Categories
Abortion Current Events Erika Ink Slingers NFP and contraceptives Pro-Life Issues Respect Life Respect Life Month

It’s Breast Cancer “Awareness” Month Again

three generations of breast cancer survivors
Three generations of Breast Cancer survivors!

It’s October again… Everything is swathed in pink. Please take the following as advice before you cover yourself in pink for the “cause”… Breast Cancer Awareness Month is a euphemism for “Give us money so we can pay our salaries”! Forgive me if I sound bitter or snide, but I was diagnosed at 28 years old and 20 weeks pregnant and Komen, American Cancer Society, and most (if not all)
big name “Awareness” groups offered me two choices when I was diagnosed: 1) hope that I didn’t die before I had my baby without treatment or 2) kill my baby to seek treatment. However, MD Anderson had (has) been doing chemo on pregnant women for more than 20 years with better results than on similar post-abortive mothers. No thanks to those big-name organizations, not only did I survive, but my almost 3 year old daughter survived as well! We are the fifth and sixth generation of survivors, but only the last three of us have actually survived (my mother is now a 7 year survivor, but her mother died at 58 and her grandmother and great grandmother died in their 40’s).

How did those big organizations “support” me in my time of need? How do those big name organizations further the “cure” by not only killing future generations but also condemning those women who fall for their lies to worse survival rates? Who gains by the continued denials of links or causation of breast cancer by hormonal contraceptives and abortions? Where’s the “cure” there? “Awareness” means less than nothing if erring on the side of caution – for instance publicly admitting possible links/causation between hormonal contraceptives and abortions and breast cancer — and other cancers. It should be called “Brea$t Cancer Awarene$$” because all it does is line the pockets of the organizers while presenting false hope to victims and supporters!

Even if the scientific link between abortion and hormonal contraceptives is weak (it isn’t), women deserve to be told the WHOLE truth about these “necessary” parts of “reproductive rights”. For instance, the link between BPA and the ills it causes aren’t much (if any) stronger than the links between hormonal contraceptives and breast cancer, yet everyone avoids BPA to err on the side of caution. To be perfectly honest, I actually didn’t realize until looking at the journal articles while writing this post, that the type of carcinogenic chemical of BPA is actually VERY similar to hormonal contraceptives (estradiol, estratone, estrogen-like chemicals). Why shouldn’t the big organizations advocate the same type of caution for abortion and hormonal contraceptives? The WHO (World Health Organization) has ranked contraceptives as Level 1 carcinogens. If the purpose of these organizations was truly to reduce breast cancer (and other cancers) wouldn’t they advise women to avoid hormonal contraceptives? Instead, the supposed “benefits” of these “reproductive rights” are said to “outweigh” the risks… as a survivor, if I thought there was something I could do that was completely choice oriented to prevent my daughter from getting breast cancer, you’d better believe I’d do everything in my power to see that she made the right choice!

Where’s the benefit of that type of false “awareness”? T-shirts, bumper stickers, etc. with cutesy “Feel your Boobies” or “Save the Tatas” slogans* don’t actually further the cause of finding a cure or providing real life support for victims. Instead all they do is demean the victims of this horrible disease. Don’t get me wrong, I own a few t-shirts with similar slogans, but I AM a survivor. Plus, most of them (except the “Fight like a Girl” one) were given to me by friends in an effort to lift my spirits by letting me know they were supporting me in my struggle. The friends who gave me those t-shirts didn’t just plunk down $20 for a shirt and consider themselves as supporting me in my struggle. No, they actually DID things to help me: sent notes of care/support, listened while I cried or whined, helped me with a real task in life, prayed for me, spoke to me of courage and strength, etc. The t-shirt was just the physical and remaining reminder that they DID something that actually helped me–even if it was just emotional or mental help. That is the way true supporters can lend a hand to victims of this horrible disease.
Some of the newer more popular slogans are actually innuendos that over-sexualize the disease and body parts involved. The “boobies” I lost during my mastectomy weren’t playthings or frivolous slightly naughty bits–they were nutrition for my son for his first year of life. They were a visible representation of my gender. Sadly, they were also linked, in ways I did not and still do not understand, to my self esteem and self image. Yes, I can laugh about cutting them off because they were trying to kill me, but you don’t know the feelings I hide behind that laugh. I have numerous very real physical scars from the three surgeries to remove and “replace” those body parts, but worse than the physical scars are the emotional ones that no one–not even other survivors necessarily–can understand. Every women (or man, since they get breast cancer too) has different breasts, and her “relationship” (for lack of a better word) is unique to her, so her response to these traitorous body parts and the subsequent removal or alteration of them is different too. Often, women are evaluated by their breasts because we live in a highly sexualized world. So losing or altering this most visible sign of womanhood can be highly traumatic. It’s really only something some of us laugh about because the alternative is crying. When you add the other losses (loss of ovaries, tubes, uterus, cervix, etc) some of us face because of related cancers, the emotional toll rises and hearing or seeing such jocular interpretations of our loss(es) can be devastating.

