Children in the womb should have the same legal standing as other children, the Supreme Court of Alabama ruled Friday.
The decision upheld the prior conviction of Sarah Janie Hicks for “the chemical endangerment of her child,” when she exposed her unborn baby to cocaine. The boy, referred to as “JD,” was born testing positive for cocaine.
The 8-1 decision reaffirmed the Alabama Supreme Court’s ruling in a similar case last year that the word “child” includes “unborn child.”
Friday’s decision was a review of the lower Court of Criminal Appeals’ conviction of Hicks.
According to Justice Tom Parker, who wrote the majority decision, “It is impossible for an unborn child to be a separate and distinct person at a particular point in time in one respect and not to be a separate and distinct person at the same point in time but in another respect. Because an unborn child has an inalienable right to life from its earliest stages of development, it is entitled not only to a life free from the harmful effects of chemicals at all stages of development but also to life itself at all stages of development. Treating an unborn child as a separate and distinct person in only select respects defies logic and our deepest sense of morality.”
Fr. Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, referred to the decision as a unique instance of “common sense and logical consistency.”
I don't find many Catholic bloggers I follow linking to or saying much about Matt Walsh and it's puzzling to me, particularly since I'm developing a a bit of a man-crush on the dude. He has things to say that just resonate.
If you want to adopt some blasphemous, perverted, fun house mirror reflection of Christianity, you will find a veritable buffet of options. You can sift through all the variants and build your own little pet version of the Faith. It’s Ice Cream Social Christianity: make your own sundae! (Or Sunday, as it were.)
And, of all the heretical choices, probably the most common — and possibly the most damaging — is what I’ve come to call the Nice Doctrine.
The propagators of the Nice Doctrine can be seen and heard from anytime any Christian takes any bold stance on any cultural issue, or uses harsh language of any kind, or condemns any sinful act, or fights against evil with any force or conviction at all. As soon as he or she stands and says ‘This is wrong, and I will not compromise,’ the heretics swoop in with their trusty mantras.
They insist that Jesus was a nice man, and that He never would have done anything to upset people. They say that He came down from Heaven to preach tolerance and acceptance, and He wouldn’t have used words that might lead to hurt feelings. They confidently sermonize about a meek and mild Messiah who was born into this Earthly realm on a mission to spark a constructive dialogue.
The believers in Nice Jesus are usually ignorant of Scripture, but they do know that He was ‘friends with prostitutes,’ and once said something about how, like, we shouldn’t get too ticked off about stuff, or whatever. In their minds, he’s essentially a supernatural Cheech Marin.
Read the comments under my previous post about gay rights militants, and you’ll see this heresy illustrated.
That post prompted an especially noteworthy email from someone concerned that I’m not being ‘Christlike,’ because I ‘call people names.’ He said, in part:
“You aren’t spreading Christianity when you talk like that. The whole message of Jesus was that we should be nice to people because we want them to be nice to us. That’s how we can all be happy. Period. It’s that simple.”
Be nice to me, I’ll be nice to you, and we’ll all be happy. This is the ‘whole message’ of Christianity?
Jesus Christ preached a Truth no deeper or more complex than a slogan on a poster in a Kindergarten classroom?
A provocative claim, to say the least. I decided to investigate the matter, and sure enough, I found this excerpt from the Sermon on the Mount:
“We’re best friends like friends should be. With a great big hug, and a kiss from me to you, won’t you say you love me too?”
Actually, wait, sorry, that’s from the original Barney theme song.
God help us. We’ve turned the Son of God into a purple dinosaur puppet.
I don’t recognize this Jesus.
This moderate. This pacifist. This nice guy.
He’s not the Jesus I read about in the Bible. I read of a strong, manly, stern, and bold Savior. Compassionate, yes. Forgiving, of course. Loving, always loving. But not particularly nice.
He condemned. He denounced. He caused trouble. He disrupted the established order.
