Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Calgary Mayor Denies Religious Freedom

Mayor Naheed Nenshi, mayor of Calgary, has repeatedly ordered the arrest of Pastor Artur Pawlowski who dares to pray in public in the atrium of City Hall. Nenshi had stated that the atrium of City Hall is the "living room of the city"; however Christians are not allowed to do anything Christian in that "living room".

Pawlowski was even removed for singing Christmas carols in the atrium a month ago. Today, he was arrested yet again for praying in the atrium. The pastor is doing this intentionally now, precisely to draw attention to the fact that Muslims get freedom to practise their religion wherever; the only ones who are not free are Christians.

Nenshi is the first Muslim mayor in a Canadian city. He was a colleague of Ezra Levant when they were in university; in fact, they used to debate each other on campus.

So watch out, Nenshi, Levant has got your number and is calling you out on this double standard. And, true to Ezra, he will not stop until the problem is resolved.

You have got to want this Ezra in your court. Talk about tenacious!

What about Catholics in Canada?

Given the present situation in the US, with President Obama mandating health insurance coverage of birth control methods, including those that are abortifacient, I wondered about my own country.

Here, in Canada, we have universal health care but that does not include drug coverage. Most people have some sort of plan, provided by their employer, that helps with the price of drugs. I am assuming that coverage will include the price of artificial birth control, either pill or otherwise. So, most people will find they get reimbursed for part, if not all, of the cost of contraception.

Did the Catholic Church make any statement about this? I don't recall ever hearing anything on this issue. We Canadian Catholics all know (or should) that all abortions are paid for by our taxes, but I would guess that most of us don't even think about the coverage of birth control.

Which makes me wonder if our bishops here are so backed into the corner, that they have no voice whatsoever to raise against government policy. Anyone have some insights on this?

Obama and Catholics

It is not news to any Catholic who reads up on American politics, that the Obama administration has been in conflict with Catholic teaching several times. There was the Notre Dame scandal, when Obama was given an honorary degree despite protests and a lengthy list of signatures of American bishops who opposed this move. The reason: Obama is pro-abortion.

The latest move, however, has pushed the Catholic bishops into a position where they really do have to take a firm stand, or else lose their credibility in the American church.
In November, New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, held what he describes as an "extraordinarily friendly" meeting with Obama at the White House.

The president assured the archbishop of his respect for the Church, and the archbishop came away persuaded Obama would never force the Church to adopt any policy that would violate her principles.

Ten days ago, Obama sandbagged the archbishop.

He informed Cardinal-designate Dolan by phone that, with the sole concession of the Church being given an extra year, to August 2013, to comply, the new policy, as set down by Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, will be imposed. All social and educational institutions of the Catholic church will offer health insurance covering birth control, or face fines.

Where do Obama and Sebelius get the power to do this?

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, signed into law on March 23, 2010, the colloquial name for which is "Obamacare."
- Obama Sandbags the Archbishop, by Pat Buchanan

The American Bill of Rights states:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.


Many people think that the majority of Catholics use artificial birth control, and therefore this teaching of the Catholic Church is irrelevant. But whether a doctrine is followed or not is not the issue; it is Catholic teaching, a teaching so difficult that 95% of Catholics don't follow it. That does not prove the teaching is false or that it should not be upheld. It does show how far and how easy it is to fall from obedience to what we know is right.

President Obama is in direct violation of the American Constitution by interfering with the freedom of religion of the Catholic Church. It is becoming clear who his arch enemy is; if he can override Catholic teaching, he will be the demagogue he wants to be.

51% of Catholics voted for Obama in the last election. It is time those Catholics realised this President does not have their interests at heart; he has set out to control the entire society, and what better way to do that than through providing for health care. But it is being bought at the price of our integrity. Wake up Catholics! You have the power to get rid of this man, who wants to remake America into a socialist European-style state.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Margaret Somerville on Abortion

Sex-selection abortion also shifts the analytic, ethical and legal spotlight from the pregnant woman (who is the basis of the pro-choice case), to the unwanted fetus (which is normally ignored in the pro-choice analysis). This is because in sex selection, unlike probably most other abortions, the woman wants a baby -- just not a girl. As a result of this focus on the fetus, we see abortion in a different ethical and legal light.

Moreover, testing unborn children for sex is the tip of the prenatal testing iceberg. Tests for many other conditions are already available and more are coming fast. The issues are how may these be used and how should they not be used - and what law governing abortion should be put in place to ensure that the Canadian values we want to enshrine regarding these tests are respected? Much as some politicians, including the Prime Minister, protest against doing so, they must start discussing abortion in Parliament. It is an issue that affects some of the most important values on which we base our Canadian society. And it is not going away.

When Choice Becomes an Issue, MercatorNet

Thursday, January 26, 2012

The Madness of Abortion

An unborn child has been killed, probably, while you were reading this. Another will die, almost certainly, before you’re done. We are slaughtering by the seconds, and the relentless motion of that murderous clock—tick, tock, tick, tock—can drive you mad, if you start listening to it.

