Loss of innocence

Loss Of Innocence

My family has always supported scouting. By “scouting,” I mean the real deal – the Boy Scouts of America and the Girl Scouts of the USA. We knew these organizations to be excellent partners in forming Christian values. We trust them.

The Boy Scouts, like the Catholic Church, has taken a lot of flak for standing firm against a secular, relativistic society. Shockingly, the Girl Scouts have not. In fact, they have every intention to embrace the toxic sexual perversions of the secular world (if you think that is over-the-top, see below).

We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls.

Kathy Cloninger
Girl Scouts CEO
(see video)

As America’s largest abortion provider, I believe that Planned Parenthood is the face of evil. Their apologists will often point out that Planned Parenthood is not just about abortion. Fair enough. They also provide contraceptives and promote sexual immorality that leads to abortion. This is where their partnership with the Girl Scouts comes in.

PP, together with the Girl Scouts, endeavor to provide sex education to your children. PP’s provocative brochure entitled Healthy, Happy and Hot has been distributed to thousands of young girls and it is every bit as bad as it sounds (WARNING: graphic content follows, inappropriate at any age):

Sex can feel great and can be really fun! Many people think sex is just about vaginal or anal intercourse. But, there are lots of different ways to have sex and lots of different types of sex. Sex can include kissing, touching, licking, tickling, sucking, and cuddling. Some people like to have aggressive sex, while others like to have soft and slow sex with their partners. There is no right or wrong way to have sex. Just have fun, explore and be yourself!

Improve your sex life by getting to know your own body. Play with yourself! Masturbation is a great way to find out more about your body and what you find sexually stimulating. Don’t stop there: find out how your partner’s body works, what makes them feel good and what gives them pleasure. Talking with your partner about what you each like and what feels good is the best way to have great sex.

Your skin is the largest erogenous zone on your body, and your mind plays a big role in your desire for sex and sexual pleasure. Caress and lick your partner’s skin. Explore your partner’s body with your hands and mouth. Mix things up by using different kinds of touch from very soft to hard. Talk about or act out your fantasies. Talk dirty to them. Tickle, tease and make them feel good.

Do you feel comfortable reading the above text? Is it the kind of thing you expect your 8-16 year old daughter to receive at her scout meeting?

Some Catholic dioceses around the country still support Girl Scout troops. I am certain that all troops led by faithful Catholics and other like-minded Christians would never distribute this filth to their girls. Yet, these troops support Kathy Cloninger and the national body. Their girls participate in events with other troops with different values. All material from Girl Scouts of the USA must be viewed as suspect in light of this and the very up-front intentions of their leadership.

This alarms the Boy Scouts. In fact, they saw it coming. Two years ago the BSA took the unusual step of outright support for the American Heritage Girls. They are “a Christ-centered leadership and character development ministry.” In short, they are what the Girl Scouts once were.

Catholic dioceses around the country now support American Heritage Girls. If yours has not yet dropped the Girl Scouts, ask why not. Your parish, or a nearby parish, may support AHG even if your diocese does not. If worse comes to worse, consider an AHG troop at another Christian church in your area. Unlike GSUSA, nothing about the AHG is contrary to Catholic teaching.

An excellent resource on this issue is Girl Scouts – Why Not? I wrote about another informative website in 7 Quick Takes Friday last June: Speak Now: girl scouts (created by 2 young, ex-Girl Scouts). Finally, Abby Johnson (an ex-PP director) also wrote about this outrage for LifeNews.com.

UPDATE: Some additional comments…

The GSUSA and their supporters deny everything, alleging a smear campaign (ask yourself: why in the world would anyone do that?). Letters from GS state organizations do the same. Many people note that the leadership of their local troop is wholesome – I believe them. Yet, the reigns of the organization are now firmly in the hands of those in strong conflict with core Christian values. The evidence is irrefutable and manifests itself in both direct and subtle ways even at the local level (printed materials, badges, etc.).

Compare this to the American Heritage Girls. Do you know how much controversy there is surrounding them? ZERO. Are parents and girls pleased with that organization? Just ask any of them! AHG was created specifically because of the moral decay in GSUSA leadership. They are now what the Girl Scouts once were.

Websites reporting on the sad fall of the Girl Scouts…

Excellent videos (new as of July 2012)

Not convinced and need more proof?

There is more on the Girl Scouts Why Not? YouTube channel.

For more information, also see these articles…

When the Holy Spirit calls

When The Holy Spirit Calls

As God’s children, the Holy Spirit is always with us. Teaching us, guiding us, protecting us and leading us to salvation if we allow Him. Often His impact may be small…   just little nudges. Other times His impact is profound and changes our lives.

