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July 31st, 2009


Below is the video of Janet Contreras’ appearance on the Glenn Beck show. It is followed by a copy of her letter.   Enough said.


I’m a home grown American citizen, 53, registered Democrat all my life. Before the last presidential election I registered as a Republican because I no longer felt the Democratic Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. Now I no longer feel the Republican Party represents my views or works to pursue issues important to me. The fact is I no longer feel any political party or representative in Washington represents my views or works to pursue the issues important to me. There must be someone. Please tell me who you are. Please stand up and tell me that you are there and that you’re willing to fight for our Constitution as it was written. Please stand up now. You might ask yourself what my views and issues are that I would horribly feel so disenfranchised by both major political parties. What kind of nut job am I? Will you please tell me?

Well, these are briefly my views and issues for which I seek representation:

One, illegal immigration. I want you to stop coddling illegal immigrants and secure our borders. Close the underground tunnels. Stop the violence and the trafficking in drugs and people. No amnesty, not again. Been there, done that, no resolution. P.S., I’m not a racist. This isn’t to be confused with legal immigration.

Two, the TARP bill, I want it repealed and I want no further funding supplied to it. We told you no, but you did it anyway. I want the remaining unfunded 95% repealed. Freeze, repeal.

Three: Czars, I want the circumvention of our checks and balances stopped immediately. Fire the czars. No more czars. Government officials answer to the process, not to the president. Stop trampling on our Constitution and honor it.

Four, cap and trade. The debate on global warming is not over. There is more to say.

Five, universal healthcare. I will not be rushed into another expensive decision. Don’t you dare try to pass this in the middle of the night and then go on break. Slow down!

Six, growing government control. I want states rights and sovereignty fully restored. I want less government in my life, not more. Shrink it down. Mind your own business. You have enough to take care of with your real obligations. Why don’t you start there.

Seven, ACORN. I do not want ACORN and its affiliates in charge of our 2010 census. I want them investigated. I also do not want mandatory escrow fees contributed to them every time on every real estate deal that closes. Stop the funding to ACORN and its affiliates pending impartial audits and investigations. I do not trust them with taking the census over with our taxpayer money. I don’t trust them with our taxpayer money. Face up to the allegations against them and get it resolved before taxpayers get any more involved with them. If it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, hello. Stop protecting your political buddies. You work for us, the people. Investigate.

Eight, redistribution of wealth. No, no, no. I work for my money. It is mine. I have always worked for people with more money than I have because they gave me jobs. That is the only redistribution of wealth that I will support. I never got a job from a poor person. Why do you want me to hate my employers? Why ‑‑ what do you have against shareholders making a profit?

Nine, charitable contributions. Although I never got a job from a poor person, I have helped many in need. Charity belongs in our local communities, where we know our needs best and can use our local talent and our local resources. Butt out, please. We want to do it ourselves.

Ten, corporate bailouts. Knock it off. Sink or swim like the rest of us. If there are hard times ahead, we’ll be better off just getting into it and letting the strong survive. Quick and painful. Have you ever ripped off a Band‑Aid? We will pull together. Great things happen in America under great hardship. Give us the chance to innovate. We cannot disappoint you more than you have disappointed us.

Eleven, transparency and accountability. How about it? No, really, how about it? Let’s have it. Let’s say we give the buzzwords a rest and have some straight honest talk. Please try ‑‑ please stop manipulating and trying to appease me with clever wording. I am not the idiot you obviously take me for. Stop sneaking around and meeting in back rooms making deals with your friends. It will only be a prelude to your criminal investigation. Stop hiding things from me.

Twelve, unprecedented quick spending. Stop it now.

Take a breath. Listen to the people. Let’s just slow down and get some input from some nonpoliticians on the subject. Stop making everything an emergency. Stop speed reading our bills into law. I am not an activist. I am not a community organizer. Nor am I a terrorist, a militant or a violent person. I am a parent and a grandparent. I work. I’m busy. I’m busy. I am busy, and I am tired. I thought we elected competent people to take care of the business of government so that we could work, raise our families, pay our bills, have a little recreation, complain about taxes, endure our hardships, pursue our personal goals, cut our lawn, wash our cars on the weekends and be responsible contributing members of society and teach our children to be the same all while living in the home of the free and land of the brave.

I entrusted you with upholding the Constitution. I believed in the checks and balances to keep from getting far off course. What happened? You are very far off course. Do you really think I find humor in the hiring of a speed reader to unintelligently ramble all through a bill that you signed into law without knowing what it contained? I do not. It is a mockery of the responsibility I have entrusted to you. It is a slap in the face. I am not laughing at your arrogance. Why is it that I feel as if you would not trust me to make a single decision about my own life and how I would live it but you should expect that I should trust you with the debt that you have laid on all of us and our children. We did not want the TARP bill. We said no. We would repeal it if we could. I am sure that we still cannot. There is such urgency and recklessness in all of the recent spending.

