Sunday, July 26, 2015

Do you see the emperor's frocks?

Gay unions and the tale of the emperor's invisible clothes

Almost two centuries ago, Hans Christian Andersen wrote a short tale about a very vain emperor who hired two tailors, who were in fact swindlers, to make him new clothes. The two promised to make for him the finest suits made of special fabric. They told him the cloth they would use would be invisible to those who were not worthy of their position and to those who were stupid. The emperor’s ministers could not see any cloth but they feared saying so, lest they be deemed unworthy of their position or be considered stupid. Finally, the swindlers pretended to put on the new clothes on the emperor who also pretended that he saw the cloth, lest he be deemed unworthy of being emperor. As he paraded down the streets, a child from the crowd, who was too young and simple to keep up with any pretense, cried out: But he does not have any clothes!

After two centuries, it seems to me that this story is being repeated with the issue on “gay marriage.” This time I would seem to be the child who simply cries out what he sees.
My initial observation about the debates surrounding this issue is that anyone who declares his opinion against gay marriage is right away labeled a bigot. This term is understood as a person who obstinately sticks to his own opinions and is intolerant of other contrary opinions. Another label attached to those who disagree with gay marriage (and the gender ideology accepted and promoted by the LGBT groups) is “homophobic.” This term is understood to refer to an attitude that includes hatred, antipathy, contempt, prejudice and rejection of the persons who practice the lifestyle of the LGBT ideology.
It may happen that because people do not want to be called bigots or homophobic, they are moved to support the LGBT lifestyle and gay marriage. But why the pretense? Why pretend that gay “marriage” is marriage when it really is not?
Now, having said that, I might be labeled by the LGBT groups as a bigot and homophobic. But am I?

If by bigot we mean one who obstinately sticks to his own opinion and is intolerant of others’, I would say the issue at hand here is not a matter of opinion but a matter of scientific truth or fact. That the emperor in the tale was naked was not a matter of opinion but of fact. That marriage is between a man and a woman for the purpose of having children and establishing a family is also a fact, a given of nature. I’m just sticking to the facts. Of course, people can deny the facts or can invent their own. But doing so does not change the truth. Now following our definition, could it be that the LGBT ideologists are the real bigots?

If by homophobic we mean one who hates or has antipathies toward the LGBTs, I have to say I do not have such feelings or demeanor. As a priest I have always welcomed them with open arms.

The adjective “homo” has two meanings. One is from the Greek word that means “similar”; and so homosexual means same sex. The other is from Latin, and it means “man.” Using this latter meaning, could it be that the LGBT ideology is really homophobic, that is one that shuns or rejects the true nature of man?

Just like Pope Francis, I do not judge the persons who follow and practice the LGBT ideology. Who am I to judge, he said? What I condemn is the error and the tyranny of that ideology. Gay marriage is not marriage. And like the little child in the tale who cried out that the emperor was naked, I must say, homosexual acts are shameful.

- Fr. Cecilio Magsino
Philippine Daily Inquirer / July 17, 2015

Saturday, July 25, 2015

The circle of life beyond Mufasa's words to Simba

There's a place for everyone under the sun -- that much I have accepted. Each of us has a role to play, each of us has the freedom to realize our potential, to pursue our dreams, to make the world better. One day, however, I was wondering what could possibly be the role of ants in the grand scheme of things. Why in the world did God create ants? They are indeed amazing creatures as anyone who observes their behavior can arrive at. Systematic, hardworking, can even lift and carry around things that are bigger than them -- who wouldn't find them fascinating? It's no wonder these tiny creatures are the stuff of inspirational anecdotes. I'll admit, though, that at the time the "why-on-earth-did-God-make-ants?" question, admiration was not what I was feeling for the tiny ones. They were annoying, always quick to appear only moments after bread crumbs dropped on the dining table or a drop of gravy spilled near the kitchen sink. There they were, arriving in single file and circling the potential loot, then minutes later it was like an entire battalion had gotten wind of the news and was ready for battle or whatever it was they were programmed by nature to carry out.

