Conception and Contraception: Virgin Mary and Margaret Sanger

The Miraculous Medal containing the Image of the Immaculate Conception

The Miraculous Medal containing the Image of the Immaculate Conception

I.  Immaculate Conception

Today is the Feast of the Immaculate Conception.  As defined by Pope Pius IX last December 8, 1854 in his encyclical,Ineffabilis Deus:

 “We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful.”

Four years after, Our Lady appeared to St. Bernadette Soubirous on March 25, 1858 and proclaimed her title:

“I am the Immaculate Conception” (“que soy era immaculada concepciou”)

But two decades before this, on November 27, 1830, the Virgin Mary already appeared to Catherine Soubirous instructing her to promote the devotion to the Miraculous Medal:

According to an account written by Catherine’s own hand, Mary was clothed in a robe of auroral light and her robe had a high neck and plain sleeves. According to Catherine’s notes, the medal should also have half a globe upon which Mary’s feet rest, hands raised up to her waist, fingers filled with diamond rings of different sizes giving off rays of light, and a frame slightly oval with golden letters saying, “O Mary! conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee!” Her fingers each had three rings and the largest stones emitted the most brilliant rays. She added that some of the diamonds did not give off rays.

Mary, the Immaculate Conception, was conceived without sin.

II. Margaret Sanger and Contraception

It is interesting how the modern world has turned this statement upside down by telling each woman around the world: “Mary, to conceive is to sin.”  In 1914, sixty years after the proclamation of the Immaculate Conception in Ineffabilis Deus, Margaret Sanger wrote an 8-page monthly newsletter on contraception with the slogan, “No Gods, No Masters.”  In 1917, she published the monthly periodical, The Birth Control Review.  In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League, with the following guiding principles:

“We hold that children should be (1) Conceived in love; (2) Born of the mother’s conscious desire; (3) And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.”

With the support of the Rockefeller family, Sanger created the Clinical Research Bureau, a birth control clinic, which later gave rise to the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952–a name which Sanger deplored because it is too euphemistic.  Planned Parenthood is the number one abortion provider in the US and is one of the major supporters of the Reproductive Health Law in the Philippines.

The guiding principles of the American Birth Control League has discriminated against babies that were not born in love or the mother’s conscious decision or were simply sickly

As part of her efforts to promote birth control, Sanger found common cause with proponents of eugenics, believing that they both sought to “assist the race toward the elimination of the unfit.”[73] Sanger was a proponent of negative eugenics, which aims to improve human hereditary traits through social intervention by reducing reproduction by those considered unfit. Sanger’s eugenic policies included an exclusionary immigration policy, free access to birth control methods and full family planning autonomy for the able-minded, and compulsory segregation or sterilization for the profoundly retarded.[74][75] In her book The Pivot of Civilization, she advocated coercion to prevent the “undeniably feeble-minded” from procreating.[76] Although Sanger supported negative eugenics, she asserted that eugenics alone was not sufficient, and that birth control was essential to achieve her goals

Notice the Darwinian undercurrents in Sanger’s pronouncements: “Survival of the fittest, removal of the unfit.”  But it will not be nature who will define who will be the fittest and the unfit; rather, it will be Margaret Sanger or the woman or Planned Parenthood or the State.  This is what Pope Paul VI prophesied in 1968 in his Encyclical, Humanae Vitae:

Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

And true enough, Pres. Aquino has fulfilled this prophecy when he signed in December 21, 2012 the  Republic Act No. 10354, An Act Providing for a National Policy on Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health.

On the miraculous survival of Virgin Mary’s picture amidst the destruction of Bohol’s churches: A reply to Filipino Freethinkers

Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary amidst the destruction of a Bohol Church (photo from Megan Young's Facebook page, dated Oct. 15, 2013)

Image of the Blessed Virgin Mary amidst the destruction of a Bohol Church (photo from Megan Young’s Facebook page, dated Oct. 15, 2013)

The Filipino Freethinkers made a video questioning the sudden focus on the miraculous survival of the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary during the 7.2 magnitude earthquake the destroyed Bohol’s ancient churches.  Because I am afraid of misquoting them, I tried my best to transcribe (though not perfectly) their thoughts based on their video entitled, “FF Podcast 018: Iglesia ni Cristo’s Medical Mission and the Bohol Earthquake“….(transcript)… I shall only focus on their five main comments…

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit: On the miraculous survival of Virgin Mary’s picture amidst the destruction of Bohol’s churches: A reply to Filipino Freethinkers

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

Count Dracula: A Christological analysis of Bram Stoker’s vampire

Dracula and his bride

Count Dracula and his bride

In Bram Stoker’s Dracula (I will be using the Dracula (Penguin Popular Classics) edition in my quotes), the Count is portrayed as possessing supernatural powers which, if we examine closely, are the antithesis of the salvation wrought by Christ on the Cross:

Read more at Monk’s Hobbit: Count Dracula: A Christological analysis of Bram Stoker’s vampire

Catholic movie review: Prometheus and the Christian God

Prometheus movie

Prometheus movie

Prometheus provides an alternative mythology to Genesis.  And there are some references to Christian theology.  Notice the Christmas tree and the Crucifix.  And the Crucifix is seen again and again in the movie as a sign of faith or its loss.

