Monday, 24 August 2015

The Icing on the Cake

A recent court ruling in America ordered a Christian baker who refused to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple to pay $135,000 in compensation to the couple for ‘emotional distress’. Photographers and florists have also been penalized for refusing their services to homosexual weddings. 

Much of the Western world now considers itself to be in a ‘Post-Christian’ era of development and this has big implications for all Christians and their countries. To understand where we are heading, and what can be done, we must consider how we arrived at this juncture.

Sodomy has been considered a criminal act for millennia; the first recorded laws concerning it were 1075BC. In England the 1533 Buggery act was introduced with the death penalty for acts of sodomy against other men, animals or children. The last two, at the time of writing, remain illegal. The law was altered in the 1800’s but still considered a serious offence up until 1967 when it was decriminalized.

At first I was a bit puzzled as to why homosexuals wanted to get married as there is no tendancy toward monogomy and relationships tend to be rather short-lived.

There are other factors at play though, same-sex adoption particularly and a new era of education in schools. This is perhaps the most insidious development. In some public schools children as young as 4 year old are being taught that same sex marriage is normal. Some of the books on offer to facilitate this include fairly explicit texts describing how a boy wants to change his gender; others describe families with two dads or two mums, others about boys who want to wear dresses. All innocently disguised in the language of children. The consequences of indoctrinating children in this way will be horrendous for future society. They will be lost in a web of deceit. 

One ray of hope is the witness of those who do not consider their ‘rights’ as important as the ‘wrongs’. In a blog posting I read a most encouraging story from a celibate homosexual man who understood his dignity as a child of God, first and foremost and, although not without difficulty, was living in communion with church teachings. His desire to walk the path of holiness was truly inspiring. He understood that all are made for heaven, called to be saints. 

We must continue to speak the truth in love to all who will listen. Changing the law does not alter the consequences.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

“The Vision to stop Islamic fundamentalism”

Divine intervention is much more common than we realize I suspect, often anonymously dispensed, but where the dangers are extreme our participation is also required. Amongst many famous examples is the battle of Lepanto where, as the praying witnesses put it, ‘the sails of the Holy League were filled with Divine breath referring to the sudden change in wind direction  that won the day and sent the fleet of the Ottoman Empire swiftly to the bottom of the sea. St Pope Pius V, far away in Rome, was granted a vision of the battle in the sky and saw the victory, through the intercession of Our Lady, which he had instructed the people to pray for.

A few months ago, a Nigerian Bishop, praying in his adoration chapel, received a vision too. In the vision, the prelate said, Jesus didn’t say anything at first, but extended a sword toward him, and he in turn reached out for it. “As soon as I received the sword, it turned into a rosary,” the bishop said, adding that Jesus then told him three times: “Boko Haram is gone.”

He has since passed on this instruction to the faithful and as the engine of intercessory prayer gathers momentum we are already hearing news of progress in that Boko Haram territory is falling to the Nigerian military and many of the women and girls abducted have since been set free. An encouraging beginning.

In our day there is much to suggest that evil men have the upper hand, the atrocities of ISIS are particularly disturbing and their methodology in killing Christians; beheadings and crucifixions, certainly indicates the source of their inspiration. There may be a tendency to hopelessness in the face of this kind of onslaught, particularly as the secular nations of the coalition seem hesitant and reluctant to engage decisively with ISIS which serves to prolong their reign of terror.

But, as Christians, we have the weapons to deal with them effectively. Some might suggest that if our prayers were to cast out the evil from the hearts of ISIS fighters, the demons would be so dark and so numerous as to block out the light from the sun, to which I hope we can respond (like Dienekes)’ then we will pray in the shade’

Monday, 3 August 2015

Duty to Die

In America, physician assisted suicide is legal in a few states and under various stages of review in other states. It was anticipated that it would be only occasionally used but this is no longer the case.

Even the most basic health insurance plans include a minimum level of care for terminally ill patients, that being to provide ‘a pain management protocol’ for however many months, weeks or days until the patient’s natural death.

With the legislation change, allowing assisted suicide, the insurance companies can now state (and have done so successfully) that their requirement now is simply to provide for this new minimum level of care, i.e. - the cost of the lethal injection. ($100 instead of thousands of dollars.)

This leaves the patient with the ‘choice’ to pay for their own pain killing medicine, if they have the means, or if they cannot pay the options are dying in agonizing pain or agreeing to assisted suicide by lethal injection.

Some have opted for assisted suicide to spare their children the cost burden of their medication in these circumstances, being made to feel that they are obliged to die.

Whether these clever loopholes were not foreseen by lawmakers or whether the legislation was deliberately and conveniently vague is not known, but this version of euthanasia is getting a hearing now in most first world countries and could easily slip into the mainstream medical system if not opposed vigorously.