Monday, April 4, 2011

On Blood Pressure, Edmund Burke and the Domestic Church

This blog entry has been ruminating for a few weeks now and was delayed until my blood pressure finally recovered to within a normal range.  Actually, I never took my blood pressure, and for all I know it never ventured into the danger zone.  I can tell you that I lost a lot of sleep and my left eye twitched with such frequency that the crow's feet are more deeply defined on one side of my face.  All due to the 'mama bear' reflex gone into overdrive.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, just know that to 'mess with' me or my faith, I can calmly re-educate you. Mess with my kid... watch out for Mama Bear!
Knowing that our regular readers are just as passionate about certain sensitive topics as I am, I thought I'd update you on a topic I brushed upon HERE in an earlier entry.  From that post:
Our son who is in 7th grade came home with a permission slip for us to sign last night.  It was for a seminar to be held at our local community college this month with the main theme of tackling bullying.  The program is only for junior high students from all of the local schools and seems quite benign.  He shared that they will have a speaker and then can choose different programs to attend.  Then I found at the bottom a list of sponsors of the 2011 conference - YMCA, our local drug and alcohol abuse council, the college, other similar community organizations and at the tail end of the list was  PLANNED PARENTHOOD.  My reaction was not very contained when I read it and thankfully our son looked at me knowingly and asked, "What?  You saw Planned Parenthood is on the form?"  This was just last night and for fear of losing your interest so soon, I'll cut the details and get to the bottom line.  By 8 a.m. I already had e-mailed the school principal with my concerns and sent Alex to school without the permission slip and written a letter to the editor of the local paper. 
I was assured that Planned Parenthood was not to have any information distributed (or condoms?) to our children  and they were not making any presentations.  Were we going to be sending our son to something where Planned Parenthood was listed as a sponsor?  We could not in good conscience send him.  There were no pros to the situation no matter how deeply we looked.  Between spasms overwhelming my eyelid, I desperately tried to figure out which was becoming more upsetting to me:  Was it that Planned Parenthood was involved in this project for our children or that no other parent or adult in charge was upset about Planned Parenthood's involvement?  The more I thought about it, the more agitated I became.  I had become a three-eyed alien furious with an event that left other people looking bored to death.  There was this huge, white elephant in the room and I was the only one (beside my husband) who saw that it was about to devour our children.

Taking the lemons I was served, we made the best out of the awkwardly quiet situation.  Our parish was to celebrate the start of a 40-hours devotion on that very day.  It just so happened that my Bible study group also was to meet that day.  The day of the youth conference, our son and I had an amazingly blessed day.  We started with attending Mass that morning and then went to Bible study for two hours.  From Bible study, we went to adoration where we had signed up for a holy hour before the Blessed Sacrament.  Not knowing if he would be up to an entire hour after our long morning, I told our son that if he wanted to leave the church earlier, he could just go step outside and wait for me.  I lost track of time and being without a watch, I realized that much more than an hour must have passed.  I turned to leave to find him and there he was, still kneeling in a pew in the back.  He smiled and I looked at his watch - we'd been there in prayer for well over one hour and thirty minutes.  We walked out and I asked him how his time with the Lord was.  He looked at me with a huge smile on his face and he said, "Mom, this is the best day I have had in a long time."  Wow.   God is great!  And to think of the alternative programming option for the day...

My letter to the editor did not make it into the paper that day, but it was printed the following day.  Our local online news website covered the youth conference and included pictures.  They acknowledged various supporters of the event and clearly absent was the mention of Planned Parenthood.  I noted that in a comment to the author of the article and he replied to my comments noting that indeed Planned Parenthood was involved, and in fact, one of their "educators" had led a presentation that was offered to the children.  What was the topic?  Named after the quote often attributed to Edmund Burke,  the 18th century philosopher, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." Please forgive my repetitive nature, but I must point out the searingly ironic information again:  Planned Parenthood taught seventh and eighth graders about GOOD AND EVIL?!  If the bold print and capital letters do not convey the image of me to your mind's eye when I first read that information, please picture a 40-something woman with a twitchy eye, head spinning and green slime flying out of her eyes and mouth.  Too vivid?  You have no idea how understated the description is.

Our son came home from school and shared that his classmates all told him that Planned Parenthood wasn't even there - he stayed home for a complete waste of time.  He had missed a lot of fun at the youth conference and a free lunch.  At this point, it had become clear that many, many adults must have been abducted by aliens and had their brains replaced with something, well, alien.  All common sense, obligation to the Domestic Church and commitment to a good quality education for our children thrown to the nearest metallic disc flying through the sky.  I would offer to give them a clue but reconsidered knowing that I had played court jester long enough and made my viewpoint amply clear.  And their viewpoint had been sadly made loud and clear - to me at least.

"The most merciful thing that a family does to one of its infant members is to kill it."    --Margaret Sanger

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