THURSDAY   January 27, 2000   vol. 11, no. 19   SECTION ONE

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SECTION ONE Contents: Go immediately to the article:
  • Pat Ludwa's VIEW FROM THE PEW on the urgency of electing a pro-life president!
  • THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS: Message to the World Media on Feast of St. Francis de Sales
  • SIMPLY SHEEN


  • Just how important is this election year? Only a matter of life and death!

       In his column today, Pat Ludwa exposes the empty rhetoric of the anti-life pro-aborts who depend so much on slogans to blur the truth and denigrate those who uphold the Sanctity of Life. He equates their agenda to another whom they don't like to be associated with - history's most reviled butcher Adolf Hitler. Yet, they have already surpassed his killing rate in the number of murders they have been responsible for through abortion. He points out that in this election year when the stakes are so high and so defined with the Republicans solidly behind pro-life while the Democrats stand squarely in the abortion ring, we can't sit back and let others do it, but get involved in this pivotal year that will mark the difference as to whether the innocent preborn live in the next presidency or will continue to be condemned to death because of the greed and selfishness of women who don't realize the blessings of motherhood. For his column today, This election year is a matter of life and death! , see VIEW FROM THE PEW

    This election year is a matter of life and death!

          The run for the Presidency is in full swing. Caucuses and primaries will dominate the news. Debates and polls will lead news stories. And deep in the middle of the debates, the rhetoric, and speeches, will be the issue of abortion. Have no doubts, the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL) will be hot in the middle of it. Trying to get their candidates elected or re-elected. Or at least making sure the pro-life candidates don't get elected or re-elected. One way which they will do that is by slinging slogans to and fro. Slogans which sound sweet, but are, in fact, empty and non-sensical if one only take the time to really look at them.

          The one we're most likely see during an election year is: "You anti-choice people are single-issue fanatics." Or any number of other variations. Obviously the notion seems logical. What with concerns about the economy, social security, education, etc. to vote for a candidate based on one issue would seem ridiculous. We have kids killing kids in schools, we can't afford to make abortion the central issue.

          The problem is that, firstly, pro-abortion groups make abortion a central issue, why shouldn't we? They've already made abortion rights a 'litmus' test for candidates, Supreme Court Justices, etc. After all, Robert Bork was refused approval as a Supreme Court Justice 'solely' because of his position on abortion. Nothing else. But this isn't simply a case of 'they do, so we can too!' No, we need to do it for more serious reasons.

          A nation, poor and in chaos was tearing itself apart. There were many issues at hand. The economy, education, employment, etc. One was expected to look at the overall picture and not a single issue. The candicate they voted for turned the country around. Employment was up, prosperity was on the rise. 'Happy Days were here again!' Except... The candidate had one 'flaw' which could be overlooked for the good of the nation. A flaw which could be kept under control. That candidate was Adolf Hilter and his flaw was anti-semitism.

          Why one issue when the issue is abortion? Because without life, there is no need for education, employment, social security. Without life, there is no need to guarantee liberty or the pursuit of happiness. Without life, you have no need of other 'freedoms'. Yours is the 'freedom' of the grave.

          Another fun slogan is "Hitler and his Nazis were anti-choice, too." Nothing could be further from the truth. True, good 'Aryan' women were encouraged to have children, whether in or out of wedlock. In fact, one could even receive a 'Mother's Medal' for having a certain number of children. However, for those 'less desirable', abortion was not only encouraged, but in many cases mandatory.

          In fact, this was right in line with the view of Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood. "Every marriage certificate could be accompanied with instructions concerning the high responsibility of parenthood, and the conditions which should pre-exist before the great enterprise of bringing a new human being into existence should be undertaken, and measures would be taken to exclude from parentage the manifestly and permanently unfit." ("Mrs. Sanger Says Superman Is the Aim of Birth Control"; New York Times 31 Jan. 1922) Mrs. Sanger and Herr Hitler shared each others views on eugenics and who were considered 'manifestly and permanently unfit' to be parents.

          This last slogan works well with the slogans "Freedom of choice!"; "Abortion is my Constitutional right!"; "Abortion is perfectly legal." Etc.

