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Entire books have been written for beginning homeschoolers.  Obviously, what follows is my ideas on a few major questions, not an exhaustive treatment of the subject (which is impossible, anyways, see #1).  But here goes:

1.  If you homeschool, you are not bound by the constraints of how school is “supposed” to be.  This can be the scariest and most liberating aspect of the entire homeschool journey.  What does a homeschool look like?  That’s like asking what a family looks like: it depends on the family!  You need to determine how you want this to look.  Do not let anybody else intimidate or badger you into thinking you have to look like a public school or like that homeschooling mom with the cute blog and the ten kids all running their own businesses already.  Find your normal, but be open to changing it as your children grow.

2.  You really do not need to have a daily planner for every day of the school year; I know some moms do it, but I think it is inadvisable.  When kids are sick, you aren’t going to finish all the planned subjects; you have to be willing to adjust, and I know I wouldn’t be if I had a box that said I must get such-and-such done on March 8th or else!  On unseasonably gorgeous days, we’re likely to be outside studying clouds, or bugs, or taking an impromptu field trip to the botanical gardens or the zoo.  Personally, we generally start school the first Monday of August.  It’s twenty weeks to Christmas, give or take a week, then twenty weeks after Christmas, which has us finishing about when the weather is really getting nice around here.  In between, I just break up the lessons in the books so that we know how much we have to accomplish each week.  English is looser (one spelling unit, one vocabulary unit, some general English), math is stricter (three lessons per week for Diva, three or four for Crash).  History can be even looser.  We are studying the Age of Exploration this year, so we have started an overview book, and checked out a pile of books from the library on pre-Age-of-Exploration explorers (Vikings, Marco Polo, etc.) and early Portuguese figures (Prince Henry the Navigator, Vasco da Gama, etc.).  We have an overarching plan, but we will stay on specific people or periods as they interest the kids.  Be organized enough to stay on track, but not so much that you constantly feel like you’ve failed because you didn’t dot the very last i.  (See #1: this is also a very personal decision, best tackled with your husband, who might be able to help you find that happy medium between OCD and slacking off.)

3.  Curriculum.  Ugh.  I know some people swear by the idea that there is a perfect curriculum out there for everyone.  Personally, I go more on the, “This is what I picked, and we’re going to make it work.”  I don’t have infinite amounts of money to switch math curricula in the middle of the year for each child; they’re all using Saxon.  I tailor the amount of repetition to each child’s needs, but I don’t buy all new courses for each child.  We have a thorough phonics course that all three children have used.  Once I find a book I trust and feel comfortable with, we stick with it.  (And we borrow most of our history and science books from the library.  DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF THE LIBRARY!)  Figuring it’s going to have to last through at least four kids, I usually buy new; for most books, fill-in-the-blanks can be done outloud or on separate paper.  For Saxon math, the consumable parts come separately for the early grades.  All that said, buy used whenever possible.  Our area is blessed with a wonderful homeschool bookstore, and homeschool conferences frequently have used book sections.  Ask around your homeschooling groups for people who have outgrown levels (or switched mid-year) and are willing to pass them on or sell them to you.  Which brings us to…

4.  Find a homeschooler play group.  The kids get to hang out with other homeschoolers, and you get to talk to other moms.  If you want to, you can even discuss homeschooling.  Do not underestimate the relief of being able to just be normal and not have to even think about explaining yourself to others.  If one group doesn’t work, try another.  We joined a Catholic co-op; it was a really bad fit, simultaneously rigid and disorganized.  We joined a “Christian” play group; better, until the group leader decided to impose a faith statement… designed specifically to exclude certain denominations that aren’t quite Christian (including Mormons), and, apparently, Catholics.  We finally found a Catholic group that meets for children’s adoration (i.e. NOT silent, kids crawling everywhere, rosaries being chewed on, etc.) and play time at the parish playground.

