Thursday, December 31, 2009

Should Pro-Lifers Be Political?

I just finished reading a book by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett, called The Faith, Given Once, For All (Jude 3). Chuck Colson is best remembered for his part in the Watergate scandal during Nixon's presidency. For his part in that episode, Colson went to jail. Just prior to his incarceration, he became a Christian and his jail term served to form him for the prison ministry that he began once he was released.

He is a good writer, the prose is fluid and it keeps one's attention; he is also well-informed on many issues and his desire to unite Catholics and Protestants on issues of faith is well known. In fact, I find what he writes on that score to be the best ecumenical effort that I have read.

I heard about this book on a Focus on the Family broadcast, when James Dobson was interviewing Colson about it. Colson wrote the book because he had become aware that Christians were unsure of what they believed, and they were reticent to spread the Gospel in the current atmosphere of cultural relativism. Even students in evangelical Bible colleges felt that there was no such thing as absolute truth and that they could not impose their beliefs on anyone else. This is hardly fulfilling the Great Commission when Jesus commanded his apostles to go and make disciples of all nations.

Colson makes the point that western civilization owes everything to Christianity: from our democratic form of government (first practised in the monasteries when they elected their abbots), to the scientific revolution ("science itself might never have been invented if not for Christianity's belief that all the world could be explored for God's glory, thus initiating the inductive methods essential to scientific advance"), to the establishment of the first universities and the public education system (fueled by the Christian belief in equality of persons), to the sanctity of life since every person is made in the image of God Himself.

With regards to the abortion issue, I found Colson's remarks clear and lucid. He sees without any doubt that Christians must engage in the political process when it comes to human rights.

The Church's passionate engagement in politics in defense of life is not due to the emergence of the "big bad religious right," as Christianity's detractors might say (and many Christians mistakenly believe as well). It was the early Church that consistently challenged the state, describing abortion and infanticide in terms that would be politically incorrect today... Many Catholics, Protestants, and Orthodox have argued that we are in a great struggle that pits a culture of life against a culture of death. This is, in fact, the preeminent form that the battle of good versus evil has taken in our day - as it did in the early days of the Church. This may sound inflammatory and extreme to some, but what could be more crucial than whether the worth of a life comes from being created in the image of God or from its usefulness to society?

Like so many others, Colson talks of William Wilberforce as one of the great Christian defenders of human rights. What I found of particular interest was the fact that Wilberforce spent three hours each day in prayer.

Wilberforce argues for the holy, righteous life to be lived out in society. Along with other members of Wilberforces' intentional community, the "Clapham sect," Wilberforce modeled it, praying for three hours a day that justice would reign in Britain.
Early in his efforts, Wilberforce wrote in his diary that "God has laid before me two great objectives: the abolition of the slave trade, and the reformation of manners." By the latter he meant the morals of the British people. And throughout his career he pursued both goals simultaneously. He realized that he needed not only to end the slave trade by law but to lead a spiritual renewal that would counter the sin motivating it.

Isn't this the same problem with abortion today? Abortion is a grave evil that must be abolished, but our society also needs a spiritual renewal so that sexual promiscuity, which creates the demand for abortion, can be overcome.

For your own reading:
The Faith, Given Once, For All, by Charles Colson and Harold Fickett
Real Christianity, by William Wilberforce (full title is A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians in the Higher and Middle Classes in This Country Contrasted with Real Christianity)

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Want to Save Your Kids?

Turn off the television

Last night, my husband said to me the most important thing any parent can do for their children is to switch off the television. Perhaps even get rid of it entirely.

As Senator Santorum said:

Virtues that we all as Americans honor, like integrity, honesty, courage, perseverance, these are great messages. But they're no longer being passed on in the stories told on the front porch. They're being told by other people coming into your home, who you wouldn't let walk in the front door if they knocked, but you let them in every single day when you turn on that television, when you press that button to turn the computer on. these are people you wouldn't allow in your house if they knocked on the door, but they come in with the turn of a knob.
LifeSiteNews, Dec 4, 2009

The recent explicit show of Adam Lambert performing at the American Music Awards is a prime example of what comes in on the television without warning. How many young minds are exposed to such viewing and what lasting impressions are made on those minds? Yet parents choose to ignore this and pretend it isn't so, all because they are too busy with their own lives to oversee what is happening to their children's lives. But the cost is enormous.

Television and the internet is where most children are exposed to pornography; this is an obvious evil of modern media. What is not so obvious is that the media is also forming the values of the next generation.

Just look at how many television dramas and sitcoms feature homosexuals as the main characters. Are they portrayed in a favourable light? you bet they are. This was the purpose of Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen, authors of After The Ball, a book in which they proposed tactics to get the homosexual agenda throughout North America.
First, they proposed homosexuals and their liberal allies should desensitize heterosexuals by getting homosexuality talked about as much as possible in the straight world. Their tactic consisted of using "the very processes that made America hate us, to turn their hatred into warm regard -- whether they like it or not". Have they succeeded? It certainly looks as if they have.

In fact, in Canada, one can even be dragged before the Human Rights Commission for being "homophobic", if one makes any disparaging remarks about homosexuals. One such person was Pastor Stephen Boissoin, whom I wrote about previously. Last week, Stephen was exonerated by an Alberta court of the very hate speech that he was accused of seven years previously by the Alberta Human Rights Commission. What a great relief to Pastor Boissoin; unfortunately he has not been reimbursed any of the costs that he had to pay nor has he been given back all that time that was wasted fighting this battle.

Homosexuality is just one issue that is marketed by the mass media; promiscuous heterosexuality and the sexualization of our youth is promoted in the vast majority of television shows. The mantra that one's values are decided by one's self, and that there are no absolute rights and wrongs is constantly stated, either overtly or implicitly.

So what does this do to the younger generation? It indoctrinates them to believe that they cannot hold anything to be true and that they cannot impose their beliefs on anyone else. This is extremely dangerous territory, because without a strong sense of objective right and wrong, we become a society of relativism and ethics becomes a game of your turn, my turn. No one ever holds the truth. Yet nothing could be further from the truth.

People long for truth. And not just because they want stability and a sense of safety. They long for it because they were made for truth. We recognize it when we meet people of greatness, people who were willing to sacrifice themselves, and sometimes even their lives, for what they believed in. This is the stuff of heroes. No relativistic television personality is ever going to be considered a real hero; they will pass forgotten in short time no matter how much attention they garnered during their public life.

I recall one mother discussing how she and her husband were going to buy their children television sets for their bedrooms; the only stipulation was that the child had to be eight years old and they had to save up half the money for it themselves. Now one could wonder how a child of seven could save up that kind of money (it can only come as gifts from adults, so what lesson does that teach them?) but more alarming, was the fact that these children would then have free reign to watch whatever they wanted by themselves. "Don't worry," said Sherry, "they won't have cable." Oh great, no problem then. Has she even seen an episode of Degrassi Junior High?

So turn off the television set, and introduce your children to reading. Their minds will be sharper, they will not have that dull look in their eyes, as they are sedated by the television rays. And they will be forced to do something creative with their time, even if it means making you get more involved with them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

When It's Legal, It's Accepted

Most pro-life people will admit that the subject of abortion is not one that is easily talked about by anyone other than themselves. In fact, in our country of Canada, abortion is almost "taboo".

Not so the topic of euthanasia .... yet. It is still alright to bring up the subject of euthanasia and assisted suicide without fearing recriminations from anyone. Certainly not outright opposition. But that may change. In fact, one man says that it will.

Lionel Roosemont is a Belgian whose wife was expecting a child who had hydrocephalus. They were encouraged to abort Tikvah, who is now 13 years old. Contrary to medical forecasts, Tikvah has proved capable of movement, sight and hearing. The Roosemonts' decision to have Tikvah was a battle against the medical establishment and that battle continues to this day.

Belgium is a country in which euthanasia has been legalized since 2002 if requested by the patient who is suffering constant and/or unbearable pain. Depression falls into that category. And one doctor has euthanasized several patients against the law and has been acquitted, proving that breaking the law has no consequences in Belgium.

At one hospital, the administration has administered lethal drugs to elderly patients in a "weekend cleanup" campaign. And the reaction of the general public? indifference for the most part.

At the moment, the subject of abortion is taboo in our country. And that is because it is legal and therefore accepted. No one wants to disturb the status quo. Once euthanasia goes down the same legal path as abortion, it too will become a taboo subject.

As Roosemont says:
"The subject is taboo in Belgium. Main reason: the law has been voted [upon]. So many people have become accomplices of killing, or helping, at least approving, so you don't talk about that - and the moment someone starts talking about that, most people start to protect themselves."

