>Ban on contaceptives proposed

>Senator Hokkons Baules of Palau has introduced a bill calling for contraceptives to be banned in the island nation. The bill, the “Population Growth Act of 2011”, is hoped to turn the tide against the shrinking population. Palau has a population of around 20 000 people with a growth rate of 0.3%.

Read more.

Idiot Savant of No Right Turn has harsh words for the bill:

“Palau is trying to ban all forms of contraception. The reason? To boost the country’s population. Too many Palauans have been choosing to have smaller families, and those who measure the success of their country by the size of its population (the ideology of a cancer cell) want to put a stop to it.

Quite apart from the obvious liberal grounds for objecting to this decision – what people do in their bedrooms and how many kids they have are simply none of the government’s business – there’s also a large degree of simple revulsion at such barbarism. Contraception is a fundamental, transformative technology which frees us from nature. Banning it is taking people back to the dark ages and making them slaves to circumstance again. Its like banning sewage systems. Or literacy. If people want to live like that, or live in impoverished parts of the world where such technologies are out of reach, that’s one thing (and the latter, we can work to fix). But forcing them to is simply abhorrent.

[my emphasis]

Yes, nature can be barbaric, red in tooth and claw, but if Palau doesn’t start promoting the next generation of citizens it is going to cease to exist. What people do in their bedrooms is absolutely the government’s business. If it wasn’t why have marriages recorded by the state with specific rules about who can and can not be married to each other? We are not mere individuals, we are families and communities. Our actions have an effect on our wider society and Palau is trying to stop itself from a population implosion.

No matter how the Western world tries to run from the laws of nature we can never escape. Societies must have babies if they are to continue. Contraception and abortion have changed the landscape of human experience, they have made marriage an optional extra and our families are less stable for that.

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Posted in contraception, population | 1 Comment

>Internet poll re: killing child apparently real

>A Minnesota pro-life husband and pro-abortion wife have admitted they are the couple behind the BirthOrNot.com site, which featured a poll asking visitors to decide whether they should keep their unborn baby or choose abortion. Many have expressed shock, and some have even alleged that the site is a pro-life publicity stunt, but the truth is stranger than that.

Pete and Alisha Arnold, thirty-something Minnesota suburbanites are expecting a baby, which is in its 18th week of gestation. They set up the shocking Internet poll to ask readers, “Should we give birth or have an abortion?” The site went viral last week and prompted a great deal of outcry from both those in the pro-life and pro-abortion camps.
Read more.

This is an action so strange, so unreal that Kiwi blogger Boganette was convinced it was a hoax. Frankly I agreed with her, no one would actually poll strangers on the Internet about continuing with the life of their baby. But no, it seems (and I say seems because I still can’t really fathom it to be true) that it’s not a hoax and a genuine web page.

I’m just flabbergasted.

This is what we have come to thanks to the creeping menace of reality television, both homemade and commercial. People are seeking their 15 minutes of fame and the concept of the private and personal has just flown out the window with it. Why would any sane couple ask strangers on the Internet about the most important decision of their lives? What would possess someone to think that was a good idea? Asking family or best friends I can understand, but an open poll?

One of the things I try to hammer into my kids is that once something is on the Internet it can’t be taken back. It is there forever. So that embarrassing photo, those ill considered words – forever inscribed on a hard drive somewhere, never to be deleted. Always think carefully about sharing something you might not want to be public. But I just can’t understand why someone would place such intimate, personal issues into the public space. For what purpose?

Just… ugh.

UPDATE –

This case just gets weirder. Pete Arnold told CNN that the poll was hoax.

Meh.

This whole thing is just negative and wrong IMO. If they did it to convince women to keep their babies alive then they have missed the mark. Yes, it’s highlighted abortion, but then we all knew about abortion anyway. I can’t believe that this stunt made women who were previously prepared to terminate their children suddenly change their minds. Really what is going to do that is to help people understand the humanity of the unborn and for people to be prepared to put their child’s life first.

Posted in abortion, media | 2 Comments

>Families and the Pike River Mine tragedy

>Yesterday we heard the news of the second explosion at Pike River. Another explosion was always on the cards, we knew that it was the risk that held men back from entering the mine. And yesterday what we all dreaded, what we all prayed and hoped would not happen, did. Greymouth today is just so quiet, everyone is grieving. People shopping in the supermarket are hushed. The media pack aren’t outside our boys’ school this morning. You can feel the sadness everywhere.

