Friday, January 30, 2009

Thoughts on Miriam Grossman's "Unprotected"

Dr. Miram Grossman, M.D. has written a brave book. It is a cool, factual and damning indictment of the university student counselling profession including psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other counsellors. It is passionate cri de coeur with footnotes to the New England Journal of Medicine. Dr. Grossman, a psychiatrist, worked for over a decade at a counselling center of a university and in this book she tells the stories of the students she met there. Some of her stories will break your heart.

She documents how political correctness is hurting the mental and physical health of university students. Instead of treating patients according to what is best for their health, they are treated according to a certain political ideology that views women as "just like men," STD's as something "everyone" gets at some point, and casual sex as detachable from emotions and therefore not dangerous to one's health. But Grossman points out several facts that are not being taking into account:

1. Delaying marriage and children until the late 30's is drastically reducing the chances of many of these women ever being able to have a family.

2. Women are not biologically designed for casual sex with no emotional committment and often suffer from depression, self-harm (eg. cutting) and low self-esteem as a result.

3. Sexual transmitted diseases are rampant on university campuses because of the hook-up culture and many of them will have long-lasting effects such as infertility and cervical cancer.

4. AIDS is the only infectious disease that is not treated seriously and aggressively by the State in terms of protecting those at risk and this is because of lobbying by homosexual activist groups, not because it is how doctors think it should be treated from a public health perspective.

5. Planned Parenthood and other abortion providing organizations provide almost no emotional/psychological after-care for clients because the politically correct line is that abortion does not cause grief or depression, just a sense of relief. Yet Post-Abortion Stress Syndrome is responsible for grief, depression and drug and alcohol abuse for those "invisible" women who suffer from it. As she points out, if this malady afflicts only 1% of women suffered from this malady, it would still mean that there are 400,000 women out there suffering and society officially pretending they do not exist!

Dr. Grossman is accusing the medical and counselling profession of putting the liberal ideology of the sexual revolution ahead of patient care and disease prevention. She is calling out institutions like Columbia University's "" website on which students can get advice on matters of sexual health. It endorses risky behaviours such as sadism and masochism and swinging. And this is what in loco parentis has degnerated to at major universities today!

In this book, Dr. Grossman is professional and logical, never hysterical or even particularly judgmental. She is not asking universities to accept Jesus as Saviour and start preaching chastity (especially since she is Jewish herself!). All she is asking is the that public health, medical and counselling professions take their own standards and aspirations more seriously and stop letting a liberal, free-love ideology get in the way of providing factual information and psychological care to vulnerable people at a point in their lives when they are susceptible to being lured into self-destructive and dangerous behaviours. Is that really too much to ask of the helping professions?

Dr. Miriam Grossman, M.D. Unprotected: A Campus Psychiatrist Reveals how Political Correctness in Her Profession Endangers Every Student (Sentinal Books, 2007).

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Great Line That Says it All

At the end of short post on Barack Obama's famous "That is above my pay grade" line at Saddleback, Scott Klusendorf has this absolutely fabulous commentary:

"That's what's wrong with liberalism. While it pretends not to preach, it quietly decides who lives and dies."

Brief, pungent, memorable, profound, incisive, pregnant - now that is great writing!

Read his post here:
(HT - Francis Beckwith at "What's Wrong With the World")

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Today is the feast of St. Thomas Aquinas: saint, mystic, philosopher, theologian, apologist, professor and doctor of the Church.

From the pen of the inimitable James V. Schall:

"The Feast of Thomas Aquinas is celebrated on January 28 (today, if you’ve lost track), the day his body was transferred to Toulouse in 1369. He was born at Roccaseca, across from the Abbey of Monte Cassino, in 1225. He died at the Cistercian Abbey of Fossanova on March 7, 1274. Christof Cardinal von Schönborn, in a favorite passage, once said that Aquinas was the “only man ever canonized simply for thinking.”
To read it all, go to:

I have been reading Thomas lately, as well as some of his many interpreters and I am coming to respect him more and more as a biblical and orthodox theologian. He was not merely a philosopher who practiced natural theology cut off from faith as if one could prove God's existence and discover the way of salvation by human reason alone. There is currently a revolution taking place in the interpretation of Thomas and at the forefront of an intriguing school of "Biblical Thomism" is Matthew Levering of Ave Maria University.

