely contrary to the moral law:  You shall not kill the embryo by abortion and shall not cause the newborn to perish…”
Part of paragraph 2271 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing November 2013.
Note:  the “You shall not kill…” comes from the Didache, Tertullian and other Christian writings.

7 – “Enabler or family defender? How Hillary Clinton responded to husband’s accusers,” by Shawn Boburg, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/enabler-or-family-defender-how-hillary-clinton-responded-to-husbands-accusers/2016/09/28/58dad5d4-6fb1-11e6-8533-6b0b0ded0253_story.html, 9/28/2016.

8 – “Bill’s sex-assault victim lashes out over Hillary’s terrorizing,” by Jerome R. Corsi, http://www.wnd.com/2016/05/bills-sex-assault-victim-lashes-out-over-hillarys-terrorizing/, 5/13/2016.

9 – “’K’maase Eretz Mitzrayim asher yeshavtem ba lo sa’asu – like the practice of the land of Egypt in which you dwelled do not do’ (Vayikra 18:3)”

“This verse prohibits the most immoral forms of behavior – idolatry, incest, adultery, bloodshed, male and female homosexual activity and bestiality[1]. The prohibition against male homosexual behavior is repeated in Vayikra 18:22. Prohibited homosexual activity includes any non-platonic physical contact; even yichud (seclusion) with someone of the same gender is forbidden for homosexually active individuals[2]…”

“Homosexual behavior is absolutely prohibited and constitutes an abomination[5]. Discreet, unconditionally halachically committed Jews who do not practice homosexuality but feel same sex attraction (ssa) should be sympathetically and wholeheartedly supported.  They can be wonderful Jews, fully deserving of our love, respect, and support. They should be encouraged to seek professional guidance.  Moreover, in an uninfected Torah society, appropriate sympathy for discreetshomrei Torah u’mitzvos who experience but do not act upon ssa is clearly distinguished from brazen public identification of their yetzer hara for forbidden behavior.  In a pure Torah society people would recognize that every individual neshama is given its own unique constellation of challenges and some of these challenges consist of feeling an impulse to forbidden behavior.  But every individual neshama also possesses the resilience and strength to triumph over its challenges[6]…”

Talmud Torah allows us to absorb the divine Weltanschauung. Inevitably, with respect to homosexuality, Talmud Torah will place us at odds with political correctness and the temper of the times. Nevertheless, we must be honest with ourselves, and with Hakadosh Baruch Hu, regardless of political correctness, considerations or consequences.

[1] The Sifra (Vayikra 138:5), cited by Rashi ad loc. refers to the atrocities of Eretz Mitzrayim as being the most corrupt of all nations. The Sifra (138:7) further provides the list of activities in which the Mitzriyim engaged. See also Rambam Hilchos Isurei Biah 21:8.

[2] Rambam Hilchos Isurei Biah 21:1,2; 22:1,2. See also Shulchan Aruch Even HoEzer 24

[5]Vayikra 18:22

[6] In the present forum we are not discussing the halachic category of shotim.

Taken from http://torahweb.org/torah/special/2010/homosexuality.html#_ednref5

10 – “…Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravityA, tradition has always declared that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.  They are contrary to the natural law… Under no circumstances can they be approved… The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible.  This inclination, which id objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial.  They must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity.  Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided… Homosexual persons are called to chastity.”

References can be found in Genesis 19:1-29, Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10

Sections of paragraphs 2357-2359 come from of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing November 2013.

Hillary Clinton’s “Freedom of Worship” Cripples Freedom of Religion

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For years, Hillary Clinton and her adversary turned accomplice with regard to religion, Barack Obama, have been attempting a slight of hand which will stifle the religious freedom our nation was founded on.  Their use of “freedom of worship” with impunity is part of their agenda to eliminate opposition to their plans.1

By restricting the freedom of religion to the tightly confined space of the four walls of religious buildings, it ceases to be truly free.  Hillary Clinton even went so far as to use this position to promote the legal form of murder known as abortion:

“Far too many women are denied access to reproductive health care and safe childbirth, and laws don’t count for much if they’re not enforced. Rights have to exist in practice — not just on paper.  Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will.  And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”2

Thus, it is not surprising to hear members of her campaign staff agreeing with a supporter, John Halpin, a staffer at the Clinton allied Center for American Progress, who said of Catholics: “They must be attracted to the systematic thought and severely backwards gender relations and must be totally unaware of Christian democracy…”  Clinton spokesperson Jennifer Palmieri added, “I imagine they think it is the most socially acceptable politically conservative religion. Their rich friends wouldn’t understand if they became evangelicals.”3

This may not hurt her in the election as only 31% of Democrats attend weekly church services.  This number falls to 23% of white Democrats.