          Can we presume that their interpretation of freedom of choice would also mean that we are all free to choose whatever we want as well? Are we free to drive 55 mph in a 25 mph zone? Are we free to yell fire in a crowded theatre? Are we free to 'choose' to eliminate anyone or anything which we perceive as blocking us from our wants and desires?

          We may also ask where in the US Constitution, or in any of it's Amendments, it gives them the right to kill the unborn? Roe V. Wade is NOT a Constitutional Amendment. Even the Justices couldn't find this 'Right to abortion.'

          "Justice Blackmun said that "We feel that the right [to abortion] is located in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty," but it might be instead "... in the Ninth Amendment's concept of personal liberty. This unseemly thrashing around in search of an abortion right that had heretofore remained undetected for more than 200 years was subsequently exposed by the (Legal Times); "Looking back on that argument, [Sarah Weddington] laughs as she recalls that Justice Potter Stewart asked her where in the Constitution she found the right [to abortion] for which she had so fervently argued. "Any place we find it will be okay with you, right?" Stewart asked Weddington."[ Legal Times, March 4, 1985, page A35] (Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia, CHAPTER 16; PRO-ABORTION SLOGANS AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM)

          In fact, the same arguments they use to support abortion was used over a hundred years ago to support slavery. As G.K. Chesteron wrote: "To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it." - (A Short History of England, Ch.10) Imagine the politician who said, "I'm personally opposed to slavery but not opposed to someone else owning one." We'd laugh him out of office!!!!

          We also have the scientific slant slogans. "We really don't know when life begins." And "The fetus isn't really human or a person." If I were to destroy an eagle egg, or some other 'pre-born' endangered species, I could be fined over 500 dollars and spend approximately a year in prison. Why? It really isn't an eagle yet. Right? My sister in law was pregnant with her first child. When I wished her a happy first mother's day, she 'corrected' me: "I'm not a mother yet. I'm a 'potential' mother." I had to try and point out that, unless she just badly overate, she had a human child in her. The chromosomes meant it was a human. Not a potential human. The child may die before it's born due to a tragedy, sickness, etc, but it's a human child. It has a heart which beats, (and now, we see it even has hands to grab) By any definition of the word, it's alive and human.

          But like the Nazi's before them, the pro-abortion forces need to 'de-humanize' their victims. So we hear Carl Sagan call the unborn human fetus a 'parasite'. And of course, anyone can remove a parasite, can't they! Here are some other neat abortion slogans; "No mandatory motherhood!" "Every child a wanted child!"

          The first one conjures all sorts of images. Mandatory motherhood? Well, if a woman 'chooses' to have sex and if, as a consequence of that 'choice' she becomes pregnant, she already is a mother. It wasn't forced on her, she chose it!. (There are other consequences of sexual contact besides pregnancy, some of which can't be 'aborted' in any way. Again, their 'death sentence is self imposed, no one forced it on them.)

          In fact, it fits with the nonsensical views of some pro-abortionists. "Why do you hate women? How many women died today, Mr. Bush? ... We don't think the public knows the Family Planning clinics are closed. We don't think they know we've got a Ceaucescu sitting in the White House. In fact I think we should use that word because this is forced breeding. What else is there, did we all bemoan what happened there? We're doing the same thing, the Ceaucescus are right here today. We have forced pregnancy ..."[ Ellie Smeal of the Fund for a Feminist 'Majority,' at a talk entitled "RU-486, NORPLANT, and Title X." Recorded live at the 1991 national conference of the National Organization for Women, July 5-7, 1991 in New York City, New York.]

          You'd think the government had secret programs with women lashed to tables being forcibly impregnated! I guess when we have people killed in auto accidents because of someone's 'choice' to drive too fast or the wrong way, it's a government plot to have them killed?

          And of course, the notion that ! "Every child (be) a wanted child!" is absurd. Of course every child is a wanted child. Just look at the list of those wanting to adopt? Many have to wait almost 5 years. And if they can afford it, will travel overseas in order to adopt. These aren't just the 'healthy' white babies we hear about either. Many are of different races and/or nationalities. Many with birth defects and illnesses.

