Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sound Bite Christianity

Yet, for many Christians, their knowledge of the Faith is often limited to a few famous quotes or parables of Jesus that have remained in their memory since childhood. This is particularly true for newcomers to Christianity or individuals who have stopped attending church. This lack of knowledge and understanding creates a genuine risk of oversimplification of Christ’s message by relying on a few quotes taken out of context.
So Con or Bust

I can certainly relate to this quote, especially when you have become active in pro-life issues, even family members spit out Biblical passages in order to peg you as someone who has become a "one issue" person, without regard for the "bigger picture".

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Preaching about abortion

Father Frank Pavone tackles the fear many pastors and priests have of preaching about abortion.

Flipping the Fear

It might be a good idea to give a copy of this to your pastor.

Monday, March 28, 2011

How many black babies are aborted in Halifax?

An article on Jill Stanek's site today, Abortion is Black Genocide, has me thinking about the number of black babies aborted here in Nova Scotia.

I have often thought about this but have not written anything about it for fear of being politically incorrect. But there is no doubt that blacks in Nova Scotia are, for the most part, an economically-challenged racial group. And, when money is tight, families suffer and more babies are usually aborted.

In contacting churches to become active in the 40 Days for Life campaign, I got little response from any black Baptist churches. I was hesitant to push harder in this area for the afore-mentioned political correctness that constrains us all.

But living in Halifax, one is aware of the segregation of blacks here. Having lived in Toronto and Ottawa previously, where there are many immigrants from all countries, I was very familiar with the intermingling of races in my children's classrooms. Here in Nova Scotia, one does not see many people from the West Indies; the blacks here are indigenous people and are related more to American blacks than to West Indians or Africans.

In the late 1960's, the community of Africville was razed to the ground in order to build a second bridge across the harbour. Houses, a school and a church were all bulldozed and replaced by SeaView Park with the residents being moved into nearby public housing. The community was broken and families suffered the consequences. Today there is no doubt that crime, drug abuse, prostitution are endemic problems in the black community here; we hear of frequent drug-related shootings in the village of Preston, and one is advised not to walk at night in the streets around Uniacke Square or Mulgrave Park.

While Halifax may not have as high a percentage of blacks as some American cities, I am sure that many of the issues that affect our American blacks will be issues here as well. And that means abortion rates are probably high, higher than amongst whites I would speculate.

I would love to open up this issue here because I am convinced it is huge. When I see black teens walking together from Oxford School to the public housing on Gottingen Street, blacks who stick together and don't generally mix with whites, I am sure that teen pregnancy and abortion are issues that are not being talked about. Perhaps they are mentioned in the Baptist churches that some attend, but I have not been able to discern any discussion of abortion there.

In a city that has its share of segregation but won't admit to it, abortion is another taboo subject especially when it comes to the black community. Yet they are suffering from it even more than whites. If they are aborting their children in greater numbers than whites are, then they are becoming an even smaller visible minority in the population. And shrinking numbers will deprive them even more of the opportunities at education and employment that they so badly need to break the cycle of poverty and welfare dependence.

Last year, Saint Mary's University Women's Centre, hosted a conference on reproductive rights called Trust Women and one of their keynote speakers was Loretta Ross, founder and co-director of Sister Song, an organization devoted to abortion rights for black women. Isn't it amazing that we are asked to trust women, even when they advocate to kill off their own race? Does she not know of the black genocide occurring in the United States? Or is abortion such a "sacred right" that one will support it even at the demise of one's own people?

There is so much need for education of the public on the issue of abortion. Ignorance abounds, even in those who should know better.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Yeah for Canadian Bishops!

Bishops of Canada list right to life of unborn as #1 issue in election guide

From LifeSiteNews, today the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops issued an election guide in which they listed “Respect for life and human dignity: from conception to natural death” as the top issue in voting.

Today Prime Minister Harper called for the dissolution of Parliament given a non-confidence vote by the three opposition parties. The Liberals are trying to make this an election based on ethical behaviour since they found the Conservatives to be "in contempt" of Parliament. However, most people will think this election to be about economics, as most elections are.

What would happen if believing Catholics made this an election about life? Wow, the Canadian Parliament would be forced to re-open the abortion debate.

Share this with your parish priest and with your bishop. This needs to be talked about a lot in our churches.

The stats they won't acknowledge

Most of the schools on the list are being reviewed because of falling enrolment and face possible closure or consolidation. The list includes 11 elementary schools and one junior high.

CBC news

Last year, over 1700 babies were aborted in Halifax. And approximately the same number the year before, and the year before, and the year before ....

People in positions of decision over school closures should acknowledge that abortion and declining birth rate are the reason for these closures, which means less teaching jobs, which means less taxpayers, on and on it goes.

But "choice" is defended against all odds; it is the "sacred cow" of Western civilization.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Cost of Abortion

The evil must end.
No society that kills its young is going to survive.
- Michael Voris


A riveting video, The Cost of Abortion, just released by St. Michael's Media arrived in my mailbox today. I immediately ordered 5 more copies because I intend to give these to two priests in Halifax, the bishop, a reporter for CBC and a friend.

