Ladies for Life

Posts Tagged ‘morality

What if your mother tells you your father wanted you dead?

Oh, ouch.

See also: Once Upon a Time Daddy Wished You Dead, where similar cases are recounted and discussed.

See also (coming from a different angle on this): After Running From the Abortion Clinic, Young Father Runs For The Gold.

hat tip for first two links: Head Noises

David L. Schindler, in asking questions about Notre Dame’s present of an honorary degree to President Obama, puts some of the controversy into moral and historical perspective.

Schindler is an editor at Communio: International Catholic Review, and is a faculty member at John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and Family.

hat tip: Alliance Alert

Brian A. Graebe, a seminarian of the Archdiocese of New York, writing at First Things, says:

Nor can such absolutists blind themselves to the traps set by the current discourse, steeped as it is in consequentialist parameters. In any discussion over embryonic stem-cell research, for example, one will inevitably hear an informed and articulate pro-lifer mention the lack of cures that such research has yet yielded. But what defense will remain if, tomorrow, embryonic stem-cell research were to produce a bevy of cures for terminal diseases? Even if the pro-research consequentialist were to accept the above premise, and change his position based on the supposed futility of this research, the victory is a pyrrhic one. For the rules of engagement have shifted onto a pragmatic playing-field, where any moral standard now lies susceptible to a more pressing need. When we compromise even the slightest on intrinsic evils, entertaining effects and trying to use them in our favor, we can hardly be surprised when recourse to first principles no longer carries weight in the great conversations of our day.

In a time when the distinction between can and should has become increasingly blurred, and when fundamental moral norms are under unprecedented attack, the principle of intrinsic evil requires and deserves a staunch defense. The threat of utilitarianism is hardly new; after all, it was the calculating Caiaphas who asserted it was better for one man to die than the whole nation to perish. In the face of public demand for expediency and results—with little or no regard for what seem to be ethical niceties—the pressure of pragmatism can test the purest of consciences. At times the price for holding fast to these absolutes can be very high indeed. But ours is not to count the cost. For these moral norms are not our own; rather, they point always beyond us to a law that we did not invent, a law that we cannot change.

An objective morality naturally bespeaks an objective truth, and in an age of ascendant relativism such allegiance should stand as a sign of contradiction. It ought to lead others to ask a question, or at least a different question: not Does it work?, but Is it right? Without a steadfast adherence to the primacy of that latter question, there is no limit on the brute horrors that wait to be unleashed. The past century is nothing if not a stark lesson in how easily utilitarian calculations can, in the name of some greater good, strike at the very roots of human dignity. Such a conviction as to intrinsic wrongs formed a first line of defense in Mockaitis’ pursuit of justice. For the rest of us, it forms a last line of defense against the triumph of moral anarchy.

Read the whole article: Today’s Practical Problem (First Things, May 8, 2009).

hat tip: The Anchoress

Zenit has an interview with Mariangela Sullivan, the founder of a new law student coalition at Notre Dame called Notre Dame Action Coalition. In the interview, Sullivan takes a long view, addressing the years-long divisions in the Catholic church that have now come to a head, and looking forward. While the discussion is aimed primarily at Catholics, there’s some good food for thought there for all of us, I think.

hat tip: Joseph Pecar

Oregon Right to Life has an annual camp for pro-lifers ages 16-21, called Camp Joshua.

From a letter to parents on the Camp Joshua website:

Do you know that the majority of high school teenagers consider themselves pro-life? But did you know that, by the time they graduate from college, the majority are pro-choice? This is not because college students learn the truth about abortion by any means! Rather, it is because they don’t know why they are pro-life in the first place, and so when they start to hear the very strong pro-choice presence on college campuses they start to believe that perhaps the pro-choice movement is right about abortion…

I’ve heard this elsewhere, by the way – that a lot of young pro-lifers are pro-life because it feels right to them, or because they feel sorry for the baby who gets killed, or because they feel sorry for themselves or others who lost a sibling to abortion. Since they’re basically flying by the seat of their pants, it’s often not all that hard to steer them into a new opinion, perhaps one based on feeling sorry for pregnant women who would rather be babyless.

