*********************************************PAGE ON VIETNAM AND DEMOCRATS .******************************************

Saturday, March 23, 2013

God's Mercy

I am always bemused when I hear or see a comment made about a woman who, having had an abortion, is guilty of murder. In a recent comment relating to one of my posts on the forgotten child, apparently made by a woman, the comment reads in part: a woman who has, or even allows, an abortion is guilty of murder.

We live in a perverted, promiscuous society in which a young woman, dating a man, is expected to have sex otherwise the man will just drop her as a date. Many young women find it difficult to find a man who will date her unless she has sex with him and should she become pregnant, the man disappears. Many such women do not seek an abortion but become single moms. Some young women who are still under the guidance of their parents are forced by them to have an abortion; or the boy who impregnates her forces her to have an abortion.  Is she guilty of murder? I think not. 

In my pro-life work over several decades I have met many women who have had abortions but have come about, through God's grace, to realize what they did was wrong. However, many of them bought into the concept promoted by pro-abortion advocates that early in the pregnancy there is no baby, there is only a mass of tissue, and have had an abortion based on this false concept. Are they guilty of murder? I think not. I wonder how many women (or really how few), knowing that her pregnancy involves a live human being have nonetheless, with malice, killed that child in an abortion. Perhaps in such a case we might ask if she is guilty of murder.

More to the point, if we are God loving people, what does Scripture say? The Gospels abound in instances in which Jesus, the son of God, shows His Mercy and love for women in times in which women were really considered second-class citizens.  

The woman caught in adultery; the Pharisees and others bring her to Jesus, ready to stone her, but first ask Jesus what He thinks since Moses had said that such a woman should be stoned to death. Jesus does not answer, but seemingly ignoring them, makes writing in the ground.  Apparently put to shame, the woman's accusers drift away one by one leaving Jesus alone with the woman.  Jesus asks her whether there is anyone left to condemn her and she, responding no, is told that neither He will condemn her but that she should go her way and not sin again.

The Samaritan woman at Jacob's well; Jesus asks her for a drink because he is thirsty after a long trip. The woman first responds by asking Jesus, a Jew, why he would ask a Samaritan woman for a drink, when Samaritans are hated by the Jews.  During the following conversation Jesus asks her to bring her husband to the well.  She responds she has no husband, whereupon Jesus responds that she speaks the truth because she has lived with previous men who were not her husbands either. Surprised, she responds that he is certainly a prophet and there will be a time when the Messiah comes and tells them all things. Jesus then reveals to her that he himself is the Messiah in one of only two cases in Scripture in which Jesus makes such a revelation. Through her conversion many Samaritans in her town come to believe that Jesus is indeed the Messiah.  One can only imagine the love Jesus has poured out to her and how privileged she is, a woman, and a Samaritan.

Mary Magdalene, from whom seven demons were expelled, is loved and privileged  by the risen Christ by being the first person to whom Jesus appears after His resurrection.

Jesus, in so many ways, cautions and warns us through Scripture not to judge others and condemn them to punishment because none of us know the extent to which God has shown His Mercy. While he was on earth Jesus associated with sinners and when asked by Pharisees and the teachers of the law why He did so, responded that sinners are in need of healing; and indeed His Mercy.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Nobody is Better than Anybody

NEW YORK (AP) — Joe Biden doesn't kiss up to anyone — whether a queen or a pope.
The vice president told a gathering of Irish-Americans in New York City on Thursday that as a young U.S. senator he was to meet the queen of England.
He remembers getting a call from his mother, who told him not to kiss the queen's ring.
Years later, when he was to meet Pope John Paul II, Biden says his mother told him not to kiss the pope's ring.
Biden, a Roman Catholic descended from struggling Irish immigrants, says his dad said it was "all about dignity."
Biden says his mother told him that no one is "better" than him. And while Biden should treat everyone with respect, his mother said her son should also "demand respect.'"

Is this an issue about kissing someone's ring? Now, truthfully, as a Catholic myself I always worried about having to kiss a bishop's ring not because I thought I was better than he but I thought of receiving germs from someone else who had previously kissed the bishop's ring.

To me, whether or not I like the idea of kissing a person's ring because of germs, the real purpose of kissing a bishop's or a Queen's or a Pope's ring is not a matter of, by so doing, recognizing the ring holder as a person better than the one kissing the ring; the kissing of the ring is really like many other ways in which one human being recognizes the station of a person.

What are some other ways people recognize the position or stature or status of a person rather than the person him or herself?

In the old days, prior perhaps to the two great world wars, it was common practice in Europe for a man to show respect for a woman because she was a woman by kissing her hand. To some extent this was probably done in American society as well.

When I was stationed in Germany back in the 50's it was quite common for a woman to extend her hand, not to be kissed, but to be grasped in a handshake. Back in the States at the same time an American woman would never extend her hand to be grasped in a handshake; well, almost never. I shall always remember the time I extended my hand to the wife of a person to whom I was talking in Honolulu only to receive from this woman a glare that extended from my feet up to my head and back down again. Having recently returned from Europe where a man extending his hand to a woman for a handshake of friendship was almost universally accepted, I felt as though I was measured by this woman to be less than a worthwhile person.

Holding a door for a woman, paying for a lady's lunch bill, all manner of ways to express the honor to be given a woman not because she is "better" but because God has created woman as the one whose actions are intended to make the world a better place, these customs have unfortunately been largely done away with by our "everybody's equal" society.