As for their daughter Tikvah, "Life is more and more losing its value," said Roosemont. "Can you understand why our daughter is never left alone in a hospital?"

So this explains why pastors might be much more willing to discuss euthanasia from the pulpit than abortion; but given time, we can expect silence on that too.

For further reading
"The Weekend Cleanup": The Gruesome Aftermath of Legalized Euthanasia in Belgium

Friday, December 4, 2009

The Slippery Slope

Having Alex Scadenberg here last weekend helped me to join more dots in my thinking. When I began this blog, it was really begun in response to a young woman who emailed me because she was upset with 40 Days for Life here in Halifax. We had several exchanges spanning the course of a few weeks, then she wrote that she would no longer read any emails from me, that she had studying to do, that she no longer wished to discuss abortion with me. I think she came to the conclusion that she could not budge me from my position and she had set out to show me that I was tearing down what she and other women had worked so many years to obtain, i.e. sexual freedom and their choice as to when they would reproduce, if at all.

During that exchange, I pointed out that acceptance of abortion would inevitably lead to acceptance of euthanasia and she claimed that it would not. Yet here we are, 40 years after the legalization of abortion in Canada, and early in February, Parliament will debate Bill C-384 to legalize euthanasia and assisted suicide. Schadenberg assured us that this bill will not pass; he has met with scores of politicians in Ottawa and knows that there is a substantial majority who will vote against the bill. However, it will most likely go the same way as abortion; abortion was not passed by Parliament; it was legalized through the courts when Morgentaler challenged the existing access to abortion. And Jocelyn Downie, an ethics professor at Dalhousie University, is ready to take this to court as soon as she finds an appropriate victim, er I mean client.

No resting on any laurels here; we are in a culture war, one that centers upon the dignity of the human person. What our country (as well as many other countries) has done is to exchange the intrinsic value of the human person for the utilitarian value of life. Is this life worth living becomes the question? Is this life wanted? Instead of does this person have a right to exist, merely on the basis of being a member of the human race?

The book Abortion: the Silent Holocaust by John Powell, S.J. was recommended to me by a leader of the pro-life movement here in Nova Scotia. Although it was written in 1981, the book is still very relevant to today's discussion of abortion, as the basic tenets of the pro-life movement have not changed. Strategy may change, and it has to, but the beliefs do not.

Father Powell's life was dramatically changed by his being present at a birth; this sowed the seeds of the wonder of life and they began to grow. He then spent some time studying in Germany and visited Dachau. He was also profoundly influenced by a meeting with a German nun who was part of a group of nuns who provided a home for retarded and handicapped children. She was witness to these children being removed and taken to "killing centers". She informed Father Powell that the German people had been well prepared to accept this action years before through propaganda in the educational and judicial systems.

She explained that in the early 1930's, a determined group of opinion makers in Germany propagandized a new ethic, the pragmatic morality of Hegel, the German philosopher. In summary, this ethic maintains: Whatever solves a problem on the practical level must be considered as moral. No action is right or wrong in itself. If a given action results in a desirable effect, it is ethically acceptable. - Abortion: the Silent Holocaust, p. 26

Writing in the early 80's, Powell sees that America has moved in exactly the same directly as pre-Nazi Germany. Nick Thimmesch, a journalist, writing in Newsweek magazine, July 9, 1973 says:

The utilitarian ethic is also common in the arguments of euthanasia advocates at work in six state legislatures. Their euphemisms drip like honey (should say, cyanide) just as they did in Germany - "death with dignity," the "good death." Their legal arguments fog the mind. Their mentality shakes me ... It bothers me that eugenicists in Germany organized the mass destruction of mental patients, and in the United States pro-abortionists now also serve in pro-euthanasia organizations. Sorry, but I see a pattern.

For many, the subject of abortion seems closed. They say "well it has been legalized, there is nothing we can do about it now", but we cannot accept that position of defeat. I fear that many clergy have accepted that position and that is the reason for their silence. But as long as we have breath, we must speak what we know to be true.

Bernard Nathanson, the doctor who helped to legalize abortion in New York City and ran the largest abortion clinic in America, is a man whom I would think has the most reason to feel desperate and helpless in the face of his conversion to pro-life. He himself says that knowing that he oversaw the deaths of 60,000 person is a heavy burden to carry into the next world. Yet he continues, even at his advanced age (mid-80's) to speak and fight for the rights of the unborn.

What is our task? To make this country a place for decent people to live in! What is our end? To call an immediate halt to the senseless destruction of our greatest natural resource, our children! In closing, let me leave you with this admonition, again spoken in the words of the great Edmund Burke, but still as relevant and as important as it was two hundred years ago, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing." _ Bernard Nathanson, address to the National Right to Life Convention 1980

Monday, November 30, 2009

And the diocese endorses .....

On Saturday, Alex Schadenberg spoke on the subjects of euthanasia and assisted suicide to interested persons in Halifax. Alex is the executive director of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, an advocacy group that he founded ten years ago in response to the trial of Robert Latimer, a man who had gassed his own daughter who suffered from cerebral palsy.

Alex has six children of his own, one of whom has autism, and the Latimer case brought home to him the fact that the disabled will be threatened by any legalization of euthanasia or assisted suicide.

One attendee at the talk was a woman who had suffered through cancer and its treatment only to be a victim of a car accident that left her severely handicapped. At age 54, with a terminal disease compounded by losing the use of her legs, Maggie was thinking seriously of euthanasia. She felt life had become too much of a burden. However, she survived and she was there at Alex's talk to bear witness to the fact that Bill C-384 will threaten people like her, if it is passed. She had also called the press and the television stations and had managed to get a reporter from the Chronicle Herald to attend, as well as a reporter and photographer from CTV.

I was anxious to hear how Alex departed from Dr. Nuala Kenny on this subject, since I had been forewarned that he did. I posted previously about how Dr. Kenny was not very clear on the subject of removing nutrition and hydration. I had emailed her to try and get more information about where she stood on this issue, but she declined to comment, stating "Sorry, these are not topics amenable to e-mail; misunderstanding is inevitable." (November 13, 2009)

Alex was quite clear on this subject however. Removing nutrition and hydration from a patient who is not dying is euthanasia; removing nutrition and hydration from a patient who is dying may be considered, because there comes a point where the person's body cannot handle these and organs are shutting down; at this point, it is actually wise to remove food and fluids and "let the person die".

Now, why could Dr. Kenny not be as clear as that? I think that she was not clear on this, because she herself does not consider removing food and fluids to be euthanasia. It would seem that she is willing to make a judgment about quality of life and take measures based on that; Alex Schadenberg states very clearly that we cannot make decisions that bring about a person's death on the basis of whether we think their life has quality or not. This is the danger zone at which we must draw the line clearly and maintain it.

It is pretty darn clear, that if a person is suffering from something terminal or is the victim of an accident and they are dying, their body will reject further care. The difference must be made between treatment and care; we may dispense with treatment, when such treatment will no longer be of any benefit to the person. What we must keep in mind here is that giving nutrition and hydrating a person is not treatment; it is basic nursing care, and such care must never be discontinued. To cease such care is to deprive a person of what they deserve simply by virtue of being a human being.

What is disturbing is that Dr. Kenny's talk was offered by the Diocese of Halifax and was attended by approximately 200 persons; Alex's talk was offered by the pro-life group of St. Thomas Aquinas/Canadian Martyrs Parish and was attended by 80 persons. Which view received the endorsement of the diocese?

The people who attended Dr. Kenny's talk are sure that she gave them the Church teaching on what constitutes a good death and where to draw the distinctions between letting someone die and committing euthanasia. However, Dr. Kenny did not define that difference very well, and she actually stated that she disagreed with the Magisterium of the Church on the death of Terry Schiavo. Alex Schadenberg did not hesitate to say that Terry Schiavo was euthanised, as did Pope John Paul II. So it is Alex who is giving the accurate Church teaching on the subject of euthanasia.

If only the bishop and the clergy had been present to hear both talks, and if only they were interested enough to find out where they should be on this issue.

Visit Alex's blog here

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One Issue Voting and "Seamless Garment" Thinking

"I don't believe that one should vote on one-issue only."

I am sure that many of you have heard this statement, usually in reference to abortion. Those who espouse this view claim that there are many issues that must be looked at, that a candidate's stand on abortion is only one of many positions to be considered, and that one should really weigh all the issues and pick the candidate who appears to best support one's beliefs.

What's the problem with this position? The person who holds this does not "get" what abortion is. As Mother Teresa said "if a mother can kill her own child, what is to stop us from killing anyone?" Coming face-to-face with the evil of abortion, one realises that the violence of abortion gives birth to all manner of other violence and that is but one reason of many to vote against anyone who supports legalized abortion or a woman's "right to choose".

