Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Unborn Humans Are Victims of Size Discrimination


Size is all about physics isn’t it? According to Merriam-Webster, physics is the physical properties and composition of something. That would obviously include appearance factors as well.

Imagine then that the physics of your "being" was used as a reason to eliminate you. For example, suppose you were seriously overweight, a not so uncommon occurrence these days. Now further imagine that a movement of people advocated for your death because of your abnormal or unusual size. Take it a step further and imagine if these people insisted that the only argument they needed for your death was your size and that your death would certainly contribute to the future well-being of the world. Suppose this movement was gaining a strong following and that in some places in the world overweight people were already paying with their lives.

Stupid and unbelievable! you might say. There’s no way something like that could happen.

Here’s news for you. Something like that is already happening.

To the unborn.

The following offers some proof for my claim.

According to the SLED test developed by Stephen Schwarz in "The Moral Question of Abortion", size is one of four determinants that are used against the unborn as an excuse to kill them. Each one of these determinants is used as grounds to discriminate against the unborn and treat them in any way that suits the purposes of the rest of humankind.

These purposes range from the simple inconvenience of abortion to the profit motives of the abortion business to the “ethics” of embryonic stem cell research, etc. etc.

Just last week a remarkable story impacted people’s attention worldwide. In some countries it has made a real splash and caused a stir. I blogged about the story in a rather facetious manner. In Canada, the story didn’t really seem to stick.

And now here's ABC News with the admission that the birth of a very tiny baby creates a very big problem for pro-abortion folks. Very interesting reading.

Why should that be a problem?

Seems like many in our culture can’t seem to see past the size factor, even in life and death scenarios. How shallow is that? Until a little baby appears before their eyes, miraculously converted into a child from the mere unknown and uncertain status of a fetus, they can’t envision the unborn as anything more than a “dot” or a “clump of cells.”

The report says

The fact that she has survived and grown to more than four pounds, and is about to go home, is a miracle, yes, but a miracle that may have an effect on the debate over abortion. And it may change what people think about life.

Also included is the comment from one reporter:

Bio-ethicists we spoke with today argue that Amillia is a miracle baby, and that it's unwise to change public policy based on miracles.

Right. I guess now all those doctors and bio-ethicists believe in miracles. Not.

Ok, so we won't be fooled into thinking little Amillia is going to revolutionize the way Canadians [or others] view the issue of abortion, but she has helped to focus attention and generate discussion. That in itself is a good thing for the unborn, because truth is always on the side of justice and that means justice is one step closer for these who are discriminated against and killed because of their size.

And in case you think my earlier analogy [of the overweight being killed on the basis only of their size with no other argument advanced] is silly, you need to read this story, about the Des Moines Register Editorial Board who recently issued a disastrous editorial on legislation to legalize human cloning for research in Iowa.

If you can believe it [more silliness], here’s their best argument for killing human beings when they are at their smallest and in their earliest stage of development:

There are some lawmakers who believe destroying a clump of cells smaller than the period at the end of this sentence is analogous to taking a human life. We have no argument to persuade the people who believe that.

Seems like their best argument is no argument at all! ProLifeBlogs notes the following about the newspaper’s empty and insistent discrimination:

They have no arguments to disprove that human embryos are living human beings.

Exactly.

Why not? Because it's true, perhaps? Because embryology clearly shows that human embryos are human beings at the earliest stage of development?

At least the editorial staff of the Des Moines Register can acknowledge they are entirely bereft of anything resembling an argument. What's amazing is their arrogance to continue to assert their completely untenable and unargued for position.

Not satisfied with "amazing" arrogance, the Register astounds with their insistent bigotry,

We can only remind Iowans that what we're talking about here are microscopic masses of cells. Destroying them isn't the same as destroying a human life. Holding back this research, though, could prevent saving and improving lives.

They can only point out that human embryos are small and then assert that somehow because human embryos are small they are not human life.

Same old argument that’s been used literally millions of times to kill innocent unborn humans in Canada. We feel much better about killing them the smaller they are. When they are as small as the dots on a page we don’t even need an argument. Simply insisting on it is sufficient for the social and moral engineers, while the rest of the population nods and says, “It must be so.”

Is the truth no longer important to Canadians?

Who then will stand up for the truth?


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Benedict XVI Continues His Defense of The Unborn

LifeSiteNews.com reported yesterday on Pope Benedict’s Saturday address to the Pontifical Academy for Life.

Benedict XVI has been speaking out relentlessly about the right to life of the unborn, as well as the right to life of the elderly, since his rise to the pontificate. But in addressing an ultra “modern” world, he frames his remarks constantly within the framework of the history of Christian thought and doctrine.

What a blessing to hear such a consistent defense of the unborn. Were Christian leaders everywhere in Canada to undertake a similar campaign, we would surely see, and very soon, the established legal right to life of all unborn Canadians.

A careful read of the LifeSite report, which appears in its entirety below, would strengthen the spine of pro-lifers in Canada.

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Pope Benedict XVI addressed an assembly of the Pontifical Academy for Life Saturday, which was meeting on "Christian conscience in support of the right to life." The right to life, the Pope said, "must be supported by everyone because it is fundamental with respect to other human rights."


Pope Benedict noted that while the truths of the natural law can be known by human reason, there is a need today to reeducate people "in the desire to know the real truth, and in the defense of their own freedom of choice, against the inclination of the masses and the flattery of propaganda."


Benedict XVI said that despite efforts to make known the necessity for humanity to respect the right to life, "attacks against the right to life in the world have increased." In this context he referred to "pressures for the legalization of abortion in Latin American countries and in developing nations, also through the use of the liberalization of new forms of chemical abortion under the pretext of reproductive health," and to an "increase in population control policies."


The Pope highlighted developed nations' growing interest in biotechnological research and "the obsessive search for the 'perfect child'." There is, he said, "a new wave of eugenic discrimination," which "gains consensus in the name of the supposed good of the individual while, especially in the economically developed world, laws are being promoted for the legalization of euthanasia. All this is happening as ... pressure increases for the legalization of forms of cohabitation alternative to marriage and closed to natural procreation."


Christian consciences, he said must be "illuminated in order to recognize the true value of actions," and so as to be able "to distinguish good from evil, even where the social environment, cultural pluralism and the overlay of interests do not help to this end."


The Pope emphasized the need "to open minds and hearts" during the various stages of life, to ensure that people "accept the fundamental duties upon which the existence of individuals and of the community depends. Only in this way will it be possible to ensure that the young understand the values of life, ... of marriage and of the family," and "appreciate the sanctity of love, the joy and responsibility of parenthood, and of collaborating with God in the giving of life." When "continuous and qualified formation" is lacking, it "becomes more difficult to pronounce upon the problems associated with biomedicine in the fields of sexuality, nascent life, procreation, and upon the way to treat and cure patients and the weaker groups of society."


