Friday, December 25, 2009

Huron Carol

The "Huron Carol" is a Christmas hymn written in 1643 by St. Jean de Brébeuf, the "Apostle of the Hurons" who was later martyred by the Iroquois.

Brébeuf wrote the lyrics in the native language of the Huron/Wendat people; the song's original Huron title is "Jesous Ahatonhia" ("Jesus, he is born"). This version is performed by Heather Dale, and sung in Wendat (Huron), French and English.

H/t: Diane

Update: Find the words in Huron/Wendat, French, and a couple of different English versions here.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Our Lady of Guadalupe Novena, Dec 4-12

Novena Prayer for Life to Our Lady of Guadalupe
(Spanish version -- En Español)

Oh Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of Life,
We honor you as Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Thank you for pointing us to Jesus your Son,
The only Savior and hope of the world.

Renew our hope in him,
That we all may have the courage to say Yes to life,
And to defend those children in danger of abortion.

Give us your compassion
To reach out to those tempted to abort,
And to those suffering from a past abortion.

Lead us to the day when abortion
Will be a sad, past chapter in our history.

Keep us close to Jesus, the Life of the World,
Who is Lord forever and ever. Amen.

Source: Priests for Life

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

UN Rally for the Unborn can help

October 27, 2009

Dear Friend of the Unborn Child,

As I write this the UN Petition for the Unborn Child is up over 572,000 names with 87,000 new names in the last three weeks!

We intend to raise one million signatures by December 1 and present them to the UN a few days after that.

As you know the UN is the font of a great deal of anti-life propaganda. UN agencies and UN-related groups are at the forefront of making abortion a universally recognized human right. That's right, UN radicals want to make killing babies in the womb a human right. Can there be anything more wrong, more evil that that?

The UN pro-life movement has banded together to fight this movement. UN pro-lifers are at the forefront of fighting this hideous movement of killing babies. The UN pro-life movement is outspent ten million to one and out-manned one thousand to one.

We need your help right now.

We have launched a petition in defense of the unborn child and the family. The petition is based on the very good language of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which recognizes the "right to life."

This petition will be presented to the UN in December at which time we want to present one million names. We are more than half way there but we need a huge effort on your part to get us all the way there.

Would you please forward this note to all of your friends and family, to everyone in your address book?

Ask everyone to go HERE, click on your language (the petition has been translated into 18
languages!), sign the petition and send this note to all of THEIR friends!

We can make a huge splash at UN headquarters in December and let them know that the world is really pro-life, that the world really supports the unborn child, and believes that abortion is a great moral evil, the great moral evil of our time.

So, if you have not signed the petition, go HERE and sign it. And then send this note to everyone you know.

If you have already signed it, forward this note to all of your friends and family. One million names can make a difference in our UN fight for the unborn child and the family.

Yours sincerely,
Austin Ruse
Petition Organizer

Friday, October 30, 2009

URGENT - Please call Congress now to stop abortion in health bill!

This is so important I had to pass it on.

The AP accurately reported a few days ago
(October 23), that the House Democratic leadership currently does not intend to allow the House to vote on an amendment sponsored by Congressmen Bart Stupak (D-Mi.) and Joseph Pitts (R-Pa.), and supported by pro-life groups including the US Bishops, which would "include the Hyde amendment restrictions in the health overhaul bill."

The AP reported: "Such an amendment would be almost certain to prevail . . . So Democratic leaders won't let Stupak offer it. Instead, it appears they may have to take the risk of letting Stupak try to block action on the underlying bill, which he intends to do by assembling 'no' votes on a procedural measure [the "rule"] that needs to pass before debate can begin."

If Pelosi succeeds in imposing her gag rule, doctors and others involved in health care could lose conscience protections, and we will be looking at an unprecedented level of federal abortion subsidies, paid for by our taxes. See Abortion and Conscience Problems in the Bills and A Pro-Life Look at the Health Care Reform Bills for details.

Thank you if you have already acted on this! Otherwise ...

Please call now to urge your Representative to oppose any Rule that does not include a debate on the Stupak-Pitts Amendment. You will find the phone number(s) and all the info you need by entering your zipcode at this link.

Suggested message: "I am a constituent with a message for Rep (Name). Please SUPPORT the Stupak (STEW-PAK) Amendment that addresses essential pro-life concerns on abortion funding and conscience rights in the health care reform bill. Please OPPOSE any Rule for consideration of H.R. 3200 that would block a vote on this amendment. It's only fair to let all our elected representatives have a say on these important issues."

When I called, the staffer for my Rep was very polite and read back the message to make sure she got it right. It only took a couple of minutes to do.

If you are unable to telephone, or in addition to making the call, please click here to send a pre-written, instant e-mail to Congress. You can add your own comments to the message if you wish.

Please pass this on to pro-life friends and family. The policies adopted in health care reform will have an impact for good or ill for years to come. It is not just a "political issue" ... real lives and freedom of conscience hang in the balance.

Thanks so much!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Don’t Be Fooled

Abortion is in Health Care Reform. Share this video with pro-life friends and family. They deserve to know the truth.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pro-life Pumpkin

This is a cool pumpkin idea from ALL for All Hallow's Eve.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words ....
Click here for more info and to print the pattern.

H/t: Sarah

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Pro-life free speech threatened in Chicago

Dave Bereit of 40 Days for Life writes:
In a direct attack on 40 Days for Life and the rights of local pro-life sidewalk counselors, the Chicago city council on Wednesday passed a new ordinance intended to cripple 40 Days for Life and silence pro-life free speech within a 50-foot “bubble zone” around abortion facilities.

The new city ordinance will not only block sidewalk counseling and pro-life signs within 50 feet of all entrances to an abortion facility, it would also prevent any pro-lifer from being within eight feet of an abortion customer without getting that person’s permission. Anyone found in violation could be fined up to $500.

The law is such a clear violation of First Amendment constitutional rights that even the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) — no friend of the pro-life movement — sided with local pro-life interests in opposing aspects of the ordinance.

Mayor Daley has signed the ordinance, according to

So this is what "pro-choice" means: protestors have no choice to express their views and women must not be shown what their choices are.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Let's stop abortion expansion **Updated**

Every Pro-Life American Must Tell Congress Now:
“Vote against any health care bill that does not explicitly exclude abortion!”

Health care bills in Congress could create the greatest expansion of abortion since Roe v. Wade.

1. Email now: Go to Follow the simple directions at the bottom of the web page to send urgent messages to your U.S. senators and your U.S. House member. (Messages can be altered if you wish.) You can also check back at this URL for updates.

2. Email now: Email this alert to all your pro-life friends and relatives. Available at:

3. Copy & Distribute: Pass this alert out at pro-life churches and meetings.

4. Make Personal Contact with Your Senators and Congressmen: Use every opportunity: office meetings, fairs, town meetings, and other public events.