I think one can look at abortion from two angles (at least). The first is to consider the child who is being aborted. Medical science has definitively stated that, from conception onwards, this is human life - no question about that. Those who argue that it isn't, are simply clutching at straws. Those who claim that this is a human life but not a person, and therefore the unborn child does not have the rights that are accorded "born persons", are hiding behind words. For they are stuck with the dilemma of deciding when does "personhood" begin? Who is going to define the arbitrary moment when a developing fetus takes on "person" status? Saying that the moment of birth can be the defining moment ignores the medical advances in which premature babies are surviving at younger and younger gestational ages. To claim that one becomes a "person" by virtue of leaving one's mother's body, is as silly as to claim that one is only a person by virtue of location. Since when is someone less of a person because of where they are?

The argument of dependence is also ridiculous because the newborn baby is totally dependent upon another human being to care for it, just as the unborn baby is dependent upon its mother's body to care for it. Whether the care is done through an umbilical cord or through the breast, does not change the nature of being dependent. Without some kind of care, the newborn will die just as the unborn dies without the care of the womb.

Without a doubt, abortion terminates the life of a human being, of a person, of a member of the human race. We cannot deny that this is killing, pure and simple. Abortionists admit this; it is time that pro-choice feminists admitted it as well. Not to do so is dishonest. Even their spokesperson, Naomi Wolf, challenges pro-choice women to admit that they are killing a human being when they abort their child.

But what is far worse about abortion than other murders, is that abortion is the killing of those who are dependent upon us for their survival. As Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) pointed out, in 1991, abortion is part of "a true war of the mighty against the weak ... With the complicity of States, colossal means have been used against people at the dawn of their life ..." (The Problem of Threats to Human Life, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, April 8, 1991)

Doesn't this make it worse than ordinary murder? When we read of troops or terrorists slaughtering the weak- the very old, the very young, the very disabled - this seems more inhuman than the killing of vigorous adults. There is something in us that responds to weakness with compassion and deference... When a blind man is robbed of a wallet, our humanity is more deeply injured than when a sighted person has his wallet stolen. The thief has committed an act not only wrong but shameful.- Abortion is More Than Murder, Richard Stith

The great John Paul II, in Evangelium Vitae, criticizes abortion and euthanasia for being "Attacks that strike human life at the time of its greatest frailty" and adds that even "more serious is the fact that, most often, those attacks are carried out in the very heart of and with the complicity of the family - the family that by its nature is called to be the 'sanctuary of life'"

Moreover, by officially authorizing abortion throughout pregnancy, and even into birth, current American law willingly tempts and enables mothers and fathers to turn violently against those little lives that utterly depend on them. Our entire legal system, and those who support it, is itself complicit in an act far worse than ordinary murder.- Richard Stith

This is the ultimate betrayal, when those whose lives depend upon another to maintain them are betrayed by the very person who is caring for them. This is why women suffer post-abortion syndrome, because they have betrayed the person for whom they are the only one who can ensure their life. One does not recover easily from that.

We tear out the roots of human trust when we authorize the killing of our own children... Those unable to bargain out their rights and duties - such as the unborn or the mentally disabled - thus come to count for very little. Their destruction is rationalized by the idea that autonomy alone is the basis for human dignity... Accepting the killing of strangers eats away at our community from the outside in; accepting the killing of our own children rots us from the inside out. - Richard Stith

If we understand what Stith writes, then we can make the leap to understanding why Mother Teresa said that abortion will cause nuclear war. She understood the small step between the violence against the unborn and violence against the entire human family.

Abortion may be "one issue" but it is the most important issue, because it deals with the very ability of people to enter this world. No other issue matters for the unborn unless they get to arrive. No arguing about universal health care, the death penalty, unjust wars, third world poverty can be entertained unless one gets to be born first. Depriving someone of their "right to life" by abortion, gives power to the strong over the weak, something that we would fight fiercely if we saw it manifested, simply if we saw it. Abortion is the greatest injustice and remains so because it is unseen.

I have lumped in with this post, the phrase "seamless garment" because this theology is used by people who declare that one should not be a "single issue voter". The "seamless garment" is the theology put forth by Cardinal Bernardin of Chicago in the 1980's. Bernardin proposed "placing abortion within the context of the entire gamut of social-justice issues". (Richert, see below) In simple terms, abortion was considered one of many social justice issues, such as capital punishment, poverty, health care, to name a few. He probably did not intend to cause this but Bernardin's theory resulted in

...a significant number of American Catholics (who) pointed to the seamless-garment approach to justify casting their votes for politicians who would not only protect "abortion rights" but even expand them and provide taxpayer funding for abortions. - The Practical Effects of the Seamless Garment, by Scott P. Richert

Both Pope John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI have spoken out against this misinterpretation of the "seamless garment" theology. They have both stated that the "right to life" is the fundamental right and that therefore abortion and euthanasia are intrinsic evils. They cannot be weighed against other options when choosing an elected representative; they are key issues on which one must stand firmly either for or against. No "proportional" thinking allowed in this area; one cannot in good conscience vote for someone who supports or promotes abortion.

While it sounds like good theology, "seamless garment" thinking actually is the ultimate cop-out. I can absent myself from the abortion issue because I am taking on one of the other social ills of society. But there is no other social ill that gets such a hard time as abortion. Stand up for the poor, participate in anti-war demonstrations, protest environmental abuses, work to halt child pornography and sexual abuse, and you will be praised and lauded, or at least tolerated. But take a stand against abortion, and be prepared to face crude hand gestures, scathing and sometimes foul-mouthed verbal abuse, and some even face violence as in the case of students at UBC when they put up a graphic display of anti-abortion signs. Being actively pro-life does not win you any popularity points, in fact quite the opposite - be prepared to endure persecution.

When I hear people say that they think of pro-life in terms of all the issues that promote life, I hear someone making an excuse for not doing anything for the unborn.

When we reduce abortion to a nonissue in order to elevate other areas with which Catholics are concerned, the poor and defenseless suffer. And there's nothing Catholic about that. - Richert

Previously I stated that I thought there were (at least) two ways to view abortion. The second way that I had in mind was the global scale of abortion. Most people have no conception of how widespread abortion is. Face it, most people do not think beyond their immediate circumstances. As Michael Coren said recently, when you mention abortion, you touch a nerve, because the person you are talking to has either had an abortion, knows someone who had an abortion, has been complicit in getting an abortion, or would procure an abortion if they felt the need. Practically everyone shares guilt in this evil. This is why pro-lifers get such a hard time; you can be sure that when reactions occur, a nerve has been touched.

In speaking to a friend of mine, she said that she was fortunate in that abortion had never touched anyone in her family. At least, not that she knows about, I thought. And that is one of the problems of people who say they are pro-choice. They have no idea of how many abortions there are, they have no idea what abortion is doing to society as a whole, and they have no conception of the degree to which abortion has become a world-wide plague. People say society will always have abortion, and that is true. Whenever women experience an unplanned pregnancy that they feel they cannot endure, they will consider abortion even if it is illegal.

But take a look at this map -
Abortion world wide

Combine the red and purple areas to see how widespread legal abortion is. It is only the green areas where abortion is only legal in the "hard cases" of rape or incest, and the yellow areas where abortion is illegal in all cases, unless the mother's life is in danger.

We hear talk about the swine flu being a pandemic, but no one speaks of the pandemic of abortion. Abortion takes more lives than all wars combined.

The poster was covered with crosses, one cross symbolizing the deaths of 10,000 people killed by war, starting with the American Civil War (both sides) picturing 50 crosses, representing 498,332 deaths. Next was World War I, 12 crosses, 116,708 deaths. World War II, 407,316 deaths, 41 crosses; Korea, 265,604 deaths; 3 crosses;
Vietnam, 58,168 deaths, 6 crosses.
Then came the crosses representing deaths by abortion (one cross for every 10,000) since 1973, and there were many - pages and pages, which totaled 35,000,000 (35 million). - Campaign Life Coalition, Nova Scotia Newsletter, Nov-Dec /09

How does one even fathom the extent of this loss of life? Someone once said that one death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic. Yet every one of those deaths is a human life, that has been lost to this world. If we knew them, we would suffer that loss more intimately. We do not know the unborn; they are the nameless victims for whom there is not even a grave.

Somehow, we have to juxtapose the tragedy of that one abortion that we know about (most of us know someone who had an abortion and suffers the after-effects of it), with the millions of lives that have been lost worldwide.

Abortion is not just "one issue" among many; it is the issue that we must stand up against and settle. Because, if we don't, we are doomed as a civilization.