"When the value of human life is at stake," he concluded, "this harmony between magisterial function and lay commitment becomes uniquely important. Life is the primary good we have received from God, the foundation of all the others. Guaranteeing the right to life - for everyone and in the same way for everyone - is a duty upon which the future of humanity depends."


Mother Teresa Trashed By Blind Critics

I try not to depart from a policy to keep this blog centered on stories and articles that directly educate—and motivate—Canadians to take action to defend the unborn.

Sometimes there will be exceptions, and this will be one.

Most readers however will not see this as a great departure from the mission of Vote Life, Canada!, since they recognize that, Mother Teresa, who is the focus of my posting, was, along with John Paul II, arguably the most vocal defender and crusader of the rights of unborn children of the twentieth century.

Today I heard news of a new book which “puts the boot into Mother Teresa of Calcutta and treats her as a sanctimonious celebrity.”

I say “Thank you!” to Sheila Liaugminas who comes to Mother Teresa’s rescue and, referring to the book and the recent review in “Spiked” magazine, she notes “the two of them taken together make an interesting study in the expression of a guilty conscience.”

Sheila introduces her essay with this striking sentence:

Even in a culture suspicious of sanctity it is jarring to hear someone question the ulterior motives of Mother Teresa of Calcutta. The very thought is just…odd.

She goes on in various ways to debunk the “skewed reasoning” of Mother Teresa’s critics.

And to correct the Alpion/Derbyshire assessment, Mother Teresa was not so much the highlight of a "new, tolerant and welcoming India" as she was the trailblazer who ushered in a new radical charity.

She refutes the claim that British journalist Malcolm Muggeridge, who in a unique way “discovered” Mother Teresa, came “under her spell,” and cooperated with her so they both would be famous. “This is pure, tendentious speculation,” she exclaims.

In further trashing the “freewheeling psychoanalysis” of Mother Teresa, Sheila continues to put the truth in perspective.

That desire for detachment is not so much foreign to the writers as it is repulsive. They are acutely uncomfortable with humility.

A holy person with radical detachment from the world pricks our conscience, especially as materialism and consumerism dominate more cultures.

Altruism for its own sake is practically inconceivable to modern man. It is conveniently suspect in a religious icon who is given the podium at the United Nations, the platform in front of several American presidents and the world stage after winning the Nobel Peace Prize and embraces the opportunity to decry abortion and defend the sanctity and dignity of all human life.

These critics wonder "what made her tick", as if it were not self-evident.

...

No amount of detail is necessary for a life of utter simplicity. Every leper she picked off the street was more significant than even world leaders could see. One of them asked how she could ever measure success in combating poverty and disease in the world by picking up one dying person at a time on the streets of India. Her response was that God didn’t ask us to be successful, only faithful.

She also said this: "We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful. We have done so much, for so long, with so little, we are now qualified to do anything with nothing."

Thank you, Mother Teresa. As your words, actions and example on earth inspire us to build upon your labours of love, we are confident that your intercession for the unborn of this world continues from heaven.


Monday, February 26, 2007

Taking Risks For The Unborn

A solid message from Fr. Frank Pavone.

An 11-year old girl who is a supporter of Priests for Life sent me the following email very recently: "My mother and I are taking a bus and will be coming to the March for Life. My teacher said that I will receive zeroes on any work that I miss and it can't be made up. I told her missing a day at school in order to stand up for life is more important and I'm willing to suffer the consequences."

That’s what the pro-life movement needs most – people who say, “I’m willing to suffer the consequences.”

The children living and growing in the womb right now endure a great risk without having chosen it. They live in a place that has become more dangerous than any battlefield or terrorist target, and their lives hang in the balance at every moment. They did not choose this risk; someone else chose it for them.

We who defend these children have to choose to accept a share in that risk. That is solidarity. We bear willingly the risk that they bear unwillingly. Many ask what they need to do to stop abortion. But most know the answer already. They see the next step they can take, but are just trying to muster up the courage to do it. Risk is involved, and there’s no way around it. We’re afraid to speak and to act. Perhaps it’s because our pastor is not supportive, or we might get in trouble at our job; perhaps it’s because family and friends may not like our pro-life stance, or because it may lose business or votes; perhaps we fear it will impact our health. We make a continuous calculus in our minds and hearts, and often end up in paralyzed inaction.

We are always told of reasons why we can’t speak up against abortion. If we speak in Church, we’re told it’s too political; if we speak in the political arena, we’re told it’s too religious. If we speak in the media we’re told it’s too disturbing; in the educational realm, it’s too disruptive. On the public streets, it’s too distressing for children; in the business world it’s too controversial, in the family it’s too divisive, and in social settings it’s just impolite. So if abortion is wrong, where do we go to say so?

The answer is that we have to stop looking for a risk-free place to fight abortion, and speak up in all those arenas! There is a calculus in the heavens that says, “Greater love than this nobody has, than to lay down his life for his friends.” If we want to protect the unborn, then let’s be willing to give our lives for them. Let’s stop counting the cost for ourselves if we speak up and start counting the cost for them if we are silent. The pro-life movement does not need a lot of people; it needs people who are willing to take a lot of risk.


Sunday, February 25, 2007

Forget Outlawing Abortion; Just Preach the Gospel

I've heard that argument often from Christians, particularly Christian leaders and particularly Evangelical leaders. In fact, for much of my time as an Evangelical, I might not have put it as boldly as the headline but essentially I promoted the same view.

Unfortunately, it's just not as simple as all that.

Scott Klusendorf at LTI blog recently posted Bad Thinking About Laws and Hearts answering some confusing comments that appeared on Between Two Worlds.

This is an important subject for Christians to sort out because it brings together certain theological, philosophical and legal aspects of the abortion debate.

I like the quote from Martin Luther, which puts in proper context the essential importance of protecting humans [yes, including unborns] by means of laws.
Martin Luther King Jr. put it well: "It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important."
Scott also did a follow up post just a few days ago. Take a close look at these short but powerful postings.


Doctrine of Sanctity of Life Essential to Defense of Unborn

Dr. David P. Gushee of The Center for Bioethics & Human Dignity has been working on a "book project (CBHD/Eerdmans, 2008) which attempts a comprehensive intellectual exploration of the concept of the sanctity of life."

Gushee, an Evangelical Protestant Christian, is a Southern Baptist ethicist serving at a Tennessee Baptist university.

He writes a sketch of this project in his article reprinted below. He also offers a podcast of the same.

I'll be watching with great anticipation for more of this project. It offers tremendous potential in strengthening the foundations of our opposition to the taking of innocent human life in the womb.

This is important reading.
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The Sanctity of Life by David P. Gushee, Ph.D.


The “sanctity of life” is a phrase that in recent decades became commonplace in the moral and political debates concerning a wide range of bioethical issues: abortion, embryo research, cloning, genetic engineering, euthanasia, and others. Generally it is used by those of us who oppose technologies or practices that we believe violate the intrinsic value of human life. Some of us who use the term employ it more broadly to denote an ethical approach concerned not just with a handful of bioethical issues but the entire range of moral problems that human beings face, from abortion to poverty, from war to the death penalty, from child abuse to the environment.


