Sunday, April 27, 2014

Recent Press Release By Pro-Life NL On Frank Coleman

Patrick Hanlon of Pro-Life NL
A recent statement from a pro-life group in our province is worthy of further distribution. Many good points were made and it did serve as a reference point for some media reporting on the recent controversy over Frank Coleman.

Pro-Life NL statement on Frank Coleman

Dear Editor: It was refreshing to hear of Frank Coleman's intentions to seek the leadership of the Province. Being aware of his involvement in the faith community and the pro-life movement, we were delighted that someone principled was stepping forward.

However, his latest comments regarding not imposing his pro-life views are a little puzzling.

While respecting diversity of practices and opinions is a noble thing, the primary role of government is to ensure that certain standards are met and reasonable limits are not exceeded. However, there is a gaping void in relation to abortion, caused by Parliament's failure to take the 1988 Supreme Court's invitation to draft a law restricting abortion which said it would be a "perfectly valid legislative objective." Thus, Canada is in the company of the human rights travesties of China and North Korea, the only other nations without any restrictions on abortion.

This void has left our nation at the perils of the abortion industry imposing itself upon its victims. Abortion is often imposed upon women who want to give birth by unsupportive partners and others who bully and violently coerce them to act against their own will. Abortion is imposed upon women by the abortion industry, complete with private-for-profit clinics, that fails to provide information about the risks and alternatives. Abortion is imposed on those not legally old enough to consent to many actions, but can have one without the knowledge of their guardians. Abortion is always imposed upon the most vulnerable, up to nine months in gestation. The abortion mentality is often imposed upon individuals who fear being lambasted by anti-lifers for being a vocal representative of the silent majority.

The pro-life movement stands for human rights, especially the most basic one of life. It seeks to help people make free and informed decisions. These pro-life aims are virtually universally accepted as positive government responsibilities, not negative impositions as some claim.

As Premier, Mr. Coleman has a role to play. A well formed conscience does not allow for one view privately and another publicly. We have only one soul that it with us in both realms. To whom much is given, much is expected.

We hope that Mr. Coleman's conscience will guide him in accepting the responsibility and using the great influence he has been given. Ideally, we would like him to abolish abortion completely in Newfoundland and Labrador as it is in PEI. However, we know this may not be instantaneously achievable as not every politician is principled.

We agree with Saint John Paul II's Evangelium Vitae 73 that says "...when it is not possible to overturn or completely abrogate a pro-abortion law, an elected official, whose absolute personal opposition to procured abortion was well known, could licitly support proposals aimed at limiting the harm done by such a law and at lessening its negative consequences at the level of general opinion and public morality." Mr. Coleman can be assured of our continued prayers.

 Patrick Hanlon, spokesperson, Pro-Life NL

Myth, Genesis and The Resurrection

Fr. Paul Nicholson clarifies and corrects most cogently.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Frank Coleman Sells Out On Pro-Life Beliefs

VOCM reported this morning that Frank Coleman provided them with an interview last evening on the controversy swirling about his pro-life advocacy and his soon-to-be premiership of the province.

Was this predictable? Sadly, yes. We've had a long history in Canada of "devout" Catholics decimating the Canadian landscape by sponsoring unjust laws and plain evil, all in the name of "I'm personally opposed, but..." Others just work like the devil to avoid saying anything on the subject of evils. Then again, when Catholic Bishops themselves don't defend Catholic tradition and teaching, why should we expect "ordinary" Catholics to do so?

Wouldn't it have been appropriate at this crucial time in the Coleman campaign for a Catholic Bishop in the province to have spoken up on the matter of the evil of abortion and the Catholic call to defend life at all stages, especially through laws and regulations, as per Catholic teaching such as Evangelium Vitae? Instead, we had the usual silence. Was Frank Coleman left on his own to figure it all out? Perhaps that's the real travesty here.

My previous blog coverage appeared here, here, here and here.

  • The Huffington Post weighs in, now that the dirty deed is done.
Coleman said he would still like to attend the pro-life walk once he becomes premier, but he said he won't do so if it would detract from the walk's current peaceful atmosphere.
  • Mr. Coleman went on VOCM Open Line this morning to discuss his "pro-life" position. We now know the Walk for Life was, for him, more like a "parade", than a protest or any statement calling for change in the status quo of killing unborn children in the womb.  Rather, he says, it's a walk to "indicate that there may be an alternative." All comments considered, his interview was a shocking betrayal of the Catholic and pro-life position. I wonder what his family and those who "paraded" with him think of his comments today. Listen to the interview below.

