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Law, culture, and Catholicism...up in smoke!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Swimming Upstream, Part I

"A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it."
- G. K. Chesterton
Everlasting Man

I have been a curious observer of Bud MacFarlane Jr. since learning of him about five years ago. Bud is a layman who has spread populist Catholic materials at Catholicity. Bud seemed to be the virtual mayor of that site for many years. His greatest visibility has come both through the three novels he has published, which he gives away, and the "Catholicity Message" -- a monthly e-mail message to the "citizens" of Catholicity.

As the erstwhile Mayor of Catholicity, Bud has been the cheerleader for a number of sometimes novel ideas, not the least of which was spearheading a campaign to give away books and other media. Among others: the E5 Men concept, promoting frequent prayer, telling jokes, and "preaching" on many topics of interest to the Catholic laity via his monthly messages. On this last point, I can recall Bud frequently drawing from his own life, using many stories involving his wife, Bai, and four boys. While I've often found Bud to be mildly entertaining, I never could quite figure out how he managed to support a family in a line of work that specialized in giving things away. While I never expected that Bud would live in a house of gold, I supposed that, like many who take risks on worthwhile ventures, Bud and his family were among those well attended by Divine providence.

Having imagined the real-world difficulties inherent in Bud's ventures, I wasn't too surprised a couple of years ago when his Catholicity messages became infrequent, and then ceased to be authored by him. I expected that he would turn up in some other venture before too long.

Several months ago, I learned of the more recent happenings of Bud MacFarlane Jr., and they were unexpected: Bud had filed for divorce. Though I never saw Bud as one conceived without sin, I did feel betrayed, knowing how strongly Bud had preached about the virtues of marriage both in his Catholicity messages, and even once to me personally.

Well, the next chapter is being written as we speak. Bai MacFarlane, having had a husband inexplicably leave her, the police forcibly remove her children from her custody, and her matrimonial bond pierced by the sword of no-fault divorce, is fighting with all of her might to save her marriage against the tide of easy divorce and her children from daycare. In addition to having secured the services of Ave Maria School of Law Professor Stephen Safranek, Bai is using her experiences to teach others about the ugly reality of modern divorce.

Her legal case has many interesting points and is proceeding in both civil and canonical courts.

Bai tells her story in this interview.

Bai's website on the scourge of no-fault divorce can be found here.

Professor Safranek's True Marriage Project is here. (A bit buggy on Firefox)

More to follow . . .