Sin: where’s the social consequence?

If I touch a hot stove, I burn my hand. If I hold my breath too long, I turn blue. If I watch too much America’s Next Top Model, my brain is oozes out my ears. Totally logical consequences to bad decisions.

But what happens when I move in with my boyfriend before I’m married? Or I abort my baby because I’m not ready to be a mom? Or I start dating women? Or I decide to stop going to church?  Also bad decisions… but consequences… what consequences?

In world that’s given up God, and almost altogether abandoned any idea of natural law, living free and fearless is the new gold standard. Because what is there to fear? Whatever happens, you’re perfect just the way you are and the universe loves you no matter what. Go on! Move in with your significant other. What’s the difference anyhow… now or after some silly ceremony? Have the abortion. That baby wouldn’t have had the life it deserved anyway. Give the same sex a try. If you didn’t, you’d just be denying who you really are. Forget church. You have your own, personal spirituality and that’s what counts.

Where are the hard realities, the social stigmas that once were, when you shacked up before marriage or had a baby out of wedlock? When we know that “every sin is social, insofar as and because it also has social consequences,” (Compendium 117), where are the consequences? How are so many of my friends and loved ones happily cohabiting, contracepting, leaving the Church… without any objection from others?

They are either ignorant of the costs of their decisions or they are too chicken to face them. And sadly, it makes sense… because we live in a world of accommodations. Nobody likes being uncomfortable or unhappy when they have the option to avoid it. The joy and reward of sacrifice and struggle has gone out the window and been replaced with vapid, feel-good pleasantries.

How awkward is it to instruct the ignorant, when we can simply hold their hand and say “God loves you no matter what”? How can you tell someone that their hard and fast plan for x-amount of children, their premarital sex life, their laissez-faire attitude toward faith & church… is a grave offense to their loving God …without spurring a fiery argument, or at the very least, hurt feelings and a strained relationship. You can’t. Especially in the midst of an evermore secular society that’s continuously affirming individuality, independence and pride.

And for fear of these challenges, the faithful (myself included) have quietly cooperated in the devil’s great plan of veiling the social consequence of sin. And the taboos are fading away, as fewer begin to worry about the opinions of others when they unabashedly disobey God’s commandments, without anyone holding them accountable.

Lost sheepFor every Catholic you know marrying in a protestant beach wedding, hosting a housewarming party with their cohabiting partner, saying “yes” to the pleasure of intimacy but “no” to God’s gift of life, celebrating their disordered sexuality, obtusely justifying their sin after much “prayer” and the “discernment” that God just wants them to be happy … where is your loving, instructive voice of truth to help guide these lost sheep home?

We must ask for God’s mercy on us all, and seek His grace that we may become renewed beacons of light and restored salt of the earth, for “…if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” Matthew 5:13. We must be bold in our faith, using not just our actions but the voice of the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel and bring souls back to Christ.

Babies and blessings

Earlier this week, readers of left-leaning media were spoon-fed another dose of anti-child propoganda in an article from the Washington Post titled “5 charts that show why it costs nearly a quarter-million dollars to raise a kid today“. Whew… a mouthful of a headline, but in case you don’t read further, it gets the message across: babies are crazy expensive!

Lifesite News shortly afterward published a more realistic perspective on the cost of raising children, pointing out that the more you have, the less expensive they become.

onesieThere is no doubt that children cost money, from the first bottle of prenatal vitamins to the final semester of college tuition. And while it might be interesting to learn the statistics on family spending, I’m not thinking of imminent costs when I look at my baby boy, because he’s worth so much more than a quarter-million dollars.

Price tags aside, I’ve found one single thing that’s kept my personal cost of raising a child to an almost insignificant amount: Christian charity. And in a world that’s always counting the cost, we need a little more of it if we want to encourage mothers to keep having babies.

…Remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’
Acts 20:36

So blessed then, are men like my husband… who give their wives the wonderful privilege of staying at home to raise their children, who work tirelessly to provide for their families, and who make daily sacrifices that they may not have to worry about childcare.

So blessed are women like my friend, Dawn… who selflessly offer their time and care to babysit at no cost, just to make a few of life’s occasions easier for mamas like me.

So blessed are sisters-in-law… who pass along enough nice-as-new, hand-me-down furniture, clothes and toys that moms like me don’t have to spend a dime furnishing a nursery.