From my perspective, it seems that all of you have gone insane. I also know that I am far from alone in these feelings. Do you honestly feel that your current pursuits have merit to patriotic Americans? We want it to stop. We want to put the brakes on everything that is being rushed by us and forced upon us. We want our voice back. You have forced us to put our lives on hold to straighten out the mess that you are making. We will have to give up our vacations, our time spent with our children, any relaxation time we may have had and money we cannot afford to spend on you to bring our concerns to Washington. Our president often knows all the right buzzword is unsustainable. Well, no kidding. How many tens of thousands of dollars did the focus group cost to come up with that word? We don’t want your overpriced words. Stop treating us like we’re morons.

We want all of you to stop focusing on your reelection and do the job we want done, not the job you want done or the job your party wants done. You work for us and at this rate I guarantee you not for long because we are coming. We will be heard and we will be represented. You think we’re so busy with our lives that we will never come for you? We are the formerly silent majority, all of us who quietly work , pay taxes, obey the law, vote, save money, keep our noses to the grindstone and we are now looking up at you. You have awakened us, the patriotic spirit so strong and so powerful that it had been sleeping too long. You have pushed us too far. Our numbers are great. They may surprise you. For every one of us who will be there, there will be hundreds more that could not come. Unlike you, we have their trust. We will represent them honestly, rest assured. They will be at the polls on voting day to usher you out of office. We have cancelled vacations. We will use our last few dollars saved. We will find the representation among us and a grassroots campaign will flourish. We didn’t ask for this fight. But the gloves are coming off. We do not come in violence, but we are angry. You will represent us or you will be replaced with someone who will. There are candidates among us when he will rise like a Phoenix from the ashes that you have made of our constitution.

Democrat, Republican, independent, libertarian. Understand this. We don’t care. Political parties are meaningless to us. Patriotic Americans are willing to do right by us and our Constitution and that is all that matters to us now. We are going to fire all of you who abuse power and seek more. It is not your power. It is ours and we want it back. We entrusted you with it and you abused it. You are dishonorable. You are dishonest. As Americans we are ashamed of you. You have brought shame to us. If you are not representing the wants and needs of your constituency loudly and consistently, in spite of the objections of your party, you will be fired. Did you hear? We no longer care about your political parties. You need to be loyal to us, not to them. Because we will get you fired and they will not save you. If you do or can represent me, my issues, my views, please stand up. Make your identity known. You need to make some noise about it. Speak up. I need to know who you are. If you do not speak up, you will be herded out with the rest of the sheep and we will replace the whole damn congress if need be one by one. We are coming. Are we coming for you? Who do you represent? What do you represent? Listen. Because we are coming. We the people are coming.

July 28th, 2009


By some miracle the Pence Amendment to defund Planned Parenthood of Title X monies was accepted for a vote last week.  Friday morning it came up for a vote and pro-lifers flooded our legislators with phone calls and e-mails.

Here is the comment of Judie Brown of the American Life League:

Make no mistake: The members of Congress know a majority of Americans are pro-life. They know that Planned Parenthood is the enemy of human rights, the enemy of personhood for all human beings. They know Planned Parenthood is putting our children in danger, wasting our tax dollars, targeting minority populations and arming child predators.

The majority of Americans are pro-life.   Period.   247  representatives betrayed the will of the people Friday.

Because of you, the heroic work of U.S. Rep. Mike Pence, and the bipartisan support of the 183 representatives who voted against this organization, Planned Parenthood has been exposed for thousands more to see.

A video of a sting revealing Planned Parenthood policy of protecting sexual predators is revealing.


July 27th, 2009


Far be it from me to pretend to discuss live theatre with any degree of competence.  In my whole lifetime I have attended less than a dozen live plays, and only one on Broadway.  But I love going to the little local theatres and watching the actors up close.  Yesterday I had the great pleasure of attending the performance of Pulitzer prize winning play Doubt: A Parable, by John Patrick Shanley at TheatreWorks in New Milford CT.  I had previously seen the movie Doubt with Meryl Streep and was looking forward to seeing the play locally with Streep’s role being played by an actress who was a friend of my friend D.   We had seen Noel Desiato  perform  the role of Katharine Hepburn in Tea at Five and knew her to be a very competent actress.  It seemed to us right that the role of Sister Aloysius Beauvier should go to no one but Noel.  Even before we knew she had been cast in the role we ordered tickets for front row seats — fortunately we hit the jackpot – super seats at a award-winning play with a local actress whom we greatly admired.   How much better can it get?

