Sunday, March 25, 2012

Zenyatta News

Zenyatta foaled a colt by Bernardini on March 9.  He is a cute little guy, dark brown/bay with a white star on his forehead.  All is going well with both of them.

Zenyatta is to be bred this year to Tapit, winner of the 2004 Wood Memorial.  Here is a link to that race for anyone interested.

Tapit also won the 2003 Laurel Stakes and finished 9th in the 2004 Kentucky Derby.  His foals have been doing quite well - his son Hansen won last year's Breeders' Cup Juvenile.

Friday, February 03, 2012

HHS Mandate

In case you haven't yet heard, the Department of Health and Human Services recently issued a mandate requiring all employers to cover birth control, sterilizations, and abortifacient drugs in their insurance plans.  This includes religious organizations (the "religious exemption" is so small almost no one would fit it; the organization must only employ and serve people of its own faith - so there go all our religious charities, hospitals, etc. that disagree with contraception and/or abortion).  Basically, the government is forcing people to buy and pay for things that they find morally objectionable - to violate their conscience and go against their religious beliefs.  This is an unprecedented intrusion on our 1st amendment right to freedom of religion.  Even if you disagree with the Catholic Church on these issues, it should be disturbing that our current administration is willing to show such blatant disregard for fundamental rights - whose rights might they decide are inconvenient to their agenda next?

I urge everyone who is concerned about this to go to this link and sign the petition to our president demanding that he rescind this mandate.

Monday, November 28, 2011

3rd Edition of the Roman Missal

Dear Folks Who Are Griping About the New Translation:

It's not a very good argument (or a very good reflection on your logic and intelligence) to gripe for paragraphs about how much you hate the new translation and then at the end of it all to say, "Well, it's all just semantics.  Words aren't important."  If words aren't important to you, then you have no reason to argue.  Either words are important to you, in which case you need to come up with a reason why the old translation is better than the new one (good luck with that), or else words aren't important to you, and you shouldn't care one way or the other.

I think the words ARE important.  Very important.  The reason being that words are signs of the undergoings of the soul, to put it in somewhat Aristotelian language.  That is to say, we use words to communicate to other people what we are thinking and what we wish to convey.  If the words we use are inaccurate, the thought conveyed will be inaccurate.  In the case of highly complex but nonetheless extremely important doctrines of Christianity (the Trinity and the Incarnation are two good examples), the Church has striven for centuries to find the most accurate words possible in order to avoid giving rise to heresies.  For instance, the Nicene Creed which we say at Mass has been revised so that rather than saying that Jesus is "one in Being with the Father" we say that He is "consubstantial with the Father".  This is an extremely important distinction.  In Aristotle's "Categories" he lays out 10 "modes" of being - substance (I am human), quantity (I am one in number), quality (my skin is white), relation (I am my father's daughter), place (I am in Wyoming), time (it is 2:30 p.m.), position (I am sitting), acting (I am baking cookies), being acted upon (I am being pulled on a sled), and being shod (the determination arising from the physical accoutrements of an object, e.g. I have socks on).  The old translation does not specify in which mode of being Jesus is one with the Father.  For all we know from that translation, Jesus and the Father could be one in being because they are both sitting down.  And if that's all we know, how is that different from me and my dog being one in being because we are both sitting down?

The new translation is extremely superior in that it specifies in which mode of being Jesus and the Father are one - substance, or the what-it-is of something; its nature.  "Consubstantial" basically means "of one substance with".  This clears up the disastrous ambiguity of the previous translation.  Now we know that Jesus and the Father have the same substance predicated of them - deity.  They are both divine.  In response to the question "What are you?" both the Father and Jesus would answer "God".  The previous translation was not precise enough to convey this important truth, and therefore left the door open to the heresy of Arianism, i.e. that Jesus is not God.

This is just one example among many of the superiority of the new translation of the Mass, and of the fact that words, actually, do matter quite a lot.

Another example is a change which can be found in the words for the consecration of the wine.  The old translation said that Jesus' blood would be shed "for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven."  The new translation says His blood will be poured out "for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins."  First of all, I'd like to include the original Latin text for this line.  It goes as follows: "pro vobis et pro multis effundeter, in remissionem peccatorum."  The most literal translation of this line would be, "it will be poured out for you and for many, unto the forgiveness of sins."  And here is where another very important truth is conveyed.  Although we believe that Jesus died for all men and that His sacrifice and the shedding of His blood made salvation available to all men, we do not believe that all men will take advantage of this.  Not all men will repent, have their sins forgiven, and enter into heaven.  Some will reject God and end up in hell.  The original Latin makes this abundantly clear: Jesus' blood will be shed for the apostles unto the forgiveness of their sins, in other words His sacrifice will have the desired effect in them of the forgiveness of their sins; and also unto the forgiveness of the sins of many.  However, since many other men will not accept God's grace and will therefore not have their sins forgiven, Jesus' blood will not be shed unto their forgiveness, in other words His sacrifice will not effect the forgiveness of their sins since they did not repent.  The old translation does not convey this truth at all.  At best it conveys the fact that Jesus' blood made salvation available to all men; at worst it conveys the false idea that all men will have their sins forgiven and go to heaven.  The new translation, however, by going back to the word 'many' and by saying that Jesus' blood will be poured out for many FOR the forgiveness of sins, does a much better job of conveying the truth that many will receive the effects of Jesus' sacrifice, but that not all will receive those effects.

