Ireland and Abortion: Northern Ireland and Freedom to Choose Life

So Ireland has voted down its restrictive abortion laws. Now, it seems unlikely that the Emerald Isle will become as lenient regarding “pregnancy termination” as England already is. Yet perhaps someday, we’ll realized they just took longer to get to the same place.

In most of the United Kingdom, including England, abortion regulations require two doctors to sign off before the procedure. But the law grants doctors a conscience clause. They may refuse to sign on moral grounds. And the law prohibits abortion after 24 weeks–with later exceptions for health of the mother or when the unborn child may have “serious disabilities.”

So getting an abortion in the UK is more difficult than it is in the US–which requires no doctors’ signatures and has no gestational time limit. In America, a woman can get an abortion for no reason until “viability”–24 weeks–and for any reason after that. Continue reading “Ireland and Abortion: Northern Ireland and Freedom to Choose Life”

Remembering Common Virtue

“Poor is the nation that has no heroes. Poorer still is the nation that, having heroes, fails to remember and honor them.” Marcus Tullius Cicero

Today is Memorial Day in the United States. It’s a day we mark with picnics and parades. The unofficial beginning of summer, yet so much more than the chance to eat hot dogs and buy a new swimsuit.

Decoration Day, as the holiday was originally known, began after the Civil War–our bloodiest conflict. It was a time when a divided country was trying to heal–perhaps as we are today.

We mark the day on the last Monday of May–but May 30 had been the selected date before three-day weekends became a priority. May 30 remembered no notable battles from the Civil War–although our several wars since may not have missed the day.

We enrich ourselves in this remembering. Remembering those who’ve done noble things tells us we can be noble too. Continue reading “Remembering Common Virtue”

The Word-Light

Logos—the Word with God,
Who is God,
And who is Light–Word-Light.

He walks with us,
Guiding us with His words and light on a winding way.
We see others and attribute words to them.

Cherished spouse, loved child, precious friend.
But if we look away from the light, we misname,
Horrid adversary.

And we misname ourselves: Failure, Stupid, Nothing.
Word-Light says, “Seek and see Me,
To see and name rightly.”

Word-Light heals the wounded soul.
He gives us a word for ourselves–to name us:
Imago Dei—the picture of God–sacred us–all of us. Continue reading “The Word-Light”

No Brotherly Love in Philadelphia

“True it is, They that are born of the flesh, hate and persecute them that are born of the spirit.” William Penn, Chapter One, VII~
His statue stands atop the great structure in the center of Philadelphia–City Hall. William Penn understood what many of us are just figuring out. The world will never understand nor appreciate our deeply held, uncompromising convictions.
And their disdain for our views trumps even the appearance of compassion. A voice of false compassion casts aside victims unrelated to its intended target.
The Daily Signal reports that days after making an urgent plea on behalf of 300 homeless orphans of the opioid crisis, Philadelphia ended its placement relationship with Bethany Christian Services and Catholic Social Services. Because those agencies hold Christian convictions and will not place children with unmarried or LGBT couples, they can no longer place children at all.
In the Keystone State in 2015, more than half of the 16,000 kids in foster care had been removed from their homes because of “parental drug use.” Philadelphia ranks second in deaths by overdose out of 44 counties in the US with populations greater than one million.
The need is indeed great, and there are many, but not enough, ways to meet it. Continue reading “No Brotherly Love in Philadelphia”

More than a Feeling

Posted on CBN.com today–Sunday, May 20, 2018.
The pastor said, “If you’re like me, you . . .” Then he described feelings that closely reflected my own. I was surprised to think my experience might be common.
When I was new at the church my husband and I now attend, Communion was wonder-filled. Not remarkably different in its practice from my previous experience. But profound with awe.  Continue reading “More than a Feeling”

A Picture of the Church to the World

Once windblown sand without direction,
I am now glass, colored by life and faith and love.
 
Sand heated, tinted, shaped and placed,
Part of a larger picture.
 
Cracks and fissures healed and yet healing,
Whole glass within the framework,
 
Supported by Spirit,
Held in place, my place.
 
Light shines to the world through me,
A piece in the picture of the Bride, Continue reading “A Picture of the Church to the World”

The Menacing Scowl of Our Politics

It was a candidates’ night, and I was an observer. Not a completely unbiased one–but one willing to look objectively and offer–observations.
On one side sat two candidates vying for the nomination to a legislative seat. She brought a wealth of knowledge about farms and schools. He brought insight about business and law. They both had good ideas. She conveyed hers well. He delivered his in a Kennedyesque style with accompanying vigor.
I didn’t see them shake hands at the end–but I’d be surprised to hear they didn’t.
On the other side of the platform sat two others–vying for the nomination to a different legislative seat. He brought experience as a lawyer. She’d been a nurse before being elected to a lower legislative office a few years ago.
There was a tension between them not apparent on the other side of the room. Continue reading “The Menacing Scowl of Our Politics”

To Celebrate the Day, the Life, the Moms

It started with the ancients honoring mothers. Ancient cultures did not regard women as equal citizens. But lauding Mother has rung throughout the ages.
America’s celebration of mothers began on a dark note more than a century ago. It was a day for mothers to mourn sons lost in World War One and work toward peace. As wars came and went, the day became a time to honor all mothers. It became a happy day.
The day’s original crafters would want you to know that it’s not Mothers’ Day–in celebration of all mothers. It’s Mother’s Day–when you’re supposed to visit and thank your own.
Some still hold the babes, wipe the noses, and change the diapers. Others joust with school-borne illnesses, sibling rivalries, and picking up Legos after stepping on one in bare feet. It’s the little ones that hurt the most. Continue reading “To Celebrate the Day, the Life, the Moms”