Why ‘Healthcare’ isn’t a Right

Bernie Sanders, openly socialist candidate for president, has proclaimed that healthcare is a right. That shows a misunderstanding of the concept of rights.

If something is a natural/God-given right, people just naturally have that right until some government-type entity curtails it. Take freedom of speech. Now imagine a band of early humans. Those humans, to the extent they have language, just naturally are able to express their opinions freely. But at some point a bully-boy takes charge of the tribe. He may decide to punish the tribe members who express objections to Bully-Boy being tribe leader. Government— in the form of tribe leader Bully-Boy— has taken away part of the freedom of speech right the tribe members naturally had.

The same goes for freedom of religion. Before Bully-Boy came along, our tribe worshiped God by making offerings of grain and meat at a altar. But Bully-Boy’s number one follower has heard of a new kind of religion where the medicine man/priest leads a worship of Moloch that includes temple prostitution and human sacrifice of babies. Bully-Boy decides that Moloch-worship is the new official religion of the tribe. Everyone in the tribe must participate in Moloch-worship, and no other kind of worship is allowed. The natural freedom of religion has been taken away from the tribe by Bully-Boy’s government.

Now think for a moment about health care. It requires doctors and nurses, clinics and hospitals, and all sorts of machines to produce x-rays and CAT scans and assist in surgeries. All of these things cost money. No one has a natural right to get these  expensive services for free. SOMEONE has to pay for these things. And so health care is not a natural right.

To make health care over into a right, some big government entity has to exist that can compel these doctors and nurses to serve those who can’t pay the full cost. In Medicaid, government pays a reduced amount to get the very poor some medical care— but many medical practices don’t accept Medicaid patients because those reduced payments don’t cover enough of the cost.

Obamacare, by arranging something of a Gleichschaltung of those providing medical services, gets some medical facilities to accept more poor patients. The ultimate goal is a ‘single payer’ system, and under the principles that Obama seems to be promoting, no medical clinic or hospital likely will be able to refuse to give out abortion or abortifacient-contraceptive pills, to perform surgical abortions or gender-reassignment surgeries, and all must follow government rules whether those rules help the patients or not.

You can see that health care, rather than being a natural right, is limited to those who can pay the cost or find a helpful charity, at least until heavy-handed programs are put in place. And even then there is always some ‘better’ health care reserved for the elite— whether that’s the much-advertised ‘Cancer Treatment of America’ centers, or the Soviet Union’s special clinics for high party leadership only.

So don’t let anyone fool you when they offer you new ‘rights’ that are not natural rights. SOMEONE will have to pay for these new government-provided rights. It will probably be YOU.

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Does Evidence Matter in the Global Warming Hoax?

I’ve just read an interesting post over at author John C. Wright‘s blog. It states that according to the temperature data at the USHCN, the US is on a long-term cooling trend. While the recorded temperatures at NOAA show the required global-warming-supporting warming trend.

John C. Wright’s Journal: A Question about the Global Warming Hoax

Wright says: “The hoax was clear from the beginning for those with eyes to see when the same parties, in one case the same man, called for curtailing fossil fuels and modern industrial technology, bigger government and global government, in order to stop Global Cooling in the 1970s. “Opposite problem, same solution” is not the slogan of sanity.”

I don’t think that the evidence matters to the Global Warming pushers. They feel Global Warming is a great tool to force people to accept restrictions on their use of technology, bigger, more intrusive government, and population control— required use of contraception and abortion to hasten Earth’s population into a population shrinkage phase.

Using the fear generated by the Global Warming hoax, governments can do previously unthinkable things such as legalize abortion and same-sex marriage in heavily Catholic Ireland. Obama’s efforts to force Catholic institutions to defy the Church’s teaching on abortion and contraceptives, such as the attempt to destroy the charitable order Little Sisters of the Poor, are applauded by Global Warming true believers.

But the question is, how can America survive when we jettison the things that made America good? Once we were a haven for people fleeing religious persecution. Now our government is engaged in persecution itself. And if the mainstream news media does not report when a city threatened ministers with imprisonment for refusing to violate their faith, did it really happen?

But even people who obediently accept the Global Warming dogma sense what is going on. Writers of all points of view are coming out with dystopian novels, such as The Hunger Games. The zombie apocalypse theme is also wildly popular. This shows that even people who don’t really know what’s going on sense something.

I’m afraid that what is being sensed may be the death of Western Civilization, and the Christian-derived moral rules that made Western Civilization civilized in the modern sense of that word. And what can we do about that? Write!

