Monday, October 31, 2011

Will this be Harper's legacy?

In response to Local organization wants national debate on abortion and Alliance For Life Ontario's We Want the Debate campaign, I wrote the following letter to the Guelph Mercury:

Canada needs an abortion debate

October 31, 2011

We need a national debate on abortion. The reality is that if we shut down this debate, we shut down freedom of speech and we harm our democracy.

When our political leaders refuse to debate an issue that 52 per cent of Canadians want to have we, wittingly or unwittingly, are causing harm to our country. That the subject matter is abortion should make no difference. If the subject matter were murder, rape, women’s rights or what we teach our children in school, would we censure those debates? Of course not. Then why are we not allowed to debate abortion?

If Stephen Harper does not allow Canadians to have the abortion debate that we want to have, he is complicit in jeopardizing our democracy. This, in fact, may result in the law of unintended consequences and Harper may end up as being known as the prime minister who shut down democracy in Canada.

Somehow I don’t think Harper would be very pleased with a legacy such as this.

Patricia Maloney, Ottawa

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Educating Francoise

On Sept 29, MP Françoise Boivin (NDP) said some curious things in the House of Commons, regarding the funding of International Planned Parenthood and the infamous "Women's rights" ideology:

She started with this:
"Mr. Speaker, women's rights should not be open for debate, yet members of the government seem to think they are. The Supreme Court of Canada has clearly ruled that access to abortion is a fundamental right."

Actually...the Supreme Court ruled no such thing. The Morgentaler decision never stated that abortion was a fundamental right at all. And they most assuredly didn't say it was a constitutional right.

Then Ms. Boivin said:
"Either the Prime Minister has lost control of his caucus or his government's new policy is to outlaw abortion and turn back the clock on women's rights. Which is it?"

Well...it's neither. I think we all know that Mr. Harper never loses control of his caucus. Come on, you know that. And outlaw abortion? For someone like Mr. Harper, who categorically refuses to even think about abortion, never mind discuss it, it would be kind of difficult to outlaw it, don't you think?

Then this:
"Mr. Speaker, I have the impression today that we have literally gone back 20 years to a time when another Conservative government wanted to again criminalize abortion. This is not the first time that a member of the Conservative caucus has attempted to attack women's rights. This is becoming routine. Will the Prime Minister put an end to these attempts and guarantee, once and for all, women's right to choose?"

I thought we covered this Francoise. How can the Prime Minister guarantee a woman's right to choose to kill her unborn child, when no such constitutional right exists?

Then on Oct. 3 Ms .Boivin tried again:
"Mr. Speaker, last week, a Conservative member of Parliament said that his government was in the process of successfully modifying its approach to the abortion issue. On Friday, another Conservative MP said exactly the same thing. Is this government changing women's rights against their will or is the Prime Minister unable to control his caucus?"

Hmmm...I'm a woman. And last time I checked, nobody's changing my rights, either against my will or with my will.

And what about Mr. Harper losing control of his caucus? Well Francoise, like I said before, that's sort of impossible. Mr. Harper wouldn't know how to lose control of his caucus.

Mr. Harper to caucus:
"Who’s the boss?"
Caucus:
"you're the boss."
Mr. Harper:
I can't hear you! Who’s the boss?"
Caucus:
"YOU'RE THE BOSS!!"
Mr. Harper:
"That's better."

Ms. Françoise Boivin (Gatineau, NDP):
"Three Conservative MPs are trying in a roundabout way to reopen the debate on abortion. In Canada, abortion has been legal for decades. Clearly, some Conservative MPs do not accept that, even though a majority of Canadians do."

Well, you have that, um, wrong again. The majority of Canadians, unlike you Francoise, are not afraid of having an abortion debate." In fact 52% of Canadians said we should not be afraid of an open debate on abortion.

And did you know Francoise, that a majority of Canadians (61%) oppose government funding of all abortions? And that 72% of Canadians want legal protections for the unborn according to a recent Environics poll?

I bet you didn't know that either, did you? I was afraid of that.

