Thursday, April 30, 2009

100 Days of Change - Video

100 Days of Change for the Family

This video just released from the Family Research Council summarizes just what change Obama has brought about in America. And this is not change for the good; this is a man with an agenda that he is not making public; and this is a man who is paying debts to those who elected him. America needs to take back its identity, because it is being shifted to the far left in liberal politics; and that means an attack on the family and family values.

People are besotted with this man, probably because he is black and the first black man to reside in the White House. But a recent photo of Obama in swim suit walking on a beach also reveals that Obama is held in awe by women, letting "sex appeal" rule their minds. Perhaps Obama really is the personification of what we have become, a society that looks to Hollywood and film stars for leadership, that tunes in to Oprah for daily inspiration. In that case, we got what we deserve.

The Reality of Abortion

The video above shows a film taken inside an abortion facility in Wisconsin. This abortion clinic recently began doing late term abortions.

Several things to note: all the girls who speak are single, in relationships that are not desirable; as they say themselves, they are not ready to take on parenting.
Now, I am really mad - why the hell do they get into these relationships then? why do women think that sex is an integral part of their relationship with men, but that the results - babies - are not?

Another thing to note is the compassionate tone of the doctor, commending the patient on "doing well" - sheesh, he is handling the body parts of a human being and congratulating the mother on her part in this murder!

How sick are we as a society that we can look at abortion and find things commendable in it?

h/t Jill Stanek

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Obama's record to date

This post is in response to hearing from someone last night that a priest in our diocese actually thinks that Obama is pro-life and he said that George W. Bush was anti-life.

These are taken from World Net Daily - written by Jill Stanek, a nurse who discovered a baby left to die in an Illinois hospital after an abortion. Jill Stanek fought to stop "live-birth abortion" after witnessing that death, while working as a registered nurse at Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Ill. In 2002, President Bush asked Jill to attend his signing of the Born Alive Infants Protection Act. In January 2003, World Magazine named Jill one of the 30 most prominent pro-life leaders of the past 30 years. To learn more, visit Jill's blog, Pro-life Pulse.

On Jan. 20, 2009, Barack Obama began his death march as the most anti-life president in U.S. history. Today marks Obama's 100th day in office. This list substantiates Obama's personnel and policies to that end. He actually started way before Day 1:

Day -75: Names pro-abortion Rahm Emmanuel as chief of staff, who earned a 100 percent approval rating from NARAL while congressman.

Day -59: Appoints executive director of EMILY's List, Ellen Moran, as White House communications director.

Day -56: Names Melody Barnes, who previously served on the boards of EMILY's List and Planned Parenthood Action Fund, as his director of the Domestic Policy Council.

Day -51: Nominates pro-abortion Sen. Hillary Clinton as secretary of state.

Day -41: Nominates pro-abortion and pro-universal health (abortion) care Sen. Tom Daschle as secretary of health and human services.

Day -41: Appoints pro-abortion Jeanne Lambrew as deputy director of newly created Office of Health Care Reform under Daschle, which Planned Parenthood heralded as "exciting" in a statement.

Day -41: White House transition team publishes 55-page list of demands from pro-abortion groups.

Day -16: Chooses pro-abortion Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine as Democratic Party chairman.

Day -16: Nominates pro-abortion, pro-porn David Ogden as deputy attorney general.

Day -16: Nominates "pregnancy is slavery" and former ACLU and NARAL counsel Dawn Johnsen as assistant attorney general.

Day -16: Nominates Thomas Perrelli, former pro-euthanasia attorney for Terri Shindler Schiavo's husband Michael, to head the Office of Legal Counsel at the Department of Justice.

Day -16: Nominates pro-abortion former Harvard Law School dean Elena Kagan as solicitor general, with the buzz she is on short list as next Supreme Court nominee; she supports taxpayer funding of abortion.

Day 1: At 12:01 p.m. EST, the White House website is instantly and completely transformed from pro-life to pro-abortion. Scrubbed is President Bush's Sanctity of Human Life proclamation issued the week before in commemoration of Jan. 22, the anniversary Roe v. Wade, and all else heralding preborn life. In its place:
President Obama … has been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority in his administration. … He opposes any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

Day 1: Obama signals his intention to fund human embryo experimentation by stating in his inaugural address, "We will restore science to its rightful place."

Day 4: Reverses Mexico City Policy, releasing taxpayer money to international organizations that promote or commit abortions (for which Obama received 35 percent approval in a Gallup Poll, making this his least popular decision to date).

Day 4: Releases statement expressing desire for Congress to restore funding to the United Nations Population Fund, which has previously been found to aid in China's coercive abortion and sterilization program.

Day 17: After attending National Day of Prayer breakfast, signs executive order redirecting the Office of Faith Based Initiatives to include a "focus on family planning," according to NPR.

Day 24: Nominates former House co-sponsor of the Freedom of Choice Act, Leon Panetta, as CIA director.

Day 38: Signals commitment to comprehensive sex ed by including it in his 2010 budget.

Day 39: Announces plan to repeal Bush regulations enforcing protection of health care entities and workers not to participate in morally abhorrent practices.

Day 40: After Daschle withdraws as HHS secretary nominee, chooses radically pro-abortion Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius, who has financial ties to late-term abortionist George Tiller.

Day 45: Holds "health care summit" at White House, inviting only pro-abortion groups.

Day 46: Creates new post of ambassador for global women's issues and appoints Melanne Verveer, abortion activist and former chief of staff to first lady Hillary Clinton; according to the Associated Press, she "pledged … 'deep commitment' … [to] slowing the world's population explosion and empowering women … through … the right to choose if and when to become pregnant."

Day 49: Signs executive order providing taxpayer funding of human embryo experimentation and overturns Bush executive order funding alternative morally acceptable adult stem cell research.

Day 50: Announces 30-day review period with intent to overturn HHS regulations enforcing conscience protections of health care entities and workers.

Day 51: Signs bill into law restoring UNFPA's funding – to a record $50 million.

Day 51: Signs bill into law (which he sponsored as senator) restoring cut rate wholesale birth control pill prices to Planned Parenthood.

Day 51: Signs bill into law increasing "family planning" funding by $7 million and cutting abstinence funding by $14 million.

Day 51: Signs bill into law increasing international "family planning" funding by $30 million.

Day 51: Announces establishment of the White House Council on Women and Girls, which the National Organization for Women "cheers" in a statement.

Day 51: Obama administration promotes unlimited right to abortion at U.N. Commission on the Status of Women meeting and denies negative effects of abortion.

Day 57: Makes first pro-abortion judicial pick in former ACLU board member David Hamilton as U.S. circuit judge, who previously blocked implementation of an informed consent law before abortion.

Day 78: Nominates pro-abortion Yale Law School dean Harold Hongju Koh as the State Department's legal adviser, who believes in the international right to abortion and was former clerk to Supreme Court Justice Harry Blackmun, who authored the Roe v Wade decision.

Day 85: Department of Homeland Security releases document calling pro-life activists potential domestic terrorist threats.

