Boinkie's Blog


Thursday, July 30, 2009

The martyrs among us

I wrote a longer essay on BNN about martyrs. LINK

I'm trying to think how many people I have met who are martyrs.

Sister Rita, a nurse that worked with me, was killed a year after I left Africa by people unknown: she was walking on mission property to the dam that supplied the gardens water, and they never found who killed her.

She was chubby and cheerful, and I still have a holy card she sent to me that has a picture of Mary and the lines "He is truth in your arms, and our hope".

Another friend who was killed was a fellow physician, a German neurologist who decided to retire to Africa and ran a hospital. At our last visit, we both discussed if we should stay or leave...I left in July, and she was killed in August, when those associated with the "insurgency" decided to rob the hospital...

One priest (whose brother I knew) "disappeared" and a year later, we heard that he had witnessed a massacre and been killed by the government and his body was thrown down a mine shaft. One of those witnessing the dissposal of his body visted family in South Africa, and told his clergyman, who sent word up to us.

One of my Korean friends had a grandfather killed for being Catholic.

Then there were the Mexican sisters who had a monastery near where I grew up. They had fled the persecution in that country (which few Americans had ever heard about). Father Braun, beloved of the Mescalero Apaches (where I once worked) and later a survivor of Bataan, the Death march, and the death ships, actually was involved in smuggling to Catholic clergy in Mexico in those days.

Here in the Philippines, although my nephew was killed in the cross fire of a political murder (by a rival politician) one wonders: Was he killed because instead of running away, he leaned over to help his friend, the son of the politician?

Although the killing of those on the left get the publicity of their fellow leftists in the US, the dirty little secret is that some of the "political killings" are merely eliminating rivals, or eliminating reporters spilling the beans on corruption, and some are revenge (the army revenging against a now retired "militant" who had killed a lot of people years ago and got away with it), and some are merely about money (my nephew's death was about who gets to be mayor, which of course allows a lot of money to be skimmed into one's pockets for personal use).

So who is a martyr, and who is just a victim of political squabbles?

When Thomas Beckett is killed for opposing the king's power grab, and Edith Stein is killed merely because she was jewish, the definition seems to be a bit broad.

But as I said in my original essay, the decision is made earlier, when one decides to live for the truth, or to do one's daily work despite the danger, and one's simple fidelity to one's vocation is the cause of the hatred that takes one's life...

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Lots of sickness here in the provinces.

We have had a lot of flu among our staff: if it is H1n1 it is mild, very sick but only lasting two of the local farmer's kids came in hot and dehydrated and I sent him immediately to the public hospital...

But most of the kids just have ordinary coughs or diarrhea not flu...and nothig that looks like Dengue, thank the Lord.

I usually pay for the medicines, since although they are cheap, when a farmer mainly eats their own food but has little cash, they may have trouble getting 100 pesos (2 dollars) for medicine.

I am of course a physician but no license and not in practice, but in rural areas no one cares...if anyone questioned I could just say I was writing the prescription under my husband's licence.

but ironically the poverty here is not as bad as when I was in Africa...

Monday, July 20, 2009

A group of anti abortion democrats might block the health care bill if it funds abortions with taxpayer money. link but don't hold your breath.

and yes, it has finally been admitted that abortion etc is included in the health care bill as "reproductive health care".link.

Of course, the NYTimes spilled the beans when they asked Peter Singer to tell us why untermensch who rate low on the "quality of life" scale could be denied care.
The fact that he uses Sutent as an example of an expensive drug that could be withheld is a major factual error on his part, as I point out here...

and the a***** who cricized me in the comments once wrote that mothers positive for HIV should not be given anti virals (he was working in South Africa at the time) leading another physician to point out that the couple million that could save their children is not a lot of money compared to the billions South Africa spends on their military...

Secondhandsmoke points out that Oregon already keeps expensive medical care from some people, but will pay for their assisted suicide drugs.

