30 January 2009

NBC reveals its anti-life agenda

Last week, I blogged about this commercial and stated that I wasn't sure how I felt about it. I'm still not sure how I feel about it, but the commercial is back in the news. The makers of the commercial, catholicvote.com tried to buy a 30 second commercial spot for this weekend's Super Bowl. The cost of the commercial is $3 million, but they had the money to buy the spot.

NBC originally told them they could buy the commercial spot, but has since refused to air the commercial claiming that they won't run political advocacy ads.


That's right.

A pro-life commercial is now political advocacy.

How can they call it political advocacy? It doesn't mention one political party, and actual seems to congratulate their hero, Barak Obama. All I can say is at least NBC's bias is now out in the open. Pro-life commercials are bad. I would think (in this time of economic crisis) that they would be glad to air whatever ads they could- especially at that price. And, apparently they have yet to sell out all the Super bowl commercial spots. Hmm. Interesting isn't it?

While I'm still not sure that I like the ad, there is no denying that it is tastefully done. It's not graphic; it never even mentions the word abortion. It just asks you to imagine the potential of life. NBC has certainly aired more daring commercials before. But, as we have all known, NBC is a left wing organization that is going to force its views on everyone.

My response is going to be to boycott the Super Bowl this year. Feel free to join me.

(Course, that really isn't a big sacrifice to me since I don't watch football anyway. Still, the sentiment is there. I'll pray for the NBC organization as well. Only prayer will make them into a pro-life organization.)

29 January 2009

Oh Happy Day!

Happy News! I often feel bad about how negative the tone of this blog tends to be. It's not intentional, but I want to keep people informed on important things that are happening in the world around law and life, and unfortunately, it seems like the negative stories get featured most prominently. Not today though!

There are still people fighting for a culture of life- even in politics it appears. Wyoming is in the news right now, about assisted suicide- but not for the reason you might expect. House Bill 120, initiated by Right to Life of Wyoming would criminalize assisted suicide in the state of Wyoming. (Currently Wyoming is one of five states that have no laws on the books dealing with assisted suicide.) I don't know if the Bill has the votes needed to pass, but I pray that it does. It looks like the bill has made clear provisions for palliative care, so the pro-death argument that anti-assisted suicide legislation will render doctors unable to deal with patient's pain is invalid.

All I can say is way to go Wyoming Right to Life! It's initiatives like this that the pro-life movement needs to get behind and lobby for. (Really, that's all I can say. Maybe this is why there aren't a lot of positive stories on the blog- I agree, and so don't have much to say.) Anyway, I will be praying and cheering for House Bill 120 and I ask all of you to do the same. If you have family or friends in Wyoming (or you are in Wyoming) please urge them to contact their local representative and encourage them to vote for the bill.

If/As soon as this bill passes, I will let you know!

28 January 2009

Media Bias Hits Home

Apparently the media cheerleading for the left has hit campus newspapers as well. On Monday, the pro-life group at my university hosted a Silent No More Awareness Campaign. The group invited the campus paper, The Sheaf, to cover the story, which they did. You can read their article here.

*** IMPORTANT NOTE FROM BLOG AUTHOR: Before I go any further, I suppose I should make it clear that I am a member of the campus pro-life group, but I will do my best to give fair, unbiased coverage about the facts. Also note that this post is going to be something of a rant because I am seriously annoyed. My apologies in advance. ***

(See, at least I'm honest about my bias upfront. The rest of the media could learn something from that.)

Despite giving half a page to the story, the coverage of the actual presentation is one sentence. "They [Silent No More] have a group of women who have had abortions tell their stories and explain why they regret that decision." So, here is my (relatively) unbiased news coverage of the event.

On January 26, 2009 the U of S Students for Life (USSL) hosted a group called Silent No More on campus. This group spent the day with a table set up in the Arts Tunnel. The display featured large signs which read "I regret my abortion." A group of 6 women from Silent No More presented their personal story and experience of abortion at 12pm and 4pm that day in a classroom in the Arts building. These testimonies included the women giving the reason they had their abortion, the physical, mental and spiritual harm they suffered as a result of that abortion. Before the women began giving their testimony, the spokeswoman for the group outlined the history of Silent No More and its chief goals and aims; the most important being that women who suffer from Post Abortion Syndrome can find help. At the end of the presentation, the spokeswoman offered the names and contact information for groups that help women to heal from abortion. Several of the women who gave their story testified to the help they found at a retreat known as Rachel's Vineyard. Attendance at the 12pm presentation was approximately 12 individuals. At 4pm, upwards of 40 individuals filled the classroom to hear the presentation.

There, is it so hard to give an unbiased version of events? When you are putting the story on page 2, in the news section, I would expect it to be a news story, not an editorial. Of course papers are free to editorialize; in fact the editorial pages of newspapers tend to be my favorite pages, but you need to make it clear to others when you are editorializing and when you are setting out the facts of an event that happened.

*** IMPORTANT NOTE FROM BLOG AUTHOR: I will now begin to editorialize and do not claim to be unbiased in the following paragraphs ***

The rest of the Sheaf's article rehashes a story they ran a few weeks ago, and not surprisingly gets the facts wrong. For example they state that those who attended the noon presentation were either pro-choice women from the Women's Centre or "directly involved with Silent No More or related to the presenters." I was at the noon presentation, and my recollection is that there were 2 people from the USSL, 2 women not involved with Silent No More or the USSL, the daughter of one presenter, the 4 women from the Women's Centre, 2 people from the Sheaf and 3 other people I did not know, plus the 6 women involved in the presentation.

But, more to the point, why does who attended matter? And, if counting attendees was so important to the story, why did they not come back to the 4pm presentation; the one that occurred after classes were over for the day, and note that over 40 people attended, none of whom were involved in the presentation or related to those giving the presentation? Oh, I know, because that would take away from the spin they are trying to subtly put on the article.

They also manage to work in the fact that Silent No More is affiliated with Anglicans for Life. What purpose is served by noting that? I'm surprised actually that they didn't note that it is also affiliated with Priests for Life, which is, at least in the politically correct world a far more damning connection. Who cares who they are affiliated with unless you are trying to connect them with that radical and dangerous group known as Christians- After all, as everyone knows, all pro-lifers are motivated by religious ideals and couldn't possibly be speaking from a scientific or intellectual perspective.

And, the "fact" that annoys me most is the assertion that the USSL failed to attend a meeting set up on December 5. That makes the USSL look like they have something to hide now doesn't it. I agree it would merit publication, except for the fact that it isn't true. No meeting was set up for December 5 that the USSL had any knowledge of (and I have the e-mails to prove that statement if anyone cares to read them). While I may not be a lawyer yet, I did study the tort of libel in first year law. The Sheaf is getting awfully close with some of the stuff they are publishing. (I keep decrying the lack of practical hands on experience in law school; maybe I should take this on…)

I also find it interesting that a formal harassment complaint has been made against the USSL. Again, to my knowledge no one has made a formal complaint; in fact, just yesterday I was told on the record that no formal process had yet begun. Again, getting very close to libel.

