Truth Will Stand the Test of Examination

By Charlie Johnston

By Charlie Johnston

To all those people in Canada, Ireland, Denmark, Australia and other countries that have spoken to me about getting their own versions of CORAC started, I hear you. I started last week thinking seriously about how to seed affiliates in those countries throughout the world that have people who are eager to work together to hold back the tide of chaos and stand with each other for faith, family, and freedom. Give me a couple of weeks, and I will have some stuff put together so you can get it going.


In 2006 I was involved in two Congressional campaigns and spending more than a little time on Capitol Hill. The Democrats had decided that year to make support of the use of embryonic stem cells one of their major fault-lines in their attack on Republicans as being heartless folks who wanted people to die. I suspected their emphasis on this subject had more to do with coming up with a justification for ever more abortions than it did any concern for the sick. But the attack was working. Republicans were paralyzed when the attacks from the likes of Michael J. Fox were rolled out (I never blamed Fox: he was not a scientist, just a victim being exploited by the ghouls of the anti-God left. He suffers a neurological disease and just wanted help). Frankly, Republicans were floundering on the subject.

I decided to do some deep-dive research on the subject. As I mentioned a week or so ago, there are a handful of occasions where my work has been the catalyst for changing important national policy priorities. In this case, I needed to know about the difference in the efficacy of adult stem cells versus embryonic stem cells. I needed to gather the information in a concise way that would give sufficient background to Republican officials and candidates so they could vigorously respond to any challenge – and give them a conclusion that was vividly stated, easily understood and utterly compelling. If possible, I wanted the argument to be made on pragmatic grounds. I always prefer to make arguments on pragmatic grounds: if done properly, they are irrefutable by anyone, whereas moral arguments can easily be rejected by any who don’t share your morality. I like to force unconditional surrender when I can. But I was prepared to make a concise, compelling moral argument if the facts were not strong enough to make the pragmatic case irrefutably.

Normally, when I do such a deep-dive, one of the rules I go by is to keep it confidential. As is often said, success has many fathers while failure is an orphan. I NEVER want my ego to get in the way of accomplishing good policy. In this case, that rule was abrogated when the memo I sent was widely circulated in the halls of Congress, first among Republicans, and then Democrats with my name on it. My clients and friends were so gleeful at it that they breached the authorship, so it became moot.

The memo had spectacular success. First, I discovered that emphasizing embryonic stem cells was a formula for leaving more people to suffer and die. It was exactly the opposite of what Democrats were saying. And it was utterly compelling. Within weeks after the memo started circulating, the Democrats put the issue to the back burner – where it has stayed ever since. I even had one woman, who self-described as “pro-choice,” who sat on the board of directors of a research hospital call me. Her Congressman had given her the memo to get her take on it – and she was so delighted with it she asked him to get my phone number so she could call. She said she had been distraught – that embryonic stem cells were the “sexy” new thing. She said her hospital raised money off of it, but they all knew the only real hope was with adult stem cells, which is where all the successes were coming. But they had to devote a certain amount of resources to the “dry hole” of embryonic stem cells to satisfy their donors – which took resources away from the research that actually worked. She wanted my permission to use this memo as the basis for their own literature because it “so powerfully and concisely laid it all out,” but without using my name, because I did not have credentials in the subject. I, of course, was happy to agree.

Now, for some of the basic rules I use when beginning a deep-dive:

  • Rigorously follow the evidence where it leads. Put your advocate hat aside. If you are going to gain credibility with key decision makers, it helps enormously that you have an established reputation for letting the chips fall where they may when developing such a document. There are a few occasions when my research has led me to conclude I was mistaken in my initial assessment. On the rare occasion that has happened, I abandon the project or make the case from a different ground (usually moral) while candidly conceding the practical problems.
  • Do not use “iffy” evidence. On any contentious subject, all sorts of rumors and myths arise on every side – and advocates treat these rumors and myths as if they were hard evidence. I consider them weeds you must get through to make a compelling case – and I am ruthless about pulling all the weeds out of my hard research. In this case, the “weeds” your opponents put out are easily refuted, but the temptation to be seduced by your own side’s “weeds” is very seductive. If you succumb, your objective usefulness is destroyed.
  • Challenge your own conclusions. When you get deeply into any discipline, a sort of internal logic emerges that helps you along. It is a fool’s trap, once you have discovered this internal logic, to decide you are now an expert. Almost every discipline also has certain tenets that are counter-intuitive, particularly to a layman. If you just go by the internal logic, you will easily miss or misunderstand these counter-intuitive points – and that can lead to catastrophic error.
  • Get your conclusions vetted by serious, credentialed experts after you have finished. In the case of this memo, I vetted the final draft with a prominent canon lawyer, a prominent Constitutional lawyer, and a microbiologist from a southwestern university who had published several major articles on the subject. The canon lawyer was intrigued by my question on when conception actually occurs, but found nothing contrary to Christian faith and morals in the memo, including the hard questions. The Constitutional lawyer was intrigued by the hodge-podge of laws relating to ownership in frozen embryos and discussed with me how that might ultimately be resolved, but gave me the go-ahead. It was the microbiologist who was fascinating, and ultimately flattering. She made the only suggested change: she told me I should use the phrase, “effective” or “promising” therapies, where I had originally written, “cures.” She then asked me where I taught. When I told her I neither taught nor had any background in microbiology, she thought I was perpetrating some silly joke on her (that was the flattering part). When I assured her I was not kidding, but was just a competent and detailed researcher, she told me that she wished her graduate students all had as clear a grasp on the essentials as I did. I don’t think I quite convinced her I was not some sort of incognito microbiologist.
  • Keep matters entirely confidential so your clients and friends have maximum options. Again, in this case, my clients and friends, themselves, vitiated this requirement. I am glad of it, for it gives me the opportunity to show you what you can do with tight discipline, detailed research, and taking counsel from top professionals. My main contribution was to put the material in a form that was easily digested, easily conveyed, and irrefutable.

Keep in mind that this was written in 2006 – and based on the law at that time. And now, for the memo:

Confidential Memo on Embryonic Stem Cell Research

(Final Version)

From: Charlie Johnston

To: Clients and Friends

Date: July 26, 2006

The Democrats are convinced they have found a significant Achilles Heel on our approach to stem cell research. If we do not properly frame this issue, they may be right. More importantly, if we do not frame it properly now it is going to be a heavy-pressure issue for years to come and could become, particularly for pro-lifers, the same sort of setback that advocacy of partial-birth abortion was for pro-abortion activists.

The facts are on our side. In fact, devoting resources to embryonic stem-cell research (ESC) at this period of development would be a set-back rather than an advance in finding cures for debilitating diseases. The reason is that it directs resources away from adult stem-cell research (ASC) which is already responsible for over 70 promising human therapies. But explaining this certainly does not pack the power of “You cruel Republicans are denying me a cure.” The answer is in first framing the issue properly and then having sufficient background knowledge to stand examination. I am pro-life and opposed to embryonic stem-cell research, but I think we are making a serious mistake by framing this issue primarily around the moral issue first and the practical issue second. The practical issue is compelling – and that is where we should lead from. Though Americans are largely secularized, we are still fundamentally a compassionate people. If we continue to lead from the moral argument, it undermines our claim to morality among secularized Americans, as it makes us seem to condemn suffering people to death in defense of a principle involving an embryo. Pro-abortion advocates insistence that the principle of a “right-to-choose” trumped the agonizing execution of what was visibly a real baby in the partial-birth abortion debate changed the landscape a decade ago – to our advantage and their disadvantage. This time, as then, we have the better of the argument, but we have to be a lot more sophisticated and disciplined in making our case.

Following is a brief overview of the relevant issues involved, followed by (in italics) a suggested policy statement:

The song of the siren for ESC is what is called the cells’ pluripotency – that is, their potential to become any sort of human tissue. It is what has fired the imaginations of many health advocacy groups and some scientists. Certainly one can understand their enthusiasm in the abstract. But they are not letting a lot of very cold, hard facts get in the way of their hope and, in the process, are doing a lot of damage to people who really do need help.

First, the cold hard facts:

  • Typically, scientific protocols require positive evidence of promise from animal studies before beginning human experimentation. We have engaged in unrestricted research on animal embryos for a quarter of a century now – with no progress in treating animal or human disease. Advocates of human ESC are not demanding that we follow the science, but that we make an exception to standard scientific protocols to pursue what is almost certainly a chimerical hope.
  • The first major problem with ESC is immunology. The body rejects what it identifies as foreign. Unless that problem can be overcome ESCs offer no hope. At best, they could buy time, not a cure. And in the case of cells that are seamlessly integrated into the body’s structure, when rejection comes, how do you separate the tissues that are foreign from those that are not? In this case, rejection would not be a problem to be managed – as in certain organ transplants; it would be a death sentence. ESC research advocates suggest that problem can be surmounted by either using nuclear transfer (NT) technology (cloning) or by having large banks of stem cells typed similar to blood stocks. Cloned animals, using perfectly normal, naturally produced genetic materials, almost invariably produce sickly, abnormal copies. Not terribly reassuring. Typing stem cells would not solve the immunology problem, but simply delay the onset of rejection. But both arguments are irrelevant until the second problem is resolved.
  • The second problem – probably the insurmountable one – is embryology. You can’t just put an embryo into a test-tube and watch it turn into a baby. Tumors have stem cells that can turn into almost any type of tissue, but they have no blueprint. Perhaps surprisingly, an embryo in an artificial environment loses its blueprint. It turns out that complex environmental factors are required to properly cue the development of a baby from an embryo. That is, the positioning of the embryonic cells in relation to their embryonic neighbors, electrical fields generated by the mother’s body, mechanical tensions in the womb, and even the positioning and electrical fields associated with the mother’s organs. There are a host of non-molecular or complex structural factors that must be perfectly choreographed for embryos to develop normally with normal tissues. Remember, scientists have been working for 25 years with animal embryos and have made NO significant progress with these non-molecular and structural hurdles.
  • The aggressive pluripotency of ESCs is both the source of their promise and, perhaps, the characteristic that must make them ever a siren – luring good men to them only to dash their hopes and careers. While ESCs can become anything, they can’t become anything in particular until they have gone through the complex choreography discussed in item three. But they can be very aggressive about becoming a little bit of everything. If you went to the hospital for a kidney transplant and instead got a mélange of bone, heart, and eye cells that could not function as a kidney but would grow explosively, you would know that was not good medicine. ESCs are far more likely to produce monstrously aggressive undifferentiated tumors than they are to produce normal tissue outside of their natural environment.
  • ASCs completely bypass the immunology problem. Further, they bypass the most difficult early hurdles of the embryological problem. They are differentiated by this time. They usually don’t multiply as quickly as ESCs (though some recently isolated ASCs come very close), but they also are much less likely to become tumerous. They might not be able to become just anything, but they can become a normal tissue of the specific thing a patient needs. Some publications have said that ASCs have accounted for 78 promising findings for the treatment of human disease thus far and others have said only 72. What is undeniable is that at least 70 promising therapeutic approaches have been developed through ASCs with only about 10 years of research, whereas 0 – ZERO – effective therapies have been developed through ESCs. And zero effective animal therapies have been developed through animal ESCs despite 25 years of research.
  • Finally, one more note to help understand how huge the hurdles are to ESCs…if the incredible hurdles were surmounted, one still has the problem that at early and even intermediate stages, normal tissue is almost indistinguishable from abnormal tissue. The transplant of ESC-developed tissue would be like a perverse fixed lottery. In state lotteries, there are millions of tickets and only one winner. In this lottery, one would be injected with millions of cells – and if any one of them is abnormal, it would taint all the rest of the normal cells. I would love a lottery in which, if anyone won a million dollars, everyone who held a ticket would also win a million. That is the sort of lottery that ESCs offer even IF they solved the first hurdles, but instead of winning a million dollars, you would win a murderously aggressive tumor.

