Oct 14, 2006

New Planned Parenthood Campaign

Sometimes I get funny mail, such as "why am I getting this stuff#@?" The letter from Planned Parenthood says that pharmacists are trying to tell people how to live their lives by refusing to fill certain prescriptions. The new PP campaign is called "Fill My Pills Now."

PP is very upset that lawmakers in 22 states have introduced 54 bills that would allow pharmacists to refuse to fill "birth control" prescriptions based on their personal moral or religious objections. PP says their new campaign will pressure pharmacies "to enact policies that ensure no woman will be turned away with an unfilled birth control prescription because of a pharmacist's misguided beliefs." Wonder if they mean drugs that abort a newly formed baby in its first days of life!

The PP letter enclosed three postcards which I was asked to sign and remit to PP, and that say:
Your policy on pharmacist refusals is not acceptable. It must change. I've heard that pharmacists in your stores may refuse to fill a woman's birth control prescription. This is not just bad policy; it's outrageous!
The three postcard-sized messages sponsored by PP ask the CEOs of three large companies to change their policies and deny the right of pharmacists to refuse to fill an immoral prescription. PP is even opposed to referral clauses that permit a refusing pharmacist to refer a customer to another pharmacist. [Of course, referrals to pharmacists who will prescribe an anti-life drug are a bad idea too.]

Here's an alternative letter than can be emailed to the CEOs of the three companies: Robert Ulrich, Target CEO, David Bernauer, Walgreens CEO, and Peter Lynch, Winn-Dixie CEO.
Dear Sir:

I understand your company allows a pharmacist with strong moral and religious convictions to refuse to distribute certain abortion prescriptions. Your policy is wise and should be maintained because it protects the integrity of your pharmacists.

Once you make a man (or woman) violate his conscience, you have caused that person to be deceitful, in that he acts contrary to what he believes is right. This undermines the good standards of any profession, especially pharmacy with a strong ethical tradition.

"To please no one will I prescribe a deadly drug nor give advice which may cause his death. Nor will I give a woman a pessary to procure abortion. But I will preserve the purity of my life and my art. ... If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all men and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my lot." Hippocratic Oath

Here are the email addresses for upper management of Target, Walgreens, and Winn-Dixie.

Oct 13, 2006

Missouri Farms in the Autumn

This post is just to show pictures of Missouri in the fall. Enjoy!

Missouri Soybeans

Missouri Farm Road

Missouri Cattle

Missouri Stream

Bless and Protect This House

A very good friend and her husband were disturbed with the Catholic parishes and schools in their area. They recently moved to a new location and built a beautiful new house where the older children could attend a good Catholic school and the Novus Ordo Mass was more reverent. The new house is in the country, and all the children now have their own rooms. However, the husband told me of his family's several recent encounters with unknown forces that left me with concern.

The oldest daughter in bed said she was slapped twice on the face with a loud 'bang' or explosion each time. The youngest daughter lying on her stomach felt a large book fall on her back--but nothing was there. The husband/father was trying to get to sleep when he clearly heard children whispering; but when he shone his flashlight around the bedroom the door was closed and no one was there. He said he has felt uneasy for some time about the house he was building. Finally, his wife was reading a book late at night and heard what seemed like mice crawling and gnawing in the ceiling of the bedroom. She also heard a person breathing.

The husband is a convert to Catholicism--a very good man who takes his new faith very seriously. The family prays daily before statues of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary. The children know all their standard prayers, including the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel, but it is the children's heartfelt extemporaneous prayers that make this family seem exceptional. Another person who met and then stayed with them was also very impressed with the strong Catholic faith exhibited by this family.

The husband asked me a number of questions about the devil the last time we met. He believes the odd goings-on may be the result of demons, and he wonders how this could happen in a brand-new house. He has placed crucifixes in his daughters' rooms and no further problems have occurred. Now he is trying to find a priest to bless the home and a priest has agreed to meet with him this coming week. I suggest that the priest also consecrate the family and their new house to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In the meantime, they should sprinkle each room in their house with holy water, especially Epiphany water.