So there are two examples of how the wrong words can cover up truth or even promote heresy.  Of course in this day and age when truth is unpopular and matters little compared with how you feel when you go to Mass (and you had better feel good about yourself and everyone else), it's not surprising that some folks are fighting claw, tooth and nail against some of those pesky, uncomfortable truths that the new translation is bringing clearly back into the light.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Petition to DEFUND Planned Parenthood

If you don't want Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider (and also known through undercover investigation to cover up statutory rape and underage sex traffickers) to receive any more of your tax money, sign this petition!  LifeSiteNews and affiliates are trying to collect at least 100,000 signatures on this petition, which will then be sent to every member of the U.S. Congress.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

I don't get it...

Sometimes people's logic (or lack thereof) truly baffles me.  I was on a pro-life website just recently and there was one commenter on the message board who declared herself to be unabashedly pro-abortion in all circumstances because she didn't "support forced pregnancy."  The only kind of forced pregnancy I can think of is if a woman gets raped and happens to become pregnant from it.  Otherwise, she CHOSE to have sex.  Therefore she also chose all the possible consequences of sex, a very big one of which is getting pregnant.  And yes, even if she was on birth control or the guy was using a condom, she could still get pregnant, because those things fail sometimes!  Nope, sorry, you can't mess around with your reproductive systems and functions and try to use them solely for pleasure or for feeling closer to your significant other or whatever, because whether or not you want to believe it, sex was made so that people can make more people, and it's often very successful at doing that even if we try to stop it artificially.  So if you're not ready to make more people, for heaven's sake don't do the very thing that was specifically designed to make more people!  If you do it anyway, then please don't try to tell me that your pregnancy was forced, because YOU, and no one else, brought this consequence upon yourself; and YOU need to take the responsibility for your action instead of making yourself out to be a victim and murdering the innocent child who is the product of your decision to have sex.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The High Costs of "Free" Birth Control

This is a pretty good article from the website of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.  I would encourage you to read the pdf file linked in the article.  It has the results of numerous studies which give evidence of the failure of birth control to reduce unintended pregnancies.

The High Costs of "Free" Birth Control

by Richard M. Doerflinger

JULY 28, 2011

On July 21, the health news site Natural Society. . . featured these breaking news headlines: "Newer Birth Control Pill Linked to Higher Risk of Blood Clots"; "Birth Control Increases Risk of Contracting, Transmitting HIV"; and finally, "Medical Panel Pushes for Free Birth Control for Women."
Hmm, one might ask, who was on this medical panel? Dr. Kevorkian? But no, it was the Institute of Medicine, advising the Department of Health and Human Services on "preventive services for women" to mandate in virtually all private health plans under the new health care reform act.
HHS says it delegated this task to the IOM so people would see the outcome as based on "science" rather than politics. But IOM's report seems based less on science than on the ideology of authors who share Planned Parenthood's view of sex and procreation, several of whom have served on the boards of PP affiliates and other pro-abortion organizations. The report says enhanced access to contraception will reduce abortions, though there is ample evidence against that claim. In fact, the panel recommends that health plans must cover all drugs approved by the FDA as prescription contraceptives – including the newly approved "emergency contraceptive" called Ella, which like RU-486 can cause an abortion weeks into pregnancy. When asked about a conscience exemption for those who have a moral or religious objection to this, an IOM spokesperson said it wasn't her panel's job to take account of other people's personal "feelings." Many fear HHS will take the same approach.
Secular news media – TimeU.S. NewsUSA TodayL.A. Times – obediently repeated the panel's public relations message that it is offering "free" birth control for women. That message is nonsense. Currently women who want birth control coverage pay for it through their premiums, and sometimes also have a co-pay or out-of-pocket expense. Under the new mandate they will still pay for it, but the cost will be buried in the overall premium – and everyone else, including churches and other religious employers as well as individual Catholics, will be forced to pay for it in their premiums too, so payments coerced from those who object will make birth control coverage a bit cheaper for those who want it.
And what about the "cost" in women's lives from those blood clots and cases of AIDS? Researchers have known about both problems for years. In 2005, for example, a study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control noted: "The positive link between pill use and HIV infection was… supported by a meta-analysis of 28 studies, including seven prospective studies." Most American women haven't been told this. Ironically, other "preventive services" recommended by the IOM include screening for sexually transmitted diseases. But why would you mandate something that can cause what the other services on your list seek to prevent?
The other big "cost," of course, is the cost to freedom of religion and respect for conscience. Though not alone in its view, the Catholic Church has long been prophetic and counter-cultural in warning that artificial contraception and sterilization do not enhance women's well-being. No American, of course, is required by law to believe that teaching. But should the government, in the name of all Americans, now coerce even the Church's institutions into acting on the opposite view -- when the evidence supporting its message is stronger than ever?