The story of Abby Johnson has the “fingerprints” of the Holy Spirit all over it! Just released from Ignatius Press is a new book that is chilling, and at the same time, full of hope: unPLANNED.

Abby was a director of Planned Parenthood, running a local facility in Bryan, Texas. She was a true believer in a woman’s right to “choose,” a fetus was just a clump of cells, and so on. She liked her job and felt she was helping people. After 8 years with them, Abby’s role was mostly managerial but she also assisted in many other roles as needed. Assisting directly in an abortion was the only exception.

One morning in September 2009 when Abby got up, she had no reason to believe that day would be any different than any other. She was confident in her pro-choice beliefs and had not even the slightest intention of changing them. Little did she know that by the end of the day she could no longer accept them. Pro-lifers were the “other team” yet soon, she was surprised to find herself switching sides. Abby could not be happier, or more grateful, for the not-so-little nudge.

I can relate. One morning in August 2009 when I got up, I had no reason to believe that day would be any different than any other. I was confident in my life-long Protestant beliefs and had not even the slightest intention of changing them. Little did I know that by the end of the day I would be telling my wife I could no longer accept my Protestant faith. Catholicism was the “other team” yet soon, I was surprised to find myself switching sides. I too could not be happier, or more grateful, for the not-so-little nudge.

My story is more common. In Abby’s case, she was asked to directly assist in an abortion. No big deal, she would be operating ultrasound equipment at the request of the doctor. This is something she was trained in but had never done during an actual abortion. For the first time, she could clearly see the baby, his or her reaction to their space being invaded by the deadly probe and witness the horror of their death as they were ripped-out and crushed (it is far more disturbing as she tells it). She then knew that she had been lied to. What she saw changed everything.

The evil of that abortion could not be stopped. To my mind, the Holy Spirit used that tragedy to show Abby – up-front and very personal – exactly what it was. Abby would soon quit her job, literally cross the street and join The Coalition for Life. Now she would be outside of the facility that she previously ran, letting the Holy Spirit work through her and praying for all inside.

There is much more to this story. Some time before the Holy Spirit had been preparing Abby and her coworkers. His agent that day was a Catholic religious sister. The story is recounted in the book:

“Oh my word!” I heard a coworker gasp. She was standing by one of the front windows facing the fence.

“What is it” I asked her.

“A nun. There’s a nun in full habit standing in the driveway.”

“I walked over to the window to look, and soon several of us were gawking out the window. The temperature was near 100 degrees that day, yet there in the hot sun was a nun dressed in a heavy, dark brown habit that swept the ground. Her head and hair were completely covered so that only her face showed, a face lifted toward heaven, eyes closed, clearly praying. Believe it or not, I’d never seen a nun in full habit before – at least not in person. I couldn’t help but think of the Reverend Mother in The Sound of Music, though this nun was clearly far younger, probably about forty.

“Her face looks so sweet,” said one of our clinic workers. “But anguished.”

“There was an awkward silence. Then one of our clients, who had just had an abortion, was escorted out the door and to her car by one of the volunteers. Our eyes were glued to the nun as, her eyes fixed on the client, she moved from the center of the driveway to the side, making room for the client to pull out of the drive. And then she began to weep. She fell to her knees and wept with such grief, such genuine personal pain, that I couldn’t help but think to myself, She feels something far deeper than I ever will. She is honestly pained. This is real to her – this grief at knowing that client had an abortion. A sense of shame washed over me. I tried to shake it off but couldn’t get past the fact that a nun was grieving over what was happening in my clinic.

…”The truth was, the sister’s simple, prayerful presence bothered most of us, Catholic, ex-Catholic, Protestant and unchurched alike, as if she somehow represented our consciences. The sister was small, bubbly and joyful. She had a radiant smile, yet clearly over the months we could continue to see that she was deeply and personally grieved by the abortions. How many other people cry outside my workplace because of the work I am doing? I wondered. I didn’t like the question.”

I think about that sister, how the Holy Spirit used her, what her prayers may have been and how God answered those prayers. I can only guess what she prayed for, but the souls of the children killed, the conversion of the abortion workers and an end of abortions are good bets. That the facility director would awaken to the truth, quickly quit and join her might not have been something she envisioned. Then again, maybe – nothing is impossible for God.

The abortions have not ended. I have no doubt that Abby was quickly replaced and the evil work of that place has continued uninterrupted. What we do not know is the impact of Abby’s story on mothers in crisis and how many pro-abortion hearts have or will be converted. While the full goal has yet to be reached, God’s plan is often a path we can not foresee. The Holy Spirit was working through the sister and (simultaneously) God had answered her prayers.

