Babies are not blessings? A reply to Ana Santos of Rappler

A newborn baby glistening in amniotic fluid (Wikipedia)

A newborn baby glistening in amniotic fluid (Wikipedia)

Ana Santos of Rappler wrote a piece entitled, “Babies are not blessings.” Santos quotes the figures related to having babies as given by Dr. Emma Llanto of UP-PGH and Society of Adolescent Medicine in the Philippines.  The whole article hinges on the definition of a the word “blessing,” so let us examine Santos’ understanding of this word by dissecting her statements one by one.

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How Philippine media distorts Pope Francis’s words on contraception, abortion, and homosexual marriage

How Media distorts Pope Francis's words

How Media distorts Pope Francis’s words

Philippine Star and Rappler publishes an article by Agence France-Presse entitled (with slight variations), “Philippine Church ‘right’ despite Pope Francis’ comments”.  This technique used by Agence France-Presse (AFP) is called reframing–putting a different background to a quote to make it appear opposite to its original meaning. In this way, AFP makes it appear that the bishops, because of their opposition to contraception, abortion, and same-sex marriage, are not in line with the Pope Francis’s thoughts.

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit: How Philippine media distorts Pope Francis’s words on contraception, abortion, and homosexual marriage

Lost innocence: Muslim child brides and US sex education for children

In this post, I shall talk about two things: Muslim child brides in the Muslim East and US sex education for children in the Secular West–an education not only in schools, but also in movies and TV shows.  And lastly, I shall propose the Catholic remedy by discussing the 6th and 9th Commandments, together with the virtues of modesty and purity.

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit.

Connect the dots: Obama, Planned Parenthood, and the RH Law

Obama on protecting children: Gun Control and Planned Parenthood speeches

Obama on protecting children: Gun Control and Planned Parenthood speeches

A Summary of past events:

  • Obama did not support a bill banning partial birth abortion.
  • Obama meets with Aquino and gives development package.
  • Aquino supports the RH Bill.
  • Planned Parenthood lobbied for the passage of the RH Bill.
  • Planned Parenthood is the largest abortion provider in the US.
  • Obama speaks at a Planned Parenthood gathering.

Connect the dots.

Planned Parenthood knows what the elite of our country refuses to acknowledge: promote contraception and demand for abortion will rise. If a condom has 1% failure rate then 1 in 100 intercourse will fail and may lead to pregnancy. If intercourse is once a week, then within 100 weeks a condom will fail, which is about 2 years. If intercourse is once a day, then a condom will fail 1 in 100 days which is 3 months and 10 days. Even if you make condoms 0.1% failure rate, 1 in 1,000 intercourse will fail: that’s within 1,000 days or 3 years if you use condoms everyday or within 21 years if once a week. If you don’t want babies in the first place (that’s why you use condoms), then the baby once conceived becomes for you a nuisance that must be removed through abortion. In other words, contraception will ultimately lead to abortion because contraceptives fail. Indeed, as Fr. Hardon, SJ said:

I’m saying much more than meets the ears. What I am saying is that through the widespread, all but universal, practice of contraception, certainly in the once-Christian Western world, the very norms of morality have been changed. Instead of God determining what is right or wrong, it is now each person’s own will which is sovereign! So that, once contraception has been morally justified, and become even laudable and praiseworthy — hear it and weep — there is now no crime, no crime, that the same human mind cannot justify and that the civil laws created by human beings cannot legalize.

This is not difficult to imagine.  After the RH Bill was railroaded in the Congress and the Senate upon the orders of President Noynoy Aquino, the RH Bill supporters became more brazen: they are now openly pushing for divorce and same-sex marriage in mocking defiance of the Catholic Church, confidently saying, “There is no Catholic Vote!”  Once  Pro-RH Bill legislators can destroy the natural family–the family where each baby is welcomed with joy and each old parent is taken cared of until death–as what happened in France, then there is nothing anymore preventing them from passing laws for the legalization of abortion and euthanasia as well.

