Monday, March 31, 2008
-Dave Eggers, What is the What: The Autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng (2007 Vintage Books, p.353)
Thursday, March 27, 2008
"...consider that the placement of fetal brain tissue into the brain of a sufferer from Parkinson's disease is not simply a matter of sticking a needle into the skull of the patient and injecting the cells. First patients suitable for the technique must be screened (the doctors, nurses, and laboratory technicians necessary for this phase of the operation are all well paid). The abortions must then be performed (five for each patient awaiting the transplant), and of course the abortion doctors, and clinic and hospital personnel are compensated for their services. The tissue must then be immediately iced by a technician standing right at the abortion table (also paid), and then the tissue must be transported to a suitable laboratory where another technician will examine all the fetal tissue under a microscope and winnow out the fetal neurons (nerve cells) appropriate for transplant (that technician is especially well paid since this is critical tedious work). The tissue is then processed and prepared for the actual transplant (another costly operation). Meanwhile the patient is also being prepared for the transplant by the doctors, nurses, nurse's aides, housekeeping personnel, social workers, and counselors to the patient and the family"...and on and on it goes.
Bottom line: there is a lot of money to be made by using fetal cells for research and treatment. New industries would spring up to accommodate demand, and certainly not out of pure altruism. Just food for thought.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
To illustrate my point, my husband and I got out of town for a short overnight trip recently, and as soon as I woke up in the hotel the next day, I was ready to get home to my baby (who is not so much of a baby anymore). I was irked that my husband wanted to sleep in and watch tv until check-out, which I thought was a complete waste of time when we could be reducing the number of hours standing between being reunited with our son. There's no one else and no thing that I am so attached to. I always miss my husband when one of us travels, but I can't say I'm absolutely dying to see him after a mere 24 hour absence (sorry, honey). But with my son, I just can't stop mothering him when someone else takes over caring for him.
I don't know why, but every time Spring rolls around, I always get the urge to go shopping. Every Spring, I look in my closet and see nothing but shabby clothes--it's rather remarkable how this can happen every year. (I like to tell my husband that I really don't have much to wear because I'm just not much of a shopper, and that it's high time I actually go shopping, but he never, ever believes me.) This spring is proving to be a particularly lean shopping season because of finances, and...I've been feeling sort of, well, cheated. Out of the fulfillment of my feminine desire to know I look pretty, or something like that. So, it's been good to count my blessings elsewhere, and to count them where they really count. After all, I may not have trendy earrings, but I do have a cherub of a child sleeping in the other room, and I get to spend all day with him tomorrow.
Monday, March 24, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
It takes about 5-10 days for a future embryo to implant in the uterus (it's not called an embryo until it implants), and I've always pictured this phase as a lone cell floating down the fallopian tube, just vegetating waiting to implant, so I was surprised to find out that as soon as conception happens, a zygote's cells begin dividing and arranging appropriately. All the while the zygote is traveling towards the uterus, this new human is growing. Once a new human is put into motion, it's all about the business of growing--there is no hanging around idly waiting to find out whether or not it can really get the show on the road, so to speak, depending on its ability to burrow into the womb for nourishment. Growth is already happening.
It's always hard for people to understand others who are not like themselves; people of different religion, race, even gender, are puzzling, and understanding the significance of a zygote or an embryo is no exception. It's especially hard to accept something that doesn't look like us as one of us. But as Pope Paul IV said, "how could a human individual not be a human person?".* From conception, a zygote is human, there is no other species it can be assigned to. Some would argue that while it is human, it is not a person and therefore is expendable, but there is no wisdom in this. There is no biological benchmark for a tiny human that clearly proclaims 'okay, NOW I'm fully a person and have rights'. All the benchmarks people have tried to come to consensus over as to when a human being constitutes a human person that should not be killed--end of the first trimester, viability, etc.--are arbitrary. It's like trying to tack up our own blueprint of development over the one God created in the beginning. We can't figure out the mind of God. We can't. But we can know that from the beginning, God has a plan for every life, and to intentionally disregard the sacredness of his plan is a grave moral error.
For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book
before one of them came to be.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The video was made by referring to Randy Alcorn's extensive research, "Does the Birth Control Pill Cause Abortions?" found at epm.org (use the search button, I can't link to the article itself)
Monday, March 17, 2008
-Edith Stein (Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross) 1891-1942, Scholar, teacher, Jewish convert, Carmelite nun, victim of the Holocaust
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saturday, March 8, 2008
I read in CS Lewis' The Problem of Pain, "Christ takes it for granted that men are bad. Until we really feel this assumption of His to be true, though we are part of the world He came to save, we are not part of the audience to whom His words are addressed." At this point, God will have no trouble convincing me that humanity is inherently sinful. I do read the newspaper, I do live in the world, I do sin more than I wish. Oh sure, I can play my little game of impressing myself with how short my current list of sins is, but it never lasts--I always go out and do something really stupid and wrong, or I don't do anything when I should do something holy and good. And my oh-so charitable attitude to the perpetrators of the world's ills is often to want to slap people upside the head with the Bible and yell something like "you blind idiot! Can't you see the havoc your sin is causing?!"