Marriage, Crime and Abortion

Seeking the Reason Behind our Polarized Society

By Larry Plachno

What do marriage, crime and abortion have in common? Actually, quite a lot if you Larry-150x1 blueare seeking the reasons behind our polarized American society.

For quite a number of years the demographers have known how our society is highly polarized when it comes to presidential elections. Red counties tend to believe in responsibility, religion and families. They are typically suburban or rural and usually vote for conservative candidates. Blue counties tend to believe in rights, and may have problems with crime and poverty. They typically have higher population densities and vote for liberal candidates.

This same situation again played out in the recent 2016 Clinton/Trump Presidential election. While there are exceptions, the red counties voting conservative and the blue counties voting liberal tended to fall into the same traditional patterns. What the demographers and researchers want to know is why? Why is it that on one side of the county line you have more income equality but the other side of the county line has rich and poor? Why is it that one side of the county line has more people going to church regularly while the other side of the county line has more crime? Why is it that one side of the county line supports responsibilities and families while the other side of the country line supports rights and abortion? Continue reading

Are We Living in an Era of Heaven and Hell on Earth?

Are We Living in an Era of Heaven and Hell on Earth?

ProLifeCorner- By Larry Plachno

Larry-150x1 blue     The demography coming out of the recent 2016 Presidential election is suggesting that we are living in an era of Heaven and Hell on earth. This is bringing up several questions: What is the cause of why areas are different? Is Christianity more than just a religion? And how important is traditional marriage to society?

For many years now, the demographers have been telling us that you can predict elections based on an area’s fertility rate – effectively the interest in bringing children into our world. Areas with a high fertility rate tend to elect conservative candidates and vote for conservative issues. Areas with a low fertility rate tend to elect liberal candidates and vote for liberal issues.

In recent years these differences have become increasingly polarized and more sharply defined. For decades now, families have been moving out of the inner cities and into suburban and rural areas. At the same time, singles have moved into the big cities for education, employment or activities. The differences between the two areas have become increasingly obvious. Continue reading

The Harvest Is Rich, But The Laborers Are Few.

The harvest is rich, but the laborers are few.

The world famous golfer Tiger Woods was once given a piece of advice by his father: “My dad once told me: no matter what anyone says or writes, really, none of those people has to hit your four-foot putt. You have to do it yourself.”

Perhaps what Mr. Woods senior meant is that there are some things we can only do ourselves regardless of other people. In a slightly different vein is the old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.” It can be said by exasperated parents who have sent their child to the shop to buy something and the child comes back with something quite different: or perhaps by boss whose staff doesn’t come up to snuff. Self-reliance and a willingness to do things for ourselves may be admirable traits. Indeed, there are some things that we just have to do for ourselves. Continue reading

Christ’s Peace vs the Government’s Peace

Christ’s Peace vs the Government’s Peace

ProLifeCorner- Homily given at midnight mass.

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

            It was the great Roman boast: Ara Pacis Augustae – which means, “the era of Augustus’ peace.”

During the first and second centuries of the common era, the Roman empire, from Iberia to Greece, enjoyed a period of relative prosperity and tranquility. In one of the great propa­ganda campaigns of history, Caesar Augustus was hailed as a “god” and the “savior of the world” for the peace he enforced. Continue reading

Sacrificial Generosity – The Poor Widow’s Mite

Sacrificial Generosity – The Poor Widow’s Mite

ProLifeCorner-  Mark 12: 38-44

“For they have all contributed from their surplus wealth, but [this poor widow] from her poverty …”

It was a beautiful wedding reception: a simple, elegant supper with music and dancing. But the bride and groom arranged with the caterer to pack up the leftover food and bring it to the local soup kitchen. The bride and groom included a cake and bottles of sparkling cider. The couple made places of welcome for the poor at their wedding banquet.

With their kids gone, they have more room than they can use. So when the church calls asking for a place for a woman going through a break-up or a couple visiting for a funeral or parents whose child is being treated at a nearby medical center, they welcome them into their home. Other empty-nesters in the parish have been inspired by their example. Continue reading

The Consequences of Choice

The Consequences of Choice

ProLifeCorner-  By Larry Plachno

Larry-150x1[1]       This subject got started from a discussion concerning the love of God and love of neighbor admonishments of Jesus Christ. Those who have done the research find that basic Christian principles are reflected in the statistics surrounding social problems. In his divine wisdom, Jesus Christ was trying to teach us that judging our actions as good or evil and defining good as what is best for others and society is the way to make our society run well. The reports and statistics have shown that if we follow these basic rules of Jesus Christ, we all come out ahead.

But then the obvious question came up. If people accept “choice” instead of judging their actions as good or evil, and do what they want today instead of what is best for society tomorrow, are there negative consequences?

The answer is “yes.” There are obvious consequences for accepting “choice” today rather than judging our actions over the long haul. A simple example is that if kids were left on their own, many would avoid going to school and would eat candy and cookies instead of balanced meals. The obvious consequences of their choice will be that they will grow up uneducated and malnourished. These same types of consequences follow other “choice” decisions. Continue reading

How Did We Get Into This Mess?

How Did We Get Into This Mess?

ProLifeCorner-   By Larry Plachno-

Rarely does a day go by without someone asking: How did we get into this Larry-150x1[1]mess? We are facing all kinds of social problems including poverty, homelessness, crime and broken homes. Some nationalities are starting to disappear off the face of the earth because of substantially dwindling fertility rates while people are increasingly unable to work together because they no longer have common goals.

Would it surprise you to know that researchers and demographers predicted all of these things decades ago? The problem is that we failed to listen to them because we did not want to talk about good and evil, we did not want to talk about doing what is best for society, we did not want to talk about putting others first, and we certainly did not want to talk about Jesus Christ. Our failure to think about and consider the effects and the consequences of our decisions and actions is what got us into this mess. Continue reading

Poverty, Employment and Marriage

Poverty, Employment and Marriage. Love your neighbor by reducing poverty

ProLifeCorner-  By Larry Plachno

       Jesus Christ admonished us to love our neighbor. One way of doing that is by reducing poverty in our country. There has been an increasing concern in recent years about the growing poverty in the United States, our decreasing middle class and fewer traditional families. Not unexpectedly, all of these are interconnected.

       Numerous programs and plans have been suggested or put in place in recent decades to deal with these problems. They range from secular charity programs to the Catholic Campaign for Human Development administered by the United States Council of Catholic Bishops. However, many of these programs have come under fire because they tend to deal with the effects of the problem instead of dealing with the causes of poverty and trying to reduce or eliminate it. Continue reading

Are We Really Christians?

ProLifeCorner.com-   by Larry Plachno

        Recent surveys indicate that many if not most Americans are unhappy with the directions their country is taking. More and more people are asking why? Those doing the research are suggesting that we have caused most of our own problems by turning away from basic Christianity.

        We have turned our back on God by giving up on good and evil while replacing them with relativism. We have made a mockery of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death by replacing sin with selfishness. And, we have ceased to be concerned for others and have replaced responsibilities with rights. In short, we have moved away from the moral guidance of God, church, husbands and fathers. Continue reading