          Let's be honest, the pro-abortion rhetoric is just that, empty rhetoric. It's designed to draw attention away from what abortion really is, anti-woman, anti-life, and anti-family and make it 'appear' to be 'Pro-family, pro-child, pro-choice.'

          If they can't convince others to follow their rhetoric, they'll at least try to water down and divert the opposition. "Anti-choice people are violent, single-issue fanatics."

          So, as happened in 1992 and 1996, people who would normally be opposed to abortion voted for Clinton because "we have to worry about more than just one issue." Just as Hilter's 'flaw' was overlooked for the sake of 'other issues' the pro-abortionist wants us to overlook them as well. And just as Hitler's 'flaw' meant the death of millions, Jews, Catholic, infirmed, elderly, handicapped:

      • "We are going to have to face, as China has faced, the policy of controlling the size of families, and to assume that we can go on without facing this responsibility is totally irresponsible ... I consider the Chinese government's [population control] policy among the most intelligent in the world ... it is a policy limited to the heavily overpopulated areas and it is an attempt to feed the people of China. I find it very intelligent." Molly Yard, former president of the National Organization for Women (NOW), on the March 1989 "Oprah Winfrey Show."

      • "China's population is so enormous that if they didn't control it, they wouldn't be able to feed their people. The Chinese government doesn't coerce people. They use education. It's very clear when you're there. You can't miss it. Even if you can't read the language, you can't miss it." Molly Yard at an April 7, 1989 press conference, quoted by Mary Meehan. "Women as Guinea Pigs." (National Catholic Register), April 30, 1989, page 4.

      • "The main difference between China and other densely populated developing countries ... may be that the Chinese have had the foresight to make projections of their population and resources and the courage to translate their findings into policy." Lester R. Brown, president of the Worldwatch Institute, (New York Times), May 8, 1985.

      • "[China's coercive population-control program is] remarkably vigorous and effective [and China should be acknowledged] as a leader in a grand experiment in the management of population and natural resources." Zero Population Growth (ZPG) founder Paul Ehrlich. National Geographic Magazine, December 1988, page 922.

      • "If parenthood is a right, population control is impossible. If parenthood is only a privilege, and if parents see themselves as trustees of the germ plasm and guardians of the rights of future generations, then there is hope for mankind ... Though coercion is a dirty word to most liberals now, it need not be forever ... Its dirtiness can be cleansed away by saying it over and over without apology or embarrassment." Garrett Hardin. "Parenthood: Right or Privilege?" Science Magazine. Also quoted in "'Voluntary' Sterilization?" ALL About Issues, March 1983, page 30.

      • "We are making birth control compulsory because we have compulsory death control, and we have found you can't have one without the other ...Having compulsory death control, we must have compulsory birth control, limiting every family to two children."Colorado governor Richard Lamm, quoted in "'Voluntary' Sterilization?" ALL About Issues, March 1983, page 30.

      • "Each country will have to decide its own form of coercion and determine when and how it should be employed. At present, the means available are compulsory sterilization and compulsory abortion. Perhaps someday a way of enforcing compulsory birth control will be feasible." Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, former President, International Planned Parenthood Federation, Medical World News, June 6, 1969.

          Where's all this talk about choice we hear about? Who's really pushing a neo-nazi agenda here? In closing, it's interesting to note that on January 22, 1997, before the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL), Vice President Gore made a veiled attack on the Catholic Church, and placed the 'pro-life' movement among the 'extreme position', resorting to violence a la clinic bombings and the Oklahoma City bombing. It may interest people to know that, before Roe V. Wade, 'pro-choice' organizations were where women went for 'unsafe, illegal' abortions.

          "Underground Railroad. Before 1970, pro-abortionists ran an 'underground railroad' called "Jane" to assist women in obtaining illegal abortions, and they have promised to reactivate it if abortion is criminalized again. In fact, pro-abortion clergymen banded together in 1965 under the name "Clergy Consultation Service," and helped women obtain illegal abortions while claiming that they were "following a higher law!"

