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March 28, 2012

And Now, I Shall Pour Out My Heart

I never know if I want to write what I am about to write.  I have written it many times in many ways and often let it sit in my drafts long enough that I end up hitting "delete" instead of "publish."  I'm not sure why I haven't been able cross that bridge to get it out there...but surely it has much to do with my pride.

How many times have I read a blogpost where another woman, mother, sister-in-Christ poured her heart out, expressed her frustration with her own inadequacies or wondered "aloud" whether she was alone?  I have often marveled at the bravery she exhibited in showing her vulnerability and believed it was beyond that which I was capable of.  Even now, as I decide to write these thoughts yet again...I wonder, do I have the strength or the temerity to actually publish?  But there it is, behind that thought where I think, "I would be naive and stupid to post these words, to show how unsure of myself I really am, to show my vulnerability so plainly."

But...here goes nothing, as they say.

It is a daunting prospect for me to make new friends.  There.  I said it.  I am scared out of my wits to approach someone with whom I am newly acquainted.  I don't make time for a lunch or a dinner or a time/event of any sort to learn more about them and, in turn, reveal more about myself to them.  I am afraid of rejection like nothing else.  It hurts to discover that someone I think I might really enjoy being friends with, most likely does not feel the same about me.  And therefore, knowing how that stings, I remain withdrawn.

It never occurred to me how much it would sting ME to realize there are kids who don't prefer to spend time with my kids.  Or how it would feel when my child might not be chosen to an event or a gathering and be one left out of a group where s/he is normally included. 

One thing I have strived to teach my children as they have gotten older is that it is okay to be alone.  They always have Jesus by their side and I've told them Mom and Dad have their backs and will be there to support them and love them unconditionally.  It's a regular occurrence in our house to express that every person is valuable and dignified based on their very existence, that no one needs to change who they are to earn love or respect. 

So far, it seems as though my oldest has learned this quite well.  If only I could learn my own lessons!  I find myself attaching my worth to whether I or my family are asked, consulted, cohorted with, or whether I am alone in my struggles.  I find myself questioning what I have said or done at certain points of time that might have pushed others away.  I find myself seeking to be someone I am not in order to obtain the friends I desire.

Even at this age of 38, when it is impossible to be someone other than who I am, I berate myself for speaking my mind, making the choices I do, living my faith life so openly.  Only sporadically am I able to step outside of my box, so to speak, and evaluate my words and actions objectively and even then, I slant towards the negative with regard to myself, my words, my actions.

I suppose I shall always struggle to accept the person God created me to be.  I suppose it will always sting when I see that I (or my child) is not chosen by those whom we would choose were the situations reversed. 

I pray that my own inadequacies in self-acceptance are not visible to my children who appear to understand that they are loved and accepted where it matters most.  I am almost in awe of my children in their own self-assurance and self-acceptance.  I'm almost sure they get it from their father.  :)

And here is where I trail off...wondering whether I ought to hit "Publish Post" or "Save Now." 

Here is where I wonder if I sound like a pathetic mess or if there really is something to these thoughts and feelings. 

I mean, the part of my brain that tells me to never let my guard down is screaming out, "Who are you kidding?!  Why are you sharing this?!" and another voice questions, "What is it you hope to accomplish here?"

I'm not sure who I'm kidding.  and I think I'm afraid to openly state why I have posted this here.  But, it's my space where I've started to feel more comfortable.  And it's what is on my mind and heart at this very moment and has been for a few days. 

So, here it is.




March 26, 2012

Monday Mumbles - 23

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HAPPY FINAL FOUR MONDAY!  Yes, my beloved Kansas Jayhawks are in the Final Four of the Men's NCAA tournament and so I guarantee you, there won't be any mumbling - per se - around here!  

But I will have some random (oh...10 or so) thoughts for you to peruse!  Be sure to visit TOOJE at Circling the Square Table and if you choose to use her button and mumble yourself, she'll link you up (if you tell her!)

