New: Birth Control for Men!

Proving again that birth control is neither about birth nor control, CBS is reporting that there’s been an effective form of temporary sterilization for men created. The hormone cocktail comes in the form of an injected shot which works to drastically kill a man’s sperm count. There’s no catch…well, other than the horrible side effects. Here’s some tidbits from their report:

The injections work by using hormones to drastically lower sperm count. Of the 266 married men who participated in the study, only 4 became fathers.

I like how they specify married men. Since when do we care if people are married or not? Did they only sample married men or did they just not want to say that the study included both married and non-married men and the number of children that will be born into broken households? [Update: it appears 320 total men participated]

Another concern are the side effects. Researchers actually stopped the study early due to mood changes and depression in some of the participants. Researchers say other side effects were acne, injection site pain, and increased libido.

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This is what all millennial men look like FYI.

As is known by doctors and women already, the artificial tampering of human fertility has unintended and unnatural side effects. This is another example of how the unnatural introduction of hormones into a healthy body throws off the mental and physical balance just as a foreign species can disrupt a fragile ecosystem.

It’s time we send these men and (especially) women a different message, one that doesn’t tell them they need to suppress the most powerful ends of their body in order to appear desirable to the opposite sex. How grim a view we seem to have of our bodies now, that some are willing to take on the despair of depression, physical pain, and the frustration of acne just so they can have lifeless sex.☩

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The Rise of ‘Non-Monogamy’ as an Accepted Option

Anyone who interacts with popular culture surely is aware of the constant efforts to ‘destigmatize’ behaviors that have been traditionally viewed as taboo. One of the behaviors becoming popular, especially among Millennials, has been open relationships–being openly and proudly sexually active with more than one person. In fact I personally know people who defend this lifestyle. To help understand this, one must realize the current generation is largely made up of children who suffered from divorced families which leaves them automatically skeptical of marriage (therefore, monogamy). Many in the generation suffer from crippling fear of commitment–from a mortgage all the way down to what to do on a Friday night. To go along with these first two points, we live in an age of dating hook-up apps which very efficiently puts others wishing for a sexual experience in immediate contact while at the same time the entertainment industry permeates society with messages of faithful marriage and children being mundane, joyless, tiresome, and old fashioned.

When the seed of these issues is sown in a culture of relativism, it thrives. We all are aware of the ongoing destruction of the family but this wasn’t catalyzed because of Millennials embracing unfettered hedonism–they too are ultimately a casualty–it started with breaking itself against the pillars of Matrimony (since, despite our attempts, cannot be broken themselves). For a marriage to be valid there must exist three requisites, the three “F’s” to help remember: Fruitful, Forever, and Faithful. Even secular law used to reflect this truth. The first pillar to go was being open to life with the popular acceptance of artificial birth control, the next was the widespread acceptance of divorce. Because of this devastation, many Millennials have no clue how a true marriage is even supposed to be ordered. So why should these children of chaotic families have any reason, let alone knowledge, to preserve the final pillar of marriage? Thus we are on our way to finally “destigmatize” non-monogamous relationships. “How liberated our society is” the uber-progressives cry! Sure, about as liberated as a football game that ignores all rules and boundaries–how chaotic and dreadful it would be to participate and how unfortunate to watch.

“Marriage is a fact, an actual human relation like that of motherhood, which has certain habits and loyalties.”
-GK Chesterton

The reason for this post is because I stumbled across a CNN article called Why I choose non-monogamy. I’ll quote some from the article with my emphases and comments along-

“Like most of my generation, I grew up spoon fed monogamist fairy tales that pushed “happily ever after” endings as though achieving one was preordained.

It was like, once you found “the one” and stepped on to the relationship escalator, all the answers became clear — so long as you kept your eyes on the prize and didn’t stray (wait, what was the prize again?). You could spend your whole life living out this fantasy, blissfully ignorant that any other way might be possible, let alone desirable.

But as a child of divorce and an aspiring designer-entrepreneur in Silicon Valley, I was suspicious of marriage. Out here, we’re data-positive and solution-oriented and if your product (i.e. marriage) is failing for 50% of your customers, then you need to fix it or offer something better.”

Unfortunately, his premise of marriage is all wrong from the beginning. Parents are nearly entirely to blame for this as they hold the primary duty to counter the confusing, incomplete, or wrong messages from other areas of society (Familiaris Consortio 36). Today’s generation have been deceived into thinking that marriage is supposed to be a euphoric “fairy tale” that exists for what they can suck out of it with nothing left to absorb once the initial spark settles down.

“Personally, I’m in a monogamish relationship. We’re committed to each other, but have a porous boundary around our relationship, meaning we’ve agreed that it’s OK for either of us to express romantic feelings toward other people or to be physically intimate with other people, so long as we’re honest and transparent about our intentions with one another.

