Monday, December 31, 2007

Bravo Mario Dumont! Tu l'as bien compris!!!

Mario Dumont exige un moratoire au primaire
(Québec, 12 décembre 2007) Le chef de l'Opposition officielle, M. Mario Dumont, accompagné du porte-parole de l'ADQ en matière d'éducation, M. François Desrochers, a exigé un moratoire sur le cours Éthique et culture religieuse au niveau primaire. Le chef adéquiste s'inquiète du contenu de ce cours qui pourrait créer de la confusion chez les élèves. « Le nouveau cours ne donne aucune prépondérance claire à l'héritage religieux du Québec, qui est partie intégrante de notre identité en tant que Québécois. On sème la confusion chez les enfants lorsque l'on nie la prépondérance de la fête de Noël ou de Pâques. Je demande donc un moratoire sur la mise en place de ce cours au primaire afin que la ministre de l'Éducation revoit son contenu pour qu'il reflète la réalité québécoise et l'importance de l'héritage religieux du Québec. »
Après une analyse approfondie du programme approuvé1 par la ministre de l'Éducation, le chef adéquiste conclut que le contenu actuel de ce cours ne correspond pas à la réalité du Québec d'aujourd'hui. Par exemple, les fêtes de Id El Fitr, de l'Aïd el Adha, du Wesak, de Divali ou la naissance du guru Nanak seront enseignées au même titre que Noël ou l'Action de grâces. Aucune distinction claire n'est faite entre l'héritage religieux à la base de notre identité en tant que Québécois et les autres religions, principalement issues des populations immigrantes. Aux yeux du chef autonomiste, « on renie ce que nous sommes en tant que nation en faisant de notre héritage religieux un élément à enseigner parmi tant d'autres. Nos enfants doivent premièrement connaître ce qui est à la base de l'identité de la majorité avant de s'ouvrir et de s'enrichir des autres cultures et des autres pratiques religieuses. »
Pour Mario Dumont, le gouvernement doit fournir des explications. « Le document du ministère, aux pages 69 à 73, place toutes les manifestations religieuses sur un pied d'égalité. Or, la réalité québécoise est tout autre. Le gouvernement doit nous fournir des explications. Nos traditions sont toujours au centre de notre identité mais le gouvernement a mis en place ce programme qui dilue notre héritage et qui pourrait semer la confusion chez les enfants. »
Moratoire et reconduction de la clause nonobstant
Mario Dumont a demandé un moratoire sur la mise en place de ce cours au primaire pour modifier son contenu et rétablir un équilibre qui reflète la réalité québécoise. Pour ce faire, le chef adéquiste a demandé au gouvernement de reconduire la clause nonobstant alors que la loi 95, adoptée en 2005, prévoit la fin des cours actuels pour le 30 juin 2008. « Il faut être prudent avec ce que l'on enseigne aux enfants en bas âge. C'est ce souci de prudence que nous exigeons du gouvernement aujourd'hui. Il doit décréter un moratoire et reconduire la clause nonobstant pour que le cours ne soit pas enseigné l'automne prochain. La ministre doit réorienter le contenu du cours en fonction de la réalité québécoise où les religions catholiques et protestantes sont toujours prépondérantes. »
Consultation des parents sur le contenu du cours Éthique et culture religieuse
Enfin, le chef de l'Opposition officielle a demandé au gouvernement une consultation auprès des comités de parents et des conseils d'établissement afin de connaître leur opinion sur le contenu et l'application du nouveau programme de religion au primaire. « L'école appartient d'abord aux parents et ce que l'on enseigne à leurs enfants les concernent au premier chef. Le gouvernement est-il en train d'appliquer quelque chose que les parents ne désirent pas ? C'est une question qui devrait nous préoccuper et c'est pourquoi le gouvernement doit consulter les parents par l'entremise des conseils d'établissement et des comités de parents. »
-30-
Source : Cabinet du chef de l'Opposition officielle
Jean-Nicolas Gagné
Attaché de presse (418) 643-2743

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Endless Highways and the like

Juana is back... after a few storms and such. I have managed to power up once again and the wind is just right out here in the Bermuda triangle. (Sometimes I think my own mind is a Bermuda Triangle.)

Ahhh, Bon Jovi, one of my favourites. Yes, I could go down that endless highway, and gladly too.