5. Telephone: Call the offices of your two U.S. senators and your U.S. House member (through the Senate switchboard: 202-224-3121 and the House switchboard, 202-225-3121). Give your zip code and you will be connected to the correct offices. Or, click here to find direct office phone numbers using your zip code.

Give the senator’s or representative’s staff your name and address and tell them to relay a message, along these lines:
[For senators:] “I strongly urge you to oppose the Affordable Health Choices Act that was approved by the HELP Committee, which would result in coverage of abortion on demand in both government and private health plans. I also urge you to oppose any other health care bill unless it explicitly excludes abortion."
[For House offices:] "I urge you to oppose H.R. 3200, the health care bill backed by President Obama. Under this bill, the federal government would operate a nationwide 'public option' insurance plan that would be authorized to cover abortion on demand. The bill would also provide federal subsidies to private insurance plans that cover elective abortions."

Check for updates at
Please copy and distribute freely.
Source: National Right to Life Committee

See here for more.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Verified - current bills allow government to subsidize abortion

Abortion isn't health care, but here's verification that the current bills allow government subsidizing of abortion. article "Abortion: Which Side Is Fabricating?", August 21, 2009
"Despite what Obama said, the House bill would allow abortions to be covered by a federal plan and by federally subsidized private plans. ... The NRLC’s Johnson said 'the bill backed by the White House (H.R. 3200) explicitly authorizes the government plan to cover all elective abortions.' And our analysis shows that Johnson’s statement is correct. Though we of course take no position on whether the legislation should allow or not allow coverage for abortions, the House bill does just that."
Associated Press article, "Gov't insurance would allow coverage for abortion", August 5, 2009
"Health care legislation before Congress would allow a new government-sponsored insurance plan to cover abortions. ... Since abortion is a legal medical procedure, experts on both sides say not mentioning it would allow health care plans in the new insurance exchange to provide unrestricted coverage. ... In the Senate, the plan passed by the health committee is still largely silent on the abortion issue. Staff aides confirmed that the public plan — and private insurance offered in the exchange — would be allowed to cover abortion, without funding restrictions."
Time magazine article, "How Abortion Could Imperil Health Care Reform," August 24, 2009
"The health-care reform proposed by House Democrats, if enacted, would in fact mark a significant change in the federal government's role in the financing of abortions. ... So in effect, anyone who wanted to sign up for the public option, a federally funded and administered program, would find themselves paying for abortion coverage ... Nonetheless, the new system differs markedly from the old federal policy of not involving the government in abortion services unless issues of rape, incest, or life of the mother are at play."
Time also quoted Congressman Bart Stupak (D-MI) as saying that Obama's statements during recent public events signal one of two things: either he does not fully understand the current House bill, or "if he is aware of it, and he is making these statements, then he is misleading people."

Also see:
Abortion Provisions in House's Health Care Bill Unacceptable, Says Cardinal in Letter to House
Video clip of candidate Obama's abortion promise to Planned Parenthood
List of defeated Amendments that would have excluded public funding of elective abortions

Friday, September 4, 2009

Stop the Abortion Mandate

After you watch the video, head over to Stop the Abortion Mandate for more info and action steps.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Adding insult to injury

New York, NY ( -- New York’s Mount Sinai Hospital believes that a pro-life nurse has no legal rights to defend herself in court after she was forced to participate in an abortion.

So, first the hospital threatens to fire her if she doesn't participate in an abortion -- which Nurse Cenzon understands is murder -- and then laughs at her assertion that she has a legal right to refuse.

this is why we need robust conscience protections in our laws, especially those affecting health care.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It's happened again!

This story might give pause to those who claim that conscience protections are not needed for medical personnel:
A Catholic nurse in New York claims she was forced in May to participate in the abortion of a 22-week-old fetus against her moral convictions. The nurse alleges in a lawsuit that Mount Sinai Hospital officials knew of her objections to abortion, but told her to assist in the procedure or face disciplinary action, including possible loss of her job and her nursing license.

The nurse, Catherina Cenzon DeCarlo, 35, said in a statement provided by her attorney: 'After I was forced to assist this abortion against my religious objection, I felt violated and betrayed, like I had been raped. I couldn't believe that this could happen in the United States, where freedom is held sacred.'


How much "common ground" is there?

C-Fam interviewed Rocco Buttiglione to clarify his reported remarks on protecting the unborn child. I found this particular question and answer enlightening:
Q: Is true common ground possible?

A: There is only a limited setting where we pro-lifers and they pro-choicers can unite in a struggle together – that is where the freedom of choice of the woman is crushed, as well as the life of the child. I don’t think we need to give true pro-choicers any bribe to convince them to join the struggle with us. If it is true, as they claim, that they are not for abortion but rather for freedom of choice, then this gives them the chance to join with us to prove it.

If they don't, then they really are not pro-choice, but pro-abortion. They like abortion. They don’t think that human life must be supported, but one must reduce the world's population by any means necessary.

Also, this initiative forces people to make up their minds. Up until now, the label 'pro-choice' could be a cover for a national socialist ideology of lifeboat ethics: Because there are too many people on earth, all means are acceptable to reduce population. We see that in third world countries, abortion has been much more cruel and widespread than in Western nations.

So now we shall see if common ground is possible.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Kennedy amendment threatens pro-life professionals

The Kennedy amendment is a fake -- despite its title, it does not protect conscience. Please contact your Senators and tell them you want real conscience protections in health-care reform.

The Freedom2Care alert has all the details:

Contacting your U.S. senators today can help stop a deceptive attack on life-affirming physicians, nurses and their patients who decline to participate in abortions.

Here's the problem: A U.S. Senate committee just passed a dangerously deceptive, conscience-threatening amendment to a healthcare reform bill. This is what they did:

  • First, the Senate HELP committee voted down good amendments that would have truly protected physicians and nurses from being forced to participate in abortions.

  • Then the committee passed Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy's deceptive amendment #205. This amendment pretends to protect conscience rights but would actually force healthcare professionals to participate in abortions:
  1. Physicians and nurses would be forced to actually perform an abortion any time someone labeled the abortion an "emergency.

    Of course, "emergency" would include not just medical reasons, but also emotional, financial and virtually any other reason. Nearly every abortion in this way could be called an "emergency."

  2. By requiring an official referral, physicians and nurses would be forced to lead the patient to an abortion clinic or abortion doctor.

  3. The Kennedy amendment gives unqualified freedom and protection to those who perform abortions. But it coerces and harms those who ethically oppose abortion.

What you can do to stop this threat:

Use the Congressional Contacts links below to personally contact your senators' offices. Tell them you are a constituent and (if applicable) a medical professional.