Author Daniella Bova has written Tears of Paradox and its sequel, The Notice, which tells the story of a young Catholic married couple and how they fare in a society with bigger government and a government run health-care system that has population control as its major goal. I think it is well worth reading by authors and aspiring authors, because it shows what a skilled writer can do with some real-world events, extrapolated into the future.

Glenn Beck and Harriet Parke have written Agenda 21 and its sequel which tell of a society with all the personal freedoms of North Korea, all an extrapolation of a UN plan called Agenda 21. These books have extensive notes on real-world events which foreshadow events in the book. These books also are worth examining by writers.

But the most important thing that the modern writer must do, in my opinion, is keep an open mind. When people in authority demand that you become a true believer in Global Warming or be condemned for the heresy of being a climate change denier, don’t stifle your demand to see some evidence first. After all, if Global Warming were science and not a dogma, wouldn’t asking for evidence be considered the right thing to do? And wouldn’t tampering with the evidence to prove Global Warming be considered, well, WRONG?

Is it ever OK to stay ignorant?

QuestionMarksCloudsRecently this blog has been visited by someone who really seems to have a hate on for the Catholic Church. This person has a blog filled with stuff about the Catholic Church being the Whore of Babylon, and more stuff about how one should read the Bible in the 1611 King James Version only.

I suggested that this person read some books by Dave Armstrong, a former Evangelical/current Catholic whose books explain some of the misconceptions many people have about the Catholic Church. The person not only declined, but insisted that Dave Armstrong was never really a Christian and knew nothing about it or he wouldn’t have become Catholic.

I suppose people have the right to stay ignorant if they want to. But once you decide to be a writer or a blogger, even more if you write books or blog posts meant to inform, can you really insist on staying ignorant? I mean, my friend Dave Armstrong reads tons of books from the Protestant/Evangelical point of view, interacts with them online, even debates them. He also is well-read about the Catholic faith. So I regard his books and his blog as a trustworthy resource.

‘ChristianSpook’ on the other hand, so far as I can tell, reads only material from the more ignorant anti-Catholic sources and from the rather cultish KJV-only community. He also cannot be bothered to spell correctly, and uses the apostrophe to form what is intended to be the plural. (“Christian’s” for Christians)

Here is the thing: if you are serious about being a writer or a blogger, you can’t be like that. Even if your writing specialty is intended to appeal only to the more ignorant people. Because even ignorant people know a stray fact or two. They also expect a book writer or serious blogger to have their facts straight, and to spell and punctuate correctly. When once they realize that a writer is ignorant about something, they will cease to trust that writer.

So: if you want to call yourself a writer, even if all you write are blog posts, you must keep on learning. Read books with facts in them. Learn to tell the difference between books with verifiable facts in them and books that simply express opinions. Hint— good factual books make many references to original sources.

And posting or publishing anything that is not correctly spelled and punctuated is death to reader-trust. If you currently are weak in your basic English skills, keep studying until you can write correct English without a net.

 

Wicked Guns or Wicked Hearts?

JeffersonIt’s funny. Whenever there is a mass killing and the killer used a gun, all the mainstream media wants to talk about is the gun. Where did the gun come from? Was the gun an ‘assault weapon?’ Why wasn’t the gun kept locked up in some gun shop that shouldn’t be allowed to actually sell their guns?

No matter how many gun control laws there are, demands are made for more gun control. More classes of people are to be defined as unfit to own guns. Obama even wants to take gun rights away from some Social Security recipients. No more deer hunting for you, grandpa!

But wait a minute. Have you ever heard of a gun going on a shooting spree all by itself? No, there is always a person involved. It’s not the gun that is wicked, it’s the heart of the killer. And if that killer’s heart is wrong and he cannot buy, steal or make a gun, he will kill with other tools. Knives. Bombs. Poison. Chainsaws. Rope. Cars. Once I read of a killer who strangled a woman with her own bikini. Use a bikini, go to prison?

One thing has changed radically in the world during the course of my lifetime. Not the availability of guns, which is restricted in more places and for more people. But in my childhood in the early 1960s, the attitude on matters of right and wrong was far different.

People believed that right and wrong were distinct and ought to be know to everyone. People still believed that the Nuremberg Trials were right because the Nazi officials on trial knew in their hearts that killing Jews, Gypsies and disabled people was a moral wrong, no matter what the Nazi government said about it. And that people had a positive duty to do the morally right thing, even if the government had given the order.

It seemed that when I was a little girl, almost everyone who had children made a point to send their children to Sunday school or other religious education regularly. At the Presbyterian church I remember best, there was a religious education hour between the two church services. There were Sunday school classes for adults as well as children. Sunday school went on 52 weeks a year. Attendance was recorded, and if we went for 52 Sundays, we got a year pin. There were additional pins for additional years of perfect attendance. My family didn’t go every week, so it took me about two years to get my one-year pin.

