Wednesday, October 20, 2010

New Book - Three Years - BEAUTIFUL!

2,500 copies of our new book WHAT CATHOLICS REALLY BELIEVE is in boxes in a shipping container somewhere in the Pacific Ocean aboard the container vessel NYK Argus v.49E42 headed for Los Angeles. Then it's customs and transport to Michigan for warehousing and sale. A few dozen preliminary copies are being sold to some anxious customers and sent out to reviewers and our wholesale customers as samples. 

This unique volume, three years in the making, has the following features:

  • Edited for early teens through senior adults
  • Full dialogue text from Dr. Ray and Fr. Fete's television series.
  • Study questions for classroom or home study use.
  • Comprehensive Answer Guide by apologist-author Dave Armstrong , one of the most accessible writers in America today.
  • 127 Full color photographs by Fr. Gene Plaisted, OSC, of topical stained glass windows from churches around the world.
  • Ecclesiastical approval for publication was granted by The Most Reverend Allen H. Vigneron, Archbishop of Detroit, May 20, 2009.
  • 52 Sidebar definitions of often misunderstood terms
  • Flex-binding, that allows the book to lie flat on a study table
  • Comfortable size (8.5" x 6.5") and unique flexibility for holding in hands
  • Table of Contents with color keyed page-edge tabs.
  • Each unit is shrink wrapped to guard against cover wear and moisture.

Monday, October 4, 2010

NATURAL LAW and then there's "natural law"

Just got my absentee ballot for the November election. If you're over a certain age in MI you don't have to stand in line for an hour to vote. I plan on voting next week. As I scanned the ballot I saw a few candidates for the NATURAL LAW party.

Now, if you've read much of my stuff, you know I'm a Natural Law kind of guy. But I had not idea that the practical applicaiton of "natural law" could be perverted so much until I read this on Wikipedia:

The Natural Law Party (NLP) was a United States political party affiliated with the international Natural Law Party. It was founded in 1992 and mostly dissolved in 2004. Leading members of party were associated with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, leader of Transcendental Meditation movement. 
I think I see where this is going.
The party proposed that political problems could be solved through alignment with the Unified Field of all the laws of nature through the use of the TM-Sidhi program. Its other policies were uncontroversial. 
This is funny stuff. Who wrote this? SNL?
"Natural Law" referred to "the ultimate source of order and harmony displayed throughout creation."
I like that. Catholicism is based on Natural Law... but this isn't the same. The question is how do you know what those natural laws are?  
Harmony with Natural Law could be accomplished by the practice of Transcendental Meditation and more advanced techniques. Due to scientific studies of these techniques, it considered this to be a science-based approach. 
The NLP proposed that a government subsidized group of 7,000 advanced meditators known as Yogic Flyers would lower nationwide stress, reduce unemployment, raise the gross national product, improve health, reduce crime, and make the country invincible to foreign attack. Hagelin called it a "practical, field-tested, scientifically proven" solution. 
Unbelievable. But it gets better. 
TM would be taught to the military, to students, in prisons, and to ordinary citizens. Hagelin predicted that implementation of the program would result in $1 trillion in savings from reduced costs for medical care, criminal prosecutions and prisons, national defense, and other government expenses.
Catholicism would do this if everyone just went to confession once a year.  Just teach people to live a morally chaste life and you've got it. Anybody got any ideas on how to do that? .... don't tell me, TM.
Slogans included: "Only a new seed will yield a new crop", and "bring the light of science into politics". Catchphrases included: "prevention-oriented solutions" and "conflict-free politics".
Love that last one, "conflict-free" politics. Would it really be politics, then?

I have given up trying to articulate my many thoughts on this topic... at least until the mind melds in such a way that I can make sense. In the meantime, my good friend and editor a Catholic Exchange, Mary Kochan, sent me a link to an interesting and well written review of sociologist PHILIP RIEFF life work by David Lewis Stokes. I'll quote a bit then give you the link:
In antiquity the ideal of what it was to be truly human was to become either hero or sage. In the Middle Ages it was to become a saint. In our own time the best we can hope to become is — well-adjusted.

By the end of the 19th Century Jesus had ceased to be an apocalyptic rabbi or the God-man, and had become our primary therapeutic figure: Jesus is now the One who cares.
In 1965 Rieff’s “Triumph of the Therapeutic” was received as the work of a brilliant and urbane sociologist. Now with the posthumous publication of “Sacred Order/Social Order” — a three-volume meditation on art, history, religion and culture — we find ourselves confronted by a contemporary Jeremiah, who doesn’t hesitate to pronounce our most cherished cultural orthodoxies as “deathworks.” Rieff is a prophet of such subversive power that he’s sure to be sentenced to our equivalent of being hanged, drawn and quartered: He will be catalogued, shelved and ignored.
Whatever our own fate, we do well to commend Rieff to God. But may his soul, at least for the time being, never rest in peace.
Rieff's Search for a Way Beyoond our Therapeutic Culture