Saturday, March 22, 2008

For Maria

A co-worker flattered me yesterday, Good Friday, by asking me to read and comment on a printed copy of the testimony she will be giving tomorrow (at her church, I think). It was a personal, heartfelt witness to the death and resurrection of Christ. She defended both the reality and the meaning of these events. Given time, I would have made extensive suggestions for re-working it. But, mercifully there was none. I endorsed her testimony, wishing her success.

Here, below, is a specifically Catholic testimony in that same theme. Here's wishing Maria fullness of joy. Remember, it's the Holy Spirit that gives power to our words:
“ not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say; for what you are to say will be given to you in that hour”
(Matt 10:19 RSV)

Resurrection Sunday: "1 Corinthians 15:1-8 ESV 1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand, 2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you- unless you believed in vain. 3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8 Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.

Central to the preaching of all the apostles and of St. Paul who is quoted above was the historical fact that the tomb was empty and that the risen Jesus appeared to them--not as some sort of spirit or psychological projection but as a real person in a real but transformed body. The first century Christians were not credulous dummies as many today, with great and unfounded daring, assume about people in ancient times. The first century Jews knew that, in the natural course of events, the dead do not rise again. They knew the difference between a mere vision or 'spirit' and a real person. They would not have called a mere vision or a mass emotional experience of grief a matter of resurrection from the dead. They would not have used resurrection from the dead to describe such events. Read the writings of evangelical biblical scholar N.T. Wright to see these points massively documented in great detail by a first-rate mind.

If you meet a Christian who claims that the emptiness of the tomb was irrelevant, who claims that the risen Jesus was just a spirit, who claims that the grieving apostles were just compensating for their emotional trauma after the crucifixion, know this with absolute certainty: that is not the Christianity of the Bible preached by the apostles. If you are in a congregation or denomination where that sort of watered down version is pushed or tolerated as a viable option, get out if you want real Christianity. Or at least admit that what you are being served is not the real thing and that it is all play-acting signifying nothing remotely biblical or apostolic. If you want the power of the healing of Jesus Christ in your life, you have to believe that he left that tomb empty, that the body was raised and transformed and is still working on our behalf. And, if you are Catholic or Eastern Orthodox, know that you also receive that same risen body in the great and very real mystery of the Eucharist.

(Via Catholic Analysis.)

The Light Shines in the Darkness

(John 1:5) The National Post has a long entry (six pages) on the CHRC controversy; specifically on the opening up of the Lemire hearing to the public.

Steynianism 88.0: "~ STEYN3– SCRUTINIZING THE HUMAN RIGHTS MACHINE: A gargantuan front-page story in The National Post - plus: Kevin Baker wants ‘some of that CHRC hate-love’ …. (np)"

(Via Free Mark Steyn!.)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Certainty and Doubt

One of the threads in our on-line philosophy course is on Certainty and Doubt. I have taken the position that epistemic certainty is only possible about things that are trivially true or relatively unimportant: The Law of Identity ("a = a"), 1 + 1 = 2, and so on. But I'm not arguing that nothing is knowable or that doubt trumps all beliefs or knowledge. Moral certainty is what we normally define as the sufficient, reasonable certainty to act on; doubt being possible, but not reasonable.

The following is interesting in light of that discussion:

“Plagued by Certainty”: "

Another excellent post by Joe Carter. Here’s a taste:

I don’t doubt that God exists or that the Bible is his Word. I don’t doubt that Jesus was born of a virgin, that he died and was buried, or that he rose again after three days in the tomb. I don’t doubt that he died for me, a truly wretched sinner, or that I will spend eternity in His presence. I would find it easier to doubt my own existence than to doubt the Nicene Creed. Maybe I’m delusional (though I doubt that) but I have few doubts about my faith.


(Via Southern Appeal.)

Handkerchiefs at the Ready

This is a for those who are in touch with their feelings:


Hi everybody! I am the newby on the block . The newest associate therapist at PSI. I look forward to getting to know all of you!

This is a short video of a couple who found out that their first child had Trisomy 18 in their 3rd trimester. It is a beautiful pro-life witness. Instead of ever considering abortion they chose to celebrate each day of his short 3 monthes and embrace him as a precious gift of life.