A man I used to see in New York, call him Jimmy, slipped into the madness while I knew him. He would look at his watch, again and again, whenever we met—and sometimes he would say out loud but always he was thinking: Another one. Another one. Every thirty seconds, another one. Abortion dominated his life, which is a measure of his moral commitment. Abortion dominated his mind, as well—the evil of it, the stain he could feel laid over this nation—and that, too is a measure of moral commitment. And a measure of madness. His Catholicism was centered on opposition to abortion. His faith was shaped by his pain at the death of the little ones. His prayers were cries for vengeance. For God to come, now, and burn this wicked world to the ground rather than allow another child to die—another one and another one, with the tick of every minute on his watch.

I don’t know. Maybe I have this whole analysis wrong. Jimmy is a strong man, in many ways, of unswerving commitment to the pro-life cause, but he is also weak, in many ways: fragile and easily broken. He went to Washington for the March for Life this year, as he does every year, but it did not inspire him. He wrote me to say that it had crushed him—caused him to realize, as it always does, that another year has gone by and still this scourge rakes the nation. Still the innocent are slaughtered. Still we are knee-deep in blood.
- The Madness of Abortion, by Joseph Bottum

It seems to me that, it is only as people like Jimmy hold to this cause in such a way that the battle will come to an end. People like Jimmy, people like Linda Gibbons, people like Lila Rose, who give their hearts and souls and entire lives over to this cause. People who are willing to be denounced as mad, as so single-minded and one-issued that they will risk all to bring an end to abortion.

Samuel Then And Now



Photographer Michael Clancy had a rare opportunity: he took a photo of a surgery in which a fetus of 21 weeks was being operated on for spinal bifida correction. Clancy caught on film the "fetus" grasping the surgeon's finger with his hand. The picture was historic, since 21 weeks was the youngest ever to have this surgery performed. At the same time, Life magazine was getting ready to publish a photo of a baby 24 weeks in utero, doing the same thing, but the photo was posed.

Clancy hurried to get his photo published before Life could scoop him and publish their "posed" photo. He managed to do that, and Life buried their story deep within the magazine, rather than putting it on the front cover.

The controversy cost Clancy his job in the news industry, and he has worked free-lance ever since. The surgeon who performed the surgery claims that he "posed" with Samuel's finger for the photo. However, Clancy took a series of photos and did not even know what he had captured on film until it was developed.

The episode changed Clancy's life. He has become a strong pro-life advocate and one has to wonder if the incident was glossed over by the surgeon and the mainstream media because of the storm it would unleash around the issue of abortion. Read more of Clancy's story on his website

Michael Clancy

An interesting aspect to this story is the involvement of Matt Drudge of The Drudge Report:
In 1999 Matt Drudge hosted a Saturday night television show called Drudge on the Fox News Channel. In Nov 1999 he attempted to show Samuel's picture on his Fox News program, but was not allowed to by the network. This led to his leaving of the show for what he claimed to be the network's censorship. Fox News directors didn't want to use the picture because they feared Drudge would use it to support a pro-life argument. They viewed this would be misleading because the tabloid photo dealt not with abortion, but with an emergency operation on the baby for spina bifida.
- Wikipedia

Clancy has written a book about it all and I just ordered a copy. You can order directly from his website or from Amazon: Hand of Hope The Story Behind the Picture

h/t Jill Stanek

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Their Last Wails



Pro-choicers interrupt a youth conference at the Hyatt Hotel in Washington during this year's March for Life.

"Pro-life, that's a lie; you don't care if women die."

How many times have I heard this chant from people who come out to protest pro-life events? Chants such as this reveal a basic ignorance of the issue. Abortion does not save women's lives. This statement shows that people think having an abortion will prevent a woman from dying in pregnancy. But the abortions they are advocating are done in the first trimester, when it is very rare that one can know if pregnancy will threaten a woman's life. So the abortion performed then is not done to save a life, but to simply terminate the pregnancy.

What will save women's lives is good maternal care. The kind that Matercare gives in third world countries. However, this organization was denied money by the Canadian government, whereas International Planned Parenthood was given money. The one organization, MaterCare, provides women with health care during their pregnancy and also provides medical help during delivery and after birth; Planned Parenthood only provides contraception and abortion, and in the third world, they are not there with any follow-up. So what happens to women who take abortion pills and go home to hemorrhage alone? Is that not the truly risky situation?

As for legal abortion being safe, you only have to read the stories on Operation Rescue to see that legal does not mean safe. Here in Canada, the tales of women suffering from botched abortions are carefully hidden as women would be admitted to emergency rooms of hospital and the case would be written up as something other than an abortion gone wrong.

There is such a need for information to be provided to those who remain ignorant of the real facts. But how do you get information across to people who simply shout and chant while others are waiting for a real discussion?
Perhaps they don't want information; what is going on is just the wails of those who know that something is crumbling and they are powerless to stop it.

h/t Run with Life for information on Matercare and IPPF

Monday, January 23, 2012

The Demographic Problem of abortion

According to provincial estimates, we are the oldest and most rapidly aging population in the country. In 2010, seniors made up 16 per cent of the population but in the next 20 years, seniors will make up 30 per cent of Nova Scotians.

