Wednesday 26th November 2014

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A Lesson From Isis

November 6, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK The world is being given an important lesson from ISIS’s confrontation with the “world community.” We are learning that there is no such thing as the world community, especially its peacekeeping organization, the United Nations. If there were ever a situation that cried out for the United Nations to act it would be this. Yet eyes would roll if anyone suggested we should look to the UN to deal with ISIS — followed by horselaughs. Everyone knows the UN is irrelevant to this crisis. One might protest that the UN’s hands are tied because permanent members of the Security Council, most likely Russia and China, would use their veto power to block any proposed UN military…Continue Reading

Honoring Mumia Abu-Jamal

November 5, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK It is not unusual for young people of college age to get caught up in eccentric fads and enthusiasms. Some are relatively harmless, like wearing Mao jackets and spending hours trying to discover the words “Paul is dead” by playing Beatles’ records backwards. Others can cause lasting damage. The women who joined the Manson family and the naive kids whose experiments with drugs led to addiction and overdoses come to mind. One can only hope the college radicals who have made a cult hero out of Mumia Abu-Jamal (born Wesley Cook in Philadelphia in 1954) over the last 20 years will be among those who suffer no permanent harm. Let’s hope they come to their senses…Continue Reading

Do Not Be Deceived By Empty Arguments

November 4, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By FR. MARVIN DEUTSCH (Editor’s Note: Fr. Marvin Deutsch, a Maryknoll priest, is a retired missionary who spent many years in Tanzania.) + + + “Be imitators of God as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and handed himself over for us as a sacrificial offering to God for a fragrant aroma. Immorality or any impurity or greed must not even be mentioned among you, as is fitting among the holy ones, no obscenity or silly or suggestive talk, which is out of place, but instead, thanksgiving. Be sure of this, that no immoral or impure or greedy person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. “Let no one…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The Conception Conundrum”

November 3, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 2 of The Facts of Life, “Abortifacients,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + There is much confusion and disagreement today about when human life actually begins. The official and public face of the medical profession insists that life begins at implantation — yet every embryology and fetology textbook in use today states that it begins at the instant of fusion between sperm and egg. For example, Essentials of Embryology says: “The zygote, formed by the union of an oocyte and a sperm, is the beginning of a new human being.” And Langman’s Medical…Continue Reading

Terrorism & “The True Believer”

November 2, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “A mass movement,” wrote Eric Hoffer in The True Believer, “appeals not to those intent on bolstering and advancing a cherished self, but to those who crave to be rid of an unwanted self. “Their innermost craving is for a new life — a rebirth — or, failing this, a chance to acquire new elements of pride, confidence, hope, a sense of purpose, and worth by an identification with a holy cause.” Such a man was Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a criminal with a decade-long record of drug-dealing, assault and robbery, who shot and killed a guard at Ottawa’s National War Memorial and then burst into Parliament and shot two others before being cut down. A psychiatric evaluation…Continue Reading

Reconnecting With Mary . . . The Holy Souls

November 1, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY November is the month traditionally associated with the Holy Souls in Purgatory, and the feast day associated with them, the Commemoration of All the Faithful Departed, “All Souls’ Day,” falls on November 2, just after All Saints’ Day, which commemorates all those in Heaven, whether well known or unknown. On November 2, we are particularly encouraged to pray for our departed relatives and friends who are waiting patiently to enter Heaven, but we can also pray for them all through November, and indeed at any other time of the year. Perhaps the first thing worth noting about this day is the word “souls.” This is a reminder that we do all have a soul, which is…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Does Contraception Lead To Abortion?”

October 31, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 21 of The Facts of Life, “Contraception,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have seen that contraception fails frequently and so often leads to abortion. There are many other intimate connections between contraception and abortion. The primary mission of the research arm of the vast “family planning” industry is to develop more and more effective abortifacients. Every year, fewer women use true contraceptives and more are using abortifacient chemicals. There are several reasons why abortifacients are preferable to contraceptives from a “family planning” point of view. To begin with, abortifacients…Continue Reading

Pass-Fail Grading: For The Professors’ Benefit?

October 30, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK S.M. writes to offer some observations about the proposal to introduce a “pass-fail” grading system for freshmen at Princeton University. The possibility of doing that was discussed in the October 9 edition of First Teachers. He sees the idea as a “form of grade inflation that is solely intended to accomplish a simpler life for the professors, not to help more students achieve academic excellence. Our schools use carefully crafted measures of inputs, but absolutely no measures of outputs. The faculty alone decides what courses are offered, what is taught, what books are used (the highest kickback plays a major role), the hours classes are scheduled, and who ultimately is anointed to join the club. Costs…Continue Reading

Contemporary Culture Encapsulated In A Single Sentence

October 29, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By DONALD DeMARCO It is remarkable how much a single sentence can reveal about the temper of a culture, even when its author is trying to be withholding. Jacalyn Duffin, a historian and practicing hematologist, is the author of History of Medicine (University of Toronto Press, 2000). It is a 243-page tome that was produced thanks to financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the government of Canada through the Book Publishing Industry Development Program. In other words, it has the backing of significant segments of Canadian culture. From a strictly historical perspective, the book falls short of its stated aim. Doctors Meyer Friedman and Gerald W. Friedland collaborated to produce an excellent…Continue Reading

Synod Document Of October 13, 2014

October 28, 2014 Featured Today Comments Off

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach and cofounder of NFP International. This commentary appeared on his blog [johnkippley.com] of October 17 and is reprinted with permission.) + + + My fear about the Extraordinary Synod of Bishops was that it would “get it wrong,” that is, issue a statement that would have some statements that would be open to all sorts of speculation and misinterpretation. That fear was realized with paragraph 50 of its interim report issued on Monday, October 13. “1. Homosexuals have…Continue Reading