I am concerned that for many Christians “the sanctity of life” is little more than a culture wars slogan rather than the product of serious reflection. As a slogan it then evokes equally unthinking resistance from those who react negatively to anything that reminds them of (conservative) Christianity. And despite the thousands of uses of the term “sanctity of life” that can be found in any Google search, the phrase actually seems to be fading a bit from our consciousness. It feels a bit musty, a relic of the 1980s. This is most unfortunate.


I am at work on a book project (CBHD/Eerdmans, 2008) which attempts a comprehensive intellectual exploration of the concept of the sanctity of life. My contention is that this understanding of life’s worth is one of the crowning achievements of human civilization. It is the result of a very long historical journey through and beyond far less satisfactory visions of human moral obligation. It flows from the very best sources of our western cultural heritage (Jewish, classical, Christian, and modern) but simultaneously challenges other dimensions of these sources. It is a notion simultaneously sturdy and fragile—sturdy because it cannot be erased entirely from human consciousness and has withstood numerous ferocious challenges, fragile because it is all too easily set aside, rationalized away, or rejected.


One way of moving beyond slogans to a more substantive understanding of the sanctity of life is to define the term with some precision. This is my working definition: The concept of the sanctity of life is the belief that all human beings, at any and every stage of life, in any and every state of consciousness or self-awareness, of any and every race, color, ethnicity, level of intelligence, religion, language, gender, character, behavior, physical ability/disability, potential, class, social status, etc., of any and every particular quality of relationship to the viewing subject, are to be perceived as persons of equal and immeasurable worth and of inviolable dignity and therefore must be treated in a manner commensurate with this moral status.


Notice several things about this definition.


First, the sanctity of life is a concept that one believes in. It is, in other words, a moral conviction.


Second, it is a moral conviction about how human beings are to be perceived and treated. Belief in the sanctity of life prescribes a certain way of looking at the world, in particular its human inhabitants (with implications for its non-human inhabitants—a subject for another article). This perception then leads to behavioral implications related to how human beings are to be treated. Moral conviction leads to perception and flows into behavior. Notice that in constructing my understanding of the sanctity of life in this way I am emphasizing worldview dimensions first (convictions), character qualities next (perceptions), and behavioral prescriptions last. I think this is actually how the moral life works.


The third thing to notice about this definition is its universality. Rightly understood, the sanctity of life is among the broadest and most inclusive understandings possible of our moral obligations to other human beings.


All human beings are included (each and every human being), at all stages of existence, with every quality of experience, reflecting every type of human diversity, and encompassing every possible quality of relationship to the person who does the perceiving. What all are included in is a vision of their immeasurable worth and inviolable dignity. This means that each of these human beings has a value that transcends all human capacity to count or measure, which confers upon them an elevated status that must not be dishonored or degraded.


This breathtaking and exalted vision of the worth and dignity of human beings is what we mean, or ought to mean, when we speak of the sanctity of life. It is a moral conviction that continually challenges our efforts to weaken it. Yet weaken it we do, whether purposefully or unintentionally. Most often we weaken it when we chafe against the implications of its universality—its vision of the weak, the enemy, the disabled, the stranger, the unborn, the sinner, the poor, the ex-friend, the racial other, or whoever else we find it difficult to include within the community of the truly human.


Every effort to point out someone else’s violations of life’s sanctity implicitly requires us to examine our own fidelity to this exalted and demanding moral norm. This may be why the language of life’s sanctity has perhaps faded from public debate to some extent. Anti-abortion advocates who argued for the sanctity of (unborn) human life were met by anti-poverty advocates who argued for the sanctity of (born but poor) human life. Thoughtful moral theorists recognized that this was precisely right, and that a true understanding of life’s sanctity required a both/and rather than an either/or approach. But this hardly fits the culture wars paradigm. The sanctity of life is not so helpful as a political cudgel after all, which may mean its real value is as a bracing statement of human moral obligation.


So far I have not mentioned God. A question I will be exploring in the book is whether it is likely, or even possible, for belief in the sanctity of life to survive without belief in God—and a certain vision of God and God’s will, at that. The very word “sanctity,” from the Latin sanctus, which means sacred, holy, or inviolable, is redolent with religious connotations and implications. It is certainly possible to argue that the idea of the sanctity of human life is essentially a conferring of God’s holiness or sanctity onto the pinnacle of God’s creation, human beings. Humans can have sanctity because God their Creator and Redeemer does, or because God wills that they should be viewed and treated as such. It is an important question indeed to consider, as I will in the book, whether or not a conviction about human life’s sanctity can survive on the basis of a secularized vision of the foundations of that sanctity.


Saturday, February 24, 2007

Can Pro-Lifers Find Inspiration From "Amazing Grace?"

Much is being made of the new movie "Amazing Grace" which was released yesterday. I posted earlier about this interesting production. Concerned Women for America issued their release on the movie and claims Wilberforce was a model for today’s grassroots activists.
“The movie Amazing Grace will rouse a new generation of Christians to follow in the footsteps of forgotten hero William Wilberforce,” said Concerned Women for America’s President Wendy Wright. This inspiring biography depicts the life of William Wilberforce, a Member of Parliament who fought to end Britain’s slave trade, and the influence of his mentor John Newton, a former slave ship captain and author of the hymn Amazing Grace.

....

“Along with his persistent pressing for laws to abolish slavery, Wilberforce educated and activated citizens to create a climate for legislators to pass virtuous laws. He exposed the horrors of the slave trade, placed the evidence publicly to cause all to see, gathered petitions, held rallies, assembled coalitions, promoted slogans and jabbed people’s consciences over the right of all humans to be free and treated with dignity,” said Wendy Wright.


That last paragraph sounds like a prescription for the abolition of the grave injustice of abortion in Canada. The unborn in Canada need their own Wilberforce.

Is there anyone in Canada who currently comes close to doing this kind of work except to put an end to abortion? Anyone got any names for me?


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Abortion On Demand: A Psychoanalyst Takes A Look

From the comments box at Shrinkwrapped two days ago, in response to a posting [second of a two part posting]

You're not kidding the piper must be paid. My girlfriend had an abortion in 1986. She told me afterward she overheard the nurse tell the doctor, "It was a little girl."


I am now in my early 40s, looking at the young adults who would be my daughter's age, possibly her friends. I am horrified when I remember what I have done, and I am horrified when I remember that I've forgotten her for a day, or a week, or more. I have confessed this to a priest, etc., but at the end of the day, I will have to face that little girl, whom I couldn't be bothered to love enough to let her have a life she was entitled to and I had no right to interfere with.


I can't imagine what I'll say. Sorry somehow doesn't seem enough for the crime. And no, I have never had another opportunity for a child, not that another child would make up for what I've done. I suppose whatever happens to me, I'll deserve.