What a contrast to those that choose to remain childless because society has modeled that life is about me, myself and I and led them on a misdirected path to love. I wonder if these people become angry because they can't deny that deep in their heart they know how selfish their choice is. It's these same people who are treating their dogs as babies: dressing them and pushing them in strollers.

Via Heart, Mind & Strength

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mental Health

and Abortion are usually linked in the popular imagination, if at all, as a straight line relationship: "Abortions might protect mental health, lack of access to abortions might increase mental illness". The evidence suggests otherwise:

Abortions linked to mental illness in new study...: "


(Via New Advent World Watch.)

Free Speech Restored?

Abortion Debate Back On: "

The Queen Twit who cancelled this debate seems not to have unlimited powers after all…. 

If you’ve been following the event at York University in Toronto earlier this month, you’ll know that I was banned from speaking at York Student Federation property. I was to debate a student from the atheist society but the student federation claimed the abortion debate was akin to debating whether or not a man can beat his wife, and cancelled it last minute.

York University promised to allow us to do the debate again and as of yesterday (I don’t understand the delay) they told us we can debate again this Tuesday. My opponent is still willing to debate.

If you are able to come to Toronto, please join us for this. If you aren’t in the area, please let others who are know about this. We appreciate any of who are also willing to pray for this event too:

Event: Abortion - A Woman’s Right or a Moral Wrong?

Day and Time: Tuesday, March 18th at 5:30-7:00pm

Location: Curtis Lecture Hall E, Keele Campus at York University; the

building is by Scott Library

Jojo Ruba

Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Reform (CCBR)


(Via SoCon Or Bust.)

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Time for a History Lesson

All right class, settle down. Reference is made from time to time in popular culture to "Star Chambers". What were they? No fair going to Wikipedia to get a quick answer.

Once you have your answer the follow-up question is: Do some Human Rights Tribunal Hearings resemble Star Chamber proceedings, and, if so, how?

No credit will be given to those who argue that free-speechers should be silenced.

Star Chambers Behind Closed Doors, No Admittance: "

From Connie Fournier at FD… 

Lemire’s March 25th Hearing to be a Secret Star Chamber!As many of you know, Marc Lemire’s Canadian Human Rights Tribunal hearing is scheduled to resume on March 25, 2008.The defence team is planning to question Dean Steacy, a Human Rights Commission investigator, about why he registered on Free Dominion when we were not under investigation (something he claimed never to have done), and to ask about the CHRC complaint that was lodged against us over a post that was made just days after Steacy registered here.I sent the following email to Carol Ann Hartung on March 6th:

Connie wrote:
Dear Ms Hartung,My name is Connie Fournier and my husband and I were administrators of

the website Free Dominion when a person named jadewarr signed up as a

member.It has come to our attention that this matter will be discussed at the

March 25th tribunal hearing of Warman v. Lemire, and we would like to

request permission to sit in on the hearing since the evidence concerns

a website that belonged to us.Please let us know if this is agreeable. Thank you in advance for your


Connie and Mark Fournier

Hartung wrote back on March 7, 2008:

Ms. Fournier,The testimony of the witnesses on March 25th in the above-cited matter

is a continuation from a previous sitting with these witnesses which was

held in camera, pursuant to an order by the presiding Tribunal Member.

Unless the parties indicate that this is no longer required and if the

presiding Tribunal Member agrees, the hearing of the testimony of the

scheduled witnesses will remain closed to the public.Regards,Carol Ann Hartung

Carol Ann Hartung

Registry Officer/Agente du greffe

Canadian Human Rights Tribunal/Tribunal canadien des droits de la


160 rue Elgin Street Suite 1100

Ottawa ON K1A 1J4

(613) 995-1707 ext./poste 313

It’s time to light the blogosphere aflame.  E-mail, write, or phone Ms. Hartung and demand your right to know what’s going on in the nation’s kafka kourts.
It’s time to split the banana chambers.Email address:


(Via SoCon Or Bust.)

Monday, March 03, 2008

Free Will

is a fundamental arguing point in philosophy. Determinists say it's nonsense, or that it means something other than it's been traditionally understood to be. Indeterminists may just argue that it's luck, not personal agency, that brings about our "decisions". So this study is interesting in the context of this debate:

Free Will and Honesty by Charles Colson
Nearly every major story involving an ethical or moral lapse is soon followed by an... >>read more

(Via Catholic Exchange)

I've Been Avoiding

commenting on American politics, though I follow the presidential campaigns avidly. It seems inappropriate for me, a Canadian, to opine on things south of the border. Let the Americans work things out for themselves and if they entertain us in the interval, all the better. But this references one of the loveliest spots on God's Green Earth: Nelsonville, Ohio. Three stoplights: count'em. My sister-in-law lives on a hill above this metropolis and works at the college in question. I was hoping for pictures to see if she's standing there somewhere. Oh well, an excuse for the wife to call and talk.