Day 94: FDA refuses to appeal court ruling ordering over-the-counter sales of the morning-after pill to 17-year-old girls and boys.

While President Obama appears addicted to campaign mode audience adulation and maintains an extremely heavy travel schedule, he has left his day-to-day operations, policy decisions, and speechwriting in the hands of serious abortion industry and activist players.

Furthermore, by personnel and policy announcements to date, the Obama administration has signaled its intention to push his abortion agenda on the world. This is only the start.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Pivotal Moment for Notre Dame University

I don't know if you have been following this story or not, I haven't posted on it because it is on almost all the pro life blogs that I read. But I just want to put some links together here, so that you can update your information on this issue.

Some time ago, the President of Notre Dame University, Father John Jenkins, invited President Barack Obama to give the commencement address at this year's graduation ceremony on May 17, 2009. There was a tremendous outcry of protest all over the United States to this announcement, with 50 bishops stating their objection to this, and the 2004 document by the American bishops was quoted numerous times.

The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.

Father Jenkins hedged around this statement by saying that it only applied to those individuals who were Catholics; since Obama is not Catholic, he is exempt from this statement. To which, Father Tom Euteneuer of Human Life International remarks:

Let's be honest: all the hand wringing and justification for Fr. Jenkins' decision is just fluff. Despite the unprecedented tour de force of close to fifty US bishops objecting to this travesty, Fr. Jenkins's claim that his decision is "consistent" with the bishops' 2004 directive on speakers at Catholic colleges - simply because Barack Obama is not a Catholic - is, well, absurd on its face. No person in his right mind buys it.

Jenkins tried to offset the speech by Obama by inviting Mary Anne Glendon, former US Ambassador to the Vatican to receive the University's most prestigious award, the Laetare medal. Today, Glendon has faxed a letter to Father Jenkins informing him that she will not be attending the commencement exercises and that she is declining the award.

You can read her fax in entirety

So the greatest moment in the history of the Laetare medal will, in fact, be the year that it was refused by someone. This is an amazing move, one that keeps the value of the medal as it is, and it is the ultimate "teaching moment" that we have all been waiting for. But the "teaching moment" is not for Barack Obama or for the American public, it is a "teaching moment" for Father Jenkins and those who supported him in this decision to honour the most pro-abortion president in history with a law degree. And it is a "teaching moment" for those who were conspicuously silent as this saga unfolded.

The best article I have read on the significance of the Notre Dame debacle is this one by William McGurn, former speech writer for President George Bush from 2004-2009.

What does it mean to be a witness? To be a witness, an institution must order itself so that all who look upon it see a consonance between its most profound truths and its most public actions. For a Catholic university in the 21st century, this requires that those placed in her most critical leadership positions – on the faculty, in the administration, on the board of trustees – share that mission. We must concede there is no guarantee that the young men and women who come here to learn will assent to her witness – but we must never forget that the university will have failed them if they leave here without at least understanding it.

I await eagerly the repercussions of Ms Glendon's decision; undoubtedly her declining of this honour will be the most crucial one in the story. Father Jenkins' response is going to be pivotal for him; he will either choose to ignore the significance of what she has done and continue with his ignorant abandonment of Catholic principles, or he will humbly admit that he has made a grave mistake. Let's hope that he will do the latter, both for himself and for Catholics everywhere.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"Fetus Focus Fallacy" - Exposed

From the site Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada , a scroll down the page brings up the title How to Think About the Fetus.

This page is devoid of logic and deserves to be debunked. Not claiming to be a logician, I will however give it my best shot and may even call on help from some veritable thinkers on this topic. Stay tuned, I have a feeling this is going to be ongoing.
Focusing on the fetus always has dire legal and social consequences for women. As soon as we give special rights to fetuses, we separate them from their mothers and create an adversarial relationship that hurts both. - How to Think About the Fetus, by Joyce Arthur

To say we should not focus on the fetus would be as if we were involved in a traffic accident; we were driving the car that hit someone; we are shaken up, but not fatally wounded; however the person in the other car is killed. Well, let's not focus on that person, no we need to think about ourselves. True, the other person is dead, but do we really empathize with the person who is so relieved that he/she is okay while someone else died?

But, you say, a baby in the womb is not the same as a person in the other car. And there you betray the underlying belief that the unborn are not really human beings as the rest of the "seen" world is. Most pro-choice arguments can be brought back to the original issue that they do not see the unborn as human beings. That, however, is the crux of the entire abortion dilemma. Therefore, we have to focus on the fetus.

What is the difference between a woman who is pregnant and one who is not? Correct, the presence of "the fetus". I will use that term, even though I find it offensive. It came into usage with the pro-choice movement, precisely to avoid using the term baby. It is easier to do away with a "fetus". People don't get as upset because they now think of the baby as some kind of object that is not the same as them.

If the presence of a fetus is the difference between a pregnant and a non-pregnant woman, how can anyone say we should not focus on the fetus? Abortion is the premature removal of that fetus from the woman's body with the intent of killing it; therefore the focus has to be on the fetus.

The statement claims that putting our attention on the fetus has dire consequences for the woman. Excuse me, but don't forget who dies in the abortion procedure. Who suffers the dire consequences of that decision? This puts the woman in opposition to the child; it pits her so-called "rights" against the right of the child to live. Those rights are not equal; weighing them against each other is unbalanced; the woman does not die if she goes through the pregnancy, the fetus always dies in an abortion.

Granting rights to the fetus creates an adversarial relationship between the woman and her child? So one should abort the fetus in order to avoid this conflict? Even if the child is unwanted, it is only unwanted for the nine months from conception to birth; immediately after birth, someone else somewhere who wants that child will kindly take it off its mother's hands and raise it. The adversarial relationship is short-lived; women can get on with their lives and so can the child. Win-win situation in my opinion.

Focusing on the fetus also devalues women, because it usurps their moral decision-making, as well as their bodies and wombs. How to Think About the Fetus, by Joyce Arthur

Since when does focusing on another person devalue someone? This statement comes from the worldview that I am the one who matters the most in my decisions. It denies the fact that many decisions taken out of consideration for the other person can be good decisions, both for the other and for oneself. One could seriously question whether, in fact, decisions that focus just on the self, are moral decisions. Morals by definition are the principles of behaviour that we agree upon in order to live together with others. If I am the only person around, it doesn't matter what decision I make; it affects no one else, therefore it has no morality. It only becomes a moral decision when others are involved. By definition, moral decisions involve the other.

The best way to protect fetuses and children is to support pregnant women and mothers. - Joyce Arthur

This statement appears at the end of the first section on the page and seems incongruously out of place. It appears to be a statement by a pro-life person. Be that as it may, let it stand. I have no quibble with it.

Society cannot decide what the fetus is. There’s a wide divergence of opinion on whether a fetus is a person, or a human being, and what its moral value should be. Biology, medicine, law, philosophy, and theology have no consensus, and neither does society as a whole. - How to Think about the Fetus, by Joyce Arthur

I don't have any idea why someone would state the above. It is so obviously untrue.

