Wednesday, June 29, 2022

of Serious Thoughts: Abortion, "Yes" or "No"?

of Serious Thoughts: Abortion, "Yes" or "No"?:  As the Supreme Court considers the abortion issue, people are protesting from both sides . . . there is too much shouting and polarization ...

Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Abortion, "Yes" or "No"?

 As the Supreme Court considers the abortion issue, people are protesting from both sides . . . there is too much shouting and polarization to allow for reasonable points to be made.  The abortion issue is not easily easily settled with a 'Yes' or 'No' law.  It is complex and multi-faceted.  

The first point to consider is that conception is the first step to the transmission of life and the protection of human life is our highest value.  That makes it a moral issue--but does not automatically give us the answer.

The next point to consider is that a moral choice in always the responsibility of the individual affected by it.  When a moral decision is called for, it involves a dilemma . . . a forced choice between equally undesirable alternatives.

Laws are general guidelines, but laws cannot encompass all moral issues that arise.  For example, the 6th Commandment is 'Thou shalt not kill' . . . and yet we recognizethere are times when the law ceases to apply as when an innocent life is threatened, that seemingly absolutist position is modified. 

In the abortion debate the Pro-Life stand is taken from an absolutist position that it is NEVER right to take a life, even (and perhaps especially) a potential one.  This fails to take into consideration the moral dilemma of the pregnant woman.

The Pro-Abortion side takes the absolutist position that argues for NO restriction on abortion, thus failing to give credence to the moral value of protecting human life.

It is unfortunate that when the Roe v Wade debate was settled into law it did not include a limited time frame for undertaking the procedure; that would have avoided its becoming the intractable situation we now have.  Society has been appalled at seeing piles of aborted babies in different stages of development   and stories of babies aborted within days of delivery.

The coming-to-be of a human life is an evolution.  The new life goes through stages of development. Within 24 hours after fertilization the egg rapidly divides into many cells, within 3 weeks it becomes an embryo, gradually becoming more complex as systems develop.  Between the 8th and 9th weeks it is called a fetus as it takes on the recognizable form and functions of a baby. 

Conception begins the life process and various religions argue about when a fetus becomes 'human' (heart beat? soul enters? viability?), but from a non-sectarian standpoint most would agree that if a pregnency is to be terminated, the earlier the interruption, the more humane.

There is another issue that permeates this debate and that is "Who has the right to decide?"  It is within the rights of government to put limits on the timing of the procedure, but it is not the role of a government  to make moral decisions.  It is the responsibility of each woman seeking the procedure to come to the decision within her own conscience.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Is God A Non-Issue?

 We are encouraged to seek ‘The Good’.


Take a slow and thoughtful look at our world:


            --Nations under siege

                        or collapsing without leadership

                                    the world awash with refugees.


            --a measurable increase in violence:


                        the violence of war

                        mass killing in schools

                                    and the marketplace

                        increasing violence in the streets

                        violence as our prime entertainment source

                                    in movies, on TV, in video games . . .


            --loss of restraint and civility:


                        fist-fighting on airplanes

                        at school board meetings

                        children’s soccer games

                        threats and insults on social media


            --a news headline:


                        ‘Billionaires’ wealth surged during pandemic’

                                    Half the world’s wealth belongs to the top 1% 


In our world in the 21st century, God has become a non-issue, something to perhaps give a nod to one day of the week—or once a year; but otherwise not actually having an effect on lives.  God is ignored.

Whatever you consider to be God’s name or how ‘he’ should be worshiped, it is understood that ‘a god’ represents to humanity all that is good.  Losing awareness of our God (by whatever name) brings with it, the loss of focus on ‘the good’ . . . and little by little evil creeps in until it becomes overwhelming.

God doesn’t need us, but we need God in order to remember ‘The Good’.

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Malhuman Acts

 Day after day, as I watch the news of Ukraine, tears roll down my cheeks.  I don’t invite them and I can’t stop them.  I feel a measure of guilt for having a comfortable world with an inability to render any aid.  (A few dollars? Even hundreds—but what is that in the face of such need?)  My tears come because I have learned empathy and compassion—it is what is required of us to be human.  It sensitizes us to feel others’ pain.