As Voris says, if you can't see that abortion is horrific for the killing that it is, then look at the financial cost of it. It doesn't take an economist to figure out how much revenue has been lost by the abortion of 50 million children in the US. Not to mention the ghost figure that half of those aborted children would have had their own children by now. The math is simple; the economic cost is 14 times the annual US budget. That's how much this loss of life has cost one country alone.

The video is only $17 US, $20 if you want the accompanying CD with additional resources. You can order it by clicking on this link.

The Cost of Abortion

And once you have your copy, see if you can convince your priest or pastor to show this to members of your congregation. We have not looked in depth at what abortion is doing to our world, this video is a start.

I just noticed that you can watch the video without even purchasing it. On the left, click on Watch It. Then click on the line in the centre, entitled The Cost of Abortion. Send this to your friends. It is quite astounding.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

National March for Life

Archbishop Prendergast has said that he will take part in the national March for Life to be held in Ottawa on May 13, despite the use of graphic signs. In his words,

“Personally I’m not sure the graphic signs help, so I just look away,” he told Canadian Catholic News. “But the National March is a big umbrella gathering organized by lay people, and they have many approaches to defending life.”


Mary Ellen Douglas, spokesperson for Campaign Life Coalition (the organizers of the March) said that the march is not Catholic but includes anyone who is pro-life. However, in Alberta, the bishops have been part of the organizing group for their march, and this is perhaps the reason for the problem they are experiencing.

The national March last year was estimated at 12,500 people as compared to Alberta's which I heard was around 400. Of course, graphic signs in a march of 400 are going to be much more predominant than in a march of twelve and a half thousand.

Now if we could get the attendance in Nova Scotia to exceed one hundred, we would be thrilled.

h/t LifeSiteNews

Telling the Truth

A happy ending to the Baby Joseph story as Joseph Maraachli had a tracheotomy a few days ago and plans are underway to return him to the care of his parents in Canada. Read the synopsis of the story here and, if you are able, please consider giving a donation to LifeSiteNews. It was through their persistent reporting of the story that it gained the attention of Alex Schadenberg of the Euthanasia Prevention Coalition, and then in turn got the attention of Fox News. The story spread and support was gathered for the family, who was simply asking that their boy be given a tracheotomy so that they could bring him home and care for him there. This is not a story of a family that is in denial, Joseph's parents know that he does not have long to live, but they wanted that time to be spent with them so that they could provide him with the love and care that he deserved. Without the aid of LifeSiteNews, Baby Joseph would have died when the hospital in London turned off the ventilator and let him choke to death within minutes.

Some will say, "well he was going to die anyway" but the point of this story is as Alex Schadenberg so clearly points out.

The baby Joseph case is about who has the right to decide and what is in the best interest of baby Joseph... The law's inequality has resulted in a growing body of precedent-setting cases that constantly increase the power of the doctor/hospital to make medical decisions against the wishes of the family. This must change.


Subsequent to this story follows a story of another child at the Sick Children's Hospital in Toronto who was at first denied a tracheotomy, but has since been given one. One has to wonder if the baby Joseph case has opened some eyes or perhaps made some medical professionals more aware that they are accountable to the public for their decisions.

In any event, kudos to all who helped in this case, Alex Schadenberg, Father Frank Pavone, the Terry Schiavo Life and Hope Network, the Christian Defense Coalition, and LifeSiteNews. If baby Joseph was your child or relative, I think you would want these folks to be there for you too.

Don't forget that LifeSiteNews is a free service available online to anyone in the world. They continue to do their important life-affirming work with the donations of those who recognize the importance of this service.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Do Graphic Signs Work?

"One thing is clear. Pro-lifers dispute the power and effectiveness of using abortion pictures to change hearts and minds. Pro-aborts do not."

Anti-Choice Project - pro-lifers with graphic signs surprise Planned Parenthood supporters at a rally. It seems that, when faced with graphic evidence of abortion, pro-aborts have to cover them up.

A comment on the previous post about the Alberta bishops, from Melissa, was deleted by Blogger. So I will summarize it here. Melissa said that she sided with the bishops in this case, because the Alberta March for Life has been taken over by people carrying huge graphic signs. In a march of about 400, the graphic signs are front and centre to the exclusion of other signs. I can see Melissa's point and that is a shame that one group has predominance. The March is supposed to include everyone of all stripes, who are pro-life, without any single group predominating. We all come at this issue from different angles and there is a need to discern how to accommodate one another. If the graphic signs really are taking over the Alberta march, then I would have to concur with Melissa's viewpoint that the bishops could be right to stay away. It's too bad.

There really is a time and place for graphic signs. I personally don't want them on street corners for unsuspecting passersby to view, but the GAP demonstration on campus is entirely appropriate. If university students can't face the photos of what abortion does, and be able to discuss it, then they really aren't ready for the rigours of higher education.

One statement that strikes me as ridiculous is that signs of beautiful babies should be used to protest abortion, rather than photos of dismembered ones. That is as appropriate and effective as showing photos of Jewish boys at their bar mitzvah celebrations in order to depict what happened to the Jews in the holocaust.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Bishops Boycott March for Life

From LifeSiteNews - Alberta bishops will not participate in the March for Life this spring because the organizers cannot guarantee that graphic signs will not show up at the march.