Planned Parenthood knows the numbers. It has a good business model–by good meaning it churns out profits in millions of dollars. Planned Parenthood knows that if it gets men and women accept contraceptives, then they will soon accept abortion as well, as the experience in US, Europe, and other countries has shown. And for Planned Parenthood, abortion–the killing of the unborn–means money and each pregnant is a potential client. That is why Planned Parenthood is always on the lookout for babies or for countries with many babies, such as the Philippines.  And all these with US Government’s financial support.

Planned Parenthood is like the Aswang of Filipino Folklore. The aswang awaits in the night, sniffing the air for the smell of ripe jackfruit–the smell of a pregnant woman. When it smells one, it becomes giddy with the scent, and flies to the house where the scent comes from. And there perched on the nipa roof, the aswang lowers its syringe-like tongue, sucking the amniotic fluid in the womb until the baby is delivered dead, stillborn–much like what happens in abortion clinics where they use syringe to insert salt solution to the amniotic fluid which burns the baby’s lungs and skin. If abortion fails, the baby can be partially delivered with its head still inside the woman’s body, then the baby’s brains are sucked out through a syringe–a procedure called partial birth abortion that Obama supports. And if by chance it happens that the baby is born alive, since the baby is not wanted, he will just be left to die in cold and hunger. If the abortionist is kind like Gosnell, he can simply break the babies spine by puncturing the neck–something short of decapitation–the form of mercy killing in the days of the Samurai code of honor, though this time it is the woman’s code of honor, with the baby as the badge of dishonor that must be removed from the face of the earth, though not from the memory where there it shall forever haunt until confessed.

So let us rethink again our support for the RH law and why we shall vote the politicians who supported such law. What are our real reasons? Is it because I am a big fan of Noynoy Aquino and he is the face of good governance and anti-corruption, so that whatever he says is good? Is it because my teachers in Ateneo and La Salle say so and I really admire them so I will believe anything they say? Is it because the Catholic Church is against the RH Law and anything that the Catholic Church stands for is what I shall embrace to show my rebellion as a true free thinker unbounded by dogmas of a medieval institution? Is it because Lagman is a Bicolano and I am also a Bicolano, so I must also support the RH law like Lagman? Is it because Risa Hontiveros is pretty and well-educated and she supports the RH law, so that’s why I also want to be like Risa Hontiveros and support the RH law? There are many underlying reasons to our support for the RH law. We have to uncover them, unearth them from our subconscious, and put them under the light of day by writing them down. So I suggest we use the Toyota’s 5 Why process by filling in the blanks:

I support the RH law.  (Why?)

  1. because _______________________. (Why?)
  2. because _______________________. (Why?)
  3. because _______________________. (Why?)
  4. because _______________________. (Why?)
  5. because _______________________.

The last answer is the real reason. Try this exercise. It may be cathartic.

Feast of Holy Innocents: Pharoah, Herod, Kissinger, Obama, and PNoy

“Massacre of the Holy Innocents,” Codex Egberti, Fol 15v, Szene: Bethlehemitischer Kindermord, 10th c.

Today is the Feast of the Holy Innocents.  In this feast we remember the many children who were killed not only by Herod during the time of Christ, but also the many babies born and unborn who were slaughtered through the birth control policies of Pharoah, Kissinger, and Obama.  Now, with the passage of the RH Bill into a law which promotes contraceptives that prevent the implantation of the fertilized ovum on the uterine walls, we can also put Pres. Noynoy Aquino on the list of the birth control autocrats of history.

1.  Herod at the Birth of Christ

In this feast we remember the children ages 2 and down who were slaughtered by Herod for fear of a new born king of the Jews who will overthrow Herod’s power:

When Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of King Herod, 2 behold, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem,2saying, “Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star 3 at its rising and have come to do him homage.”3When King Herod heard this, he was greatly troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.4Assembling all the chief priests and the scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born. 45They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it has been written through the prophet:6’And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; since from you shall come a ruler, who is to shepherd my people Israel.'”7Then Herod called the magi secretly and ascertained from them the time of the star’s appearance.8He sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search diligently for the child. When you have found him, bring me word, that I too may go and do him homage.”…

