jueves, 12 de mayo de 2016

MercatorNet: Trump and provocation; Christians and prudence

MercatorNet: Trump and provocation; Christians and prudence

Trump and provocation; Christians and prudence

He claims to have a mandate. So do they.
Sheila Liaugminas | May 12 2016 | comment 

He claims to have a mandate. So do they.
As the New York Times reports it, GOP presumptive nominee Donald Trump claims he has ‘a “mandate” from his supporters to run as a fiery populist outsider’ instead of embracing “a traditional, mellower and more inclusive approach” that some party leaders advocate. He got this far being provocative, and he’s not changing course now, he says, according to the Times.
Such behavior, rhetoric, and the determination to keep doing more of the same now that he has virtually wrapped up the nomination, has left many conservatives wondering and asking ‘What to do?‘ Kathryn Lopez notes the angst, and offers sobering considerations.
What ails us is a disordered view of what politics is about. We seem to have a bipartisan problem of looking for a savior in a president — it’s the stuff both of Barack Obama’s “We are the ones we have been waiting for” campaign and of Republicans (and now even some Democrats) idolizing the memory of Ronald Reagan. So take a deep breath, everyone — whomever you do or don’t support this presidential-election season. The presidency is vitally important, of course. But not in the ways we’ve been tending to think. Donald Trump didn’t start the fire, and there was never going to be a perfect presidential candidate who could put it out. That’s our work — the work of good citizenship.
Which is exactly the point Stephen White makes in his new book Red, White, Blue and Catholic.
It’s a perennial question: Can Christians be good citizens? The author of the second century “Letter to Diognetus” addressed this question. Three centuries later, St. Augustine wrote City of God largely in response to the same question. In American history, the question has been asked more specifically of Catholics, for a variety of reasons. At its heart, the question is about the nature and scope of the political good: Is the good of the political community compatible with Christian claims about the nature and destiny of the human person? Catholics should relish the chance to address that question because it gets to the very heart of the faith.
Which is living what’s known as ‘the social gospel’, the respect for human dignity, the common good, solidarity and subsidiarity. All of which can be helped or hindered by social policy made through the political process.
White continues:
I think one danger which arises from our politics of permanent crisis is the temptation to think that if we could just get people to vote the right way, and therefore have the right people in government, everything would take care of itself. Needless to say, having the “right people” winning elections is hardly a sufficient condition for a flourishing republic. The health of the republic depends upon our being a people possessed of certain virtues. The cultivation of those virtues — those habits which enable us to live our freedom well — is primarily the work of civil society. Government can help a little, and hinder a lot. But most of the work of forming citizens falls to families, schools, churches, businesses, and so on.
Which gets to what has become a struggle for people trying to get on with living out the  mandate of forming and serving a just and virtuous society. And that’s where the politics of passion gets mixed up with anger, and prudence becomes more necessary, as Nathan Schlueter points out at Public Discourse: 
This divorce between principle and prudence has made false political idealism seem attractive. It has also made prudence one of the most difficult virtues to understand and to defend in our current political climate. But if we want a just society, we must begin by recovering the right understanding of prudence. There is perhaps no better way to begin such a recovery than by studying the patron saint of statesmen, Thomas More.
The article notes that in More’s work Utopia, he explores “with great subtlety and wit the dangerous dynamics of anger and political idealism.” It’s a good study for our particular season. Having a character suggest that ‘politics is impervious to truth’, More makes his central point:
Don’t give up the ship in a storm because you cannot hold back the winds . . . Instead, by an indirect approach, you must strive and struggle as best you can to handle everything tactfully—and thus what you cannot turn to good, you may at least make as little bad as possible. For it is impossible to make everything good unless all men are good, and that I don’t quite expect to see for quite a few years yet.
How well this lesson transcends the times, and how apt it has become yet again
- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/sheila_liaugminas/view/trump-and-provocation-christians-and-prudence/18051#sthash.11WZ6aJv.dpuf