We were not disappointed.  Four actors held us spell-bound without intermission for 90 minutes.  The set kept switching back and forth between the principal’s office in St. Nicholas School in the Bronx, 1964, and a little garden area outside the school.  Presumably the set changes were in lieu of intermission but they were done quickly, in the dark, right before our eyes, and I have nothing but praise for the set designer and the magic that they  worked during those few minutes in the dark.  The furnishings and costumes seemed authentic.  I did wonder, though, if the Sisters back in 1964 had shoes with heels that were quite that high!

At the end of the play, after the bows and hearty applause, I could only say, “We’ve got to stand up!” and up we went.  The whole thing was just that good!

For those who have not seen the movie Doubt I will not attempt a synopsis.   Suffice to say the four characters, Sister Aloysius, Father Flynn, Sister James, and Mrs. Muller are shown in all their complexity, trying to do their version of right, being very human.  The only other relevant person in the play  is Mrs. Muller’s son, Donald, the one black boy in the school, needy of adult male attention,  loved by a mother who is willing to allow questionable attention from Father Flynn because of her son’s neediness  and so he can graduate and move on to the next school.  We never see the boy but his mother is played beautifully.

I greatly enjoyed the movie Doubt, which received many awards and nominations.   But the four-person-play Doubt is a superbly written gem – and yesterday it was beautifully cast and set.

It was a wonderful birthday gift.



This is why I speak to them in parables, because seeing they do not see, and hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand. – Matthew 13:13

July 25th, 2009


I don’t know what possessed me to go driving to the Stop & Shop yesterday at the noon hour. Usually I have the good sense to do my shopping after the 7 AM mass when the streets and stores are relatively empty. But I had been stressed out by last night’s outing and had a late morning nap and got it into my head that I’d see about those generic prescriptions available for only $9.99 at Stop & Shop. I had a new blood pressure medication script that needed to be filled and the time had come.

I only go to Stop & Shop every few months — it’s not my regular store — and the first indication that I was old was the sight of some pricing wands available at the entrance to the store. I gathered that you take these things with you as you shop, wave them over your purchases as you pick them out, and just present the wand and pay for the whole shebang at the check-out counter. Quick. Efficient. Easy. But my brain said, “No. Too complicated for today. Some other day when I feel more up to a challenge I’ll try it.” That’s not like me. Usually I’m eager for a new thing to try – a new experience – but not yesterday.

Then I went to the prescription counter for the first time. They needed information and of course my birth date was required. “This will be $9.99 he said. Ready in fifteen minutes.”  I had never wandered aimlessly in this store before but with 15 minutes to kill that’s what I started to do. There were aisles I had never been down. Organic foods I had never seen before. A salad bar which said “sampling is forbidden by law.” Couldn’t think of anything we really needed but bought some natural chicken (no antibiotics, fed an all vegetable diet, no growth stimulants or hormones), some Gorgonzola (a passion of mine), and some cranberry-raspberry juice. All I could think was that the store was just too big and had just too many choices and I couldn’t be bothered thinking and deciding about so many options. I felt I looked like what I was – an old lady wandering aimlessly around.

My sister’s home is just a short drive from Stop & Shop and early on I had thought of visiting her after shopping. But now I just wanted to get out of there and go home. I’d visit another day when I felt more up to it. Back to the prescription counter and the medication was ready. When, oh when, are they going to make those credit card scanners uniform so you don’t have to figure out each time which side of the card goes up? It seems that at every store they’re different. Anyway, I muddled through and the sad part of it is, I felt I was muddling through.

When it came time to check out my purchases, there were the usual “scan ‘em yourself” stations which I have used before with some success, but was certainly not ready for today. I passed about six of them looking for a nice open check-out station with a nice short line where the nice lady would scan my things for me and put them in my cart.

Some days I am up to a challenge. Some days I’m not. Yesterday I was old.


So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day.  For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison… – 2 Cor. 4:16, 17.