1.  We had some lovely weekend weather here.  It was so lovely on Saturday that we didn't make it to the usual Vigil Mass and ended up going on Sunday.  But that was terrific!

2.  I had an opportunity to reinforce to Sarah this weekend that she should always be herself and she doesn't have to change who she is for anyone. 
3.  I find these moments to be almost as stressful for me watching my daughter go through them as they were for me when I went through them the first time.  I do know I am handling them differently than my mother did, which is not to say it's better, but it's different.  I just figure it's best to reinforce that Sarah's a great kid just the way she is and she doesn't have to pretend to be someone else. 
4.  Did I mention yet that my Jayhawks are in the Final Four?  Did I?  Oh...I did.  :)  I am SO STINKIN' EXCITED!

5.  I went to my first session of Boot Camp this morning.  OMGoodness.  It was a terrific workout.

6.  On Saturday, I went for a run where I ran more than I walked.  That was fun.  Afterwards, I took Helen on a .5-mile jog (for me) run (for her).  That was fun, too!

7.  I got some much-needed girl-time Saturday night with Maggie at From the Heart.  Sometimes you just need an hour or two to talk with someone who "gets" you. 

8.  I was so tempted to load the kids up in the van and head to Lawrence to welcome the KU boys home at Allen Fieldhouse.  But...I have to work tomorrow and they have school.  I think I'll just bank that temptation and if things go well next weekend, we might see about a day off work/school on Tuesday.  :)

9.  I'm just so freakin' excited KU is in the Final Four!  I know!  I can't stop writing it!  KU was NEVER supposed to be in this conversation this year.  It was a rebuilding year.  We had our top recruits out on academic ineligibility.  But every obstacle thrown at this team is like a huge chip on their shoulder and they work all the harder.  I love it.

10.  Ok.  One little mumble...I'm not liking Monday.  I would much rather we got some more weekend.

Have a great Monday and be sure to go visit TOOJE!

March 23, 2012

Tag, You're It

What better way to wrap up the week than to participate in a lovely game of tag, right?  Katie over at NFP and Me tagged me earlier this week, so now I get to pass it on.  :)

Here's the idea:
  1. The first rule is to post these rules.  (Done!)
  2. Post a photo of yourself then write 11 things about you/your life.
  3. Answer the questions for you set in the original post.
  4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.
  5. Go to their blog/twitter to tell them you have tagged them.

I have got to get better about having my picture taken.  I just usually have the camera in my hands.  But here I am with my baby boy and it's a decent pic, which is kind of a miracle in and of itself.





Eleven things about myself/my life:
1.   I'm very opinionated
2.   I'm not a very good listener
3.   Married 13 years this summer
4.   I have been blessed with five children, three girls and two boys
5.   I'm a rabid KU fan (yes, I am annoying...apologies in advance)
6.   I was a toll collector in college and that job helped pay for some of my tuition and living expenses
7.   I ran a marathon in 2007
8.   I worked really hard and later that year, I ran my personal best in half marathon
9.   I dream of beating that half marathon time someday, but wonder if I might be too old
10. I'm a pretty pride-ful person (ironically, I am not proud of that)
11. I look on the bright side

Questions Katie asked of me:

1. Weirdest class you've ever taken?
-- I took a Logic for Computer Programming course when I mistakenly thought I should be a Computer Science Major. 
2. If you could only eat 2 foods ever again what would they be?
-- Olives and Pizza
3. What's your go-to belt it out in the car song?
-- Love Story or Back to December by Taylor Swift
4. What's the most OCD thing you do?
-- If people hand me papers stapled together and the corners don't match up, or they have more than one staple, I will remove all extra staples, make sure corners line up and re-staple.
5. Favorite high school memory?
-- Winning North Carolina State 4A High School Volleyball Championship my junior year (it was my school's twelfth consecutive high school championship, but we had just moved and I made the team, ended up being one of the starters and that season was an all-around blast)
6. Won't you share your opinion on camping? Love it or hate it?
-- Strong Dislike for it.  (I'm a hotel with shower and air conditioning type of girl)
7. Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
-- Ethiopian food (my brother-in-law had his rehearsal dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant)
8. E-reader or real book reader and why?
-- real book reader.  Probably because I don't have a Kindle (yet)
9. Favorite TV show currently on?
-- Smash (really...I don't watch much TV...mostly just college basketball, but I do like this show)
10. What's your favorite award you've won?
-- My favorite thing ever is the one 1st place medal I got for an individual event when I was 11 years old.  I won Division II 100 yard Individual Medley.  It was incredible.  I had gotten 1st place medals as members of relay teams, but this one was all mine.  :)
11. What's your claim to fame?
-- Well, our family was featured in the March/April 2010 Family Foundations.  Courtesy Kathleen Basi.  That was pretty cool.
Well, that was...interesting, right?  I had to think about some of those!

Here are my questions for you whom are tagged:

1.   What's your go-to alcoholic beverage?
2.   What's your biggest accomplishment post-college?
3.   How many blogs do you follow?
4.   How many blogs do you regularly read?
5.   What's your earliest memory?
6.   What is one word your mother would use to describe you?
7.   What is your favorite non-fiction book?
8.   What book have you read over and over again?
9.   What time do you get up in the morning?
10. What radio station genre do you listen to the most?
11. What was your favorite vacation?

Now for the tagging.  Well, I don't know if I have anyone I can tag since Katie tagged a bunch that I would have tagged!  Okay, so maybe Sarah, Elizabeth, Elizabeth and Jamie.


March 22, 2012

Thankful Thursdays (16)


This week I am thankful for:
  • My Weight Watchers meeting that keeps me on track even when I went off track
  • Good friends
  • Baby Smiles, Giggles and all around Baby Goodness




  • Continued beautiful spring weather
  • Lent is halfway over
Please head over to The Road Home and visit Rebecca.  Thanks for hosting!

March 21, 2012

Some Questions from the Technically Challenged

I have a few quick questions.  Okay, maybe the answers are not quick, but regardless, I need some help!

1.  Bloggers who Twitter - how do you get that gadget-thingy to track your tweets on your blog?  How do I add that to my blog?

2.  Bloggers who created a Facebook Page for your blog - how do you do that?  What category do you select after "Create a Page"?  And how do you get the gadget thingy on your blog where people can "like" your page from your blog?

3.  Bloggers who have that gadget-thingy that shows the location of visitors to your blog...is there a way to get that for free?  Or must I pay some subscription fee to get something like that?

Please don't laugh at me for these questions.  I really just do not have time to figure it out on my own.  Believe me...I've already spent considerable time trying to figure it out and I figured I would just put out my plea for help and get one of you people who know what you're doing to help me out!


March 20, 2012

When You Say Nothing

A few weeks ago, I heard the song that Craig and I danced to at our wedding on the radio, and I thought about blogging it.  Then Katie at NFP and Me came up with a great idea for a link up!  So I've kind of blended my idea for my post with hers.  Her questions helped provide some direction.  :)

What's your song? When You Say Nothing At All - Keith Whitley

Share a video if there is one?


Did you always have a song or did you have to find one?

Craig and I didn't really have a song as we were going through the process of planning our wedding.  We both loved music, but had a variety of tastes.  Craig's taste in music is quite varied by a large margin.  He really likes the band 311 but is also a big Johnny Cash fan and then he enjoys Barenaked Ladies, and I know his iTunes play lists include U2, Beastie Boys, Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Presley, Neil Diamond, Rush, Grateful Dead... you get my drift.  He's been known to jam to some rap on occasion as well.

I go through phases with music.  Sometimes I'm a country girl.  Sometimes I'm an Elders (Celtic Rock) girl.  Sometimes I am an 80's hairband girl.  Sometimes I blast Tone Loc (Funky Cold Medina!) or Sir Mix-a-lot ("Baby got Back!") or Boys II Men.  Many days I love Journey.  These days I am a Taylor Swift girl.  Usually whatever I am in the mood for sticks around for awhile and then I will drift out of listening to any music, too.

