Some Of My Favorite Things

Monday, November 10, 2014

Evolution Is For Losers

While it is perfectly clear that young earth creationism is stupid, it is equally clear that evolution is equally stupid. But it only recently occurred to me that even the people who teach evolution are demonstrably unwilling to believe in evolution themselves.

Consider the number of highly intelligent people who have lots of children. It shouldn't take long because there aren't very many of them. In fact, the "scientists" (I use the term loosely) who claim that evolution is true tend not to have lots of children. But that violates the very evolutionary principle they pretend to espouse.

You've all heard of the "cafeteria Catholic". These people prove there is such a thing as a "cafeteria empiricist."

Many "smart" people without children extol the brilliance of the movie Idiocracy. But the movie makes literally no sense. If "smart" people really believed the biology they claim to espouse, then they would intellectually choose to get laid and have children, infusing their superior intellectual genes into coming generations. Meanwhile, they would take every opportunity to prevent stupid people from breeding.

But that's not what they do. True, they DO try to keep stupid people from breeding (and they are mostly unsuccessful at that - not too smart of them), but they almost never have even the replacement numbers of children themselves (for instance, Stephen Gould had only two children, Richard Dawkins, has but one, David Sloan Wilson, Richard Lewontin and WD Hamilton had none).

They don't invest in the future through their genes - the only way that really lasts. Instead, they play parlor games with technological gizmos, inventing machines whose usefulness often doesn't even outlive their own lifetimes, much less that of other people's children. If this is "smart," then their lived definition of themselves is quite different than the definition the "smart" people claim to espouse. It violates the very evolutionary theory they claim rules the universe.

Nerds want Idiocracy to be true, because then they can pretend that their inability to mate is really a virtue, not the Darwinian dead-end it actually is.

They insist that Darwinism is true, but they don't live it out by mating regardless of their "love" for one another. If they REALLY believed in evolution, they would recognize "love" as a biologically expensive fantasy that has no place in modern society. They would mate and raise children based entirely on genetic profiles.

But they don't argue love is a fantasy, do they? Instead, like the fox who insisted the grapes were sour anyway, they insist that having children is something only stupid people do.

So, when someone asks if you believe in evolution, ask them a few questions first:

  • "Do you think there is any genetic component to intelligence?"
  • "Do you think of yourself as intelligent?"
  • "How many children do you have?"

If the answer is "Yes, Yes, 2 (or less)", then reply, "I see you don't believe in evolution. So why should I?"

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Testing the Traditionalist Spirit

Once, as we were going to the place of prayer, we met a slave girl who had a spirit of fortune-telling and who had brought her owners a great deal of money by predicting the future. She would follow Paul and us and shout, “These men are servants of the Most High God and are proclaiming to you a way of salvation!”  (emphasis added)
She kept doing this for many days until Paul became annoyed, turned to her and told the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus the Messiah to come out of her!” And it came out that very moment. (Acts 16:16-18)
Now, how did Paul recognize that this young girl was possessed by a demon? Simple. She kept saying that these men proclaimed "a way of salvation". That was a lie straight from the pit of hell. These men were proclaiming THE way of salvation. Jesus is THE Way, THE Truth and THE Life, not a way, a truth or a life. The lie was very close to the truth - only one word was different, but that word was enough to allow Paul to test the spirit within the girl and discern that the girl's spiritual influence was demonic, not heavenly.

Why do we consider this Scripture today?
Well, some people are upset with Pope Francis.
He recently had the audacity to point out that the Church permits Catholics to accept an idea that these deeply upset people find personally offensive. Pope Francs said:
"He gave autonomy to the beings of the universe at the same time at which he assured them of his continuous presence, giving being to every reality, and so creation continued for centuries and centuries, millennia and millennia, until it became which we know today, precisely because God is not a demiurge or a magician, but the creator who gives being to all things. 
God is not a divine being (emphasis added) or a magician, but the Creator who brought everything to life. Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve."
Notice any similarity between Pope Francis' words and the words of the demon-possessed girl? Why yes. Yes, indeed! There is one similarity! The girl said the apostles preached "a way of salvation". Pope Francis denied that God is "a divine being."