Sunday school was serious. We memorized a Bible verse every Sunday. We were taught how to find a specific verse in the Bible. Sometimes the first child to find the requested verse got to read it out loud.

We were also asked to invite other children to our Sunday school. Most parents who would never take their kids to a Sunday school still permitted their children to attend a Sunday school with their friends.

Though there was an ill wind blowing and most of those kids, as teens, would learn to reject notions of right and wrong, there was still at the time of my childhood a consensus: some things are right, some things are wrong, and it is possible to tell the difference between the two. And even the irreligious people mostly approved of people following the teachings of the Ten Commandments and the Golden Rule.

Flash forward to today: in the Presbyterian church body that I went to as a child, it is no longer required to believe that Jesus Christ was the Son of God or the Savior of mankind. Abortion rights and marriage equality are the important beliefs at denomination headquarters these days.

Kids today are highly likely to come from broken homes of various types rather than the home of their married biological parents. And loud atheists are demanding that kids learn that religions are all bad and that the charities performed by religious bodies don’t exist, somehow.

You cannot say something is right or wrong these days without being loudly contradicted by someone who proposes a whole different scheme of right and wrong. Everyone to their own taste, even when it comes to moral views.

And so people who might be inclined to kill have a much easier time of it, when they decide to justify their murderous choices. After all, if respectable representatives of the more well-to-do political party can say it is OK to kill the unborn, the terminally ill, the people with brain damage such as Terri Schiavo and that stroke victim who begged for food and water, only to have a court rule she was not competent to make that request; well, how is some sociopath or person with mental illness to know it’s a big deal when the decide to kill the people they don’t consider really human?

The gun control advocates are just distracting us. The real problem is that our society is no longer together on following a set of rules about right and wrong and passing it on. And that just ensures that there are going to be more wicked hearts out there, set on doing wrong to others. The solution is not to punish guns, it is to educate people. And punish the ones who break the laws with imprisonment, even if prison cells cost money.

golden-rule

Should Catholics mock Mormons?/Birth of a Novel blog tour

Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS (Mormon) church.

Joseph Smith, founder of the LDS (Mormon) church.

This post contains an update in the Birth of a Novel blog tour— update is at bottom of post.

Recently I was reading an advance copy of a new vampire novel by a Catholic author I know from Facebook. In the novel, the main character, a Catholic, mocks Mormons, a famous Mormon author, and calls Mormon missionaries ‘creepy’. I devoutly hope the author put this in the novel to illustrate that his main character has moral flaws, as we all do.

But I do know of Catholics that make fun of Mormons and don’t think they are doing anything wrong. Some also mock Evangelical Christians, while others treat Evangelicals with more respect.

When I think of this, here is what comes in to my mind. Can any Catholic out there imagine Pope Saint John Paul the Great writing a mocking comment on a Mormon believer’s blog? Would Saint Thérèse of Lisieux call Mormon missionaries ‘creepy’ in a discussion with the other Sisters at her convent? Would Blessed Jacinta Marto, youngest of the Fatima visionary children, share an anti-Mormon joke with the other Fatima children— or with the Blessed Mother during one of the visions? I just can’t picture it.

Since Mormons follow Jesus Christ and read the New Testament to learn of Him, they have the truth. Like Evangelical Christians, they don’t have the ‘fullness of truth’ that we Catholics believe that our Church has. But then, how many Catholics are there that don’t have the ‘fullness of truth’ because they reject Church teachings they don’t care for? Or because they can’t be bothered to read their Bible and their Catechism?

I admire my Mormon brothers and sisters in Christ. OK, I kind of hope that they will become Catholics some day, but that’s God’s job to enlighten them if they need that. In the meantime, I love them.

When I look for other writers who are Christ-followers, I don’t turn up my nose at any because they are Mormon or Evangelical or Quaker or Episcopalian. There is one Christ that we follow. And we are all under similar pressures to hide our faith when we write so that we can fit in with an increasingly Christ-hostile secular writing community.

I hope that if any Catholic reads this blog post, they will consider their behavior towards Mormons and see if they have been acting in the way Jesus Christ and the saints would want them to act. If you haven’t, the confessionals of Catholic churches around the world are open— go to Reconciliation.

My writers group on Facebook, Christian Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers, is open to Catholics, Evangelicals, LDS, Orthodox, Protestants, Quakers and any other flavor of Jesus follower. Please consider joining!

I found the Joseph Smith picture at the Westward Expansion web site. 


