I Should Have Prayed in Front of Fordham


I will begin by revealing that I am a graduate of Fordham University’s Graduate School of Education in its Lincoln Center campus, where I earned a Master’s in Mental Health Counseling a few years ago.   Looking back, my Fordham experience was a tale of two divergent realities. Academically, I feel that I received a very good graduate education with generally good professors, a number of whom are top notch in their field.  My spiritual experience at Fordham was a different matter, however.  I expected to experience some inconsistency with traditional Catholic teaching, given the environment we live in, but what I encountered was a blatant illustration of why Catholic education in this country, apart from some noble exceptions, is a disaster.

By “Catholic Education” I mean an education which manages to combine outstanding academic preparation with a deepening in core Catholic teaching for Catholic students and a fair, balanced presentation of issues relevant to the Catholic Church for non-Catholics.  What I experienced was merely a Catholicism dripping in the social justice rubbish that has been used by secular liberals to promote loads of positions and agendas contrary to traditional, core Catholic teaching. I refer the reader to my pieces http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/garnica/120216  and http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/garnica/120321  wherein I outlined why major so-called Catholic institutions like Fordham, Georgetown, and Notre Dame have become dens of dissident indoctrination with the Catholic Church in this country.

I observed professors who have volunteered at Planned Parenthood; a mostly young, white female student body in my particular field of study more likely to listen to NPR than pray a Rosary , and a rampant presentation of non-traditional marriage and abortion rights as the unjust victims of an intolerant, outdated, mostly male-dominated Church.  Rampant feminism was everywhere yet, despite its powerful presence, homosexual rights seemed the most protected agenda.  Although I did not personally have a particular professor, it appears that his office included a large rainbow flag. I do not believe that homosexuals should be mistreated or abused because of who they are, but I also believe that it is wrong to pretend that the Catholic Church either defends homosexuality or has been wrong in its traditional stance regarding it.  In one class, we were subjected to a one hour film depicting how homosexuals are abused and mistreated in various countries.  While I regret such treatment of anyone, I question why we did not see a similar film demonstrating how women are similarly or even more abused throughout the world, especially considering 98% of the class was female.

Obama’s victory was met with fawning hysteria by virtually all the female students and, as far as I can tell, all of the professors.  I doubt that if Jesus Christ Himself had landed in Lincoln Center there would have been a similar reaction.  People were moved nearly to tears, with many somewhat spoiled, upper-class, young, white women at the front of the line, wailing about how they never expected to see the day that such an event would occur. Never mind that Obama was clearly the most pro-abortion and pro-non-traditional marriage candidate to ever run for the White House and even someone with the intelligence of a cranberry could see that he was going to spell trouble for core Catholic teaching.  That teaching, after all, was delusional mental illness at Fordham anyway, so why would a shining knight in armor coming to finish it off be an enemy to be feared?  Professors thought nothing of discussing core Catholicism with a kind of condescension and patronizing exasperation reserved for what they likely, in the privacy of their minds, viewed as religious hicks fingering beads and accusing everyone of a one way ticket to hell.  One called California’s Proposition 8, limiting marriage to a union between a man and woman “stupid, evil, and hateful” openly and without even considering or imagining that any student in her presence might disagree.

A consistent point of discussion in my program was whether it was ethical for a counselor to accommodate the spirituality of clients. Many argued that clients should be told to keep their faith out of the therapy session. Others argued that it was tantamount to murder for any counselor to recluse herself  from cases inconsistent with her religious beliefs.  A poll I conducted for a class revealed that the vast majority of counseling students would have preferred just about any kind of client over a religious one.  Being religious was treated as akin to being a leper.  Thankfully, I was relieved to find that most counseling students were a little more comfortable workingwith religious clients than homicidal maniacs.

By the time I graduated from Fordham’s Graduate School of Education, I had experienced my fill of spoiled, upper-class, white, young females who felt qualified to save the world from its ignorance steeped in religious and/or  male-dominated bias.  A friend observed that many of these women seemed distant and suspicious of their fathers.  I was practically assaulted during a group counseling class, where a few young females resented anything I said to my professor’s amusement in telling me that I had officially become “the scapegoat”.