          Home Abortion Kits. The Federation of Feminist Women's Health Centers began selling $79.95 'home suction aspiration kits' in mid-1989, immediately after the (Webster) decision in July 1989. They call these (illegal) devices "menstrual extraction kits." As Lynne Randall, director of the Atlanta FWHC said, "Since there won't be enough courageous doctors to break the law, this could be the safest illegal abortion possible."

          Illegal Abortions. Virtually all long-time abortionists and female pro-abortion activists either performed abortions or obtained them when they were illegal and proudly boast about these clandestine abortions!" (Pro-Life Activist's Encyclopedia, CHAPTER 16; PRO-ABORTION SLOGANS AND HOW TO HANDLE THEM)

          Fight the urge to follow the slogans. The fact is that abortion hurts women, children, families, everyone. It helps no one. And to say we have other more important issues to concern ourselves with is to play into their hands.

          Pax Christi, Pat

      Pax Christi, Pat

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    Holy Father asks cooperation of the world media to proclaim the good news which Christ charged His Apostles to spread.

       Today, we bring you the words from His Holiness Pope John Paul II to the World's Media on World Communications Day this past Monday in which the Holy Father points out that "the history of communication is a kind of journey" dating back to the confusion at Babel up to modern time when technology has surpassed all expectations and become such an important, even vital component of cultures today. He shows where the focus of the Church and the world throughout history should be on the greatest of communicators - Jesus Christ during this Jubilee Year when we celebrate the 2000th anniversary of His birth. See THE VICAR OF CHRIST SPEAKS

    Papal Message for World Media Day 2000
    "PROCLAIMING CHRIST IN THE MEDIA AT THE DAWN OF THE NEW MILLENNIUM"

      Dear Brothers and Sisters,

         The theme of the thirty-fourth World Communications Day, Proclaiming Christ in the Media at the Dawn of the New Millennium, is an invitation to look ahead to the challenges we face, and also back to the dawn of Christianity itself, for the light and courage we need. The substance of the message which we proclaim is always Jesus himself: "the whole of human history in fact stands in reference to Him: our own time and the future of the world are illumined by His presence" (Incarnationis Mysterium, 1).

         The early chapters of the Acts of the Apostles contain a moving account of the proclamation of Christ by His first followers - a proclamation at once spontaneous, faith-filled, and persuasive, and carried out through the power of the Holy Spirit.

         First and most important, the disciples proclaim Christ in response to the mandate He had given them. Before ascending into Heaven He tells the Apostles: "You shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the end of the earth" (Acts 1:8). And even though these are "uneducated, common men" (Acts 4:13), they respond quickly and generously.

         Having spent time in prayer with Mary and other followers of the Lord, and acting at the Spirit's prompting, the Apostles begin the work of proclamation at Pentecost (cf. Acts 2). As we read about those marvellous events, we are reminded that the history of communication is a kind of journey, from the pride-driven project of Babel and the collapse into confusion and mutual incomprehension to which it gave rise (cf. Gen 11:1-9), to Pentecost and the gift of tongues: a restoration of communication, centered on Jesus, through the action of the Holy Spirit. Proclaiming Christ therefore leads to a meeting between people in faith and charity at the deepest level of their humanity; the Risen Lord Himself becomes a medium of genuine communication among His brothers and sisters in the Spirit.

         Pentecost is only the beginning. Even when threatened with reprisals, the Apostles are not deterred from proclaiming the Lord: "We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard," Peter and John tell the Sanhedrin (Acts 4:20). Indeed, trials themselves become instrumental to the mission. When a violent persecution breaks out in Jerusalem after Stephen's martyrdom, forcing Christ's followers to flee, "those who were scattered went about preaching the word" (Acts 8:4).

         The living heart of the message which the Apostles preach is Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection - life triumphant over sin and death. Peter tells the centurion Cornelius and his household: "They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree; but God raised Him on the third day and made Him manifest ... And He commanded us to preach to the people, and to testify that He is the one ordained by God to be judge of the living and the dead. To Him all the prophets bear witness that every one who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name" (Acts 10:39-43).

