I spoke to Monique Ocampo of Catholic Reads at the 2017 Catholic Marketing Network

You can find Catholic Reads here

The Rest of my Catholic Marketing Network posts are here.

I’m rambling a bit here, but all these disjointed thoughts about some life issues seem to be drifting together.

There’s nothing new under the sun, says the book of Ecclesiastes. What’s strange to me is old news to someone in a different place or situation.

I’m thinking in particular of two women from Canada whom I recently met, and of the parents of Charlie Gard, whose story you may already know (see Pete’s reflection on Charlie’s death).

Charlie Gard is at rest now, and his parents in their grief are at least spared further attention from the European Commission on Human Rights, which denied them custody of their critically-ill son. When they started seeking treatment for their baby – AND raising money for it, so the National Health Service in their country (Britain) couldn’t plead lack of resources – I’m sure they were shocked to find out that a hospital could deny them custody. The “experts” knew better. The “experts” were going to ration care, since the parents wouldn’t ration it themselves.

It can’t happen here, I thought. We don’t have a single-payer system for health care (at least not yet). I ventured to say as much to a few people. Two of them gave me a where-have-you-been look and reminded me about Justina Pelletier. Shame on me for needing to be reminded.

Nothing new.

The Canadian women I mentioned were attending a pro-life conference with me, and we chatted over coffee as we waited for the day’s work to begin. They told me about their province where a “bubble zone” law is in effect and where doctors who don’t do abortions are obliged to refer abortion-minded patients to more accommodating providers.

I was surprised at what they said, until I reflected that my own state has a buffer zone law, although no abortion provider will use it for fear of litigation which will result in the law being thrown out. (Our law is modeled on the one the Supreme Court threw out in the McCullen case from Massachusetts.) Likewise, conscience protections for health care providers have been defeated again and again in my state legislature, although so far no statute requires abortion referrals.

Nothing new. The details are different between my state and their province, but the issues are the same.

My Canadian companions weren’t complaining, though. They spoke in matter-of-fact tones, without hand-wringing. They go out to witness near abortion facilities anyway. They support physicians and other providers whose conscience rights are at risk. They refuse to shrug and go home, thinking “game over.”

What a witness they were to me, in their quiet way.

For that matter, there was no “game over” for women at that pro-life conference who spoke about “adverse prenatal diagnosis.” Those moms we listened to were all told during pregnancy that they had defective babies. The language varied, but the message was the same. All were told they could abort. All said no (and I’m sure a few said “hell, no”).

The outcomes: some of the children died in infancy – but they died in the arms of their parents, not in the custody of the state. Other children were born and, lo and behold, had none of the maladies that had been diagnosed or predicted prenatally by the “experts.” Still others were born with complex conditions that proved manageable and treatable.

Among the lessons: doctors don’t know everything. Nothing new there.

That brings me back to the family of Charlie Gard. I’m sure that neither of his parents woke up one day and said, “Gee, I think I’ll be pro-life today!” They weren’t pursuing a cause. They were defending their son. They weren’t denying the reality of their son’s condition, but they defended their own right to be parents and Charlie’s rights as well, first to receive treatment and then to die in their loving arms.

One unexpected situation at a time, one appalling governmental policy at a time, all the people I’m thinking about refused to say game over. The family of Charlie Gard, the Canadian women who refused to be discouraged, the mothers who were told their kids were hopelessly imperfect: I have things to learn from each of them.

And that’s nothing new.

So great that Red Sox fans gave him a standing Ovation for robbing Hanley Ramirez of a Home Run:

 Red Sox fans know greatness when they see it.

That’s why Cleveland Indians center fielder Austin Jackson received a standing ovation from the Fenway Park faithful on Tuesday night after taking away a home run from Sox slugger Hanley Ramirez.

I was watching at the time it was the best catch I’ve ever seen in my life,

Basically he made the catch that Torii Hunter missed by 2 inches against David Ortiz back in 2014

If there was ever a play that deserved a standing ovation for an opposing player, it was that one, however Red Sox fans were rewarded for their good sportsmanship in the last of the 9th when Catcher Christian Vasquez hit a three run homer with two outs in the 9th to win the game for the Red Sox.

So all’s well that ends well

by baldilocks

Filling in for Fausta.

When we last talked about public atheist Richard Dawkins, he was being ‘de-platformed’ by Pacifica Radio’s KPFA.

