Sep 17 2014

The Boy in the Moon

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Ian Brown is the author of The Boy in the Moon: A Father’s Journey to Understand his Extraordinary Son. It’s going to be put on as theatre, and that’s a play I’d like to see.

Ian Brown in this interview expressly says what so many of us feel about people with illness or disability of one kind or another (I’d argue that includes every single last one of us, but that is an idea to explore later). He says his son enhances his sense of happiness, and teaches him that fragility is not weakness, rather that it is at the core of being human.

Basically, as he describes it, he is saying his son is a gift, because having him in his life has taught him things he might not otherwise know.

And yet, he entirely balks at the notion that children with disability are a gift from God.

People say, “Oh, I would never trade my disabled child. They’re gifts from God.” I hate that sentimentalizing. If Walker is God’s idea of a gift, then God really needs to read the instruction manual because not only is he not a gift, but he knows he’s not a gift. I would not change him for my sake, but for his own life – it could be easier and less painful, and I would change that in a second if I could.  But if you are not sentimental about him and just look at who he is, he’s kind of revealing.

This made me think about how sentimentality, cliches, they can really turn people off, even when they are thinking the same ideas as someone else. It reminded me, to be frank, of a sometimes tendency of the pro-life movement to sentimentalize. I, for example, don’t do pro-life work “for the babies.” I do it because I value our shared humanity and I think killing children in the womb detracts from that and makes us, the living, more callous. It’s two ways of saying the same thing. But I am guessing there’s many a pragmatic pro-lifer who felt he/she couldn’t join the broader movement for the sheer sentimentalism of it all.

I certainly believe all children are gifts, yes, from God. We don’t choose when the gift comes, or the wrapping. (In fact, I believe everything is a gift, so the fact that I’d like to have children, but have none, also some form of unwanted gift–but this we are not allowed to mention.) Everything I own is merely on loan to me, from God. But something about the Oprah Winfrey age of constant talk diminishes the deep significance of these things. I don’t need happy pictures of babies to enhance my desire to want them to be treated as the gifts they are. And so I share, perhaps, some of Ian Brown’s frustration at the sentimentality of it all.

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Sep 17 2014

The pro-choice position comes to its logical conclusion?

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From Trevin Wax over at The Gospel Coalition:

Are abortion rights supporters fully embracing an absolutist agenda, one that legitimizes and praises a woman’s choice to abort, no matter the circumstances?

It sure seems that way. In the past few years, activists have moved away from Bill Clinton’s philosophy that abortion should be “safe, legal, and rare.” Or that abortion is, in Hillary Clinton’s words, “a tragic choice.”

Why leave behind words like “rare” and “tragic?” Because speaking of abortion this way lends credence to the pro-life position that there is something wrong with ”terminating a pregnancy.” If the abortion-rights agenda is to succeed, then, abortion must be de-stigmatized. And nothing will remove the stigma from abortion faster than making it common and celebrated.

Even though this seems to be the logical conclusion to the pro-choice position, I don’t think most people, even most pro-choicers, are comfortable endorsing any and all abortions. A friend of mine talks about this issue quite a bit and he often asks his pro-choice friends if they support sex-selection abortions. Pro-choicers tend to squirm and struggle  because they agree there is something inherently wrong with killing a baby because of his/her sex. But why does gendercide make them uncomfortable? Isn’t it just another abortion? Another choice?

I think the pro-choice position is being forced to swing so far in that direction – the celebration of abortion – that it is again providing us with an opportunity to reach people. Because most people cannot celebrate it. And I don’t think it’s due to cultural stigma (an argument they often toss out), but due to the fact that we know what is in the womb (hello sonograms) and it’s within our nature to want to protect our offspring, not kill them.

As Frederica Mathewes-Green, formerly Feminists for Life’s Vice President of Communications has said,

No one wants an abortion as she wants an ice-cream cone or a Porsche. She wants an abortion as an animal, caught in a trap, wants to gnaw off its own leg.

 

I think that’s true. And for that reason, we’re unlikely to see the world be swept with the phenomenon of ‘abortion celebration.’

People are much less pro-choice than they think they are, and/or less pro-choice than the movement’s leaders. The stats are clear. But that’s a post for another day.

