Monthly Archives: March 2012

A Quick Look at Why Our Civilization Is Doomed

Have you seen the show on National Geographic Channel called “Doomsday Preppers?”  I’m certain that the intent of the show’s creators and the network is to portray anyone who feels a sense of dread about the direction society is headed as a certifiable nutcase.  By singling out extremists who are stockpiling food and practicing bug-out drills with their family, the show mocks anyone who fears civil unrest, financial collapse, or even the rioting and looting sure to occur after a natural disaster.

The thing is, the people featured on these shows really are not the crazy ones.  What they are preparing for –albeit in incredible ways– is bound to happen, one way or another.  How do I know that Doomsday is inevitable?  Well, there are the obvious indicators, like the national debt crisis or the concessions our regime is planning to give to Russia after the election is over (but no one was supposed to know about) or the fact that if you want to fill your car with gas, you better have a wheelbarrow full of cash these days.  But those topics are far too intellectual to capture the attention of your typical American.  Instead, let’s look at some more subtle but easier-to-relate-to indicators.  Just check out these glimpses at what passes for normal, acceptable life in America:

  • The responsibility for choosing an appropriate prom dress for teenage girls has fallen to…high schools?!  I know, it’s just too hard for a mom or dad to say “No,” to their princess when she wants to attend her senior prom in Hollywood Slut style.  Much easier to just have the schools be the bad guys.  After all, schools have nothing more important to do than prepare Power Point presentations on acceptable evening attire for 17-18 year-old girls.  Definitely better for your school principal to explain why a skirt slit up to your crotch is inappropriate rather than having your mom do it.

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  •  I’m not sure which is worse about this viral video of a grown woman who can’t comprehend the concept of miles per hour: the fact that she is such an unfortunate cliché of the “dumb blonde” who is apparently the product of our fine American education system, or the fact that her HUSBAND thought it would be appropriate to share this not-so-flattering video of his wife with the whole world.  Just your typical American young couple who want their 15 minutes of fame, I guess.  I’m sure they both vote, too.
  • If you are not already in line to buy your Mega Millions lottery ticket, you are missing you best shot at financial security.  Or that’s what millions of Americans in the 42 states that participate in the lottery believe.  Staying in school, working hard, setting aside some savings each month, spending wisely: that’s for fuddy-duddies.  Why not just toss that $100 you might have tucked away for a rainy day at the convenience store clerk in exchange for lottery tickets and wait for the $640 million check to arrive in the mail?  Fine print for all of you lotto fanatics:  Odds of winning–well you’re 50 times more likely to be struck by lightning.  If you want the lump sum, a penalty will be subtracted.  Uncle Sam will help himself to 25% before the check is even cut.  And your state will take between 3% and 10% depending on where you live.  Oh, and there’s a pretty good chance you will end up miserable and broke within a few years of your big win.  But never mind all that– this is your big chance!!

Welcome to America.  These are the voters responsible for choosing the government officials who will steer this country…right onto the express lane to Doomsday.  Watch the show.  You’ll thank me later.

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In Which the Uncommonhousewife Becomes an Activist

Occupy Someplace or Other?  Definitely not.

Boycott Apple, Disney, Whole Foods, or the target of the day?  Please.

Nope.  I attended, and indeed dragged my children to our local Stand Up for Religious Freedom rally last Friday.  Maybe you heard of it.  After all, over 140 cities across the country held one.  Hopefully, the rally near you drew a bigger crowd than the 150 or so people who appeared with me.  (A note to the rally organizers: Lots of passionate supporters cannot leave work to attend a rally during business hours–even if it occurs during “lunchtime.”)  The small group did merit an itty bitty mention in the local newspaper.  The article referred to those of us in attendance as “activists”  and “protesters.”   Really?!  We First Amendment lovers are lumped into the same category with anarchist G7 protesters and the 99% grunge crowd?

So, there were rousing speeches, clever signs, some song and some prayer.  We even got the protection of a couple of city police officers on Segways.  The crowd was made up of young, old, and folks in between.  A Google search about the rallies produces articles from plenty of major news outlets: a surprise considering how the media largely ignores the annual March for Life, which draws hundreds of thousands each year.

In spite of the attention and the positive experience of gathering with like-minded people over a fundamental cause, I feel less energized and less optimistic than ever that this issue will be resolved justly.  With “American Idol” and March Madness on their minds, most Americans just can’t be bothered to consider whether their Constitutional freedoms are being stolen.  But along with that laziness and indifference, there is a strong current of Catholic hatred that makes any real discussion about the issue of religious freedom essentially impossible.  Just feast your eyes on some of these comments attached to the report of my local rally:

What they want is 2 billion Catholics in the world. More Catholics means more money and power for the church. To have a major religious organization with over a billion adherents worldwide eschew birth control is a travesty. What do they want, 1 person per square yard? Will that make the Pope and his Cardinals happy? OK, now lets house and feed that population. Luckily, most Catholics ignore the church’s stand on birth control. But what kind of religion is that? Give me a Unitarian anytime.