Now to pop a few myths:

  • No one is banning ESC research. What President Bush’s veto did was limit the federal funding that can go to it. If Donald Trump or Bill Gates or Ted Turner want to devote their fortunes to ESC research, there is no law that would stop them. There are substantial private dollars going to ASC research because it has provided useful results. There are almost no private dollars going to ESC research because, after a quarter century of unregulated animal research we have not been able to even cure a single disease in a mouse with them. We have given some mice some monstrously aggressive and fatal tumors, though.
  • The President has not even banned all federal research on ESCs. It is simply limited to 600 existing lines of embryonic cultures. Far fewer are actually in use, though experts dispute how many precisely are actually being used.
  • Embryos are not simply going to be thrown away. In the case of extra embryos created for the purpose of in vitro fertilization, the male and female donors have, at least, property rights to them. They decide whether their embryos will be frozen to be used later, donated to other couples, discarded, or donated for research purposes. The period in which embryos must be preserved varies throughout the world from between perpetuity down to five or 10 years. There is currently no federal statute defining the status of embryos, but a patchwork of state laws. Some research hospitals complain that, in the case of in vitro embryos, even though they can technically discard them after five years, if they don’t get instructions from both donors allowing them to do so, there is nothing to prevent those donors from coming back and suing them. So the problem seems not to be discarded embryos, but an excess in storage even after they have become degraded.
  • Advocates of unrestrained federal funding of ESC research claim opponents aren’t following the science. It is exactly the opposite. After 25 years of fruitless animal trials, advocates are arguing we should completely bypass that protocol and begin human experimentation.

Now a few long-term thoughts:

  • The hope of advocates for ESC is understandable, even if overblown. Though many abortion advocates cynically use it as a stalking horse for their issue, one should not dismiss the sincere hope of many scientists and the desperation of many patients. But don’t forget, either, that a few decades ago certain unscrupulous people were peddling extracts from apricot pits as a miracle cure for cancer – and preying on terminally ill peoples’ desperation to strip them of everything they had. In the course of the very fruitful research into ASCs, some breakthrough may come which clears some of the hurdles to the usefulness of ESCs. I don’t consider it likely. The problems inherent here are probably a million times more complex than the problems were in sending a man to the moon. But human ingenuity has often surmounted seemingly insurmountable problems. (On the other hand, the scientific community is pretty much silent when one of its much-touted promises turns out to be a bust; witness gene therapy). If the research with ASCs produces a breakthrough that makes ESCs viable, the issue will certainly be revisited.
  • The moral issue for those who, like me, believe life begins at conception, is more complicated than it first appears. In the first place, does conception occur at fertilization or at implantation of the fertilized egg? I know many evangelical Protestant Churches tacitly assume it is at the moment of fertilization. The Catholic Church opposes in vitro fertilization, but has not established defined (mandatory) doctrine condemning it – or establishing when conception has occurred. This is an important long-term question, because if the answer is at fertilization, pro-lifers open themselves up to several trick bags. The first is that no fertilized egg has yet developed into a baby outside the womb. Such an embryo, to this point, can only develop into the muddled clump of tissue that pro-abortion advocates claimed 30 years ago that every fetus was. The second is that many fertilized eggs never implant and are naturally expelled from a woman’s body. This is the more ominous theological problem. If conception were defined as the moment of fertilization, opponents of pro-lifers could argue (with some merit) that if that is the case, even God treats human life cheaply. I don’t know what the answer is here, but I want us to know all the potential consequences of what we are dealing with.

This summarizes what an official must know before making a defensible case on the issue. Following, then, is what I recommend as a sample positions statement on Stem Cell Research.

Proposed Statement

            I strongly support scientific research that can cure disease and alleviate human suffering. That is why I am a vigorous advocate of federal funding of stem cell research – adult stem cell research. In the decade that serious research has been done on adult stem cells, over 70 promising approaches to human disease have been developed and used. Real people with real illnesses are being helped right now by the noble work our doctors and scientists have been doing with adult stem cells.

            Yet for many of the same reasons, I am opposed to additional federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. Let me explain…not a single useful human therapy has been developed through embryonic stem cell research, not one. Standard scientific protocols call for successful animal research before beginning human experimentation. Did you know that scientists have been engaged in unrestricted animal embryonic stem cell research for a quarter of a century now? And not a single breakthrough; not a bit of hope. So now advocates of embryonic stem cell research want us to ignore the science and, having failed at the animal trials, move directly into human experimentation? That’s not good science, it’s not good public policy, and it moves dollars that could be devoted to finding cures into research that has been nothing but a dead end for a quarter of a century.

            Understand, I’m not opposing private research, which is allowed by current law. If either Ted Turner or Bill Gates want to devote their substantial private fortunes to embryonic stem cell research, there is no law preventing them – and I will not propose any such law. But I will not vote to devote scarce tax dollars to what has shown no promise when real people need real cures. We are at the very early stages of serious research with adult stem cells – and are making real progress and developing real therapies every month. If we stay the course, we have real hope of curing chronic diseases and repairing neurological injuries.

            I don’t fault the advocates of embryonic stem cell research for their hope. They are sincere. But there are some serious problems that their yearning leads them to avoid. People’s immune systems attack foreign tissue, including tissues developed by stem cells taken from someone else’s body. Thus far, embryonic stem cells have not been able to develop into normal tissue outside the womb – all they can develop into are monstrous tumors of various types of tissue. It is not a matter of getting the right recipe – it must also be in the right physical environment with the right physical cues. So far the only such environment, in man or animals, is the mother’s womb and the body of the developing embryo itself.

            So no, I will not vote to devote more federal funds to research that, in 25 years, has not even been able to cure a mouse (though it has succeeded in implanting fatally monstrous tumors in quite a few mice). But I will continue to advocate for funding for adult stem cell research. I believe we are on the verge of finding real relief for many who suffer – and I won’t be distracted from my commitment to that cause by the siren song of a therapy that has been born aloft by nothing but high hopes while producing no results.

With the background information I have provided here, you should be able to respond to any questions quickly and intelligently if you make this, or some version, of this statement.


Truth will stand the test of examination. If you want to make a compelling case, the first step is to cast off your partisan hat while you work and submit yourself to the test of examination. It is hard, it is demanding, and it is humbling – but you can change the world by doing it. The old world is collapsing around us. Let us dedicate ourselves with real vigor to making truth and evidence our standard in the new one that rises from the ashes of the old, remembering that God is Truth – but that our capacity to understand Him is limited, particularly when we let our passions be our guide. Let us resolve to follow Him with our whole heart, mind, body and spirit.

Follow me at Gab by looking me up at Charliej373 or at the CORAC group.


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128 thoughts on “Truth Will Stand the Test of Examination

  1. I thought that Bush Jr had an incredible opportunity to demonstrate his pro life bona fides when he addressed this issue, only to do what all Republicans had done up to that time and take a less than completely pro-life position by continuing the use of existing embryonic stem cell lines. Of course, Jr’s true colors have been fully on display for some time now. Christ himself said that He hates half measures (I.e. lukewarmness). That’s really all we ever get from the GOP on anything. That’s also what we get from the Church these days. And it’s likely much of the reason we face our current crises.

    Liked by 6 people

    1. I agree with you, Fred, but that was not my purpose with this memo. I think we often fail by trying to go from the bottom of the staircase to the top in one step. When trying to forge a specific policy that will get me to the next step on the rafter, I stay extremely focused and narrow. Thus, in this case, I was only dealing with the facts on the ground to destroy the burgeoning (and false) narrative of what a life-saver ESC’s were. We succeeded in that and, in doing so, moved the Overton Window of where this would be argued by all. Can you imagine how different the debate would be if the left had succeeded in normalizing the narrative that ESC’s save lives and conservatives and Christians want to kill people? The narrowness of my focus in such a situation has often led some purists to argue I did not go far enough, but I am always focused on actually moving the chains rather than just loudly making a point. This memo and the work that went into it are one of five of my proudest moments on policy – but I agree with you completely.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Your memo is excellent. The points it makes are irrefutable. It’s too bad that we have gone from a place 15 years ago where the left would at least partially listen to reason to now where reason has no place whatsoever in the debate and where GOP opposition and Church leadership are too busy trying to arrange a seat near the captain for dinner that they don’t notice the ship is sinking.

        Liked by 9 people

        1. On this, I could not concur with you more! This memo would fall completely on deaf ears on the left now. I was talking to a friend I worked with for well over 30 years a few months ago, beginning when I was strictly local in scope. We were waxing nostalgic over some of the initiatives we collaborated with Democrats on – and some of our wonderful friends from that side. Suddenly, it occurred to me to ask her if she ever collaborates with Democrats anymore. “Oh, Lord, no,” she exclaimed. “They are all just too vicious now – and even if they are being nice, you can’t trust them not to be setting you up.” Says a lot about where we are. One side must win and the other must lose.

          Liked by 14 people

      2. This memo and its effect is truly awesome. I’d love to hear the other four. Charlie, we have known you were pretty darn good for years now; this memo is proof in the pudding. God has blessed us with you.

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Well, Charlie, I remember the issue. And I wondered then who and how the information was compiled negating the success of stem cell lines from abortion. And, yes, treatments from these cell lines are essentially transplants and are rejected by the body. Kidney transplant recipients are on a whole host of pills to stop the body’s rejection of the foreign kidney. (Brother in law is a kidney transplant recipient.) There was an older teen in Philadelphia @ 2008 (??) either at Childrens’ or Penn hospital who was treated with a medicine derived from stem cells derived from aborted children. The teen died. And then the info on adult stem cells came out. Also plenty of info on stem cells use from placenta and umbilical cords being a better source was reported. Women were talking about banking their umbilical cords for source of cures for their children. There was hope there but I guess I’m a cynic at heart and didn’t believe even then that the plentiful source of aborted baby tissue would be ignored or that “science” wouldn’t continue to explore the viability of aborted stem cells rather than turning to programs exploring the use of adult stem cells. Then came David Daleiden’s videos. I want to thank you for your due diligence, hard work putting the info aka truth together.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is great, Charlie. It is so hard to be unprejudiced when researching an issue! I always want to believe what I agree with! It’s so important to take personal opinions out of the quest for truth.

    Liked by 5 people

  3. Charlie, I appreciated your outline of doing research. But, I really appreciated your posting of the memo detailing the falsity of embryonic stem cell research. I am a life science teacher of nearly 40 years and I have been trying to educate youth and adults on the futility of funding and use of ESC’s for a couple of decades or so. Although the topic is not frontline anymore….everyone needs to understand the deception and the play on emotions that were being used…by understanding the facts of the issue. Your post just did that…thank you!! Terry

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Thanks Terry – and you or any other who finds it useful can use the memo to help in your endeavors. The more I researched this one back then, the madder I got as it became clear how eagerly the left was willing to see people suffer and die if it would protect and expand their precious dark sacrament of abortion. Their dark exploitation was a foreshadowing of where we are today – and one I did not fully appreciate at the time.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. The quote: “one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic” is often attributed to Stalin, although it seems there’s no evidence he did say it, but it sums up the mindset of so many on that side.

        Over here in Europe cigarette packets are now un-branded and all carry graphic pictures of cancers or grieving relatives etc. with dire warnings from the health authorities. However, I’ve seen one with the warning: “Smoking harms unborn babies”. Which is all well – until one realises that the same Department of Health behind that warning is also behind practically unlimited abortion, for many years.