Now, Pope Francis merely spoke standard Catholic doctrine - God is not "a god", He is THE GOD. There is no other god. But many Catholics, especially those of "traditionalist" bent, would prefer to be like the people in the Scripture passage below:
When her owners realized that their hope of making money was gone, they grabbed Paul and Silas and dragged them before the authorities who met together in the public square. They brought them before the magistrates and said, “These men are stirring up a lot of trouble in our city. They are Jews and are advocating customs that we’re not allowed to accept or practice as Romans.” 
Wow. Who is making money by bashing Pope Francis?
The crowd joined in the attack against them. Then the magistrates had Paul and Silas stripped of their clothes and ordered them beaten with rods. After giving them a severe beating, they threw them in jail and ordered the jailer to keep them under tight security. Having received these orders, he put them into the inner cell and fastened their feet in leg irons. 
Around midnight, Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. (emphasis added) Suddenly, there was an earthquake so violent that the foundations of the prison were shaken. All the doors immediately flew open, and everyone’s chains were unfastened. 
When the jailer woke up and saw the prison doors wide open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, since he thought the prisoners had escaped. But Paul shouted in a loud voice, “Don’t hurt yourself, because we are all here!” 
The jailer asked for torches and rushed inside. Trembling as he knelt in front of Paul and Silas, he took them outside and asked, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” 
They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you and your family will be saved.” Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and everyone in his home. 
At that hour of the night, he took them and washed their wounds. Then he and his entire family were baptized immediately. He brought Paul and Silas upstairs into his house and set food before them. He was thrilled, as was his household, to believe in God. (Acts 16:19-34)
Paul's work bore fruit in conversion, as Pope Francis' work also bears fruit in conversion. Those in prison, that is, those in sin, listened to Paul. Now, many people are upset that luminaries such as Elton John and Planned Parenthood like things this Pope says. So, why would anyone be upset when the Pope teaches what Catholics have always taught, yet manages to do it in a way that even the pagan sinners can begin to recognize?

Sure, some of the pagans twist his words to their own ends and for their own purposes. But are the pagans who twist his words any different than "traditionalist" Catholics, who also twist his words?  I honestly don't see how. Francis preaches the Unknown God in the Areopagus and some "Catholics" want to beat him with rods for having done so.

Are these "Catholics" influenced by the same demonic spirit that influenced the young girl in Acts 16? A strong argument can be made that this is precisely what is going on. The traditionalists who attack Pope Francis may well be channeling demonic influences, attempting to split the Church by ignoring the fact that Pope Francis teaches what the Church has always taught.

And that is a sobering thought.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Pope Benedict's Outrageous Nonsense

For those who think Pope Francis stinks and Pope Benedict could do no wrong, does anyone remember when Pope Benedict endorsed the use of condoms? 

Anyone?
Anyone?
Bueller?
Anyone?

Benedict's remarks were indefensible, many liberals took advantage of them, but "orthodox" Catholics either remained silent or tried to square the circle and pretend Benedict's condom remarks were acceptable when they clearly were not.

If Pope Francis had made these remarks, imagine the outrage! But since it was Benedict, ho-hum, nothing to see here, or even remember...

Saturday, Nov. 20 2010
http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2010/11/pope-and-condoms.html


Monday Nov. 22, 2010
http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2010/11/stop-presses.html


Monday Nov. 22, 2010
http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2010/11/answering-questions.html


Tuesday, Nov. 23, 2010
http://skellmeyer.blogspot.com/2010/11/anyone-can-use-condom.html


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Of Suckers and Synod

Well, now that the synod has safely receded into the past, we can take a look at how things went.

Point: The First
Just as predicted, the synod taught nothing that violated Catholic doctrine.

Michael Voris was the only Catholic media personality who had enough virtue to formally apologize for his part in creating the Catholic media firestorm. I applaud him for this and very much thank him.

The Catholic media trained the Catholics who read the synod's final document to use a "hermeneutic of suspicion." Doubt and discord now reign where we were supposed to have peace and joy. Catholic media won - Catholics lost.

Point: The Second
Everyone was upset that bishops were discussing scandalous issues in synod. Riddle me this: would you prefer the bishops ask each other, in synod, where they can discuss in relative silence and amongst themselves, the kind of questions that the secular world constantly asks? Or would you prefer that they don't touch on controversial issues among themselves, but simply be forced to react one at a time under the grilling of various news media personalities over the course of the coming years?