Gollum has been acting up again, I try to explain why I feel the way I do about things, but his eyes cloud over and I know he is tuning me out. "My precious" he mutters and no longer hears me. Thankfully I do not have to put up with him too much, as he does not come to visit too often.

The Gypsy Queen was here around Christmas time and although we do not always agree on everything, it is always nice to have someone around who understands you, in spite of your differences.

A new person has come to visit me on my island, a certain Mr. Tumnus. A very likable fellow, in spite of his having hooves and horns. I invited him for tea, forgot that I didn't have tea leaves, but he had happened to bring some for his own tea, so that worked out alright, although I was a bit embarrassed over the whole thing.

If there is one thing that I have learned in recent months, about relationships, (funny how much one can learn on a desert island about relationships), it is that if you want to marry someone (which I don't, been there done that - but for those of you that do...) you might want to make sure that you have fun with the person first.

When I say fun, I don't mean s/he cracks a joke, you laugh. It's not enough to think that a person is funny. Joking helps, but it is far from being everything.

You want to share similar interests. A LOT of similar interests, one or two is not enough. You want to be able to talk about just about anything, and still get along. You want to be able to have inside jokes and share the same weird sense of humour. You know this is happening when you speak the same language as the people around you but noone has a clue what you are saying except yourselves. You want to be best friends. So I say, lay off the sex for awhile and find yourselves a best friend first, one, of course that you at least find attractive, but take it slow, because marriage lasts a looooooong time.

Oh, and by the way, your best friend should also share your faith if you have any, or lack of it if you are an atheist. Unless you really want to live with a certain void every day, knowing that only half of who you are is in fact in that marriage and the other half has been rejected, or is being ignored. Just ask Elizabeth Leseur.

Gypsy Queen and I were discussing this quite a bit recently, as she has had to deal with some men in her life.

El Alejandro came by the other day to see how I was doing. He is always very refreshing. Ahh to be young and uncynical again. Wait a minute! I WAS cynical when I was young. I think I may have actually mellowed out a bit! But still, it is nice to see the enthousiasm of the young. We played a bit of soccer before he left, off to conquer foreign lands again.

Aquaman swam by again, it's hard being a superhero. One doesn't always make ends meet on a superhero's salary.

Lost Highway

This sounds like a song for Juana la Cubana


Bon Jovi Lyrics
Lost Highway Lyrics

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Faith in God? Rational?

By Chuck Colson
12/28/2007

I’ve got to hand it to the new wave of militant atheists like Christopher Hitchens and arch-Darwinist Richard Dawkins. They are getting their message out, in best-selling books and in page-one articles in major newspapers like the Washington Post. Their message is simple: There is no God, and people who believe there is a God are simply being irrational. But is faith in God truly irrational?

The much-respected philosopher Alvin Plantinga is well-versed in the arguments employed by these atheists. He has debated his secular colleagues many times on the question: “Is it reasonable to presuppose that God exists?”

Their response, of course, is “no” because they believe only in physical phenomena and a material universe. Plantinga then asks them whether it is rational to believe that other people have minds. After all, there is scarcely more material evidence that other people have minds, as distinct from brains, than there is for God’s existence.

When the philosophers say “yes,” Plantinga argues that believing in God is just as rational as believing that other people have minds: Both conclusions reflect a faith of sorts.

There are other reasons why belief in God is rational, which I discuss in The Faith, my new book, to be published in January. There is a growing body of evidence that suggests that the universe is the product of intelligence, not chance.

What’s called the “anthropic principle” says intelligent life is possible only because of a precise combination of “seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics.” As one physicist put it, it is as if the “universe knew we were coming.” And the billions of human cells that make up our body, we know function only because of intelligent information.

Thus, belief in God is far from an irrational leap in the dark, much less a delusion, as Dawkins says. Even Dawkins rates himself only a “6” on a scale of 1 to 7, with 7 being certitude that God does not exist. “I cannot know for certain, but I think God is very improbable,” Dawkins said, “and I live my life on the assumption that He is not there.” That’s a bad bet.*

The great philosopher Blaise Pascal wrote that if there is no God, and you bet your life there is, you have lost nothing. But if there is a God, and you bet your life there is not, you have made an eternal mistake. Or put it this way: If Dr. Dawkins had been on the Titanic and was offered two lifeboats—one certain to sink and the other with a one-in-seven chance of staying afloat—he would not have chosen the one that was sure to sink. That would be irrational.

