Patti Armstrong is an award-winning author and was the managing editor and co-author of Ascension Press’ bestselling Amazing Grace series. Her latest books are: Big Hearted: Inspiring Stories From Everyday Families and Dear God, You Can’t Be Serious. She has a B.A. in social work and an M.A. in public administration and worked in both those fields before staying home to work as a freelance writer. Patti and her husband live in North Dakota, where they are still raising the tail end of their 10 children.
It’s not easy coming up with a list of the world’s worst ideas—so many choices. Farmville and high heels come to mind immediately. The first one proves that in spite of how busy everyone is, there’s always enough time to waste on digital farm chores. (I’m not judging since I’ve wasted plenty of my own time on the Internet.)
The latter, high heels, proves that vanity lacks wisdom. They are anti-walking so regardless of what’s in your shoe closet, let’s at least agree they aren’t foot-friendly.
Pop-up-ads and snuggies are also on my bad idea list. I’ve never purchased anything on a pop-up ad. I don’t think. I’m not exactly sure since the only thing I ever remember seeing is the little “x” I can’t click fast enough. As for snuggies—please! The blanket is already perfect without sleeves. They fold neatly and are easily shared. No one puts on the snuggie of another. It’s would be like wearing their robe.
Certainly there are worse things than investing all your free time and part of your employer’s on pretend crops, or forming bunions in style and other by-products of human folly. Some bad ideas cripple souls and wreak havoc on eternal life. The list of those is ultimately endless, but my list is limited to the bad things that masquerade as good.
Zero Population Growth (ZPG)
The citizens of many of the world’s developed countries belong on the endangered species list. Never before in the history of the world have so many countries lost so many people without disease or war to blame. Most of Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Japan and Russia are running out of people. Still, ZPG is telling people to have smaller families. No kidding. Same old tune but with different lyrics. Since we didn’t not all starve to death as predicted in the Seventies, now we must stop having children to stop global warming. If God made a world we could outgrow, that would mean he messed up: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion ... (Gen 1:28).
It’s challenging to follow Catholic teaching. Getting to heaven is challenging too, so let’s give this our best shot. Marital love is expressed both physically and spiritually and removing the life giving force of this gift by tampering with our bodies to disrupt healthy functioning means: (1) lifeless sex (2) committing mortal sin. Pope Paul VI’s Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae laid it all out so have a look if you have not yet. Or get the after-the-encylclical epilogue in the book On Human Life, complete with the encyclical, history, commentary, and studies revealing just how precise Pope Paul’s warnings were.
Instead of mocking or ignoring the Church on this, learn about the natural methods for spacing children because working in union with God reaps great spiritual benefits.
There are no words. Nothing can adequately describe the deep loss of all the babies denied their right to life, or the travesty of mothers and fathers living with the reality of having killed their sons and daughters.
Governments made marriage a legal institution to give protections and rights to unions that lead to families. We should love everyone but desires are not rights. Nature gives children a mother and a father, “Male and female he created them”, (Gen 5:2).
Studies on children with same-sex parents show they suffer in almost every category. Many adults raised in homes with same-sex unions have spoken out about how harmful it is to children.
Abundant scientific evidence proves that pornography harms individuals. Like all addictions, it destroys lives and alters brain functions. Religious leaders point to the destruction of the soul, thereby reflecting that things aren’t true just because they are in the Bible but they are in the Bible because they are true. Porn has the devil’s signature on it—human degradation, adultery, fornication, addiction, etc.--so any way you look at it, you shouldn’t.
Okay, so now we need antidotes! Here is my list of the world’s best ideas.
Through time and space we are present at the original Last Supper (the Church does not re-sacrifice Jesus, it is a re-creation of the original Mass). At Mass, perfect praise to the heavenly Father is offered in union with the Son through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Memorized prayers that speak of the perfection of Jesus, asks for his mother to pray for us, and removes the pressure of continually coming up with new things to say, is a great idea. Actually, going to Jesus in the company of his mother is all the way around, a great idea.
“Say the Holy Rosary. Blessed be that monotony of Hail Mary’s which purifies the monotony of your sins!” —St. Josemaria Escriva
"Among all the devotions approved by the Church, none has been so favored by so many miracles as the Rosary devotion." —Pope Pius IX
Jesus is truly present in the Eucharist so coming before him exposed in the monstrance allows us to bask in his presence. Compare that with other types of mediation where the goal is emptying self and detaching from all desires, or variations of this. Meditating before the Eucharist fills us with God so that he will overflow from us to others.
Reading the Bible
This book changed history and it can change us too.
The Catholic Church
All the best ideas on my list come from the Catholic Church and Jesus started the Catholic Church. So, the best we can do is to stay close to the Church, which was God’s infinitely best idea.