In this same posting, Shrinkwrapped notes:

This is clearly analogous to our society’s reaction to our children. The "good" children are wanted and valued; "bad" children are dehumanized and their destruction is thus facilitated. When one needs to kill another person, they must first be dehumanized.
....


Abortion by choice is a very different proposition. From an early point the pregnancy is psychologically attacked. By assaulting the humanity of the future child, both the good and bad aspects of the fetus are repressed. The parent disowns and disavows the clump of cells and repudiates it in the strictest terms. In such cases, mourning is either discouraged or overtly denied. Consider the behavior of the radical pro-choice groups who treat abortion as a triumph to be emblazoned on T-shirts. This is a reaction formation of the most obvious kind. Not only do they announce they have had abortions, but it is a "life affirming" action; nowhere is the painful reality of a life terminated allowed to enter awareness.


In the women I have seen, and in many of the men who have lost "children" through a girlfriend's abortion, the disavowed infant lives on in the unconscious. When explored, they often become aware of their repressed feelings of loss and sadness. There is often significant guilt involved in such choices, since they know full well that they chose their own gratification over the chance for life of a new child. The guilt is compounded by the knowledge that they were afforded a chance they have denied to someone else. When, because of complications, or repeated abortions, a woman finds she has diminished her chances of having a child later in life, the guilt and sadness is compounded and often becomes a source of depressive attacks on the self.


Many women, perhaps most, who have had abortions, will at some point go through the difficult and painful mourning required to forgive themselves and release the lost child, but it is rarely easy. Those who refuse to go through such a mourning process are liable to more serious troubles. There is a very good case to be made that radical pro-choice groups which demand that abortion on demand remain legal up until the very moment of birth, are struggling with murderous rage and unmetabolized ambivalence. They invariably direct their rage at those who would "chain" women into servitude by forcing them to carry unwanted fetuses.
Take a moment if you can to read through it. Some helpful observations on our [shocking] attitudes towards the unborn.

Telus Fiasco Proves ProLifers Can Save Unborn Babies

The recent controversy over Telus' decision to offer its cell phone customers pay per view pornography has ended. Today it was reported that Telus recanted and has dropped their plans.

Perhaps it had something to do with Bishop Henry's announced support yesterday of Archbishop Roussin's campaign. Surely Telus is aware of Bishop Henry's reputation for courage and tenacity in such moral battles as these.

All Canadians owe a debt of gratitude to both these Bishops, and to many others who spoke up against the immoral plan advanced by Telus. I was actually surprised that Telus backed down so quickly.

I marvel at how much good can be accomplished in our society when we Christians [even a relatively few in number] are willing to stand up, defend Christian morals and call others into the fray. How quickly the giants sometimes vanish!

I can’t help wonder when we will be bold enough to do the same in defending the unborn from death in the womb by legalized abortion. God speed that day! But the Bishops indeed performed a vital service in renewing society’s confidence in moral and spiritual leadership. Perhaps through their example we will soon see other evil giants defeated in our land.

This event dramatically illustrates the power that a few principled and determined individuals can exert upon an issue and an entire country. It also should encourage pro-lifers to find a more effective way to imitate the same principle on a nation wide scale in order to give unborn children the same rights which all Canadians enjoy.


Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Miracle Fetus Turns Into A Baby At 21 Weeks


Nobody knows for sure when Amillia Sonja Taylor [Amillia means 'resilient fighter'] ceased being a fetus and became a real human--a baby-- but it happened so quickly that it is being called a modern day miracle.

Of course pro-lifers were the first to make sense of the mystery.

If you look at the photograph to the left you'll see the size of Amillia's feet at birth, on October 24th past. In the other photograph above you see the overall length of the tiny wonder in comparison to a pocket pen.

Video of Amillia, her family, doctor and nurses can be viewed here.

Apparently, Amillia was due to go home with her parents today but her doctor said tests showed she could have an infection because her white blood cell count was low. Amillia's doctor, Dr. Paul Fassbach, also said that if doctors had known Amillia's real gestational age, they might not have intervened at all since babies that young generally don't survive.

Dr. Fassbach reported that from the earliest stages of the emergency birth, Amillia's mother assured him that her child was "a fighter and she wanted to be here.”

I am confident that if we could conduct a poll among the unborn in Canada, all such fetuses would confirm their wish "to be here" as well.

Suzanne explores a few implications of this story.

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Another story here of a miracle preemie who made it...from 18 years ago.


Sunday, February 18, 2007

Not Disrespectful to Ask Bishops to Enforce Church Law

Without doubt, I admire Judie Brown of American Life League. She’s a fighter for the unborn. Her pro-life colleagues don’t always agree with her on everything but I think they all respect her.

Her most recent article on her pro-life tactics with the Bishops, entitled, “Honestly, it's charitable,” is well written and balanced I believe.

Needless to say, the scandal in Catholic circles over the issue of abortion continues and every sincere Catholic is obliged to come to their own soul searching conclusion on the role that Catholic Bishops play in the continuing holocaust of abortion.

Judie put things very consisely in her commentary when she wrote:

In the case of a particular bishop, we are not being disrespectful nor are we criticizing nor are we passing judgment when we ask that he lead us by making clear what Church law says, why the law is so specific and what that law means for those who disregard it out of ignorance or arrogance. Each bishop is a shepherd; our efforts to implore him to teach and preach what the Church teaches are a sign of respect.

Why not click through and read her article.


Ted Byfield Backs Up Justice Scalia Regarding Injustice Against Unborn

As if to complement my previous posting, Ted Byfield also wrote yesterday on the subject of judicial activism in Canada. He presents a short, useful and very illuminating picture of the “left handed” schizophrenia of Canadian justice.

I think he’s done an excellent job of summarizing the current situation in Canada. This is required reading for pro-lifers who want a deeper look into the politics of abortion.


Judicial Activism Debated At McGill University

Apparently yesterday at McGill University in Montreal, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia sparred with his Canadian counterpart, Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada at a University conference marking the 25th anniversary of the Charter.

That would have been an interesting debate to attend. I blogged previously about the issue of judicial activism, linking it to the issue of abortion and the difficulties we face in instituting laws to protect the unborn.

I’m very glad to know that Justice Scalia was invited to this Conference. It is encouraging to know that his invitation wasn’t overpowered or railroaded by Canadian judicial activists. [I wouldn’t be surprised to hear down the road that a battle was fought on that account.]

Perhaps we’ll hear more about this debate in the coming days. Here are some highlights from the Globe & Mail report:

If the framers of the Charter of Rights did not want judges to rule on moral and ethical issues, they should have said so, Mr. Justice Ian Binnie of the Supreme Court of Canada said yesterday during a freewheeling debate with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

….

"The ability of the courts to move with the times has served this country very well," Judge Binnie said. "I say that if you erect a silo over our court system based on a theory of originalism, it is a very good reason to throw it out."However, Judge Scalia attacked Judge Binnie and his own U.S. Supreme Court brethren for believing that unelected judges are qualified to act as social engineers who possess a greater level of expertise in deciding morally laden issues than doctors, engineers, the U.S. Founding Fathers or "Joe Six-Pack."