But there is another kind of evidence for the rationality of belief in God: that is, its impact on human lives and society.

As Christianity spread throughout the Roman Empire, people noticed that, compared to the squalor and general hopelessness of Rome, Christians lived a profoundly different, more hopeful life. This difference made conversion to Christianity a rational choice.

The same thing is true today: Studies of evangelization show that people come to Christianity because it delivers the results. It changes families, which atheistic worldviews cannot.

All of this and more makes belief in God rational and makes one wonder what’s behind disbelief. Philosopher Mortimer Adler, one of the great intellectuals of the twentieth century, believed Christianity was true, but refused to accept it because it would interfere with his lifestyle. In time, he overcame that objection and became a Christian, which, given the evidence, was the only rational thing to do.

http://www.breakpoint.org/listingarticle.asp?ID=1999

This commentary first aired on October 11, 2007, and is part four in a five-part series.

Today's BreakPoint Offer

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Pics from Nicky's Birthday

Here he is, opening his first present on his birthday:


Here he is, happy to get still another new car:


Maryssa with Nicky, posing in his new Cars pyjamas


Nicky's Birthday party cake (Dec 8):


Nicky blowing out the candles:


The Pinata:


I couldn't resistst adding this bumper sticker:

Rear end view with licence plates and bumper sticker:


Nicky, hitting his pinata:


Here he is wearing the soccer warm up suit he got from us, his hair done by Jean-Alexandre, Beckham-style:


Nicky, wearing the Cars pyjamas that he got from our neighbours, and that he wouldn't take off for two days until I finally had to wash them:

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Woman abandons home to escape public schools

POLICE STATE, USA
Woman abandons home to escape public schools
Judge ordered homeschooler to enroll kids or lose custody

Posted: December 20, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

By Bob Unruh
© 2007 WorldNetDaily.com

A Utah woman who was ordered by a juvenile court judge to enroll her children in public school or lose custody of them has abandoned her home, furniture and other possessions to escape the order.

Denise Mafi, a nine-year veteran of homeschooling, has confirmed to WND she and her children packed up their essentials – clothes and homeschool materials – and fled Utah over the weekend, spending more than 50 hours on a bus trip to an undisclosed part of the country.

There she has obtained an empty home and is spending the Christmas break trying to find beds for her children and herself. After the New Year she will involve the children in a local homeschooling process.

read more...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Cree humour

Got this in my inbox:

Top 10 ways things would be different if Santa were Aboriginal

10> At bedtime, kids would leave dry meat and bannock for the big guy.
9> He would wear a red turtleneck to hide his hickeys.
8> Santa's new moccassins are made out of Dasher.
7> His name would be "Santa Bear Claws" instead of Santa Claus.
6> There would be a bingo marker under every tree.
5> His elves would never show up for work on Fridays and sometimes on Mondays too!
4> His sleigh would need a boost every other province.
3> His outfit would consist of a red flannel ribbon shirt, with matching leggings, moccassins and a beaded black belt with matching beaded rimmed hat all to match his oversized gift bag; underneath it all would be a beaded thong with a small delicate plume attached to the back.
2> Indian preference hiring would require you to hire all Crees to fit in those tiny elf outfits.
And the number one way things would be different if Santa were Indian.....
1> According to Indian time, our gifts would arrive in February.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Option to abortion for sick or expected to die unborn babies

An article on the trouble with diagnosing un-born babies and the risk of error. Also mentions the option of hospices for babies expected to die after birth and their families. So families can spend as much time as they can within a supportive atmosphere.

http://www.zenit.org/article-21175?l=english

Sunday, December 09, 2007

From Days Go By

THE UNCREDITED GOOGLE IMAGE MEME

(type the answer to the following questions into Google Image, then pick from the first page.)

1. Age at my next birthday:


2.Place I'd like to travel:



3. Place I've been:


4.Favorite food:


5.Place I was born:


6. Place I live:


7. Name of past pet:


8.Best friends' nickname: (I chose 4 good friends)


9. My first name:


10. First job:


El problema de los chicos de la calle

Asunción, Paraguay, Domingo 09 de Diciembre de 2007

Social


EL PRESUPUESTO EJECUTADO DE LA SNNA ES DE G. 6.430.903.437

Con más de G. 7.000 millones, aún no hay solución para 500 niños

Serían unos 500 niños en situación de riesgo y de calle en Asunción y Gran Asunción, 30 de ellos desvinculados de su familia. No es posible determinar la cantidad en todo el país. ¿Si son 500 niños, cómo es que aún no se encuentra una solución eficaz, siendo el presupuesto de la SNNA de G. 7.053.150.205?