Looking back, I have come to the ironic realization that this program which was educating future counselors and was the scene of so many self-appointed knights in shining armor out to fix the world was so steeped in dysfunction and delusion.  It is  no wonder that the APA and other governing mental health bodies is so contradictory to core Catholicism that one cannot possibly embrace the APA completely without, in fact, ignoring or rejecting significant core Catholic positions.

Fordham, run by Jesuits, prides itself as promoting the Jesuit tradition of a well-rounded, profound and practical, education. However, as shown by its litany of positions and actions inconsistent with core Catholic positions  http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/1674/Coulter-Controversy-Highlights-Speaker-Policy-at-Fordham.aspx  and http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/SearchResults.aspx?Search=fordham it is obvious that this institution has taken the infamous “social justice” mantle to move its brand of Catholicism in the direction of secular socialism, feminism, and liberal dissident views.

As one who has prayed in front of a Planned Parenthood far less than I would have liked to, it occurs to me that praying in front of Fordham may be just as necessary.

Copyright, Gabriel Garnica  2012

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“October Baby” Reminds Us of Hollywood’s Big Abortion Problem


After seeing the pro-life movie October Baby  get bashed by 75% of the film critics and praised by  over 90% of the audience, I saw the film myself last weekend and came out of the theatre with two observations.

Hollywood’s Twisted Portrayal of Abortion

Nowhere is Hollywood’s pathetic and despicable hypocrisy, bias, and cowardice more evident than in its handling of abortion. Films like Cider House Rules and Vera Drake, which both displayed abortion as a noble social good removing the chains of ignorance and oppression from women,  had no problem getting wide distribution and garnering  high praise and awards from all corners of Hollywood.  The made for television movie If These Walls Could Talk, which Cher partly directed and starred in,  depicts two women who choose abortion as thoughtful victims of an ignorant society and a third who decides against abortion as an ignorant and gullible fool with no legitimate clue as to why she has made the choice. That third woman, played by Sizzy Spacek, is portrayed as a woman yearning for an education who drops all hope of happiness as she prepares to deal with an unwanted child while shining her husband’s shoes.  The clear message of all three stories is that men are heartless monsters who victimize women with pregnancy, reflecting the Obama message that pregnancy can be a prison and abortion is the get-out-of-jail card that only ignorant, gullible, and backward women reject.

Invariably,  Hollywood condemns any pro-life film as blatant propaganda rubbish and any pro-abortion movie as thought-provoking, profound, and insightful. Bella, another beautiful pro-life effort, was criticized this way when it was released a few years ago, and October Baby receives the same treatment from the vast majority of the same critics who nearly slipped on their own drivel in excitement over Cider House Rules and Vera Drake.  These films, and If These Walls Could Talk, practically depict abortion as a sacrament and abortionists as its most noble and saintly priests. In Walls, Cher is the smiling, benevolent, comforting, saintly doctor and abortion is the loving, sanitized, practically bloodless salvation from the suffering of an unwanted pregnancy. In the most absurd and truly ridiculous of ironies, this peaceful abortion is cut short by the crazed violence of a bloodthirsty pro-life zealot. Such is the utterly heinous and vile lie sold by Hollywood and the Left. Namely, that abortion is anything near a salvation from violence and harm to women. In the most ironic and detestable of ironies, Cher is practically depicted as an almost Virgin Mary figure gazing over the girl seeking an abortion and, just as suddenly, as a Christ-like sacrificial lamb giving up her life for her noble cause.

If Hollywood portrays abortion and abortionists as a cross between Mother Teresa and Florence Nightingale, what of its depiction of those who oppose this barbaric procedure? In short, they are depicted as stupid, homophobic, sexist, creepy and downright psychotic. From squealing priests and pro-life protestors short a few chromosomes to superstitious dolts with the IQ and common sense of a doorknob, abortion opponents are branded as pathetically  evil idiots preventing the enlightened pro-abortion crowd from efficiently and fully dragging society to the modern world.

The Left’s Pathetic Scramble to Conceal The Truth is Losing Ground

The Hunger Games has scored box office success while depicting children sadistically enjoying shooting, stabbing, and beating each other to death, . http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/13311265/parents-warned-about-hunger-games-violence/ in becoming the third most successful opening film of all time after netting $ 155 million in its opening weekend.