Seniors take the largest chunk from the health-care budget — about half of all hospital budgets. At the premier’s conference in Victoria, B.C., last week, British Columbia Premier Christy Clark said a senior citizen costs the health-care system about $22,000 per year, while someone in their 20s costs about $2,000 per year.

Here in Nova Scotia, we have the added burden of the highest rates of chronic disease in Canada and highest expenditures on drugs per capita.

Our population growth is stagnant and we suffer outmigration of our working-aged youth. We don’t do enough to attract immigrants to take the place of retiring boomers and when we get them here, we have a hard time keeping them.
- Gail Lethbridge in the Chronicle Herald

The above excerpts from an article entitled The future is here; Aging crisis hits home, by Gail Lethbridge omits the statistics on abortion. 1700+ new citizens are eliminated annually in Nova Scotia; surely this number affects the demographics of this small province.

Not to mention the fact that every one of those terminations is paid for by our taxes; therefore we are paying to create our own demographic crisis.

Abortion is a politically incorrect subject to bring up, because then we have to question the presumed "right to choose" of women. Abortion has never been legislated as a "right" in Canada; it is feminist speech that has made everyone think it is.

Now, that "right" is affecting us all, especially those of us reaching that age where we cost the health care system more. And of course, it would be much more convenient to simply start reducing those at the other end of life, who are imposing such a burden on the rest of society.

Our politicians have to start connecting the dots: and they have to summon up the courage to state the facts; abortion is decimating the population at a rate that is unsustainable. Should women have the right to choose something that the rest of us have to pay for, both in tax-payer funded abortions, and in the resultant effect upon the rest of the health care system?

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ending abortion will not be pretty

No, what I mean is, like the emancipation of slaves, the end to abortion will be something that law will have to force on the unwilling half of the country. It may not be physically bloody, but it will be uncomfortable.
Kristen Walker, in LifeSiteNews

I guess this is true. Since polls show that pro-choice and pro-life are pretty much evenly divided (51% pro-life latest poll), the ending of abortion will not go down without a fight.

Just as ending slavery involved a civil war in the US, and getting women the vote involved jail times for suffragettes, so too abortion may bring a crisis in society. How can it not since those who want the status quo to remain are often violently oppposed to those who want in-utero life protected?

Now, before anyone comments that pro-lifers are the violent ones, let me refer you to this site

Pro-Abortion Violence

Detailed documentation shows that pro-abortionists have murdered an incredible 1,306 people since 1966. Since they prefer to attack the weak, 92 percent of their victims have been women and children. And it staggers the imagination to realize that no pro-abortion group has ever denounced this kind of sickening violence.

The most pitiful deaths of all are the murders of pregnant mothers. As the documentation on Human Life International's Abortion Violence website shows, pro-abortionists have raped, tortured, beaten, strangled, poisoned, stabbed, burned, murdered, and even buried alive pregnant women, many of them in their last trimester, because they refused to have abortions.

Abortionists and pro-abortion activists have violently attacked those who oppose them in literally hundreds of incidents. They have attacked pro-lifers with guns, cars, acid, hypodermic syringes, and baseball bats, and other pro-abortionists have applauded and supported these actions.

Pro-abortionists have raped, forcibly aborted, and killed their patients. They have gleefully tortured and murdered their girlfriends and wives. They have botched third-trimester abortions and callously walked away to leave their victims to die -- and then have tried to justify their actions with whining and empty excuses.

Laws and Morality

If sex-selective abortion is as big a problem in Canada as Kale believes, Arthur says the solution is education and outreach. - Joyce Arthur in the Toronto Sun

Our Prime Minster, Stephen Harper, also believes that education, "changing hearts and minds", is the solution to the problem of abortion. That is certainly true; however doesn't history show that it is laws that teach people what is right and wrong?

While it would be wonderful if people could be convinced of the right thing to do, it is really not pragmatic. Legislation is what keeps most people from committing crimes, but then eliminating our own young isn't seen as anything criminal. If abortion was made illegal, we might have a chance of convincing some people that it is immoral.

h/t Run with Life

Friday, January 20, 2012

Conscience Rights to be denied

Dear CV Friend,

Get ready to pay.

This morning President Obama called New York Archbishop Timothy Dolan to break the news.

Secretary of Health and Human Services and pro-abortion Catholic Kathleen Sebelius just announced that the proposed mandate requiring all insurance plans to pay for contraception, sterilization and some abortion drugs is official -- and Catholics cannot escape.


...and the fig-leaf exemption for religious groups will not be modified, apart from allowing some groups an additional year to comply.

Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan responded minutes ago, saying: “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences.”

Beginning August 1, 2012 (less than eight months from today), the insurance premiums we pay, including the insurance premiums paid by Catholics for employees of churches and schools -- will be used to cover drugs and procedures that are in direct conflict with the teachings of our Church.

