Saturday, 6 June 2009
These political leaders believe that they are advancing an agenda of respect for individuals relating to choice around sexuality. In this they are, unfortunately, misguided and in error: they have misunderstood the true nature and purpose of human sexuality. They also posit a false choice and a false freedom.
In Evangelium Vitae paragraph 97, Pope John Paul II taught that it is an illusion to think that we can build a true culture of human life if we do not offer adolescents and young adults an authentic education in the true nature and purpose of sexuality, and in love, and the whole of life according to their true meaning and in their natural interconnectedness. These political leaders are also raising very profound questions which anthropologists must begin to address - in addition to the analysis and commentary given by courageous theologians, clergy and demographers.
The truth of Pope John Paul II's teaching can be understood in moves to recognize marriage between same sex couples by changing the natural and legal meaning of marriage. The achievement of such an objective necessarily involves changing the nature and understanding of sexual intercourse, so that the conception of children through sexual intercourse becomes all the more clearly an optional add-on, yet another manifestation of personal choice in the individualistic society in which we now live. In such a social environment unborn children are certain to become all the more disposable.
History shows just how quickly and comprehensively a society can move to disposing of human beings once it abandons pro-life and historical family values for centuries upheld by the world's major religions. Mr Obama himself saw proof of this when he visited (pictured) the remains of Buchenwald, the Nazi concentration camp.
Friday, 5 June 2009
"Your support for stem cell research has made a significant difference in the lives of many American people. It has saved lives, it has found cures, it has given hope to people."Mrs Reagan is a prominent promoter of embryonic stem cell research.
Yet, as has been pointed out repeatedly, embryonic stem cell research has yet to produce any benefits in human patients.
One suspects that Mrs Pelosi was trying to mislead people about embryonic stem cell research, just as she tried to mislead people about Catholic teaching on abortion. So for her spin I've awarded Mrs Pelosi the latest George Orwell Prize.
“Political language ... is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind." George Orwell
Thursday, 4 June 2009
- Legislators in the Dominican Republic vote to modify the constitution to guarantee the right to life from conception to natural death. Catholics pray that those legislators who voted against the pro-life move will "reflect upon their decision".
- Thousands of Poles brave a torrential downpour to march for life through the centre of Warsaw, the capital (pictured).
- Polls in Spain find that a majority of Spaniards are against the government's plan to allow abortions for children without parental consent.
Wednesday, 3 June 2009
Pat Buckley, representing SPUC at the council meeting, commented:
"Irrespective of what the report says, there is not and never can be a human right to abortion. The idea of trying to create a right to terminate the life of the most vulnerable human beings, by tearing them from their mothers' wombs, is in fact the very essence of violence against women and their babies."
The report has yet to be approved by the council, which will meet until 19 June. SPUC is urging government representatives to study the report carefully, as it appears to contain many unacceptable and disturbing claims against the value of human life, the status of the family and the dignity of women.
People with degenerative diseases, or in advanced age, will feel under pressure to agree to an assisted suicide, with the implicit or even explicit message that it's better that they agree to die before they become too much of a burden. As Baroness Warnock said in September:
"If you're demented, you're wasting people's lives – your family's lives – and you're wasting the resources of the National Health Service ... [I]f somebody absolutely, desperately wants to die because they're a burden to their family, or the state, then I think they too should be allowed to die ... [T]here's nothing wrong with feeling you ought to do so for the sake of others as well as yourself."Dame Joan Bakewell, the anti-life broadcaster appointed by Harriet Harman to be a 'Voice for Older People', has referred sinisterly to "an old age that brings with it all the humiliations of being helpless, incontinent and in pain."
And in a parliamentary debate in November, Baroness Greengross spoke of people "losing their dignity at the end of life".
So some of the most prominent and senior figures in our society are already trying to convince the vulnerable that they would be better off dead, shamelessly exploiting them for political capital in the parliamentary campaign to legalise assisted suicide. Let's stop that campaign in its tracks - please see and act today upon SPUC's action alert on the Coroners and Justice bill.
Tuesday, 2 June 2009
SPUC is the intervenor in Ms Debbie Purdy's appeal concerning whether her husband will be prosecuted if he takes her overseas to commit suicide.
SPUC argues against weakening the law which prohibits assisted suicide, as this would seriously undermine legal protection of the right to life. One result of this would be to threaten vulnerable people.
The principal issue is whether the Law Lords will overturn the ruling of the High Court and the Court of Appeal that the Director of Public Prosecutions is not required to issue a prosecuting policy on assisted suicide. The judges have so far held that the way the existing law is applied is sufficiently clear to enable Ms Purdy and her husband to know the likely outcome of their proposed actions.
Monday, 1 June 2009
From "Ten reasons why population control can’t stop climate change", Simon Butler, Green Left Online, 31 May 2009:
1. Population does not cause climate change
2. The world is not 'full'
3. Social justice and women’s equality are the best contraception (JS: though, of course, actual contraception and a contraceptive mentality are, as I've argued before, bad for humanity.)
