Monday, May 31, 2010

On This Memorial Day We Remember...

On this day of rememberance, we keep in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers those who have died defending our freedom as well as those who are currently on the battlefield. Let us pray...

Higher power, we ask that you keep watch over our soldiers, as you know, our family members are out there, please keep them safe from harm. Please deliver them home safely. And for those who have passed, may they go to rest peacefully in your arms. In your name we pray, amen.

In Memoriam to Our Fallen Marines

Memorial Day 2007: A Tribute to Our Soldiers

Memorial Day salute: Armed Forces Medley

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Off to the Race!

Earlier today, I attended the 94th running of the Indianapolis 500. My husband and I started preparing a backpack for the race the night before. Sunscreen, check. Hats, check. Non-parishable food, check. My Epipen for in case I get stung by a bee, check. We got up at eight am (later than we wanted) and got dressed for the day and packed our cooler with a sack lunch and dinner. We met our friends at their apartment on the west side of Indy about nine am, but didn't leave until  about nine-thirty am and got stuck in slow moving traffic in the smoldering heat for two hours (it was already around a humid ninety degrees by this point). Finally we decided to just park and walk and so parked at five dollars parking at a bar and walked the rest of the two and a half miles, a fourty-five minute walk to the race track with our coolers, back packs, and gallon jug of water. We arrived at the race right during the opening ceremony. We had free tickets from my father-in-law, for seats in the National Guard section, on turn four, at the beginning of the straight way. They were great seats, four rows up from the track, but in the direct sun and man was it hot! Overall it was a great experience, though and I've included pictures below. Also, I found more great pics from the Indy 500 by another user on Photobucket, which can be seen here




Friday, May 28, 2010

An Experiment in Compassion

Josh is an actor. So are the people heaping verbal abuse on him. See how the ordinary shoppers respond in the following video:

Food for thought: How would you respond if you saw an individual with developmental disabilities being verbally or physically harassed at a local store, restaraunt, park, school, or other place in your community?

H/T Real Choice and Mommy Life

Thursday, May 27, 2010

One Year Anniversary of Late-term Abortion Provider George Tiller Death

Monday, May 31 - Memorial Day, this year - will mark the 1 year anniversary of abortion provider George Tiller's murder.

Pro-choice activists have been paying tributes and are planning memorials. Democrat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has read or will read a Tiller tribute statement on the Senate floor today.

For a donation of $75 the TX Equal Access Fund "will deliver a handmade card, flowers, and a basket of goodies" to your favorite abortion provider on May 31. Why not instead deliver flowers to the women and families of women who were injured or killed during supposed "safe and legal" late-term abortions at George Tiller's clinic. Where's their concern for these women and their families? Does their concern not extend beyond the woman's abortion?

The George Tiller Abortion Fund has been established to subsidize late-term abortions. However, I think it's important to keep in mind that often in the case of a theraputic late-term abortion for health reasons or poor prenatal diagnosis, the woman has often been has been given a worst-case scenario and feels that she has run out of options and she may have been told that an abortion is the best option by her doctor despite carrying a wanted pregnancy. Rather than abandoning these women to despair and hopelessness and feeling they have no choice but to have an abortion, instead let's give them a support system, medical resources, and options. Instead of supporting the George Tiller Abortion Fund, instead consider donating to organizations such as Be Not Afraid, Prenatal Partners for Life, or your local prenatal hospice, establish a community outreach to parents who have received a poor or difficult prenatal diagnosis, create a database of community resources for those with special needs children, purchase and distribute Ashli McCall's book "Beyond Morning Sickness: Battling Hyperemesis Gravidarum" to families and doctor's offices, sew memory blankets or create a comfort basket for a family facing neonatal death or infant death, or offer to help a family by bringing meals over or assisting with errands. To this end, we can help support and comfort families through their challenges, grief, and sorrows and healing journeys.

Picture credit: Jill Stanek

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Nun Excommunicated For Allowing Abortion : NPR

Nun Excommunicated For Allowing Abortion
by Barbara Bradley Hagerty
Last November, a 27-year-old woman was admitted to St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. She was 11 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, and she was gravely ill. According to a hospital document, she had "right heart failure," and her doctors told her that if she continued with the pregnancy, her risk of mortality was "close to 100 percent."