Mr. Doerflinger is Associate Director of the Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities, U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. For more information about the bishops' pro-life activities, visit

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Artifical Conceptions and Incest

I just finished reading an article about a possible negative side-effect of out-of-intercourse conceptions that I'd never thought of before: incest.  The article was saying that, basically, when you have multiple children conceived from one sperm donor to completely different mothers/families, there is a real possibility that two of those half-siblings would meet up and have (unknowingly) incestual sex.  Supposedly there is some kind of oversight on this issue to try to prevent this from happening (keeping track of all the children conceived via one sperm donor by having a donor number assigned to those children), but I can't imagine that it would be possible to prevent all such incest from occurring - one sperm donor was reported to have had 150 children, many of which neither the mothers nor other children really knew anything about.  I don't think all or even many of those kids, if they happened to meet at high school or elsewhere and going...would stop to ask, "Hey, were you artificially conceived and if so, what's your donor number?"  The risk of this happening doesn't just come from sperm and egg donors, of course.  Extra-marital sex contributes as well, since the more one "sleeps around" the more likely it is that there will be half-siblings out there that don't know about each other.

Of course, incestual relations can lead to serious problems.  According to one article: "Because relatives already share some genetic material, there is a greater risk that incest will result in a child who has a rare genetic disorder carried as a recessive trait. Recessive traits may cause no symptoms at all in those that carry the genes, but when combined can result in seriously affected offspring. The closer the relationship of people in an incestuous relationship, the greater the risk that they both carry the same recessive genes." Basically, if two of these half-silbings had sex and conceived a child, that child would be more likely to have serious genetic disorders.

Sometimes I wonder how long it will take people to figure out that when you go against Nature, you will suffer real, physical consequences.  Nature designed our bodies to work in a certain way, and when we decide not to use them that way, our bodies will suffer.  If we eat poison, we'll get sick or die.  If we try to breathe something other than air, we'll suffocate or drown.  The same concept applies to our sexuality - if we try to repress our fertility so that we can have sex for pleasure whenever we feel like it with whomever we want, or if we decide that reproduction doesn't have to happen in the context of married sex, we will experience real, physical consequences.  Contraception has been linked to increased infertility and breast cancer; homosexuality has been linked to the increase in AIDS; now the practice of sperm and egg donation and extra-marital sex seems to be leading to the problem of possible incest and seriously diseased offspring.  The natural law isn't just about not killing, stealing, and lying; it has important applications in the physical realm, and we would all do well to obey it in that realm, because Nature has a habit of coming back to bite you in the butt if you don't follow its laws.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

A Little "Research Report" I Did

After reading yet another article on how increased access to contraceptives has done nothing to decrease unplanned pregnancies, I decided to do a little bit of research into contraceptives and their failure rates as compared with the increase in premarital sexual activity over the last century.  Please note that I'm not a professional researcher by any means, and that these results are the best I could come up with by doing some simple Internet searches for data on these points.  Even though it's most likely not completely accurate, I think the general pattern is pretty evident.

Artificial Contraception Research

Methods of Contraception (as listed by Planned Parenthood’s website, excluding sterilization)

Vaginal Ring
Cervical Cap
Condom, male
Condom, female
Morning-After Pill

Failure Rates, averaging different brands of same method (according to chart on Wikipedia and information on the Planned Parenthood website)

Typical Use
Perfect Use             
Vaginal Ring
Cervical Cap
Male Condom
Female Condom
Morning-After Pill

Average Typical Use Failure Rate: 13.27%
Average Perfect Use Failure Rate: 5.01%

Data Breakdown

Over the last century, the number of teenaged women engaging in pre-marital sex has increased from roughly 6% in 1900 to roughly 80% nowadays.  In other words, 6 out of every hundred teenaged women used to have premarital sex; now 80 out of one hundred do.  Even if we assume every teenaged woman having intercourse in 1900 to get pregnant (not a likely assumption), this would only result (in pre-birth control days) in 6 “unplanned” pregnancies in 1900.   If we assume all teenaged women today to use birth control, 13.27 percent with typical use will still get pregnant, and 5.01% with perfect use will still get pregnant.  In other words, now there will result roughly 10-11 “unplanned” pregnancies with all teenaged women practicing a typical use of birth control; and roughly 4 “unplanned” pregnancies will result with all teenaged women practicing a perfect use of birth control.