I have become more and more convinced over the past 3 or 4 years that the tradition of classical, Christian, orthodox thought in which St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas are the high points contains much that is of permanent relevance and much that points the way forward today in the post-Enlightenment era. I look forward to being instructed this year by "The Angelic Doctor."

The Politics of the Cross versus Liberal Pacifism

A recent comment on my post refuting those who recklessly and slanderously accuse Israel of “genocide” accused me of not applying the “politics of the cross” to the Arab-Israeli conflict. He asked what I thought of a one-state solution and I dismissed it because it would put the Jews right back in the same position as they occupied in Germany in 1933 - a persecuted minority in a country run by people who had been telling the world for years that they believed the Jews should be wiped out. He then wrote the following:

“A one-state solution would have to assume a radically different approach to the Arab-Israeli conflict that took the long hard road of reconciliation as its goal and a willingness by both parties to absorb some of the violence on both sides. But the cross suggests that such reconciliation is possible...and, for the Christian, this is the sort of thing we are called to bear witness to.”

This is a classic statement of liberal pacifism. Liberal pacifism is Pelagian, Utopian and highly dangerous in a sinful, fallen world. Liberal pacifism turns the kingdom of God into a human political project that need not await the Second Coming. It turns the cross into a symbol of liberal faith in human nature, rather than viewing it as a symbol of the reality of evil and the necessity of Divine suffering for redemption. Liberal pacifism chooses not to take evil seriously and blithely assumes that all forms of human conflict can be settled by negotiation and compromise. Liberal pacifism is not about Christians being peaceful, but about the human race being peaceful here and now.

The politics of the cross, on the other hand, is a specifically Christian form of witness in which Christians evangelize without violent coercion and bear witness to the love of God in a world that is dark and evil. Following Jesus by taking up our cross means that we renounce the use of violence and seek to convert people by preaching the gospel, rather than by forced conversion. This makes Christians stand out in the world because most other religions either do not evangelize or else they not only occasionally slip into violence, but actually glorify it as Islam does in its concept of Jihad.

To apply the politics of the cross to the Arab-Israeli conflict as the answer is a category mistake. Neither Muslims nor Jews profess faith in Jesus Christ, so to ask them to take up their crosses and follow Jesus Christ in the way of suffering for the Gospel is to put the cart in front of the horse. The first thing Christians have to say to Muslims and Jews is the call them to accept Jesus as Lord, believe the Gospel and be converted. Then it would be right and proper to call them to follow Jesus in the way of peace. But to think that those who are not followers of Jesus can embrace the politics of the cross is to separate peace as a political project from the Gospel. Our message is that peace on earth is only possible through being reconciled to God and then to neighbor. Christians expect the lion and lamb to lie down together, but not until Jesus has returned, set up the Kingdom of God and begun to rule as the Lord and Messiah of all the earth.

In the meantime, given the fact of hatred, violence and anti-Semitism in the world, Christians will expect the nation state of Israel to adhere to just war theory in defending itself and to make war only as a police action for defensive purposes and never as a means of revenge, conquest, genocide or deliberate targeting of civilians. Christians will expect Hamas to repent of its hatred of Jews, clean up school textbooks that portray Jews as inherently evil, stop firing missiles into Israel, accept a two-state solution, renounce suicide bombing, accept the legitimacy of Israel as a nation, negotiate peaceful co-existence in good faith and use whatever means are necessary to police militants from within its ranks who wish to undermine the peace process.

Given these two sets of expectations, which side do you think is likely to come the closest to living up to its responsibility in the next 12 months?

I am concerned that the politics of the cross not become a bridge over which Evangelicals travel into Protestant Liberalism. Many people, I fear, do use Yoder's theology in that way, but it is illegitimate and much to be regretted.
See this article by Mark Steyn for a catalog of recent anti-Semitic incidents around the world:

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Democrats Back Down on Federal Contraceptive Funding

The Democrats have backed down on their attempt to sneak their "contraception for the poor" program into the stimulus package. (See previous post.) Barack Obama asked the House Democratic leadership to remove the $200 million item from the $825 billion package. It would appear that Nancy Pelosi will have to put up with more little Americans running around making life difficult for those who think the world would be better without so many people, especially ones from poor families.