Serían unos 500 los niños en situación de calle y de riesgo en Asunción y Gran Asunción, y alrededor de 30 quienes estarían desvinculados de sus familias. Para el año 2007, la Secretaría Nacional de la Niñez y la Adolescencia (SNNA) cuenta con un presupuesto de G. 7.053.150.205, y de eso se ejecutó la suma de G. 6.430.903.437.

Diciembre es el mes de mayor afluencia de la niñez en situación de riesgo en las calles. Se estima que en la Gran Asunción serían unos 500. (Foto: Malena Olivetti)

Es llamativo que con la existencia además de numerosas organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG), cuya misión es beneficiar a la niñez, no pueda resolverse la situación de riesgo que viven unos 500 niños en Asunción y Gran Asunción. Desde la SNNA, la Lic. Victorina Espínola de Ruiz Díaz señaló ayer que “hablar de una cifra total de niños en riesgo en el país es difícil”.

“No son poblaciones estandarizadas; hoy pueden ser 800, mañana 400. No obstante, está avanzada la gestión de realizar un censo, supeditado a términos de referencia y a costo”, dijo. Desde la SNNA señalan que no puede darse una cifra de cuántos niños en riesgo hay en total en el país. “Hay que entender que se encuentran en Asunción, Fernando de la Mora, San Lorenzo, y es una población que se mueve de un lugar a otro, en especial aquellos niños desvinculados parcial o totalmente de su familia.

Sería riesgoso dar un número exacto, nos brindarán esos datos desde las diferentes consejerías del país. Tendremos hacia el 19 de este mes un encuentro con representantes de esas entidades. Lo solicitamos desde esta secretaría en la última sesión de trabajo realizada en noviembre en Tupãrenda, a través de las Codenis y secretarías departamentales”, señala la ministra. Sobre la situación actual de los niños rescatados de calle Ultima, indicó: “El viernes logramos llevar a tres niños a Tekove Pyahu, en Atyrá, que es una comunidad de rehabilitación. Hoy (por ayer, sábado) los educadores de calle están y seguirán en todo este tiempo para sumar más niños a los programas de atención, como el año pasado, y sacarlos de ese riesgo”.

Victorina E. de Ruiz Díaz

Detalló cómo están trabajando desde las secretarías departamentales y otras entidades: “Realizamos un trabajo con todos los intendentes; hubo un encuentro el 29 de noviembre en Cordillera, y uno de los temas centrales fue extender esa posibilidad de garantizar la atención a la niñez. En casi todos los departamentos se está trabajando coordinadamente, con la Fiscalía de la Niñez, la Defensoría Jurisdiccional de la Niñez y la Adolescencia. Destacamos el trabajo coordinado que se emprendió todo este tiempo. Con Global Infancia existe una alianza de cooperación; igualmente, con Unicef y MPDL trabajando en los demás departamentos. Se han formado redes comunitarias y nacionales de protección a la niñez y adolescencia orientadas a disminuir los riesgos”. Agregó que con los niños en riesgo la labor es a partir de la voluntariedad de los mismos. “Podemos intervenir o abordarlos, pero no obligarlos. Sí puede realizarse una disposición de carácter judicial”, concluyó

http://www.abc.com.py/articulos.php?fec=2007-12-09&pid=377864&sec=37

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cleaning - My favourite chore (not)

I think it is a safe guess that I will be up half the night tonight, doing housework. I was supposed to have all day to do it today, but I remembered I had to go to the CLSC to help out with weighing babies this morning, so that shot the morning to bits. Then I came home, fixed lunch and was going to do some while Nicky was still sleeping, except he woke up 5 minutes after I was done eating. Then I had to take Gabriel to the neighbour's to play with the neighbour boy, and the other kids arrived home not long after. Since then I have been mostly dealing with kids and meals and getting people places and bringing them back. With all these kids it takes me 5 times as long to do anything. I keep forgetting this.