All the ways of showing respect for others are ways of honoring God who has given to some people authority in our society, to some leadership, to others great gifts and honor.  It is not a matter of who's "better" that we honor others through acts of humility like kissing rings, kissing hands, holding doors, saluting higher ranks, etc;  It is rather a way of acknowledging and honoring God's presence and action in our lives.

Education Starts Young

My younger daughter who lives in Los Angeles California sent me the link to this video which was taken at a Mass in which her first son Philip gives the leadtng prayer request for peace. Seeing this video reminds me of what is so desperately needed in our educational system in the United States, that is, religious education of our youth whether the education be Catholic, Protestant, Jewish or any God centered religion, as long as the education teaches children that God exists and loves us, Who wishes us to be guided by Him and to be with Him for all eternity, having lived a life dedicated to God and the love of our neighbor. This was always the way it was in America since the founding of our nation by men and women of faith in the late 1700s.

We need to get back to "that old time religion" of dedication to love of God, Freedom, Country and our fellow neighbors.

This education must start with the young as seen in this video. Especially noticeable to me in this video is all the little girls wearing skirts long enough to reach their knees. Those of my readers who have read my posts regarding the noble status of women given them by God himself would remember that women who do not wear skirts which trail far above the knees to reveal the most skin possible give honor and respect to themselves and to God Who has placed women in this world to better society, it's culture and to better the character of their men folk.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

King George VI, his story and a Eulogy

When I first viewed the film “The King's Speech”, the images that came to mind were first, those of a loving wife of a king-to-be who had a debilitating stammer,  and then of a man, Lionel Logue, who through exhaustive therapy sessions, was able to help the then Duke of York make speeches in public. I viewed this film many times before curiosity moved me to look for the images of King George VI.

The image I first saw was similar to the one shown on the left but in black and white. Suddenly I realized that I had seen many images of the King on postage stamps sent from England by my father to my mother in San Francisco.

My brother and I were born in the mid-30s in San Francisco when King George V reined in Britain. It was the time of depression and my father, who was British by birth and an engineer by trade, decided to take our family to England where he had been offered a job in the Ministry of Works in London. We spent several years in the late 30s in and around London until the German Luftwaffe made it too dangerous for us to remain in England; my father sent us back to San Francisco while he had to stay in England for the remainder of the war.

After growing up in California I entertained fond memories of my several years in England, while at present, many years later, these memories are reinvigorated  by my new knowledge of King George VI who reigned during those years. The stories surrounding the Duke of York (Prince Albert), Elizabeth, his wife since 1923,  and the central character of the film "The King's Speech", Lionel Logue, are brought to real life in a follow-up British documentary “The Man Behind The King's Speech” which reveals the lives of the real people in the family of Prince Albert.

Through the documentary we discover that Elizabeth was instrumental in developing the character of her husband who had grown up under the over-bearing discipline of his father King George V, bringing about a stammer, a shyness, a lack of self-confidence, a violent temper, and a smoking habit which, along with other health ailments, contributed to his death at a young 56.  Elizabeth was a charming and vivacious woman who, through her love and affection for her husband, moderated his faults, gave him two girls Elizabeth and Margaret whom he dearly loved, and secured the help of Lionel Logue to control his stammer.

It was through these two people, Elizabeth and Lionel, that “Bertie”, the nickname for Prince Albert, seemingly against all odds, became one of England's greatest Kings. He had never wanted to be King because of his stammer but after the abdication of his older brother King Edward in 1936, he was next in line.  But with the help of Lionel and Elizabeth, he threw himself wholeheartedly into the job of being the best king he could be for his people.  Rather than move out to the countryside to escape the bombing of London, Bertie and his family stayed in Buckingham Palace throughout the war, suffering even a bombing of the palace (in which the King was nearly killed), so that he and Elizabeth could personally comfort his people in the streets of London after a bombing raid. He did everything he and Elizabeth could do to visit ordinary people suffering the raids; he took a direct involvement in the progress of the war, even making visits to troops in the field, with the knowledge given him by his friend and Prime Minister, Winston Churchill.

Sacrificing so much of himself during the war years took a terrible toll on his health,  but to his dying day he never failed in doing his duty. He died in his sleep in February, 1952. On his wreath, Churchill put the words “with valor”, which is the inscription on the Victoria Cross, England's highest award to the brave in war of the same rank as America's  Medal of Honor.

This is the BBC radio report of the unexpected and untimely death
of King George VI including a heartfelt Eulogy: 

This is London.
It is with the greatest sorrow that we make the following announcement:
It was announced from Sandringham at 10:45 today, February the 6th, 1952
that the king who retired to rest last night in his usual health
passed peacefully away in his sleep earlier this morning.

Now he has laid the burden down
Even a king  at last may rest
Now he puts off the unwelcomed crown
That heavy on his temples pressed
The frets of state, the bitter wars
The cares that filled that anxious breast
These marked him like a soldier’s scars
But even a king at last may rest

Grant him Thy peace, Oh Lord we pray
Who of us all has earned it best
Who wore for us his life away
Give Thou this king a Warrior’s rest

A poignant postscript is the request of Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, (George VI's wife and mother of England's Queen Elizabeth II), in 1981, that the film “The King's Speech” not be made until after her death; so much was the hurt, even then, at the loss of her husband.