This is a small setback for the anti-child forces. But what business did the Democrats have in sneaking their Leftist ideological programs into a bill designed to stimulate the economy in the first place? It appears that the price of liberty is eternal vigilence and thankfully some pro-lifers were being vigilent on this one.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pelosi's Unreflective Anti-Humanism

Here we see the leader of the Democrats in the House, Nancy Pelosi, that "great Catholic theologian" defending greater funding for contraception in the current stimulus package being considered by the Democrats: (thanks to First Things blog for posting this)

Well, how many things are wrong with her view?

1. People create economic activity and improve the economy; they are not a drag on the economy. Population decrease is now the biggest economic danger accross the Western world.

2. Her "Nanny State" paternalistic attitude shows through clearly here. She assumes that the State needs to support people. And here I thought we supported the State through our taxes!

3. Who gave the State the right to interfere with families and the decisions of parents to have as many children as God gives them? She assumes without argument that it is the duty of the State to try to reduce family size by pushing contraception. Huh? Since when is that the duty of the State? The family precedes the State historically and ontologically and determines the limits of the State, not the other way around - unless we already have embrace totalitarianism and some of us just didn't get the memo.

4. As a Catholic, why is she aggressively pushing an anti-Catholic moral position? Should she not resign from the Catholic Church if she does not want to be a Catholic? She might think being a Christian is just a matter of what happens on Sunday, but Jesus thinks it is a 7 day per week committment.

5. Here we have a blatant attempt by the Democrats to impose liberal (im)morality on the nation under the cover of an economic program. The Democrats were elected to improve the economy, not to drag down the morals of the nation.

So let's sum up. She plays on being a Catholic politican when it comes to courting the Catholic vote, but she opposes the Church on contraception. She is completely wrong about the economic benefits of increased population. She promotes a totalitarian concept of the State as above the family with the right to try and manipulate parents into having the "right" family size as determined by her. And she assumes that the State must support people, instead of seeing the people as supporting her and the rest of the State apparatus. Oh, and she refuses to apologize for her anti-people position.

It is difficult to imagine how much more error anyone could pack into a 30 second spot.

Update 1:
Matthew Archibald gets to the root of Pelosi's reasoning in this excellent post, which also contains text of the key spot in the interview. He writes:

"But here's the thing. Most people are not a drain on the economy. In fact, middle class and wealthy people put far more dollars into the federal government than they receive. So when Nancy Pelosi is talking about people who sap the Treasury she's talking about poor people.

And rich people can afford their own contraception. Poor people ostensibly can't. So what Nancy Pelosi is really saying here is the federal government must give out contraception in order to prevent poor people from reproducing because they're a drain on the economy. Margaret Sanger would be so proud."

So the great leader of the "compassionate" Left in America reveals her real agenda - to get rid of poor people by helping them kill their children. Its a good thing the cold-hearted Republicans got the boot and were replaced by these Mother Theresa types.

Oh, and speaking of Margaret Sanger, there is also the racial aspect to this issue. About half of all African-American pregnancies now end in abortion and Planned Parenthood deliberately sets up its abortuaries in minority, inner-city neighbourhoods. It is difficult to know if racisim is the origin of the policy or not, (they might just be targeting the poor whatever color they are), but there is no doubt about the end result. Nancy Pelosi and her fellow Democrats are quite comfortable with systematically eliminating the African-American population of the US (and at this rate it won't take as long as one might think) and they are smart enough to do so while simultaneously maintaining their image as humanitarians concerned about the poor. Quite a feat.

Update 2:
See the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney's excellent article on Pelosi's interview at Catholic Online. He writes:

"It is now becoming clear that the Democratic leadership intends to use the economic crisis to push forward a radical anti-family social agenda."

"Speaker Pelosi shows a clear lack of compassion and understanding of social justice by laying the groundwork for racist and eugenic social policies. Clearly the focus of the distribution of these contraceptives would center on minority communities which tend to be poorer and more economically challenged."

Read it all at:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Obama Declares Support for UN Population Fund

Amy Welborn reports that, attached to President Obama's action reversing the Mexico City Policy of not funding abortions overseas, is a notice:

In addition, I [Obama] look forward to working with Congress to restore U.S. financial support for the U.N. Population Fund. By resuming funding to UNFPA, the U.S. will be joining 180 other donor nations working collaboratively to reduce poverty, improve the health of women and children, prevent HIV/AIDS and provide family planning assistance to women in 154 countries.

