The Lord is king – Psalm 98

The Lord is king; the peoples tremble.
He is throned on the cherubim; the earth quakes.

This Psalm is from the Divine Office’s morning prayer, as I read it this morning I felt its truth because in the Diocese of Christchurch the earth is quaking and after so many powerful shakes the people are trembling. No matter what suffering and fear we experience though, the Lord is king.

I grew up in Christchurch and aside from a few months in Auckland I lived there all my life until 2007. So many buildings have been destroyed and those buildings were part of my memories and felt a part of who I am. Still a building can be replaced and the people who were killed in the earthquakes can not be.

Even in our darkest times the Lord is king and he is a loving Father who sent his Son so that we could have eternal life. The Psalm written so long ago still speaks to me and it gives me hope that no matter what happens God is there.

Advertisements
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Looters – Revenge vs Justice

I saw this on Kiwiblog and other places as well, but I wanted to comment.

Both Judith Collins and Phil Goff have expressed revenge fantasies about looters in Christchurch. Collins said “I hope they go to jail for a long time – with a cellmate.” (And of course she was talking about the possibility of rape.) Goff said “I saw the army out in the street and I thought court martial, firing squads you just can’t believe how low a small minority of people can get,

These feelings are perfectly normal, common sentiments that most people are likely to express when faced with looting. Surely the people who are upset by these comments have heard such things before from equally usually reasonable people. Can we really be so separated from normal human emotion to fail to see that these were visceral fantasies?

If Collins and Goff were genuinely suggesting double bunking (and the violence that will go with it just as night follows day) and firing squads then I think we can start to worry. Oh… Judith Collins as Corrections Minister did just that in December 2009.

Corrections Minister Judith Collins has welcomed an Employment Court judgment in favour of the Department of Corrections over plans to extend the use of double-bunking at prisons.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Pro-life needs to be what it says

In April 2007 a woman died apparently because her ectopic pregnancy wasn’t treated due to abortion being illegal in Nicaragua. President Ortega has publicly stated that life-saving procedures are not prohibited by Nicaraguan law, however according to groups that want legal abortion, women are dying because doctors are refusing to treat them out of fear.

The death of Olga Reyes is an indictment on a health care system that refused to treat her. The whole object of pro-life law is to promote life and to ensure that no one is left to die or be actively killed. No matter where you stand on the spectrum of ethics around abortion Olga’s death was a tragedy and an outrage. An ectopic pregnancy is a terrible condition where there is no hope for the baby and the mother’s life is placed in danger.

Abortion is always wrong, that is it is always wrong to target another human being for death, but there are times when as a result of a medical procedure to save a mother’s life, her baby will die. It’s been said that pregnancy isn’t an illness, and that is true except in certain medical cases, such as ectopic pregnancy where the growth of the baby will cause the mother’s death. A pro-life position must be what it says, pro-life. The mother and the baby are both worthy of life, dignity and respect. I believe that women need options to make carrying a baby to term possible. That means ongoing support for vulnerable women and their children. How many abortions occur because women feel trapped by circumstance? Poverty, difficulty accessing education, healthcare and housing all contribute to a sense of dread where a baby seems to hard to cope with.

In my conversations with pro-life people I have found that they care deeply about women, yet a common trope is that pro-lifers only care about the foetus. I know for a fact that this isn’t true in New Zealand. I’ve seen the ongoing care that women with crisis pregnancies receive after their baby is born. Yet clearly the pro-life movement needs to do more to tell people what they are doing. When a woman dies and people can point to anti-abortion law as the cause of it it hurts women as well as babies. It’s a blight on the pro-life movement. Countries with pro-life law have to make sure that maternal healthcare is done right.

Those that want abortion available for women should also look to their side and reflect on shortcomings they find. Abortion is a medical procedure, and all medical procedures have side effects, however Dr. Kermit Gosnell’s clinic in Philadelphia, USA was a death trap for women. What this tells us is that irrelevant of your position on abortion, poor medical care has terrible consequences.

We can never do evil to achieve good and abortion is always wrong, but women must have access to medical care that will save their lives, just as those babies in the womb need care to keep them healthy and safe too.

Posted in abortion, Uncategorized, women | 25 Comments

Welcome and my thoughts on the Family First poll

Hi guys, thanks for having a look see here at the new place for proLIFE proLOVE.

Today via Twitter I did the new Family First poll.

http://www.votefamilyfirst.org.nz/

As of writing the poll’s page has a ‘Bandwidth Limit Exceeded’ error so until that fixed I’m afraid I can’t quote from it. The poll has caused a tiny stir in the New Zealand twitter stream, mainly criticisms. Family First is bigoted, ignorant, and the sheer weight of stupid apparently crashed the site.

The thing is, it wasn’t a great poll. The questions (which I can’t directly quote because the site is down) were multiple issue and that makes answering the poll hard if you agree with one part of the statement, but not others. The pictures attached to the questions showed obvious bias which was also a shame. If you’re going to make a poll, other than for entertainment value, then it should be done right.

The object of the poll was for Family First to canvas opinion so that they could represent families better, which I think was a very worthy aim. Hopefully they can tweak the poll to improve it and get some really good information.