5.  Know how to pick yourself up and try again tomorrow.  Not every day will be perfect.  In fact, not many days will be perfect!  Most will be tiring, many will be frustrating: the child who just doesn’t get math, the trashed house while you were trying to explain math, explaining to your mother for the millionth time that public school would not be better thank you very much, convincing yourself for the millionth time that there are reasons you’re doing this and public school would not be better…  Put them in bed, take a deep breath, straighten up, pray, sleep, and wake up and try again.

I won’t say it’s easy, I won’t claim boundless joy at the thought of teaching grumpy children math in the middle of winter, and I can’t tell you you’re going to love it.

But it IS worth it.

History, Again and Again

(I’m cleaning out the drafts tonight.  The beginnings of this were written a year ago.  Funny how things continue to repeat… and those shrugged off as “doom and gloom” types continue to be right.  “Oh, government healthcare will never mandate abortion coverage and gay people don’t want to force anyone to agree with them, they just want to get married!”)

On other sites, I was busy *discussing* why the use of the term “jesuit” as a slur to accuse a new Congressman of being in league with the New World Order, apparently because he voted against the poster’s wishes and had graduated from one of the several dozen Jesuit universities in the U.S., was a) offensive, b) laughably inaccurate, and c), yes, in spite of the poster’s protestations to the contrary, anti-Catholic.  (If you use vocabulary specific to my religion as a slur, it’s pretty obvious you neither like nor even grudgingly respect my religion.)

I wound up discussing something else entirely: how do you get from freedom to tyrrany?  What does it look like along the way?  Subtitle: How Henry VIII led to the New World Order (I’ll pull it together, honest.)

Part 1: Henry goes astray

King Henry VIII was considered intelligent and handsome as a young king.  The king wrote a document that thoroughly picked apart Martin Luther’s theological innovations and defended the long-held Catholic teachings on the Sacraments.  For this, the pope granted Henry VIII the title “Defender of the Faith,” a title the British monarchs still claim.  (The honor would not go to another Englishman until G.K. Chesterton in the early 1900′s.)

And then things started to go wrong.  The queen failed to produce a male heir.  Henry wanted a divorce (and had #2 lined up already).  The pope said no.

By the time the first act was over, Henry had had one of his closest friends and advisors executed for refusing to grant to Ceasar the things that were God’s: St. Thomas More, former Chancellor of England, went to the executioner’s block for treason because he would not publicly declare the king the head of the church in England, saying, “I die the King’s good servant, but God’s first.”  More would not be the last Catholic executed in Britain for the sin of being a faithful Catholic.

(More, as a lawyer, knew that he could not legally be convicted for not saying something, namely approval of the king’s divorce, remarriage, and seizure of leadership of the church in England.  As a realist, More probably knew that he would be convicted anyways.  Ironically, the Department of Justice recently put out a memo insisting that, “Silence will be interpreted as disapproval,” during  LGBT pride month, and, thus, the silent would be subject to disciplinary action.  Here we go again…)

Part 2: Henry creates excuses to abuse his opponents

As Henry VIII continued on his sex-driven romp over Church and conscience rights, his next step was to line up more support.  How?  Simple!   Declare anyone who opposes you to be a horrible, evil traitor and seize their property.  Monasteries were sacked and given away as prizes to whatever schemer wanted to be a lord and would say anything Henry wanted to get there.  Monks and nuns were turned out, leaving the poor, the sick, and the undereducated that they had served with nothing.  Generations of donations meant to beautify churches for God’s glory, free art galleries for anyone, were destroyed to make Henry’s point.

The point?  “I am EVERYTHING, and I will brook no opponents, not even God.”

I dare say that St. Thomas, who was, “The king’s good servant, but God’s first,” was a good deal better for England than any of the opportunists Henry raised to the nobility.

Our country hasn’t started wholesale seizure of church property yet, but it’s happened before, and not just in England.  However, the churches that insist on maintaining moral standards as they teach, serve, and heal are being forced out of providing adoption services, hospital care, and education.