I have managed to clean half the diningroom/kitchen and all of the livingroom upstairs. The children were supposed to do some cleaning of their own, but not that much got done. I also have another neighbour boy over for the night tonight.

It's a good thing though, that there are 7 people in this house, because at least that way, with all the birthday parties, you know that the house will be properly cleaned at least once a month (or every other month) as compared to surface cleaning only.

Although, you might point out that were I single and childless, not only would it take much less time to clean up, it would also take a much looooonger time for it to get dirty again...

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Bravo!

Tout ce que je peux dire c'est "Bravo Brad Pitt!" J'espère que tous ceux qui n'arrêtent pas de faire des commentaires sur Brad et la paternité ainsi que les adoptions d'Angelina, vont se taire maintenant. (Non c'est surement trop demander) Mais oui, on peut être Brad Pitt et quand même aimer les enfants et même vouloir en adopter avec sa copine. Incroyable n'est-ce pas? Vous trouvez qu'il a l'air fatigué et pas bien dans sa peau? Et bien, moi j'en ai cinq et je suis certaine que des fois j'ai l'air fatiguée et pas bien dans ma peau mais cela ne veut pas dire que d'en avoir c'était une erreure ni que j'en ai eu trop, ni que mon partenaire ne m'a pas donné le choix... franchement, ce qu'on peut être idiots pareil. Quand on ne sait plus quoi écrire, il faut inventer n'est-ce pas?

(BUM) Pour Brad Pitt, la paternité est le travail le plus valorisant.

La paternité selon Brad Pitt

Selon People, Brad Pitt a de la difficulté à décrire ce que la paternité signifie pour lui, mais il déclare : « C'est tout pour moi. »

Il ajoute : « C'est le travail le plus difficile au monde, mais aussi le plus valorisant. »

Durant une entrevue avec l'animateur Larry King, l'acteur a expliqué que le fait de revenir à la maison et de partager un repas avec ses enfants, de faire de la discipline et de tout de même avoir l'énergie pour le faire représente à ses yeux tout, et c'est ce qui lui apporte un sentiment d'accomplissement.

L'acteur ajoute que même si trois de ses quatre enfants sont adoptés, il ne saurait dire lesquels puisqu'ils sont tous frères et soeurs et ils sont tous du même sang pour lui.


http://divertissement.sympatico.msn.ca/La+paternite+selon+Brad+Pitt/Nouvelles/NouvellesCelebrites/ContentPosting.aspx?isfa=1&newsitemid=19232&feedname=BUM_CELEBRITIES&show=False&number=0&showbyline=False&subtitle=&detect=&abc=abc&date=False

Happy Birthday to Nicolas

My baby is now two. Not much of a baby anymore, but very much a strong-headed two-year-old. I'd post pictures, except that we are now using the new computer and I don't think the program for uploading pictures is installed quite yet.

St Nicholas's Feast Day - December 6

American Minute with Bill Federer
December 6


Greek Orthodox history tells of Nicholas being born to a wealthy,
elderly couple in what is now Turkey in the year 280 AD.

When his parents died, he generously gave to the poor.

Upon hearing of a merchant who went bankrupt and that creditors were
about to take his daughters, Nicholas threw money in the window at
night to provide a dowry for the daughters to get married, thus
saving them from a life of prostitution.

When the father discovered who gave the money, Nicholas made him
promise not to tell, inspiring the custom of secret gift-giving on
the anniversary of Nicholas' death, which was DECEMBER 6, 343 AD.

Nicholas became Bishop of Myra, was imprisoned under Emperor
Diocletian's persecution and was freed by Constantine. He attended
the Council of Nicaea, helped write the Nicene Creed and preached
against the fertility goddess "Diana" at Ephesus, resulting in her
temple being torn down.

In the 12th century, Muslims Seljuks invaded, killed Christians,
turned churches into mosques and desecrated graves of Christian
Saints.

The bones of Saints Nicholas were shipped to the city of Bari in
southern Italy for protection, thus introducing the traditions of
Saint Nicholas to Western Europe.

The Dutch, who settled New York, pronounced Saint Nicholas "Sant
Nicklaus."

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Gone-ded

Nicolas was climbing up on the window sill this morning yelling "Papa! Papa!" through the window. When I went to get him, Gabriel told me,"He wanted to say bye but he (Papa) already gone-ded."

That Golden Compass Again...