"We have become addicted to abstract moralizing," Judge Scalia said. "It is blindingly clear that judges have no greater moral capacity than the rest of us to decide what is right."

He mocked the prevailing judicial belief in Canada that the Charter is "a living tree" that must be given a broad and liberal interpretation, lest its growth be stunted.

This notion simply encourages judges to make anti-democratic decisions that extend rights to questionable groups such as bigamists and pederasts, he said.

Judge Scalia said back in the days when the United States was a true democracy, citizens changed the Constitution if a consensus developed around adding or eliminating a human right. "What democracy means is that the majority rules," he said. "If you don't believe that, you don't believe in democracy."

Judge Scalia ridiculed his court's landmark ruling legalizing abortion in Roe v. Wade, saying that it was absurd to issue such a decision without deciding first when a fetus becomes a human life. "Amazing!" he said. "Of course, that question was central."


Saturday, February 17, 2007

Amy's (Lame) Theory of Everything

Yesterday, on her blog, Amy Welborn proposed her “(lame) theory of everything,” as she called it. It’s a fascinating little look into how she views history, the sad state of humanity, the Church, and the role of tradition in keeping us on track.

She does touch on her involvement in the pro-life movement and what she has learned from that. She refers to a short article which she wrote some time ago, summing that all up. It’s insightful and challenging.

It’s entitled “In the Name of Progress...” and she starts out with a hundred year old quote:

"It will never be known what acts of cowardice have been motivated by the fear of not looking sufficiently progressive."

French poet and polemicist Charles Peguy penned that thought almost a hundred years ago, but they’re words that could have been written yesterday, aren’t they?


After telling of her decision to link up with the pro-life movement and the events which followed, she wraps up the account with these words:

Do we speak boldly of what abortion is and why it is wrong, or do we hedge our arguments all around, using the opposition’s language and sharing their tut-tutting over graphic photographs of aborted children? Are we actually more frightened of being defined as “fanatics” than we are of having the blood of children on our hands?

And what does that make us? Does it make us what we hope and dream for – “progressive,” not to speak of “compassionate” and “sensitive?”

Or does it just make us cowards?


Friday, February 16, 2007

Defending the Unborn From Attacks By Christian Leaders

Today Fr. Frank Pavone of Priests for Life came out quickly and loudly to condemn the testimony of Christian church leaders and Jewish groups whose comments were intended to maintain the status quo on abortion in the US.

WASHINGTON, Feb. 16 /Christian Newswire/ -- Testimony by a Methodist minister and a Jewish group that the proposed informed consent for abortion bill pending before the state Senate would establish religious opinion as legal fact is absurd, said Fr. Frank Pavone, President of the National Pro-Life Religious Council.

“The point at which a human’s life begins is scientifically and objectively provable,” said Fr. Pavone, “and that point is when a human sperm fertilizes a human egg. The informed consent bill before the Indiana Senate would establish scientific fact as legal fact. Whether or not a particular religious belief coincides with scientific fact is as irrelevant as whether religious belief also coincides with the law that citizens may not steal.”

The measure in question, S. 135, would require that a doctor inform a woman at least 18 hours prior to an abortion of the physical risks of the procedure, of the possibility that her unborn child might feel pain during the abortion, and that human life begins when a human ovum is fertilized by a human sperm. The Senate health committee is scheduled to vote on the bill next week.


Yes, sad as it is to say, there are actually large coalitions of Christians devoted to sheltering the lies and rhetoric of organizations like Planned Parenthood and NARAL [in the US] or Abortion Rights Coalition [in Canada].

Only last month in Washington D.C. a courageous United Methodist theologian delivered an address to some of his fellow Christians denouncing abortion and detailing some of the ungodly actions of his very own church in its efforts to preserve abortion rights! His defense of the sanctity of life was admirable and all faithful Christians will thank God for his courage.

"We are in a fight for life. In this fight there is a place for prophetic confrontation, for effective polemic, for appropriate protest, and for political engagement and action,” said the Rev. Dr. Billy Abraham of Perkins School of Theology. He was speaking at a small worship service organized by Lifewatch, an unofficial pro-life caucus within United Methodism.

The United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in the nation’s capital is the headquarters of religious support for abortion rights. There, the United Methodist Board of Church and Society and other mainline lobby groups oppose any proposed legal restrictions on abortion.

…..

Abraham concluded: “The state does not kill us. It is milder and smarter in its actions; it sanctions the slaughter of the innocents and wraps its evil in a cloak of rhetorical deceit about freedom of choice. The court chaplains to this holocaust, of course, are all too ready to provide spurious justifications for such evil.”


Who specifically are these court chaplains to the holocaust of abortion?

The Institute on Religion and Democracy just a few short weeks ago identified these groups by calling for mainline church officials to disavow their pro-abortion rights stance.

Washington, DC—Monday, January 22 marks the 34th year of unrestricted legalized abortion in the United States. Abortion will long be a contentious issue in America. However, for mainline church officials to step away from the traditions and teachings of the church to support unrestricted abortion on demand is appalling. Mainline denominations have plunged in membership for 40 years. The refusal of mainline church officials to affirm historic Christian teachings about the sacredness of all human life bares a large part of the blame.

The IRD's UM Action Director Mark Tooley released this statement:

Mainline church agencies belong to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which has opposed all proposed restrictions on abortion, including partial-birth abortion, and even parental notification. How appalling that mainline church officials have resultantly ended up sounding more like Planned Parenthood or the National Organization of Women than like the spiritual heirs of the apostles.


Are things any better in Canada? No. There are a shocking number of church denominations in our nation who fall into the exact same category as those described above.

The pro-life movement probably does not need to be so concerned about winning over these church groups. Unless it became absolutely necessary I don’t think it would be a good investment of our time.

When the voices of active, orthodox Christians throughout Canada are lifted up loudly and clearly and in sufficient numbers in defense of the unborn, we will capture sufficient attention from our democratic representatives to institute the new laws required to save innocent lives.


The Politics Of Defending The Unborn

For a glimpse into the world of politics [U.S. or Canada] and, generally speaking, what it takes to push through a new or revised law, take a look.

However, don’t be discouraged or cynical by what you read. It is the way the democratic process works. In order to be successful in the defense of the unborn, we must be prepared to keep on pushing forward, despite such obstacles.

We CAN win if we do not allow ourselves to be discouraged. It’s only a matter of sticking to our principles (we have the truth on our side!), staying determined and making all the sacrifices necessary. If we fail, we fail God, our children, and our nation.


New Hampshire Committee Votes to Silence Parents

Here's the sad story of the life and death of a pro-life bill...aborted by the defenders of "choice."
In fact, some leaders consider the whole matter of parental notification a distraction from state business. As Rep. Liz Hager (R) said, "Let's get this expensive, unconstitutional problem behind us." However, the true expense will be the toll on innocent, human lives should the state erase a law that serves to give young girls pause about killing their unborn babies.

