8.17.2017

Where Abortion Seems Particularly Wrong

This article, on the near-eradication of the birth of children with Down syndrome in some countries, caught my attention, and in particular this quote near the end (emphases are mine):

Over at Landspitali University Hospital, Helga Sol Olafsdottir counsels women who have a pregnancy with a chromosomal abnormality. They speak to her when deciding whether to continue or end their pregnancies. Olafsdottir tells women who are wrestling with the decision or feelings of guilt: "This is your life — you have the right to choose how your life will look like."
She showed Quijano a prayer card inscribed with the date and tiny footprints of a fetus that was terminated.
Quijano noted, "In America, I think some people would be confused about people calling this 'our child,' saying a prayer or saying goodbye or having a priest come in -- because to them abortion is murder."
Olafsdottir responded, "We don't look at abortion as a murder. We look at it as a thing that we ended. We ended a possible life that may have had a huge complication... preventing suffering for the child and for the family. And I think that is more right than seeing it as a murder -- that's so black and white. Life isn't black and white. Life is grey."
Of course, gender-selective abortion is practiced in many countries, including China and India.  And, of course, advancing technologies promise to provide expectant parents even more information and potentially more reasons to decide whether or not to proceed.

It seems to me that if we condemn racial supremacy and gender inequality, and if we choose to be accepting of all irrespective of physical/intellectual ability, sexual orientation, and gender identity, if we desire to be a society in which all are created equal and endowed by their Creator with the unalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, if all of that...then we must find this line of thinking abhorrent.

I agree on one level that life isn't black and white.  But I also believe that life is precious.  These lives matter.  Shame on us if we continue to go down this path.






8.15.2017

Perfect Love

I really like something Christian author John Piper talks about when it comes to love.  Love on this side of glory is constrained in three ways.  First, there is nothing perfectly worthy of our love.  Second, our capacity to love is flawed.  Third, everything comes to an end.

But in heaven, there are no such constraints.  We will behold God face to face.  We will love perfectly.  And we will love forever.

There are, of course, wonderful expressions of and opportunities for love in our lifetimes.  I am truly blessed to enjoy them every day.  But I am reminded they are but down payments on an even greater experience that awaits.  To paraphrase the apostle Paul from 1 Corinthians 2:9, eye, ear, and heart have not begun (and on this side of glory cannot begin) to perceive all of what God has prepared for us.  Wow!

8.14.2017

Lazy Linking, 195th in an Occasional Series

Stuff I liked lately on the Internets:

195.1 Tebow shakes hand of autistic fan & then homers es.pn/2vtqaCq @espn

195.2 David Brooks calls Google CEO coward for firing engineer over memo nyti.ms/2fC1BgV @nytimes

195.3 Shades of precogs in "Minority Report": vetting immigrants on predicted future behavior bit.ly/2ujtLnn @theintercept

195.4 Buy experiences over stuff? Maybe not...or maybe what's the difference bit.ly/2uRXNgL @guardian

195.5 Scary thought (unless you're a Bucks fan): Greek Freak will make another leap next yr bit.ly/2uz05mi @bballbreakdown



8.13.2017

Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet LXXXIII



Here's an excerpt from an article I just read, "What A Jewish Journalist Saw And Heard In Charlottesville," at Forward.com:



“Duke, Duke, Duke,” the crowd chanted, as David Duke, the former KKK leader and poster boy of modern American neo-Nazism, walked straight into the supportive audience and stepped up to the bench-turned-podium.

“The courage you showed today in Charlottesville,” he told his supporters. “This is a first step toward making a realization of something that Trump alluded to early in the campaign — this is the first step toward taking America back.” And he explained: “European Americans face massive discrimination. Truth is that we’re being ethnically cleansed in our own nation.”

8.10.2017

Love Your Enemies

Picking up on yesterday's post, I was struck by this quote from Kesha.  I'd heard the song and I knew the terrible back story, but I was pleasantly surprised at how honest and healthy her perspective was about healing and prayer.

The Bible teaches us to love our enemies, and while there is surely some self-sacrifice and self-discipline in that, there is also a considerable amount of self-love.  It is healing and freeing to not only forgive but to love those who have hurt us.  God, of course, demonstrated this in the most profound of ways, and opportunities that we have to do that on a much smaller scale are truly windows into the divine.

More of that, please!  For our own good, let's say no to vengeance and schadenfreude and grudges.  Let's say yes to forgiving, praying for, and loving others. 

8.09.2017

Make Praise Normal Again


I don't swim in particularly mean circles, but a general unkind sentiment seems to have settled over this generation like a foul cloud.  Rather than celebrating kindness we seem to have elevated the opposite.  We revel in "dragging" others and cheer a good "sick burn."  My older son has taken to saying "roasted!" when he gets me good.

Maybe this is all in jest and I should take it as such, and I do.  But it does reveal a dark delight in putting down others.

I have an idea.  Let's praise each other too.  It's too bad that kind words are taken as kissing up, seeming fake, or being weak.  It doesn't need to be this way.  Think about the people in your life.  They are worthy of your praise!  People who have helped you get where you are, people whose presence in your life makes life wonderful, and people who are just stone cold awesome...tell them to their face, "hey, I want you to know that I think you rock!"  Let's Make Praise Normal Again!

8.08.2017

Too Short for a Blog Post, Too Long for a Tweet LXXXII

Here's an excerpt from a book I read earlier this month, "Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens," by Steve Olson:

Perhaps the greatest failure of the monitoring effort at Mount St. Helens was the insufficient attention devoted to the worst things that could happen. Though lateral blasts were not well understood at the time, geologists knew that volcanoes could explode sideways, but no one systematically explored that possibility and explained it to the public. In their internal discussions and their public communications, the geologists stuck largely to the most likely things that could happen, not the outliers. A large event was possible but unlikely, and scientists still have difficulty dealing with low-probability high-consequence events. But without some knowledge of what could happen, the people around the volcano that Sunday morning were unprepared for what did happen.