Some friends have wondered out loud, too, what could possibly be the reason for cockroaches' existence. Well, to this I have no answer and I don't exactly spend time thinking about it. But after watching the short video below, I have no doubt that God -- in his infinite wisdom and goodness -- created these seemingly useless creatures with a clear purpose in mind. They, too, have a place under the sun, and I will probably understand the big picture only when all is revealed at the end of time. Meanwhile, the following shall suffice in putting in the proper perspective the workings of the natural world:

Ending her gay relationship: A woman shares her story

In a previous post I had shared the testimonies of four men who were, at one time or another, in homosexual relationships. They eventually decided to break free from those relationships and live as God had intended them to. Based on their accounts, their love for God proved to be more than their love for their partners and for the lifestyle they hung on to for so long.

As I read their stories, I wondered -- as I had done several times before -- where the stories were of women getting out of same-sex relationships. It was more common to come across news and features of gay men who talked about their journey. And then I stumbled on this:

If you want to read yet another diatribe that’s “pro-gay” or “anti-gay,” then this article isn’t for you. We’ve all had quite enough of those anyway, haven’t we?
I just want to tell a little of my story, with the hope that maybe someone out there will hear me differently than so many of the aforementioned sound bites circulating right now. Warning: You may not like the way my story turns out. You may feel sorry for me, or even be angry with me. You may feel flustered that my story doesn’t fit nicely into a theological box that you would like to keep nice and tidy. You may hate the advice I have to give, but please know that what I share is coming from a place of love and concern. Prayerfully, I’ll even encourage someone out there.
So…here it goes.

I am a Christian, one who believes that what the Bible says about sexuality is of great importance. I’m also someone who was in a same-sex relationship for many years, even as I claimed Christ. For a long time these were the two things that defined me.
There are lots of us out there actually, even in the most conservative of churches. Most often we don’t talk about it, but today I will, because I want you to know that there is a story contrary to the one heard on repeat in the media every day.
It was during college when I met the person who would quickly become my best friend, someone I would eventually consider something more akin to a soul mate. It took a couple of years, but eventually the emotional closeness we shared gave way to a physical intimacy.
To make a long, long story short: I was terrified about what was happening, but I also loved it. As our familiarity and affection toward one another grew, a coldness and distance was developing between God and me. Because of this, I tried many times to fight against it, but was unwilling to cut off the friendship, so I just carried on, the depth of our relationship kept hidden from the outside world, even as we actively pursued ministry together. We lived together for years until the Lord painfully pulled our lives apart.
Oh and friends, did I mention that I LOVED her? It wasn’t a “butterflies in the stomach” kind of love. It was a ‘You are my person” kind of love. The, “Whatever life throws at us, I want it to be with you,” kind of love. And life threw a lot at us. I would have gladly spent every minute of the rest of my days with her. I loved her certainly no less than someone loves their spouse. We had shared 8 years of friendship as well as the same home and the same pets (read: children). We had worked together, gone to school together, eaten all our meals together, traveled the world together, and shared all our deepest thoughts with each other.
So I know what it’s like to truly love someone and be frustrated that if only one of you was a different gender it would all be ok. I know what it’s like to genuinely love Jesus and want to serve Him, and yet, to feel this other undeniable pull; this thing that says, “You’re different.” I get it: the unwanted attraction you sense when you were just minding your own business, or the discouragement you feel when you think that because you’re too butch or too effeminate, no one of the opposite sex would find you attractive even if you wanted them to.
I so desperately wanted it to be ok. I wanted the Bible to say it was ok, so I looked for those who argued that it did. I read articles and books about the Greek being mistranslated and passages being taken out of context, but as much as I wanted them to be the answer, I knew enough about how to read my Bible on its own grounds that I was hard to convince.