And last but not least:
"Can the Prime Minister assure us that he will not allow a private member's bill on abortion to be introduced?"

Oh dear, now I'm really confused. Is it possible that a member of Parliament does not know the definition of a Private Member's Bill? Well just in case, I'll help you out...thanks to...well...to Parliament...you know....that place where you work?
"Public bills initiated by a Minister are referred to as "government bills", while those initiated by private Members are called "private Members' bills".

In other words, a private member's bill is for a member to introduce and not for a government to introduce. So Mr. Harper would have absolutely no say in allowing a private member's bill to be introduced or not. Understood?

So I'm just wondering Francoise, have you considered going back to school?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Our society has chosen the evil

Mark Peninga at the Association for Reformed Political Action (ARPA) Canada, does an all-encompassing and reasoned look at abortion legislation (or lack thereof) in Canada in Saving some is not a compromise - The case for advancing abortion legislation in Canada one step at a time

It's fairly lengthy at about 12 pages but well worth the read. A few notable quotes below.

Regarding the political efforts in Canada around abortion legislation:

"The bottom line is that Canadians would be shocked at how few people there are working in the genuinely political realm. There is very little strategy or long-term vision."

and this

"When pro-life politicians in this country have tried to do what is possible by advancing legislation, they are given very little support by the key organizations representing the political arm of the pro-life movement. These politicians are often singled out as "compromisers." With immense opposition from pro-abortion activists, the media, and even their own party, is it any wonder that after 20 years of this, most MPs, even pro-life MPs, are hesitant to touch the issue?"

Regarding the reality that some pro-life groups do not support "incremental legislation":

"Just because part of the pro-life community does not support many pro-life laws does not mean that we should avoid those laws and concentrate on those they do support. Although it sounds considerate, we end up trying to be nice rather than do what is really best for the unborn. Prudence requires the right law at a specific time and in a specific context. We have to be wise in those situations and boldly advance abortion legislation that would be effective in limiting evil. With lives at stake we can't devote all of our time to talking to ourselves. There are some foundational differences within the pro-life community (our view of human nature, the role of government, the end times, etc) that we will debate as long as we live. That debate should happen, but we can't put aside our political responsibility while doing so."

this

"If we did boldly advance abortion legislation that is in keeping with public opinion today, well over 500 lives could be saved every year"

and this

"By supporting incremental legislation, we are not in any way compromising. We are working to abolish all abortion by taking the steps humanly possible in this sin-filled and limited world. By promoting a law that bans abortion after 18 weeks, for example, we are not in any way condoning abortion up till 18 weeks. The pro-life leader quoted earlier who opposed gestational limits wrongly believes that such a law would mean we are allowing some evil to save some children. But we aren't allowing the evil. Our society has chosen the evil. The train is hurtling down the tracks whether we like it or not. Our sin-filled human hearts have chosen the evil. Our government has the responsibility to limit that evil as much as possible. If a ban on abortion is not humanly possible in such an evil society but restrictions on abortion are possible, it is the moral duty of government to enact those restrictions, to begin to engage the brakes on the train. We may not be able to stop the train dead in its tracks, but we should begin to apply the brake."

I encourage anyone who believes that "politics is the art of what is possible" to read this paper.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

No international right to abortion exists

The Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations Anand Grover wrote a paper called Right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.

Grover believes that women around the world should have full abortion “rights”.

But there is no such thing as an international right to abortion.

The San Jose articles--signed by a group of human rights lawyers and advocates, scholars, elected officials, diplomats, and medical and international policy experts--refutes this notion:
It is now commonplace that people around the world are told there is a new international right to abortion.

Those who receive this message are people who have the power to change abortion laws; parliamentarians, lawyers, judges and others.

Those delivering this message are influential and believable people; UN personnel, human rights lawyers, judges and others.

The assertion they make is false. No UN treaty makes abortion an international human right.”

The San Jose articles can be downloaded here.