Time Magazine Highlights Pregnancy Centers

This is good news for the unborn and for the pro-life message.
Pregnancy resource centers are extremely powerful witnesses to life and strengthen credibility for the pro-life cause.
The Feb. 26th issue of Time magazine features a dramatic cover story highlighting the work of the nation’s pregnancy resource centers. Care Net’s Vice President of Communications Kristin Hansen said the article was a “long overdue recognition of the growth and impact of pregnancy centers. We’re encouraged to see the society at large take notice and ask tough questions.

Be sure to check the newstands on Feb. 26th. Buy extra copies, pick some key locations and spread them around town.


Protection of Unborn Dependent on Freedom of Religion

In today’s National Post, Raymond DeSouza discusses the most important freedom protected in the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. [h/t] The first one listed in the Charter is "freedom of conscience and religion."

Religious liberty and freedom of conscience is not the first freedom by accident. The first article of the Magna Carta in 1215 guarantees "that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired." The first amendment of the American Bill of Rights (1789) states that "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) speaks of human beings "endowed with reason and conscience" (Article 18 specifies the consequences for religious liberty).

....

As the vast apparatus of the Canadian state moves in certain respects toward enforcing a secular orthodoxy, infringements on religious liberty are sure to become more, not less, frequent. This has already happened in education, as students and parents often find themselves confronted in the classroom with moral teachings contrary to their religious beliefs. To date, accommodations have generally been worked out, but as secularist bureaucrats become more zealous, these cases too will soon head to court on religious liberty grounds.

As I see it, whether or not we retain religious liberty in Canada depends entirely on our determination to retain those good things which we have inherited from previous generations. I would put it another way. I would say it’s a matter of living up to the truths of our Christian faith.

If we continue along on our apathetic way as we have for many years in Canada, we will certainly lose our freedom of conscience and religion. We are already being pushed to the wall and into a corner and eventually we will be dominated by the tyranny of social and immoral engineers.

And we will have nobody to blame but ourselves.

The most fundamental human right is the right to life. I haven’t yet seen or heard anyone make a successful argument against such an obvious truth. Yet the protection of that most fundamental right hinges entirely on whether those who have been entrusted with that truth are able to [and choose to] declare it openly and effectively. If our freedom of conscience and religion is sufficiently compromised we will simply not be able to do so.

And if that day should come, Canadians who maintain an integral relationship with truth and conscience will have to start paying for their convictions by being hauled before the courts [that’s already happening] and by going to jail.

Can we not rise up today in defense of life and push back the culture of fear and death which is seeking to destroy us? Are we frozen with indifference?


Thursday, February 15, 2007

Grandmother's Graphic Pictures of Abortion Too Effective

ProLife America reports on this story.

A Christian "pro-life" grandmother has failed in a High Court bid to overturn her conviction for sending pictures of aborted foetuses to pharmacists through the post.

Two senior judges ruled she had no right to cause distress to others who might see the pictures.

Lord Justice Dyson said: "I would hold that it has been convincingly shown that the conviction of Mrs Connolly on the facts of this case was necessary in a democratic society.


It might be called democracy but you sure couldn’t call it freedom of speech or freedom of religion. Great Britain is zooming down the slippery slope, hurtling to the bottom it seems.

Apparently it’s ok to cut a fetus to shreds in the womb or vacuum it out of the womb as human mash but if someone actually tries to alert others [using pictures] to the graphic consequences of those actions, somehow it’s against the law. It’s an invasion of privacy. It’s too stressful.

Whatever.

What’s next?

Well, it shouldn’t be too much of a stretch to see that the next step is to banish ALL graphic images foisted upon an “unsuspecting” public.

And that sad development might be coming soon to a city near you…in Canada. Why not? We're on that same slippery slope here in Canada.

The use of graphic images by the pro-life movement is essential. In fact, Vote Life, Canada! maintains that Until Canada sees abortion, Canada will not reject abortion.

However, if we don’t find a better way…and SOON!...to start swaying Canadians to the cause of the unborn, we’re going to run out of time, very much like Great Britain has. The brandishing of graphic images may no longer be legal.

No, I’m afraid that I have to agree, as much as my heart is with that Christian grandmother, it is probably the least effective way to use graphic images. And at this point in Canadian society, showing the images in that way probably hurts our cause much more than it helps.

So what is the alternative? Do you see any solutions?


Saving Those Damned Catholics

Catholics have their own special problems when it comes to the tragedy of abortion.

Judie Brown of American Life League (ALL) has recently published her book, “Saving Those Damned Catholics.” Interesting title, don’t you think? She was quoted as saying: "There is an eternal price to be paid for denying the truth ... thus the name of the book."

As I understand it, this is a book which Judie, a Catholic, wrote out of frustration with the failure of the US Catholic Church leadership to do anything substantial to end the atrocity of abortion.

LifeSiteNews recently did an interview with her about her book and FYI, Judie has a blog on the ALL website, located here.

I suspect that Judie’s experience is somewhat mirrored by that of writer Barbara Kralis, who last month put out “A Plea to the Pope For Help.”

Following the above links will provide a quick survey of how some pro-life Catholics view their Church’s shocking failure to address the killing of innocent unborns.


Are things any different in the Catholic Church leadership in Canada in this regard?

Certainly not according to LifeSiteNews.com

There are extremely discouraging themes in the above reports. However, an important note needs to be made here. Blaming Church leaders is no answer in itself, regardless of how much they have failed. And, to be sure, they HAVE failed. In fact, practically ALL Christian leaders of ALL stripes have miserably failed the unborn children of this nation.

Perhaps there is some value to understanding HOW they have failed, but only insofar as it helps us to advance a workable solution. And pro-lifers in Canada have to do much better in this regard. They cannot simply blame the bishop, the pastor or the priest for the predicament of the unborn, or the failure of the pro-life movement. And if their only real accomplishment is to do that, then obviously they have accomplished nothing worthwhile for the unborn.

A great key to the solution can be found, I believe, in the words of Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen who said:

Who is going to save our Church? Not our bishops, not our priests and religious. It is up to you, the people. You have the minds, the eyes, and the ears to save the Church. Your mission is to see that your priests act like priests, your bishops act like bishops, and your religious act like religious.

Let Christians of all stripes apply that wisdom to their own church leadership. What it says to me is that only when Christians (and pro-lifers) live more virtuous and self sacrificing lives than their own church leaders will God’s grace supernaturally guide them to a solution for the evils of their day—abortion being our greatest social evil today.

I hope Judie Brown got around to saying that.


Wilberforce Kept Pressing the Conscience of the British People

In a release today from Christian Newswire, it is reported that IRD endorses the new film about the life of William Wilberforce.

IRD President Jim Tonkowich commented:

The story of William Wilberforce speaks loudly to Christians today. First, this movie could not have been made at a better time as we continue to fight modern slavery in the form of sex trafficking, indentured servitude, and forced labor.

