Saturday, December 5, 2009

Shooting at Fort Hood raises fresh questions about Muslims: Part 1

Disclaimer to protect myself from Human Rights Commissions (normal people need not read this paragraph):  I hereby solemnly declare that I do not harbour any hatred or anger towards any religion or religious group, especially not Islam or Muslims.  I do not advocate any form of violence, hatred or discimination against Muslims.  I am simply concerned by the statements made by Muslims themselves to the effect that they support terrorist acts.  I am therefore exploring the implications of their position on the public good of Canadians and the world.

This is not an easy post to write.  It will contain facts that some people will consider "politically incorrect", "hateful", "xenophobic" or "intolerant".  I can understand that opinions can be designated with such adjectives, but facts shouldn't be subject to censorship just because they raise difficult questions that people would rather avoid.  Catholics are called to be courageous and to face the facts.  So let's get with it.

The shooting at Fort Hood has re-opened the discussion about whether Islam is truly a "religion of peace" as some scholars claim.  First of all, I would like to extend my deepest condolences to all the families of the victims.  

The media as reported many disturbing facts about the shooting at Fort Hood.  The shooter was a Muslim.  He shouted "God is great" as he started emptying cartridges on unsuspecting bystanders.  He had some sort of connection with some shady extremist Muslims, although the extent of the connection is not entire clear.  He also seemed to be upset with the war in Afghanistan and about the U.S. killing his brother Muslims over there.

As an economist who has conducted a lot of research and analysis, I don't get too excited about isolated cases such as this.  Researchers call that "anecdotal evidence".  It's very risky to generalize from anecdotal evidence because it's just one case.  For example, some people will argue that cigarettes don't harm you because their uncle Billy-Ray-Bob smoked since he was 15 years old and nevertheless lived until the ripe old age of 94. Although I'm very happy for Billy-Ray-Bob, I wouldn't generalize from one example.  Researchers need lots of data gathered from a big enough sample to enable more accurate generalizations.  That's why, for example, when you read in the newspaper about the latest political poll, you will rarely find a survey that questioned less than 1,000 people. 

That's enough statistical talk for now.  Back to Fort Hood.  Just because one Muslim shot all these people, I

Real court overturns ruling by "thought police" against Protestant pastor

This certainly good news!  Protestant pastor Stephen Boisson had been convicted of hateful speech by the Alberta Human Rights Commission and forced to pay $7,000 and keep his mouth shut.  His "crime"?  Speaking out boldly against the homosexual lifestyle.

Mr. Boisson appealed to a real court -- you know, where things like truth and evidence are actually taken into account -- which overturned the ruling and vindicated Boisson.  

Read a great summary at Freedom Through Truth, which is run by Michael Brandon.  Michael is probably Canada's foremost Catholic expert on the abuses committed by these kangaroo kourts.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The truth about priests

Here is an excellent article published on MacLean's web site. I found it very balanced and down to earth. It talks about the horrible sexual abuses committed by too many priests over the years. It offers a very compassionate discussion of the immense suffering that the victims have undergone. It sympathizes with the contempt that good priests now have to face because of the sins of their brothers. But the article points to a truth that is too often overlooked and that needs to be repeated:

But at the risk of downplaying decades of unspeakable abuse—or forgiving a Church hierarchy that moved heaven and earth to suppress scandal and protect criminal clergy—an obvious point is often ignored: the vast, vast majority of Catholic priests are not sexual predators. In fact, the scientific research suggests that men who target children are no more pervasive in the priesthood (and perhaps less pervasive) than in any other segment of society. Depending on the study, somewhere between two and four per cent of priests have had sexual contact with a minor. Or, to put it another way, between 96 and 98 per cent have not.

“It’s part of that myth—the myth of the pedophile priest who can’t help himself,” says Thomas Plante, a psychology professor at Santa Clara University who has published dozens of studies about sexually abusive priests. “It’s really an issue of perception rather than reality. Believe it or not, probably the safest place for a kid to be is in a Catholic church environment.”

My only reservation with this article is that it tends to use the term "pedophile" to describe these priests who abuse children. Later they say that a more accurate term would be "ephebophiles,": which means "people

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Is there a Canadian "Bishop Tobin" anywhere?

I've written a couple of posts about Bishop Thomas Tobin of Rhode Island, who told pro-abortion policitian Patrick Kennedy (son of Ted Kennedy) to not receive communion.  Bishop Tobin isn't making up some strict rules here.  He's just doing his job.  The Vatican ordered that such politicians are to be instructed not to receive communion, and if they present themselves at the communion rail they should be denied communion.  No ifs, buts or maybes.  No exceptions.  Read the key passages of Cardinal Ratzinger's instructions here.  It's sad that we have to cheer a bishop or priest when he actually complies with the minimum requirements of his job.  That's the sad state of the Church today. 

Canada has it's own "Patrick Kennedy".  His name is Justin Trudeau, son of the famous Pierre Elliot Trudeau.  He claims to be Catholic, like his father, yet he's vigorously pro-abortion and pro-homosexuality.   He's a Liberal Member of Parliament for the riding of Papineau.

So the burning question on everybody's lips is:  will any bishop tell him not to receive communion?  

Hmmmm... Let's see now.  The Parliament buildings are in the Archdiocese of Ottawa, which is part of the jurisdiction of Archbishop Terrence Prendergast.  The riding of Papineau is on the Island of Montreal, which falls under Cardinal Turcotte.  

