Archive for the ‘Pro-Life’ Category

Why Torture Is NEVER Acceptable

The facts about the USA using torture on terrorists is now becoming news and as expected, there are many arguing the practice of using torture is not only needed, but morally good.

Be that as it may, the Catholic Church is very clear – torture is never acceptable. We hear the counter argument – terrorists have a bomb and we might be able to find out where it is before they kill a lot of people AND we know they are evil and have killed before! But, we are not supposed to act like they do and we don’t determine if something is morally ok by the end alone. Evil means can not be justified by good ends, and when we talk about torture – the good ends (getting information which might save lives) never can justify evil means (torture).

Torture – as the Catechism of the Catholic Church tells us:

2297 Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity.

It goes on to say:

2298 In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Benedict XVI – says this about torture:

Public authorities must be ever vigilant in this task, eschewing any means of punishment or correction that either undermine or debase the human dignity of prisoners. In this regard, I reiterate that the prohibition against torture “cannot be contravened under any circumstances”

The Pope was quoting the Compendium of Social Doctrine when he gave the quote above. Here is what the fuller quote says, in context:

In carrying out investigations, the regulation against the use of torture, even in the case of serious crimes, must be strictly observed: “Christ’s disciple refuses every recourse to such methods, which nothing could justify and in which the dignity of man is as much debased in his torturer as in the torturer’s victim”. International juridical instruments concerning human rights correctly indicate a prohibition against torture as a principle which cannot be contravened under any circumstances.

Now, I know that there are several Catholic writers, theologians and others who blur the distinctions between what constitutes torture and what doesn’t. Violence (moral or physical) is the key here, as the Catechism defines torture. This is a moral absolute and the game of “what if” doesn’t do justice to the situation, because we cannot justify the means by the ends. If we are truly pro-life, then we must be so in all cases, not just abortion and related issues.

If the means do justify the ends, then we have become consequentialists and our basing our morality off of the theory that is founded on utilitarianism and relativism. This is dangerous water to be treading in. What kind of people have we become when we sink to the level of torture? Is this what America ought to condone? Are we not better than this?

Maybe one of the greatest thinkers of the 20th Century can bring it home for us, when he says:

“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.” – G.K. Chesterton

Aggie Catholic Deacon Wins Fight Against Contraception Mandate!

Deacon Greg Hall is an Aggie Catholic and a member of our Leadership Council here at St. Mary’s. He also happens to be the hero who figured out how to save the Chilean miners who were trapped in a mine in 2010. His company filed suit against the Obama Administration and was granted an immediate permanent injunction. The press release is below:

November 26, 2014
St. Joseph, Minnesota

The U.S District Court for the District of Minnesota issued a permanent injunction in the case of Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall and American Mfg Company v. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al. This is the first Minnesota federal decision that grants a permanent injunction to a for-profit company that challenged the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandated insurance coverage for abortifacients, sterilization, birth control, and related counseling.

In April 2013, Deacon Hall and the company obtained a preliminary injunction that remained in place until the permanent injunction was issued. On June 30, 2014, the United States Supreme Court, in the matter of Hobby Lobby Stores, held that small closely held companies may assert rights under the Religious Freedom and Restoration Act (RFRA). In light of the Hobby Lobby decision, the Department of Justice stipulated to the order that prohibits the HHS from enforcing the mandate insurance coverage against Deacon Hall and AMC.

Deacon Hall is the sole owner of AMC, which is located in St. Joseph, Minnesota, and currently has less than 50 employees. The company manufactures pumps and equipment used world-wide in the drilling and mining industries.

Deacon Hall is an ordained deacon for the Galveston-Houston Archdiocese. Hall commenced his lawsuit to prevent the federal government from forcing the company’s group health insurance plan to provide cost-free coverage for products and services that violate his deeply held religious beliefs and teachings of the Catholic Church. The permanent injunction will allow AMC to continue to provide health insurance without the threat of penalties for non-compliance.

In early 2013, Deacon Hall was among the early parties to challenge the government’s federal requirements. There are now over 100 lawsuits nationwide, and the courts are beginning to issue permanent injunctions. Deacon Hall’s case is unique in being the only one brought by an ordained minister who owns and manages a secular company. The other parties challenging the government are religious entities, such as the Archdiocese of Washington, religious-affiliated entities, such as the Little Sisters of the Poor, and lay business persons with seriously held religious beliefs, such Hobby Lobby Stores.

Deacon Hall responds: “I hope that the results that we were able to achieve will encourage others to follow the dictates of their religious beliefs and stand up and assert their fundamental and legal rights.”