You can watch several videos on the Golden Compass here: http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808718640/video/5305481

I only watched about 6 or 7 of them and here are some of my thoughts:

1. "The ruling power destroyed it (the compass) and forbade the very mention of dust (which was always there, from before the beginning) ..." as they show the image of something that quite ressembles the Vatican... I get so tired of hearing subtle (and not-so-subtle) attacks on the Catholic Church. The Church to me is more than some institution of power. It is the Faith, the Communion of Saints, the Sacred Writings and Tradition handed down through the centuries, the er,... "cheminement" as some things were thrown out or changed or bettered. It is not only priests and bishops and the pope, it is the parishioners too. It is me. You attack the Catholic Church, you attack me.

I realize that in Québec, priests and Bishops had a lot of power and some of them abused it. But this is not the story everywhere. Power hungry and ambitious people will use whatever system they can to get what they want, and if they think the Church can help them, than so-be-it. It doesn't make them representative of what we should expect a Catholic with true faith to be. It does make them representative of humanity, imperfect. And the Church will always be full of imperfect people, as will any other organisation. We do the best we can. In places where the Catholic Church has had little or no power, the whole experience of people towards it is totally different.

The other problem most people have with the CC is where it concerns sexual morality and marriage. (Yeah, I know I'm not one to talk, but if I could do some things over again, I'd probably do them different) But noone says you have to be Catholic. The beauty of the Catholic Church is that you DON'T have to belong to it!

2. As instructors (?) are trying to explain to the girl that sometimes it is best to listen to people who know better, "Nicole Kidman" comes in and undermines them by saying: "I felt noone really understood me except for my daemon and that it would be best if I were free to do as I pleased..." I suppose that is Pullman's way of undermining parental authority and "freeing" kids from their parents' faith and or moral obligations?

Okay, I'm done. I'm not watching the rest or this may get too long. (And I haven't even gotten into the idea of having dust replace God yet.)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Glorifying a lying, rebellious brat

DR. TED BAEHR

MOVIE GUIDE

DR. TED BAEHR


Glorifying a lying, rebellious brat


Posted: December 4, 2007
1:00 a.m. Eastern

Despite the hype, "The Golden Compass" is a mediocre movie with lots of eye candy and too many boring speeches. However, given the promotion budget, many people will see the movie and probably will forget how dull the first two-thirds are, because the battle sequences are so engaging.

Without going into the review of the movie (that you will be able to access at MovieGuide.org the day the film opens), it is important to understand what's wrong with children seeing "The Golden Compass."

While most commentators are focusing on the atheism and paganism in the book, the movie has been slightly toned down so that the more troubling elements are the person of the heroine herself and some of the movie's themes. Children learn their scripts of behavior from movies and entertainment. The more intelligent the child is the more likely he or she will encode the behavior.

The role model for children in this movie is the heroine, Lyra. Lyra is immediately established as pugnacious, willful, rebellious, lawbreaking and deceitful. A witch tells Lyra that she is the fulfillment of a prophecy about a girl messiah who will overthrow authority, especially the Magisterium, a thinly cloaked reference to the Catholic Church.

Although the heroine and her friends are portrayed as the people the audience supports, a little objective examination of who they are would make any discerning viewer question why they're rooting for them. Lyra is known for her lying so much so that her bear friend calls her "silver tongue." In the story, this is a positive adjective. Even pagan and other non-Christian societies have disliked liars, however, so it's very strange that Lyra, the story's heroine, should be commended in this way. In fact, Lyra's lying is often a useful pragmatic device to solve the story's plot problems.

Mrs. Coulter, who turns out to be Lyra's mother, reaches out to the girl a couple times, including saving her from having her daemon separated from her and killed. In return, Lyra tricks her mother into opening a tin can containing a deadly poisonous mechanical insect. Her mother doesn't die, but Lyra doesn't seem to care and, in fact, wants to get rid of her mother. While Lyra is opposed to all authority, including her mother, she easily befriends strangers and accepts their authority and their directives.

Thus, the more one thinks about the world of "The Golden Compass," the more one realizes how upside down and inside out it is. Do parents really want their children hate them, rebel against them and want to kill them? Mrs. Coulter may be the villain, but all she really tries to do in this movie is to save her daughter's life.