My point in this rant, which may have escaped you due to it's length, is that once again the "free press" has proven itself to be neither unbiased nor too concerned with actually reporting the news. Spinning things to go your way is much more fun apparently. At least other papers have the excuse (such as it is) that they are trying to sell papers, and sensationalization sells. The Sheaf has no such excuse- all U of S students pay a fee that goes directly to The Sheaf, and the paper is freely distributed on campus. That's right- I'm paying to have this publication publish facts that they spin and outright lie about. Doesn't that just take the cake.

(I will likely be blogging more on this topic as it develops. Comment if you don't want to hear more, otherwise you will hear more.)

27 January 2009

The Destruction of our Future

Scary, scary stuff today. At the close of the March for Life last week, columnist Don Feder gave a presentation on the coming "Demographic Winter." To read the full text of his talk, go here. While some people like to talk about the overpopulation of the world, Mr. Feder paints the opposite picture. As a result of abortion, contraception and the general culture of death, the West is in the process of collective suicide.

2.1 That's the important number. In 1979, the number was 6. Today, it is 2.9. What is 2.1 you ask? It's the replacement birthrate- the number of children an average woman needs to have to ensure the population stays the same size. Globally, the average number of children women have is 2.9. That's dangerously close to falling below the replacement birthrate level of 2.1- only 30 years ago, the average woman had 6. In the so-called "advanced" societies of the world, the birthrate has fallen well below 2.1. In Russia, the number is 1.17; Italy and Spain are at 1.5. Canada is at 1.53. That's scary. As Mr. Feder put it, with below replacement level birthrates our "Schools will be turned into nursing homes. Playgrounds will become graveyards."

And, as he also pointed out, euthanasia will become a way of life. How can it not? If we have fewer and fewer young people, we have fewer and fewer taxpayers to support the pension systems. What better way to save money that to kill the elderly? (I'm joking of course)

In many ways, what we are doing right now is the same thing the Black Death did in Europe in the 14th century. We are depopulating the world at an extreme rate. We've built a society that depends on people, and yet we are not reproducing the people needed to fill those positions. When the Black Death killed off 1/3 of the population of Europe, it set in play massive social changes that unleashed great upheaval on the world and in many ways set development back for generations.

Yet, when the Black Death abated, more children were born to replace those who were killed. Here, we are not having children, so there are no children for them to have to replace those who die. In Russia today, more pregnancies end in abortion than end in birth. More people die every year in Russia than are born. At the very basic level, eventually, everyone will take on more and more work. There is a maximum output that anyone can produce, and eventually things will fall by the wayside in an attempt to just keep the basics functioning. Can you imagine a world where we no longer have technology advancing, where we no longer have cars or computers because there is no one left to build them? Humans have basic needs- food, water and shelter. If the population keeps dropping, we will eventually have to stop working in luxury areas and focus simply on production of food for survival. What happens to us then?

Scary, scary thoughts indeed.

26 January 2009

The Swiss Example

Switzerland is an interesting country. Historically, they have followed the beat of their own drummer; managing to stay neutral in two world wars and most wars prior to those; giving a home to the early protestant reformers and having all citizens join the military so they can enforce their neutrality. Unfortunately, they have not stayed neutral in the culture of life vs. death war. Switzerland is the home of Dignitas, the "death with dignity" agency. For a fee, they will help those who want to die, die. The law doesn't provide any procedures for assisted suicide; you simply need to show up at their door, pay the fee and two hours later you can be dead. This has made Switzerland a tourist destination for people around the world who want to die, or are being pressured to die so they aren't a burden on their families.

I've never bought the death with dignity argument, but this article from the Daily Mail horrified me. I thought I'd heard all the horrors around assisted suicide, but the stuff described in the article is beyond comprehension. I don't know how anyone can claim Dignitas provides a dignified death- if even half of what this article alleges is true Dignitas is the biggest fraud around. A former Dignitas employee alleges that Dignitas is all about profit; they pawn the property of those who come to die, and they've convinced wealthy patrons to leave large amounts of money to them. The deaths are far from dignified; one woman who was in a wheelchair was manhandled up the stairs, screaming in agony because she didn't fit into the elevator, they prescribe and have patients administer lethal drugs in less than two hours and left a man in agony for 70h after the suicide machine failed to kill him and the only concern was that patients were backing up waiting for the room to empty so they could die.

Dignitas' response to these allegations is that the employee is merely disgruntled and they now enforce a privacy agreement over all employees to keep their mouths shut. I felt queasy just reading this article. That said, I thank God that I can still be horrified. I haven't been so desensitized by this culture of death that articles like this fail to shock and appall me. We need to keep assisted suicide illegal in Canada so that things like this can't legally happen in Canada. If we find out that people are participating in so called death with dignity, we need to prosecute them and we need judges to enforce strict sentences on the perpetrators of these crimes. We need politicians with a backbone who will legislate laws that criminalize and punish those who aid in suicide and we need a media that doesn't parrot the culture of death's lines that people with disabilities, mental illness or terminal illness have a duty to die. To have all that, we need a population that is pro life and not afraid to speak out.

Let Switzerland be an example to us. If we don't speak out, it could be Canada that is a death-tourism hotspot and it could be our parents, children, family or friends that are dying on the floor of a dirty room, convulsing in comatose pain because someone figures they can profit more from their death than in helping them to live.

22 January 2009

Not Sure…

I don't know what to think about this video. I see the point they are trying to get across, but I don't know that they made it in the best way. They are obviously trying to comment on the common point of view that a child who will grow up poor is better off never being born, but I don't know that Barak Obama was the best choice. After all he is a man who supports abortion very vocally.

I've watched this video a few times now, and my initial reaction really hasn't changed; I felt uncomfortable with it, and it left a bad taste in my mouth. I like the idea, but I'm not sure they made their point in a very concrete way. The organization who made the video is Catholic Vote, but when their logo flashed up at the end, I wondered if they were trying to say Catholics should vote Obama, or, well I'm not sure what. The idea of the video is good, but in the end its presentation seems off and unclear. At the end of the video I'm left wondering exactly what their message is. And I know this organization is pro-life, but I've been to their website before. I'm not sure that the average person seeing that video is going to go to their webpage after watching the video, so I don't know that they are really getting their point across.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

I'm sorry for the short post tonight- it's been a crazy day. Also, I'm going to be on the road this weekend dealing with some family stuff, so I may not post tomorrow. Fresh posts on Monday at the latest though! Have a great weekend.

21 January 2009

An Open Letter to Tolerance

My Dear Friend Tolerance:

I don't know where you have gone, but I'm asking, nay, begging you to please come back to this world. I fear something terrible must have happened to you because I know that you would never let such atrocities be committed in your name if you were able to speak out. Your name has been co-opted by your most evil cousin Intolerance. He is using your proud name to push down and aside all those laboring to share conservative values with the world. For example, if someone dares to suggest that killing children while they grow inside their mother's womb, Intolerance cries out your name and says those people are not Tolerating the different viewpoints this modern world needs to allow for. He also smacks down anyone who dares to suggest that perhaps all this "progress" is dangerous for the entire world. Many times these voices crying out for the unborn are timid, quiet voices, just gaining the courage to speak. And in your name Intolerance shouts them down and drowns them out.