The article makes additional points and provides some examples that we can rely on in discussions or in our writing. It’s worth a read.

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Sep 16 2014

“Justin Trudeau is stripping me of democracy”

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A few thoughts from Mike Schouten from We Need a Law:

Gallant’s position seems largely influenced by federal Liberal leader Justin Trudeau. For months now Trudeau has been talking nonsense about the legal status of abortion in Canada. He is either ignorant of the jurisprudence or is intentionally misrepresenting what the law says. Even as late as this past weekend, the flamboyant Trudeau was on CBC’s Sunday Edition telling listeners that his party is “a party of the Charter” and he will defend women’s rights at all costs. Does he really think all women are pro-abortion? As one female supporter said to me, “If he isn’t assuming that [all women are pro-abortion], then I’m offended as a citizen that he would strip me of democracy. We shouldn’t be putting up with this kind of patronizing attempt at leadership in a post-feminist Canada.”

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Sep 16 2014

Let’s make increasing abortion access an election issue…

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…but we don’t want to see it for the violence that it is. Because that is going too far.

New Brunswick Liberal leader Brian Gallant says the graphic postcards distributed by Campaign Life Coalition Youth and the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform go too far:

“There’s no doubt that during a campaign you’ll have many people that will try to influence people’s votes, and that’s normal and that’s something that we certainly accept, but we find it very disappointing and very unfortunate to have such graphic photos going around,” said Gallant.

“We do think it’s OK to debate and discuss and to have conversations, but to send graphic photos like that, we do think is crossing a line,” he said.

“We certainly welcome people to join the debate and the discussion, but I think we have to all do it in a respectful way and I certainly don’t think that was the case when it comes to those pamphlets.”

Well, if he’s up for a debate, let’s have it. Here’s an opportunity to write letters, call politicians and get the pro-life word out.

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Sep 16 2014

The beauty of dads

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Recently, Huffington Post had a great little picture montage honouring fathers. Number 19 is the best one to me but they are all good. Juxtapose with this story about a father whose girlfriend aborted their baby. He describes how he felt during the process. Sad.

Wounds do heal over time – even deep ones – but scars remain. Eight years later, I find myself incredibly blessed with a beautiful, bright and loving wife, a 19-month-old son and a daughter due in January. At times, I can’t help but look into my son’s deep grey-blue eyes and wonder what his older brother or sister might have been like.

 

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Sep 15 2014

N.B. Liberals’ proud pro-choice stance

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Wowza. I think we need to start writing letters and making phone calls, people.

Right now in New Brunswick, a major party leader has done what no federal party leader has ever dared dream of doing: Made changing abortion regulations a central plank in a campaign platform.

But that’s just what Brian Gallant and the New Brunswick Liberals have done – and so far it appears to be doing his electoral prospects no harm.

Gallant has not only told voters that his entire caucus will vote pro-choice – a position similar to the one federal Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau surprised the country with earlier this summer – but he’s also said that if he upsets incumbent Progressive Conservative Premier David Alward on Sept. 22, he will actually act on those convictions.

What do you think of David Akin’s take on conservative politicians and their response to these statements?

Meanwhile, the conservative opponents of Gallant and Trudeau – those to whom pro-life advocates in Canada look to champion their views and who they hope would legislate restrictions on abortion – are timid and weak in their opposition to the bold, moral certitude of Gallant, Trudeau and, it must be said, New Democrat leaders at both levels.

The best that both Alward’s Progressive Conservatives and Stephen Harper’s Conservatives have been able to do is to point to inconsistencies in their opponents’ parties. Gallant, they note, will have pro-life Liberal MLAs in his caucus if he wins, just as Trudeau does right now.

Conservatives also like to mutter something about being proud that they would allow free votes on matters of conscience like abortion.

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Sep 15 2014

Mayim Bialik on sex in advertising

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(Mayim Bialik is in Big Bang Theory.) This is encouraging to read:

There is one for Ariana Grande, and I will go ahead and admit I have no idea who she is or what she does. Based on the billboard, she sells lingerie. Or stiletto heels. Or plastic surgery because every woman over 22 wishes she has that body, I’m sure. Why is she in her underwear on this billboard though? And if she has a talent (is she a singer?), then why does she have to sell herself in lingerie? I mean, I know that society is patriarchal and women are expected to be sexy and sexually available no matter what we do in society, but I guess now I need to explain that to my sons?

