Tuesday, March 28, 2006

'Reverse rebellion'

San Francisco was the site of a pretty huge gathering last weekend. From the Battle Cry newsroom:

More Than 25,000 Teens Rally in S.F. Against “Virtue Terrorism”—Next Stop: Detroit

Fueled by Their Faith, Teens Mobilize BATTLECRY—Taking Stand Against Pop-Culture Forces Contributing to Teen Sex, Drug Abuse, and Suicide

DALLAS, March 27, 2006—Some forty years after rebellious youth started a cultural revolution rejecting rules and boundaries, American teens are once again challenging societal norms. Only this time, the young rebels are in “reverse rebellion.”

“We’re sick and tired of pop culture telling us it’s cool to sleep around, dress like tramps, get high on drugs and alcohol, and behave badly,” said 18-year-old Amanda Hughey from Orange County, Calif., who has joined the BattleCry movement and rallied with more than 25,000 other teens at AT&T field last weekend. “Life is not MTV, and if we continue to live like we’re starring in those outrageous music videos, our generation is doomed.”

Read more at Battle Cry newsroom

What is Battle Cry? It's a national movement of hundreds of thousands of teenagers in the United States organized by Teen Mania. Unlike the youth of the 1960’s who were determined to do away with all rules, teens of today recognize that boundaries can protect them from those who want to take advantage of them. If society won’t set the boundaries, they will! An initiative of Teen Mania—one of the world’s largest youth organizations—BattleCry is a national movement of hundreds of thousands of teenagers who, fueled by their Christian faith, are taking a stand against the pop-culture forces contributing to the unprecedented spread of STDs, drug and alcohol abuse, violence, and suicide among the teenage generation.

Schedule of Battle Cry for a Generation events:

Addendum: Lifesite came out with a news report about the San Francisco Battle Cry event. An excerpt:

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, citing the city’s tradition of “tolerance,” issued a statement condemning the rally as an “act of provocation” by the “anti-gay,” “anti-choice” organization. Despite the sold-out venue and the enthusiastic response of the young people, the Board accused the rally of attempting to “negatively influence the politics of America's most tolerant and progressive city.”

Tolerance, however, is reserved in San Francisco for those who agree with the sexual revolution and leftist political viewpoint. Assemblyman Mark Leno, D-San Francisco, said Battle Cry’s “intolerance” of sexual promiscuity, pornography, the drug culture and homosexual deviance is “obnoxious” and “disgusting” and should, therefore, not be tolerated. “They should get out of San Francisco,” he said.

Full story at Lifesite

Baby on board

It's amazing how a simple incident can lead to an interesting discussion where people give all sorts of comments, ranging from the positive to the downright mean. There's some funny stuff in between, too. But what I find striking is that no way do people in my country speak with such frankness.

Here's what it's all about, and a sampling of the responses:

Move over, 'Baby on Board'

Concerned about the lack of consideration showed to its pregnant travelers, the London Underground recently launched the "Baby on Board" initiative to offer support to pregnant women who feel awkward about asking fellow passengers to give up their seats. Pregnant woman can obtain a "Baby on Board" badge, which when displayed will help other travelers identify those in need of a seat. What do you think: effective or silly?

Posted by Chapman at March 23, 2006 12:20 PM



At least they're trying to help us out. I took many a bus ride, standing, obviously pregnant, with able bodied men sitting nearby.

However, if they're not going to offer you a seat without a sign, they're not going to offer you one with a sign, either.

Posted by: Monika at March 23, 2006 12:23 PM



Maybe some public service announcements or teaching in the schools on common courtesy would go further. If you are afraid to ask to sit, you may be afraid to wear such a thing anyway.

Posted by: KI at March 23, 2006 12:34 PM



So, you can't descriminate against a pregnant woman in hiring, but she gets preferential treatment on the Tubes?

You want equal treatment? Equal opportunity? "Equal pay for equal work?"

Stand there on your two equal feet.

Pregnancy doesn't per se make it dangerous or even difficult for one to stand. Maybe I could ride the Tubes with a sign saying "I have poor circulation in my legs" and people would get up for me.

Posted by: ispeakspanish at March 23, 2006 12:43 PM



When did "Equal pay for equal work" mean that common courtesy and human compassion were no longer to be expected? Perhaps we should mandate stickers that say "Jerk on board" so the rest of us know what were getting into when we meet them on the street or in the Tube.

Posted by: CharismaticPuritan at March 23, 2006 01:11 PM



Well fellas if you had a bona fide condition that required preferential seating, as a woman I would happily offer my seat to you.