That's right. Our government will now force us to pay for insurance coverage for birth control, sterilization and even some abortion drugs.

President Obama ignored the organized efforts of Catholics across the country, including bold statements from the Bishops, university presidents (including Notre Dame's Rev. Jenkins), and even his Catholic allies like Sr. Carol Keehan.

Instead, President Obama stood with his real friends -- Planned Parenthood.

Make no mistake, this decision is a direct attack on you, our Church, and the religious liberty of all Americans.

Just yesterday, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the bishops from the United States who were completing their "Ad Limina" visit in Rome. The Holy Father specifically cited the "grave threats" to the freedom of the Church in America, and urged the Catholic community to respond, especially with "an engaged, articulate and well-formed Catholic laity."

He's talking to you and me. The Holy Father's brief address is a must read (link below).

Finally, today marks exactly one year from Inauguration Day. In exactly 12 months, America will welcome a new president, or usher in four more years of Barack Obama and his assault on our liberties. This irony is not lost on us.

We built CatholicVote into a movement to advance the cause of life, family, and freedom. Today's decision is an assault on all three. And it MUST be defeated.

You have our pledge that we will do everything possible to educate and mobilize the Catholic vote in 2012.

For on a day such as this, we realize that elections indeed have consequences.

The Catholic vote must rise up like never before.

Sincerely,

Brian Burch, President
CatholicVote.org


U.S. Bishops Vow to Fight HHS Edict
http://www.usccb.org/news/2012/12-012.cfm

Read the Holy Father's Address to the US Bishops:
http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/speeches/2012/january/documents/hf_ben-xvi_spe_20120119_bishops-usa_en.html

Read the text of the HHS Announcement:
http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2012pres/01/20120120a.html



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Church Music

Reading a post on an acquaintance's blog yesterday, I noticed this line -

Last night I went to a sewing group meeting (a member is married to a local pastor so we meet in the church basement, hence the drums in the background - and mainstream churches are wondering why they are losing congregations).

I had to click away quickly, otherwise I might be tempted to post a comment, not a good idea on a blog that is chit-chatty and would not welcome any serious thought on the subject of church attendance.

But it bothered me for quite a while. Several things bothered me. It always seems to be people who no longer attend church who feel free to utter such criticisms. Do they not realise that they are actually out of touch with what is going on inside of Christian churches?

The next thing that bothered me was the assumption that people are leaving mainstream churches and switching to smaller congregations because of the music? I know this is simply not true. Most people switch congregations because they meet someone in the new congregation and are invited to attend. Face-to-face contact is the most effective way of evangelizing.

But what this woman doesn't know, and what most people don't know, is that the migration out of mainstream denominations coincides exactly with the type of music she thought was drawing them in. It was when the Catholic Church changed from the Latin Mass to the vernacular, when rich organ music and choirs gave way to guitars, drums, and tambourines, that the numbers began to drop. But it wasn't the music that caused the migration.

So why did people begin to leave? It is the infiltration of modern culture into the Christian churches and the churches' failure to preach the Gospel that works together to cause defection. When Christians begin to behave like the role models on television and the screen (bed-hopping, drug-taking, indulging oneself with materialism) and the Church does not speak of the true reason for being on this earth, then the congregation drifts away. Precisely because what is being preached no longer is relevant to their lives. They are not being challenged by the Christian life, instead they are being told that everything is okay, God loves them all regardless of their lifestyle, I'm okay, you're okay crap rather than Jesus came as our Saviour - which means we might actually need one.

It is not a change in music or a modernisation of worship that will draw people into a church; it is hearing the Gospel preached unadulterated that will bring them in, because they have a thirst inside that needs to be met with real living waters.

If modern church music is used along with good preaching, the effect may indeed be very positive. But if music alone and trendy worship is all that a church offers, you might as well go to a bar and have a beer along with your preferred music.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Spreading the Gospel through commercials



The spot, which aired during the second quarter of Saturday night's game between the Denver Broncos and the New England Patriots, was seen by an estimated 30-million viewers. This time around the commercial was all about John 3:16 -- and featured children reciting the well-known verse.

Gary Schneeberger, VP of communications for Focus on the Family, tells OneNewsNow the idea for the commercial came up after Tim Tebow -- the star quarterback for the Broncos and unashamed Christ-follower -- threw for 316 yards in his team's previous playoff victory against the Pittsburgh Steelers, setting off a flurry of Internet comments comparing it to John 3:16.

"What happened after that interestingly though was almost 100-million people, I understand, went to Google to look up what John 3:16 meant," explains Schneeberger. "We saw that as a great opportunity, given the interest, to save them the trouble if you will of having to go to the computer and look it up.

"So we just presented it right there on the screen -- out of the mouths of babes, as it were; the cute kids in the commercial. We've really been astounded by the impact that that's had."

According to the ministry spokesman, comments coming in included one that validated the entire effort.

"[They included] one gentleman who on his Twitter page wrote that his two sons had seen the ad and accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior," says Schneeberger. "And that's it -- because John 3:16 is the essence of the gospel, the heart of the gospel."