The patient, who was too ill to be moved to the operating room much less another hospital, agreed to an abortion. But there was a complication: She was at a Catholic hospital.

"They were in quite a dilemma," says Lisa Sowle Cahill, who teaches Catholic theology at Boston College. "There was no good way out of it. The official church position would mandate that the correct solution would be to let both the mother and the child die. I think in the practical situation that would be a very hard choice to make."

But the hospital felt it could proceed because of an exception — called Directive 47 in the U.S. Catholic Church's ethical guidelines for health care providers — that allows, in some circumstance, procedures that could kill the fetus to save the mother. Sister Margaret McBride, who was an administrator at the hospital as well as its liaison to the diocese, gave her approval.

The woman survived. When Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted heard about the abortion, he declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated — the most serious penalty the church can levy.

"She consented in the murder of an unborn child," says the Rev. John Ehrich, the medical ethics director for the Diocese of Phoenix. "There are some situations where the mother may in fact die along with her child. But — and this is the Catholic perspective — you can't do evil to bring about good. The end does not justify the means."

Ehrich adds that under canon or church law, the nun should be expelled from her order, the Sisters of Mercy, unless the order can find an alternative penalty. Ehrich concedes that the circumstances of this case were "hard."

"But there are certain things that we don't really have a choice" about, he says. "You know, if it's been done and there's public scandal, the bishop has to take care of that, because he has to say, 'Look, this can't happen.' "

A Double Standard?
But according to the Rev. Thomas Doyle, a canon lawyer, the bishop "clearly had other alternatives than to declare her excommunicated." Doyle says Olmsted could have looked at the situation, realized that the nun faced an agonizing choice and shown her some mercy. He adds that this case highlights a "gross inequity" in how the church chooses to handle scandal.

Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted, shown here in 2003, declared that McBride was automatically excommunicated because she allowed a patient at a Catholic hospital to get an abortion. But some say her quick punishment stands in stark contrast to the protection many pedophile priests have received from their bishops.
"In the case of priests who are credibly accused and known to be guilty of sexually abusing children, they are in a sense let off the hook," Doyle says.
Doyle says no pedophile priests have been excommunicated. When priests have been caught, he says, their bishops have protected them, and it has taken years or decades to defrock them, if ever.
"Yet in this instance we have a sister who was trying to save the life of a woman, and what happens to her? The bishop swoops down [and] declares her excommunicated before he even looks at all the facts of the case," Doyle says.

Ehrich agrees that sexual abuse can't be tolerated. But he says neither can McBride's actions.

"She said, 'Yes, you can kill that unborn child.' That's a heinous act. And I'm not going to make a distinction between what's worse. They're both abhorrent," Ehrich says.

Ehrich says the nun can be admitted back into the Catholic community by going to confession and repenting. McBride still works at the hospital in another position. Whether she is allowed to remain in her religious order, Erich says that is up to the Sisters of Mercy.
I don't know, I think every effort should be made to save both mother and unborn child with close monitering and treatment with medications in a hospital setting. However, in this case, it sounds like moderate to severe pulmonary hypertension, also known as Preeclampsia and Eclampsia. According to E-Medicine/Medscape: Eclampsia and Preeclampsia it appears terminating the pregnancy via emergency delivery is indicated in a later-term pregnancy in addition to medications to stabilize her blood pressure and reduce seizures (with every attempt to save both baby and mother), however delivery wasn't possible here, and so perhaps this was one of those rare cases where there were no other options and terminating the pregnancy via a theraputic abortion was necessary to save this woman's life. In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the principle of double effect comes into play. However it's also important to note that this case was an exception, not the rule for abortion as theraputic abortions for endangerment to the woman's health only comprise 1% of all induced abortions. I'm no longer a practicing Catholic, so I don't know the specific guidelines for theraputic abortions necessary to save the mother's life. *Sighs* And how the Catholic church has handled the cases of sexual abuse is one of the reasons why I'm no longer a practicing Catholic.

H/T to my younger sister, "T"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Singing a'cappella

A while back, my sister told me about a great new up and coming a'capella group called "Straight No Chaser"

If you like "Straight No Chaser," you might like the following up and coming group, University of Oregon's all male a'cappella group "On The Rocks" Their version of Lady Gaga's song Bad Romance is especially great.