Since the Catholic Church in particular has failed to keep its female members from using hormonal contraceptives, church leaders are now pressuring government institutions to keep birth control pills as inaccessible as possible. That is exactly a violation of the separation of church and state, and anyone who values liberty should be outraged.

Things get really ugly when you look at the comments on the rally coverage for the Washington Post.

Before you Catholics think you can dictate the laws of the land, there is that little matter of harboring pervert child molesting priests.  Turn them all over for civil prosecution and you might have some credibility instead of being above the law.

Extreme Catholics need to grow up and realize that we are living in the real world, not a theoretical hair splitting world.  This is an instance in which Jesus would have said “render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar’s” rather than raise a stink to get exactly what he wanted.  The Church and the members should be out “loving thye neighbor” instead of indulging in self-pity.

This article is full of lies.  The Roman Catholic Church and other religious organizations that seek to deny women control of their bodies are doing everything they can to deny women their legal and moral right to determine when and if they want to be a parent.  Because they know that direct attacks have been largely unsuccessful, they are trying to control women by making it impossible for them to find providers of reproductive health services.

At best, it seems that the dumb masses of America think this is all about sex and birth control.  At worst, the haters can use this very public stand by the Catholic Church against the Obama administration’s policy as a chance to rehash every evil ever perpetrated by a Catholic.

There is a lot of work to be done.  One of the most important tasks may be convincing whoever turns out to be the GOP nominee in the presidential election that  it can’t just be about the economy, that there are cherished liberties at stake.

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Gotta Get Away

Sometimes I need to escape, so that’s what I did last week.  I abandoned children, pets, and home to spend 3 days with Darling Husband while he traveled for work in Washington, DC.  In spite of the fact that was in the lion’s den, I did not turn on the news; I had no internet access; and the only part of the newspaper I looked at was the crossword puzzle.  What with the presidential primaries slogging on and the unimaginable assault on religious freedom still unchecked, the time seemed right for a brief intellectual vacation.

Naturally, I chose the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for a pleasure trip.  The museum postdates my years in the nation’s capital, and I never felt that it was an appropriate destination when my kids were young.  So this seemed like the perfect opportunity to visit.  I don’t imagine the place is ever not crowded.  The day I was there, clusters of high school students clogged the passageways, making it difficult to read the displays.  I’m not sure what is taught to teenagers these days about the Holocaust.  SuzyQ’s AP European History course touched on it, but there were no essays or in-depth analysis required.  Frankly, it amazed me how little energy on the part of the course writers was devoted to what was certainly the most horrific event of the past 2 centuries.  I wonder, then, if all of those teens at the museum will simply check the Holocaust Museum off their list and move on down Independence Avenue to view the Wright brothers’ plane and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat.  I hope not.  The museum does try hard to discuss the greater issue of genocide.

As a student of history (indeed, a History major in college), the narrative presented by the museum was nothing new to me.  One of the things I find fascinating and troubling about the rise of Nazi Germany and the Holocaust is the question of how a good, decent people could allow such a thing to develop and flourish in their midst.  How could the German people not see Hitler and Nazism for what it was?  How is it possible that the escalating persecution of the Jews, followed by their disappearance and extermination, did not raise loud protests and spark revolt among German citizens?  Of course, I know the academic response to these questions: historical anti-Semitism, dispirited and resentful national sentiment following WWI defeat, charisma of Hitler, diabolical deception of the people by the regime, etc.  But still…How could so many have been taken in by such evil?  Where was conscience in all of it?

Once I returned home and plugged back in to news, it didn’t take long to realize that people are indeed easily taken in.  Apparently, too many people don’t see that history repeats.  The blatant assault on religious freedom under the contraceptive mandate, the upcoming implementation of government-controlled healthcare (private industry controlled by government = fascism),  indoctrination in public schools on homosexuality and global warming, Alberta, Canada’s attempts to mandate what values homeschoolers may teach, the British government’s decision to oppose the right of Christians to wear a cross at work, and the list goes on and on.  Even in our modern society, which is supposed to be so enlightened and tolerant, people are all too willing to surrender liberties to the government and stand by as religious groups in particular are targeted.

Perhaps I should have chosen Florida for my little Spring Break getaway.  It would have been far less sobering.

In order to end this post (which has taken me 3 days to write) on a more positive note, I am thrilled to say that my pastor finally mentioned the HHS mandate at Mass last Sunday.  I’m not sure what has taken him so long, since our bishop issued a statement almost immediately after the rule was finalized.  Nevertheless, he did touch on the controversy as an assault on religious freedom without going into the specifics of the government mandate.  I sent him an email of support, and I was happy to hear in his reply that he had received many such positive emails.  A hopeful sign??

*Thanks for _rokinfree at Flickr for photo.

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