 

Birth of a Novel blog hop

birth of a novel

Forward progress on my writing has been minimal. I HAVE worked up the courage to ask a friend to read the first draft of my short story ‘The Skin Shirt’. It takes place in a land where people change their skin color by buying a new ‘skin shirt’.

I need to work harder on making my writing a priority and working on it DAILY. I tend to be very disorganized due to my Asperger’s Syndrome and so have a problem with making writing a daily habit. But I’ve been able to make watching General Hospital a daily habit for decades! I need to work on this, with God’s help.

Join the Birth of a Novel blog hop!

We update on Fridays on how our writing life is going. We don’t have many people participating yet. So maybe what this blog hop really needs is YOU! http://charitywrites.blogspot.com/2015/07/birth-of-novel-july-17th.html

Asperger’s Syndrome: Going to a Legion of Mary meeting

IM001380

Some rosaries I’m making for Legion of Mary to distribute.

If you have Asperger’s Syndrome, ordinary social interactions can be very difficult— like going to church, interacting with the people there, and making friends. And if you are a Christian or even just a spiritual seeker, that makes you feel bad because you feel you are left out of the group and not very welcome— even though the other people who seem to be shunning you probably just think you want to be left alone, or even that YOU look down on THEM (because you are not making eye contact in the correct neurotypical way….)

For a long time I haven’t been making it to my church each week even though I wanted to. And I also felt the need to go to confession so I could properly receive communion. I got up the courage to face the scary priest in the scary confessional. OK, it was a bit embarrassing when I couldn’t say the act of contrition because I haven’t memorized it yet. [The ‘act of contrition’ is a special prayer to tell God you are sorry about the stuff you did that was morally wrong.] But for my penance I got to say a decade of the rosary— which is a devotion I really like to do anyway. I took that as a sign of encouragement from God.

I went to the Latin Mass last Sunday. I prefer the Latin Mass because the church isn’t as crowded then. Daily Mass is also good for Aspies who don’t like crowds. For Protestants and others, maybe there are Sunday evening and weeknight worship opportunities if the Sunday morning service is too crowded.

I really wanted to get involved in some smaller group activity at my church and I saw in the church bulletin that a group called the Legion of Mary was meeting Wednesday morning in the ‘Church Hall’. So I decided to go.

The first thing I discovered was that ‘Church Hall’ was in fact a code word for the church basement. It’s a nice room and I’ve been down there when they have coffee and doughnuts after Mass. (Almost nobody goes to that at my church either, it would be a good meeting-people opportunity except for the temptation to actually eat one of the doughnuts.)

The Legion of Mary group was a small group of older ladies. They were very glad to have a new person thinking about joining them, and before long I had volunteered to do some computery things for the church. Our pastor, Fr. Timock, joined us for the meeting. We did a bunch of prayers, including the rosary, which members of the Legion of Mary are expected to pray at home every day. And then we talked about the exciting stuff.

The Legion of Mary is supposed to be active in evangelism. And next month, we are going to be having some big evangelization stuff going on. Two Sisters from a religious order called Parish Visitors of Mary Immaculate are going to be coming to our parish for two weeks to do door-to-door evangelism. Yes, Catholics do that. I was somehow emboldened to mention that I had once been a ‘sidekick’ on a door-to-door evangelism campaign when I was a Lutheran in college (Concordia College, River Forest IL). So it looks like I’m going to be doing more evangelism sidekick work with a REAL NUN playing the role of Superhero.

I also showed off some of the rosaries I had been making and the ladies said they might be just the thing for the nuns to distribute. So I’m busy making more rosaries. I like to make rosaries but with my Asperger’s Syndrome you can imagine that it’s hard to find ways to distribute them.

I realize that not all people with Asperger’s Syndrome are going to be able to do things like volunteer for a door-to-door evangelism campaign. Though it is surprising what we Aspies can learn to do when we try. But there are quiet things you can do. For example, a lot of the Legion of Mary ladies volunteered to make casseroles for the nuns on different nights, and one lady offered to take them grocery shopping so they could have the food they liked for breakfast and lunch.

No matter how disabled you think you are with your Asperger’s Syndrome, there is probably some church activity you could do that would help you make friends. Sometimes there are groups which just pray together.

I really feel more upbeat and less depressed after going to the Legion of Mary meeting and deciding to join. I hope any readers out there— and sometimes there ARE readers out there— are able to find something at their own home church that they can do. [If you don’t have a home church and are looking for a good ‘Bible-based’ church, try a Catholic one! 😉 ]

Question: If you have Asperger’s Syndrome (or another disability) have you ever had trouble fitting in at church? Have you found anything that helps? Please, share in a comment!