Although it only opened in 390 theaters, October Baby earned the second-highest-per screen average, bringing in almost $ 2 million in ticket sales.  One of October Baby’s directors, Jon Erwin, described how no studio wanted to touch the film because it was considered “too controversial” such that, ultimately, he and the film’s other director, his brother Andrew, raised the money themselves, delaying the release.  Dr. Ted Baehr, founder of the Christian movie site Movieguide.org, attributes the success of “October Baby”  to a strong Christian and moral world view that touches the hearts of those who saw it.
http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2012/03/27/pro-life-october-baby-rejected-by-major-studios-blitzes-box-office/#ixzz1qdskcdOF

Therein lies the inherent problem with this entire situation.  We live in an increasingly anti-Christian, amoral society where a film depicting random, sadistic violence by children against children is gladly accepted and October Baby, which depicts loving forgiveness and a respect for life is bashed as a “slickly packaged…essentially ugly…soapy melodrama.. which communicates in language of guilt and fear…intended to terrify young women” http://movies.nytimes.com/2012/03/23/movies/october-baby-with-jasmine-guy-and-john-schneider.html?smid=tw-nytimesmovies&seid=auto. The film is alternately described as dull, amateurish, weepy, unrealistic, indecent propaganda, better off as a bumper sticker, a campaign video, or an endless lecture by the myriad of critics regularly paid by someone who cares what they think about film.

Fortunately, the audiences who are flocking to see this wonderful film are ignoring, and rejecting, the biased and distorted reviews of these so-called movie experts whose expertise lies in being paid to view and spew their own biases about what they view. As is the case with many issues today, we see the delusions and distortions being sold by the Leftist news and entertainment industry being brushed aside by average people who long for movies about the kind of themes which October Baby supplies in ample measure.

Try as it might, Hollywood will continue to be blind, deaf, and silent regarding the heinous and despicable evil that is abortion. It will continue to peddle its twisted and absurd version of entertainment and reality, where the murder of young life is whitewashed with flimsy explanations, where the fact that a bunch of teens in October Baby travel cross country without having rampant sex is mocked, and where propaganda from the left is spelled reality and reality from the right is spelled propaganda.

I have long argued that Catholic Universities like Georgetown and Fordham have become about as pro-life as Planned Parenthood.  Dripping in the social justice drivel which has been used by defiant pro-choice Cafeteria Catholics to defend the woman seeking an abortion over the life of the unborn, these institutions have been far more eager to present rubbish like The Vagina Monologues than beautiful efforts such as October Baby.

Some of October Baby’s harshest critics mocked the fact that the film, release by Goldwyn, did not heed one of Goldwyn’s most famous lines regarding what movies are supposed to do; namely, “Pictures were made to entertain. If you want to send a message, call Western Union.”  Anyone who has ever seen Cider House Rules, Vera Drake, and If These Walls Could Talk might wonder why these blatant pro-abortion propaganda efforts are not criticized in the same way by these critics. Given the success of films like Kill Bill and The Hunger Games, it might well be that, when it comes to everything from depicting the truth to glorifying violence while criticizing the pro-life movement as violent, Hollywood and its warped morality relish hearing the director say “cut”.

Copyright, 2012  Gabriel Garnica

Pro-choice is about anything but choice


We have just passed another anniversary of one of the darkest stains in this nation’s history, The Roe v. Wadefiasco and, increasingly, the belief that abortion has anything to do with choice should be seriously considered as proof of mental instability or radical bias.

Having a choice obviously implies having information, and the pro-abortion industry and its allies in the government and media want no part of accurate, impartial information. Their bread and butter, in fact, is deception, distortion, bias, secrecy, and disinformation. When you see how the media ignores, trivializes, and even mocks the March for Life each January, and how it ignores downplays, or distorts such horror stories as what the monster Kermit Gosnell did in his Philadelphia abortion clinic as reported last year, you realize that choice, freedom, and health are not what abortion is all about.

For those who have not heard of this nightmare, Kermit Gosnell drugged and tied up numerous women who had second thoughts about having an abortion at his filthy house of horrors, performing grisly infanticides and leaving women with fetal remains inside who later developed infections. There were numerous accounts of women who were left sterile, disabled, and emotionally as well as mentally ravaged by this fiend. Part of the media downplayed this horror story, and the remainder actually used it to blame pro-life protestors for forcing women to go to smaller, less known clinics like Gosnell’s in an effort to avoid their protests at Planned Parenthood clinics. While the media largely ignores or downplays reports linking Planned Parenthood with everything from concealing rape and sexual abuse to fraud, it manages to use reports of atrocities at other abortion clinics to encourage women to seek Planned Parenthood clinics instead, as if abortion can ever be fully sanitized, safe, or morally acceptable regardless of where it is performed.