You may be wondering what if I can give you examples, but there are so many, I almost don't know where to start. However, today I learned exactly where I need to start. I need to start on a university campus in Saskatchewan. It may be small and insignificant in the grand order of things, but it is my campus and my home. At a University Student's Council meeting (a perfidious, dangerous place) a friend of Intolerance (who happens to work for one of Intolerance's chief disciples, the Woman's Center) got up to speak in your name. She asked the council to deny the campus pro-life group the right to host a Silent No More Awareness Campaign because such an event is "systemized harassment that should not be tolerated." In her mind, such an event displays a level of discrimination akin to intolerant White Supremacist groups. She then went on to accuse the pro-life group of refusing to show up at meetings to discuss previous harassment complaints for intolerant behavior. The worst part of all this my friend? It's that the pro-life group had no idea such a motion was even going to come before the Council, so they were not there to defend themselves. They had to find out when they read the campus newspaper. Such terrible allegations were printed for all the campus community to read, with the pro-life group given no change to respond.

Had they been given a chance, you can be assured they would have explained that first and foremost, a university campus is to be a tolerant place where different ideas and viewpoints can be discussed in a calm reasoned matter, without calling groups names and casting aspersions on their character. They then would have stated that they were aware of the complaints, and that they made every effort to set up a mutually agreeable meeting time, but that their e-mails were sometimes not responded to, and that as far as they know, no meeting was ever set, so how could they possibly have failed to show up? And finally, they would have said that they are guaranteed freedom of expression under section 2(b) of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

You see where this is going don't you my friend? This group is being accused of intolerant behavior, when really, it is the people who are trying to shut them down that are intolerant. In their world, people with dissenting opinions have no place speaking out. Instead of dealing directly with the arguments, the forces that oppose them cry out in your name that these groups are intolerant, bigoted and even racist. What happened to the marketplace of ideas?

Oh Tolerance, I fear that until you return to claim your rightful place back, Intolerance will rule and dissenters will be shut down. Please come back soon; I realize now that growing up, I didn't realize how lucky I was to have you protecting me. I miss you.

Most sincerely yours,

Sarah, a Catholic Law Student

P.S.- When you come, please ask Honesty, Dignity and Respect to return with you. You have no idea how much we need all of you.

20 January 2009

And so it begins

Today the United States inaugurated its 44th President. Barak Obama was sworn in as President accompanied by much fanfare. While I am not American, I can't help but follow the story of Obama that has just begun to unfold in the US. The US is the only superpower in the world right now, so the man who leads it will come under much scrutiny. Had I been American, I would not have voted for Obama, for a variety of reasons, chief among them being that Obama seems to be the most anti-life leader ever elected in North America. He has promised to pass FOCA (the Freedom of Choice Act) as soon as he can, and his views on life scare me. He can do a lot of damage in 4 years, and even more if he is re-elected.

I don't think Obama will live up to everyone's expectations. No one can live up to the hype that currently surrounds Obama. He is being hailed by some almost as if they believe he is the second coming of Christ. He is not. He is only human, as weak and sinful as any of us. He's already backing off from some of the promises he made in the election campaign; for example the Guantanamo Bay situation. For whatever reason, he has realized that the situation in Gitmo is not as simple as he thought. We can only hope that he will realize that with many of his extreme positions, because a lot of people could die if he maintains them.

I choose to believe that the worst won't happen. Why? Because if we fear Obama as much as we should (and I think we do) we will all spend more time in prayer, lifting up life issues to God. With prayer all things are possible, and so we need to pray. The novena against FOCA which ends today is just the start. We need to be praying for Obama's conversion and change of heart, and we need to be praying for the unborn, the weak and the vulnerable more now than ever before. I hope you will all join me in adding an intention for the United States, and its leaders especially to your daily prayers.

Tonight, as the United States comes under a new administration, I hope you will all join me in praying, "God Bless the U.S.A."

19 January 2009

Of Left and of Right

It struck me today as I was reading through my various news sources that we have become a world that politicizes everything. Maybe this is just the way the world has always been, but today is the first day that I really thought about it. What I mean is, we take every story and idea and look at it and report on it through the lens of politics, the lens of left and right, rather than just looking at the facts and coming to our own conclusions about what those facts mean.

For example, let's look at global warming, or climate change, as we are to call it now. Our governments spend billions on attempting to reduce CO2 emissions with the hope that it will somehow stop global warming. However if anyone stops to ask if we can actually link CO2 emissions to rising temperatures, or, heaven forbid if global warming is even happening, people jump down their throat quicker than you can say "Ice Age." Invariably such people, regardless of their credentials are attacked for being right wing whackos in the pocket of mega-corporations. The same things happen when a scientist publishes or tries to publish any research that might deny the climate change theory. Why? Because people stand to make money off of the global warming fear mongering.

Another example is the ongoing embryonic stem cell debate. Some scientists claim that embryonic stem cells and embryonic stem cells alone are the only way to find a cure for things like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. And yet, in the decade or so that we've been working with stem cells, embryonic ones have given humanity exactly 0 treatments or potential treatments, while adult and cord stem cells have helped in the creation of numerous therapies; including the potential to regrow teeth. A recent report says that scientists have concluded that embryonic stem cells are of no use in fighting Alzheimer's, but that report is not making it out into the public sphere. Why? Because the embryonic stem cell community likes the advocacy and public opinion that goes with having Nancy Regan as a spokeswomen. That kind of advocacy draws in funding dollars. So what if it won't ever cure Alzheimer's, people will donate money that will help find other cures.

Recent press releases by the Vatican have been the victim of this politicization as well. Take Pope Benedict's 2008 year end address where he was accused of being homophobic and stroking the fires of homophobia. The actual text of his words received very little airtime; the reporting was on the shock, outrage and betrayal that the homosexual community felt as a result of his remarks. People spoke of the church needing to get with the times.

Take the current love-fest with the upcoming Obama inauguration. From the hype everyone is making about it, you'd think the Savior was returning. From the media coverage, I almost expect Obama to heal the sick and give sight to the blind. It's as though the man is singlehandedly going to fix every single problem the world has- and he's going to do it all on the day he's inaugurated.

I could go on with examples, but I think this is sufficient to make my point. Take any current event, and look at the coverage of that event by various new sources. I guarantee that you will find some form of spin in it; spin designed with the purpose of politicizing events so that, I think, we all take sides against each other. The media has a big role to play in this. They no longer report the news; they report opinion and slant the facts to fit their editorial bent. I have no problem with that, done in the context of the Opinion pages of the newspaper; we know that what is published there is not passing itself off on news, but when it's done (as it is regularly) in the news section, the media does us all a disservice. Why does everything have to be filtered and placed along the left/right spectrum? With a few rare exceptions, the media is left wing. Their coverage of everything is slanted to the left. Humans are smart; we are more than capable of reading something and drawing our own conclusions. And yet the media insists on making everything on the left sound like its heaven sent and everything on the right is going to destroy the world?