Monday, April 21, 2014

I'm Personally Opposed To Abortion, But I Won't Force My Views On You

Recently Frank Coleman, the incoming Premier of NL, released a statement clarifying his pro-life views. I think a succinct summary of his position is that he is personally opposed to abortion and marches each year in the March for Life in Corner Brook. (That is, in fact, why he is branded an “anti-choicer.”) But he goes on further in his statement to say that he does not intend to impose his views on anyone else.

This posting presents two critiques on the Coleman position, one often espoused by political candidates. The first is by Dr. Peter Kreeft and the second is by Mark Crutcher (see video at end of posting).

Peter Kreeft, moral philosopher at Boston College, tells us why the “I’m Personally Opposed, But” (IPOB) argument falls flat when politicians try to use it to find a safe place in the abortion debate.

The full audio is here.

The conclusion of this argument is, of course, that if it's always wrong to deliberately kill an innocent person, and if abortion deliberately kills an innocent person, then abortion is always wrong. Always. Just as rape is always wrong. There's an addition to the argument, a third premise that you can add, that brings it into the social, political, and legal area. Some people will say, "There's nothing wrong with this argument, but I still don't want to legally force my views on people who don't agree with me. I'm personally opposed to abortion, but I wouldn't make it illegal."

An innocent person is killed

So, why do I also believe not only that it is immoral, but that it ought to be illegal? Not everything that's immoral ought to be illegal. The structure of legal reasoning has a moral premise, but then it has a legal premise. If a thing is not morally bad, we don't want to prohibit it by law. But some things are morally bad that we don't want to prohibit by law. Maybe smoking is morally bad, maybe it's irresponsible. I don't think there should be a law against smoking. Maybe not wearing a seatbelt is bad, irresponsible. I don't know whether it's a good idea or not, but I'm sympathetic to those that say there shouldn't be a law about seatbelts. I don't think smoking marijuana's a good idea, but I'm not sure whether illegalizing it is a good idea or not; maybe so, maybe not.

So, you have to add a legal premise to the moral premise, to get a conclusion that this thing that is morally ought also to be legally prohibited. All right, so what's the purpose of law? Law is to protect people. If law doesn't do that minimal job, it's not doing anything. Law has to at least protect the innocent and weak against the guilty and strong. Nobody seriously maintains that there shouldn't be laws against theft, rape, or slavery, because those are clearly cases of misusing human beings, oppression. Well, the legal premise that can be added to this argument is that the law must protect the rights of the innocent and weak against the powerful and strong. Well, if abortion is killing a person, and if that person is innocent and weak, shouldn't he be protected?

I used to call myself a liberal, back in the days of the Civil Rights Movement, because I was on the side of the poor, the oppressed. Blacks and women and the poor, and they had to be liberated. They had equal rights, they were the little guy. I still feel that way, very strongly. And that's precisely the reason why now I vote—and now I'm going to say an obscenity I suppose at Wellesley —Republican. There are a lot of things I don't like about Republicans, but at least they don't justify this slaughter. I think I'm against capital punishment too, and I agree with the liberals there. I tend to be very suspicious of conservatives because they don't show a sensitivity to conserving things like the environment. But those issues pale in significance if abortion is what I just described, if it is the legalized murder of a million of our children every year. So, that's a judgment call.

Why be "personally opposed" if it is not murder?

"I'm personally opposed, but I wouldn't want to make it illegal." That sounds a little bit like Pontius Pilate: "I'm personally opposed to crucifying innocent people, but on the other hand, I wash my hands of responsibility here." That's almost like saying, "I'm personally opposed to slavery, but I'm pro-choice. If you want to have slaves, go ahead." I want to ask one of these politicians, "Why are you personally opposed to abortion? Is it because you believe that abortion is the deliberate killing of an innocent person. If not, why are you personally opposed to abortion? It's just, it's yucky? Like you're personally opposed to yogurt?" If abortion doesn't kill a human life, I agree with the pro-choicers: it is an intolerable oppression of women's freedom and women's bodies to tell them what to do. If that's their body and not somebody else's body, you have no right to tell them what to do. But if it's somebody else's body, they have no right to kill that other person.