As one would expect from an abortion manifesto such as Grover’s, there is no reference made to the object of these “women’s rights”: the destruction of unborn persons.

The pro-abortions never want to talk about that simple equation: abortion rights = dead fetuses

Abortion rights can only exist, because the pro-abortions deny that unborn persons have any value. Abortion rights become problematic when value is assigned to the fetus.

The pro-abortions also like to say the fetus is not a human being and therefore it has no rights. They can say whatever they like. It does not make it true. The unborn person is human. That is fact.

Grover never mentions the unborn child or the fetus in his 20 page document.

But Grover does talk about The Convention on the Rights of the Child, which ironically, states that:
Bearing in mind that the need to extend particular care to the child has been stated in the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child of 1924 and in the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted by the General Assembly on 20 November 1959 and recognized in the Universal  Declaration of Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (in particular in articles 23 and 24), in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (in particular in article 10) and in the statutes and relevant instruments of specialized agencies and international organizations concerned with the welfare of children, the child, by reason of his physical and mental immaturity, needs special safeguards and care, including appropriate legal protection, before as well as after birth. (emphasis added)"

Grover even quotes The Convention on the Rights of the Child in his document, but conveniently ignores its above guarantee to provide legal protection to the unborn.

No international right to abortion exists.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

All kinds of leaders

We have pro-life leaders and we have pro-choice leaders.

We have political leaders and we have spiritual leaders.

Some leaders are good leaders. Some leaders are not so good.

Some leaders use hate to lead. Some leaders use love.

Some leaders tell lies. Some leaders tell the truth.

Some leaders let the power of leadership go to their heads. Some leaders are able to resist that power and remain humble.

John Bartunek, in his book The Better Part, says this about leadership:
"The power and esteem that goes with leadership can be intoxicating. It can lead to a reversal of values: instead of using one's influence strictly for the good of others, you begin to care more about simply staying in power. Then the truth — and the true good — inevitably takes a backseat to expediency. And the worst aspect of all is that it's almost irreversible. The Pharisees had completely lost touch with what was right, because they were completely fixated on what was useful to themselves. Every leader, including the leaders of Christ's Church, must be on their guard "against the leaven of the Pharisees," because in the end the truth will come out.

Wise words, don't you think?

Friday, October 21, 2011

CIHI to release 2009 abortion statistics on Oct. 28

I recently sent the following email to the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI):
"I understand from your website that the next release [of the Therapeutic Abortions Data] was supposed to be: 2009 (hospital data – spring 2011; clinic data – summer 2011).

Can you please tell me when they will be released because I couldn't find them?"

It took a few tries, but I finally got a response. This is what I was told:
"I understand you were inquiring about the availability of 2009 abortion data published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. The public release of this data has just been confirmed for October 28. The release will include three years of data – 2007/2008/2009 – as our analytical team has done a lot of work to try to fill in at least some of the information gaps from previous years as well.

For example, the three years of data will include more comprehensive data on the total number of abortions performed in clinic as well as hospital settings.

We apologize for the outdated information on our website - and are working to have our web page refreshed to reflect the new release timeframe. Thank you for bringing this to our attention."

Keep your eyes peeled for October 28, 2011. Hopefully the statistics will be released as promised.

And more comprehensive data? Well let's see.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Mr. Harper, tell us why you are funding Planned Parenthood

I sent a letter to Mr. Harper asking him not to fund IPPF. His office sent me a response (see below) that frankly, is insulting.

The Prime Minister's Office tells me that I "raised an issue that falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation." and so his office has "taken the liberty of forwarding [my] e-mail to Minister Oda. I am certain that the Minister will wish to give your views every consideration."

I really don't think any Canadian, myself included, is under any illusions about who is running the show here. Even though the PMO's office tells me my letter should rightly go to Minister Oda, we all know it is Stephen Harper who calls the shots, so who are we kidding?

The decision to fund IPPF, after Canadians were assured that abortions would not be included in the Maternal health initiative, rests with Mr. Harper.