All the ads for the Super Bowl are already sold out, so the spot will not show up there. But Schneeberger says there is a good chance it will air again somewhere else. - One News Now

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sustainable Health Care

Living in Canada where state medicine has been provided since 1967, I have become completely accustomed to free medical care. Well, almost free. At one point, while living in Ontario, my husband and I had to contribute $66 per month to OHIP (Ontario Health Insurance Plan) to have medical care, but for that price you could get free doctors' visits, free surgery, almost everything free except for medications. Those have to be covered by a private insurance plan, unless you are a senior where they are substantially covered by a government plan if you cannot afford your drugs.

But the system is showing lots of cracks. It has become a standard joke that the wait times in Canada are looo...nnnn..gggg. In fact, I myself have been waiting for a hip replacement for 15 months now. The average wait in my province of Nova Scotia for hip replacement is 85 weeks, I heard. So it shouldn't be too much longer now.

But how is a national health care system provided? It should come as no surprise: it is paid for by our taxes.

So, it stands to reason that the health care is dependent upon a good taxation system, but it also depends upon a good base of tax-payers. And that is what is beginning to crumble.

As I wrote in a blog post yesterday, a caller on Talk Radio was alarmed because our health care system is being threatened by cut-backs, which means that our children and grandchildren will not enjoy the same quality of care that we now enjoy. That just did not sound right to me. How can we expect things to carry on as usual if other factors have changed? And one change is simply not being talked about: the changing population demographic and that affects the reality of taxation and tax-payers.

A couple of searches today on Nova Scotia statistics revealed some rather alarming facts.

- Between 1971 and 1991, NS population grew 14.9% compared to 27.5% for the country as a whole

- Nova Scotia birth rate in 1995 was 11.8 per 1000 persons, compared to 12.9 births per 1000 persons in Canada

- Nova Scotia's birth rate is the second lowest in the country (after Quebec)

- However, Nova Scotia's death rate in 1995 was 8.7 per 1000 compared to the national rate of 7.2. Nova Scotia has the highest death rate in the country.

- The rate of natural increase in population in NS is 3.1 per 1000 compared to 5.7 in the country as a whole (lowest in the country)

- Foreign migration to Canada was 3.8%, but in NS migration was only 1.6%

- Average age in NS is higher than the national average; the number of people over 75 is 5.8% compared to 5% nationally, making this an "old" province

- Nova Scotia has the highest reported disability rate in the country: 21.3% compared to 15.5% nationally (actually both these figures were shocking to me)

- In 1996, 2.5% of NS population were receiving CPP disability benefits compared to 1.0% for the country as a whole

- Labour force participation in NS weighs in at 59.8% compared to 64.8% for the nation

- Death rate exceeds birth rate in NS: in 2011, there were 9000 births (average of 9.3 per 1000) and deaths were 9,800 (average of 10.1 per 1000) - this is a negative difference of 800

These are not happy statistics. A healthy society is one that is growing, not one that is declining. The healthy profile of a nation resembles a pyramid with the base being wide and full of youngsters; the pyramid gets narrower at the top, where the elderly form the minority of the population. Our pyramid is getting heavier in the middle and it is swelling at the top, while the base is shrinking. That simply does not bode well for the future.

Other interesting statistics that I read were that the decline in births were traced to birth control. In 1981, births were 60% of the births twenty years earlier. And abortions increased from 643 in 1961 to 1700 in 1981. They remain at around that number to the present date. The result of both use of birth control and abortion is that the actual numbers of births are down, but also the number of women who come into age-bearing years has decreased, thereby further decreasing the number of births.

The fertility rate of females in the age category of 15 to 49 (child-bearing years) has dropped from 4.2 per woman in 1961 to 1.6 per woman in 1981. To keep a population from declining, a minimum fertility rate of 2.1 children per woman is required. We are far below that and have been for a number of years. Once we reach a rate of 1.2, the trend is irreversible.

All of these factors have dramatic effects on education, on the work force, on health programs, on care of the elderly. Is it any wonder that we are seeing trouble in our health care system?

Without a solid base of tax-payers (which comes from children maturing into working adults), we simply don't have the people to pay the taxes that are required to pay these bills. What is the solution? higher taxes? Can we even begin to realise how high taxes would have to be to cover the kind of health care we are demanding? Apparently, Norway has a good government health care system, which requires a tax rate of 60%. Are we Canadians willing to have 60% of our income diverted into taxes?

So why do we think we are entitled to the same quality of health care that we have come to expect? Not only is Nova Scotia going to be known as a "have-not" province, but it will become known as a "gimme, gimme" province too. The entitlement mentality has got to change. We simply cannot keep getting all the benefits we think we deserve, given the fact that we don't want to produce the people necessary to provide them.

So, when people say that having children is a private affair, are they right? It seems to me that these private decisions are having a very public impact on everyone.

In discussions on health care, I wish that someone would bring up the issue of birth rate and the declining demographic. Someone needs to start connecting the dots.

