Tuesday, November 03, 2015

The burdens we carry

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." It's a popular quotation. Sometimes it's attributed to Plato but the website Quote Investigators disagrees. It definitely sounds more 19th century A.D. than 5th century B.C.

I know a lot of people who fight harder battles than myself and carry heavier burdens. But relativity between burdens does not negate any of them nor make any of them lighter. The person carrying the 100lb cross shouldn't sneer at the person carrying the 50lb cross, nor fawn over the person carrying the 200lb cross. The simple fact is that we're all in the same situation, limping along with our weights. When possible, we give others a hand... but even the 50-pounder would have difficulty situating himself to be any great help to the 200-pounder. Crosses aren't just heavy, they're awkward, and their difficulty doesn't scale precisely with their weight.

There's also the matter that crosses, burdens, battles, etc. aren't generally obvious. Hence the need for the quote to remind us. Sometimes we like to shine the light of judgment through a magnifying glass onto the upright "golden boy" who walks unburdened and free. Or sometimes we make a remark about how some things just seem "easier" for someone else.

I actually got that a lot in college. Imagine the dirty looks when my 11th-hour all-nighter 10-page research essay scored higher than many of my peers who labored for several days. "It must be nice," one friend said, "to be able to do everything at the last minute and still get good grades." That was a bittersweet moment. Because on the one hand, my friend was calling me intelligent. But he was also comparing our crosses. By his reckoning, I was coasting through school.

It would be nice if my academic record was the result of a happy-go-lucky personality combined with an intelligence capable of last-minute success. But that description rings hollow. I wanted to be the serious student: responsible, trustworthy, reliable. Instead I was caught sleeping in classes more than once. My peers played a game of treasure hunt with the coffee cups, breviaries, textbooks and notebooks that I was always leaving in strange places. Even when I enclosed myself into a silent room with no Internet in order to focus on a task, I would find something else to do instead. Or I would inflate one minor task into a serious project in itself, taking the whole night to craft the most beautiful introductory paragraph ever written.

I considered myself a failure and a fraud. I knew that every long-term assignment would become an all-nighter, sometimes two in a row, and my sleep deprivation would rob me of any ability to do serious work for several days. There was no longer any point in trying to start projects earlier, because they would always stretch infinitely outward into all-nighters anyway.

That malfunctioning mental component has left a wake of wreckage. It was a silent sabotage, a slow burn, but in the end it the consequences were no different than if I had been an alcoholic or learning disabled or anti-social. Like the functional alcoholic, I have developed a dozen clever adaptations to dodge and evade the worst harms. A car that doesn't turn left can still reach its destination by only making right turns.

So now I work with computers, which is a highly "reactionary" field that requires no major long term projects. Each broken computer is immediately fascinating to me and my quality standards are top-notch. I built up several external structures to remind me of all obligations--lunch supervision, substitute teaching, mobile lab reservations, etc. I have calendars, post-it notes, e-mails, and cell-phone reminders galore. I drift from one preferred organization method to another, although in crisis mode I drop all organization and pick up the pieces later.

Yet I remain the "absent minded professor." The "space cadet." I still have a reputation for not knowing when a task is "done" and just working on it infinitely until literally nothing can be improved any more. 

And I am impulsive. Socially awkward. Poor timing. I could never be a comedian, because my jokes would never be finished or tested, and my sense of timing is terrible. When is the right time to say something clever? When I think of it! Even if that topic of conversation was gone several topics ago.

And I am not completely able to avoid the long-term projects. When they come, I shrivel. They take me longer than they would take my colleagues. And they have have some cool features, but they won't look finished, because I didn't prioritize. Well, I did, but it all went out the window when I looked at the screen.

We all carry a burden. I'm thinking, why am I carrying mine? Don't they make, like, wheelbarrows for this crap? Time to go wheelbarrow shopping.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The pro-abortion "forced organ donation" analogy

I heard this on NPR today:
Forcades is a frequent commentator on Spanish TV. That's where a few years ago, she voiced her support for abortion rights — on live TV. A letter of reprimand swiftly arrived from the Vatican. And Forcades wrote back, posing a philosophical question to the Vatican in response. 
"So let's imagine you have a father and the father has a compatible kidney, and you have a child, an innocent child, who needs the kidney. Is the church ready to force the father to give the kidney, to save the child's life?" she says, recounting her reply to the Vatican. "That the right to life of the child takes precedence over the right to self-determination to his own body, of the father? And that was my question I sent to Rome in 2009." 
She received no reply back. So for now, Sister Teresa remains very much part of the church — and proud to sometimes disagree with it.
I'm happy that the Vatican has enough sense to direct its limited resources to doing its job rather than entertaining long and fruitless arguments with individuals who are past persuading. Now I just wish that NPR would do its job, and report the news instead of cheerleading its side of the culture wars.