The case is Rev. Mr. (Deacon) Gregory E. Hall, et al, V. Sylvia M. Burwell, et al., Case No. 13-CV-00295 (JRT/LIB). The Order was signed by U.S. District Judge John R. Tunheim. Deacon Hall was represented by Erick Kaardal with Mohrman, Kaardal and Erickson, Minneapolis, Minnesota, and by Thomas E. Mathews with Hughes Mathews Greer, St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Why Marriage is so Very Important In Culture & Civil Society

Humanum is an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman, hosted at the Vatican. As part of the gathering, they released some AMAZING videos.The sixth (and unfortunately final – I want them to continue) video in the…

The Hidden Sweetness in the Difficulties of Life and Love

Humanum is an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman, hosted at the Vatican. As part of the gathering, they released some AMAZING videos.The fourth video in the series is below; it is on the hidden sweetnes…

The Cradle of Love – A Mother & Father for the World’s Children

Humanum is an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman, at the Vatican. As part of the gathering, they have released some AMAZING videos.I posted one on the meaning of marriage on Tuesday.The second video in …

The Destiny of Humanity + The Meaning of Marriage

Humanum is an international interreligious colloquium on the complementarity of man and woman, which is going on right now at the Vatican. As part of the gathering, they have released some AMAZING videos over a number of days. I HIGHLY recommend this v…

Kenyan Bishops Accuse WHO & UNICEF of Adminstering Vaccines Which Cause Infertility

This is truly diabolical. The Catholic Bishops of Kenya have released a statement that reads:Dear Kenyans, due to the direction the debate on the ongoing Tetanus Vaccine campaign in Kenya is taking, We, the Catholic Bishops, in fulfilling our prophetic…

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge and Catholics

The Diocese of Austin has released a statement on the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge:ALS ChallengeThe ice bucket challenge has become a popular way to raise funds for research for treatment and cure of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). The point of the ch…

Fr. Barron on the Persecution of Christians in the Middle East

RELATED POSTS:**What Can Christians Do To Help Persecuted Christians In The Middle East**Being Christian in USA vs Middle East**Iraqi Persecution of Christians Becomes Genocide

10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

10 Reasons Men Should Practice Custody of the Eyes

10 – It helps teach discipline. 
Men should discipline themselves to be in control of their passions and not allow passions to control them.

9 – It avoids the near occasion of sin.
To avert your eyes when you feel tempted to use a woman lustfully is a good thing.
“But I say to you, everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” -Matt 5:19.

8 – Custody of the eyes builds up chastity.
Chastity means properly ordering our sexuality to our current state in life (single, married, religious, priest). If we do not have custody of the eyes, it means our sexuality is dis-ordered toward objectification – not love – and needs to be healed.

7 – It is what every gentleman should do.
No woman who respects herself wants to be lusted after or looked up and down. No real gentleman would dishonor a woman by doing so.

6 – It helps a man to see the whole woman, not just parts of her body.
When most men see an immodestly-dressed woman, their brains automatically start to objectify her. Thus, men need to be able to see the truth about who a woman is – not just to break her down into objects he can use for his selfish pleasure.

5 – It avoids scandal.
Think of King David. If he would have practiced custody of the eyes he might have been able to avoid much worse sins – adultery and murder. Now think of what happens when a man is caught in a lustful look toward a woman.

4 - It helps fight off temptation.

Men suffer from sexual temptation frequently. To have custody of the eyes helps a man to fight off an even stronger temptation of lusting after a woman after he looks at her.

3 – It helps our sisters not feel objectified.
If for no other reason, we should witness to the dignity of a woman by controlling our passions. While our sisters in Christ should also help by dressing modestly, even an immodestly dressed woman is made to be loved.

2 – It is a virtue we should chase after.
It is related to chastity, modesty, and temperance. Without self-control, we are unable to give ourselves away in love. We can’t give what we don’t control.

1 – It focuses us back on more important things.
“Seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given you besides.” – Matt 6:33
Christ should be our first priority. Honoring the height of his creation (our sisters) should be the second. We should be third.


This post is a  follow-up to Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly.
Other related links are below.

**The Myth That Women Are To Blame For a Man’s Lust
**Killing The Red Lizard of Lust
**Reflections On The Questions Of Modesty
**Is Pre-Marital Sex Always Wrong?
**How Women Objectify Men
**Les Miserables and Women’s Fashion
**The Impact of Over-Sexualization of Girls
**Internet + Bathing Suits = Bad Idea
**Advertising, Beauty, and Self-Perception
**Top 10 Reasons Women Should Dress Modestly

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