Thursday, May 5, 2011

Can I Live?

Jesus said to the twelve, "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
 – John 6:67-68
I'm not one to fawn over popular artists. I view their work with great suspicion because I realize that if they consistently speak the truth as revealed by Christ that they will not be popular for long. They will be quickly cut off by their corporate benefactors. No longer will they be promoted on talk shows and through the press. No longer will they be granted appearances on top rated TV shows like American Idol and Dancing With the Stars. They will be treated like pariahs by the corporate media and they will be erased from the cultural memory just as surely as Stalin's Soviet bureaucracy rubbed out the images of those former communist heroes that were reclassified as enemies of the state.

And yet despite all that, once in a while a brief glimpse of the truth does manage to appear in the corporate media. Such was the case in 2005 when Nick Cannon released the song "Can I live?" which describes his own mother's decision not to abort her child in 1979. Nick was born October 8, 1980.

(Notice that the dates of the video account and Nick's birthdate do not line up since October is the 10th month of the year. In real life Nick's mother, Beth Gardner, was about 21 years old when she gave birth to him. His father was James Cannon, a televangelist. I don't know for sure, but I assume that they were married at the time.)

That song was part of an album titled "Stages" which was never released.
In 2005, Cannon formed his own record label, Can I Ball Records, with plans to release his second studio album, entitled Stages, later that year. The album's first single, "Can I Live?", a pro-life song, was released in July 2005 followed by the second single "Dime Piece" in March 2006. But it was never released because of Nick Cannon's acting career.
Nick is best known these days as the husband of Mariah Carey. They were married on April 30, 2008. On April 30, 2011, the couple's third wedding anniversary, Mariah gave birth to twins – a boy and a girl. There is some controversy as to whether Carey became pregnant naturally or through in vitro fertilization. My guess is that it was an artificially produced pregnancy. The fact that the children are fraternal twins points towards that, along with Carey's age of 41 at the time of pregnancy.

Being pro-Life is more than just being against abortion. In vitro fertilization kills many embryos in the process of producing a viable pregnancy. And to be fully in keeping with the Catholic Church's teachings on the dignity of human life requires forgoing sex outside of marriage; and even within marriage requires a rejection of artificial contraception. It is a hard teaching; it is a counter-cultural teaching. Jesus never promised us an easy road when we choose to follow Him.

Can I Live?
by Nick Cannon

I'm talking, mom, I know the situation is personal
But it's something that has to be told
As I was making this beat
You was all I could think about
You heard my voice

Just think, just think...
What if you could just, just blink yourself away?
Just, just wait, just pause for a second
Let me plead my case

It's the late seventies, you seventeen
And having me, that will ruin everything
It's a lot of angels waiting on their wings
You see me in your sleep, so you can't kill your dreams

Three hundred dollars, that's the price of living?
Mommy, I don't like this clinic
Hopefully you'll make the right decision
And don't go though with the knife decision

But it's hard to make the right move when you in high school
Now you gotta work all day and take night school
Hopping on the bus and the rain is pouring
What you want, morning sickness or the sickness of mourning?
Can I live?

I'll always be a part of you
Trust your soul, know it's always true
If I could talk I'd say to you
Can I live?
Can I live?

I'll always be a part of you
Trust your soul, know it's always true
If I could talk I'd say to you
Can I live?
Can I live?

I'm a child of the King, ain't no need to go fear me
And I see the flowing tears, so I know that you hear me
When I move in your womb that's me being scary
'Cuz who knows what my future holds?

The truth be told you ain't told a soul
You ain't even showing, I'm just two months old
Through your clothes try to hide me, deny me
Went up three sizes

Your pride got you lying, saying ain't nothing but a migraine
It ain't surprising you not trying to be in WIC food lines
Your friends look at you funny, but look at you mommy
That's a life inside, take a look at your tummy

What is becoming, Ma? I'm Oprah bound
You can tell he's a star from the ultrasound
Our spirits connected, doors open now,
Nothing but love and respect, thanks for holding it down
She let me live

I'll always be a part of you
Trust your soul, know it's always true
If I could talk I'd say to you
Can I live?
Can I live?

I'll always be a part of you
Trust your soul, know it's always true
If I could talk I'd say to you
Can I live?
Can I live?

It's uplifting for real, y'all
I ain't passing no judgement
Ain't making no decisions
I'm just telling y'all my story

I love life, I love my mother for giving me life
We all need to appreciate life
And a strong woman who had to make a sacrifice

Thanks for listening...
Thanks for listening...
Momma, thanks for listening


  1. I liked the song and lyrics, this is the first time I hear one of his songs. My mother talked to me about Natural Planning, she said that nuns back in her Catholic high school taught her all about the female body and planning.

    It would be so much better if schools encouraged Natural planning instead of handing out condoms as candy. To master the method you need discipline and a little of organization skills for that matter. I want to learn how to use it and be prepared when I get I married.


  2. Hi Ride. It's great to hear from you. I haven't forgotten that I still owe you a response to your comment on Planned Parenthood.

    I would say that Natural Family Planning requires a real love and commitment from both the husband and wife. So the most important thing, Ride, is to choose a wife who believes in the teachings of the Church and that loves God as much or more than she loves you. That is the key and without that you will be facing an uphill battle.

    Remember that marriage is a holy sacrament. It is not to be entered into lightly. And remember that children are a blessing that come out of marriage. It would be a mistake to look at NFP as a form of contraception. That implies an unwillingness to accept God's gift of children.