Craig and I went to see the movie, Notting Hill, about 6 weeks before we got married and the movie had the Alison Kraus version of "When You Say Nothing At All" in it.  I had heard and really loved the song earlier in the 90's when there was a digitally re-mastered version of the old Keith Whitley song made into a duet with Alison Kraus.

Craig and I both liked the song and decided that would be our song for our wedding.  And we decided we'd use the Keith Whitley version...because we kinda like originals.  :)


What does it mean to you?
For me, the meaning of a song is all in the lyrics.  I like a good melody, but if the words aren't meaningful, I don't buy into it.  
It's amazing how you can speak right to my heart
Without saying a word, you can light up the dark
Try as I may I could never explain
What I hear when you don't say a thing

Chorus:

The smile on your face let's me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall
But you say it best when you say nothing at all
Something I might have romanticized a bit about marriage before getting married was the idea that it could be so great to know someone so well that you don't have to talk all the time...or any of the time.  I don't know if Craig and I knew each other this well on our wedding day, but it was the kind of relationship I hoped we'd always have. 

I don't think we had it quite yet on the day we married.  At least not completely.  We were still so young, and understanding what someone says with their eyes, their smiles, their hands...not something that could be understood the same way.

How has the meaning changed since you first chose it?
All day long I can hear people talking out loud
But when you hold me near, you drown out the crowd
Old Mr. Webster could never define
What's being said between your heart and mine
Chorus twice:
The smile on your face let's me know that you need me
There's a truth in your eyes saying you'll never leave me
A touch of your hand says you'll catch me whenever I fall
But you say it best when you say nothing at all
Interestingly enough, over almost 13 years of marriage, and through the addition of 5 children, I think we're getting there.  I feel like having this song in the background of life has given us something to strive for through all of life's changes.

And I think that it's now true that we let each other know that we need each other through non-verbal cues.  And we live every day knowing leaving isn't an option either of us entertain.  Through all of life's ups and downs - job changes, financial problems and successes, parenting trials, welcoming and loving and raising children - we've been there to catch the other and build each other up through the years.

Won't you share a picture of you two dancing? (Doesn't have to be a wedding picture!)

I won't.  I'm sorry.  I don't have one.  I don't have a picture I can access anywhere that is just Craig and Me.  We really need to fix that.

March 19, 2012

Monday Mumbles - 22

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Yup, it's Monday!  Time to Mumble!  Please join in if you like, use the button and go visit TOOJE and let her know you Mumbled.  It's a great way to meet some other bloggers.  And TOOJE is one of my faves.  :)

1.  I am writing these...like, WAY late on Sunday night.  Oh wait, it's SO late, that it is technically, Monday morning.  Oy.

2.  KU got all the late start basketball games this weekend.  What happens with late KU games is...they wait until the final seconds of the game to win, and then I'm all wound up and can't go to sleep.  So, I'm up until the wee hours of Monday morning instead of sleeping.

3.  BUT!  I am NOT complaining!  My Jayhawks are in the Sweet 16!!!  YAYAYAYAYAY!!!!!

4.  Oh wait, I'm supposed to be mumbling, not cheering.  Ok, so sue me.  

5.  I finally buckled this weekend and got the spring/summer clothes out for the kiddos.  We have had two straight weeks of pretty warm weather (for March) and school even released their restriction on the shorts/skorts so the kids could wear them (usually they can't until April).  So, i decided to get them out.  The girls were thrilled.

6.  Be sure to stop by tomorrow.  I will have a post up about the song Craig and I danced to at our wedding in our first dance as husband and wife.  Katie at NFP and Me is hosting a link-up for these posts!  What a fun idea!