The recent decision of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in Texas to uphold the constitutionality of a new law in Texas requiring that abortion providers provide ultrasound exams and that women listen to the doctor’s description of her unborn child and to the heartbeat before deciding to abort provided another example of how abortion supporters are actually quite allergic to the choice they so passionately trumpet. Studies indicate that 84% of women actually change their mind about having an abortion after seeing and hearing their unborn child, so you would think that people who claim to be about women’s freedom, choice, or health would welcome such efforts, and you would probably be right. On the other hand, one might ask who would not welcome such efforts. Clearly, that would be someone more interested in preserving the abortion than the choice.

If the abortion industry is so concerned about women’s health, freedom, and choice, one would wonder what they would do if Congress passed a law requiring that all abortions be absolutely free for one year. I mean, following their rhetoric, wouldn’t that just make their beloved abortion even more accessible to more women, thereby spreading the kind of noble benefits they claim to provide? My guess is that they would go absolutely ballistic, citing how such a measure would result in all forms of terrible results including, but carefully placed, concerns about their financial status. Considering how many in that barbaric industry claim that abortion is only a fraction of their sacred work, I do not see how making abortion pro-bono for one year would destroy them, do you?

There are those who argue that things such as marijuana and prostitution should be legalized and taxed in order to reap a benefit from their existence and increase regulation of their unavoidable presence. These people often argue that it is precisely the illegality of these things that infects them with danger and lack of control, as well as wrapping them in the underworld element. That same argument is used by pro-abortion advocates who claim that legalized abortion has largely removed the danger of abortions. However, the Gosnell incident and even reports of abuses by Planned Parenthood demonstrate that legalizing abortion does not guarantee that the abortion industry will soon become the source of societal saints anytime soon.

Like the drug trade and prostitution, abortion is about making money off desperation and manipulation. Like the drug trade and prostitution, abortion is about unseemly practices which rob individuals of their freedom and choice. Unlike the drug trade and prostitution, however, the abortion industry is about legalized lies wrapped in facades of choice, health, freedom, and rights which actually conceal nothing but blatant greed, financial and political.

If one thinks about it, abortion is more about surrender than choice. It is more about eliminating freedom than generating it. It is more about fiction than non-fiction. It is about seeing life as a punishment, a penalty, a mistake to be avoided at all costs, all in the name of convenience, practicality, and carte blanche for pleasure without consequence and responsibility.

Abortion is about convincing women to surrender to the twisted notion that they cannot find fulfillment encumbered by children, to the patronizing insult that people who will make money off their abortion care about anything other than that profit, and to the blatant and despicable lie that a child is a typo one can delete and forget about. The same people who tell women they have the right to integrity and self-respect will turn around and scrape women’s motherhood off their most private parts as one removes mud from one’s shoes. Those liars who pretend that the constitution ensures the right to kill will ignore that same document’s very clear protection of the right to live. Worst of all, those so-called leaders whose record indicates a disdain for the unborn, partially born, or newly born will turn around and treat us as if we were born yesterday with their offensive assumptions, condescending clichés, and hypocritical demonstrations of noble intent.

At the end of the day, abortion may well be the most hypocritical, patronizing, and vile irony inflicted on mankind. Those who preach it wax poetic about being progressive, enlightened, modern, practical, reasonable, fair, compassionate, noble, and, yes, even moral. They wrap these lies in platitudes about freedom and choice, painting those who oppose abortion as oppressive, obtrusive, intolerant, ignorant, arrogant, and manipulative. When push comes to shove, however, the abortion lobby and its friends are the ones who oppress, obstruct, distort, patronize, manipulate, and hide. They who would cite freedom and choice are the ones most often limiting women’s potential and choices.

The abortion industry pretends to be all about the “yes” in women’s lives but, when the rubber hits the pavement, it is much more about the “no” in their options.

© Gabriel Garnica

Abortion: The Ultimate Discrimination


In observance of the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I will hold off on Part 2 of my discussion on whether the Novus Ordo Rite embodies Deus solus until a later time. At this time, I would like to state the case why abortion is truly the ultimate form of discrimination. The dictionary defines discrimination as ” treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group,class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit.” Clearly, abortion advocates make an unfavorable distinction against the unwanted unborn based on the fact that they are unwanted and unborn. In other words, to be aborted in this country at the present time, you usually have to be both unwanted and unborn.