Before I go much further, I want to recognize that some in the right are just as guilty as some in the left, myself included. As soon as I hear a report that says the polar ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising, or that embryonic stem cells are the miracle cure for all our ailments, or that the pope has revealed himself to be a homophobe, or that Obama is going to raise the US back to the level of respect it had pre-Bush, or anything along those lines, my immediate thought is to dismiss it as "lefty crap." It's as though the first thing I do when reading something is identify the author's particular slant, decide the article is left wing crap, or God's honest truth and then I read the article, with those biases firmly in place.

Even as I write this, a part of me (the non-law side) wants to just say it must be lefty crap and leave it at that. Yet, after almost 3 years in law, I find I can't just do that, much as I might like to. The common law model of law (which Canada, the US, Britain, Australia and some other countries use) is an adversarial model. We are taught that each side will advocate for its own position as zealously as possible, and the trier of fact (either the jury or the judge) will look at the evidence on both sides and come to a conclusion about what really happened; what the truth is. Justice is supposed to be blind (trust me, it's not) but that is the ideal that we want to live up to.

However, I don't believe anyone can ever fully put their biases aside when making decisions. Anyone who tells you they can is lying, naïve or a lefty. That doesn't mean we shouldn't try, but it does mean that we have to recognize our biases, and we should candidly admit to them, so that our audience knows where we are coming from. I really realized this when listening to my little sister (she's 13) talk about politics the other night. She spoke eloquently about her political beliefs, but she couldn't defend them. She had no arguments to back them up. And I think that's partially my fault. I spend a lot of time talking about how the left is destroying this country, but I don't give her the background. She loves and trusts me, and as a result, my political beliefs have become her political beliefs, without her really understanding what they mean. I think the same thing happened to me as a child; my dad talked politics, and I love and trust him, so I adopted what he said. It wasn't until I came to university and I really had to defend them that I learned what they meant; what the values behind them actually stand for. I think that is just a part of growing up; just like an infant learning to talk- we learn by repeating what we hear, and over time we come to understand what we have been repeating, and then we either accept it, or we don't.

In some ways I think the media is still the child parroting back what it has heard at home. Until you are secure in, and understand the reasons for, your beliefs, you can't step up and say, "I am a social conservative, a Catholic and an advocate of small government; what most people would term right wing" (fill in your own political persuasions here) and I believe x because…" For a real discussion or dialogue to occur, you have to be able to identify yourself in terms that the rest of the world can relate to. Those terms may not be as precise as you would like, but they give others a frame of reference to understand your point of view. The media is still a child because they can't, or won't do this yet. They still claim to be unbiased when they are really a cheerleading squad for their beliefs. And until they grow up, we will be stuck with this left wing/right wing lens being placed on all events they cover.

I guess what I'm saying is question everything anyone says; break it down; identify biases (including your own) and then come to your own conclusion and be prepared to back them up. If you know why you believe what you do, no one can beat you in a debate. They will be reduced to name calling to try to make your point go away, because you are secure in who you are, and they don't know what to do with that.

16 January 2009

Of Broken Hearts and Shattered Dreams

This week in the tunnel (the place where campus clubs can set up displays) SHIP (the student health initiative program) set up its display on how to keep you life balanced while at school. This group does many laudable things including giving students tips on de-stressing, eating properly and cheaply, and staying fit. However, their biggest focus (from what I can see; I've never used their services) is on "sexual health" and that bothers me, especially since my tuition dollars go to fund this organization (and I have no choice but to pay these fees.)

The goal of their sexual health services is to keep university students healthy by teaching them "safe sex" methods, giving STD information and helping students find the "right contraception for you." Obviously as a Catholic I have serious moral issues with that, but that's not what I want to talk about with this post. I recently ran across this article talking about the "Hook-up Culture" on campuses. The premise of the article is that scientific evidence can demonstrate the severe psychological impact of "no-strings sex" on college age people. The article suggests that rising infidelity among young couples can be directly traced to the years of casual sex that occur for many people in the college years. From the article:

"There are many possible explanations for that shift, but the habits of heart cultivated by today's hook-up culture qualify as a leading culprit. It's hard to imagine better preparation for adultery than years of emotionally detached, random sexual couplings. And the "marriage-lite" solution embraced by growing numbers of cohabiting young couples -- many of whom are refugees from the hook-up culture and too skittish for marriage -- may exacerbate the problem, as the temporary mindset they learn in their live-in romances transfers to their marriages."

I've been on a university campus for the last 6 years and I can attest to the hook-up culture that permeates college life. From what I've seen in law, and from what I've heard from friends in other professional colleges (med, vet med, etc) that hook-up culture gets worse the longer you spend at university. It also seems to be correlated with the amount of alcohol consumed- the more you drink, the more casual sex you have. I fear for my generation every time I attend a law school event. It's a small college, and on Monday gossiping about who hooked up with who is the thing to do. I've also seen the physical and mental harm this behavior causes. Friends nurse broken hearts when they find out their boyfriend cheated on them Friday night because they were here and he got drunk and didn't realize what he was doing. I've seen friends cry because they guy they hooked up with never called them back and ignores them whenever they try to talk to him. I have no idea what the long term effect of this will be on their psyche, but as the article says "emerging consensus among experts that today's anything-goes campus sexual mores carry lasting consequences we only have begun to understand. And those consequences extend well beyond unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted diseases." I don't want that to be true for my friends, but I think it might be.

And yet, as this article mentions at the very bottom, there is hope. Some of my generation are rebelling against this culture of hook-up sex and booty calls by creating campus groups that pledge chastity. The founders and members of those groups are decidedly countercultural, but they bring great hope and joy to me. I don't want to see my friends and family ruin their lives and marriages because society tells them that casual sex is harmless fun. In some ways, the rebels of my generation are formed directly out of the rebels of my parents generation (the sexual revolution generation). We have seen the results of the free-love ways of our parents, and we don't like them. Many grew up with parents who fought then finally divorced, or parents who committed adultery or parents who just weren't there. Consciously or unconsciously we've recognized that sex for the sake of sex doesn't make you happy, and so we refuse to buy into society's "safe sex" message. And just as we have to fight the pro-life revolution and be witnesses and examples, we need to do the same in our personal lives.

I thank God that we have that chance, and I pray we will be successful, for our sake and the sake of our children.

15 January 2009

Autism and the Culture of Death




I’m stunned; I really don’t know what to say after reading this article in the Daily Mail (UK) today. The title of the article says it all: “Why can't we face the truth? Having an autistic child wrecks your life”

The author of the article, Carol Sarler recounts the story of her friends, Cath and John and their son Tom, who is autistic. According to Sarler everyone who comes in contact with Tom, including Tom himself has their life destroyed. She outlines how Tom’s autism affects his parents, grandparents and friends and comes to the conclusion that everyone, including Tom would be better off if Tom had never been born. Don’t take it from me; read her final words:

“But looking on, as a relatively dispassionate observer; looking at the damage done, the absence of hope and the anguish of the poor child himself, do I think that everyone concerned would have been better off if Tom's had been a life unlived?
Unequivocally, yes”

Why does this sound so familiar? Oh yeah, because it’s the same argument that is used to advocate for euthanasia, assisted suicide, sex-selected and eugenic abortions. I probably shouldn’t be surprised by this. Autism is yet another condition that makes some people “different” and because they are different and don’t fit our preconceived notions of how humans should function, we are all better off if they don’t exist.

