9/28/2012

Motion 312 and Rona Ambrose

It has recently been suggested by some groups that Conservative MP Rona Ambrose ought to resign from her position as the Minister of State for Status of Women Canada. Ostensibly, the reason for this suggestion is that her vote in support of Motion 312 is necessarily "anti-woman." This post is not really about abortion, but about the sentiment expressed above. Should Minister Ambrose really resign? Was her vote necessarily "anti-woman?" Did her position as he Minister of State for Status of Women require that she vote against Motion 312? I'd like to look at Motion 312:
That a special committee of the House be appointed and directed to review the declaration in Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada which states that a child becomes a human being only at the moment of complete birth and to answer the questions hereinafter set forth; that the membership of the special committee consist of twelve members which shall include seven members from the government party, four members from the Official Opposition and one member from the Liberal Party, provided that the Chair shall be from the government party; that the members to serve on the said committee be appointed by the Standing Committee on Procedure and House Affairs and the membership report of the special committee be presented to the House no later than 20 sitting days after the adoption of this motion; that substitutions to the membership of the special committee be allowed, if required, in the manner provided by Standing Order 114(2); that the special committee have all the powers of a Standing Committee as provided in the Standing Orders; and that the special committee present its final report to the House of Commons within 10 months after the adoption of this motion with answers to the following questions, (i) what medical evidence exists to demonstrate that a child is or is not a human being before the moment of complete birth?, (ii) is the preponderance of medical evidence consistent with the declaration in Subsection 223(1) that a child is only a human being at the moment of complete birth?, (iii)what are the legal impact and consequences of Subsection 223(1) on the fundamental human rights of a child before the moment of complete birth?, (iv)what are the options available to Parliament in the exercise of its legislative authority in accordance with the Constitution and decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada to affirm, amend, or replace Subsection 223(1)?

Notice what Motion 312 sets forth. It requests that a special committee be appointed to examine the question of whether or not an unborn child is, in fact, a human being. It requests that medical evidence be examined, that any legal ramifications be examined and discussed and that Parliament consider what its options are with respect to Subsection 223(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada. Notice what Motion 312 does not say. It does not call into question the rights of women. It does not even bring up the question of abortion, though certainly that question would come up if the motion had passed. And yet, we are expected to accept the argument that a support of the motion is necessarily "anti-woman" and therefore something to be ashamed of.

I am curious, when did the discussion of difficult topics become "anti-women?" The discussion surrounding abortion is quite complex, dealing with the intersecting rights of both women and their infants, and there are many positions which ought to be considered. Framing the discussion as merely a "anti-choice/pro-life versus pro-abortion/pro-choice" is simply flawed. The issues of sexuality and abuse (especially violence during pregnancy) also run in tandem with the issue of abortion. If, as a nation, we want to take women's issues seriously, then I do not see how we can possibly fail to discuss something as deeply relevant to women as abortion.
To be sure, the discussion will be difficult. However, I am of the opinion that there is no need to fear a difficult conversation. Indeed, I would argue that strong-minded women desire such conversations. They are not afraid of medical facts or of having their opinions examined. An argument, if it is true, will withstand any battering a lie might give it. As Churchill said "The truth is incontrovertible, malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end; there it is."

I would suggest that the demand that Minister Ambrose resign is problematic for feminists. On a more personal level, I find the suggestion insulting. Canadians, be they male or female, vote for those individuals we think will best represent us. We do that by considering both the individual's personal views and also the party's position. If someone is voted into a particular office, then Canadians expect them to act on the principles that they were voted in on. We do not tell our politicians, regardless of the party they run for, that they must for some unthinkable reason, leave their principles at the door. (And, in case you are wondering, this is also why I do not approve of the party whip. I understand why it exists, but I believe it to be wrong.) One cannot embrace democracy and stifle it at the same time. How can women on the one hand desire greater representation in Parliament, while at the same time insisting that the views these elected women espouse should conform to their own opinions? Do you require men to hold your opinions? Do you insist that they resign when they do not? Is this not hypocritical? Women do not all hold the same views on any subject and more women in Parliament will necessarily mean a greater diversity of opinion. This is something to be embraced, not feared.

6/22/2012

Declaring the glory of God

"The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.
Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they reveal knowledge.
They have no speech, they use no words; no sound is heard from them.
Yet their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world. "
Psalm 19:1-4

On Friday, June 15th, Nik Wallenda made world history by crossing the Niagara Falls on a tight rope wire. I had the good fortune to watch the event on tv. A crowd of over 100,000 people were gathered on the Canadian side of the Falls and, according to Niagara this Week, an estimated 18 million people tuned in to watch it on television. According to the same paper the "coverage of his watch featured snippets of the back and forth between father and son, including Wallenda thanking Jesus several times."
Consider that, for a moment.
One night, 18 million people watched a man do what he was created to do, praising God every step of the way.
A more perfect testimony to the power of the Holy Spirit, I cannot think of.
It was, in so many respects, a total body experience of the power and presence of God.
As a child I had the opportunity to see Tino Wallenda and his family at a church outreach. Yes, it really was a sort of highwire evangelism. My understanding is that Tino is now involved in a prison ministry. Without a doubt, this is a different approach to evangelism, but God doesn't call everyone to be a preacher.
He does, however, call all of us to give glory to Him and spread the Gospel through whatever means we have available to us. He also calls us to live with a heart if thanksgiving... all the time.
And so, because of one family's commitment to obey Him, 18 million people saw a man thanking God publicly for an experience like no other. To experience something like walking over the Falls is a great gift. But, to experience it knowing Who made the Falls, Who is giving you this experience, and Who deserves your praise and thanks is even greater.
I am thankful that God places people like the Wallenda's in this world. Much like Eric Liddle, Nik Wallenda feels God's pleasure when he does what he has been created to do, and he responds out of that sense.
If 18 million people had a window into my life for half an hour, would they see the same thankfulness? Would they see me glorifying God? Sometimes, I am not so sure. There are many days where I can barely squeeze out a drop of contentment from my soul, much less thankfulness. Thankfulness becomes not so much the immediate, heartfelt reaction I would like it to be, but a mental discipline. It is difficult to give thanks while cleaning out a not-quite-three-year old's underwear. It certainly doesn't rank with crossing Niagara Falls.
But, this is my life. I am at home with four children, not necessarily doing what I would like but instead doing what I am called. This too brings glory to God.

5/11/2012

It's a beautiful day!

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.... And God saw that it was good. " Genesis 1

"He alone stretches out the heavens
and treads on the waves of the sea.
He is the Maker of the Bear[a] and Orion,
the Pleiades and the constellations of the south.
He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed,
miracles that cannot be counted. " Job 9

Today is a beautiful day. Spring is arguably my favorite season. It is so refreshing, especially after being inside for most of the winter... even when a winter is relatively mild. Everything about it makes me feel refreshed and blessed. Gratitude comes easily on days like today.

5/10/2012

Returning from a long hiatus

As you can see, I am once again making a concerted effort to revive my blog. Once upon a time, it was a great outlet for all of my thoughts. Bear with me as I take some time to update the look. It would seem I am limited to background images of only 300K.

Why now?
Well, this is why.
I came across this a few days ago, as a result of the Desiring God feed on Facebook. I was incredibly moved by this couple's story. I was humbled by the realization of my own selfishness, by my own tendency to wallow in negativity despite the fact my life really is not all that difficult. I have so many opportunities to give glory to God, and I sadly admit that I have too often let them pass me by.
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