In contrast, Dawkins spoke last week at the International Conference on Freedom of Conscience and Expression in London, where he received a standing ovation and an award.

This conference’s purpose is

[to] discuss censorship and blasphemy laws, freedom of and from religion, apostasy, the limits of religion’s role in society, LGBT and women’s rights, atheism, secular values and more.

Speakers from countries or the Diaspora as diverse as Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Canada, Egypt, France, India, Iran, Iraq, Iraqi Kurdistan, Ireland, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Norway, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Turkey, Tunisia, UK, Ukraine, US and Yemen will gather in London to defend freedom of conscience and expression and argue that freedoms are not western but universal.

It’s innocuous internationalism and atheism, with one significant difference: these people support and offer a platform for ex-Muslims.

When ex-Muslim Bonya Ahmed reached out her hand to accept an award in London on Sunday, it was missing her thumb.

Islamists hacked it off in Bangladesh, 2015.

(…)

The ceremony that recognised this brave woman had to be held in a secret location because London is no longer safe for ex-Muslims, atheists or even secular Muslim believers who dare to say that Islam should not be implemented as a system of laws.

Let that sink in: these people had to gather in an undisclosed location.. Not in Bangladesh, but in Britain.

The next time you hear or read about American atheists whining about eyeball oppression from the sight of crosses and Ten Commandment monuments, point out the state of things in the UK. I know I will.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. (Her older blog is located here.) Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2012. Her second novel tentatively titled Arlen’s Harem, will be done one day soon! Follow her on Twitter and on Gab.ai.

Please contribute to Juliette’s JOB:  Her new novel, her blog, her Internet to keep the latter going and COFFEE to keep her going!

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Don Surber notes a stark contrast in how government healthcare values different lives by contrasting Charlie Card and John McCain.

While Congress voted to give Charlie Gard a meaningless U.S. residency, they just voted to keep a system that will segue into the National Health Service, which is the British government’s way of deciding who lives and who dies.

To recap, the taxpayers just moved heaven on Earth to fund minor eye surgery/brain surgery/cranial transplant for John McCain, then spared no expense to fly him back to Washington so that Obamacare can live until it devolves into the National Health Service.

Little Charlie’s parents desires could not Trump the wishes of the Bureaucracy not even one final request:

CHARLIE GARD’S parents say they have been denied their wish to be allowed to take him home to die.

Chris Gard and Connie Yates, who said Great Ormond Street Hospital had turned down the request, also claimed they were being rushed into saying goodbye to their gravely ill baby.

They say the life-support machine sustaining the ten-month-old will be switched off today — after doctors said earlier this week there was no hurry.

Oh there was hurry, every day Charlie lived was a day people say NHS’ and it’s proposed US cousin Obamacare for what it is.

It’s a far cry from the days when Catholic Religious Orders founded everywhere (Why do you think so many are called St. This or St. That?) As it is the from the actual reason why governments got into the healthcare business in the first place:

Infectious disease was the raison d’etre for the field of public health. While winning that battle did present some sacrifice of personal liberty — not just vaccinations, but also bureaucrats deciding how your food had to be cooked and your water piped in and your waste disposed of and your abode ventilated — the immense collective gains in health and lifespan were well worth it. Taken together these public health measures were responsible for more improvement in human health than anything else human beings have ever done. No, I’m not talking about the vast government insurance schemes now found in every rich country, nor even antibiotics, just homely old measures like vaccines and water treatment.

But that brings us back to the sad case of Charlie Gard, because the definition of public health has changed quite a lot since its inception.

It funny because we haven’t heard any democrats making fun of Sarah Palin for her “Death Panels” remarks since the Charlie Card case became public, but then again we haven’t, as Instapundit noted heard much from Democrats about the case at all

“The silence from US Democrats on Charlie Gard will never stop being chilling,” Erielle Davidson of the Hoover Institute tweeted yesterday. “Reason Dems weren’t asked about Charlie Gard is because every single journalist out there knows how bad their answer is,” Stephen Miller adds.

Here is the bottom line.  Does anyone doubt for one moment that if Charlie Card had been the son of an MP or a member of the British Government or nobility that he would have been in the US for experimental treatment months ago?  Contrariwise would John McCain have gotten the VIP treatment he did if he was the grandfather of the Cards and not a six term senator whose votes determine where billions of dollars are spent?


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