    A contraceptive attitude turns husband and wife into mere sex objects. It turns the intimate marital union into a little more than mutual masturbation. The true love between husband and wife is a sign of the love of God for his creation.

    I would suggest reading from the book of Tobit, especially the prayer of Tobias on the eve of his marriage to Sarah (Tobit 8:5-7):

    Blessed art thou, O God of our fathers,
    and blessed be thy holy and glorious name for ever.
    Let the heavens and all thy creatures bless thee.

    Thou madest Adam and gavest him Eve his wife
    as a helper and support.
    From them the race of mankind has sprung.

    Thou didst say, `It is not good that the man should be alone;
    let us make a helper for him like himself.'

    And now, O Lord,
    I am not taking this sister of mine because of lust,
    but with sincerity.

    Grant that I may find mercy
    and may grow old together with her.


    Pray for your future wife.

  3. Hi Michael, I’m going to be honest, deep inside I wanted to use NFP in the future as a contraceptive. I’m a little scared of having many children. Although they are blessings, pregnancy can be a little scary. The other day I was on church and in the seat in from of me, there was a whole family with five little girls, it was beautiful.

    I’ll pray for my husband because I’m a girl :), I do have a boyfriend and I want to get married when the right comes, but is not easy. Unfortunately he is not Catholic, and his parents are atheists. They wanted him to stay away from organized religion, for that reason he has not been baptized. My boyfriend is a very smart man but he has not knowledge of religions and Christianity. He has a noble, kind and open heart, but sometimes I wonder if that will be enough.

    We have talked about marriage and he is willing to go to church so he can marry me, he also respects my vision about abstinence. However, I fear that if he only goes to church because of me, as a result his faith would be superficial. And I don’t want that to happen.
    I have made up my mind and decided some time ago to not to get married somewhere else outside the Catholic Church, with that in mind I think I would choose my religion over my relationship.

    It’s interesting to know that his grandmother is a very Catholic women, I know she prays constantly for him and I wonder if maybe I was meant to meet him so he could get closer to God.
    I feel like I have some time since right now my mind is in college, I’ll pray to take the right decisions and make the best out of this. You are right when you say that contraception makes a husband and a wife to be sex objects.
    NFP requires a lot of planning and abstinence as well, I need to prepare my body to have a child, that is for sure.

    God bless you! :)

  4. Well Ride, first I had no idea that you are a woman. :)

    It seems that you don't need me to give you advice with regards to your boyfriend. You seem to have thought it out for yourself.

    Although you describe your boyfriend's parents as atheists, more than likely they are what I would call "humanists". I had been thinking of writing an article on the topic of humanism and giving it the title "Is 'good' enough?"

    In other words is it "good enough" to just be a "good" person without believing in God, Jesus Christ and all the teachings of the Church? Society tries to convince us that "yes" you can be "good" without believing in God. In fact I totally bought into this, and had convinced myself that I was a "good" person.

    The trouble is that without God and the Church, all of us can convince ourselves that we are "good" people. And that is exactly what we do. We justify all our sinful and immoral behavior through one convenient rational argument or another. For example, we can come to the conclusion that abortion is "good" through applying our own particular set of moral criteria.

    Or giving a personal example, I had convinced myself that I was "good" because I only had one girlfriend at a time. I compared myself to other male friends that had multiple girlfriends simultaneously, while sometimes lying to them and denying their relationships with the others. Wasn't I correct in concluding that I was morally superior? No, not in the eyes of God.

    My lifestyle forced me to practice contraception. I thought that I was morally superior because I wasn't having children out of wedlock. But in the eyes of God, I was just as much a sinner as those who have children without being married to their mother.

    I treated the idea of having children like a disease which must be avoided. I was selfish and unwilling to sacrifice my personal comfort. And so I never had children of my own because that would require me to sacrifice some part of my "freedom". I did not realize that I was just a slave of my sexual desires.

    Satan works like that. He sets his diabolical traps for us using our own desires as the bait. He lets us think that we are freeing ourselves, when really we are becoming his slaves.

    The difference in the "worldview" between a devout Catholic and a humanist (the default in modern society) is so large that there might as well be a Grand Canyon separating the two. A humanist who is not consciously aware of his position will assume that "good" is "good enough". He may downplay the importance of God and assume that he shares the values of Christians. So, what's the big deal?

    The first commandment is to love God with all your heart and all your soul and all your strength and all your mind. (Luke 10:27) If you don't even believe in God, then you certainly can't do that. Everything that we believe as Christians flows out of that love of God. From love of God then flows love of your neighbor as yourself.

    From our love of God we come to fully realize and understand God's love towards us. This love is expressed as Divine mercy - misericordia.

    Perhaps, through your example you can convert your boyfriend as you dream of happening. For God, nothing is impossible. But I'm afraid that it might take a miracle.

  5. (cont'd)
    As followers of Christ we are called to abandon the world. The small sacrifices that we make for Lent help to prepare us for the bigger sacrifices that a Christian life demands of us.

    My stepdaughter asked me why we must not eat for an hour before Mass. I came up with a couple of reasons and then said that it was a sacrifice and a way of showing our love for God. I told her that when we love someone we are willing to make sacrifices for them. And if not, then we will not go out of our way to please them.

    If we love God then we will make time to spend with Him in prayer and by going to Mass. These are things that a non-believer cannot understand. But God's graces and forgiveness are infinite. We only need to ask for Him to come into our lives. But when we do accept Him, then our lives are radically transformed.

    God bless you too! :)