Foetology makes it undeniably evident that life begins at conception and requires all the protection and safeguards that any of us enjoy. - Dr. Bernard Nathanson, M.D., former abortionist and founding member of National Abortion Rights Action League of the USA

As early as 1970:
Since the old ethic has not been fully displaced it has been necessary to separate the idea of abortion from the idea of killing, which continues to be socially abhorrent. The result has been a curious avoidance of the scientific fact, which everyone really knows, that human life begins at conception and is continuous whether intra- or extra-uterine until death. - A New Ethic for Medicine and Society, editorial in California Medicine, Sept 1970

Abortionists know that the fetus is a human being; Dr. Joseph Bruner is a surgeon who performs neo-natal surgery. He specializes in utero spina bifida operations.
.... to ease the strain Dr. Bruner often talks to the unborn children while he works - to soothe them and keep them quiet, and to let them know what is going on. Sometimes he conveys a message from the parents, "We love you. We are trying our best to help." - Atlanta Journal Constitution, 8 April 2000

But Dr. Bruner also performs abortions on children with spina bifida. He is paid to either save or kill children depending upon whether or not they are wanted by their parents. He says this is

an increasingly difficult position to be in. Because we are performing surgery to improve the lifestyle of fetuses who have spina bifida, it is diffcult to justify an operation that could also take that life away. As we walk through this mine field, society is going to have to take a good, hard look at itself, because it is untenable to hold both views. - "Baby Samuel and Mother Doing Well after Fetal Surgery", WorldNet Daily, 16 Feb 2000

The "difficult position" is created precisely because of the argument by pro choice people that the fetus is not human, is not a person. They continue to muddy the waters because they cannot afford to have their "choice" taken away; but the medical community is absolutely clear upon the state of the unborn. They have no doubt whatsoever that this is a human being in a certain stage of development.

There will never be a consensus on what the fetus is, because this question is inherently subjective and unscientific. It's a matter of personal opinion. We all have our own opinions about what the moral status of the fetus might be. Some people believe a fertilized egg is a full human being with an absolute right to life that supersedes any right of the woman. Others believe that a fetus attains moral value only after it becomes viable, or upon birth. But that's all these beliefs are - opinions. There's no way to decide between them, because they're entirely subjective and emotional.
That's why we must give the benefit of the doubt to women and let them decide the value of their fetuses - because women are indisputable human beings and person with rights. - How to Think About the Fetus, by Joyce Arthur

First, the question is neither subjective nor unscientific. The scientific evidence is in; the unborn are indeed human beings, not potential human beings, but human beings with potential. And to use the standard of viability to determine moral value of the fetus is leaving the issue wide open to constant change, as the age of viability is becoming younger and younger with medical advances. These statements are purely emotional statements made by someone who is not prepared to look at objective evidence, but is loudly defending her own position with all the ammunition she has. But it is not enough.

A society that leaves the valuing of human life to one group of humans is in for disaster. Remember Nazi Germany, where Hitler deemed the Jews not to be persons of value but considered them parasites to be exterminated; consider Britain and the United States of America, when slavery was practised and blacks were not considered persons; even in our own country of Canada, aboriginals and natives and yes, women, were not considered human beings with the same rights as others. The value of any person's life can never be left to another to decide. Human life has intrinsic value and we must guard that; without that belief, we leave the value of human life wide open to every wind of change. Yesterday, it was the Jews who were not considered worthy of life; tomorrow it will be the handicapped and those with dementia; who can stop that train of death if we let it travel unimpeded?

In speaking of American blacks, Bernard Nathanson says:
American blacks were deemed unfit to be received as fully qualified members of country clubs, fraternities, or professional organizations - they were deemed unfit by those who deemed themselves fit. But who deemed the "deemers" fit?

Pro-choice advocates have deemed that women are the ones fit to decide who gets to sit at the table of life. They have decided that women have the capability and wisdom required to make that decision. Who decided they had that wisdom or capability? The very people who wish to defend the taking of innocent life. I, and many others, do not "deem" them capable of that decision.

Next topic - "a fetus is not innocent .. it is co-opting the woman's body and endangering her life and health against her will"

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exposing the Fallacies of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada

Having come across this site, the ARCC , I was struck by the inaccuracy of almost all of the statements therein. They seem to have been written by one woman alone, Joyce Arthur, who is the self-proclaimed spokesperson for pro-choice in Canada.

The very name, Abortion Rights, contains an inaccuracy right there. There is no "right to abortion" in Canada; there is the absence of any law, which is not the same thing. In a recent talk in Halifax, Nova Scotia, former MP Tom Wappel stated that people think there is a right to abortion but that is not true. The Supreme Court case with Henry Morgentaler in 1988 resulted in the striking down of any restrictions on abortion in Canada and stated that this was done for the "life, liberty and security of the person", since previously a woman had to wait for a hospital board to approve her application for an abortion and the delay was deemed to be problematic for women. Also the fact that abortion was not available in many rural locations was the focus of this case, so that women could secure an abortion in a clinic, or other facility, without having to appeal to a hospital board.

Henry Morgentaler declared that, if a woman did not have access to abortion, this violated Section 7 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

Everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the security of the person and the right not to be deprived thereof except in accordance with the principles of fundamental justice. - Section 7, CCRF

However, the Court did not go so far as to say that Section 7 gave women a substantive "right to abortion". Instead, it secured access to abortion by the negative argument that lack of access violated a woman's rights.

Granted this is a technical quibble, but it is worth knowing that there is no "legal right" to abortion in Canada; those pro-choice people who argue from the standpoint of women's rights need to be corrected. The term "right" is a legal term that should be kept to the most accurate definition when we speak of our Constitution.

The abortion issue has never been fully resolved in Canada and, should there be a future trial on abortion, the "right to abortion" could be read-into the Constitution or there could be further dissent as there was with justices, La Forest and McIntyre, in 1988:

The proposition that women enjoy a constitutional right to have an abortion is devoid of support in the language of s. 7 of the Charter or any other section.

Next post - Fetus Focus Fallacy - You have got to be kidding!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why the Traditional Family Must Survive

Three generations of Afelskies

Four generations of Smiths

Spengler, an extremely well known blogger on Asia Times, has revealed his identity as David P. Goldman. He had been writing for Asia Times for ten years, and is one of the writers responsible for that online publication to get the huge number of hits that it gets daily.

Well, Spengler has become the associate editor of First Things, an absolute must read for anyone who is interested in the place of religion in the public square. Given his new position, Spengler has had to reveal his identity - he is David P. Goldman. His credentials are impressive:

- degrees in both music and German
- 1981-1984, he worked under the Ronald Reagan administration
- worked for Dr. Norman Bailey's economic consulting firm
- began a career on Wall Street in the late 80's
- in the 90's, worked on the executive of the Bank of America
- 2002-2005, he created a fixed income research department, with 120 professionals and a nine-figure budget
- had a conversion back to his Judaic roots

Why did he write under an pseudonym?

