Thursday, April 23, 2015

Morsels to savour

Some interesting things heard on Fox News April 22, 2015

Bill Clinton flew in Cirque de Soleil to celebrate the 55th birthday of Ukrainian business Viktor Pinchuk. Pinchuk has been named as someone who traded with Iran while sanctions were in place, and also donated millions to the Clinton foundation at the same time. A problem for Hillary Clinton. Those Clintons, such ordinary folk.

Chelsea Clinton received $75,000 for a speech on the scourge of infant diarrhea in the third world. Wonder how many kids could be helped with that $75,000. 

I volunteer at a crisis pregnancy centre, that is broke at the moment. The director hasn't been paid this month. $75,000 is more than the centre's annual budget. Just to keep things in perspective.

And the best line of the night comes from talk-show host/former Saturday Night Live comedian Denis Miller:
"Twitter: never have lives less lived been more chronicled."  - Denis Miller

I had no idea I had to share my birthday with Earth Day. Perhaps I'll go and dig in the garden later today. Or buy a bag of sheep manure.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Rand Paul speaks clearly about the right to life

You can't have liberty if you don't protect where your liberty originates from and that's your right to life.  - Rand Paul

I really like Paul's suggestion that we turn the questions around and ask those who support abortion "at what point will you protect life?"  His comparison of the premature baby of one pound whose life is protected with the six-pound baby that just got aborted is one that we pro-lifers should use to our advantage.

So when the politicos come knocking on my door this coming election, I am going to be ready for them. Thanks Rand.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Cardinal Francis George, RIP

Cardinal Francis George died yesterday at the age of 78. He had suffered from a prolonged illness since he was first diagnosed with bladder cancer in 2006.

He was the eighth archbishop of Chicago and was made a cardinal in 1998. The well-known Father Robert Barron is the first professor of the Cardinal George chair of faith and culture at the University of St. Mary's near Chicago. Cardinal George called Fr. Barron "one of the Church's best messengers".

In 2010, Cardinal George spoke to a group of priests and he made an unscripted remark that was recorded and has since gone viral. However, it is most common to only read or hear the first part of the remark. His concluding statement is most often left out. Tim Drake, a reporter with the National Catholic Register, tracked this down in order to verify the statement and to ensure that it is quoted in its entirety.

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

Read more:
The Cardinal also wrote the following which is well worth reading:
God sustains the world, in good times and in bad. Catholics, along with many others, believe that only one person has overcome and rescued history: Jesus Christ, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, savior of the world and head of his body, the church. Those who gather at his cross and by his empty tomb, no matter their nationality, are on the right side of history. Those who lie about him and persecute or harass his followers in any age might imagine they are bringing something new to history, but they inevitably end up ringing the changes on the old human story of sin and oppression. There is nothing “progressive” about sin, even when it is promoted as “enlightened.”
 The world divorced from the God who created and redeemed it inevitably comes to a bad end. It’s on the wrong side of the only history that finally matters. The Synod on the New Evangelization is taking place in Rome this month because entire societies, especially in the West, have placed themselves on the wrong side of history.

Every generation has a few clear voices that are prophetic. I think that Cardinal Francis George was one of those. May he be received with great rejoicing into the heavenly kingdom.


Friday, April 17, 2015

Turning the abortion issue around

Senator Rand Paul, who is now running for the presidential nomination in the Republican party, was asked about abortion legislation. He very smartly turned the issue around on the reporter and said "why don't you ask the Democrats if they support killing a 7 pound baby just prior to delivery?" 

In doing this, he has rightly told reporters that it is time they asked the Democrats about their position on abortion since they are the ones in the extreme here.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz hedged the question and all that anyone could get out of her is that this is an issue between a woman and her doctor and they will not tread on the reproductive rights of women which were guaranteed by Roe v Wade.

However, her answer will not settle the question. It is getting lots of air time and it seems that Rand Paul has seen clearly just how to bring this issue before Americans, the majority of whom are opposed to late-term abortions.

Paul is not getting bogged down in the exceptions that cause such problems for people, the rape exception being #1. He is simply asking do you realise that the Democratic Party is extreme on abortion and they won't defend the rights of any baby in utero through all nine months of pregnancy?

