Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Traditional Roman Catholic Thoughts

Reintroducing Logic and Reason to the Age of Sentimentalism

2013 Predictions

The end of 2012 is nigh! The end of 2012 is nigh!

I decided I’m going to throw up my predictions for 2013. It seems appropriate since it is right around the corner. Now, I am not claiming that these are actually going to happen, nor am I claiming to be a prophet.

Without further ado, here we go:

  • The world will continue and not end on December 21, 2012 proving that the Mayans really didn’t know what they were talking about.
  • Father Corapi will magically reappear, in a similar fashion to how he magically disappeared.
  • Pope Benedict will exceed Kim Kardashian in Twitter followers. Kim will cry and make a million dollars.
  • President Barack Obama will use the tragic Newtown, CT school shooting as a ploy to destroy the Second Amendment. Many Americans will support him in this, throwing logic out the window.
  • I will get around to writing out my conversion story for the purposes of the blog.
  • I’ll finish the Mortal Sin Series. I still have 7 Commandments to get through, not to mention Venial Sins against the Commandments as well.
  • The Latin Mass will continue to make leaps and bounds as it continues to grow in popularity among the faithful.
  • Pro-abortion politicians will begin to be publicly ex-communicated.
  • Obamacare will become official law as of January 1. However, upon seeing how terrible it is, it will get thrown out by August.
  • Catholicism and Christianity will continue to be assaulted by the Government.
That is all!

Jeff December 19, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

A Look at the Pro-Choice Mentality (Part Two)

Welcome back! Here is the exciting conclusion to the epic Facebook abortion debate of 2012. If you haven’t read the first part, please do so first.

Friend 3 FMy philosophies are just that, and not just opinions, and they have been informed with a lot of information in various subjects, including evolution, biology and ecology (Unborn children have the same DNA structure as a full blown human…). I don’t tend to find people of faith willing to discuss their views besides “life begins at conception” and “abortion is wrong”. (This is a problem. We pro-life people need to start learning more arguments and learning more scientific facts. This is just a learning curve, and I’m sorry, but, “because God says its not good” is a lame response and won’t convince anybody. Use logic, reason, science, data, philosophy AND faith, when discussing abortion). Until people invent a little baby incubator that can gestate a baby outside of a womans’ (woman’s) body from conception, than I think abortion is a necessary reproductive right. (Definition of ‘Reproductive’: Producing new life or offspring. I think you are confusing “reproductive” with “nonproductive”.) Women should not bear the onus of reproduction, and they should be the only ones facing the consequences of having sex. (How are babies made again?) Why do you think females are considered the gatekeepers of morality when it comes to sex? For thousands of years, poor decisions on their part meant a completely different life path when they had to “deal with the consequences”. There has never been the same kind of biological burden on males, perhaps a reason for (socially acceptable) male promiscuity. (And us terrible “people of faith” claim that male promiscuity is a mortal sin…) Removing that biological consequence through greater access to family planning causes women to be better contributors to society in ways that aren’t just as mothers and wives. (This is an insult to mothers and wives everywhere who have children and already contribute to society.) If a woman chooses to live her life because she believes that being a mother is her highest calling, that’s great for her! Just don’t expect everyone to chose a glob of cells over the bodily autonomy of women. (All in all, here is where the conversation begins to become a more “hostile environment”. I don’t know why she doesn’t understand the purpose of what womanhood entails, but, society in general is confused to what gender roles are these days.)

Friend 1 M: Some women would call that burden a benefit. Men will also not know what it feels like to grow another life inside of them. Personally I feel that is pretty big deal. It isn’t fair that women have more consequences when dealing with unwanted pregnancy. I am sure that you have heard before that life isn’t fair. You can take that one up with God but you shouldn’t take it out on a baby. There is always adoption too. Adoption agencies will pay all your medical bills, rent and even food for the time that you are pregnant. By the time most women find out they are pregnant the baby is more than just a glob of cells and in Minnesota you can abort as late as 20 weeks. At 20 weeks you are able to tell the sex of the baby! (Baby fun facts: Day 1- Baby has DNA from mom and dad.  18 Days- Heart is forming, eyes will form soon. 24 Days- Heart begins to beat. 30 Days- Blood flows through baby’s veins. 42 Days- Skeleton is formed, brain coordinates movement of muscles, reflex responses begin. 43 Days- Brainwaves can be recorded. 7 Weeks- Lips are sensitive to touch, ears may resemble family patterns. 9 Weeks- Baby has fingerprints (which are different from anyone else). 10 Weeks- Body is sensitive to touch, baby can swallow, squint, pucker eye brows and frowns. 12 Weeks- Baby can kick, turn feet, open the mouth, make a fist, etc. 4 Months- Can grasp with hands, make fists, swim and turn somersaults.) Family planning should not include abortion. The word plan itself means to do it in advance. Abortion is an attempt to “fix the problem” not to plan ahead.

