Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Saturday, March 12, 2011
When I was in Physics 1 as a freshman engineering student at the University of Minnesota, one of the topics of study was falling-body problems. (No pun intended.) An object dropped from a height will cover distance downward according to the formula
s = (1/2 * g * t^2) where g is the acceleration due to gravity (and * means times, and t^2 means t-squared)
and the velocity of the object will be
v = g*t
To make things more interesting (read: complicated), the downward acceleration is independent of any forward motion the object might have, such as if the object were dropped from a moving airplane. Thus both downward and forward motions need to be analyzed. The math will show that a falling body in motion when dropped will follow a curve called a parabola, and its point of impact can be easily calculated.
But it's not as easy as that. There is air resistance, which increases proportionally to the mass and shape of the falling body, and (to make things even more interesting) changes the path of the falling body from a parabola to a cycloid.
So I asked the professor, "When do we get to figure air resistance?" and he replied, "Come back when you've had about five quarters of calculus."
Translated, this means: "You don't have the need or ability to understand that yet."
So with sex education. Little kids don't need to know about the "mechanics" of sex, because they don't have the need or ability to understand it (and though I'm not a parent, I would bet all my blog dollars they don't care either.)
I would venture to say that almost all little kids, when asking why Mommy's belly is getting big, being told that their little brother or sister is growing in there, will ask "Well, how'd he or she get there?" Parents correct me on this one, but I bet it will be quite enough to tell a small child, "God put him / her there."
Parents can tell their kids the equivalent of what the physics prof told me.
And I cannot state strongly enough that it's nobody's business but the parents' to give the child any more information, because the parents know their child better than any teacher possibly could, and they know when the child is able to absorb and assimilate the information.
(This applies only to ordinary kids in ordinary families, of course. The "special cases" are something else entirely.)
I just saw a video posted up by the Facebook group "Traditional/Conservative Catholics" and commented to its main contributor as follows.
I noticed the emphasis Michael Voris gave in that excellent video to the point that the Mass is not about us, or the priest; it's about Jesus Christ, Who is the real celebrant, and in Whose place the priest acts. In the Ukrainian Byzantine liturgy (from St. John Chrysostom) there is the following prayer by the priest of which this is a short excerpt:
"Bending my neck, I approach and I petition You: turn not Your face from me nor reject me from among Your children, but allow these gifts to be offered to You by me, Your sinful and unworthy servant. For it is You Who offer and You Who are offered; it is You Who receive and You Who are given, O Christ our God, and we give glory to You, together with Your eternal Father and Your most holy, good, and life-giving Spirit, now and for ever and ever. Amen."
I might add that Ukrainian preserves the formal / intimate usage in pronouns and verbs, and that in all the liturgy, God the Father, Son, and Spirit are addressed as intimates. Which Latin used to do. The fault, of course, is with the English language for having lost the distinction.
Best wishes to you, and keep the commentaries coming!
Thursday, March 3, 2011
My local paper ran a story on Jane Russell today; it said in part:
"She wrote in her 1985 autobiography, 'My Paths and Detours,' that during high school she had a back-alley abortion, which may have rendered her unable to bear children."
The experience, which she says nearly killed her, led her to become outspoken about abortion, denying that any circumstance - rape or incest included - justified taking the life of an unborn child.
No mention in my paper of what she did about it. She became a passionate pro-lifer and adoption advocate -- which a couple of honest blogs (Fr Longemecker andf Life Site News) mentioned.
I wrote a comment to the paper and pointed this out, along with a statement attributed to her: “People should never, ever have an abortion. Don’t talk to me about it being a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body. The choice is between life and death.”
The paper printed my letter. I'm very surprised they did.