Unwanted as enough reason to murder?

Presumably, no abortion advocate in this country would yet argue that a wanted unborn child should be forcibly aborted. I say “yet” because, as we all know, there is evidence of forced abortion by the state in countries like China. One may assume, unfortunately, that continued extension and twisted justification of the right of the state to allow abortions could eventually lead, as it has in China, to all forms of even more detestable rationalizations for abortion in any society which argues that the state knows what is best for its citizenry. Not accidentally, this argument is often at the root of many  Democratic and liberal policies and, also not coincidentally, Democrats and liberals are usually ardent supporters of abortion. Thus, being unwanted is a critical requirement for ending up dismembered, chemically burned, or poisoned in a trash can of Planned Parenthood.

Would anyone in their right mind argue that we should be allowed to kill unwanted people?  Is that not what the Nazis did?  Suppose the powers that be decided that the homeless, poor, or sick are unwanted, or burdensome. Should said powers then be allowed to go around shooting or beheading such people to get them of out society’s  hair?  Of course not, although, again, such evils as euthanasia and health policies which treat the sick and elderly as less worthwhile recipients of health care are certainly a step in the direction of the kind of madness that the Nazis displayed with great ease.

Having shown that, thankfully, we have not yet reached the moral cesspool where being unwanted is enough reason for being killed, it has to be accepted that legal abortion requires yet another unfavorable distinction to pass this society’s twisted legal muster.

The Unborn Requirement

In order to be disposable by abortion in this country, one has to be not only unwanted but, more importantly, unborn.  Being born, of course, means that one has not yet been born. Again, we have an unfavorable distinction being made based on the class belonged to rather than on individual merit and considerations, so making an unfavorable distinction against any person or thing based on that person or thing not yet having been born is clearly discrimination.

Discrimination is Usually Illogical

If there is one thing we can argue about most cases of discrimination, it is that such cases usually illustrate a glaring lack of reason and logic.  It is absurd, for example, to argue that a Latino female cannot be a great doctor simply because she is Latino and/or a female.  Similarly, saying that African-Americans cannot enter certain professions simply because they are African-Americans would justifiably be widely seen as a detestable and logically pathetic illustration of ignorance.  If society is so quick to revolt against the above examples of bias propped up by pathetic logic, then how can that same society even dare to defend the heinous evil of abortion?  Clearly, those who defend and even support abortion dare to do so by propping their case on the most flimsy logic possible.  Sadly, the popular media and others supporting abortion give themselves and others a waiver on logic in order to justify this drivel.

The Logical Absurdity of Abortion Defenders

Abortion supporters generally present a number of arguments in favor of abortion which have about as much logical depth as a drunk attempting to solve a moral dilemma.  These pathetic arguments and their logical weaknesses are as follows:

1)  Abortion is a Private Matter Between a Woman and Her Doctor……Can I kill someone in the privacy of my home or with the help of a doctor?   Of course not!

2)  Poor women who cannot afford a child should not be forced to support one……If I lose my job and cannot support my kids or wife, can I kill them to cut costs?  Absurd!

3)  Victims of rape should not be forced to have a child which reminds them of that nightmare………Can a woman kill a co-worker who reminds her of her rapist?   Kidding right?

4)   The unborn is not a human being…………………This claim is contradicted by modern embryology as well as countless experts in that field, and is usually really saying that the unborn is not yet a human being. However, as many pro-life experts argue, if you took a photo of a once-in-a-lifetime event that could change your life using an old Polaroid camera and I ripped up that photo before it developed, you would likely become enraged and yell something like “Hey, you destroyed my photo of a rare once-in-a lifetime event!!!”  It is, conversely, unlikely that you would either say “Oh, too bad, what you destroyed was not yet a unique photo anyway”  or “Hey, you ripped up my blank photo!”  The point is, the photo was developing on its own and only needed time to become what it was destined to be, just as unborn child is!  This contrasts with a few parts of a car or computer which cannot become a car or computer from themselves but need an outside addition of more parts.  Given time, the blank Polaroid will become a unique photo of  rare event and the unborn child will become a unique person. Given all the time in the world, the steering wheel, motor, transmission, and glove compartment, however, will never become a car unless someone adds more parts.