Synods are designed to bring up scandalous issues, to look at every issue with fresh eyes, because the world approaches Catholic issues with eyes of newborn ignorance. If the Church wants to talk to the people in the world, her bishops have to be ready to handle the world's questions. Where better to raise such questions and provide the necessary answers than inside a synod, where all the bishops can thresh out every concern, and every response?

(Update: For those who say Burke is a really humble guy who I have thoroughly mis-read, I submit this powerplay, revealed only after I wrote this piece. Burke is worse than Kaspar.)

Watching sausage being made rids the ignorant of their appetites, but butchers are happy to eat sausage because they understand the sausage-making process better than random passers-by, who are often startled to discover that actual animals are killed to create it. Same with doctrine/dogma. The ignorant are startled by the discussions, but the Catholic secure in Church doctrine is not perturbed by such discussions.

To be concise, I want people like Kasper and Burke in a synod, fighting over the words, bringing up absolutely scandalous ideas. That way, I'm sure the synod will not only get it right, but get it right in a way that the world is forced to regard with some importance.

Point: The Third
Everyone is happy to point out that Cardinal Kasper is a liar.  Nobody wants to point out that Cardinal Burke is ALSO a liar. Why the different treatment?

And before you complain, here is Burke advertising he's about to lie and disrespect the Pope to boot:
"Cardinal Burke: The difficulty — I know about all the reports, obviously. I’ve not received an official transfer yet. Obviously, these matters depend on official acts. I mean, I can be told that i’m going to be transferred to a new position but until I have a letter of transfer in my hand it’s difficult for me to speak about it." 
And then he talks about his transfer, actually confirming what he himself says he is not free to talk about.  Sorry, but Burke is the worst of the two liars here. Kasper just skewered other cardinals, Burke actually used his interview to skewer the Pope's decision to replace him. Sure, he said nothing negative, but we are all meant to (a) be told about something he himself says he has no right to discuss and (b) be outrated by it.

Why else mention something that you know you aren't supposed to discuss? Buzzfeed even helped turn the knife with its next softball question:
BFN: You’re obviously a very well respected person. That must be disappointing.
CB: Well, I have to say, the area in which I work is an area for which I’m prepared and I’ve tried to give very good service [editor's note: lovely humble-brag]. I very much have enjoyed and have been happy to give this service, so it is a disappointment to leave it. On the other hand, in the church as priests, we always have to be ready to accept whatever assignment we’re given. And so I trust that by accepting this assignment, I trust that God will bless me, and that’s what’s in the end most important. And even though I would have liked to have continued to work in the Apostolic Signatura, I’ll give myself to whatever is the new work that I’m assigned to…
Note the humble-brag. Note how Pope Francis has so sorely disappointed our illustrious cardinal! (how dare the Pope disappoint Burke?!?). And the outpouring of humility! Worthy of Padre Pio himself! He will accept whatever new work he is assigned (like he has a choice)! 

You can just imagine Padre Pio giving exactly the same kind of interview! Except, you can't, because Padre Pio would never have done such a thing. Burke should have simply refused to answer any of those questions about his employment and/or his move - that's between him and the Pope until such time as the Pope makes it public (as Burke himself witnesses). If he were truly humble, he need not have mentioned his humility. But he has to point it out, in case any of us missed it.

Worse, he backstabs the Pope during the synod, giving the interview when he knows full well how much discord has already been fomented by the Catholic media amongst "orthodox" Catholics. He starts the interview talking about the synod, but devotes fully one-third of it to how the Pope is mean and is going to move him from what he loves to do! Oh, the agony he is forced to endure!

The center third of the interview.
Not about the synod.
It's about his job prospects.
Seriously?

This isn't the act of an obedient cardinal, this is the act of a Kasper look-alike, a man with overweening ambition and a dagger that he needs to bury in somebody's back, and - look! - the Pope's back is right there! What a lovely target! And since I have pointed out how humble I am, no one will notice as I bury it to the hilt and have Buzzfeed help me twist the knife!

