Sep 02 2014

Yes, what if?

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What if we just held men accountable for their own behaviour? Matt Walsh asks the questions. Well, yes. A fine idea. His points are good ones:

1. The internet is not an alternate dimension where the laws of morality, ethics, and basic human decency are magically suspended.
2. It isn’t cool for men to be sexually desperate.
3. I’m not one to bust out the “victim blaming” card, but this appears to be an appropriate time to play it.

We need men to talk to men about how looking at pictures of naked women on the internet is lame behaviour. Particularly, though certainly not exclusively, when the pictures are stolen.

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Aug 29 2014

About the ice bucket challenge

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A few people have emailed or asked whether I would do it. No, I wouldn’t, because I never want to encourage the use of embryos for scientific research. (NB: Stem cells need not be embryonic. There is much research that can be done without using embryos, and to date, it’s been more effective, anyway.)

Then I saw this about Matt Damon who disagrees with the challenge for different, but also valid, reasons.

He was creative in his rejection of the challenge, as you can watch below.

It got me thinking. How could pro-lifers be creative in rejecting the challenge? What I like about Matt Damon’s response is he drew positive attention to his cause. A little levity can go a long way. So pro-lifers, what could we do?

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Aug 29 2014

Anti-human trafficking walk September 27

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Human trafficking, prostitution, pornography, sex slavery: All of the above are linked and happen under our noses right here in Canada. If this is something that concerns you, consider joining in on this event. The info below is from Ashley Elliot, walk coordinator:  

The term “human trafficking” often conjures images of brothels in South East Asia or forced labour in sweatshops throughout the developing world, but unbeknownst to many in our own communities, it is happening in Canada as well.

Join us September 27th at the inaugural [free-them] Freedom Walk to be a part of the solution to end slavery in Canada! Hear from some of Canada’s greatest voices on the issue of human trafficking from our government, law enforcement, and survivors of human trafficking. Then head into the streets of Ottawa to walk for freedom.

WHEN: Saturday, September 27th

Breakfast & Honourary Ceremony: 9:00am at the Ottawa Convention Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr.

Walk: 11:30am route: Elgin – Catherine – Bank – Parliament Hill

Speakers: Ottawa Deputy Mayor Steve Desroches; Minster of Public Safety Steven Blaney; Ottawa Police Detective Carolyn Botting; and survivor of human trafficking Simone Bell. The morning will be emceed by Ken Evraire.

Register individually or as a $15 includes complimentary breakfast, guest speakers, slave-free marketplace and a kid-zone prepared with fun activities for children.  Join the purple wave, [free-them] t-shirts available for $15 and will be free to those who raise $100 or more.

Join the freedom movement and walk with us Saturday, September 27th!!

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Aug 27 2014

What did Dawkins really mean re: DS babies?

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I’m sure you’ve all heard about Richard Dawkins’ tweet regarding unborn children diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  He was asked what should be done if a woman discovered she was pregnant with a child with DS. His response:

Abort it and try again. It would be immoral to bring it into the world if you have the choice.

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Aug 26 2014

“Please wake up, Feminism. Because you look stupid”

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I appreciate the sentiments expressed here. Some harsh language, but hey, it’s called for in instances:

However, allowing women who constantly commodify their bodies for the highest bidding award show or best paying record label to proclaim themselves as “feminists” without any outrage means we’re okay with them prostituting all of our bodies. Because this isn’t just damaging to them. They are creating a culture that sees all of us as parts and pieces to be acquired, sold, and traded at leisure.

This is precisely what has happened, past tense, in my opinion. Now we are left to undo the damage. Yet women cannot expect men to treat us respectfully when we don’t treat ourselves respectfully, as human beings, a trinity of mind, body and soul.

As an example of all of us being prostituted, let me give you this example.

A bunch of us girls go to help a friend move. I put on my moving clothes (FYI: not sexy) and show up in the summer heat. Our job is window cleaning–inside, and there’s no AC, since the windows are all open at this point for cleaning. It’s kind of hard work. Again, we are all in our moving clothes in an apartment in upheaval. I’m painting a picture so you can understand how not sexy this event was. We stop for a break. Popsicles! Hurray. Who doesn’t love popsicles, a childhood treat. We also need to a take a break because one of the windows jammed and could not be budged. We call the property manager for help, and he arrives to try and fix said window. He ends up joining us for popsicle treats.