Monday, November 23, 2009

When Science Gets Political

I am married to a scientist, a geologist who is a professor at a Canadian university. Not a man to shout his opinions loudly (leave that to his wife), over the past year he has voiced his concerns over the wedding of environmental science and political agendas. In fact, on one occasion, he said to me that science has never been used as a political tool until this past decade with the theory of global warming.

So it is with a personal interest that I am reading about the internet release of data from the Hadley Centre’s Climatic Research Unit at East Anglia University in England. This information was hacked by some Russians supposedly, although that has not been confirmed. And one would wonder what their motive would be, since Russia is not seen as a nation that wishes to demolish current scientific theory. It may take a few days for this news to hit the main-stream media, but it is all over the blogosphere now.

Reports are confirming that the data hacked and released is authentic and it is shaking up many political figures. It seems that the theory of global warming has been advanced and the data to confirm it has been put forward, while data to the contrary has been suppressed.

You can read about the news here and read an article by Rand Simberg on the repercussions of this news here and another by Charlie Martin here.

I was amused by a post on Small Dead Animals , a site by Canadian blogger Kate McMillan. One comment read that perhaps a suicide watch should be placed on David Suzuki. Not to mention Al Gore, who was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work on climate change.

What is worrisome is the way in which this theory of global warming has been bought by governments everywhere. And those governments have been implementing policies based on this theory, policies that impact the lives of ordinary people. It is only common sense that we should be reducing our carbon footprint, that we should be reducing waste products of all sorts, that we should be good stewards of the earth's resources and ensuring the future of the environment for generations to come. But what we have seen recently is the proposal from bodies within the United Nations, to name one example, who advocate population reduction in order to reduce our carbon footprint and to "save the planet".

The global warming theory is science that has been stolen by those who have a political agenda, one that is not people-friendly at all.

Reports, such as this one from the London School of Economics and Political Science state that
"The best way to combat global warming is to reduce the surplus population through contraception and abortion" - Hilary White, LifeSiteNews, Sept 10, 2009

Environmental extremists are calling for a drastic reduction of the earth’s population to save the planet from global warming, saying the best “carbon offset” is no more carbon-dioxide emitting human beings ... A report published May 7 by the Optimum Population Trust declared that the best “carbon-offset strategy” was to reduce the number of human beings and thus defeat the “global warming” phenomenon
- Peter Smith, Steve Jalsevac, LifeSiteNews, May 8, 2007

Over the past thirty years, there has been a steadily-increasing pressure upon families in the West to reduce the number of children in their families. Not to mention the pressure that is now exerted by UN agencies upon families in the Third World. People are made to feel that they are irresponsible if they have more than two children, and if they dare to have a "largish" family of four or more children, they have to be prepared for an onslaught of criticism from, well ... everyone. And those who criticize have felt justified in doing so because now they have science to back them up, since every additional person adds to the threatening spectre of climate change.

Whoa, let's stop this recrimination right now. The actual truth is that the world is not in danger of over-population, nor is it in danger of warming up to unliveable temperatures, nor is the world not capable of sustaining population growth. These are theories being pushed by those who, for some reason, don't wish to have large families themselves or any families (if you look at these folks individually). And they don't want anyone else to have kids either.

And while I'm on this track, I'd like to add that those light bulbs that David Suzuki has been pushing on television commerials, should be sold with a clear warning. If they break, exit the building immediately, as fluorine gas is emitted, and guess what? it is toxic. Not to mention the fact that the light bulbs, which are supposed to be really long-lasting and therefore energy-saving, actually only burn for 1/4 of the time that they have been purported to last for.

If Suzuki doesn't need a suicide watch, he may need a washcloth to get the egg off his face.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Facebook Friends?

Garrison Keillor sings Unfriended

I just couldn't resist, after deciding to delete all the "friend requests" from Facebook that I get. Facebook Free !!!!!

The Dilemma of China

Two years ago, I read a riveting book called Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang, a young woman raised in China during the Cultural Revolution of Mao Tse Tung, and who left China to study in England in 1978.

Despite its length (524 pages), I could not put the book down. I was captivated by the telling of history through the young eyes of Ms Chang. She began with what she knew of her grandmother, who became a concubine of a warlord general in 1929, then traced the escape of her grandmother and the birth of her mother, through the huge cultural shifts taking place in China. From a rural lifestyle to life in a large city, Chang details what it was like to be the daughter of parents who joined the Communist party, only to later have her father arrested and tortured by the same party.

This book began a process of thinking about China, something I had not really done before. Being concerned with the subject of abortion, China comes to the forefront because of the one-child policy, which includes forced abortion and sterilization, plus state control of a couple's fertility. Many times, I remember a girl I worked with, in Toronto in the early 70's, telling me about this wonderful book she was reading called Fanshen, a Documentary of Revolution in a Chinese Village; she was enamored of how society was changing in China, for the better she thought. I wonder what she thinks of that now, given the fact that revolution came at the price of so many lives and the destruction of the traditional way of life.

Forward to November 2009 and I came across a book called The Lost Daughters of China; Abandoned Girls, Their Journey to America, and the Search for a Missing Past.
Written in 2000, by Karin Evans, a Californian journalist who with her husband, adopted a baby girl from China. The book chronicles their journey through married life without children, to desiring a child, to taking the necessary steps to adopt an infant from China. Evans details the emotions involved in the long wait; she describes their eventual journey to China to an orphanage to obtain their daughter; she continues with descriptions of life with their little girl Kelly Xiao Yu and gives the reader a glimpse into the thoughts of those who adopt these little orphans.

What is so wonderful about this book is that, all through it, Evans speaks of Kelly's Chinese mother and what she must have gone through in giving her up. She writes with a mother's heart when she describes her bond with little Kelly in sentences that brought me to tears many times.

Kelly Xiao Yu and I spent our first full afternoon together at the hotel, rolling around on the bed, making friends... We laughed and played with each other's fingers and noses. We were getting to know each other on some primal level... When I hugged her, she felt full and warm - and necessary - in my arms, as if she were settling into a dent in my chest that I hadn't realised was so cavernous. Babies are made for this, I know, thanks to some evolutionary scheme that opens mysterious places in us into which only babies can fit.

This is a book written by a woman who has consented to love unconditionally. She is a woman who understands a mother's heart, for she writes:

This baby was found; she was meant to be found- that is the important point here. The story that Kelly's mother had to offer, I realized was closer than we thought. The best evidence was Kelly herself. Her sweetness and courage, her humor and grace. Her mother left the biggest clue of all in this baby's ready smile. Her mother loved her. If I know nothing else about this woman who gave me the gift of this beautiful child, I know this: When she cared for this baby, she cared wholeheartedly. When she set her down, she set her down gently.

A marvellous read, this is a book with a personal angle that helps to paint a better picture of China than any history book. An incredibly complicated and beautiful country, subject to centuries of oppression and now Communism, the Chinese people are resilient, gentle, and remarkably non-antagonistic. I noticed this during 40 Days for Life, when so many Chinese university students passed us during the prayer vigil. Every single one of those students would have had their lives touched by abortion; almost every one of them would be single children, or would have lost siblings to abortion, abandonment, or worse. Yet their faces were not hostile; perhaps they are so caught up in the learning of the English language and in their studies (it is well known how hard Chinese students work) that to be rebellious simply does not occur to them. At least not to the Chinese youth that we saw this fall.

This book reveals to me how much we do not know about China, how incredibly intricate their historical tapestry is, how much there is to learn about this mysterious vast country that has produced 1/4 of the world's present population.

Obviously, I recommend this book for you to read. Be sure to have your box of tissues nearby.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

The Spectre of Euthanasia

On Monday evening, I attended a talk given by Sister Nuala Kenny here in Halifax. The subject was the Catholic idea of "a good death".

Sister Kenny (who is also a doctor, a pediatrician) pointed out the irony in the title of the talk, since the Greek word "euthanasia" actually means "good death".

The talk was excellent; I had never heard Sister Kenny speak before, and she is a well-informed and vibrant speaker - lots of character displayed, her use of humour at times very wry, and a logical train of thought presented in terms that the lay person can understand - all of these combined to make her talk exceptional.

Until the last few minutes. The last half hour or so was given over to questions from the audience and the inevitable question was raised: what about the withdrawal of nutrition and hydration from patients who are diagnosed as being in a coma that seems irreversible or who are in a "persistent vegetative state"?

Dr. (or Sister, if you prefer) Kenny began by saying that she had hoped that confusing issue wouldn't be raised, because with it comes the case of Terry Schiavo, a woman considered to be in a "persistent vegetative state" who was being kept alive by food and water through tubes.