So blessed are grandparents and great grandparents and aunts and uncles… who love on new babies like it’s their job, continuously celebrating their cherished life with special gifts sent for no particular reason, other than wanting to share love with the baby.

So blessed are moms like my friend Kimberly… who, with lots of kiddos of their own, offer practical advice that saves you precious pennies – like using a laundry basket in the bathtub instead of a fancy seat!

So blessed are the strangers at the grocery store, the mall and the hospital… who help bag your groceries when they see your hands are full, who run to grab doors, to load your trunk, to reach what you can’t, who get you diapers when your baby has a blowout and you’ve forgotten to refill your bag before a midnight emergency room visit.

So blessed is every hand that touches my child’s life that I may not have to count the cost of raising him to adulthood.

No mother should be scared out of having children because of their cost. If we lived in a world that placed a higher value on sharing, giving, and providing for new moms, we might be able to celebrate more births, lose fewer “unwanted” babies, and be a better example of Christ in supporting struggling moms… that they may be reminded of the glory of their vocation as mothers.

“She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue.  She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her:  ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’
Proverbs 31:25-29

Religious liberty: you’re doing it wrong

Over the past several years, American Catholics have been banging loudly the gongs of religious freedom. From the first Fornight for Freedom in 2011 to the USCCB’s most recent plea to congress to protect the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, religious liberty has been touted among the Catholic clergy as our most important, first freedom.

All the while, I’ve been scratching my head… wondering if I’m alone in worrying that this freedom could be afforded with dangerous consequence to groups that threaten the Truth of our faith.

And that’s when the Satanists go marching in… (Wait, is that how the song goes?)

The Dakhma of Angra Mainyu, a self-proclaimed religious and educational church, as most everyone knows by now, is hosting a Satanic Black Mass in Oklahoma City at the public Civic Center next month. And against the valiant effort of Catholics, many Protestants, and even some governmental authorities to cancel the event, the Black Mass is still scheduled to take place.

But this is what we’ve been asking for, right? For the government to leave us alone and let us practice our faith as our religion dictates. It makes perfect sense that a public municipality would not prevent its citizens from hosting what might be a tasteless but certainly not illegal event, especially for the sake of religious freedom.

Only until I read a recently published article from the National Catholic newspaper, The Remnant, did I realize I wasn’t a fool, or possibly a dissident, for questioning the call to defend our so-called religious liberty. In “Religious Liberty for All… Except Satanists?“, writer Louis Tofari hits the nail on the head: “…when taken to its full logical consequence, religious liberty is a pernicious error which has grievous consequences to individual souls as well as entire nations.”

religiousfreedom

The problem is that Christians are expecting protective legislation from a government that isn’t on our side. Hobby Lobby may have won the battle,  but liberal democracy is set to win the war.

Too many people believe in a false history of God being at the foundation of our nation’s formation. In fact, it has always been quite the opposite. The United States was the first purposefully secular state in the history of the world. Our founders, “orthodox” as they may have been (although, notably, most were Free Masons), specifically omitted any mention of God from our Constitution. Among some of the clearest documentation which clarifies the secularity of our States is the Treaty of Tripoli, of 1797. It reads, “As the government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion – as it has in itself, no character of enmity against the laws, religion or tranquility of the Muslims, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” (Emphasis added.) This treaty was unanimously ratified in the senate, 339 to 0, and signed by President John Adams with no dissent ever recorded.

As iterated in a great video on the Social Kingship of Christ, by Unam Sanctam Catholicam, “The conservative fable of the Christian founding of our nation is really a myth… Conservatives are always going back to the ‘intent of the founders’ – that’s not going to help us from a Catholic perspective.

“People choose who will be vested with authority, but they do not, in any sense, delegate it to the elected officials. The concept of the authority of the government coming from the consent of the governed is a lie and a heresy.” (Um, democracy anyone?)

As Catholics, we believe that the whole of mankind is subject to the power of Christ and that not just the individual, but the government, too, has “an obligation in justice to seek and render worship unto God”. This is not the American government, which has, since its beginning, denied Christ’s kingship.

Our government is doing what it was made to do by tolerating the celebration of this and any other Satanic Black Mass. By continuing to promote religious liberty, standing on a democratic soapbox, Catholics are inviting this sort of evil onto their doorstep and continuing to look like hypocritical fools to everyone on the left.

We must stop fighting for religious freedom and start fighting for a government which acknowledges its authority belongs to Christ.