As someone who has been pregnant before, I can tell you that it can be very uncomfortable standing especially in the last trimester of a pregnancy. I was most grateful to those men who stood and graciously offered me their seats.

I thought this was called kindness and courtesy. I had no idea it had anything to do with equality.

Posted by: Kali at March 23, 2006 01:15 PM



I work in NYC, and very seldom do you see a pregnant woman standing. Once, in 15 years of commuting I saw an older woman shame a young man into giving up his seat for a pregnant lady.

Londoners have even better public manners, so I doubt they need signs.

Posted by: DAN at March 23, 2006 01:35 PM



I got the feeling that the problem is not that Londoners are rude and not inclined to offer their seats to pregnant women but that women who are not obviously pregnant yet may be reluctant to ask for someone’s seat. I mean if you can’t count on the British to be polite who can you count on? Also heaven help the poor man who assumes a woman is pregnant and makes a mistake.

Posted by: kBells at March 23, 2006 02:07 PM



ispeakspanish, I feel sorry for you. We're talking about common courtesy here - you know, treating people the way you would like to be treated if the situation were reversed.

So, when you need a cane to get around, (and it's really only a matter of time), I truly do hope that people extend to you the decency that you decline to extend to them.

I'm sorry that your chosen profession requires you to work on your feet all day, as it clearly has turned you into a misogynistic misanthropic creep.

Posted by: DAN at March 23, 2006 03:50 PM



You can't make people courteous. If she's standing there, great with child, and he's hogging a seat, he's not going to give it up because she has a pregnancy button. Guys like that don't care about other people or they'd not be sitting on a crowded subway unless they had some hidden medical problem

And that's, maybe, what we need a button for. Somebody with a medical problem that doesn't show may need a seat on the subway and be taken for a jerk mistakenly because so many people really are jerks.

Posted by: Christina at March 23, 2006 04:32 PM



The height for me in seeing the insensitiviy of people in not coming to the aid of those in distress was when I was several months pregnant with my second child and got a flat tire on the way to my OB appointment. My oldest son was in the VW bug. I was out there on the side of the road jacking up my car, changing my tire, and not one person stopped to help a poor pregnant woman.

Posted by: Patti Hobbs at March 23, 2006 06:12 PM

Read more at World Magazine Blog

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Starting them young

Extending a helping hand to those in need goes way beyond shelling out a buck or two from one's "excess fund." It's giving oneself (which may take the form of one's earnings but is definitely not limited to that) and finds its deepest meaning when done out of Love.

Whether one helps others out of duty, to gain self-satisfaction, because of tax benefits or for any other reason, a genuine sense of service usually starts early. Read about this child's party where charity apparently wins over candy, where giving out to charity (instead of handing out loot bags) becomes a hit. Also, thousands of university students took a different kind of spring break recently -- one that had them pitching in on rebuilding efforts in New Orleans.

When you're through reading these, you may want to get a closer look at this movie:

If you haven't seen Madagascar (or even if you have), check out this entertaining albeit thoughtful piece called It's a jungle out there by Robert Reilly, courtesy of MercatorNet. It's likely to give you a new perspective on the distinctions between human beings and other beings that roam the planet.

Suffer the children

in the world
are we doing

I stop at two news items this time. Perversion has a way of making its way into the acceptable level when bombarded into readers' consciousness too much at a time. I'm not after shock value per se; it's shock value that will lead to action, then solutions, that would make this blog entry worth the space.

Canadian receives only 3 1/2 years for "worst imaginable forms of child pornography
Child rights advocates decry light sentence by Canada for child pornographer

By Terry Vanderheyden

EDMONTON, March 22, 2006 (LifeSiteNews.com) – An Edmonton man who videoed himself sexually abusing his step-children so he could distribute the material to other pedophiles has been handed a three and a half year sentence.

Read more

Slain because he refused to call his mother's lesbian lover `Daddy'

March 23, 2006

By Baldwin Ndaba

Four-year-old Jandre Botha disobeyed an order to call his mother's lesbian lover "Daddy''.

So the lover, Engeline de Nysschen (33), viciously assaulted Jandre while demanding that he must call her "Daddy".

Jandre died from his injuries, which trauma expert Professor Mohammed Dada said were similar to those of a person who had fallen from a double-storey building.

Read more

'Here you go...'

