Wednesday, August 27, 2014

What's in a sign?

A whole lot of theological confusion, that's what is in this sign. 

Spending a few days in Parry Sound, Ontario I passed a church with a sign that says "God loves diversity".

I know what they are referring to, the same thing that is meant by the rainbow on the United Church sign in my hometown: gays are welcome within.

Part of me wants to become a night-time graffiti artist writer. And spray paint under those words, these

                                                "God has no part with sin."

Because that is where the confusion is. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

The problem is that we are hesitant to call anything sin these days. I bet Jesus wouldn't have a problem with that.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Why people ignore abortion


People know abortion is happening, but they also realize that if they look at it too closely, they will not be able to live at peace with themselves unless they do something to stop it. At the same time, they know that if they try to stop it, there will be a price to pay. They may lose friends or face other kinds of opposition. They don’t want to make the sacrifice necessary to confront injustice. What, then, is their solution to this dilemma? Ignore the problem altogether. Denial protects them from the pain of the situation. This is why so many people become angry when the topic of abortion is raised: After successfully ignoring it, no such person wants it brought to the surface again.


What hit me the most was the line "this is why so many people become angry when the topic of abortion is raised."  How true, how many times are pro-lifers accused of being focused on abortion exclusively, of being one-issue people, of always bring the subject back to abortion. The injustice demands action.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Price of Children

While out walking, because we live in a neighbourhood where students tend to locate, I pass a long of young women. I would venture to say they are all pretty much between 19 and 24 for the most part. 

I reflect on what they wear (too short, too revealing), their body image (almost all have tattoos somewhere), their snippets of conversation and my overwhelming impression is of a group of people who are extremely self-absorbed.

Not all, one cannot paint everyone with the same brush, but there is an immaturity that seems to hover around these young women. It is very difficult to imagine them getting married and having children.

Given the stats for our society, most of them won't marry; if they do partner with someone, it will be a live-in relationship and they will likely have a succession of those. No sense in denying this; the stats show that this is so.

Lots of information at this site:

More often than not, first unions are now cohabitations rather than marriages. According to the 2001 General Social Survey, in 2001, 63% of women aged 20 to 29 in their first union lived common-law.10 Data from the Census show that common-law unions were most likely among young adults in their mid-20s (about 20%), but by age 34 only about 16% were cohabiting. The lower proportion of cohabitors in their early 30s may be because some people previously living together are now married or, given the greater instability of common-law relationships, more couples have separated.11

What strikes me most about these young people is that they have no idea how to be unselfish. It takes a great amount of selflessness to be a good parent and my husband and I were clueless when we started our family.

The interesting thing is that, if you are willing to have a family, your kids will teach you how to be unselfish. If you refuse to learn this, your family will be unhappy and likely won't stay together.

What also strikes me is that so many young people don't even care any more about this. They see their lives as a long road ahead of them in which to indulge all their dreams and aspirations. Their plans might include some vague of idea of having a family at some point, but it is seen as something that just comes to everyone if they want it. The idea that it entails some degree of self-discipline and work is unthinkable.  For many, getting married and caring for one's spouse, having children and making sacrifices to raise them well, just aren't on their to-do list. It is much easier to just live for one's self.

This is so short-sighted. Even the smallest amount of self-reflection reveals that one doesn't live for ever; in fact, each person's life is relatively short and the older you get, the quicker it seems to go. A great analogy is that the closer you get to the end of the roll of toilet paper, the faster it flies off the roll.

I want to say to these young folks "Look, you may feel wonderful now, but given ten, twenty, thirty years, how are you going to feel?  Will you still be looking forward to the Friday night party, the Saturday trip to the beach or mall, or might you just be facing so much of your life alone?" 

This realisation never seems to strike. And yet, I can see the forty-plus women in my neighbourhood who eschewed marriage and family, living in their houses or apartments alone, spending holidays alone. As one said to me, her friends are all in couples, and a single woman doesn't fit. So she has a dog and uses him as the excuse for why she stays home so much.

The real problem is selfishness. Unless we learn to think less about ourselves, we really will end up all by ourselves. Learning to become unselfish opens up a world of relationships, very rewarding ones with spouses and children.

Society has sold this generation a shoddy product. Self-fulfilment and the sense of entitlement that derives from that can only breed loneliness and despair in the end. It is hard to be unselfish; it doesn't come easily to anyone. But it is absolutely necessary for any degree of true happiness in life.

Remaining selfish will only leave one with the big fat I in the end.

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Best Answer to Richard Dawkins

I don't usually bother to respond to topics that are all over the internet and Richard Dawkins' statement that it is a woman's moral duty to abort a child with Down Syndrome has seen a lot of coverage everywhere.

But I just wanted to share the best response I have seen, because it is so personal. 

