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Farewell John Muggeridge - Dear Friend to Many, Constant Defender of Life, Faith, Truth

LifeSiteNews.com
LifeSiteNews.com

By Hilary White

John MuggeridgeTORONTO, December 1, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) - It is sometimes possible to see in another indications of what men and women are called to be in this life. This Tuesday, at Toronto’s St. Vincent de Paul parish amidst the splendour of the Catholic Church’s Traditional Latin funeral rite, the pro-life community said farewell to one such man, John Muggeridge. In the last years of his life, John was on the LifeSiteNews.com board of advisors and penned a few stories for this service.

John died peacefully in Toronto of cancer which he had been battling with good humour for some years, in the early afternoon on Friday November 25, at Princess Margaret Hospital. He was lucid to the end, having received the last Sacraments of the Church and was surrounded by his family.

John Muggeridge may have been the bearer of an exceptionally famous name, but for himself, the quiet life as the paterfamilias of his large and boisterous Catholic family was his true calling. To most readers, John is probably best known as the son of the late Malcolm Muggeridge, and to Catholics as the husband of Anne Roche Muggeridge, the author of the Desolate City, one of the most salient analyses of the still unabated crisis in the Catholic Church. But to his family, local Canadian pro-lifers, writers, embattled political conservatives, journalists, fellow parishioners and friends John is remembered, in the words of one of his host of admirers, as “the sweetest, kindest, most decent human being we have encountered.”

He came to Canada after graduating from Cambridge University to pursue a teaching career. His first job was in Cornerbrook, Newfoundland, where he met his wife, Anne Roche, the author and formidable defender of the Catholic Church (often from itself). The couple moved to Welland Ontario where they established themselves as the centre of the growing Canadian Catholic counterrevolution. Throughout the tumult of the 1960’s and 70’s they took on a host of causes in defence of truth and the sanctity of life including battling their own Church hierarchy over the inadequacies of the Canadian Catechism, the demolition of the Church’s liturgy, and what they perceived to be the lukewarm response of the bishops to political attacks on marriage and human life.

A long-time supporter of the Canadian conservative movement, John’s influence was such that though few “ordinary” Canadians would ever have heard of him, many of his friends are household names to those who read newspapers or watch television news.

In the chaotic week of John’s final illness, after his admission to Princess Margaret hospital on Thursday, the family was surprised to find a voicemail message from Conrad Black, an admirer of John’s late father, who asked to visit. The joke went around the circle of friends and family in attendance that it may have been the only message Lord Black left that week that was not immediately returned.

The idea, however, that he might have courted fame or conspired to influence would strike anyone who knew him as merely a joke. His preference was for his own dining table or the local pub and it was to him and his family there that the world would come.

John wrote little, largely reserving his mastery of the English language for his defences of the Catholic faith and the sanctity of life in such publications as the Human Life Review, of which he was a senior editor.

John, in his capacity as historical observer was among the first to comprehend the depth and scope of the danger of the left and the legalization of abortion represented to the Canadian polity. He was one of the few historians in Canada, for example, clearly to identify abortion and the feminist and liberal movements since Trudeau’s revolution with its post-war French Marxist roots.
 
  Though John Muggeridge was for thirty years a teacher of English and history – at which he claimed that his greatest disappointment was that he had failed in his self-appointed goal of instilling in his English students the difference between “it’s” with an apostrophe and “its” without - it is not for his years of standing in front of classes that John will be remembered and thanked.

The quiet work of John and Anne for the defence of the Faith, of human life, of simple good sense and kindness spread from the Muggeridge dining table at their house in Welland to inspire all who came in contact with them. These included such Canadian luminaries as David Frum; Janet Smith, the leading defender of the Catholic teaching on artificial birth control; author and columnist George Jonas; Fr. Jonathan Robinson, author and founder of the Toronto’s Oratory of St. Philip Neri and David Warren the prominent columnist in the Ottawa Citizen whom John sponsored in his reception into the Catholic Church.

As Warren wrote in the Ottawa Citizen on Wednesday, John knew the great secret “that ‘instruction’ never works, that it all comes down to tutoring by example; and where love is not, nothing is learned.”

John Muggeridge loved easily and well and it was this love through which he taught. His wife, their children, their grandchildren, other people’s children, their vast collection of friends, the strays and spiritual orphans who were drawn to them, will carry this tutelage of Christian love with them: this is how we ought to be.

We at LifeSiteNews.com were honored to have had John associated with us. His advice and insight will be impossible to replace.

Editor’s Note: Hilary White is a staff writer for LifeSiteNews.com and lived as a tenant in John Muggeridge’s Toronto home for two and a half years where she learned many things.