To inform a culture that it is going to die does not necessarily win friends, and what I needed to say would be hurtful to many readers. I needed to tell the Europeans that their post-national, secular dystopia was a death-trap whence no-one would get out alive.
I needed to tell the Muslims that nothing would alleviate the unbearable sense of humiliation and loss that globalization inflicted on a civilization that once had pretensions to world dominance. I needed to tell Asians that materialism leads only to despair. And I needed to tell the Americans that their smugness would be their undoing. ....
I was in, but not of, the world of rabbinical Judaism, of classical music, of cultural history, of conservative economics, of practical finance, of cultural history - I belonged everywhere and nowhere. I could address each of these spheres only ironically and aphoristically, in a voice that only could be anonymous - for anonymity allowed me to be in but not of all of them.

In the past couple of years, Goldman as Spengler, has been interpreting world events and giving his spin on them; and that spin, simplistically, would be to say that the western world is committing suicide with its low birth rates. In this article, Goldman lists in a way readily understandable by the average layman, the reasons for the decline of Western economy and the reason that present efforts will fail to rescue it. The article is readable, but long, for those without the time at present to absorb it all, I have selected the statements that I found most enlightening.

Click here for the original article by Goldman, aka Spengler

All the apparatus of financial engineering is helpless beside the simple issue of household decisions about shelter. We are in the most democratic of economic crises, and it stems directly from the character of our people...

Think of it this way: Credit markets derive from the cycle of human life. Young people need to borrow capital to start families and businesses; old people need to earn income on the capital they have saved. We invest our retirement savings in the formation of new households. All the armamentarium of modern capital markets boils down to investing in a new generation so that they will provide for us when we are old...

Families with children are the fulcrum of the housing market. Because single-parent families tend to be poor, the buying power is concentrated in two-parent families with children...

In 1973, the United States had 36 million housing units with three or more bedrooms, not many more than the number of two-parent families with children—which means that the supply of family homes was roughly in line with the number of families. By 2005, the number of housing units with three or more bedrooms had doubled to 72 million, though America had the same number of two-parent families with children...

The number of two-parent families with children, the kind of household that requires and can afford a large home, has remained essentially stagnant since 1963, according to the Census Bureau...

In place of traditional two-parent families with children, America has seen enormous growth in one-parent families and childless families. The number of one-parent families with children has tripled. Dependent children formed half the U.S. population in 1960, and they add up to only 30 percent today. The dependent elderly doubled as a proportion of the population, from 15 percent in 1960 to 30 percent today...

If capital markets derive from the cycle of human life, what happens if the cycle goes wrong? What if there really is something wrong with our future—if the next generation fails to appear in sufficient numbers? The answer is that we get poorer...

The declining demographics of the traditional American family raise a dismal possibility: Perhaps the world is poorer now because the present generation did not bother to rear a new generation. All else is bookkeeping and ultimately trivial. This unwelcome and unprecedented change underlies the present global economic crisis. We are grayer, and less fecund, and as a result we are poorer, and will get poorer still—no matter what economic policies we put in place...

A prosperity that fails to rear a new generation in sufficient number is hollow, as we have learned to our detriment during the past year...

Our children are our wealth. Too few of them are seated around America’s common table, and it is their absence that makes us poor. Not only the absolute count of children, to be sure, but also the shrinking proportion of children raised with the moral material advantages of two-parent families diminishes our prospects...

Unless we restore the traditional family to a central position in American life, we cannot expect to return to the kind of wealth accumulation that characterized the 1980s and 1990s...

Wealth depends ultimately on the natural order of human life. Failing to rear a new generation in sufficient numbers to replace the present one violates that order, and it has consequences for wealth, among many other things. Americans who rejected the mild yoke of family responsibility in pursuit of atavistic enjoyment will find at last that this is not to be theirs, either...

Housing prices are collapsing in part because single-person households are replacing families with children. The Virginia Tech economist Arthur C. Nelson has noted that households with children would fall from half to a quarter of all households by 2025. The demand of Americans will then be urban apartments for empty nesters. Demand for large-lot single family homes, Nelson calculated, will slump from 56 million today to 34 million in 2025—a reduction of 40 percent. There never will be a housing price recovery in many parts of the country. Huge tracts will become uninhabited except by vandals and rodents...

America has roughly 120 million adults in the 19-to-44 age bracket, the prime borrowing years. That is not a large number against the 420 million prospective savers in the aging developed world as a whole. There simply aren’t enough young Americans to absorb the savings of the rest of the world. In demographic terms, America is only the leper with the most fingers...

Of course, if everyone saves and no one spends, the economy shuts down, which is precisely what is happening. The trouble is not that aging baby boomers need to save. The problem is that the families with children who need to spend never were formed in sufficient numbers to sustain growth...

The origin of the crisis is demographic, and its solution can only be demographic.
America needs to find productive young people to whom to lend. The world abounds in young people, of course, but not young people who can productively use capital and are thus good credit risks. The trouble is to locate young people who are reared to the skill sets, work ethic, and social values required for a modern economy...

Even so, efforts to export capital and import workers will at best mitigate America’s economic problems in a small way. We are going to be poorer for a generation and perhaps longer. We will drive smaller cars and live in smaller homes, vacation in cabins by the lake rather than at Disney World, and send our children to public universities rather than private liberal-arts colleges. The baby boomers on average will work five or ten years longer before retiring on less income than they had planned, and young people will work for less money at duller jobs than they had hoped...

The distribution of rewards and penalties is manifestly unfair. The current crisis is particularly unfair to those who brought up children and contributed monthly to their pension fund, only to watch the value of their savings evaporate in the crisis. Tax and social-insurance policy should reflect the effort and cost of rearing children and require those who avoid such effort and cost to pay their fair share...

The young know that the promise of sexual freedom has brought them nothing but emptiness and anomie. They suffer more than anyone from the breakup of families. They know that abortion has wrought psychic damage that never can be repaired. And they see that their own future was compromised by the poor choices of their parents...

It was always morally wrong for conservatives to attempt to segregate the emotionally charged issues of public morals from the conservative growth agenda. We know now that it was also incompetent from a purely economic point of view. Without life, there is no wealth; without families, there is no economic future...

But the present crisis also might present the conservative movement with the greatest opportunity it has had since Ronald Reagan took office. The Obama administration will certainly face backlash when its promise to fix the economy through the antiquated tools of Keynesian stimulus comes to nothing. And as a result, American voters may be more disposed to consider fundamental problems than they have been for several generations. The message that our children are our wealth, and that families are its custodian, might resonate all the more strongly for the manifest failure of the alternatives...

So, it can easily be seen how same-sex marriage is the ruination of society, as are marriages entered with no intention of having children. They are dead-end relationships, focused solely on the two people involved, with little or no thought for the outside world. Since the Second World War, we have become a generation obsessed with our own satisfaction and we have sacrificed any thought of the future to our own pleasure. It is all about me, which is why Western society is so materialistic and hedonistic.

But when we think only of ourselves and fulfilling our own desires, even those desires that seem noble and altruistic, we fail to consider that we are part of a continuum of society. We need to be thinking of those who will come after us, and to live our lives in ways that will make their lives meaningful and worthwhile. And that means ensuring that there IS a next generation to which we leave our accomplishments.