July 24th, 2009


A month or so ago a friend asked me if I could locate a website where he could order a nice big picture of an aborted baby.   (Actually, there is no such thing as a nice picture of an aborted baby, but you know what I mean.)  He believed that nothing brings home the truth like a picture – whether you’re talking holocaust, auto accident, lynching, starvation – or abortion.  He is right, of course.  Abortion is so hidden (you’ve seen every other kind of medical procedure but you’ve never seen an abortion on TV, have you?),  so secret (your friends have had abortions you don’t know about), so misrepresented (it’s not a baby, it’s a blob, it’s a woman’s right), so ORDINARY, that you NEED a picture to bring the reality home.

ab-1 I was surprised when my very own daughter, a registered nurse, looked at a photo of an aborted baby and said, “They can’t do THIS, can they?”   She, and most people, didn’t know late term abortions are quite legal and, in fact, killer Tiller (who I have written about before) had an abortion facility in Wichita KA that has been targeted for years by pro-lifers because late term abortions were his “specialty.”  Most doctors (and their staffs), have qualms about killing a living baby in the womb when it could obviously live outside the womb – when it looks like what it is – one of us – a BABY.  I have posted previously a video by nurse Jill Stanek  who tells of holding a second trimester aborted baby left to die until it, in fact, actually died.


Well, as I said, my friend wanted a big picture of an aborted baby and asked if I could find someplace online where he could order one.  Surprisingly, I didn’t have much luck.  The photos were there but few were offered for sale.  Just about that time (our God is a God of coincidences) someone gave me some postcard-sized pictures of aborted baby pictures.  (I  am including three of them, both sides,  in this post.)  They had been published in Ireland so I put a $20 bill in an envelope and sent it to Sacred Heart House of Prayer, 46 James Street, Cookstown Co., Tyrone, Northern Ireland, BT80 8LT,  asking what they had available for sale.  I didn’t want to go to the trouble of sending proper Irish money and have always had good luck with pro-life organizations behaving honorably.  And if nothing came of it, a worthy cause would have a donation.


In due time a package arrived from Ireland, poorly wrapped, but filled with literally hundreds of aborted baby pictures and literature describing the work of The Two Patricks.  It seems that two Irishmen, Patrick O’Kane and Patrick Rushe, met and felt led to minister together.  They reputedly regularly receive messages from Jesus, such as this, explaining  why they are “The Two Patricks.”

The Ways of Jesus Christ are not our ways. He has told us in many teachings that He, Himself, has brought us together in this mission at different times in our development towards Him, so that we could learn from each other, as well as from Him.

He has described us as two halves of a jewel. It is only when we are one that His Light can shine through us – for anything we do is done in Jesus, for Jesus, and through Jesus.

Their  latest messages from Jesus, whose return they say is imminent, are posted on their site.  Some of them have also been put on YouTube and can be seen here.     The two Patricks have opened a number of houses of prayer in Ireland and Europe.  They have a strong pro-life ministry and publish pro-life literature.

All seemed orthodox until I read among their messages the following, dated April 2005:

Soon now your Holy Father will be replaced with one who is not of Me.  And he will change much, he will begin the destruction of My Church in earnest.  Are you ready to fight for the Truth?  Many will fall in this time.  Pray, children, that you are not one of them.

John Paul II died on April 2, 2005.  Benedict XVI was installed as Pope on April 24, 2005.

A further prophecy of The Two Patricks, now online, reads:

Thursday 14 January 2009


Jesus, I hear that Cardinal Ratzinger is going to try and silence Your Messengers, Prophets, Seers and Visionaries.


My sons and My children, do not be afraid for I have already told you the Truth. He will try to discredit all My Messengers but I will continue to speak for My Army cannot be silenced. I have told within My Scriptures that I do nothing before revealing it to My Prophets, so why would I inspire My Church to silence My Words? I have told you that these men that are not of Me would try to destroy My Word and so this is only another part of their deceit. They have already tried to change My Scriptures into words that are not Mine. They are like the scribes and Pharisees that tried to silence Me by having Me Crucified. They are blasphemers and deceivers and I say do not listen to their lies for their father is the father of lies. They will excommunicate you but know they only seal their own fate for what they have done to Me. I Love you, read My Word 1 and understand what I say. I, your Jesus, Love you.