7.  I had the first two days of the NCAA tournament off work.  Guess what?  I didn't actually sit around and watch basketball all day like I thought I would.  I actually did things like meet a friend for lunch and then we spontaneously went and got pedicures!  fun!  And while I was getting my spontaneous pedicure, I got talked into a spontaneous eyebrow-threading.  I have never had my eyebrows threaded before.  Yes, it hurt.  But no more than a wax.  

8.  We took Vincent to his first St. Patrick's Day parade.  It was a lot crowded because it was a Saturday and all.  But I think the kids all had fun.



9.  Dominic is a very sweet little boy.  And I should emphasize the word BOY.  He cracked me up in the car yesterday.  We were driving along and he says, "Mommy, you need to drive faster like the REAL Lightening McQueen...he would never drive as slow as you."  Ha!  Take that Mr. Highway Patrolman!

10.  My girls have been asking to go to the pool.  It's been that warm.  Yay for mild winters and warm springs!

Have a great Monday everyone!


March 16, 2012

7 Quick Takes (20)




--- 1 ---
I am happy to report that I completed the Couch 2 5K training plan for week 2 FOUR times this week.  Yay me!!!  What a difference a good pair of running shoes, some beautiful spring weather and a little commitment makes.  I'm mulling around a marathon later this year.  Craig wants to run one and there's one in October in Minneapolis that I am thinking about.  If I can get my mileage up to at least 25 miles per week by June, then I may consider committing to the training for it.  That would be fun...to run a marathon with the one whom I am sharing the marathon of life, right?  Even if I don't do the marathon (and he does) there is a half, 10-mile and 5K I could do if that's what I'm up for.  For now, I'm just going to bask in the glory of having gotten out there four times since last Saturday and sticking to the plan.  :)

--- 2 ---

I realized the last time I did 7QT, was the day before the most awesome basketball game in the history of basketball games (from my perspective anyway).  March Madness has begun and KU is playing in Omaha, NE tonight.  I'm gonna go ahead and say...I really hate it when KU plays the latest game.  Really hate it.  But, I am sure ol' Coach Self will be on his game and be sure the boys will be ready to play...even at 9:00 p.m. tonight.  Oy!

--- 3 ---

Sarah started spring volleyball practice on Monday.  I'm really excited for the girls to be coached by someone else.  Perhaps I will pick up some new drills and perhaps the girls will hone some skills.  I was already thinking we'd put in a system next year and the coach they have for this session is planning to teach them the same thing, so that should help us out!

--- 4 ---

Have you read this letter?  I signed it.  You might want to read through it and see if you want to sign it, too.  They have ELEVEN pages of names of women who have signed it.  I sent my "sign the letter" e-mail on February 24.  I got a return e-mail from the lady in charge on Wednesday of this week and she apologized for the delay in response and said that she's "happily drowning in signatures."  If you are like me, and you don't like the Obama administration or Kathleen Sebelius or Nancy Pelosi or any of them speaking as though they speak for all women or claiming they "stand with women everywhere" or whatever the latest thing is...then sign the letter!  But most importantly, be sure and send the real message in the voting booth come November.

--- 5 ---

Vincent is full-fledged, all out crawling.  He gets into everything and when he is determined to get somewhere, his crawl actually has the appearance of a very intentional march.  It's rather odd.  None of my other kids crawled at this point, so I am having a blast watching him move around and get after everyone and everything.

--- 6 ---

I'm going to get back on my running kick for a second here.  Whatever happened to people, in cars, looking both ways before they pull into a cross-section of streets?  One of my runs took place during rush hour this week and I was appalled at how many times a car pulled right in front of me (almost hit me twice) because they completely never looked my direction.  They were only looking the other way.  I'm sure glad *I* was paying attention, but it was very frustrating!  It's been awhile since I have done a lot of road-running...so I guess I had forgotten how it was.  But really, people!  Watch out for others!
 
