I was struck by this line in an article on IVF:

When will women have children if the clock has stopped ticking? If you have a small daughter, you may be happy to think of her calmly waiting for the right man and the right moment before using the youthful eggs she has wisely stored to make healthy children. But for so many women–and men–there never really is a right time; there is always another promotion to chase, a bigger house to buy, another hurdle to clear. So there’s a question for today’s youngish parents: will your grandchildren ever be born, and if they are, will you still be alive to see them?

This was why Sue and I decide to have kids. There is no good time to have kids. There is never a moment when your life is under control. You just sort of have to have them and muddle through, like everyone else does.


This is why I hate mixing politics and religion — because it does as much harm to religion than politics:

The priest–the priest who had just joined with us in the prayer of the Rosary was now red-faced shouting. I thought. Talking about me. I had cooperated with evil. I had? I had killed babies? My heart was black. I was giving scandal to the entire church. I had once been a leader but now I forfeited any semblance of respectability or leadership. The good father grasped tightly the edges of the ambo, the unusual name given to the lectern in the Catholic Church. No faithful Catholic would ever contemplate doing what I had done. I was dead to the Holy Mother Church.

My wife held my hand tightly. We looked at each other in disbelief. Here was someone in the vestments of the priesthood who had called us to have our prayers be heard, who recited the Kyrie with us, asking the Lord’s mercy upon us, now seemingly merciless, telling me and the many there assembled that I was unworthy. I was to be publicly shunned and humiliated. My offense? Endorsing Senator Barak Obama for President of the United States.

The irony of ironies was that my motivation for the endorsement was entirely Catholic. No, Obama doesn’t share the Catholic faith, but he certainly campaigns like he does. As reflected in his book, the Senator is focused on the human person, on the common good, on the social justice of economic arrangement. All is so very Catholic.

It was time for Communion. Notwithstanding the indictment of the homily, I did not think of myself as unworthy of receipt of the sacrament–at least no more so then pre-Obama endorsement. Communion in the Catholic tradition is indeed sacred. We believe the bread and the wind is transformed–transubstantiated–into the body and blood of Christ. I have often watched my parish priest focus his gaze with reverence upon the bread and the wine during the offertory to gain some appreciation for the significance of the divine person whose presence on can scarcely grasp….

But I was not to receive the Eucharist that evening. The couples who stood in line before my wife and myself received the body of Christ in their hands or on their tongues and returned to their seats. My wife received. My hand outstretched, the priest shook his head from side to side. Was that a no? It was Judgment Day, and I hadn’t made it. LSAT Insufficient. Inadequate GPA. Do not pass GO…go directly to Hell.

The Catholic Church has waaay overstepped its bounds on the abortion issues. It’s no longer enough to personally oppose abortion. You have to vote to inscribe that opposition into law. Anything else — poverty, freedom, religious tolerance — means nothing. If you are not for the outlawing of abortion — hell, if you just support someone who is against the outlawing of abortion — you are no longer Catholic. You can literally go to hell.

This tends to happens when a faith that believes their leader speaks with the voice of God conflicts with a discipline — politics — that does not recognize absolute authority but works in compromise, bargains, persuasion and argument.

I would be remiss if I did not point out the following:

As of this writing, I have successfully kept the name of the priest and his religious order out the public record. Every expert in Canon Law who has examined the question and concluded under Canon 915 that the denial of Communion was unauthorized and inappropriate. After the even became public, Cardinal Mahoney called the priest into his office, and several months after that meeting, Father ______sent Carol and myself a letter of apology. The letter is thoughtfully written and the apology accepted. Perhaps there was a Providential hand at work using the two of us to teach a lesson to a larger congregation. The lesson? Any Voter Guide even hinting at a Catholic duty as a matter of faith and morals to vote against Senator Obama is seriously in error.

But the Kmenic incident is part of a large and troubling trend that is one of the principal reasons I can not vote for the Republicans any longer, no how matt how much I like their candidate. When you portray your opponents as godless (Ann Coulter’s best-selling book) or the Party of Death (Ramesh Ponnoru’s book) and claim you are on a mission from God (Tom Delay’s remarks a couple of years ago), you are no longer a political party, but a religious movement.

SciFi Girls

What impresses about the list of hottest sci-fi heroines is not the hotness but the quality of the characters. Very few screaming helpless women on this list.

Although, some of their top picks are little head-scratching. i have no idea what the hell Saavik is doing at #16 when Faye Valentine is rated so low. And Estella Warren’s somnambulent turn in Planet of the Apes over Erin Gray’s puberty-inducing Wilma? Come on.

I can’t answer for their top ten. I think they got the list upside down. I would rate Max from Dark Angel as #1 as Jessica Alba was practically the only reason to watch that series.

The Kitchen Table

Warning. The next politician who gibbers on about Americans “sitting around the kitchen table” trying to work out their financial woes is going to get punched in the face. I’m sick of these idiots trying to act like they know what the rest of America is going through and using dimestore metaphors and imagery.

Joe Speaketh

It’s college football day and while reading the great Joe Posnanski, I stumbled across this quote regarding the incident in 1978 when Woody Hayes ended his Ohio State coaching career by punching a player on the opposing team:

And this is when I learned a valuable lesson about sports — and politics and life. People will believe what they want to believe. People will see what they want to see. There was absolutely no doubt — no one was even denying — that Woody hit the player. But when I went back to seventh grade, the talk was not so much about that. The talk mostly was that Woody Hayes got fired unfairly. He’s an old man. He had done so much for his players. He had done so much for college football. He deserved to go out on his own terms. The kid didn’t even feel the punch. The kid was showing off. The kid was taunting Ohio State players. He’s an old man. He deserved to retire honorably. Did you see that kid act cocky after his interception? He deserved a punch. Anyway he didn’t feel it. And do you know how many kids Woody Hayes raised right? And he’s an old man.

I’ve been encountering this phenomenon this week. I’ve gotten multiple phone calls, e-mails and instant messages from conservative friends and family who are certain — not wondering, certain — that Barack Obama called Sarah Palin a pig. He’s a good speaker, they tell me, who picks his words carefully. And this was really a subtle way of calling her a pig. These are the same people, incidentally, who tell me Barack Obama is an idiotic mushmouth who can’t string two coherent words together when he’s not on a teleprompter — they apparently having missed his interview with O’Reilly.

In the meantime, I’ve asked them about McCain’s reprehensible slur that Obama wanted to teach sex-ed to kindergartners. Silence. And then something about how Obama is going to raise taxes or sell us out to Iran or grind up our children to stop global warming. Apparently, Obama deserved to have his record lied about and be called, essentially, a child molester.

I don’t mean to pick on conservatives. Liberals do the exact same thing. The people who were telling me that Jeremiah Wright was a non-issue are telling me that Palin’s Pentacostal church disqualifies her from being Vice-President.

It would be depressing except that a significant slab of Americans, demonstrably, are distant enough from politics to have their opinions changed.