The "forced organ donation" analogy is relatively interesting because it's one of the few pro-abortion arguments that does not try to dispute that a fetus is a human being (with all of that statement's implications). For that reason alone, it's one of the few pro-abortion arguments that actually deserves some attention for not being preposterous.

Instead, the analogy relocates the center of the disagreement: from the ontological status of the fetus, to the bodily autonomy that every individual enjoys as a natural right. The fact that it also highlights an apparent sexism is just gravy. If a man, who can never be truly pregnant, can thus never be morally required to submit his body to medical trauma for the life of an innocent, then by what logic should the same ever be required of a woman?

And childbirth is traumatic. I've witnessed one. For many women, it's at least as traumatic as an organ donation. C-sections involve no fewer slicings, tuggings, and stitchings. So I can't fault the metaphor for exaggerating the difficulty of childbearing.

These concessions notwithstanding, the forced-organ-donation analogy is as a worthless comparison. When accepted on face value, it fosters no new knowledge--in fact, it induces forgetfulness.

Side-by-side, human gestation has as much in common with an organ transplant as the whole green Earth has in common with the ill-fated Biosphere 2. Arguing that the first is the moral equivalent of the second effectively obliterates every truth about childbearing apart from some medical procedures. It is an absurd reduction born out of a good intention: trying to help men put themselves into women's shoes. But the result is a twisted, shrunken mental parody of motherhood.

Now, Sister Forcades argues for bodily autonomy. Bodily autonomy is a natural right. That means that it's everybody's right, no matter what. Governments can't grant the right; they can only respect it or violate it, but the right is always there. That's the beauty of theories of natural rights.

The problem for the pro-abortion's application of the idea is that "natural rights" presuppose a thing called "human nature," i.e., the totality of our aggregate defining attributes which we neither invented, nor can we ultimately escape (without terrible consequences). All human rights are actually descriptions of human nature: things like freedom, intellectual curiosity, the need for companionship, ingenuity, emotion, and love. And it also includes things like our corporeality, our two sexes, our biological origins, and perhaps even our mortality. Not least of items on the list are maternity, gestation, and childbearing.

My point is that any alleged similarity between an organ donation to an innocent child, and the intricate forces comprising each of our entrance into life, is so superficial as to be a bad joke.

For a mother's natural right to bodily autonomy to trump a fetus's natural right to life, the pregnancy must be thought of in ridiculous terms: as a mere medical procedure, as something which is not a part of the humanity of both the mother and the child, as something with no inherent value except as a means to an end. I (and, I believe, the Catholic faith) reject that characterization.

Now, the unfairness of the situation is not lost on me. A wise person once wrote:
There is, as I understand it, a whole movement in the conservative legal arena to say that if someone's motives aren't biased, then it doesn't matter if the outcome is. Which works out really well for the discriminatory folks of this world b/c it's of course it's nearly impossible to prove that someone has discriminatory attitudes if they're claiming otherwise... 
The liberal legal preference (again, as I understand it) is that if the outcome is discriminatory then it doesn't matter if the intent isn't. Makes it much less likely that people can get away with rationalizing away their distaste for women who have non-procreative sex or black people who vote.
I categorically regard women to be in a singular, incomparable position: morally obligated to carry pregnancies to term. No analogy to that is possible for men. Therefore, I may be accused of hiding a bigotry behind the curtain of "nature." I won't bother trying to change minds that take comfort in that position.

And yet, the only alternative seems at least as repulsive to me: to regard our biology and corporeality as something alien to ourselves, as a patriarchal lord to be overthrown so that our body-irrelevant free consciousnesses can finally be truly equal. If it's a choice between loyalty to the human organism, and loyalty to the ideals of equality, I will choose the human organism every single time.

