Despite HHS Deadline pushed back to Jan 1, still need to rally!

Most recent letter from Helen Alvare. If you live in or near the DC area this is especially important for you to read!

 

It’s time to make some intelligent noise here in DC, across the street from the White House.

Women Speak for Themselves has obtained a permit to occupy the famous Lafayette Park, August 1 (yes, in three weeks…), in order to speak out against the HHS Mandate imposing contraception and early abortion insurance upon religious institutions and individuals.

I know the deadline for the mandate has been extended to January 1, 2014. But it’s Summertime, and many of us have the flexibility to spend a day (the former deadline day) here in DC at a brief (one hour) rally, from11:30-12:30 pm.

We will do several things:

1. Carry signs and hear a series of brief (2 minute) speeches against the Mandate. I assume these will have two themes, corresponding to the different women we have in our group: a) that women care for religious freedom…its loss will have real consequences for us! And b) that many women are uncomfortable or worse with government pushing the simplistic and often harmful agenda that contraception is the pinnacle of women’s freedom and equality.

2. TELL THE PRESS IN ADVANCE TO COME SEE THAT MANY WOMEN CONTEST THE CLAIM OF SOME WOMEN (Rep. Pelosi, Secretary Sebelius) TO SPEAK FOR ALL WOMEN.

3. Speak to any members of the public/DC tourists who walk by and give them our letter.

4. Walk a contingent over to HHS and/or V.P. Biden’s (America’s most highly placed Catholic!!) office (I’m trying to secure appointments with both offices), and deliver our nearly 41,000 signatures.

So usually I am asking you to do LOCAL stuff.  This time, I want you to come to D.C. if you can.

I only need about 150-200 women, because that’s what I told the Park Service.

But I REALLY need you!

I also need:

1. Hand-made signs (We will have some printed in advance,…but we need more). Nothing on sticks; it’s forbidden.  I will send suggested messages if you want to use them,  later in July.

2. I NEED A NURSE WHO CAN DO FIRST AID AT THE RALLY (Park Service requires)

3. I need about 15 women to give two-minute testimonies re either topic pertaining to the mandate. Email me if you would like to. I would need to see them in advance please!

4. A volunteer to video so we can put on our website.

5.  Women ready to chat with any reporters in advance or during.

6.  Five women who will “marshall,” i.e. help keep crowd orderly and know what to do in case of quick evacuation.

I’m trying to keep this “simple” but effective, intelligent, FEMALE and press-worthy.
Will you help?

In hope,
Helen

Bad Science and Failed Freedom Protections in the HHS Mandate by Helen Alvare

Ever heard of the Public Discourse? Check it out sometime – some great minds come together and post their thoughts on issues. In this particular article Helen Alvare (obviously I’m a huge fan since I bring her up ALL. THE. TIME. on this blog) discusses major issues with the HHS Mandate put forth last year. This article was posted on February 5th 2013.

 

Bad Science and Failed Freedom Protections in the HHS Mandate

 

 

Helen Alvare #Nailedit

Start at minute 19 and go until 32:20. Helen Alvare, from Women Speak for Themselves, points out how women and the poor suffer the greatest from the governments’ inadequate policies regarding sex and family.

So…What Exactly do Catholics Believe About Marriage, Sex & Family Planning?

Regardless of whether you’re Catholic, there may be some confusion regarding the exact teachings on marriage, sexual intimacy and family.

If you’re trying to navigate these waters, it’s important to turn to authentic Catholic resources to get the scoop. There are many, many, many misunderstandings out there about what Catholics actually believe and why they believe it. These rumors even circulate the pews of Catholic churches, not just among our Protestant brothers and sisters. And sadly, the misunderstandings can be very damaging and hurtful.

Here is a link to a great resource to get the basics on what Catholics believe on this subject matter. The document is medium-length, but straight forward and practical. Have a look, gain some knowledge and enjoy!

From Ashlie Dill’s Inbox: Updates from Helen Alvare

Below is Helen Alvare’s most recent e-letter to those following the issues surrounding the HHS Mandate (the mandate forcing business/organization to provide birth control, even if it is against their beliefs). Please read the letter below and check out the links – they are of utmost importance in staying educated on the attempt of the government to strip people of their religious freedoms.
Get educated; be courageous; spread the Truth!
Here’s Helen Alvare’s letter:
Sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you. I’ve been working on several projects that have occupied all my little brain cells, including at the United Nations and around the U.S.