         It goes without saying that circumstances have changed enormously in two millennia. Yet the same need to proclaim Christ still exists. Our duty to bear witness to the death and resurrection of Jesus and to His saving presence in our lives is as real and pressing as was the duty of the first disciples. We must tell the good news to all who are willing to listen.

         Direct, personal proclamation - one person sharing faith in the Risen Lord with another - is essential; so are other traditional forms of spreading the word of God. But, alongside these, proclamation today must take place also in and through the media. "The Church would feel guilty before the Lord if she did not utilize these powerful means" (Pope Paul VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi, 45).

         The impact of the media in today's world can hardly be exaggerated. The advent of the information society is a real cultural revolution, making the media "the first Areopagus of the modern age" (Redemptoris Missio, 37), where facts and ideas and values are constantly being exchanged. Through the media, people come into contact with other people and events, and form their opinions about the world they live in - indeed, form their understanding of the meaning of life. For many, the experience of living is to a great extent an experience of the media (cf. Pontifical Council for Social Communications, Aetatis Novae, 2). The proclamation of Christ must be part of this experience.

         Naturally, in proclaiming the Lord, the Church must make energetic and skilful use of her own means of communication - books, newspapers and periodicals, radio, television, and other means. And Catholic communicators must be bold and creative in developing new media and methods of proclamation. But, as much as possible, the Church also must use the opportunities that are to be found in the secular media.

         Already the media contribute to spiritual enrichment in many ways - for example, the many special programmes being carried to worldwide audiences through satellite telecasts during the year of the Great Jubilee. In other cases, however, they display the indifference, even hostility, to Christ and his message that exist in certain sectors of secular culture. Often though, there is a need for a kind of "examination of conscience" on the part of the media, leading to a more critical awareness of a bias or a lack of respect for people's religious and moral convictions.

         Media presentations which call attention to authentic human needs, especially those of the weak, the vulnerable and the marginalized, can be an implicit proclamation of the Lord. But besides implicit proclamation, Christian communicators should also seek out ways to speak explicitly of Jesus crucified and risen, of his triumph over sin and death, in a manner suited to the medium used and to the capacities of audiences.

         To do this well demands professional training and skill. But it also requires something more. In order to witness to Christ it is necessary to encounter him oneself and foster a personal relationship with him through prayer, the Eucharist and sacramental reconciliation, reading and reflection on God's word, the study of Christian doctrine, and service to others. And always, if it is authentic, this will be the Spirit's work much more than our own.

         To proclaim Christ is not only a duty but a privilege. "The journey of believers towards the third millennium is in no way weighed down by the weariness which the burden of two thousand years of history could bring with it. Rather, Christians feel invigorated, in the knowledge that they bring to the world the true light, Christ the Lord. Proclaiming Jesus of Nazareth, true God and perfect Man, the Church opens to all people the prospect of being 'divinized' and thus of becoming more human" (Incarnationis Mysterium, 2).

         The Great Jubilee of the 2000th anniversary of Jesus' birth at Bethlehem must be an opportunity and a challenge for the Lord's disciples to bear witness in and through the media to the extraordinary, consoling Good News of our salvation. In this "year of favor", may the media give voice to Jesus Himself, clearly and joyously, with faith and hope and love. To proclaim Christ in the media at the dawn of the new millennium is not only a necessary part of the Church's evangelizing mission; it is also a vital, inspiring and hope-filled enrichment of the media's message. May God abundantly bless all those who honor and proclaim Jis Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the vast world of the means of social communication.

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    God made woman to beget, not forget!

       They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but the words of Bishop Fulton J. Sheen have been known to launch a thousand images in one's mind, one of the ways this late luminary did so much to evangelize the faith. Because of the urgency of the times and because few there are today who possess the wisdom, simplicity and insight than the late Archbishop who touched millions, we are bringing you daily gems from his writings. The good bishop makes it so simple that we have dubbed this daily series: "SIMPLY SHEEN".

    "Every birth requires a submission and a disciplining. The earth itself must undergo harrowing before it passively accepts the seed. In woman, the submission is not passive: it is sacrificial, consciously creative, and for this selflessness her whole nature has been formed."

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    January 27, 2000     volume 11, no. 19
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