Friday, 15 May 2009

Joan Bakewell abuses again her government appointment to promote assisted suicide

Dame Joan Bakewell (pictured), the broadcaster, was appointed by the government to be a "Voice of Older People" in November. Soon after her appointment, she used her Times column to back assisted suicide and euthanasia, as I blogged about at the time. Today she has similarly used her Times column, this time to back Dr Philip Nitschke, the pro-suicide campaigner dubbed "Dr Death". Dame Joan writes:
"Dr Death should have been welcomed ... [The issue of assisted suicide] won't go away because we are living longer into an old age that brings with it all the humiliations of being helpless, incontinent and in pain. What’s more those now getting on are the baby-boomers, even now in their sixties, a generation of assertive and insistent individuals who won’t be willing to face their declining years with timid submission."
And who appointed Dame Joan as a "Voice of Older People"? Why, one of the most assertive and insistent anti-lifers among British baby-boomers, Harriet Harman. Perhaps a case of "jobs for the girls"? In the statement announcing Dame Joan's appointment, Ms Harman said:
“Joan is a champion in the fight against discrimination against older people and a role model for active and positive senior citizens; so I’m delighted that she’s going to contribute to the equalities agenda and be a voice for older people.”
Yet legalising assisted suicide and euthanasia will lead to more, not less discrimination against older people - fatal discrimination by those who think the lives of older people are not valuable. A true "equalities agenda" would make the equal right to life and dignity of older people its top priority.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

More evidence that abstinence works

The Family Research Council (FRC), based in Washington D.C., is one of America's leading pro-life/pro-family groups. FRC has commented on President Obama's decision to transfer funding from abstinence education to contraception promotion, which I blogged about last Friday. FRC said:
"The truth is, abstinence education goes beyond pregnancy prevention to promoting holistic change in teenagers. Studies show that in addition to preventing pregnancy and disease, teens who practice abstinence are better off emotionally and are much more likely to experience marital fidelity and satisfaction. The same cannot be said of the comprehensive sex education. In a review of 119 studies, comprehensive sex education has produced no compelling evidence of sustaining a meaningful effect on protective behaviors in a school-based setting, even after three decades of implementation and evaluation."
FRC provide a link to a webpage by the National Abstinence Education Association, which details the evidence of the effectiveness of abstinence programmes.

If the mainstream media is to be believed, pro-life/pro-family activists are ignoramuses motivated by religiosity and chauvinism. The work of groups like FRC and NAEA help us to show that, in contrast, the hard facts are on our side of the argument.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Blairs' ambitions floundering, reports the Guardian

One usually expects bleak, misleading anti-life propaganda from the Guardian newspaper but today may be different. Hugh O'Shaughnessy, writing for the Guardian website today, reports that Tony Blair and his Faith Foundation are becoming something of a failure.

O'Shaughnessy cites, as well as other matters. the conference at which Mgr Michel Schooyans delivered his masterly analysis of the Obama-Blair agenda for law and religion, which I blogged about last Sunday.

Particularly welcome is Mr O'Shaughnessy's opinion that:
"The hostility – and ridicule – that the Blairs and their associates stir up mean he is increasingly unlikely to achieve his ambition of becoming president of the EU."
The frustration of Tony & Cherie Blair's post-Downing St ambitions would be a great relief to the worldwide pro-life/pro-family movement. Their anti-life/anti-family record is lengthy and their acceptance in certain prominent Catholic milieu is disturbing. Please join me in praying that the threat they pose to life and family will be averted, and that they will become truly pro-life.

We have proof, hope and duty to spur us to daily pro-life action

It's great to read that the Mexican state of Guanajuato (coat of arms pictured) has amended its constitution to protect "all human beings from conception to natural death”. At least nine other Mexican states have enshrined similar protection. In the midst of frequent, even daily, setbacks experienced in the fight against the culture of death, pro-lifers often overlook the reality that pro-life lobbying and complementary efforts actually work. Here is a list, in no particular order and by no means complete, of some other pro-life victories in recent years:
As well as the solid grounds for hope which the pro-life victories in Mexico and elsewhere provide, those who defend the sanctity of human life also have the call of duty to spur us on. Archbishop Raymond Burke, a fearless pro-life advocate, spoke recently of:
"our responsibility as citizens to work tirelessly to change unjust programs, policies and laws ... In the present situation of our nation, a serious question has arisen about the moral work for the overturning of the Supreme Court decisions in Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton. There are those who would tell us that such work is futile and, therefore, is to be abandoned, so that we can devote ourselves to help prevent individuals from choosing abortion. [W]e can never cease to work for the correction of gravely unjust laws. Law is a fundamental expression of our culture and implicitly teaches citizens what is morally acceptable. Our efforts to assist those who are tempted to do what is always and everywhere wrong or are suffering from the effects of having committed a gravely immoral act, which are essential expressions of the charity which unites us as citizens of the nation, ultimately make little sense, if we remain idle regarding unjust laws and decisions of the courts regarding the same intrinsic evils. We are never justified in abandoning the work of changing legislation and of reversing decisions of the courts which are anti-life and anti-family."
So we have proof, hope and duty to spur us to daily pro-life action.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

CNN's Ted Turner says Chinese one-child policy is not draconian

Ted Turner, the founder of CNN, said in a radio interview last week that the Chinese Communist regime has not used draconian means to limit China's population. (You can listen to the relevant part of the interview below.) The interviewer did next-to-nothing to query Turner's outrageous and ridiculous claim. This is yet another indication of just how pliant and supine is the mainstream media towards the anti-life movement.