Here’s where the pornification of culture happens. One of my friends is eating her popsicle, like every normal person does. He, the landlord, becomes somewhat fixated on watching her and though I find it weird, and notice it, I can’t figure out why. Finally he says, come on, can you just stop that! As if there is something criminal about eating a popsicle. And I realize what is happening. He is watching too much porn, and his mind has taken her eating a popsicle–an innocent, childlike activity–to a dirty place. If it can happen with my friend, it can happen with your daughter. We can debate causation here, but women and men: those who prostitute their own bodies for the making of porn, those who watch it, and a steady diet of advertising and movies that promotes women as sex objects are all to blame.

If some women claim objectification as empowerment, we are contributing to the problem, not solving it. This is not a post, btw, about victim blaming. Neither is it a post about “slut-shaming,” a term I see being used to ensure no one ever speaks responsibly about this sort of topic. It is a post about examining what constitutes empowerment, as women and men who must live together in this world.

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Aug 26 2014

Why seeing is not always believing

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(Spoiler Alert: Do not read if you believe in Santa Claus!)

What does a 10-week old fetus look like? Recently, the group called Show the Truth brought graphic images to the streets of Halifax. You can watch some pretty one-sided coverage of the event here on CTV News, where one opponent to the display states:

“It uses shame tactics and misinformation and fake science,” said Ashburn. “That is not what a 10-week-old fetus looks like. They’re computer-generated Photoshopped images.”

You can actually watch the words come out of her mouth on the CTV video at minute 1:45. My first reaction to her statement was anger, that someone who is college educated (I know, because I’ve heard her make a similar statement about “fake science” on the local college radio station) could be so wrong about something. This was quickly followed by frustration, that we even allow such ridiculous and fact-less statements to be made on the news and radio. But the lingering feeling that still tousles and twists itself around in my brain is sympathy.

Wouldn’t you sort of have to believe that this is not what a 10-week old fetus looks like in order to support abortion? I know I wouldn’t be able to say it was just a clump of cells when I could clearly see a face and tiny toes. But perhaps is in on the conspiracy too, maybe this isn’t what a 10-week old fetus looks like. Heck, maybe Gray’s Anatomy of the Human Body is propaganda!

But it’s my duty, as much as it makes me unpopular, to tell the truth. Because I care about women, because their universities have apparently failed them, and because I won’t let unchecked statements go on masquerading as facts.

1. Let’s not forget that long before Adobe Photoshop (created in 1988, Wikipedia told me so) even existed, people were using images of abortions to expose the death of unborn babies. I would guess that many of those photos are decades old.

2. I don’t know how I feel about the graphic images. I’m not sure if they’re useful. I held up a sign once for an hour, and I don’t really know if it made the impact one would’ve hoped for. I was completely uncomfortable. But regardless of how I feel, how else are people going to see this stuff? They’re certainly not going to put it on the news or in the paper in any impartial way.

3. Even if you don’t like the signs, you have to see the insanity of one group of people standing on one side of the street saying “Please don’t kill babies, this is what they look like” and then people on the other side of the street shouting obscenities at them and showing them their bums. Are we really saying that asking that babies not be killed (in ANY context) makes you a jerk but mooning people doesn’t?

4. This is the last on the list, but the most important to remember…Gray’s Anatomy is not a book of lies, it’s on its 40th edition. That is what a 10-week old fetus looks like, and in Canada, they are killed every day. It’s not like getting a mole removed (please stop lying to women and the rest of the world telling them that it is).

It can’t be easy to see the truth and interpret it for that when you’ve been fooled your entire life. It’s like when my partner was asked to tell his teenage niece there was no Santa Claus. She just couldn’t believe what he was saying and quickly wrote a tell-all letter to Santa reporting him. Maybe sometimes a graphic image is the slap-in-the-face truth that some people need to stop believing in Santa Claus.


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Aug 25 2014

A quote that resonates

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Matters of denomination are inside baseball, as they say, so if you are not Christian at all, then you can just skip to the next post. But for those of us who are Christian, I think Mark Pickup is asking the right question:

Our once great western Christian civilization is dying. If this matters to followers of Jesus Christ, then we must set aside our denominational differences and work together to strengthen the things that remain and reclaim what has been lost. Evangelicals and Catholics must stand together to re-establish that former Christian culture and moral consensus. We have the numbers and the organization but the question is this: Do we have the will to win this present spiritual battle for Jesus Christ against secularism? Will we prayerfully and cooperatively work toward a new Christian spiritual revival ― or will we choose to hunker down in our churches and denominationalisms and watch everything sink into the spiritual and moral abyss of a New Dark Age?” – Mark Davis Pickup

I stumbled across this because he did a post about including people with Down’s. Which came from this post about a new clothing line for people with Down’s. Cool.