Fire a teacher for breaking the moral behavior part of her contract?  Get sued, lose tens of thousands of dollars fighting it in court.

You’re a Catholic agency and won’t place a child for adoption with a gay couple?  You can quit, or we’ll take your license away.

Do you hold the belief that abortion is murder, not healthcare?  Tough luck; you’re going to be paying for it anyways, as of August 1.

The marginalization didn’t begin here, but it is accelerating.

Part 3: Elizabeth follows her father’s footsteps

We think of history as a fairly neutral telling of events.  Unfortunately, this is hardly ever what happens.  Queen Elizabeth I’s masterful rewriting of history is one such example of, to put it gently, less-than-neutral history reporting.

“Good Queen Bess”, as we are told in school her subjects called her, was running a police state.  (And a lot of her subjects didn’t think she was very good at all.)  Neighbors were encouraged to turn in neighbors on any suspicion of Catholic sympathies.  Catholics caught at mass were arrested, left in prison in horrible conditions, and allowed to die.  Those caught hiding a priest were killed, many in gruesome and cruel ways.  Families that could, escaped to the continent.  Just as with the Pilgrims later, however, the English crown wasn’t content with fleeing, the crown demanded compliance, religious objections be damned.  Travel abroad for any reason became difficult as the police state sought to retain its victims.

During this period, history was rewritten.  Catholics were vilified, the Church was cast in the worst light possible, and Catholic countries were elevated from mere competitors to evil incarnate.  Any tales of misdeeds out of Catholic countries or their colonies were elaborated and widely publicized.  Captured priests weren’t men trying to serve the hunted flock of faithful, they were evil, skulking spies, working for England’s arch-enemy, Spain, and seeking to corrupt good, honest (and above all, Protestant) Englishmen (never mind that most English were still Catholic until some time later; most were biding their time until “all this blows over”… within a generation, those people were generally Anglican).  Much of what is taught in this country about everything from Henry VIII forward has been processed and sanitized to make Protestant England look good.  It’s called the Black Legend, and, although much of it has been disproven, it’s still taught.

Then, as now, anti-Catholicism is approved and encouraged.

Part 4: The chickens come home to roost

Eventually, we get to Dickens.  (Yes, I’m skipping some stuff.)  Poor houses, debtors’ prisons, child labor, evil factories, miserly money lenders preying on the poor, etc.

Dickens was part of a movement to reform how the country dealt with the poor and the sick.  Why?  Because about two hundred years earlier, Henry VIII had dismantled the institutions that had been doing that work.  As England became increasingly urban, the disjointed efforts of some of the churches wasn’t enough to deal with the overwhelming flood of people displaced from the countryside.

Further down the line, the government became more and more involved in providing services that used to be the job of the Church.  The government stepped in and recreated programs to care for the poor and to provide education.  Of course, that never comes free; the government provides the teachers and doctors, but first makes sure they’ll toe the government line.

And so, here we are: Henry VIII’s dream realized.  The government is EVERYTHING.  The government provides the abortion if your mom wants it, delivery on the taxpayer dime if she doesn’t.  Welfare to take the place of the totally unnecessary father, government schooling to tell you it was your right to get that money, because rich people who worked hard and stayed married are just mean homophobes.  They’ll tell you which news to watch. The government will try to tell you which churches are “good”, and which insist on following their own consciences (not approved!  we said abortion and gay marriage are good, now get in line!  how dare you say God outranks us!  WE ARE THE GOVERNMENT AND WE OWN YOU.  I think you need to be audited by the IRS… and maybe the FBI, while we’re at it.).  They’ll get your sports teams and the cartoons to push the administration’s agenda, because we don’t want will not tolerate dissent.