Those who lack those qualities commit malhuman acts.  Putin’s troops are trained to slaughter innocent people; children, women, old people as well as men in uniform.  He orders the bombing of hospitals, schools, living quarters, buildings marked ‘CHILDREN’.  In areas which they invade but cannot hold, they stealthily plant booby traps where people will walk and shoot captives with hands tied behind their backs.  They rape and torture women before killing them, and some when they don’t kill, wish they had.  It is total depravity, equal to the Nazi horrors of WWII.  Russia had no particular enmity against Ukrainian culture, Putin simply wanted the territory and moved in with his armies.  This man is evil!  It was blasphemy for him to be pictured blessing himself for the cameras in a church at Orthodox Easter.


I borrow a paragraph from my earlier blog of September 13, 2014 titled ‘Malhuman’. . . “we search for words with which to describe them and their deeds—all our strongest words seem inadequate”; they have transgressed the boundaries of civilization.  It is inaccurate to call their actions ‘beastly’ or ‘inhuman’.  Beasts instinctively kill for survival but don’t commit these horrors; humans act through conscious choice.  They can’t rightly be called inhuman (lacking human identity) or unhuman (not resembling or having qualities of human beings) for these are heinous actions consciously chosen by humans. . . choices arising out of pure evil.  


I’ve searched dictionaries for the word malhuman, and I get ‘no match found’.  I can’t understand why it is not in our lexicon.  I offer it as the word which best describes what we are witnessing.

Saturday, March 26, 2022

of Serious Thoughts: Putin's War--The Hand of Cane

of Serious Thoughts: Putin's War--The Hand of Cane:   Ukraine wants to be part of NATO.     NATO is the alliance of democratic nations who agree to mutually support each other if attacked by a...

Friday, March 18, 2022

Putin's War--The Hand of Cane

 Ukraine wants to be part of NATO.  NATO is the alliance of democratic nations who agree to mutually support each other if attacked by a rogue nation.  Putin does not want Ukraine in NATO and has chosen to call a war to mercilessly attack Ukraine to prevent its joining.  This is not Russia’s war, it is Putin’s.  Putin controls his nation’s communications so Russians don’t have access to the truth.  The US and other NATO  nations are doing all they can to support Ukraine short of sending troops—as that would trigger WWIII.  We all know this much.


What calls for a closer look is that a world war would immediately become a nuclear war.  The world stockpile of nuclear weapons is estimated to roughly be 12,700 warheads.  90 percent of that is held between Russia and the US in more or less equal amounts.  Do we realize what a terminal danger this world is in?  We have created the possibility of destroying the earth as we know it!


In Deuteronomy 30:15 God’s words are quoted as: “I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses.  Now choose life, so your children may live.”  Living by God’s laws is simply, ‘Do to others as you would want done to you’.  Later Jesus added, ‘Love your enemies’.  Living by God’s laws promises life; opposing those laws spells death. . . and that is true, whether or not you believe in a God.


The Bible story of Cane and Able tells of older brother, Cane, who out of jealousy, kills his brother Able.  It is a cautionary tale.


On March 16th Pope Francis led a meeting of students in St. Peter’s Basilica at which he read a beautiful prayer by Archbishop Battaglia:


“Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, we implore you to stop the hand of Caine; enlighten our conscience, let not our will be done, do not abandon us to our own doing.

Stop us, Lord, stop us, and when you have stopped the hand of Caine, take care of him also.  He is our brother.

Forgive us if, not content with the nails with which we pierced your hand, we continue to drink from the blood of the dead torn apart by weapons.

Forgive us if these hands that you had created to protect, have been turned into instruments of death.”

Thursday, February 24, 2022

of Serious Thoughts: Death With Dignity

of Serious Thoughts: Death With Dignity:   This past month has     brought me to consider the issue of Death with Dignity.   Twenty days ago my sister Marian, my only sibling, died....