See also tribute to John from Canadian writer David Warren as published in the Ottawa Citizen:
The good death of a good man
http://www.canada.com/ottawacitizen/story.html?id=c81fa1cd-3773-48e9-b137-e3a9635fa94c&k=52333

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Newsbusters Staff

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Disney ABC embraces X-rated anti-Christian bigot Dan Savage in new prime time show

Newsbusters Staff
By

March 30, 2015 (NewsBusters.org) -- Media Research Center (MRC) and Family Research Council (FRC) are launching a joint national campaign to educate the public about a Disney ABC sitcom pilot based on the life of bigoted activist Dan Savage. MRC and FRC contacted Ben Sherwood, president of Disney/ABC Television Group, more than two weeks ago urging him to put a stop to this atrocity but received no response. [Read the full letter]

A perusal of Dan Savage’s work reveals a career built on advocating violence — even murder — and spewing hatred against people of faith. Savage has spared no one with whom he disagrees from his vitriolic hate speech. Despite his extremism, vulgarity, and unabashed encouragement of dangerous sexual practices, Disney ABC is moving forward with this show, disgustingly titled “Family of the Year.”

Media Research Center President Brent Bozell reacts:

“Disney ABC’s decision to effectively advance Dan Savage’s calls for violence against conservatives and his extremist attacks against people of faith, particularly evangelicals and Catholics, is appalling and outrageous. If hate speech were a crime, this man would be charged with a felony. Disney ABC giving Dan Savage a platform for his anti-religious bigotry is mind-boggling and their silence is deafening.

“By creating a pilot based on the life of this hatemonger and bringing him on as a producer, Disney ABC is sending a signal that they endorse Dan Savage’s wish that a man be murdered. He has stated, ‘Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.’ ABC knows this. We told them explicitly.

“If the production of ‘Family of the Year’ is allowed to continue, not just Christians but all people of goodwill can only surmise that the company Walt Disney created is endorsing violence.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins reacts:

“Does ABC really want to produce a pilot show based on a vile bully like Dan Savage?  Do Dan Savage’s over-the top-obscenity, intimidation of teenagers and even violent rhetoric reflect the values of Disney?  Partnering with Dan Savage and endorsing his x-rated message will be abandoning the wholesome values that have attracted millions of families to Walt Disney.”

Dan Savage has made numerous comments about conservatives, evangelicals, and Catholics that offend basic standards of decency. They include:

  • Proclaiming that he sometimes thinks about “f****ing the shit out of” Senator Rick Santorum

  • Calling for Christians at a high school conference to “ignore the bull**** in the Bible”

  • Saying that “the only thing that stands between my d*** and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper” when expressing his feelings on Pope Benedict’s opposition to gay marriage

  • Promoting marital infidelity

  • Saying “Carl Romanelli should be dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.”

  • Telling Bill Maher that he wished Republicans “were all f***ing dead”

  • Telling Dr. Ben Carson to “suck my d***. Name the time and place and I’ll bring my d*** and a camera crew and you can s*** me off and win the argument.”

Reprinted with permission from Newsbusters

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Jacqueline Harvey

Ending the end-of-life impasse: Texas is poised to ban doctor-imposed death by starvation

Jacqueline Harvey
By Jacqueline Harvey

AUSTIN, Texas, March 30, 2015 (TexasInsider.org)  After five consecutive sessions of bitter battles over end-of-life bills, the Texas Legislature is finally poised to pass the first reform to the Texas Advance Directives Act (TADA) in 12 years. An issue that created uncanny adversaries out of natural allies, and equally odd bedfellows, has finally found common ground in H.B. 3074 by State Rep. Drew Springer.  

H.B. 3074 simply prohibits doctor-imposed euthanasia by starvation and dehydration.

Since H.B. 3074 includes only those provisions and language that all major organizations are on record as having deemed acceptable in previous legislative sessions, there is finally hope of ending the end-of-life impasse in the Texas Capitol.

Many would be surprised to learn that Texas law allows physicians to forcibly remove a feeding tube against the will of the patient and their family. In fact, there is a greater legal penalty for failing to feed or water an animal than for a hospital to deny a human being food and water through a tube.

This is because there is no penalty whatsoever for a healthcare provider who wishes to deny artificially-administered nutrition and hydration (AANH). According to Texas Health and Safety Code, “every living dumb creature” is legally entitled access to suitable food and water.

Denying an animal food and water, like in this January case in San Antonio, is punishable by civil fines up to $10,000 and criminal penalties up to two years in jail per offense. Yet Texas law allows health care providers to forcibly deny food and water from human beings – what they would not be able to legally do to their housecat. And healthcare providers are immune from civil and criminal penalties for denial of food and water to human beings as long as they follow the current statutory process which is sorely lacking in safeguards.

Therefore, while it is surprising that Texas has the only state law that explicitly mentions food and water delivered artificially for the purpose of completely permitting its forced denial (the other six states mention AANH explicitly for the opposite purpose, to limit or prohibit its refusal), it is not at all surprising that the issue of protecting a patient’s right to food and water is perhaps the one point of consensus across all major stakeholders.