But, hey, none of that is going to happen, right?  I’m just a crazy conspiracy theorist.  One of those “confusing” blogs, as President Obama said in his first term, taking a page from Elizabeth’s smear campaign (step 1: if you can’t refute the argument, disparage the person making the argument).

Yes, history repeats itself.  Tyrants are much the same in every age.  Sooner or later, they demand that they be the object of worship.

Daniel went to the lion’s den for praying to God, not the king.

The early Christians were fed to lions in the Colliseum for refusing to worship Caesar.

Cardinal George of Chicago said that his successor better be prepared to die in prison if he intends to defend the Church’s right to preach the Gospel and act on it, because history tells us how this usually turns out, once we start down this path.

Fish Tacos

The Fish Tacos I created when I found out that Diva had DRUNK THE ENTIRE BOTTLE OF LIME JUICE I WAS GOING TO USE FOR DINNER.

That.  Child.  Is.  Driving.  Me.  Crazy.

Fortunately, this forced a variation of fish tacos that turned out better than my last try, so here it is:

Ingredients:

  • leftover fried fish (I had plaice, which is related to flounder.  Any mild white fish should work.)
  • lime marmalade
  • one can corn (not creamed)
  • one can black beans
  • one red onion
  • fajita seasoning
  • tortilla chips, cilantro, and sour cream for serving

1.  Pat any grease off the fried fish with a paper towel and chop small.  Mix in cans of corn and beans (both drained).  Depending on how much fish you started with, mince the red onion and add enough to taste.  Make sure you break up the onions as you add them.  Sprinkle on fajita seasoning (I use Penzey’s.).  (This could be even better with fresh corn and/or heirloom speckled beans.)

2.  Put about half a cup of lime marmalade (I had Dundee’s Key Lime Marmalade from the grocery store) in a microwavable bowl and heat until liquified (probably a minute or two).  Again, depending on how much you like the lime/sugar flavor of the marmalade and how much fish you started with (and how much you like or dislike the taste of fish!), you may want to use more.  Pour liquid marmalade over the fish mixture and toss gently.

3.  Let sit for about half an hour for flavors to meld.  Serve in a bowl with a dollop of sour cream, sprinkle with cilantro shreds, and offer lime tortilla chips on the side, or stuff tacos with the mixture.

Losing Heart

I am sitting here, listening to yet another pounding rain, watching election returns.

I have been praying for weeks that God would please not give us what we deserve, which would be another four years of Obama, the continued acceleration of the destruction of the unborn, disastrous overseas policy, lies, cozying up to Comrade Putin (who seems increasingly oblivious to the end of the Cold War), the ruin of the economy, the spreading persecution and villification of anyone who dares say homosexual behavior is wrong, the vast expansion of the GIMME GIMME GIMME welfare/entitlement state, etc., etc.

On Facebook, where my husband maintains a very limited personal account, a number of acquaintances have come up with such gems as, “The Republicans’ support is all stupid, white men; doesn’t that explain a lot?”  Wow… let me sit and ponder that one.  With all those degrees, that’s really all the logic she could muster?  My opinion of advanced degrees and certain “prestigious” universities continues to plummet as I meet women with lots of framed paper on their walls and not one ounce of sense, but an overarching fear of being called our for it, masked by an obnoxiously loud and strident proclamation of how smart they are for not being like one of those stupid pro-lifers and/or conservatives.  A complaint about the Republican platform would be fine, but this is just middle school name calling.

Of course, Facebook has also hosted its share of general rants about how Romney should ask women what they think about contraception.  Well, I’m a woman, last I checked (I know, I know: “She’s not a woman!  She’s a Republican!” as the line went about Palin), and I think contraception is about the stupidest thing we’ve done with technology.  We managed to strangle our future generations while wrecking havoc in the stability of our own (divorce rates follow the availability of contraception, and it doesn’t go down, like contraceptives’ proponents say), all in one fell swoop.  How’s that for scientific efficiency?  And then, even though Hugh Hefner embraced contraceptives as the greatest gift to lust-ridden, irresponsible misogynist pigs everywhere… somehow, women still were convinced that they had to have contraceptives for their own good.