Second, Wilberforce’s successful effort to end the slave trade in the midst of intense opposition points to a truth about cultural and social renewal: it takes many years. William Wilberforce made change possible by forging a social witness that connected orthodox Christian faith with public policy and cultural renewal.

Now this is an important point for the pro-life movement in Canada. If we have not been effective in Canada in advancing the cause of the unborn, it is probably because we have failed as a movement to forge “a social witness that connected orthodox Christian faith with public policy and cultural renewal.” Perhaps there are some (maybe many?) in our movement who do not see this as an important element of our pro-life strategy. If so, could it be that explains much of our failure?

Some see it as a mystery that a group of upper-class white men in the early 1800s would choose to abolish a trade that financially benefited the interests in the British Empire. The truth is that the orthodox Christian faith of men like Wilberforce and his associates compelled them to keep pressing the conscience of the British people and this ultimately led to political change.

Like the reformers of Wilberforce’s day, orthodox Christians have a place in today’s public policy arena. Their faith is what moves them to speak out against modern day slavery, the genocides in Darfur and southern
Sudan, the AIDS pandemic, and the right to life.

Exactly.

We should take note of Wilberforce’s convictions, approach and success and be sure to apply that wherever possible to our pro-life efforts in Canada. We must identify and employ the most effective means at pressing the conscience of the Canadian people.

Vote Life, Canada! says we must undertake a comprehensive and exhaustive strategy to engage church leaders.

This seems obvious….yet foundational.


Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Students Choose: A Stick of Gum or a Deadly Infection?

This is a lot like the kettle calling the pot black. Except in this case the pot wasn’t black at all. Just a little controversial.

From FRC we get the following report:

'Gum Game' Puts Abstinence Group on the Bubble

An abstinence curriculum called "Worth the Wait" will be forced to live up to its name unless a Maryland county decides to reinstate the group after a so-called "controversial lesson." Despite nine years of service, Montgomery County Schools barred the Rockville Pregnancy Center from teaching the curriculum in its classrooms after the complaint of one parent.

To illustrate the effects of peer pressure and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), leaders passed out a piece of gum and asked students to take turns chewing it (some did). The demonstration was completely voluntary, said teachers, and the obvious purpose was to use the student's wariness about sharing gum to demonstrate the risks of sexual intimacy. According to one of the abstinence educators, the "gum game" had gotten rave reviews from teachers and students alike.

However, a school spokesman disagreed. "What this exercise showed is a terrible lack of judgment. It's disgusting on its face." Rather than ask the group to discontinue or modify the game, Montgomery County revoked the invitation altogether, creating a dangerous void in the local schools for the life-saving abstinence-until-marriage message. As the group's Executive Director, Gail Tierney, said, "We saw 6,500 kids last year. Who's going to talk to them now?"

The incident has created a domino effect for other schools in the metropolitan D.C. area, which are now closely monitoring abstinence programs already in place. The sad irony is, the same Montgomery County schools will now minimize the hazards of promoting promiscuity through comprehensive sex education yet object to having students chew gum to point out the dangers of STDs.

In the end, the real lack of judgment lies not with "Worth the Wait" but with school officials who overreacted to one lesson and threw the baby out with the bathwater. Surely most parents would agree that given the choice, they would much rather have their children swap a stick of gum than a deadly infection.


The Washington Post reported on this story on the weekend, quoting Deputy Superintendent Frieda K. Lacey as saying the gum exercise was "repulsive."

But isn’t that strange? Isn't this the same school system that provided condom demonstrations in the classroom using cucumbers, endorses the Planned Parenthood brand of sex education, and teaches that homosexual couples are the newest American family?


What does this have to do with protecting unborn children in Canada?

Lots really. FRC’s account exposes the kind of muddled thinking and perversity that occurs in Canadian classrooms as well. And Canadians need to understand the truth of what is happening.... and be helped to see alternatives. If we purpose to sow some different seeds in our education system we can be assured of a different harvest, and in regard to sexuality issues in schools, we desperately need different outcomes.

It is important to note also that things are probably worse in Canada in this department because first of all I suspect that few school boards even permit the pro-life (or abstinence) message into their schools at all. This means proportionately fewer Canadian students have been exposed to any alternate moral instruction in regard to issues of sexuality and abortion.

The recent same sex marriage legislation which was passed in Canada is an indication that our society has progressed further along this path than have our American neighbours.


The Truth Shall Set You Free?

At the crossroads of Canada, [I should know, I was born there!] in Gander, NL, Audrey Manning writes a column for The Beacon entitled “The Truth Shall Set You Free?”

She presents her viewpoint [classically “poor-choice”] on the ethical dilemma recently posed by the health concerns of Vancouver sextuplets born to Jehovah’s Witness’ parents. She maintains that “life-and-death decisions regarding children should not take into consideration the religious beliefs of the parents.”

Her words appear in their entirety below, along with commentary in brackets and in orange font.


The truth shall set you free?
Audrey Manning
The Beacon

The first case of sextuplets born in Canada occurred in Vancouver on Jan. 6 to Jehovah’s Witness parents.

The Vancouver babies were premature and needed blood transfusions to cope with low volumes of blood. Jehovah's Witnesses believe the Bible says they should abstain from blood (Acts 21:25) and therefore refuse blood transfusions for themselves and their children.

The care of the babies presents an ethical dilemma for the doctors. Medical authorities do not generally have the authority to overrule the parents’ wishes. However, when a child is in danger of dying, the doctors can lodge a complaint with government authorities that can get a court order to enforce treatment.
[Yes, when a child is in danger of dying, would to God that doctors lodged complaints rather than referring women for ‘termination” of the “products of conception.”]

Religious authorities cite the special relationship between parent and child as something to be fostered and protected because it is the fundamental elemental upon which society and culture is constructed. The big question is: should the state intervene to save the life of a child?
[Yes, an excellent question. The woman who is carrying a child is in that same parent/child relationship. Are you willing to ask and debate the question of the state’s intervention in that case as well? Should the state intervene to save the life of a child threatened by abortion?

Here we have a conundrum. The same religious authorities who would champion the rights of the unborn and turn every stone to prevent a woman’s right to choose will not go out on a limb for the born, preferring to leave the matter to the courts.
[Nice try. I wonder which “religious authorities” you are referring to. Granted, you do raise a point because there is a principle at stake. I’m glad you infer a principle and I assume the principle you are concerned with is that innocent life ought always to be defended and preserved, even if the perpetrators happen to be parents.

It should be plainly obvious that is the principle to which pro-lifers have committed themselves. Are you arguing now for the pro-life position? Your “conundrum” certainly does reflect the current schizophrenia in Canada surrounding abortion law.

But as we shall see a little later in the column, Audrey Manning is not fighting for this principle. That is not her argument at all. She introduces this protest purely to paint pro-lifers as inconsistent, illogical and disingenuous.]

The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada cites three main principles at stake — the rights of parents, respect for religious beliefs and protection of children. In the unborn debate, protection of the unborn is paramount. After the child is born, protection comes after parental and religious rights.