And it's so cleverly situated within the beginning and ending comments about the synod! Typical episcopal sandwich - start and end by complimenting a group, but the center takes huge, toothy bites out. Start and end by talking about the subject, but use the center to discuss what matters to you. The meat is in the middle. Nobody picks up on it. I've seen countless bishops and priest pull this rhetorical trick. Works all the time. 

Point: The Fourth
Some have complained Pope Francis raised questions during the synod, but then remained silent during the discussion, saying nothing for virtually the entire synod.

Yes, that's right, he did. 
So?

This is a common tactic amongst the ordained. How many of you know priests who will post something on Facebook that generates a huge discussion which the priests themselves then take no subsequent part in? I know several who do that. They do it in parish life as well, raising an issue, then walking away as the lay people wrangle over it.

It gives the ordained man a chance to see who lies on which side of the spectrum, where his powerbase lies, without committing himself one way or the other. It also emphasizes the priest's authority over the lay people, as they realize that they cannot resolve the problem until the priest makes a decision. The lay people are left yearning for priestly authority and direction, made to feel it's lack. 

I really don't know an ordained man who hasn't pulled that trick at one time or another as at least a way to pull rank on a lay person and make the lay person feel helpless.

Pope just did that to the bishops. Big deal. Insofar as any bishop complains about it, that bishop is a hypocrite. It's the Pope's advantage, he holds an authoritative position and he could afford to get away with it. It's a way of putting every bishop in the synod in his place. You can tell which bishops didn't like the reminder of papal authority by making a list of the ones who complained about the tactic. Same goes for lay people. Notice the complainers were mostly the "orthodox". Hmmm....

Summary conclusion
1) Synod did precisely what any Catholic expected it would do: reiterate Catholic doctrine.
2) Synod did this by discussing every aspect of the doctrine, even the unpalatable aspects.
3) Both the "good guys" and the "bad guys" are sinners, but "orthodox" Catholics don't like anyone to point that out about "their" guys.
4) What a shock to discover the buck stops with the Pope.

I feel like an orthodox Catholic after Vatican II - amazed and depressed that so many of my fellow "orthodox" Catholics are so easily taken in by a feckless media and equally feckless cardinals, both of whom are out to gain advantage at the expense of the laity. But, as the saying goes, they never give a sucker an even break.

The only way to avoid the result is to stop being a sucker and start putting a little faith in the Church.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Martin Luther King Quote on Ferguson, MO

If we could eliminated black on black violence, America's murder rate would fall by 50%. Want proof? This is the best FBI table:


This is the FBI summary of the table: This is the best pull-quote from the sumary
"Concerning murder victims for whom race was known, 50.4 percent were black, 47.0 percent were white, and 2.6 percent were of other races. Race was unknown for 152 victims. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 2.)
Of the offenders for whom race was known, 53.1 percent were black, 44.6 percent were white, and 2.3 percent were of other races. The race was unknown for 4,224 offenders. (Based on Expanded Homicide Data Table 3.) "

Here is a rabidly left-wing organization that admits it.


And Martin Luther King himself pointed out the same thing fifty years, ago, so it ain't new: 

"Do you know that Negroes are 10 percent of the population of St. Louis and are responsible for 58% of its crimes? We've got to face that. And we've got to do something about our moral standards," Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. told a congregation in 1961. "We know that there are many things wrong in the white world, but there are many things wrong in the black world, too. We can't keep on blaming the white man. There are things we must do for ourselves."

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The Rise of (Cr)ISIS

Just shut up.

All the Catholic news organizations and bloggers who are flipping their wigs over the upcoming synod need to just shut the hell up.

Who honestly cares what the synod says?
What possible difference can it make?

Either it will affirm Catholic teaching, in which case there is no news, or it will not affirm Catholic teaching, in which case the Pope will politely reject it or die trying.

Either way, it makes absolutely no difference to the Faith.

This whole synod "controversy" is just clickbait for Catholic news organizations and apologists trying to turn a buck.

Look, I understand how it happened. The last guy I know who actually read a diocesan newspaper just died and got buried this summer. Literally. Nice guy, I liked him a lot, but that's the readership age of diocesan newspaper subscribers, which is why pretty much all of them have stopped printing paper editions. Diocesan newspapers - the only source of Catholic news for generations - were nothing but feel-good organs created by the bishop that never reported on anything the bishop didn't want made public.

