One Month Down

Tonight draws to a close the first month of Truth & Charity. As I type this, we have had 18,083 hits with 7,389 unique visitors (one of which from the Vatican). One of our affiliate Facebook pages, started by T&C blogger Micah Murphy, now 2320 members, and through that page a fast has been scheduled for this Friday to support the bishops with 4401 planning on “attending.”  Can you imagine the grace from 4400+ people fasting for the bishops? I can safely say that we are already well beyond anything any of us had thought possible. Time to roll up the tent and close up shop!  Just kidding. In all honesty, thank you all for your attention and please share Truth & Charity with both your friends and enemies....

Contra Contraception

By Tim Shaughnessy One of the nice things about teaching is keeping up with former students. It’s even better if they can keep things civil while disagreeing with you on most things. One such former student responded to a video I shared on my facebook wall entitled “How ‘The Pill’ works as an Abortifacient.” He asked if I was legitimately against the pill, and after I responded affirmatively he asked “What’s the religious reason to not use condoms?” Since facebook walls do not lend themselves to nuanced arguments, I asked him if he’d allow me to respond here at T&C. He agreed. First, given that this friend has previously defined himself as agnostic, purely religious reasons would probably not be very convincing. I also will expand the argument to all contraception beyond just condoms and will present three arguments: 1) contraception violates the meaning of marriage, 2) contraception is medically/physically undesirable if not harmful, and 3) the religious reasons. Contraception violates the meaning of marriage. I can hear the guffaws now; since contraception is used by a huge majority of married couples (sadly, including Catholics who should know better), how in the world can it make marriages worse? As Andrew has been pointing out, the reality and meaning of marriage has been lost or degraded for the past several decades, such that marriage today is usually seen as just a (sometimes) public acknowledgement that we like each other a lot and will continue to stay together as long as that’s true. But most married couples can recall, in their wedding vows, a promise to give themselves fully to their...

Petition to Rescind HHS Mandate

by Micah Murphy Frank Weathers, at the YIM Catholic blog, has written about the petition on the White House website to rescind the HHS contraception mandate. Frank and I have been working together to spread word of this petition on the Facebook Page we at Truth & Charity created for this purpose. The White House will require you to create an account and verify it before you may sign the petition. The hassle this creates is far less than the hassle which will be created when these regulations take effect. The goal is 25,000, plus our bishops. Sign the petition...

My Sacred Space is the Back of a Zebra

by Micah Murphy Roaming the Serengeti, I pray upon my monochromatic beast that I shall not be preyed upon, “They open their mouths against me, lions that rend and roar…Save me from the lion’s mouth, my poor life from the horns of wild bulls” (Psalm 22:14, 22). Hearing the enemy whisper in my heart, feeling his sticky breath upon my neck, I reach into my pocket and retrieve my sword. Its 59 beads move through my fingers and bring comfort to my soul. My Mother sees me there, and drives away the fiend. This is how, I hope, my son’s imagination perceives our family prayer. Taking the advice of Dr. Taylor Marshall, I have been praying with my toddlers every evening, with our candle as something of a focal point. I wanted to incorporate the idea of a sacred space for family prayer, which I first learned from my dear professors at Steubenville. This is a story of one frustrating family prayer experience and the lesson my children taught me. Now it is important for me to introduce the cast of characters (characters is an apt word): my son, Aaron, and my daughter, Mary. The first night I began this new practice, I unthinkingly placed the candle on top of the nearest table-like object short enough for my children to pay attention to it: a small, wooden toy, in the form of a zebra, that our children ride on around our small apartment. The other night, as we prepared to pray, my little Mary insisted that we pull out the zebra and use it again. I supposed there wasn’t...

Home: the First Catholic School

by Micah Murphy January 29th – February 5th, 2012 is Catholic Schools Week. This year’s theme is “Faith. Academics. Service.” There are plenty of other bloggers who will tell you about the important roles played by St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Katherine Drexel, St. Angela Merici, and many other great Catholic educators not yet canonized. I’d like to focus on something a little different. One of the fundamental roles of parents is that of being the first teachers of their children. It is, in fact, no small part of the wedding promises they made, when they agreed to welcome and raise children. I did not receive a strong Catholic education. Despite attending Catholic school K-8, I went into a public high school totally unprepared for the onslaught of attacks on my faith. “Catholics worship a piece of bread!” “Well, I never thought about it, I guess we do. I’ll look into that.” Yes, ladies and gentlemen, some 6 years after my First Holy Communion, I didn’t know the Eucharist was Jesus. Now I may have been spacing off, but I really don’t remember anyone telling me that. My parents did not know their faith well enough to have informed me of it. I don’t blame my parents. I am sure they also received the same poor catechesis I did. However, I do hope that I can stop my own history from repeating itself in the lives of other teens by promoting a strong context for Catholic education in the family. So, whether your kids get their religious education at home-school, parochial school, or Sunday school PSR, here are a...