I am not without my egalitarianism, however. Each of us breathing right now, and every single one of our forebears, male and female, straight and gay, of every race, nationality, and ethnicity, has enjoyed the benefits of a complete gestation. The same cannot be said of an organ transplant. So let's not be choosy! Full term pregnancies for everyone. It is, after all, a part of who and what we are.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Human nature

There's a theme that I return to in my mind quite often. We're all children. Infants, even. Infants wearing adult clothes, (or armor), but infants all the same.

Recently, Leo has been reinforcing this idea in me. I look at him, and I am only more persuaded that in each person's heart of hearts, the deepest felt joy will come from being held. And held not by just anybody, but by arms in which we can place total, unreserved, innocent trust.

The longer I think on this idea, the more I am convinced that our adult selves have little inherent value. The virtues of maturity, skill, charm, culture, and responsibility are all useful. But being useful isn't inherently valuable--it is only valuable to achieve an end. What end? To find a way to let our infant selves be held, or whatever approximation of that we can attain.

This perspective alters my understanding of good and evil. Most of the time, I suspect evil is an adult self which has forgotten its true purpose, and forgotten the true nature of people. When adult selves abandon seeking after the primordial infant need to be tenderly loved, they magnify the (perhaps more easily reached) adult needs into ends in themselves. Power, control, money, admiration, respect--all necessary and good, but when they take lives of their own they become monsters.

It also relieves me of some of the stresses of daily life. When I count the number of things that aren't going my way, I can see that in fact none of them impact or even threaten my ability to be held and loved, and so ultimately they are only so much wind. I like to believe that the theory leads me to treat other human beings better, too.

One thing that this theory lacks is an account of being on the giving end of that tender holding, rather than the receiving end. To hold and love a baby requires a lot of adult skills--maturity, patience, etc. But it cannot be reduced to one of those adulthoods. Caring for a child is not just one adult activity. In a way, it is the adult activity. It is that for which all of those other adult skills are intended. It is the condition for possibility for each new person's first taste of that tenderness that they will always, on some level, seek.

But what some forget, I think, is that the giver of that love does not thereby cease to need it themselves. The happiest anyone can be made is to be allowed to lay down their adult armor, and be a sleeping infant in strong, caring, tireless arms.

EDIT: And yes, I know it's a cliche to talk about our "inner child". Don't care.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Vaccines: A Tale of Two Articles

I argue with people online about a number of things. There is one debate that I haven't much gotten into, and that's vaccines. Being a public radio addict and a news junkie, I come down on the side of vaccination. Ultimately, the risks of side effects of vaccinations are outweighed by the damage caused by mass anti-vaccination panics stirred up without sufficient evidence.

But two articles posted by Facebook friends of mine deserve some attention and some dissection:
These articles oppose each other but they share some features in common. Both are unabashedly partisan. Both characterize the opposition of being at least partially sponsored by selfish, moneyed, crypto-criminal elements of economy and market forces, preying upon gullible and helpless Americans. Both are reasonably well-sourced, with links to abstracts and citations; and both make quick conclusions about the import of those citations.

Let's start with the McGovern article.

McGovern is writing for a conservative Christian publication, and as a side effect, frequently appeals to conservatives' sense of being embattled and unfairly judged by the rest. Christians are on a "suspect list" because of shrill accusations by the "mainstream media" and a medical establishment of "worn-thin" credibility.

After a summary of medical articles, in a paragraph subheaded "Blind faith," McGovern's essay ends on a conspiratorial note, citing two anecdotes of pharmaceutical company corruption, although neither of these cases were directly relevant to the vaccine question. She implies that if one cannot trust Big Pharma regarding some matters, they cannot be trusted in others. No dispute from me, but of itself that has no bearing on the vaccine connection. On contentious matters, nobody with vested interests should be taken on blind faith. Who ever argued the contrary? It is needlessly rhetorical to accuse your opponents of succumbing to "blind faith".

What about McGovern's sources?  I am not an expert in peer review, so I am going to assume for now that they are trustworthy. Here are the ones she hyperlinks:

The upshot of the abstracts and McGovern's summaries is that aluminum is bad for you, or in the case of the Tomljenovic article ("Death after Quadrivalent") that the combination of aluminum and vaccine particles specifically is harmful. However, I could not uncover data about dosage or aluminum quantities in any of her presented articles.