One thing has struck my though all of this – the vital place of the family within the community. The people I know involved in the tragedy have all reached out to their families. Individuals don’t make up community, families do and right now families are hurting. It’s not just the twenty-nine families who have lost one of their own, it’s also the families of the people who work at the mine and the families of men who go underground at the other mines in the area who are suffering. I know a wife who worries herself to pieces when her husband comes home late from his shift at a different mine.

I don’t think family is acknowledged enough in our culture. The emphasis is on the freedom of the individual, yet what is best for the family is what comes to the aid of the individual. Strong, functional, loving families are the best place for children to be nurtured, for elderly to be cared for, and it creates a safe place for emotions, like grief, to be worked through.

Posted in families, pike river mine | Leave a comment

>The "Letters from Wetville" blog

>I know I said I wasn’t going to post, but I read this and it was so good it needed to be passed around.

Hat tip to The Hand Mirror.

Another perspective from Sandra at the blog “Letters from Wetville”.

Posted in pike river mine | Leave a comment

>No posts

>Hi everyone. I know it’s quiet here but being in Greymouth and having friends who work at Pike (all accounted for and safe) I’m just not up for anything else but praying and hoping for the 29 miners to be safely brought home.

So I’m sorry but I’m not going to be making any posts right now.

The pain of the Pike River Coal mine explosion is palpable all through our town. Everyone knows someone down there, or they know someone who does. It’s been hard reading some of the coverage, particularly about the pressure to enter the mine. If those rescue guys could get in there without making it worse, then they would be and nothing and no one could stop them.

This is a mining town. My family has mining connections with the Martha Mine in Waihi and the Victoria Battery at Waikino. My grandfather worked for two years at the Martha Mine, my great-grandfather was the last Superintendent at the Victoria Battery before it closed in 1952.

However on my husband comes from Coaster Irish mining stock. His father worked at Strongman and left just before the disaster there in 1967. His grandfather mined at the Liverpool Mine at Rewanui and his life was saved by the heroic action of  Jim Whelan who sustained mortal injury saving him. His great-grandfather mined at Brunner for 7 years but was let go when the mine reduced its labour force and thus missed being in the Brunner Mine when that disaster occured. His testimony at the court case is recorded in the Grey River Argus.

Right now we just want to focus on the rescue and get the men safely out.

Posted in pike river mine | Leave a comment

>Pike River Coal mine explosion

>Pike River Coal explosion.

I’m here in Greymouth and I was at the home of a Pike River Coal employee when he got a call and he was told about the explosion at Pike. He couldn’t stay on the line because they needed to keep it clear and there is no cell reception up at Pike. Everyone here knows someone who is a miner. We all feel sick about this accident.

Please pray for the men trapped in the mine and their families.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

>British 14 year old girl drinks and parties with her mother’s approval

>We’ve been discussing promiscuity lately here, particularly in relation to teenagers, so when I read this in The Daily Mail it just dove-tailed in nicely.

“From her rock-chick black hair, with its green and blonde streaks, to her Doc Marten boots, nine body-piercings, a faceful of ­permanent make-up and two tattoos, there is little about Sophie Watson’s appearance to suggest her true age.

But, aside from her disturbingly adult appearance, it is the conversation that really makes the jaw drop.

Ask Sophie about her social life and she’ll tell you that she drinks and parties with Mum’s blessing. Ask about her sex life and there are no mortified blushes. Instead, she’ll tell you ­— again, in the presence of her mother — that she’s slept with four boys in just six months.”

Read more.

This article is the exact example of what I don’t agree with – girls, children actually, living a life with adult trappings, like sex and alcohol, without the emotional or physical maturity that we need to deal with things when they go bad. By supporting teenagers to make adult choices (and the body piercings and tattoos don’t bother me provided they are done in a sterile way) then you are allowing them to end their childhoods.

The thing I learned as a sexually active teenager was that – you can never go back to your childhood. Once it’s over it’s gone forever. When you are in your childhood what you want to do is grow up out of it as fast as possible, it’s only when you leave it behind do you see what it was worth. Childhood was a time where one could grow in a cushioned environment. Your choices were smaller and less life changing than adult choices are.

As an adult the choices I make have deep repercussions, not only for myself, but for my family. I’m often called to put other people’s needs ahead of mine, to accept that I can’t have what I want, when I want it. Is a teenager ready to do that? Should a teenager have to do that?

Children have the freedom to be selfish, to take the time to learn to know themselves and to make mistakes in a way that they can handle. As they grow parents offer children greater responsibility so that they can learn to eventually bear adult burdens. If we allow children to jump straight to adult behavior then we deprive them of time growing up.

Posted in teen sexuality | 3 Comments