Friend 3 F“Some women would call that burden a benefit.” And some women still think of the burden as a burden. “Men will also not know what it feels like to grow another life inside of them.” And thus really don’t know what it’s like and shouldn’t be making decisions about what to do when it happens to a woman. (Okay, then the reverse is fair ground. Women can no longer tell men what to do since they themselves, do not know what its like to be a man, and thus, do not need to listen to that argument anymore.) “I am sure that you have heard before that life isn’t fair. You can take that one up with God but you shouldn’t take it out on a baby” I have heard that life isn’t fair, and that is why I believe that I should do whatever I can to make it a little bit more fair. We have the technology now to make things more fair, and I believe we should use it. I do not believe in god, and do not believe that a glob of cells is a baby, thus, I don’t need to take it up with this nonexistent god, nor the nonexistent baby, because before a baby is born, it is an embryo or fetus. (And here we get another glimpse of the hostile pro-choice movement. The baby has up to the point that it exits the mother to be killed, if the mother desires. This logic becomes incredibly dangerous because if we are going to define what makes a life a life, based on convenience, than we can also do this on the flip side.) “There is always adoption too. Adoption agencies will pay all your medical bills, rent and even food for the time that you are pregnant.” Yeah, and all of the hormonal changes and the morning sickness and being a giant whale and the process of birth being so dangerous that before modern medicine, 1 in 100 women died from childbirth and stretch marks and all around not being able to function as a normal human being while preggers. (Aaaaand here we go again. Babies are evil.) “By the time most women find out they are pregnant the baby is more than just a glob of cells and in Minnesota you can abort as late as 20 weeks. At 20 weeks you are able to tell the sex of the baby!” And that is supposed to emotionally appeal to me? It’s still a fetus, not a baby. (Tomato, tomahto) “Family planning should not include abortion. The word plan itself means to do it in advance. Abortion is an attempt to “fix the problem” not to plan ahead.” It should be a part of the plan because we know contraception isn’t always 100%. (Abstinence is 100% effective…) Women who do not want to become pregnant will become pregnant. (Not even they are abstaining from sex.) And women who are pregnant and don’t want to be will find a way to not be, just like they have tried to for thousands of years with abortifacient herbs. (I’m confused…earlier you made it sound that bad that women were responsible for the moral authority when it came to sex because its been done for so long, but now because something has been done for thousands of years its okay. What is it?)

Jeff: (At this point, I decided to be satirical.) I didn’t realize that pregnancy was such a rampant disease. The last time that I checked having sexual intercourse, results in having a glob of disgusting ewww gooey cells, that most humans would call a “baby”. The funny thing is, I constantly have to hear that the best way to prevent a disease or illness or what have you from the medical thing is to avoid the root cause of that. Here, the root cause would be sex, so, logic tells me that if you avoid sex, you will avoid pregnancy, unless its airborne, then you are in trouble. 
The ironic thing about science when it comes to the issue of abortion is that it twists itself in order to make you feel less guilty about the issue. For example, while the Mars Rover is looking for “life on mars” its not looking for humanoids or animals but anything that would be determined as “alive”, such as cells…WAIT A MINUTE HERE! I THOUGHT IT WASN’T LIFE!? 

I guess it just depends on the convenience of when you want it to be life. On top of that, its a federal offense to destroy the habitat of an endangered species or to destroy oh, I don’t know, the eggs of an endangered species. Why is this? I thought that it wasn’t alive yet? I smell hypocrisy. Reproductive health shouldn’t be about how can we make our reproductive system not work, but how we can make it better. When an older individual is taking heart medication, its not to make the heart stop working or work in a way that it isn’t meant to work, its making it work BETTER, so that it can function BETTER. Really, the whole argument of “its just a glob of cells” is such a straw man, because in reality, what are we made of? Yeah, a bunch of cells when you get down to it, so maybe its time to roll back all of our laws because it shouldn’t matter what we do to a bunch of cells, right?

