Menu

Make a New Account

Username:

Password:



Forget your username or password?


Hot Tags
ice bucket challenge (1), fundraising (1), ESCR (1), ALS (1), (All tags)
Most active tags over the last 7 day(s).

Recent Diaries

Map of Mass. Pro-Life Action

View Massachusetts Pro-Life Action in a larger map

Recent Comments

advertisements for sale


send us story ideas, suggestions, comments: tips@massprolife.org - DMCA Contact - Advertising - About us and Writers


Why Do We Need a Well Set Table?

by: Teresa Blackman

Thu Aug 28, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

As a kid, my ideal sleepovers were at the houses where the moms made the best pallets and fried up bacon in the mornings.

It wasn't so much that I liked these friends any better, but that these little added niceties made a difference. Most people, like me, appreciate this difference-it's why they pay more for first class and enjoy the mints on their pillows.

These kind acts fall under hospitality.  Increasingly necessary today, hospitality caters to individuals by surpassing mere necessity through adding kindness to even the simplest experiences.

Unlike other virtues, hospitality directly affects people as individuals. Prudence, courage, and other such virtues can affect an aggregate; and virtues like temperance often directly affect the actor, not outsiders. Even if one is hospitable to a large group, though, acts of hospitality are meant for each person, not any people as a whole. It's this very focus -- the focus on individuals -- that fosters a culture of life.

Paradoxically, though it can seem superfluous, hospitality relates to basic human needs. Everyone needs food, water and shelter to survive. The "hospitality industry" revolves around giving these.

The difference, though, is that hospitality surpasses necessity, providing a more enjoyable experience, even if it is just a night in a hotel.

American journalist and social activist Dorothy Day understood this well in her charity work. One Christmas dinner, she gave the homeless fine meat rather than mere cheap sustenance. In World War II, the "Candy Bomber" also acted hospitably as he dropped chocolate for the children of Berlin. These people not only met the basic needs of others, but did so with a full heart, holding nothing back -- even if it seemed less practical.

Hospitality often involves making someone else more comfortable. This extends into friendships and conversation. Everyone gets into the awkward situation with someone new, where both would rather be talking than silent, but still no one talks! People who make conversation, despite the awkward tension, stand out. These rare people sacrifice their own comfort for the comfort of others.

Besides the lucky, outgoing people who are marvelous at making small talk, starting a conversation -- especially with a stranger -- is difficult. As in this example, though, the first step to hospitality may be the sacrifice of your own comfort, whether as a host or simply in relationships.

Beyond being a kind host, one must remember to be a gracious recipient, that is, one cannot ignore the kindness of others or reject their efforts.

Gratitude is a virtue, too. Receiving compliments blatantly exemplifies this. Often, when complimented, the immediate reply is to blow off the compliment by saying the shirt really isn't too nice or the painting didn't really take any work.

A mere "thank you" would suffice. While dismissing a compliment seems may seem humble, it actually dismisses the other's opinion. The same principle applies to accepting hospitality when at parties, as a guest, or in any situation when receiving hospitality.

As technology increases its reach, hospitality increases in importance.  More than ever before, machines, companies, and apps do the work for us. Sliding doors rob us from holding the door open for someone, hotels steal a possible guest from our house - there are so many services available, we have no one left to serve. Modern conveniences are wonderful for making life easier and more efficient, but with all good things come a price.

What is the price here? With less opportunity for hospitality, there are less opportunities to cultivate the virtue, so it is vital to actively pursue a hospitable attitude. Starting a conversation becomes harder when an iPhone seems like the easier alternative, and restaurant is far more convenient than a home dinner party - but we can't forget the virtue in these small goods.

When acting hospitably, with kindness and attentiveness to the needs of others, one seeks to make the necessities of life a little better. A well-set table can make all the difference. Often the gap between everyday actions and hospitable actions is only a few minutes or a little extra attention. By simply taking a small extra step to making others feel welcomed in our lives, we can help to focus on caring for individual persons and building a culture of life.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- ALS bucket challenge raises questions about embryonic stem cell research

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 16:01:31 PM EDT

We have all seen pictures of famous people dumping buckets of ice over their heads to raise money for ALS research ($5.5 million since the end of July) and then nominating other people to do the same.  Before you take the challenge, please be aware that one of the main beneficiaries is the ALS Association.  If you check the MCFL website,  http://masscitizensforlife.org... for organizations that fund embryonic stem cell research, you will find that ALS Association certainly does.

According to their website, ALSA.org: "Adult stem cell research is important and should be done alongside embryonic stem cell research as both will provide valuable insights. Only through exploration of all types of stem cell research will scientists find the most efficient and effective ways to treat diseases."

Project ALS, another major beneficiary, is also on our web site for funding ESCR.

John Triolo did some research to see if there are ALS organizations that do not fund ESCR.

Here is what he found:

"I called the ALS Therapy Development Institute (here:http://www.als.net/), to check on this issue and they said they do not do any research with embryonic stem cells because they think induced pluripotent adult stem cells are the best avenue to a cure.  They do not have a principled objection to using embryonic stem cells but said they understand the gravity of the issue and would be very public if they change their position so donors and potential donors would be aware.

Compassionate Care ALS (here: http://www.ccals.org/home.php) confirmed by phone that they only do care and treatment for people living with ALS, rather than research."

If you have questions about whether an organization funds ESCR, please always check http://masscitizensforlife.org...

Thanks to John and to you!  Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- Alert: MCFL State PAC endorsements for 9/9 Primary!

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Aug 22, 2014 at 15:24:22 PM EDT

As usual, Mass Citizens has polled and ranked incumbents and other candidates for the legislature and state offices.  The results are posted on the Mass Citizens website (CLICK HERE).  Using these results, the MCFL State PAC has endorsed/recommended many candidates.

Check the endorsements/recommendations, http://masscitizensforlife.org... and share the information with others in your district.

The FedPAC has not made any endorsements for 2014 because there are not any Massachusetts races for Congress or the US Senate which can help the cause of life..

Some of the state races are very important to restoring respect for human life.  We need to elect people who will vote pro-lfe.  Please go immediately to http://masscitizensforlife.org... to find the pro-life candidates in your districts.

Doctor Prescribed Suicide, licensing abortion facilities, and  women's right to know are among the bills which will be coming up next session.  We must elect our people!  Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

From the Mouths of Babes

by: Teresa Blackman

Wed Aug 20, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

There is a saying that goes, "If a man says you're ugly, he's just rude. If a woman says you're ugly, she's jealous. But if a kid says you're ugly, then you're ugly!" While this may not be true, it highlights a fact about children: They don't lie, and they don't hide what they are thinking. Children keenly pick up conversations, so you must speak with great care when teaching children the intricacies of life. But, how then, do you teach them about more difficult subjects -- like abortion? Children need tenderness, consistency, and respect in order to understand and love the truth, especially concerning abortion.

The sensitivity of children necessitates conscientious speech. For example, you do not want to scar a child or give him nightmares by disclosing the gory details of abortion. Keep the message positive. Kindness should radiate through your speech and body language. Often, kids will gain more from your manner than your words.

Listen to children. No one, whether 3 or 93, respects a fellow conversant in a one-sided conversation-it must be two-sided. Beyond earning respect, listening also improves your ability to gage what the child wants to know, why he asked or how much he can understand.  Chances are, there's a reason a child is asking about abortion, and you need to know why to answer considering that context.  

Be gentle, but always speak the truth. Softening harsh facts or using child-appropriate euphemisms differs greatly from telling pleasant lies. Truth is true in both simple sentences and long dissertations. With children, one uses simple sentence, but it is still truth. When a child is taught truth -- even from a young age -- as he learns more, he will discover the fullness of that truth and how all truths cohere with each other. If you lie, even to protect him, he will lose the joy of discovering corresponding truths. Children, as do we all, love this coherence-it's like finishing a grand book where all the questions and plots fit perfectly by the end.

Truth is the avenue to understanding, which is the hopeful outcome of any explanatory conversation. If you speak to a child honestly and gently, but he fails to understand, you, as speaker, have also failed. To gage a child's understanding, you must listen to his questions, answering until you know he understands, not just assuming your explanation was sufficient.  To aid understanding, use familiar terms and comparisons that the child understands.

For example, to a child, the idea of abortion is absurd, and the hardest part of a conversation may be explaining why someone would think it is not.  Ask the child if he can see a pregnant mother's baby, which, of course, he can't. Relate this to how some moms don't know it's a baby since they can't see it yet. It's true, and it is in terms a child can comprehend.  Also, this explanation does not victimize abortive mothers, which would be a dangerous thing to teach a child.

A child must understand the truth to love the truth. We are passionate and sentimental creatures. In order to live something and spread it, we must be compelled and inspired to do so.

Excite children about how beautiful life is! If they know on all levels - logical, emotional, and personal - they will forever believe it, and will spread this truth to others.