5)  The unborn may be human, be it is not a person…..At its core, this “person hood” argument, which has been identified by many as the core of the abortion debate and, not coincidentally, the greatest weakness of  the pro-abortion side, is really saying that the unborn have less rights than the born because, as philosopher Stephen Schwarz and others point out, there is no    morally significant difference between the embryo you once were and the adult you are today. In fact, the only difference between that embryo you were and you today is based on size, level of development, environment, and degree of dependency.  However, would we argue that smaller people have less rights than bigger people, that young girls have less rights than fully developed women,  that the mentally retarded or physically challenged have less rights than others, that people in Alabama have less rights than those in New York, or that people who need a respirator or wheelchair have less rights than those who do not need these things?  Of course not, and to do so would represent, you guessed it, the kind of absurd and heinous discrimination that many of the very same people who scream in support of abortion rights rail against the next day.

Conclusion

We live in a society which proclaims to be intolerant of all forms of discrimination, which protests even the slightest hint of bias against people based on who they are or what group they belong to, which twists into a pretzel with even the smallest appearance of profiling against certain groups.  We define discrimination as a great evil, and pretend to be crusaders against this evil on every level.  Despite this, we are living in a society which allows the unborn to be slaughtered under the most pathetic, the most absurd, the most repugnant rationales ever concocted by human beings with a working ( I presume) brain.  Like all forms of discrimination, these rationales are weak and flimsy.  Like all forms of discrimination, these crimes should not be tolerated in a sane society.  Do we allow women to become prostitutes because they have a right to do whatever they want with their body?  No, because we argue that prostitution victimizes these women and others.  Despite clear evidence that abortion increases the danger of breast cancer, of subsequent depression, and other harms to the woman, the popular media and its abortion allies continue to paint abortion as a great and noble element of women’s health.  Despite the logical absurdity of the abortion argument as noted above, these forces continue to paint abortion as a virtuous and logical defense of women’s rights.  Like all discrimination,  abortion is nothing more than blatant ignorance justified by illogical absurdity painted as a societal and even moral right and good.

At the end of the day,  abortion, like all form of prejudice, can only exist where there is a moral vacuum between what what we ought to do and what we want to do.  For too long, and in too many ways, we have been brainwashed into thinking that, if we come up with enough excuses, we can excuse anything.  For too long, and in too many ways, we pride ourselves morally superior of ancient societies that sacrificed humans to appease their gods.  Simply put, we have no right to dress ourselves in the garb of moral arbiters for any society, modern or ancient, so-called enlightened or backward,  good or evil, until we remove the plank in our eye which is this most ultimate discrimination of all.

Copyright, Gabriel Garnica   2011

Herod was Also Pro-Choice


By all accounts, Herod was a monster. Although no Caligula, he could commit atrocities with the worst of them.  Historians cite the murder of 45 opponents upon assuming his throne, a brother-in-law, the second of his ten wives, and three of his own sons!  According to many scholars, Herod likely suffered from some form of Paranoid Personality Disorder, and he clearly had no qualms about murdering those he found inconvenient or even threatening to his pathetic grasp of power and influence.

While a number of scholars question the historical veracity of the slaughter of the innocents by Herod, and partly base this on the absence of clear, hard historical evidence, many others find numerous plausible explanations for this lack of evidence.  Josephus, a famous historical writer of the time, did not record the slaughter, either because he was not aware of it, or because his main information source was a good friend of Herod or, tragically, because the murder of innocent infants in that period at that location paled in comparison to other atrocities committed by Herod and others.  Furthermore, Josephus wrote for a Greco-Roman audience for whom infanticide was no particular horror. Sadly, both Greeks and Romans practiced infanticide as a form of birth control, and if they were unconcerned with the murder of their own infants, the deaths of young from a conquered land would have been even less significant to say the least.

Simply put, while there is no hard, historical evidence of the slaughter of innocents in Bethlehem around the birth of Our Lord, all known historical evidence indicates that Herod murdering infants out of some paranoid fear that these innocents were a threat to his way of life is no more unusual than expecting that he ate regularly and had little respect for the institution of marriage.

