Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Standing Up For Life

It's snowing outside. The kids have the day off from school, and we're looking forward to a day of leisure and relaxation. We'll make hot chocolate and bake some cookies; the boys will dig out the sled and play in the snow with the kids next door. As I watch the snowflakes silently fall, more than three thousand women all over the United States will enter a clinic today for a legal abortion. They aren't looking forward to a relaxing day; many of them are poor, frightened, and alone. Most of them have been told that terminating their pregnancies will solve their problems, and that the baby growing inside them are blobs of tissue that will be gently removed. Under the Roe v. Wade decision of 1973, it is legal to kill a baby before it is allowed to open its eyes, and women are being deceived and used by the abortion industry.

Last Thursday, January 22, marked the 36th anniversary of the fateful decision by the U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion. Since then, over 45 million babies have died under the knives of abortionists. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1.2 million abortions were performed in 2005. That's nearly the entire population of Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was signed. Remember the first unalienable right penned by Thomas Jefferson? "LIFE." Under Roe v. Wade, that right has been stripped away. Some would argue that abortion helps women in their Pursuit of Happiness, but in reality abortion increases the risks of anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and many other psychological disorders. (see http://www.afterabortion.org/reasmor.html). Every January 22, thousands have gathered on the Mall in Washington, D.C. and marched up Constitution Avenue to the Supreme Court building to express their opposition to Roe. This year, my nine-year-old son and I joined them.

It was chilly, but not as cold as two days before, when two million people witnessed the inauguration of Barack Obama. Many held signs asking our new President to protect the unborn. Many members of congress spoke to the crowd in defense of life, including Senator Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Congressman Chris Smith of New Jersey. Two days after Barack Obama denounced the slaughter of innocents by terrorists, we pro-lifers denounced the slaughter of innocents by abortion. Even my nine-year-old made his feelings known, when a Canadian television reporter asked him why he came to the March: "Abortion targets the weak," he said. When asked if it was important for young people to stand up for life, he nodded vigorously and answered, "Yes!"

Attending the 2009 March for Life was an amazing experience for us. We got to know many people from our church who we might not have met otherwise. We took lots of pictures. We were on our feet for hours, and didn't feel tired. On the ride home, my son expressed his desire to march again next year, and that he hoped his brothers would come, too. I hope so, too; but more than that I pray that my sons will continue to stand up for the santity of human life throughout their lives.

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll pray for the thousands of women who face unplanned pregnancies. May we empower them to choose life for their babies.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ch-ch-ch Changes!

Today we saw the swearing-in of the first African-American President of the United States. Some of my friends were planning to attend. My children and I sat down together to watch the ceremonies, and they recorded the events on their MP3 players. This day is indeed historic, and one I hope we will remember for years to come. So, why don't I feel as ecstatic as so many others clearly are?

I grew up in the post civil rights era. I went to school, worshiped, and played with children of all races, and no one gave it a second thought. My parents taught me by example that all men and women are indeed created equal; and that skin color, language, or religion do not make any difference in terms of how we treat a person. I remember being appalled at the prejudices of some of my relatives, who may not have known any better. I am pleased to say that some of those same people overcame those prejudices, and began to accept those who were different from themselves. As I listened to President Obama's inaugural address, I couldn't help but wonder what my maternal grandmother would be feeling were she alive today. I remember when she used to say, "Someday the blacks will take over the country! You watch!" and I never really knew how to respond. Late in life she became close friends with at least one African-American, and I saw her begin to realize that blacks and whites weren't so different from each other after all. I like to think she would have been proud. (Besides, she was a staunch democrat!) I am thankful that I live in an era when Americans can elect an African-American President.

I am optimistic about many of the changes that are coming. We do need to reduce our use of oil and turn to more environmentally friendly resources. I hope under Obama we can bring peace and stability in Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Obama has high hopes for improving the economy and health care, and I'm hopeful that things will change for the better. Thankfully, he did not mention abortion in his speech--that's one area where Mr. Obama and I do not see eye-to-eye.

In July 2007, Obama promised Planned Parenthood that he would sign the Freedom of Choice Act, a bill that would nullify all abortion restrictions in every state in the Union. Under this law, a woman of any age in any state would be able to obtain an abortion for any reason. It would also require taxpayers to pay for abortions, and essentially make the killing of unborn children federally mandated. On the new White House website, the issue of "reproductive choice" is listed as a priority in his administration.

On Thursday, I am planning to take part in the annual March For Life in Washington, D.C. President Obama says he respects those who disagree with him on life issues, so I am hopeful that he will be paying attention when thousands of us who believe in the sacredness of human life gather to express our views. (I'm excited about attending this event for the first time, and I'll write about my experience here in the days to come.) I don't have much hope that we'll change his mind, but maybe our newly elected Congress will listen to the people and vote against laws that will sanction the Culture of Death.

Am I hopeful? Yes. Do we need change? Yes. I just pray that the changes we get will indeed be the ones we need.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Shouldn't we all make New Year's resolutions?

It's past 10 pm, and I have no less than four baskets of clean laundry waiting for me to fold and put away. My husband and kids are starting to complain that they're running out of things to wear. Right before Christmas, I announced to the boys that they would from now on be responsible for their own laundry. They balked at first, then allowed me to teach them how to use the washing machine and to fold the clothes reasonably neatly. The clothes (clean and dirty) are piling up again, so my first New Year's resolution is this:

1. Get most of the laundry washed, folded, and put away tomorrow, and get the boys to help.

That's a New Year's resolution I feel I can keep, because it's for only one day. Maybe all of our resolutions should be like this. Doesn't everybody make out a to-do list for every day? I know I never get everything done, so we can't expect ourselves to keep every New Year's resolution we make. Somehow we find ourselves setting lofty goals that will be difficult to accomplish. This year, I'm making smaller goals for myself, hopefully easier to manage, and maybe I will keep all my resolutions. So in no particular order, here is the rest of my list:

2. Pray every day, no excuses.
3. Eat something healthy at every meal. This means if I grab a Lean Cuisine from the freezer, I eat an apple with it. Choose the salad at McDonald's.
4. Grow at least three kinds of vegetables in the back yard this year. Last year I had two tomato plants in pots; this year I want to have four of those, plus peppers, lima beans, and squash. Or something.
5. Learn to make cheese.
6. Read at least one book a month.
7. Get a little bit of exercise every day, even if it's just a walk in the neighborhood with the dog.
8. Involve myself more fully in the pro-life movement. I'm working on the specifics; possibly to volunteer at a crisis pregnancy center.
9. Buy a composter, or at least create a compost heap somewhere behind my house.
10. Have a consistent plan for the boys to complete chores and homework; and stick with it.
11. Every day, only write EIGHT items on my to-do list. For years that's been the most reasonable number I've been able to accomplish. Too often I write down too many things, and then I feel badly if I only get five of them done.
12. Create a limit for how much time I spend at the computer. (One hour? Ninety minutes? That seems like a lot. I'll have to figure that one out soon.)
13. Send birthday cards to friends and family. Too often I forget.

Today at Mass for the Solemnity of the Mother of God, our priest told the congregation that he hoped 2009 would be the best, most prosperous year we've ever had. I like that wish, but I think my wish for myself and for you would be this: May every day in 2009 be full of little joys. Even in difficult times, may we find things to be grateful for, and may we love one another every day. Happy New Year!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


Bookmark and Share