Regardless, restricting religious practices to houses of worship is a contradiction to the very nature of religion.  Hillary and most of her fellow Democrats may not believe the war against terrorism is a religious war at its roots.  However, her attempts to hold Christian religions hostage will not be as badly misinterpreted.

 

1 – “However, both the President and his Secretary of State have now replaced “freedom of religion” with “freedom of worship” too many times to seem inadvertent.”  From “Why ‘Freedom of Worship’ Is Not Enough,” by Ashley E. Samelson, https://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2010/02/why-ldquofreedom-of-worshiprdquo-is-not-enough, 2/22/2010.

2 – “Hillary: ‘Deep-seated … religious beliefs’ have to be changed for abortion,” by Ed Morrissey, http://hotair.com/archives/2015/04/24/hillary-deep-seated-religious-beliefs-have-to-be-changed-for-abortion/, 4/24/2015.

3 – “Hillary Clinton Campaign Spokeswoman Mocks Catholics, Calling Catholic Faith ‘Severely Backwards’” by Steven Ertelt, http://www.lifenews.com/2016/10/12/hillary-clinton-campaign-spokeswoman-mocks-catholics-calling-catholic-faith-severely-backwards/, 10/12/2016.

4 – “Preaching to The Choir: How Church Attendance Divides the Parties,” by Ronald Brownstein, http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/preaching-to-the-choir-how-church-attendance-divides-the-parties/431928/, 4/6/2015.

Don’t Waste Your Time With “The Tribunal” if Understanding the Catholic Annulment Process is Your Goal

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Many aspects of the Catholic faith are criticized simply because they are misunderstood.  The annulment process is one that mystifies even quite a few who say they are Catholic.

What  is  an  Annulment?

An annulment is not a “Catholic divorce.”  A divorce breaks a civil contract, which can be broken by humans.  A marriage between two baptized Christians is a covenant between them and God – something humans cannot break.  “Until death do you part” applies to all Christians despite attempts to create man-made exceptions over the last five centuries.

A “declaration of nullity” by the Catholic Church simply means that all of the necessary conditions for a sacramental union were not present at the time of the wedding vows.1  This statement does not in any way change the legitimacy status of the children.2

The  Movie’s  Theme

The story involves a previously married Protestant man (Joseph) who wishes to marry a Catholic woman who has never been married (Emily).  Since “until death do you part” clearly applies here, they can only be married in the Church if his first marriage did not exist sacramentally.  Otherwise, he is still married in the eyes of God.  The tribunal must determine whether any spiritual, psychological or physical impediments to marriage existed at the time those vows were taken.  So, how well did the movie portray the process?

Critique

  • The setting: It was a “court” arrangement where the petitioner and respondent3 were present along with the advocate and defender of the bond.In many dioceses, the petitioner, respondent and witnesses only have to submit written testimonies to the tribunal and are not required to make personal appearances.  There was a small disclaimer in the movie’s credits at the end, but it would have been far more effective if it had been mentioned verbally at the beginning.  Small point, and not critical.
  • Prevailing action: What brings this movie down to a “not recommended” rating is that it spent an inordinate amount of time showing a PG-13 version of Emily and her battles with temptations of fornication with the two men involved, sometimes successful sometimes not.  Her level of holiness has absolutely no bearing on the marriage being reviewed.

The director could argue that he wanted to show the reason for Tony’s emotional tug-           of-war resulting from his helping a rival to possibly marry his beloved.  But this                     could have been accomplished with a simple monologue from him explaining his                   moral dilemma.  Filling the movie with her activities was essentially for a soap opera             effect – not at all helpful or appropriate when attempting to explain the annulment               process.

