Interactive Friday

Another week, another interactive Friday on this blog. I’ve had a lot on my mind, balancing work and work. You’re right, that’s not balance, but I’m working on it. Whoops, there’s the "work" word again.

I can hardly complain. I love my work, and although it is not just full-time, but all-the-time, I’m very happy. I try to pepper the week with sports and mental rest to keep me light and lucid. Sometimes just changing airs does wonders. In fact, as I type this blog I’m in a car, listening to good music and making my way down south to Naples. No, not Florida. Naples, Italy — the real deal. I’m ducking out of Rome for a long weekend to get some quality time to work on the book project I’ve mentioned here before. I’m writing about what I’ve learned from you — that life’s not easy. It’s a book about human suffering. The provisional title is “Why Me? A Passionate Quest for Sense in Suffering.” Your stories, the painful ones you have shared with me, patiently rest in my portable hard drive. Don’t worry. I’m going to make sense of them all. Not likely! But you can bet that I’m going to try.

Before getting to your e-mails from this past week, I want to float an idea by you for Monday’s posting. Sunday is Hollywood’s big night — the Oscars. The whole thing begs for commentary. Do you want some? I’ve got some ideas. Also on the docket is a look at what is happening in the legislatures in South Dakota and Mississippi, with their pending state-wide ban on abortion. I’m not so sure these legal actions will help the pro-life cause long term. We’ll get into that soon, barring breaking news.

Let’s take a look now at your responses to Wednesday’s entry “Save the World, Have a Baby!” and Monday’s entry on the U.N.’s proposal for a “reformed” Commission on Human Rights.

From Naples, God bless, Father Jonathan

Save the World, Have a Baby!

I'm amused by your contention that "greed is the cause of the poverty of the masses." I would suggest that greed is the solution to the problem of poverty for the masses! In America, where greed translates into successful capitalist enterprise, millions of people have been lifted out of poverty by opportunities provided by such greedy people as Bill Gates and Michael Dell. Indeed, the greed and drive of individuals in a free market society has been the only thing that has consistently and reliably helped to alleviate poverty. — Dave (Carrollton, TX)

RESPONSE: You weren’t alone with this critique of my posting, Dave. But I think you’re all wrong! Don’t confuse greed (by definition a vice) with a natural desire for progress and wealth — a good thing, that when used well, benefits not only the individual but society at large. Greed is a disordered attachment to (or love for) money and things. The disorder involves valuing commodities more than people and their well-being. We see this greed in our own lives, in institutions, and in governments. Greed is never good.

My husband’s former science teacher used to tell us 15 years ago that we should have as many babies as we could, because we were both smart and came from good gene pools, and that too many kids being born were not. I think he called it his "positive eugenics plan." Unfortunately, it's the smarter couples who don't want to bring into the world children they cannot afford to educate or give the best to. We have one loving, moral, bright daughter who will be 15 this month. Sorry! — Arlene (Battle Creek, Michigan)

RESPONSE: Arlene, no need to be sorry. Congratulations on your daughter! It sounds like you are doing a great job as parents. Positive eugenics, hmm…I don’t like the sound of it. But yes, those who have been given much have a responsibility to give back in return. Giving the gift of life is one way to give back, though not the only way.

Thanks. As grandmother to 19, I agree. And I think our grandchildren are even more fortunate since they are being raised by at-home moms or at least they were in their pre-school days!! My son-in-law forwarded your story to us and they are the ones who just gave us grandchild # 19 in December. Thank you again for your message!!! — Sandie

RESPONSE: Congratulations on #19! Stay-at-home Moms or Dads is a great gift to the kids when it can be done. I’m also impressed by the many working mothers who do a marvelous balancing act under very demanding circumstances.

I flew from Dallas, Texas to Spokane, Washington (with a stop in Seattle). I like to look at the terrain below – and it is very interesting to see how much of the land is undeveloped. Folks generally think there is no room left. But there are hundreds of thousands of acres of land with little or no population. I suppose living in a city, where you have no sight of the rest of the country influences your thoughts on population and space. Blessings! — Mike

RESPONSE: You are right, Mike. Spacing, not space, is the challenge.

The plain common sense of your articles is dead on. The elites in the colleges and the media have the craziest ideas that have gone unchallenged and unchecked for far too long. Our politicians are too weak to make the bold stands the world needs. Our best hope is to raise up a new generation that have a heart for God, fire in their belly, courage as their banner and possess the wisdom to lead.— Marc

RESPONSE: “Fire in the belly”, I like that.

Your blog speaks to me about something I've thought about since seeing the reports that claim a drop in crime rate over the years may be the result of abortion. Doesn't that prompt the question "What else was lost?" Did we lose the cure for cancer and other diseases? Did we lose those who could solve the problems we're facing now? What other talents and gifts are gone? I wonder. — Terry (New Jersey)

RESPONSE: Many, many wrote to me with similar reflections, Terry. You are right. And now is the time to look forward and not back. I was given life. What can I do to make my family and my world a better place?