        Saint Paul said it: when they exchanged the Truth for a lie, God gave them over to a depraved mind. As Charlie aptly calls it: “their precious dark sacrament”.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Jaykay: Oh the hypocrisy is astounding! and it is so blatant here. Forced vaccines/masks vs an open border with maskless/no testing whatsoever. I don’t know if the border crossers are eventually vaxxed but I can’t help praying for them all. They think they are coming to a great country however if they had any idea what the public schools will be teaching their children they would run back to their countries. The sex education, critical race theory indoctrination will ruin those kids. I keep thinking this, “Go back, go back, save your children!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Hopefully many of them are still people of Faith, Joanne. They’re being shamelessly used by the leftists, of course, who think they’ll be puppets to be used and then discarded, but, as much as I know, Latino people are proud and no slaves, so this could eventually rebound badly (very) on the useless, effete, “ruling” class when the newcomers come to understand the arrogant, patronising way they’ve been exploited. Colonialism in reverse, in effect. I don’t think it’ll end prettily for the self-regarding parasites who regard themselves as the leaders.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. This part is heart wrenching

    -“So the problem seems not to be discarded embryos, but an excess in storage even after they have become degraded.”

    Thank you Charlie for committing to pure research and taking the time to complete this project. Only on the other side will you know how many babies you saved because of this work.

    Liked by 9 people

  5. Oh my gosh Charlie! Great research here on this issue!!! I learned an awful lot!!! Now if only I could deliver this truth as eloquently as you do!!! Now that’s a God given talent!!!🙏😇🐿

    Liked by 5 people

  6. If I ever need to make the case, I’ve got your memo in my ‘back pocket.’ Fine work, and love the practical approach. Used to think that moral arguments were best reserved for believers helping one another up the mountain, but I’m beginning to think that practical cases are better made there too in most cases. Maybe that’s just another sign of the times.

    Liked by 10 people

  7. Mr.Johnson, Have you heard of Dr.MOY at the JP2MRI (John Paul II Medical Research Institute)? ]He is a Catholic researcher doing this work precisely for the same reasons you expound.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. No Michelle – but keep in mind I did this 15 years ago when I was directing two Congressional campaigns and consulting with the GOP delegation in D.C. (They listened to me on this, but not on a lot of other things on the social issues).

      Liked by 7 people

  8. That’s amazing how a person without academic background in the microbiology / science could put all this together. Facts hammered in between the eyes.

    I bet now it would be labeled “disinformation” by Democrats and this “disinformation” would be supported by Reuters’ and other fact checkers.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Well, Pawel, what I wanted to get across is that anyone who adopts sufficient discipline and takes counsel can do this. What I call “deep dive” research involves studying the facts of the subject until the internal logic reveals itself to you. Then go further and find the counter-intuitives, then take the time to figure out why the counter-intuitives actually do fit into the internal logic. Pull away the weeds of unvetted and unverifiable myths savagely. THEN check your work with those who are heavily credentialed, after doing some research to find those who actually know something and don’t just use their credential to justify whatever nonsense they want to say. By that time, you will know enough that you will not be easily deceived by sophistry. Plus, the very conclusions you have reached by vigorous discipline and careful research will deter the credentialed from blowing smoke at you, lest they make themselves a fool in front of an amateur.

      The point is that none of us need be slaves to the whims of the credentialed. Occasionally I have had someone with heavy credentials try to use the ‘argument from authority’ to shut me down, to which I quickly respond, “All the more reason you should be able to easily respond to my question.” People shoot themselves in the foot doing this sort of research when, having learned a little, they jump to large, unwarranted conclusions because they think they know a lot. In everything, my philosophy of the next right step – of building your case brick by brick, then taking advantage of credentialed expertise to identify the flaws and confirm the strengths, then sharpening it again – serves you well. In this last year and a half, I have been shocked at how many people who are responsible for the welfare of others do NOT do this – and fancy themselves smart because they just do whatever their favored credentialed class tell them to. On any subject where you really need to, you can do it if you are brutal in the standards you hold yourself to while you are doing it. If you are responsible for the welfare of a large group of people, I think you are responsible to God for doing it rigorously on their behalf.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. It came across very well, Charlie. Your piece also points to so much of what what ails the entire culture… and this, also, you have spoken to here. Our education systems have given – and continue to give – students impoverished experiences in what it is to do research and become a lifelong learner.

        Among many pitfalls and outright torpedoes introduced to corrupt and ruin education at every level (and this touches EVERY profession where people have been taught to parrot ideas rather than to think deeply and challenge them in the best of ways or develop them further), common core was just the putrid icing on the education cake which had already lost its fine texture of excellence and its exquisite taste of the ability to train teachers and students to soundly evaluate information for accuracy and worth. Lest we over-blame the education systems, at the same time, family culture very much influences what happens in the halls of academia and family life continually disintegrated over the years, setting up schools to provide for too many children what was not being given at home. I could write a book. Suffice it to say, when we live disordered lives without God at the core, every aspect of that which comprises healthy golden living, turns to dust.

        Best news: it’s not a permanent condition. In this piece, we’re being called to do better and learning IS a lifelong adventure IF we take it seriously and take up the responsibility to do so as we are HERE: at the gateway of re-birthing or rebuilding. We NEED to engage because today’s Babylon is tumbling down before our eyes and we serve a God who has THE supreme expertise in entering man made messes and turning them around. However miraculous He chooses to be in these things, He is never magical. The invitation to get off our duffs and partner with God is right at the heart of this piece. But, Charlie, while you love subtlety and to see people get you, sometimes, I think too many miss your points because they are indirectly made via the elegant writing devices you employ. I wonder how many errantly wonder why you are bragging about yourself when, in fact, you’re not. This is not a criticism. It, hopefully, leads to the deeper question – with commensurate deeper thinking – for us all: How do we activate people to take up the work of developing mindsets and skills which will serve us well as we rise up ready to work diligently to co-create a New Beginning?

        Liked by 8 people

        1. This is true Beckita. So much of our family culture and education have been impacted by the instant gratification and dumbing down that electronic and information system advances have provided. Is not just young people either, there are so many people of all ages who would not have an attention span long enough to read this memo. (It’s one of the reasons I have to restrict my computer time, as access to so much information is a bit of a trap I find and easily leads to superficially perusing headlines and articles)
          @Charlie, could you elaborate on tips to scrutinize source material, and credentialed authorities?

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Hey Andy, plodding logic and triangulation are the keys, to me. If a professional makes an assertion, it should be able to be proved out in the data and in accord with other serious professionals. If it does not (and a lot of “experts” love to make assertions that do NOT prove out), then I dismiss that person, credentialed or not. If I can match something up with two or more serious authorities, then confirm it with a set of raw data (preferably three sources) then I feel confident of my material. Then apply basic logic. If something does not make sense on its face, follow through with great skepticism. The CDC’s recent assertion that over 98 percent of all who are hospitalized or die are unvaccinated was an obvious absurdity to anyone who knows the data from the rest of the world. That said, it is a tough process that takes serious time and effort. I worked for three months on this memo. Constantly challenging my own assumptions was key to getting it right – and submitting it for final review to top professionals was the final key. I would say I did 50 rewrites, but that is not quite correct. With each element, I dug deeper and abandoned those statements that were a reach too far or that were contradicted by sound data. I probably did five drafts – tearing each apart to get it more right, more concise, and more vivid. And after fully dissecting each draft, I would start anew.

            It is much tougher now, as public officials don’t match up with each other and much data is intentionally bowdlerized if it is from public sources. Even so, you can do some cross-referencing to get approximations of data you could once have relied on. For example, I used reported deaths state by state to compare to previous years when I saw the footnote in the CDC’s official death rate which said they “presumed” all other forms of death to be static and just extrapolated what they styled as “Covid deaths” on top of that assumption – which made it statistically useless. By using routine annual state statistics, I saw there was NO statistically significant change in raw deaths from all causes between 2019 and 2020. I remember early on some folks were citing petri dishes which had been sneezed in versus those that had not. In a few days, organic material started growing in the petri dish that had been sneezed in. Well, d’uh! Any organic material in a stagnant setting will multiply. That is elementary. It is why, when I was on my pilgrimage, I always preferred to drink from quick running streams if I could. But then, in a colossal irony, the same people who put up pictures of these petri dishes became advocates for putting cloth petri dishes over our faces and hoping for the best.

            Liked by 3 people

            1. I’m laughing at the last sentence. The irony is so true, so perpetratingly stupid. The Biden decisions & statements have raised stupid and irony to a whole new level.


        2. There is a constant balancing act going on, Beckita. I so passionately want people to know that they can do it, that their help is in God. He is demanding, but will help them through. I have been horrified this last year to see how many even smart people are either incapable of or unwilling to do even the most basic research – and how many cite obvious sophistry triumphantly in an effort to show their intellectual supremacy. When you are that helpless (and especially if you’re proud of your helplessness) you are always the servant of someone else’s agenda – and that someone else is not God. So I cite a few things I have done in hopes that it will trigger imitation and confidence in others to “cast into the deep,” knowing that some (usually the most pitiful) will brand it bragging.

          Ah well, several decades ago I dated a very ambitious woman for a little while. When I would try to speak to her of my day, she would often accuse me of “name-dropping.” Bloody hades! A good chunk of my friends were quite prominent. Was I not to speak to her of them because she was resentful? Shoot, I was glad to introduce her – and she seemed pleased to meet them when we were out – but I was not allowed to speak much of my friends. Obviously, we didn’t see each other for very long.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I hear your passion, through and though, Charlie; piece after piece, it heartens us, YOU hearten us and challenge us. Thank you.

            Illustrating your real life example for us to see the far-reaching ramifications of just one person stepping up, diving deep and following though with sharing the work is splendid. Then,unpacking and presenting the process in the chunks of instruction in your rules section gives beginners a scaffold from which to work.

            False humility is, well, nauseating. St. Theresa of Avila said that humility is truth and sharing your true story is inspirational in an infectious way. I, too, believe people can do it. At the same time, it IS work and – even with your instruction – it can seem overwhelming, akin to learning a foreign language as an adult, simply because so many of us were not exposed to what you have taught here.

            This piece has been simmering on the back burner of my pondering zone yesterday and today. Pervasive in our society are too many people who have become intellectually lazy. (It’s a Bloody Hades kind of thing.) It is not impossible to shift and overcome this malady, but mercy, it’s formidable. And to chop the kind of wood that’s before us, we NEED this shift to excellence-born-of-diligent-work in problem solving.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. “….and not a single human being who has ever walked the earth came into being without having been first implanted in the womb. ” (CJ).- (Except Adam and Eve!
              Also, on some some rare occasions ectopic pregnancies have resulted in the fetus bursting through the fallopian tube and emplanting on the gut, growing to full term and then being delivered by cesarean.)
              I think Charlie’s inference to “not settled” in either science or canon law simply points to it’s still a mystery beyond our present state of “journeying”. But this doesn’t stop the obvious reality that we are playing with fire when we purposely fool around with our God-designed bodies, particularly our reproductive parts.
              Whether a fetus is naturally or unnaturally aborted it is the consequence of original sin. God allows this as part of the free will we have and from the consequence this evil of the enemy has manifested in us.
              We may or may not ever officially define these mysteries but the manipulation of human embryos has from the very beginning been believed to be wrong just as sex outside of marriage is considered intrinsically evil. A child deserves to be conceived in a proper union by a husband and wife. In Humanae vitae, written by Pope Paul VI, he described the slippery slope that would follow the legal use of birth control which has become even more problematic than the Pope’s prophetic encyclical ever imagined (considering gene editing and embryonic research didn’t exist then).
              God, being Omnipresent, knew us before “we were formed in the womb”. This in itself brings light to whether we need to be “concieved” to be considered human, to have a soul, or to be part of God’s kingdom for if He knew us, we have always been and will always be present to Him.
              How many humans did God know before the fall? Did He know ALL potential beings?
              If a woman contains 300 eggs and before the Fall had the potential to conceive and bear 300 children, did God know them all?
              Does He know all the potential children from all women ever created or potentially created?
              Another mystery.
              If a mere human person can be in two places at the same time through bilocation, is the Infinitely powerful God only able to be present and know within the Fallen arena of man?
              I do not consider this to be so but I also do not consider it not to be so.
              In our present state, we cannot conceive what truly is or is not true. We can only contend with what we NOW know to be true. So as Charlie is showing us here in dealing with the worldly, we need to have these known truths, both scientific and spiritual, properly understood for our purposes. Unfortunately this will only save some. Others only argue to convince themselves that they are right to remain in error.
              But in the end God’s will is still accomplished:
              “But why did God not create a world so perfect that no evil could exist in it? With infinite power God could always create something better. But with infinite wisdom and goodness God freely willed to create a world “in a state of journeying” towards its ultimate perfection. In God’s plan this process of becoming involves the appearance of certain beings and the disappearance of others, the existence of the more perfect alongside the less perfect, both constructive and destructive forces of nature. With physical good there exists also physical evil as long as creation has not reached perfection. Angels and men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choice and preferential love. They can therefore go astray. Indeed, they have sinned. Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world. God is in no way, directly or indirectly, the cause of moral evil. He permits it, however, because he respects the freedom of his creatures and, mysteriously, knows how to derive good from it: For almighty God… because he is supremely good, would never allow any evil whatsoever to exist in his works if he were not so all-powerful and good as to cause good to emerge from evil itself. —Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), n. 310-311


        3. ‘Get off your duff.’ I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at that, so maybe I’ll do both. Both amused and genuinely delighted to see such a fire in your belly.