Suffering is not a moral evil to be avoided. Suffering can have meaning and value. Ask Victor Frankl. Or Mohandas Gandhi. Or Martin Luther King, Jr. Or, if you’re willing, ask my children.
I have two children with Down syndrome. They’re adopted. Their birth-parents faced the choice to abort them, and didn’t. Instead the children came to live with us. They’re delightful children. They’re beautiful. They’re happy. One is a cancer survivor, twice-over. I found that in the hospital, as she underwent chemotherapy and we suffered through agony and exhaustion, our daughter Pia was more focused on befriending nurses and stealing stethoscopes. They suffer, my children, but in the context of irrepressible joy.
 I wonder, if you spent some time with them, whether you’d feel the same way about suffering, about happiness, about personal dignity. I wonder, if you danced with them in the kitchen, whether you’d think abortion was in their best interest. I wonder, if you played games with them, or shared a joke with them, whether you’d find some worth in their existence.
 And so, Dr. Dawkins, I’d like to invite you to dinner. Come spend time with my children. Share a meal with them. Before you advocate their deaths, come find out what’s worthwhile in their lives. Find out if the suffering is worth the joy.
 I don’t want you to come over for a debate. I don’t want to condemn you. I want you to experience the joy of children with Down syndrome. I want your heart to be moved to joy as well.
 Any day next week is good for us except for Wednesday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Guest Speaker at Archbishop's Dinner - why am I not surprised?

Last week's bulletin shared an invitation to the annual Archbishop's dinner, a fundraiser for the diocese, on September 25. The banquet is the second of its kind; it is to be held at the Westin Hotel and the price is $125 per plate.

Guest speaker is Premier Stephen McNeil, a practising Catholic, 11th child out of 16, and leader of the Liberal Party of Nova Scotia.

Why is that a problem?

McNeil first sought election in 1999,[2] but was defeated.[3] During that election McNeil indicated in a questionaire provided by the campaign life coalition that he was pro-life.[4] In 2013 a spokesperson for McNeil said his views had evolved since 1999 and he was no longer pro-life.[5] He ran again in 2003 and was elected to the Nova Scotia House of Assembly.

And from his Twitter feed:
  • Stephen McNeil I support a woman's right to choose. A Liberal government would continue to protect that right in our province.
As well:
Looking forward to the 27th Annual Parade today. Hope to see you there.   -  from his Twitter page on July 26, 2014

No doubt an outstanding Catholic. Fully practising, practising his Catholic faith while separating his personal beliefs from his political stand. How many times have we seen this before?  A public figure who sacrifices his conscience for political gain.

There is a letter writing campaign started to McNeil and to Archbishop Anthony Mancini letting them know that this is not acceptable. It is hoped that the Archbishop just might be embarrassed into "disinviting" Premier McNeil to the banquet and finding someone more suitable.

It is the Archbishop's duty as chief Shepherd of the Halifax/Yarmouth diocese to speak privately with McNeil about his departure from Catholic values in his political life. Perhaps AB Mancini doesn't know about McNeil's public stand on abortion and the gay lifestyle. Perhaps someone else in his office arranged this event.

Certainly to have the current Premier be your speaker will draw in people who would never attend the Archbishop's annual dinner. There will probably be many people there whom we never see in church attending anything Catholic. But at $125 a plate, this is a deal since the usual charge to hear McNeil speak at a banquet is $300.

I wrote to the Archbishop, telling him that my husband and I would not be attending. I am hoping that he will be inundated with mail that will catch him by surprise and that he will rethink this decision. How can this not be seen as an endorsement of the Liberal Party by the Catholic Church of Halifax?

But then the Canadian clergy have always been in bed with the Liberal Party. Pierre Trudeau was closely tied to many bishops in the Church. And it bears noting that Canada is the only country where abortion was made legal and expanded during the office of Catholic prime ministers, Trudeau,Chretien, Mulroney, Turner to name those governing during those turbulent years.

If not, perhaps we should attend and other observant Catholics too, in order to have an opportunity to ask Mr. McNeil a question:

How do you manage to speak out of both sides of your mouth at the same time?


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

They can't see the irony

A graphic posted by Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, to promote funding for abortion for mothers on Medicaid.
It's rather rich, but I guess they don't see the irony. 
For pro-lifers, abortion is the ultimate violent act against the child in the womb. Yet not being able to access an abortion is considered violence against women, according to pro-aborts.
They are not pro-choice; they are pro-aborts. There is not one abortion that they do not support.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

PEI Abortion Conference meets with protest

People need to see what abortion looks like, says Siobhan McLeod of Show the Truth. (CBC)

An international anti-abortion group began distributing flyers with graphic images of what they say are aborted fetuses in Charlottetown Wednesday, in advance of a pro-choice abortion conference in the city.

A group of members of Show the Truth were travelling around Charlottetown on a bus, dropping the flyers in people's mailboxes and leaving them on door steps.
"We want to be here to show people the truth behind what is being spoken about, because people need to see the reality of abortion," said Siobhan McLeod of Show the Truth.

Good for them. They will be coming to Halifax early next week as well. They have the courage of their convictions; when the issue is buried and ignored by most people, Show the Truth activists are convinced that people must be shocked in order to see what is going on. 

After all, didn't William Wilberforce do the same thing to awaken British citizens to the reality of slavery?  No amount of preaching about the evils of slavery worked; it was when Wilberforce showed people the actual horrific reality of the inside of a slave ship that the tide began to turn. And history was changed, because the consciences of ordinary people were convicted.

