July 30, 2014

Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to Birth — Visualized

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Tell me this is not a miracle, and I'll respond that your vision is truncated. From the filmmaker: The mathematical complexity of how these things are done [the rapid development of the child in the womb] are beyond human comprehension, and even though I am a mathematician I look at this with a marvel; how did these instruction sets not make mistakes as they build what is us? It's a mystery, it's magic, it's divinity. … [Read more...]

Something Deadly This Way Comes

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- HT: OrthodoxNet.com Blog The insatiable appetite of the Culture of Death The debate over abortion comes down to one essential issue — the moral status of the unborn child. Those making the case for the legalization of abortion argue that the developing fetus lacks a moral status that would trump a woman’s desire to abort the child. Those arguing against abortion do so by making the opposite claim; that the unborn child, precisely because it is a developing human being, possesses a moral status by the very fact of its human existence that would clearly trump any rationale offered for its willful destruction. This central issue is often obscured in both public argument and private conversations about abortion, but it remains the essential question. We have laws against homicide, and if the unborn child is recognized legally and morally as a human being, abortion would be rightly seen as murder. In the main, abortion rights advocates have drawn the moral line at the moment … [Read more...]

Catholic Politicians Who Attack Church Should Remember God’s Judgment

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With stern words Roman Catholic Bishop Daniel Jenky of Peoria, Illinois warned Catholic politcians last Friday that any collaboration with "assaults against the faith" would one day face the judgment of God. Orthodox bishops should take notice. The report states: When asked specifically about recent actions of Democratic Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius Kathleen Sebelius and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Bishop Jenky replied “I am utterly scandalized.” “The Lord once said ‘if you deny me at the end, I will deny you,’ this from our most merciful, good Savior. And so if it is a choice between Jesus Christ and political power or getting favorable editorials in leftist papers, well, that’s simply not a choice.” Some leaders in the Catholic Church compromised with secular politicians for many decades, just as Orthodox leaders have done. The difference is that the Catholic Church remained clear about the moral precepts protecting innocent life while in some … [Read more...]

Catholic Bishops to Obama: No Compromise, Rescind the Mandate

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Source: Vatican Radio Full text of the US Catholic Bishops' statement in response to President Obama's proposed changes to the HHS mandate: The Catholic bishops have long supported access to life-affirming healthcare for all, and the conscience rights of everyone involved in the complex process of providing that healthcare. That is why we raised two serious objections to the "preventive services" regulation issued by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in August 2011. First, we objected to the rule forcing private health plans — nationwide, by the stroke of a bureaucrat's pen—to cover sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause abortion. All the other mandated "preventive services" prevent disease, and pregnancy is not a disease. Moreover, forcing plans to cover abortifacients violates existing federal conscience laws. Therefore, we called for the rescission of the mandate altogether. Second, we explained that the mandate … [Read more...]

Obama and the Dictatorship of Relativism

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When the Manhattan Declaration first came out, Orthodox signers came under considerable criticism. Too much culture wars was the usual response. I signed the document because I saw that efforts to institutionalize secular liberalism could only succeed if dissenting voices were silenced. The cost of that silence is high and will include the loss of liberty if it succeeds. Secular fundamentalism allows no prisoners. Below Samuel Gregg examines the historical antecedents of the present conflict and writes, "(T)he Catholic Church's fight — in fact, the fight of anyone, believer or non-believer, who recognizes secularist fundamentalism as a danger to freedom — against the despotism of "there-is-no-moral-truth..." is only just beginning." He's right. Source: American Spectator | Samuel Gregg There is no moral truth and Rawls is his prophet. If there was ever any doubt about one of the Obama Administration's key philosophical commitments, it was dispelled on Jan. … [Read more...]

65 Orthodox Church Bishops Call on Obama to ‘Rescind’ the ‘Unjust’ Contraception Mandate

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Source: LifeSite News NEW YORK, NY, February 6, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – The 65 canonical bishops of the Orthodox Church have asked President Barack Obama and Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to repeal the mandate that religious institutions provide birth control, sterilization, and Plan B abortion drugs in their health care coverage. The Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America – which represents 12 Orthodox jurisdictions and three million Orthodox Christians in the United States – issued a press release last Thursday calling the HHS ruling a violation of religious conscience. “The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion,” the statement says. “This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for ‘contraceptive services’ including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their … [Read more...]

Gov. Michael Dukakis on OCN “Politics, Faith, and Integrity”

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AOI Observer reader Andrew Estocin asked for a separate posting on the recent interview of Gov. Michael Dukakis on Orthodox Christian Network. I am glad to oblige because, like Andrew, I too have been critical about the lauding of Greek Orthodox politicians by the Greek Orthodox Church without any mention of their often radical positions against the sanctity of life. Dukakis is a Baby Boomer has the Kennedy-esque view that the first function of government is to foster cultural change. He says as much when he decries the racism and anti-semitism of past eras and implicitly credits government with changing it. Unfortunately the interview never gets past the surface of these beliefs and assertions. It would have been interesting for example, to ask the Governor if he had changed his mind on any issue, what he learned about governing that he thought was true but wasn't, and so forth. Listen here: … [Read more...]