--- 7 ---

Have I  mentioned the weather around here?  Here in Kansas City, we've had a few years with pretty harsh winters right through March.  Even if it wasn't really cold, it WAS really rainy.  Last year, it snowed far too much for far too long.  I am so happy with this year's weather.  We had a really mild December through February.  And March...well, you'd think we passed the first day of spring three weeks ago.  It's been wonderful.  How is your weather where you are?


For more Quick Takes, visit Conversion Diary!


March 15, 2012

Thankful Thursdays (15)


Today I am thankful:
  • for warm spring days, with sun shining, and light breezes blowing
  • for time to run and then still time to get to the all school Mass at our parish
  • for beautiful children's voices raising praise to our Lord
  • for Rebecca being a fabulous hostess to Dani's Flat Stanley in West Virginia - all the kids (and the teacher, I suspect) LOVED it!
  • for time spent with a good friend over lunch
  • for basketball...of the men's college variety.  I love March Madness.
What are you thankful for today?  Rebecca at The Road Home hosts Thankful Thursdays every week.  Go check her (and some other bloggers) out now!

March 14, 2012

Correspondence With MO Senator Claire McCaskill

Three weeks ago, I wrote a letter to and called the offices of Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill asking her to vote in favor of Senate Amendment 1520, sponsored by her fellow Missouri senator, Roy Blunt. 

I got a response from her Monday.


Claire McCaskill’s letter:
March 12, 2012
Dear Mrs. Hughes,
Thank you for contacting me regarding birth control and women's health.  I appreciate hearing from you and welcome the opportunity to respond.
I believe we should all work to prevent and reduce the number of abortions in this country.  I support access to birth control, which will help reduce the number of unintended pregnancies and ultimately reduce abortions.  This is an emotional, difficult subject.  But if you really believe that reducing abortions is important in this country, which I do, then it doesn't work to keep putting up barriers to women getting birth control.

This requires clarification.  I ask, is Ms. McCaskill lying?  Does she not know her own voting record? 

Or she simply does not want to own her voting record?


If we look at Senator McCaskill’s voting record she ALWAYS votes pro-abortion.  Always.  Always.  Always.  Go here for her voting record on this issue.  And, here is a link to her entire voting record, for your information.


As a matter of fact, just last year, amidst the release of Live Action.org's undercover sting videos depicting multiple Planned Parenthood clinics in multiple cities actively complicit in crimes involving statutory rape, sex trafficking as well as fiscal malfeasance, Senator McCaskill still stood by them.”  She still voted in April 2011 to continue federal funding of Planned Parenthood.  


There is a conflict between what Senator McCaskill expressed as her priorities in her letter and her actions in the Senate.  Is she ignorant of the fact that Planned Parenthood’s main business is providing abortion?  She claims she wants to reduce abortions, but abortion is Planned Parenthood’s biggest line of business and she supports them wholeheartedly.  No, it’s not ignorance.  She is a liar.

I resent her attempt to align herself with me by using verbiage like, “But if you really believe that reducing abortions is important in this country, which I do...”  That is OFFENSIVE to me because nowhere - NOWHERE - in her voting record is there any evidence that she “really believes that reducing abortions is important in this country”.  If Ms. McCaskill REALLY believes that reducing abortions is important in this country, she’d work to hold accountable the abortion giant Planned Parenthood for KNOWINGLY breaking the law and covering up crimes (some more here and here and here and here) and doing much to undermine parents.


The remainder of that paragraph insinuates that increasing access to contraception reduces abortions.  This simply has not proved to be the case.  When researchers don’t understand why contraception didn’t decrease elective abortion, they use conclusions like, “The factors responsible for the increased rate of elective abortion need further investigation.”  They cannot accept that contraception increases abortion rates, so they effectively say, “we have to keep trying until we get the answer we want.”  (my paraphrase)

Further, I cannot believe these people supporting this HHS Mandate really believe there is any restriction to access to contraception.  Walk into any Planned Parenthood clinic or any Public Health office and a girl of any age can walk out with 12-months supply of free hormonal birth control pills.  And guess what?  They still have access to that abortion when the contraception fails.

