Thursday, May 24, 2007

Catechism Essay

Why the Catechism is Important

The Catechism is important to keep us from going crazy. It does this by reminding us of what Jesus has done for us. The Commandments, Baptism, and Confession are important parts of the Catechism that do this.

The first part of the Catechism that is important is the Commandments. The Commandments are important because they tell you how you should treat your parents, not to hurt or harm your friend, to not misuse God’s name, and not to steal. We learn to do this because this is how God treats us in Jesus. The second part of the Catechism that is important is Baptism. Baptism is important because it brings you to Christ our Savior, and Jesus tells us to do it. The third part of the Catechism that is important is Confession. Confession is important because you repent of your sins and receive Absolution, that is, forgiveness.

In conclusion, the Catechism is an important book to learn. It has a lot of good things about our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fifth Grade

Catechism Paragraph 6

Why It Is Good to Say the Catechism Daily

It is good to say the Catechism daily. There are three reasons why this is true. The first reason why it is good to say the Catechism is to understand God. If you do not understand God, saying the Catechism daily will give you a chance to. The second reason to say the Catechism daily is to learn to trust God. If you have never trusted God it will help you to. The third reason why it is good to say the Catechism is to learn it, and to teach other people. When you learn the Catechism you can go out in the world and tell about God. In conclusion, it is just good to say the Catechism.

Third Grade

Catechism Paragraph 5

Why It Is Good to Say the Catechism Daily

All people need to say the Catechism daily. There are three reasons why everyone needs to say the Catechism. The first reason why people need to say the Catechism is so they don’t forget the Commandments. They don’t want to forget the Commandments because then it is harder to do things kindly. The second reason why everyone needs the Catechism is so they don’t get mad at God. They do not want to get mad at God because it is very unhealthy. The third reason why people need the Catechism is so that they don’t think God is against them. They don’t want to think that way because then they can become evil. In conclusion, it is obvious that everyone needs to say the Catechism daily.

Third Grade

Catechism Paragraph 4

How the Catechism Teaches Me

I have two good things to talk about the Catechism. My two things are Baptism and the Lord’s Prayer. My first thing is Baptism. I like Baptism because it talks about water that is holy because of God’s word in it. The Catechism also teaches me the Lord’s Prayer. I like the Lord’s Prayer because Jesus put these words in my mouth. These two things remind me of Jesus’ word and what Jesus did for me.

Second Grade

Catechism Paragraph 3

How the Catechism Teaches Me

The Catechism teaches Christ and Baptism. The first thing you learn is Christ is our Lord. It teaches us in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, Amen. The second thing you learn is Baptism. Baptism teaches us about Christ and his word. Both of these things teach about God forgiving us.

Second Grade

Catechism Paragraph 2

How the Catechism Teaches Me

Catechism teaches me two things and I chose two. These two are God loves us more than possible and Jesus died. The first thing I chose is God loves us more than possible. I chose God loves us more than possible because he created us. The second thing I chose is Jesus died. Jesus died because he saved us. Catechism teaches me a couple of things and I like these two because it is a matter of his word and because he loved us.

Second Grade

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Catechism Paragraph 1

How the Catechism Teaches Me

Catechism teaches me two things. These two are Jesus and Baptism. The first thing the catechism teaches me is Jesus. It teaches me Jesus because it has the Lord’s Prayer. I also learn about Baptism. I like Baptism because it washes away my sin. I like these two because the Lord gives them to me.

Second Grade

Response to Weekend Fisher

Weekend Fisher commented at length. I couldn't help but respond.

Valuing every human being as fully human and each one equally created in the sight of God is definitely a prized asset. Feminism did fight for this in its first movement when its goals were centered on protecting women and children from the legal and political abuses they were suffering at the time. As I indicated previously, even under the harshest and most tyrannous of rules, bread was buttered and clocks were wound on time. That doesn’t mean feminism offered the best answer to the problems; it merely means feminism “corrected” problems in its own way.

However, in valuing every human as fully human, feminism disregards what God himself says of his creation of humans. Under feminism, humanity assumes a nebulous identity. For feminism, there is a general humanity which is identified as neither male nor female. Distinctions of sexuality are obliterated or deemed non-essential. For God, to be human includes sexual differntiation.