The mega-huge ads of (mostly) women in suggestive poses all around us all the time is as anti-woman a trend I know. It’s also anti-men, given that men and women work together, and where men gain a skewed vision of women, they then suffer the loss of what and who women really are. Normal people, is the secret answer there, who aren’t “sexy” all the time. Which is why I like the way she concludes her post:

Am I a crotchety old lady? I guess so. But I just don’t understand why this is what ads need to look like. What good does it do for humanity or society? Why do I have to be OK with young women literally in lingerie on gigantic billboards? If I want to see women in lingerie, I can walk through any mall with a Victoria’s Secret.

Which, by the way, is a misnomer because there is nothing secret about what’s being sold at Victoria’s Secret.

You know what I think the secret is? The secret is that when there is no camera around, Victoria probably likes a cozy robe, a cup of tea, and Jean-Paul Sartre’s autobiography.

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Sep 12 2014

Support a great cause

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The Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS) is having a matching grant fundraising campaign right now. This is a great organization and one you can confidently support with your pro-life dollars.

Don’t know what CAPSS is? Let’s get you up to speed:

CAPSS was formed in 1997 to provide a Canadian national association dedicated to encouraging, equipping and partnering with local Pregnancy Centres.

We provide leadership development, operational standards, staff and volunteer training along with spiritual encouragement to over 70 affiliated Centres.

We purpose to help assist local pregnancy centres reach and compassionately care for clients facing unplanned pregnancies and post abortion stress.

Ultimately, the lives of women and men are transformed by choosing life- focused alternatives to abortion offered by local Pregnancy Centres.

More info about the campaign:

CAPSS affiliated pregnancy centres are the hands and feet of service to those in need during an unplanned pregnancy, adoption and post abortion grief. They are the instruments that pour healing oil on their wounds and offer them practical, life affirming support. That is why the work of the Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services (CAPSS) is so vital in equipping Centres to serve with excellence.

A major donor and a Family Foundation have joined forces to offer CAPSS a matching grant of $43,000 to help our national organization grow and be strengthened with more “partners for life.” That means that your donation and participation in this campaign could help us meet our goal of raising $86,000 to encourage, equip and establish pregnancy centres across Canada.

Please join us in partnering in “FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE CAMPAIGN.” Your donation will have a life changing effect.

Give generously.

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Sep 11 2014

Student stupidity at the University of Victoria

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Yesterday pro-life students part of the Youth Protecting Youth club faced theft and vandalism. Simply for having a table. In a university.  On Clubs’ Day. To share a perspective. About a controversial social and political issue.

On September 10th, two women rushed a pro-life club table at the University of Victoria, snatching the fetal models on display and dumping used cat litter all over the table. Youth Protecting Youth (YPY) was participating in the university’s Clubs Days event and had a recruitment table to sign up new members and engage with other students on the pro-life issues.

Although the fetal models were recovered, club members arrived back this morning to find that the vandals had broken into the closed clubs room and that more filthy litter had been dumped on the table and the fetal models – valued at several hundred dollars – had been stolen.

This is just ridiculous. The students who engaged in this destructive behaviour should be ashamed of themselves. If they’re incapable of engaging in rational, reasonable debate on an issue that I’m gathering they feel strongly about, they should take up a hobby and focus their energies elsewhere. Heck, they could spend more time quietly snuggling their cats.

Each year I read about this kind of stupidity and each year I’m stunned. These students are young adults. Young ADULTS. Forget it. Let’s drop the “young.” These students are ADULTS. And their response to a perspective they disagree with is…kitty poop.

I can’t believe I just wrote that last sentence. I’m going to bed. No, first I’m going to go vent about this to my husband. Then I’m going to try and sleep.

Cat poop, people. Cat poop.

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Sep 10 2014

Baby Adam

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I can’t remember whether we’ve posted about this before or not. A moving story. The family’s blog is here. (h/t)

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