Here's an amusing but heartening piece of news, courtesy of The Christian Science Monitor's TODAY'S NEWS IN BRIEF (Mar. 17 issue):

Maybe I've misjudged them

As any college student can attest, it's spring break
time. You know,that annual rite in which hedonistic
rich kids flee campus for beach resorts in Florida,
Texas, and Mexico to let off steam, work on their
suntans, and imbibe vast quantities of adult
beverages ... even if they're not yet of legal age.
But in the midst of all the revelry comes word of an
incident that threatens to undermine that carefully
cultivated image of immature behavior.

As Charlotte Papenbrock tells it, she'd returned to
her parked car on South Padre Island, Texas, to find
the rear windshield smashed to pieces - perhaps from
some errantly thrown object such as a football.
Assuming a vacationing student was responsible, she
said she was "upset ... [because] there was glass

The retiree from Blue Springs, Mo., who spends her
winters in the warm climes of the southern Lone Star
State, telephoned police to report her discovery.
But then she noticed something else among all the
shards on the back seat - a wad of bills that she
hadn't left there. It amounted to $200 and was
accompanied by an unsigned note: "Here you go. I'm

The cash went to repair the damage, and an
appreciative Charlotte said she wanted to pass along
a message: "Tell those kids I'm very proud [of them],
and their mothers would be, too."

Friday, March 24, 2006

Fetal attraction

March 25 is another day that's dedicated to those who are in their temporary shelter -- and I'm not talking about foster homes or anything like that. It's the Day of the Unborn, another occasion that provides opportunities to spread the importance of caring for pre-born babies. Human dignity doesn't consist in what a person is capable of doing; a human being has dignity simply because he is. And that dignity is not bestowed only after birth. It is innate, right from the moment of conception.

The ultrasound machine has been instrumental in many cases for helping people realize the humanity of the fetus (read about the experience of Dr. Bernard Nathanson, founder of the National Abortion Rights League and now a pro-life advocate, in the very first entry I posted in my other blog). And thanks to the wonders of technology, we now have sonogram machines to take us more closely into the world of life before birth.

I just got thinking -- because of one of the comments in a discussion at Generations for Life -- that there's a law in the US against desecrating graves (I suppose there's some kind of law protecting burial places from any kind of defilement in any country). These are dead people, their bodies and resting place deserving of respect as well. How come human beings who are alive and are simply living out the natural course of life in their mother's womb aren't given the same privilege in many countries? How come they're being killed and they don't have the protection of the law? In my country, the life of the unborn is generally held sacred still (that there are some legislative moves to overturn this and that abortions take place are a different matter altogether). And I'll do my part to make it stay that way.

Not to forget: there is always hope. Many abortion providers eventually turn their backs on what they do and come to embrace life and become firm advocates of choosing life. Take a look at the stories of some of them at Pro-Life Action League.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Dial M for Modesty

Let me just post part of a comment under one of the blog entries from Modestly Yours, a wonderful blog that's like a breath of fresh air in the blogosphere.

It sounds very noble to say everyone should dress according to their comfort level, but the reality is, at some point, somewhere, there needs to be a limit, because there are those people out there who have a comfort level that would permit them to go totally nude all the time.

Stating that people should be able to dress to their own comfort level and shouldn't have to adhere to any standards other than their comfort level is the same as the old "let it all hang out" attitude of the 1960's. It leads to dress styles that are more and more extreme, to the point where styles are beyond the real comfort level of most people, but they wear them because they're fashionable or because there is truly nothing else available. It seems odd now, but during the early 1970's, there were truly NO dresses available without a micromini skirt length. None. Zilch. Even dresses made for older women. If you didn't sew for yourself or hire a seamstress, the only skirts and dresses available stopped about half an inch short of your crotch. Most women are simply not comfortable with that, and women retreated into the hideous polyester pantsuits that were the other fashion option of the time though most of them weren't particularly happy about the awful fabrics and ugly colors available either.

The sad fact about humanity is that, if you dress in a way that makes you blatantly stand out, whether you're a woman and your dress is unusually masculine or a man and your dress is unusually feminine, or you show a great deal more skin than the people around you, you are going to attract attention to yourself. If you dress in a way that attracts attention to yourself, you shouldn't be surprised when people notice. And short of Utopia, people will notice things that look different - it's hard wired into the human brain, and it isn't something that people can change (that's not to say that people can't adapt their behavior to where they don't stare or make comments, both of which I consider unforgivable, no matter how a person is dressed).