Don’t get me wrong; I don’t want to trivialize the difficulties that parents with autistic children face; I am sure it is hard, but just because something is hard doesn’t mean that we need to destroy it. What I find even more disturbing about the article is that the author is advocating for a pre-natal test for autism that would allow children suspected of having autism to be aborted. We already have a test like that for Down’s syndrome. The result is that 90% of fetus’s suspected of having Down’s are aborted. But then, what can you expect when people like Ms. Sarler think children with autism are better of never having been born.

I’ve always thought that before you can debate someone, you need to understand their perspective and try to see where they are coming from, but try as I might I cannot wrap my head around the idea that any person is better off never having lived. How can you say that? To say that is to say that existence is unimportant and to deny beauty of life in all its forms.
What perhaps worries me the most is the comments found at the end of the article. Most are supportive of the article. Those who were not supportive generally liked the idea of a genetic test for autism. The comments that speak about the sacredness of life and how every life is worth living are few and far between, and the voting system on the comments generally shows those comments to be viewed negatively by other readers.

It’s so very sad that this is the level our society has come down to. God have mercy on us all.

14 January 2009

And the Truth is Revealed

Very interesting news out of the US today. The ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) is suing the US government because it gave federal dollars to the US Catholic Bishops (USCCB) to aid in their effort to end human trafficking around the world. (See the story here and here.) Why are they getting upset with a charity that does a lot of good work around the world to aid women and children who are sold into sexual slavery? Oh, for the obvious reasons; because the USCCB is imposing its religious views and that outweighs any good that they can be doing.

The ACLU's specific complaint is that because the USCCB doesn't provide contraception or abortion support, they should not be given any federal money for what they are doing. Apparently when helping women who are victims of sex trafficking, an organization should provide a "full range of services." Oh, but wait- the ACLU doesn't think these women should be given spiritual counseling because that might impose religious views on them. So much for a full range of services. The ACLU's other complaint is that by giving funds to a group that has a religious background, the government is violating the rules on separation of church and state.

Let's break this down.

First, the ACLU is upset because of the violation of the separation of church and state. I am not an American legal scholar, but I don't see how this is a violation of church and state. The Catholic Church is not imposing its views on the US government- to be doing that, they'd have to say they wouldn't accept the money unless the government changed its laws on abortion and contraception. That's not what they are doing. The government allocates a certain number of dollars to fight human trafficking, and because they can't do everything themselves (nor should they try to) they give the money to organizations who can best help the victims. Where is state sovereignty violated by the church in this?

Second, they want a full range of services offered. I know the ACLU is a left wing radical organization and I can't expect much logic from them, but studies have demonstrated that women who have abortions suffer higher levels of depression and mental illness than women who do not. Add to that the physical trauma of abortion on top of the mental and physical trauma they have already suffered as sex slaves, why should abortion be offered? What possible benefit can it have to these women? They have already been victimized; there is no need to victimize them again in the name of helping them.

Third, why should the Catholic Church have to change her beliefs to do the work (helping those in need) they have been doing for millennia? I think the church has the whole offering comfort and security thing down now. It has been offering aid and comfort for far longer than the ACLU or even the US has been around.

We all know why they are doing this. They want to force their radical agenda of abortion on everyone at all costs; even the health of the women they are supposedly trying to protect. I know the tone of this post has been sarcastic (I'm sorry) but I just don't understand organizations like the ACLU. The USCCB is doing good; it's taking care of women. There are many organizations I can think of that combat AIDS in Africa who think condoms are the way to go. I disagree with them, but you don't see me suing the government.

Throughout the world, the Catholic Church is one of the largest aid and relief organizations there is. Does the ACLU really care about these women so little that they would rather see the Church step out of giving aid? Because that's what will happen. It's happened in Massachusetts already; when Catholic adoption agencies were told they had to place children with homosexual couples, they closed their doors rather than violate the teachings of Christ. But I guess relativists can't understand anyone or any organization that places principles and morality above everything else.

Sadly, I think the ACLU (and organizations like it) would rather see the Church stop helping and let people die than turn and look critically at their reasoning. And that's what frustrates me the most about stories like this. Churches are perfectly positioned to help victims, but a society led by moral relativists won't let them help. God have mercy on us all.

13 January 2009

92% of Canadians Don’t Know the Law

… on abortion that is. According to a recent Angus Reid poll, 92% of Canadians don't know that abortion is legal over the whole 9 months of pregnancy in Canada. (Read the story here.)Unfortunately, this doesn't surprise me in the least. Most people I've spoken to about abortion don't believe me when I say there is no law on abortion in Canada, and that Canada is the only country in world that has no law on abortion. The pro-choicers I'm speaking with generally come back with a story about a woman they know who couldn't get an abortion because the doctor said he/she couldn't after 20/22/24 weeks. While those stories may be true (a lot of doctors refuse to do abortions after 20 weeks and especially after the child is viable), they don't change the fact that there is no law on abortion in Canada.

This poll also confirmed another suspicion I've had for some time- that Canadians don't want abortion to be available on demand for the entire 9 months of pregnancy. For example, only 6% of the poll's respondents believed a woman should be able to have an abortion of the child is of the sex they don't want (generally female children are targeted by sex-selected abortion). 95% of respondents felt women should be given full disclosure on all options available to them. And 95% said information about physical side effects of abortion should be given. 96% said information about the psychological effects of abortion should be given.

And yet, in Canada, sex selected abortions are legal. There is no law saying that a woman has to be informed of all her options. No law says information on physical and psychological effects of abortion need to be given. Many women who ask about side effects are told that abortion is completely harmless and that there will be no long lasting effects. They aren't told of the possible increased risk of breast cancer, or the danger to their future fertility. They aren't told that they can suffer significant psychological harm- such that they are at increased risk of suicide, depression and addiction.

And yet, a June 2008 poll by Angus Reid showed that 46% of Canadians are in favour of the legal status quo on abortion. What does this mean then? It seems to fly in the face of the results of this poll. I think it means a couple of things. First, Canadians are uniformed about abortion. We get so much of our news and entertainment from the US that in many cases we assume what's going on in the US must be what's going on in Canada. Second, it means that the pro-life movement in Canada needs to step it up. We need to get information out there so people know what the law is. An uniformed public is the greatest danger unborn children face because the uninformed will vote based on what they think is the law, not what is the law. Misinformation is a huge danger. 46% of Canadians favour the law on abortion (meaning no law) staying the same, and yet 92% don't know what the law is.

We can win the battle for the hearts and minds of our fellow Canadians if we simply inform them. The pro-life movement has science on its side- we can prove that the unborn is a human being. As a human being, the child is entitled to full human rights protections. The fact that the law currently allows for indiscriminate killing of human life is a violation of human rights. If we simply present the facts, we can, at the very least, get people thinking. If they start thinking, they will start talking to others, and in that way, lives can be saved.