Although the story's character motivations are not well developed, Mrs. Coulter and the rest of the Magisterium contend they are trying to protect the children, establish order and give peace to society. The way they express these statements, however, it becomes clear the audience should not trust them. Though most of the dialogue is too didactic, it never answers these motivations. Lyra's motivation to save Roger is clear, but why she hates her mother is not so clear, except that her mother appears to be a very unpleasant character. In fact, several times, the goal of getting rid of the Magisterium and keeping it from imposing its will is commended as part of the ultimate goal of overcoming all authority.

The logical consequences of these claims, however, are contradicted by the plot and by reality itself. Most children go through periods of rebelling against their parents. Quite often, they want to choose strangers instead of their parents. The real-world consequences of such rebellion can be devastating. For instance, one of my boys liked to play soccer across a busy street. When I stopped him from doing so, he directed his anger at me. The next day, a truck hit our family's dog. My boy's perspective, like Lyra's, was self-centered, thinking only of his momentary pleasure. My perspective was to keep him from getting run over like our dog.

What's bad about the movie, therefore, is not overt atheism. That comes in the later books in the three-part series. What's bad is that it creates a heroine who is selfish, willful and stubborn to such a degree that she does not express love, kindness, joy, peace or any of those other wonderful virtues that make us put others before ourselves. The Good News of the Gospel is a message of love and forgiveness, not a message of control. It is a personal relationship with a living God, Jesus Christ, who loves us so much that He has laid down his life for us and has given us new life where we can experience real joy, real happiness and real fulfillment. Every one of the virtues Lyra disdains is a virtue based in love. Her lying hurts others, but telling the truth in love helps others. If, for instance, we could not trust anyone, society would fall apart. Trust, honesty, integrity and the other virtues flow from our love of one another.

Finally, the world portrayed in "The Golden Compass," the book and the movie, is a mean and vicious world. It is too violent and too cruel for children and will plant hateful scripts of behavior in the minds of susceptible youths.

Beyond that, in the interest of self-satisfaction, it motivates children to seek to be joined with occult, demonic powers and principalities to get their own way. The official website has an area where children can meet their own daemon. It says:

"To discover your very own Daemon, look into your heart, and answer the following 20 questions openly and honestly. Your true character and the form of your Daemon will be revealed."

Hollywood may or may not understand the supernatural, but a read of anthropology books such as "The Spirit of the Rain Forest" will reveal how horrible the pagan world of daemons, revenge and magic truly is. "The Spirit of the Rain Forest" about the fierce people of the Amazon is a great place to start because people today have a politically correct aversion to the wisdom of God's Word.

True to form, the daemons in this movie are always fighting, strangling, hitting and causing havoc. Ultimately, the movie's pagan worldview and occult content are confusing, nonsensical and abhorrent, as well as harmful to children and teenagers.

How "The Golden Compass" could have become a popular novel is amazing. Why people are interested in this story that is so destructive of their own happiness is a profound mystery about the human condition.

There are great movies in the theater right now, like "Bella," "August Rush" and Disney's delightful comedy "Enchanted," and there are great movies for rent and sale. Our suggestion is avoid "The Golden Compass" if you don't want to turn your children into spoiled brats who want to kill their parents like Lyra.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Something Interesting from Feminists For Life:

During her oral argument before the Supreme Court, attorney Sarah Weddington argued in favor of legalized abortion —in part— because “a pregnancy can completely disrupt her life….It disrupts her education.” She noted that some women are forced out of college simply because they are pregnant.

Rather than using the legal system to address inequities in education or the workplace, arguing that women are strong and capable, Weddington argued that women need "relief" from these societal pressures through abortion.

Unlike Weddington, Feminists for Life’s summer intern and pro-woman, pro-life student leader, Chaunie doesn't underestimate the ability of women to overcome complex problems.

Chaunie (pronounced “shawnee”) has asked me to share her story with you. This is the first of her letters, and your invitation to share her journey as she faces challenges, receives support, and most of all—to celebrate her unplanned joy.

Serrin M. Foster
President
www.feministsforlife.org

Dear Serrin,

I left my Feminists for Life internship this summer fired up about helping pregnant students on my campus. I had no idea that in a few short weeks I would be one of them.

Four weeks into my senior year I took a pregnancy test, sure that the result would be negative, that I was just easing my mind. I looked down to find two bright blue lines staring back at me. Frantic and disbelieving, I immediately took another test. Positive again.