MercatorNet: Infertility and ignorance

Infertility and ignorance

In a society that’s so keen to suppress fertility, how many women really understand their bodies?
Tamara El-Rahi | May 12 2016 | comment 1 
I’ve never used any form of contraception, and as a by-product of that, it turns out that I’ve learnt a lot about my body. Because until recently, I didn’t realise that so many young women were so ignorant - to the fact that an irregular monthly cycle might indicate something about their reproductive health; that years of hormonal contraceptives can have a huge negative impact on their bodies; that processes like IVF or egg-freezing don’t work as easy fixes (if they even end up working at all).
As reported by the Chicago Tribune recently, a national survey of childless women in the USA aged 25-45 found that while more than half wanted to have kids one day, just under half didn’t realise the difficulties that can arise post age 35 (and therefore most thought it a good idea for infertility education to be implemented during school education and at Ob/Gyn visits). About half admitted that they would have made different decisions in the past regarding their fertility if they had been more informed.
So why aren’t women getting the information they deserve? One line in the article really stood out to me as a possible answer: “People spend years trying to avoid pregnancy, so it comes as no surprise that there are many misconceptions around one's reproductive potential.” Basically, society’s emphasis on avoiding pregnancy at all costs has led women to believe that their reproductive abilities are much more infinite and readily available than they really are!
I see it amongst my peers: young women are getting stuck. Media and society encourages a lifestyle in their twenties that involves sex without consequences, multiple sexual partners, regular prescriptions for the pill, and child-free relationships and careers. But then when age 35+ hits along with a settled relationship and often a longing for children, they realise that all these things were not conducive to a healthy fertility – with greater age has come greater complications of fertility, contraception has played havoc with their reproductive system, and multiple partners have infected them with diseases that could hurt their bodies or their unborn child. Really, is this fair to women? Is it fair that such a natural role of motherhood is denied them because they happened to believe what society told them?
It’s frustrating that women are led to believe that we are enjoying such an empowered time – a time in which our bodies are really ours, to do with as we please.  Pop a pill a day to suppress your fertility and enjoy a life of freedom! Start contraception so early so that you don’t even have a chance to discover if your reproductive system is even healthy to begin with! And yet with this so-called liberated lifestyle, they still find themselves with limited choices when it does finally come to having kids.
Real freedom means knowledge – not this medicated lie that too many women are living. It’s true that I won’t necessarily agree with how every woman uses her knowledge of her own body and her own fertility, but it’s not my job to judge. I think it is my job, however, to advocate for the fact that every women deserves to have that knowledge in the first place.
- See more at: http://www.mercatornet.com/family_edge/view/infertility-and-ignorance/18052#sthash.C7yCPXN2.dpuf


I have just finished reading Evgeny Vodolazkin’s novel, Laurus, set in Russia in the late Middle Ages, the last part of which unfolds against the background of a popular belief that the end of the world is imminent. Well, that is just what you would expect of that benighted era, isn’t it? Superstitious Christians obsessed with death and judgement.
And yet right now, a bunch of bright sparks at Oxford University are calculating the odds of the human race being wiped out reasonably soon – though I don’t think the four last things are on their minds. They reckon there is a 9.5% chance of human extinction in the next century, which means that you or I would be five times as likely to die in an extinction event as in a car crash. And if you read Michael Cook’s article about it, you will find their worries extend to a scenario that is, um, just a bit superstitious.
Mind you, the rise of Donald Trump and now his doppelganger in the Philippines,Rodrigo Duterte, could seem apocalyptic.

Carolyn Moynihan
Deputy Editor,

The transgender agenda: forcing us to lie
Dale O'Leary | CONJUGALITY | 12 May 2016
The 'bathroom wars' are about more than who uses the ladies'.
How the Philippines’ new strongman romped into office ...
Pauline Eadie | FEATURES | 12 May 2016
... despite a shocking campaign.
Advice for the Future Ted Cruz
J. Budziszewski | FEATURES | 12 May 2016
Do not stoke the fires of passion.
The end is nigh!
Michael Cook | FEATURES | 12 May 2016
Oxford researchers say that there is a 9.5% chance of the extinction of humanity in the next hundred years.
Infertility and ignorance
Tamara El-Rahi | FAMILY EDGE | 12 May 2016
In a society that’s so keen to suppress fertility, how many women really understand their bodies?
Trump and provocation; Christians and prudence
Sheila Liaugminas | SHEILA REPORTS | 12 May 2016
He claims to have a mandate. So do they.

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