Stats taken from Population Growth - Nova Scotia and Canada
Nova Scotia Demographic Trends into the 21st Century

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sex Selection Abortion in Canada

Speaking of talk radio, I also heard the morning host Jordi Morgan saying that tomorrow he will talk about doctors' considering not telling pregnant women their baby's gender: being a girl could mean a death sentence.

Apparently abortion of a baby is becoming a problem amongst Asian immigrants, who prefer to have boys.

Canada is haven for parents seeking sex-selective abortions

It cites U.S. census data from 2000 that shows male-biased sex ratios among U.S.-born children of Asian parents, and a study of 65 Indian women in the United States from 2004-2009 that showed 89% of them terminated pregnancies with female fetuses.
Dr. Kale said in an interview he believes that several hundred sex-selective abortions take place in Canada each year.

One might expect that this would raise the ire of feminists, but unfortunately not.

According to Jessica Arons of the left-wing Washington think-tank the Center for American Progress, the issue raises difficult questions for women’s advocates.
“Any types of restrictions on abortion are met with skepticism by the pro-choice community generally,” she said.

As with the human rights violations of women in Muslim countries, feminists remain silent on this issue too. So which rights do they actually advocate?

On a positive note, have you noticed how the issue of abortion is raising its head in all sorts of places? This was simply not the case a few years ago. I believe that this is the fruit of prayer, because prayer exposes the works of darkness, as it brings God's light into the world. Thank you 40 Days for Life and other pro-life vigils!

Facing Demographic Decline

On talk radio in Halifax today, I heard a caller talking about the health care system in Nova Scotia and the federal government's proposed cuts to this province's health care funds. He was saying that it is unfair that Nova Scotia should suffer such cuts, since it is the fastest aging province in the country; this means, he said, that our children and grandchildren in this province will not enjoy the same health care that we now do.

But what he overlooked was the result of the very fact he stated: if we are the fastest aging population in Canada, this is because we must have one of the lowest birth rates (that and we are losing our working citizens to Alberta). So Nova Scotians leave for the west to get paid work, but also they are simply not having enough children to be the future tax-payers that are required to support universal health care.

But it is politically incorrect to talk about low birth rates, since you are making a judgment on those who choose not to have children, or just to have one "designer" baby. Tough, someone has to state the truth and our politicians need to start connecting the dots.

Sovereign debt, like any other kind, presupposes there will be someone around to pay it off. In much of Europe, there won’t be. In Greece, 100 grandparents have 42 grandchildren – in a land where far too many retire in their fifties and spend their final third of a century living at public expense. Is it remotely likely that the debts run up by 100 Mediterranean deadbeats will be repaid by 42 Mediterranean deadbeats? You follow Continental affairs as closely as anyone here, and you know the answer to that.
The More the Merrier, by Mark Steyn

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tim Tebow


Whether or not you are a football fan, this fellow is making big news. At the young age of 24, when most guys that age are swinging from studying/working to partying, this young man is focused and determined. Publicly on television, he declared his resolve to remain a virgin until marriage -

view YouTube video here

and he regularly claims that his Christian faith is the most important thing in his life.

But he is not just words; he lives out his Christian belief. To every game in which he plays, he brings a family of a disabled child to watch the game, putting them up in a hotel and having dinner with them, providing them with prime seats at the game and all expenses are paid by none other than Tebow himself. Stories of his interaction with disabled kids are beginning to spread. This guy is for real.

He elicits great scorn from many people, begin satirized on TV, with perhaps the worst being pro-aborts organizing a fund-raiser for Planned Parenthood - every time Tebow bends his knee on the field and prays, you can donate $10 to an abortion clinic. How perverse is that?

While many of us would find his actions a little too "out there", but I have to admit that when I see this guy on the field with Scripture written under his eyes, and see him acknowledging Jesus Christ in full view of thousands of people, I am full of respect for him. And the Scripture line comes to mind
"Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will also acknowledge him before my Father in heaven. - Matthew 10:32

Given the coincidence of Tebow's Scripture passage and his pass of 316 yards, John 3:16 was the most "googled" item on Monday Jan 9, 2012, the day after the game. 90 million searches for that passage is proof that Tebow has certainly given his witness to his Saviour.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. - John 3:16

Friday, January 13, 2012

Even the CBC is Talking about Abortion

In a recent interview with Joyce Arthur of the Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada and Don Hutchison of Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, even the CBC has to admit that the abortion debate is being re-opened, despite Prime Minister Harper's statements to the contrary.

Watch the interview here

Arthur states that these efforts on the part of pro-life Conservative MPs are an attempt to see abortion re-criminalized, and that a poll indicates that 92% of Canadians do not want to see that. Hutchison responded that Arthur's statement is false since two polls show that 80% of Canadians did not know that Canada has no laws to protect the unborn, and that when they learn that, 62% expressed their opinion that we should have some legislation to protect the child in the womb.

As Hutchison states, Canada and the Netherlands are the only countries in the developed world that have no protection for the unborn; this puts us in the same group as China, North Korea, and Vietnam.