Let us focus on Prometheus and Christ.  Prometheus gave up his life so that the evolution of man can start.  Christ, on the other hand, gave up his life to save mankind from sin, and on the side of Christ flowed the water of life and his life-giving blood.  Prometheus  (it need not be the same person)  slept in a tomb and was resurrected from sleep by the humans.  Christ was buried in a tomb and rose from the dead by his own power.  Prometheus has human DNA.  And so is Christ.  But the similarities ends here.

Even though the whole ship is filled with runes of the ancient tongue, Prometheus can’t talk.  And he refused to talk to reveal himself.  He could have said, “Why did you open the Stargate?” Or “Remove the sandals from your feet because the place you are standing is holy.”  The humans attempted to communicate with him, but he just killed them.  That was disappointing: a god who can’t reveal himself.  Just like the idols of Israel: they have mouths but do not speak.  But the Christian God reveals Himself: “I AM WHO I AM”.  He gave the Ten Commandments.  He sends prophets who proclaim: “This is the word of the Lord!”  And in the fullness of time He sent His Son, Jesus Christ, the Word Made Flesh.

God is our Father.  If God is an alien, then the bond uniting the whole human family breaks down.  Heaven becomes harsh inhospitable planet for the human crew that seeks to finally meet its creator.  Sexual intercourse becomes sterile.  The child in the womb becomes an alien that should be aborted.  The only way to conceive a new life is to destroy the old one.  And even in human relationships,  father becomes emotionally distant from his daughter, the automaton becomes valued as a son, and compassion is dulled even in sight of a bloodied and suffering woman.

But God is a loving Father and that is what the Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches us.  Jesus promised us that He will prepare a place for us in heaven.  And in heaven, God awaits for the homecoming of his beloved sons and daughters.  And when He sees us from a distance, He will run towards us, and embraces us as His long lost children.  He will give us robes to wear, put rings in our fingers, put sandals on our feet, and announce a feast. As Jesus promised, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents.  A society built on the vision of God as a Father results to families and communities bound by love.  The swords will be beat into plowshares.  The lion will lie down with a lamb.  And death would lose its sting: it would be true immortality when the soul reunites with the body in the Resurrection of the Dead.

Prometheus is a bleak movie for Atheistic Materialism and Scientific Darwinism.  Is Prometheus the God atheists and Darwinists longed for?  David, the android, says it best:

David: Why do you think your people made me.

Charlie Holloway: We made ya ’cause we could.

David: Can you imagine how disappointing it would be for you to hear the same thing from your creator?

Like David, humanity without God will be humans without souls.  And even if humans attain eternal life, it would be one long and dreary life of a disembodied head watching the sands and stars.

Was the CCP Poleteismo exhibit condemned by the bishops shown before in Loyola House of Studies?

Update: Loyola House of Studies denies showing controversial works of Mideo Cruz at 2007 Tutok Nexus Exhibit

From the Business World:

Since the controversy over Poleteismo exploded, the CCP’s Visual Arts Unit has been fielding calls from people requesting that Kulo be shut down. “The CCP will not be party to any censorship or suppression. Let it be a point of discussion,” said Ms. Flores, adding that she has seen works at the CCP that were “really, really, really more provocative and disturbing.” (Jose Legaspi’s installation in the Small Gallery, for example, which included a modified Pieta showing the Virgin Mother vomiting on the dead Christ.)

Poleteismo is an old piece first shown in 2002 at the Vargas Museum of the University of the Philippines. Mr. Cruz wasn’t thinking of the Reproductive Health Bill when he conceived Poleteismo nine years ago.

Versions of the installation have been exhibited elsewhere, most notably in 2007 in the lobby of the Loyola House of Studies (LHS) — a seminary inside the campus of the Ateneo de Manila University — as part of Tutok: Nexus, a group exhibit organized in cooperation with Simbahang Lingkod ng Bayan (SLB), “an association of religious priests, seminarians and lay people committed to the service of the Filipino Church and the Filipino nation.”

If Catholic clergymen had kept quiet, if Archbishop Oscar Cruz hadn’t called the exhibit “sickening,” if he hadn’t called the artist “sick,” if he hadn’t advised the artist to see a psychiatrist, if he hadn’t implied that the artist’s sexuality was abnormal, if Bishop Deogracias Iniguez hadn’t called for a boycott, then Mideo Cruz’s Poleteismo could have gone unnoticed by the larger public.

When they find it in one of the alcoves of the Main Gallery, they will see multicolored plastic piggy banks stuffed inside a case usually reserved for religious statues; and Christ the King with a bright red clown nose, his right hand replaced by a Mickey Mouse glove, and his head crowned with Mickey Mouse ears made from a Coke can.

Hanging behind a divider is a cross with a bright red penis thrusting out from the vertical bar. And on the walls, a multimedia collage composed of a confusion of images and objects: there are ads, political paraphernalia from Fernando Poe Junior, Gilbert Teodoro, and Barack Obama; there are religious posters of Jesus Christ, Virgin Mary, and the Holy Family; there are handouts, pamphlets, and stickers; there are rosaries, penis ashtrays, crucifixes, condoms, and Christmas lights; there’s a lot of stuff.

“Thereís nothing there that you won’t see in Quiapo,” said Karen O. Flores, officer-in-charge of the CCP Visual Arts Unit.