UPDATE:

Brian Edwards takes the Family First poll to task. Read more.

Posted in families, media, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

>Because nothing sells like sex

>I first read about this on The Hand Mirror and I have taken the photo from Luddite Journo but this issue is so important I wanted to focus attention on it too.

The New Zealand Police have had a “rough time” of it in the last few year. Police officers have been charged with raping very young women. Two, Brad Shipton and Bob Schollum, were convicted of raping and kidnapping a 20 year old woman. She was gang raped by five men and two of them, Shipton and Schollum, were police officers at the time. Other women said that they were raped by police however their cases did not result in a guilty verdict. The justice system decided that their group sex was consensual, or at least they couldn’t bring a judgement of guilty beyond reasonable doubt.

So… you get the picture. The police need to work on their behaviour and their public perception –  they need to be seen as trustworthy officers of the law. They need to be seen to be people who you can trust and be safe with, especially if you are someone who has suffered a sexual assault. This means that the police should be bending over backwards to present themselves as having purged the sick corruption that led police officers to feel comfortable with having group sex with teenage girls (whilst in police uniform and using police handcuffs and batons) and kidnapping and gang rape.

Therefore, why would the New Zealand Police run advertising like this?

Dear New Zealand Police,

I know advertising executives will use sex to sell everything, from beer and burgers, to music and motorbikes, but if you want to “sell” the New Zealand Police as a career for young people it might pay to lay off the creepy adverts that insinuate you want to have sex with them. This is especially important given police officers have had a habit of groups sex with young girls and even on occasion have raped them.

Please fire your advertising agency and maybe run some focus groups with some women since you can’t seem to work out when you are being sleazy.

Just an FYI.

Yours hopefully,

Muerk

Posted in advertising, nz police, sexual assault | 2 Comments

>From my favorite blogger comes this.

>”Welcome to modern life. Introducing kids as commodities:

The man bringing together this disparate group is Rudy Rupak, chief executive of PlanetHospital.com LLC, a California company that searches the globe to find the components for its business line. The business, in this case, is creating babies”

PlanetHospital’s most affordable package, the “India bundle,” buys an egg donor, four embryo transfers into four separate surrogate mothers, room and board for the surrogate, and a car and driver for the parents-to-be when they travel to India to pick up the baby.

Pricier packages add services like splitting eggs from the same donor to fertilize with different sperm, so children of gay couples can share a genetic mother. In Panama, twins cost an extra $5,000; for another $6,500 you can choose a child’s gender.

The couple made payments as the pregnancy progressed, with the final amount due at birth. Of the $35,000, PlanetHospital keeps around $3,600. Another $5,000 goes to the egg donor, plus another $3,000 or so for travel expenses. The surrogate gets $8,000. The rest, around $15,000, is paid to the clinic.

Packages. For human beings. If you’re not sick yet, this should just about close the deal for you.

“Our ethics are agnostic,” Mr. Rupak says. “How do you prevent a pedophile from having a baby? If they’re a pedophile then I will leave that to the U.S. government to decide, not me.”

Mike Aki and his husband, a Massachusetts couple, confronted this question. The couple planned on having two children. But their two surrogate mothers in India each became pregnant with twins.

At 12 weeks into the pregnancies, Mr. Aki and his husband decided to abort two of the fetuses, one from each woman. It was a very painful call to make, Mr. Aki says. “You start thinking to yourself, ‘Oh, my god, am I killing this child?’”

He didn’t think of his decision as an abortion, but as a “reduction,” he says.

Read more.

Does anyone remember those hellish sci-fi works about people factories? Yeah, well it isn’t science fiction anymore, it’s our evil reality.

Posted in abortion, bioethics, reproductive technology | 5 Comments

>Pike Memorial was blessedly Christian

>As I live in Greymouth and I know men who work at Pike my family attended the memorial service for the men lost at Pike. I was praying that rain wouldn’t come and I think that would go for everyone here on the Coast, thankfully the weather was perfect. The thing that impressed me most was how obviously and publicly Christian the service was. Jesus Christ was talked about with no apologetic embarrassment. The service was led by Anglican minister Rev. Tim Mora, who did my husband’s grandmother’s funeral in his little church in Cobden a few years ago. Our parish priest Fr. John Morrison said a prayer and our church choir sang.

I’m not a Coaster by birth (my husband is), but I know many of the people personally including Peter Whittal. He is a man I trust and I know how hard he is working and the toll it is taking on him and his family. Seeing thousands coming together to pray and mourn was a special experience and I truly believe that the West Coast is a slice of Eden.

But it isn’t Eden from before the Fall. There is danger  and pain here. My husband’s family worked at Strongman Mine during the disaster in 1967 and Pike has brought back memories and grief for his family. In the end suffering can bring about good if we let it turn us back to hope and faith in God. Rev. Tim spoke about the deaths at Pike being a tragic accident and not willed by God. It wasn’t those men’s time, it was just a terrible, horrible accident. He also said that Jesus understands our loss, he too wept for his dead friend.

Greymouth will keep on keeping on and we won’t forget the men who lost their lives deep in Pike River Mine and we will hold them in our prayers.

Posted in pike river mine | 3 Comments