To add to the “insignificance” of this atrocity in the context of that time, there is debate as to the actual number of innocent children murdered that day.  While many writers estimate the number as anywhere from 3,000 to 64,000 innocent children, Professor William F. Albright, a leading  American Holy Land scholar, estimates that the population of Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth was about 300 people and, based on that figure, scholars estimate the number of  males two years old or younger to be about six or seven.  Certainly the murder of even one innocent child is one too many, but one can understand that such a relatively low number would futher allow those who would downplay such an atrocity to ignore this barbaric act. Given these points, one can argue that, even if Josephus knew of the murder of Bethlehem’s innocents, he would have considered the event trivial in comparison to the winds and beliefs of the times.

When a government deems innocent human life as being disposable, justifiable and, perhaps most important, insignificant, it is short step to infanticide for increasingly superficial and trivial reasons.  Between his insecurities and paranoid nature, Herod often saw murder as the convenient way out of many difficulties.  Such a perception would only be supported and intensified by the times in which he lived.  When a society allows itself to sink deeper into evil and sin, it becomes desensitized to an increasingly sanitized, rationalized, and delusional selfishness.

Herod was pro-choice because his society was pro-choice, not according to the desires of the  majority of the population but, rather, according to the whims and facades of those in power.  Such pro-choice is always based on the choice of the more powerful or influential over the weaker, less influential with the  least voice in society.

If one extrapolates the 6 or 7 murdered innocents in a town of 300 out to the present U.S. population of 300 million or so, the slaughter of the Bethlehem innocents then would be the equivalent of murdering 6,000 to 7,000 infants in the U.S. today in one day, which is nearly twice the 3,700 children murdered daily in the U.S. by abortion.  No matter how one views this barbaric act by this monster, it was most certainly an atrocity of the highest order.  

Although abortion defenders argue that rape and the health of the mother are critical reasons for keeping abortion legal, statistics show that only 1% of women have abortions due to rape and only 6% have abortions for health reasons, with 93% having abortions for “social” reasons (unwanted or inconvenient child).  While many such defenders argue that abortion should be a legal solution for women already “burdened” by other children and heavy family responsibilities, statistics show that nearly two-thirds of abortions involve never-married women. In fact, statistics show that most abortions are obtained by either middle-class white women as a convenient end to an unwanted or inconvenient pregnancy out of wedlock or by poor, minority women out of desperation and/or confusion and fear, with most abortions being sought by the former group.

Abortions in this country are nothing more than legalized erasers by which women can eliminate inconvenient, perceived threats to their way of life resulting from negligent immorality.  History shows that Herod was simply one of many historical monsters who saw murder as nothing more than an eraser by which he could eliminate inconvenient, perceived threats to his way of life resultilng from immoral rule.

We claim to be such a developed, enlightened society but, as history shows, so-called enlightened and progressive societies have long considered innocent life including infant innocent life as nothing more than a dispensible, disposable commodity. Let history show that those societies which see innocent life as collateral damage on the road to temporal pleasures will themselves become collateral damage to the predictable cycle of ultimate justice.

Copyright, 2011  Gabriel Garnica

The Visitation as a Double Cry Against Abortion


The visitation of Our Blessed Mother to Her cousin Elizabeth is recounted in Luke 1:39-57 and stands as a powerful, double cry against abortion.  Proponents of this heinous and barbaric act pretend that the unborn child is anything but human, but the humanity of a fetus is front and center in this beautiful narrative.  First, we are told that the child within Elizabeth, St. John the Baptist, lept in joy upon feeling the presence of His Divine Savior who, according to many scholars, may have been conceived 10 days before. Likewise, Elizabeth refers to that child within Mary’s womb as “my Lord”, thereby indicating that, despite the fact that this unborn Child had just been conceived, said Child was already our Lord.

So, in effect, we have two unborn children being represented as human. One, our Savior, was already being referred to as “Lord”, and the other, John the Baptist, was reacting to the Presence of his Lord and Savior.

Anyone who has ever seen a sonagram knows that a fetus is human. Those whose agenda lies in defending the vile act of abortion go on and on about how the fetus is not human, but accompany these claims with every effort to hide evidence which indicates just the opposite. 

Abortion is genocide.  It is a holocaust against innocent life.   Abortion is infanticide.   It is arrogant  greed and hypocrisy using distortion and lies to manipulate fear and confusion at the expense of innocent blood.  Many may argue the relative ranking of evil but, from my perspective, one’s defense, rationalization, support, or even condoning of abortion is a litmus test for qualification to argue against any other evil.  Can one seriously, for example, listen to an abortionist argue that it is a sin to lie?