          Liked by 5 people

        1. It’s very simple, Jaype. Whatever the discipline, as you learn more and gain experience in it, there is a logic to it that you begin to come to see. As you begin to understand that logic, the work goes faster and you can make leaps of knowledge (so long as you fully vet them).

          Liked by 2 people

  9. Charlie, in your opening paragraph, you referred to “faith, family, and freedom.” I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for your usage of the Oxford comma. 🙂

    Liked by 11 people

    1. Mick! LOL! Oxford comma, indeed. You will note that I never do. In our English grammar classes, we were taught not to use any unnecessary commas. 🤷🏼‍♀️
      Thanks for the laugh so very early in the morning. 😄
      Katey in OR

      Liked by 7 people

  10. Good Morning!

    I think I had a lightbulb moment this morning and wanted to see if I’m thinking correctly…..

    So a few Zoom meetings back for Region 4, I asked Tom and the group about how some (not Charlie) are saying that during the Storm the big “A” will show himself, mark of the beast, etc…. I always learned that stuff doesn’t happen until right before the END. Daniel O’Connor had a new post up this morning speaking to this. Charlie has always spoken that this will FEEL like the end, but it won’t actually BE the end.

    The lightbulb moment….meaning most people (protestants, etc..) are aware of the Book of Revelation and what happens, but most DO NOT know of the Middle Coming (I think that’s was Desmond calls it), and thus most will think it is indeed the end b/c they are just not aware of the Middle Coming and/or they also have misinterpreted the timeframe of what is to happen in Revelations.

    Am I thinking correctly? Thank you for your patience with this…It takes me a while to process things.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Becky, we’re living the Middle Coming right now. When Desmond wrote about the Middle Coming, he spoke to it in this way: “I.e, JP II, St. Bernard, and the Church Fathers say the Middle Coming is the one wherein each day, IN EVERY AGE OF SALVATION HISTORY, Jesus’ “ELECT” see Him dwelling within themselves – and they must daily choose between Him and the world.


      As you can see, Dez stresses that the Middle Coming is not a discrete event; rather, it is a process – a daily process – wherein we choose God to be the center of our lives, keep His Laws and surrender to His Ways.

      The Scriptures tell us it is the SPIRIT of anti-Christ with which we contend. : “Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God; for many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every spirit that does not confess Jesus is not from God. And this is the spirit of the antichrist, of which you have heard that it is coming; and now it is already in the world.” (John 4:1-3)

      In an address given during that 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia for the bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Cardinal Karol Wojtyla spoke some words which many believe were prophetic. – “We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the Antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously.” More precisely, it is the spirit of the antichrist which is SO strong in our times… so very strong as to make this “the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced.”

      Just know there are some really lost people who have given themselves over to the satan and are associating and scheming to cause great harm. There must be a designated leader of the pack (like Hitler, Mao and Stalin before them) who some are imprecisely calling “the Antichrist” while others are maintaining that the spirit of antichrist is at work in them. With either way of expression, we’ve still got some really tough days ahead with much work to do… and work we will, through, with and in the Lord.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. So, we are living in the Middle Coming – got it!

        During Adoration, I grabbed the Bible and read the end of Revelations. I had quite of few things mixed up chronologically.

        Thank you both for clearing things up for me.

        God Bless – and I prayed for all here and on CORAC during my Adoration Hour today.

        Liked by 6 people

  11. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉

    Pray With Me – Sunday.– Pastor Dana

    I’d bet this guy is more right than wrong.

    A bunch of heads should roll in DC … but won’t ’cause Democrats are NOT held accountable there or ANYWHERE … it’s satanic! ;-(

    Chinese Lackeys In-Action!‘gray-zone’-against-south-194569


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  12. Many thank yous to all the folks who taught me the “mind, lips, heart” cross thing after the Gospel reading. I was able to do it with confidence.

    God bless.

    Liked by 6 people

  13. HELP I am sorry to be posting a comment to get help. But I am in region 3 CORAC and all of a sudden the e malls I send to our leader, Larry Wescott at are returned. I have not heard from him since the end of July. I keep hearing Charlie talk about how great CORAC is doing and region 3 seems to have disappeared. Deen Stratford

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some changes have been made. Larry has moved more intensely into some great work with some committees. George Cronin has taken over as Region 3 Coordinator. Further, when we had to migrate the site after some malicious hacking attacks, all the old email addresses were voided. You can reach George at the new email address, Hope this helps – and drop me a note at

      Liked by 4 people

  14. Hi Charlie. I run a pro-life, pro-family organisation in Australia; Family Life International Australia. I liked your article. A note on when life begins; conception or implantation. Science is fairly settled on conception though those who want to experiment on embryos etc. want to change that to implantation. As to the Catholic Church not having defined that particularly you are correct in a sense, but incorrect also in that they have specifically defined it in the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception which would be nonsensical if life doesn’t begin at conception.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Hey Paul, thanks for your comment. Most especially, thanks for your work. I looked you up and see you do very good work in Australia – and are a good interview, to boot. You are an excellent advocate, but lack something in being an analyst who can shake the opposition. Your comments here have several assertions, but no hard data – and a subtle emotional appeal that also, in the end, is an assertion that does not hold up well to scrutiny.

      You completely avoid dealing with the matter that NO embryo, unattached to the womb, has ever developed into a baby. You also completely avoid the issue of the multitude of naturally expelled fertilized embryos in any sexually active woman. I understand. It does not help your case. But when I am reaching out to force ALL involved to change their approach, I cannot ignore inconvenient facts. You assume that because your interpretation of the Immaculate Conception does not include implantation, conception occurs at fertilization – but that is just your interpretation, not the Church’s dogma. It is perfectly accurate that the Immaculate Conception included implantation, too. As for the science, you and I both know it is not settled, as much as you would like it to be. As for those who want to change the definition to implantation, there is nothing to change because it is not settled, either theologically or scientifically. Most of them don’t care when conception occurs, because they don’t believe (or pretend not to) that life begins at conception, however that moment is finally defined. Even if it were true, it is irrelevant. Just because my opponent wants something to be true does not affect my effort to find what is actually true. The canon lawyer I vetted this with was not run of the mill; he was one of the very top canon lawyers in this country for most of his lifetime. The Constitutional lawyer is still active, currently head of one of the top civil liberty, religious freedom and pro-life law firms in the country. The microbiologist involved had not thought hard about that subject, but immediately saw the difficulty of the issue. Understand, I am not the top pro-life advocate in this country, but my work almost certainly puts me in the top 10, at least in coordinating and advising leaders of key pro-life institutes. But when I do deep-dive research, I don’t play or shade the data. I would not recommend that a David Daleiden or Texas Right to Life adopt my method – but they, along with others, sure have benefitted from it.

      Don’t get me wrong. We are both on the same side and I admire your good, steadfast work in Australia. But your method, while boldly stating your opinion, would not have intimidated anyone in the opposition to back off. Mine did. Don’t get me wrong on that, either. Every movement must have both its abolitionists to move the Overton Window and its workers who can set aside their advocacy hat to build an irrefutable objective case.

      Again, thank you for your steadfast advocacy work in Australia.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Wait, what, Charlie?!

        You used many words here, but I’m not clear on your point. My understanding of Catholic teaching, science, and common sense is that an individual life begins at conception ~ and then that little being travels down the mother’s Fallopian tube and subsequently implants in her uterus, etc. My identical twin and I (you’ve met and sung with both of us, in three-part harmony) have an added perspective. We began as one zygote and then separated before we got to Mom’s uterus for implantation. Were we nothing or inconsequential before then? Did you become Charlie only upon implantation?

        For you to say, “NO embryo, unattached to the womb, has ever developed into a baby,” while accurate, leaves out the necessary earlier stages of life through which all of us have traveled. These necessary earlier stages are recognized and are among the reasons that the Catholic Church officially, despite significant opposition from within and without, has held the line on artificial birth control, including “The Pill,” which includes an abortifacient agent should conception occur. ABC does not always prevent conception but, as a back-up mechanism, can prevent implantation in the womb (by making the womb inhospitable), resulting in hidden early abortions.

        Writing from our wild and scenic river basin of conception ~
        Sister Bear

        Liked by 3 people

        1. My question is, when is conception, Sr. Bear? Your comment assumes here that it is at fertilization. Okay, fine. I don’t have a dog in that race. But you, too, do not grapple with the hard realities that presents – the routine natural expulsion of a lot of fertilized eggs that never implanted by sexually active women. So does God value human life cheaply? If not, why did He set up a natural system that kills far more embryos than He allows to live?

          There may be answers to the questions I raised. But you are not grappling seriously with the issue unless you make the leap to try to credibly answer them. That, actually, is what the canon lawyer involved saw. He was inclined to think it was at fertilization as well, but saw there were some serious theological issues to that the Church has never formally addressed.

          I love you Sr. Bear. But if you are going to react in shocked disbelief, help me out by grappling with the genuine hard questions I raised. And ignoring them doesn’t help. It just delays the time when we will be ambushed by them. I am candid that I don’t know what the answer is. But being shocked because serious questions that challenge a cherished certainty arise are not going to be resolved by ignoring the questions. And though I love you, I am a hard man on getting the answers credibly right. Truth WILL stand the test of examination, but the answer is never to avoid the examination altogether. If I had that attitude towards hard questions, I never would have converted in the first place – because I would never have considered any challenges to my existing certainties.

          Now you formulate credible answers to my questions and I will formulate my response to yours.

          Liked by 4 people

          1. Your response concerning God’s “natural system that kills far more embryos than He allows to live” reminds me of a conversation with a Protestant minister some thirty years ago, when I was the Catholic director of an Evangelically founded crisis pregnancy center which his Evangelical church had supported from the beginning (he was a new pastor at that church and didn’t stay long).

            In my view, then and now, what happens to all of those embryos, and why God allows this, are questions that I cannot answer because I am not God. I might ask, where is the evidence for this claim, and how was it derived? And are there environmental or other reasons, in this scientific age that somehow is able to track conception vs. implantation (really?), that fertilized eggs (actually, they are way beyond the “fertilized egg” stage of development before implantation) are somehow thwarted ~ not by God ~ in the natural process of Fallopian tube migration and subsequent implantation?