Smart, very smart. Try to wiggle out of this one, liberals and feminists. It is time you did answer the question "do you give no rights to babies at all?  is there no abortion you do not support?"

I wish that this would come to the fore in Canada. However Campaign Life Coalition, the leading pro-life political voice, will not discuss abortion on the basis of gestational age. They do not seem to realise that gaining some ground here will lead to further acknowledging of the rights of the fetus.

Show people exactly what late-term abortion is, how many there are, and make them see that we allow all abortions for whatever reason up to the actual birth of the baby. How extreme is that position? Pro-choice supporters call pro-lifers extremists, but it is really the other way around.


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Getting off the pill

A friend of mine confided to me that her teen-aged daughter was on the pill. The reason? she belongs to the Cadets, a version of the military for teens, and having her period would be really inconvenient when she goes to camp for six weeks. Take the pill, and she can schedule her period for a more convenient time - when camp ends.

This got me thinking of how many young girls must be on the pill for similar reasons. The demands of sports on teen girls probably results in many mothers requesting the pill for their daughters. After all, who wants to compete in a figure-skating event while having her period and who would want to be a competitive swimmer during her menstrual cycle?

Take the pill, and voila problems over. Plus the added benefits of clearer skin, less greasy hair, larger breasts, there seems to be a lot of pros to taking the pill.

When I expressed concern to my friend, she replied "oh don't worry, she is on the lowest dose and once camp is over, she will come off it." But just until the next time she needs to be the one telling her body when and where to follow its natural cycles.

There is a price to pay, a physical price as countless studies are showing. And there is a psychological price, one that is difficult to measure. But I know that it is all too common for young girls to become sexually active because they are on the pill and therefore feel safe from getting pregnant. And their boyfriend is all too eager to pressure them to take the relationship further. So easy to do, and the social pressure is there from all sides. From their girlfriends, from the prevailing culture with its acceptance of sex whenever and wherever you want it.

So it is refreshing to get another viewpoint and to get it from someone who is not pushing her morality on anyone. In fact, she seems to have come to this purely from her own experience of the downside of being on the pill.

Holly Grigg-Spall has a website and a soon-to-be released documentary on the pill and why it is better not to use it.

This is welcome advice in this age of widespread acceptance of hormonal contraception. I fear that we are going to pay a very high price for the invention of the pill, both in women's health and in the moral health of our society.

As Howard Kainz wrote:
A Catholic proponent of NFP would prefer to see an emphasis on the natural law, and would view the problems chronicled by Grigg-Spall as empirical manifestations of flouting that law. But like St. Thomas Aquinas, who emphasized that we should appreciate the truth no matter what its source, we should regard this movement, which focuses on one of the most potent snares of the sexual revolution, as a step in the right direction.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Obama is not a Christian, says Mark Steyn

I agree. How else can one explain the strangest six, soon to be eight, years of presidency in the US?  While he claims to be a Christian, all his sympathies are with the Muslims, whom he treats as a victim class.
Steyn concluded, “I don’t think in any sense he is a Christian, Sean. I think he’s a social justice warrior, who like a lot of people from the cultural left, regards religion as the opiate of the rubes…but I think in Obama’s case, it’s compounded by the fact that he does have this profound respect for Islam that leads him actually to invert the situation that’s going on in the world today, so that the Christians are the problem and the Muslims who are beheading the Christians, and shooting the Christians and cutting the throats of the Christians are somehow the victim group that we all need to be more sensitive to.”

Steyn is brilliant and in this interview, he is really mad. Watch it, this man speaks so clearly about what is really going on.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Forsaking truth

From an interview of a law professor with Rod Dreher:
“The sad thing,” he said, “is that the old ways of aspiring to truth, seeing all knowledge as part of learning about the nature of reality, they don’t hold. It’s all about power. They’ve got cultural power, and think they should use it for good, but their idea of good is not anchored in anything. They’ve got a lot of power in courts and in politics and in education. Their job is to challenge people to think critically, but thinking critically means thinking like them. They really do think that they know so much more than anybody did before, and there is no point in listening to anybody else, because they have all the answers, and believe that they are good.”

Read more:

As Father Longenecker says: "it's going to get worse, much worse."