I understand that these bishops need not make a public statement about this.  They only need to speak privately to Justin Trudeau and to the clergy in their dioceses to give instructions on not giving communion.  I just hope that

Clarifications on "early inductions"

A few days ago, I wrote a post regarding the unethical practice of "early inductions".  I would like to clarify something.  I will also add this new information to the original post.

There exist some rare conditions where it may be necessary to remove the membranes that surround the unborn baby because these membranes have become diseased and could result in the death of the mother (and, of course, of the baby).  For example: 
  • Chorioamnionitis is an inflammation of the amnion and chorion membranes that surround the baby due to a bacterial infection.  The amniotic fluid typically gets infected too. If left untreated, both the mother and baby could die.  Apparently, antibiotics are not sufficient to fix the problem.  As a result, it is necessary to take out those membranes and the amniotic fluid from the mother.  Of course, since the baby is inside those fluids, the baby comes out at the same time.
  • Pre-eclampsia is a dangerous condition that  leads to high blood pressure, high protein levels in the blood and seizures in the most severe cases (this is not an exhaustive list of symptoms).  This condition is potentially fatal for the mother and baby.  While the cause is not known, some theorize that it may be due to problems with the placenta.  Medication can be used to treat the moderate cases, but the most severe cases appear to be resolved only by removal of the placenta, which takes the baby out.
I've chosen my words carefully because I'm making a direct reference to the principle of double-effect. In these two cases, you will notice that it's not the baby that is killing the mother. It's the "stuff" that surrounds the baby

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ClimateGate: the fraud of global warming is finally unmasked

If you've been following the mainstream media lately, the odds are good that you haven't heard of this scandal because most people in the media are left-leaning environmentalists who won't let the truth get in the way of a good story.

Here's what happened: some hackers managed to break into the computer systems at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia in Britain. They discovered thousands of emails and documents that climate "experts" have been sending to each other for more than 10 years. All this info is now posted on the web. You're welcome to search through it yourself. Although it's taking time to sift through all these emails, many startling revelations have come to light:

  • Scientists admitting to manipulating the data in order to prove that the Earth is warming.
  • Scientists preventing research that disproves global warming from ever getting published.
  • Scientists deleting emails to cover their tracks.

The New York Times has confirmed that these emails are authentic.

As governments from around the world prepare for an upcoming climate change conference in Copenhagen, I think you are entitled to know what's really going on. This article from the National Post provides some juicy quotes. The video below is also excellent.

New videos from Priests For Life

Check out these new videos from Priests For Life. The first offers unprecedented footage of a live baby inside a mother's womb using a tiny little camera the size of a pen tip. The second video is a moving little advertisement.

My God bless Priests For Life in their excellent ministry.

H1N1 gradually fizzling out

On Friday, the Public Health Agency of Canada released fresh statistics on H1N1 activity in Canada.  The data is for the week ended November 21st, because there is a certain delay before data from hospitals across the country are received and compiled.

The new stats show that H1N1 activity continues to decline.  Since April 18, 2009, there have been a total of 280 deaths related to H1N1.  My deepest sympathies go out to the families that have been affected.  Yet, from a scientific perspective, that's not an alarming rate at all.  Experts estimate that the regular garden-variety flu kills about 4,000 Canadians each year.  So the fact that we've only had 280 deaths since April (7 months) is quite underwhelming.  It's not much.

The number of outbreaks of H1N1 has dropped off a cliff

Spanish Bishops stand their ground against pro-abortion politicians

Here's another great example of bishops being faithful to their duties regarding the most precious treasure in the Church: the Eucharist.

The bishops have just announced that politicians who support a new abortion bill will not be eligible to receive communion. Awesome!

Muchas gracias queridos obispos!


Another great witness by Bishop Tobin on denying communion

Watch the video below.  Some very courageous and bold statements by the bishop, yet very balanced and charitable.  Bravo to Bishop Tobin!

I wish our bishops and priests would step up to the plate and follow this example. In fact, it is their obligation to do so, because the Vatican has spoken clearly on this matter several times in the last few years. The most explicit document was a letter written by Cardinal Ratzinger in 2004, a year before he became Pope.  It's a short letter but very rich in teaching about a number of important issues.  Paragraphs 5 and 6 are so explicit on this issue that even a child would grasp them:

5.  Regarding the grave sin of abortion or euthanasia, when a person’s formal cooperation becomes manifest (understood, in the case of a Catholic politician, as his consistently campaigning and voting for permissive abortion and euthanasia laws), his Pastor should meet with him, instructing him about the Church’s teaching, informing him that he is not to present himself for Holy Communion until he brings to an end the objective situation of sin, and warning him that he will otherwise be denied the Eucharist.

 6. When "these precautionary measures have not had their effect or in which they were not possible," and the person in question, with obstinate persistence, still presents himself to receive

Happy New Year!

Today we start a new liturgical year. Happy New Year!

I pray that this new year will bring you many blessings and happiness. I pray that you will grow deeper in love with our loving Saviour and increase in zeal for your neighbour. And when suffering comes, as it always does, I pray that God will grant you the patience to suffer patiently and to offer up your cross.

Take care!

P.S.: Enjoy the Grey Cup game!