Today Abby is a dedicated, high-profile and very active pro-lifer. She sees the good intentions of people on both “sides,” but now knows the reality of abortion. The Holy Spirit now uses her experience to convert others, in this book, in speaking engagements and in numerous videos. Some in the abortion industry attack her saying that Abby is not sincere and has other motives. Bull! Their hard hearts have prevented them from considering the truth. Listen to Abby as she was moved one evening to address her past friends, co-workers and their counterparts everywhere – with humility, understanding, compassion and love:

Oh, one more thing…   Abby and her husband Doug are currently in RCIA, converting to Catholicism. Abby allowed the Holy Spirit into her heart and He has guided her far from the very dark place that enslaved her.

Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood

Recently I was asked why I am so opposed to Planned Parenthood. Yes, abortion is wrong but they “do a lot of good including trying to prevent unwanted pregnancies through contraception.” What, after all, have I done to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

Implicit in these statements is an acceptance of PP as being both good and bad, much like every organization and every person. As such, one is tempted in fairness to weigh the good against the bad to make a personal judgment. This is the same faulty logic some professed Catholics use to justify voting for pro-abortion politicians.

If instead of abortion, they were engaged in kidnapping, human trafficking, rape, slavery, torture, or other horrible crimes against human dignity – no one would want to balance any good against the bad. Yet when the crime is against life itself, many feel such balance is warranted.

The problem is one of weight. Abortion is always, 100% of the time, with no exceptions – an intrinsic evil. This is Catholic doctrine. Polite company might use more gentle words, but it is nothing less than murder. Absolutely no amount of good could be done by Planned Parenthood that would justify any Catholic’s support, as that support yields complicity in the unjust termination of human life.

Listening to Planned Parenthood and the politicians who fanatically support them, one might believe that they are really all about maternal health. That is partially true. However, do not let that distract you. A central portion of their “core business” is the taking of innocent life. In FY2006-2007, their gross revenue was over $1 billion dollars, including $357 million from clinics and $336 million from the government. They offered abortions at 287 locations across the country (expanding to 55 new abortuary locations in 2007 alone).

Perhaps you heard that Planned Parenthood also arranges adoptions. Also true, but for every baby they refer for adoption, they kill 120 more. In the US, an innocent life is lost every 26 seconds to abortion. The market for this “health service” is huge and PP does not have it all to itself. Make no mistake however, they are the 800-pound gorilla in this industry – or more accurately, they are our Auschwitz in this holocaust.

Interestingly, it was also the Nazi’s who practiced and promoted eugenics on a large scale. It is an undisputed historical fact that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was an ardent supporter of eugenics. According to the CDC, US black females ages 15-44 comprise 12.3% of the population. They receive 38.2% of the abortions. Those numbers speak for themselves.

Planned Parenthood is a provider of contraceptives, including abortifacients. It is estimated that in addition to the 1.37 million surgical abortions annually in the US, there are an additional 14 million chemical abortions via abortifacient contraceptive methods.

A business the size of Planned Parenthood is a fierce “competitor.” They lobby extensively and have the unwavering support of some of our top politicians. This paid-off handsomely in the recently passed ObamaCare legislation. $7 billion dollars is earmarked for “Community Health Centers” which specifically requires gynecological and obstetrics care and does not include any restrictions on abortion. The President suffered a minor tactical defeat in being forced to temporarily restrict abortions by executive order. Not only can that be reversed, at his pleasure, anytime – but it is widely expected to fall when challenged in the courts (which PP and others are certain to do). At that point, Planned Parenthood will be free to fully exploit the biggest windfall in their history in furtherance of their misguided, immoral mission.

In the interest of brevity, I have not discussed how Planned Parenthood vigorously fights every attempt to show pregnant women the truth of the life inside them, how they mislead pregnant women, the unconstitutional “bubble zones” they get cities to pass to keep pro-life people away, their legal attacks on pregnancy crisis centers, how they push to keep parents out of the decision, how they push abortion in every corner of society, and so on. Planned Parenthood is relentless in their pursuit of frequent, common, widely available abortion.

To the question that opened this piece, the answer to unwanted pregnancies is neither the slaughter of the innocent nor the promotion of recreational sex via contraception. Both have proven, serious physical and emotional consequences. The answer, boring as it is for some, is morality. There is no better teacher on the topic than Pope Paul VI’s encyclical Humanae Vitae and the teachings that followed on the Theology of the Body. For just a glimpse of this, see the videos by Jason Evert featured aspect in my 7 Quick Takes Friday post last week.

So, what can you and I do to prevent unwanted pregnancies?

  • Expose the truth about abortion and contraception.
  • Promote and explain Catholic teaching on family, sex and life.
  • Insure that charitable donations do not go to immoral organizations such as Planned Parenthood either directly or indirectly (e.g. through another charity like Susan G. Komen who financially supports Planned Parenthood).
  • Support and vote only for officials who are pro-life, as all faithful Catholics are obliged to do.