I don't need to spend as much time on Raff's article in the Huffington Post. It is not meant to be a measured, careful treatise, but rather an accusatory litany of errors (and their peer-reviewed corrections). I only want to focus on the paragraph that would seem to contradict the main thrust of McGovern's article:
They say that the aluminum in vaccines (an adjuvant, or component of the vaccine designed to enhance the body's immune response) is harmful to children. But children consume more aluminum in natural breast milk than they do in vaccines, and far higher levels of aluminum are needed to cause harm.
I preserved the links as they were. However, the third link has an error in it, and it takes the reader to the 10th citation of this 2009 article. That citation had nothing to do with aluminum. Probably, she was referring to this paragraph from the same article:
Sears' main argument for spacing out vaccines is to avoid giving infants too much aluminum at one time, writing, “When a baby gets the first big round of shots at two months, the total dose of aluminum can vary from 295 micrograms… to a whopping 1225 micrograms if the highest aluminum brands are used and a hep B vaccine is also given. … These doses are repeated at four and six months.” Extrapolating studies of patients undergoing hemodialysis and severely premature infants to healthy newborns, Sears claims that these quantities might be unsafe. However, Sears fails to put aluminum exposure in context. By 6 months of age, infants typically ingest ∼6700 μg of aluminum in breast milk, 37800 μg in infant formula, or 116600 μg in soy-based formula. Furthermore, Sears fails to describe scientific studies that led the National Vaccine Program Office to conclude that the amount of aluminum contained in vaccines did not warrant changing the vaccine schedule.
These authors cite a 2003 article, "Addressing Parents’ Concerns: Do Vaccines Contain Harmful Preservatives, Adjuvants, Additives, or Residuals?"  which has an extensive section about aluminum adjuvants, including the quantities used.

The overall conclusion here is that aluminum in itself is not harmful to humans up to a level far exceeding what vaccinations contain. The comparisons to human breast milk are instructive.

Is it possible that the risks indicated by McGovern's article, and the phenomenon of ASIA, are distinct from those addressed by Raff? Raff's sources seem to show conclusively that aluminum is not dangerous below certain quantities. But one might argue that that is not McGovern's point. The research she cites is not so much about the harm caused by aluminum directly, but rather the potential harm caused when aluminum, combined with the vaccine, triggers an autoimmune overreaction.

Assessing Risks

I'm going to come to the very boring conclusion that both authors may valid points, and the risks warned-of by McGovern should not be ignored. But neither should they be coupled with fear-mongering and the language of the culture war.

The reason I don't argue about vaccines is because this topic seems an odd field for a "culture war" battle. What stake do conservatives or Christians have in defeating vaccines? What's the point? Where is the victory? I am not saying we should have "blind faith" in pharmaceutical companies... but neither should we use every scrap of peer-reviewed journals that suggests possible medical risks as proof that vaccines are autism pills. (Note: this is hyperbole. I do not think McGovern believes this).

All in all, the issue of vaccines should be much less controversial than it is. Are there risks? Let's find them out. Are they statistically significant enough to outweigh the benefits of stopping many deadly diseases in their tracks? Show me the numbers. If ASIA poses a real causal link between adjuvants and neurological damage, then it should be investigated--but carefully, dispassionately, and without suspicion.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

About About Time

Just watched "About Time" with Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams. Highly recommended!
The film's messages are really quite mixed. But it's worth pointing out: all of the biggest problems that Tim solves with his time travel powers were, one way or another, created *by* his time travel powers. The movie winds up with an overall moral of, "time travel is unnecessary, just live and appreciate each day exactly the way it is" (not a spoiler, by the way, it says this on the box).
Now, that is a slightly rosy outlook for me. Those words come easily to someone whose life is going swell. But try telling them to someone who is suffering tremendous loss, or pain, or loneliness, and the words will sound hollow. Now, speaking as someone whose life *is* going swell, I should point out that my present blessings rest on a foundation of past horrors. If I hadn't lost past friends, jobs, dreams, and security; if I hadn't had the years 2005-2009; if I hadn't graduated from the college of sadness, then I wouldn't have met Laura.
Would I be here, nurturing a new family, surrounded by love and meaning, if I had Tim's time-travel power? If I could white-out my terrible mistakes? Not likely. Now, all of my depressing stories have a new worth. They're sacred. Every event is sacred.
Not everyone's story will have a happy ending. We can't judge the value of each event based only on whether, by some butterfly effect, they terminated in a worldly joy. But that's where the Christian story comes in. As per Julian of Norwich, "All will be well, all will be well, and all manner of things will be well." Christian hope is the basis on which every event, the wonderful and the terrible, becomes sacred.