            When I entered the RCIA in 1986 and was received into the Catholic Church in 1987, a few years before you did the same, I was greatly impressed by the reasoning in Humanae Vitae. People can find and read that for themselves, now online (I had the little yellow booklet from the Daughters of St. Paul). Shortly before I was confirmed, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (headed at that time by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger) issued “Donum Vitae.” Both of these were, for me, light bulbs in the dark room of secularity with which I was quite familiar. Here is just one quote from “Donum Vitae”:

            “This teaching remains valid and is further confirmed, if confirmation were needed, by recent findings of human biological science which recognize that in the zygote (The zygote is the cell produced when the nuclei of the two gametes have fused.) resulting from fertilization the biological identity of a new human individual is already constituted.”

            Fertilization, not implantation, is the key moment according to “Donum Vitae” and, if it’s to be believed, “human biological science.” This “instruction” includes 60 footnotes.

            I don’t know what further argumentation you are asking of me, Charlie. These official teachings of the Church simply make sense to me, while additionally providing significant worthy argumentation and evidence that do not demand blind faith. They are readily available to any who wish to burrow in and consider them.

            Liked by 6 people

            1. “…I am not God…” Yes, this. How much we do not know because we are not God. So many mysteries that we must take solely on faith. While I believe that conception begins at fertilization, and that, at that moment, God instills a soul into that being, it is still only my belief. I am not God and cannot give “proof” to it, which is what I am hearing from Charlie (correct me if I’m wrong). Our humanness requires “proof” and if it is impossible to give it, in order to convince on a practical level, one can only make an argument where proof can be given. (If that makes sense?)

              Liked by 2 people

              1. As brilliant as he was, St. Thomas Aquinas offended many pious assumptions of his time. Yet he was created to refine and explain doctrine – the “Angelic Doctor.” If I were as refined and precise in my thinking as he was, I could get this across more clearly. But what we believe has consequences – and it is important to follow where those consequences ultimately lead. Some pious assumptions, followed to their logical conclusion, will lead people to descend into disbelief. Parsing them clearly and with precision, although often momentarily controversial, leads people to ascend into the fullness of faith.

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                1. Hey, Charlie, this is an area I am certainly not an expert in. Instead, I have a question (or two!). We are taught that Mary gave her fiat when Archangel Gabriel asked her to agree to bearing Jesus. You’ve even had Gabriel point out to you the room in Jerusalem where she gave her fiat and as far as I know, when the Holy Spirit overshadowed her, if that’s the right term. So I’ve always assumed that her fiat was immediately followed or even contemporaneous with Him being conceived, ie her fiat enabled the formation of the zygote, because the Holy Spirit somehow provided the male DNA needed for a normal male zygote to form and (only later) implant.

                  Can you explain to me how the process worked with that fiat plus overshadow, in terms of when Jesus became Jesus in her? I’ve always just assumed that what occurred was the formation of a zygote for Him. Your position would require an existing male zygote (where did that come from?) to have formed in her already, and for that zygote to have implanted at the moment the Holy Spirit overshadowed her. *Something* happened at that moment. What was it that happened?

                  As I said, I’m no expert on this, but it would seem whatever happened for Jesus in Mary would best govern what position we all follow. Your position leaves me confused about the process, since I’m trying to figure out where the Y chromosome came from if Jesus was Jesus only upon implantation.

                  From another perspective, I once lived near apple orchards. Every season, all the apple trees would prune themselves of any apples that were developing incorrectly or if resources would not support all the apples that were “conceived” and growing from pollination. Animals, including humans, have protective mechanisms built into the females of the species to do that same thing, to reduce the number of embryos who cannot survive or that the resources available to the mother cannot support. It is my understanding that that process continues after implantation in some circumstances, although more and more rarely as time goes on after implantation. How would a woman know which one is lost before or soon after implantation in many cases? This pruning process is a normal and natural way Nature works.

                  Finally, if your position is correct, then it is still true that using aborted fetal cells to test and develop vaccines is not morally acceptable, but then why do we care about frozen IVF embryos, saying they should be buried with suitable ceremony, when simply throwing them away may be disrespectful but would not necessarily be immoral? Or is it that their status is that they *could* later be implanted and therefore are human in potentia? When do they cease being human in potentia? How would we know they were no longer able to implant? How can we view a zygote moving normally in a female human before implantation as human in potentia as well, just like for IVF zygotes/embryos or is it in fact the same status?

                  I hope I’m not just wasting people’s time, but I’m more than a little confused.

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. wow, Steve–more good food for thought! If the frozen embryos are not human yet, they could be disposed. But isn’t the Church against that?

                    Liked by 1 person

                  2. Hey Steve, I have no “inside info” on how the conception of Christ was accomplished. But I think you err in thinking that the author of all the rules that govern the universe is bound by those rules, Himself, when He does something miraculous. The embryo could have been miraculously and instantaneously implanted with Y chromosome and everything. Just as the Resurrection cannot be explained by existing natural processes.

                    The apple orchard analogy you use is good as a descriptor of natural processes. Nobody bears responsibility for what happens naturally. In your final paragraph, you get to the heart of several matters. Their status, at least early on, is that they could later be implanted. We don’t really know when they cease to have the potential to implant – but we can tell by degradation sometime after they have ceased to have that capacity. I am opposed, in principle, to most of the experimentation that goes on with these. I think it is somewhat akin to artificial birth control – a form of playing God. In any case, I think as you ponder on this, you are more likely to come up with precise formulations than I.

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                    1. Ha, yeah, no, I am in no way trying to limit God’s actions and abilities. That would be a bit arrogant. However, one of the things I just personally like to assume is that in this specific case and perhaps also the birth of Christ, God did as *little* as possible, leaving all else to natural processes. I realize there is no particular reason for me to assume this. I just like the idea that God would come to us with only the very tiniest of miracles to start things. It’s just something that feels humble the way Jesus was born in a cave stable rather than in a palace. God does a lot of showy stuff, but the conception moment and the birth seem to me to be the opposite of showy. And why wouldn’t the conception (or whatever) of Jesus be a model for us somehow, if we could figure it out? It would seem an area for fruitful thought, but I suspect you are right that we will not have enough information to do anything but speculate.

                      As for the IVF stuff, I may think some more about it, but for now, I’m like you, uncomfortable with it. It seems to me to be a case where you would want to avoid the near occasion of sin. Having this process available and being used might be something that could be designed to help bring life without creating temptation. However, we are asked to avoid the near occasion of sin, and this seems like something that needs a lot more work before it is not something that can be abused. Perhaps if it is made considerably more precise and individual rather than scattershot, it would pass muster, but until then, I feel we are using a tool when we don’t fully understand the morality of it. We’re talking human life here, and we know a little bit of sin almost always leads to more sin, and it appears we don’t actually know where the line should be drawn yet. It might be fruitful to consider how the technique itself would have to be altered or developed to get it to the point where there is clearly no near occasion of sin. If we could alter the technique appropriately, great. It could and would be a technique that serves Life specifically for those who otherwise cannot conceive. If we cannot imagine a way in which it could be suitably altered no matter what we do, that would tell us a lot about what we are doing now with current techniques. Talking technique makes it real and anchors the issue to the real world.

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                    2. These are excellent reflections, Steve. The first thing in approaching a serious problem is to contemplate all the implications of it and then seek to refine and define them, In the first centuries of the Church, all sorts of controversies raged as people grappled with defining the nature of Christ and various aspects of Christology that we take for granted today. We take it for granted because good people and great saints wrestled with these questions, sometimes for centuries, to get it right. WE have all gotten a little smug and lazy, resting on the shoulders of those who came before us and did so much of the wrestling for us. Yet I still think we have depths to plumb – and the Lord is constantly inviting us to sact out into the deep. I very much like the questions you are asking.

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                    3. Maybe I am misunderstanding, but are you saying that perhaps IVF could be used to help people with fertility problems and it would be within Church teaching somehow? I’ve understood that children should be created only by means of a married man and woman cooperating with God in the natural conjugal act. I may not be wording this correctly and I may be misunderstanding what you are getting at, Steve.


                    4. Kim, no, I’m not saying that, well, not exactly. What I’m saying, and I think Charlie is confirming, is that one way to go about solving the issue is to see *if* there is a way to make it work within Church teaching. *If* it were to be possible, what specifically would be needed in terms of changes in current practices, what specific techniques or accuracy or specificity would be required in the actual practice?

                      To me, it would actually seem possible to enhance life for couples who despite their best efforts cannot conceive even though fertile. Why would it be inherently bad to help them by matching a specific egg and a specific sperm and then implanting that resulting zygote into the potential mother’s womb? And even, if it doesn’t implant, which is something natural, why would it be immoral to try again? What is the number of tries before you stop? Just how specific would the technique have to be, versus the scattershot approach that is currently in use and causing moral concerns due to “extra” zygotes that have to be protected or buried or tossed?

                      If despite best efforts, it is not possible, even with perfect specificity, to stay within Church teaching, then it would be clear as crystal that the current methods do not meet Church teaching and must be abandoned. But no, to me, there is no obvious inherent immorality in it, provided that the actual technique does not scattershot but is specific enough. At this point, though, we don’t have an analysis that gets this detailed.

                      However, I am no canon lawyer and could certainly be off-base in my analysis.


                    5. I’ve always understood, Steve, that the marital act is the only way to join sperm to eggs and that self gratification is a mortal sin, which I am thinking is the only way to access some sperm for in-vitro. As devastating as it must be for a couple to be incapable of having children according to God’s plan–He is in charge.


                    6. Kim, you may have come up with a show-stopper here, but remember, I’m not resolving this issue. I’m recommending that people take the current method(s) and see if they can figure out alterations to the current method that creates a refined method that does not require anything that violates the Magisterium. Your concern may be something that cannot be got around, in which case, the answer to IVF would be “That’s a no.” But if someone can figure out a way around your objection, and around all the other current and future objections, then that method of IVF could be accepted as moral.

                      I don’t have the answers. I’m just suggesting a particular process that allows experts to either come up with a legit method that answers all objections, or fail to do so. The process provides the answer, either an accepted method, or a statement that IVF cannot be made legit. As it is now, there are gray areas and objections like yours that mean the current method(s) are probably not acceptable and should be stated as unacceptable by the Church. As far as I understand it, the Church has not come out and stated definitively either way, since the issue of what to do with the extra or leftover zygotes has not been dealt with adequately, but perhaps I am misinformed on that.

                      In any case I’m just recommending a practical process to resolve the issue one way or the other. Others more expert than I will have to do the work. 🙂


                    7. Ha, Steve—wasn’t trying to come up with a show stopper! And not exactly MY concern—was just stating what I understand to be Church teaching. I was thinking about this and the issue of Jesus and when He knew He was God. I’m confused about why these are even topics of discussion. The Trinity and the Humanity/Divinity of Christ are incredible mysteries that defy explanation. I don’t worry about if He knew of when He knew. The subject of the conception of a new human being is a mysterious, beautiful wonder. To err on the side of caution, I think we should treat and respect a fertilized egg from the moment the egg and sperm meet, with the utmost respect and protection. i guess there was a reason we were going back and forth about this but I don’t remember what it was! Here is something on it from the Catechism:
                      The Catechism teaches: “Techniques involving only the married couple (homologous artificial insemination and fertilization) are perhaps less reprehensible, yet remain morally unacceptable. They dissociate the sexual act from the procreative act. The act which brings the child into existence is no longer an act by which two persons give themselves to one another, but one that entrusts the life and identity of the embryo into the power of doctors and biologists and establishes the domination of technology over the origin and destiny of the human person. Such a relationship of domination is in itself contrary to the dignity and equality that must be common to parents and children. Under the moral aspect procreation is deprived of its proper perfection when it is not willed as the fruit of the conjugal act, that is to say, of the specific act of the spouses’ union . . . Only respect for the link between the meanings of the conjugal act and respect for the unity of the human being make possible procreation in conformity with the dignity of the person.” There is also another reason. Human life begins at conception. This is not just Church teaching, but science supports this claim. Modern genetics has established that a human being’s DNA is created when the sperm fertilizes the egg. At this moment of conception, a unique identity of the human person is created. Unfortunately, in vitro fertilization does not fully respect human life. For the process to be effective, several human embryos are created, and the overwhelming majority is destroyed in the process. It is also worth noting that in vitro fertilization is a process that is relatively ineffective (less than one-fourth of treatments are successful) and causes much physical pain to women. Research also indicates that children conceived in this way are more prone to genetic defects.