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cater pizza? - no way!

Update:  As of today, April 3 at 6 pm EST, Memories Pizza finds themselves with $500,000 raised in support of their business. It seems that the average American has a lot more sympathy for these guys than for the gay activists. Who don't need to raise any money for anything ever, because they have big money behind them - lots of Hollywood stars, Angie's List, to name a few.

The situation that Memories Pizza has found themselves in troubles me and I have incredible sympathy for the owners.

To summarize the story in case you haven't heard it, a gay activist came in and posed the hypothetical question to the daughter of the owner. She was working in the pizza store at the time. It is a family- owned business and not a franchise operation. The question was would they cater pizza for a gay wedding?

She replied that they were happy to sell pizzas to anyone who wanted them, but that they could not cater a gay wedding because they were Christians and could not comply with that request.

Of course, it was all a set-up. Who has heard of anyone wanting pizza for their wedding? This was  done to badger and harass a business owner who was known to be Christian in order to advance the gay agenda in the state of Colorado. And they did this because the governor signed legislation to protect the religious freedom of business owners. He has since backed down from the legislation and is rewording it, all because of the pressure exerted by homosexual activists.

If you google Memories Pizza, the first link that comes up is an image of two naked men, they have taken their perverse ideology and have not only forced the pizza shop to close, but now the business owner's reputation has been maligned. A completely innocent person and his family are suffering at the hands of those who are demanding tolerance for their lifestyle.

This has gone way too far.

Having been a small business owner myself, I feel this one acutely. I ran a dressmaking business in the late 80's and 90's and I recall an inquiry from a young man requesting me to make a dress. I thought I had misheard him and asked him what he had said. He then asked "would you make a dress for a man?"  This was a completely new to me, and I was a little taken aback. I simply said no. And he hung up.

But if that were to happen today, I am sure that I would be sued for refusing to take that order.

When one group can push individuals out of business because of their demand for a certain product, we have to stand up and push back. There are plenty of business owners who would comply with such a request. So when someone picks on one individual and demands that they do this, and then follows through with legal action if they don't, this is oppression. They can easily get what they want somewhere else. What they are trying to do is to push Christians out of the market place. And they are doing that precisely because they want to push Christianity into the fringes and have everyone believe that it is Christianity that is intolerant. They cannot stand to have Christianity around because it alone makes moral demands upon people. They cannot have that morality anywhere near them.

The truth is that these aggressive individuals are trying to get complete affirmation of their lifestyle from society as a whole. They are tolerated; they can do what they want in their private lives; they can marry each other and do whatever they want. But that is not enough for them. They want everyone to approve of their values and their choices. Tolerance is not enough for them; they have to have their lifestyle glorified.

It must be guilt that does this. Why else would they be so strident in their demands?

Whatever drives them to do this, Christians must stand up and refuse to be pushed around. The vast majority of people believe in Christian values; it is not the other way around. But we have been cowed by the aggression of these folks and they have brought the power of the state to bear so that now we fear for our families and our own lives if we don't agree with them.

Enough is enough. If you are so tolerant, then give others their breathing space. God knows, we have given you yours.

A good read by Gerard Nadal on his blog

Meditating on these past events this week, and watching the drama of religious liberties play out on the national stage this week, it has become evident that Church today resembles the Church at 5 AM on Good Friday. It is a church at low ebb, with the successors of the Apostles as mute and bewildered as the men they succeed were when the gates of Hell were unleashed on the world, when all of the goodness that had gone on for the past  three years seemed to be swallowed up in a demonic cataclysm.
Meanwhile, the plight of so many Catholic business owners is that of Peter at the fire on Holy Thursday night, being sniffed out as “One of his followers,” taunted into denying Him. Credit those businesses who have not denied him and been handed their own crosses as a consequence.
Weep for the bishops who have locked themselves away in fear of the crowd, who have abandoned their sheep at the darkest hour.

I am reminded of a saying of Cardinal Francis George:

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

Let's hope we have a few brave clergy who will fulfill this prophecy.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Trudeau's False Assumption

Justin Trudeau, in a speech at a McGill institute March 2015 said the following:

The instructive point here is obvious, but often overlooked. One set of policies in post-war Canada generated more liberty for more people than any other. It was the decades-long effort of the women’s movement to gain control over reproductive health and rights.