Friend 1 M: So if you were pregnant (and wanted to be) and were at say 18 weeks and I drove drunk, ran into you and killed your “fetus”. I shouldn’t be charged with taking the life of your child? What about at 36 weeks, when you can feel the baby moving and he or she can hear you? You should not be able to determine if it is a life or not just on the basis of if it is wanted.

Friend 3 FIf you really think a glob of cells is life, please stop taking antibiotics, or be a complete hypocrite yourself. (Never used the word hypocrite. Again, convenience. Cells are considered life when it is wanted or desired, and a glob of cells when unwanted. Also, antibiotics are for infections which do not share the genetic structure of a human, as mentioned earlier.)

Jeff: The fact that you equate a pregnancy with a disease or infection reveals everything about your world view. (This is a scary reality. If someone has this mentality, how else do they look at people in other stages of life, i.e. mental health, physical health, etc.)

Friend 3 FIt does. But then again, I think “parasite” is more apropos than disease or infection. (Aaaand here it is everyone. This is what we have to deal with. Babies are a parasite before they are born and thus it is okay to eliminate them if they are in the way.)

Jeff: Wow Friend 3. That is pretty harsh, but, then again you were once a little parasite yourself. With that being said, I think our friendship can officially be over, because frankly, I can’t be friends with someone who has such extreme views, and to be honest, we aren’t really “friends”. The only time I hear from you, is when you decide that you want to use your god, “science” to try to debunk myself, or my faith. You don’t have the slightest interest in me or keeping a real friendship (and to be fair I’ve never kept one either), so I believe this is where we say “adieu”. I’ll pray for you, and hope that you find some happiness in life, because based on the tone of your posts, you have a lot of anger. I’m sure you will look at this and tally it up as a “win” for yourself, but, it’ll be the last one. (I then sent this message to her personally in a separate email, which you can see below and de-friended her. Like I mention earlier, she only would communicate to me to attack me or my faith. That isn’t a friend and clearly, I am not the person to change her mind.)

Friend 7 F: Jeff if you haven’t de-friended Friend 3 yet than Friend 3, I am just curious if you plan on having a “parasite” of your own someday? Or if you find that idea absolutely revolting….again just curious….(I really would have enjoyed the response, not to mention the whole purpose of her life. She is married, she is a self-proclaimed atheist, and she clearly doesn’t like children. So, why bother getting married since it is a religious institution? Marriage precedes children, so why bother getting married if you don’t want children? Etc, etc.)

Her response to my message:

(What? What was harsh? The parasite thing? 1) It was in quotes. (Doesn’t matter, words have meaning. What was said was offensive. I know, its okay for liberals to offend conservatives, but all Hell breaks lose if its the other way around.) 2) It’s much more accurate than disease or infection since it’s a little thing inside of a big thing taking up the resources of the big thing to grow and live its life. (You were a parasite once yourself…) It’s not really an extreme view- more like a colloquialism. Also, I don’t have a god, and never try to use the concept of my god to debunk anything (I never mentioned God at all in my points. My friends did, but I did not. Please read and comprehend before making wild accusations. You brought up religion first too. Its funny how atheists are usually the one to mention God.) . I have a specific way of looking at the world, which I believe is as completely valid as yours. Not only am I more than capable of living with people who think or believe differently that I do, I can actually have conversations with people who seem to disagree with me or my views without thinking they’re some sort of crazy angry person. (I was having a civil conversation. You were the one to turn hostile. But because I’m the Catholic, I must be the horrendous person.) You were the one who initially escalated the tone of the conversation by trying to call me a hypocrite for my views (Again, I did no such thing, go up…read what I said. I set up a straw man, a situation, and I said that THAT situation smelled of hypocrisy. Did not call you a hypocrite. But, again, I’m Catholic so I’m a horrendous person.) – I got snarky in my frustration, and you think that makes me a horrible, angry person. I don’t care how you live your life, and the personal decisions that you make, but take great offense that you would think to make those decisions for other people based on your path. (Um…all laws that are created do this. Obamacare????)
Have fun isolating yourself into a world in which everyone agrees with you and you never hear any contradictory opinions ever. (Right, because everyone is a devout Catholic…) It is a dangerous tactic, and while it might make you feel safe in your beliefs, you lose sight what is actually going on in the world. (Not really, I have many friends who disagree with me but can actually have a civil conversation with. Again, please stop labeling people.) Your righteousness is impotent with an atheist. (Cool story bro.)