I don’t know what to make of this.  I have liked Benedict XVI and this message is not recognizing him as pope.    Perhaps someone with more discernment than I have would like to weigh in on this?


~~~ Surely the Lord God does nothing without revealing his secret to his servants the prophets. — Amos 3:7

July 19th, 2009


Our U. S. bishops have proclaimed July 19-26 as Natural Family Planning Awareness Week.  They publish  a poster and make available educational  materials that the various parishes can use but promoting Natural Family Planning is left up to each diocese.  The week is meant to highlight the anniversary of the publication of Humanae Vitae and the feast days of Saints Anne and Joachim. Happily it also coincides with the publication of Benedict XVI’s new encyclical, the very beautiful  Caritas in Veritate (Love in Truth).



The varieties of contraceptive medications are multiplying so quickly that it is hard to keep track of them – pills (choose monthly periods or every-four-months), patches, implants, inserts et al.   All  of them come with warnings about side-effects, both in the package inserts and the TV commercials. In the face of all this hype, I feel that Natural Family Planning (NFP) needs an advocate. The old “rhythm” method, which was used primarily by Catholics, was sometimes referred to as Vatican Roulette because it often resulted in pregnancy due to the variations in cycles among women.

Many people are unaware that “rhythm” has now been replaced by Natural Family Planning which has an effectiveness of over 95%, equaling that of “the pill” and without the expense or the side-effects. NFP, which involves cooperation between man and wife, awareness of the cyclical changes in the woman’s body, and a measure of self-control, has been steadily gaining in popularity among various groups.

The first of these groups might be referred to as the “ecological” group. These folks want to preserve the integrity of their bodies, and would not want to pollute the human body any more than they would pollute the environment. They delight in a fully functional body and do not choose to interfere with normal function. They think it inconsistent to say “Avoid drugs” on the one hand, and on the other hand to say “Take this drug so you won’t get pregnant.” They do not think it is true that self-control is possible in the areas of drugs, food, and alcohol, but impossible in the realm of sex.

A second group, not entirely distinct, consists of those who are aware of the effect of oral contraceptives (OCs) on a woman’s body. They have either experienced the unpleasant side-effects of “the pill” themselves or know someone who has. Or they may have read the warnings in the Physician’s Desk Reference or in the package inserts. They wonder why the responsibility and physical consequences of birth control should be borne by the woman alone. The woman who takes OCs daily bathes every cell in her body with powerful hormones which may lead to problems in multiple areas. It has certainly been a boon to the manufacturers (700 billion dollars a year) to have millions of women taking their pills daily but it is hardly a boon to womankind.  After years of abusing her body by medicating it when there was nothing wrong with it, can a woman really expect that body to immediately snap back and produce a baby on demand?   Some are lucky; many are not.   Some doctors are talking about a current ‘epidemic’ of infertility.

A third group consists of those who for religious reasons consider artificial birth control wrong because it interferes with the design of God. Contraceptive pills and appliances are seen as means of trying to outsmart God by sabotaging his handiwork. The Catholic Church has emphatically spoken out against artificial birth control. However, with growing awareness that the new OCs do not prevent ovulation as effectively as the previous, stronger, more hazardous pills, but rather render the uterine lining inhospitable so that the developing embryo dies, many non-Catholics are looking for an alternative to the “pill.” In essence, the “pill” can cause a very early abortion.

Looking into Protestant history it is found that John Calvin, John Wesley, and Martin Luther all spoke out against birth control. In his book, The Bible and Birth Control, Charles Provan, a Protestant, states “there is no doubt about it; the contraception laws of the 19th century were passed by Protestants for a largely Protestant America…no Christian church ever accepted contraception as morally permissible before 1930.”

How, then, does Natural Family Planning work? It is possible by observing the changes in a woman’s body, in her cervical mucus, and in her body temperature to accurately determine the one day in her cycle that she ovulates. By avoiding sexual intimacy for several days surrounding ovulation a couple can also avoid the hazards, the expense, and in many cases the guilt of artificial contraception. Couples report that they have better communication and that the brief period of abstinence is the best aphrodisiac! In No-Pill No-Risk Birth Control by Nona Aguilar a husband reports: “I wasn’t enthusiastic when we changed to NFP, but we saw no other way. We went to class very, very reluctantly. Almost right away it started happening again: that incredible yearning I used to feel for my wife returned–and not just once in a while. It was there every month. Every cycle gradually turned into courtship and honeymoon all over again.” A wife says, “Our last baby was conceived out of love, with full knowledge that we would conceive. From that moment on we could picture the hours and days of growth. But before NFP I feared going to bed, as I didn’t know my fertility cycle and worried that I might become pregnant. Now I know my fertility signs and feel 100 percent confident in those signs and no longer fear. It is a great relief and a burden off my shoulders. I want more children — but when I am ready and capable.”