The Chinese regime's 30-year record of infanticide, forced abortion, forced sterilisation, torture, imprisonment and other crimes is so voluminous that Turner's comments are analogous to denying the Holocaust. (Please see my blogs of 10 April and 14 February this year, and 25 April and 17 March last year; Fr Timothy Finigan's blog of 22 January 2007; and SPUC's 2004 submission to Parliament.)

Turner, and the population control movement which he supports, claims that:
  • the world is over-populated, and so couples should limit themselves to one child
  • China is too densely populated
  • developing countries don't have enough suitable land to feed and sustain their growing populations.
Perhaps Mr Turner could answer for us the following questions:
  • Which four of your five children would it have been better for the planet not to have been born?
  • Are you, an American, aware that large numbers of consumers of your various services live in American states (New Jersey, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maryland, Delaware, New York) and developed countries (e.g. UK, Israel, Italy, Germany) which are more densely populated than China?
  • How much of the 2 million acres of rural land and 50,000 bison you own are you willing to share with the world's poor?

Monday, 11 May 2009

The extremists who call killing babies "positive", even "a blessing"

The first morning back at work after the weekend or other period of absence can sometimes naturally be a jolt to one's system, but, courtesy of two pro-abortion extremists, a jolt today was guaranteed. In response to today's report that half of all teenage pregnancies in Britain now end in abortion, Ann Furedi (pictured top-right) of the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) commented:
"The fact that teenagers felt able to end their pregnancy in abortion is actually a positive sign."
I was also presented this morning with a blog post by Kathleen Ragsdale (pictured bottom-right), an American Episcopalian minister, who wrote:
"Abortion is a blessing ... [W]hen a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight -- only blessing.
Let's remind ourselves of what abortion is. A human being (a fact confirmed by every embryological textbook) in his or her mother's womb is intentionally killed, usually either by chemical means or by dismemberment. Every day, innocent children, male and female, from every race and class, are killed by abortion (550 every day in Britain; 3,300 every day in America.) Women all over the world report physical and psychological harm from abortion.

Certain populist, polemical commentators (sometimes called "shock-jocks") make extreme, generalised statements, aimed at attracting publicity or to vent their spleen. The sad thing is that Ms Furedi and Ms Ragsdale are entirely serious in their opinions. Even more sad is abortion itself, a truly inhuman way to (try and fail to) solve human problems. Let's put human compassion at the heart of our response to the needs of women instead.

Sunday, 10 May 2009

Obama-Blair agenda "unprecedented form of political-legal terrorism", says priest-expert

Monsignor Michel Schooyans* is one of the Vatican's leading scholars. In a masterly analysis of Barack Obama and Tony Blair, he explains with devestating insight their anti-life/anti-family agenda to undermine both law and religion respectively. His anaylsis gives significant intellectual weight to the warnings of the pro-life/pro-family movement about the Obama-Blair threat (e.g. see my blogs of 8 May and 9 April). He was speaking at the plenary assembly of the pontifical academy of social sciences was held on the theme "Catholic social teaching and human rights."

I extract below some key points from Mgr Schooyans's anaylsis:
"President Obama can count on support for these programs from Tony Blair and his wife Cherie Booth ... This plan cannot be realized except at the price of the sacrifice of religious freedom, of the imposition of a 'politically correct' interpretation of the Sacred Scriptiures, and of the sabotage of the natural foundations of law ...

"The fresh "convert" [Blair] does not hesitate to explain to the pope not only what he must do, but also what he must believe! ... So now we are back in the time of Hobbes, if not of Cromwell: it is civil power that defines what one must believe ...

"The rights of man as understood in the realist tradition are here put to the sword. Everything is relative ...

"In the case of the Tony Blair Faith Foundation, this is also a matter of promoting one and only one religious confession, which a universal, global political power would impose on the entire world ...

"What the analysis of Barack Obama's decisions and Tony Blair's project reveals is that an alliance is coming between two converging intentions, one aimed at subjugating law and the other at subjugating religion ... [W]e are witnessing the emergence of an unprecedented form of political-legal terrorism ...

"[I]t is the Church's duty to appeal to all men and women of good will to unite for the purpose of creating a single front to defend the life of every human being. The first attitude required of all, according to the responsibilities of each one, is conscientious objection, which Obama is trying to circumscribe ... "
In Sandro Magister's report covering Monsignor Schooyan's address he writes: "Michel Schooyans, a Belgian priest, is professor emeritus of the Catholic University of Louvain. He is a leading specialist in anthropology, political philosophy, bioethics, and demographics. He is a member of three pontifical academies: the one for social sciences, the one for life, and the one named after St. Thomas Aquinas. One of his books, published in 2006, is entitled 'Le terrorisme à visage humaine [The human face of terrorism],' and has many points in common with the address he gave at the Vatican last May 1. His latest publication in Italy, printed by Cantagalli in 2008, is entitled 'La profezia di Paolo VI [The prophecy of Paul VI],' and is a vigorous defense of the encyclical 'Humanae Vitae.'"