Saturday, March 14, 2009
I've been spending a lot of time lately reading other blogs, adding them to my list, and adding myself to their lists of followers. I've had a lot on my mind that I've wanted to share this week, so here's a brief run-down of my recent random musings: 1. The things I've heard on the news make it difficult to be optimistic. On Monday, President Obama signed an executive order to reverse Bush's policies restricting embryonic stem cell research. Here's what I don't get: From what I've read and heard, there hasn't really been any promising evidence that using embryos to harvest stem cells actually works. So far, it seems that they've only been able to grow tumors. Adult stem cells have been very successful. Why doesn't Mr. Obama and others (don't get me started on Michael J. Fox) choose to ignore the evidence? Last night on EWTN's The World Over with Raymond Arroyo, Fr. Tad Pacholczyk from the National Catholic Bioethics center remarked that it's probably due to a pro-abortion agenda: if we protected embryos from destruction, wouldn't we be expected to protect unborn children from abortion? This is a scary thought; to me it seems we're heading down the path of "anything goes, we won't let the truth stand in our way." Check out this article from the U.S. News and World report website: http://health.usnews.com/blogs/heart-to-heart/2009/3/4/why-embryonic-stem-cells-are-obsolete.html (I can't for the life of me figure out how to add links. I tried following the instructions, but I'm clueless. I apologize for making you copy and paste!) In just the last couple of days I've heard that President Obama plans to lift the conscience clause that would allow health care providers to opt out of performing abortions and/or providing contraception if they choose. Some fear that Catholic hospitals will be forced to either provide abortion "services" or close. If this were to happen, I'm sure there are many non-Catholic Christian hospitals and clinics that would be faced with the same dilemma. 2. My fascination with socks led me to the blog, Yes, They are All Mine by Gramma 2 Many. Again, I don't quite know how to post a link (yet), but you can find her on my blog list. She's giving away a pair of hand-knitted socks to celebrate her 200th post! Check it out if you haven't already. Here are some of the funny-looking socks that cause my children (and maybe my husband, too) to be embarrassed to be seen with me: Gramma has a picture of the socks she's knitting on her blog; they're much prettier than these. 3. I've been praying for a more generous spirit, and for Mother Theresa's attitude of "Give until it hurts." Now I'm finding myself wanting to backpedal on that one (When I mentioned this to the priest today at confession, he said that God would definitely help me out with this. Now I'm REALLY scared.) Our children's school is participating in "Pennies for Peace," a program supported by the Central Asia Institute founded by Greg Mortenson ( Recommended Reading: Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Greg has done great work bringing education to children of Pakistan and Afghanistan, particularly girls.) My oldest son wants to organize a yard sale to raise money for this great cause. We've done this before; there's a little organization called "Amman Imman: Water is Life" (www.waterishope.org--I've added it to my website list) whose sole purpose is to dig deep-water wells in the dry Azawak Valley in Niger. A couple of years ago, we organized a sale for this organization. We raised close to $500, a big success. It was a lot of work, though; we collected gently used toys and books from families in the school, sorted them, put price tags on all of them, got Starbucks to donate coffee, and recruited volunteer parents and students to come out to the school early on a Saturday to conduct the sale. We had a lot of help from the school community, (especially from my friend Maureen, who follows this blog--thanks, chica!) and the kids felt great knowing they made a difference. The thought of doing all this again doesn't excite me very much, but I'm really trying to be supportive and encourage my kids to put the needs of others ahead of themselves. I blogged in January about my trip to the March for Life with my middle son. The pro-life cause is very important to him, and he shows great interest in issues pertaining to the sanctity of life. The other day he announced to me that he wanted to start his own pro-life organization for kids, to get boys and girls his own age excited about protecting human life. I am proud of him for wanting to do this, and I am praying that God will give me the strength and enthusiasm to help him make it happen. It's almost Sunday! Have a great week! I'll work on getting those links added; maybe I'll have it figured out in time for my next post.