                      So does this mean that the Church essentially teaches that infertile couples cannot share in the great joy that is having children?

                      Absolutely not! The Catholic Church celebrates human life and the family more than perhaps any other institution in today’s world. The Church recognizes that infertility can be a great cross for couples to carry. The Church is a compassionate and loving mother, and thus she encourages infertile couples to nonetheless try to form a family. In particular, the Church encourages infertile couples to try two options. First, there are millions of children in the United States and all over the world who dream of nothing more than to have parents. It is a great act of Christian charity, and one that brings much joy, to decide to adopt children. This does not mean, however, that the Church is against science in its efforts to help infertile couples. Pope Benedict XVI has said: “The Church pays great attention to the suffering of couples with infertility, she cares for them and, precisely because of this, encourages medical research.” As the Catechism affirms: “Research aimed at reducing human sterility is to be encouraged, on condition that it is placed “at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, and his true and integral good according to the design and will of God.” In other words, the Church is not against medical advancements that would help infertile couples as long as they do not interfere with God’s vision of human sexuality and do not disrespect human life.


                    8. Thank you for this, Kim. I was once told that children are a gift, not a right (think “trophy”), and to play at being God (through artificial means) is a dangerous thing. I actually heard a few days ago that there is a support group for adults / children born through IVF–apparently they have many psychological issues. I guess it’s not much different than an adopted child may have. (I know that children adopted from Russia in the 80s had intimacy issues due to lack of cuddling as infants).

                      Oh what a tangled web…trying to be God.


                    9. I couldn’t respond to the responses in this thread.

                      But I wanted to mention that during IVF, all embryos, even if they are dividing and growing properly in vitro are not all transferred to the womb. Most are discarded.

                      Often they will culture 8+ but transfer only 2 for each cycle.

                      I understand each embryo has unique DNA.


                    10. Kim, your comment that begins “Ha, Steve—wasn’t trying to come up with a show stopper!” is really helpful. As you and everyone here should know by now, I am not an expert on Church teaching but try to ponder through an issue as I see it and encourage others to bring in their knowledge and expertise on the subject. Your response had a lot of good stuff in it for me to consider. Thank you!


                  3. Steve.
                    In reptiles there are occasions of “spontaneous” reproductions in zoo captive reptiles. A lone female who never had contact with a male may spontaneously produce viable eggs which hatch out as perfect clones of the mother.
                    There are parthenogenic species that lay viable eggs which are clones of the mother but once in a while a “super male” is spontaniously produced.
                    These are natural occurrences, though quit rare and are rather “unnatural”.
                    But Jesus becoming man was “supernatural” and miraculous.
                    Part of the proof that something is miraculous is that there is no “known” scientific way it could have occure.
                    There is more than one mystic claiming Mary’s blood was used and not an egg to produce jesus’ body.
                    The Universe was created by the Word (through Him all things were made). He created it from “nothing”.
                    He then created man from “clay”.
                    No zygotes, Y chromosome or DNA there.
                    So Jesus, as the Second Person of the Trinity, produced Himself. And like He created everything else, He did not need to use the ordinary but like He did before, He used the extrodinary, the “miraculous”.


                    1. Yes, Phillip, I’ve heard of some of these and am not surprised. Yes, they *could* apply here. I’ve also heard other ideas. The thing is, though, that Jesus is recognized also as fully man. *I* think that should be taken absolutely literally, and I think people play fast and loose with “everything miraculous” claims. As I’ve said, I think God did very little, the minimum, to make this happen. Let’s call it the Law of Miraculous Parsimony. It’s the same for His birth. Some people believe Jesus was born by teleporting out of the womb at birth so Mary could remain a virgin, but again, I believe “Jesus is fully man” means that He was born the natural way (the best way for all babies) and that her virginity was subtly maintained in a way that did not interfere with them having a normal birth. Again, a matter of doing the minimal miraculous intervention so Jesus would also be fully man, and natural birth is a very important event for both the mother and the child, at every level including the physical.

                      Since Mary had full and free choice at Gabriel’s visit about whether to have Jesus as a son or not, there is *nothing* the Holy Spirit would have done to her or her egg until Mary said, “OK, let’s do this thing.” Only at that moment could anything miraculous have happened, and we are told indeed that that is exactly when the miracle occurred. And again, I feel God would have done the absolute minimum of miracles so that He could assure that Jesus was fully man. That means a normal egg and a normal set of male DNA.

                      That means (if I’m close here) that either (1) somehow a male-producing sperm was conserved from *her* conception fifteen years before and used to fertilize the Egg and thus naturally provide a full zygote for the HS to “quicken” spiritually, or (2) the HS had to miraculously provide the male DNA set at the moment Mary said yes, in which case the egg became a zygote at that moment only and implanted either at that same moment (not naturally possible due to preparations that need to take place in the mother) or implanted *later* in which case Charlie may be off-base in his emphasis on implantation. I lean toward the second idea, with the HS becoming Jesus’s actual father by providing the equivalent of a male DNA set perfectly matched to her Egg and quickening the zygote at that moment, such that the zygote would become a fully male, strong and healthy guy properly bonded to His mother and physically able to withstand the stresses of His mission (which were often intense, I’m sure). I suspect He literally stood head and shoulders above the males of His day, being healthy His entire life. All this is speculative, of course, but a tall, muscular, healthy 30-year-old male would have cut quite a figure as an example of what a human male could be. A king in stature and form.

                      There are no claims that Adam and Eve were the same as Jesus in being fully man and fully God. Personally, I tend to think the use of the word “clay” is a metaphor for being created from an unsouled animal, the “clay”. I happen to like the idea of Intelligent Design, and using “clay” metaphorically like this links Adam’s appearance (at least) to the miracle of an intelligently evolving Universe and Earth that eventually produces ensouled humans like Adam, Eve, you and me in accord with the Law of Miraculous Parsimony.

                      I guess my main problem here is that, although I know God can intervene in spectacularly obvious and major ways, I think there needs to be some recognition that in the important turning points of a person’s life (or in the evolution of Life as a whole), God speaks in whispers and does only as much as is necessary. In considering Jesus’s conception, His birth, and the overall growth of our Universe, I truly think that we should start by taking on some sense of discipline in our considerations of miracles. I’m being somewhat tongue-in-cheek with my naming of the Law of Miraculous Parsimony, but I think that Free Will and co-creation require God’s interventions to be the minimum possible effort so that our free will and co-creation are conserved to the maximum degree possible. Yet when a miracle does occur, it must also be elegant in concept and execution. I would marry the Law of Miraculous Parsimony with the Law of Miraculous Elegance in every case where I am considering a miracle when picking up the situation for consideration.

                      The absolute minimum and most elegant way for the HS to become the actual father of Jesus is for HS to obtain Mary’s permission (giving us males serious guidance in how to treat our own spouses and girlfriends) and only then to come into her and provide the HS part to create a healthy zygote, (which would be guidance that Life begins at joining of Male and Female in the form of the zygote). Lots of lessons here for all of us, but they spring from taking on the discipline of these two “Laws” which of course, I’m just making up. Is this method fruitful? I think so, but others may disagree. 🙂

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                    2. Steve, I’m not going to try and convince you you are wrong and I am right, etc since we’ve hashed over this subject before in almost the exact same way and it seems we are both in the same place now as then on this subject.
                      That being said, I will continue on for those who may read here and want to hear a different view on this subject.
                      We do have many a saint/mystic that have given insight into the mystery of the Incarnation. They claim to have been “shown” what occurred and were not given more than the necessary reason and way it happened for our common understanding to get at least a partial glimpse of the mystery. The Church has given an imprimatur for these writings acknowledge ing that they do not go against what the Church believes to be true on faith and morals allowing them for our consideration that we may keep what good they contain. And what the Church believes to be worthy is not by accident. Catholic Tradition is full of “unproven” realities by human standards and again many are scientifically impossible to explain and will most likely remain so. But we are told to follow Jesus, not “the science” since His is a Love story.
                      Humans have developed systems of understanding and we then branch off this as a tool to communicate ideas through. I have seen the science of genetics grow from it’s infancy into something very different in the last 3 decades. I suspect it will be unrecognizable in the next 3 decades. Since our nature is fallen it stands to reason we rarely, if ever, get it fully right and the evolution of this human process of “knowing” has continued to change over and over again with the Church being the only unchanging constant through it all. And with good reason, as the human condition is easily effected by new industries, health, medication, stress, diet, drama, age, etc. The Church and the Saints have taught us through the Deposit of Faith and the Church contains the only revealed Truth we know. Pope JPll stated on the “theories” of Evolution that they could not contradict the Deposit of Faith which contain the fullness of Truth. So obviously, science must not take the lead and move us away from faith and we should not make conclusions on faith based on the scientific flavor of the day which may be contradicted next week by another new discovery or theory (which are just “educated guesses).
                      If we take some Scripture passages literally and then in the next sentence claim another is figurative to square the round peg we find are we listening to this Deposit which is given to us to help us understand these things in the light of truth?
                      I disagree with the idea that mystical revelations do not “have” to be believed as if they are some kind of old fashioned way of thinking. I don’t think the Church contains them by accident. They are closer to real Truth than any man-made philosophy or science which mostly show the mechanisms of man’s thinking and of creation and not his “reason for being”. Much of what is written in the bible was mystically revealed.
                      The first books of the old Testament written by Moses were mystically received including some of his own story. Same with the book of Revelation, Paul’s conversion story, Joseph’s dreams and Job’s “Whirlwind”.
                      I think we are better served by reading the spiritual writers when it comes to the mysteries of our God than vetting it through ever evolving disciplines like science or philosophy.
                      For those of you who would like to read a mystical commentary on the Incarnation, both St Catherine Emmerich and Mary of Agreda have written some amazing revelations about them
                      And they are not just opinions.


                    3. You know, Phil and Steve, I wonder what the Magis Center might have to offer on the mystery of the Incarnation and Jesus’ humanity. Fr. Spitzer, with a brilliant mind and an astrophysicist himself, founded his Magis Center to reach our teenagers who were leaving the Church in droves in our current age because catechesis was devoid of material which wed faith and reason.

                      Oh! I just searched the site and discovered 550 results linked to “Jesus and His humanity.” Is Fr. Spitzer the be all and end all on this topic? No. Is listening to him of value? Oh yes and absolutely!!! I love the mystical literature of the Church as well. However, we are of many and varied personalities and Fr. Spitzer, in one of Charlie’s expressions, is another man of towering intellect, a deep dive kind of guy, fearlessly and lovingly plumbing the mysteries of faith. Rather than shutting down our own contemplation, reading him can actually launch us into new possibilities which spring from a foundation of integrating faith *and* reason in our ponderings.

                      Here’s just one gem as Fr. S responds to the question, “Where did Jesus’ Y-Chromosome come from?”


                    4. I love Father Spitzer! He has a gentle manner, and I sense he loves life when he interacts. He does shares that love of the gift of life with others, in spite of, and most likely because of his trials. ❤

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                    5. I’ll second….Fr. Spritzer is amazing. My son, who is 15, loved the presentation the Magis Center has on the Existence of God. My son wants to be an astrophysicist when he grows up. The videos were great!

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                    6. Ha, well, Phillip, we may be saying different things, but I am well aware that I am merely pondering and speculating, not attempting to debate. You could very well be right and me wrong. Or we could both turn out right from different perspectives. In no way did I mean to imply you were wrong, only to set forth my own ramblings in contrast to your comment. Am I right? I have no idea. 🙂

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                    7. True Steve.
                      I did not think you were saying I was wrong and I do not want you to believe I think you are wrong.
                      I’m just clarifying what I’ve read and understand to be true using your thoughts as the springboard
                      We are probably both right AND wrong on different pounts particularly since these are mysteries which even the Angels do not fully fathom. It is believed that the Incarnation and Mary’s role was the main point of rebellion of the fallen angels so it is a difficult subject for us mere mortals to contemplate for sure!