Bishop Demetrios (GOA) Speaks on Sanctity of Life Sunday in Chicago

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Below is the address given by Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos at the Pan-Orthodox Sanctity of Life Vespers held in Chicago on January 22, 2012. To his credit, Bp. Demetrios has been unequivocal in his support of the sanctity of unborn life, including participation in the March for Life in Washington, DC four or five years ago. Bp. Demetrios is also opposed to the death penalty and spoke about that as well. Thankfully he avoids the politically correct shibboleths. He came to his position when counseling a death-row inmate who was subsequently executed. His argument that the application of the penalty can be arbitrary is compelling (I have deep misgivings about capital punishment for the same reason), but the morality of capital punishment remains an issue about which reasonable people can reasonably disagree. I'll leave the rest for the discussion. Source: Greek Orthodox Metropolis | His Grace Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos His Eminence Bishop Demetrios of Mokissos was … [Read more...]

Met. Jonah Leads Prayer at March for Life

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Source: Koinonia As reported earlier on oca.org, His Beatitude, Metropolitan Jonah offered the opening prayer during the program that preceded the March for Life here on Monday, January 23, 2012. “Roman Catholic Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, who is in charge of pro-life activities, invited the Orthodox bishops to stand together with the Roman Bishops, as we are of one mind in regards to Life, and for us to begin to alternate giving the opening prayer for the March,” Metropolitan Jonah said, reflecting on the March. “This year, they gave the honor to me to bless the opening of the March for Life on their behalf, as well as on behalf of the Orthodox. With me at that podium, at my request, was Cardinal-elect Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. “This is a significant ecumenical event, a strong gesture of unity, and a great symbol of the respect of the Roman Catholic Church for the Orthodox Church in America,” Metropolitan Jonah continued. “We are of one mind in opposition to abortion … [Read more...]

The Pro-Life Cause, Orthodoxy, and Hope

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Source: Frederica | Frederica Mathewes-Green - A talk for an Orthodox Christian Pro-Life Event; January 22, 2012. Today is the 39th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion—through all 50 states, for any reason whatsoever. When I was a college student, back in the 70’s, I was in favor of legalizing abortion. I wasn’t a Christian then, but I was a feminist, the first feminist in my dorm, and I was loudly in favor of social revolution and women’s rights. I took it for granted that abortion was necessary, if women were ever going to be equal to men. Of course, I didn’t think the number of abortions would ever be very high. Most of us, at that time, assumed that women wouldn’t want to have abortions, and would do so only in the most extreme situations. Things didn’t turn out that way. As of last June, the number of abortions since Roe v. Wade was 53,600,000.    (NRLC estimate of … [Read more...]

Alexander Tsiaras: Conception to Birth — Visualized [VIDEO]

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Image-maker Alexander Tsiaras shares a powerful medical visualization, showing human development from conception to birth and beyond. (Some graphic images.) TEDTalks is a daily video podcast of the best talks and performances from the TED Conference, where the world's leading thinkers and doers give the talk of their lives in 18 minutes. Alexander Tsiaras is president and CEO of Anatomical Travelogue, Inc. and has more than 20 years of experience in the worlds of medicine, research and art. Much of the work for his book, “From Conception to Birth: a Life Unfolds,” was done in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health, the National Museum of Health and Medicine of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, and the New York University School of Medicine. Tsiaras is a regular keynote speaker at medical conventions worldwide, including the Visible Human Conference sponsored by the National Library of Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, and by Medicine Meets … [Read more...]

This Isn’t Meddling — It’s Murder

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Source: AlbertMohler.com | By Albert Mohler In the name of personal preference and for social reasons, some women now demand that their multiple babies be aborted so that they will have only the one baby they want. Euphemisms are the refuge of moral cowardice, and no euphemism is so cowardly or so deadly as “reduction” — a word that sounds like math, but really means murder. The August 14, 2011 edition of The New York Times Magazine makes this fact clear in its cover story, “The Two-Minus-One Pregnancy.” Reporter Ruth Padawer first takes her readers into the examination room of an obstetrician who is about to abort one of two fetuses within the womb of a woman identified as “Jenny.” Padawer writes: As Jenny lay on the obstetrician’s examination table, she was grateful that the ultrasound tech had turned off the overhead screen. She didn’t want to see the two shadows floating inside her. Since making her decision, she had tried hard not to think about them, though she … [Read more...]