4. The climate emergency demands immediate, transformative action now
5. Population arguments wrongly downplay the potential to win
6. Population control is an old argument tacked onto a new issue
7. Arguing for tighter migration restrictions in Australia is a dangerous policy
8. Population control has a disturbing history
9. People in the global South are part of the solution, not the problem
10. Who holds political power is the real ‘population’ issue
"Fear leads us to consider that life can be treated as a consumer product, to be disposed of when it turns rotten, and to kid ourselves that there is 'dignity' in doing so ... The mistake is in thinking that our life is our own, to do with as we wish, when actually it is only defined in relationship to those around us. To commoditise life is to disown it and to deny others their duty of care."It is therefore disturbing to read in the Guardian that there are almost 800 British members of Dignitas, the Swiss suicide company, with 34 of them ready to travel to Zurich and take a lethal drug overdose.
We have seen how abortion and IVF are now regarded are public services, with a focus by government on waiting times, waiting lists, equitable provision in all regions, etc. Without a prohibition on assisted suicide, the culture of death will spread yet further from the unborn to the born. This is something which is already happening in various ways, of course, but it will acclerate if an amendment is passed to the Coroners and Justice bill next week - please see and act today upon SPUC's action alert.
Although the motivation behind the killing of Dr Tiller has yet to be established, SPUC, in common with other pro-life groups, condemns his killing as a crime against life. SPUC has always condemned violence, whether against abortionists or unborn babies. Acts of violence towards the staff of abortion facilities are isolated. Those responsible have on each occasion acted as individuals, and not members of any pro-life group.
Our sympathy goes out to Dr Tiller's family.
Sunday, 31 May 2009
The Tablet* writes:
Archbishop Nichols' words [at his installation sermon at Westminster Cathedral] might be construed as calling for the Catholic Church to be given a fair hearing, whereas Mr Obama was implicitly addressing his critics within the Catholic Church in America who condemn him as pro-abortion (and therefore condemn Notre Dame for honouring him). But Archbishop Nichols goes on to say: 'In these matters we ourselves in the Churches have so much to learn and do.' This sounds more like an appeal to his fellow Catholics to consider how they themselves engage in public controversy, in which case he is implicitly reinforcing Mr Obama's plea for respectful mutual comprehension."I completely disagree with The Tablet. The right response to Barack Obama and his unprecedented execution of pro-abortion policies since being elected President is strong condemnation and peaceful resistance. As Father Frank Pavone (pictured), the national director of the US's Priests for Life puts it: "We have to stop trivialising abortion". Speaking about the students protesting against Notre Dame's honouring of Obama, Fr Frank writes:
"Everyone can imagine people they would protest speaking at a commencement: an avowed racist, anti-Semite, or advocate of terrorism. So the failure to object to one who is unwilling to call for an end to abortion is the failure to see that abortion is as bad or worse than those other evils. We have to stop trivializing abortion.
"Moreover, the university gave the President an honorary law degree. Law exists to protect human rights; but this president has admitted that he doesn’t know when a child receives human rights. How can he defend human rights when he doesn’t know who has them? ..." ... Now dialogue with our opponents on this issue is something we at Priests for Life specialize in. I maintain friendships with abortion advocates and practicing abortionists. The clarity of our own convictions never means we despise, demonize, or shut out other people. And yes, we are willing to collaborate with others in morally legitimate ways to reduce the numbers of abortions.
"But the President’s remarks had a glaring omission. While willing to dialogue and to promote adoption, he gave no indication of any willingness to protect the children in the womb. And that’s the crux of the issue. In his remarks, he referred to the Brown vs. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that outlawed segregation. Certainly, his call for open minds does not include openness to reconsider the segregation issue. There’s a right answer to it, period.
"So it is with the protection of the unborn."
The latter part of 20th century history shows again and again that the appropriate response to fundamental human rights abuses on the part of the State is organized peaceful resistance on the part of citizens - and strong condemnation on the part of the Church, as Pope John Paul II reminded us in Evangelium Vitae:
"The Second Vatican Council, in a passage which retains all its relevance today, forcefully condemned a number of crimes and attacks against human life. Thirty years later, taking up the words of the Council and with the same forcefulness I repeat that condemnation in the name of the whole Church, certain that I am interpreting the genuine sentiment of every upright conscience: 'Whatever is opposed to life itself, such as any type of murder, genocide, abortion, euthanasia, or wilful self-destruction, whatever violates the integrity of the human person, such as mutilation, torments inflicted on body or mind, attempts to coerce the will itself; whatever insults human dignity, such as subhuman living conditions, arbitrary imprisonment, deportation, slavery, prostitution, the selling of women and children; as well as disgraceful working conditions, where people are treated as mere instruments of gain rather than as free and responsible persons; all these things and others like them are infamies indeed. They poison human society, and they do more harm to those who practise them than to those who suffer from the injury. Moreover, they are a supreme dishonour to the Creator'." (EV, 3)
*The Tablet describes itself as an international Catholic weekly but, editorially, it opposes Church teaching on fundamental issues relating to the sanctity of human life.
- yet another Mexican state (San Luis Potosi, coat-of-arms pictured) approves a pro-life constitution.
- poll finds that the majority of Americans believe that abortion is bad for women [LifeNews, 25 May].
- advances in adult stem cell research in the areas of childhood cancer (Huddersfield Daily Examiner, 26 May) (This is Leicestershire, 25 May) and sight loss (Daily Mail, 28 May).