Miscellaneous Meanderings on the signs of the times (Vol. 9, No. 101)
Dr. Mark S. Latkovic
June 1, 2018
~My wife read to me an ad for a contraceptive she saw in Glamour magazine that spoke of an egg implanting. Hey Glamour, eggs don’t implant, embryos do. So much for the liberal #Science people at that women’s magazine.
~I really want to know who designated the Sam Bernstein Law Firm “The first family of law”?
~“The Golden State Killer Is Tracked Through a Thicket of DNA, and Experts Shudder” (see https://www.nytimes.com/2018/04/27/health/dna-privacy-golden-state-killer-genealogy.html). Well I hate to tell you, this kind of stuff is just going to get worse. One shudders to think what “privacy” will look like in 5 years, 10 years, etc.
~“Memories can pass between generations through DNA” (see https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1319435594855362&id=693504594115135&refsrc=https%3A%2F%2Fm.facebook.com%2FScienceNaturePage%2Fvideos%2F1319435594855362%2F&_rdr). Oh boy, that’s just great. Depending on your family history, you may very well not want to have any memories of your ancestors – recent or distant past.
~“How should Catholics respond to migration caravans?” (https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/how-should-catholics-respond-to-migration-caravans-29572). The article notes that “Joseph Capizzi, a professor of moral theology at Catholic University of America, told CNA that the United States has both a duty to consider the asylum claims of migrants and to assist at resolving situations that trigger the need for migration.” I agree with this assessment, but really think we need to emphasize doing more with respect to the latter today.
~Teaching would be a great profession if it didn’t have to include students.
~ I’ll say it again: LinkedIn has undergone what I call “Facebookification.”
~I write poetry, but I’m not a poet. I also have a doctorate and teach in a graduate school, but I don’t consider myself a scholar. I teach theology, but don’t consider myself a theologian.
~People often ask for “positive thoughts” or “positivity” when undergoing a particular challenge, say, an illness. For many, it’s become the new way for non-believers to say “pray for me,” while avoiding having to ask for real prayers and therefore sounding religious.
~When you abandon what makes you especially unique as a Church – and here I’m thinking in particular of Humanae Vitae’s teaching rejecting contraception – you risk a particularly bad outcome and/or terrible consequences you may not have expected. In this case, for example: no babies to grow up and fill up our Catholic schools. But you rarely hear this as a reason for why Catholic schools close.
~We hear many people compare Pres. Donald Trump’s “bull in a china shop” behavior unfavorably with former president Barrack Obama’s. But the latter’s rule-breaking behavior – at least when it came to the law – was often even more shocking. It simply wasn’t noticed as such because it was usually (seen as) a form of “dignified” anti-Constitutionalism.
~When you’re young, you don’t want to get out of bed and do things like chores and go to school. When you get older, however, waking up is good: it means you’re not dead yet.
~A sign of the eschaton (i.e., of Jesus Christ’s imminent return) will be when the insufferable Fr. James Martin, S.J. stops tweeting, i.e., really “virtue-signaling.”
~If Adam and Eve committed the first sin today – the Fall – they could get off the hook by claiming mental illness or a version of the LGBTQ claim, “You [God] made me/us that way.”
~When Trump called M-13 gang members “animals” (see https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2018/05/23/trump-calls-ms-13-gang-members-animals-praises-rod-rosenstein/638468002/), it gave social media yet another occasion to go ballistic and “virtue-signal.” But even St. Thomas Aquinas referred to sinners as descending to a “beastly state”: “By sinning man departs from the order of reason, and consequently falls away from the dignity of his manhood, in so far as he is naturally free, and exists for himself, and he falls into the slavish state of the beasts, by being disposed of according as he is useful to others. This is expressed in Psalm 48:21: ‘Man, when he was in honor, did not understand; he hath been compared to senseless beasts, and made like to them,’ and Proverbs 11:29: ‘The fool shall serve the wise.’ Hence, although it be evil in itself to kill a man so long as he preserve his dignity, yet it may be good to kill a man who has sinned, even as it is to kill a beast. For a bad man is worse than a beast, and is more harmful, as the Philosopher states (Polit. i, 1 and Ethic. vii, 6).” [S.t., 2-2, Q. 64, a. 2, reply to obj. 3]. See also Dennis Prager’s fine retort to Trump’s critics (see https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/trump-animals-comment-ms-13-why-it-offends-left/). Finally, even Jesus used language that compared sinners to animals (e.g., “brood of vipers,” Mt. 12:34). This doesn’t mean that we’re one step away from sounding like Nazis. We are focused on bad behavior, not ethnic or racial or religious characteristics.
~“Americans & Pets: Are They Too Attached?” (See https://www.nationalreview.com/2018/05/americans-pets-too-attached/). Come on, of course they’re too attached. And it’s not just radical groups such as PETA, however, that want to put animals and people on an equal footing – it’s usually everyday people with pets.
~“Empty cradle, empty pews? What the low birth rate means for Catholics” (see https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/empty-cradle-empty-pews-what-the-low-birth-rate-means-for-catholics-15832). And not just empty pews, but empty schools – and that includes seminaries.
~“Catholic leaders condemn use of disproportionate force at Gaza-Israel border” (see https://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/catholic-leaders-decry-use-of-disproportionate-force-at-gaza-israel-border-30968). Here’s another example of Catholic leaders not looking at all of the facts, simply believing what they read in the news media, and then spouting off.
~To be consistent, feminists shouldn’t be allowed to use the word virtue since it comes from the Latin word vir for man. But feminists have never been consistent or virtuous.
~A lot of life seems spent waiting – while you’re minding your own business – for someone to either criticize you or yell at you.
~Today’s greater emphasis on social as opposed to personal morality has lost sight of the fact that social morality is possible – at least a good one – only when personal morality is sound.
~The “Prime Minister [Of Ireland] Leo Varadkar portrayed the vote [to repeal the 8th Amendment which prohibited abortion] as part of a ‘quiet revolution’ towards modernization. ‘The people have spoken…The people have said that we want a modern constitution for a modern country, that we must trust women and respect them to make the right decision and the right choices about their healthcare.’” (“Forwards or Backwards?” The Daily Grind, May 30, 2018, http://thedailygrind.news/tdgn_wp/). What on earth does legalizing abortion, i.e., killing unborn babies, have to do with “modernization”? Or “compassion,” as many of the leaders pushing repeal said?
~Summer arrives in 3 weeks. Since I’m not at all a fan of Spring, I’m looking forward to it.