On one occasion — or at least one recorded occasion — He used violence. This Jesus saw the money changers in the temple and how did He respond? He wasn’t polite about it. I’d even say He was downright intolerant. He fashioned a whip (this is what the lawyers would call ‘premeditation’) and physically drove the merchants away. He turned over tables and shouted. He caused a scene. [John 2:15]
Assault with a deadly weapon. Vandalism. Disturbing the peace. Worse still, intolerance.
In two words: not nice.
Not nice at all.
Can you imagine how some moderate, pious, ‘nice’ Christians of today would react to that spectacle in the Temple? Can you envision the proponents of the Nice Doctrine, with their wagging fingers and their passive aggressive sighs? I’m sure they’d send Jesus a patronizing email, perhaps leave a disapproving comment under the news article about the incident, reminding Jesus that Jesus would never do what Jesus just did.
Personally, I’ve studied the New Testament and found not a single instance of Christ calling for a ‘dialogue’ with evil or seeking the middle ground on an issue. I see an absolutist, unafraid of confrontation. I see a man who did not waver or give credence to the other side. I see someone who never once avoided a dispute by saying that He’ll just ‘agree to disagree.’
I see a Christ who calls the Scribes and Pharisees snakes and vipers. He labels them murderers and blind guides, and ridicules them publicly [Matthew 23:33]. He undermines their authority. He insults them. He castigates them. He’s not very nice to them.
Jesus rebukes and condemns. In Matthew 18, He utilizes morbid and violent imagery, saying that it would be better to drown in the sea with a stone around your neck than to harm a child. Had our modern politicians been around two thousand years ago, I’m sure they’d go on the cable news shows and shake their heads and insist that there’s ‘no place for that kind of language.’
Pope Francis surprised his own master of ceremonies on Friday by confessing his sins to an ordinary priest in St. Peter's Basilica.
The pope was presiding at service intended to show the importance he attaches to the sacrament of reconciliation, commonly known as confession.
After reading a sermon, he was to have gone to an empty confessional booth to hear confessions from ordinary faithful as some 60 priests scattered around the huge church did the same.
His master of ceremonies, Monsignor Guido Marini, pointed him toward the empty booth but the pope went straight to a another one, knelt before a surprised priest, and confessed to him for a few minutes.
He then went back to the empty one and heard the confessions of a number of faithful.
Video of the event, from the Catholic News Service, follows:
My Friend Joe Milne who suffers from Ushers syndrome, was deaf from birth. She had bilateral cochlea implants fitted which allow her to hear for the first ever, this is the moment they are switched on!
Barack Obama and Pope Francis sat down with two translators, and one can’t help but think they were sorely needed. Not just to bridge the gap between the Pope’s Spanish and the President’s English, but between the moral vocabulary of the church of Christ and the strange language of liberalism.
During his Sunday morning service, Ulf Ekman announced the he and his wife, Birgitta, are converting to Roman Catholicism.
Ekman is the founder of Word of Life, a megachurch in Uppsala, Sweden. News reports and blogs coming out of the nation reveal congregation was “partially stunned” after hearing what was packaged as a “special announcement.” The theme was “follow the Lamb wherever He goes."
“For Birgitta and me, this has been a slow process were we have gone from discovering new things, to appreciating what we have discovered, to approach and even learn from our fellow Christians,” Ekman says on his ministry website.
“We have seen a great love for Jesus and a sound theology, founded on the Bible and classic dogma. We have experienced the richness of sacramental life. We have seen the logic in having a solid structure for priesthood, that keeps the faith of the church and passes it on from one generation to the next. We have met an ethical and moral strength and consistency that dare to face up to the general opinion, and a kindness towards the poor and the weak. And, last but not least, we have come in contact with representatives for millions of charismatic Catholics and we have seen their living faith.”
“All this has been both attractive and challenging,” Ekman says. “It really challenged our protestant prejudices, and we realized that we in many cases did not have any basis for our criticism of them. We needed to know the Catholic faith better. This led us to the realize that it was actually Jesus Christ who led us to unite with the Catholic Church.”