And California right not mandates that physicians discuss "ALL" options to those who have a terminal illness.
Not only could this force physicians to discuss euthanasia which is bad medicine (such a suggestion could be viewed as an "okay to kill yourself" or even a mandate to one who is depressed) but as this letter points out, it does not define what is a terminal illness...

American medical news defends physicians right not to be involved with deathmaking: It is not their "private" conscience but based on ethics of major religions (and the Hippocratic oath also, of course, but modern "ethicists" don't recognize that oath as meaningful.)

The Ninth Court in the US says pharmacists can't refuse to sell the morning after pill.

The new rules do not aim to suppress, target, or single out in any way the practice of any religion because of its religious content. Though the procedural posture presents a sparse record, that record sufficiently reflects that the object of the rules was to ensure safe and timely patient access to lawful and lawfully prescribed medications…

That the new rules prohibit all improper reasons for refusal to dispense medication—permitting only refusals for reasons enumerated in the narrow class of exemptions—suggests that the purpose of the new rules was not to eliminate religious objections to delivery of lawful medicines, but to eliminate all objections that do not ensure patient health, safety, and access to medication. Thus, the rules do not target practices because of their religious motivation.

..a ruling that could force them to dispense abortion pills and euthanasia pills.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

How to remove a church from Christianity

GetReligionBlog reminds us:

So forget Bishop James Pike and the heresy debates of 1967.

Forget Bishop Paul Moore’s bold 1979 ordination of a lesbian priest in the hot media spotlight that is always aimed at the Diocese of New York. In fact, forget all kinds of things about that particular bishop.

Forget Bishop John Spong’s 1989 ordination of a gay priest who was living in a same-sex relationship. Forget Utah Bishop Otis Charles outing himself. Forget Spong’s Koinonia Statement in 1994 and his 12 theses offering a liberal faith without the God of the Bible. Forget the heresy trial of Bishop Walter Righter in 1996.

Forget the Kuala Lumpur statement from conservative archbishops in the Global South in 1997 or the stunning, historic Lambeth Conference statement on sexuality in 1998.

Forget the consecration of two missionary bishops to North America in 2000 by archbishops from Rwanda and Southeast Asia, a tipping point that hinted at what was to come.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


ProLifePhilippines has an article on Mother Teresa's sisters teaching Natural Family Planning.

In the west, people would ridicule a celibate person doing this, but Hinduism has a long history of asceticism:

(Mahatma Gandhi) "like Mother Teresa advocated “birth control through self-control” or brahmacharya. "

Mother Teresa recalled a poor parent who once told her, “You people who have practiced chastity, you are the best people to teach us natural family planning because it is nothing more than self-control out of love for each other.”

Yeah, imagine poor people who love each other...

Unlike the Republicans, I don't have a problem with Sotomyer calling herself "a wise Latina", because the US Supreme court has always had their Jewish and Black seats to ensure a wide range of opinion.

I do have problems with someone calling herself "a wise Latina" however....what is her criteria for wisdom, and calling oneself wise smacks of egotism...

oh yes, and she won't change the abortion law, which she now says is "settled law".

Ah, she misses the point: laws can be changed, Fiats by the Supreme court can't be changed.


Justice Bader didn't propose eugenics, she just spilled the beans : everyone back then knew that the Supreme court Justices decided to change the law so that poor women could abort their kids safely and legally. (The real problem is her comfort with judicial activism, not eugenics.)

Reverend Sensing links to a movement to pray for terrorists, so that their hearts can be converted.

One is reminded of Ann Coulter's non PC quip:"...We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity...."
She was lambasted as if she were encouraging forced conversions, but the reality is a culture of hatred pushed by the Saudi's in many countries needed to be fought spiritually...and many countries are pushing Sufi approach to God instead of rule oriented fundamentalism of the Saudis.

Quote of the day

comes from "Spengler":

Writing in Newsweek July 9 Kathleen Kennedy Townsend argues that “Barack Obama represents American Catholic better than the pope does.” Of course, the pope is only the Bishop of Rome, whereas Obama is God.


LATimes notices Manila Squatters.

