Tuesday, July 29, 2008

R.P. on LifeSiteNews: 15 Filipino Bishops Lead 12,000 in Prayer Rally Celebrating 40th Anniversary of Controversial Humanae Vitae Encyclical

By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

MANILA, Philippines, July 28, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A Mass and vigil was held on Friday at the University of Santo Tomas to mark the 40th anniversary of the encyclical letter of Pope John Paul VI on human life, Humanae Vitae. One goal of the rally was to pressure lawmakers into abandoning the proposed Reproductive Health and Population Development Act, which has passed the committee level in the Philippine House of Representatives.

The Act would create a new agency called the Commission on Population (POPCOM) which would "encourage" families to have only two children, and promote the use of a variety of abortifacient drugs, including the IUD and the pill.

In a massive gathering of pro-life supporters, leaders from the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), members of the Christian charismatic group El Shaddai, politicians, personalities, students, professionals and laborers massed at the university parade grounds to the peel of hundreds of church bells throughout the city.

"This will express the Catholics' firm belief in life and their commitment to stand up for life," Manila Auxiliary Bishop Bernardino Cortez said.

The prayer rally carried the theme "Biyaya ng Buhay, Biyaya ng Pamilya (Blessing of Life, Blessing of the Family)," and was aimed at convincing lawmakers, especially those still undecided on what stance to take regarding the Reproductive Health (RH) bill, that it was unnecessary and would harm Philippine society in the long run.

Archbishop Paciano Aniceto of San Fernando said, "We pray that they change their minds. They are also trying to weigh matters. The first-termers, for example, they don't have much lawmaking experience and they are not really aware of the backgrounds and certain issues in Congress, like this [RH bill]. This is destroying the family, which is the foundation of all government and civilization."

Archbishop Angel Lagdameo, President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, said there was hope that legislators would not let the bill pass the House after the prayer rally.

"I hope they don't rush it. There's still a chance that they will have a change of heart," he said.

In his homily, Archbishop Lagdameo called for a "change in attitude" in society and stressed the Church's stand against contraceptives.

"We need a change of attitude. The attitude of 'what is mine is mine absolutely and I can do with it as I wish,' or the belief that 'my money entitles me to consume or control on my own terms as much as my money will buy' is not permissible anymore," he said.

"We in the Catholic Church...advocate only natural family planning methods as the only morally acceptable way of practicing responsible parenthood."

He said the Church does not forbid the advocacy of the increase or decrease of population provided that the religious beliefs of the couple on sexual and family morality are respected, and warned that the family as an institution is being threatened by the Reproductive Health bill.

"The subtle attacks on family and conjugal morality through legislations that promote artificial methods of birth control are couched in attractive but deceptive terminologies like Reproductive Health Care, population management, anti-discrimination of women and children, reproductive rights and patients' rights," he said.

The Archbishop said that poverty is not caused by overpopulation but by misuse of public funds.

"If all the money that goes to graft and corruption of government or is used for the wrong reasons were spent for our increasingly poor population, we will have indeed both population and true progress, a population that is the resource and object of development," he said.

"If only government would be really pro-poor, there would be less and less poor people," the prelate added.

Manila Archbishop Gaudencio Cardinal Rosales told married couples that if they conduct themselves with discipline and self-control, they would be "in possession of true values of life."

"If there is discipline in the marital bed, then there is discipline in the streets, there is discipline in schools, there is discipline in the government," Archbishop Rosales proclaimed.

He then compared the act of ending the life of an unborn child to King Herod's order to slaughter the infants of Bethlehem after Christ was born.

"Wherever this happens, in the clinics, health centers, or hospitals, ending the life of a child inside a mother's womb is a repeat of Herod's massacre of the innocents … and a Herod could be your neighbor," he said.

Pat Buckley of the European Life Network and a pro-life lobbyist at the UN and the Human Rights Council in Geneva, said of the Philippines Reproductive Health bill: "The act not only sets the scene for the introduction of abortion, it is also aimed at substantially reducing the population by various means including abortifacient birth control and sterilisation."

"While some of the language is about choice there is also coercion. Medical personnel will be forced either to comply or to refer people to someone who will. This is a direct attack on conscientious objection."