My husband and I welcomed our old pastor to bless our new house over 45 years ago. We placed a picture of the Sacred Heart in our living room and consecrated ourselves and our home to His honor and protection. I'm convinced that this action of our early marriage has paid many dividends in protecting our family and home from assaults of all kinds.

Oct 11, 2006

Does God Hate the Devil?

Mrs. M called me the other day and asked the above question? She said God teaches us to love everybody, even our enemy, so He must love the devil. I wasn't quite prepared to answer this question, but I felt sure she was wrong and there was some contradiction involved.

The web provided several items on the subject, mostly from Protestants--even Billy Graham stated that God hated the devil. The Catholic Encyclopedia article on the devil did not answer the question, so it appeared to me that the answer was a matter of theological speculation. [Suarez, De Angelis was referenced as being the prime Catholic resource on the angels and Satan.]

So armed with a few printouts of interest, I took three grandchildren with me to visit Mrs. M in the nursing home. On the way, I explained to the 12-, 10-, and 3-year olds the question that Mrs. M had asked. The 10-year old immediately said, "But how can God hate his own creation?" What a question! The Bible is clear that the devil is our adversary and we must oppose him, but does God hate the devil with some divine perfection? My own answer follows, subject to immediate revision should the Church have already addressed this issue.

God and the devil exist outside of the dimension of time in our universe: God as creator of time and all else that exists, and the devil as a spiritual being created by God. God loves the devil because God loves His own handiwork. However, the devil has an unrestricted free will because he is not tempted by anything external to his own nature. God hates the devil for what the devil has freely chosen to become.

In contrast to our sins which can be forgiven in this world, the devil's sin is unforgivable. Even the sins of our enemies can be forgiven. Moreover, Christians are required to be part of God's plan to give His love to our enemies so they are not eternally damned. Not so for our enemy the devil. Once the devil sinned, he sinned forever.

A basic principle of Christianity is "Mercy in this world; justice in the next." God is unmerciful outside of time, because then His mercy would contradict His justice--and God is NOT contradictory! The devil's sin is unforgivable because he cannot change; change requires intelligent beings to exist within time.

When Satan rebelled, God may have constrained the devil to the straitjacket of time to suffer in hell and to tempt man, yet not to know the future. God foresaw the devil's arrogance, yet the devil's pride and his temptations of man are part of God's plan in time.

Oct 9, 2006

Cowboys at Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City is owned by the Herschend Family and has always been a great place to enjoy a family vacation. The private owners are openly Christian and have spearheaded the successful defense of Branson, MO from people who would like to open types of sinful entertainment. The owners sponsor special gatherings of homeschoolers and Christian activists, including the American Family Association (Don Wildmon). Moreover, after the park closes each day, everyone is invited to an evening songfest of Gospel music and Christian friendship in a large open amphitheatre.

Silver Dollar City is a family place with women attendants in long dresses, no Halloween decorations, and children that were well-behaved. [Maybe this last observation was due to the preponderance of homeschooled children, their parents, and a lot of retired people--many thousands!] Anyway, you won't find much cleavage, even though the park hosts tens of thousands of people a day.

This past week, Silver Dollar City welcomed some of my homeschooled grandchildren and their families at a nicely reduced price. In addition to the many rides, this autumn's celebration let us observe and talk with oldtime craftsmen: women who turned wheat straw into beautiful ornaments, rugmakers, carpenters who made furniture, bladesmiths who made knives, candlemakers, soapmakers, basketmakers, etc. Musicians who made and played their own instruments were also there.

The festival this year salutes the Great American Cowboy. We saw Johnny Lonestar with his lasso tricks, the steer trainer, and many western musical groups. Many of them gave a little Christian lesson in their act. For example, Travis Loewen told about training his steers and how he expects more out of his steers--just like God expects us to act above the nature of mere animals. His two Texas longhorns had horns that stretched at least four feet to either side of the heads of the huge animals.

The best musician was Don Edwards. He sings cowboy songs--the kind that were my favorites as a kid. Each song tells a story--a good story. Edwards' guitar work is absolutely excellent, and his voice is very good--especially in the large opera house. Curmudgeon likes country rock; I like the folk music of cowboys, especially when performed by someone like Don Edwards. The weather was great, too.