In Canada 300 children are aborted per day (Stats Can figures). 92% of Canadians don't know the law around why they are aborted. It's time to start speaking out everyone. I challenge you- every time you talk to someone about abortion, ask them if they know the law. If they say they do, ask them what they think it is. If they are wrong, (politely) inform them of the truth. Here's a quick summary of the legal status of abortion in Canada:

  • Until 1969 abortion was illegal in Canada; then the Criminal Code was changed to allow abortion when it threatened the health of the mother, but a legislative scheme was enacted to require any woman wanting an abortion to see a panel of doctors who would determine if the pregnancy threatened her health
  • In 1988, R. v. Morgentaler was decided by the Supreme Court of Canada; in this 5-4 decision the court struck down the 1969 Criminal Code provision on abortion as unconstitutional because it violated the mother's s. 7 Charter right to life, liberty and security of the person
  • This decision wiped out the only law in Canada on abortion, making it so that there is no law in Canada on abortion
  • There have been no laws enacted on abortion since the 1969 provision was struck down; there is no law on abortion in Canada.

12 January 2009

An Op-ed by Liberal Catholics

I ran across an article that was published in The Seattle Times last week, and just about screamed in anger and frustration when it was done. Read the article here. Granted, it is an opinion piece, and I believe that everyone has a right to their opinion, but I do not approve of the way it was presented. It was written by two Seattle "Catholics" (in quotations because while they may have been baptized into the church, they clearly don't know what the church stands for) who use the article to complain about Catholic priests and bishops who spoke out against Prop 8 and I-1000 in the last US election.

From the article:

Yet some church leaders use their positions of ecclesiastical authority to threaten members of their faith community if they do not vote the way the leaders assert is the morally right way. In notable instances, the threat is that Catholics will be denied access to the sacraments, typically the Holy Eucharist. We think these are nothing more than raw attempts at bullying. The result is that many Catholics simply ignore the bishops who, in turn, complain they have lost influence.

*** *** ***

Instead of threats, Catholic bishops should encourage dialogue. Instead of pontificating moral certitudes, Catholic bishops ought to encourage conversations among the wide spectrum of views that populate their parish pews — or would populate them were the church known for its tolerance rather than for its rigid adherence to questionable dogma.

*** *** ***

We understand the Church has been administered like a monarchy for centuries. But, if the American bishops expect their fellow Catholics to accept their leadership on matters of public policy, then they must respect those among the faithful who, in good conscience, have formed their own differing views.

*** *** ***

Why? Are any of us so certain of the truth of our position on political questions that we cannot tolerate the input from our brothers and sisters of faith?

Or, do bishops and church leaders fear dialogue and discussion as posing a risk to unchecked authority?

Retired Superior Court Judge Terrence Carroll, left, served as chair of the Seattle Archdiocese panel on clergy abuse. Sam Sperry served as an editor at the Seattle P-I and on the Washington State Catholic Conference Board. Both are lifelong Catholics educated here in Catholic schools.

I really don't know where to begin to take this op-ed apart. It has so many falsehoods and misunderstandings it it's a wonder that the paper published it. Let's deal with the bullying allegation first. For Catholics, they have a very poor understanding of the theology behind the Eucharist. The Eucharist is the body and blood of Christ, and as we say before we receive it "we are not worthy to receive You, but only say the word and we shall be healed." No Catholic in a state of mortal sin should receive the Eucharist. This isn't limited to politicians- it's true of any Catholic in a state of mortal sin. It's not bullying, it's teaching the faithful the way they are supposed to. When parents tell their children no and state they will take away TV privileges or ground the child if the child persists in the behavior, it's not bullying, it teaching. Same thing with the bishops.

To deal with the allegation that the pews would be filled if the church was "tolerant" I'm going to use a quote a quote I took from Fr. Phillip's blog some months ago. "The Catholic Church owes no one a revision of her doctrine or dogma. She didn't change to save most of Europe from becoming Protestant, why would you imagine that she would change just to get you in one of her parishes?" The truth can't be changed just because it isn't popular. And last time I looked, it's the orthodox Catholic parishes and seminaries that are bursting at the seams and the flaky, don't preach the truth parishes that are empty.

I love how the authors pick and chose terms from Catholic theology, then warp them to suit their purposes. Case in point- "good conscience." Yes, Catholics are to develop a good conscience, but that conscience can only be formed by learning from the teachings of the Church and the scriptures. No good conscience can form views that differ from the truth.

The bishops don't "fear" anything- why would they- their Redeemer died over 2000 years ago on a cross. The only thing they have to do- the only thing anyone has to do- to achieve eternal life in heaven is preach the Truth. That's why they speak out- not from fear, but from concern for the souls of all the faithful. They would endanger their souls by NOT speaking up. Priests are only human and all the priests I know are more than happy to have a dialogue and discuss issues with their parishioners. Most of them wish their parishioners would dialogue with them on moral issues so they can discuss the Truth with them. The authors of the article seem to assume that discussion necessarily means that the priests will turn their back on the Truth they have based their lives on. And yet, the clergy are the intolerant ones. Huh.

The Catholic Church teaches Truth, plain and simple. It may disturb the relativists to no end, but that's all there is. The Church was established by Christ, and has steadfastly taught what he preached for over 2000 years. Just because you don't like the truth, doesn't make it any less the truth.

I'm so sick of these liberal Catholics trying to change the church to suit them. If you don't like it, leave. We don't force you to stay, and I can't understand why someone who doesn't believe what the Church teaches would want to stay. And, since the rest of the world is all to ready to accept criticisms of the church, you shouldn't call yourself Catholic if you really aren't.

I will leave you with one final thought from my patron saint, Joan of Arc. "One life is all we have and we live it as we believe in living it. But to sacrifice what you are and to live without belief, that is a fate far more terrible than dying."

09 January 2009

Judicial Activism Strikes a Second Time in Montana

Last December, a Montana District Court judge legalized assisted suicide in the state of Montana. (See my post on that here.) On Wednesday, the same judge refused to issue a stay of the decision pending the outcome of an appeal to the Montana Supreme Court. (A stay would prevent the decision from coming into effect until the appeal was decided on.) The Attorney General for Montana requested that the decision be suspended pending appeal. (See story here.)

However, traditionally in the court system, controversial decisions are stayed until the higher court makes a decision on it. By ignoring that, Judge Dorothy McCarter is deciding that she has the right to force on Montanan's whatever she wants, irrespective of precedent or the rule of law. The people of Montana have not voted to legalize assisted suicide, and the elected legislature has not passed a law permitting assisted suicide- this one woman had made that decision for the entire state! If that doesn't smack of judicial activism, what does?