She said, and I agree, that Terry Schiavo's death was an example of a death that was not good in any sense. However, she went on to say that, much as she tries to be faithful to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, in this case she had to disagree with Pope John Paul II. The Pope had stated that the doctors should not withdraw food and hydration from Terry Schiavo, because doing so would cause her death. President Bush also tried to intervene in the case, I believe.

Dr. Kenny stated that she felt the Pope was over-reacting, out of his commitment to his pro-life position, and his collosal effort to resist the culture of death. Although Dr. Kenny did not state that feeding should be stopped, she did indicate that keeping a person like Terry Schiavo on tubal feeding was a waste of medical resources, since she had no quality of life whatsoever. She also stated that the photos that were released in the media showed a woman who was simply reacting to her mother's face, they did not show a woman who could experience emotions or feelings at all.

Dr. Kenny had previously stated that, with the advance of technology, we can now keep people alive who could not have been sustained previously. And therefore, some technologies serve not to prolong life, but rather to prolong death. She also stated that some measures should not be used, as they are "extraordinary", and when death is in the foreseeable future, that we should let nature takes its course.
I have absolutely no problem with that, I believe Dr. Kenny is right.

However, feeding and giving nutrition by tube, is hardly an extraordinary measure. Medical staff have been doing this for decades and it is perfectly "ordinary". If you walk through any ward in any hospital, you see patients on IV apparatus in almost half the rooms, if not more.

I asked Dr. Kenny if giving Terry Schiavo hydration by IV was "extraordinary"? I said that I could see giving nutrition to someone in her state might be seen as prolonging an inevitable death, but surely glucose water is required to keep the patient from experiencing pain. I have read that death by dehydration is extremely painful.

At this point, Dr. Kenny got quite upset and stated clearly that "one should wish to die by dehydration, it is painless". She then said that Terry Schiavo's brain had atrophied to 2/3 its normal size (as revealed by the autopsy) and that therefore she felt absolutely no pain because that part of her brain no longer functioned. As she said that, I thought (but didn't say it) that doctors also thought babies felt no pain when they were aborted and have since revised that opinion.

The MC quickly brought the meeting to a close at this point, as we had exceeded the time limit, and Dr. Kenny had the last word on the subject. I was dismayed that the room of 200 people were left with her words in their ears, and I know that almost all of them believe her.

But Dr. Kenny is incorrect in her conclusion about Terry Schiavo. This was a case that I had read about previously and I was aware of quite a few facts about it before I went to this meeting. So I was not taken in by Dr. Kenny's statements.
I hurried home to google some facts about Terry Schiavo, as related by Father Frank Pavone, who spent four hours of her last day with her. And an article by Alex Schadenberg who will be speaking in Halifax on this very subject on November 27/28.

Click here for Father Frank Pavone's testimony of Terry Schiavo's last hours

and here for Alex Schadenberg's article The Death of Terry Schiavo - Euthanasia or Natural Death?

I look forward to hearing Alex in two weeks on this topic and I hope that some of the people who attended Dr. Kenny's talk will also be there. It is unfortunate that a talk sponsored by the diocese, as Dr. Kenny's talk was, resulted in the speaker giving voice to her opinion which is contrary to the teaching of the Catholic Church. The medical profession has been slowly accepting death by dehydration for some time now and, as with abortion, the slippery slope is there once again. It is absolutely essential that we Catholics hold the line on this issue; as with abortion, we will probably be the only ones who will. Thank you, Pope John Paul II, for giving us such clear leadership on the life issues.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Compare These Nuns

Sister Donna Quinn who has been volunteering as an abortion escort at an Illinois abortion facility for the past six years (full story here)

compared with

Cloistered nuns in Spain

A relationship with Jesus Christ makes all the difference in the world between real nuns and those who think they are nuns, but sadly are feminists disguised as nuns.

So which order will be part of the rejuvenation of the Catholic Church? kind of a no-brainer.

By the way, the convent in Spain had no vocations for 23 years; but something happened and now the place is filled with young women, who look so obviously happy to be giving their lives to Christ.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Let's Corrupt Those Teen Minds

On Friday, I got wind of a planned event at the Edge at St. Peter's Church in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia. The Edge is the catechism class provided for students in grades seven through nine, so the kids are 12 to 15 years of age.

Here is the email sent out from the coordinator of the Edge program to parents:

As you may know from reading your religious education schedule, we are planning a traditional Mexican Day of the Dead celebration at Edge this Sunday, November 1. To make our celebration authentic we are asking all Edge participants to do what they would normally do if they were celebrating the Day of the Dead in Mexico -- that is, entice the spirit of a departed loved one to come to them. In Mexico, they do this by offering a favourite food, playing the loved one's favourite music, bringing an object that represents an activity that the loved one enjoyed, for example, if your loved one was an avid golfer, you could bring a golf club and a ball or something similar, perhaps you have an item of clothing or jewelry (not too expensive, please) that was a favourite of the departed loved one's. In addition, we ask that each participant bring a picture of their departed loved one so that we can all celebrate this person's life with them. The purpose of the Day of the Dead is to celebrate the life of the departed after a period of mourning. Since we just studied the beatitude "Blessed are those who mourn," last Sunday, I think it is particularly fitting that we celebrate the Day of the Dead this coming Sunday. Our guest speaker for the evening is Martha Carerra who has celebrated many Days of the Dead at her home in Mexico and has brought the tradition with her to Canada. We are very grateful that she is willing to share this important celebration with us.

When one parent raised objections to the parish priest that this was actually bordering on a seance, he was told that he was blowing things out of proportion and taking things too seriously. Yet he even gave the priest the Catholic teaching on this from the Catholic Catechism:

2116 All forms of divination are to be rejected: recourse to Satan or demons, conjuring up the dead or other practices falsely supposed to "unveil" the future. [Cf. Deut 18:10; Jer 29:8] Consulting horoscopes, astrology, palm reading, interpretation of omens and lots, the phenomena of clairvoyance, and recourse to mediums all conceal a desire for power over time, history, and, in the last analysis, other human beings, as well as a wish to conciliate hidden powers. They contradict the honor, respect, and loving fear that we owe to God alone.

I'm sorry, but I don't find playing with the occult something that can be taken too seriously. What on earth are they thinking in this church? And who is overseeing this program?

Since September, it seems that many things are coming to light in our Catholic church here that have definitely been lurking in the dark. I pray that all of the things done in the dark will come to the light and be exposed. If God is shaking the tree of the Church here, I pray that He shakes it really hard and all the rotten fruit falls off, leaving just the good fruit to grow.

My blog does not get many readers, but I will try to do what I can to expose the works of darkness. I find it timely that last week, as I drove home from the 40 Days vigil each night, I was listening to the Christian radio station and all week, the topic was curses, how one gets cursed in one's life, and how to get free from a curse. The very first thing that brings a person under a curse is to have anything to do with the occult. So many people think this is totally harmless, from playing with a ouija board to reading horoscopes, to having their fortune read from tarot cards. They have no idea that they are entering right into the realm of Satan, who rules the underworld where all these things come from. This stuff is not harmless in the least, in fact it is playing havoc with many people's minds. And teens are so impressionable, that they get sucked right into it easily.

"Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them." - Ephesians 5:11

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Youth Culture

When I walk my dog, I often walk through a neighbourhood where posters adorn all the telephone poles. These posters are notices of events to take place, the most inexpensive form of advertising going. And almost all of these events are things that promote and foster the culture of darkness and death that seems to be encroaching everywhere. By the way, I just noticed on a second look, that the proceeds go to the United Way, a well-known supporter of Planned Parenthood, the organization that promotes abortion as the first solution to an unplanned pregnancy.

I don't think that I am being morose; I have walked this area for years, it is very close to the Commons and the heart of downtown Halifax. I wonder if parents even know where their teens are going on Friday and Saturday nights when they go out with their friends? Do they comprehend the kind of forces that are influencing their children's lives? And, more importantly, do they care enough to step in and try and protect their kids?

The attraction of death, of evil, of the sinister underworld is very real and it is very strong. And children everywhere are being exposed to it, while their parents for the most part, ignore what is happening. They are simply too busy to pay attention to what their children watch on TV, to what they talk about with their friends, to the music they listen to. Yet, this dark world is not sleeping; it is on the move, capturing the minds of the younger generation and ensnaring them in thoughts and ways that are pernicious.

Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8

Parents especially need to be vigilant because children do not have the tools with which to fend off this evil; their minds are impressionable and vulnerable to anything that comes their way; it is the parents' responsibility to be the watchman for those young minds. It is not just your right, but your duty, to protect your children. If that means turning off the TV, then do it; if it means taking away the Ipod, then do it; if it means limiting internet use, then do it. Your kids are worth it. And no one else will protect them, if you don't.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Pope Welcomes Anglicans

Without much warning, Pope Benedict has thrown open the doors of the Roman Catholic Church to those Anglicans who wish to join in communion with the Church while being allowed to maintain their Anglican traditions.

