28 January 2010

Today Marks 22 Years...

... Since all legal restrictions on abortion in Canada were struck down by the Supreme Court in the R. v. Morgentaler decision.

I've said it before on this blog, and I will say it again- Canada has one of the most (if not the most) permissive abortion regime on the planet.

Abortion is legal for all 9 months of pregnancy. Though its hard to find a doctor who will do it, partial birth abortion is perfectly legal in Canada.

January 22 marked the 37th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the decision that legalized abortion in the United States. The US Council of Bishops announced that January 22nd was to be a day of penance and that masses that day would be dedicated to those who lost their lives to abortion.

While the Canadian Bishops have made no such pronouncement for today, I ask you all to think about doing something in penance for this grevious sin that stains our nation. Will you fast? Pray? Attend Mass?

Let's all do something, and then pray that next year won't mark the 23rd anniversary.

Too many have died already.

May God have mercy on us all.

22 January 2010

No Words

One of the things I miss most about student life is the opportunity to be involved in pro-life activism. I am sure there are opportunities here, but I have yet to find them.

What I seem to do instead is read a lot more. And it's gotten to the point where I thought I was enurred to the horror of what abortion is.

And then I read this article.

I hate looking at graphic images of abortion- they horrify me. It horrifies me that we can do this too each other.

I didn't think words could affect me the same way. But this article did.

There are no graphic images, but the descriptions were enough.

Take some time to read it. Once in a while we all need to be reminded of the truth of the evil we are facing.

Then weep for all the lies lost. (I know I did).

Then pray.

Pray for all the babies lost to abortion.

Pray for all the mother's who've had abortions.

Pray for all the father's who've lost children to abortions.

Pray for the societies that allow and encourage these atrocities to occur.

Pray for yourselves. That you will have the courage and confidence to stand up for these, the most vulnerable of us all.

May God have mercy on us all.

h/t The American Catholic

13 January 2010

Bride Shortage of 24 Million!

I blogged about China's one child policy here. Today, CNN has a report stating that China will be short 24 million brides by 2020.

This is a result of the one child policy and China's cultural preference for male heirs. It's going to cause huge social upheaval in China.

Whenever one sex outnumbers another, life is difficult. Historicly we've only seen this occur during periods of exploration- men would set out to explore, and the women would follow years or decades later. Part of why the West was wild is the lack of women. Women provide a calming influence, and give the instinctive male urge to protect an outlet. When a man has a family to raise, he channels his energies into providing for them. When he lacks that stabilizing force, crime increases.

And this isn't something humanity has grown out of. The city I work in has a HUGE immigrant population (approx 1/3 of the population has immigrated to Canada in the last 15 years). When the immigration first started happening, it was all men; coming to Canada for the jobs here. Most of them have been upstanding citizens and regularly send large portions of their paycheques home.

But there are always a few bad apples, and that's true here. Crime rates in this city skyrocketed- at one point we had the highest per capita crime rate in Canada. Fast forward a few years, and these men have obtained their permanent resident card, or even their citizenship, and their wives and children are moving here. Crime rates have been dropping for the last few years. This hasn't been studied, but I think there is enough evidence to suggest a correlation between single young men and crime rates.

And I fear that's what China has to look forward to. That will be the legacy of its one-child policy

The saddest part of this article is that the Chinese government is ignoring these dangers- they have no interest in changing their policy. It is to remain in place. They are already facing catastrophic demographic failure. Waiting won't fix anything; it will only make it worse.

Actually, I changed my mind.

The saddest part of this whole story is that the one child policy has prevented 400 million births. And knowing that China forces abortions if a women has more than one child, and that people will choose to abort a female child in hope of having a male, a large portion of those 400 million were not "prevented" they were murdered.

12 January 2010

Morgentaler, Conscience and the Order of Canada

The Canada Gazette (the official newspaper of the Government of Canada) is reporting that Governor General Michelle Jean (the Queen's representative in Canada- for my American readers, the Queen is Canada's head of state) has accepted the resignation of Fr. Lucien Larre and Renato Guiseppe from the Order of Canada (the Order is Canada's highest civilian honour).

Why are these men turning in their awards?

Because in July, 2008, the Order Selection Committee (headed by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada) decided to award Mr. Henry Morgentaler the Order of Canada. Mr. Morgentaler is an abortionist and a pro-choice activist. It was his actions that lead to the Supreme Court of Canada decision in R v. Morgentaler that lead to Canada's abortion law being struck down in 1988. (See my previous post on Canada's lack of abortion laws here)

Awarding the Order to Mr. Morgentaler was controversial at best. (I was appalled, but unfortunately, not shocked by the decision.)

I want to applaud these two men for returning their Orders. Awarding it to Mr. Morgentaler tarnished the value of the award. It turns it into little more than a political tool to bestow favour upon the politically correct.

I know very little about either of these men, but anyone who will act according to their consciences is ok by me. Please pray for them, and please also pray for Mr. Morgentaler. He is no longer a young man, and one day he will have to account to God for the deaths he caused. Pray that he sees the error of his ways before that happens.

(For more info on the awarding of the Order to Mr. Morgentaler, go here and here.)