Ah, but the Manila elites are still lamenting the death of a damned monkey (actually, an Orangutan)

“But at the Manila Zoo, Sisi was denied the opportunity to fulfill her most basic needs,” PETA said. “She was torn from her Borneo home as a baby and lived a life of profound deprivation.”

Good. Let her live along a muddy flood plain and use the zoo's money to build decent housing for the kids.


American Papist has more on dismissing the President's Bioethics council, and Doctor Kheariarty notes:
Rather than setting aside thorny issues or complex questions in favor of simplistic policy recommendations, the old Council chose to allow sustained and serious reflection, debate, and dialogue among its diverse membership. The President’s Council on Bioethics never became a rubber-stamp machine for Bush’s social policies.

All that is about to change. Obama wants to waste no time with dialogue, debate, or indecision. He plans to ask the new commission for “practical policy options”. Don’t think too hard, don’t debate too long … just give us the green light. There will be few, if any, dissenting voices: Obama is about to appoint a collective “yes man”.


The really depressing news is found at Secondhand Smoke Blog

And in the US (and the UK), euthanasia is the new "abortion": lots of sympathetic articles, but few pointing out a lot of the victims weren't terminally ill or even in pain.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

His Eye is on the Sparrow

This song was made "famous" in Sister Act II, but it was first made famous by Mahalia Jackson.
This version is from the film "Member of the wedding", sung by Ethel Waters.

I chose the Ethel Waters version, because in her biography, she tells the story of her mother, lying on an old sofa, suffering and in pain from cancer and bedsores.

At that time, Ethel was a mere teenager, and could do little. But on her day off, she'd come over and help clean the room, and her mother would always ask her to sing this song.

In the US, the "culture of death" is being pushed more and more, usually using euphemisms, by the present administration, and if they manage their takeover of the medical system, expect in a few years that people will literally be dying because some bureaucrat decides they don't need care (because their "quality of life" index is too low).

But here in the Philippines, ordinary folks can manage to eat (albeit low protein meals of mainly rice) but can't afford medicine.

So our cook's husband, a tricycle driver, died of his high blood pressure (before we moved here) because they couldn't afford medicine for it.

Similarly, children die of infections, and moms die from lack of prenatal care or in childbirth, because they don't want to spend money. Even one of our distant cousins died slowly and painfully because of a fractured hip that was treated with bedrest, mainly because the delay in getting money wired from the US for the surgery resulted in pneumonia and bedsores that made surgery impossible.

When I worked as a doctor, at least I was busy and felt I was doing something to help: serving the Lord with my hands. But since retirement, I do little work--no one seems to want to "sponsor" me as a part time physician, and I can't work full time because of my husband, even if I knew the language well enough to see patients.

But now I have time to think and ponder on all the misery of the world, and all I can do is pray.


Saturday, July 11, 2009

Stigmata and plumbing

It caught my eye that the other day was the feast of St. Veronica Guiliani.
(picture from wikipedia)

The name caught my eye, because her last name, of course, is similar to that of NYCity's ex mayor.

Frank Sheed once quipped that the definition of a saint was "an Italian virgin" and sure enough, she fits the description. Lots of pious stuff and a version of the stigmata to boot:

. In 1694 she received the impression of the Crown of Thorns, the wounds being visible and the pain permanent. By order of the bishop she submitted to medical treatment, but obtained no relief. ,

Usually at this point I quip she needed thorazine, not a doctor.

Oh yes: and you can still see her body, which in the way of saints and mummies, is still intact and lying in a church at her monastery in Italy.

But like St Teresa of Avila, she was quite down to earth, suggesting she might have been a mystic, not a schizophrenic or a hysteric.

For example:
In 1716 she was elected abbess and whilst holding that office enlarged the convent and had a good system of water-pipes laid down, the convent hitherto having been without a proper water supply.

I suggest that we mount a movement to make her the patron saint of Plumbers.

Right now, the patron saint of plumbers and builders is St. Vincent Ferrer, who never laid a brick in all his life, so I think they need their own saint.


Wednesday, July 01, 2009

how to remove ticks