I have several friends who are married women who have chosen not to have children, and there has come a point with all of them, where communication ceases. We part ways on some fundamental level, because they have opted not to have children and I have. It changes your entire world view, and as Spengler points out, it changes the actual world too.

His predictions are dire, there is no easy way to climb out of this depression that is afflicting the Western world. I can only hope that those wonderful young couples who are having more than one child (they are having the children that others should be having, but aren't) will rescue us with their generous spirit of going out and multiplying and being fruitful.

No One Talks about STIs

Upon leaving the grocery store on Friday afternoon, I saw the headline in the newspaper "Cancer Rates Up in Young People", the subtitle was "Nova Scotia has the highest rates of the disease in the country". The article is available online

While reading it, I thought back to an evening with the director of the Crisis Pregnancy Centre. Willa was giving the shocking facts of the rates of sexually transmitted infections amongst teenagers. And she told us the link between sexual infections and positive testing for certain types of cancer later in life. For instance, the rate of prostate cancer is steadily increasing among young adult men, something rarely seen before. As many of us know, cervical cancer often follows a sexually transmitted infection. In her nursing experience, she had never encountered a case of cancer of the penis in anyone under the age of 70; however her work at the centre has brought her into contact with several boys in their teens who have this.

Certainly, not all these cancers can be linked to sexual activity with numerous partners, but the evidence should certainly warrant more attention being paid to this. But is it?

The lead article in Life Canada News, January/February 2009 is titled "It's Time to Face the Hidden Epidemic of STIs". The author, Gudrun Schultz gives startling statistics on the increase of these infections, primarily amongst the young and unmarried segment of the population.

It's Time to Face the Hidden Epidemic of STIs by Gudrun Schultz

An interesting aside to this link is that I met Gudrun about 30 years ago, when she was a just a little girl, the oldest in her family, I believe. She and her parents, Jeff and Linda, were living in Shawville, Quebec where her parents had gone to be one of the original "back to the land" families, living without electricity, running water. Their life was a return to the simple life of subsistence farming, as Jeff and Linda lived out their strong beliefs in the wholesomeness of rural living, the basic human principles that keep the world sane, and fundamental Christianity. Obviously, they succeeded. Bravo to the Schultz family.

Young people are disproportionately represented in the affected population, with the highest rates among young women between the ages of 15-24. It’s time for Canadians to face the facts on sexually transmitted infections and drop the “safer sex” message that has so clearly failed to inform our young people and protect them from the consequences of casual sexual activity.....Chlamydia trachomatis infection is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted infection in Canada, accounting for more than 48% of all infectious diseases reported to the Public Health Agency. In 1997 there were 34,144 reported cases in Canada, or 113.9 per 100,000. Health Canada’s projected rates for 2008 are more than double that number, at 239.3 per 100,000. Over two-thirds of those cases affect young people between the ages of 15-24, primarily women.

Chlamydia presents virtually no symptoms and goes undetected until the woman is trying to achieve pregnancy. What she might find out then is that her fallopian tubes are so scarred that pregnancy cannot occur. It is estimated that 3% of women who have chlamydia will become infertile; you may not think that is a significant proportion, but this is actually quite a large number of women who may perhaps turn to invitro fertilization in order to achieve a pregnancy. This is a very expensive medical treatment, and in Canada, it is paid for by tax dollars.

Up to 40% of chlamydial infections lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). Women experiencing repeat episodes of PID suffer a nearly 40% increased risk of ectopic pregnancy or infertility. Health Canada acknowledges that chlamydial PID is the most important preventable cause of infertility.

Chlamydia is also on the rise amongst young men; syphilis and gonorrhea are also increasing, with syphilis increasing 900% mainly among males.

Treatment of STIs remains a major drain on the health care resources. Prevention by vaccine may appear to hold the answer—mega-drug company GlaxoSmithKline recently contributed 23$ million in funding towards a Chlamydia vaccine—but the cost of such measures are enormous and effectiveness remains a question. The Gardasil vaccine for HPV infections is the most expensive vaccine on the market, has no proven track record and only protects against four of the many strains affecting women.

Health Canada's 2004 Surveillance report states
Despite the visibility of the issue of infertility in Canada, few are aware of its direct connection to STIs. Tubal factor infertility remains the most common reason for in-vitro fertilization, a most costly procedure. Thus the expense to the health care system, as well as for individuals and the economy, due to chlamydia, PID and tubal factor infertility is enormous.

So why the media silence on this issue? The Globe and Mail published the statement that chlamydia had increased 71% over six years in the military but made no mention of the rest of the population.

The sex education programs in our schools are leading the present generation astray. Teaching kids to engage in sex safely simply isn't working; in fact, what these programs are doing is selling this generation down the tubes. But it is not just the schools, where are the parents in all of this? It is as if someone is playing Russian roulette with our children.

There used to be a concern for future generations; now the attitude of most people seems to be a "me only" concern; no thought for what the next generation will do or how they will cope with the messes left to them. Where are the adults who should have these kids' concerns at heart? I fear that many of them are so busy messing around in extra-marital affairs themselves, that they have ceased to care what their kids do.

LifeCanadaNews is available by subscription from Life Canada, 376 Churchill Avenue N, Suite 310, Ottawa ON K1Z 5C3

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Dr. James Dobson is a Realist

I saw this topic yesterday on Jill Stanek's site. Dr. James Dobson, who just stepped down as chairman of the pro-family organization Focus on the Family, (don't worry he is not retiring, he just gave the position of chair to a younger man) was interviewed by Sean Hannity on Fox News on April 14. Dobson was quoted as saying that he "admitted defeat in the culture wars".

James Dobson with Sean Hannity

I did not retire, I did not leave Focus on the Family. I am still heard on 1500 radio stations across North America every day, about 220 million people every day in 150 countries; I am working as hard as I ever have and that has not changed.

Hannity said
you are quoted as saying "that we are right now in the middle of the most discouraging period (talking about the culture wars) .... humanly speaking, we can say that we have lost all of those battles." And then you go on to say, "but God is in control and we are not going to give up right now."

Dobson replied:
The left wing media is itching for members of the pro-family movement to put up a white flag and declare the culture war over and to just hand the country to them. ... it is true that many of the battles that we have fought for many years were lost, at least the battles were lost, but the war is not lost .... the media has taken that and removed the last sentence, they just flat out edited it which said but we are not going to give up, we are not going to stop, we are going to continue to fight and the staff cheered. That's what we are going to do, we're not going anywhere.

In talking about his work against pornography (Dobson worked under President Ronald Reagan to stem the tide of pornography assaulting the nation), he states that they made a lot of progress under Reagan, but under Clinton, the attorney general would not prosecute those guilty of pornography. Dobson says that when the internet came along, "we have lost it, I mean we are awash in evil. Anyone who doesn't believe that, ought to look at the internet.... you stumble across that horrible stuff."