America, the Jesuit magazine for “thinking” (which is code for “dissenting”) Catholics, and the Huffington Post (almost equally useless in their ability to identify or promulgate sound Catholic doctrine) apparently both ran articles explaining to Catholics why Obama (since all Democrats are better for the economy, and abortion is really just about financial inability to raise a child) is really the more pro-life choice than Romney (who hates women and wouldn’t really have anything to do with the legality of abortion, you know).  Scarily, some people actually reposted these articles as a “something to make you think” kind of thing.  Yes, it makes me think we’re pretty stupid to accept that “financial hardship” is the real reason for the abortion, and not actually a symptom of the disappearing father, embarassed or coercive parents, unfeeling school administrators, etc. who all made it painfully clear to the pregnant mother that they would abandon her, penniless and homeless, unless she got the abortion and stopped making demands on them.  And yeah, it makes me think… that catechesis in the Catholic Church in this country has absolutely and almost universally stunk, quite literally, to high heaven for decades, so that we’ve turned out a bunch of religiously illiterate adults who can’t perceive the moral difference between government handouts being somewhat decreased and government-funded murder.

And then we promoted some of those adults to the head of CCD programs and parishes, where they spout about the unfairness of working conditions in Nike factories in Asia and the evil, hard-hearted, poor-hating jerks who argued against Obamacare… but NEVER utter one word about the millions dying every year around the globe and around the corner because of the evil of abortion.

Of course, these people were shocked- absolutely flabergasted!- to find out that those crazy, extremist pro-lifers were right about Obamacare being doomed to bring with it mandatory abortions and contraception for everyone, religious objections be damned.  (I’m not holding my breath for an apology.  Apparently, being liberal means never having to admit you were wrong about the actual long-term consequences of your ill-considered idealistic actions.  At least the bishops finally realized the danger they were in and sued the government over the HHS mandate.)

This morning, I spent two and a half hours in line to vote down here in southeastern Virginia.  Our polling place made the local news, and, sadly, we weren’t the worst of it.  (Four years ago, the line was outside for the first hour, and the wait took more like 3.5 hours.)  Two extra computers for checking voter registration finally showed up after we’d been in line for two hours and had only finally made it to the far end of the school cafeteria from the voting booths.  (Yes, I had all four of my kids with me.  They were remarkably good, something I was very thankful for.)

The polls tell us that many people only made up their minds about who they’d vote for in the last few weeks.

It would seem more people have solid opinions about who they root for on “Jersey Shore” or in the “Twilight” series than in politics.

It sure looks like a huge chunk of the U.S. population thinks the government owes them and/or others, not that they have the responsibility to work to provide for themselves, their families, and the poor in their own communities.  (Yes, Vice President Biden, I’m talking to you.  Crap, I give away more money in a month than you did in a year as a senator, and I know my household makes a heck of a lot less than yours.  No, Catholic social teaching does NOT support the idea that voting to give away other people’s tax money to programs for the poor is the same as tithing, the CCHD notwithstanding.)

It would also seem that most women, especially “educated” women, are dumb enough to believe that they have to vote Democratic, or else they’ll be seen as stupid.  Or not worthy of their “lady parts”.  Or that they’ll be chained to the kitchen sink, barefoot, and forced to have babies until they die, while being deprived of proper reading material, like the HuffPo.

I’d like to think we were smarter than this, that a clear explanation of things would open eyes, that we would not fall to what John Adams said could ruin our country: lack of morals and the realization that we could vote ourselves money out of the public treasury.  The election should be obvious and not close at all, if we still remembered those things that made our nation great (faith, the rule of law equally for all, civic involvement, personal as well as group responsibility and charity, etc.).  No matter who wins tonight, this election is too close to be excusable.  Everything in our history says we should be smarter than this.