Jeff December 18, 2012 5 Comments Permalink

A Look At the Pro-Choice Mentality (Part One)

The other day on Facebook, I had the pleasure of getting into a debate on the subject of abortion. Unlike most debates that I generally have on Facebook, this one happened to be quite the intense one, and also, I had others who were pro-life commenting. Many times when I get into debates, I notice that it is generally a 3-1 argument in which I am the lonesome pro-lifer. It was refreshing to say the least. I was told by several friends that it was great to see such good arguments coming from the pro-life side.

What started this epic debate? Well, simply put, this picture:

The “Condescending Wonka” Meme is generally used to point out a bad argument. What transpired was an incredibly long debate. Now, I present to you that debate, along with some commentary from myself post-debate. I will comment in parenthesis and in bold. I will assure anonymity the posters and present them with new names. I will also include the gender so you can tell from who’s perspective it is coming from.

Friend 1 M: *eating popcorn* 
Friend 2 M: Sure, you can egg on if you want; it’s an illogical statement as written. It sounds like a man can instigate an abortion via a sex act or something. Also of course your idealistic vision completely ignores a woman being raped and her rapist running off into the night. The man has no further choice in this act of reproduction nor does he probably care.
Mostly this one fails because you’re assuming the situation you want it to be. (Considering this is the reason for why abortion needs to be kept legal, the reality is just the opposite, those who are getting abortions report the reason of rape being only about 2%. See below.)
Myself (Jeff): Friend 2, I hate to rain on your parade, but rape is only the reason in about 2% of abortions. On top of that, women who have been raped and go through with an abortion generally report having the traumatic experience of the rape reopened, whereas women who go through with the pregnancy do not. (Not to mention the fact that we are killing a live person, who is completely innocent of doing anything wrong. The death penalty is opposed for reasons such as ‘what about those who are falsely accused’ or ‘you need to be 100% sure they are guilty of the crime’. Sadly, if the person is guilty of killing another person, they are given more leeway than an innocent unborn baby.)
When you want to stop throwing around illogical arguments that sound all warm and fuzzy on the outside, but which actual real world scenarios do not play in favor to your point of view, then we can continue.
Friend 1 M: I agree with Jeff. Just because a baby was produced from a rape, killing it is not the answer. Two wrongs don’t make a right. There are many couples/families out there that would be willing to provide a loving home to that baby. Why not take the result of a terrible act and turn it into something that will add happiness to another family for the rest of their lives? That seems like a much better situation than being raped and then killing a baby. (Solid point.)

Friend 3 FFemales can asexually reproduce! It’s called parthogenesis. Aphids and reptiles do it all the time (right, because we are aphids or reptiles, my bad). So why don’t you tell me again how rapists financially support a child born from rape? (I’m fairly certain that there are government programs that would pay for healthcare.) Also: the male contribution for a life: That one sperm that one time. Female contribution: Incubate the thing for nine months. (Ah, the “women don’t need a man argument”.) Who has the greater burden? (Obviously women do. I’m not saying that they don’t. But as human beings we need a man and a woman to create a child, despite the amount that liberals are trying to change the natural order of our world. And just because we have science to do it without that interaction, doesn’t make it right. Remember the Nuremberg Trials?)

Friend 2 M: Jeff: I’m not explaining away all abortion, just saying your dorky meme picture isn’t fully encompassing all scenarios because it seems to imply consensual reproduction with a man who will be there to care about it. (I’ll admit its not the best meme, but, the purpose was to disprove one of the more common arguments, not every single one.)

Friend 1 M: It is irrelevant whether or not it is the mother or father’s choice. It should not be a choice period.

Friend 4 M: I’m against abortions, but for killing babies. (He’s trying to be funny. He isn’t.)