(OK, so it’s not just young people who suffer from this sort of thinking. I know plenty of older pro-lifers who are a bit fuzzy on the moral reasoning.)

It’s clear that a lot of young pro-lifers seem to be solid as rocks on right and wrong, and are well-educated on the issues, and are well-prepared to defend the defenseless when the situation calls for it. But, like any of us, they can have their weak spots, too.

Bottom line: Kindly don’t assume that if your kids are pro-life, they’re basing their position on solid reasoning and firm foundations instead of emotion. Ask! You might be surprised (I hope you will be pleasantly surprised, but…).

Questions: Does your area have anything along the lines of Camp Joshua? Can you recommend other programs that build up young pro-lifers, and help them network with peers?

… you get some blood-curdling ‘theology’. God help us.

From Damian Thompson, writing in the Telegraph in the UK:

The new Dean of the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massacusetts, has given a sermon describing abortions as a “blessing” for the women who undergo them. The Rev Katherine Hancock Ragsdale also thinks that the people who run abortion clinics are “heroes” and even “saints”.

Ms Ragsdale, speaking in Birmingham, Alabama, said that “when a woman becomes pregnant within a loving, supportive, respectful relationship; has every option open to her; decides she does not wish to bear a child; and has access to a safe, affordable abortion – there is not a tragedy in sight – only blessing.”

Here is the full text of her sermon. Do not, please, make the mistake of assuming that she is an unrepresentative extremist: liberal Anglicans in America are among the most fervent supporters of abortion in the world, outstripping even atheists in their enthusiasm for this gruesome procedure. Over to you, Ms Ragsdale:

[full Thompson column here]

Uhm. I almost wish now that I hadn’t thrown away a Lectionary study guide Read the rest of this entry »

Cardinal Ratzinger (now Pope Benedict XVI) wrote wise words about the need for joy, and Wittingshire shares some of them.

Anthony Esolen discusses how, so often, “compassion” has led to murder. A snippet:

Flannery O’Connor once said that without faith we would govern by compassion, and that compassion leads to the gas chamber.  We’d do well to ask why that is so, and what it might have to do with the insights of Lewis and Tolkien.  That is, we should investigate the motives of those who want to see the world, and man in it, as thoroughly secular, free of the holy.

Another snippet:

It is always so with man.  I cannot think of a single degradation of our culture that has not come into the room dabbing at its eyes with a handkerchief, pleading for mercy, or pleading for the opportunity to bring mercy — why, joy itself! — to poor unfortunate others.  Sharkey shows up at the Shire to help.

Read the whole thing.

A blogger shares what happened when grade schoolers at the school her children attend were confronted with the subject of abortion during last year’s presidential campaign. Out of the mouths of babes…

Related post: Gut Check, at Wittingshire (I also linked to this back in October, if you’re thinking the title sounds familiar.)

Love2Learn Mom is working on a “Building a Culture of Life” series over at Studeo.

Via Studeo, Amy Welborn is challenging Catholics to make every Catholic parish a pro-life place, and she’s looking at ways to achieve that, not only by speaking about against abortion, but in providing support for teenagers who get pregnant or father a child, by supporting adoption and foster parenting, in helping parents of children with special needs, etc. (I’ll pick up the ball and challenge non-Catholics to push toward similar goals.)

Via Amy Welborn (I seem to be slipping to some kind of pattern here…), Dawn Eden writes about a book written and illustrated by a lady with Down Syndrome: Kellie’s Book: The Art of the Possible.

Speaking of Down Syndrome and the (everyday) art of what’s possible: “Lady for Life” Barbara Curtis and her family were featured in the Washington Post, in a look at people who adopt children with Down Syndrome. Barbara has been turning out quite a number of pro-life posts over at Mommy Life lately. For instance, there’s one that shares something said by a career Marine, tied in with a motto from Mother Teresa.

Jennifer F. has been pondering “How would you know?” if something that is widely accepted by your culture is evil. (via the same Amy Welborn post as linked above).

Welcome. This is just another place for pro-life ladies to meet and share and offer support to one another.
August 2020

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