Natural Family Planning is not something that is taught in any depth in medical schools but there is a Natural Family Planning Medical Consultant Program offered for physicians at the Pope Paul VI Institute for the Study of Human Reproduction, in Omaha NE. Information on NFP is available there. You can teach yourself much about the practice of NFP by using the online manual, Natural Family Planning: The Question-Answer Book by John and Sheila Kippley. This online manual is short, easy-to-read, and free.

Man is the only animal that mates year-round. Other animals mate by instinct and only for a season. We have the option of using our reason and our will to choose our season, to achieve pregnancy or no pregnancy, which is the only true reproductive freedom. And we can have this without polluting our bodies, without exchanging normal bodily function for years of abnormal function!


There is a season for everything, a time for every occupation under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die…a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. — Ecclesiastes 3:l,5.

Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love. — Benedict XVI, Love in Truth.

July 18th, 2009


WHO KNEW WHAT WHEN?    Everyone in America needs to see this! Republicans were warning about impending financial troubles back in 2002 and Democrats were pooh-poohing their warnings!

It is from the Proud to be Canadian website. It arrived in my in-box with the information that “the liberal AMERICAN media did not want this video on You Tube, so they had Time Warner threaten a law suit (proprietary rights) if it was not taken off.”

The link is of the same video but is routed through Canada .  It has been viewed over 5 million times in the past nine months.

Confused about sub-prime mortgages, leverage, and financial monkey business?  I found this two-part video explanation to be helpful.

July 16th, 2009


I seriously doubt that there is anyone in this whole world who has been waiting impatiently to find out whether the Mint Mole Blaster successfully evicted the mole from my garden.  Of course, I’m going to tell you anyway.  Moles reputedly hate the smell of mint. We blended a large handful of fresh mint from the garden with water in the blender and then boiled it up to make a slurry.   For a couple of days we poured a large quantity of this Mole Blaster into the mole hole, and added a few branches of fresh mint for good measure.   Mole didn’t seem to mind.  Then I mixed up more fresh mint plus a habanero pepper in the blender.  (If you’ve ever tried to eat a habanero, you know it is seriously obnoxious and painful!)  And for good measure I followed that with gallons of water.  Mole remained.  Then I stuffed the mole hole with rocks. Mole came up (or went in, I don’t know which) alongside.

At this point I was beginning to feel really mean.  What’s the big deal?  The little critter doesn’t eat my vegetables – just wants the lovely bugs and slugs under my mulch.  Maybe mole has babies in her den.  Maybe it was time for a détente?  Live and let live?  Finally, I stuffed the hole with rocks and put a heavy watering can filled with water on top.

I think it’s gone!  It has been several days now and no sign of the mole.  I’m going to miss him/her.  Isn’t that the way it always is with things (and people) that annoy you?  Will I be nicer should s/he come back?   I don’t know.


And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. — Genesis 1:26

July 15th, 2009


After I had written the following reflection on the most unprintable word in the English language, I didn’t really know what to do with it.  Wondering what the reaction of decent people would be, I sent it to the Catholic editors at MercatorNet because I have a great deal of respect for them and their publication.  It was Mr. Cook’s suggestion that I delete my imaginings about the onomatopeic origin of the word. (You are going to have to do your own imagining.)I wondered if I should just deep-six it.  He was kind enough to write:  “I don’t want to shun the topic, but I feel that we need something a bit different. Sorry to disappoint. Best regards and I am full of admiration for your amazing blog….I think that it would go quite well on the blog. The blog is more personal and represents you rather than an institution. Don’t deep-six it.”

And so:


Some years ago a doctor friend told me about a couple who sought his advice about a child with a speech problem.   It seems the little fellow loved to play with his trucks but was not yet speaking very clearly.  They were comfortable with most of his mispronunciations but the boy would consistently mispronounce “truck” so that it came out “fuck.”  Now, as I spell out that word, first an f, then a u, then c, and then k, I can foresee that some editor will start to tear out his hair trying to figure out what to do with the result.  It is not, after all, one of the forbidden words in proper society.  It is only a child’s mispronunciation of truck, not intended to be naughty, or offend, or breech any societal construct.  It is just an arrangement of letters.   Can it be that certain letters of the alphabet cannot be juxtaposed without offending?  As I type on my computer, is some bot going to come along and censor me?  Listen up, bot!  I’m not swearing!  I’m talking toddler talk!  Leave me alone!

Of course, as the doctor told me, the problem was not with the child but with the parents.  Why could they not allow him this growing stage?  Can there really be combinations of letters which are not allowable?  So, he said, “See my fuck”, and “My fuck drives here,” and “My fuck fell down.” So what? It was the parents’ fear that the child’s language might reflect badly on them that was the problem.  They found themselves unable to let their boy’s speech mature in due time–and if he spent his whole life saying fuck in stead of truck, what’s the big deal?   If there is any blame it is in the ear of the listener who brings to a child’s innocent speech his own hang-ups.