As I continue to read the biography of Bonhoeffer, I can`t get this thought out of my head

Years from now, when we look back, will we be ashamed to have been on the wrong side of history?


h/t Run with Life

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Protestants and Contraception

Check out this article

American Evangelicals beginning to rethink birth control

A new book "Godly Seed: American Evangelicals Confront Birth Control, 1873-1973" by Dr. Allan Carlson questions the acceptance of artificial birth control. It is a well-known fact, or should be, that Martin Luther and Calvin both condemned birth control.

Catholic theology has always linked contraception to abortion, but this has been eschewed by most Protestant churches.
In his new book, Carlson examines historic Christian teaching regarding birth control and discovers the origins for such teaching in the early church, according to the publishers. He looks at a shift in the arguments behind this teaching made by the Reformers of the sixteenth century and traces the effects of that shift all the way up the late 20th century.

“Opposition to birth control is widely perceived as a ‘Catholic issue.’ Historian Allan Carlson demonstrates that as a matter of historical fact, the Christian churches were united in their opposition to contraception until 1930,” said Jennifer Roback Morse, Ph.D., Founder and President of the Ruth Institute.

“Carlson deftly shows how the change occurred, through a combination of ‘divide and conquer’ tactics by the population control lobby, intellectual exhaustion among the Mainline Protestants, and anti-Catholicism among the Evangelicals. Highly recommended.”

Russell D. Moore, Dean, School of Theology, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary said that Carlson’s “hard-hitting and unrelenting” arguments suggest that “perhaps American Evangelicalism unwittingly traded the Blessed Virgin Mary for Margaret Sanger.”

In reading Randy Alcorn's book Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments, Alcorn states that he came to the point where he could no longer advise couples to use artificial birth control once he realised that most forms (the pill, the IUD) act as abortifacients. He concluded that he could only advise couples to use barrier methods of birth control, since the others actually destroyed nascent life.

And a couple of months ago David Jeremiah, a Christian evangelist, surprised me when he prefaced a radio show by saying that he was going to disturb some people, but he felt that he had to talk about this issue. He then proceeded to talk about couples who choose not to have children and he quoted the Bible passages that show children are actually a blessing from the Lord. Not only that, but the primary purpose of marriage is not companionship for the man and woman but the birthing and parenting of the next generation. This, he said, was God's purpose in marriage and couples should really examine whether they understood that.

So there seems to be a shift occurring in some Christian circles. It will not come about easily, because changing people's sexual practices is probably the hardest area in which to provide mentoring.

But given the increasing secularisation of the world, it would be a good thing if Christians had more children because if we can't beat them at their game, we might be able to outnumber them.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Example of Bonhoeffer

Prior to Hitler's taking over supreme power in Germany, Bonhoeffer had written about the church's role in the state. He outlined "three possible ways in which the church can act towards the state."
The first way was to question the state regarding its actions and their legitimacy - to help the state be the state as God has ordained. The second way - and here he took a bold leap - was "to aid the victims of state action." He said that the church "has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society." And before that sentence was over, he took another leap, far bolder than the first - in fact, some ministers walked out - by declaring that the church "has an unconditional obligation to the victims of any ordering of society, even if they do not belong to the Christian community." Everyone knew that Bonhoeffer was talking about the Jews, including Jews who were not baptized Christians...
The third way the church can act toward the state, he said,"is not just to bandage the victims under the wheel, but to put a spoke in the wheel itself." The translation is awkward, bu he meant that a stick must be jammed into the spokes of the wheel to stop the vehicle. It is sometimes not enough to help those crushed by the evil actions of a state, at some point the church must directly take action against the state to stop it from perpetrating evil. This, he said, is permitted only when the church sees its very existence threatened by the state, and when the state ceases to be the state as defined by God.
In the spring of 1933, Bonhoeffer was declaring it the duty of the church to stand up for the Jews. This would have seemed radical to even staunch allies, espeically since the Jews had not begun to suffer the horrors they would suffer in a few years. Bonhoeffer's three conclusions - that the church must question the state, help the state's victims, and work against the state, if necessary - were too much for almost everyone. But for him they were inescapable. In time, he would do all three.

- Bonhoeffer, Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy - by Eric Metaxas

Bonhoeffer was preaching in this way in German churches before and after Hitler and the Nazis came to power. He was considered radical and very few pastors supported him. Most honestly thought that Hitler would re-build the German Christian church, allying church and state, in a way that would benefit the church. Bonhoeffer saw clearly that Hitler meant to usurp the authority that rightly belonged to God alone.

Today we consider pastors and priests too radical if they speak about abortion clearly from the pulpit, if they address the issue of sexual sin, if they pronounce the Biblical commandments of "thou shalt no kill" and "thou shalt not commit adultery". Tolerance and political correctness rule our churches, just as they did in the Germany of the 1930's.

But in retrospect, whose writings do we read today that inspire us? I don't know of a single pastor who toed the Nazi line whose writings are held in respect now; but Bonhoeffer remains like a light in the darkness. Surely he is an example to our pastors now, an example of how one should preach the Christian message when the state is undermining those very principles.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Mark Steyn should be mandatory reading these days. This guy has an ability to see the "big picture" in so many situations, and the gift to voice it with cunning wit.