Jeff: Friend 4: So is President Obama, at least that’s what he says and how his voting record reflects. (My clever response.)

Friend 3 F: That’s nice if your faith informs you that there shouldn’t be abortions. (Weird, I don’t recall mentioning my faith at all. *Looks up at previous posts*, nope, I didn’t.) Christian Scientists and Jehovah’s witnesses are informed by their faith to reject all medical interventions, but that doesn’t preclude others from seeking life-saving treatments (Okay, not sure what that has to do with anything). Freedom of religion also applies to freedom from other religious views (Here, let me put down what the First Amendment says: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, OR PROHIBITING THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF;”). You also have to accept that people who are pro-choice aren’t a bunch of slutty baby-killers, they are informed citizens who read things like peer reviewed research that prove that when women have greater reproductive freedom, society as a whole benefits (Never said they were slutty baby-killers…is your conscience bothering you? Also, there are many peer reviewed research in favor of pro-life views. So, who’s right?). No one is going to force an abortion on people who don’t believe in them, but sorry, you’re not going to use your faith to convince anyone who believes higher uses of contraception and reproductive rights benefit women in the long run of anything different (Seriously, I didn’t even mention my faith, why do you hate faith so much? Also, its interesting that Planned Parenthood never suggests adoption places or alternatives to abortion. Maybe I’m just a cynic.). Because of, you know, that thing called data. (Are you referring to the data that suggests abortion is detrimental to a woman’s health and psychological health, or just the data that supports your point of view?)

Friend 5 F: Burden.  We do it b/c we love them. They make us nauseated and make us crave things and kick our insides and squash our bladders and hurt our backs and stretch out our former bikini bodies and keep us up at night but we love them. They weren’t conceived by their own decision, rape or not. For me, it’s like caring for a loved one who is sick and helpless. An elderly parent doesn’t ask to get cancer or osteoporosis or Parkinson’s disease but we care for them b/c we love them. It isn’t about what’s convenient or easiest for us. (Self-sacrificing love is the purest love that we can offer everyone. Hence why Christ’s sacrifice means so much.)

Friend 6 M: Friend 3, the arguments against abortion, as with all ethical arguments, derive neither from science nor from faith, but from philosophy. You would never say, “Don’t put your religion on me” when it comes to the moral injunction against rape, any more than you would say, “The data demonstrates rape to be morally justified in certain circumstances.” You conveniently ignore the philosophical argument, which is rooted in our concepts of personhood and rights. (Well put.)

Friend 3 FYou conveniently ignore that others’ philosophies differ from yours.

Friend 6 M: Not at all. But I do disagree. 

Friend 6 M: I should say that I do not mean “philosophy” in the colloquial sense of “opinion”, but in the sense of an intellectual discipline and mode of discourse. To be sure, there are philosophers in this sense that are pro-abortion (i.e. Peter Singer), but I have read them and I have good cause for disagreeing.

Friend 4 M: Jeff: I wish you’d told me that sooner. I would have voted for him. (Thankfully, this was his last comment…)

Friend 1 M: Friend 3: you are the first person in this thread to bring up religion. I think for most people, religion has nothing to do with determining whether or not to end the life of a baby. No viable life should be ended on purpose ever. I don’t say that as a Catholic, I say that as a human being. I have been a Catholic my entire life and have just become pro-life over the past couple of years. I have two biological children of my own and have been going through the process of adopting a third for the past year. (But, I thought those children were unwanted? (Sarcasm)) After waiting and meeting other people who have been touched by adoption, I feel that there is no reason for abortion. (There never is.) It is all well and good to teach women about contraceptives and all that but they should also be taught that no contraceptives are 100% and if you choose to have sex and get pregnant, you should have to deal with the consequences. (I get the point here, but a baby isn’t a “consequence”, at least in the sense of it being “bad”.) It would be hard, but life is hard and that is no excuse to kill a baby.

Stay tuned for part two!

Jeff December 17, 2012 2 Comments Permalink

Pope Benedict on Demanding Signs and Revelation

For the past couple of months, I’ve been slowly working on Pope Benedict XVI’s Jesus of Nazareth Volume 1 (yes, I know, I’m 5 years behind).