There is an ethical assumption parents should have care and custody of their children because parents love their children and strive to help them to become honourable human beings. [Only in an ethical society can this be realistically assumed.] This assumption does not stand up to scrutiny. If parents are abusing children, society intervenes to protect the children. [Wrong. That is precisely what pro-lifers are fighting for in Canada—a law which will allow society to intervene when a parent (mother) seeks to kill her unborn child.] The question is: who needs protection more than a child who will die if medical treatment is not administered? [Quite right. But a more basic question is: Who needs protection more than a child who is about to die by the willful collusion of the mother with a killer?]

The argument is reduced to: are children individuals with human rights? [Apparently not all children, Ms. Manning, certainly not in Canada.] It seems the only way to protect all children is to make the ethical assumption parents do not own their children. [Wrong. The only way to protect ALL children is to give them ALL full constitutional rights as Canadian citizens.] Parents are guardians charged with the task of helping their children to grow physically and emotionally. Life-and-death decisions regarding children should not take into consideration the religious beliefs of the parents.
[There you have the summary. This is the statement which should have introduced this opinion column. Life-and-death decisions regarding children should not take into consideration the religious beliefs of the parents. I thought that in Canada we advocated for religious freedom. In fact, I thought we had a Charter that precisely guarantees that freedom.

All those who would strip Canada of the moral foundations of the family eventually return to this argument. These social “engineers” would relegate “religion,” something which they generally despise, to matters which are basically insignificant, certainly not to significant family matters and definitely not for “life-and-death decisions."]

Parents have rights, but they are not absolute. [What are absolute rights and from where do they originate, Ms. Manning?] Outside religious rules, parents can’t make decisions that have the potential to harm their children. Children are regularly taken away from their parents when they’re deemed to be at risk. Thus, while society may accept parents are free to become martyrs, they are not free, in indistinguishable circumstances, to make martyrs of their children.
[Your argument here begs the question of why then would we currently permit in Canada the destruction of over 100,000 unborn martyrs annually?]


That parental rights [what of the mother’s “right to choose?”] do not give parents life and death authority over their children is especially relevant in the case of Jehovah’s Witnesses. This is because their teachings have changed radically, over the years, with regard to medical treatment.
[And now comes Manning’s tirade intended to calumniate religious “extremists,” i.e. all those whose religious convictions count for more than insignificant decisions in their lives, e.g. in this case Jehovah’s Witnesses, but also I assume practicing Catholics, evangelical and fundamentalist Christians, etc. etc.]


As well as whole blood, the Watchtower Society used to prohibit taking into the body any of the components that make up whole blood. Over time, while sticking to the banning of whole blood, they have gradually permitted the use of virtually all the components that make up whole blood.

They first sanctioned globulin, then the clotting factors, plasma proteins and finally hemoglobin in June 2000. According to the Watchtower, June 15, 2000, Questions From Readers, essentially every component or fraction derived from whole blood and its primary components are allowed in medical treatment.

Religious authorities often view new technologies with suspicion. Throughout the 1940s and 1950s many religious communities objected to vaccinations. Vaccinations were denounced as harmful and morally wrong. Jehovah’s Witnesses saw vaccination as a direct violation of the everlasting covenant that God made with Noah after the flood (the Golden Age, precursor to the Awake, Feb. 4, 1931).
[It would appear that Ms. Manning is not only an expert in religious and ethical affairs but also in the field of medicine. Many people still make very good medical arguments for forgoing vaccinations!]


Between 1967 and 1980, the Watchtower Society and others held a dim view of organ transplants. Major religions, including Catholicism, Judaism and Islam, issued warnings against transplants. Some religions objected because the procedure involved cutting an organ from a living body. Others, like the Witnesses, viewed transplants as an extension of cannibalism (the Watchtower, Nov. 15, 1967).

In 1980, the Watchtower Society made transplants a matter for personal decision, accepting the procedure as one that saves lives. Until the rules were relaxed, loyal Witnesses chose blindness rather than a corneal transplant and death rather than a kidney transplant.
[Regardless of how we might view this particular practice of a religious group, I find it refreshing that there are still religious groups who place obedience to God, an obedience that costs great loss in temporal rewards, on a much higher priority level because they possess a determined faith that first seeks eternal rewards.]


Some branches of the Jewish and Muslim faiths continue to voice concerns over the rapid advance of medical research. However, religious thinkers have been forced to consider scientific technology when dealing with theological issues. Questions relating to stem-cell research, fertility, contraception and abortion remain the focus of religious debates.
[And considering that these are all issues touching deeply on human life and the family, they will continue to be dominated by concerns of morality in addition to medical and scientific considerations.]


There is no doubt society is conflicted over religious truths. Yet, even the most dogmatic views evolve [even “absolute” rights?]. Is it reasonable to place the lives of children into this mix of personal beliefs and truths? [Yes, absolutely! They currently pay daily with their lives in Canada due to certain “personal beliefs and truths.”] Is it reasonable to give parents, like the parents of the sextuplets, the power of life and death over their children when their decisions are based on the whim of religious interpretation, [how about the whim of personal “choice?”] which change over time?

Excellent question and pro-lifers encourage such a debate. The sooner Canada opens up that debate the sooner narrow minded bias against the unborn is exposed for what it is. The sooner such shallow thinking as Audrey Manning’s is seen for the dangerous rhetoric it is, the sooner indeed will the truth set us free (and save innocent unborn lives).


Fight For Unborn Rights Primarily A Spiritual Battle

In a news release this morning from Christian Newswire, we hear of a disturbing court case set for hearing tomorrow at the Stanford University Law School. Again, this is a US case but has implications and offers insights for our Canadian situation.

Surprisingly, rather than centering on the use of specifically “Christian” language in debating the social and moral ills of society, this case deals with the issue of whether Christians have a right to use neutral language in the workplace to talk about same-sex marriage [and consequently other social issues such as “a woman’s right to choose.”]

Indeed, the shocking details of this case illustrate how far down the path of social engineering we have progressed.

This case has the potential to make a horrible judicial edict that suggests that the only thoughts and words allowed in a public workplace are those that support the homosexual agenda. [or again, other issues such as sexual mores in general, abortion, pornography, etc] The city of Oakland has interpreted this district court's ruling to mean that Christianity has no place in our society and should be subject to punishment.

Hearing such news we are forced once more to conclude that the battle which pro-life and pro-family forces fight in Canada is one that is fundamentally aimed against Christianity. That should make it even more apparent that Christians are in a life and death struggle not primarily with some “neutral” force such as secularism but rather with the spiritual forces of hell itself.

That is why the battle to defend the unborn, if it is to be successful, must be fought chiefly by Christians who comprehend the spiritual dynamic of the catastrophe taking place in Canadian society. Further, they must understand the response that God requires of them.

A merely “secular” or "religiously neutral" response is not at all sufficient to repulse a spiritual offensive.


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