Kids know what's up, if you're ugly, they'll tell you. With abortion, the tragedy of this action is often readily apparent to children. This -- and an understanding of the honest nature and curiosity of childhood -- increases the importance of sharing, in an appropriate manner, the truth of abortion, but also of the beauty and goodness of life!

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Why Do We Need a Well Set Table?

by: Teresa Blackman

Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

As a kid, my ideal sleepovers were at the houses where the moms made the best pallets and fried up bacon in the mornings.

It wasn't so much that I liked these friends any better, but that these little added niceties made a difference. Most people, like me, appreciate this difference-it's why they pay more for first class and enjoy the mints on their pillows.

These kind acts fall under hospitality.  Increasingly necessary today, hospitality caters to individuals by surpassing mere necessity through adding kindness to even the simplest experiences.

Unlike other virtues, hospitality directly affects people as individuals. Prudence, courage, and other such virtues can affect an aggregate; and virtues like temperance often directly affect the actor, not outsiders. Even if one is hospitable to a large group, though, acts of hospitality are meant for each person, not any people as a whole. It's this very focus -- the focus on individuals -- that fosters a culture of life.

Paradoxically, though it can seem superfluous, hospitality relates to basic human needs. Everyone needs food, water and shelter to survive. The "hospitality industry" revolves around giving these.

The difference, though, is that hospitality surpasses necessity, providing a more enjoyable experience, even if it is just a night in a hotel.

American journalist and social activist Dorothy Day understood this well in her charity work. One Christmas dinner, she gave the homeless fine meat rather than mere cheap sustenance. In World War II, the "Candy Bomber" also acted hospitably as he dropped chocolate for the children of Berlin. These people not only met the basic needs of others, but did so with a full heart, holding nothing back -- even if it seemed less practical.

Hospitality often involves making someone else more comfortable. This extends into friendships and conversation. Everyone gets into the awkward situation with someone new, where both would rather be talking than silent, but still no one talks! People who make conversation, despite the awkward tension, stand out. These rare people sacrifice their own comfort for the comfort of others.

Besides the lucky, outgoing people who are marvelous at making small talk, starting a conversation -- especially with a stranger -- is difficult. As in this example, though, the first step to hospitality may be the sacrifice of your own comfort, whether as a host or simply in relationships.

Beyond being a kind host, one must remember to be a gracious recipient, that is, one cannot ignore the kindness of others or reject their efforts.

Gratitude is a virtue, too. Receiving compliments blatantly exemplifies this. Often, when complimented, the immediate reply is to blow off the compliment by saying the shirt really isn't too nice or the painting didn't really take any work.

A mere "thank you" would suffice. While dismissing a compliment seems may seem humble, it actually dismisses the other's opinion. The same principle applies to accepting hospitality when at parties, as a guest, or in any situation when receiving hospitality.

As technology increases its reach, hospitality increases in importance.  More than ever before, machines, companies, and apps do the work for us. Sliding doors rob us from holding the door open for someone, hotels steal a possible guest from our house - there are so many services available, we have no one left to serve. Modern conveniences are wonderful for making life easier and more efficient, but with all good things come a price.

What is the price here? With less opportunity for hospitality, there are less opportunities to cultivate the virtue, so it is vital to actively pursue a hospitable attitude. Starting a conversation becomes harder when an iPhone seems like the easier alternative, and restaurant is far more convenient than a home dinner party - but we can't forget the virtue in these small goods.

When acting hospitably, with kindness and attentiveness to the needs of others, one seeks to make the necessities of life a little better. A well-set table can make all the difference. Often the gap between everyday actions and hospitable actions is only a few minutes or a little extra attention. By simply taking a small extra step to making others feel welcomed in our lives, we can help to focus on caring for individual persons and building a culture of life.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

This is My Baby Now

by: Teresa Blackman

Tue Aug 19, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

If you've flipped through any fashion magazines recently, you've probably seen the birth control ads proclaiming, "This is my baby now." It's the caption on a picture of a woman at a playground, ready to catch a cello or swing a camera - instead of a baby. Aside from the off-putting nature of seeing an inanimate object where a child should be - the ad is powerful. It makes you pause, even just to process the odd combination. But this ad sends the wrong message: Babies and hobbies are the same. The ad isn't fair to these women, and it certainly isn't fair to babies.

Have babies become a commodity? A New York Times article a few years ago described the inconsistency of a baby being "a clump of cells" during an abortion but a highly sought child when an infertile couple demands the right to a baby.  A baby should never be a clump of cells or a demanded right; a baby is a gift - not a good to be bought and sold.  

The birth-control ad suggests that babies are choices we can put off for now, but still have years down the road. It gives the impression that women are entitled to have what they want, when they want. This equalizes a baby with another hobby or career a woman might pursue. Unlike other careers, though, having a baby immediately involves another person, who cannot be ignored once career paths change or goals in life are reoriented. We cannot compare motherhood to anything else, and we certainly cannot trivialize it by comparison to someone's temporary hobby. While other activities often involve what you can get, being a mother centers on what you give.

I have spent the summer "interning for my MRS degree," as my brother calls my nannying job. While the expression is meant only as a joke, I have learned about just some of what motherhood requires: planning daily activities, making meals, keeping the house clean, and still maintaining my own schedule. It has been no easy summer, but it has given me a glimpse into the sacrifices and joys of motherhood. Realizing the mere slice I have had to do this summer, and seeing my own and other mothers, I can only imagine the love and sacrifice they give. A recent video showed the interview process for a job in which applicants were told they would work 24/7 with high stamina, using many different skills, and not be paid. The job? Being a mom. Motherhood is no 9-5 job, and it definitely isn't just a hobby.

Not only does the ad seem to place motherhood as a hobby designated for a certain time of life, it seems to suggest that babies inhibit women from living their lives fully. Who says a woman can't be a photographer or cellist and a mother? That attitude sells women short of their full potential. Furthermore, by equating the pursuit of another track to "being the baby now," the ad suggests women need a "baby."

While women have a nurturing spirit, this does not need to manifest itself in literal motherhood. Women are called to serve the world in many different capacities, and may never have a baby, and that is okay! If she serves the world as a photographer, that is wonderful, but photography doesn't become her "baby."

Among all the amazing gifts of women, though, motherhood holds a special place by its character as a uniquely female vocation. Advertising birth control, which allows women to have a different "baby", really does nothing for women. When we see a woman pushing a camera in a swing, we are unsettled for a good reason- because it is unsettling! Showing inanimate objects from hobbies as equivalent to babies sells short the value of women, of mothers, and, particularly, of babies themselves.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- How Do Children Feel When They Find Their Siblings Have Been Aborted?

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Aug 18, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

There have been been more than 55 million abortions since Roe v Wade.  Almost half of them are the woman's second or more abortion..  Probably, then, about 42 million women are post-abortive  That means abortion in 42 million families.

We have been told that the siblings of aborted babies - the survivors - may feel guilty to have survived or scared of what might happen to them, but there is really very little out their which addresses the huge situation.  This article from the National Right to Life News is a start.  It certainly made me think!

Anne

http://www.nationalrighttolife...

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Don't Think of an Elephant!

by: Teresa Blackman

Sat Aug 16, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

Don't think of an elephant! You're thinking about an elephant now, aren't you? This is how George Lakoff gets the title for his book, "Don't think of An Elephant!"  In the book, he teaches progressives to know their values and frame the debate.  He starts with simple principles, such as, that if you tell someone not to think of an elephant, they inevitably will.  While the book targets progressives, it has many principles that someone of any political ideology could adopt.  Besides the value of learning how liberals think, pro-life activists could learn from Lakoff's discussion of marriage, language, values, and advice on changing the world.  

The book encourages liberals to take back the language and debate in political realms. According to Lakoff, this begins with understanding "framing."  Frames shape the way we see the world, though unconsciously.  Language activates these frames, as words evoke certain images and connotations.  According to Lakoff, often, whether or not something is rational matters less than if it fits pre-established frames. In order to discuss issues successfully, we must learn to operate within people's frames.  

While we must understand the frames of others, we can also create our own successful frames.  Lakoff discusses the importance of establishing frames in peoples' minds so that what you need to say does not simply bounce off but can reach them.  The words we use evoke certain frames and can completely change the impression the listener receives.  

Another key part of successful language is to use positives. Every word evokes a "frame." When we speak in negatives, we only evoke what the word negates, rather than the positive of what we are trying to communicate.  The elephant example proves this.

Pro-life activists can learn also from Lakoff's discussion of values and how they influence the way people vote.  The political realm constitutes an important part of pro-life work and understanding how this realm works is critical to the success of the pro-life movement.  Lakoff knows that people don't always vote with their self-interest, but with values.  He shows that in order to convince people, you need to show them how your view coincides with their values or lifestyle.  