Mark Crutcher of Life Dynamics in the USA

Frank Coleman Pro-Life Controversy Continues

Most of the new developments of this controversy are covered in this edited version of tonight's CBC coverage. My previous blog coverage here and here.

The Impact Of Frank Coleman's Pro-Life Stand

Any UPDATES will appear at end of posting.

Hans Rollmann, pro-abortion activist and writer/editor/columnist for The Independent, provides a very good overview of what’s at stake in our province with the appearance of a verified “pro-life” candidate for the premier of the province. His article is entitled Frank Coleman and reproductive rights: step up or step out.

As I indicated in last Friday’s posting, I expected the debate to heat up considerably this week as a result of Frank Coleman’s press release in which he defended his prolife views but stressed that he wasn’t out to impose his views on anyone else.

Some pro-lifers are certain to take him to task for that but also those in favour of legalized abortion will not be happy that Coleman did not say more in his statement to assure them that as new Premier he will not disturb the status quo on access to abortion in this province. Rollmann makes this point very clearly in his commentary but goes much further, revealing the altogether intolerant—if not militant—attitude of those who claim a right for mothers to kill their unborn children at will.

Here are some of the crucial highlights of Rollman’s analysis:

Frank Coleman, the solitary leadership candidate for Newfoundland and Labrador’s governing Progressive Conservative party, is fortunate that he waited until all the other candidates had withdrawn from the race before detonating the public relations equivalent of a low-yield nuclear bomb in the midst of the party he seeks to lead.

Yep: Frank dropped the A-bomb right in the middle of the campaign. Some might suggest it’s not entirely his fault: he was answering a question from a reporter and didn’t realize the consequences of his comments. But for a leadership candidate—and a would-be premier—such an oversight is doubly damning.
This type of extremism has nothing to do with conscience and in fact little to do with ‘life’, either. It has to do with controlling women and pushing back the agenda on equality in our society.
It’s rendered all the more serious by the fact there is already a crisis in abortion access in Atlantic Canada. PEI has no abortion providers, and this month national media attention was focused on the closure of New Brunswick’s sole abortion clinic (government refused to fund it and abortion access in New Brunswick hospitals is regulated under archaic regulations that some have argued violate women’s equality rights). The governments of those two provinces are failing their obligations to provide this essential public health service for women.
One of two things must happen if the PCs are to emerge from this scandal unscathed. Coleman could do the honourable thing and step out of the race…
Or, he ought to make a clear public statement—far more clear than his dithering comments thus far—proclaiming his support for strong and sustained access to abortion, his clear commitment to enhance and improve the already seriously under-funded access to that public service in this province, and his commitment to not ever march or participate in events like this again while serving in public office.
But one thing I know is that I—like a great number of other Newfoundlanders and Labradorians—will never vote for a party whose leader engages in morally repugnant activities like anti-choice activism.

Read the full article here.


Opinion shaper Ed Hollett from Sir Robert Bond Papers

One very recently published non-surprising view on the local abortion debate 

Man set to be next premier of Newfoundland under pressure from pro-life group


Sunday, April 20, 2014

He Is Not Here, For He Is Risen

Resurrection of Christ: Raffaelino del Garbo, 1510

Matthew 28
The Resurrection

(Psalm 16:1-11; Psalm 49:1-20; Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24:1-12; John 20:1-9)

1 AND in the end of the Sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. 2 And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. 3 And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. 4 And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. 5 And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. 7 And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen: and behold he will go before you into Galilee; there you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you.

8 And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples. 9 And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him. 10 Then Jesus said to them: Fear not. Go, tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, there they shall see me.

The Report of the Guards

11 Who when they were departed, behold some of the guards came into the city, and told the chief priests all things that had been done. 12 And they being assembled together with the ancients, taking counsel, gave a great sum of money to the soldiers, 13 Saying: Say you, His disciples came by night, and stole him away when we were asleep. 14 And if the governor shall hear this, we will persuade him, and secure you. 15 So they taking the money, did as they were taught: and this word was spread abroad among the Jews even unto this day.

The Great Commission

(Mark 16:14-18)

16 And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, unto the mountain where Jesus had appointed them. 17 And seeing them they adored: but some doubted. 18 And Jesus coming, spoke to them, saying: All power is given to me in heaven and in earth. 19 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.

Douay-Rheims Bible