Whenever we hear the phrase "reproductive rights", it means abortion. The unfettered ability to choose abortion to end an unwanted pregnancy and plenty of access to that abortion.

Trudeau's logic is based on the assumption that women have a right to get rid of an unwanted baby. Let's not call this an "unwanted pregnancy"; if there wasn't a baby in there, it wouldn't be a problem. What women want to get rid of is that baby. Let's at least be honest in this debate.

As Stephanie Gray once said in a debate with a philosophy professor at Ottawa University: every month, a woman's uterus prepares to receive a fertilized egg. Her body prepares the lining of the uterus to receive that fertilized egg. If there isn't a fertilized egg, it then sheds that lining and repeats the process again the next month. This biological process serves no purpose in the woman's body; it doesn't do anything for her; its sole purpose is for another biological entity. Simply put, a woman's uterus exists for the sole purpose of providing a place for another human being to grow.

As Stephanie then said "does the fetus then not have a right to that place which exists only for it?"  The professor was baffled and later said that her argument caused him a few sleepless nights.

The statement that women have these bodily rights and that the baby within her has none has been put out there uncontested. The pro-abortion supporters think that is all they have to say. But it is simply not proven. And that statement is used by every pro-choice person to argue for unlimited access to abortion.

 Prove it, Mr. Trudeau, prove that women have such rights. Your position on abortion is based on the belief that there is a right to abortion, but that right does not exist other than in the minds of pro-choice supporters.

Indeed, let me be perfectly clear on this point. The Canada we know today is unimaginable without widely available birth-control and the legalization of choice.
That statement is true. Yes, indeed, Canada today has been formed by birth control and choice. But many of us would say that the Canada of today is not the Canada we want. Again, Mr. Trudeau assumes that the existing society of Canada is the preferable one. That is not proven; in fact, many say we have lost important values in present-day Canada.

And this, I think, is the crucial statement that Trudeau made. We have come down to a war of words and a clash of world-views.
Their argument went like this: forcing a Liberal MP to vote against their conscience on a matter of morality is an unjust restriction of their liberty. It sounds like a reasonable argument. However, it is easily dismissed when you realize it is based on a value judgment about whose freedom is more important: that of an MP elected as a Liberal, or that of Canadian women.

It is hard to argue against his statement because freedom is always hailed as the ultimate value. And here he has equated "freedom of choice" with "freedom of conscience" as if the two are equivalent. They are not. Not all choices are good choices, and that means that we should really object to some choices.

Underlying this statement is the belief that what has been legislated as lawful in our country is also moral and right. That is simply not true. Because abortion is legal in Canada, a woman can choose to have an abortion but that in no way implies that I do not have the right to object to her choice. I think her choice is wrong, not just wrong for her, but wrong in an absolute sense, wrong for anyone.

Objections to abortion on the basis of one's conscience cannot be dismissed as simply one person's disagreement with another person's choice. The objection goes much deeper than that. The objection is based on the fact that a life is terminated and that is wrong. You can't just relegate that to relative belief systems. The belief that life should be protected is at the root of our country's constitution. We send people to jail for a long time if they disagree with that in a violent way. The protection of life is a primary building block of our Canadian society.

It always comes back to the question of what is the fetus? Because we have given it no value in our society, unless it is wanted, we have the terrible standoff between those who are pro-life and those who are pro-choice. The latter do not give that life a value equivalent to anyone else. And therefore that life is secondary to the desire of the mother.

Justin Trudeau's mother Margaret had an abortion when she was seventeen years old. I wonder what she really thinks about all of this. Does she support her son's statements? Does she support choice for women? Does Justin ever think that the only reason he can say anything is because his mother didn't abort him?

I know, I know, pro-choicers say well he wouldn't have known anything if he had been aborted so it wouldn't matter anyway. But there are plenty of people walking around who have found out that their brother or sister was aborted and they are not at peace with that. I wonder if Justin Trudeau is truly at peace with his position on abortion?  Or could there be some possibility that he is justifying his mother's choice? And that he carries the guilt of being a lucky survivor of a generation that was aborted.