Lakoff devotes an entire chapter to marriage, a hot topic between many conservatives and liberals.  While not directly related to the pro-life movement, this topic affects the culture, which, in turn, affects how the pro-life movement will succeed.  Lakoff's discussion of marriage reminds us how much conservatives and liberals have in common.  Like many conservatives, Lakoff recognizes that "marriage is central to family life."  While some would prefer to leave a discussion of marriage outside the political realm, he reminds us of the importance of marriage to society especially because of its profound cultural meaning.  

Differences in the discussion of marriage undeniably exist, but Lakoff shows that we liberals and conservatives have a starting point from which to discuss the topic.

Lastly, Lakoff beckons us, like Gandhi said, to "be the change we want to see in the world."  Lakoff quotes Gandhi in relation to the United State's reaction to 9/11 by going to war.  By killing innocent people in war, Lakoff believes America failed to be the change it wanted to see in the world.  Whether or not you agree with Lakoff's analysis, the point is clear-in order to convince others and move an culture, hypocrisy cannot be tolerated.  If we want to create a pro-life culture, we must be pro-life in all our actions.  

While Lakoff writes with a very liberal agenda, some of his ideas apply to all those trying to change the world. As someone who leans conservatively, the insight into progressive thought is valuable, and one must only ignore a little negativity to conservatives, to realize the message that we really have more in common that we think-and if we can capitalize on our similarities, both sides will be more effective.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- Wait 'Til You See the Dateline!

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Aug 15, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

MCFL is working to require all abortion facilities in the state to be licensed.  Unfortunately horrible things can go on even in licensed facilities!
http://www.lifenews.com/2014/0...  

When he was in school, one of our sons had the thrill of interviewing Robin Williams.  Of course everyone is saddened by his suicide, or any suicide.  Why is it that suicide is so awful and needs to be prevented (true) except when a person has a terminal illness or a disability?  Such discrimination!  Wesley Smith addresses this, http://www.lifenews.com/2014/0...

Slippery slope is not supposed to be a good argument but it certainly rears it ugly head in both of these stories.

The last couple of days I have run into three of my friends who have new grandchildren.  They are just head-over-heels.  There are such good people in the world.

Blessings,

Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- MCFL abortion restrictions make ballot in many districts!

by: MCFL Press Release

Tue Aug 12, 2014 at 12:03:17 PM EDT

Pro-lifers have succeeded in getting the public policy question, which instructs local State Representatives to vote for a bill requiring abortion facilities in the state to be licensed and inspected, onto the November 2014 ballot in the following districts: 6th, 7th, 8th Bristol (Fall River, Freetown), 12th Hampden (Wilbraham, Springfield), 4th, 5th, 12th Norfolk (Braintree, Weymouth, Norwood), 5th Plymouth (Rockland, Norwell, Hanover), 3rd, 4th, 16th Worcester (Fitchburg, Leominster, City of Worcester). MCFL will also be filing the bill in the legislature in January.  When I dropped off the papers to the Secretary of State, the folks there were very impressed with the geographical spread of our districts - from Springfield to Fitchburg to Weymouth and Fall River , etc.

It is really exciting to think the we were able to get so many districts certified!  Braintree got the most signatures - almost 600 in one weekend.  Some people had disappointing things happen.  I think the worst was Lawrence where more than 100 people who live in the district but are not registered, signed.  The fellow at the Secretary of State's office said those people agreed with us and didn't want to admit they weren't registered.  We knew split cities would be tough.  They were tougher then tough.  The Fall River people did an amazing job getting all their districts qualified.  The Springfield and Worcester people each got one district qualified - real victories for them..

According to the Guttmacher Institute, a leading source of abortion statistics, there are forty abortion facilities in the state. This includes eighteen hospitals and six licensed clinics, leaving sixteen facilities that are not licensed or inspected. Laura Hope Smith died during an abortion at one of these unlicensed, uninspected facilities in 2007.

We are concerned that abortions not take any more victims than they already do. More importantly, having to be inspected will be a disincentive to remaining open for many facilities.

Local members of Mass Citizens will continue working through the November elections to educate people in their districts and bring them to the polls. We expect to win overwhelmingly.

The following are some of the many, many people who did yeoman's work in getting the signatures:

Jim Drummey, Sally Healy, Jean Healey, Pat Stewart, Linda and Jack Kinsey, Rosemary Reynolds, Sandra Krucharski, Mark Carron, Jamie Brunault, Peggy Bradford, Bill Allen, Bill Kelly, Deacon Tim Meagher, Eileen Dunn, Monica Silvey, Mike Cunningham, Frank Ardinger, Dave Constantine, John Martin, Mike Manze, Bill Schneelock, Tom Gaudet, Earl Sholley, Martha Donovan, Anne Hilbert, Merle Webber, Charlene Langenfield, Gail Ashey, Nancy Clark, Dennis Finn, Maryanna Heister, Eileen Krupinski, Julie Krupinski, Carol Johnston, Jackie Langloi, Pauline Morris, Marylou Petty, Julie Koss-Stephany, Chris Toloczko, Cindy Trainque, Susan Arraje, Myra Doran, Teresa Vermette.

Bea Martins says, "Mary Leite is the lady who collected 105  Without her numbers we would not have been able to turn in the number we did"

I cannot begin to express my gratitude to these people for the huge job they accomplished!
Anne  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- Jail for Pro-lifers? Still time to fight.

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 17:11:35 PM EDT

Dear Pro-life Friend,

It's not too late!

As you know from the message I sent on Tuesday Governor Deval Patrick and his cronies have passed a New Buffer Zone Law which they want to use to silence sidewalk counselors and other pro-lifers.  Governor Patrick, a former member of Planned Parenthood's board, will do anything to protect the profits of abortion clinics-even trample on our constitutionally protected rights.

He doesn't want pro-lifers to offer our message of hope, help, and love to women in crisis.

Even though the Supreme Court overturned the last Buffer Zone law 9-0, radical pro-abortion activists have passed one that's even worse.

Under the new law, pro-lifers who "impede" people trying to enter an abortion clinic can get 5 years in jail and up to $50,000 in fines.  Worse yet, it is abortion clinic workers who will get to determine if pro-lifers are violating the law.

We need to fight back!

In my last message on this subject I asked you for a gift of $10, $20, or $30 to help fund our efforts to fight the New Buffer Zone in the public square, in the legislature, and in the courts.  Your help is vital and there is still time to give.

Please, if you have not yet given CLICK HERE to contribute and stand up for the rights of the unborn and pro-lifers.

I know I can count on you.

Thank you for all you do for Life.

Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- Beautiful Tribute to Our Dear Ray Flynn

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 16:38:06 PM EDT

Tribute to Ray Flynn

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- NEW BUFFER ZONE: Jail for pro-lifers?

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 16:35:57 PM EDT

ATTENTION:  This is an important update on MCFL's efforts to fight the New Buffer Zone.  Please read this email to the end.

Dear Pro-Life Friend,

By now I'm sure you've heard the news.

The Abortion Clinic Buffer Zone is back and pro-lifers are again under threat.

Deval Patrick and his cronies want to put your pro-life friends in jail.

Massachusetts' Governor, Attorney General, and Planned Parenthood have conspired against the constitutionally protected rights of the citizens of the Commonwealth.  They hastily passed a New Buffer Zone law that would allow them to put pro-life sidewalk counselors in jail for up to 5 years for trying to educate women in crisis.

We can't let them get away with it.  I need you to stand with me for the rights of sidewalk counselors and other pro-lifers (CLICK HERE).  We need the resources to fight in the public square, in the legislature, and in the courts.

A gift of $10, $20, or $30 from you would make a big difference in this struggle.  Please help.

As you know, The Supreme Court overturned by a 9-0 vote the old Buffer Zone, which forced sidewalk counselors and people who wanted to pray and give witness to stand at least 35 feet away, even on public property.

After years of pointing to the controversial Roe v. Wade ruling as the basis of their policy, anti-life activists are refusing to accept a unanimous decision as settled law. As soon as the ruling came down, Deval Patrick and Martha Coakley promised to find a way to circumvent the ruling and get their free-speech restrictions back in force.

Now they've passed a law which will allow them to throw pro-lifers in jail for 5 years and fine them $50,000 for simply trying to exercise their rights to free speech and assembly.

It's up to us to stop them.  Together we can do it but you are needed!  CLICK HERE to support our efforts.

Under the new law, sidewalk counselors, people praying in front of abortion clinics, or even those simply standing a silent witness so that the victims of abortion are not forgotten are potentially subject to arrest and draconian criminal and civil penalties if they are deemed to be "impeding" access to an abortion clinic.

These are good, compassionate, peaceful people who are there to help women. These are our friends, neighbors, and fellow churchgoers-perhaps you are one of them yourself. I am. Governor Patrick is threatening them, you, all of us, with prison if we don't shut up.

Under the new law, police may move any group accused of impeding clinic access to at least 25 feet away from the entrance, thus preventing them from offering hope, help, and love.  Anyone who violates this New Buffer Zone, can be arrested, fined, and/or jailed.  For a second offense the penalties become huge and draconian.

Worse yet, determining who is "impeding" access, and what constitutes a new "violation" is largely left up to the abortion clinic's staff.

That's right, the people who perform and live off abortions will be the ones deciding if the people standing up for unborn children and their mothers are breaking the law!

Governor Patrick wants to put a weapon in the hands of abortion clinics.  He wants to bully pro-lifers into keeping silent. A former board member of Planned Parenthood, he knows that these actions will lead to more abortions.

Make no mistake, this law poses a real threat to pro-lifers and to the babies and women they are trying to help.

I need you to decide now to support MCFL's efforts to take back our right to stand up for the unborn and their mothers.  CLICK HERE to fund our effort.  Your gift of $10, $20, $30, or whatever you can afford will go a long way toward helping

Pro-abortion activists know that the work of pro-lifers reduces the number of abortions and hurts the profits of Planned Parenthood and other abortion mills.  Governor Patrick, the former board member of Planned Parenthood, will do anything to prevent that.

We need to keep standing up for the rights of the unborn.  If we are to do that, we must also stand up for the constitutionally protected rights this New Buffer Zone law is trying to take from us.

Your immediate gift of $10, $20, $30 or whatever you can afford is needed to fund our efforts to fight this terrible law in the courts, in the legislature, and in the public mind (CLICK HERE).

I know I can count on you to stand up for the unborn and for the rights of pro-lifers.

Please, act quickly; we need funds soon to continue our efforts.  (CLICK HERE to donate)  Working together, we can win this important fight.

Thank you for all you do for Life.

Yours truly,
anne_sig..png

Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- How is Haleigh doing?

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Aug 11, 2014 at 16:34:36 PM EDT

Here is good news with some pertinent points by Wesley Smith at National Review Online!

Also, please note that we can stop holding our breath.  Remember, last Jan 14, the awful sex-ed bill, which would have codified Maria Talks and taught children how to get abortions behind their parents' backs, was on the House floor at the State House waiting to be voted on?  Your phone calls pushed it back to committee (something I had never heard of before).  Your calls kept it there.  The session has ended with no further action.  You rock!

Anne

August 3, 2014 5:26 PM
Haleigh's New Life After State Wanted Her Dead
By Wesley J. Smith

It's been awhile since I have written of Haleigh Poutre. Some may recall that she was an abused child beaten into a sustained unconsciousness by her step father.

Adding near-killing to her injury, within days of being diagnosed, doctors decided she would never get better and the state sought court permission to make sure she died "with dignity" by having her respirator and feeding tube removed.

Happily, just before the deed was to be done, she awakened. From my 2006 NRO article, "Danger Zone:"

Within a week or so of the beating, her doctors had written her off. They apparently told Haleigh's court-appointed guardian, Harry Spence, that she was "virtually brain dead." Even though he had never visited her, Spence quickly went to court seeking permission to remove her respirator and feeding tube.

The court agreed, a decision affirmed recently by the supreme court of Massachusetts. And so, no doubt with the best of intentions, a little girl who had already suffered so much was stripped by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts of even the chance to fight to stay alive. If she didn't stop breathing when the respirator was removed, which doctors expected, she would slowly dehydrate to death.

Then came the unexpected: Before "pulling the plug" on Haleigh, Spence finally decided to visit her. He was stunned. Rather than finding a little girl with "not a chance" of recovery, as doctors had described Haleigh's condition to him (as reported by the Boston Globe), Haleigh was conscious. She was able to give Spence a yellow block when asked to by a social worker and respond to other simple requests.

Not only did Haleigh awaken, but she learned to eat on her own and began rehab and school.  Now, she has a real, loving family. From the Boston Globe story:
The minister winds up his welcome to some 400 people, and soon lyrics flash karaoke-like on a large screen. A spirited Christian pop song, "Blessed be Your Name," fills the Westfield Evangelical Free Church. In the back row, a young woman, sitting in a wheelchair next to her adoptive parents, lights up.

Though she can't read all the words, she sways to the music and claps her hands, the nails painted pink with white polka dots. She loves cheerful tunes and a crowd, and on this Sunday, she has both. Keith and Becky Arnett could have predicted that Haleigh, 20, would brighten at this part of the service. She entered their lives as a 14-year-old foster child, then known as Haleigh Poutre, who had been at the center of a passionate end-of-life court battle. Her singular story of abuse, compounded by government lapses, drew national media attention. It remains one of the darkest chapters in the state's child-protection system.

The case caused MA to reform its laws. But have the bioethical values that led to this almost killing changed? From what I observe, no. Indeed, they have gotten even worse.

Think about this. Think about it hard: The "quality of life ethic" pushed vociferously in mainstream bioethics-and almost implemented by state bureaucrats-came very close to killing Haleigh by dehydration. It would have happened had it not taken the procedure months to get MA Supreme Court permission.

And now think about this: If euthanasia had been legal, she could have been lethally injected with not enough time to recover. And don't think that will never happen if society swallows the hemlock. Child euthanasia and medicalized killing of children already happens in the Netherlands and Belgium.

It is a very dangerous thing to create a invidious categories of people denigrated by medical technocrats as having lives not worth living-or paying for.

So, the next time a bioethicist argues that we must dehydrate a child or other cognitively disabled person to death in "their best interests," remember Haleigh Poutre. Sometimes doctors are wrong. Sometimes "miracles" do, indeed, happen. If we are to err, it should be on giving life a chance.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- You'll Want to Know

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Aug 01, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

Please read the tragic story about this beautiful young pro-life family.  Near the end it tells you how you can help.

I apologize - I don't know how to get rid of the Daily Mail tabloid stuff but I wanted to get the story right to you.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new...

Bless you,

Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Becoming greater minds

by: Teresa Blackman

Mon Jul 28, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

I admit it: I've succumbed to Internet tabloids. I click stories about which celebrities attend church, what they look like without makeup, who has siblings -- mindless stories about people I don't even know and probably never will. It's gossip, but it may not be plain and simple.

According to the magazines, Justin Bieber isn't another 20-year-old kid, but he is that dumb, annoying, insert-your-own-adjective kid. We all feel entitled, though, to comment on his behavior. In that commentary, celebrities become a label, a brand - not a person.

Andy Warhol explored this in the "Marilyn Diptych," a print that contrasted a bright, made-up Marilyn Monroe next to the fading, black-and-white Norma Jean. The celebrity -- the brand -- of Marilyn was taking over the person of Norma.

While celebrities are far less likely to overhear our personal bits of gossip, we have to remember that they are people, too. We can't only respect the dignity of the people we encounter directly, but also those that we will never encounter. Celebrity tabloids are an extreme example of gossip, but they show the influential power of words and rumors - an entire industry is devoted to detailing, and profiting from, the lives of celebrities.

Our words have the power to inspire or devalue others. They spread quickly, often unintentionally, and we must guard our phrases lest we reduce the worth of others to a few cheap giggles and judgmental remarks.

Gossip abuses the power of language and uses it hurt others, whether directly or indirectly. We have a duty to others to use our speech well. All men have value; we're companions, not competitors. Gossiping creates animosity, for it not only defames others, but causes others to think less highly of people, too. By not gossiping, we can build a culture of life by words that reinforce the dignity and value of all.

I decided to go to an expert on the topic: a middle-school girl. She avoided the topic by talking about music on my computer and what food we were going to make for dinner. She isn't sure if she gossips -- but she doesn't know what she'd talk about with her friends, if not other people. I would not label her as a gossip, but the topic did stump her.

How does gossip actually break down, though? Is any conversation about an absent friend gossip? Is it possible to discuss someone and not gossip or should we resort to never mentioning the name of another if he or she isn't involved in the conversation? Can we seriously NEVER talk about other people?

The key here is the value of the person being discussed: In talking about other people, we cannot forget their dignity.

Loosely, gossip is talking about others. More specifically, though, it involves spreading
rumors or insults about another, true or not. Conversation usually falls under gossip if you would not say the same thing were the person present. Take an engagement announcement as an example: If you were to share the news with a friend, it wouldn't embarrass those being discussed, unless, that is, you share the announcement with a sly remark about the quality of the couple. That would make for some red cheeks and awkward apologies if the couple were to overhear you.

The walk-in test is certainly not a hard-and-fast rule for determining gossip, but it can serve as a mental reminder about effects of our speech. We can't control who overhears our conversation, and we can't be sure they won't spread. Typically, don't say it if it shouldn't be spread. Words can spread, and they can also stay. What was a quick, mindless comment to you could scar someone else. With the Internet, conversations can stay online forever.

Our inability to control the influence or durability of our words elevates the importance of our speech, for as the saying goes: with great power comes great responsibility.

Eleanor Roosevelt said, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people."

While we shouldn't rashly decide to never talk about another person again, her quote reminds us to be conscious of our words and to consider the effect of our conversations. Do we have small minds or great minds? Let's choose our words wisely, for the good of all. We have better things to do, to discuss, than gossip. Spread the word, let's uplift conversations and become great minds.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Maintaining the Delicate Balance

by: Teresa Blackman

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:58:37 PM EDT


by T. Blackman

No matter how much the world could adopt abstinence as its standard, unplanned pregnancies will still happen. As the course of history proves, knowing what good is does not necessarily equate with doing said good. With an unplanned pregnancy, a child already exists, and the solution is not judgment and guilt.

A life is a life, no matter how it was created.  Whether or not a mother keeps her baby does not change the past. Her best solution is to move forward, to walk the path that allows her to choose life for her child. If she focuses on the past, she will be unable to value her child as a child. To see it in this life, to choose life, a pregnant mother needs loving, supportive community. Like the mother, others around her must also choose to move beyond the past and support her by taking steps forward.

Unplanned pregnancies seem to fly in the face of traditional values. Conservatives revere tradition, but they cannot allow such reverence to obstruct love for pregnant mothers. No matter the situation of a child's conception, he is not a source of shame, but an incredible blessing.

These conservative values are good -- rather ordinary, to steal an idea from G.K. Chesterton -- in that they recognize an order. They recognize there is an objective truth, an objective good at which we ought to aim. Solid beliefs, aligned to truth, keep society from constantly swaying to new fads and revolutions. These solid beliefs often include a moral code with which conservatives seek to order both society and their own lives.

While such an adherence to objective truth and respect for the past is honorable, the conservative culture contains faults. By staunchly following their own beliefs without regard for compassion, they risk being unsympathetic and forgetful of the reality of human nature. This attitude leads to an unforgiving perspective and shortsightedness and prevents seeing goodness that may arise in poor situations. It's this rigid attitude that creates a culture of shame and dissuades people from conservative thought. People won't consider the good of conservative values if all they see is the hurt they cause.

Pro-life conservatives must be especially wary of this unsympathetic attitude, for a culture of shame -- or even simply silence -- suffocates a culture of life. Most conservatives regard abstinence as good, moral, but struggle with balancing support for unwed mothers. It is vital to walk this line. No longer can we conservatives perpetuate an environment of shame and guilt around unwed mothers. This destroys lives and leaves no room for redemption and forgiveness, for love and growth. By equating shame with unplanned pregnancy, mothers could seek abortion out of fear of the consequences of her community. By helping the mother, we aren't compromising our morals or condoning any behavior, rather we are showing love to her and debunking the stereotype that pro-life people don't care about mothers.

Condemning these mothers also leads to an incongruent pro-life movement, one that will be unstable and unattractive. We claim to love all life, and we must act accordingly. Only after showing her love can we begin to teach her about the beauty and truth about principles behind abstinence. Fear or shame will convince no one.

Since the mother has already had sex, shaming or hiding her only teaches that pregnancy is shameful. This couldn't be farther from the truth - pregnancy is an incredible gift! By concealing a pregnancy, we don't give pregnancy its due respect. I can only imagine the strength and resilience an unwed mother requires, from learning to ignore snide remarks to the normal trials of any pregnancy. Supporting a mother, instead of shunning her, reveals to the mother herself, and to others, the goodness of carrying a child.

Conservatives rightly adhere to values aligned to objective truth, but these values are detrimental when warped by the perception of others -- that we are rigid, selfish people who lack compassion for others. Especially in the pro-life movement, we cannot allow such an attitude to precipitate. Support for unwed mothers saves lives and prevents women from rash actions done in fear.

I found an anonymous quote summing up this sentiment about motherly support: "Our culture has accepted two lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone's lifestyle you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don't have to compromise convictions to be compassionate."

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL Press Release: Senate President Misspeaks on Abortion Facilities

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 12:13:13 PM EDT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Senate President Misspeaks on Abortion Facilities

Charlestown, MA - July 25, 2014

Senate President Therese Murray falsely claimed in a WATD-FM interview yesterday that "...abortion services...they're few and far between"  at the facilities covered by the new Buffer Zone replacement law, according to the State House News Service.  Murray was discussing the New Buffer Zone Bill when she made the statement that these facilities "...are not abortion areas."

The facts contradict her claims.  In 2012, Planned Parenthood facilities alone performed 11,870 abortions in Massachusetts.  Their clinic in Boston, which has been the focus of most of the testimony and discussion concerning the bill, performed 6,899 of those.  The Boston clinic does abortions three days a week.  That is more than 44 abortions each of those days - one abortion every ten minutes.  Forty-four abortions a day in one facility is hardly "few and far between."

Planned Parenthood in Worcester, Springfield, and Women's Health Services in Brookline each perform about 16 abortions per day every abortion day.  Approximately 5,228 other abortions performed in Massachusetts in 2012 were done in hospitals or other free-standing clinics impacted by the Buffer Zone, such as Four Women in Attleboro, which performed 2,018.

According to Anne Fox, President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life, "President Murray has every right to advocate for a bill.  As an elected official, particularly as the leader of the Senate, she has an obligation to stick to the facts.  Massachusetts Citizens for Life calls on Senator Murray to issue a correction admitting that the new bill is designed to protect abortion clinics and only abortion clinics."

Massachusetts Citizens for Life is the oldest and largest pro-life organization in the state.  An affiliate of National Right to Life, MCFL has been working to restore protection to life at all stages for more than forty-one years.

###

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Rallying for Life

by: Teresa Blackman

Fri Jul 25, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

On Saturday mornings I usually take my time to wake up, enjoying the comfort of my bed as long as possible.  With no obligations calling, I languidly eat breakfast and avoid a punctual start to the day.  This past Saturday morning, though, was different.  I gathered with over a hundred people at a Midwest, suburban intersection.  We were all there with a common objective-to stop an unwanted neighbor, Planned Parenthood, from entering the city.

The Planned Parenthood building, wedged between a meat store and LA fitness, appears empty and inconspicuous.  Its construction, though, did not go unnoticed.  These people gathered, both young and old, wanted to alert the public about the clinic's presence.  The steadfastness of the people praying inspired me, and reminded me that the pro-life cause is one with many supporters.  Not only was the number of people inspiring, but also they talking with interested passersby, and even earned encouraging waves and honks from drivers.  Clearly, the rally was noticed. According to one participant, the mayor said no such public demonstration has ever been made-a sign that hopefully this one (and those like it, scheduled for the future) would indeed attract attention.

The group's action, though, is not met without resistance! Since the prayer rally, Planned Parenthood has done door-to-door walking and left flyers on the doors of the city's residents.  The prayer group plans to do its own door-to-door walking as well.  Furthermore, the city plans to hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to welcome Planned Parenthood into the neighborhood.  The prayer group will be present, holding its second rally.

The city also noticed the group's efforts.  Saturday morning, at least three police cars waited in front of the building to "protect it" (from what, I am still unsure, perhaps the signs offended the bricks and windows).  Many participants noted how frustrating it was to know that these policemen were sitting in a parking lot, instead of protecting their streets, neighborhoods, and homes.  Residents planned to complain to the city.  While this unnecessary use of policemen is frustrating-at least the city noticed the people praying on the sidewalk.

As a satellite clinic, this Planned Parenthood will only refer for abortions, and none will be performed on site-so why all the effort? Planned Parenthood will still refer for abortions and remains one of the largest abortion providers in the country.  Not only, though, does Planned Parenthood provide many abortions, it propagates its own abortion business by handing out very low quality condoms (according to a video by Students for Life of America).  Furthermore, according to the same video, the number of adoptions Planned Parenthood refers for pales greatly in comparison to the number of abortions it refers.  Furthermore, this Planned Parenthood, as a "Centro de Salud" will target Latinos. For the health, safety, and good of all citizens, no such institution ought to be allowed entrance.

Long before the sidewalk rally, pro-life organizations served the area. I have been fortunate to work with one such organization, which specifically serves Latino families.  Here, they do not refer for abortions, but provide care, love, and assistance to families.  The ministry not only offers material assistance, providing cribs and other baby supplies, but the ministry also educates families though classes not frequently offered in Spanish, such as instruction on family life, marriage, and sexuality.  Knowing such an organization exists gives hope that Planned Parenthood can be overcome, with good alternatives already serving the city.  

While the advent of another Planned Parenthood is tragic, much about this rally gives hope. The city's attention and Planned Parenthood's efforts show they both realize the gravity of the protesting.  The support from others and alternatives already in place show that the rally participants are not alone.  With no morning too early, no task too large, we will continue to unite to stop Planned Parenthood.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Does a Bikini Really Matter?

by: Teresa Blackman

Sat Jul 19, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT


by T. Blackman

Swimsuit season is upon us! Everyone is ready to shed the pale, lumpy body of winter for a tan, toned, bikini-ready one.  You can hardly scroll through the internet or peruse a magazine rack without finding a million ways to attain this perfect bikini body.  While a bikini is just an example of a perhaps skimpier outfit, attention to dress modestly is important.  Immodest clothing can change how we see its wearer and in turn, how the wearer sees herself.  Immodest clothes may encourage the wearer, and those around her, to view her as less than herself, rather than affirming her beauty and dignity as a person. Knowing the importance of appearance and its effects, we ought to strive to wear clothes that enhance our dignity as persons.

In Love and Responsibility, Karol Wojtyla discusses that man cannot be used, and must be loved.  With a particular dignity as human beings, man deserves to be valued as a person.  In valuing each other, we must act with charity towards one another, always viewing others with love, rather than use.  We must steer away from anything that will encourage use, not love, of another human being.  Bikinis, or a wardrobe of similarly skimpy items, come perilously close to encouraging the use of a person.

According to a study at Princeton University, wearing little clothing seems to dehumanize a person.   In the study, twenty-one men were shown different pictures of fully clothed men and women and scantily clad men and women.  The men associated the scantily clad women with first person action verbs, such as, "I push, I grasp, I handle."   When looking at scantily clad women, the man's part of the brain that reacts to seeing a tool lit up, instead of social cognition area, which tries to discern another's thoughts or intentions and typically lights up upon seeing another person.  Associating under-clothed women with first person verbs and tools suggests that immodest dress encourages others to objectify or use its wearer.

The study also shows that while looks aren't everything, they are something.  What we wear is often the first opportunity we have to communicate something about ourselves.  Not only does wearing immodest clothing encourage the viewer to see us as an object, but a skimpy outfit also conveys how we perceive ourselves and want ourselves to be seen. While bodies are not bad, we must be careful to dress in a manner that does not allow our body to distract others from our true value as a person.  Through modest dress, and a realization that dressing modestly accords with our dignity, we help others to also see us as human persons with whom to interact, not an object of use.

Clothes that encourage seeing a person as a tool rather than another human dismantle efforts to create a culture of life.  A culture of life respects the dignity of every person.  Especially in the pro-life movement, we must remember the little things we can do to help change the culture.  Josemaria Escriva once said, "Culture, culture! Good! Don't let anyone get ahead of us in striving for it and possessing it. But remember that culture is a means, not an end."  Just as Josemaria Escriva says, we cannot neglect our duty to own the culture.  We must own the culture in order that all individuals flourish.  Dressing modestly is a small action that can have profound effects in building a culture of life.  By helping to reveal the true value every person, modesty cultivates an atmosphere for all lives to be fulfilled and for the dignity of all to be realized.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- Boston Magazine, Decent Coverage of Buffer Zone and MCFL Billboard!

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 13:20:55 PM EDT

I think you will find this article worth reading.

Anne

http://www.bostonmagazine.com/...

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- New Buffer Zone Law - What Happened Yesterday

by: MCFL Press Release

Fri Jul 18, 2014 at 13:20:11 PM EDT

Yesterday: the hearings at the State House on the proposed new Buffer Zone, the Judiciary committee reported it out favorably, and the Senate passed it!

For the first four hours we heard:
Places that do abortions are "health centers."
"Reproductive rights" are a primary constitutional right.
All pro-lifers are violent and threatening.
The lovely counselors who spoke are aberrations.

Planned Parenthood employs a huge number of people in the state who all drone on about their abuse by pro-lifers.  No legislator picked up on the pro-lifers' demands for pictures or videos of the alleged incidents.

When the pro-lifers had a chance to speak:
Eleanor McCullen - and all the counselors who were there - did an outstanding job, explaining that it would be counter-productive for her to behave badly.  Other impressive counselors were on Bill Cotter's panel.  Rod Murphy, Nancy Clark, and Lee Crowley all from Worcester, Jean Healey, and Eric Anthony all spoke eloquently about counseling.  Faith Tendo also came from Worcester to tell about her experience being helped by Problem Pregnancy.  Maureen Vacca and Rita Russo testified.

Phil Moran, the local lawyer for the McCullen win, compared the new zone to the penalty box where the counselors would always be.  State Representatives Jim Lyons and Marc Lombardo spoke.  Jim pointed out that these same people say "The Supreme court has spoken" about Roe v Wade.  Now they have no use for the Court.  Marc stated that this proposed law is so outrageous that it will definitely be appealed and cited the costs in time and money that will be associated with the appeal - the McCullen case has already cost many millions.

Pat Stewart, MCFL Executive Director, gave impressive testimony citing 20 actual laws that already cover blockading, harassing, etc.

Committee Members Keiko Orrall and Sheila Harrington asked excellent questions.  They and Colleen Garry were the only committee members who voted against sending the proposed legislation to the Senate.

As fast as they can get it through the House and signed, Massachusetts will have a law which is worse than the old Buffer Zone.  It effectively creates a 25-foot zone and the penalties are scary - $50,000 and three years in jail.  The legislature is in the process of disrespecting the Supreme Court and penalizing law-abiding citizens.  I do think all the other places that have suspended their Buffer Zones will pass laws like this one.  At least Massachusetts will have company in its foolishness.

Thank goodness I got to go to our Summer Academy afterwards (more in another email).  The wonderful speakers and students restored me.

Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Unplugging: Setting the Culture Ablaze

by: Teresa Blackman

Wed Jul 16, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

by T. Blackman

"Can I have an onion ring?" Bill Dill, speaker and Marriage Preparation and Youth Ministry event coordinator, started his talk by asking a listener for food.  As she replied yes, Dill asked if the onion ring was good.  As most fried things are, she replied it was.  "This is the first level of happiness," he returned.  According to Fr. Robert Spitzer, there are four levels of happiness. The first, as with the onion ring, involves happiness from something external and material.  The second level derives happiness from personal achievement and ego gratification. The third  level gains happiness from doing good to others, and the final and fourth level, from fulfillment of the longing for transcendence and perfection.  Dill asked us to consider on what level we resided, on what level our culture resided.  The nearly fast-paced and often self-centered nature of how we communicate, how we move, and how we live, makes us a culture living largely on the first two levels.  Is this a culture of life?

Dill would argue no. A culture of life is one in which the culture brings men to the fullness of what they are meant to be.  We need a culture that not only respects all life, but nurtures life, allowing us to gain all levels of happiness.  Catherine of Siena said, "If you are what you are meant to be, you will set the world ablaze."  Does our culture lead us to be people who set fire to the world? Or are we ones who merely sit in the ashes? In order for the culture to become a culture of life, if must encourage the fulfillment of our need for transcendence, for contact with the transcendentals of truth, beauty, and goodness.

Why, though, is culture such an important vehicle for helping us become fulfilled? Culture is essential to our formation as human beings. Culture provides a supra-utilitarian purpose for us, going beyond the necessities of food, water, and shelter, culture helps us fulfill the reason we live.  The importance of culture is apparent.  Were culture not important, Hitler, when waging a war on Europe, would not have gone to such lengths to steal art.  Were culture not important, others would not have gone to greater lengths to rescue the art.  While just one example, this shows the importance of culture in human history.  

Culture is intimately connected with leisure, the way which we spend our non-working hours, our free time.  In our culture, this often involves a screen.  Dill recited alarming statistics about how much time we sit in front of a screen-including that we spend three to four hours a day on average.  Most people check their phone within minutes of waking up, in the minutes before bed. People spend entire weekends catching up on TV; we Netflix and DVR so we never miss an episode, as if knowing everything about some character's life or some reality family is so important.  A culture of screens does not promote helping others, and does not encourage us to encounter the transcendentals-to fill the longing for something outside our self and achieve the highest happiness.

In order to create a culture of life, a culture where all flourish, there must be a connection to reality, to the actual.  Pope John Paul II called a culture a culture of life that develops a "sense of discerning true values and authentic needs." Screens remove us from our authentic needs.  We watch someone else's reality, someone else playing soccer, someone else singing or eating or cooking.  How much more fulfilling would it be to play soccer, to sing, to eat, or to cook?  We are meant to do, to create, not to merely be observers of what another does.  Of course, we're not all the Cake Bosses or American idol winners, but we can all cook and we can all sing.

While any cultural change is difficult to produce, it is possible.  Often we hear, people lament the state of society, of the culture.  But the culture is not against us-- we are the culture. We choose the culture in which we live.  By talking to someone in line instead of looking at your phone, by singing around a campfire instead of watching a show, you can create a culture of life. Creating a culture of life begins with us, moves to our families, our communities, and will precipitate to reach around the globe.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- New Buffer Zone hearing TOMORROW!

by: MCFL Press Release

Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 16:44:41 PM EDT

Late afternoon yesterday, Planned Parenthood's new Buffer Zone bill, (SD) 2106, was filed.  The Judiciary Committee will take testimony tomorrow, Wednesday, at 10 am in Gardner Auditorium.  We expect testimony will not go much past three.  Obviously, they will vote to report it out as soon as the testimony is over.

We need to prepare to testify.  This bill is worse than the one just overturned.  Our lawyers say that, in order to appeal successfully, we need a lot of testimony on the record.  That is where we come in.

We need to say the law is not needed, that Massachusetts has not arrested anyone outside a clinic in at least 20 years.  Most of all we need to say that this new law is so scary we would be afraid to go near a clinic to try to help a woman.  You can read the law at  http://masscitizensforlife.org...              

If I "detain" a woman to give her literature, I could face big fines and jail.  Who decides if I am detaining?  It looks as though the people in PP could decide.  The state looked dumb when it passed the unconstitutional Buffer Zone.  It will look totally deranged when it passes this new one.

Please plan on 10 am in Gardner Auditorium. For once it will be okay to arrive a bit late. Individuals have three minutes to speak and members of panels (3 or 4 people) have two minutes each. I will let you know any new developments.  If you are not able to testify in person, please prepare something written to email to the House Committee Chair before 9 am in the morning, Christopher.Markey@mahouse.gov

As always, mighty thanks!

Anne

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Missing the Middle

by: Teresa Blackman

Tue Jul 15, 2014 at 13:03:12 PM EDT


by T. Blackman

My family loves to talk about birth order. With six kids, we can do a lot of "field research" on the subject.  While no set description perfectly fits any child, each sibling exhibits characteristics determined by order.  As the oldest, I take charge far more than I should, and, a classic youngest, my littlest brother willingly takes the spotlight. I find middle children most interesting for they do not fit a category as well as oldest and youngest children.  In my home, the middle children are the most outgoing and flexible.  In a world with smaller and smaller families, though, what will be the fate of the middle child?  I can only imagine how different our family would be if, were it possible, we were all oldest, all middle, or all youngest. Oreos wouldn't taste as good without their middle, so too do families and society also need middle children.  

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, America's birthrate has been in fairly steady decline since the baby boom.  Many factors influence this statistic.  According to Jessica Dickler, who writes for CNN, the cause is largely financial.  With less job security, more college debt, and a general fear of the cost of children, parents hesitate to have large families.  While financial worries contribute to the declining birthrate, there seem to be other factors at work.  In recent decades, the use of birth control has skyrocketed and abortion was legalized-both means to reduce family size.  According to the World Bank, the 2011 fertility rate was 1.89 per woman, less than the 2.1 needed to maintain a population.  As fertility rates drop, families will be smaller, and with only two children, there is no middle born.  

With less middle children, the many oldest and youngest children will ever compete for approval and authority.  Linda Blair, author of Birth Order, writes that first borns take charge, and last borns challenge authority. Without middle children, who will mediate for the common ground?  Ambitious and seeking attention, oldest and youngest children will create an increasingly competitive world.  The middle child does not exhaust himself trying to win, but enjoys playing the game.  Less middle children could mean more competition for colleges, public office and in daily life. Such competition lends itself to less contentedness.    

According to Blair, "Middle borns are able to get along with most people and to restore social harmony when conflict arises."  Natural peacemakers would benefit the world not only in daily life, but also in politics, and other diplomatic positions. Middle borns, according to Blair, excel more in creative, or less academic, endeavors.  Middle borns become athletes, artists, and musicians.  Furthermore, stereotypically deprived of attention, middle children learn to fend for themselves.  Being more independent, middle children often know what they want and know how to get it.  With a realistic drive to accomplish goals, and a more balanced array of talents, middle children have the tools to succeed.  

A middle child is content, peacemaking, and resourceful. Just watching my own family, the middle children are the most outgoing, fun, and social.  Middle children tend to be the coolest kids on the block, and contrast the nerdy oldest children and often-babied youngest children.  My middle born friends are consistently the funniest, most flexible people I know.

My father, a fifth of six, likes to recite a Spanish saying, which translates, "of the fifth, there are no bad."  Let us always remember the value of the fifth (and second, third, fourth, etc.).  With smaller families, we do not just lose numbers, but we also lose the valuable personalities and the gifts they add to society.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- The Best Gift My Grandson Ever Gave Me

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 02:15:43 AM EDT

 
Ray Flynn just sent out this article - in the Huffington Post, no less.  It is a wonderful read.  We are so fortunate to have Ray on our team!
Anne

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/...

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

MCFL-- NO NEW BUFFER ZONES: CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS

by: MCFL Press Release

Mon Jul 14, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

Don't you feel like saying, "What about 9-0 don't you understand?"

As you know, the AG, the Governor, and Planned Parenthood (or the other way round) plan to pass new laws.  The fact that the Supreme Court said there are already laws on the books, that Massachusetts was forced to admit at SCOTUS testimony that they have not had to enforce these laws; that new laws will probably end up at the Court again wasting much time and taxpayer money, doesn't seem to matter because these people are demagoging.

Each of us must call our State Senator and our State Representative ASAP!  The message is:
The Supreme Court ruled against the Buffer Zone 9-0
There are already laws on the books to keep driveway, sidewalks, and entrances clear.
If a person defies the laws, an injunction can already be brought against him or her.
There is no need for any new laws.
Please do not spend your time and our taxes on unnecessary laws that will most likely just end up before the Supreme Court again

To make the calls:
After you are on:  http://masscitizensforlife.org...
If you know the names of your State Senator and State Rep, click onto State Senate and State Representatives for their phone numbers

It you do not know the names of your legislators click onto Look Up Your Legislator and Contact Information.
We have bowled them over with calls before.  We can do it again!

Anne

NB: When you call, be sure to give your name and the fact that you are a constituent!
Calls or personal visits are the way to go - emails can be ignored

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Saving on the Sidewalk

by: Teresa Blackman

Sat Jul 12, 2014 at 02:30:09 AM EDT

By T. Blackman

Having spent last fall abroad, I learned to love the life of the downtown.  Without a car or home, for every trip, I had to stay in the heart of the city.   Every place seemed different.  Paris breathed beauty and art on every street corner, and Krakow's building told the stories of the city's deep history.  As I travelled from city to city, I marveled at how different these places seemed from home, with new foods, new shops, new people.  Now that I am home, I realize that while the cities are indeed different, European cities bear more similarity to American ones.  Each downtown has staples-public transportation, busy workers, people selling food and wares-an array of splendors to busy all the senses.  This morning, I ventured downtown for the first time in a long while, but after the familiar business of a city greeted me, an imposing building reminded me of another downtown staple-the abortion clinic.

The tower didn't look like an abortion facility, and I probably would've passed ignorantly, had I not been going to observe a sidewalk counselor.  My friend and  I visited a woman standing at a street corner with her bag of pamphlets.  She came over excitedly once she saw us, and readily began to tell us about a save!  While the young woman had already decided not to abort her child, the counselor had lovingly told her about many places that could help her pay rent, on which she was behind, and support her after she had the child. We had started the morning on a joyous note!  Being a sidewalk counselor, while joyous and rewarding, requires a great deal of virtue. As I observed her work, I realized the calling involves three main virtues: hard work, dedication, and hope.

Sidewalk counseling is nothing to scoff at.  I assumed the hardest part would be talking to strangers, but quickly learned I was mistaken.  Hard work sets the foundation of this calling.  This counselor had been waiting on the sidewalk since 6:45 a.m. (it was then 10:00).  How did she arrive so early? Not in an air-conditioned, comfortable car, but by bike.  She biked to fill a job where she would then stand for hours. Embarrassingly, I was tired after only having to stand outside in the heat for an hour.  This lady, though, had been standing for hours, talking to others, enduring the heat, and continuing to walk with us to our car after her day was done.  Needless to say, she impressed me.  Such hard work though, requires inspiration, a reason to work with such intensity.

Dedication is the second virtue a sidewalk counselor must develop.  This woman had been sidewalk counseling for over twenty years.  She spend almost the entirety of her adulthood working as a sidewalk counselor.  Not only has she worked this long, but she also became bilingual to do a better job.  Realizing the benefit speaking Spanish would have in her position, she began to learn the language.  She tried high school classes, and dissatisfied there, tried other methods, before ultimately learning the language.  Now, as I witnessed, she is fluent and can hold conversations with the women on the sidewalk.  Dedicated and passionate, she used her talents, and even developed more, to complete her job in the best possible way.

Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, a sidewalk counselor needs hope.  We were lucky to witness a save, for some, even as sidewalk counselors never see a baby saved.  While sometimes there is no tangible evidence of the fruits of the labor, a sidewalk counselor cannot give up.  The work is both necessary and worthwhile.  We do of many lives that were saved, and imagine the lives that were saved with no sidewalk counselor knowing the effect he or she had.  The sidewalk counselor we shadowed spoke of the blessing it was in her life to have witnessed the fruits of her work.  In completely coincidental situations, she has met four of the children she helped to save.  The mothers expressed gratitude and she was able to see the fruits of her labor, giving her future hope to continue such an important ministry.  She has even kept in contact with mothers.  Even without such a wonderful connection to remind one of the life-saving value of his work, a sidewalk counselor must remain hopeful of the good of his beautiful service.      

Like most downtowns, this one was busy when I came.  Like most downtowns, this one had stores and buses.  Unlike most, this one had a lifesaving sidewalk counselor on the corner.  She literally brings life to the downtown. As we work to make our downtowns, our world, free of abortion facilities, may those working as dedicated sidewalk counselors, become a staple in the downtown, saving lives person by person in the heart of the city.  

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Press Release: MCFL Letter to Legislators Opposing New Buffer Zone-Type Laws

by: MCFL Press Release

Wed Jul 09, 2014 at 14:07:38 PM EDT

For Immediate Release   Contact Patricia Stewart, Esq. 617-242-4199
Charlestown, July 8, 2014

Massachusetts Citizens for Life has sent the following letter to every member of the Massachusetts Legislature urging them to respect the First Amendment rights of people outside abortion facilities.

Dear Representative, Senator:

Seven years ago, at the urging of the Attorney General, the Legislature passed the so-called Buffer Zone Act, and the Governor signed it into law despite warnings that it violated the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and would not withstand a challenge to its constitutionality.

Last week, the United States Supreme Court in a unanimous 9-0 decision vindicated critics of the act (which included the ACLU) and ruled that the law violated the First Amendment and, therefore, was unconstitutional. McCullen, et al v. Coakley Attorney General of Massachusetts, et al, 573 U.S. ___ (2014).

Now in a rush to judgment, the same Attorney General and Governor are asking you to support new legislation that in all likelihood will lead to more litigation due to infringement on the right of citizens to use the public sidewalk for the two primary methods of communicating their message to persons entering abortion clinics: close personal conversation and distribution of literature. As the Court noted, those forms of expression have historically been closely associated with the transmission of ideas. It stated, "[c]onsistent with the traditionally open character of public streets and sidewalks, we have held that the government's ability to restrict speech in such locations is 'very limited.'" McCullen, at __. Pointing to its decision in Schenck v. Pro-Choice Network of Western N.Y., 519 U.S. 357, 377 (1997), it reminded us that "[l]eafletting [sic] and commenting on matters of public concern are classic forms of speech that lie at the heart of the First Amendment." The Court then cautioned, "[w]hen the government makes it more difficult to engage in these modes of communication, it imposes an especially significant First Amendment burden." McCullen, at __.

As you consider voting on the Attorney General's new proposal, please think carefully as to whether or not the latest version will pass constitutional muster. Remember, she convinced you before that her bill would do so, and she was dead wrong.

Thank you for any consideration you may give these matters.

Very truly yours,

Anne C. Fox                             Patricia D. Stewart                             Eva Murphy
President                                   Executive Director                             Legislative Director

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

One Choice, Many Blessings

by: Teresa Blackman

Mon Jul 07, 2014 at 00:00:00 AM EDT

by T. Blackman

Nearly twenty years ago, a young, Colombian woman was pregnant.  She already had a toddler and lived in near third-world poverty.  Despite these conditions, she made a bold choice.  The mother chose life.

The young mother couldn't see the consequences of her choice.  Giving her child up for adoption, she could not foresee the blessings to blossom from her choice.  This woman was the mother of one of my best friends.  

My friend has changed my life and, I know, the lives of many others.  In just one decision, the young woman not only gave my friend the gift of life, but also gave to so many others the gift of a daughter, sister, and friend.   Recently, I talked to my friend about the blessing of her adoption.

Understanding the gift she has been given, my friend feels "immensely blessed" and grateful to her mother.  With this gratitude, though, comes another feeling-guilt.  At first, the combination seems odd, but as my friend explains, I begin to understand this seeming contradiction.  Knowing the hardship her mother experienced, my friend finds it hard to enjoy the manifold blessings of her life, without feeling sorry her mother doesn't enjoy them as well.  As my friend explains, "It was a flip of a coin, that I won and she didn't."  Especially on holidays, like Christmas, she can't help but think, for at least a second, of how different their situations might be, for while my friend celebrates with delicious food and presents, her mother may experience an entirely different holiday.  Her mother made the beautiful, life-giving decision, but won't share or see the goods this choice has brought into her daughter's life.  

While guilt may be a bittersweet edge to gratitude, more sweet blessings flowed from my friend's adoption.  As we talked, she described how lucky she has been, especially to have such a loving family.  She quoted her father, who says, "Some adopted kids lose the lottery, you kids won it."  She couldn't agree more, listing what she was thankful for, she included, "stable parents who love each other, and in today's world-that's huge!"  These parents continued to bless her, giving her three siblings, also adopted from Colombia.  My friend cannot imagine life without her siblings, or even with biological siblings.  As the topic of chance found frequent mention in our conversation, she discussed the immense difference in her life each sibling has made.  How different life would be, had a brother been a sister, or vice versa, or had any other combination of siblings occurred.  When the entertainment of hypotheticals subsides, though, she, as we all ought, realizes how blessed she is that life took the specific, unique path it chose.  

Just as George Bailey does in It's a Wonderful Life, I find myself enchanted by wondering about the world had I never been born.  In the case of my friend, she finds herself wandering to this same question, though often regarding her adoption.  Shortly before she entered high school, her father started a high school founded on promoting a culture of life.  Had he no daughter to attend high school, the school might never have opened.  This school has now changed the lives of its many students and families who have joined its unique mission.  Following her father's entrepreneurial spirit, my friend has started summer camps, led fundraisers, and strives in all her actions to serve and love everyone she meets, friend or stranger.  No George Bailey film is needed to see the many effects one life has had on so many others.    

As just one of the lives she has changed, I cannot imagine life without this dear friend.  Throughout high school, she kindly listened to any crazy idea or sad news or ridiculous new discovery I had to share.  Even after we graduated, her door was always open if I needed to discuss the latest boy drama or even just to steal her guacamole.  Seldom do friends enter our lives and never walk out, but here I know I have found a friend with whom I will share the rest of my life's adventures.  I am just one person whose life has changed, from her family to her many friends, her life has truly been a blessing. As with so many actions, the young mother did not see the lives she would change by her choice.  The mother chose life, and in giving the gift of adoption, she changed not only one life, but many lives.

Discuss :: (0 Comments)
Next >>
Search




Advanced Search


Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for our email alerts
Actions you can take today to save lives
1. Recruit new pro-life activists/members
2. Run for office, make a difference politically
3. Market and advertise your local pregnancy center
4. Help distribute the MCFL News and other pro-life materials
5. Take action from articles here on massprolife.org, learn how to sidewalk counsel.

About
-MassProLife.org is a project of Mass Citizens for Life.
Check out our Picasa album.
Find us on
Facebook - Twitter

Blog Roll
Mass. political sites
-Red Mass Group
-Blue Mass Group
-MA Politix

Mass Avowedly Pro-life political organizations
-Catholic Citizenship
-Choose Life: Massachusetts
-Coalition for Marriage and Family
-Knights of Columbus - Mass.
-Mass Citizens for Life - Blog
-Mass Family Institute
-Mass Resistance
-Operation Rescue Boston

Mass Pregnancy Centers
-Carenet Fitchburg - Fitchburg
-Compassion Pregnancy Center - Worcester
-Problem Pregnancy - Worcester
-Visitation House - Worcester

Pro-life news
-Jill Stanek
-ProLife Unity
-LifeNews
-LifeSiteNews
-ProLife Blogs

Mass-based pro-lifers
-Greater Fitchburg for Life
-Dan Flynn/FlynnFiles
-Jay Guillette

PDF Archive of MCFL News
2013
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan/Feb.
2012
-Nov./Dec.
-Sept./Oct.
-Jul./Aug.
-May/Jun.
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2011
-Nov./Dec.
-Sept./Oct.
-July/Aug.
-May/Jun.
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2010
-Nov./Dec.
-Sept./Oct.
-July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2009
-Nov./Dec.
-Sept./Oct.
-July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2008
-Nov./Dec.
-Sept./Oct.
-July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2007
-Nov./Dec.
-Sept./Oct.
-July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2006
-Dec.
-Oct./Nov.
-June/July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2005
-Dec.
-Oct./Nov.
-June/July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
2004
-Dec.
-Oct./Nov.
-Aug./Sept.
-June/July
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan./Feb.
1987
-Dec.
-May
-Feb.
1985
-May
-Jan.
1983
-Dec.
-Oct.
-July
-May
-Jan.
1982
-Special Edition No. 4
-Special Edition No. 3
-Sept.
-July
-May
-Jan.
1981
-Sept.
-July-Aug.
-May
-Apr.
-Mar.
1979
-July
-June
-April
-January
1978
-Number 5
-November
-October
-September
-May
1977
-July/Aug.
-May/June
-Mar./Apr.
-Jan.
1976
-Oct.
-Sept.
-Jun.
-May
-Apr.
-Feb.
1975
-Dec.
-Oct.
-July
-June
-May
-Feb.
-Jan.
1974
-Nov.
-June
1973
-Apr.
-Jan.




Read our review, or buy your own copy of "Answers in a Time of Miscarriage"

Powered by: SoapBlox