Seems to me that this is a convenient excuse to "get off the hook" for the March; why could the Bishops not make a statement (very clearly heard) that they do not favour the signs, but still join in the March? Not everyone who marches agrees with the use of graphic signs of aborted babies, but the March is meant to show solidarity of the pro-life movement in Canada. More than the fall Life Chain, the March for Life is a joyous occasion that brings together young and old in a great display of pro-life activism.

Now the bishops say that they will attend the vigil the evening before and will say Mass on the morning of the March. Note how those activities are indoors, away from the public who might just see the clergy showing their support for the unborn. Call me cynical, I am.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Silence from Canadian Pro-Life Movement

Joseph Maraachli will probably die and his parents know this. They simply want to be able to care for him at home and a tracheotomy would enable them to do this. But doctors and a Canadian judge have decided that they will not perform this simple surgery because this child's life is not worth it. They proposed to remove his ventilator and let him choke to death. Enter Father Frank Pavone of Priests for Life who has managed to get this baby released from hospital in Canada and transported to a Catholic hospital in Missouri where the surgery will most likely be done by the end of the week.

I cannot find one single statement by any Catholic clergy in Canada on the Baby Joseph case.

Are they afraid to speak against the ruling of a judge? Are they afraid to question the advice of doctors and a medical board of a hospital? Are they just plain afraid to even speak up in defense of a life that has been deemed not worth living? What else could account for this silence?

Does it take the American pro-life leaders to fight a battle that should be waged by Canadians? It boggles my mind that no one in Canada has issued a statement of support for the parents of Baby Joseph, no Canadian Catholic group has organized a system of donation to help with expenses for this medical treatment. Is the Catholic Church in Canada really mute in this case, which so obviously is at the heart of the pro-life movement? If we do not care to give this child a decent chance at life and a better death should he die, how can we dare to show up at any pro-life event and proclaim that we are pro-life? We are missing-in-action.

I have often said to my fellow pro-life Canadians that I wished we had some American spirit up here, but now I really know that this is true. What is it going to take to get Canadians to care enough to do anything?

Alex Schadenberg has written about the real crux of this case, which is the power of the state/hospital/medical boards versus the rights of parents/care-givers. This is an important article to read. Click here
Baby Joseph - What Now? for Alex's post.

Friday, March 11, 2011

This can only be called societal suicide

In 2008, according to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, there were 55,391 total deaths in New York City. Also in 2008, according to the New York State Department of Health, there were 82,475 induced abortions in New York City.

[That means] the number of people who died from abortion in 2008 in New York City is 149% of the number of people who died from all other causes. Put another way, abortion accounts for 60 percent of all deaths in New York City.


Check it out here

h/t Thomas Peters on Catholic Vote

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Lent

Overheard at Weight Watchers today:

Young woman passed up the freebie chocolate snack being given out to members. She said that she had given up sweets for Lent. Then the WW staff person said that she gave up sweets as well, and someone else piped in with a similar remark.

I am left wondering if these three women all observe Lent as a religious practice or if Lent has become a time of self-denial for even the secular world.

Actions have Consequences

In the debate the other night, a young student asked Stephanie what she had to say to women who had intimate relationships with men, who could not rely on contraception because no method is guaranteed, and who do not wish to have children. Stephanie said that she would be willing to speak privately to the girl about contraception and various methods as it was not the topic of the debate; however she did say that "actions have consequences". She proceeded to walk across the stage, saying that she could go out on the roof and walk across it to the edge, all the while saying that the law of gravity was "stupid, stupid, stupid" and then walk off the roof only to fall. Actions have consequences. Having sex has consequences.

Here is a link to a good article by Jennifer Fulwiler on how abortion is used to avoid consequences, and she gives her take on how we got there. For those who do not see that the issues of contraception and abortion are intrinsically linked, a thoughtful read of this might give you pause to think.

How Can They Value Puppies over Unborn Babies

Thanks to contraception, society tells people that sex does not have to have consequences. It tells women that they can simply choose to have sex without it impacting them in any significant way. It is psychologically impossible for someone who has accepted that “truth” to simultaneously believe that life within the womb is human, or even valuable: because if it is, if unborn life has any dignity, then when unexpected pregnancies arise, sex just had consequences. If attempts to avoid pregnancy fail (as they all too often do), and the newly-conceived life is fully human, then that “consequence-free” act just created a baby, and you’re now a parent.


The question that arises in my mind is where are the guys in all of this? The problem of pregnancy and abortion and contraception are all dumped on the girl. Some would say we can thank feminism for that, but I think the root is deeper. It lies with the abandoning of the idea that sexual relations belong within marriage. Not even within "committed relationships" because the stats show clearly those so-called "committed" relationships ain't so committed after all. Most living-together relationships cease within three years; marriages do have a little longer than that.

An interesting article written by Kay S. Hymowitz is Where Have all the Good Men Gone?

Not so long ago, the average American man in his 20s had achieved most of the milestones of adulthood: a high-school diploma, financial independence, marriage and children. Today, most men in their 20s hang out in a novel sort of limbo, a hybrid state of semi-hormonal adolescence and responsible self-reliance. This "pre-adulthood" has much to recommend it, especially for the college-educated. But it's time to state what has become obvious to legions of frustrated young women: It doesn't bring out the best in men.