So far, it is proving to be quite the excellent piece. Pope Benedict is such a solid thinker and is able to articulate many of his points in digestible nuggets of knowledge, wisdom and biblical support. Depending on your level of understanding and your faith journey, I would suggest breaking it apart in smaller sessions (I for one find that if I spend more than 5-15 minutes on it, it becomes complicated). Some may be able to spend more time on it, others less.

I will probably do a more thorough analysis after I have completed it. However, this paragraph really struck me, as I am now trying my best to work on evangelizing. Pope Benedict is analyzing Jesus’ parable of the beggar Lazarus, who dies and goes to Heaven, meanwhile the rich man who ignored him went to Hell. The rich man in Hell sees Lazarus in Heaven next to Abraham, and asks Abraham to allow him (the rich man) to go back to earth to warn his brothers (who are also rich). This is a similar argument we hear today…”if only you will do this God…then I will believe”.

“The rich man, looking up to Abraham from Hades, says what so many people, both then and now, say or would like to say to God: ‘If you really want us to believe in you and organize our lives in accord with the revealed word of the Bible, you’ll have to make yourself clearer. Send us someone from the next world who can tell us that it is really so.’ The demand for signs, the demand for more evidence of Revelation, is an issue that runs through the entire Gospel. Abraham’s answer – like Jesus’ answer to his contemporaries’ demand for signs in other contexts – is clear: If people do not believe the word of Scripture, then they will not believe someone coming from the next world either. The highest truths cannot be forced into the type of empirical evidence that only applies to material reality.” -Pope Benedict XVI “Jesus of Nazareth Volume 1” (p.216)

How often do we hear of people demanding signs, yet don’t believe Our Lady of Fatima, Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of (insert favorite Marian Apparition here).

Jeff December 6, 2012 1 Comment Permalink

My Honeymoon

Well…its been 4 months now that I’ve been married, and as usual I have completely failed to even start working on it, so today, you will get to read all about it.

Kathy and I decided that we would wait a little bit before we went on our honeymoon. Partly this was because we wanted to go on a cruise to the Eastern Caribbean and the sail date wasn’t until the week after. So, we stayed home and relaxed on Monday, and went back to work Tuesday and Wednesday.

On Thursday, we got up and went to the airport. Since our Eastern Caribbean cruise didn’t start until Sunday, we decided to enjoy a couple of days and nights down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to get the most out of our honeymoon. This was quite enjoyable, we got a hotel that was right across the street from the Fort Lauderdale beach (although to be honest, pretty much all of the hotels were this far away). It wasn’t the fanciest of hotels, but, it was nice. We spent the majority of the time walking around visiting the different souvenir shops, restaurants and such.

The one fun thing that we did do was walk a mile to Mass. There was a Catholic Church about a mile away from the hotel and we decided that we didn’t want to spend the money on a cab, so, we walked it…in about 95+ degree weather. It was ridiculously hot, but it was a fun experience. Mass couldn’t last long enough, mostly because we still hadn’t recuperated from the trek, and we were definitely not ready to walk the mile back. We had drank about a half of a liter of water on the way and didn’t see a water fountain for a refill. I made a comment to Kathy during the Mass that it’s too bad they didn’t have some kind of “tourist ministry” where they give rides to tourists who want to get to Mass. Sure enough, at the end of Mass, Father made an announcement that if anybody needed a ride back, to let them know…score!

We got to ride with a guy who apparently decided to retire down there. He was very pleasant, and as we were talking, it turned out that he was also from Minnesota, in fact, his town was in the Twin Cities, so, not very far from us at all. Talk about living in a small world.

The beach was amazing and so was the water. I’ll admit, I was terrified to go in at first because I was worried that I would be eaten by a shark…I watch too many movies.

Sunday morning we checked out of our hotel room and got a cab to drop us off at the Royal Caribbean Port. It was ridiculous, the ship was massive. It was about 16 stories high, and probably about 16 stories wide, if not wider. Going in to check in, it was incredibly similar to an airport terminal. You have your security check ins, baggage check ins, and such. The difference was though, that they take your picture and give you an ID badge. This badge gets you into your room, it acts as your credit card, it basically replaces everything. It is pretty cool, and as a software developer, I am questioning how come we have not implemented this system in regards to our every day lives. Perhaps, one day, we will.