These things don’t diminish the integrity of our relationship. Rather, they deepen our understanding of each other’s wants and desires, and give us the space to grow independently, without growing apart.”

What comical self-deception. Does anyone really think that a sexually open relationship will end in any way other than despair? The instability inherent of unfettered adultery cannot be overcome no matter how eloquent and mature the people involved think they are explaining it. They are fooling no one. The thought of a cute 90-year old couple sitting together discussing how they made it this far because of their choice to have sex with anyone they wanted simply doesn’t compute in the logical brain because it goes so violently against the natural law written onto the soul of mankind. Also ridiculous is the now-pervasive idea that fulfilling one’s desires are 1) the ends to a healthy relationship, and 2) healthy at all. Everyone has desires. Just because something is desirable doesn’t mean it should be done. Extremely destructive outcomes happen when people think it’s acceptable to fulfill disordered desires. Even abstaining from ordered desires is healthy as it builds strength and reorients one to what is truly important. It is a scandal how many have been led to believe that the calls of “being true to yourself”, “do what makes you happy”, or “self-love” is as the crux of mental and spiritual health.

“We’re now living in a period of great (though unequally distributed) abundance where our basic needs are sufficiently met, and reproduction is a choice. As a result, the reasons to be with a single mate for life are less urgent.”

Making the point that suppressed reproduction has led to more disorder in relationships.

“As such, [hook-up apps] precipitates the rising ambivalence toward commitment, as most millennials put off marriage indefinitely. In place of monogamous pairings, hookup culture flourishes and “open relationships” are commonplace. These are merely rational economic responses to excess inventory and changing expectations of romance. Viewed in this context, conventional monogamy is getting long in the tooth.

But fear not: just because a viable alternative to “happily ever after” is in ascendancy doesn’t mean monogamy is irrelevant. To the contrary, it just means that there’s now more than one option for building meaningful and satisfying relationships.”

Again, the point of marriage is not personal satisfaction, it is participating in something greater than you and growing as a family.

“We have no particular reason to suppose that a lily was intended to be beautiful; it was intended for the far nobler purpose of producing other lilies.” -GK Chesterton

50 years from now, lets study two different groups of people: the people who remained faithful to the God-ordered purpose of Matrimony and those whose only purpose in relationships was to fulfill base desires. Which will be far more emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually healthy than the other–but, which ones? I’ll bet even the “non-monogamous” among us know the answer to this. ☩


More [unfortunate] reading, from ABC News: Two Moms, One Dad, Two Babies Make One Big Happy Polyamorous Family

Cardinal Burke on Amoris Laetitia

When Cardinal Raymond Burke speaks, people listen. So when I saw NCRegister post an exclusive op-ed written by the His Eminence, I was eager to read. Considering the current debate on “individual conscience” and “discernment” as it pertains to reception of Holy Communion as a civilly divorced and remarried Catholic, I was curious what the sharp-minded, thoughtful, and always-orthodox cardinal had to say.

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He first explained the role of the pope and how it relates to the Magisterium along with the purpose of such exhortations that follow synods. More interestingly he included some personal approaches to “irregular” family situations as a priest and bishop, stemming from a childhood experience.

Quoting from the NCRegister and adding my own emphasis:

[A] document which is the fruit of the Synod of Bishops must always be read in the light of the purpose of the Synod itself, namely, to safeguard and foster what the Church has always taught and practiced in accord with her teaching.

In other words, a post-synodal apostolic exhortation, by its very nature, does not propose new doctrine and discipline but applies the perennial doctrine and discipline to the situation of the world at the time.
[…]

I was raised on a family dairy farm in rural Wisconsin, the youngest of six children of good Catholic parents. Ten o’clock Sunday Mass at our parish church in the nearby town was clearly at the heart of our life of faith. At a certain point, I became aware of a couple, friends of my parents from a neighboring farm, who were always at Holy Mass but never received Holy Communion. When I asked my father why they never received Holy Communion, he explained to me that the husband was married to another woman and, therefore, could not receive the sacraments.

I recall vividly that my father explained to me the Church’s practice, in fidelity to her teaching, in a serene manner. The discipline obviously made sense to him, and it made sense to me. In fact, his explanation was a primary occasion for me to reflect on the nature of marriage as an indissoluble bond between husband and wife. At the same time, I must say that the parish priest always treated the couple involved with the greatest respect, even as they took part in parish life in a manner appropriate to the irregular state of their union. For my part, I always had the impression that, even though it must have been very difficult to be unable to receive the Sacraments, they were at peace in living according to the truth about their marital state.

Over more than 40 years of priestly life and ministry, during 21 of which I have served as a bishop, I have known numerous other couples in an irregular union for whom I or my brother priests have had pastoral care. Even though their suffering would be clear to any compassionate soul, I have seen ever more clearly over the years that the first sign of respect and love for them is to speak the truth to them with love. In that way, the Church’s teaching is not something which further wounds them but, in truth, frees them for the love of God and their neighbor.