Single men have never been civilization's most responsible actors; they continue to be more troubled and less successful than men who deliberately choose to become husbands and fathers. So we can be disgusted if some of them continue to live in rooms decorated with "Star Wars" posters and crushed beer cans and to treat women like disposable estrogen toys, but we shouldn't be surprised.

Relatively affluent, free of family responsibilities, and entertained by an array of media devoted to his every pleasure, the single young man can live in pig heaven—and often does. Women put up with him for a while, but then in fear and disgust either give up on any idea of a husband and kids or just go to a sperm bank and get the DNA without the troublesome man. But these rational choices on the part of women only serve to legitimize men’s attachment to the sand box. Why should they grow up? No one needs them anyway. There’s nothing they have to do.


We all know young men like this, some even not so young. In fact, today there seem to be no end of guys in their late 30's, early 40's who are still playing "in the sand box". And I know mothers who say "well, boys will be boys". But as my daughter, mother of four boys, said - that should only apply to boys when they are young children, it should never give blanket coverage to sexual experimentation and other damaging behaviour when they are teens. And as my other married daughter, with two sons, said - she considers it extremely important how she raises those sons so that they don't turn into the kind of jerks she knew as a teenager and young woman. She considers raising boys to be more crucial than raising the girls she has.

Parenting, so important, how we do it. And so important that we do it in the first place. Contraception, abortion, living together without marriage all spell ruin for the generation that needs to grow up. Only in the western world do we allow kids an entire lifetime to grow up; in countries without the luxury of a western lifestyle, kids grow up as soon as they are able to help their parents with the work. For both the kids and the parents, "actions have consequences".

h/t So Con or Bust

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Debate at Dalhousie University

Last night, I attended the debate between Stephanie Gray of the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform and Dr. Mark Mercer, philosphy professor from Saint Mary's University.

The subject was Is abortion immoral? and Should it be made illegal?

Ms Gray led off with 20 minute opening remarks; she is extremely articulate, very well-prepared, she has done this so many times that she is like a well-oiled logic machine. I have heard her several times before, so nothing was really new and I only jotted down two points she emphasized: the only real questions are always- When does life begin? and Are the pre-born human?

Dr. Mercer followed with his introductory remarks; he has a very relaxed style, which does not lend itself well to a debate, and I found him to wander off on tangents plus his remarks did not seem to be organized, either on paper or in his own mind. I can`t remember how many times he said Ì don`t know, but it was frequent enough to think "not again!"

I did jot some notes of his remarks which included:
- there is nothing unethical about killing a human zygote, embryo or fetus
- abortion is not in the least ethically troubling
- there is nothing special about being part of a species

He listed the ethically salient properties that make a human entity a person whose life is worth protecting:
- ability to experience pain and pleasure
- consciousness
- being a locus of feeling or emotion
- being a locus of thought
- self-consciousness
- rationality
- "things matter to me"
- "things are going well or badly for me"

He stated that Ms Gray`s underlying premise - that being a member of the species homo sapiens entitles life to protection - was not ethically significant. He then made reference to Peter Singer and I knew exactly where he was going with his side of the debate. As he summed up his opening remarks: If ìt`s not unethical to kill a cow to serve someone`s needs, then it is not unethical to kill a fetus if it serves someone`s needs.

Then there followed an opportunity for both debaters to question each other about certain points they had made. Ms Gray zoomed in on Mercer`s remarks about where he would draw the line for protecting human life - would it be at 18 months? as he indicated that is when most children have some sense of self. Or would it be a little earlier? or what about a child who hadn`t developed certain abilities by that point? Could they then be killed?

Mercer did not give definitive answers to any of her questions; again he said repeatedly - I don`t know. He did say that he would approve of abortion through all nine months of pregnancy, but that a mother in the last stages should be encouraged to deliver the baby, since there would be someone willing to take the child and care for it. He did say that he was not in favour of euthanizing disabled children. At least he recommended adoption for those who are unwanted.

Both then had five minutes to make some closing remarks. Gray came back to her fundamental premise, that being a member of the human family is what we all have in common and that is what should give us protection, even while in the womb. To Mercer`s remarks about there is nothing special about being a member of a species, Gray made the statement that "there is a big difference between killing your dog to feed your child and killing your child to feed your dog". This elicited a round of applause from the hundred plus people who had gathered to hear the debate.

Gray said that ultimately the abortion debate comes down to a question of power. If the baby in the womb could fight back, how many abortionists would actually continue to do abortions? Outlawing abortion is ultimately about respecting people who cannot fight back when their lives are threatened.

Mercer made the remark that countries which have legalized abortion are countries that are more egalitarian than others. One audience member questioned him on this, saying that our constitutions are founded on the principles of natural law, which we assume is somehow inherent in people's makeup. To eliminate the respect for the human species and say that it makes no difference whether you are a human being or not, would this not challenge the very underpinning of our society? Mercer responded "yes, it would and I am okay with that".