In case you didn't know, James Dobson got to have an interview with mass murdered Ted Bundy just before Bundy was executed. And Bundy confided in Dobson that pornography was a key factor in his descent to the crimes that he committed. In a radio show I heard recently, Dobson stated that pornography has played a very important role in the actions of every convicted mass murderer.

Dobson continues:
It would not be accurate not to admit that we lost the White House, we lost the Senate, and we probably will lose the Court and we lost almost every department of government with this election, but the war is not over. Pendulums swing and we'll come back, we are going to hang in there and it's not going to be a surrender.

Dobson then gives the numbers of those who voted for and against Obama and notes that the numbers who disapprove of this president's policies are increasing and they are watching.

I want to say to everyone out there who is concerned about the unborn child, about the meaning of marriage, about the conscience clause which they are just getting ready to jettison in the Congress .... terrible things are going on right now, including using tax payer money to support abortion around the world ... this is a discouraging time but in tough times, good people hang in there and wait for things to change and we pray a lot....
Admittedly, Obama won the election and he has the right to set the policy but in setting that policy, he has changed or destroyed many of the principles that we worked so hard for.

Dobson concludes with that wonderful quote from Mother Teresa, as a Christian "we are not called to be successful, we are called to be faithful."

James Dobson with Sean Hannity Part 2

In this part, Dobson takes on the issue of Obama stating that America is not a Christian nation; Dobson states instead that the question should be whether or not America was founded on Judaeo-Christian principles and whether or not that has influenced our law, constitution and way of life. Obama implied that there was some kind of equivalency between Christianity and the other world religions in this formation of America and Dobson rightly states that is simply not true.

One has to wonder where Obama got his knowledge of history or if perhaps he is rewriting it as he goes along to suit his own world view. Dobson worries that Obama does not really comprehend the basic Judaeo-Christian values upon which the American nation was founded. When asked by Hannity to comment on Obama's apologetic remarks to Islamic leaders about America's actions, Dobson remarked that
there has been an understanding by presidents down through history.... that kind of criticism does not occur, does not go beyond the water's edge. And for him to be on foreign soil with people who have been very very critical of this country and its president and its military and its people, for him to make that statement deeply offended me and what bothers me more is that there wasn't a greater outcry.

I am immensely grateful for Dr. Dobson's clear voice in the culture wars. Many think that he is too right-wing, too religious, too strict, but I believe that his is just the kind of medicine that we need to administer to our social ills.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fooled by Appearances

5,000,000 hits on YouTube can't be wrong. A 47 year old church volunteer brought the audience to their feet and the judges admitted that this was the biggest surprise of the Britain's Got Talent's three year run.

Susan Boyle told the judges that her dream was to be a professional singer and she may be well on her way with this performance. What is so touching is that someone who looked so ordinary and, well actually frumpy, could have a voice of such beauty. How we misjudge, how we underestimate. I loved watching the judges' faces change from cynical and snickering to stunned during her performance.

Talent show singer is online hit

The video is disabled so I can only give you the link. But do take 5 minutes and watch, it is well worth it.

Susan Boyle on YouTube

Monday, April 13, 2009

Free Sample of Pro Life Publication

My husband told me this morning that there is a new publication produced by First Things, that will be a compilation of pro life articles. They are offering a free sample of the first edition Fall 2008, just email them and get one to read. Definitely worth it.

Click The Human Life Review to get a free copy

Articles include:
Pro-Life Obamanistas
Should We Show Pictures?
Donor Offspring
Aborting Logic
Abortion & Humanism
Bioethics Today

Sunday, April 12, 2009

What One Person can Accomplish

In viewing the daffodil video, I was reminded of a story I read several years ago while waiting in the dentist's office. It was a story of a lone man in France, who restored an entire area by planting trees. The story amazed me when I read it, and this morning I googled it and found the story again.

The Man Who Planted Trees

It is long, but well worth reading. Written by Jean Giono, and translated from the French by Peter Doyle, it tells of a man who became a hermit by circumstance, and set out to change his landscape one tree at a time. A couple of lines stick out in particular for me:

To get a true idea of this exceptional character, one must not forget that he worked in total solitude; so total that, toward the end of his life, he lost the habit of talking. Or maybe he just didn't see the need for it....The hillside whence we had come was covered with trees six or seven meters high. I remembered the look of the place in 1913 : a desert... The peaceful and steady labor, the vibrant highland air, his frugality, and above all, the serenity of his soul had given the old man a kind of solemn good health. He was an athlete of God....When I consider that a single man, relying only on his own simple physical and moral resources, was able to transform a desert into this land of Canaan, I am convinced that despite everything, the human condition is truly admirable. But when I take into account the constancy, the greatness of soul, and the selfless dedication that was needed to bring about this transformation, I am filled with an immense respect for this old, uncultured peasant who knew how to bring about a work worthy of God.

Bouffier worked non-stop with his tree-planting from 1910 until around 1945. He died peacefully in 1947 in a hospice in Banon. He was 89 years old.

The solitary life of this man touches me deeply. The fact that he, quietly and without fanfare, went about what he found most important to him speaks volumes to me. By so doing, he brought a desolate area of the world back to the beauty that it had lost. Now, that is an environmentalist I could emulate.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

An Easter greeting

Someone sent me this link a few weeks ago and the photos are breathtaking. If you like daffodils, and spring, and flowers, then enjoy.

God bless you all, may Jesus Christ meet you where you are with His life-changing message.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

What a Sad Place is Russia

- St. Basil's Cathedral, Moscow built by Ivan the Terrible; built in brick with a golden dome topping each of nine churches (a tenth added after Ivan's death)

For a few years now, I have heard rumours of the numbers of abortions that Russian women undergo. So I thought I should really try and get some understanding of Russian history. I just finished reading A Short History of Russia by Michael Kort, remind me never to read a long history. This was tough sledding. Took me two months to finish it, I found it so tedious.

Not once is abortion mentioned in this book. I suppose that it is politically incorrect, or perhaps the author just assumes that abortion is an accepted method of birth control. He does make reference to the dilemma of the declining Russian population:

Russia's troubles take many forms and are expressed in various symptoms. None is more telling than the population decline, which has reached crisis porportions. A host of social problems during the late Soviet era caused the Russian birth rate to fall steeply. It dropped below the replacement level (about 2.1 live births per woman), and continued to drop after 1992, hitting a low of 1.17..... During the late Soviet era there was a decline in health care and an increase in alcoholism ....
The result was that despite a net immigration over the course of more than a decade - as the return of over 5 million ethnic Russians from non-Russian parts of the former Soviet empire between 1989 and 2002 more than offset those who emigrated to other countries - Russia's population fell from almost 149 million in 1992 to about 142 million in 2007.
Projections for the future vary, in part because of variables such as the impact of AIDS, another scourge taking an increasing toll of the Russian people with each passing year. Unless something drastic happens, that decline will become an implosion. One reasonable estimate.. is that Russian will have a population of only 100 million in 2050.... and because within the Russian Federation non-Russian ethnic groups have higher birthrates than Russians, a growing percentage of the country's population will be non-Russian and Muslim. ... In 2006 President Putin announced a government initiative to reverse the population trends by providing substantial financial benefits to women who have children, especially those who have more than one child. In a country where 70 percent of Russian women of childbearing age have either one child or none at all, it remains to be seen what effect, if any, this program will have.
- A Brief History of Russia, by Michael Kort, Checkmark Books 2008

An online article that I read some months ago, indicated that Russian women as a rule do not use contraception and Russian men refuse to use condoms. Instead abortion is the preferred method of contraception. The average Russian woman has between two and ten abortions. It is interesting to note that the use of ultrasounds actually convince women not to abort:

"This is the decision of a lifetime," gynecologist Natalia Smirnova said. "It's very important for me to show them the ultrasound picture of their fetuses. This stops most of them."

