“Mama was forty-two years old when I was born in 1920. At that time, among her women friends in the small-town South, it was thought to be hardly decent for a married woman to be pregnant at the age of forty-two. Slightly scandalous, in fact, and seen as the product of lascivious behavior unseemly for a woman her age. Word reached Mama that her women friends, all members of her St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church, were saying out of her hearing that by her age married women were expected to be finished with having babies. Given that she was born in 1879, just fourteen years after the Civil War and the murder of Abraham Lincoln, her friends' disapproval probably was a medical remnant surviving from the early nineteenth century, when the average life span was shorter, when babies were delivered by midwives or by the family doctor who arrived in a one-horse carriage carrying a small black bag and calling for hot water and towels, when childbirth was hazardous and infections frequent and sometimes fatal. And in the early practice of medicine it was known that mothers older than forty or so often had problem babies. For that or some other reasons unknown to me, my mother's women friends—gray-haired, thin-lipped, cold-eyed and waspish—all thought she had committed a sin. While saying nothing to her directly, they made sure she heard about what was being said at St. Andrew's gatherings, leaving her to suffer the painful knowledge that there was ugly gossip behind her back. Cruelty in the service of the Lord. When Mama, a Presbyterian, married my father, an Episcopalian, these were the same women who privately denounced it as a "mixed marriage." My sisters told me later she cried uncontrollably when I was born because I was a terrible embarrassment to her. I had made her the victim of gossip. I was not wanted. I now believe that for every day of my life at home with her, every time she looked at me, when she could not avoid looking at me, I reminded her of the agony and suffering that came with me when I was born. I regret her suffering, but I must say I am thankful that abortion was not available at that time in that place. If it had been, I would not be here.”Brinkley sets the reader up with what seems like a standard trope about the religious hypocrisy of certain church goers. (Although like the decent man he was, he seems to make excuses for the narrowness of their views.) He then delivers the politically incorrect zinger in his typical non-philosophical style. I’m just a small town boy from North Carolina, an unwanted child by the way, who’s glad he made it across the wire before they legalized abortion and zapped me. As long time viewers, familiar with Brinkley’s style of commentary on politics and government will note, it is typically understated, but on the mark.
Sunday, December 28, 2008
It is rare enough when you hear pro-life sentiments from a prominent newsman, even a dead one. So it is worthy of note. Here is a passage from the late ABC and NBC news anchor David Brinkley in the section of his memoirs about growing up in the South. He sheds some interesting personal light on the topic.
Thursday, December 25, 2008
We say Merry Christmas. And we watch “Festive Fish Tank.” Best thing to come along since “The Yule Log.” Sort of a cross between “Yule Log” and the Discovery Channel’s “Puppy Bowl,” but, you know, with fish. Good for lowering the blood pressure if you are celebrating with lots of family. Way to go WFN-HD! Merry Christmas y’all!
Monday, December 15, 2008
Read the whole thing here. “The dignity of a person must be recognized in every human being from conception to natural death. This fundamental principle expresses a great “yes” to human life and must be at the center of ethical reflection on biomedical research.” “Life will triumph: this is a sure hope for us. Yes, life will triumph because truth, goodness, joy and true progress are on the side of life. God, who love life and gives it generously, is on the side of life.” - here the document is quoting JPII The Great. “The human being is to be respected and treated as a person from the moment of conception...” Problem of in vitro abortions & abandoned embryos: “The blithe acceptance of the enormous number of abortions involved in the process of in vitro fertilization...” “..the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved.” Last but not least: “It is never permitted to do something which is intrinsically illicit, not even in view of a good result: the end does not justify the means.” That last bit strikes one every time one reads the news these days about Blago-gate.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Tom Daschle, named as the new Obama administration Secretary for Health and Human Services. Need we say, if you haven’t already read up on FOCA do so now... here. Lots of marching, fighting, and clinging to come in the very near future.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Now it seems like that Old Time Southern Religion is getting Miss Parker down. The latest nonsense is up at NRO. (No, no link here.) She’s Christ-haunted but not the good way. You keep digging that hole, Kathleen, but, man, how far do you really want to go with this? To quote the fine Doctor, “I am sick and tired of talking about the South and hearing about the South....and Southerns who ain’t got no Oogedy Boogedy.”* Well, at least he really said some of it. * Questions They Never Ask Me. Walker Percy. Sign-Posts in a Strange Land.
What a day for men of honor. Dust off that DVD of “Tora, Tora, Tora,” (see our Recommended Viewing) or perhaps, if you have a little more time, “In Harm’s Way”—a better way to spend this particular Sunday than with eyes glazed watching the over-edited 25 Million Days of Christmas Movies. And speaking of men of honor, two men who have their Oogedy Booedy in the right place: Congressman Anh “Joseph” Cao and Grand Duke Henri of Luxembourg. Anh “Joseph” Cao, the Vietnamese immigrant, philosophy professor and pro-lifer, who won a seat in Congress representing Louisiana, beating out a more widely-known Democratic opponent who has a penchant for hiding bribe money in his Frigidaire. Henri, the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, for opposing the euthanasia bill supported by the Luxembourg Parliament. (More at Auntie Joanna Writes)
Friday, December 5, 2008
The end to a sad story. The natural death of Sunny von Bulow. Her children must be commended for their care and allowing Mrs. von Bulow to reach her natural end. Now, the good nuns and people of Lombardy are trying to do the same for Eulana Englaro.
“The Horn of Helm Hammerhand will sound once more in the Deep.” Come on, you like saying it too. Can’t fool us. We know what you were watching Thanksgiving weekend. Actually, this post should have been titled “The Consolation of Children’s Books” but, really, would you have clicked on this if it was? The Post Election Depression Recovery Program has gone something like this: 1. Read the Book of Revelation. 2. Watch “The Lord of the Rings” Extended Edition. 3. Watch “The Lord of the Rings” again when it airs over the Thanksgiving Weekend, just to be reminded how far superior the Extended Edition is to the theatrical release. 4. Have a 2-day mini-marathon of subtitle reading of the Polish Television’s Quo Vadis, a Jerzy Kawalerowicz Film. 5. Read in no time flat, “Grain of Wheat,” which is basically Quo Vadis for kids and/or for folks with no attention span. Either way, it was a good quick reminder of what we’re up against, us Oogedy Booglers.