Amy Welborn writes:

This action could be even more monstrous than the reversal of the Mexico City Policy. The U.S. government ceased funding the UNFPA after independent investigations found the agency complicit in China’s coercive one-child policy - coercion that includes forced abortions.

Following the State Department’s own 2002 investigation, then-Secretary of State Colin Powell wrote a letter to Congress saying, “UNFPA’s support of, and involvement in, China’s population-planning activities allows the Chinese government to implement more effectively its program of coercive abortion.”

UNFPA funding has been withheld for that reason since 2002 and the State Department continued to monitor China’s coercive “family planning” regime.

Supporting choice on abortion is bad. Supporting coercive abortion is even worse, although it is the next logical step in the culture of death. Calling it a matter of "women's health" is insulting. What more evidence is needed of Obama's abortion extremism? How does an abortion moderate in favor of abortion reduction support this?

A Prediction:
The economic mess Obama inherited eventually will drive him to fiscal conservatism and the real threat of Islamic terrorism will lead him to miltary policy not significantly different from George Bush. The only way he can pander to his base and maintain his liberal credibility will be by being radical on social issues. So we can expect a social revolution in the next four years in areas like abortion, euthanasia, same sex marriage, etc. This will further polarize the American electorate and provoke a conservative reaction.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Jim Wallis Officially Declares Himself Pro-choice

In his blog entry today, Jim Wallis finally comes clean and admits what many have long suspected: he is now offically pro-choice on abortion, which means that he supports legalized private killing - so far only in the case of abortion. He writes:

"I support the president’s call for a new dialogue on the best ways to achieve abortion reduction while retaining his position on choice." For the whole post, see:

I suppose he may try to wiggle out of the implications of his statement here and claim that he supports the president, but not legalized abortion, but that kind of distinction simply does not hold up. You would never catch him saying he supports John McCain but not McCain's position on the war. Any such twisting of the obvious truth is simply not credible.

Ironically, this story appears on the day Obama frees up US government funding for programs that push abortion on the poor of the third world. So all this talk about "justice" and "mercy" and "care for the poor" really means: "If you are too poor (unlike us rich Westerners) then you should kill your children." Somehow, I would have thought that real, biblical compassion would not drive mothers to choose between food and shelter, on the one hand, and killing their children, on the other. But perhaps I misunderstand what Sojourners means by compassion.

As for "abortion reduction," does Jim Wallis only care about abortion reduction in America? The implications of Obama's decision to fund abortion-pushing programs in the Third World will undoubtedly have the effect of pushing up numbers of abortions there. Do third world children count? Do they each perhaps count as 2/3 of a Western fetus? With a single stroke of the pen, Obama has just pulled the rug out from under all the froth and fuss about "abortion reduction," something the Democratic Party platform never endorsed and something to which Obama is not really committed. "Abortion reduction" is nothing more than the fevered imagination of Wallis and co. working overtime trying to manufacture reasons (well, excuses) to support the culture of death candidate. If he ever actually comes up with a candidate who is really committed to abortion reduction, I'll be open to consider him or her. In the last election, however, it was the other guy who was actually in favor of abortion reduction.

Jim Wallis has been a Democrat and an Obama supporter for some time now and it is good to see the pretence dropped and the truth out there in front of everyone. He is pro-choice on abortion' I am not. I am anti-choice on abortion, just as I am anti-choice on murder and rape. Choice does not make intrinsically evil acts any less evil. I don't believe a society can long survive making the killing of the young, the disabled and the elderly a matter of private choice. This is an attack on the dignity of human life and the God in whose image we are all created.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A Great Pro-life Ad

This ad ran during broadcast of the Innagural ceremonies. What a terrific message!
Check it out!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

If Israel is Trying to Commit Genocide, It Must Have the Most Incompetent Army in the World

The facts: 18 days of war, 900 Palestinians killed (of which many are Hamas terrorists), in a tiny area one fifth the size of Toronto packed with 1.5 million people.