While Dr. Ehrlich (author of “The Population Bomb”) was wrong in his timeline, ultimately, increasing population will outstrip our technical ability to expand use of these resources. When that happens, the only solutions will either be stopping population growth or leaving the Earth and finding ways to exploit the resources of other planets. Second, your solution requires that these people be willing to fix the problem of personal, institutional and governmental greed. There is no way to be certain that this increased population will be willing to do this. So for your solution to work, we would need to find the way to ensure that they will turn out the way you want them to. That is a problem that mankind has never been able to solve. – Tim (Martinez, California)

RESPONSE: Tim, what can I say? I disagree. Resources are finite, but human ingenuity to expand use of these resources is not. On your second point, we agree. The real challenge is not having more babies, but having babies and teaching them to love. We can do it, one person at a time.

I agree completely with your proposal; I hope many others do as well, though I’m pessimistic about that. The Ehrlich propagandists have been very, very effective.
My wife and I were blessed with 7 healthy children. Most all of them have opted to limit the size of their families to 1 or 2 children. I think the main reason for their choices in this matter is the uncertainty of what the children will have to face in the coming years. They also have a fear that they won’t be able to provide for several kids in terms of material and educational benefits to the level that seems to be expected in today’s world. Sincerely, — Hugh, Santa Clarita, CA

RESPONSE: Hugh, you make an important distinction. You say, “in terms of material and educational benefits to the levels that seem to be expected in today’s world." My dad, a lawyer, gave me $2,000 when I graduated from high school and suggested I go to college. I knew all along he would do this and planned accordingly. Teaching children skills and forming their character is the greatest benefit a parent can give their children. And it’s pretty cheap.

UN Proposal to “Reform” Commission on Human Rights

Please tell me who to write. I appreciate your timely article and clear explanation about what is going on in the UN. I have been confused until I read your article. This is appalling! – Ginny, Anniston, Alabama

RESPONSE: Ginny, I wish I could signal out one person who could get the job done. It’s not that easy. I think the best solution is to stay up on the news yourself and determine where YOU can make the most difference. For some this means raising children, for others getting involved in politics or creating jobs through business. For all of us it means willing to sacrifice for the long-term good of our country.

Recently I sent a scathing response to one of your articles with which I disagreed with. However, I do not want to withhold praise when it is due. Your article on the U.N. Conspiracy Theory is excellent and to-the-point. Your exposition of the situation is the best I have seen to date and it is put into plain words. Thank you for the insight you give to this problem within the U.N., an ever-evident example of world politics gone awry. — Shawn

RESPONSE: Shawn, thanks for your intellectual honesty.

Right on! This is the first response to a story I have ever written. But, I have to say how correct you are regarding the U.N. and their dismal track record when it comes to dealing with human right issues. Talk about the fox watching the hen house! What a list of countries to be the watchdog for human rights! How can this happen?

I do not understand why we do not hear more about this totally appalling situation on the major networks. Why isn't there more heat on the U.N. to make drastic changes? I can't help but compare the coverage the U.S. received concerning the prisoner abuse scandals (yes, we were wrong)to the lack of coverage the U.N. Commission on Human Rights receives concerning their absolute ineffectiveness. Amazing.

Keep shining the light on injustice! May God bless you! – Czarena

RESPONSE: Czarena, glad you wrote in! Part of the reason you don’t see this much on the news is that there are no good “images” to go with it. That’s just how T.V. works. Burning buildings and suicide bombers make the news in part because they make the sky go red. My colleague from FOX News, Eric Shawn, has done a great job investigating what goes on in the somber and imageless chambers of the U.N. I’m just riding his coattails.

We do not need to reform the U.N. We need to expel this communist organization from this country. Also, if you feel so strongly about reforming an anti-American global cabal such as this, maybe you should renounce your own United States citizenship and leave with them. God Bless and have a nice day. — Ray

RESPONSE: Ray, thanks for wishing on me a nice day. Renounce my citizenship? Other readers had similar suggestions for me. Yours was fit for print. The sentiment about abandoning the U.N. is understandable, but I don’t think it is the way. The recent vote by member states to refer Iran to the Security Council, for example, shows the importance of a having a global meeting point. Even if the U.N. has no bite, its bark has some value.

Any organization wherein the leaders (Annan and his 'delightful' crew) have been present and presided over the number of scandals and malfeasance that has occurred in the last few years at the U.N. should be shown the door and a restructuring should occur. Mr. Annan lacks, at the very least, credibility. — C.F.

RESPONSE: I’ll take advantage of your note to make an apology. I think my article made an unnecessary judgment on Secretary-General Annan’s intent. I suggested that his insistence on rushing to a vote was all about leaving a personal legacy. While that may be true, I don’t know for sure. I can say without hesitation that his proposal for “reform” is objectively weak and simply not enough. That’s a judgment of his actions, and that’s okay. Judging his intentions, however, is not up to me.

This article is part of a regular blog hosted by Father Jonathan Morris on His updates are posted on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Write to him with your opinions or questions at