H.B. 3074 is the first TADA reform bill to include only this provision that is agreed upon across all major players in previous legislative sessions.

There are irreconcilable ideological differences between two major right-to-life organizations that should supposedly be like-minded: Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life. Each faction (along with their respective allies) have previously sponsored broad and ambitious bills to either preserve but reform the current law (Texas Alliance for Life’s position) or overturn it altogether as Texas Right to Life aims to do.

Prior to H.B. 3074, bills filed by major advocacy organizations have often included AANH, but also a host of other provisions that were so contentious and unacceptable to other organizations that each bill ultimately died, and this mutually-agreed-upon and vital reform always died along with it.

2011 & 2013 Legislative Sessions present prime example

This 2011 media report shows the clear consensus on need for legislation to simply address the need to protect patients’ rights to food and water:

“Hughes [bill sponsor for Texas Right to Life] has widespread support for one of his bill’s goals: making food and water a necessary part of treatment and not something that can be discontinued, unless providing it would harm the patient.”

Nonetheless, in 2013, both organizations and their allies filed complicated, contentious opposing bills, both of which would have protected a patient’s right to food and water but each bill also included provisions the rival group saw as contrary to their goals. Both bills were ultimately defeated and neither group was able to achieve protections for patients at risk of forced starvation and dehydration – a mutual goal that could have been met through a third, narrow bill like H.B. 3074.

H.B. 3074 finally focuses on what unites the organizations involved rather than what divides them, since these differences have resulted in a 12 year standoff with no progress whatsoever.

H.B. 3074 is progress that is pre-negotiated and pre-approved.

It is not a fertile springboard for negotiations on an area of mutual agreement. Rather it is the culmination of years of previous negotiations on bills that all came too late, either due to the complexnature of rival bills, the controversy involved, or even both.

On the contrary, H.B. 3074 is not just simply an area of agreement; moreover, it is has already been negotiated. It should not be stymied by disagreements on language, since Texas Alliance for Life and Texas Right to Life (along with their allies) were able to agree on language in 2007 with C.S.S.B. 439. C.S.S.B. 439 reads that, unlike the status quo that places no legal conditions on when food and water may be withdrawn, it would be permitted for those in a terminal condition if,

“reasonable medical evidence indicates the provision of artificial nutrition and hydration may hasten the patient’s death or seriously exacerbate other major medical problems and the risk of serious medical pain or discomfort that cannot be alleviated based on reasonable medical judgment outweighs the benefit of continued artificial nutrition and hydration.”

This language is strikingly similar to H.B. 3074 which states, “except that artificially administered nutrition and hydration must be provided unless, based on reasonable medical judgment, providingartificially administered nutrition and hydration would:

  1. Hasten the patient’s death;
  2. Seriously exacerbate other major medical problems not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  3. Result in substantial irremediable physical pain, suffering, or discomfort not outweighed by the benefit of the provision of the treatment;
  4. Be medically ineffective; or
  5. Be contrary to the patient’s clearly stated desire not to receive artificially administered nutrition or hydration.”

With minimal exceptions (the explicit mention of the word terminal, the issue of medical effectiveness and the patient’s right to refuse), the language is virtually identical, and in 2007 Texas Right to Life affirmed this language as clarifying that “ANH can only be withdrawn if the risk of providing ANH is greater than the benefit of continuing it.”

Texas Right to Life would support the language in H.B. 3074 that already has Texas Alliance for Life’s endorsement. Any reconciliation on the minor differences in language would therefore be minimal and could be made by either side, but ultimately, both sides and their allies would gain a huge victory – the first victory in 12 years on this vital issue.

It seems that the Texas Advance Directive Act, even among its sympathizers, has something for everyone to oppose.

The passage of H.B. 3074 and the legal restoration of rights to feeding tubes for Texas patients will not begin to satisfy critics of the Texas Advance Directives Act who desire much greater changes to the law and will assuredly continue to pursue them. H.B. 3074 in no way marks the end for healthcare reform, but perhaps a shift from the belief that anything short of sweeping changes is an endorsement of the status quo.

Rather, we can look at H.B. 3074 as breaking a barrier and indicating larger changes are possible.

And if nothing else, by passing H.B. 3074 introduced by State Rep. Drew Springer, we afford human beings in Texas the same legal access to food and water that we give to our horses. What is cruel to do to an animal remains legal to do to humans in Texas if organizations continue to insist on the whole of their agenda rather than agreeing to smaller bills like H.B. 3074.

The question is, can twelve years of bad blood and bickering be set aside for even this most noble of causes?

Reprinted from TexasInsider.org with the author's permission. 

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By John-Henry Westen

I can’t believe how quickly our annual Spring campaign has flown by. Now,with only 3 days remaining, we still have $96,000 left to raise to meet our absolute minimum goal.

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