So, as of last Wednesday, the people of Montana have a "right" to assisted suicide. These are dark, dark days for Montana. Unlike Oregon and Washington who can at least claim to have some safeguards to protect vulnerable people (though we know how well those work) this decision by Judge McCarter provides for no safeguards, no process by which they can even claim to attempt to protect vulnerable people. Until and unless the Montana Supreme court throws out this decision, the elderly and persons with disabilities in Montana are in great danger from their doctors and even their families. If you are tired of dealing with Mom's dementia, and convince her doctor (or, her doctor convinces you) Mom can be put down like a dog, thanks to Judge McCarter. No one can ask any questions about why it happened, or if Mom even requested it, because according to Baxter v. Montana, physician assisted suicide is legal. Feeling the pinch of the recession, and tired of waiting for your inheritance and Dad lives in Montana? No problem, just have the doctor do away with Dad and that inheritance is yours, courtesy of Judge McCarter and Baxter v. Montana. Maybe you don't have a desire to see the vulnerable members of your family killed, but are you sure about your doctor?

I am sure that some of you who just read that paragraph are now thinking I am, at the very least exaggerating and very possibly just trying to stir up the pot. Nothing could be farther from the truth. These sorts of things happen routinely in jurisdictions that have legalized assisted suicide (and even in jurisdictions that haven't.) It was reported yesterday that Martin Ryan was starved to death over 26 days while staying in a hospital. Oh, and he had Down's syndrome. In the UK a few weeks ago, two paramedics responded to the equivalent of a 911 call from Barry Baker having a heart attack. Mr. Baker was also disabled. He collapsed before they arrived, but the line to the 911 service was still recording. That tape picked up the paramedics saying that he was "not worth saving." They decided (and remember, this was recorded) that they would just tell the hospital he was dead when they arrived.

We in the Western world live in a society where the culture of death reigns supreme. Judge McCarter's actions show that she is a member of the culture of death and will do whatever is necessary, even defying tradition and precedent to ensure her ideology wins out. That is not the role of the judiciary. The role of the judiciary is to interpret the law made by the duly elected legislature/parliament/commons/congress of the land. They are not to make law, and yet that is exactly what Judge McCarter has done.

The deaths that will come in Montana as a result of her decision are directly attributable to her, but she will face no consequences here on Earth for it. Instead she will be, and is being, lauded for her bold and courageous decision.

What a sick, sick world.

H/t to Disability Matters and Secondhand Smoke

08 January 2009

Novena to Stop FOCA

Our friends in the United States will begin this year by inaugurating a new president, Barak Obama. Based on Mr. Obama's previous record, it seems certain that he will be the most anti-life president the US has ever seen. Before his election, he promised a Planned Parenthood group that the first thing he would do as president is pass the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). He will be inaugurated January 20, 2009. This act will result in the cancellation of all laws regarding abortion- essentially the US law on abortion will become the same as Canada; abortion on demand for the entire 9 months of pregnancy. I received an e-mail today which stated that FOCA will also:
  1. Require all hospitals (including Catholic or faith based ones) to perform abortion on request. The US Bishops have vowed to close all Catholic hospitals if this occurs, rather than participate in abortion. Currently, Catholic hospitals make up more than 30% of all hospitals in the US.
  2. Allow partial birth abortions
  3. All abortions would be taxpayer funded
  4. Parental notification laws (which require parents to be informed that their minor daughters are having abortions) would be abolished
  5. It is expected that the number of abortions in the US will increase by at least 100,000 annually as a result of the passage of FOCA
  6. The government will control the issue of abortion, which could lead to future amendments forcing women by law to have abortions in certain situations (rape, Down syndrome babies, etc.) and could even regulate how many children women are allowed to have.

This bill is horrifying, and could potentially go further than even Canada's loose laws have with abortion. To read the full text of FOCA, go here.

However, we must not lose hope. The e-mail is part of a campaign encouraging people to pray to prevent FOCA, and a novena is going to be said to prevent its passage.

From the email:

The Plan:

To say a novena (9 days of prayer) along with fasting starting on January 11th. For Catholics, the prayer of choice will be the rosary with intentions to stop the FOCA. For non-Catholics I encourage you to pray your strongest prayers with the same intentions, also for nine consecutive days. The hope is that this will branch and blossom as to become a global effort with maximum impact. We have very little time so we all must act fast. Just do three things:

1. Pass this letter to 5 or more people.
2. Do it in three days or less.
3. Start the novena on January 11th and pray for nine consecutive days. (Please also fast for at least two days during the novena.)

Remember that with God all things are possible and the power of prayer is undeniable. If you are against the senseless killing of defenseless children then the time is now to do something about it! Please, if you are a Christian, I pray you will see the light to help stop all this evil! May God bless you all!

I ask you to all take part in this novena. For more information on FOCA, check out these links:

And please, keep praying!

07 January 2009

The “Pill”

According to a report published in L'Osservatore Romano (the Vatican newspaper) earlier this week, the pill is rendering men infertile.

Since the introduction of the "pill" millions of women around the world have begun to take artificial hormones to prevent pregnancy (estimated at 100 million women). As a result, Pedro Jose Maria Simon Castellvi, President of the International Federation of Catholic Medical Associations says the pill releases tones of hormones into nature through the urine of women taking the pill. The result is environmental pollution leading to male infertility. (See the story here.) Immediately after the story was released, several organizations (including contraceptive research groups) denied it stating that once metabolized, the hormones lose their female characteristics.

But this isn't the first time that the pill has been accused of having detrimental effects on men. The Aberdeen Fertility Center (not Catholic) found female hormones lowered sperm count in British men, and another study showed that men have developed mammary breast tissue usually found only in women. (See story here.) There are also studies showing that hormones released in female urine from the pill are adversely affecting aquatic life in Canadian rivers and lakes. Other studies show that the pill causes early onset puberty in girls.

While I titled this post rather facetiously, I want to ask a serious question. If, as our society claims, we want to do thing naturally so we don't harm planet earth, why are we telling women they need to get on the pill? If these levels of estrogen are seriously harming aquatic life (to the extent that some rivers have trans-gendered fish) what are they doing to the women who are directly ingesting the pill? The list of potential side effects of the pill are absolutely horrifying. We don't accept some of the side effects in life saving medications, and yet the pill- which has no medical benefit whatsoever- is handed out to women like candy. Very few women are made aware of the potentially dangerous side effects of the pill; sure they are told they might gain weight and that their acne might clear up, but few are told they could be rendered infertile, or even die as a result of blood clots from the pill.

Even fewer women are told that the pill is actually an abortifacent- it causes chemical abortions. Watch the video at the top of this post- it explains how the pill works, and how it causes abortions. Fortunately for the medical community, they don't need to tell women it causes abortions because according to their definition of pregnancy, a woman is not pregnant until the embryo implants in the womb. (Conveniently they changed the definition of pregnancy in the 1980's from conception to implantation to allow the pill to be approved- seriously, check out a medical textbook from the 1960's and today and compare the definitions of pregnancy).

Make no mistake- the pill is a form of abortion. A child that is conceived will be prevented from implanting in the womb, and as a result, it will be expelled in the menstrual process and die, with the mother never aware that she was pregnant.

But with this new report, it's clear that we aren't just aborting children and hurting women with the pill; we are also harming men, children and the environment. Why is such a dangerous pill allowed? Oh right, because it frees women. I forgot. All is forgiven then. As long as men and women can fornicate freely with no thought to the consequences, who cares what harm is caused? Silly me.