Politics trumps Left's empathy

The short life of Gabriel Santorum would seem a curious priority for political discourse at a time when the Brokest Nation in History is hurtling toward its rendezvous with destiny. But needs must, and victory by any means necessary. In 2008, the Left gleefully mocked Sarah Palin's live baby. It was only a matter of time before they moved on to a dead one.

The Left's much-vaunted powers of empathy routinely fail when confronted by those who do not agree with them politically. Rick Santorum's conservatism is not particularly to my taste (alas, for us genuine right-wing crazies, it's that kind of year), and I can well see why fair-minded people would have differences with him on a host of issues from spending to homosexuality. But you could have said the same thing four years ago about Sarah Palin – and instead the Left, especially the so-called feminist Left, found it easier to mock her gleefully for the soi-disant retard kid and her fecundity in general... Rick Santorum lives his values, and that seems to bother the Left even more.

Never mind the dead kid, he has six living kids. How crazy freaky weird is that?

This crazy freaky weird: all those self-evidently ludicrous risible surplus members of the Santorum litter are going to be paying the Social Security and Medicare of all you normal well-adjusted Boomer yuppies who had one designer kid at 39. So, if it helps make it easier to "empathize," look on them as sacrificial virgins to hurl into the bottomless pit of Big Government debt.

Articles like this always bring to mind an acquaintance of mine, a very witty fun woman who unfortunately became a liberal leftie through working for the New Democratic party. I recall, in a conversation at StarBucks, her calling Palin a "fraud". I remember feeling surprised by the venom in her voice and face.

That, to me, has become the significant moment that encapsulated what people like Steyn and Coulter call the intolerance of the liberal left. It was a surprise, because this woman had always been an example of kindness and consideration to me. What had made her change so radically?

Hanging out with people who think as social liberals do, and avoiding anyone on the other side of issues, will make anyone become like that. And I can only think "what a shame". But obviously, there is more at stake than just one person's change in personality. The future of western civilization is hanging upon just such changes.

I do not look forward to a society where those who mock Palin and Santorum are in charge. Because ultimately, what they are mocking are the very values that built the free western world.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Lahey to be released

I just heard on the car radio that Archbishop Raymond Lahey was in court this morning to receive his sentencing. He was given 15 months in jail, but the judge said that he had already served this while waiting for trial so basically the man is free.

It simply does not feel just. That a man in whom so many had placed trust (particularly those in Antigonish diocese involved in the sex-abuse case that Lahey settled) should go free is simply not right. I don't know what could be accomplished by having him in jail, but this feels like just a slap on the wrist.

God have mercy on this twisted individual. For the lives he has damaged, for the people he has deceived, for the scandal he has given to the Church. How many people have had their faith disturbed by this man who betrayed the calling he was meant to follow? There is no justice done for them.

More on this story in the National Post
National Post article

Abortion Debate in Canada

As all Canadians know, Prime Minister Harper has said repeatedly that he will not re-open the abortion issue. But with calls for debate on this coming from several directions, he may not be able to avoid it.

The latest is this

Evangelical leaders call Parliament to open abortion debate

“Medicine recognizes a point of viability for a child in the womb. Science is prepared to experiment using pre-natal human tissue from conception onward. Yet, Canada’s Criminal Code states that a child in the womb is not human,” explained Sonier. “The Criminal Code provisions on this point are dumbfounding.”

“Parliament needs to examine these provisions; consider their historical roots; and, debate whether they make sense in twenty-first century Canada,” urged Sonier. “As Canadians become more aware of what the laws stipulate, they will be astounded.”

“The wording of these laws is very confusing,” states Sonier. “The meaning is from a distant and less medically advanced society. The language of a now ancient time is far from obvious in the current century. As a nation, we need to ask ourselves if these convoluted laws and archaic concepts reflect our values, modern medicine and our understanding of human rights and human life. If they don’t, our political representatives need to take action.”

And with several Members of Parliament (Stephen Woodworth, Kitchener Center and Jeff Watson, Essex) calling for this as well, the issue may be asserting itself, despite Harper's refusal to open it in Parliament.

Canadian MP calls for abortion debate in Parliament

“I support this discussion in Parliament of all places. I mean, where else should it be happening? Around the water cooler?” Tory MP Jeff Watson (Essex) told LifeSiteNews on Tuesday.

Watson is at least the fifth MP since September to call for a debate on abortion in the wake of the Conservative government’s controversial decision to award a grant to the International Planned Parenthood Federation, the world’s largest abortion provider.

On Tuesday, Watson told LifeSiteNews that he does not have a “definitive position” on when human rights ought to apply to children in the womb, but hopes for a debate involving testimony from bioethicists, scientists, and human rights professionals around that question.

I would like to hear from the Canadian Conference of Bishops echo the sentiments of the Evangelical leaders, but aside from Archbishop Prendergast and Cardinal Ouellette, their silence is deafening.