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Aug 22 2014

These days in history

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It was August 21, 1968 that Prague Spring was overrun by the Soviets. Some pictures here, to remember. My favourite shot is below, because it shows the military might juxtaposed against a normal guy, leaving work. What would you do?



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Aug 20 2014

“Pro-Choicers Are Doing Our Work for Us”

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Ben Wetzel over at BreakPoint uses two articles published in the last few weeks to demonstrate how “pro-choicers are doing our work for us.” One article is the Janet Harris piece that I wrote about a few days ago. I’ll excerpt the following from Wetzel where he discusses a piece from Esquire (some of it is pretty gruesome):

Within the past several weeks, however, two pro-abortion articles have appeared that demand the attention of pro-lifers. The arguments of the two pieces actually contradict each other, revealing the stark divide present even within the circles of abortion rights activists. Pro-life people might seize on the paucity of both arguments to make even more compelling cases for life in general and adoption in particular.

The first piece, the one getting the most attention, appeared in the online edition of Esquire on July 30. The article profiles the “abortion ministry” of Dr. Willie Parker of Mississippi…

The author, John H. Richardson, first describes the abortion operation—what he calls in Orwellian language “remov[ing] her pregnancy.” But then he gets to the really gruesome aftermath, the part where fetal body parts are clearly identifiable: “There’s the skull,” Parker says as he gestures toward a Pyrex dish, “what’s going to be the fetal skull . . . that’s an eye . . . here’s the umbilical cord”—and so it goes on, with Richardson adding his own commentary: “Floating near the top of the dish are two tiny arms with two tiny hands.” [...]

Harris’s cavalier treatment of abortion loses all credibility when juxtaposed with the palpable suffering and moral dilemmas encountered by real people in the Esquire piece. The untold numbers of women who have publicly mourned their own abortions—documented at sites like this—militates against the idea that abortion is just another surgical procedure. Moreover, few people undecided about abortion can read of Parker’s laboratory coldness to fetal body parts without feeling that something is dreadfully wrong here. In short, if these are the best arguments pro-choice advocates can come up with, they’re making it easy for the pro-life movement to respond. May we do so with grace and power.

Read the rest here.

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Aug 18 2014

Loving and reaching abortionists and clinic workers

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I just listened to Josh Brahm interview Abby Johnson. As most of you know, Abby is a former Planned Parenthood clinic manager and author of the book Unplanned. She’s now a pro-life activist and helps abortion workers and abortionists exit the abortion industry by providing emotional support, legal counsel, counselling and assistance in finding new jobs. (According to Abby’s experience, having an abortion clinic on your resume hinders future job prospects and she helps workers overcome this challenge.) All this is done through her ministry And Then There Were None.

In the last year, she has helped over 100 people exit the abortion industry. In July, she helped five workers leave one clinic alone, leaving that abortuary without staff.

In the interview she talks about how the pro-life movement needs to reach out to clinic workers and staff in kindness, and not direct their anger and frustration at them. She shares two personal stories which demonstrate her experience with both sides of the prolife movement. One hate-filled activist employed terrible (and ineffective) tactics to pressure Abby and her co-workers at Planned Parenthood to stop conducting abortions. His approach convinced Abby that she couldn’t befriend a Christian sidewalk counsellor who had been reaching out to her. A few years later, the consistent kind words and love of those sidewalk counsellors changed her mind again, and Abby fled to them when she realize that she could no longer work at Planned Parenthood. Abby had witnessed an ultrasound-guided abortion and saw the fetal child fight for his life before being killed, and she knew she could no longer deny the truth about abortion.

So listen to the interview. It’s insightful. Abby makes some fair critiques of the pro-life movement. We still have some work to do.


Andrea adds: This is very interesting. I remember when I met with this woman who worked for Planned Parenthood a couple of times for coffee; she was very ardently pro-choice. We were both trying to convert each other, I think, but those were good conversations. It’s way too easy to demonize or point a finger from behind the computer screen.

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