1. Say that you OPPOSE Kennedy conscience amendment #205 to the healthcare bill, recently passed by the Senate HELP Committee.

2. Tell them to KEEP real protections for faith-based and pro-life healthcare professionals--such as the Hyde-Weldon Amendment and the Health and Human Services conscience regulation.

Congressional Contacts:

Contact my Senator

Congress and Legislation

Thank you for taking a stand for life!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

FOCA by any other name still stinks

The tens of millions of postcards sent to Congress have convinced them that openly advocating passage of FOCA will be highly unpopular. So have they given up? No way! Instead, they have adopted a "FOCA-by-stealth" strategy, by including many of FOCA's provisions in the health care reform package.

Although the Democratic leadership has been coyly insisting that there is no abortion funding / mandate / expansion in the provisions of the bill, the way they vote tells a different story.

As FRC reports:
The Senate HELP Committee continued its markup of the Kennedy healthcare legislation yesterday. Several amendments were offered to protect conscience rights and to prevent funding or mandating of abortion. Sen. Orrin Hatch's (R-Utah) amendment to prevent funding of abortion failed. Sen. Michael Enzi's (R-Wy.) amendment to prevent the healthcare bill from mandating abortion coverage was defeated. Since there is nothing in this legislation to prevent mandating abortion as a covered service, it would be mandated--the Obama Administration health bureaucracy will see to that.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) also offered several amendments to the Kennedy legislation. His amendment to codify the Hyde/Weldon conscience protection law was defeated. His amendment to prevent the healthcare bill from preempting state laws on abortion was defeated. With the exception of Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.), the HELP Democrats voted against it. They opposed preventing this legislation from trumping various state laws, such as parental consent laws. One bright note, Sen. Coburn's amendment to protect healthcare workers' conscience rights with regard to euthanasia passed by a voice vote. The amendment ensures that doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers, including healthcare plans, are not forced to violate their conscience on the issue of euthanasia.

Click here for FRC's in-depth analysis of the HELP Committee votes.
With the exception of Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), all the Democratics on the HELP committee have refused to vote to protect conscience rights, to prevent funding or mandating of abortion, or to prevent preempting of state laws on abortion. If they are telling the truth and the health bill will not violate conscience, fund or mandate abortion, or preempt pro-life state laws, then why did they refuse to vote to put these statements explicitly in the bill?

Want to do something about it? Here are some suggestions from NRLC.
- Go to the National Right to Life Legislative Action Center, here, and take a few minutes to use the form there to send messages to your two U.S. senators and to your representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, to urge them to oppose any federal "health care reform" legislation that does not explicitly exclude abortion.

- Please TELEPHONE the offices of your two U.S. senators, give your name and address, and tell the senators' staff persons that you wish to be recorded as "opposed to Senator Kennedy's health care bill because it contains many pro-abortion mandates." The offices of any U.S. senator can be reached through 202-224-3121. Also, please TELEPHONE the office of your U.S. House member, give your name and address, and inform the staff person that you wish to be recorded as "opposed to the House Democratic Leadership health care reform bill because it contains many pro-abortion mandates." You can reach any U.S. House member's office through 202-225-3121. You can also find the direct-dial numbers (and fax numbers) for the Washington and in-state offices of your U.S. senators and U.S. House member by calling up their individual profiles on this website, here.

- Send short letters to the "letters to the editor" features of your local newspapers, in order to alert your fellow pro-life citizens to the sweeping pro-abortion mandates that the Obama White House and the pro-abortion lobby are trying to smuggle into law through "health care reform." You can find contact information for your local news media in the "Media Guide" on the NRLC website, here.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Please pray for Archbishop Chaput

Tom @ American Papist writes:
"Via a friend of the Archbishop's, I am told he is to undergo spine surgery soon. Nothing too serious, I understand, but prayers should be offered up for the health and safety of this leading light in the Church in America."

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Catholic Summer Reading Program for Children and Adults

Looking for a Summer reading program? Check out
This summer, why not take some time to discover the rich treasure of Catholic literature?

Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, the official sponsor of the Catholic summer reading program, would like to invite you to join in a book discussion at your parish, local Catholic store or online at Kids can also get involved by downloading our Catholic Kids Reading Path and filling it in as they read Catholic books during the summer.

H/t: Oremus
Cross-posted from the love2learn blog

Friday, July 3, 2009

Pray for our Nation - July 5

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Thank Pro-Life Democrats, help them stop taxpayer funding of abortion

First, some good news: a group of Pro-Life Democrats showed their courage in standing up for Life against their party's leadership. Let's show our support for them!

And second, some bad news. Pro-abortion groups are pushing for taxpayer-funded abortions to become part of the health care reform package. Please let your Rep / Senators know that you don't want your tax money used this way.

Details below.

1. From the Susan B Anthony List:
This past week 19 pro-life Democrats, including Pro-Life Women's Caucus member Kathy Dahlkemper (D-PA), sent a letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi to call for an explicit ban on taxpayer funding for abortion in health care reform legislation.

These pro-life leaders need our support and gratitude. Please write them today and thank them for standing up for the cause of Life, against their own party leadership. ...

Protecting women and the unborn should not be a partisan issue - it's a matter of basic human rights. That's why its so important to support those pro-life leaders who boldly place principle before politics.

2. Meanwhile, LifeNews reports that the pro-abortion groups Planned Parenthood and NARAL are calling on their supporters to demand taxpayer funding of abortion in health care reform. While Cecile Richards of PP uses the code phrase "comprehensive reproductive health services",

NARAL's Nancy Keenan is less deceptive in her own email to her pro-abortion forces.

"Unless we act now, the Senate could ban reproductive-health services from being covered in the new health-care system. Millions of women could lose coverage for abortion," she says. "We need your help to convince senators on the Finance Committee to stand up against this divisive anti-choice attack."

Keenan goes on to say that abortion advocates need to contact the Senate Finance Committee before it takes up the bill next week so abortion and tax-funded abortions remain a possibility under the health care reform bill it is considering.

Pro-life Americans need to do the opposite:

1) Please click here to send an email asking your Congressional delegation to exclude abortion funding from any health care reform bills. (1 minute)

2) Contact members of the Senate Finance Committee and urge strong support for any amendments to stop abortion coverage or taxpayer-funded abortions in the health care plan. Click here for a list of the committee members, then click on the senator's name for a direct office phone number or call 202-224-3121 and ask for the senator by name. (< 5 minutes)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Could you please offer some special prayers for priests today?

From Fr. Frank Pavone at Priests for Life:
Massive Spiritual Bouquet Being Prepared for the "Year for Priests"

New York - Fr. Frank Pavone, National Director of Priests for Life, announced today that Priests for Life is inviting the laity to prepare a massive spiritual bouquet which will be presented this Fall to all the priests of the country.