Read the entire article here

And a recent article related how the Orthodox Patriarch in Georgia is encouraging couples to have babies, by promising to personally baptise all babies #3 and up.

Read that article here

2008 saw an increase of 9000 babies in Georgia; how many of those are the third and fourth siblings is not indicated, but I would guess that the Patriarch is going to be a busy man, which is a good thing.

Meanwhile, David Kinsella has produced a film on abortion in Russian. It is called Killing Girls, because the women in the film all discovered that they were carrying baby girls. It is quite graphic and very disturbing, so be forewarned.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Try Living in Africa for a While

There have been quite a few comments on the post I put up a few days ago, with a link to Dr. Laura Schlessinger's article in which she approved of Pope Benedict's statements vis-a-vis condom use in Africa.

Rather than lose those comments down the page, I thought I would resurrect the topic since I discovered an enlightening article written by an African. Touche.

Bleak Stories behind failed condom campaigns

This article reinforces what my husband and I found when we lived in Malawi, Africa 35 years ago. There is rampant promiscuity; North America is catching up now, and the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections amongst our adolescents should tell us that condom use does not reduce infections. Rather, the rate of infection increases with condom use.

The article tells why this is so: first, condoms are not used correctly, those who have condoms consider they have more sexual freedom, they simply are not available (keep in mind most Africans live in rural communities and there are no corner gas stations or drug stores anywhere nearby). But the most overriding reason for failure is simply because Africans do not live like North Americans. The push of condoms on the Third World is the imposing of technology upon people to try and solve a moral problem. No amount of technology will work; people have to be changed first.

While in Africa, we hired a man to work for us. Every white person or "European" as we were called, has a house servant. At first I objected, being 25 years old and healthy; there was no way I was going to have a "servant" working for me. After all, I was an enlightened "white woman". However, there is a lot of work to be done, and most of us from the west are not used to doing all the laundry by hand, cooking on a wood stove, not only cooking a chicken but also killing it, baking bread, as well as doing the job that I was there for, to teach in the boys' high school. One day, Gladson arrived for work with a note that he gave to my husband. It was from the local doctor, stating that Gladson had a sexually transmitted disease and that he had to take medication, which the doctor wanted my husband to administer. This was to ensure that he got his medication regularly. Nick tried very hard to impress upon Gladson that he should not sleep with his wife until the doctor gave him the all-clear; of course, we didn't know at the time, that Gladson had two wives. And perhaps there were other sexual partners as well.

Another story that bears telling was of a young boy named Augustine. I relate this because it brings home the fact that Africa was then, and still is, a place where traditional medicine is used, even when it is shown not to work. He was about eight years old and he came to our house one day, with an infected foot. He asked if we could take him to the clinic in the village, run by the medical missionary sisters. Nick and I took him there, and stayed with him as a marvellous nun lanced the infected boil on his foot and then gave Nick the antibiotics that Augustine needed to take. I will never forget this beautiful child's face. I have had a boil lanced and it is indeed painful. No, change that to I thought my head was going to blow off. When Sister lanced the boil on Augustine's foot, there was no cry from the boy, just a single tear rolled down his face.

Sister turned to us and I will forever remember her exact words: "do you see why I love these people?"

She asked that we bring him back in a few days so that she could check on the boy's foot. When we brought him back to her, his foot looked terrible. It was burned and scalded; the nun informed us that his family would have been burning his foot at night with leaves that they placed in the fire, then put on his infected foot to drive out the infection. Needless to say, she was dealing with two problems now.

This episode echoes the statement in the above article about the use of traditional medicine and witch-doctors too by Africans when they are dealing with illness. Combine that with North American treatments, and you have a mess.

So, I repeat my support for Pope Benedict's statements on AIDs in Africa. What Pope Benedict sees is that the root of the problem is immorality, and no amount of medical help will solve a problem that has its root in sin.

If the soul is lacking, if Africans do not help one another, the scourge cannot be resolved by distributing condoms; quite the contrary, we risk worsening the problem. [or possibly, we make the problem worse.] The solution can only come through a twofold commitment: firstly, the humanization of sexuality, in other words a spiritual and human renewal bringing a new way of behaving towards one another; and secondly, true friendship, above all with those who are suffering, a readiness - even through personal sacrifice - to be present with those who suffer. And these are the factors that help and bring visible progress.
- Pope Benedict

Monday, April 6, 2009

Gianna Jessen, Abortion Survivor

What can one say, really, after watching this woman speak? But in case you don't know anything about this remarkable fiery young woman, as she calls herself, she is the survivor of a saline abortion. After 18 hours of labour, her mother delivered a live baby, and because the abortion doctor was not present when she was born, Gianna was taken to a hospital where she was cared for. Subsequently she was placed in a foster home where she did not receive adequate care, but then at the age of seventeen months, a woman called Penny took Gianna under her care. With Penny, Gianna thrived; despite the fact that she has cerebral palsy caused by the lack of oxygen during the attempted abortion, she learned to walk without braces, she has a slight limp, but just listen to her - this woman has a sharp mind, she may have a physical impairment but there ain't nothing wrong with her.

In fact, her witness leaves nothing more to be said by me.

followed by part 2

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Alarming Stats for Canada

The following video comes from the site,

This is the Canadian counterpart to The Call in the US, led by Lou Engle. Both are movements to activate Christians to pray and fast for our nations; both see ominous futures for our countries if we do not respond to the awakening of the Spirit. Call it alarmist, I think they may be dead right.

Another video from Faytene Kryskow, this one more specifically on abortion -

And one that is a pure gift from someone you might (wrongly) assume would be on the other side in this debate - Happy Birthday from Flipsyde

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Dr. Laura Defends the Pope

A refreshing
article by Dr. Laura Schlessinger , popular talk show host.

The recent uproar over Pope Benedict's comments on condoms and AIDS in Africa comes from all directions - the media first, the supporters of UN policies in Africa, and all sorts of religious people as well, including some Catholic clergy. Yet, science bears out the truth of what Benedict says. Andrew Klavan, a writer on Pajamas Media, who is not Catholic by the way, defends the Pope and gives plenty of references for his defense.

Edward Green, a medical anthropologist with 30 years of experience, also states that the Pope is correct in his statements:
We have found no consistent associations between condom use and lower HIV-infection rates, which, 25 years into the pandemic, we should be seeing if this intervention was working.