The Media

As you know, media bias is a particular pet peeve of mine.

I see bias in almost all the news I read, watch or listen too. It's aggravating. (I've blogged about it here).

However, I came across this great post on bias at the Chocolate for your Brain blog today and it summarizes my thoughts and feelings- and it does a better job then I could do. So, if you have a minute, take a look.

10 January 2010

Faith isn’t Easy

One of the hardest things about leaving the university environment has been leaving the amazing Catholic community. In Saskatoon, there were so many people my age who found the faith journey to be an exciting one; one they wanted to share with others. I have many fond memories of debates about obscure parts of the faith, or discussions of the saints and martyrs occurring in coffee shops and restaurants all over Saskatoon. I have yet to find those opportunities here.

Looking back, I never truly appreciated the blessing of that strong community. While living in the world, sharing the gospel message just by how you live, can be invigorating, I miss the opportunity to recharge with other faithful Catholics.

I'm trying to find that sense of community here, but it's hard. And I know it takes time. One thing I've done is get involved in my parish. Specifically, I've volunteered with the youth ministry. My parish has a full-time youth minister, but he needs help with the program. For the most part it's been a great experience- I meet other people in the parish, and have an opportunity to share my faith; to have some of those discussions and debates I miss so much.

The parish uses the Lifeteen program. Before coming to the parish, I'd never been involved with Lifeteen- I've heard things about it, both good and bad, but never had the opportunity to evaluate the program for myself. There are some parts of it that I don't like, but mostly for aesthetic reasons. For example, it focuses on Praise and Worship music. I have no problem with P&W on its own, but I detest it when it becomes part of mass. The music at mass, in my opinion, should be reverent. Mass is not a rock concert. It should be something different from what we experience in the world. Don't get me wrong- I enjoy rock and pop music (I have to admit to knowing all the words to the Black-Eyed Peas latest song, and Nickelback is playing on the iPod right now) but not at mass. And I think it's wrong to assume we need use the music Teens like to get them to come to mass- Jesus should be enough!

But other than that, I've so far found the Lifeteen program to be orthodox and theologically sound.

Until last night.

It was the first event since before Christmas. The theme was being normal and still being Catholic. Basically, the premise was that you can be of the world and still practice your faith; that you can achieve that balance. I don't have a problem with the premise- we can live in the world and still be Catholic. And the video was really good- it talked about the Saints and the lives they lead. It was reminding the youth that we are all called to be saints, which is great.

The thing that concerned me was the emphasis on being "normal." The message I got was that it's easy to live in the world and still be Catholic.

I can't disagree more with that.

It's not easy to live in the world and be Catholic. We are called to live a radically different life than the one society says is normal. Christ didn't lead a normal life- He lived the life his father wanted. People hated Him for it. They crucified Him for it!

Life isn't easy, and it seems disingenuous to tell teenagers that faith is easy. The Christian (and especially the Catholic) faith is ridiculed and mocked everywhere. I challenge you to turn you TV onto a channel other than EWTN for 5 minutes and not find Christians portrayed as backwards or bigots.

So why were we telling the youth members of our parish that you can be normal and still be Catholic? If we truly follow Christ, we will never be "normal" in the way the world expects. We will always stand out and often it will seem like we stand alone.

It was almost as though we don't want to scare the kids away, but isn't it far better to lay out the challenges they will face so they know what they are signing up for? When Christ told His followers to "eat my flesh and drink my blood" He didn't tell them it was just a symbol when they were disgusted and left Him. How can we do anything less for the youth in our parishes?

These are teens in high school- some of them will be heading out to University in a few months. And take it from me; university is an even more difficult place to practice your faith than high school is.

Isn't honesty the best policy? Shouldn't the message have been faith isn't easy? Shouldn't we tell the youth that people will laugh at you, ridicule you and persecute you? And then shouldn't we say that the faith journey is the most amazing journey you can ever take and all the ridicule and persecution is worth it, because the reward is literally priceless?

Wouldn't that be the better message? Because these kids aren't stupid- they deal with the temptations and diametrically opposed viewpoints of the world every day. They know it's not easy. Wouldn't we reach more if we acknowledged that, and then gave them the tools to negotiate the world with? So why do we persist in lying to them?

03 January 2010


Tis the season to make resolutions.

So I thought I'd share my resolutions (at least the blog related ones) with you.

1) Blog at least once a week

I know that's nothing compared to the daily blogging I was doing when I started this blog, but at this point, once a week is an achievable goal.

2) Be charitable in what I post

Being charitable towards others has always been a struggle for me. Especially if I disagree with someone. Yet I know that a charitable response is far better than a sarcastic one, no matter how funny it may be.

3) Be more positive in what I post

I was reviewing some of my posts for the last year, and I realized that most of them are negative- highlighting something I disagree with, or demonstrating the culture of death that exists. I know this is important, but depressing news is still depressing. I want the blog to witness to others, but I also want it to highlight the joy that comes from being Catholic. And if I was a non-Catholic reading this blog, I might wonder if the faith is truly life giving, or just bitter.

Those are my resolutions. With God's help, I will succeed.

To all my readers- a belated Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and God Bless!