When they had departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Rise, take the child and his mother, flee to Egypt,7 and stay there until I tell you. Herod is going to search for the child to destroy him.”14Joseph rose and took the child and his mother by night and departed for Egypt.158 He stayed there until the death of Herod, that what the Lord had said through the prophet might be fulfilled, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”16When Herod realized that he had been deceived by the magi, he became furious. He ordered the massacre of all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had ascertained from the magi. (Mt 2:1-16)

2.  Pharoah at the Birth of Moses

In this Feast we also remember the Israelite babies who were killed by Pharoah for fear of the growing number of Israelites in Egypt.  Pharaoah tried several approaches to birth control for the Israelites: (1) forced labor and slavery, (2) killing of male babies born by midwives, and (3) throwing of male babies into the Nile River.  Below is a detailed account:

Then a new king, who knew nothing of Joseph,* rose to power in Egypt.9He said to his people, “See! The Israelite people have multiplied and become more numerous than we are!10Come, let us deal shrewdly with them to stop their increase;* otherwise, in time of war they too may join our enemies to fight against us, and so leave the land.”

11Accordingly, they set supervisors over the Israelites to oppress them with forced labor.d Thus they had to build for Pharaoh* the garrison cities of Pithom and Raamses.12Yet the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread, so that the Egyptians began to loathe the Israelites.13So the Egyptians reduced the Israelites to cruel slavery,14making life bitter for them with hard labor, at mortar* and brick and all kinds of field work—cruelly oppressed in all their labor.

15The king of Egypt told the Hebrew midwives, one of whom was called Shiphrah and the other Puah,16“When you act as midwives for the Hebrew women, look on the birthstool:* if it is a boy, kill him; but if it is a girl, she may live.”17The midwives, however, feared God; they did not do as the king of Egypt had ordered them, but let the boys live.18So the king of Egypt summoned the midwives and asked them, “Why have you done this, allowing the boys to live?”19The midwives answered Pharaoh, “The Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women. They are robust and give birth before the midwife arrives.”20Therefore God dealt well with the midwives; and the people multiplied and grew very numerous.21And because the midwives feared God, God built up families for them.

22Pharaoh then commanded all his people, “Throw into the Nile every boy that is born,e but you may let all the girls live.” (Ex 1:8-22)

3.  Kissinger and the NSSM 200

NSSM 200 is the National Security Study Memorandum 200: Implications of Worldwide Population Growth for U.S. Security and Overseas Interests (NSSM200).  It was written in 1974 under the leadership of Henry Kissinger.  This report is the basis of the policies of many US Presidents from Ford to Obama.  Below are the salient provisions as summarized in Wikipedia:

“The U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals from abroad, especially from less developed countries [see National Commission on Materials Policy, Towards a National Materials Policy: Basic Data and Issues, April 1972]. That fact gives the U.S. enhanced interest in the political, economic, and social stability of the supplying countries. Wherever a lessening of population pressures through reduced birth rates can increase the prospects for such stability, population policy becomes relevant to resource supplies and to the economic interests of the United States. . . . The location of known reserves of higher grade ores of most minerals favors increasing dependence of all industrialized regions on imports from less developed countries. The real problems of mineral supplies lie, not in basic physical sufficiency, but in the politico-economic issues of access, terms for exploration and exploitation, and division of the benefits among producers, consumers, and host country governments” [Chapter III-Minerals and Fuel].

“Whether through government action, labor conflicts, sabotage, or civil disturbance, the smooth flow of needed materials will be jeopardized. Although population pressure is obviously not the only factor involved, these types of frustrations are much less likely under conditions of slow or zero population growth” [Chapter III-Minerals and Fuel].

“Populations with a high proportion of growth. The young people, who are in much higher proportions in many LDCs, are likely to be more volatile, unstable, prone to extremes, alienation and violence than an older population. These young people can more readily be persuaded to attack the legal institutions of the government or real property of the ‘establishment,’ ‘imperialists,’ multinational corporations, or other-often foreign-influences blamed for their troubles” [Chapter V, “Implications of Population Pressures for National Security].