Full story

Friday, July 24, 2015

Going with the flow, no questions asked

"It troubles me that we are so easily pressured by purveyors of technology into permitting so-called 'progress' to alter our lives without attempting to control it—as if technology were an irrepressible force of nature to which we must meekly submit." 

- Hyman G. Rickover (1900-1986), United States Naval Admiral / "Father of the Nuclear Navy" 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Helping abortion workers find freedom

There is something grim about praying for people who commit grave harm on others -- not the kind that involves mentioning them and their rehabilitation and then that's it (though a sincere prayer said this way of course gains merit as well in the eyes of God). I'm talking about keeping them in mind for an extended period of time, just like I did for the second time several days ago.

It was a day or two after news of the cash-for-baby-organs being carried out by Planned Parenthood broke out that I decided that my rosary for the day would be offered for everyone involved in that organization -- current and past. So for nearly 30 minutes, my heart and mind were fixed on the scenes from the Gospel, praying the prayers to please the Lord, and doing it all for abortion providers. It had quite a sobering effect.

I recalled the first time I did a similar thing -- it was around 2008 or 2009 and my co-worker Petrufied and I decided to participate in the Pro-Life Day of Silent Solidarity in our own way. It was an annual event carried out in schools across the US and a few other countries whereby students keep silent the entire day and hand out materials  that express their life-affirming values and explain why abortion is wrong. Most of the participants put adhesive tape over their mouth with the word LIFE written on the tape. We didn't do it that way but I remember Petrufied wore a bright red and black bandanna around her wrist like a cuff (I don't remember what symbol I used, though).

On that day when I prayed the rosary, my sole intention was all abortionists out there. It sure felt strange offering prayers for people whom you knew killed babies regularly and for a living, but since they were committing such atrocious acts, I did my best to pray with as much attentiveness, love, and spirit of penance as I could.

It's easy to regard abortion workers as "the bad guys" because let's face it -- no matter how one twists and turns the issue to make abortion look like a necessity or a noble service for women or a selfless thing to do or the saving grace of poor women, it is basically the killing of a human being. In fact, it is considered a failure when the baby survives. Imagine calling something a success when the growing baby inside his/her mother's womb dies as a result of the procedure.

I just had a thought: if an abortion doctor or anyone who assists in abortions happens to be reading this, I assure you that hope is something you will get out of this, so let me get right to what I had set on sharing when I started this post. Abby Johnson, a former director of a Planned Parenthood facility in Texas, left the industry several years ago, but her journey didn't end there. She had the abortion clinic workers in mind when she put up And Then There Were None, a non-profit organization that helps clinic workers leave the abortion industry. More than 100 workers have broken free of the industry since And Then There Were None opened its doors so far. There really is hope. Have a look:

And Then There Were None website

And Then There Were None Facebook page

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Superheroes get acquainted with pop culture

Thor's gung-ho disposition -- so charming :-)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Does Planned Parenthood offer discounts on fetal parts bought in bulk?

Who knows if such an inquiry would one day be brought up by some company or shady characters in the black market when Planned Parenthood makes an underground "Up for grabs! Healthy heart-and-lungs package from 24-week-old, and freshly harvested fully developed liver!" announcement?!

The latest news regarding Planned Parenthood is revolting, but it is only the latest of a string of practices that worsen already serious societal ills and which glaringly show why Planned Parenthood deserves to be shut down. The recently disclosed evidence showing the abortion provider's trafficking of fetal organs shouldn't distract us from the fact that it is still responsible for the death of more than 300,000 human lives every year.

And just in case you have allowed some people's dazzling arguments to convince you so that a part of you doubts the humanity of babies in their mother's womb, it's really simple:

This and this are worthy reads to bring you up to speed and help you form your own judgment on the issue. And more developments on the investigations to be conducted by the U.S. House of Representatives and five states (as of this writing) are here.

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