I actually prayed the rosary before I became Catholic. There is even a special rosary called the Anglican rosary which is a Protestant variation on the rosary. Though most Protestants who pray the rosary use an ordinary Catholic one. The Hail Mary prayer which some Protestants don’t like to use (even though it is based on 2 Bible verses) can be replaced by the Jesus prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. This prayer is in very ancient use in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

The Rosary— Not Just for Catholics on Facebook.

Seven Bad Ways to Help a Fellow Writer

writeitI think most writers agree that it is a good idea to help other writers out. Christian writers, following the teachings of Jesus Christ, would even want to help out those curmudgeonly writers who never help out other writers, following the Golden Rule: ‘Do to others whatever you would have them do to you.’ (Matthew 7:12 — NAB-RE translation)

But not all ways of helping other writers are, well, helpful. Some are not doing the person you help much good. Here are some ways that don’t help at all, and should be avoided.

Bad Help Type 1 — When asked for an honest opinion of a work, you give only flowery compliments— even though the work is filled with things that are clearly errors such as misspellings, misuse of apostrophes, grammar errors, incomprehensible sentences, and minor characters that are called by different names in different scenes. These sort of errors are not a matter of opinion and taste— they are things that the writer is asking you to tell him, by asking your opinion of the work. The right thing to do is to let the author know that there are problems in his work.

Bad Help Type 2 — When asked for an honest opinion of a work, you blast them with every blessed thing you think might be wrong with it, usually with more than a little sarcasm. No matter how many clear errors a writer has made, no matter how hopeless you think it is that this person ever write something publishable, you are not appointed by God to crush his dreams. Point out the problems in the work gently. Don’t let your own tastes in writing get in the way— if a writer writes an Amish romance and you personally can’t abide Amish romances, don’t take the genre and its conventions as a writing error! Tell the writer at least one positive thing about his novel, and suggest something he might do to improve his work.

Bad Help Type 3 — Imagine that a 13-year-old writer has finished a novel and is wondering about self-publishing, and asks your opinion. Even if the novel is pretty good, and not just pretty good for a 13-year-old, if that 13-year-old persists in writing, he will get good enough that by age 21 he will be embarrassed by that first publication. Young writers such as this should probably be submitting to ‘real’ publishers for a few years before venturing into the self-publishing world. Because the problem with self-publishing is that the first few things you publish are how the reading public is going to judge your work. You don’t want to be dragged down by a first publication that may seem pretty immature a few years down the line. The same holds, of course, for writers of any age who are taking their first ‘baby steps’ as a writer.

Bad Help Type 4 — ‘Doing for’ the other writer instead of doing it for himself. For example, your writer friend has a completed and edited version of his novel and after being turned down by the one publisher that would even consider conservative Catholic science fiction, wants to self-publish. But he doesn’t know how to format the manuscript for e-book. But instead of walking him through it, you snatch the manuscript, saying ‘here, I’ll do it.’ This is a different situation than if your granny wrote a memoir and needs help getting it into self-publication. This writer friend intends to be a professional. He needs to have a way to format his work for e-book by himself. (I’d recommend buying the writing software Scrivener. It formats your manuscript for e-book for you.)

Bad Help Type 5 — Writing a review of a fellow writer’s book without reading the book first. The writer in question needs reviews from people who are willing to actually read the book. Phony reviews— perhaps especially if they are 5 star reviews— tend to stand out. They don’t help your writer friend. And they don’t help your reputation as a reviewer either.

Bad Help Type 6 — Reviewing erotica or ‘erotic romance’.  People who insist on writing pornography are doing a wrong thing. They are throwing away their chance to be considered a real writer. I mean, even in our sex-mad corrupted culture, when have you heard of a book like ‘Trailer Park Trollops’ or ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ getting a National Book Award? Even if the person who wrote the book is a friend, you should not feel an obligation to read something offensive in order to review it.

Bad Help Type 7 — Passing on bad book promotion advice. I read once of a self-published book on how to write, self-publish, and promote a novel. It evidently suggested participating in the book forums on Amazon.com, writing 5 posts a day plugging your book. A reviewer of that book pointed out that self-promotion of books is not permitted on the Amazon.com forums. There is a lot of bad book-promoting advice out there generated by desperate self-published authors who know little about book promotion. Don’t spread the bad advice around.

I believe it is an important thing for writers to network with other writers. Even writers with Asperger’s Syndrome, like myself, who often don’t have the social skills that make networking easier for neurotypical writers. And we need to help other writers out. But only when the help given is actually helpful.