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            2. Well, you use fertilization and conception almost interchangeably. So you assume fertilization and conception are the same thing. The phrase from Donum Vitae does not mean quite so much as you think. It is literally true. The zygote does, indeed, bear the biological identity of a potential new human because, as I understand it, it already contains unique DNA.

              You react in shocked horror that I would even consider actual conception to be at another point (along with several other commenters who follow you – one who even goes so far as to suggest I should not think about these things, but just accept). Yet the reality is that it is human beings who are conceived – and not a single human being who has ever walked the earth came into being without having been first implanted in the womb. There was a particular sperm cell and a particular egg cell that were component parts in my creation – but they weren’t yet me. The fertilized egg that contained the first strand of my DNA competed with other fertilized eggs to implant. It was potentially me, but not yet me. Science defines it as a human organism once it begins the process of development that, if unmolested, will grow to a fully formed human person. That process begins at the moment of implantation. Before that, with all its potential, it cannot grow into anything other than an undifferentiated lump of tissues. If, indeed, every unimplanted fertilized egg is a human person, rather than a potential person, then it is undeniable that God suffers hundreds, even thousands of “persons” to perish for every one He suffers to live. That would make God the most prolific abortionist in the universe, greater than all earthly abortionists combined. That is a shocking horror to me – and dubbing it a mystery does little to soften the horror of such an idea to me. If the debate had gone in that direction, I fear it would have been the greatest setback to the pro-life cause in history. Remember, I submitted to serious vetting. After about a week’s worth of study, the canon lawyer said there were some documents that came up to the very border of declaring the fertilized egg to be when life begins, but none that actually crossed it.

              Some people still think that my experiences are similar to having Jiminy Cricket on my shoulder. Rather, God inspires me to examine certain areas, then He demands that I ruthlessly challenge all my pious assumptions in fully researching what I have been directed to. I do not challenge those things that are fully defined doctrines. But even those, I seek to understand. In fact, one of the things that inspired me about the Church during the first three months when I was studying formal documents and writings of the Fathers was that, though Priests and the pious often made errors or overstatements that went beyond what a document claimed; the formal, defined doctrine of the Church was consistent and sound and never contradicted itself. It was bedrock – and it never contradicted right reason, either. In some cases it transcended right reason, but that did not disturb me at all, as from my experiences I knew that many things transcended reason without contradicting it.

              As definitions are refined (but never contradicting defined doctrine) popular pious sensibilities are often offended. Job had to undergo the hectoring of his pious friends for much of his enfeeblement for violating the popular pious assumptions of his time. Galileo was excommunicated for a time for violating the popular pious assumptions of his time. Truth WILL stand the test of examination. That has been one of my primary articles of faith since I was in my teens – and to demand that one quit the field altogether on sensitive areas does not strike me as an act of faith, but a failure of it. I long ago used to tell people that there can be no contradiction between true faith and true science – only apparent contradiction. And when that appears, it is because we have not studied deeply enough. When one argues that we should not question an opinion (that is not defined, that is) I always chalk it up to fear that faith cannot adequately respond to the question – and so a failure to trust God.

              I am learning something here. There is a contingent of the faithful which, I presume is glad I was the catalyst to stopping the advancement of embryonic stem cell research, but equally offended that in so doing I challenged one of their cherished pious assumptions. I am glad I was able to share this particular instance – but equally glad I can share no more. Let people enjoy the sausage without watching how it is made.

              I have been trained from early childhood in a rigorous manner of approaching the throne of God – and am held to account when I fail that. I will continue in that manner because there is nothing else I can honorably do. And that method has always been deployed in the service of God and of His people. But this will almost certainly be the last time I give a glimpse behind the curtain of how that works.

              That does not negate the reality that there is a profound difference between an unimplanted embryo and one that was artificially prevented from having the chance to implant.

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              1. Hmmm. My point of view, and my initial response here, are not motivated by a perceived threat to a “popular pious assumption.” I am mainly surprised to be having this debate with you, Charlie, of all people. Probably the approach you took in the early 2000s was necessary in the political realm, and I’m thankful that it was effective.

                By the way, I remember having a conversation with some people, in the mid-2000s, about the very subject of your paper. Evidently, word of your research had made its way into my regular reading trapline. I am happy to know that you were the one who did the deep dive and wrote the paper that halted embryonic stem cell research.

                Within the pro-life movement itself, some of the voices crying in the wilderness are the researchers, students, practitioners, and teachers of the various methods of Natural Family Planning (NFP). Science, faith, and faithful practice all come into play. My perspective is partly shaped by interactions with such people over the years. A helpful resource, with various tabs, is here:


                Grace and peace,
                Sister Bear

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                1. Thanks, Sr. Bear. But do not think my approach was merely politically tailored. I am required to speak truth as I understand it. I can choose what to emphasize and what to de-emphasize, but it all must conform to what I actually, in my best judgment, believe to be true…and I am required to publicly abandon any public mistakes as soon as I believe them to be errors. So it would be a mistake to think this was merely spin to deviously accomplish a worthwhile goal.

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            3. Not a nuanced or elegant comment from me, Sister Bear, but the fact is there’s a part of me that likes to listen, learn and improve my thinking; then there’s that part that is absolutely ready to cut out the useless middlemen in Washington, State Capitals and whatnot so we don’t find ourselves in this sorta situation… having this conversation. That part of me nearly wants to vomit.

              In general, though, I appreciate it as a good study in HOW to think fruitfully, so as to confront these things properly and have a real impact.

              I’m with the CCC in belief and don’t choose to further complicate it by turning over any more rocks. ‘Round these parts, you’re as likely to find a scorpion as a cricket in this season.

              Besides, I love a good mystery, notwithstanding the aforementioned politicians who are tragically predictable.

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          2. Maybe the premise is wrong. Maybe it is a case of looking at it from the world’s eye’s versus God’s view.

            If it is true that the system kills more embryos than embryos implant, perhaps the argument can be made that God is filling His heaven. I would add who gets to decide which life is more valuable, a short one or a long one? The Lord of course. And also which of us can understand God’s ways, truly?

            We are taught that our eternal soul is the prize, not this world. In light of this, our span of years/days/hours/minutes truly matter not. What does matter is our service, in the time given us, and how we use that time in service to The Lord.

            I’m saying this all badly, forgive me. Also, as everyone knows, I am no expert. These are just my thoughts, in the darkness of faith.

            Of course if these things are true, it would make a weak argument to those who do not have faith.

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            1. Actually, Littlelight, you make that case quite nicely. Everyone is constrained by the general knowledge of their time, even when being most exacting. That is why St. Thomas Aquinas, brilliant as he was, was quite muddled on the subject of when life begins falling back on what he called “quickening,” or the indeterminate moment when God unites a soul to a fetus.

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              1. I really “like” fertilization. I love the idea of the “spark of light” that happens at fertilization. (And God said, “Let there be light…” This even scientists aathiests can and do observe in the petrie dish. That each of these tiny whatevers, full of DNA and growing like a weed,” MUST be implanted to become a baby is interesting, and unrealized to me before now, so I REALLY like Littlel”Light'”s thoughts.

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          3. Charlie–I reacted to your comment the same way as Sister Bear.If the meeting of the egg and sperm is not the beginning of life, then any means to destroy that fertilized egg before implantation is ok. Maybe that is a moot point — if there is no way to purposely destroy a fertilized egg before implantation. That can happen because of use of the birth control pill but I don’t know if there is any other way. I had never heard that a sexually active woman expels lots of fertilized eggs.

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            1. Good Kim. What is lost in some of this is that I oppose ESC experimentation and was acknowledged (on Capitol Hill, anyway) as the catalyst that stopped it from expanding. As I said earlier, there is also a clear distinction between an embryo that does not implant and one that is artificially prevented from implanting. Destroying life is the great evil, but man destroying the potential to become life is another serious evil – and playing God. If the momentum for this had not been stopped, you would have heard a lot about sexually active women naturally expelling many fertilized eggs without having to take a college course on the subject – for the Dems were already gearing up to use that reality to make the case that abortion is morally neutral and even, acceptable in the eyes of God. We have reached that point anyway, but without the left having the narrative about ESC’s in their quiver.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Thanks, Charlie–It is interesting to ponder all of this–crazy that things have gotten so hair splitting! Does life begin at implantation? Is it a person before it has life, if that is the case? Even though many fertilized eggs are expelled, are those just bodily matter like menstrual blood or something more? When the last breath of a person is breathed out, that person does not have life, but they are still a person. Might it be the same for a fertilized egg before implantation? Also–the word conception implies the very beginning, but that is more of a linguistics issue. I understand that the cell starts to divide as the fertilized egg travels down the fallopian tube, not waiting for implantation. Learning that many or most fertilized eggs are expelled is perplexing. So much will we find out in heaven! It would be so awesome if we didn’t have any reason for this conversation!

                Liked by 3 people

                1. This idea that many fertilized eggs do not implant is totally new to me. So in a short online search, I found that it seems to be generally accepted that many fertilized eggs are defective enough such that they are unable to implant. This is obvious from IVF, as so many fertilized eggs are used, but the larger portion do not result in a baby. However, it’s not so easy to determine the percentage of naturally fertilized eggs that do not implant. Estimates that I found vary widely: 25% to 80%. So I wanted to figure out the “worst case” scenario for a *fictional* woman over the course of her life.

                  – a woman’s fertility may last from about ages 12-52, approximately 40 years
                  – 13 cycles/year (28 days/cycle)
                  – one fully mature egg is released each cycle (two is possible, but abnormal)
                  – egg is viable for fertilization for 24 hours after ovulation
                  – sexual activity occurs every cycle within 24 hours of ovulation
                  – for this worst-case analysis, I assume every fertilized egg has one or more defects which cause it to be unable to implant, or the woman’s body is preventing implantation for some reason

                  40 years x 13 cycles/year x 1 egg/cycle = 520 discarded fertilized eggs

                  Again, this would be worst-case, in which the woman was sexually active every cycle within 24 hours of ovulation for all years of her fertility. This is not a reasonable number for any real-life woman. There are a lot of factors which would affect this number in real life: use of hormonal birth control, declining fertility with age, etc. So I would think the actual number for a normal woman may be significant, but at least an order of magnitude less than 520.

                  References: (some of these are just Q&A site posts with a bit of summary info and links to sources)

                  Liked by 2 people

    1. A Scot in France, coming back to your question on a previous page about something similar to CORAC in other countries, and taking into consideration Charlie’s recent comment that he’s working on something, I asked Charlie if I could invite you and any other of our ASOH friends from anywhere in the world to join my own Region 11 and he gave a green light as a stopgap measure. This morning our Regional Coordinator, Suzanne Paroski replied to my request with: “Yes. The more the merrier!”

      So, you are invited to sign up for CORAC and to claim Region 11 (the Big Sky with states initialed MT, ID and WY on the map of the US. It’s in the western part of the country with MT and a bit of ID bordering Canada on the north.

      Join CORAC and you can then access the wonderful resources on the website and just have fun exploring it. Don’t miss the presentation videos which have been uploaded. I love hearing as much as I love reading Charlie and I especially love the Q&A part of his presentations.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. How does “natural conception to natural end” help in defining life? Petri dishes are for people playing god. Why would we not look at natural life first, before considering the scientists’ Dilemma? (It seems like a Pharisees’ trick question.)
    Nothing good can come from embryonic stem cell research coming from aborted babies. Scientists are now trying to create a good from evil. (This mRNA must stop…sigh…But sadly it has our bishops’ stamp of approval…)
    Please tell me how I can improve my current line of thinking.
    The true problem in the US is there is no longer an ethics committee overseeing science. (Just because we can, does not mean that we should!)
    Satanic worship is prevalent in every field of study & profession. (The beauty of free will and prominent relativism running wild.)
    Every single person has a mother and a father. You simply must have an egg and a sperm.
    You can play god the day you create an egg or a sperm… FROM NOTHING!