“God created the man (adam) in his own image, in the image of God he created him, that is, male and female” (Ge 1:27). In the Hebrew text there is an athnach at the word “him.” It is like an id est, a pause dividing the sentence into two parts. The athnach makes clear the inner logic of the sentence. It clarifies what God considers humanity. Humanity is man that is male and female. There is no humanity of male or female to the exclusion of the other. There is no generic humanity apart from the concretions of male and female.

God sealed this created design of male and female in marriage, which is the icon of Christ and His Bride the Church (2Co 11:2; Ep 5:22-33). Christ is God’s Son from eternity. God is therefore a Father from before creation. The Lamb, which was slain from the creation of the world, died for his Bride (Rv 13:8). She is created from those things which flow from his side (Jo 19:34; 1Jo 5:6;8).

When Stanton attacked the authority of scripture (its inerracy, infallibility, and efficacy), she did not merely launch a war on the power of words; rather her conflict was with God the Father himself—and by that not merely every male authority figure, but authority itself. The fact that lesbian relationships were tolerated within the feminist movement from the beginning demonstrates how feminism eradicates the differentiation between male and female and neuters humanity. Marriage became the first casualty in feminism. Androgyny was its final destination.

Peter calls women the weaker vessel (1Pe 3:7). This has nothing to do with the amount of faith a woman can have. Of course Eve was deceived. She admitted that (Ge 3:13). And Paul says that’s why women are not to usurp authority over men (1Tim 2:14). Still, that’s not what makes her the weaker vessel, as if women simply can’t believe as well as men because of an inherent flaw. Or, worse yet, according to one feminist lie, as if Jesus hadn’t assumed female flesh when he was incarnated and therefore didn’t die for her sin, also. No, no, no! See my answer here. Women are the weaker vessel because of a simple fact of nature. They are the only ones who can become preciously pregnant with the future, and no others of humanity are able to bear and nurture future generations. Women ought to be protected.

F. Carolyn Graglia, in Domestic Tranquility, writes of women as “precious.” Why? Women bear and nurture future generations. For generations women have been the protected ones of our society for this reason. They are, in truth, the “weaker vessel.” Yet the idea of women as precious in the minds of men and women alike has been nearly destroyed through the feminist cause and worldview. When women began to see themselves as less than precious, as beings who were strong and invincible not desirous of or needing the protection of men, men assumed a more feminized role in society. Women who kill, especially their own growing children inside of them, are hardly seen by men as those needing to be protected. Feminism has confused sexual distinction and differentiation and catechized society into a dogma of androgynous generic humanity.

If women’s weakness referred to their faith, to their believing enough, then what can we say? That Jesus didn’t die for all of their sins, so now more must be added (believing)? That more Jesus, that is more faith, is given to men than to women? Paul says it quite clearly in Galatians: “You are all sons of God through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise” (Ga 3:26-29).

The Greek text orders the pairs in Christ this way: ouvde ouvde ouk kai.. That is “neither… nor… not... and.” We can ask ourselves an SAT question. Why does Paul order these pairs like this? Does it make a difference? The answer lies in the context of the letter to the Galatians. Paul has not concerned himself with male and female issues at all; rather, he has addressed Jew/Greek and slave/free matters. These are artificial barriers God imposed on mankind in order to bring about his plan of salvation. Now that salvation has come to mankind, Paul is preaching the Gospel of freedom to all people. “Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, ‘In you shall all the nations be blessed’” (Ga 3:7-8). Sons of Abraham are all nations who come to Jesus Christ by faith, male and female alike.

So when considering what Paul writes of those who are in Christ as the sons of Abraham, he must be put in context to what he has said previously. His primary concern is Gentile issues, not male and female matters. It is as if he tossed male and female in as an afterthought, although that can hardly be the case as he was writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Still what is of importance is that all who are baptized into Christ are one in him, for he is one Person.

Paul says those who have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. They are in him. They are one Person in him. Therefore, there is no Jew or Greek, slave or free, male and female. There is only Christ. One Lord, one Faith, One Baptism—one Church. By Baptism we are made Abraham’s offspring, that is, inheritors of the Kingdom of God. As inheritors in Christ’s image, male and female alike—regardless of sexual differentiation in Christ—are clothed in Christ and are therefore sons of God (Ga 4:6; Ro 8:14).