"There are also a range of penalties if various people do not comply, from dismissal to fines and imprisonment. There is also a provision that says any person who maliciously engages in disinformation about the intent or provisions of this Act shall be subject to penalties. This is a grave attack on freedom of speech and is aimed at the pro-life community and the Church."

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Last Abortion Clinic in South Dakota Closes after Law Requires Patients be Informed of Possible Side Effects

SIOUX FALLS, SD, July 24, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - On Monday, July 21, eight women arrived at the Planned Parenthood office in Sioux Falls in South Dakota for abortions, but were instead met with locked doors and a hand-written note indicating the only abortion clinic in South Dakota was closed.

Planned Parenthood closed its doors after their abortionists, who are flown in from other states, refused to work under the new law that went into effect last Friday. The law orders abortionists to inform patients of the humanity of their babies and that the procedure could affect their mental health two hours before the abortion is set to be performed. The law also provides that abortionists can be sued if they do not comply.

This law was the brain-child of attorney Harold Cassidy and passed with the help of determined pro-life leaders Dr. Alan and Leslee Unruh, who pushed for the regulation in the face of opposition, even from some in the pro-life movement. The Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cleared the way for the law's enactment last week.

It remains unclear if the Planned Parenthood office has permanently ceased the practice of abortion. However, several women who were scheduled for abortions this week went to a pro-life center instead, where some have reportedly changed their minds about having abortions.

"The closing of this clinic is historic in that South Dakota is, for the time being, the first abortion-free state," said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. "It didn't take the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and it didn't take a new President or a new Supreme Court. It took the courageous determination of pro-life heroes like Mr. Cassidy and the Unruhs who saw an opportunity to save lives and pressed on until their dream became victory."

"We applaud their efforts and encourage other states to emulate their campaign," said Newman.

The Unruhs are currently involved in the Vote Yes For Life Campaign, which would effectively ban abortions in South Dakota, putting the finishing nail in the coffin of the abortion industry there.

Text of the new law and links to the court decision can be found at http://www.voteyesforlife.com

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We rejoice with them! This means more babies saved in South Dakota! More women spared from abortion!

News from the US: South Dakota Law Goes Into Effect: Women Must be Told They Are "Terminating the Life of a Whole Separate, Unique Living Human Being"

By Jenna Murphy

PIERRE, SOUTH DAKOTA, July 22, 2008, (LifeSiteNews.com) - This past Friday, a law mandating that South Dakota's physicians tell all women seeking an abortion that they are "terminating the life of a whole separate, unique living human being" went into effect.

Though the state law was passed in 2005, Planned Parenthood successfully challenged the legislation in the courts, causing a preliminary injunction to be established that prevented the law from being put into effect.

That injunction, however, expired on Friday, and now all physicians performing abortions at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Sioux Falls - the state's only acknowledged abortuary - must present the client with the specific language as it has been formulated by law. A woman must certify in writing that she understands no earlier than two hours before the procedure is conducted (Slevin, Washington Post, 7/20).

The law also mandates that a woman who seeks an abortion must be told that she is willingly putting herself at a higher risk of suicide and depression and that in choosing to end the life of her child she is terminating an 'existing relationship' that is protected by the US constitution and that her "existing constitutional rights with regards to that relationship will be terminated."

Another related law took effect on July 1, requiring doctors in South Dakota to ask a woman seeking an abortion if she wants to see a sonogram of her baby.

About 700 abortions are performed in South Dakota each year.

Although 32 states have informed consent regulations, South Dakota is the only state that includes the reference to an unborn baby as "a whole, separate, unique living human being."

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Friday, July 25, 2008

The Population is not the Problem

Population per se is not the problem hindering our economic development as population controllers claim. And it is so discriminatory to the poor to say that they are too many. What about the well-known Senator and his alleged 81 children? Why don't they legislate against that? Because he's rich? You cannot have a law that applies to only one socio-economic class. Hunger and poverty are caused by many factors, and they cannot be blamed on population alone nor be solved by population control.

To aim to reduce the number of mouths to feed is not the solution to hunger or poverty. All the more so because the means they want to use to reduce the number of mouths involves the death of the innocent. Let all the corrupt officials return the money they have stolen, and we will have more than enough to feed our countrymen.