I have to conclude with one of Stephanie Gray's questions to the audience: given her view and that proposed by Dr. Mercer, where human beings do not deserve respect by virtue of being human beings, which world would you want to live in? Indeed, which world?

Unfortunately the evening concluded with a member of the Women's Center for Dalhousie University getting very angry with Dr. Mercer. She asked why had the pro-life group been able to bring in a speaker from Calgary and all the university had to offer was Dr. Mercer? In her words to Dr. Mercer "you have not said one thing this evening that a single pro-choice person in this room could agree with." Her remarks should have been made in private to Dr. Mercer; instead she humiliated him in public, taking out her frustration on him that the pro-choice side was made to look foolish by the articulate logic of Ms. Gray.

I went up to Dr. Mercer to thank him for coming to this, in fact for even stepping up to the plate. Two years ago, when Jojo Ruba came to Saint Mary's, we tried to find someone to debate him on the abortion issue. Both the Dal Law Students for Choice and the Medical Students for Choice declined, giving the excuse that it was exam time and they weren't prepared to do this. It was only Dr. Mercer who criticized the way Ruba was treated by SMU in 2009, and it was only Dr. Mercer who was willing to debate Gray. So thank you Dr. Mercer, even though I don't think your argument holds any water at all.

I left with a friend who made the comment that Mercer seemed to lack any passion for the subject at all. Perhaps this is the most distressing thing, to listen to someone for whom an issue of life and death doesn't seem to matter, he is okay either way. What a sad outlook to have that one species doesn't matter more than another, that one life doesn't matter more than another, that these big questions elicit only a blase response. Indeed, which world do you want to live in?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Message to the Church

Let’s say the government passed a law to allow the killing of one priest every year. Do you not think that, when you went to church, you would hear frequent calls to protest vigorously about this? Do you think it would be excused on the grounds that the government has good policies on overseas aid or other issues? There is no difference in God’s eyes between a Catholic priest and an unborn child.

The Church is forgetting that the unborn children is Her neighbour, so it’s like the parable of the neighbour who walks by on the other side of the street. Yet it is the worst catastrophe in terms of mass killing in the history of the world. So how can it not be the greatest issue that the Church has to face?
- John Smeaton, in an interview on Gloria TV, during the latest Human Life International conference in Austria.

Society of Protection of the Unborn Child

Smeaton goes so far as to say that, when bishops cooperate with the government on education as they are in England at present, they are not being pastors of the flock, they are acting as junior politicians.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Great Canadian Cover Up

A must-read:

Abortion Stats show reality of land without restrictions - by Anastasia Bowles, director of Life Canada

No matter what your position on abortion, the study reveals unsettling facts about abortions in Ontario, and by extension, in Canada. For example, we learn that for every 100 babies born in Ontario, 37 are aborted.
The ratio for teens aged 15-19 is even more shocking. For every 100 babies born to Ontario teens, 152 are aborted.

It also revealed disturbing data about repeat abortions in Ontario hospitals. As many as 52% of women had one or more previous abortions. Even more disturbing, almost one fifth of teens aged 15-19 said they had already had at least one abortion. The study even cautioned that the percentage of repeat abortions was likely higher due to under-reporting.

Most Canadians are unaware that teens don’t need parental consent to have an abortion. They don’t even have to inform their parents. In fact, most Canadians — 80%according to a 2010 Angus Reid poll — don’t even know we have no legal restrictions on abortion.
So even though most Canadians don’t know the facts or statistics on abortion, they don’t support the current legal vacuum in Canada. Imagine if they actually knew something about the subject.

Why don't they?

... any data about abortion in Canada is valuable and welcome. One can’t help but wonder why all the secrecy if there is nothing to hide? For a cause that has always been championed as a woman’s right, it is ironic that information about something exclusively relevant to women’s health is ignored, or worse, suppressed. Shame.


h/t Where the Rubber Hits the Road
h/t ProWomanProLife

Friday, March 4, 2011

Nomad by Ayaan Hirsi Ali


A few months ago, I watched an interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali on CBC and was intrigued by this woman, a Somalian refugee, who has repudiated her past with Islam and speaks out about the threat of Islam to the western world. I ordered her book Nomad and just finished reading it, and recommend it to anyone who would like to know more about what it is like to be a woman in the Muslim world.

A brief background on Ayaan as it is necessary to understand where she has come from and this is not readily available in the mainstream media.

Ayaan was born in Somalia in 1969 to a Muslim family. At the age of eight, her father moved the family to Saudi Arabia, then Ethiopia, and finally Kenya. Her father abandoned the family to marry another woman and Ayaan was raised by her mother and maternal grandmother, both of whom accepted Islamic beliefs without question even though those beliefs had caused their own miserable povery-stricken lives. At the age of 22, Ayaan's father sent her to Toronto where she was to wed a Muslim man whom she did not know. During a stopover in Holland, Ayaan bolted and sought refugee status in that country.

She found the Dutch to be very kind and hospitable and she spent a number of years getting educated and even getting herself elected as a member of the House of Representatives. Her life story was the subject of a movie by Theo van Gogh, for which he died at the hands of an Islamic terrorist. Ayaan herself has 24-hour security as the death threats made to her are very real. No one who speaks, as she does, against Islam is left unthreatened.

