Sex in Heaven? Second Set of Four Principles

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Third Principle: Sex Is Spiritual

That does not mean "vaguely pious, ethereal, and idealistic". "Spiritual" means "a matter of the spirit", or soul, or psyche, not just the body. Sex is between the ears before it’s between the legs. We have sexual souls.

For some strange reason people are shocked at the notion of sexual souls. They not only disagree; the idea seems utterly crude, superstitious, repugnant, and incredible to them. Why? We can answer this question only by first answering the opposite one: why is the idea reasonable, enlightened, and even necessary?

The idea is the only alternative to either materialism or dualism. If you are a materialist, there is simply no soul for sex to be a quality of If you are a dualist, if you split body and soul completely, if you see a person as a ghost in a machine, then one half of the person can be totally different from the other: the body can be sexual without the soul being sexual. The machine is sexed, the ghost is not. (This is almost the exact opposite of the truth: ghosts, having once been persons, have sexual identity from their personalities, their souls. Machines do not.)

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Sex in Heaven? First Set of 4 Principles on Sex and Anthropology

kreeft-bc.jpgWe cannot know what X-in-Heaven is unless we know what X is. We cannot know what sex in Heaven is unless we know what sex is. We cannot know what in Heaven’s name sex is unless we know what on earth sex is.

But don’t we know? Haven’t we been thinking about almost nothing else for years and years? What else dominates our fantasies, waking and sleeping, twenty-four nose-to-the-grindstone hours a day? What else fills our TV shows, novels, plays, gossip columns, self-help books, and psychologies but sex?

No, we do not think too much about sex; we think hardly at all about sex. Dreaming, fantasizing, feeling, experimenting—yes. But honest, look-it-in-the-face thinking?—hardly ever. There is no subject in the world about which there is more heat and less light.

Therefore I want to begin with four abstract philosophical principles about the nature of sex. They are absolutely necessary not only for sanity about sex in Heaven but also for sanity about sex on earth, a goal at least as distant as Heaven to our sexually suicidal society. The fact that sex is public does not mean it is mature and healthy. The fact that there are thousands of "how to do it" books on the subject does not mean that we know how; in fact, it means the opposite. It is when everybody’s pipes are leaking that people buy books on plumbing.
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Father Ford, Paul VI and Birth Control: Germain Grisez Offers New Light on the Papal Commission

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WASHINGTON, D.C., MAY 11, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Anyone interested in the rise of the phenomenon of public dissent by Catholics from the Church’s moral teaching in the last 40 years is familiar with the controversy generated by the publication of the papal encyclical "Humanae Vitae" issued by Pope Paul VI on July 25, 1968.

That publication was preceded by five years of careful review on the part of the Pope on all sorts of questions related to the regulation of birth. Part of that review was entrusted to a study group made up of ecclesiastics and experts, popularly referred to as the "Papal birth control commission."

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Vocation to the Single or Celibate Life in the World or Merely “Waiting for a Vocation”?

 
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Some people believe that only men called to the priesthood and men and women called to be consecrated virgins have a vocation to the single or celibate life and that neither a man nor a woman can have a vocation to the single or celibate life in the world. But this opinion is incorrect. In order to show why, it helps to reflect on the following: 1. The meaning of vocation and the universal call to sanctity or holiness and to love, even as God loves us, with a self-giving, redemptive kind of love; 2. Vocation and “states of life”; and 3. Personal vocation and the call to single life in the world. 

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Easter Reflection 2

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“If Christ has not been raised, then empty is our preaching, and empty too your faith. Then we are also false witnesses to God, because we testified against God that he raised Christ” (1 Cor 15: 14-15).

“Whether Jesus merely was or whether he also is depends on the resurrection” (Pope Benedict XVI, Jesus of Nazareth, Vol. 2, Holy Week, p. 242). His resurrection was not the resuscitation of a corpse but was utterly different, “the breaking out into an entirely new and unheard of form of life, one that opens up a new form of existence,” of being a human being. The Risen Christ was and is now a human being, the “first fruits” of the dead (see ibid, 242-244). The Risen Christ is now the human being we are meant ultimately to be.

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Reflections on Holy Week and Easter 1

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Four dollars a gallon for gas.  Fourteen trillion dollar debt (increased $100k every five seconds).  Cultural polarization approaching civil war proportions.  Popular uprisings in the Middle East.  Fukushima Japan choking in radiation.  Gaddafi bullying the Libyans.  Drug lords bullying the Mexicans (and Arizonans).  Iran defiant.  China ascendant.  And Donald Trump running for President!