This has caught Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams completely by surprise and he is fumbling to save face in this breaking news. But he should have seen it coming; the Anglican church has been torn by the issue of homosexual marriage and the ordination of women clergy for some time; it was only a matter of time until many Anglicans simply could not remain within that confusion.

Click here for the article by Hilary White, Rome correspondent for LifeSiteNews

and here for the version by Damian Thompson, Blogs Editor of the Telegraph Media Group

Just this weekend, I heard someone tell me they had attended a Marian conference here in Halifax and Mark Mallett told people to be prepared for a wave of new Catholics entering the Roman Catholic Church. He told people to get to know their catechism well and be prepared to answer questions on Catholic doctrine, because new people will want to know what it is exactly that we believe. What a challenge for Catholics, this is welcome news! We know one Anglican Catholic here in Halifax who is going to be grinning from ear to ear, way to go Brant!

Some are worried about what this will mean for ecumenism, how can talks about finding "common ground" continue, when entire groups join the Church and accept Papal authority and Catholic teaching on ordination and marriage? There can be no "common ground" on the topic of homosexuality, Scripture is abundantly clear on that issue and women priests, well, that's a can of worms I don't wish to open, but I sure never want to see any. As one commenter on Damian Thompson's blog wrote:

But whatever Rowan Williams might try to say, this is not ecumenism.
This is – as it has been properly defined – you-come-to-me-ism.

Monday, October 19, 2009

The Fallacy of Choice

As written up in today's post on Big Blue Wave in Somebody Has to Be Pro-Abortion, Suzanne points out that pro-choice defenders don't like to be called pro-aborts. Choice is such a positive word, as Bernard Nathanson wrote, that's why they picked it to push their agenda to legalize abortion in New York City in the early 70's. Who would dare to criticize the seeming virtue of choice?

But choice simply means that you pick one thing as opposed to another. And the object of choice is what matters, not the fact that you have choice itself. It is what you choose that makes the difference.

So let's expose choice for what it is. What do women choose when they choose abortion? They choose, plain and simple, to end the life of their developing baby. Period. That's what their choice is. We must never substitute the ability to choose from what is actually chosen. In the end, it is the object of choice that matters, not the ability to choose.

The essence of the abortion mentality is not to deny that the unborn child is a child. Rather, it is that we take the place of God. It is the idea that what I choose is right, not because the ting I choose is good, but rather because I choose. Choice is more important than life, and my choice takes the place of God himself. Hence, clergy preach “choice” and the message of Christ becomes “choice on earth.”

Ultimately, human being have to feel like they are in line with God. Therefore, if they do not change their lives to conform to God’s will, they will change their very concept of God to conform to their own will.

- Father Frank Pavone, Ending Abortion, Not Just Fighting It

Every time, pro-lifers gather to defend the right to life for the unborn, someone passes who yells out "choice, choice, choice" to which I always want to respond "what are you choosing?" After all, we are not talking about flavours of ice cream here. Let's be serious, let's be truthful.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Remembering the Unwanted

This is a photo of part of the Walk to Remember, sponsored by parents who have lost children to miscarriage, still birth or other calamity. They started their walk at the IWK Children's Hospital and went around the large block that encircles the Victoria General Hospital, Grace Maternity, Bethune Research Building as well as the IWK. I don't think anyone warned them that there was a 40 Days for Life vigil being held on one of those sidewalks, because they looked fairly surprised to see us there.

As one vigil participant said to me, "no friendly faces, only one woman smiled at us". I knew of this walk because someone had emailed me a while ago about it, a man who had lost a baby two years ago to a miscarriage. He and his wife planned to take part and he thought it was great, to remember those babies most of whom did not even have proper funerals. I agree, it is good to remember those babies who would otherwise be forgotten.

But I can't help but wonder, especially after seeing the unfriendly faces passing us, if this further enforces the fact that only those babies who were wanted should be remembered. The aborted babies were babies just as these miscarried and still born babies were, yet they are not remembered. They are not treated with any respect by anyone. They are simply disregarded and disposed of, just like trash.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Prayer for Canada

On a recent trip to Barry's Bay, Ontario, where our middle daughter lives with her family, I was pleased to hear the church reciting the following prayer after Sunday Mass:


O Most Blessed Mother Mary, Mother of Mercy, at this most critical time, we entrust our country to your loving care.
Most Holy Mother, we beg you to reclaim this land for the glory of your Son. Overwhelmed with the burden of the sins of our nation, we cry to you from the depths of our hearts and seek refuge in your motherly protection.
Look down with mercy upon us and touch the hearts of our people. Open our minds to the great worth of human life and to the responsibilites that accompany human freedom.
Free us from falsehoods that lead to the evils of abortion and the breakdown of family life. Grant us the wisdom to know and proclaim that this nation was founded on God's law and that he alone is the True Source of our cherished rights and freedoms.
Guide and protect this land from every evil and from the attacks of the powers of darkness.
O Merciful Mother, give us the courage to reject the culture of death and the strength to build a new culture of life. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

Imprimatur: Bishop Roman Danylak, D.D
Titular Bishop of Nyssa - Dec. 12, 2004

I am going to suggest to my pastor here that we put copies of this prayer in our books at church and say this prayer on Sundays, just as we used to say the Prayer for Vocations regularly.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Informed Consent for Abortion

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty." --Thomas Jefferson

The principle of "informed consent" is well established in American law and life. Whether preparing to undergo surgery or take out a loan, consumers have a right to full disclosure of the risks and consequences associated with the transaction. Only after the consumer has reviewed such information and been informed of the relevant facts can he be deemed to have given his consent to proceed.
- Ken Connor from Town Hall Daily

Surely, we should have "informed consent" for every medical procedure in Canadian hospitals and clinics; however this 'given' is waived in the case of abortion. And no one seems to object to that.

Here, in Halifax, where abortions are performed in the Victoria General Hospital in a ward that has no name on the door, women and girls (many young girls) undergo blood tests, ultrasounds, and then suction aspiration abortions without true informed consent. Not only are they not made fully aware of the procedure and possible consequences, they are not even told who does the abortion or who assists in it. Doctors and nurses do not wear name tags, so I am told by a woman who had an abortion at the VG five years ago.

After World War II, many countries agreed to have a Nuremburg agreement, in which they stated that no medical procedure should be used on human beings without having been tested previously on animals. Guess which procedure has never been tested on animals? Suction aspiration abortion - the method used to perform abortions on fetuses from 6-14 weeks gestation. This procedure accounts for 95% of all abortions. Once again, medical wisdom is waived in the case of abortion.

Would you have a dental procedure without wanting to know who the dentist was? Would you have your eyes examined without knowing the name of the optician or optometrist? Would you have a physical examination without knowing the name of the doctor who was taking your blood pressure, listening to your heart, and taking a pap smear? I don't think so. So why would women have an abortion without knowing who was doing it?

They are scared, they are desperate, they can't think beyond the moment. They can't even imagine that something will go wrong and that they might need to return for treatment and then they would want to know who performed the procedure. And the abortion industry benefits from this; they don't fear a woman suing the doctor for malpractice, they don't fear someone hunting down the doctor to explain why things went wrong or why they find themselves infertile a few years later when they "want a baby".

The anonymity of the abortion business in Canada must be removed. Women should be told who the doctor is, and they should also be clearly told the risks of abortion, the possibility of infection, the risk of possible infertility later, the increased risk of subsequent premature births which bring a host of problems with them. And these facts should be explained to women clearly, not on the morning of their abortion, but a week or at least a few days prior, so that they can think them over before proceeding. Abortion is a can't-undo procedure; there is no reverse key for this act; once done, you have to live with it and the physical, emotional, psychological and spiritual consequences.

Women have the right to know what those consequences may be and then they will have fully informed consent. Better information always leads to better choices. And abortion is never the best choice for either the mom or the baby.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

And the problem is ......

Archbishop Raymond Lahey turning himself in to Ottawa police after being charged with possession of child pornography.

Everyone is aflame with talk about abusive priests, child molesters, sexual perverts, and the need for the church to allow priests to marry, to allow women priests, etc. etc. And yet no one is pointing out the real problem which is ..... PORNOGRAPHY!

Why don't people see this? There is an epidemic of pornography in our culture. If you don't believe it, visit
Focus on the Family
and do a search for talks by Dr. James Dobson on the subject of pornography. Dr. Dobson has been researching this for years, and he knows what he is talking about. He has interviewed men in prison who are serial killers and rapists, and the one thing they have in common is pornography.