If you’re aware of breast cancer and want to help 1) find a struggling victim in your neighborhood or area to support, 2) thoroughly research any organization BEFORE donating, 3) don’t play meaningless “games” for awareness sake, 4) open your eyes to the truth of breast cancer (and other cancers) and let others know it, and/or 5) pray for a cure, better survivability, and more real world support for victims. Those are things that really help real people who are victims!

    *I don’t mean to pick on just these two slogans, but they were the first ones to come to mind… I have no affiliation or hatred of any of these slogans except as explained above. If it makes you feel better about yourself, by all means wear or buy products with these types of slogans on them. However, don’t expect me (or other victims/survivors) to appreciate it if that’s all you do.
Find more of my story at Erika’s Miracle Journey.

 

Categories
Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Mary Matrimony Motherhood NFP and contraceptives Respect Life Sacraments Vocations

Celebrating Womanhood Catholic Church Style

I’m so tired of hearing how the Church doesn’t respect women, how the Church oppresses women, how the Church doesn’t want women in important roles, and so forth. It’s there anytime I open a newspaper, turn on the TV, or read online news sources about the Church. Time after time after time.

Give. Me. A. Break!

Seriously, where are they getting this stuff? The Church loves women! The Church celebrates women!

Now, if you are reading this website, you know this already. You can commiserate with me in this treatment of us as women by the mainstream media. Who’s really bashing women here? It ain’t the Church. Am I right, ladies (and gentlemen, too)?

I wish I could list all the ways the Church celebrates us as women in our vocations, supports our roles in the Church, and respects our innate dignity as women. The list would be long, I’m certain of it!

So let’s go for it! I’ll start ….

#1 The Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God

Women don’t get important roles in the Church? Hello! THE most important role ever in the Church is Mother of God. We wouldn’t have a Church if it wasn’t for Mary. And her role didn’t end with bringing Jesus into the world. No siree! Mary is honored in so many ways with churches named after her, many feast days in her honor, countless devotions to her and much more. Above any other human being in the Church, Mary receives the highest praise and recognition.

“And Mary said, ‘My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has regarded the low estate of his handmaiden. For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed.’” (Luke 1:46-48)

And as a humble woman, Mary is a role model for the rest of us in our vocations, whatever that vocation is: motherhood, wife, religious sister.

The Church bestows its greatest honor on a woman–Jesus’ own mother.

#2 Equal in Marriage

One of the things I love about weddings in the Catholic Church is that the bride is not “given away” as is done in many other faiths. The father, or someone in his place, can still walk her down the aisle if the couple so chooses to do things that way, but you won’t hear a Catholic priest ask, “Who gives this woman to this man?” Marriage is a free choice between the man and the woman. We, as women, are equal partners in marriage with our husbands. The Church’s view on marriage is beautiful and completely respects the dignity of women.

“The woman, ‘flesh of his flesh,’ his equal, his nearest in all things, is given to him by God as a ‘helpmate’; she thus represents God from whom comes our help.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church #1605)

“Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the Church and gave himself for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the Church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. Even so husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. … however, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.” (Ephesians 5:25-28, 33)

“According to the Latin tradition, the spouses as ministers of Christ’s grace mutually confer upon each other the sacrament of Matrimony by expressing their consent before the Church.” (CCC #1623)

#3 The Dignity of the Female Body

No, the Church doesn’t expect us to have as many children as we physically can and to be barefoot and pregnant throughout all of our fertile years.