Mr. Harper needs to own up to Canadians and explain why our tax dollars are being given to an organization whose goal is to make abortion legal around the world.
--------------------
Dear Mr. Harper,

I am asking you to change your decision to fund International Planned Parenthood federation. Their mandate is to make abortion legal everywhere in the world. IPPF also lobbies to make abortion an international human right.

Instead we should fund organizations that help women and their children like Matercare, who has been refused funding 11 times. Why is that anyway? Matercare helps women and their unborn children, and IPPF destroys unborn children and greatly harms their mothers.

With your majority government you have the unique opportunity to help woman and their unborn children, here and abroad. I ask that you do that and a good first step would be to stop funding IPPF.

Sincerely,
Patricia Maloney
-------------------
Dear Ms. Maloney,

Thank you for writing to the Prime Minister. In your e-mail, you raised an issue that falls within the portfolio of the Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister of International Cooperation.

Please be assured that your comments have been carefully noted. I have taken the liberty of forwarding your e-mail to Minister Oda. I am certain that the Minister will wish to give your views every consideration.

For more information on the Government's initiatives, you may wish to visit the Prime Minister's Web site, at www.pm.gc.ca.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to write.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mr. Harper, do not fund Planned Parenthood

The Canadian Bishops have written to Stephen Harper asking him to end funding to International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF). See letter here.

Now it’s your turn to write to the Prime Minister, to the Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda, and to your own MP.

Tell them you do not want your tax dollars to fund abortion in third world countries. Tell them you want your money to go to organizations that help women (like Matercare who have been refused funding 11 times). Tell them you do not want your tax dollars going to organizations that hurt women and their unborn children.

Remind Mr. Harper, Ms. Oda and your MP that they work for you. That they do not work for themselves and they do not work for IPPF. Remind them that they are accountable to you the taxpayer.

I’m sure you can come up with ten more good reasons why the Government of Canada--or should I say you the tax payer--should not fund IPPF.

Send your letter by email to:
Stephen.harper@parl.gc.ca
Bev.oda@parl.gc.ca

Find your own MP’s email address here:

Or send your letter by regular mail to (no postage required):

Name of Member of Parliament
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada
K1A 0A6

It's important that you write to them right now.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

We reap what we sow

Dear Mr. Hudak,

The Ontario election is over. What a disaster. Only 49% of Ontario voters voted. It's quite possible that people stayed home--because there was no clear difference between the Conservatives and the Liberals.

May I suggest to you Mr. Hudak, that had you stood by your previously stated pro-life principles (you were once pro-life, right?) perhaps more people would have voted. Maybe pro-life voters stayed home because there was no party who represented the unborn. Maybe you could have won the election. Maybe you could have been premier of Ontario.

But no, none of this happened. We are stuck with another Liberal government. For four more years. How sad. You had your chance. But you didn't use it.

What do you think Mr. Hudak? Did you gamble and lose? Did you even care? Or were you just one more leader in a long line of I-will-not-reopen-the-abortion-debate leaders who turns their back on our unborn children?

Of course we will never know, will we? But I thought I'd just put it out there. That maybe you could have won. Maybe our unborn children could have won. It would have been real nice to have a leader who cared about them. Maybe next time.

Sincerely,
Patricia Maloney

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Dictatorship of Relativism

By Fr. Terry Donahue, CC – October 9, 2011 – www.companionscross.org

Homily for the 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year A – Isaiah 25:6-10, Phil 4:12-14,19-20, Mt 22:1-14

Today I’d like to speak with you about what Pope Benedict XVI calls the Dictatorship of Relativism. But first let’s define relativism, and in particular, moral relativism.

What is Moral Relativism?

Some truths are relative. For example, if I say, “Chocolate ice cream is delicious. It’s the best!” that is a statement about my personal tastes, so it is subjective. Taste can vary according to the individual, and I won’t fault someone for liking vanilla better! Subjective truths are based on internal preferences. They can change according to our feelings.