As my father said the day I wore a very striking and attractive but attention getting hat on the street when I was a teenager, and got uncomfortable with all the looks I was getting, "if you don't want people to look at you, don't dress in a way that asks them to look at you - and if you do dress in such a way, don't be offended if you get looks".

It's great to dress the way you want, but you can't dictate how other people are going to react to it.

Some people really know how to drive home a point.

That sporting spirit

This is a re-post. But then once in a while, we could use reminders about the attitude with which we ought to face life.


Monday, March 20, 2006

R U sick of the deception yet?

It's in the news already -- two more women have died after using the abortion pill RU-486 (Mifeprex or mifepristone), bringing to 7 the number of deaths in the United States as a result of using the drug. Over 800 women have been injured after using RU-486, which is now being considered for re-evaluation by the US Food and Drug Administration following the latest fatalities. Is this a case of the "benefits" ouweighing the drawbacks, thereby the drug's being kept on the market? Will the FDA stick to its declaration that RU-486 "remains safe enough to stay in the market"? (And by the way, these latest deaths mean two dead women, but all in all it's four dead human beings. If the two weren't pregnant then there were no babies growing inside them)

More about the big picture:

Notice NOW (National Organization for Women) doesn't have one single mention of the deaths? Their symbol of the coat hanger being used for abortions is used to this day. This symbol of supposed anti-woman's rights tyranny has never been documented to have ever been used for an abortion.

Yet not one mention of the 7 women who have died & the 800 who have been injured by RU486.

Do they mention the after-abortion depression statistics?
How about after-abortion suicide rates?
Do they tell women about the increased cancer rates?
Do they tell women of the increased chance of sterilization?
Are women informed of the guaranteed failure rates of the pill & condoms?
Do they try to defend the 500,000 or so women who die in the womb every year due to abortions?

No to all

Charmaine Yoest from the Family Research Council wrote about the potential problems from RU486 12 years ago. Click here to read her article which was posted in the Wall Street Journal.

Abortion and contraception are sold to women as a package of "empowerment". "Reproductive rights" really means the right to kill female children instead of bringing them to the earth. Promiscuity and "safe sex" are pitched as women's rights, and women are encouraged to live alone, party, have sex and forgo children until they are "ready" for them.

The National Organization for Women is an organization against women.

Read the rest at ProLifeBlogs

For brief but more detailed information about 10 women killed by RU-486, go to Life Issues Institute

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Love letter for our times

Here's a letter written by a man to his wife, prompted by a particular event that was taking place last year. This month in 2005, a man succeeded in having his disabled wife starved and dehydrated with the backing of the courts. Thirteen days after her feeding tube was removed, she died. Several months later, the man married the woman he had been living with at the time of his wife's death and with whom he already had two children.

Crucial details were either distorted or left out by the media during the whole time that the case was making headlines. Some of those details are here.

This love letter, written by Mark Hartwig, was published in Boundless webzine on March 31, 2005:

Dear Janelle,

These last few months have troubled me deeply. And I have a request that I hope you'll have the courage and strength to honor: If I ever become like Terri Schiavo, please don't put me through what she has endured.

After fighting cancer for 10 years; after suffering through multiple courses of toxic drugs; after two stem-cell transplants and 16 dismal weeks in a hospital room, tied to tangles of tubes, I've only scratched the surface of her misery. I feel as if I've scaled great mountains of suffering only to find I'm in the foothills of a range that towers beyond sight.

Dear, if I'm ever forced to scale that range, if I ever become like Terri — whether through the myriad drugs I'm taking, future treatments or the cancer itself — please don't pull my feeding tube. Instead, if at all possible, take me and my tube home, where I can live out my days with you and the kids, and where friends can come and go as they wish.

Put me in a place where I won't be in the way, but can still sense the activity of life around me. Talk to me; share your hopes, fears and failures with me. Read me books. I may not understand, but perhaps I'll sense the warmth of a lover's voice. And I promise I won't interrupt, or give away your secrets. And deep down inside, perhaps I'll groan a wordless prayer for you.

And please, please, please don't crush what's left of me by taking another lover while I still live. You're my wife, Dear, my only lover. Apart from God alone, you're the one person who daily breathes confidence and acceptance into my life. You're the one with whom I can feel unashamed and completely at home. I can absorb the loss of many things. But please don't rob me of that. Abide with me, as you have done so faithfully through our many years of trauma and tears.

This is my wish, Dear. I hope to live with you a good many years. I hope to grow old with you and see our grandchildren. But if I don't, know that I love you and that I always will. I promise ... just as I did a quarter century ago.

With all my love,

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