In that instant, staring down at the two tiny lines that represented the most dramatic change in my life, I understood how women facing unplanned pregnancies can turn to abortion. In that moment of panic and fear, it does not feel like a new life, but rather the end of life as you know it. A million questions race through your mind—what will people think, what will I do, how can this be happening? You just wish it wasn’t happening, wish you could rewind time, wish it would go away.

It’s easy to understand women in crisis wishing that the baby isn’t real, so they can make it go away.

The next day, still in denial and in a very fragile emotional state, I went to the campus health service for confirmation.

A nurse practitioner called me into her office and gave me the results of my test. There was no doubt about it, I was pregnant.

When she started talking to me about telling my parents, I broke down.

I sat in the chair, crying hysterically while the nurse examined her chart. After a minute or two, she stood up and said “I have other patients to see, you can stay here if you want.”

She left me crying and alone to see the only other patient in the center, a young man with a sore throat.

My struggles continued after my visit to health services. I gathered all the information I could find about student insurance. Not one plan covered pregnancy. In fact, all of them specifically stated that they would not cover pregnancy.

Though the university used to have daycare on campus, I learned the President got rid of it a few years ago. Housing was another disappointment; once again, the university used to have family housing but dissolved those dorms for the better-paying first-year students.

I have to tell you, as president of my college pro-life group and an active advocate for women, it was frightening to see the complete lack of resources and support available for pregnant and parenting students at my school.

I understood how women in such a vulnerable situation could feel they have no choices.

In addition to physical and material resources for myself and my child, I needed emotional support.

My boyfriend was scared and uncertain, like me, but supportive. He could offer no words of wisdom, but took my hand and told me that it would be OK. He offered his love and stood by my side.

I was absolutely terrified to tell my parents. Every day that passed without telling them was even more horrible because I so desperately needed their support too.

When I finally worked up the nerve to tell my parents, their reaction was unbelievable. They offered me nothing but love and support, and they were even happy and excited for me! Word quickly spread in my close-knit family and, incredibly, every single family member was supportive, offering to help in any way they could and reassuring me that it was right to celebrate this new life.

I am now happily engaged, planning a beautiful Christmas wedding and eagerly awaiting my next doctor’s appointment, when my fiancé and I will hear our baby’s heartbeat for the first time.

While I have received so much support and love from all of my family and friends, it has still been a struggle adjusting to my new life. There is no easy way to get through an unplanned pregnancy, but with the support I have received, I am managing, and every day brings me more happiness and excitement. As FFL’s Honorary Chair Patricia Heaton says, “Women who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy also deserve unplanned joy.”

I am so fortunate to have received love and support. Sadly, this is not the case for many women who face situations like mine.

More than ever, I realize the vital importance of FFL’s work. I not only believe in Feminists for Life’s mission, I am living it.

I am grateful that FFL is changing the way people think about pregnancy, particularly in higher ed.

It is possible for women to continue with their educations, with their career goals, with their dreams. FFL refuses to choose. So do I.

Serrin, I wanted to share my story because I believe that there is a better way for women. There is a better way for me.

How reassuring it would have been for the campus nurse practitioner to talk to me, discuss my options, offer me support and encouragement, and connect me to community resources.

Instead, she left me alone and in tears.

I can’t imagine how a woman unsure about abortion, uninformed about her resources, lacking support from those she counted on the most, feels she has a choice—what hope is there for a good outcome?

Thank you for helping mothers like me. I’m deeply grateful to the many people who support this important work.

I’ll keep you and everyone at FFL posted with photos and updates.

For women,

Chaunie Saelens
Former Feminists for Life Intern
President of campus Students for Life

PS Please feel free to forward this letter to whomever you think needs to know what is really like for pregnant students.

............................................

www.feministsforlife.org

............................................

"Abortion is a reflection that we have not met the needs of women. Women deserve better than abortion."
REFUSE TO CHOOSE® WOMEN DESERVE BETTER®
............................................

Feminists for Life is a 501(c)3 organization.
All donations and membership contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed to law.
Refuse to Choose and Women Deserve Better are registered trademarks of Feminists for Life of America.
__________________________________________________
* As a personal note, I just wanted to add that I refused to choose myself, and still managed to finish a University degree, as a single mother. Women ARE much stronger than some people seem to think. Oh, and I also recieved much unexpected joy too.