The new reformation?

40B226DC63“Deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

That was the political quote of the week, produced by the wife of a former president who wants her turn in the Oval Office.

The quote could related to pay equality for all, an end to racism, the rights of women in oppressive Muslim nations or the need to stop religion-based terrorism.

It doesn’t.

It refers to the need to make abortion available by breaking down those beliefs that oppose murdering babies.  Of course, those beliefs are found in all major religions and even among atheists with a belief in natural law.  Abortion is murder and murder is forbidden among people faith.  It is forbidden among folks who know right from wrong.  Period.

The politician cited above has said in the past that abortion should be “safe, legal and rare.”  But the latest quote suggests that what is most important is that it be available over the objections of those mean old people with antiquated religious beliefs.

I have a suspicion she is talking about us pesky Catholics – probably those noisy Evangelicals, too.  We’re also trying to combine mercy and morality, forgiveness with following God’s word.

For our beliefs, we are suffering the soft tyranny of being marginalized.  But I’d rather be relegated to the margins than murder a baby.  I’d rather save a baby than win an election.  But with hard work and the grace of God, maybe the babies will win this round.

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The gastronomic cost of civilization

OC8WX0E0X3That bastion of journalism, Mother Jones, recently published an article about new evidence of racism and the decline of Western Civilization – the evil imposition of three square meals a day.

I won’t go through the entire convoluted argument here, but the idea is that humans were meant to eat when hungry, not regimented to eat at standard times.  And the foisting of this structured approach to eating was a racist act by Europeans against the American Indians.

Frankly, I think it was more the acceptance of reality, a practical adaptation to the modern world.

There likely was a time before the invention of the institution (school, office, factory, army, navy, marching band, baseball team) that people could pretty much wander about eating, sleeping, bathing or dancing whenever they liked.  But with a civilization, the things people do require a bit of coordination.

In fact, the need for coordination forced the invention of that symbol of modernity, the schedule.  And the schedule is what allows people to work, worship, learn and improve the world – together.

Of course, there are times when it feels wonderful to get away from the schedule.  To get away, I tend to go fishing.  But something I have noticed is that most fish eat early in the morning or as the sun is going down – they are on a schedule.