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Charlie, I was wondering if you and your team could do a memo/fact sheet regarding C19 vaxxes, I am afraid in years to come all still available data and documentations might disappear and will be served as conspiracy theories to our children and grandchildren many of whom might be handicapped from experimental vax coercion.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Steve BC has been doing a lot of very good work on those things at his website, “Steve’s Front Porch,” which we link to in our Menu. I tell you, some will be lost, but do not fear it overmuch. The people who rule now will not rule forever – or even very long, precisely because of the lies they are peddling.

      Lying propaganda is like mud shaped over rocks. Facts are like the actual rock beneath the mud. Time IS the tide that washes away the mud and leaves the rock fully revealed.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. I cling to that! May the lies be washed away quickly! That’s one of my daily prayers: begging the Holy Spirit to send his Light over the whole world and every human to wash the evil lies away!

        Liked by 3 people

    2. Pawel, I See no issue here, for a few reasons. First, the Internet Wayback Machine and other archives record just about everything that shows up on the internet. Second, a huge number of people know that there is intense censorship on this topic (among many), and they, like me, archive everything they feel is important. Between these two, I think very little will be lost.

      However, that doesn’t get at the most important thing of all, which I think you are really aiming toward. The fact is that a certain set of people have deliberately and with malice aforethought tried to kill 7 billion people and may succeed at killing a billion or so when all this is done. What I think is already known and what I think will soon be exposed for all to see will absolutely *sear* this fact into the long memories of the human race. It will be studied and remembered for *centuries* – until such time as Evil rises again to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes a thousand years from now.

      Liked by 7 people

      1. But soon might not be in our lifetime. Like Israelites leaving Egypt probably thought it would take 40 days rather than 40 years. Is this Wayback Machine built on blockchain technology and the information can’t be changed unlike the definition of “herd immunity” during pandemic on WHO website?

        At least please help with this – are there any official government links perhaps for the percentage of cases reported in VAERS , I know it was said 1-13% but how to back it up with a direct link to a credible nonpartisan source?

        Also if I hear now 96% of Covid deaths in IL are deaths of the unvaccinated, and it is backed by some local government website, how to refute/contest this?

        And some claim there are 16K death reported in VAERS, some 8K, can’t we have a reliable nonpartisan source to verify and give us one correct number?

        Some compiled statistical undeniable data with nonpartisan sources would be helpful (for example like actually applying for a religious exemption using actual government sites – I have 3 links available – to back up connection of the vaxxes to abortions ).

        Liked by 3 people

        1. It’s a mess, Pawel. First we have hard evidence that some hospitals are NOT reporting adverse events – then there is the incredible bouncing ball that are reported deaths, which as you noted, were recently formally reported as over 16,000 and now have been revised down to a little over 8,000. They did this once before – and revised it back up within a week. Again, public health authorities are intentionally trying to jig the results and bowdlerizing the data, so it is very difficult.

          On the subject of Illinois, you might ask them to explain what the state is doing to make it so dramatically different from the rest of the world, most of which have Covid deaths occurring among the vaccinated at an average between 40-60 percent. That is just utterly illogical and obviously fraudulent. Your last paragraph describes what would, indeed, be helpful, but we can’t get because it has all become a politicized tool of control, dependent on keeping the fear at high levels. A healthy society would, indeed, take pains to get accurate, dispassionate information out so people could make rational decisions – but our society has degenerated into one where incompetent elites are busy trying to use bowdlerized data to herd people into what they want them to do. Frankly, doing research on any objective subject has become progressively harder since late in the first year of the Obama administration when gov’t agencies started “tweaking” data to make it say what they want it to say. A useful perspective on where we are is here.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. It looks like a creative accounting to fit the narrative.

            Anyway, 8K deaths is still a lot, assuming 1-13% cases are reported.

            I am curious how this compares to the deaths in VAERS after taking a flu shot for example.

            Some claim hundreds die after taking a flu shot every year, so they dismiss that 50-death threshold for removing a vax from circulation.


            1. Pawel, at the beginning of this year, Charlie asked me to get some hard data on what was really going on. After looking into it for a while, I concluded that pretty much all the data were hopelessly (and deliberately) corrupted and no actual conclusions could be based on those data. In fact, I wrote a paper I called “Covid, Schmovid” which is on my website here if you want to read it. It actually still applies in terms of overall conclusions.

              Covid Schmovid

              But the real problem here is that you’re looking in the wrong direction (in my opinion) when considering the legacy available to those a hundred years from now. I believe it is imminent that this will be exposed, not 40 years or even 40 months from now. In later years and centuries this entire time will be studied *because* the data were so corrupted so deliberately and *because* so many were so deceived by people who are literally evil. A 6,000 year old death cult is being pulled like a giant weed out of the very fabric of our experience as humans. It will be *the* seminal event for the good world that is coming. Yes, there will be some efforts to figure out what really happened and what the actual real data should be or say, but the main object of study will *not* be the data. It will be the cult, the deceptions of the cult, why so many people fell for such evil machinations, and how to make sure it does not happen again.

              But if you are still hung on data, here are a few facts. VAERS data is heavily corrupted, and the VAERS system has been made very difficult to use. One person in a sizable hospital said 2 out of 2,000 cases were successfully reported to VAERS. A research group tied VAERS data to other data in a credible way and said that by July (June?), the range of deaths was 150,000 to 250,000. Now for some speculation. At best, the ratio this year is 1:100, so if we take 10,000 deaths, then we are pushing 1M actual deaths. Since death rates appear to be accelerating and will do so through the end of this year and into next winter and spring, I believe we will have 1M deaths by the end of this year and probably many more. 2022 January through May will be far worse, for reasons having to do with seasonality, Vitamin D levels, the passage of time for the vaxxxed allowing longer-term issues to surface, and the collapse of the availability of healthcare services and people and the increasing inability to get the simple drugs and supplements that have some chance of postponing or stopping some of these Vaxxx-related problems as supply chains break down.

              Finally, to answer specifically the questions about deaths from other vaccines, like the flu vaccine, compared to the Covid vaxxxes, the current total deaths reported in VAERS for the Covid vaxxxes has never been allowed to occur before. The current number of deaths (at 15,000, say) is more than reported deaths for *all* other vaccines over the past 20-30 years combined. In every case before this, a reported 500 deaths would guarantee removal from the market, and usually it was done with far fewer deaths on the record. Not only are the Covid vaxxxes not being subjected to these normal and customary limits, but our government and many institutions and companies and celebrity influencers are pushing the vaxxxes harder and harder upon us all. This has never happened before. You don’t need exact numbers to know this is deliberate murder.

              Few of us really care whether we know the actual number of deaths that occurred in the Holocaust. “About 6M” or “about 12M” is enough. However, we do care about *why* it happened, and many have worked to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Well, all their efforts came to naught, as we are in a new genocide that will have its own name and that will involve far more deaths than the Holocaust. 2022 may be known by us and our descendants as the Year of the Culling.

              I suggest you not get overly concerned about accurate numbers but be very concerned about lack of informed consent (Nuremberg), deception, corruption, and genocide. Instead, talk to your local mortician, or to your estate attorney, or to Human Resources people trying to maintain their work forces, so many other ways to get at what is actually happening and even more important, what this is causing in terms of damage to our human fabric.

              Liked by 2 people

    3. Pawel, There’s a lawsuit happening that has compiled data from the Medicare Tracking System (even though it covers less than 20% of the population). So there are people working to compile data. I don’t know how long it’s going to take to come out. But I think people are going to wake up before this goes through the courts.

      Already just among all my family, work, parish, acquaintances and social world, I’m hearing every week of someone healthy and vaccinated; getting a heart attack, getting hospitalized for covid, having lung issues, etc. The weird thing is no one is talking about the vaccine as the problem. I get the sense that here in Canada there will be vehement denial until it gets ridiculously obvious and we are in full swing of what Steve refers to as the “Year of Culling”.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Andy, I’ve been peripherally involved in a few situations where people who have been vaxxxed go to the hospital with some weird problem. It becomes rapidly apparent that the doctors involved have *no* idea what is happening, which means of course that they can’t help. I just say to tell the docs it’s not an illness but a toxin. Nobody gets it – yet.

        I have also heard that people who are vaxxxed and end up in the hospital and who “code” cannot be revived. They’re just gone. The docs and nurses are noticing this phenomenon, but few understand why it’s happening. These folks are ending up in the hospital because the damage caused by the vaxxx has already become so extensive and severe that their bodies cannot function and due to that extensive damage, cannot possibly be revived. Very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

  17. JESUS = GOOD NEWS! 😉

    I would think PF would have more pressing matters!?


    THEY (One World godless Re-Set Mafia) want to collapse the Western Economies!
    THEY caused this!
    THEY don’t want the Old Normal…….. EVER!

    Oh! ChinaJoe’s PuppetMaster does not want USA Energy Independance that we had just nine months ago …WHY!!?? …See Above!


    Liked by 2 people

  18. The brave doctor that Sundance links too does what Charlie says.

    This is what I see.
    This is what I think.
    This is why I think this.
    What do you other doctors out there think.

    Compare that Godly man’s mien to Anthony Fauci.

    What do you think Charlie?

    What mistake in judgement , if any, am I making here?

    God bless.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I did not watch the full video, Timothy, but I have a high regard for Sundance. I don’t think you’re making any mistake in judgment. Frankly, the things that are unfolding now are similar to things that unfolded in the failed animal tests.

      Liked by 4 people

    2. Timothy, the video is amazing in a horrifying way. I don’t doubt this doctor’s sincerity for one second. As he says, no other doctor will do this blood test because the result is undeniable. God help those who get this jab, and I include a couple of my family members who were “coerced” because of school and work. All I can do is ask the Blood of Christ to purify and destroy the evil in their bodies! Amen!

      Liked by 1 person

  19. I’m not sure if this has been posted here yet. Ben Shapiro’s show today was really insightful. What I thought was most interesting was his deep dive where he identifies the two radically different views of human nature held by the Founding Fathers vs the Progressives – ultimately a denial of Original Sin. Definitely worth a listen.


    Liked by 1 person

  20. Thank you Steve. I agree, but even with the corrupt data available, we get post-vax deaths numbers similar to actual Covid deaths. And now mandating vaccination of kindergarten and older kids in California… How can minds of people be so obscured to vax their own kids who are not volnurable to Covid and vax them with something that has unknown long-term effects?
    Is this genocide or money making without having regard for human life? If genocide,is it mostly aimed at older population? If at everyone, does it make sense to have less or no slaves for those in power? Or is it mostly pure evil with no logical explanation?

    Liked by 1 person

  21. This is in response to KimSevier’s and SteveBC’s conversation on October 5 and 6, which I can’t seem to reply to directly.

    One organization that has been working on ethical means of assisting fertility since 1985 is the Saint Paul VI Institute. Here is a brief description of the organization:

    “Since 1985, the Saint Paul VI Institute’s National Center for Women’s Health (NCWH) has provided services in obstetrics, gynecology, reproductive medicine and surgery for individuals needing regular or high-risk care, all in an environment consistent with Catholic moral principles.”

    Here is its main website:

    Thirty years ago, this organization initiated Natural Procreative Technology, “a women’s health science that monitors and maintains a woman’s reproductive and gynecological health. It provides medical and surgical treatments that cooperate completely with the reproductive system.”

    May the Lord continue to fruitfully bless their work.

    Sister Bear

    Liked by 1 person

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