In all seriousness though, please send you friends and family the link to this video, and check out the science behind it. There are a lot of women who are on the pill who would be horrified to know that they could be aborting their own children. This is not an easy topic to broach with people (they tend to get defensive) but when raised in charity with no hint of judgment (after all many women are so misinformed by their doctors they don't know what they are doing) lives can be saved- and that is what's really important.

06 January 2009

Stephen, Stephen, Stephen, what are you doing?

Actually, I know what he's doing, but he's wrong to do it. On December 29, 2008 Conservative MP Rob Bruinooge wrote an opinion piece titled "Why I am pro-life" in the National Post. Bruinooge is the newly elected chair of the multi-party Parliamentary Pro-Life caucus in the Canadian Parliament. The piece is very simple- it outlines why he is pro-life. This article prompted Prime Minister Stephen Harper (the leader of the Conservative Party) to again state that his government would not introduce or support legislation on abortion.

I'm so disappointed in him. When the Harper conservatives were first elected, I was so excited. I thought it meant a real change for Canada; a return to traditional values.

I was naïve.

And I'm not anymore. While I still follow politics (mostly because I can't help it) I no longer love it, but I recognize the extreme influence and control politics has on society, so I stay involved. However, I have come to realize that there is no party in Canada that truly fits my values. The Conservatives are the closest, but they aren't perfect. But, back on topic.

Regardless of where Mr. Harper stands on abortion (and I honestly don't know where that is) he is taking the position he thinks is politically safest. He doesn't want to rock the boat and lose votes because he's still trying to get a majority government. He is willing to muzzle his MP's if he thinks their actions will do anything to cost him votes.

That is wrong, and for that reason I don't think he deserves to be Prime Minister. (Not that I think any of the other options are great.)

If you want to accomplish anything, let alone lead the country, you need to be willing to stand up for your beliefs. If you can't stand up for your beliefs (whatever they are) you can't have credibility or respect. However, politicians everywhere seem to think they can vacillate with popular opinion (and that seems to be working for them unfortunately) but we the people deserve better.

And what makes absolutely no sense to me is that poll after poll demonstrates that people DO NOT want unrestricted access to abortion. Even hard core pro-choicers I've spoken to mock the women who use abortions as a form of birth control. A poll was just done in the States that said 4 in 5 wanted at least some restrictions on abortion. Canada has no restrictions on abortion at all, and apparently Mr. Harper doesn't care at all.

Mr. Harper, please search your conscience and take a strong stance for life. Or, at the very least allow your MP's the freedom to do what their conscience tells them to do. I don't even know that it will cost you votes (it probably will) but maybe it will be such an innovation people will vote for you because you would be THE FIRST POLITITCIAN EVER to take a stand and hold to it no matter the cost, simply because it's THE RIGHT THING TO DO!!!

I wonder what the world would be like if we all did the right thing? Mmm, just imagine- and then pray, because that's the only way it will ever happen in reality.

PS- As a complete and total offside, it looks like I'm writing another 50 page paper this semester (long story) in Employment Law, and I need to come up with a topic. If you have any suggestions on how to incorporate life issues into Employment Law, send them my way! Thanks!

05 January 2009

Wrapping up 2008

We are now 5 days into the new year, and I have returned to the land of high speed. Before moving into new issues for 2009, I thought I'd update and wrap up a few issues I posted on in 2008.

Snowflake Children

Shortly after I wrote this post the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith released Dignitas Personae which answers several vexing bioethical questions. One of those questions is the issue of embryo adoption. I stated in the post that until we had a clear answer from the Vatican, we were free to make a decision based on an informed conscience. Well, we now have an answer from the Vatican.

It has also been proposed, solely in order to allow human beings to be born who are otherwise condemned to destruction, that there could be a form of "prenatal adoption". This proposal, praiseworthy with regard to the intention of respecting and defending human life, presents however various problems not dissimilar to those mentioned above.

All things considered, it needs to be recognized that the thousands of abandoned embryos represent a situation of injustice which in fact cannot be resolved. Therefore John Paul II made an "appeal to the conscience of the world's scientific authorities and in particular to doctors, that the production of human embryos be halted, taking into account that there seems to be no morally licit solution regarding the human destiny of the thousands and thousands of 'frozen' embryos which are and remain the subjects of essential rights and should therefore be protected by law as human persons".39

As you might remember, my opinion was that snowflake adoption was a beautiful option that should be pursued. Obviously that position conflicts with the Church, and is therefore an untenable position to hold for any Catholic. As St. Augustine said "Roma locuta est, causa finita est" (Rome has spoken, the case is closed). It bothers me that there is a situation of injustice that can't be resolved. I am a problem solver; I like answers, but apparently this situation is a Catch-22. I certainly acknowledge that the theologians and bio-ethicists whose research and teachings have lead to this decision are far wiser than I, and I acknowledge their authority.

As a Catholic, it is my duty and my joy to accept the teachings of the church- all of them, whether or not I fully understand them. As the document acknowledges, I took my position with the intent to respect and defend human life. However, that position has serious moral problems, as the document articulates. I can understand those problems, and in all honesty, and recognized them before. However, my zeal to protect life meant I ignored the moral problems. I don't like that those children will be left in limbo, but we have to trust that God, in His infinite wisdom, will have mercy on them.

Euthanasia and Luxembourg

This post talks about Grand Duke Henri's courageous stance against euthanasia in his country. As a result of this stance, his constitutional right of veto has been stripped from him, leaving him a monarchical figurehead. It doesn't surprise me, but it does sadden me. However, I am very proud of the Duke for standing up for his beliefs. His example is one we should follow. Fighting for life is not an easy task, and we may all lose a lot. While the rest of us may not lose a country, we may face the loss of our jobs, the anger of our families and potentially lawsuits. But that doesn't mean that we should give up the fight. Quite the contrary.

If you remember you Catholic Teachings, the church is divided into three groups- the Church Penitent (those in purgatory) the Church Triumphant (those in heaven) and the Church Militant (those on earth). We are the Church Militant, and we have a duty to courageously defend life against all who would threaten it no matter the cost. Grand Duke Henri has reminded us, in a very poignant way that we are the Church Militant and we must fight. God Bless him for that stand.

While the law has not yet been enacted, by taking away the right of veto, it seems that Luxembourg is poised to become the 3rd country to legalize assisted suicide and euthanasia.

Petition to the UN against Abortion

In October I asked you all to sign the petition that asks the UN to interpret the Declaration of Human Rights as protecting the unborn child. In December I noted that they had received 330,000 signatures. Well, it turns out that by the time they presented it to the UN, they had over 450,000 signatures. The petition asking the Declaration to be interpreted to guarantee abortion rights only had a few hundred signatures. C-FAM (who sponsored the petition) hopes to raise that total to one million signatures by next year. So, if you haven't signed, or if you know others who would sign it, you can do so here.

That's all for the updates. Beginning tomorrow the posts should all be on new issues in the legal and life spheres. God Bless and I hope you all had a holy Christmas season, and I hope you have a blessed New Year. Keep praying, because that's what we need to save the lives of the unborn, the disabled, the elderly and you and me!