Ayaan came to the US in 2003 and works as a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank. She does not fit the type for a conservative ideologue, as many of her beliefs would fall into the liberal category. I found, reading her book, that she is definitely her own woman and also a woman in progress. I suppose you could call her an atheist humanist, and the back cover of her book cites remarks from Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, and Deepak Lal, none of whom are known to be sympathetizers with Christianity.

Yet Ayaan herself is very sympathetic to Christianity, to the point that my husband said "wait for her next book", implying that this woman could very likely convert to Christianity given the way her mind is working.

Some samples of her writing:

Here is something I have learned the hard way, but which a lot of well-meaning people in the West have a hard time accepting: All human beings are equal, but all cultures and religions are not.
In the real world, equal respect for all cultures doesn't translate into a rich mosaic of colorful and proud peoples interacting peacefully while maintaining a delightful diversity of food and craftwork. It translates into closed pockets of oppression, ignorance, and abuse.
Is there nothing beautiful in Islam? There is beautiful architecture, yes, and encouragement of charity, yes, but Islam is built on sexual inequality and on the surrender of individual responsibility and choice. This is not just ugly; it is monstrous.
Multiculturalism helps immigrants postpone the pain of letting go of the anachronistic and inappropriate. It locks people into corrupt, inefficient, and unjust social systems, even if it does preserve their arts and crafts. It perpetuates poverty, misery, and abuse.


And if you cannot look at the root of what is wrong with Islam today, then in a very real sense Islam has already defeated the West.
When the multiculturalists use the word diversity they assume that immigrants will somehow maintain their traditional culture within the Western way of life and the Western value system, like an exotic exhibit of primitive carving in a smart new museum. Unfortunately for the West, radical Islamists reject diversity, for Islam justifies the oppression of women as well as all kinds of violence, including child marriage and marital rape. The West should eliminate such practices from its own societies and condemn them wherever else they occur across the globe. We cannot do so, however, without acknowledging that there is something wrong with the religion that justifies them.
You cannot subject Karl Marx to scrutiny and give the Prophet Muhammad a free ride.


In speaking of the Said sisters who were killed in Texas by their father because they had defied the family ways and were dating American boys and adopting American ways, Ayaan says that she found the press was avoiding this issue.
This is just how self-censorship works. We do not wish to offend. We fear the perception that we might be acting disrespectfully. And we fear the possibility of retaliation. (actually I think the fear is of being murdered, my words)
This is not an ancient custom, long forgotten, like medieval witch burning. Every
year at least five thousand honor killings are committed around the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund, which adds that this is a conservative estimate. Most of them take place among communities from or in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, all of them Muslim contries. Not all the victims are Muslim - honor killings do also occur among Sikhs and non-Muslim Kurds - but most of them are.


Ayaan does not have much respect for Western feminists:
In fact a certain kind of feminism has worsened things for the female victims of misogyny perpetrated by men of color. My colleague at the American Enterprise Institute, Christina Hoff-Sommers, calls this `the feminism of resentment.``
Because these Western feminists manifest an almost neurotic fear of offending a minority group`s culture, the situation of Muslim women creates a huge philosophical problem for them.
If feminism means anything at all, women with power should be addressing their energies to help the girls and women who suffer the pain of genital mutilation, who are at risk of being murdered because of their Western lifestyle and ideas, who must ask for permission just to leave the house, who are treated no better than serfs, branded and mutilated, traded without regard to their wishes. If you are a true
feminist, these women should be your first priority.


On Islam as a religion:
I have a theory that most Muslims are in search of a redemptive God. They believe that there is a higher power and that this higher power is the provider of morality, giving them a compass to help them distinguish between good and bad. Many Muslims are seeking a God or a concept of God that in my view meets the description of the Christian God. Instead they are finding Allah.
The Christian leaders now wasting precious time and resources on a futile exercise of interfaith dialogue with the self-appointed leaders of Islam should redirect their efforts to converting as many Muslims as possible to Christianity, introducing them to a God who rejects Holy War and who has sent his son to die for all sinners out of love for mankind.
The churches should do all in their power to win this battle for the souls of humans in search of a compassionate God, who now find that a fierce Allah is closer to hand.


Ayaan has also established the Ayaan Hirsi Ali Foundation which aims to combat several types of crimes against women, including female genital mutilation, forced marriages, and honor violence, through education, outreach and the dissemination of knowledge.

A must read and a woman whom I will be anxious to hear more from - you can get Nomad from Amazon Books

The Slippery Slope - "Unstoppable Momentum"

Pro-choice defenders have always denied the pro-life statement that legalization of abortion was the beginning of the slippery slope to a complete "culture of death". But I don't think they can keep denying that; at least not if they are intellectually honest.

Christianity was opposed to practices such as the jettisoning of ‘weak’ children by their parents. These babies were collected by Christians and cared for by them. The Christian faith was the key factor in the development of western culture which saw an end to the lawful practices of abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia.

Since the Enlightenment and especially from the time of Charles Darwin in the nineteenth century there has been an increased interest in the practices of eugenics. Social Darwinism influenced many intellectuals in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The Nazi eugenics programme began quickly because the German medical profession had already been radicalised by notions of “racial hygiene” and the desirability of ridding society of “useless eaters”. The racist aspect of Nazi eugenics was inspired by other factors.