The faithful are invited to pledge prayers, rosaries, chaplets, holy hours, and sacrifices for priests, that they may be protected in body and spirit, and may grow in holiness and in the fruitfulness of their ministry.

This can be done at

"Priests are heralds of the Gospel of Life, and are called to stir up the gifts of God's people to build the culture of life. In our day, when restoring protection for the right to life is the top moral imperative, the Catholic faithful thirst in a particular way for the leadership of priests in this arena, and eagerly pray for it," Fr. Pavone added.

Along with pledging a spiritual bouquet, people are invited to share their stories about their favorite priests.

Pass it on!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

UN Treaty Jeopardizes Homeschool Freedom in Britain

The following is a press release published by Home School Legal Defense Association on June 16:
Purcellville, VA – Last week the Children’s Secretary of Britain accepted a report in full by Graham Badman which argues for an end to homeschool freedom. “While it’s disgraceful that the British government would even entertain this report it’s particularly troubling for American parents because the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) was used as the justification for this action,” said Michael Farris, Chairman of HSLDA and President of

The Badman report uses Articles 12 and 29 of the UNCRC to justify registering the estimated 80,000 homeschooling families in Britain, forcing them to provide annual reports regarding their homeschool, granting government officials the right to enter the home and interview the children alone as well as reserving the choice of curriculum to the state.

HSLDA has been warning that the UNCRC could bring an end to homeschool freedom in the U.S., if the treaty was ever ratified by the U.S. Senate because Article VI of the U.S. Constitution says that treaties become the supreme law of the land.

For the UNCRC to be ratified it must gain a two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate. If this happens then the UNCRC will automatically supersede all state laws and U.S. judges will be obligated to follow the provisions of the treaty. Currently, family and education laws are state-based; however, ratification of the UNCRC would transfer the jurisdiction for making family and education law to the U.S. Congress. Congress would, in turn, be obligated to follow the UN mandates contained in the CRC. The only answer at this point would be to add a Parental Rights Amendment (PRA) to the Constitution.

The Badman report is a stark reminder of how government officials in an English-speaking democracy have interpreted the UNCRC. It’s clear that the right to homeschool in America will be negatively impacted if the U.S. Senate ever ratifies the UNCRC.

To read the full United Kingdom report, click here.

To find out more about the Parental Rights Amendment, visit
Source - More

Monday, June 15, 2009

Corpus Christi

Yesterday was the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ, also known by its Latin title, Corpus Christi. This is a celebration dear to my heart as Christ's Eucharistic Presence was a large part of what drew me to the Catholic Church.

As Fr. Reginald pointed out in his homily yesterday, this is an unusual feast day in that it honors a doctrine rather than an individual -- although of course the doctrine is very closely related to the Person of Christ. Catholics, along with Orthodox Christians, believe that the consecrated Bread and Wine are in fact the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ substantially present in the Eucharist.

Why do we believe this? Because Jesus taught it. Because the Apostles and early Christians accepted it. Because the Church has always believed it. Because we have been given the gift of faith in His Real Presence.

Scripture on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist
Early Church Fathers on Christ Present in the Eucharist

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Point to ponder ...

"The fatal flaw in our developed societies and their idolatry of science—because that's what it is, a form of idolatry and avarice for power—is that their idea of man is too vain and too despairing, too big and too small at the same time. We're less than gods but more than smart monkeys. And the glory God intends for each of us can only be found one way, through one Man." - Archbishop Charles Chaput, Using and Being Used
Cross-posted from Unity of Truth

Monday, June 1, 2009

Pro-lifers condemn Tiller murder

As everyone knows by now, someone shot and killed notorious late-term abortionist George Tiller yesterday while he attended a service at Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, KS. The shooter's motives are unknown at this point, but it does appear that he acted alone.

Pro-life groups and individuals around the country have denounced the killing. This is not what we are about. Obviously, gunning down a man is not going to increase respect for the sanctity of human life. Two wrongs don't make a right.

Indeed, if someone were looking for a way to discredit the pro-life movement, this would be an excellent way to go about it. Mark Shea has an excellent quote from the late Cardinal O'Connor on this.

My own first reaction to hearing the news was one of shock and dismay: I hoped that Tiller had a chance to repent of his evil deeds before his death, and I feared that if this would be used to tar the peaceful, prayerful 99.999% of the pro-life movement as violent extremists. (As it turns out, even before the suspected killer had been apprehended, NOW was already calling for the Federal Government to use the anti-racketeering laws to go after "the anti-abortion cause." I shouldn't be surprised. This is a favorite tactic of theirs, though it defies logic to conclude that those who protest against murder are somehow encouraging murder.)

Let us pray for God's mercy on Tiller and his family, and for his killer's repentance.

Additional resources:
How should pro-lifers respond?
Biggest danger of Tiller murder

Update: NCR is reporting that, as with previous cases, the suspect is not linked to the mainstream pro-life movement.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Review: Base 10 Blocks

Base 10 Blocks
Math Manipulative

The Base 10 Blocks are essentially an extension of the Cuisenaire rods idea. Available in unit cubes, ten rods, hundred flats, and thousand cubes, the Base 10 blocks are sized so that ten units will fit in the same space as a ten rod, ten ten rods will cover a hundred flat, and ten hundred flats will stack into the size of a thousand cube. Thus, they provide a hands-on way to understand and visualize the denary (i.e. base 10) number system.

In order to match the Cuisenaire rods that we already use, I ordered unit cubes in natural wood (the closest color to white), and the ten rods in orange.

I have made my own cards to go with these blocks (see picture), based on an idea in Natural Structure by Edward and Nancy Walsh. Using blank 3x5 index cards, I made cards reflecting the value of each place in the decimal system from units to thousands. Thousands are written on the full-width cards, hundreds on 3/4-width, tens on half-width, and units on 1/4-width cards. The child can match the cards to the manipulatives, and then combine them to form the number.

At first, we use the cards to simply identify the value of large numbers. Then, we add numbers together and see how this can "make" new tens. This has been the most difficult step for us. It seems that once they get this concept, extending it to the higher place values is relatively simple.

We have found the Base 10 blocks helpful in clarifying place value concepts.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Stem cells and sick children

Michelle, writing on May 18:
Yesterday at The University of Notre Dame, our president made the following statement:

“Those who speak out against stem cell research may be rooted in admirable conviction about the sacredness of life, but so are the parents of a child with juvenile diabetes who are convinced that their son’s or daughter’s hardships can be relieved.”

Let’s be clear, there is no conflict here. Yes I have conviction about the sacredness of life and yes I have two children with juvenile (type 1) diabetes. I am not opposed to stem cell research and that view does not at all conflict with my Catholic faith. The Catholic Church is in fact very much in favor of stem cell research. Stem cell research shows much promise and we do indeed hope for a cure.