Paul does not say sexual differentiations are of no importance in the same way political and social distinctions are of no consequence to Christ. He is not here saying that the concretions of male humanity and female humanity have been overcome in Christ. In another place he speaks clearly of how sin entered the world through one man, Adam, and the gift of life by the one man Jesus Christ (Ro 5:12-21). Now in the same way Paul is again speaking of Christ. All humanity came from Adam and from him came Eve and through them their offspring. They were created in the image of God as man that is male and female, not to be independent of each other, but together and in union. Their marriage is an icon of Christ and his Bride. Adam was created in the form that the Son of God would one day incarnate as Husband of that Bride. Marriage brings together in one flesh what once was one in Adam—although Adam was “not good” alone (Ge 2:18).

Some consider God’s statement “he shall rule over you” (Ge 3:16) to be a curse put onto woman. Let’s consider it another way. The Hebrew word in question is mashal. The next time we see it God is speaking to Cain, telling him to control his anger against Abel (Ge 4:7). Sin desires him, but he must master it. If Cain does not control his anger, he will do even greater harm than only to himself. Living within the Law is living in Christ, for he kept the Law perfectly for us. So even after Christ’s death and resurrection the Law applies to us, even though it does not condemn us (Ro 6-7).

The woman had admitted that she was deceived, and sin had ruled her (Ge 3:13). We must read the text in context. Adam, instead of admitting his guilt, blamed God for his sin. “The woman whom you gave to me…” (Ge 3:12). He was not merely asking for a divorce from his wife, but for God’s death. The penalty for eating of the Tree was death. If it was another’s fault and not his own, then Adam would live. Someone had to die. Adam did not want it to be himself. He blamed God for the woman he gave him, so he expected God to take the blame for his sin.

God took the blame for Adam’s sin, and laid it all on his Son so that through him all men were set free (Ro 5:15). Likewise, in Adam all mankind fell (Ro 5:12). Still, as her husband, Adam was the woman’s head (1Co 11:3), just as Christ is the head of the church (Ep 5:23). When God places the woman under her husband’s rule, he is putting her back into his care. He is not to be free of her, but is her protector; she is not free from him, but submits to him as her lord, just as Sarah later would serve as an example (1Pe 3:6). God said that it would be through a woman his Seed would come, the one who would crush the serpent’s head. Adam recognized God’s grace in this. He changed the name of his wife to Eve, which means “Mother of all living” (Ge 3:20).

This recognition of the concrete distinctions of male and female and their unique created roles and functions as male and female is lost in feminism. Feminism recognizes a generic humanity without distinction of maleness or femaleness—a blurring of sexual roles. This neutering of humanity began first with the neutering of the authority of scripture. It extends to the manner in which it regards all authority, especially in the family.

Enough sitting for now.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Momma's Boys...

...Sarah's Children...

"...we are born as heirs by Sarah, the free woman, that is, by the church. She teaches, cherishes, and carries us in her womb, her bosom, and her arms; she shapes and perfects us to the form of Christ, until we grow into perfect manhood (Eph. 4:13). Thus everything happens through the ministry of the Word. It is the duty of a free woman to go on giving birth to children endlessly, that is, to sons who know that they are justified by faith, not by the Law." Martin Luther (LW, AE, vol. 26)

Friday, May 11, 2007

Celebrating Mothers

There are mothers, who may be celebrated, and then there is the Mother of us all, who should be remembered daily. But before we get to the mothers, the foundation must be set.

In 525 BC the Persian Cambyses invaded Egypt. He was a brutal ruler who had no respect for the Egyptian deities. A series of Egyptian dynasties tried to force the Persians out for 200 years following their invasion, all to no avail.

Then the Macedonians invaded Egypt, conquering the Persians. Egypt welcomed Macedonian rule, even the plans of its leader Alexander. He envisioned a world in which there was no war because all peoples were inter-married. He was, if you will, ecumenical sort of guy. Why would a fierce, independent, and proudly nationalistic people like the Egyptians welcome the rule of someone like Alexander? Simple: Alexander overcame their enemy, the Persians. The Egyptians were living by the principle of “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Now of course it can be argued that this is politics as usual. Hitler was a welcome relief to depression-ravaged Germany because his bureaucracy created jobs. Under Mussolini the trains ran on time. There is good to be found in every harsh rule, especially at first. Alexander, despite his lofty ideals supposedly borrowed from the Greeks, eventually expected to be treated as a god. He ordered the death of men at will. He killed one of his own generals at a banquet. This so offended the Greeks under him they threatened to leave his command. No Greek would behave in such an uncivilized manner. The Greeks were learning a hard lesson from the one who had conquered them, and with whom they were now so friendly as they went about conquering others: Lie down with dogs and you get up with fleas.

