John Jalsevac

On Facebook, full-frontal female nudity is ok (if it’s pro-choice)

John Jalsevac
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Yesterday, we reported on the protest happening Thursday featuring billboard-sized photos of women’s genitalia on the campus of the University of Cincinnati.

Interestingly, the pro-abortion groups behind the display have set up a Facebook “event” page to coordinate the effort. The page prominently features a photo of the lower half of a woman’s body, completely nude, the private parts prominently on display.

Yesterday I reported this page to Facebook, reasoning that full-frontal female nudity was clearly a violation of their “community standards” policy. After all, an event page is a completely public page that anybody can access. 

But as of today the photo remains prominently featured on the event page. I see from our comments section that other pro-lifers have also reported the page, evidently to no avail.

While it is true that the photo is not particularly sexual, it is certainly pornographic in the sense of being obscene, and there are very few parents who would want their children looking at graphic photos of women’s genitals.

This is a far cry from the debate about whether Facebook should allow tasteful images of women who are breastfeeding (which they have rightly decided to allow). The photo in question serves one purpose, and one purpose only: to depict genitals (and thereby to shock).

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The persistence of the photo raises rather important questions about a double standard when it comes to how Facebook enforces their community standards policy.

On Facebook any post of a graphic image of abortion is subject to rapid censure. Even being a celebrity is no guarantee of immunity. Earlier this year, Saturday Night Live star Victoria Jackson was banned from Facebook for 24 hours for posting a photo of an aborted baby.

At the same time, the social networking site famously removed, and then restored and apologized for removing a leading abortion activist’s post giving detailed Do It Yourself instructions for performing an illegal self-abortion!

And now, it seems, pro-aborts can get away with posting graphic nudity. All, I suppose, because it’s in the name of the “cause.” 

The irony, of course, is that a graphic photo of an aborted baby actually educates people on the reality of a very important social justice issue. It serves a discernible purpose. Many people have no idea what an abortion actually looks like. A photo opens their eyes to the truth and provokes meaningful debate based upon critical facts that were previously missing from the debate.

But how, exactly, does a crass photo of a naked woman educate or create meaningful debate? It doesn’t. It merely shocks and provokes. It is a marketing ploy, no more, and an offensive one at that. This kind of nudity has no place on a public social networking site. 

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Tom and Anne Fritz in the backyard of their home in Chepstow

Wounded hero Tom Fritz needs your prayers

Steve Jalsevac Steve Jalsevac Follow Steve
By Steve Jalsevac

Jim Hughes, vice-president of International Right to Life and leader of Canada’s national pro-life organization, and I drove together for a few hours today to visit a truly great man and dear friend, Tom Fritz, who was terribly injured in a car accident yesterday morning.

It struck us as we were talking how scarce great men and women are these days. There seem to be so few such men and women among all the ruling classes and elites that we encounter every day. In our work we personally meet with, talk to and hear intimate details of many of these disappointing persons of influence. Weakness, fear and concern for personal comfort, careers and especially finances are rampant.

The great German pastor Dietrich Bonhoeffer, who actively worked against Adolf Hitler and shamed many fellow Christians with his courage and who was eventually executed by the Nazis proclaimed, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.”

Tom Fritz, faithful husband and father, pro-life and pro-family to the core, a quiet, humble man of extraordinary generosity, a prolific entrepreneur, a man who loves God deeply, has always been fearless in speaking and acting against evil. 

Tom was the founder of Business for Life along with Fr. Ted Colleton over 20 years ago. Jim and I have also been a part of that organization for all those years and Tom and his wife Anne and their daughter Lisa, also a key Business for Life member and now a LifeSite board member, have become dear friends.

I have never known Tom to be concerned, like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, about what others think of him. His only concern has been what is right and what is wrong and what God expects him to personally do about these things. He has personally given considerable support, including the work of his hands, to Campaign Life Coalition, LifeSiteNews and other pro-life efforts and often delivered his crops to the Food Bank and to Dr. Simone's Food for Children.

Tom is what Jim and I would call one of the truly great men that we have personally known in our lives. He also is someone who would never be comfortable with people writing or saying such praiseworthy things about him, but today I think that it is appropriate to do so.

