Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Abortion and Economic Issues

This was posted in Sojourners by Glen Stassen. The Lewis B. Smedes Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary, and the co-author of Kingdom Ethics: Following Jesus in Contemporary Context, Christianity Today's Book of the Year in theology or ethics.
Under President Bush, the decade-long trend of declining abortion rates appears to have reversed. Given the trends of the 1990s, 52,000 more abortions occurred in the United States in 2002 than would have been expected before this change of direction.

How could this be? I see three contributing factors:

First, two thirds of women who abort say they cannot afford a child (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life Web site). In the past three years, unemployment rates increased half again. Not since Hoover had there been a net loss of jobs during a presidency until the current administration. Average real incomes decreased, and for seven years the minimum wage has not been raised to match inflation. With less income, many prospective mothers fear another mouth to feed.

Second, half of all women who abort say they do not have a reliable mate (Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life). Men who are jobless usually do not marry. Only three of the 16 states had more marriages in 2002 than in 2001, and in those states abortion rates decreased. In the 16 states overall, there were 16,392 fewer marriages than the year before, and 7,869 more abortions. As male unemployment increases, marriages fall and abortion rises.

Third, women worry about health care for themselves and their children. Since 5.2 million more people have no health insurance now than before this presidency - with women of childbearing age overrepresented in those 5.2 million - abortion increases.
The conclusion
What does this tell us? Economic policy and abortion are not separate issues; they form one moral imperative. Rhetoric is hollow, mere tinkling brass, without health care, health insurance, jobs, child care, and a living wage. Pro-life in deed, not merely in word, means we need policies that provide jobs and health insurance and support for prospective mothers.
A controversial article that points out that abortion is more then about legislation and is linked to enviromental and economic factors.

Monday, October 25, 2004

U.S. Ambassador Blames Election on Mad Cow Dispute

From AP. I know this is interest to many in the community...
American domestic politics in a presidential election year have contributed to the delay in reopening the U.S. market to Canadian beef, U.S. Ambassador Paul Cellucci said Wednesday.

Cellucci, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts, blamed Democrats in the run-up to the Nov. 2 vote that pits President Bush against Democratic challenger Sen. John Kerry.

Cellucci told Ottawa business leaders that a minority of interests the United States have challenged and delayed U.S. Agriculture Department rule changes that would have ended the mad cow-induced ban on Canadian beef imports.

"I don't want to say there's not politics involved," Cellucci said. "It is an election year."

The ambassador singled out Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader from South Dakota, as a prime mover against Canadian beef interests.

"He and other senators have written the Department of Agriculture to say, `Don't let the beef in from Canada,'" Cellucci said. "And it's not based upon sound science. So that's why things have slowed down."

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Sermon links

On the sermon notes that were handed out this morning, I promised that I would post some links to articles and sites that I mentioned in today's sermon. Of course, the opinions on the sites are not mine or the churches but just some that I mentioned this morning.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

World Living Beyond Its Environmental Means-WWF

From Reuters
The world is consuming some 20 percent more natural resources a year than the planet can produce, conservationist group WWF warned on Thursday.

Urging governments to move rapidly to restore the ecological balance, the Swiss-based group said rich countries, particularly in North America, were largely to blame for the situation.

"We are running up an ecological debt which we will not be able to pay off," Dr Claude Martin, director-general of WWF International, told a news conference.

In its 'Living Planet Report 2004,' the fifth in a series, the WWF said that between 1970 and 2000, populations of marine and terrestrial species fell 30 percent. That of freshwater species declined 50 percent.

"This is a direct consequence of increasing human demand for food, fiber, energy and water," it said.

What WWF calls the "ecological footprint" -- the amount of productive land needed on average worldwide to sustain one person -- currently stood at 2.2 hectares (5.43 acres).

But the earth had only 1.8 hectares (4.45 acres) per head -- based on the planet's estimated 11.3 billion hectares (27.9 billion acres) of productive land and sea space divided between its 6.1 billion people.

"...humans consume 20 percent more natural resources than the earth can produce," WWF said.

This contrasted with the position in 1960, the year WWF was launched, when the world used only 50 percent of what the earth could generate.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Gambling shatters ex-Tiger's dream life

Article on former Detroit Tigers (and Toronto Blue Jays) slugger Cecil Fielder and how gambling has destroyed his life. Very sad.


Yahoo! News - Experts: Good Hygiene Can Ward Off Flu

Story from the AP on how to avoid getting the flu
The wisdom mothers have been dispensing for ages ? wash your hands, eat your vegetables, go to bed earlier ? turns out to be great advice for avoiding the flu.
Click on the post title to get the rest of the story.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Sunday Reading

On Sunday, Linda mentioned that she was reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich by William L. Shirer. I dug up the Amazon.ca link for the book as well as the book I mentioned in my sermon, Blood, Tears, and Folly by Len Deighton. Both are excellent books.

Tuesday, October 5, 2004

The Prophetic Imagination

A great post about the work of theologian Walter Bruggermann
"To address the issue of truth greatly reduced requires us to be poets who speak against the prose world. .. The only proclamation that is worthy of the name preaching is not moral instruction, or problem solving, or doctrinal clarification. It is not good advice, nor is it romantic caressing, not is it a soothing good humor... It is rather the ready, steady, surprising proposal that the real world in which God invites us to live is not the one made available by the rulers of this age. The preacher has an awesome opportunity to offer an evangelical world: an existence shaped by the news of the gospel. This offer requires special care for words, because the baptized community awaits speech in order to be a faithful people." Finally Comes the Poet