Other truths are absolute. For example, if I say, “2+2=4” and someone else says, “I believe that 2+2=5!” I can say “I’m right and you’re wrong.” Because that’s an objective truth from mathematics. Objective truths are realities in the external world that we discover. We cannot change them according to our internal feelings.

Moral relativism holds that all moral truths (about what is right and wrong) are subjective, like our personal taste in ice cream. A moral relativist believes that there are no universal moral rules that apply to everyone, everywhere.

The opposite of moral relativism is moral absolutism, which holds that there are moral rules which are universally binding on everyone, which are not a matter of personal conviction, but are objective truths that we discover. (Francis J. Beckwith & Gregory Koukl, Relativism: Feet Firmly Planted in Mid-air, 1998, p. 28)

Moral Relativism on Campus

Moral relativism is running rampant in our society, especially in universities, colleges and even high schools. Many university students see relativism as a necessary condition for a free society. “The goal isn’t to correct your mistakes and really be right. The goal is not to think that anyone is right at all.” (Relativism, p. 73)

In their book Relativism, Francis Beckwith & Gregory Koukl offer the following dialogue between a high school teacher and her student Elizabeth (based loosely on a real-life exchange):

“Teacher: Welcome, students. This is the first day of class, and so I want to lay down some ground rules. First, since no one has the truth, you should be open-minded to the opinions of your fellow students. Second… Elizabeth do you have a question?

Elizabeth: Yes, I do. If nobody has the truth, isn’t that a good reason for me not to listen to my fellow students? After all, if nobody has the truth, why should I waste my time listening to other people and their opinions? Only if somebody has the truth does it make sense to be open-minded. Don’t you agree?

Teacher: No, I don’t. Are you claiming to know the truth? Isn’t that a bit arrogant and dogmatic?

Elizabeth: Not at all. Rather I think it’s dogmatic, as well as arrogant, to assert that no single person on earth knows the truth. After all, have you met every person in the world and quizzed them exhaustively? If not, how can you make such a claim? Also, I believe it is actually the opposite of arrogance to say that I will alter my opinions to fit the truth whenever and wherever I find it. And if I happen to think that I have good reason to believe I do know the truth and would like to share it with you, why wouldn’t you listen to me? Why would you automatically discredit my opinion before it is even uttered? I thought we were supposed to listen to everyone’s opinion.

Teacher: This should prove to be an interesting semester.

[The class clown chimed in…] Ain’t that the truth!” (Beckwith & Koukl, Relativism, p. 74)

As Catholics we believe that we have the fullness of the truth, not because we’re so smart and have figured it out for ourselves, but because we have received the truth as a gift from a higher authority, from God, the source of all truth, through Jesus Christ. So our claim to know the truth is not arrogance, but in fact requires humility. It takes humility to submit your life to the truth when you discover it.

The Dictatorship of Relativism – Pope Benedict XVI

Cardinal Ratzinger spoke of relativism in his homily during the Conclave in 2005, at a Mass for the election of a new Pope (just before he was elected Pope Benedict XVI). He said that once relativism is embraced by a large portion of society, it then becomes imposed by the state:

“We are building a dictatorship of relativism which does not recognize anything as definitive and whose ultimate goal consists solely of one’s own ego and desires.” (Cardinal Ratzinger, Deacon of the College of Cardinals, Homily for Mass for the Election of the Roman Pontiff, 18 April 2005, http://www.vatican.va/gpII/documents/homily-pro-eligendo-pontifice_20050418_en.html)

In a dictatorship of relativism, relativism is imposed by the state through force of law. Let’s look at an example of how this is playing out in Canada.

Linda Gibbons and “Bubble-Zone” Laws

Have you heard of “Bubble zone” laws? They are laws in Toronto and Vancouver that make it illegal to protest or speak about abortion within a certain distance of an abortion clinic (50m or 18m depending on the location – for more details see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Legal_protection_of_access_to_abortion).