From whence comes this fascination with “fuck?  I don’t really know the origin of the word but my guess is that it is one of those onomatopeic words that  sound like what they portray.   Your guess is as good as mine.

It is generally agreed that comedians who rely on four letter words are getting cheap laughs.  The really good comedians  use humor, not profanity.  Some actors feel that slipping in a forbidden word, almost by accident, is a way of getting attention, and any attention is better than none.  I recently attended a play in which the actress, playing Katharine Hepburn, who reportedly used some strong language, slipped in a fuck along with a naughty look and got the expected titter from the audience who enjoyed being naughty along with her.

In certain venues you expect the language to be crass or vulgar, and you can go or stay away, according to your preference.  I suspect that when some celebrities slip and  utter a naughty word on a respectable daytime show they are not as much slipping as using it as an opportunity to create a buzz and get a little more attention than they could  with anything they might have to say.

Once when I was in jail (it is easy to get there if you refuse to move  or give your name) an inmate emerged from the shower and walked down the corridor announcing to her friends along the way “I fucking shaved my fucking legs.”  I had to laugh at the sheer idiocy of her statement!  It was nothing but an effort by an immature woman to appear cool and “with it” to her peers, most of whom couldn’t speak English if they tried.   Obviously, it made no sense whatsoever.

On the one hand, it is totally stupid that there should be any arrangement  of letters of the alphabet that one is not permitted to write or pronounce.  The F-bomb, as they like to refer to it, is said to be the least printable and most vulgar word in the English language.  On the other hand, it is equally idiotic that grown-up, supposedly mature people should think it is cute or cool to get off on using such a forbidden word several times in every sentence in a totally meaningless fashion.  You’d think they were two-year-olds playing in feces.   Or  a four-year-old saying pee-pee, poop, wee-wee, ca-ca — delighting in using bathroom words in the parlor. It is like George Carlin running through his seven dirty words, going from bad to worse, rubbing them in, like a naughty child.    It is juvenile.  It is dumb.

In an obvious play for attention Britney Spears attempted a come-back with her new album, Circus, containing the popular single If U Seek Amy.  It was #37 on the Billboard Hot 100 when I looked it up  and reputedly had been downloaded over 100,000 times.  Don’t be fooled by the inocuous sounding title.  She is spelling out  F-me which many find daring and titillating.  They are like children with a secret code that grown-ups will never be able to crack.  If truth were told, grown-ups can’t be bothered.

On the day before Mothers’ Day this year President Obama succeeded in being quite funny in his opening address at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. It was apparent that the joke that tickled him most was when they said it was a tough day for Rahm Emanuel because Rahm was not used to saying the word Day after Mother!  Even as president he delighted in displaying  just a hint of the bad little boy in him.

Think about it.   Think about someone you really respect.  Does s/he talk like that?  Perhaps those who sprinkle their conversation with F-words are trying to be cool or funny.  Does it work?  They seem to be somehow stunted, or, as the song says, “more to be pitied than censored.”  They are like naughty little boys who are trying to be cute or get a rise out of mommy.  It doesn’t work.  You just want to say:   Get a life.  Get a real sense of humor.  Get a vocabulary.  GROW UP!


On further reflection,it occurred to me that the only other word I have heard of that cannot be said was the holy name of God in ancient Hebrew.  Yahweh was written YHWH because in those days they did not write the vowels. When scripture was being read aloud and they came upon the word YHWH they would pronounce Adonai instead. This was a respectful, reverential thing.  God’s name was just too holy to be spoken.

On the other hand, it seems to me there is an unholy word used by those who do not love God.  It is to be spoken as often as possible, whether or not it makes sense, in a defiant, in-your-face way. It makes a mockery – it defiles, degrades, profanes – the most intimate, sacred, loving, life-giving union of which human beings are capable.  The very meaning of “to profane” is to debase something which is holy.

I do not recognize that word as anything special. The F-bomb is a dud — it has no real power. It is only a word, like shag, screw or hump. Don’t make a fool of yourself, thinking it has shock value. It is only crude. It is boring. It has very little place in intelligent discourse. GROW UP!


A really excellent blogpost on why the F-word is tantalizing.


What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’  –Matthew 15:11

July 14th, 2009


I was so touched by John Whitehead’s July 13th post that I reprint here it in its entirety:

A Grief Observed: Remembering Carol

By John W. Whitehead
July 13, 2009

“I will turn to her as often as possible in gladness. I will even salute her with a laugh. The less I mourn her the nearer I seem to her. Admirable programme. Unfortunately it can’t be carried out.”–C.S. Lewis

When his wife Joy died in 1960, C.S. Lewis’ life crumbled. “If my house has collapsed at one blow,” the famous author and Christian apologist writes in the early pages of A Grief Observed (1961), “that is because it was a house of cards. The faith which ‘took these things into account’ was not faith but imagination.”

