Imagine inviting some new neighbors to a dinner party. The first couple tells you they’d love to come. But, they warn, they think it’s immoral to eat animals, so please—vegetarian options only.
The second couple also wants to come, but—they’re almost embarrassed to mention it—they only eat locally grown food. No strawberries from Chili, or shrimp from Asia. Importing food from faraway countries damages the environment, they explain.
Couple number three also wants to attend—but, they ask, you aren’t serving genetically enhanced vegetables, are you, or meat produced by industrialized breeding practices?
At this point, you might be tempted to cancel the party and go out for a cheeseburger, followed up by a banana split—made with bananas from Ecuador. But you might wonder, as you bite into that greasy hunk of beef, just why it is that people have become so moralistic about food. Especially when so many are immoral in other areas—like their sex lives.
One person who has wondered about this is Mary Eberstadt, a research fellow at the Hoover Institution. In her article “Is Food the New Sex?,” Eberstadt notes that food is cheap and plentiful in the West. The same can be said for sex. Technology has tamed many of the dangers associated with sex, like pregnancy and disease. Moreover, social and religious strictures have all but disappeared.
Which leads to an interesting question: What would happen, Eberstadt wondered, when, “for the first time in history . . . [people] are more or less free to have all the sex and food they want?” Would they pursue both food and sex with equal ardor?
Oddly enough, they don’t. Instead, many engage in a sexual free-for-all—but put stringent moral strictures on anything to do with food. A modern young woman might think nothing of living with several different men, and having abortions when she gets pregnant. But she would not dream of eating anything from a factory farm. That would be immoral. . . (continue reading)
Wait. Before I tell you who won, let me first offer my hearty thanks to all of you fine people who proposed a caption for the picture of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton being shown an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico last week. Over 130 entries were registered, which was awesome.
Secretary Clinton's encounter with this image ocurred not long before she accepted an award from Planned Parenthood for her "contributions to the advancement of women's health care through [her] work promoting prevention and family planning" [which is code for contraception and abortion, dontchyaknow]. Watch the video of that infernal spectacle here, if you can stomach it.
This is the picture I asked you to caption (not the one above). The winner and the runners up are those who, in my subjective judgment, best and most cleverly captured the ironic weirdness of the scene: a woman who has made a lucrative career for herself as an implacable foe of the Pro-life movement (and, more fundamentally, a foe of all the unborn children who have been, are being, and will be slaughtered through abortion, as the result of her efforts to support it) being shown the image of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the mother of Life Himself.
There's no need for me to editorialize further on this bizarre juxtaposition of Truth and error, light and darkness, goodness and evil, which is represented by these two very different, diametrically opposed women.
The winner of this caption contest will receive a personally inscribed copy of my book 150 Bible Verses Every Catholic Should Know.
Nick — "Behold: The ORIGINAL 'Mexico City Policy'"
First Runners Up (3-way tie):
Micaela — "That sinking, nauseous, empty feeling in your abdomen, Hillary? Well, it isn't from the burritos . . ."
Dee — The culture of death meets the Mother of Life.
BillyHW — "Now a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. Then being with child, she cried out in labor and in pain to give birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon...well, I don't want to ruin the ending for you."
Second Runners Up (3-way tie)
Catholic Audio — "And this is the Protectrix of the Unborn. Wait...where are you going?"
Ileana — "You see Madam Secretary, THIS is the real First Lady."
Costa Adamopoulos — The former First Lady meets the eternal "First Lady."
Third Runners Up (2-way tie):
Andre — And in this corner, Our Lady of Guadaluuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuupe! Lllllet's get ready to rumbllllllllllllllllle!!!! (My money's on the lady in blue...)
Beren Camlost — One of these things is not like the other!
Eric Harnisch — Perhaps the closest these two will ever get.
Pundette — HC: "Who painted it?" Answer: No one you know, Hillary.
Jean M. Heimann — "Here we have Our Lady of Guadalupe -- protectress of the unborn -- someone you will never have to compete with for an award from Planned Parenthood."
Our Family — "You see Mrs. Clinton, She will be the one that will defeat the abortions in your country"
The Mighty Favog — "How quaint, these Mexicans. Remember, keep smiling. Smile . . . smile . . . smile. Surely, these Catholics can't believe in such superstitious hogwash. Am I still smiling? Keep smiling, I'm a diplomat now. I fake it when I'm in public with Bill, I can fake it now. They really BELIEVE this crap? Smile . . . smile. What if there IS something to this stuff? Smile . . . smile. Please let there be nothing to this stuff. Is the smile holding up? S'alright? S'alright."
I watched this movie on my interminably long flight to Tokyo a couple of weeks ago and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Given all the media hype surrounding its recent release, I had assumed it would be just another glitzy waste of time (or worse). But, as I discovered, that was a misapprehension. "Slumdog Millionare" actually has a powerful, positive message. To add some perspective, here's a bit of insightful commentary on the movie by Father Robert Barron (courtesy of our friends at Creative Minority Report).
And if you've seen the movie, I'd be interested in your reactions to it, positive, negative, or indifferent.
Fr. Jason Vidrine, a priest of the Diocese of Lafayette, Louisianna, has composed the following beautiful prayer for priests, invoking the special intercession of St. John Vianney. My suggestion is that you print this out and post it in your workspace or kitchen or some other place where you'll see it each day, and pray it fervently for the sake of our beloved priests.
DEAR SAINT JOHN VIANNEY, your childhood dream was to be a Priest, to win souls for God. You endured years of toil and humiliation to attain the Priesthood. You became a priest truly after God's own heart, outstanding in humulity and poverty; prayer and mortification. Totally devoted to the service of God's people. The Church has exalted you as model and patron saint of all Parish priests, trusting that your example and prayers will help them to live up to the high dignity of their vocation to be faithful servants of God's people, to be perfect imitators of Christ the Saviour Who came not to be served but to serve, to give His Life in ransom for many.
Pray that God may give to His Church today many more priests after His own Heart. Pray for all the priests under your patronage, that they may be worthy representatives of Christ the Good Shepherd. May they wholeheartedly devote themselves to prayer and penance; be examples of humility and poverty; shining modelss of holiness; tireless and powerful preachers of the Word of God; zealous dispensers of God's Grace in the Sacraments. May their loving devotion to Jesus in the Eucharist and to Mary His Mother be the Twin Fountains of fruitfulness for their ministry.