And now Tom really needs our prayers. He needs your prayers.

Tom is over 70 years of age, but he has still kept working at his Fritz Construction Business and doing good works. Nobody can stop Tom. He is a very robust country boy, farmer and contractor who thrives on heavy work that would kill most men his age. Tom has always loved challenges – the bigger the better. The doctors at the hospital say that his heart is very strong.

Yesterday, for some reason, at 7:15 am, Tom veered across the highway into the back of a large truck, flipped a number of times through the air and onto the side of the road. It took firemen over an hour to free him from the vehicle and then he was immediately airlifted to hospital in Hamilton, Ontario. Another half-hour and he would have lost all of his blood and not survived.

Tom was in surgery for several hours yesterday with massive injuries, including internal bleeding that took several hours to stop. He has many broken bones, a punctured lung, some terrible lacerations, his spleen was removed. He survived that surgery.

Friday night, he was scheduled for 8-12 hours of orthopedic surgery to repair the broken bones in his leg, arms, wrist, chest and hip and elsewhere. That has been re-scheduled for possibly Saturday because of continued bleeding from one of his injuries. He is in critical condition, so there is much concern as to whether he will survive the surgery. After the surgery, there will be a long, painful recovery.

Please pray for Tom and Anne and Lisa and their son Greg and the five grandchildren.

These are salt of the earth good people from God’s country in the tiny, beautiful country hamlet called Chepstow. Tom and Anne have a house and small farm next to their formerly owned Fritz Concrete factory. Lisa, who still works at the former family business and for the construction business, lives down the street with her husband and children. Son Greg and his family live not too far away in the town of Terra.

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Abortion and the mystery of suffering

Melanie Pritchard Melanie Pritchard Follow Melanie
By Melanie Pritchard

When I check my Facebook, I love to see people celebrating and sharing beautiful moments in their lives. But today as I peruse my page, I see heartache.

First I see the mother of a girl I went to high school youth group with sharing that her mother will die of cancer in the next 48 hours. I pause as I remember building gingerbread houses at their home every year at Christmas time, remembering when life was normal.

Then I see a post by a woman who I had talked to at a wedding I attended about a week prior. She has just learned her teenage son has Leukemia and she is pleading for prayers.

I read on to find that another friend who is pregnant has been told that her baby will only survive but a few hours after he/she is born.

My heart aches and I try to hold back tears as I tell to my children in the next room to brush their teeth and get ready for school. Today, our day is normal. Our day will most likely be usual. And, I am grateful for that; but I ache for those whose lives will change today and never be the same.

I ache for those who hurt because I know what it feels like to suffer the intense circumstances that life throws at you when you least expect it. I write each of my Facebook friends a note of encouragement and prayer, but it doesn’t seem enough.

And then I recall how I spent the previous evening. A friend texted me asking for help. A girl he knows was at his house and was determined have an abortion. I tried to support and encourage him through texting while he was trying to convince her to save her child.

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She is 24, had a one-night-stand with a guy at a party, and now she is pregnant and in deep distress. She wants the immediate disappearance of her difficult situation. And why wouldn’t she, when we live in a culture that revolts against any type of suffering?

We live in a culture that creates every gizmo and gadget to make life easier and simple. They have duped us all. There is no real escape from suffering, as my friend whose son has cancer, my friend whose mother will die, and my friend who will lose her child after birth know too well. There is no escape.

This woman who chose to have a one-night-stand with a stranger can legally choose to kill her child in the name of convenience, but it does not take away the suffering she will endure. She can hide that she is pregnant, but she cannot hide from the fact that she is a mother. The only real choice she has left to make is whether she wants to be the mother of a dead child, by choosing to pay an abortionist to kill her child, or to suffer through nine months of pregnancy to sacrifice for her innocent child. Then, she can choose to raise the child or give him/her up for adoption.

Pain hits me in the gut as I think of my friend who would give anything for her child to live a long life after birth, while this stranger is ready and willing to end the life of her child before birth. It is a paradox I don’t pretend to understand, but I pray for each. I pray for the woman who will lose her child to natural causes.  I pray for her strength because I know people in our culture will encourage her to abort her unborn child to save her the agony of carrying full term just to witness her child’s untimely death. I also pray for the woman who will choose to end the life of her child. I am physically powerless to stop either situation from happening, but I will pray because God is not powerless.