Yes, the Church does expect us to not use artificial means of contraception.

Will we ever get the secular world to understand why we are granted great dignity by not using contraceptives?

That’s right, great dignity. I like that I don’t feel compelled to put artificial hormones in my body so that it will work contrary to its intended purpose. I like that the Church recognizes that fact. I like that my husband respects me enough to not want me putting those drugs into my body.

But not only that–heck, that’s just the tip of the iceberg–pregnancy is not a disease. Drugs are for curing diseases. Our fertility as women is a natural function of the our bodies. We can learn the patterns of our bodies so that we can avoid pregnancy when we discern that to be a necessity, but otherwise, we should be open to life. A life we create with our husbands in conjunction with God.

I could go on and on in regard to this point. But I won’t. [You’re welcome.] Instead, if you haven’t read it, or haven’t read it in a long time, I encourage you to read Humanae Vitae. By the way, this coming Wednesday is HV’s 44th anniversary. So it’s a good time to give it another look.

#4 The Vocations of Womanhood

St. Ann instructing her daughter, the Virgin Mary

One of the unfortunate consequences of the feminist movement is the false idea that men and women have absolutely no differences and that whatever a man can do so can a woman. Deep down, whether people want to admit it or not, everyone knows that men and women are different. That’s not a bad thing. We are different people and we have different roles.Does not having a female priesthood make us lesser individuals in the eyes of the Church? Absolutely not! We have important roles to play too. In our vocations as women, we can assist in the preparation of Mass and serve the Church in volunteer roles. In our vocations as mothers, we can nurture a culture of vocations within our Domestic Church whereby we bring up children who may choose to enter the holy priesthood or religious life. In our vocation as religious sisters, we can serve the Church in ministry, pray for the Church, and be spiritual mothers to all the lay faithful. Regardless of our vocational call, we should always be praying for the Church, for the priesthood, and for the future generations of Catholic faithful.

Now can anyone say that any of these roles aren’t important? Of course not. Let’s celebrate our roles in the Church and support the roles of the men in our lives.

In all four of the points above I see nothing but joyful respect for the dignity of all women as equal parts in the Body of Christ, the Church. The Church indeed does celebrate women and rejoices in all that we do for Holy Mother Church. But this list is only a beginning.

What would you add to the list? How do you feel the Church celebrates women?

Categories
Polls Respect Life

RESULTS: 98% Of Non-Mass Going Women Who Identify Themselves As Catholic Contracept – Where Do The Faithful Fall In Line?

If you participated in the poll, thank you! In 17 short hours, we were able to collect 1000 surveys from Catholic women around the US without being picked up by any major news agency.

The point of the poll? The point in all of this was not necessarily to prove the other poll wrong, but rather seek to two things. First, give a voice to Catholic women who attend Mass and do not contracept. Second, we wanted to make people think. The mainstream media paints the Church as being outdated and “behind the times” and challenges the teachings of the Church with no more authority than you are I have. Yet despite the many Catholics who falter in their faith, we can be confident that the Church’s teachings never have–and never will–rely on the holiness of its followers.

Just because the vast majority of Catholics use contraception (often throwing out what I call “the Catholic resume” in advance of their dissent), this doesn’t change what the Church teaches.  The Church is both human and Divine and it’s no surprise that the humans who make up the Church are flawed and imperfect. The Divine part of the Church, however, which is rooted in Christ’s own teachings and protected by the Holy Spirit, is not. We would do well to remember that.

So…like myself, if you are one of several generations who were not taught why the Church teaches what She does about contraception, I challenge you to make today the day that a new chapter begins. Resolve to at the very least understand the teachings. Struggling with a teaching does not make you less Catholic, because most Catholics struggle with some teachings of the Church. Let me say that again: Struggling to understand is not the issue. Defiance is. Deciding that we know better than the Church, which speaks with the voice of Christ, is self-serving and the epitome of moral relativism.