Where the problem lies, Mr. Obama, is in embryonic stem cell research. Research done with stem cells taken from unborn babies. Research done for the “greater good” on the backs of the most vulnerable persons in society. That, I most certainly have a problem with and frankly so should you –so should all of us! Embryonic stem cell research is immoral, unethical and downright horrific!

And you know what? It doesn’t even work. more

Free Online Seminars for Homeschooling Parents!

These are wonderful resources for homeschooling parents, offered free through Homeschool Connections. Thanks, Maureen, for making them available!

From Maureen Wittmann:
Free Live Online Seminars (After clicking on link, scroll down to the bottom and click on Register)
Choosing Worthwhile Homeschool Materials (June 10)

Free Conference Talks (Recorded)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 21-May 31, 2009: Pentecost Novena for Life

In the days leading up to Pentecost, the disciples prayed for the coming of the Holy Spirit. We too pray for his coming, and for his power that renews the face of the earth and brings about the victory of life.
(Spanish version -- En Español)

Holy Spirit,
At the dawn of creation,
You brought order out of chaos,
Light out of darkness,
Life out of nothingness.

Breathe on us once again,
And change this culture of death
Into a Culture of Life.

Inspire in your people
A spirit of generous welcome
For each and every life,
No matter how unexpected or dependent
That life may be.

Holy Spirit,
You are the Advocate.
As you fill us with Yourself,
Make us advocates
For the unborn and all the vulnerable,

Until we are all united
In the endless life and joy
of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
One God, forever and ever. Amen.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Summer School!

From Maureen Wittmann and Homeschool Connections:

We use webinar technology for our online courses. The students can see and hear the professor via a webcam and microphone. In turn, the students can communicate with the professor through the chat room or their own microphone. There is also a Power Point presentation that is viewable on the same screen. The teens love the technology.

This is an awesome opportunity to keep teens engaged and learning over the summer. These particular courses have been designed for summer time with no or light homework. Also, all classes are recorded so if you're away on vacation for a week or two, and can't access the Internet, you can simply watch the recorded event later. In fact, registered students have access to the recorded classes for 6 months for review. This is a great value for the price!

All courses require high speed internet (non-dial-up).

If you want to register, just click here. Please don't hesitate to send questions or suggestions to: Maureen Wittmann, mwittlans [at] aol [dot] com.

Here is the list of courses. Note that both of the instructors have experience teaching at the kitchen table as well as in the ivory tower. I've talked to several moms whose high school children have taken their courses. Both men are loved by their homeschool students and come highly recommended.

You can find full details plus the instructors' bios at the links below, or at the Homeschool Connections blog.

Course list:
Beowulf and Christ with Henry Russell, Ph.D
The Catholic Shakespeare: MacBeth with Henry Russell, Ph.D
The Space Trilogy and C. S. Lewis with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D
Catholic Living for Young People with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Writing for College Preparatory with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
Short Stories by J. R. R. Tolkien with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.
The Mass Explained for Young People with Robert Gotcher, Ph.D.

These are high school level courses. Dr. Gotcher indicated junior and senior level for the writing course. For the literature classes I would say to make sure they're mature enough to read the material, enjoy it, and discuss it.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Irena Sendler, RIP

Fate may have led Irena Sendler to the moment almost 70 years ago when she began to risk her life for the children of strangers.

Irena Sendler

But for this humble Polish Catholic social worker, who was barely 30 when one of history's most nightmarish chapters unfolded before her, the pivotal influence was something her parents had drummed into her.

"I was taught that if you see a person drowning," she said, "you must jump into the water to save them, whether you can swim or not."

When the Nazis occupying Poland began rounding up Jews in 1940 and sending them to the Warsaw ghetto, Sendler plunged in.

With daring and ingenuity, she saved the lives of more than 2,500 Jews, most of them children, a feat that went largely unrecognized until the last years of her life.

read more here

Sendler died in Warsaw one year ago today.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Bishops: Oppose Destructive Stem Cell Research

Following President Obama’s March 9 executive order, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has proposed guidelines for federally funded embryonic stem cell research. The guidelines would – for the first time – use taxpayer funds to encourage the killing of embryonic human beings for their stem cells.

This marks a new chapter in divorcing biomedical research from its necessary ethical foundation, respect for human life at all stages.


Please take a minute to urge Congress not to fund research that kills embryonic human beings and to register your opposition to the new NIH guidelines.

"If we stand for nothing, we begin to fall for everything."

The above quote, reminiscent of Chesterton, is from Fr. Corapi:

More quotes transcribed from the video:
"Pray for the University of Notre Dame, its president, Board of Directors, and students. And pray for out bishops, for in the end the burden will rest on their shoulders to decide whether the University of Notre Dame and others like it are Catholic or not."
"The battle is not over, my friends. It has just now begun in earnest. So fight the good fight, run the race to the finish line, for in the end, we have the certain knowledge that in the end, truth will triumph over lies, light over darkness, and good over evil."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

God ... America's Hope

Tomorrow, May 7, is the 58th annual National Day of Prayer. This year's theme, based on Psalm 33:22: "May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You," is Prayer ... America's Hope.

We need to pray especially with our culture disintegrating around us, our economy in trouble, the ongoing threat of terrorism, and a national Administration repeatedly acting to advance the Culture of Death,

We need to pray because only God saves. Our hope is in Him, not in any political leader.

Let us join with millions of others to pray for our beloved nation.

For more information, or to find a gathering near you, go to

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Review: Cuisenaire Rods

Math Manipulative from ETA/Cuisenaire

When I first researched homeschooling products and resources, I spent quite some time looking at different math manipulatives. For one thing, there are so many, and for another, I love math. I remember wondering whether these colored rods would really be worth purchasing, as they are on the expensive side. And my math education, as far as I could remember, had been accomplished without a single manipulative.

Then I found Miquon Math, and immediately liked the concept. Miquon uses Cuisenaire rods as their primary manipulative, so with some trepidation, I acquired a starter set.

I needn't have worried. The rods made math so much easier for my very concrete, hands-on son to grasp. That was almost a decade ago, and now my youngest enjoys doing his math with the rods.

The concept behind the rods is simple. Each rod color is a specific length, representing a particular number of units. White rods are "units" 1cm long, reds are twice as long and represent the number 2, and so forth. A starter set comes with several of each rod from 1-10, with more of the smaller rods.

The child then uses the rods in combination to visualize basic math concepts. Perhaps it is obvious that addition can be modeled using such rods, simply by putting them end to end in a "train." However, they can also be used for subtraction, multiplication, and division, and even fractions, areas, and more. Using the Cuisenaire rods, quite young children can understand what multiplication means and can work out simple problems.

We actually own a lot of math manipulatives, including both store-bought and homemade ones, but these are the ones I use the most.