As electronic media took over, the diocesan paper died. But Catholic electronic media, the legions of amateur bloggers and journalists fresh out from under the wings of the bishops, soon discovered what secular media knew all along - "if it bleeds, it leads." They had to report controversy to keep the clicks and the revenues coming in. If there wasn't controversy, they had to invent it.

EWTN bought National Catholic Register just as the latter was going bankrupt. EWTN's viewership is well over 60. 10-15% of it's audience dies each year. EWTN needs new viewers, so Raymond Arroyo and company have finally become full-blown secular media whores pretending to be Catholic news reporters.

It is in NO ONE's interest for you to be confident in the synod and unconcerned about it's outcome. Indeed, it is in NO ONE's interest for you to be confident of the Church. Nobody clicks to find out more about a story when they know the ending. They only click when they are AFRAID.

Crisis rules the day. And if crisis does not exist, it MUST be manufactured.

So, Catholic media makes you afraid. The heretics make their heretic readers worry that the Pope won't be heretical, the "orthodox" make their "orthodox" readers worry that the Pope will be a heretic.  And why do I put "orthodox" in quotes while I don't put "heretic" in quotes? Because the "orthodox" Catholics are stupid enough to actually buy this bilge.

Dude, this is a Church synod in a highly-communicative age. (1) Do you actually think a synod could or would try to fundamentally change Church doctrine?

Seriously?

And even if it did, (2) do you think an infallible Pope is going to sign off on the resulting assumptive heresies and try to make the changes legitimate?

SERIOUSLY?!?!???

Look, if you bought into EITHER of those propositions, you aren't orthodox, you're just stupid. I'm sorry to have to be blunt, but this doesn't even rise to the level of ignorance. Ignorance we can attribute to well-meaning pagans, but people who claim to be orthodox and still hold either of these positions? Yeah, that's stupid.

Despite what EWTN and other Catholic bloggers may be claiming, Christ didn't counsel us to "BE AFRAID! Be VERY Afraid!"

So just stop it.

Stop clicking on these stupid pundit whores who are writing click-bait controversies to generate ad revenue for their "irreplaceable" Catholic website and punditry.  For the love of Christ, have a little Faith and stop acting like superstitious old women. Most of the "crisis" of the modern Church are manufactured by Catholics trying to sell their wares. Tell Raymond Arroyo and company to get behind thee. You don't have time for this nonsense. No one does.

UPDATE:
LifeSiteNews now admits that the Catholic press essentially fabricated the entire synod controversy.
Color me shocked.
What emerges from the summaries is a clear picture that most of the Synod Fathers were alarmed and perturbed at the publication of the mid-term report, which most had not seen prior to its being released to the press.
As South Africa Cardinal Wilfred Fox Napier told Vatican radio today, the mid-term report was “not to the liking of many Synod Fathers who were objecting that what was said by one or two people was largely presented (and was certainly being taken up by the media) as if it was the considered opinion of the whole synod.” (emphasis added)
The fix is in. Catholics are being talked into acting like Protestants towards the Church by the very Catholic media that is supposed to be supporting and restoring their Faith. The document the synod produced wasn't the problem - the secular news media has neither the interest nor the staff to pay attention to the synod. When it comes to this synod, secular media has simply been reporting on what the Catholic media has trumpeted. Secular news stories on this synod are always hours/days after Catholic media reports and those stories always mimic Catholic media story structures. They're using Catholic media as their stringers. So when the synod's orthodox Catholic bishops decry the distortions introduced by "the press", those bishops are talking about "the (Catholic) press".

The Catholic media is dividing the Church, just as I foresaw eight years ago.

A short list of crypto-Protestant blogs and news sites:

  • Rorate Caeli, 
  • Pewsitter, 
  • WDTPRS, 
  • EWTN, 
  • The Catholic Thing, 
  • A Blog for Dallas Area Catholics, 
  • Voice of the Family, 
  • Insight Scoop
  • Church Militant with Michael Voris
  • etc.