Monday, February 10, 2014

First post in a long time.

I haven't written in a while, and that is good news. When I don't write, it means that I am happy and occupied. When I write excessively, it means that I am anxious and probably procrastinating something important. I'm 32 now, soon to be a father, with a marriage and a teaching career still in their infancy. I feel as though I live a life of perpetually just getting started. When I remind myself that I am 32, I get a little chill, like all of my accomplishments lose credit for being so far past deadline.

That's silly, of course. No one on earth is grading me, and the only One who is doing so isn't using that rubric. The one thing that matters is whether I loved  and did so without counting costs.

I never thought I would be a family man. At late as 2009 I was still strongly considering celibate life, and I was surprised to discover how well domesticity agreed with me. I love my sweet Laura, and I love this life--it is the small, manageable arena where we can practice love and remove distractions. It is focused, distilled, simple and comforting. To a large extent it's everything I hoped the monastery would be, and in hindsight, far better for me. One of my worst aches through seminary was to be known, understood, and loved without having to hide flaws. I longed for the euphoria that came after a few nights of retreat, where talented guides lead you into that teary feeling of welcome, acceptance, forgiveness, brotherhood, and hope. I wonder if my friend Fr. Thomas feels the same satisfaction at St. Meinrad as I do married in Illinois.

Of course, vocation isn't exclusively about satisfying deep emotional needs (or even primarily that). But it does not need to be less than that, either. Hard lesson I learned.

Looking at my new life, with Laura my love, and home, baby, and career, it's tempting for me to ask questions like "What direction am I going?" or "What will be my legacy?" But I'm not sure that's right. It's not appreciative enough of the now. And, now, there are people to love, there is a family to serve, and a home to build.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

More gay marriage debate! More analysis.

Everybody is up in arms, it seems. Only that is not accurate at all. Gay marriage supporters are up in arms. The rest of us are mostly trying to fend off accusations of "bigot," "ignorant," "backwards," etc. I wish we had easily accessible potshots to hurl in the other direction, but alas, "You're wrong" just does doesn't have the same visceral punch.

The longer the controversy continues, the more I am convinced that the primary harm by the left has nothing to do with their cause, but with the way they must portray conservatives. Of course, people like this guy aren't helping.

Not to mention the brain-melting illogicality of the left's arguments--but I already addressed that in previous posts.

For me, I am seeing the point in history at which I may forever after be regarded by the general public as a bigot for holding what, until very recently, was common sense. Never in my whole childhood did I ever guess that would happen. But unlike many of my ideological allies, I have non-ridiculous explanations for my positions; I have thought about it; I am not just being stubborn, and I know that there is nothing bigoted about knowing that marriage is between a man and a woman.

I will never attend or endorse a same-sex marriage. I will never call two men one-another's husband, or two women one-another's wife. I will never accept any compulsion, from company or government, to behave any differently toward any two people on account of a government certificate. They will be one another's good friends, to me. I will not support any entertainment or media materials that promote that falsehood. And any school that tries to slip that falsehood into my children's impressionable minds is picking a fight with me.

And there is not one iota of hate in this position. It is no different than if the government wished to teach that utility poles are trees.

But if you come at me shouting "bigot!" then I will defend myself.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Thinking about atheism

One of my "pie in the sky" ideas is to write a book titled simply, "Atheism is False," and this book would be as boring as possible, sucked dry of all rhetorical flair. It would be primarily a logic text, with formal expressions, diagrams, charts and tables. The point of the book would be to serve as a repository or a database of historical arguments. Cramming it all into a single volume requires a basic assumption that there is a great deal of overlap, with new authors contributing, at most, tiny elaborations on old concepts.

One basic goal would be to make the book palatable to atheists (in spite of the obviously baiting title). This goal would be achieved by striving for accuracy, comprehension and exhaustiveness in the representation of atheist arguments, avoiding weasel words and incorporating criticisms by atheist editors.

One point such a book would make is that meaningful discussion ultimately must revolve around atheism rather than theism, because there are many theisms, but there is only one atheism. Some will counter that there are, in fact, plural atheisms, e.g., Buddhism, but the "new atheists," sometimes called Western atheists, I expect would deny a true plurality of atheisms, and I want to address Western atheists on their own terms.