Think contraception, used properly is 100%?  Go visit Rebecca at Shoved to Them and read "The Failure Rate."

Some methods of so-called contraception are really abortifacients - meaning they cause abortions, namely hormonal birth control pills, IUD’s and abortions.  Even physicians recognize the link between contraception and abortion.  

If a person thinks logically through the contraception-abortion issue, as one of my favorite bloggers, Leila at Little Catholic Bubble, so eloquently pointed out, the logical next step from failed contraception is abortion.  If someone has gone to the extent of taking hormonal contraception, or placing an IUD, or taking a shot of Depo-Provera...then of course if they become pregnant (because only abstinence is 100%) their next thought turns to abortion.  Please go read Leila’s post on this topic as it’s better than anything I’m going to write here!  


Claire McCaskill’s letter:
For this reason, I voted against the amendment offered by my colleague, Senator Roy Blunt (Senate Amendment 1520), which would have allowed any employer, health plan sponsor, or insurance company to refuse coverage for their employees for any type of essential health care services -- including birth control, maternity care, prenatal testing, and HIV/AIDS screening -- based solely on an undefined "moral objection."

Did you know that Claire McCaskill calls herself Catholic?  I wonder, has she ever picked up a Catechism?  The Catechism of the Catholic Church contains a summary of all the beliefs of the faith and is used as a teaching tool.  Before my reversion and conversion on the topic of marriage and sex abiding by Church teaching, I hadn't either.  I would imagine that if Claire McCaskill knew her Catholic faith, then she would know that the Catholic Church’s and the“moral objection” of which she speaks is absolutely defined...in the Catechism.

2370
Periodic continence, that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.  These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom.  In contrast, “every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences, proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation impossible” is intrinsically evil (emphasis, mine):
Thus the innate language that expresses the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not giving oneself totally to the other.  This leads not only to a positive refusal to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality....The difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse to the rhythm of the cycle...involves in the final analysis two irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.
Within this one article of the Catechism, the “moral objection” is defined.  Ms. McCaskill can deny or ignore all she wants, but there has never been an UNDEFINED “moral objection” by the Catholic Church on this issue.

Claire McCaskill’s letter:
As you may know, following considerable debate, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reached a compromise so that religiously-affiliated employers will not have to provide birth control if it violates that employer's religious beliefs.  This compromise, which I support, ensures that all women with employer-sponsored health plans will have access to free preventive health services, while protecting the religious freedom of religiously-affiliated employers.  If a church or religious employer determines that covering birth control would be inconsistent with their organization's beliefs, the insurance company rather than the employer will be required to offer these services directly to women.
Groups on both sides of the debate, including the Catholic Health Association and Planned Parenthood, have expressed their support of this compromise.  Under the new HHS guidelines, no one will be required to use birth control or other preventive care services under any plan.  Each woman, pursuant to her own beliefs, will access the services she deems appropriate.  However, a woman will not be denied access to health services, like birth control, based on the decision of her employer, instead of retaining for herself the right to choose whether to use birth control or not.  The new guidelines also do not eliminate or change existing conscience protections, which I support, that allow doctors and individual healthcare providers to choose whether or not to prescribe or administer birth control in accordance with their own beliefs.


This so-called compromise is nothing of the sort.  She quotes the Catholic Health Organization which is known for its dissident stance on such Church matters.  McCaskill references “considerable debate” but important parties to that so-called debate were not consulted.  How could there be debate when the administration’s Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services completely shut out everyone that would disagree with her?  (See here and here and here and here.)

What Ms. McCaskill tries to do here is completely evade the issue.  The real issue here is religious freedom and the fact that the Constitution of the United States ensures in the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” (emphasis, mine)


The Catholic Church views contraception and abortion as intrinsically evil.  The Church should not have to support, provide free of charge, or pay for something that is viewed as such.  