Thank God, I am solidly aware that my true citizenship is not here, that my deepest loyalties are not to the United States of America, and that all man-made kingdoms will fall and fade, otherwise, I would despair.  (Besides, I learned more than what my pitiful CCD program bothered to teach me, so I also know that despair is expressly forbidden; it is a sin against God’s goodness.  I have thanked God and blessed the Archdiocese for the Military Services repeatedly over the years for those marvelous, holy chaplains assigned to the Naval Academy.)

But I am losing heart in the power of words, logic, and even personal example to change most peoples’ minds.

Kinda a problem for someone trying to keep up a blog.

Am I the only one watching this and thinking of the Scouring of the Shire?  I mean, you start with happy, dancing, working, English, Scottish, Irish peasantry… and then the tree lifts up at the order of the fat cats in top hats and all the dirty, tired, unhappy factory workers come pouring out and tear up all the fields of crops and green grass, accompanied by an increasingly loud and overpowering drum beat.  Smoke stacks rise, everyone works the machines and pounds the drums, and they even poured “real sulfur smell” into the stadium.

Oh.  Goody.

And then the Beatles march in, wearing neon pseudo-military uniforms and save everything!

This is how Britain wanted to portray itself?  Seriously?

(and did they miss the line in the unofficial national anthem by Blake about “and was Jerusalem builded here, among those dark, satanic mills”?  I mean, they chose to sing it; doesn’t anybody read lyrics anymore?  It isn’t about the glories of the Industrial Revolution.)

They chose to feature J.K. Rowling, James Bond, the Beatles, the National Health Service, Queen (not Elizabeth II), one tiny and relatively obscure reading from Shakespeare, and children’s literature.

But no J.R.R. Tolkein, C.S. Lewis, G.K. Chesterton, or, um, Christianity.

Except we’re playing “Good Christian Men, Rejoice” to chase out the evil things in the shadows as the kids are going to bed, but only as a light jig, not with words.

And the theme to “Chariots of Fire,” but as a humor piece (ok, it was very funny) with Mr. Bean, but no mention of Eric Liddel dying as a missionary in China.

All centered around an ersatz Glastonbury Tor, the long-acknowledged spiritual heart of England and home of the legendary Glastonbury Thorn… well, at least until Henry VIII declared himself the head of the church in England, hung the abbot of Glastonbury Abbey on the tor itself, and had most of the church complex torn down to build a 16th century McMansion for some newly declared lord who would support Henry’s usurpation of spiritual power and pretend it was ok.  Well, upon consideration, I would say it’s an appropriate symbol of modern Britain, but not likely for the same reasons the opening ceremony’s designers chose it.

No pipe band, no Irish dancers, no real acknowledgement of the colonial era (they could’ve done something nice with immigrants from the different countries in the Empire and what they contributed to British culture), maybe even a reminder of how many British went emigrated and what they built and contributed where they settled would have been good.

The commentary in my living room is running towards the, “Oh, I hope Prof. Pearce has a good beer, and I wonder what he thinks of this mess his homeland came up with.”

Where we have failed

(This was set aside in the “draft” folder for almost two years, presented tonight because I still haven’t gotten around to writing up my notes on the homeschooling conference.  And I’m a bit obsessive about keeping things neat, and that full folder of unpublished drafts bugs me.  And I don’t want to talk about the train wreck that our favorite homeschooler park playdate group just suddenly turned into.  Power grabs, Catholic bashing, demands for fees, etc.  Very ugly.  Anybody know any nice, unapologetically Catholic homeschooler groups in SE Virginia?)

The Catholic Church in this country is seriously astray on social justice issues.

Yes, we still run soup kitchens, crisis pregnancy centers, etc.  We have for centuries.  The Catholic Church runs hospitals, schools, orphanages, family counseling centers, and financial assistance offices all over the world.  It is part of our mission.  We don’t demand that people convert, or even require them to sit still for a sermon before we help.  If you need help, we’re just about everywhere, ready to help.