“We must take care that our activities should not give the appearance to the LDCs of an industrialized country policy directed against the LDCs. Caution must be taken that in any approaches in this field we support in the LDCs are ones we can support within this country. “Third World” leaders should be in the forefront and obtain the credit for successful programs. In this context it is important to demonstrate to LDC leaders that such family planning programs have worked and can work within a reasonable period of time.” [Chapter I, World Demographic Trends]

“In these sensitive relations, however, it is important in style as well as substance to avoid the appearance of coercion.”

Pres. Noynoy Aquino and Pres. Barack Obama

Pres. Noynoy Aquino and Pres. Barack Obama meeting in New York in 2011

4.  Obama and Planned Parenthood

Here is a short story about the long love affair of Obama and the world’s largest abortion provider Planned Parenthood.  The excerpt below is from Life News:

  1. President Obama voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act four times, horrifyingly voting against protecting babies who survived abortion and voting in favor of leaving them to die. A vote against this legislation was a vote for infanticide. [Source]
  2. On his third day in office, President Obama repealed the pro-life “Mexico City Policy.” By doing this, President Obama made groups that perform and promote abortion eligible for U.S. foreign aid funds. [Source]
  3. Planned Parenthood’s funding jumped from 33% to nearly 50% – over $487 million in taxpayer funding now goes to the abortion giant (under Obama and his administration). This is almost half a billion dollars that American families are forced to pay in tax dollars to the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. [Source]
  4. President Obama refused to sign an emergency budget, putting funding the military at risk, until Planned Parenthood funding was included in the budget. This was following Live Action’s Sex Trafficking investigation, showing Planned Parenthood aiding and abetting the sex-traffickers of underage girls. [Source]
  5. The president has pushed for his “pet legislation,” The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), which would help fund “community health centers” (Planned Parenthood is their prime target). Additionally, the HHS mandate would force all Americans to fund abortion and contraception, with no exceptions for religious institutions or religious individuals who are vehemently against abortion and contraception. [Source]

5.  Pres. Noynoy Aquino and the RH Bill (Law?)

In his 2012 State of the Nation Address, Pres. Aquino said:

I have great faith in Secretary Luistro: Before the next year ends, we will have built the 66,800 classrooms needed to fill up the shortage we inherited—of this, we expect 40,000 for this year.  The 2,573,212 backlog in chairs that we were bequeathed will be addressed before 2012 ends. This year, too, will see the eradication of the backlog of 61.7 million textbooks—and we will finally achieve the one-to-one ratio of books to students.

We are ending the backlogs in the education sector, but the potential for shortages remains as our student population continues to increase. Perhaps Responsible Parenthood can help address this.

The cat is out of the bag: for PNoy, the reason why there is a backlog of classrooms is because of rise in student population.  PNoy’s solution is simple: responsible parenthood to decrease the number of babies born.  In other words, birth control.  That was in July 2012.  In December 2012, he pushed the ratification of the RH Bill which would teach sex education from Grade 5 to High School.  The bill would also make condoms and other contraceptives more accessible through subsidies from the National Government at taxpayer’s expense.

Who is behind this?  PNoy is just a puppet: though he takes the main credit as the actor, the one behind the scenes are writing the script.  And that script is the NSSM 200 state policy:

 “Third World” leaders should be in the forefront and obtain the credit for successful programs. In this context it is important to demonstrate to LDC leaders that such family planning programs have worked and can work within a reasonable period of time.”

There are many ways for the US to coerce a Least Developed Country (LDC) like the Philippines to accepting family planning programs.  One way is by tying the program’s implementation to increase in financial aid and investments.  The other way is to use abortion providers(Likhaan and Planned Parenthood) and contraceptive manufacturers (pharmaceutical firms) to lobby for the passage of national family planning programs such as the RH Bill.  Many senators and congressmen made it appear that they were bought to the idea of birth control through the RH Bill, but in the process they sold themselves and their country for 30 pieces of silver.  Actually, they cannot anymore withstand the pressure from US and PNoy who are hell-bent in getting the RH Bill approved.  A lunch with PNoy made many congressmen change their votes to YES to RH Bill.  The threat of expulsion from the Liberal Party, with the 2013 elections as backdrop, silenced even the Bill’s strongest critics.  And there is a pork barrel awaiting the executive’s butcher knife.