I hesitate to use the word addiction for this, because that implies the person is suffering from something from which they can never be free. Unlike alcholism or drug addiction, which create physical dependencies, we need to view pornography as sin, pure and simple. Graver sin perhaps, but still sin. And the cure is repentance and forgiveness, plus taking the steps necessary to avoid the temptation.

Yes, we are terribly disappointed at this news of a bishop being charged with such a crime, but we should not be surprised. We should have seen this coming. When our society is sexualized to the extent that it is, it should not come as a surprise that we find the effects of that sexualization amongst our clergy. They are not immune to the culture, any more than the rest of us. What is so terribly upsetting is that we place such trust in our clergy, that this man (if he is guilty) has betrayed our trust in a way that very few other people could. We trust our clergy more than we trust anyone else, we turn to them for moral guidance, and we expect them to lead the way with their own moral behaviour. When we find that they are as sinful as the rest of us, and perhaps more, it breaks our heart. But we need to realise that, besides revealing their humanity, this tragedy shows that our culture is so rotten that it is now leaking into the area we thought was protected. We know there have been popes with mistresses and cardinals with illegitimate children, but the crime of children being sexually abused is something our culture continues to abhor. And it is all the more abhorrent when the spiritual leaders fall prey to this.

As Archbishop Mancini said "we don't know who we can trust anymore." Those are the words of a man who is feeling deep sorrow over this. Prayers for all are what is needed, not discussions of revamping the church, allowing marriage for priests, etc. None of those will effect the change that is required, which is a conversion of hearts to God who can purify us from all these sins.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Personhood Amendment

Why can't we do this in Canada? What is preventing us from presenting to Parliament a Personhood Amendment?

If you know of any politician who would be willing to press forward with this, please let me know. Tell me who he or she is, because we have to do this. As the new father says in the video "why are we doing this again? because we are right."

h/t Jill Stanek

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Just Plain Weary

Too much going on to post on this blog, and when time permits, too weary to think straight. Sleep is what is required, plenty of it and in good succession.

So many things cause me pain these days: hearing of the teen culture of drinking and sexual promiscuity; watching people waste their lives on the pursuit of hedonism; seeing so many young people just wandering through their lives with no sense of purpose.

The culture seems to have become unhinged. Today, someone told me a young woman was raped in public outside a bar and the drunken man was seen running away. And this is becoming normal news. I feel helpless and, at times, hopeless.

Running a prayer vigil to end abortion seems fruitless when the cause of abortion is sexual immorality, which no one seems to be addressing. Is no one going to warn our youth how they are destroying themselves with these relationships, or lack of relationships rather? No one? I can't see that it is me, a 60-year-old grandmother who doesn't know what to say to this, but feels the pain of it acutely.

I hear the kids at St. Mary's University cheering on their football team and all I can think, is how many will get drunk tonight, have sex, and then present themselves for abortions in two months time? There does not seem to be any innocent fun anymore. Everywhere kids from the age of 10 up are sexualized and accelerated into a lifestyle that no one should wish on anyone.

Hearing of one university girl who had two abortions in the last 18 months and who said "my parents don't care", what can one do? She is not the exception, I am sure. Why have the hearts of parents forsaken their children? Why do they not care? Why are they seeking only their own pleasure and fulfilment? Why aren't parents loving their children anymore? Why?

I feel that we are desperate for a revival. If I only knew where the next John Wesley was, I would go and beg him to come sooner, just come. There must be someone out there of that calibre of moral quality.... or perhaps not.

As one sage woman said to me, "if this is end times, Lord bring it on."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Silence Doesn't Help

Over the past few months, I have been organizing the 40 Days for Life campaign here in Halifax. Church after church, pastor after pastor, I meet with next to no response. I am beginning to think that the problem must be me, they just don't like me. Why is there such disinterest in this pro-life effort here in Halifax?

Many people reassure me that they meet the same thing with anything they try to promote, that there is a general malaise here that is worse than elsewhere.

But the silence in churches about abortion is really hurting women. I have heard that some priests don't wish to preach on the subject for fear of causing further injury to any woman in the congregation who has had an abortion. But today, I heard a woman who had an abortion say that silence is the worst thing they can do. Because when pastors and priests won't mention abortion, the woman who has had one thinks to herself "this really is the worst thing possible. It is so terrible that no one will ever mention it. My sin is really unforgiveable".

So, in trying to protect women from injury, these well-meaning Christian men are actually prolonging the solitary suffering that these women endure.

In the past few weeks, I have come to know of 7 women who have had abortions. And I have only come to know about them because of 40 Days for Life. The planning of this campaign has brought these women out from their silence to dare to admit that they had abortions and they are seeking healing. And these are all women in Christian churches, and their abortions were years ago; they should have been led to some healing before this.

So silence helps no one. It certainly doesn't help the babies who lose their lives, and it doesn't help the women who also suffer the guilt and shame of having aborted their children. I hope that 40 Days for Life brings more light into these dark areas, because it is when the Light shines in the darkness, that healing can really occur. It is when women meet the mercy of God that they can dare to admit their mistake.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Population Bomb

I wrote about this previously when commenting on Mark Steyn's book America Alone. Now the producers of The Demographic Winter have come out with another film called The Population Bomb. Rather than the planet suffer from over-population, the opposite is actually happening and is responsible for the economic downturn.

When I read the book A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry, I was shocked to read of practices in India in the 70's and 80's to sterilize huge segments of the population. I highly recommend that book if you like historical fiction. However, the facts about the sterilization were not fictional at all. My husband's student, Laura, spent a summer working in India with a charity organization, and she told Nick that India really is as described in Mistry's novel. It is no coincidence that Mother Teresa, a prime pro-life advocate, felt called to work in that country.

Now the UN is the chief proponent of these kind of practices in the Third World, pushing contraception and abortion on populations that do not want it. And it is seen as being "in their best interest". Hard to believe, that these so-called experts in international affairs could be so short-sighted. With plenty of evidence to the contrary, one has to wonder why is it that they only listen to that viewpoint?

Abortion is Insidious

This week, abortion showed its reality in two unrelated incidents. The first, when a pastor cancelled my talk this Sunday at his church. I was to come and speak about 40 Days for Life in Halifax and invite members of his congregation to participate. He had asked for a video link that he could show before my presentation, so I sent him the spring overview of 40 Days. He was going to show this to his elders and get back to me, if they approved of it. When I didn't hear from him after two weeks, I emailed and sent him another video link, to a shorter video, thinking that perhaps the first one was too long.

The reply I received was short and to the point. "Abortion is a raw issue here in our church. It turns out that two of the elders had abortions and this is a mine field. We will have to forego the presentation at this time, as I will have to be very cautious with this."

From my visit with him a month previous, this possibility had never entered the picture. I think that he was taken by surprise. I emailed him and said that this was an opportunity for him to tackle the evil of abortion by bringing news of post-abortion healing ministry to these women. I hope that he sees that this is the door that God has opened for him in the lives of these women. Someone said to me "you were never meant to go to that church, but this is obviously the work of the Spirit". I hope and pray that this pastor will find a way to minister to these women. If this event has given him knowledge of two women who have had abortions, chances are that there are several more in the congregation who have been damaged by abortion. The reality of abortion and its destruction of people's lives must be brought out into the open, in order that the Light can shine on this and bring about healing.

The other event was the annual Shinerama held by the first year students at university. You have probably seen this early every September if you live in a university town. Students used to shine shoes, but since hardly anyone wears leather shoes anymore, they now just collect money for research into cystic fibrosis.

A post on Pro Woman Pro Life brought up something I had been thinking about myself. I don't doubt that the money does indeed go for research for a cure, but perhaps the results that we are told are misleading. When we see that the numbers of cases of cystic fibrosis has declined "from 1/2714 before pre-natal genetic testing to 1/3608 in 2000", we need to realise that this decline is not due to eliminating the cause of the disease, but eliminating the baby itself.

The poster wondered if the kids collecting the money realised that, on the one hand, they are supporting research for a cure, while on the other hand, they would also advocate for abortion on their campuses, even if abortion is for genetic reasons.

A reply from Cynthia M. was enlightening:

I have a PhD in Molecular Genetics. And let me assure you, natural selection has not been getting rid of CF. That’s the whole point of recessive alleles — they can stick around at high frequencies because carriers pass on the mutant alleles, often without ever even knowing they carry the gene.
CF is not merely implicated in cholera. It is implicated in many diarrheal illnesses — including typhoid, and the very predominant E. coli. I am certain you will agree that E. coli is still very much a factor, even in developed countries. (Canada’s own recent tragedy with Walkerton is testament to this).
So I would disagree with Suricou’s comment and reiterate that there is a chilling truth to what was posted on PWPL. Natural selection is not making a dent in CF. A decline in the observed incidence of cystic fibrosis is due to prenatal testing.
And there is nothing “natural” about that.