Now on to the mothers…

Elizabeth Cady Stanton celebrated motherhood, and not just her own. The letters and writings she left as a part of her legacy leave no doubt that her work on behalf of women and the unborn indicate she considered every infant as precious, and abortion as a crime against humanity. When feminists today turn from the culture of death bequeathed them by the so-called Second Wave feminists and reject abortion, what can anyone do but rejoice? And here Stanton may be used as a reminder of what is right and proper for women who are to be mothers. Women do not kill their own infants. Rather, they bring them to life, and nurture them.

Still, there is a point of departure to be made with Stanton, for she is a mother of another sort for feminism, too. She is not merely a mother in feminism, she is the mother of feminism—modern feminism, that is. So when she is held to be an icon of motherhood, and feminists are asked to reclaim their feminists roots based on what she did as a mother, more is being said than is clearly spoken.

There is another Mother, the one who begets and bears every Christian through the Word of God. Stanton was no friend of that Mother, for she was an enemy of the means by which that holy one is created, sustained and fed. Mother Stanton recognized that her most formidable enemy was the Bible itself. Not only were Pauline proscriptions being used by men against her quest for woman suffrage, women themselves would not join the fight with her because they were still adhered to their religious upbringing. In order to overcome her enemy she decided to revise it. She said in an interview, “In the early days of woman-suffrage agitation, I saw that the greatest obstacle we had to overcome was the bible. It was hurled at us on every side” (Gaylor, A. L., Ed. (1997). Women Without Superstition: "No Gods-No Masters". Madison, Wisconsin, Freedom From Religion Foundation., 172). She wrote, “It is one of the mysteries that woman , who has suffered so intensely from the rule of the church, still worships her destroyer and ‘licks the hand that is raised to shed her blood.’” (An Honored Place for the Bible In English Literature,” New York. Sunday, October 5, 1902. American and (?) (Gaylor 1997, 175). Stanton wrote a commentary to a Nebraska newspaper lauding a court decision barring bible-reading from public schools as both religious and sectarian exercise. “Inasmuch as the Bible degrades woman in innumerable passages and teaches her absolute subjection to man in all relations in the State, the Church, the home and the whole world of work, it is to her interest that the Bible in its present form, should be taken from the schools and from the rising generation of boys, as it teaches lessons of disrespect for the mothers of the race” (Gaylor 1997, 157).

Mother Stanton also linked a woman’s emancipation in politics and society and her ordination in the church so that the one was inseparable from the other. If the former was granted, then the latter must be given also. Her principle was simple: “Get political rights first and religious bigotry will melt like dew before the morning sun”... (Gaylor 1997, 194-5). The Seneca Falls Declaration of 1848, which Stanton helped write, contained not only a petitions for the political and social emancipation of women, but also this one: “He [men in general] allows her in Church, as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.” For Stanton, the key to gaining authority for women was through the political process, but she believed her efforts would succeed only after the Bible was revised to favor women’s emancipation.

Revise it, she did. The result was The Woman’s Bible, and an entirely new perspective for doing theology. Stanton provided the political character and necessity for biblical interpretation. This means the personal political agenda of the interpreter drives the interpretation of the biblical text. The debate no longer centered on women as makers or a part of biblical history, but on the authority of biblical revelation. Stanton’s desire for women’s emancipation drove her revision of the Bible, resulting in The Woman’s Bible. This set not only the foundation but also the context for feminist hermeneutics to come.

It is also the context for feminist morality. If the feminist political agenda drove biblical interpretation, which resulted in questioning the authority of biblical revelation, then it was merely a side-step to feminist morality being driven through the needs of the woman alone. When the First Table of the Law falls, the Second Table cannot stand. Mother Stanton’s hatred for the church is as well-documented as her love for her own children. Her success in separating women from the Word of Life is so complete that feminists now celebrate women’s experience as a grace event. Can there even be need for a Savior now that the judgment upon mankind had been removed from the Bible according to Stanton? She taught that if there had actually been a fall in an actual Garden of Eden, then “when Eve took her destiny in here own hand and set minds spinning down through all the spheres of time, she declared humanity omnipotent...” (Gaylor 1997, 134). Ethics for feminism is now deemed as whatever validates the full humanity of the woman. Refusing a woman any freedom to act as she wills is denying her full humanity; therefore, abortion-on-demand must be among a woman’s most cherished prized possessions.