Rather than recount individual developments, I want to remark upon a few trends I have noticed. Perhaps these remarks might provide “talking points” when you are confronting arguments nowadays equating liberty for women with women’s (and girls!) sexual license.

First: the Obama administration is not relenting in its push to force religious institutions to provide “free” contraception and early abortifacients in their health insurance plans, despite mostly losing to religious plaintiffs in lawsuits from coast to coast.  In a few weeks, I’ll have a (HUGE) law review article published describing how the federal government has never articulated the link between “free” contraception and women’s health.  I’ll share it as soon as I can.  It is clear that the government’s position is born of an ideology about “freedom,” not reason.
The Becket Fund (religious liberty law firm) has a wonderful summary of the litigation here:
http://www.becketfund.org/hhsinformationcentral/

Second: I was at the U.N. for the Commission on the Status of Women meeting, which, this year, was supposed to focus on stopping violence against women, globally.  The final product is here:
http://www.un.org/womenwatch/daw/csw/csw57/CSW57_agreed_conclusions_advance_unedited_version_18_March_2013.pdf.

Some good—even very good—statements were made about women’s dignity and the obvious necessity of stopping all violence against women; but it is also true to say that the negotiations were characterized by wealthier nations’ continually pushing  against the objections of less privileged and more religious nations, for women’s “sexual rights,” and the idea that sexual identity is completely self-made/self-constructed.   Privileged nations also ensured that the final document contained no mention of a “right to life and security of person,” – even as applied to born women!! – nor to women’s right of religious freedom.  They claimed, falsely, that more religious delegates even wanted to allow violence if done in the name of religion. The New York Times repeated this lie, and refused to retract it when presented with the evidence; they only published my letter to the editor, here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/03/15/opinion/at-the-un-an-effort-to-protect-womens-rights.html?_r=0.

It is overwhelming to see such a powerful news outlet lie, and to be at their mercy when it comes to setting the record straight.

Finally, I recently met with a renowned Mormon scholar on international religious freedom.   He recounted how often he is now hearing the argument that sexual rights trump religious freedom.  This insistence is a global phenomenon indeed.  If you like, I will send you some recent – and longer – intelligent literature on this.   What can we do?

  •   Be willing to articulate the MEANING and IMPORTANCE of religious freedom to us in our daily lives and in the lives of our families. Write about it in “first person” when you get the chance, because I think people don’t understand as easily, how believing in God, and living as if God really exists shapes our lives in ways that benefit us, and our little communities, and large nation.
  •    Be willing to explain why sexual expression is too important to be reduced to the level of a brief entertainment.  Sex – whether we intend it or not – forms a relationship. And it makes human life itself.  When its power is forgotten, women are its first victims, along with children. This is simply true at the level of data.
Thanks for putting up with my reflections, but I don’t know how else to “summarize” all I’m seeing.

At this holy time of Easter and Passover, may you be blessed with peace, hope, and (my favorite….) a passion for spreading the truth!

Affectionately,
Helen

http://womenspeakforthemselves.com/
https://www.facebook.com/WomenSpeakForThemselves
https://twitter.com/womenspeak2012

7 Things Charting Taught Me c/o Cassie Wilson

Natural Family Planning and Fertility Awareness Method are typically associated with married couples trying to achieve or avoid pregnancy…. but fertility awareness encompasses more than pregnancy achievement/avoidance. It’s a refreshing, holistic, reverent way to view the body of a woman and the way it is designed.

Cassie Wilson, a young adult Catholic, shares what she has learned through charting her cycles and diving deeper into the understanding of her feminine genius. Click here to read about what she learned.

You can follow her on twitter @cassiedrajw

Way to go, Iceland!

matt fradd

Did you know that currently in Iceland, the printing and distribution of pornography is illegal? In fact, if caught, offenders could be imprisoned for up to six months.

Well, Iceland may now become the first western country to ban internet pornography!

According to a recent article in The Telegraph, “The government is considering introducing internet filters, such as those used to block China off form the worldwide web, in order to stop Icelanders [from] downloading or viewing pornography on the internet.”

These proposals are expected to become law later this year.