It seems that abortion has tentacles everywhere in our society. This should not surprise me; after all, the number of pregnancies terminated is now one in three; we can expect to see the effects of abortion in many lives and we can expect to see the ramifications of abortion in many areas of society. What I find particularly disturbing, however, is the growing acceptance of abortion for the purposes of eugenics.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Shaking the Tree

Over the past several months, there have been a lot of Catholics in the news. And these particular Catholics give bad witness to the Church to which they claim they are faithful.

The most recent, of course, is Senator Edward Kennedy whose letter to Pope Benedict sounds more like a bragging list than a real letter. Kennedy's lavish and very public funeral has brought yet more scandal to the Church, with many Catholics asking why he was granted such honours, why the church hierarchy could justify giving him such a send-off when he defied Catholic teaching on major issues (abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and same-sex marriage).

Before Kennedy, we had Nancy Pelosi who has supported abortion throughout her political career and fully expected to be received warmly by Pope Benedict when she had an audience with him in February /09.

Then there was Kathleen Sebelius , former governor of Kansas, and now Secretary of Health in Obama's administration. She is another pro-abort Catholic who helped keep George Tiller and his late-term abortion clinic in business for years, despite the fact that he had violated the law many times.

And, of course, Joe Biden - Obama's pick for Vice-President, another pro-abort Catholic who has worked out his own rationale for being pro-abort in public and Catholic in private.

Across the ocean, we have the team of Tony and Cherie Blair who seem to be campaigning to form a new European Union Catholic Church - perhaps they are hoping to be made the next Pope and Popess?

The list of Catholic public figures who proclaim to be Catholic, on the one hand, and who are defying the Church on crucial matters of faith, seems to grow longer by day. What is the average Catholic to think of all this? Turn to the words of Christ himself:

Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn." Matthew 13:30

And now we have divisions amongst those who should be united as Father Tom Rosica of Salt and Light Television in Canada has lashed out at those pro-lifers who criticized the Kennedy funeral, especially Raymond Arroyo of EWTN.

It seems that the thing that has upset Father Rosica the most is that lay persons have criticized the clergy. Perhaps he is correct in stating that some of those criticisms have been vitriolic, but if he is saying that the laity should not criticize the clergy, then he is truly wrong. When the clergy let the laity down by not adhering to the tenets of the Catholic faith and do not proclaim those publicly, the laity have not only a right, but a duty, to criticize them. And that is exactly what has happened in the past few months: the clergy have totally let down the laity of the Church and they should heed the words of the prophet Ezekiel, which ring true today, just as they did 3000 years ago:

Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals. My sheep wandered over all the mountains and on every high hill. They were scattered over the whole earth, and no one searched or looked for them.
Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the Lord: As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign Lord, because my flock lacks a shepherd and so has been plundered and has become food for all the wild animals, and because my shepherds did not search for my flock but cared for themselves rather than for my flock, therefore, O shepherds, heard the word of the Lord: This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against the shepherds and will hold them accountable for my flock. I will remove them from tending the flock so that the shepherds can no longer feed themselves. I will rescue my flock from their mouths, and it will no longer be food for them. - Ezekiel 34:1-10

I am wondering whom Father Rosica has in mind when he calls pro-life people bullies: is it Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life, or Father Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International, or Judie Brown of American Life League, or Jill Stanek pro-life activist? I dont' think anyone who has watched Raymond Arroyo on EWTN would call him a bully. Or what about Jesus when he said "Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces" or when he called them "a brood of vipers"? I guess at times Jesus was a bully, not often, but remember that the truth is supposed to cut like a knife. It seems that the church is in need of that cutting truth at the moment. That knife was precisely what was missing in the case of Ted Kennedy; instead of correcting this man with the truth, he was permitted to carry on with his anti-Catholic views while he lived and then he was honoured by that same Church when he died. If that is not hypocrisy, then show me what is.

As Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) said in his 1997 book Salt of the Earth: Christianity and the Catholic Church at the End of the Millennium as he was describing the state of the Church:

The words of the Bible and of the Church fathers rang in my ears, those sharp condemnations of shepherds who are like mute dogs; in order to avoid conflicts, that let the poison spread. Peace is not the first civic duty, and a bishop whose only concern is not to have any problems and to gloss over as many conflicts as possible is an image I find repulsive.

Read Raymond Arroyo's full blog post here

Read Father Tom Rosica's full blog post here

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Graphic Images - Controversial but Necessary

The video below has been removed by YouTube. It amazes me that all forms of media allow and permit pornography of all kinds, but they refuse to show abortion. Connect the dots - pornography is a major contributor to the breakdown of sexual morality and therefore it increases the need for abortion. Our society simply cannot live without abortion, because it is necessary to clean up the debris of sexual licentiousness. So don't let anyone fool you by saying that showing the facts about abortion is offensive - the real reason they don't want it shown is because they have to have abortion available to maintain their lifestyles.

As for CCBR's use of trucks to show the reality of abortion to the people of Calgary, I think the removal of this video by YouTube shows exactly that they must be doing something right. This video has been pulled for the very same reasons that objections are made to CCBR's use of graphic imagery: both hit too close to the truth and people are uncomfortable with that. All the more reason for why they must continue what they are doing. Abortion should make people terribly uncomfortable; it is only when people feel truly sickened by it, that we are going to see them brave enough to do something to stop it.

"The pictures are graphic because abortion is graphic."

"Injustice that is invisible, inevitably becomes tolerable." - Greg Cunningham

"Injustice that is made visible, inevitably becomes intolerable." - Stephanie Gray, Executive Director of CCBR

"If abortion is too horrible to view, then perhaps it is too horrible to tolerate." - Stephanie Gray

"I think this project really pricks people in their conscience, whether they be pro-life or pro-abortion because it shows the pro-aborts what they have to defend, the pictures don't lie, and it shows the pro-lifers what they've been tolerating all this time...
Are we responding to this atrocity, 100,000 killed Canadian citizens every year, the same way as if 100,000 new-borns or toddlers were being killed every year? And if the answer is no, then at some level, we're not equating the unborn as fully human as the born." - driver of the truck with the graphic images

"With almost 300 children being killed every day, pro-lifers can't just wait for Canadians to want to get educated about abortion. We need to force the debate open." - Stephanie Gray

I think she is absolutely right. Just today, I was speaking with a priest who was saying that being pro-life has to be part of the "seamless garment" of Christian theology. Where did I read just recently that that argument is deeply flawed? It was the argument used by Obama when he addressed the graduates at Notre Dame; it is the logic used by the clergy to avoid speaking about abortion clearly to their congregations. The logic is flawed; imagine if that logic had been used in the days of William Wilberforce - when you make the comparison between abortion and slavery, you realise how flawed this reasoning is. It continues to keep abortion hidden and tolerated; this rhetoric is "safe", and when people speak like this about the injustice of abortion, they avoid the reality of what is occurring - that real children are really being killed.

Note: in re-reading this, I realised that I hadn't even said what the "seamless garment" thinking is.

...the consistent ethic/seamless garment rationale first emerged under that name a decade and a half later, proposed by the late Cardinal Joseph Bernardin of Chicago. He adopted the approach in the early 1980s in order to make the case that concern about the fundamental value of human life ought to predispose advocates of various life-related issues -- from forestalling abortion to ending capital punishment to cleaning up the environment -- to form a united front of commitment to the sanctity and quality of life in a variety of contexts.
In case you wonder, that's the error which supposes -- or pretends to suppose -- that if some issue (curbing pollution, let's say) can be lined up more or less convincingly under the heading "human life," it carries the same moral weight as any of its cousins grouped under the same heading (abortion, euthanasia, whatever).

This reasoning then supplies the basis for a simplistic counting exercise: If Candidate A takes the side of life on eight issues and Candidate B does the same on fifteen, then B obviously is the authentic pro-life candidate -- and never mind that A's issues include abortion and euthanasia and B's do not. That fantasy calculus is sometimes used in the ongoing abortion wars and lately has provided a significant part of the reasoning of Catholics who support President Barack Obama.
- Russell Shaw,, 8/17/09
Rethinking the Seamless Garment

While the idea of a "seamless garment" of life issues sounds really good, what I have noticed is that those who support this thinking always seem to be rather wishy-washy when asked to speak clearly on an issue. And wishy-washy always equals luke-warm, and remember the words of Scripture about being spat out of someone's mouth