It was also the case that intellectuals in the ‘civilised’ and ‘democratic’ countries were also attracted to eugenics. These intellectuals included people like Bertrand Russell, Julian Huxley, and a whole host of others. Indeed it is fair to say that eugenicism has been driven in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries by intellectuals and their allies in the mass media.

Eugenic abortion is predicated on the idea that there are some human lives which are not worthy to be lived. It is now widely accepted that there are people whose lives are so blighted by old age, sickness, or disability that they would be better off dead. This is the principle that lies behind the current drive for legalised euthanasia.

Even some of those who would describe themselves as ‘pro-life’, nevertheless support eugenic abortion and the right of the medical profession to discontinue food and fluids to those patients reckoned to be living useless and burdensome lives.

While eugenicism bites deep into the psychology of many human beings, it has often been prevented from expressing itself by social standards. Those standards are now being increasingly undermined such that the eugenic impulse to rid the world of social and economically burdensome people has gained an almost unstoppable momentum.
- Father John Fleming on the blog of John Smeaton, SPUC Director

Thursday, March 3, 2011

From Larry Elder in How Obama's Alma Mater Treated an Iraq War Vet

American Enterprise Magazine looked at the political registrations of liberal arts professors who teach at a number of American colleges, big and small, elite and non-elite, public and private, and in all geographical areas of the country. A professor belonging to a party of the "right" was defined as one who is a registered member of the Republican Party or Libertarian Party. Party of the "left" meant a registered member of the Democratic, Green or Working Families Party. The results?

Harvard: Fifteen economics professors belong to a party of the left, with only one belonging to a party of the right. For political science, it was 20 left, one right. Sociology, 15 left, one right.

UCLA: In history, 53 professors were left, three right. Journalism, 12 left, one right. Political science, 16 left, one right. Women's studies, 31 left, two right.

Penn State University: The political science department had 17 left, three right. Economics, eight left, four right. Sociology, 34 left, three right.

University of Texas at Austin: 12 history professors were left, two right. Political science, 15 left, four right. Women's studies, 27 left, one right.

The Horowitz Freedom Center looked at the commencement speakers of 32 elite colleges and universities over a 10-year period for 1994 to 2003. Of those who were political figures or who spoke about politics or public policy, the study found: "The ratio of commencement speakers on the left and right was 223-15, a ratio of over 15-1. ... Twenty-two of the 32 schools surveyed did not have a single Republican or conservative speaker in the entire 10 years surveyed. The same schools invited 169 liberals and Democrats to address their graduating classes in the same 10-year period."

And, of course, the situation is the same in Canada. One only has to remember the reception that Anne Coulter received when she was scheduled to speak at Ottawa University last year and the event was canceled due to security concerns. With the institutes of education being taken over by the liberal mindset, is there any hope for kids to get an unbiased education? I remember my own days at York University, in the late 60's, early 70's, and the poet laureate for the university was none other than Alan Ginsberg. I still recall the shudder I felt as he recited his poem about anal intercourse - was I the only student there who thought "why is this disgusting stuff being called poetry?"

As Elder concludes: "Conservative or libertarian profs practically deserve protection under the Endangered Species Act."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Baby Joseph Update

Joseph Maraachli, the young child on a ventilator in a London, Ontario hospital is still on hold. His parents have requested a tracheotomy so that they can take their baby home; they know that he will die, but they wish to care for him themselves. The hospital administrators reserve the right to take the baby off the ventilator, they say that doctors consider the tracheotomy too risky in this child, and if they do remove the ventilator, the baby will suffocate within minutes. The parents are not being allowed to have any say in this, nor are they even allowed to visit Joseph without a security guard present.

Reaction to this story has come mainly from the US pro-life lobby. Father Frank Pavone from Priests for Life has offered to pay for the baby to be removed to a US hospital where the surgery can be performed; the Christian Defense Coalition and the Terry Schiavo Life and Hope Network are gathering this weekend in London to hold prayer vigils outside the hospital.

As John Pacheco says, where are the Canadian pro-life voices? Bishop Fabbro of the diocese of London has made no statement on this case at all (nor has he made any concluding statement about Father Prieur the priest who has been accused of advising for early induction abortions at a Catholic hospital in London); Salt & Light Television (Canada's teeny version of EWTN) has been silent on the issue. Are we here in Canada that beholden to our American brothers and sisters to carry the torch in every life cause?

I recall a talk I attended last year when Sister Nuala Kenny got quite irate when I asked why hydration was not considered "basic health care" in the case of Terri Schiavo. And, within her talk, I heard her say that she had ordered the removal of certain patients at the IWK from their ventilators when she was the administrator of that children's hospital in Halifax.