  • Joseph’s irrelevant promises to be a good husband: Near the end, Joseph expressed his fervent intentions to be a loyal and attentive husband.  That’s all well and good, but the tribunal is not assessing his suitability to be a husband again, but to determine whether his first marriage was sacramental and, therefore, exists to the exclusion of another wife.
  • Emily’s feelings and maturity:  Also near the end, she made a case for herself before the tribunal that she possessed the necessary character traits to be a good wife.  Wonderful, but this has nothing to do with the validity of a marriage she was not involved with.  Incidentally, neither Joseph’s nor Emily’s personal evaluation of their current state of maturity and resolve would have been included in any written responses for either forms of the tribunal process.
  • Defender of the bond: He was given the opportunity to display an eruption of anger certainly not typical of people in this process.  The director must have wanted Hollywood more than accuracy.
  • Starting the engagement relationship with deliberate deception: Before the decision of the tribunal was known, Tony offered Joseph the engagement ring he had bought for Emily some time ago.  After he convinced Joseph to accept it, they agreed that if Emily were to ask how he obtained that ring, Joseph was to say he bought it on the internet.  He probably shouldn’t have used the ring in the first place and then he violated the trust that must exist between husband and wife by lying about its origins.  This is funny only to the secular crowd which views life as a sitcom.
  • Proceeding down the aisle with Saturday Night Live irreverence: The lack of respect for marriage continued to the end of the movie when Tony and Emily’s best friend, Amana, were seen going down the aisle together in the wedding procession.  They were giggling and having a great time as they made only slightly veiled comments about hooking up later.

Movies which inform a misguided society about Catholic beliefs and practices are needed.  Unfortunately, “The Tribunal” does much more damage than good.  Reading about annulments on the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ site or the Catechism of the Catechism would be a much better choice.

1 – “’Annulment’ is an unfortunate word that is sometimes used to refer to a Catholic ‘declaration of nullity.’ Actually, nothing is made null through the process. Rather, a Church tribunal (a Catholic Church court) declares that a marriage thought to be valid according to Church law actually fell short of at least one of the essential elements required for a binding union.”

“For a Catholic marriage to be valid, it is required that: (1) the spouses are free to marry; (2) they are capable of giving their consent to marry; (3) they freely exchange their consent; (4) in consenting to marry, they have the intention to marry for life, to be faithful to one another and be open to children; (5) they intend the good of each other; and (6) their consent is given in the presence of two witnesses and before a properly authorized Church minister. Exceptions to the last requirement must be approved by Church authority.”  http://www.foryourmarriage.org/catholic-marriage/church-teachings/annulments/

2 – “A declaration of nullity has no effect on the legitimacy of children who were born of the union following the wedding day, since the child’s mother and father were presumed to be married at the time that the child was born. Parental obligations remain after a marriage may be declared null.”  http://www.foryourmarriage.org/catholic-marriage/church-teachings/annulments/

3 – “The person who is asking for the declaration of nullity – the petitioner – submits written testimony about the marriage and a list of persons who are familiar with the marriage. These people must be willing to answer questions about the spouses and the marriage. If the other spouse did not co-sign the petition, the tribunal will contact that spouse – the respondent – who has a right to be involved. In some cases the respondent does not wish to become involved; the case can still move forward.”  http://www.foryourmarriage.org/catholic-marriage/church-teachings/annulments/

4 – “Each party may also appoint a Church advocate to represent him or her before the tribunal. A representative for the Church, called the defender of the bond, will argue for the validity of the marriage.”  http://www.foryourmarriage.org/catholic-marriage/church-teachings/annulments/

News Flash, Pro-Choice: We Don’t Own Our Bodies, Including the Unborn

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The longstanding argument rationalizing the killing of the unborn is the presumption that it solely involves the woman’s body and she can do with it whatever she wants.

Two errors here.  First of all, the chromosomes of the baby prove that a second, unique individual is also present.  Therefore, it’s not just about the woman’s body.

Secondly, we are only stewards of our bodies, not the ultimate masters of them.

“Everyone is responsible for his life before God who has given it to him.  It is God who remains the sovereign Master of life.  We are obliged to accept life gratefully and preserve it for his honor and the salvation of our souls.  We are stewards, not owners, of the life God has entrusted to us.  It is not ours to dispose of.”1

“The Torah states that the human body was created Bi’tzelem Elokim, in the image of God, and is the property of the Creator.  Man is given custodial rights to his body, and has no more right to harm or destroy his body than the superintendent has to ransack the building he is hired to maintain…”
“By extension a physician may not hasten the death of a patient, not only because of his duty to preserve life, but because he has no right to destroy the property of another, in this case God… Because one’s body is not his property…”2

Consequently, suggesting that we own ourselves is a position which cannot be held by those who hold to Judeo-Christian traditions.

 

1 – Paragraph 2280 of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, second edition, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 25th printing; November, 2013.

2 – “Sanctity of the Human Body,” by Daniel Eisenberg, MD.  http://www.aish.com/ci/sam/48960576.html