PNoy sent the RH Bill as a battering ram against the gates of Congress and Senate and the walls of the two institutions collapsed.  PNoy now holds the Judiciary on his left hand, and the Congress and  Senate on his right hand.  There is now a new form of Philippine government: the PNoy autocracy.  Render unto PNoy what PNoy wants.  Or else.

With a government like this, more birth control programs are on their way to keep the population in check, to lessen dissent against the autocracy: Divorce, Euthanasia, and Homosexuality.  All these are related to the RH Bill:

  • Divorce.  If contraceptives become more available and the youth are taught how to use them through sex education, then there is no more reason to get married, because the youth can get the pleasure of the marriage bed without tying marriage knot.  And the husbands and wives who are married would see no more reason for marriage if their neighbor’s  wife and husband is prettier or sexier.  Then people clamor for the approval of the Divorce Law.
  • Homosexuality.  And why would restrict the pleasures of the marriage bed to heterosexual couples.  If they use contraceptives, their sexual intercourse remains sterile.  This does not differ from the homosexual intercourse which is also sterile.  Then the people would clamor for the approval of Anti-Discrimination Laws to make Homosexuals have the same right to marriage as heterosexual couples.  In all these, no children are born or if there are, they are too few to mention–products of accidents of contraceptive failures–and most of them are out of wedlock.  The Philippine population plummets.
  • Euthanasia.  Without children, there is no one to take care of the old.  The old becomes a liability to the government: senior citizens get pensions and medical care without doing work.  So if  the government can think that the solution to classroom shortage is by planned parenthood, then there will be similar response to the problem of the aged: kill them off through euthanasia or make them continue to work past retirement age until they die.  By the sweat of their brow the aged must eat.

Divorce Bill after the RH Bill: Wake up, sleeping Catholics!

The Seven Sleepers

The Seven Sleepers

See. Just as what we expected. After the RH Bill is the Divorce Bill. For Catholics who supported the RH Bill, I think it is time to wake up.

Wake up, O sleeper, and arise! After their fresh triumph in the RH Bill, the opponents of the Catholic Church are now setting their sites on a bigger kill: the Divorce Bill. What is the RH Bill but the divorce between the sexual act and the openness to life, with the condom as the barrier between the mutual self-giving of the husband and wife? Now the State wishes to separate the husband and the wife themselves, to break the marital bond through the Divorce Bill, even if Christ Himself warned us before: “What God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19:6). Pres. Noynoy Aquino’s Daang Matuwid is a railroad and the RH Bill is the train that pulls the other D.E.A.T.H. bills forward to their ratification–bills such as euthanasia, abortion, and same-sex marriage–following the pattern of the dying countries of the West who contracepted themselves and their economies to death.

Wake up, O sleeper, and arise! The dust has already settled in the aftermath of the battle against RH Bill. And we now see clearly the RH Bill for what it truly is–stripped of its pretensions, disguises, and double-speak: it is the fast-moving train carrying all the undead to bring life as we know it to an end. Remember The Priest movie. It is a parable for our modern world. If these bills gets passed, it will be the end of the world for Catholicism in the Philippines. Gone will be the Fiestas. Gone will be the Churches. Gone will be the priests. When the State unleashes the forces of fury and hatred against the Church, you will soon see the Pope walking in Manila amidst the bodies of his martyred priests. Remember the French Revolution. Remember the English Reformation. Remember the Mexican Revolution. It happened before. It can happen again–right on our very shores, right beneath our very noses. It can happen next decade. It can happen next year. It can happen next month. It can happen next week. It can happen today. Right now.

Wake up, O Sleeper, and arise! See the Two Standards before you. The Standard of Christ and the Standard of Satan. The Standard of the Church and the Standard of the World. The Standard of Life and the Standard of Death. Choose Christ over Satan. Choose the Church over the World. Choose Life over Death.

May God bless us.