Dr. Paul Byrne, an Ohio neonatologist with five decades of experience,
called the attempt to have the state remove Joseph’s ventilator “terrible, absolutely terrible,” and insisted that in his fifty years in neonatology he’s never removed a child’s ventilator. “I’ve never seen a time to turn off a ventilator,” he said. “If a baby has a disease process that’s so bad that they’re going to die, then they die on the ventilator anyway. So you don’t have to stop the ventilator.”
- LifeSiteNews, Feb 28, 2011

I have to agree with John Pacheco when he says:

There’s a lot of talk about “stepping up” on pro-life issues by our bishops, but when a REALLY, REALLY BIG ONE PRESENTS ITSELF, nothing gets said or done. We always have to pull and drag them, sometimes kicking and screaming, to do their jobs.

And what about the CCCB? There’s nothing about it on their website either – just the “big news” on which bishops get shuffled where. Here we have our own case of Terri Schiavo and the Canadian Church, once again, is missing in action. We’ve got international attention on our death panels. We’ve got Americans coming over here to take control, and our “leadership” is MIA. All of this previous talk by the bishops about “taking a leadership” role in the pro-life fight is just slick PR for the hierarchy and the bureaucratic machinery. We have this tragic drama playing out before our eyes and there has not been one Church leader (from what I have seen to date) that has raised a finger to help. Where’s Salt+Light TV, by the way? Any coverage of it on their station or their blog to date? Nope. Too controversial, you see.

Memo to our bishops and other influential church politicians: if you want credibility on Life Issues: TRY ANSWERING THE DOOR WHEN THEY ARRIVE ON YOUR DOORSTEP
... FOR A CHANGE.


h/t SoCon or Bust

A Welcome Visit



A flock of cedar waxwings came through this afternoon, and stayed for almost an hour in our backyard. I didn't know what they were, but knew they were not common for this area so took photos and then looked them up later. A breath of spring in this winter landscape.

Catholic Critic of Blasphemy Law Shot Dead in Pakistan



The first Christian to hold a cabinet post in Pakistan, Mr Bhatti spoke about the threat facing him last month, during a visit to Canada to raise awareness about his country’s blasphemy laws. He said: “I have been told by pro-Taliban religious extremists that if I will continue to speak against the blasphemy law, I will be beheaded.”

However, he said: “As a Christian, I believe Jesus is my strength. He has given me a power and wisdom and motivation to serve suffering humanity. I follow the principles of my conscience, and I am ready to die and sacrifice my life for the principles I believe.”


It is time that we face this violence by Muslims against Christians, as it is creeping its way into our own countries. And we are remaining blind in the name of tolerance and multiculturalism.

h/t Where the Rubber Hits the Road

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Come and Bring a Friend

Abortion Debate: Is it moral? Should it be illegal?

Tuesday, March 8 · 7:00pm - 10:00pm
Scotiabank Auditorium
6135 University Avenue
Halifax, NS

Stephanie Gray of the controversial Canadian Centre for Bio-ethical Reform will debate Dr. Mark Mercer of Saint Mary's University on whether abortion is moral, and the legal implications of its morality. Stephanie Gray will argue that abortion is immoral, while Dr. Mercer will argue it is not immoral.

Stephanie Gray bio:
Stephanie has given pro-life presentations across North America as well as in the United Kingdom and Latvia. She has spoken at many post-secondary institutions such as the University of Toronto, York University, University of Calgary, Johns Hopkins University, George Washington University, and the University of Sussex in England. She has also spoken to high schools, churches of various denominations, seminaries, and pro-life organizations. Stephanie has debated abortion advocates such as Ron Fitzsimmons, executive director of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers, and Dr. Jan Narveson, Philosophy professor and recipient of the Order of Canada.
Web site: http://www.unmaskingchoice.ca/profile_stephanie.html

Dr. Mark Mercer bio:
Mark Mercer received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Toronto in 1991 and began teaching at Saint Mary's in September 1999. He works mainly in philosophy of mind and ethics. His current interests in the philosophy of mind concern the nature of mental states and the question how beliefs and desires can be causes and effects. In ethics, one of his projects has to do with the problem why care to promote the good or to do the right thing; another has to do with the claim that while we value some things intrinsically, nothing is intrinsically valuable.
Web site: http://www.smu.ca/faculty/markmercer/

Medicine has been brutalized by abortion

Commenting on a statement issued by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists that "abortion is safer than having a baby", Melanie Phillips speaks clearly in the middle of the muddle that characterizes Britain these days:

This guidance, intended for all doctors, nurses and counsellors advising women contemplating having an abortion, said such women should be told that terminating a pregnancy was safer than having a baby.
To which one can only ask: safer for whom, precisely? Not for the baby, certainly...

Nevertheless, there is widespread and increasing disquiet about abortion — on account of both the rate at which it is occurring and the coarsening of values that it has brought in its wake...

The framers of the original legislation never foresaw that abortion would turn into a routine form of contraception. But that’s what has happened...

The official figures for 2009 show that there were 189,100 abortions in England and Wales — with no fewer than 42.4 per cent of all pregnancies to women under the age of 20 ending in a termination, rising to around 60 per cent among under-16s. Indeed, from 1969, the number of abortions to girls under 20 more than quadrupled to over 40,000 in 2009...

But the question remains how doctors can have lost their ethical compass so badly that they dehumanise life in this way, and dress up as ‘treatment’ the manipulation of fragile patients.The answer is that medicine itself has been progressively brutalised under the impact of abortion...

Read the entire article here