However, we also have seen a heavy push in America to encourage the government to take over functions that were so often historically the province of churches and charitable organizations.  The recent flap over the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD) funding pro-gay, pro-abortion organizations is only the tip of the iceberg.  The much larger problem it that the entire goal of the CCHD is not to fund charitable work but to fund lobbying work to encourage the government to spend more on entitlement programs… and that’s not really what they tell the parishoners who are exhorted to donate.

Why is government takeover a good thing?  Why is this passing as Catholic teaching?

What happened to exhorting people to be charitable?  That’s been as lacking from our pulpit as discussions of abortion.  Maybe your parish is better about this than mine, but I’m betting not.  This is why the Catholics in public office have such abysmal charity records: they think they did their charity by getting the government to spend my money and yours on welfare and other programs aimed at helping the poor.

I forget where I read it, but a commenter on a related blog post somewhere pointed out that if the USCCB and all the diocesan social justice committees would spend half their energy on more favorable tax breaks for families with children, instead of on socializing welfare after the Church has been repeatedly burned by being forced to provide adoption services for gays or contraceptives in the nuns’ healthcare plan (shouldn’t we know best of anyone what happens when the government takes over?)… well, we could’ve done a lot more good.

The phrase “social justice” was taken from the (mostly) condemned liberation theology movement in Central and South America.  (Liberation Theology had originated elsewhere, but it’s worst manifestation in the Catholic Church was in those areas.)  Liberation theology seeks to combine Christianity with Marxist economic thought, encouraging class warfare and villifying “the rich” while extolling the virtue of the poor.  (I am not denying that voluntarily embracing poverty is a strong witness.  But I do not assume that all poor people are virtuous because of their poverty.)

Contrary to those who want to complain that Pope John Paul II “saw communists everywhere” because of his experiences in Soviet-dominated Poland, the truth is that he sought to take what was good and useful from liberation theology (care for the poor, focus not just on poverty but the unjust systems that cause it, etc.).  Perhaps some people missed that he also condemned the class warfare, poor-can-do-no-wrong, all-rich-are-damned parts of liberation theology.  Unfortunately, some of us ordinary Catholics in the pews have too often had cause to complain that the Marxism is creeping back in, sometimes none too subtly.

It would seriously do us all a lot of good to re-read Rerum Novarum (“Of New Things”), Centesimus Annus (“A Hundred Years”), and Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate (“Charity in Truth”).

(PHW: I just found this post in the bottom of the “draft” folder, never published.  I wrote it almost two years ago.  Funny how all those pro-lifers saying, “If you accept this universal health care takeover by the government it will bite you in the butt!  No matter what they said, it will wind up mandating all legal medical procedures, and you aren’t going to like it, but there will be no way left to fight!”  Really, I do NOT enjoy saying, “We told you so…”  Maybe, after the current fracas is resolved, the issues of class warfare and the overreach of big government (especially in social justice programs) will be discussed in the Church.)

I’m in the middle of moving my in-laws into a new apartment, so the homeschool conference summaries aren’t going to happen tonight.  Sorry.

Instead, I’d like to point out a sobering article from someone who had an abortion.

I was still convinced they were there…somewhere. Hiding in the bushes, perhaps. Or sitting in their parked cars, reading the Bible, waiting for people to pull up, and then they would jump out of their cars and swarm around mine like a pitchfork-wielding mob. I waited five minutes. And I prayed the whole time that they were there. Then I waited five more minutes. Maybe they were just running late.

Nothing.

And you know the rest of the story. No one was there. Not a single living soul told me I didn’t have to do this. No one in the clinic told me otherwise, either, of course.

It’s a thought-provoking article.  It will make you think again about finding some time to stand outside the local abortion clinic to pray.

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