When Liberals Do Theology, It Isn't Pretty "Sen. Barack...: "When Liberals Do Theology, It Isn't Pretty

'Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) told a crowd at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, Sunday that he believes the Sermon on the Mount justifies his support for legal recognition of same-sex unions. He also told the crowd that his position in favor of legalized abortion does not make him 'less Christian.''

Well, when the Son of God himself says it, it must be beyond question. I guess those troublesome questions are now settled. What a great deal of confusion that was!"

(Via Catholic and Enjoying It!.)

Argument, Discussion, and Debate

is a fine old text by Professor Craig Baird that I borrowed and luxuriated in for a couple of years or more. The civilized ideal of democracy is the forum of public debate and argument. But the era we live in doesn't have the energy to listen to two or three hours of patient, well-developed arguments. We want a fifteen-second sound bite. Alas, for us, the clever, unsound argument is more attractive than the hard work of thinking through the facts and the relationships amongst them. And so, Universities are becoming places to protect us from thoughtcrime:

Abortion Debate Cancelled by York University Student Union: "


For Immediate Release

March 1, 2008

Abortion Debate Cancelled by York University Student UnionThe York University Student Centre shut down an event entitled ‘Abortion Debate: A Woman’s Right or a Moral Wrong?’ at York University only a couple of hours before it was scheduled to take place late Thursday afternoon.

Margaret Fung, President of Students for Bioethical Awareness (SBA), one of the hosting clubs, describes what happened: ‘I was told in a meeting by members of the York Federation of Students that debating abortion is comparable to debating whether a man should be allowed to beat his wife. They said that there is freedom of speech to a limit, and that abortion is not an issue to debate. They demanded that the event not take place and shut us down.’

Present at this meeting in addition to Fung were Jeremy Salter, Executive Director of the York Federation of Students (YFS), Fuad Abdi, VP Operations of the YFS and also the Secretary of the Executive Committee of the Student Centre, and Amir Mohareb, President of the York Debating Society.

SBA, an official York University Student Club, worked with the York Debating Society to organize the debate. The debaters were Michael Payton from Freethinkers, Skeptics and Atheists at York for the pro-choice side and Jose Ruba from the Canadian Centre for Bio-Ethical Awareness for the pro-life side. It was to be an organized debate moderated by the York Debating Society. Both sides were ready and willing to debate, but after it was demanded the event be shut down, dozens of students planning on attending the event were turned away at the door.

Commenting on her feelings about what took place, Fung continues, ‘The Student Centre has made sure that anyone with different views than theirs can’t express themselves, even if both points of view are represented. They don’t seem to understand that we live in a free, democratic society. A university is supposed to be a marketplace of ideas not a propaganda machine for political extremists.’

This action at York University comes in the wake of statements by the Canadian Federation of Students (of which the YFS is a part) comparing pro-life student groups to the KKK, and announcing their intention to support student unions who ban pro-life student clubs. ‘Salter also compared pro-lifers to the KKK,’ concludes Fung, ‘And such comparisons are incredibly ignorant and, quite frankly, hurtful’.

For more information, please contact:

Margaret Fung, Co-President, Students for Bioethical Awareness: (416)650-8870,

Maria Smolkova, Co-President, Students for Bioethical Awareness: (647)654-6023,

The Leftist brownshirts no doubt think they have won a major ‘victory’ in suppressing free speech about abortion.  But the only thing they have shown us is that abortion is on the way out. Once you cannot intellectually defend your position but must resort to the jackboot to achieve some sort of perverse ‘victory’ for your side, it’s only a matter of time before public opinion against not only your tactics but your position itself begins to turn.

This is a very promising sign for pro-lifers.  It shows that there is a recognition that abortion simply cannot be defended in a debate and the pro-aborts must call in the union thugs to ensure darkness prevails on Canadian campuses.

Canadian universities have become nothing more than whores for the abortion lobby.



(Via SoCon Or Bust.)