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". 

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