I don’t know why we suffer. I don’t know why God allows us to suffer, and I don’t pretend to have all the answers. But what I do know is that when we allow God to be in the center of that suffering, there is hope, there is grace, and there is mercy. It may be a mercy far beyond our understanding, but it is there.

And when we are faced with horrific, life changing news that will rip our hearts apart in the suffering we will endure, we have two choices:

We can separate ourselves in our pain, anger, and heartache from the love of God, or we can cling to the love of God and let nothing—nothing come between us and the God who loves us. The same God who loves the mother who will die a horrible death of cancer, the same God who loves the child just diagnosed with Leukemia, and the same God who loves the two unborn children and their mothers who will make radically different choices.  

The same God who will love and grow us in strength and virtue through our suffering if we allow it.

Through God, all things are possible, and so we must cling to hope for all those who suffer today and pray their suffering brings them right into the heart of Christ who sees it all, who can heal it all, and who strengthens all.

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How do you think a government body whose job it is to make sure that medical treatment does not go over budget, will respond to an opportunity to take these expensive people out of the picture? Shutterstock

How socialism makes old people want to kill themselves: a true story

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Let me tell you a little story.

Once upon a time, my beloved uncle and aunt, who live in northern England, were close friends with a nice couple whom I’ll call Margaret and James. These were perfectly ordinary middle class people, who are of the immediate post-War generation, born in the mid-40s. They worked quite hard all their lives, and built a business, which did fairly well. They had assumed that this work would pay off in the long term, and that because they had planned carefully and wisely, and had saved and lived pretty sensibly, that they were more or less set for retirement. This is, after all, how it is supposed to work.

They were about five years into this retirement, and having a pretty nice time, going on modest holidays, spending a lot of time with the grandchildren, being involved in local civic and cultural organisations… exactly what you would think such salt-of-the-earth types would be up to in the second half of life. Then one day, James had a stroke. He was rushed to hospital and received excellent treatment and care, but the damage was done. James was a long time in hospital, and when he was released to go home, he was unable to care for himself.

The therapists had mostly got him talking again, and he could eat on his own, but he required constant attendance, something his loving wife was, given her age and lack of formal nursing skills, realistically unable to give. James was able to get about the house for a while, but needed a wheel chair when he went out, and his condition deteriorated.

How do you think a government body whose job it is to make sure that medical treatment in Britain does not exceed its budget allocations, will respond to an opportunity to take these expensive people right out of the financial picture?

Finally, the inevitable had to be faced, and Margaret looked into the options. But this is Britain, so all the “options” were whatever the government was willing to provide. This meant that a home help for household tasks and a home visiting nurse were impossible – and of course, a live-in nurse was out of the question.

You see, James and Margaret had worked too hard and planned too well for their retirement. While they weren't so well off that they could afford to pay 100% of the costs of long-term care themselves, they had planned too well in the eyes of the government. 

The Council told them, “You have too much money and too many assets. You can only get James in if you sell your home, liquidate all your assets and give us the money. Once you are jointly worth under 24,000 pounds, then we’ll have a place for you.”

(This sort of thing has become common. Read here.) 

The Socialism that has taken over every public institution in Britain, and crowded and bullied the churches out of their caring role, had taken away all the choices but one. They must impoverish themselves, wiping out any possibility of a comfortable long-term survival for Margaret – and never mind leaving something for the grandchildren, before getting the care James needed. Everything they had worked for all their lives was sold off and given to the government in exchange for care.

It was not very long before James, a kindly and hard working, decent man, started using that peculiar British expression, “being a burden.” He died soon after of natural causes.

The names and details of the story have been changed, of course, but the story is absolutely true.

Falconer's bill

Every year, with the end of the summer holidays and the turning of the leaves come all the joys of the new Parliamentary session, and a return to all our legislative worries, including, perhaps most prominently in the UK this year, the possibility that the mother country will legalise assisted suicide. The Falconer bill is headed back to the committee examining it in the House of Lords, and it is expected to be passed by that formerly august body, and sent off to the Commons.