Cross-posted with

Notre Dame, My Mother

A lot has been said about the situation at Notre Dame and Fr. Jenkins' unfortunate decision to honor an avowed champion of abortion. But I think Lacy Dodd has some excellent thoughts on the matter.
For many members of the Notre Dame Class of 2009, the uproar surrounding the university’s decision to honor Barack Obama with this year’s commencement address, and to bestow on him a doctorate of laws, has provoked strong feelings about what the ensuing conflict will mean for their graduation.

I know how they feel. Ten years ago, my heart was filled with similar conflicts as we came closer to the day of my own Notre Dame commencement and my commissioning as an officer in the United States Army.

You see, I was three months pregnant. ...

In my hour of need, on my knees, I asked Mary for courage and strength. And she did not disappoint.

My boyfriend was a different story. He was also a Notre Dame senior. When I told him that he was to be a father, he tried to pressure me into having an abortion. Like so many women in similar circumstances, I found out the kind of man the father of my child was at precisely the moment I needed him most. “All that talk about abortion is just dining-room talk,” he said. “When it’s really you in the situation, it’s different. I will drive you to Chicago and pay for a good doctor.”

I tried telling him this was not an option. He said he was pro-choice. I responded by informing him that my choice was life. And I learned, as so many pregnant women have before and since, that life is the one choice that pro-choicers won’t support.


There have been many things written about the honors to be extended to President Obama. I’d like to ask this of Fr. John Jenkins, the Notre Dame president: Who draws support from your decision to honor President Obama—the young, pregnant Notre Dame woman sitting in that graduating class who wants desperately to keep her baby, or the Notre Dame man who believes that the Catholic teaching on the intrinsic evil of abortion is just dining-room talk?

Please go over to First Things and read her whole speech.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Review: My First Number Book

My First Number Book
by Marie Heinst
1999, 48 pages, hardcover, DK Publishing

This delightful picture book introduces many math concepts to preschoolers. We have enjoyed working through concepts of counting, matching, sorting, sets, and sequencing. The illustrated pages make it fun for my son to discover more, less, and equal, addition and subtraction, geometric solids, and more. For example, matching begins with familiar matching pairs such as handprints, shoes, and earrings. Ideas of more or less begin to take shape as the child ponders such questions as, "Are there enough collars for the puppies?"

Sometimes your child may surprise you with an unexpected answer; for example, on a page showing five puppies and three doghouses, my son confidently assured me that "each puppy can have its own house." When I asked him how, he said, "The puppies that are brothers share a house." To him, sharing was not incompatible with the idea of being its "own" house.

The book also includes a few games. My son's favorite is a simple game involving counting backward or forward according to the roll of the die and directions on specific spaces.

Numbers are incorporated into the book in other clever ways; for example, each page number is illustrated by a string of the appropriate number of items. See if your child notices. Near the end is a section of BIG numbers, which all my children have enjoyed.

This book does an unusually good job of combining attractive photographs with effective questions designed to lead the child to discover math concepts.

I think it is currently out of print, but it's not hard to find at used book sources.

Cross-posted with

Thursday, April 30, 2009

One Hundred Days

What can a President do in just 100 days?

Unfortunately, the answer is "plenty".

From FRC, this video summaries "100 Days of Change for the Family" ...

... and, from the Susan B. Anthony List, "just some of the items on the radical pro-abortion agenda that President Obama implemented or is in the process of implementing in his first 100 days."
  • Repealed the pro-life Mexico City Policy, allowing your tax dollars to fund international abortion providers like Planned Parenthood.
  • Removed important conscience protections for medical professionals who choose to follow their conscience and refuse to participate in abortion procedures.
  • Increased Title X taxpayer funding – the slush fund for Planned Parenthood – to $307 million in 2009.
  • Restored $50 million in funding for the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA), which funds China's One-Child policy and other abortion providers around the world. Increased funding for International Family Planning by 19% for a total of $545 million.
  • Nominated cabinet officials and judges like Kathleen Sebelius, Dawn Johnsen, and David Hamilton, who will do all they can to advance the pro-abortion agenda.
But, as the SBA List notes,
There are still many important pro-life laws still intact, like the Hyde Amendment, which restricts further funding of the abortion industry. We must keep up our fight to ensure that these pro-life protections remain in place.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Today is National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

Today is the 7th Annual National Pro-Life T-shirt Day. Show your support for the most basic of all human rights by wearing your pro-life clothing today.

By happy coincidence, it is also the Feast day of St. Gianna Molla, who heroically chose life for her unborn baby at the risk of her own. You can find the prayer of St Gianna and more information about this model for Christian mothers here.

When I ordered our shirts some weeks ago, I made a mistake on my order. I called to ask whether it would be possible to exchange the shirt for the right size. Though I told them the mistake was mine, Heritage House was really nice about it and sent me a replacement of the right size for no extra charge. That's what I call great customer service!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Landmark originals vs. reprints

I'd like to collect the Landmark titles for my children to read, enjoy, and learn from. Unfortunately, they are out of print, but I read in mater et magistra magazine that they are being reprinted as "Sterling Point Books."

Of course I was excited, especially when I found that the titles are quite reasonably priced at a bit under $7 apiece. I got online and started looking for them, but found out that the two series are not quite the same.

For one thing, the Sterling Point books include titles not in the original Landmark series, such as The Great Escape, the story of the famous escape of Allied prisoners from Stalag Luft III during WWII.

For another, many of the titles have lost their original illustrations. I just purchased the reprint of Swamp Fox of the Revolution and happened to have access to the original 1959 Landmark title. Comparing the two, I found that all the original illustrations by Ernest Richardson were gone. Instead, there are a mere two illustrations in the new edition. One of them is a map, which, although clear and larger than the original, lacks the details present in the 1959 illustration. The other is a portrait of Francis Marion, the title character, which rather oddly portrays him in a cocked hat even though the very first page of the book states that he wore a battered old militia helmet.

I also discovered that at least this particular title had been edited a little. Specifically, the original text several times referred to Francis Marion's taciturn nature, comparing him with an Indian in this regard. The edited text omits the comparison. Here are a couple of examples:
(original) A small wizened man who walked with a swaying limp, he was swarthy, eagle-nosed, careless of appearance, and no more communicative than an Indian.
(new) A small wizened man who walked with a swaying limp, he was swarthy, eagle-nosed, careless of appearance, and a man of very few words.

(original) That was a long speech for a man as sparing of words as Francis Marion, beside whom an Indian was talkative.
(new) That was a long speech for a man as sparing of words as Francis Marion.
I guess this was done to remove the suggested stereotype of the Indian as a man of few words, but it still bothers me. I don't have the time to check the whole text of each book against the original; although this change is relatively unobjectionable, I have no way of knowing whether all the other changes are equally benign or if they are significantly more PC. At least the copyright information does note that this is an "updated" edition.