Our own current worldview validates daily that feminism has won the day. The feminist method of interpretation and use of the Bible as a political tool undergirds the way we live. Even Peter Singer’s ravings hearken back to Mother Stanton, “Once challenged, the traditional ethic crumples. Weakened by the decline in religious authority and the rise of a better understanding of the origins and nature of our species, that ethic is now being brought undone by changes in medical technology with which its inflexible strictures cannot cope.” (Singer, P. Rethinking Life and Death. New York: St. Martin's Press,1994. 4.) Singer wonders that because at a comparable gestational age a pig has more cognitive abilities than does a human, why do we rationalize eating pigs, but not humans? Why do we have no problem killing pigs, but are still having troubles with abortion, or euthanasia?

With the collapse of respect for God’s Word as God’s Word, and instead thinking of it as man’s words about his god, ethics have likewise fallen to a code of self-made standards. Mother Stanton shares responsibility for her part in this. However much she loved her own children, her hatred for the church was meted out on generations to come after her.

It is one thing to say Stanton was a good mother. It is another to hold her up as an icon to emulate. Even many pagans are good and kind to their children, but that doesn’t mean we ought to join with their other practices. The enemy of my enemy is still very often an enemy. This is true with Stanton.

Feminism is still feminism. It can’t escape what it is, no matter how hard it tries, and the feminist biblical interpretation still applies. While some feminists are shedding themselves of the practice of abortion, what can be said of the other practices feminism holds dear, such as lesbianism and lesbian motherhood?

[The following is taken in part from an essay written for the Tell the Good News About Jesus Convocation, Jan. 2007, Casper, Wyoming. It has been edited.] The feminist news journal, off our backs, praises motherhood, but it is motherhood without fathers– most particularly motherhood for lesbians– that it prizes. One of these mothers celebrates a particular aspect of her ability to bear and raise a child with her partner.

We made pre-impregnation covenants with the biological fathers covering such things as no parental duties for the father other than agreeing to be available to meet the child when, and if, [my partner] and I decided it was appropriate to acknowledge paternity directly to the child. The whole agreement was based on the premise that “we are looking for a [biological] father, not a daddy.” (Vicki Angeline Dennis, “I Did It My Way,” off our backs 36, no. 1 (2006).)

So motherhood is fine, but not the sort that includes fathers. This is rather indicative of the whole feminist scene, is it not? A father’s influence is welcome only by the permission of the woman. Until then, he’s not even considered to be the father at all. It’s up to the woman to determine whether the father’s influence will be authoritative in the mother’s or child’s life at all.

This is also iconic of what Mother Stanton and feminism have done to scripture. Men are necessary only in regard to what is practical for the advancement of woman’s needs. Of necessity is the full humanity of woman. Consider this from Mother Stanton:

And so long as we base our religions on the fundamental error of a “male God” it is in vain to struggle for woman’s equal status in the church; and until her equality is recognized, all talk of establishing a religion of humanity is idle since one half of humanity is in social, religious, political, subjection to the other. I have often thought that we should take the first step for women’s freedom, & that for humanity–when we shall have outgrown the popular idea of a male God in the skies or elsewhere: Then we might see & worship God in humanity; Then might love home and deify each other...

When woman discards its creeds, dogmas, & authorities she too will be free, & a free enlightened woman is a divine being, the savior of mankind.... (Gaylor 1997, 156-7).

That’s right. Mother Stanton was feminizing the Trinity long before the widespread practice of women’s ordination in the late 1960’s, followed by the “legitimization” of feminist theology. What seems to be radical now was on Stanton’s agenda in the earliest days of feminism. There is truly nothing new under the sun (Ecc 1:9).