In August 1994, a civil court ordered a temporary injunction against picketing too close to Toronto abortion clinics. Since then, Linda Gibbons has been arrested over 20 times for staging illegal protests in front of Toronto abortion clinics, and has spent nine of the past 17 years in jail. What exactly was her crime? Here is a description of her most recent arrest in August 2011:

“Ms. Gibbons can be seen holding up a poster of a healthy infant with the words: ‘Why Mom? When I have so much love to give.’ She remained silent while five police officers spoke to her about the court order. Ms. Gibbons was then handcuffed and taken into custody.”

(Charles Lewis, “Activist against abortion back in jail,” National Post, see www.youtube.com/watch?v=buNsf73CIPc and http://life.nationalpost.com/2011/08/09/serial-abortion-clinic-protester-linda-gibbons-back-in-jail/)

Much of the rhetoric of the pro-choice movement is about “Don’t impose your morality on me.” But now the same people are using the coercive power of the state to enforce their morality upon Linda Gibbons and the rest of Canada. It is proponents of the “tolerant” pro-choice view who locked her up in jail for years for peacefully standing on a public sidewalk and advocating for the life of the unborn. That is the Dictatorship of Relativism.

Morality and the Wedding Feast

In the parable of the Wedding Banquet in today’s Gospel (Mt 22:1-14), the King is clearly not a moral relativist! He judges those who killed his servants as “not worthy” to enter the wedding feast (Mt 22:8). At the end of our lives, we will be held accountable for our actions, based on how we responded to the invitation, to the graces we received from God.

Sincere seekers can enter the Kingdom of God!

Sometimes when Catholics hear a priest like me railing against relativism, they can think “Well, I’m a Catholic. I’m in the exclusive club, so I’m good. All these warnings of Jesus don’t apply to me, do they?” Well, Catholics shouldn’t be too quick to assume that…

In a recent homily given in Germany, Pope Benedict XVI commented on Matthew 21 where Jesus says tax collectors and harlots will enter the Kingdom of God before the Pharisees. Benedict translated Jesus’ statement into the present, saying that agnostics (who don’t know if God exists) but are seeking to find out, “those who long for a pure heart but suffer on account of their sin, are closer to the Kingdom of God than believers whose life of faith is ‘routine’ and who regard the Church merely as an institution, without letting… the faith touch their hearts.”

(Pope Benedict XVI, Homily at Touristic airport, Freiburg im Breisgau, 25 Sep 2011, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110925_freiburg_en.html)

The Kingdom of God is not some exclusive club just for Catholics! The Kingdom is radically inclusive of anyone who is sincerely seeking the truth and willing to submit to it when he finds it.

A Call to Action

1) If you realize that your moral compass has been demagnetized by moral relativism, today can be a wake-up call for you.

- Get answers to your nagging moral questions from authoritative sources, such as the Catechism of the Catholic Church instead of just going along with the crowd or doing what “feels” right to you.

- Some of you may need to get right with God. Fall on the mercy of the Saviour by repenting of serious sin and make a good confession.

2) Learn how to recognize arguments from moral relativism in speeches, or even in conversation around the water cooler at work. Don’t let the sloppy reasoning of relativism slide by. Challenge it and expose the weakness of relativist arguments.

3) Teach your children that there are moral absolutes – that some things are really right (such as defending the life of the innocent) and some things are really wrong (such as punishing the innocent precisely because they are innocent).

Conclusion

When Linda Gibbons dies and faces judgment seat of God, she will be vindicated. Because she will finally face a just judge who will not condemn her for speaking out in defense of the innocent, who will not imprison her for years for siding with the helpless unborn being dragged off to die.

On that day, the Just King will deliver all those who have been oppressed, maltreated, abandoned and forgotten.

He will “destroy the shroud that is cast over all peoples” (Isaiah 25:7).
He will “wipe away the tears from all faces” (Isaiah 25:8).
On that day, they will say with one strong voice: “This is our God. We have waited for him, so that he might save us” (Isaiah 25:9).

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Real choice

It was disturbing to learn yesterday, that for the eleventh time, CIDA has refused funding to Matercare International because they refused to provide “reproductive health care” for the Conservatives's maternal health initiative.