But even if they don't repent and return the money, as Christians, as long as we live, we must still hold them accountable to the word of God, whether about stealing and greed or about killing the innocent. We must still be the salt and light of the earth and expose the deeds of darkness, whether or not they repent of their greed.

Protestants/Christians should also speak up against population control and abortion and its attempted institutionalization through the proposed bill, and not be quietly staying on the sidelines as the Catholic church speaks up against population control and abortion. Christians must know that abortion is not a "Catholic" issue, but the shedding of innocent blood in the Lord's eyes.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lyrics of "Silent Screams" by My Brother's Scars

HAVE WE ANY REASON

TO CONTINUE WITH THIS TREASON

WE HAVE TURNED OUR BACKS FOR FAR TOO LONG

WE IGNORE THE CRIES OF THE UNBORN
PRE-CHORUS

CAN YOU HEAR THE SILENT SCREAMS

CALLING OUT FROM THE WOMB

WE’VE LET THE PLACE OF LIFE

BECOME A LIVING TOMB
CHORUS

THEY ARE CALLING, CALLING OUT FOR HELP

*WILL YOU HEAR THEM

THEY ARE REACHING, REACHING FOR YOUR HAND

*WILL YOU LOVE THEM

LOVE THEM ENOUGH TO TAKE A STAND
VERSE 2

ARE WE SCARED OF PERCEPTION

DO WE DREAD THE GLANCING EYES

WHAT ARE WE SO AFRAID OF

HOW CAN WE STAND IDLY BY
PRE-CHORUS

CAN YOU HEAR THE SILENT SCREAMS

CALLING OUT FROM THE WOMB

WE’VE LET THE PLACE OF LIFE

BECOME A LIVING TOMB



CHORUS

THEY ARE CALLING, CALLING OUT FOR HELP

*WILL YOU HEAR THEM

THEY ARE REACHING, REACHING FOR YOUR HAND

*WILL YOU LOVE THEM

LOVE THEM ENOUGH TO TAKE A STAND
BRIDGE

AND THEY SAY WE HAVE NARROW MINDS

THEY SAY WE ARE TAKING AWAY RIGHTS

THEY FORGET THAT THERE’S

NO CHOICE FOR THE BABY WHO DIES
CHORUS

THEY ARE CALLING, CALLING OUT FOR

*THEY ARE REACHING OUT FOR’

THEY ARE CALLING, CALLING OUT FOR HELP

THEY ARE CALLING, CALLING OUT FOR HELP

*WILL YOU HEAR THEM

THEY ARE REACHING, REACHING FOR YOUR HAND

*WILL YOU LOVE THEM

LOVE THEM ENOUGH TO TAKE A STAND

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My Brother's Scars band (pic from their myspace page)

My Brother's Scars is a Christian alternative rock band.Listen to the song on their MySpace Page at http://myspace.com/mybrothersscars

This is who they are: (also from their myspace page)

"My Brother’s Scars is a more than just a band. They are a ministry to those who are hurting and searching. They perform Alternative Rock with the message of Jesus Christ. They also lead powerful rock style praise & worship.

In the summer of 2005, founder and lead singer, Jeremy Barker had surgery to remove a melanoma from his shoulder. After surgery there was no cancer remaining and by the grace of God none has returned. What remained were scars. He realized how great it was to have this constant reminder of God's grace. Motivated by this new lease on life, Jeremy felt convicted to re-commit his life to God and to allow God to give his life eternal significance. As a result he and 3 of his brothers-in-law formed My Brother's Scars. The name refers to the scars left behind when we've been broken and healed by God. In all of our lives we've reached a place of brokenness and had to turn to God for His divine healing. Etched into our minds are the memories of how low we've been and how great God's mercy and grace were to bring us up out of these times. The band members have changed, but their calling has not.

The mission of MBS is to tell people about what God has done for them and to comfort others through difficult times of breaking, to tell those who have not found Jesus Christ about His loving sacrifice, and to compel those taking God's grace for granted to serve Him with all they have.

Jude 22, 23 "Be merciful to those who doubt; snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear-hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh."