Archive for June, 2009

Apparently I’m not the only one befuddled by the comments that President Barack Obama made at a Town Hall meeting following the White House Young Men’s Barbecue on Father’s Day. To quote: “If we want our children to succeed in life, we need fathers to step up. We need fathers to understand that their work doesn’t end with conception — that what truly makes a man a father is the ability to raise a child and invest in that child.”

How can a man who believes that life begins at conception be “pro-choice”? If fatherhood begins at conception, doesn’t motherhood too?

Deacon Keith Fournier, in an article for Catholic Online entitled “President Obama Acknowledges Fatherhood Begins at Conception” states this better than I can:

“What is implicit, actually what is explicit, is that President Obama, in emphasizing the ongoing obligations of fatherhood, also acknowledged that Fatherhood begins at conception. Such an admission brings with it an extraordinary implication; every intentional abortion constitutes the killing of some father’s son or daughter. Yes, his comments to the young men concerning the continuing obligations of fatherhood were helpful. But what are we saying as a Nation to all men through our current public policy concerning legalized abortion? Anyone who has counseled, prayed for or known a man who has allowed the mother of his child (or worse encouraged her) to seek an abortion, knows that there are three victims of this evil act. The mother, so often lied to, the child, innocent and deserving of life, and the father, who through his participation in the killing of his child is forever changed.”

I agree with Deacon Fournier that we should pray for President Obama, not only so that he should see “the truth concerning the evil of every procured abortion,” but also, on a more fundamental level, that he see the contradiction in his beliefs. And, in so doing will then realize that “a good father [and mother] should never participate in the killing of [their] children.”

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Recently I was reading an article in the Spring 2009 edition of Wayne State, the magazine for members of the Wayne State University Alumni Association (WSUAA). The article introduced two members of the WSUAA board. In this article, Rajkumar Palanna, CEO of a market research service company stated:

“Globalization helps a business to prosper because it uses skills and capabilities that are best regardless of the national boundaries. …Any trade at a macro level increases the overall wealth of all involved. …At an individual level a few unfortunate employees get impacted.”

“…increases the overall wealth of all involved.” I would like to propose that an American who has been displaced because a company chose to hire a foreign worker instead is also involved in this transaction. How is this American worker’s wealth increased? This worker is now a member of the “few unfortunate employees” who get impacted.

And, in this case “few” is a relative term. According to the Economic Policy Institute, in September 2008, 17 million workers were either unemployed or underemployed. Now, not all of these were displaced because companies chose to hire foreign workers. But, I do wonder how many of these workers were unemployed or underemployed because a company that was doing the hiring claimed that it could not find a qualified worker in its application pool, and yet was unwilling to train a hard-working, intelligent American to do the job?

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If you were to read the title to this post you would be wondering about the picture. There are no people in it, you say. How could I be enjoying the outdoors with my family? Well, except for the peony and the lilies, each type of plant has been given to me by a family member. The lilies were inherited from a previous owner of the lot, the peony I bought last year. Everytime I stop to admire their blooms, or weed around them, or water them, or fertilize them, memories flood back and I say a little prayer for the person that gave that plant to me.

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Lord, send out your spirit, and renew the face of the earth.

“When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled, they were all in one place together. And suddenly there came from the sky a noise like a strong driving wind, and it filled the entire house in which they were. Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire, which parted and came to rest on each one of them. And they were all filled with the holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.” — Acts of the Apostles 2: 1-4, New American Bible.

Speaking to the Israelites, Peter said “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the holy Spirit. For the promise is made to you and to your children and to all those far off.” — Acts 2: 38-39, New American Bible.

We, as baptised Christians, were given the gift of the holy Spirit at our baptism. And, just like at the first Pentecost, this gift comes with the responsibility to proclaim the Good News. Now, most of us cannot speak in tongues so that multiple nations can hear our proclamations. Or can we? We may not be able to “speak” to people of all nations, but, with the holy Spirit’s guidance, our actions can speak for us.

Smiles are universal.

Respect is universal.

Love is universal.

Prayers can transcend borders.

I’m sure each one of you reading this can think of ways in your own life that you can proclaim the Gospel message to those around you without saying a word.

Pray for the courage to live out the Gospel every moment of every day of your life.

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