More info on Green here

What Schlessinger concludes is that the Pope is calling us to behaviour that transcends just sexual passion; he is calling us to behaviour that is moral. And that is why there is such a hue and outcry, because nowadays no one wants to be advised to be moral in matters of sexuality.

The naysayers all have one thing in common: they refuse to want, believe or accept that human beings can commit to a higher spiritual state of thought and behavior. The Pope believes in us more than that.

I am not Catholic, so this is no knee-jerk defense of my spiritual leader. The truth is that he is simply correct and too many people don't want to hear it, because they want to live lives unfettered by rules. It is sad that they don't realize that this makes them a slave to animal impulse versus a master of human potential.
- Laura Schlessinger

Postscript - Father Stan Fortuna, aka "the rapper priest", affectionately calls Pope Benedict, BBB - Beautiful Bavarian Benedict

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Tom Wappel, Pro Life former MP speaks in Halifax

Last night, Tom Wappel spoke to a group in Halifax. Tom is a retired Liberal politician who was a Member of Parliament for 20 years.

Tom was a Liberal member of the House of Commons from 1988 to 2008, representing the Toronto riding of Scarborough West and its successor riding of Scarborough Southwest. Wappel is a staunch social conservative. He is a prominent opponent of abortion and gay rights, and has made controversial comments on immigration and the role of religion in government. He opposes the death penalty, and describes himself as holding liberal views on economic issues.

Tom is a well-versed and well-spoken pro-life advocate. He recounted a bit of his personal history and told how he had decided to enter politics and sought the support of the Knights of Columbus in his riding. One Knight he spoke to, asked him his views on abortion and Tom was at a loss for an answer. He hadn't even considered the issue. That Knight introduced him to Jim Hughes, the President of Campaign Life Coalition, and the meeting was formative. Jim convinced Tom that he needed to take a stand on abortion and that he needed to be clear throughout his political career on which side of the issue he stood. Tom said that this was a "Road to Damascus" moment for him, and he became solidly pro-life then and continued that way throughout his 20-year career. That move cost him a cabinet position under Jean Chretien, who wouldn't reward anyone who was pro-life with a prominent position. But Tom's integrity on this and other issues got him re-elected 8 times in his riding, with the last election securing him over 50% of the vote. No previous MP had ever been re-elected in that riding, so getting in 8 times certainly vouches for his political success.

Of interest to us last night was Tom's view on where the pro-life movement is in Canada. He said that, politically, the movement is nowhere. The NDP and the Bloc Quebecois will not tolerate any member being pro-life. Forget it, it simply won't happen, not these days. The Liberals will tolerate a pro-life position but you certainly can't expect to get anywhere in the party if you are pro-life. And, as a Liberal, you are expected to vote as the party stands. The Conservatives, the party where one would expect to find pro-life members, will tolerate them but they are dissuaded from making those views public. Since Harper wants to remain in power, he will not re-open the abortion debate, because he knows that issue would cost him his win in an election.

Therefore, the issue of abortion is a closed subject in this supposedly "free" country. Contrary to what most people think, there is no "right" to abortion because the Supreme Court never ruled that there was. Their ruling in 1968 came down that the law regarding abortion was being unequally mandated across the country. At the time, a woman who wanted an abortion had to get it passed by a hospital board and not every hospital had a board. Plus there was the problem of some boards consisting of pro-life individuals, others consisting of pro-choice individuals, and there was no consistency across the country. This was deemed to be unfair.

When Morgentaler challenged this system in 1988, the court ruled in his favour and struck down the existing abortion law. This meant the end of the boards to approve abortions and whoever wanted one, could get one for whatever reason. There was no law put in place, when the existing law was struck down. Mulroney drafted a law which passed the House of Commons but it ended up in an exact tie in the Senate. The speaker voted against the bill, which meant that the debate should continue. However, at that point, Mulroney decided against pursuing it and since that time, no law has been brought forth.

Canada is the only country in the western world that has absolutely no law against abortion of any kind. This means that it is legal to kill the unborn at any time during the nine months of pregnancy, up to and including delivery as long as the child has not exited the mother's body. There are very few late term abortions done in Canada, however I did read recently that some are done in Winnipeg. Any woman desiring an abortion after 24 weeks gestation is usually sent to the United States to a clinic that specializes in late term abortions (I have heard that some of these go to the infamous Tiller clinic in Wichita, Kansas - a man who is currently being charged with 11 counts of illegal abortions all on girls 18 and under and all between 24 and 28 weeks gestation). This is paid for entirely by our medical system.

Wappel referred to the Unholy Trinity: abortion, same-sex marriage and euthanasia. Canada has the first two already, and it is only a matter of time before euthanasia is made legal in this country. As for polygamy, he said that issue has already been settled in favour of polygamy (something you haven't heard reported, I'm sure) and won't be contested. Isn't this all great news?

At one of his talks earlier this year, Tom addressed the clergy of Toronto. The transcript of that talk can be read here
It is rather discouraging to read how little Tom's experience and views were sought by so-called Catholic institutions. He made himself available to all sorts of organizations, but in many cases, his offers were not taken up. He does not know why. He recounts many instances of the complete lack of support of the church and clergy for him as a politician, which is surprising since he was well known for being pro-life and even headed up the pro-life caucus on Parliament Hill.

This could be all rather discouraging and I have to admit that I do feel rather glum at the state of things in Canada. At least in the US, there seems to be vibrant debate on this topic. Of particular interest to me right now is the heated discussion about the invitation of President Obama to Notre Dame University to give the convocation address and to receive an honorary law degree. Many faculty and students, alumni, archbishops and priests across the country, are aghast at the invitation extended by the President of Notre Dame to the most pro-abortion president in history. A decided conflict of beliefs there to be sure. It will be very interesting to see how this plays out.

Such an event simply would not happen in Canada, the country of "does anyone really care?"

However Tom encouraged us at the end of the talk last night to become active, even it that only means standing up and being counted. As he said, sure you may get called names and be shouted down, and perhaps you might go to jail like Linda Gibbons, but that is all they can do. They don't do anything more than that here in Canada, so what are we afraid of? He encouraged us to develop thick skin to take the abuse, because that is what will be dealt us but we simply cannot remain silent.

We had the opportunity to drive Tom back to his hotel last night, so my husband and I had a chance to ask him further questions. One that we asked was why is the other side so vehement? particularly here in Halifax, the pro-choice side is loud and demonstrative, they are agressive, they come out to pro-life events armed with megaphones and blankets to cover up signs, and they shout throughout the entire event so that no one can hear anything that is said. Tom's response was that they know they have lost the argument about abortion, and they can't let anyone else hear it. That is their only defense now, and they are terrified of losing their "right" to abortion.

An interesting evening, however not the most uplifting. I am still left with the disturbing question of where are the clergy in all of this? If the shepherds are not leading the way, how can anyone expect the sheep to follow? I don't want to become a clergy-basher, but our priests and pastors really need to be exhorted to become active in the sanctity of life issues. Otherwise, that dosage of death will be coming to all of us, sooner than we realise as the so-called "right to die" is swallowed by the people.