According to Professor Gail Dines, author of Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality, “Iceland is taking a very progressive approach that no other democratic country has tried.” She continued, “It is looking a[t] pornography from a new position – from the perspective of the harm it does to the women who appear in it and as a violation of…

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matt fradd

Last month while I was speaking at a conference in Florida, I caught up with Brandon Vogt for an interview.

Be sure to check out and subscribe to his website: www.brandonvogt.com

Topics Discussed:

1:12 – Why is pornography so dangerous?
3:54 – How can men overcome pornography addiction?
5:33 – 1. Admit you have a problem.
5:54 – 2. Prayer and fasting.
7:05 – 3. Accountability.
8:13 – 4. Be open to counseling.
10:04 – 5. Forgive ourselves.
12:39 – How does secular masculinity differ from Catholic masculinity?
16:28 – What’s the most common argument for atheism?
19:45 – How do you respond to the problem of evil?
22:20 – What is Pascal’s Wager and why is it so powerful?

 

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If You Wanna Be My Lover by Ken Fitzgerald

“You’ve ravished my heart, my sister, my bride” (Song of Songs 4:9).  I’ve been fascinated by this line in Scripture from the moment I first read it 12 years ago.  The lover calls his beloved, “his sister, his bride.”  Now, this not Marcus Aurelius’ son in the movie Gladiator, tying to hook up with his blood sister.  This is a man who is deeply in love, who God is speaking through to show us a little somethin’, somethin’ about love.  Let’s dive into this…

For me, the journey started 13 years ago when a beautiful young lady ravished my heart.  I had a big crush on this woman and she knew it.  I went to ask her out and she says to me, no, she will not date anyone until she’s known them a year.  She wanted to be friends for one year before dating.   What?!?  At first, I took this as a rejection, but then as a challenge.  This girl was worth waiting for.

When the year came around, I asked her out.  Again, she says, no, there’s another stipulation.  I have to read the book Love & Responsibility by Karol Wojtyla, first, and then she’ll decide.  For real?  Yep.  So I got to work and I’m a really slow reader, but I was motivated like never before and I knocked it out in week.

I can’t tell you how much respect I had for this young lady.  I’m so thankful for her.  She made me wait; she wanted to see if we could be friends first and then possibly build a relationship on that foundation.  In the book, I found out what love is and is not, and what its opposite is:  use.  I learned about the hard-core responsibility one has in using the word love in the context of a relationship between a man and a woman.  I enjoyed having to work for this young woman’s heart.  As it should be!  To a playboy like me, she said, “Prove it, that you really want to love me and that I’m worth it.”  I had so much respect for her, and though we never got married (I decided to pursue the priesthood), that foundation we established has never gone away, and we both, I hope, left each other as better people.

Now a lot of people agree with me on this principle of building a friendship first, but the Scriptures seem to take it a step further and say be brother/sister first before becoming groom/bride.  Ladies, do you feel your spirit jump at the sound of this?  Hopefully!  Guys, are you feeling a little sick in your stomach?  Hopefully not!  This idea is good news, great news!  To learn to express my love/affection for my beloved as a brother to a sister, and vice versa, is a wonderful blessing and a beautiful call.  This is something that will help build a healthy relationship, one that is not based on pleasure derived from making out, fondling, or intercourse, but on care and concern for the other, based on love and service to the other.  It will give you the opportunity to learn to communicate well, the foundation of all relationships.  Learn to have fun together in multiple ways that don’t involve a bedroom.  Learn how each other interacts in group settings, out in public.  Serve the poor, the homeless, the elderly, the sick, the imprisoned, the youth, together, as a couple or encourage the other to do so even without you.  Do things for one another, pray with one another, build each other up as a brother should his sister, and vice versa.  Protect one another from the dangers of this world, and help them be holy because there are only Saints in Heaven.

Man, to view my beloved as sister/brother first and go from there, that’s tough.  It can be, but for God, nothing is impossible.  Come Holy Spirit!  God come to my assistance.  Lord make haste to help me.  And may we always do what love requires.  Amen.

P.S. If you’re already in a romantic relationship, one that did not begin as sister/brother, it’s never too late to put aside the physical relationship and concentrate on the emotional/spiritual elements, learning to love one another intimately without so much the kissing and/or fondling and/or clothes coming off.   Be creative.  “I can do all things through Him (Jesus) who strengthens me.”  Amen.