We already know that CIDA is funding IPPF even though abortion is not included in the Maternal health initiative. If we choose to believe that IPPF will not advocate for their abortion ideology with this money, we are at best, blind.

IPPF’s states on their website:
“We aim to reduce the number of abortions worldwide that are unsafe. Our Member Associations are committed to identifying actions that will increase a woman’s right to access abortion-related services, including counselling and post-abortion care, as well as safe abortion services. We believe that a woman has the right to choose and access safe abortion services and we advocate for changes in legislation to support this. This is one of the priority concerns of our work. (emphasis added).

These two funding decisions are the exact reverse of what Canada should be doing. We should fund Matercare and we should not fund IPPF.

Yesterday at Mass, the reading was Luke 11:14-26, Jesus and Beelzebub. This reading reminded me of one of the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius called the Two Standards.

Some background on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius:

St. Ignatius created these exercises to aid all persons in realizing their ultimate goal in life:
“Man is created to praise, reverence, and serve God our Lord, and by this means to save his soul.”

These exercises are done under the direction of a spiritual director, to gain a deeper understanding of our role here on Earth, and help us to eventually spend eternity with Christ the Lord.

This particular exercise helps us to imagine, to contemplate and to pray about whose authority (or standard) we would like to fall under:

Would it be Christ the Lord or would it be Lucifer?

I was going to paraphrase the Two Standards, but I think Ignatius says it pretty well himself. So I will let St. Ignatius explain this exercise for you in his own words.

TWO STANDARDS

The one of Christ, our Commander-in-chief and Lord; the other of Lucifer, mortal enemy of our human nature.

Prayer. The usual Preparatory Prayer.

First Prelude. The First Prelude is the narrative. It will be here how Christ calls and wants all under His standard; and Lucifer, on the contrary, under his.

Second Prelude. The second, a composition, seeing the place. It will be here to see a great field of all that region of Jerusalem, where the supreme Commander-in-chief of the good is Christ our Lord; another field in the region of Babylon, where the chief of the enemy is Lucifer.

Third Prelude. The third, to ask for what I want: and it will be here to ask for knowledge of the deceits of the bad chief and help to guard myself against them, and for knowledge of the true life which the supreme and true Captain shows and grace to imitate Him.

PART I THE STANDARD OF SATAN

First Point. The first Point is to imagine as if the chief of all the enemy seated himself in that great field of Babylon, as in a great chair of fire and smoke, in shape horrible and terrifying.

Second Point. The second, to consider how he issues a summons to innumerable demons and how he scatters them, some to one city and others to another, and so through all the world, not omitting any provinces, places, states, nor any persons in particular.

Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which he makes them, and how he tells them to cast out nets and chains; that they have first to tempt with a longing for riches—as he is accustomed to do in most cases—that men may more easily come to vain honor of the world, and then to vast pride. So that the first step shall be that of riches; the second, that of honor; the third, that of pride; and from these three steps he draws on to all the other vices.

PART II THE STANDARD OF CHRIST

So, on the contrary, one has to imagine as to the supreme and true Captain, Who is Christ our Lord.

First Point. The first Point is to consider how Christ our Lord puts Himself in a great field of that region of Jerusalem, in lowly place, beautiful and attractive.

Second Point. The second, to consider how the Lord of all the world chooses so many persons—Apostles, Disciples, etc.,—and sends them through all the world spreading His sacred doctrine through all states and conditions of persons.

Third Point. The third, to consider the discourse which Christ our Lord makes to all His servants and friends whom He sends on this expedition, recommending them to want to help all, by bringing them first to the highest spiritual poverty, and—if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose them—no less to actual poverty; the second is to be of reproaches and contempt; because from these two things humility follows. So that there are to be three steps; the first, poverty against riches; the second, reproaches or contempt against worldly honor; the third, humility against pride. And from these three steps let them induce to all the other virtues.