The Visitation, then, stands as a simple, beautiful, moving, and subtle yet clear reminder that a fetus is every bit a child of God who deserves to live as much as any of us do.  It is the height of arrogance and hypocrisy to ask or demand any right or privilege while denying this most innocent life the right to live simply because one is  somehow inconvenienced in some way by its birth. The blood of these innocents is on the hands of those who perform this vile procedure as well as any of dismiss innocent life as some disposable commodity!

Copyright, 2011 Gabriel Garnica

Your Soul is Not Big Enough For Two Messiahs


At this time of  year we often hear much talk about our Messiah, but my question to you now is “Who is your messiah?”  You may answer that it is Christ, and that is a noble and positive response, but is Christ really your Messiah?  Do your thoughts, beliefs, actions, priorities, perceptions, and general approach to your life correspond with having Christ as your Messiah?  A messiah is defined as “a deliverer” or one who will free us from some sort of bondage or trouble.  Who do you look to when you are in trouble?  Do you see Christ as your way out of difficulty?  Better yet, how do you see Him as your way out?  How you answer these questions has much to reveal about how many messiahs you really have.

In the old days, families tended to be larger, with many kids learning to grow up together and how to cooperate, be unselfish, and be grateful for what they had.  Parents could not spoil anybody, even if they wanted to, because they had to spread the love more efficiently and profoundly than they do today.   There are only so many hours in the day and days in the year, and parents had to make the most of that time as effectively as possible.

Today, families tend to be smaller, with much less kids.  In fact, many kids are only children and therefore the unfortunate recipients of absurd attention and focus.  If you are treated like a prince or princess, you start believing that you are it, the center of it all, and you become spoiled.  Somewhere along the line, you start to see things through only  your eyes. If something fits your perception of things, that is truth. If something does not jive with the way you see or experience things, it is wrong and to be avoided.

Furthermore, your agenda becomes the transcendent factor in determining everything.  If something gets in the way of your plans and self-view, it is wrong or f oolish and deserves to be at least ignored and, if possible, mocked.  If, on the other hand, that something fits your way of see or doing things, that activity is “normal” and acceptable.  

This is why many people do not like Christianity in general and, in many cases, Catholicism in particular.  They see it as all about out-dated, even ancient, rules and regulations coupled with judgments and narrow-minded ways of looking at things.  This is because these people, whether they realize it or not, cannot conceive of subordinating themselves and their wants to any higher power at all.  This is why what matters is what offends them and, for that matter, anything that offends them should be removed, not because of some rational or historically sound argument but, rather, simply because it “offends” them.  These people have become, in fact, their own messiahs. They see themselves as the answers to their own prayers. Not used to having to sacrifice, compromise, or subordinate their individual needs and wants to anything, these people refuse to do so and simply look for “thoughtful” ways around this dilemma. 

They see receiving as more important than giving, and value gifts in material,  rather than spiritual, terms.  They find no room at the Inn because their head does not fit through the door!

King Herod was his own messiah as shown by his internal, self-focused attention.  Murdering innocent infants was acceptable because it was convenient, practical, and a seemingly logical “solution”  to  his problem, regardless of how it affected others.  The shepherds and Wise Men, on the other hand, were not their own messiahs but, rather, looked to the True Messiah as their focus of attention. They were not bringing their presence or gifts out of some calculated networking effort.  It must have been inconvenient and difficult to go out of their usual comfort zone to adore a shivering infant but, as people who look externally for their messiah often do, these people looked for something or someone greater than themselves as worthy of their worship, praise, and focus.

So, we must abandon the foolish notion that we are our own messiahs or, for that matter, the equally superficial view that we should only run to God when we think we need Him, for these so-called strategies are brimming with the false ideas that we are our own answer or that God is plan B or a convenient fallback option.  If you really believe that God is all that matters, and that Christ is your Messiah, God is the only option!

Above and beyond the shepherds and Magi, however, why not look at how The Blessed Virgin and St. Joseph put their comfort and convenience aside to follow the Will of God and rightly focus on the only Messiah any of us really needs.  In a word, make sure that you see the Star of Bethlehem above the manger rather than in the mirror!

Copyright, 2011   Gabriel Garnica