I will conclude with some remarks from Abby Johnson. She was a Planned Parenthood director who resigned in 2009 after watching the horror of an abortion procedure guided by ultrasound. In her position, she knew the Clinton’s and tells this anecdote:


me at 9 months

There was a time when, what would later become me, was just a mass of cells. These cells were raw biological material. It would not have been a tragedy if they had been destroyed for some good reason. While they would later be the physical ingredients for my existence, they were not me. They were contained partially within my mother and partially within my father.

One day, three “parties” joined together for my creation: my mom, my dad and God. My parents contributed the biological components that God had previously entrusted to them. The Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life – took that material and breathed life into it. “It” was immediately transformed into “me” – a life, a person. I got my soul at that moment. Where previously I did not exist, through the miracle of conception, I became the mortal child of my parents. Where previously I did not exist, through the miracle of conception, I became a child of God. “I” was created by all three “parties” as their child and without them, I could not exist.

Ever since I was created I have been growing both physically and mentally. While I continue to grow a little bit daily, every day since I was conceived I have been no more a person than the day before. In my early years I was a toddler, learning from and dependent upon my parents. Before that I was a baby, even more dependent for basic needs such as being fed. Further back, I was more dependent still – physically connected to my mother’s body for nourishment within her womb.

The above paragraphs tell the story of my life. They also tell the story of your life. There have never been any exceptions other than Adam, Eve and Jesus.

My parents were married for life, 72 years ago. World War II threw a wrench into their plans to start a family. They tried to have children without success when my dad returned from the war. Finally, after a decade and a half, my mom was pregnant. She was again two years later with my brother.

Throughout my life there have been many milestones. Some big ones include when my daughter was born, when I was married, when I was baptized, when I was born and when I was created. I was not created when I was born. Leaving my mother’s womb no more made me a person than leaving the hospital did. It was a milestone in my life but somewhat arbitrary. It could have been days or weeks earlier. It could have been later.

Medical science has taught, and continues to teach, us a great deal. Today, few honestly believe that life begins at birth. Never-the-less, for their own selfish reasons, many refuse the fact that life begins at conception. They engage in an absurd debate to “determine” the exact point that life begins as if it is not already known. Some propose it is when the child can survive outside of the womb – or to even do that without assistance. Some have picked the age of 24 weeks; or 22 weeks; or 20 weeks; or some other number. Some suggest life is too real to end when the child can feel pain.

People who are playing these games are not actually interested in understanding God’s gift of life. They are interested only in redefining its creation to a later time in order to end it without legally being murder. Many with well formed consciences will try in vain to convince themselves of this too, in order to live without the guilt of what they have done.

Catholics know that life begins at conception and that God has quite clearly commanded us not to kill (Genesis 9:6, Leviticus 24:17, Matthew 5:21, Matthew 19:18, Mark 10:19, Luke 18:20, Romans 13:9, James 2:11.

We are opposed to abortion simply because it is murder. Abortion is intrinsically evil. Your mother’s pregnancy was not a medical condition. It was a period in her life during which her body provided you with shelter and nourishment. Back when you were completely defenseless, she did not “choose” to “terminate” you by poisoning you, crushing your head, or ripping you from her body to let you die abandoned.

Your arrival into the world may have been inconvenient. Maybe your mom was not married or felt that she was too young. Maybe you were otherwise unplanned or part of a large family already struggling. Your mom did not have you killed so that it would be easier for her or your family.

Your mom may have been aware that some would say that you were less than physically perfect. She may have been advised that your life would be short. Yet, she did not condemn you to immediate death.

Your mom may have risked her life bringing you into the world. She did not take your life in an attempt to protect her own.

Your mom may have been the victim of a terrible crime such as rape or incest. She did not compound that tragedy by sacrificing your life as well.

Government morally exists to protect society, not facilitate the destruction of its members. Politicians who say that they are against abortion personally but are “pro-choice” are saying they will not murder but are not opposed to others doing so. They almost always are not only open to such murders, but work with great persistence and determination to facilitate them, make them widely available, obscure their true nature and pay for them from the public treasury.

In the taking of defenseless, innocent life, Catholics do not have the option of standing on the sidelines. We have the moral duty to participate in elections and may vote only for candidates who support life. Our bishops have again and again told us that no other issue, no matter how important it is, trumps life. No rationale, rationalizing, party loyalty or social justice considerations can possibly trump life itself. That is the firm teaching of the Catholic Church.

This is actually very simple. Abortion is always murder, it is always morally wrong and nothing is more important than life.

If you are unsure that abortion is always wrong, consider cases such as Rebecca Kiessling who was conceived from a brutal, knife-point rape by a serial rapist: