Please Support Mere Comments & the Fellowship of St. James
Monday, December 30, 2013, 1:52 PM

Ministries such as The Fellowship of St. James, which publishes Touchstone, Salvo, the St. James Daily Devotional Guide, and the Calendar of the Christian Year, and also archives many hundreds of articles that are accessed around the world 24/7 depend on charitable contributions. WE NEED YOUR HELP. We have $49,124 left to raise by December 31 to meet our needs. Please help us today.

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Please help the Fellowship continue publishing and archiving articles in defense of mere Christianity. Please contribute HERE ONLINE or mail your check today to The Fellowship of St. James, 4125 W. Newport Avenue, Chicago, IL  60641. Thank you. God bless you in 2014!

W. Bradford Wilcox on Sons of Divorce
Friday, December 20, 2013, 11:12 AM

W. Bradford Wilcox wrote recently at National Review about the link between school shootings and sons of divorce or fatherless homes. Of course, fatherlessness is rampant in the ranks of one group where most shootings in America today occur: urban gang members. I remember  a chaplain who served in a few Texas prisons telling me that he always asked new groups of men to whom he spoke how many of them had grown up in a home with their biological fathers. He didn’t recall even one ever saying “yes” to that question.

Walker Percy & Paul Elie at Dappled Things
Friday, December 20, 2013, 11:03 AM

Of interest, also, is an article and interview at Dappled Things, “Restoring Faith in Fiction: A Visit with Walker Percy and Paul Elie,” by Joseph O’Brien, who is editor of Tuscany Press, as well as an award-winning journalist and a poet. O’Brien lives with his wife and nine children on a homestead in the Driftless region of rural southwest Wisconsin. He is the staff writer for The Catholic Times of the Diocese of La Crosse, Wisconsin. Two excerpts:

Walker Percy: “The self becomes itself,” Percy writes, “by recognizing God as a spirit, creator of the Cosmos and therefore of one’s self as a creature, a wounded creature but a creature nonetheless, who shares with a community of like creatures the belief that God, who transcends the entire Cosmos and has actually entered human history—or will enter it—in order to redeem man from the catastrophe which has overtaken his self.”

DT: In your article, you admit that there are rare exceptions of fiction being written today with faith integral to the story. But why do you feel you have to qualify even these works?

Paul Elie: I feel I can’t find them and if I do find them characteristically they’re set in the past. Gilead(2004) [by Marilynne Robinson], for instance, is a wonderful book, but as I say in the essay, it’s a book that’s the exception that proves the rule in that it’s set in 1950s and the man who’s telling the story is already old. The plausibility of his account has to do with the fact that at some level it’s quite believable there were pastors who were thoughtful readers of the classics in 1955.

Faith-Based Dorms?
Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:56 AM

Here’s an article about a new trend in campus housing: Faith-based dorms at public universities.
As opposed to “beer-based” (and “sex-based”?) dorms, some might say.

Another Case or Two for Polygamy?
Wednesday, December 18, 2013, 11:36 AM

This story from the Witherspoon’s Public Discourse is not surprising.

In the new film Delivery Man, Vince Vaughn plays David Wozniak, a man who discovers that he’s the biological father of 533 children—all conceived through his anonymous sperm donations. Now, almost two decades after his “donations” (from which he netted over $20,000), 142 of those children have filed a lawsuit against the sperm bank to reveal his identity. They want to know their biological father, gain access to their medical histories, and discover their roots.

The film is fictional—but it’s not far from reality. In 2011, the New York Timesreported the story of one donor with 150 confirmed offspring.

The rest of the article is about the rights of children and the conflict with the desires of adults. But I want to focus briefly on the donation of ‘gametes.’

In the United States, there’s an open and unregulated market for gamete donation. Unlike Canada and most European countries, which limit the number of times a man can sell his sperm and have mandatory database registries where donor children can access their biological parents’ medical histories, the United States enforces no such regulations.

I am not sure what moral principle requires us to limit the number of times a man call sell his sperm–ONCE you’ve granted him the right to do that in the first place. Siring 5 or 150 children via donation–why limit the quantity?

This raises, to me, the question: If a man can father 150 children by putting his sperm into the wombs of, let’s assume, 150 women, why can’t he instead–for the sake of the children and the issues of rights addressed in the article–place his sperm in the wombs of, let’s say, only 5 women and identify himself as the father AND take another step toward responsibility and create a more stable relationship structure for a) the women b) the children and c) the community by legally marrying all five women?

In another case, if a single man may impregnate 5 single women without impunity, and if the state elects to financially support the single mothers (who do not choose to abort), why wouldn’t the state prefer or at least allow that the man marry the five women and support them and their children? Now, that’s not my idea, but we’ve travelled so far down the road of utilitarianism when it comes to procreation that we’ve lost our way. Nothing that appears around the next bend in the road will surprise me (I hope).

No “Gay Marriage” for Croatia
Wednesday, December 4, 2013, 9:01 AM

Following a two-thirds majority  vote for on a referendum, Croatia will be adding the definition of marriage as the union of a man and woman to its constitution to help prevent legislators from mandating “gay marriage” in the future. Two-thirds of parliament members would have to approve any such future amendment to the constitution to change the definition.

Croatia citizens have lately become energized to fight against the sexual anarchist agenda, as they have also turned back a public school sex ed curriculum that was promoted by pedophiles (of the Kinsey-inspired variety, used in the U.S., aimed at elementary school children.)

12 Nuns Kidnaped from Monastery in Syria
Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 2:33 PM

“Armed men burst in the monastery of St Thecla in Maaloula [Syria] this afternoon. From there, they forcibly took 12 women religious,” Mgr Zenari said, citing a statement from Patriarchate.” Please pray for these dear Sisters in Christ, friends.

The Importance of Home During the Holidays
Tuesday, December 3, 2013, 1:37 PM

by Janice Shaw Crouse

Putting behind us the sad melee that Black Friday has become and the stress of looking for the right gifts for loved ones, the days between Thanksgiving and Christmas –– two of our nation’s most family-saturated holidays –– are a good time to ponder the special meaning of marriage and family. Exactly why is it that the visit to grandmother’s house for holiday celebrations is such a treasured tradition and such an enduring, iconic image?  Why are we so drawn to it, whether or not it has been a part of our own personal experience?  What makes it tug so at our hearts?

Undoubtedly it’s because the event –– whether in wistful imagination or actual reality, whether smooth and warm or rough and gritty –– represents the embodiment of some of our deepest needs, hopes and dreams, a particular fulfillment of a vital part of our very humanity. It is difficult not to conclude that the need for such family connections is as hardwired in us as our need for a mate.

For one thing, family gatherings embody a connection to our history, to something larger than ourselves, of belonging to a whole which includes those no longer present but who, by their own marriages, created new branches from which we have grown and to which we are still linked.

Those who have been blessed first hand by joyful reunions with loved ones not seen for a while know well the joy of celebrating our place in the family tree.  We have abundant reason to give thanks that our ancestors embraced the bonds of matrimony and commenced to build something that enriched their lives along with all who were touched –– directly and indirectly –– by the tapestry of the family unit. (more…)

Scientist Discovers Reason for Prohibition of Pork?
Monday, December 2, 2013, 3:24 PM

It this the real reason for the Mosaic prohibition of pork? Although Eugene M. McCarthy (PhD, Genetics) doesn’t come out and say it. He think he has just found good evidence that human beings arose from a hybridization process, one which got started with a pig mating with a chimpanzee. The rest is pseudo-history.

Free C S Lewis Downloads from Regent Audio…until 11/26/13
Monday, November 25, 2013, 10:50 AM

TO mark the 50th Anniversary of the death of C. S. Lewis, Regent Audio is offering a series of FREE audio downloads in memory of Clive Staples Lewis–“Remembering Jack.”

The series includes J. I. Packer, Alister McGrath, Alan Jacobs, Ralph Woods, Douglas Gresham and James Houston. But the FREE offer expires at midnight, Tuesday, November 26–tomorrow. I just downloaded the lot, one at a time into the shopping cart, adding the code at the end of the order. It’s free after you set up an “account” which means simply your e-mail and a password. Pretty straightforward.



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