Once we were allowed to board the ship, we weren’t allowed to check into our room just yet, so, since we were hungry, we went up to a restaurant called “Windjammer Cafe”. This was basically an all you can eat buffet restaurant, and the food was amazing. It wasn’t your typical, cheap buffet food, but it was gourmet. I believe that I had two plates of food, and was definitely ready for more. We walked around the ship and just admired the vastness of it all. It was quite the experience. There were so many activities and different rooms that you could go into. It was awesome to say the least.

We went to our room and we had managed to get an outside room with a balcony facing the ocean. It was quite the view. We locked up everything in our safe, unpacked a little and just enjoyed the atmosphere. Also, the bathrooms were incredibly tiny and the toilets were like little vacuums. It was kind of weird at first.

In the evening we went to the ball room where we were to have dinner each night. Dinner was always served in this room unless you wanted to go to one of the other restaurants.

We met our waiter who was from Jamaica, he was quite the character. We had a lot of fun with him throughout the cruise. We also had an amazing “house keeper” who was the nicest person I have ever met. Upon talking to them, we found out how hard of a job they have. They work 7 days a week, they get paid completely on tips, they are under constant review, and if they get any negative feedback, they get demoted. Their jobs are always on the line. On top of that, they work for 6 months straight, generally away from their families, and the most amazing part of it all, is how they are happy with what they have. Meanwhile, here in America, people demand a “livable salary”, plus full benefits, and they still are unhappy with their job. It gave me a new appreciation for my job, even though I am really happy with my current employer.

Our first port of call was in the Bahamas. We were lucky enough to wake up just as we were making port, and we could see the islands just outside our window. It was beautiful. We even ordered room service, and ate on the balcony. Once we were finished, we went out on a glass bottom boat tour and even saw Nicholas Cage’s house. We took pictures and believe that he might be in them…but we aren’t sure. Afterwards we went to the bazaar and bought souvenirs. The people were very pushy and wanted you to buy something from them before you left. They would keep haggling you until you got a price that you wanted to pay. No window shopping, you pretty much bought it. They were really desperate for the money.

Our second port of call was in St. Thomas. We went to a place called “Coral World” which is similar to a Sea World except much smaller. It was still really cool seeing all of the different types of sea life. We went shopping in the little kiosks that they had and it was a lot different. They’d ask you what you wanted, but everything had a set price. They weren’t as pushy, and didn’t want to haggle.

Our third port of call was in St. Maarten. This time we just went to the beach and relaxed. It was nice to just sit there and take it easy. The water was crystal clear and a pretty royal blue. The sand was also white. Very cool. On the way back to the ship we went to do more shopping and the difference in attitude was very noticeable. They were not pushy at all, everything had a set price, and on top of that, you had to pretty much go up to them if you were interested in purchasing anything. Not at all what we expected.

So, between the three different ports of call, it was obvious the difference in the economy. Clearly, the Bahamas was very poor and destitute, looking to make whatever money they possibly could. St. Thomas was much better off and wanted the business, but they also were not going to step aside on their price. St. Maarten must have been doing very well as they didn’t really seem up to making that much money. Now, I could be completely wrong, but this is just my observation.

The other big thing that I noticed was just the general laid back attitude of the Caribbean. People were not in a rush and were very easy going. It was almost a culture shock when we returned back home and how people are always in a rush and that it is clear that in the United States, time is every body’s master. One thing I learned is that even those who are less fortunate than I am, were generally happier due to their laid back attitude. This could just be an outward show, as in, they are suffering internally, but aren’t showing it, but generally you can see through that if that is the case. Time is a cruel master if you do that. How often do we realize that we are in a rush because we have to be somewhere by 4:30, or we have to be in bed by 10?

Overall, the honeymoon was amazing in general, but I feel that it also taught me that I need to be happy with what I have and to not be so uptight about everything as well. Don’t let time be my ruler, as I will not be very happy if I do. Also, I just need to be happier in general. So what if I’m stuck in traffic? I’m still alive, I have a good life and things could be much worse.

I’ll probably add more throughout as I remember, but seeing as the honeymoon was now 4 months ago, I figure I needed to put this out.

Jeff December 2, 2012 Leave A Comment Permalink