Mother Teresa on Natural Family Planning by Fr. Matthew Habiger OSB

Mother Teresa of Calcutta; 1986 at a public pro-life meeting in Bonn, Germany

Mother Teresa of Calcutta; 1986 at a public pro-life meeting in Bonn, Germany

One positive effect of NFP is that men and women acknowledge their roles and responsibilities in the creation of a new life. A second positive effect is a change in the way spouses view each other and their mutual relationship.

Couples who use NFP attest to the benefit.  NFP is really a study of fertility in which a couple learns the workings of their reproductive systems. Acquiring this knowledge can bring about profound changes in the way people view their bodies and the bodies of their spouses. This reverence toward the body seems to increase particularly among men, even those who say they have “finished their families.” Many men report new feelings of awe towards their wives as they see the changes they go through every month. The man develops a sense of gratitude for the gift of fertility a woman gives him every time they make love.  She in turn develops a sense of gratitude that her husband is cooperating with her fertility instead of asking her to destroy it.

In this way both come to see that every act of intercourse is a reaffirmation of their marital commitment. Their mutual trust increases. Economist George Akerlof writes:

It seems reasonable … that the probability of a breakup is higher for couples in uncommitted relationships than for those in committed ones.

Armed with the knowledge of their fertility, the husband and wife can make mutual decisions on when to make love based on their situation in life. These decisions spark a dialogue, which keeps open the lines of communication. The couple sees that not every sexual act, especially one that can result in a pregnancy that would be detrimental, is an act of love.

This can bring about a change in behavior that is beneficial to marriage. Spouses become less selfish, less centered on their own sexual needs. Abstinence becomes a sacrifice made for the good of the other. These benefits are available to couples regardless of whether they are newly-weds or have been married for twenty years.

In light of all this, why should anyone expect the Church to change its teaching on contraception? Why should a Church, speaking in the name of God who is love, give its blessing to something that has led to abortion, divorce, reproductive health problems for women, poorer relationships between the sexes, more children living in poverty and more men becoming socially dysfunctional?

Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta got to the heart of the matter when she addressed a National Prayer Breakfast, sponsored by the U.S. Senate and House of representatives on 3 Feb 1994:

I know that couples have to plan their family and for that there is natural family planning. The way to plan the family is natural family planning, not contraception.

In destroying the power of giving life, through contraception, a husband or wife is doing something to self. This turns the attention to self and so it destroys the gift of love in him or her. In loving, the husband and wife must turn the attention to each other as happens in natural family planning, and not to self, as happens in contraception. Once that living love is destroyed by contraception, abortion follows very easily.

I also know that there are great problems in the world – that many spouses do not love each other enough to practice natural family planning.We cannot solve all the problems in the world, but let us never bring in the worst problem of all, and that is to destroy love. And this is what happens when we tell people to practice contraception and abortion.

The poor are very great people. They can teach us so many beautiful things. Once one of them came to thank us for teaching her natural family planning and said: “You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other.” And what this poor person said is very true. These poor people maybe have nothing to eat, maybe they have not a home to live in, but they can still be great people when they are spiritually rich.

When I pick up a person from the street, hungry, I give him a plate of rice, a piece of bread. But a person who is shut out, who feels unwanted,unloved, terrified, the person who has been thrown out of society – that spiritual poverty is much harder to overcome. And abortion, which often follows from contraception, brings a people to be spiritually poor, and that is the worst poverty and the most difficult to overcome.

Whether a couple is using NFP to bring new life into existence or to avoid a pregnancy through the use of periodic abstinence, there is an element of sacrifice involved. Blessed Mother Teresa described the payoff for confronting the fear of that sacrifice as part of her statement to the Cairo Conference on Population on 9 Sept 1994:

God has created a world big enough for all the lives He wishes to be born. It is only our hearts that are not big enough to want them and accept them… We are too often afraid of the sacrifices we might have to make. But where there is love, there is always sacrifice. And when we love until it hurts, there is joy and peace.

And where there is joy and peace, marriage and the family can thrive.

Taken from Fletcher Doyle’s NATURAL FAMILY PLANNING BLESSED OUR MARRIAGE, pp. 36-40.

(Thanks to Fr. Victor Badillo, SJ for sharing this piece.)