Easter follows Lent.  Resurrection follows death.  Redemption follows the Fall.

Tens of thousands of new Catholics will join the Church at the Easter vigil, including Abby Johnson, a former Planned Parenthood director, and six members of her family. Hundreds of thousands of youth are preparing to meet Pope Benedict XVI in Barcelona this August.  Hundreds of millions of Catholic are preparing for Pope John Paul II’s beatification on May 1.  Pro-life legislation is passing all over the U.S.

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Hard Cases for Defenders of Abortion

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There are several “hard cases” that advocates of abortion find difficult to justify. In the recent, The Ethics of Abortion: Women’s Rights, Human Life, and the Question of Justice (New York/London: Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, Routledge Annals of Bioethics, 2011), author Christopher Kaczor identifies these contradictions of reason as 8 “hard cases.”  The first two cases he treats, 1. murder of pregnant women, and 2. sex selection abortion, I will consider for this essay and elaborate with material of my own.

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3 Arguments Against IVF: Artificial Reproduction Is Not Procreation

christian_new.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C., APRIL 6, 2011 (Zenit.org ).- Here is a question on bioethics asked by a ZENIT reader and answered by the fellows of the Culture of Life Foundation.

Q: The Catholic Church teaches that in vitro fertilization (IVF) is always wrong. I understand this to be the case when embryos are made and destroyed. But my doctor said that IVF could be used in a way that wouldn’t create and destroy "extra" embryos, even though it would lower our chances for a successful pregnancy. If this is true, why is IVF wrong when used by husbands and wives? K.M. — Denver, Colorado

E. Christian Brugger offers the following response:

A: The question rightly identifies the wrongness of creating and destroying (and we should add freezing) human embryos in and through the process of IVF. But even if IVF was chosen only by married couples, and those couples intended to create only as many embryos as they implant, and they rejected the eugenic screening and destruction of disabled embryos, IVF still would be gravely wrong.

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Savior Siblings: At What Moral Cost?

christian.jpgWASHINGTON, D.C., MARCH 23, 2011 (Zenit.org ).- Here is a question on bioethics asked by a ZENIT reader and answered by the fellows of the Culture of Life Foundation.

Q: Could you please clarify the concept of a "savior sibling"? Some argue that a child conceived to save his older brother or sister is "conceived to be used." But the child per se is not used at all, only the child’s umbilical cord. Please clarify. Sincerely, D.V.M — Bellflower, California

E. Christian Brugger offers the following response:

A: Lisa Nash, mother of the world’s first "savior sibling," said she would do "anything" to save her daughter’s life.[1] Her daughter Molly was diagnosed at birth (in 1994) with Fanconi Anemia, a serious genetic disorder in which patients can suffer bone marrow failure, birth defects, developmental abnormalities, a heightened risk of leukemia and premature death. Lisa and her husband Jack were told that the best way to help Molly was to give her a blood and marrow transplant from a genetically matched sibling. But Molly was an only child. Her parents had been considering conceiving again, but decided against it because of the high probability — about 25% — that the child would suffer the same illness.

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Surgery in the Womb for Babies with Spina Bifida

william_e_may.jpgSurgery of this kind in the 1980’s
Spina bifida is a developmental congenital disorder caused by the incomplete closing of the embryo’s neural tube. Some verterbrae overlying the spinal cord are not fully formed and remain unfused and open. This can cause long term mental and physical crippling to the child and at times death in the womb due to the build up of fluid and swelling in the brain.

In the 1980s it was possible, using prenatal screening, to detect neural tube anomalies such as spina bifida and then to perform a therapeutic action on the developing unborn child in the womb.  The most common procedure to treat this anomaly was to insert a shunt  into the child’s brain to drain the fluid thus releasing the pressure and providing great benefit to the child’s neurological and physical development.  In fact, at a hearing at the US Senate sometime in the mid 1980’s, sponsored by then pro-life Senator Gordon Humphrey a couple and their physician, with the child—at the time a born baby girl resting on her mother’s  lap—gave testimony in which they described the wonderful surgery that had been done on the child while still in the womb after a prenatal diagnosis had shown that she had suffered from a neural tube defect and that fluids were building up in her cranium, exerting pressure on her brain. This timely intervention was successful in minimizing the harm this girl suffered after birth, and the surgical intervention posed no serious risks either to the child or her mother. The child still needed to have a shunt to remove fluids from her brain after birth, but she did not suffer debilitating mental deficiencies and other symptoms associated with spina bifida.

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