Let’s not get misty-eyed about what Stanton was up to, though. She had no designs on reforming religion for women. What she desired was that women use and trust their own intellect instead of religious dogma. She preached a "religion" of human intelect informed by human reason over human intelect formed by faith. In other words, she both founded and advanced the secular feminist religion we know today. She preached,

I believe we have reached a point where the world of thought is ready to accept anything which can be proved to be true, whether it is endorsed by the church or not. That is a great step in advance. People no longer ask is this in the Bible, or according to Bible teachings, but is it true? Is it according to the nature of things? Nor does God’s word in a book, nor does the church affirm or deny this, but does god’s [sic] human reason say it? is it according to logic & mathematics? Then, can it be proved practically? does it tend to make us happy? will it work? will it pay? These are the questions we ask to day; they are the signs & tokens of an extended emancipation that has come so gradually that we hardly realize it.

....Thanks to the law of Progress, woman is awakening to the degradation she has endured in the name of religion, & is interpreting the laws of life for herself. (From a sermon on Gen 1:27) (Gaylor 1997, 157).

Mother Stanton’s concern was the destruction of the Christian religion for the sake of women’s emancipation. It was traditional Christian doctrine and practice which held woman in her [lace socially and politically as well as in the church; therefore, Stanton’s primary enemy was the church’s doctrine in all her articles. At the very heart of this is the Gospel itself by which the children of the church are born and sustained.

The Washington, D. C., based group, Feminists for Life (FFL), says it also supports motherhood, yet asserts in their book, ProLife Feminism,

Lesbianism has been a problem of timing. It is not a popular issue with the public at large. We at Feminists for Life have not taken a stand on lesbianism because we feel an insufficient case is made for lesbianism as a feminist issue. Open support of the gay movement prior to the ratification of the ERA [Equal Rights Amendment] was poor timing. (Pat Goltz, “Equal Rights,” in Prolife Feminism: Yesterday and Today, ed. Mary Krane Derr, Rachel McNair, and Linda Naranjo-Hubel ( Xlibris, 2005). 226.)

Lesbianism has been a part of the feminist scene since its inception. The same book noted of the early suffragists that, “Some openly chose ‘Boston marriages,’ life partnerships between women.” (Mary Krane, Rachel MacNair, and Linda Naranjo-Hubel, eds., Prolife Feminism: Yesterday and Today, Second ed. ( Xlibris, 2005). 18.) Still later in that book there is a quote clearly supporting lesbianism in light of feminism, “Homosexual persecution has at its roots not only social ignorance, but a philosophically active anti-feminist dogma.” (Ibid. 333. Quoted in David Bianco, “Playwright Lorraine Hansberry,” Planet Out: Queer History, <>, [9 Jan. 2005].) Calling lesbianism a problem of societal unpopularity is merely a limp agreement with the lifestyle choice of some feminist women. Labeling those who don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle as persecutors and purveyors of anti-feminist dogma further adheres homosexuality to feminism. Contending that support of homosexuality during the ratification of the ERA was poor timing does unite lesbianism to feminism. Would the ERA have passed if homosexuality had not been associated with it or if society was had been ready for such a bold social move? These things make lesbianism a feminist issue of ultimate importance.

When society as a whole normalizes marital choice through legalized homosexual marriage –just as it normalized procreative choice through legalized abortion– will the FFL then finally admit that lesbianism is a feminist issue? In fact, that is how abortion as procreative choice was normalized in the first place: Society demanded it after it was packaged as a “civil rights issue,” and statistics were provided to “prove” its “health” benefits. Women continue to be convinced that “access to abortion is ‘the most fundamental right of women, without which all other rights are meaningless.’” (Serrin Foster, “The Feminist Case Against Abortion,” in The Cost of Choice, ed. Erika Bachochi (San Francisco: Encounter Books, 2004). Foster writes, “Dr. Nathanson, who later became a pro-life activist, said that he and [abortion-rights activist Larry] Lader were able to persuade [Betty] Friedan that abortion was a civil rights issue, basing much of their argument on the claim that tens of thousands of women died from illegal abortions each year. Nathanson admitted later they had simply made up the numbers so as to secure support for the cause” (Foster, 35.)

St. Peter calls us to be as Sarah, who called her husband “Lord” (1Pe 3:6) Sarah’s husband was Abraham, to whom God had given the Promise. It was not Sarah’s obedience that saved her, but her faith in the promise given to her husband that did. For, it was by faith, this is, by Christ, that she was able to conceive (He 11:11). And if we are Sarah’s children, then we are also Abraham’s children. Abraham’s children are those in whom God’s Word finds a place, and who do as he would do (Jo 8:37; 39). Abraham’s children are those who are of the promise, the household of God. So there is nothing to fear.