Everywhere I go on the net lately and every newspaper I pick up contains accusations hurled against Israel that include genocide. For example, here is the president of the UN General Assembly, the Marxist Catholic liberationist from Nicaragua, saying it:

And here is an article from Jim Wallis's famously left-wing blog humbly entitled: "God's Politics:"

Duane Shank, to his great credit, says in this article that no one has a right to say that Jews should be wiped out or that Israel has no right to exist. But remember, he is writing in a rabidly left-wing setting and the comments indicate that his is a minority position. They consist mostly of constant, unrelenting attacks on Israel, re-writing of history, loose and undefined emotive terms like "genocide" and many calls for the same goal as Hamas has - the dismantling of Israel as a Jewish state (which would likely lead to Jews having to flee the country or be murdered).

I have not had many occasions recently to be proud of my country, but this action the by the Canadian government made me glad to be a Canadian:

But why was Canada alone on this one? The recent decision of the Left to turn against Israel is disgusting and dangerous. But then again, it was that great man of the Left, Hitler, who did it first. And Stalin gave it a good shot too. The Left is quickly losing whatever high ground it once occupied.

So Israel is trying to commit genocide. Well, if so, they must be pretty bad shots. Carpet bombing Gaza City for two weeks as the US and Britain did to German cities in 1945 would be the way to do it - the casualties would be in the hundreds of thousands at least. But attacking a terrorist organization devoted to wiping out Israel and which has been killing civilians by firing rockets randamly into populated areas for months: that is genocide. I suppose the Jews who fought back against the Nazis in the Warsaw Ghetto were also committing genocide. Does anyone know what the word "genocide" even means?

In the article Duane Shank quotes a story about Dr. Martin Luther King:

"During an appearance at Harvard University shortly before his death, a student stood up and asked King to address himself to the issue of . The question was clearly hostile. King responded, “When people criticize Zionists they mean , you are talking anti-Semitism.”

When the Left has to disagree with Martin Luther King in order to justify their hatred of Israel, you know they are getting desperate.

Discrimination Against Handicapped People in the UK

The following story in The Mail On-line details widespread neglect of handicapped people in London hospitals. Now that eugenic abortion has been widely accepted in Western society, with arount 90% of babies diagnosed as probably having Down's Syndrome being killed by their parents and doctors by abortion, the logic of the lives of handicapped people not being worth protecting is being extended to handicapped children and adults. From the story:

"A vulnerable patient starved to death in an NHS hospital after 26 days without proper nourishment. Martin Ryan, 43, had suffered a stroke which left him unable to swallow.
But a 'total breakdown in communication' meant he was never fitted with a feeding tube. It was one of a number of horrific cases where the NHS fatally failed patients."

For the whole story, see:

The handicapped persons advocacy group, Mencap, has issued a damning report called "Death By Indifference," which details six cases of patients who died by neglect. All were handicapped. To see the report click here:

Ann Abraham, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, has now begun to investigate the cases outlined in the report and The Mail On-line reports that sources close to the Ombudsman say that she will issue a "withering verdict" of a "devestating" overall picture of neglect.

Why are handicapped people being neglected? How does a 30 year old die of a broken leg in one of the richest countries of the world - one that has socialized medical care? What is behind this callous treatment of the weakest among us? If this is happening in London, what is the likliehood that this is the only place it is occurring?

Here is just a summary of one heart-rending story from the Mencap Report

"Emma was just 26 when she died. She had a severe learning disability, which meant she sometimes had difficulty communicating how she felt.

Emma was admitted to hospital for tests – she was upset and in pain. The hospital found her behaviour difficult to manage and sent her home without any help to control her pain. When Emma and her mum went back to the hospital for the results they were told Emma had cancer.

There was a 50:50 chance that she would survive if she was treated, but the doctors decided not to treat her. They said she couldn't consent to treatment. Again Emma was sent home with no way to help with her pain.

A week later Emma wasn't eating or drinking, so her mum took her back to the hospital and tried to make the doctors treat her daughter.

Still having to watch her daughter suffer from the cancer, Emma's mum went to the High court to force the doctors to treat her daughter, but by the time the order came through, the cancer had progressed too far.

Emma was admitted to a palliative care hospice where she died a month later."

I'm not sure who to feel sorry for the most: the mentally-impaired person who is being killed by neglect or the spiritually-impaired persons doing the killing. According to my theology, the former lose their physical lives, but will live forever with Jesus, but the latter lose their souls and will live forever cut off off from God in hell. I suppose the answer is that we should be most worried about what the culture of death is doing to all of us.