Now, on to the fun stuff!

The survey asked five questions. The answers are shown below. A direct link to the actual survey is below the pictures of the questions for you to view as well.

 

The direct link can be found here.

A friend who conducted the survey had a few words to share about this experience. Read below:

So…98% of Catholics contracept? Really? Wait a minute.  First of all, what defines being Catholic? If a statistic is being circulated through the public sector  as “what Catholics believe and do” it had better accurately represent those who, at the minimum, practice their faith regularly.   So, where do women stand who practice their faith regularly on contraceptive use?  
The results of this survey are revealing.  In a population of about 1000 women, fairly evenly distributed across age groups and generations, we found that of these women, 96.4 % of whom AT LEAST attend Mass weekly, only 18% were contracepting.  We found that a large percent of our readers use a “natural method” of family planning.
First, 8.4% of  the Catholic women polled claim that they are single and not genitally active. Don’t tell me these women don’t count in the stats on Catholics. Of the total population 5.8% (N=58) used the pill, IUD, or other hormonal contraceptive, 4.9% (N=49) used a barrier method, and 7.3% (N=73) had been sterilized or had their partner sterilized. Just 2% cited a medical reason for using the Pill. As an interesting addition, of the 73 women who used sterilization as birth control, more than half of them (44) regretted it.  Something to consider.
Many of these women claimed to use one of three modern and highly-researched methods of natural family planning: The sympto-thermal method, Creighton Model FertilityCare System, or the Billings Ovulation Method. The total percent that claimed to use a natural method was 58.6%. Others claimed that they used no method of family planning at all (13.6%).
Some may say natural family planning is a form of contraception. It’s not.  Even many Catholics are not educated in the difference between contraception and “responsible parenthood” as described in the document Humanae Vitae. If you’ve never read the document, it may be a perfect time.  It may even be an interesting topic for a separate future blog post.
I’m a practicing Catholic who loves my country and the freedom I have to be fully and completely Catholic.  In my opinion, the secular stats don’t legitimatize the mandate.  Most definitely, non-practicing Catholics should not be integrated into a “Catholic” poll when freedom of religion is at stake.
I’ve never been one to succumb to peer pressure, but the 98% threw me for a loop. I have no desire to debate it out. Yea, we did the survey on surveymonkey.  It is what it is.  Even if our stats are slanted because our population is more devout, it leads us to reconsider what really matters.  Didn’t Albert Einstein say, “What is right is not always popular and what is popular is not always right.”?
Certainly this poll may encourage some of us that we are not alone.
Categories
Polls Respect Life

POLL: 98% Of Non-Mass Going Women Who Identify Themselves As Catholic Contracept – Where Do The Faithful Fall In Line?

 

>>>>SURVEY MONKEY POLL<<<<

UPDATE: The poll is officially closed now that we have reached 1000 surveys in 17 hours, thanks to your help and participation. The results can be found HERE live at 1 p.m. CST, February 15. 

If you’ve seen the lovely gems floating around the internet here and here stating that 98% of Catholic women contracept, you probably have bruises on your chin from picking it up off the floor.

While we would never suggest that some women have fallen into the contraception mentality, we want to take a moment to get an honest poll going about Catholic women. The poll will reflect how these numbers get skewed. When you poll non-Mass going Catholic women who don’t have a firm stake {or understanding} in the Faith, can we really be surprised that the contraception numbers are 98%??

And further, do these statistics even change what the Church teaches on the matter?

The administration would have you think so…98% of Catholic women contracept, therefore the Catholic Church’s teaching is wrong is what they are trying to tell us. 

So, to combat the obvious slant in the polling sample, I thought we would try something that at least attempts to gather honest information. Ya know…just for grins.

We created a poll to hear the voices of ALL Catholic women, not just non-Mass goers. Please visit the link at the top of the post to participate. Also, please help us spread the word about this poll by spreading it to Catholic friends and family, online communities and on your Facebook page. The poll will be open about a week and the results will be posted when it closes.