Recently, the Royal College of Physicians, the Royal College of Surgeons, and perhaps most poignantly, the Association for Palliative Medicine, submitted strong statements against the idea of legal “assisted suicide” (a term that is coming to have very little to distinguish it from outright euthanasia).

They mainly argue that patients suffering from terminal illness are emotionally vulnerable, they can be frightened and deeply agitated, and in a depressed mental and emotional state. They point out that the bill’s main flaw is the concept that a person in such a state could make a valid choice to want to die. They point out that this mental state, that would naturally produce a desire for suicide, is, ipso facto, a condition that would preclude their being able to make a calm and informed decision.

One would think that the statements of these people, doctors who deal directly with such patients, would hold a lot of weight. But if one were inclined to think that, one might also think that ultrasounds demonstrating that an unborn child is in fact a living human being, whom it is wrong to kill, would have put a stop to legalised abortion decades ago. What is at work here is not reality but a determined nihilist, anti-human ideology, a “culture of death,” as someone once called it.

If there are people out there who still think, in the face of forty-odd years of such medical evidence, as well as common sense, that such legislation is based on facts, science and reason, then I suppose no amount of evidence to the contrary will suffice to change their minds. As Professor Peter Kreeft once said in answer to my question about it, “There are some who can only be moved by prayer and fasting,” meaning that we are faced not with science, reason and facts, but the awful, ancient and terrifying mystery of human evil, which will never be fully fathomed by us in this life.

So, yes, this year we again have Falconer’s bill to fight. And, despite the sudden plunge of the proposal’s popularity among medical professionals, the notion of killing oneself with a doctor’s “help” still remains wildly popular among Britain’s public.

While Falconer’s supporters, the organisation formerly known as the Voluntary Euthanasia Society, have claimed that support is at 80%, Care Not Killing counters that the numbers, once numerical clarity has been achieved, look more realistically like 43%.

But while 43% won’t tip the scales in a referendum (no, there isn’t going to be one) it’s still an extraordinary figure. Of a population of about 64 million people, nearly thirty million think allowing doctors to give people drugs to kill themselves or, more likely, to have their relatives do the deed, is a perfectly sane, sensible and reasonable idea.

How did the UK learn to love euthanasia?

It does make one wonder, how did a country formerly known for its stoicism and common sense come to such a cultural pass?

The reasons for the peculiar enthusiasm of British people for euthanasia are varied and complex, and probably have much to do with the terrible hardening of many British hearts that have, apparently, definitively turned away from God and his priority of mercy, love and self-forgetfulness. A thorough examination of the phenomenon would require a fearless dive into the nation’s philosophical and moral history since the English Reformation, and therefore be more or less impossible for a blog post.

But there is one thing that is clearly fuelling the nation’s euthanasia-mania that perhaps is easier to talk about, but that is going largely unnoticed: socialism. All medical care in Britain is provided by the government. All. And the government has this interesting body, called the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE – yes, that’s really it … not making it up…) whose task it is to decide who does and does not get treatment, and, perhaps even more ominously, what “level” of treatment a person is entitled to, all judged according to a precise mathematical formula.

The NICE are, effectively, the triage body, to decide whether your life, or the life of your mum or dad or grandma, is worth spending the money trying to save, given whatever’s wrong with you. For instance, if you are 30 and you have cancer, you might get access to certain drugs or treatments for which a 70-year-old with cancer will not be approved. The principle at work, in its essence, is back to good old British Utilitarianism; Jeremy Bentham’s ice-cold calculation of the “greatest good for the greatest number”. It is still not widely understood that this, the philosophy of the gas chamber, is back with a vengeance as the leading principle in nearly all the hospital and medical ethics boards and conferences in nearly every country of the western world.

Now, with this in mind, how do you think a government body whose job it is to make sure that medical treatment in Britain does not exceed its budget allocations, will respond to an opportunity to take these expensive people right out of the financial picture?

And How long do you think it would take a couple like James and Margaret, who, like most British people, had never been near a church for anything but weddings and funerals since the 1950s, to start to think that a painless injection would be the solution to all their problems? 

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