As Christians we know that life begins at conception, but that’s merely a start, and a sin-filled one at that. Forgiveness of sin, eternal life and salvation begin with what our Lord commands and gives in Baptism. When the womb opens, it is God’s Word that gives New Life from another womb that begets and bears every Christian in the world. If God’s Word has no authority, to whom shall we go?

Mother Stanton’s work aborted that Gift of Life from generations of those who followed in her wake. Stanton’s work helped to set the foundation for the ready acceptance of the culture of death, and the moral rationalization for it: God’s Word has no authority.

There are mothers, who may be celebrated, and then there is the Mother of us all, who should be remembered daily. One thing is certain: When you lie down with feminism, you get up with feminist lies.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Purebred Feeding

It was time for desperate measures. My crew had become all too obnoxious at lunchtime. If they weren’t just giggly and rowdy, they were just plain gross. I tried to direct the conversation. I told them all to pay close attention to pastor’s sermon in chapel. Then at lunch we had a lively conversation based on it. It was quite fun until I had to leave the table. As soon as I did, one of the angelic host slipped his halo and let fly with some quite inappropriate language.

The next day I tried another tactic. I packed up a tablecloth, candles, and candleholders. I knew I could find some flowers for a centerpiece at school, but as it happened one of the members of the congregation happened to drop off bouquets for the teachers that morning. I told my students to be on their best behavior, and to be as attentive with the sermon again. Something special was coming for lunch.

After recess I told the whole lot to leave their wildness outdoors. As soon as they washed hands, two immediately began to horseplay. I sent them back to the classroom, and asked the K-4/5 teacher to send me over two children in their place. She said she would choose two who had been particularly hard-working and well-mannered.

As soon as the matter of the first two miscreants was settled, three more were cutting up. That made room for three more of the younger students. A sixth of mine was still doing homework from the night before, so that made room for one more. Six out of seven of my own students were not going to have the treat I had prepared for them: a table set with cloth, lit candles, and flowers.

When my students were let loose from the classroom to re-enter the lunchroom the table had already been set, and the candles were ablaze. Their eyes grew wide with wonder. The older boys were too cool to drool, but not one. His jaw dropped to the floor and stayed there as he moved on through the lunchroom. The talk drifting from the bathroom as they washed up told a different tale. “Aw, man! We shoulda known she was up to somethin’ like that.” “Yeah, well, too late to do anything about it now.”

The younger children thought they were at a party. Their manners rose to the occasion. A finer group of gentle folk could not be found to dine with. Not one drop of catsup or milk was spilled that day. Every meal was finished.

It wasn’t until later—after school let—out that I discovered that none of my seven students should have been privileged to enjoy the treat. One saw what was up with the table, and also knew when I was coming down the hallway, so managed to straighten up her shenanigans before I could catch her. The others let this fact slip out, she verified that it was true.

The next morning I asked her to come with me to the younger classroom. I had a short errand there. After completing it, I told her she had something to say to that class. She immediately knew what I meant. “I’m sorry. It should have been one of you at that table and not me. I was laughing and playing in line, and Deaconess asked us not to.” The class told her, “I forgive you,” and we left.

That would have been enough, but she took it one step further. For whatever reason it may be, the younger students consider it a matter of honor to sit at the Deaconess’ table, while my own students take it as a given, and thus for granted. At lunch the young lady asked the K-4/5 teacher to “swap out” one of her students for her so that they could sit at the Deaconess’ table, and she would sit at the K-4/5 table in their place. There would be no cloth, candles or flowers, but the thrill of sitting with the Deaconess and the big kids was still there. Meanwhile, she would sit with the little kids.

It was a step of maturity. We work hard with these students to learn to confess their sins, to say, “I did it… I’m the one…” Their habit is to blame someone or something for their situation. “Everyone else is doing it…” happens to be their favorite, followed by, “Well, I didn’t want to tell the truth because I didn’t want to get into trouble.” Let’s see… polls are the foundation for ethics, and a lie is the best means to spin the truth. Yup. Sounds like the basis for modern ethics to me.

So it takes time, sometimes a lot of it, before the efforts are brought to fruition. Sometimes they are never seen. Sometimes we only hope that the seeds of catechesis planted in the little ones will bear fruit one day. One thing is certain: God promises his word will not return empty, but will succeed in the purpose for which he sends it (Is 55:11).