A pro-life leader here says that graphic images are the "big guns" of the anti-abortion movement and should not be used regularly because people will become desensitized. I believe he is right. But now and then, it is time to bring out the big guns.

Certainly when a group of educated women get together to hold an academic conference promoting abortion in the last holdout province in Canada, it is definitely time for the "big guns". 

Latest news:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Real Threat of Islam

Tonight as I walked the dog, I reflected on the almost-completed Lebanese Orthodox Church on Windsor Street. Over a year ago, the Lebanese congregation purchased St. Matthias Anglican Church in order to gain a larger church. They have outgrown their present church, which is just across the street. 

The puzzle that presents itself is that just behind this Church is the Muslim mosque, which was built about three years ago.

These two religions co-exist in the middle east and have done for many centuries. But the current war between Israel and Palestine does make one wonder how long peace will exist in this Halifax location.

It is worth reading Joseph Pearce's article published today in LifeSiteNews. And one should be warned of what may be coming, as the number of Muslims increase in all western societies. As Michael Coren repeats over and over: "the majority of Muslims are moderate people who simply wish to live their lives and raise their families in peace; however the extreme element, while it may be the minority, is virulent and the moderate Muslims do not oppose it."

And that extreme element probably wants to destroy the new Orthodox church. It doesn't work the other way; the violence is coming from Islam. You just don't hear of Christians destroying mosques or threatening Muslims.

… By 2020, fifty per cent of the children in Holland under the age of eighteen will be of Muslim descent.” This combination of declining European birth-rates, coupled with large-scale Muslim immigration, constitutes not so much a racial threat as a threat to western culture, he concluded.  (he refers to John Rhys Davies, a British actor who is speaking publicly about the crisis of fundamentalist Islam in Britain)
 “There is a change happening in the very complexion of Western civilization in Europe that we should think about at least and argue about,” he said. “If it just means the replacement of one genetic stock with another genetic stock, that doesn’t matter too much. But if it involves the replacement of Western civilization with a different civilization with different cultural values, then it is something we really ought to discuss … True democracy comes from our Greco-Judeo-Christian Western experience. If we lose these things, then this is a catastrophe for the world.”

Lives Saved in Quebec

From Brian Jenkins, Outreach Coordinator, Quebec Life Coalition

Dear Friends of Life,
 I have some wonderful news to share!
 Your prayers and the work of one of our volunteers have saved the lives of twin girls.
 That’s right – we can augment by two the number of babies saved by our efforts to end abortion.
 I received this good news a fortnight ago. Invited to St-Joseph’s Oratory for an afternoon of prayer, I met Doris, one of the many faithful prayer warriors who attend our twice annual 40 Days for Life prayer vigil for the end of abortion.
 Yet, her devotion does not end there. She also brings to her church our promotional material such as the prayer card entitled “Prayer for the End of Abortion,” placing it in a common area.
 Not long ago, she told me, she had met a mom with a pair of twin at her church. The conversation turned to the pro-life material and on learning that Doris was the one responsible for having placed it, the mother thanked her profusely. On asking why, Doris learned the rest of the story.
 One day, the mother, pregnant but ignorant that she was carrying twins, had a harrowing experience with her physician. Upon examination, the doctor, for various reasons, had advised her that she should abort.
Deeply saddened and not knowing quite what to do, she came across the material that Doris had left inside the church. Bolstered by what she read, she resolved then and there to carry through with the pregnancy, delighting even more so on learning that she was carrying twin girls.
 Today mother and daughters are healthy and happy. Praise be to God!
This increases to five the number of babies saved during the Montreal 40 days for life prayer vigils.
 (We believe that the number is greater as many women who have decided to keep their child after seeing us pray daily across the street from the Morgentaler abortion mill on Saint Joseph Blvd. East, do not slip us a word.)
 Returning to Doris’ deed, I find this shows how our affirming gestures, however little these may be, can promote a culture of life.
 Here’s another story about the big impact of small gestures. For some time now, Charlotte, one of our regular prayer volunteers, proudly wears the “Precious Feet” lapel pin - an exact replica of the size of the feet of a ten-week old unborn child. One day she gives hers to an acquaintance who took a fancy to it. In turn this woman was asked by a young woman about the pin she was wearing. On hearing what it was, the young lady exclaimed: “You mean to tell me that those are the actual size of the feet of my unborn child?!” At which point she renounced thoughts of aborting her child, something she was considering. Today little Samuel is the delight of many.
 Small gestures – leaving leaflets at the back of a church, wearing a precious feet lapel pin, among others, are important.
 God is calling each of us to participate in one way or another to build his kingdom of love. At the Quebec Life Coalition, I am privileged to hear these stories.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Abortion Clinic closes

A number of months ago, I posted a video of John Barros who has been outside this abortion clinic in Florida for three years. He went there five days a week, ready to persuade women going in that they didn't have to have an abortion. He offered them other options and he prayed for them.
What joy he must be feeling to know that this clinic will no longer kill any babies. This man's faithfulness (along with others who prayed) has been richly rewarded.  God answers prayers.