First Colloquy. One Colloquy to Our Lady, that she may get me grace from Her Son and Lord that I may be received under His standard; and first in the highest spiritual poverty, and—if His Divine Majesty would be served and would want to choose and receive me—not less in actual poverty; second, in suffering reproaches and injuries, to imitate Him more in them, if only I can suffer them without the sin of any person, or displeasure of His Divine Majesty; and with that a Hail Mary.

Second Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Son, that He may get it for me of the Father; and with that say the Soul of Christ.

Third Colloquy. I will ask the same of the Father, that He may grant it to me; and say an Our Father.

I think we need to reconsider these decisions to fund IPPF and to not fund Matercare.

We need to listen to what is written on our hearts. We need to decide whose standard we choose to follow.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's okay to kill a baby in the womb...when?

"You should never kill Jews but I think others should have the right to do it..."

This documentary by Ray Comfort, discusses Hitler's holocaust, and the similarities between it and abortion. But not in the way that pro-lifers usually discuss the two.

Comfort created the video based on interviews he did with ordinary people (most of them young) as he discussed Hitler, his holocaust, abortion, morality, and Jesus Christ.

By the end of this half hour video, Comfort makes his interviewees rethink their position on abortion, and even changes their minds.

It may change your mind.

It's only 33 minutes.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

How Harper hid his agenda that was hidden

In a bold move yesterday, Prime Minister Stephen Harper held a press conference in support of three back bench Conservative MPs. He was also surrounded by his entire 165 member caucus. He issued this statement:

I just want to tell all Canadians, that Brad Trost, Maurice Velacott and Leon Benoit, who spoke out against International Planned Parenthood, did this on their own.

What they did, one after the other, in quick succession, quickly and decisively, was to protect me from those who would accuse me of reopening the abortion debate. I have always kept my promise not to reopen the abortion debate. I said this from day one. That I would not reopen the abortion debate. I have kept this promise.

This is how I accomplished it.

When I was first elected in 2006, pro-choice Canadians kept saying I had a hidden agenda. They said that if I were elected, I would reopen the abortion debate. I said I would not reopen the abortion debate. I held firm and did not reopen the debate. I refused to talk about abortion. I was elected Prime Minister, albeit with a minority government, and I continued to promise not to reopen the abortion debate.

You may recall that in January of 2010 I announced my maternal and child health initiative to help mothers and their children in third world countries. This initiative did not include abortion. Shortly thereafter, the Liberals insisted abortion be included in the initiative and they brought forward a motion to include abortion in my initiative.

I, of course, as already stated, did not want to reopen the abortion debate. In fact in March of 2010, I clearly recall saying "we do not want a debate, here or elsewhere, on abortion." I remember I said that. I then instructed my caucus to vote against the motion. The motion was defeated. Even though abortion was on the table, it wasn't me who put it there. The Liberals did. I did not reopen the abortion debate.

Then this year, before I received my first ever majority government, one that I really, really wanted, I continued to tell everyone I would not reopen the abortion debate. I repeated this. Many times. Over and over again. I held firm to this promise.

Last week, Minister Bev Oda, promised International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) $6 million for family planning in third world countries. As many of you know, IPPF is one of the world's largest abortion providers. Their goal is to make abortion legal around the globe and to make abortion an international human right. Again, the abortion debate was on the table, this time opened by my faithful servant, Oda. But notice, once again, I did not reopen the abortion debate. Once again I did what I said I would do. I stuck to my guns so to speak (small pun there).

Now I stand before you, with my entire caucus, with my coveted majority government, and I say to you: I never once reopened the abortion debate. I still have no intention of reopening the abortion debate. I will never reopen the abortion debate. The abortion debate will never be reopened by me.

Abortion is now on the table, it has been unhidden from where it lay hidden all these years. And still I stand firm with my promise never to reopen the abortion debate.

I can never be accused of reopening the abortion debate. I have kept my promise.

Thank you.

DISCLAIMER: All characters and events portrayed in this posting are a satirical examination of the abortion debate in Canada. Some readers may not share this sense of humour.