Anyway, it is easier to have a meaningful discussion about the truth/falsehood of atheism because it permits us to bracket the question of the truth/falsehood of any number of theisms. If atheism is false, and it competes with 1047 possible theisms, it may well be that 9.9̅ x1046 possible theisms are also false. But because atheism involves a finite set of existent conceptions of the universe, they can be more or less addressed in a single volume.

This is important, because the central theistic argument that I expect the book to rely on is radical contingency, and radical contingency itself says little to nothing about what sort of theism might actually be true. In fact, radical contingency could be true, and most anti-religious propositions could nevertheless remain intact. I have met anti-religious individuals who accepted the radical-contingency argument. That is, they accepted the necessity of an infinite, ultimate "being" or "substrata", but did not accept this entity's relevance to ordinary life.

Which, so far as the scope of this book would be concerned, is fine. In spite of the title, the goal here is not conversion to Christianity or even to any religion at all. The reason for a book like this is to be a repository of the logical interaction of arguments. Nevertheless, I do have some theological motivation. A common misconception among Catholics, and people in general, is that belief in God's existence is a matter of faith. Catholicism does not teach this. Where strictly God's existence is concerned,
God, the source and end of all things, can be known with certainty from the consideration of created things, by the natural power of human reason: ever since the creation of the world, his invisible nature has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. (First Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Catholic Faith, Chapter 2)
So that's one thing.

Now, I could go beyond the strict scope of the book, and I may have to. The "new atheists" following Richard Dawkins stress more the inconsequentiality of all possible deities rather than their absolute absence, i.e. the teapot argument. So it might not be enough to show the plausibility of the "radical contingency" argument. Not sure.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Evangelization and Instructional Design

My church history professor from Mundelein Seminary, C. Colt Anderson, Ph.D., wrote in his book Christian Eloquence, that St. Augustine evangelized to hostile audiences in a calm style with the aim of education.

That insight comes back to me now as I am in the middle of earning an M.S. in education and instructional technology. This is not the theology degree I thought I always wanted. But in some ways it might be more important. There is fertile ground for questions, here, and the result may have an effect on the way the Church teaches, and evangelizes the faith.

At the moment, I do not see much work being done on the intersection between instructional design and evangelization, or even, for that matter, religious education.

Some materials I've come across Google Scholar:

Of course, all of these deal strictly in formal religious education--not evangelization per se (though if I continue to explore this, I might look more into the British Journal of Religious Education. But the basic notion I have is this: contemporary methods of instructional design have a lot to offer to the classroom. Maybe they can have a lot to offer to the New Evangelization.

In spite of the apocryphal St. Francis quote, "Preach the Gospel always, and if necessary, use words," evangelization is usually described as a verbal practice. Even in Anderson's Christian Eloquence, the presumed context is a speaker addressing listeners. But study after study demonstrates that, especially for novices, verbal instruction is one of the least effective means of imprinting long-term memory. Perhaps there are exceptions among evangelists--modern day Chrysostoms. But in fact, the lion's share of our learning is not verbal.

Is learning the same thing as conversion? No. But they are intertwined. Learning is, perhaps, a necessary but insufficient condition for possibility of conversion. Therefore, barriers to learning are also barriers to conversion. And ineffective pedagogy can be a barrier to learning.

I find it difficult to envision a St. Augustine figure, preaching to a "hostile audience". What kind of hostile audience listens to hours of preaching from an ideological opponent? What did that look like? But again, Augustine's historical context is so far removed from today. Maybe the donatists were bored, like someone watching infomercials on a weekday afternoon.

Today we have the Internet. In America we have paralyzing political polarization. We have the "new atheists" (with the same arguments as the old atheists, just with more bravado and TED talks). How would a Catholic instructional designer construct a context for learning that is accessible, voluntary, and popular among the secular?

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Evidence for God

I did not need more evidence for God;
And God yet more abundantly gives sign.
To his existence yours does gently nod;
Your voice the angel choir brings to mind.

Our story is a gospel told of love,
A parable of providence and truth,
A song so beautiful heard from above,
Poetic verses shared from age to youth.

Your smile, no mere mortal visage, shows
A window to a day of hopes fulfilled.
Your words imbue my heart with warmer glows,
Of faith and strength to confidently build

The castle of our home and family, too;
A sacrament of love for God and you.