Where I Get My Pro-Life News and Commentary

newssources

A friend, Francis B., requested a list of my sources for pro-life news. So, in no particular order, my favorites:

General

Crisis Magazine
First Things
Catholic World Report
MercatorNet
NewAdvent.org
National Catholic Register

Abortion
Live Action News
Americans United for Life
Students for Life
National Right to Life News
Priests for Life Blog

Politics, Legislation, Religious Freedom
Susan B. Anthony List
Alliance Defending Freedom
American Center for Law and Justice
Judicial Watch
Catholic Vote

International
Turtle Bay and Beyond
Human Life International

Bioethics
Charlotte Lozier Institute
National Catholic Bioethics Center

Marriage and Family
National Organization for Marriage
Family Research Council
The Public Discourse
Ruth Institute Blog
United Families International

Education and Education-Related
Catholic Education Resource Center
Catholic Education Daily (from Cardinal Newman Society
Intercollegiate Review
Circe Institute

Conservative
The Heritage Foundation
Ethika Politika
American Thinker
PJ Media
Taki’s Magazine
The Imaginative Conservative
The American Spectator

Catholic
Ignatius Insight Scoop
Catholic News Agency
Catholic Herald
National Review Online
Sandro Magister
Touchstone
Catholic Culture
Women of Grace
PewSitter
What Does the Prayer Really Say?
Homiletic and Pastoral Review
Vatican News

and because sometimes, I just need a humorous take on all those:

Eye of the Tiber
Creative Minority Report
Curt Jester
Ironic Catholic
Catholic Memes (there’s a whole lot more on FB, plus Tumblr)

Two ways I organize my news sources:
Feedly
and when on Facebook, Lists, where I have lists for a) Pro-Life Leaders and Writers, b) Current Events, and c) my mom friends and other close friends who keep up with the same concerns.

Every so often, I go on Twitter to see what people are talking about, but I prefer getting my current events from the above.

I also like taking a peek at how the Catholic youth view their faith and current events from time to time, so I check out Catholic Tumblr blogs.

Note that many of these overlap in terms of the news they report/comment on. It goes without saying that I am not capable of reading all these sources every single day, so it just depends on what time I have. Sometimes I go on FB to catch up on news, sometimes I go on Feedly, other times I rely on friends and family to keep me informed. I try to not to overwhelm myself with too much input, especially during Lent. I process/digest things throughout the day — blogging and journaling helps at times — and when I feel that I’m inundated I shut things down and focus on prayer and family.

Hope that helps!

Surprise, Surprise!! (Movies from “Our” Time)

Reading this post reminded me of something revelatory that happened to me and my local group of homeschooling moms. We recently had a “Mom’s Night Out” (actually a Mom’s Night In, since a homeschooling mom usually hosts it at her home) and the topic of old movies came up. We’re all big fans of period movies: Austen and Gaskell and Dickens, etc. But we also got to talking about movies that we grew up watching, like Back to the Future and Ferris Bueller. And we all burst out laughing at the discovery that we’ve all, at one point or another, shown our kids some movie that we enjoyed 20-30 years ago, only to be shocked — along with our kids — that there actually were some very inappropriate scenes or language. These are scenes we wouldn’t have dared show the kids had we remembered that those scenes were there! Imagine us expecting a movie to be family-friendly as we remembered it to be, compared to the shows that are available now, and then as we sit there together, suddenly from out of nowhere some scene/word comes up and catches us totally unprepared, as if we had never seen/heard it before! The funny thing is that this seems to be a fairly common phenomenon even among us (six moms at the last “meeting”) and we were trying to figure out what it is that made us forget. We’ve talked about the possible reasons for this but it was getting late and we all needed to go, so here I am a few weeks later thinking back and expanding further.

1. It happened so long ago, and we’re so old now, that we’ve simply forgotten how inappropriate it was! 😀
2. The indoctrination has been so sneaky and insidious in coming that 10, 20, 30 years ago, we hadn’t realized it, though even then it was already happening right in front of our eyes.
3. Because it was a more innocent time, the words/scenes just really didn’t have that much bearing on how we lived our lives or conducted ourselves. The society we lived in was more supportive of morality in general, so even though the media portrayed one thing, what we viewed on TV or listened to on the radio was more of an escape for us, “another world” so to speak, not really something we wanted or needed to emulate in our own lives. Contrast that to today’s reality shows that reek of hypersexualized language and actions and dress, and then look around when you walk in a mall and see the tremendous effect they’ve had on our youth.
4. We had enough of a life so far apart from media that our reality vs. fantasy rarely blurred. There was a distinct separation between real and not real — something that is harder to distinguish these days as the youth (and sometimes/often we ourselves) are constantly plugged in to radio, TV, the ‘Net, etc. What was “fantasy” back then is almost nonexistent now; we live a huge part of our lives in cyberspace. No wonder many of our youth are hopelessly lost.
5. TV ratings and editing back then were also very different. The kinds of shows these days that are deemed okay for “Y-7” would not have been considered appropriate for a 7-year-old in the 1980s. Through the years, more and more of the crass language, hyper-sexualized dialogues and scenes have received the “okay” for progressively younger segments of the population. Conversely, what used to be considered childhood entertainment, such as cartoons and brainless shows, are now regular fare even for adults who supposedly should be past the stage of being sucked into this kind of pastime.

We’ve created a media culture where we encourage children to grow up quicker than they normally would, and at the same time we keep adults from ever growing up. With this media culture being so pervasive, many people find it difficult to keep these external influences from getting into their psyche. As a result we’ve got this society now where most people are operating at an adolescent level, both young and old. One very obvious manifestation of this is dress. You’ve got toddlers and young girls dressing up like lingerie models, and you’ve got 50-year-olds wearing skin-baring, tight clothing that would truly look less disgusting (though not much more modest) on women 20 or 30 years younger. It’s not as bad with the guys, but every now and then I see young boys dressed up like gangsters and body builders, and 50-year-old men who look like they still need their moms to shop for them.

We’ve barely scratched the surface of this discussion and I’m sure we’ll be talking about it again in future Mom’s nights. I am very lucky to have this group of moms to share insights and experiences with. Since we tend to be on the same page on a wide variety of family concerns, it’s easier to plan activities that offer our children the kind of shared experiences we would like them to have. A blessing for sure.

The most apparent effects of media in culture aren’t really surprising, when you’re looking through the macro lens of right-here-right-now. It’s when you shift to the wide-angle lens that you get a more proper sense of how things changed over time, both locally and globally. And I’d be failing my kids miserably if I don’t give them a chance to look at the view from both lenses.