It may be helpful to illustrate one example of the need to interpret the text of Amoris Laetitia with the key of the magisterium. There is frequent reference in the document to the “ideal” of marriage. Such a description of marriage can be misleading. It could lead the reader to think of marriage as an eternal idea to which, in the changing historical circumstances, man and woman more or less conform. But Christian marriage is not an idea; it is a sacrament which confers the grace upon a man and woman to live in faithful, permanent and procreative love of each other. Every Christian couple who validly marry receive, from the moment of their consent, the grace to live the love which they pledge to each other.

Because we all suffer the effects of original sin and because the world in which we live advocates a completely different understanding of marriage, the married suffer temptations to betray the objective reality of their love. But Christ always gives the grace for them to remain faithful to that love until death. The only thing that can limit them in their faithful response is their failure to respond to the grace given them in the sacrament of Holy Matrimony. In other words, their struggle is not with some idea imposed upon them by the Church. Their struggle is with the forces which would lead them to betray the reality of Christ’s life within them.

Over the years and, in a particular way, during the past two years, I have met many men and women who, for whatever reason, are separated or divorced from their spouse, but who are living in fidelity to the truth of their marriage and continuing to pray daily for the eternal salvation of their spouse, even if he or she has abandoned them. In our conversations, they acknowledge the suffering involved but, above all, the profound peace which is theirs in remaining faithful to their marriage.

Some say that such a response to separation or divorce constitutes a heroism to which the average member of the faithful cannot be held, but, in truth, we are all called, whatever our state in life, to live heroically. Pope St. John Paul II, at the conclusion of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000, making reference to the words of Our Lord at the conclusion of the Sermon on the Mount — “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5, 48) — taught us the heroic nature of our daily life in Christ with these words:

As the [Second Vatican] Council itself explained, this ideal of perfection must not be misunderstood as if it involved some kind of extraordinary existence, possible only for a few “uncommon heroes” of holiness. The ways of holiness are many, according to the vocation of each individual… The time has come to re-propose wholeheartedly to everyone this high standard of ordinary Christian living: the whole life of the Christian community and of Christian families must lead in this direction (Novo Millennio Ineunte, 31).

“Little Girl Divorce Video” is Viral…and Sad

There’s a new viral video out there and it’s being called “Little Girl Divorce Video” (video at the bottom). The clip shows an admittedly adorable six-year old girl begging her civilly divorced mom and dad to get along and “just be friends”. The matter-of-fact and wise-beyond-her-age way this little girls speaks while sitting on the stairs has everyone saying “awww, that’s so cute”.

The video is definitely cute on the surface, but once you imagine her despair, it’s hard to overcome a sense of sorrow for her and children like her. Having a child outside of a sacramental marriage or breaking the family apart through separation of spouses violently goes against Natural Law. And, similar to the laws of physics that guide our physical world, since we cannot “break” the Natural Law that guides the immaterial world, we just end up breaking ourselves and those around us against the laws. That is why we refer to the “brokenness” of situations like these. This viral video shows the damage done to innocent bystanders that surround people who think their choices will only affect themselves, and reminds us how unfortunately common this is becoming in our society..

Perhaps I am overthinking this video, but I’d submit that we need to stop normalizing the destruction of family at every turn. I would love to see a video go viral with glamorizing a faithful marriage and a happy family life.

The Holy Family
The Holy Family

Let’s pray that the Blessed Mother and St. Joseph of the Holy Family intercede for not only this little girl but all children who experience the despair caused by divorce in their life.

Let’s ask for the prayers of St. JPII, that children of divorce or other disordered family situations are able to discover what a healthy, fruitful, loving, and sacramental marriage really is so they don’t just become another statistic that shows children of divorce are more likely to repeat the sins of the past.

Let’s invoke St. Michael the Archangel to defend us in battle against evil forces that constantly seek to undermine, weaken, and destroy the family which is created in the image of the triune God.

Praying With Your Spouse

How many of you enjoy being with your spouse? I know I cherish the moments I can do anything from the extravagant to the mundane with my wife. There’s something that can be said for just being in the same physical proximity to your spouse when you’re doing a task. Maybe we want a partner at the grocery store for no reason. Maybe we want someone to talk to when we’re cooking in the kitchen. Maybe it’s that our connected souls, joined through marriage, enjoy it when our bodies are close too.

What about when the two souls want more than just physical closeness (as described above) or intimacy (you know what I’m talking about **winks**)? What about spiritual closeness? We all know it’s good to pray for your spouse. But how many of you pray with your spouse?

“Family prayer has its own characteristic qualities. It is prayer offered in common, husband and wife together, parents and children together. Communion in prayer is both a consequence of and a requirement for the communion bestowed by the sacraments of Baptism and Matrimony.”

-Pope Saint John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio

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