I'm hoping to find out more about the differences so that I can figure out whether I should hold out for the originals. If you have any additional info, please leave a comment for me here.

Make a difference!

Based on the aphorism of St. Augustine, let us pray as if all depended on God, and work as if all depended on us.

Pray as if all depended on God.

Work as if all depended on you.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Ever wonder why they don't just leave?

It's a good question, isn't it? People like Joan Chissiter and Frances Kissling constantly complain about the Church: why don't they just leave?

Fr. Philip has the diagnosis:
If the Roman Catholic Church is so horribly oppressive, so unjustly bigoted, so irrecoverably patriarchal, and these features cause you so much distress and anguish, then leave! But see, you won't leave. Why? Because you have an ODD relationship with Church authority. If you join the Episcopalians, a group that will embrace you and all your moon-batness, if you join the Episco-pagans, you become the establishment. You become the norm, the regular. . .and since you are constitutionally incapable of forming a positive identity, you will cling for dear life to your oppositional-defiant identity in the RCC.

Read it all here.

Lia's Challenge: Pro-Life Video Contest

Remember Lia Mills, the 12 year old whose school speech contest entry defending Life became a YouTube "viral" sensation?

The Susan B Anthony List is sponsoring a pro-life video contest for youth in her honor, with a $1000 prize. The video entries do NOT have to be videos of the student making a speech. There are two categories: 12 and under, and 13-18 years old.

When 12 year-old Lia Mills wrote her speech about abortion for a school contest, she had no idea the kind of impact it would have worldwide. Yet after her mother put the speech on YouTube, it garnered over a half a million views!

The greatest source of energy and potential the pro-life movement has is its youth. Youth have a unique perspective and voice, giving them an incredible ability to change hearts and minds. They are steadfast in their beliefs and want to share them with others! Now, Lia is challenging other young people to send in their videos and spread the pro-life message.

The SBA List wants to provide our nation’s youth with the opportunity to do just that. This new contest will award two winning videos with a $1,000 scholarship and will be featured in a Susan B. Anthony online campaign!

I think this would be a great fit for Catholic homeschoolers!

See here for full contest details.

Strong Public Support for Conscience Protection

From the USCCB Secretariat for Pro-Life Activities:
New Poll Shows Strong Support for Conscience Rights in Health Care

WASHINGTON—A nationwide poll conducted on March 23-25 found that 87 percent of adults surveyed believe it is important to "make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections." Conducted by the polling company™, inc./WomanTrend on behalf of the Christian Medical Association (CMA), the survey also showed majority support even among self-identified "pro-choice" respondents for the two-month-old conscience protection regulation now at risk of being rescinded by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Deirdre McQuade, spokeswoman on abortion at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), welcomed the data and urged HHS to keep the current regulation in place.

"The Obama administration has moved to rescind a vital HHS regulation protecting the conscience rights of health care providers," McQuade said, "But according to this new survey, the majority of Americans—whether 'pro-life' or 'pro-choice', male or female, Republican or Democratic—support the regulation and oppose its rescission."


Nearly 75,000 emails were sent in support of conscience protections from the NCHLA and Freedom2Care sites. This number does not include those many concerned citizens who contacted the DHHS directly at their email address or via other websites, such as FRC's.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Is this for real? *Updated*

I can hardly believe that a department of the Federal Government of the United States of America could have put out such a pathetic report, free of content except for making unsubstantiated claims against the "dangers" of obviously political targets: those who are pro-life, anti-tax, pro-traditional marriage, pro-2nd Amendment, have served a military tour of duty, or are conservatives.
The DHS/Office of Intelligence and Analysis (I&A) has no specific information that domestic rightwing terrorists are currently planning acts of violence, but rightwing extremists may be gaining new recruits by playing on their fears about several emergent issues. The economic downturn and the election of the first African American president present unique drivers for rightwing radicalization and recruitment. [my emphasis]
We at the DHS/I&A have no data that rightwing terrorists are doing anything, or even if they exist. None. Zero. Zilch. Yeah, literally. But we are afraid our political opponents will advance because we are failing spectacularly at fixing the economy. Oh, and of course anyone who disagrees with BHO must be a racist, so we expect all the racists to join up too.
Erm, hello? This is what the Department of Homeland Security is doing? Publishing a totally unsubstantiated and speculative report claiming that people who merely happen to disagree with the views of the current Administration are actually "extremists" and probably terrorists? Does the word "propaganda" ring any bells?

Pathetic and content-free as the report is, I would not be surprised to find it referred to in all seriousness by those arguing that those rightwing [sic] extremists -- like old ladies praying the rosary outside Planned Parenthood -- need to be kept in check and lose their civil liberties in order to protect society.

Can you imagine The Media letting it slide if the government issued a similarly thin report on left-wing extremism? (Check out this "right->left translation" if you are tempted to believe there is no double standard. h/t for link: the Anchoress.)

Arizona's gain is the nation's loss.

PS An in-depth analysis is here. Please do read it.
The American Legion response is here.
h/ts: FRC, Michelle Malkin, the Anchoress

Trip Highlights: Rail Grinder

I can't believe we've already been back at home for almost a month! Maybe I can consider this an extension of the enjoyment of the vacation instead of garden-variety procrastination.

On the first day out, we spotted an odd little train with some very unusual-looking cars. Dh found a convenient park with a trackside view, and we stopped and waited for the train to come by. It took a little while, but it was worth the wait!

It turned out to be a rail grinder train, and it was pretty impressive close up. The loco was followed by a couple of passenger cars with their windows blocked off, then two tank cars, and a couple of tool cars (guessing). Then came the VERY loud rail grinder cars, emitting metal grinding sounds with showers of sparks and much smoke.

They took a lot of care to avoid starting fires. They laid down some kind of retardant, plus a guy rode on the back of the train hosing down the track.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Beautiful Pro-life Song

A blessed Easter to you all!

What better time to celebrate the gift of life and hope?

Singer Jaime Thietten hopes that her song will help bring healing to women afflicted by a past abortion as well as help moms choose life. Great voice, too!
"So many children lose their lives everyday," Jaime says. "People have asked me why I would want to tackle such a controversial subject at this time in my musical career. My answer is that we can't afford to wait. Lives need to be saved now. I'm not worried about what others think."

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Whatever happened to Motherhood and Apple Pie?

Nominated by President Obama to head the Office of Legal Counsel in the Department of Justice, Dawn Johnsen, is the latest -- and the worst so far -- of a string of radical pro-abortion nominees. The only bright side is that she says out loud what a great many feminists secretly believe about motherhood.