In 1900, we stated that a possible 6 unplanned pregnancies for every hundred teenaged women could take place.  This number was probably actually considerably less, when we take into account the fact that a woman can only get pregnant on a few days out of every month.  In the current age, we stated that if all 80 out of 100 teenaged women having premarital sex used birth control, the number would be either roughly 10-11 or 4 unplanned pregnancies, depending on how they use birth control.  Since the typical use is, by its very meaning, the one most-used, we can safely say that, under the given assumption, about 10 unplanned pregnancies will now happen for every 100 teenaged women.  But since probably not all teenaged women engaging in premarital sex were using a contraceptive, the overall “failure rate” (rate of pregnancy) in all 80 would no doubt rise higher still.

The overall conclusion is that the promotion of birth control does not lessen unplanned pregnancies; rather, it probably (taking all the above-mentioned factors into account) at least doubles the number.  The likely reason for this is that birth control induces a feeling of safety, such that many teenaged women who would not have had sex otherwise now have it; in fact so many more have sex that birth control’s effectiveness cannot “make up for” the increase in instances of premarital sex, thus more pregnancies result than before birth control.  In addition, the birth control “mentality” has made premarital sex so common and “normal” that at least some people probably engage in it without using contraception at all.  This only increases the likelihood of more unplanned pregnancies.

This conclusion is confirmed by data which shows that the out-of-wedlock birthrate has increased three-fold in the last 30-odd years (not to mention the many pregnancies which have ended in abortion).

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Horses in the Wild

For all you folks out there who think horse racing and/or other human use of horses (or any animals, really) is cruel, and that animals should all be allowed to go wild and free again... here's a video of what wild horses do.

At least when race horses are injured, we put them down in a relatively painless manner.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Someone help me

I recently volunteered to become one of the Sunday cantors at my new parish here in Wyoming.  The reason?  None of the other cantors did music that I would consider to be appropriate for the liturgy, as described in various encyclicals, council documents, and other Church documents.  I wanted to have my chance once every 5 weeks or so to introduce the congregation to some better hymns.  Anthony also signed up to join the cantor schedule, and he was assigned Palm Sunday for his first Sunday.  So, we dutifully went through the lack-lustre OCP hymnal, picking out some of the few songs that were both appropriate for church and Palm Sunday themed.  We then e-mailed our choices to the organist.  Well, guess what?  The next day we got a reply saying that at THIS parish we pick out our music from the OCP's suggestion list for that Sunday, and that in HER opinion we ought to choose "The King of Glory Comes, The Nation Rejoices."

Now, when I read this e-mail, I almost literally saw red.  I was so angry I didn't even know what to think.  First of all, the reply was just snippy-sounding.  I felt like I was being talked down to.  Second, I don't think I should have to take orders from our organist since she is Protestant.  Why should a Protestant have any kind of say over what is done in the Catholic liturgy?  Those decisions need to be left up to Catholics, who really understand what is going on and can choose appropriate music.  Third, our organist isn't even very good at playing organ.  If we're being limited in our song selection because of her inability, it's time for a new organist.  And fourth, I don't think we should be limited to the suggestion sheet put out by the OCP.  This publishing company obviously doesn't know or doesn't care about what the Church has to say on appropriate liturgical music, since the VAST majority of the stuff they put out is trite, sentimental, mushy, pop-music-sounding, and sometimes even heretical.  Almost none of it actually reflects the sacredness and seriousness of the Mass, or is beautiful in any way.  Their suggestion sheets usually reflect this trend, containing almost exclusively the afore-mentioned types of songs.  Since I'm all about worshipping God properly, the way the Church wants us to worship Him, I don't think the parish should be tied down to this awful publishing company's hymnals and suggestions sheets, just because our Protestant organist wants it that way!!

I intend to discuss this issue with our pastor, as I'm not sure if he's aware of the current situation or if that's what he wants.  I truly hope that he will permit the cantors to pick their music for themselves without regard to this organist, and that he will encourage the better type of music to be sung.  If these things aren't the case...if I would be forced to submit to the OCP and the Protestant organist...well then, bye-bye cantoring.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Lecture on Marriage

Here's a video of a great lecture on marriage given at Steubenville by Dr. Jennifer Roback Morse of the Ruth Institute.  She paints a pretty scary picture of what the future could be like if same-sex "marriage" is recognized by the state.  It's about an hour long, but totally worth the time.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Zenyatta to be re-bred

Just a quick update: I read this morning that Zenyatta miscarried, so they are going to breed her to Bernardini again next week.  Here's hoping everything goes well this time!

By the way, Anthony bought me her Breyer model for my birthday present!  Yay!  :)