Furthermore, the law Congress has made absolutely prohibits the free exercise of Catholicism by Catholic hospital administrations, Catholic charities, Catholic universities, etc.  And their little “compromise” is no such thing because Catholic institutions must still PAY for the insurance premiums that will cover these evils.  

I believe I heard a quote or saw it on a FAQ or something on the white house’s webpage that “houses of worship” were exempt.  Since when was the “free exercise” of religion confined to the worship space?  I am every bit a Catholic outside the doors of my parish church that I am inside of it.  I live my life in accord with my Catholic faith in my home at my work, in my many interactions with non-Catholics.  My faith is not confined to the place where I attend Mass.  So, too, the Catholic church’s ability to preach the Gospel and carry out the Mission should not be confined only to the physical building.  The Church has taught since it’s inception that contraception and abortion are intrinsically evil - being forced to provide this evil is a gross overreach and abuse of power by this government.

Claire McCaskill’s letter:
It should be noted that 28 states already require health insurance plans to cover contraceptive services.  The compromise guidelines follow in the steps of most states, including Missouri, which have already found a reasonable way to ensure access to preventive health services while also respecting employers' First Amendment right to religious freedom, a fundamental principle on which our nation was founded.

In this point, she tries to position her stance as the one not infringing on religious freedom, but she is, again, lying.  It’s long been established in courts that federal laws often “trump” state laws in these matters.  Even if Missouri does have something in place NOW that protects religious freedom, that will be usurped when this HHS Mandate goes in place in a little over a year.



Remainder of Claire McCaskill’s letter:
Again, thank you for contacting me. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance to you on this or any other issue.
Sincerely,
Claire McCaskill
United States Senator
P.S. If you would like more information about resources that can help Missourians, or what I am doing in the Senate on your behalf, please sign up for my email newsletter at http://mccaskill.senate.gov.

Here is my reply to Senator McCaskill.  

Ms. McCaskill,
    With all due respect, please do not attempt to align yourself with me as someone who "really believes that reducing abortions is important in this country."  Your pro-abortion voting record speaks for itself in that regard and your words ring fake and hollow.
    There have been studies attempting to determine the effects of contraception on the elective abortion rate, and when the researchers don't get the answer they want, they simply say "further research is required."  (Please don't try and present a Guttmacher Institute study as they are the "research" arm of Planned Parenthood and therefore, that is not independent nor is it reliable.)  The logical next step to failed contraception is abortion.  Even in the case Casey v. Planned Parenthood, the decision proclaimed as much (that contraception fails, and therefore a woman would want or need an abortion).
“for two decades of economic and social developments, people have organized intimate relationships and made choices that define their views of themselves and their places in society, in reliance on the availability of abortion in the event that contraception should fail.” (emphasis mine)
--Casey v. Planned Parenthood

Finally, I believe you call yourself Catholic.  It is unfortunate, then, that you seem to be grossly ignorant of your faith.  The Catholic church views contraception and abortion as intrinsically evil.  And your allegation that the "moral objection" is "undefined" belies this ignorance as well.  There is something called the Catechism of the Catholic church that defines and explains the belief of Catholics.  The Catholic Church has absolutely defined her moral objection to this mandate and the so-called compromise.  Please tell me, senator, how it could be called a compromise when no dissenting opinions were sought?
    And as I am sure you're already aware, even if states have laws and exemptions in place, this federal law will most likely trump any state laws on the matter.  Therefore, my concern with regard to religious freedom and my and my church's ability to exercise this freedom, is NOT alleviated in any way by your letter.
I am gravely disappointed in your "leadership" or at least your attempt at it and can only pray and work for your defeat in November.
Michelle Hughes




I don’t anticipate any further dialogue, I have already received the message that the mailbox where my message went is "not monitored" (so I went to her site and added my message, but now the string is broken and she won't know to what I am responding).  But I sincerely hope that any Catholic or pro-life person in this district in Missouri reading this will remember Claire McCaskill’s dreadful voting record and her gross ignorance of the faith she proclaims and vote for whomever is opposing her on the ballot.