From there, Lewis, in his remarkable book, questions the nature of the “good” God in which he once believed, coming to the conclusion that what we humans see as good is meaningless in the eyes of God. “If His ideas of good are so very different from ours,” Lewis writes, “what He calls Heaven might well be what we should call Hell, and vice versa.” Furthermore:

The terrible thing is that a perfectly good God is in this matter hardly less formidable than a Cosmic Sadist….I am more afraid that we are really rats in a trap. Or, worse still, rats in a laboratory. Someone said, I believe, ‘God always geometrizes.’ Supposing the truth were ‘God always vivisects’?

In a deep depression when his wife passed away, Lewis obviously fell into despair. Although later in the book he softens his view on God–referring to God as possibly “a surgeon whose intentions are wholly good”–Lewis astutely describes what it feels like to lose someone very close to you. “Death only reveals the vacuity that has always been there. What we call the living are simply those who have not yet been unmasked. All equally bankrupt, but some not yet declared.”

“Vacuity”–another word for a senseless emptiness–is something I now know all too well. Recently, my wife of 42 years, Carol, suddenly passed away. Nothing can convey the feeling of lostness that has come over me. I feel like a gutted fish. My sense of being has been amputated. All sounds, even human voices, seem shrill and overbearing. Strange headaches and twilight sleeping. I have trouble swallowing. A vacuum has descended and all the color has drained from the world and it has not yet returned. Maybe it won’t. In rereading Lewis’ book, I found some comfort in that there has been someone somewhere who did understand.

Emptiness. A vast void that cannot be filled.

Carol was my soul mate. We were childhood lovers. We did everything together. And while, because of my intense and often abusive nature I seemed to break down, Carol was always there, holding me up so I would not crash. When I was going to quit law school, Carol made me go back to class. She was always there at key junctures in my life, keeping me on track. It was not easy to live with me, but Carol did so with amazing grace. She became a mother, bearing five children while having three miscarriages. When I became a lawyer and later founded a civil liberties organization, Carol helped organize it and donated her meager savings to get it up and running. And when there were no word processors, Carol typed and retyped my books on manual typewriters. She did everything for me, often acting more like a mother than a wife in correcting me and making sure I would succeed. Without her, I would have been nothing. And now she is gone.

I now face the same questions that plagued Lewis. Why would a good God completely disembowel my life? How can I explain the massive hole in my soul left by my beloved?

The truth is, I can’t. There really are no neat and simple answers.

I do believe in a God of order. But suppose Lewis is right. What we are up against is not the sanguine God that modern prosperity preachers try to sell us. Suppose God is a cosmic surgeon. “The kinder and more conscientious he is, the more inexorably he will go on cutting. If he yielded to your entreaties, if he stopped before the operation was complete, all the pain up to that point would have been useless….If there is a good God, then these tortures are necessary.” So all the tortures of life and the extreme pain and suffering of losing Carol are for my good? All of it has a purpose? God had to knock me down to my knees to make me come to my senses? Yes. Maybe. Hopefully.

We never truly appreciate the great ones among us. And Carol was such a person. She was such an ominous presence in my life. Looking back on it now, I saw Carol as a form of divinity–as I wrote in a Valentine’s Day poem to her several months before she passed away. Here are a few verses:

You were there
When I was born of woman,
When I took those first unsure steps,
Stumbling, nearly falling.

You were there
To hold my arms high,
As the slings and arrows
Of outrageous insanity fell upon my shores.

You were there
Always there holding me,
Folding me into your bosom,
Easing my pain.

Who am I?
You would know.
What am I?
You would know.
You were always there, my love.

I will never be the same, as C.S. Lewis was never the same. Words cannot articulate what my soul has lost. And I don’t understand. I pray for answers–just an inkling of what goes on now in my life. Why? Why? Why? But no answers are forthcoming. “It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze,” Lewis writes. “As though He shook His head not in refusal but waiving the question. Like, ‘Please child, you don’t understand.'”

Answers?  Not from me.  Both of these men were extraordinarily blessed with godly women who were accepting, loving and giving.  The greater the size of the blessing, the greater the size of the loss when it disappears.  The only thing I can think of that might compare to the desolation of Lewis and Whitehead would be the sorrow of Mary standing at the foot of the cross watching her son suffer and die.    Her son was not only godly but God Himself!  What could have sustained her, standing there, but a trust and a hope greater than we can even begin to comprehend?

I would pray that with time the pain will decrease and there will be room for thankfulness for such an undeserved blessing to move in, along with hope for a future reunion.  Carol is described as “a form of divinity.”  C. S. Lewis also said  that whatever we have experienced of true love is only a reflection of the love of God.  Surely that is reason enough for hope.    Much has been given and this dark night of grief and pain may be the soil in which gratitude and faith and hope can flourish.

In the meantime, John, may the Body of Christ lift you up!


Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. — 1 John 7