The Susan B Anthony List has compiled a sort of "hit parade" of Johnsen quotes:
"The argument that women who become pregnant have in some sense consented to the pregnancy belies reality…and others who are the inevitable losers in the contraceptive lottery no more 'consent' to pregnancy than pedestrians 'consent' to being struck by drunk drivers.'"
Supreme Court amicus brief she authored in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

"The woman is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not wholly her own: the state has conscripted her body for its own ends. Thus, abortion restrictions 'reduce pregnant women to no more than fetal containers.'"
Supreme Court amicus brief she authored in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

"Statutes that curtail her abortion choice are disturbingly suggestive of involuntary servitude, prohibited by the Thirteenth Amendment, in that forced pregnancy requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state's asserted interest."
Supreme Court amicus brief she authored in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services

Please write to your Senators today and oppose Dawn Johnsen's nomination to the Office of Legal Counsel

Reading these comments, I am struck by the real loathing of motherhood that Johnsen displays. I suspect most women, and especially most mothers, will find these comments to be demeaning and offensive. If you agree, please go either to the above link or here to ask your Senators to reject this nomination.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Hear, hear!

Daniel Hannan is a Member of the European Parliament from South East England. Wish we had some members of Congress like this!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Conscience Protection Alert!

There's one more thing we can do to protect conscience.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) has proposed an amendment in the Senate that would protect the right of conscience for health care workers!

The Senate is scheduled to vote on this amendment TOMORROW afternoon, April 2.

Please contact your Senators today and tell them to vote YES on the conscience protection amendment!

This is a link to an email form and takes just a minute to fill in your info and send.

PS If you haven't already send your comments to HHS, you can still do so until April 9, using the link at either the USCCB or at Freedom2Care.

Begin Pacschal Mystery Eggs today!

Today is the day to begin the countdown to Easter with the Paschal Mystery Eggs.

From Hindu to Carmelite

As a convert from Hinduism myself, I am always interested in others' conversion stories, with a special interest in those from India. Today, while searching for information one of my children needed, I came across this wonderful story of a Carmelite nun who converted from Hindusim over three decades ago.

Now known as Sister Mary Joseph, she says that while teaching at a Canossian Sisters' school in Bombay,
"I felt an urgent and incessant calling to a meeting with Jesus, my love for Jesus began growing and I felt a deep desire to know him, love him and serve him."
And yet her path was not easy. Again quoting Sister:
"My family was completely shattered, I had brought shame and embarrassment on the family, my parents had to suffer humiliation from my relatives, being from a very traditional and high caste Brahmin Iyengar family, and now converting to Christianity was a very big blow to our family pride."
This is a very common attitude in India. I would say that many higher-caste Indians consider conversion to be a shameful thing. It is a fact that within India most converts to Christianity come from the lowest caste and "untouchables"; it is difficult to know whether this is the cause or the effect of upper-caste Hindus' tendency to look down on converts to Christianity.

Although my own background is similar to Sister Mary Joseph's, I was fortunate in that my family, unilike hers, took my conversion very well. I am glad to say that, eventually, her family came around as well.

I want to offer just one more quote, and encourage you to read the whole article.
I suffer and pray, my calling today is: "Vicariously suffering for the world." I enter deeply into the suffering with my prayer, my prayer for the persecuted Church, the moral and ethical issues in the world, the attacks against life, the youth, the snares of temptations for the youth like drugs, pornography and such evils that exist, the breaking up of the family and also marriage, these are my deepest sufferings and prayer.

This gives me great hope. Contemplative religious are our "secret weapon" in the battle for souls.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day

The seventh annual National Pro-Life T-Shirt Day is April 28, 2009.

On this day, all pro-life persons are invited to make a positive statement of their pro-life beliefs by wearing T-shirts with a pro-life message.

The official T-shirt for this year is a classy design with two-color printing on a black background. It's available from Heritage House in standard and women's styles, and with long ($10) or short ($8) sleeves. The message on the back reads:

If he's not alive, why is his heart beating?
If he's not a human being, what kind of being is he?
If he's a living human being, why is it legal to kill him?
Choose Life.
Or choose from dozens of other messages to create your custom shirt. Regularly priced at $11.95 for T-shirts with a single design (choose to place it on either front or back), today is the last day to get them at the fantastic special price of $5 each! Use coupon code V10T. For a little extra, you can choose from several background colors or display messages on both front and back.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Physics for High School

I've been researching physics resources for high school, asking friends what they use, and checking Internet sources. Yes, it's a little early yet, but I really like physics!

Here are a couple of intriguing possibilities:
Physics in Your Life from the Teaching Company, taught by Professor Richard Wolfson

This has rave reviews ... and it sounds a lot more comprehensive than the title implies. Plus, like all other Teaching Company products, it's guaranteed to satisfy. This title is currently on sale for $100 (regularly $375).

Conceptual Physics from Kinetic Books

This is an "interactive textbook" on CD ROM. The concept seems somewhat similar to that of Teaching Textbooks, but most of the offerings are for high-school to freshman college-level physics. I found a demo on their site. Pretty cool! It seems to have a good balance between written text and activities, and also supports a variety of learning styles. Seems pretty affordable, too, at $30 for a CD that can be used for more than one student. You can add the printed textbook for another $15.

They also offer a "Virtual Lab" CD that allows the student to vary input parameters and watch the results. I wonder whether they randomized it a bit to produce realistic results. If you've done any real life lab work, you know how suspicious exact results are!

Couple of reviews online: at NSTA, and at the Homeschool Magazine

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"Pro-choice" = "no choice"? *Updated*

This is so outrageous, it is hard to write calmly about it.

The Obama Administration plans to revoke conscience protection for pro-life medical professionals.

The Bush Administration put into place a Department of Health and Human Services rule that protects doctors, nurses, and other health professionals as well as hospitals from discrimination because of their pro-life views. In short, it protects the rights of health professionals and of hospitals to refuse to participate in murder. Without this type of protection, doctors and nurses are subject to coercion (losing jobs or facing other punishment) to act against their consciences. More on the rule here.

The Obama Administration has made public its intention to remove this protection from medical professionals who refuse to assist in the killing of innocents. This is not "choice" but tyranny.

By law, there must be a 30-day period for public comment before the rule change can be implemented. If people of good will can apply enough pressure, this can be stopped.

As Cardinal George points out, we recognize the right to conscientious objection in other areas as well, such as objectors to war not having to serve in the military, or those who object in conscience to capital punishment not having to carry out the death penalty. Watch the video -- definitely worth your time.

Then go to the USCCB site and click the link to submit your comment supporting conscience protection. Alternatively, go to Freedom2Care and use either the link for patients or for healthcare professionals. Both sites offer plenty of additional information and background.

The comment period ends April 9, so please act soon. And, as always, please pray for God's mercy.

Please note that this action, though similar to one of the provisions of FOCA, is completely separate from that Act.