In short, every Catholic blog/website that traditionalists and their co-travellers consider "Scriptural" has turned out to be filled with whores and thieves, people willing to distort a synod of the Church just to get a few extra clicks in their pockets.

This isn't my opinion: this is what the orthodox bishops of the synod themselves tell us (see above). The Catholic press deliberately blew this teapot into a tempest to line their own pockets. Only Lifesitenews, to their credit, bothered to tell us the bishops' opinion on this, and you'll notice that they buried the lede.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Traditionalists Screw Up NFP

Some Catholics are upset with recent statements by Cardinal Kaspar concerning natural family planning. According to the UK Telegraph:
Cardinal Walter Kasper said it was “the responsibility of the parents” to decide how many children they should have.
Correct. The Church does not mandate that every married couple have a certain number of children or, that once they are parents, they must have a certain number of children in order to avoid being in sin. So how is this new? And why would Catholics object to any priest or cardinal pointing this out?
He also said that so-called natural family planning, which is promoted by the Church as an alternative to contraception, also has an “artificial” element.
Correct again. There is nothing natural about a thermometer (only invented in the 1600s) and there is nothing particularly natural about observing cervical mucus and using one's reason to discover why it looks the way it does. Human rationality is participation in the divine rationality of God - it is supernatural, not natural. The charting of days, the use of paper, pencil and mutually agreed meaningful signs (writing) on paper by the pencil in order to keep track of the signs of fertility - exactly how is this not artificial, that is, how it is NOT the result of artifice?

Do you see squirrels and moose engaged in such behaviour?
If so, why is the video not on Youtube?
Please.

Kaspar is giving standard Catholic teaching.
The newspaper is putting a secular spin on it.
This shocks someone?
Seriously?

Ladies and gentlemen, it's called "natural family planning" not because it is what the birds, bees, flowers and trees do, but because it is in accord with human nature.

Sadly, even Catholics no longer appear to understand this...

And since I see the traditionalists yelling about this the loudest, I must conclude that they are the most ignorant of these points of Faith.

Again.

Sigh.

Update
Look, here's a thought experiment:

Let's say we have two identical heterosexual couples, in both of which the woman is carrying a child who will be born prematurely. The first couple gives birth in the woods, amongst the birds, bees, flowers and trees. Seeing the child's precarious state, they immediately abandon the child on an anthill after giving birth. This allows the forest to benefit from the child's death as the various vegetation, insect and animals slowly consume the dying child and the nutrients from the resultant corpse.

The second couple, however, gives birth in a hospital. This child is immediately rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). While in NICU, the child is hooked up to literally dozens of beeping machines, is subjected to constant needle sticks and computer monitoring as dozens of technicians work to save the child's life.

Which is more natural?

According to natural law teaching, the second is natural, the first is not. In the first birth, the parents act against human nature by refusing to image the loving God who gives existence to all things. They refuse to assist their own child by trying to keep him alive. Instead, they act like animals and abandon their child to the elements.

Meanwhile, the second couple acts in the image and likeness of God by trying to help another image and likeness of God, their own child, live. Not only that, the entire community answers the call to image God, and everyone works to care for, love and save the child's life, offering up their work, tears, sacrifice and prayers so that the child might live.

The cross was made with human hands. The bread and wine at the altar are the work of human hands. The work of human hands is artifice - it is, technically, artificial. Artifice, also known as "art", is an act of creation that uses created things, forms them in new ways, and thereby attempts to image the original Divine creation of the universe out of nothing.  There is nothing wrong with creating or using something "artificial" - we are supposed to do that. It is, as Tolkien points out, one of the ways we image God, by being sub-creators.

The error comes when we use artifice, the artificial, to avoid imitating God. The natural law encourages, even requires, that we create and use artificial things. We must, if we are to imitate God, if we are to use our reason to its fullest extent. It is only when we use the artificial to shut God out instead of invite Him in, it is only then that we have violated the natural law.

The natural law isn't about Nature, red in tooth and claw. It is about the Natures that, in the person of God, were nailed to the Cross and sanctified by the red Blood and Body of Christ. The Cross is the result of artifice, it is artificial, but because it unites us with God, it sanctifies the artificial. Thus, it is actually a compliment to call NFP artificial, if we use it to draw closer to God.