July 29, 2016

Universities revise hiring policies: Conservatives need not apply

The new hiring policy at the University of Cincinnati is straight out of a George Orwell novel. Since July 1st, everyone from full professor to part-time custodian is now required to swear allegiance to the cult of Inclusion and Diversity.

If you want to apply to any hourly-wage job on the UC campus, you will need to write a paragraph explaining "how your qualifications prepare you to work with faculty, staff and students from cultures and backgrounds different from your own."

And if you would like to teach students or work as office staff, get ready to submit a "Diversity and Inclusion statement” describing your “contributions (or potential contributions) to diversity, inclusion and leadership". In other words, show your track record of belonging to or promoting the pet interest groups of the left.

July 21, 2016

Romance porn: More women are addicted than you think

My latest piece, published today by Crisis Magazine:

Every year, pornography tangles up millions of people in its sticky spider webs. It rolls them up like hapless flies, and sucks out their brains until they are pretty much the walking dead. Christians are not exempt. And we are finally starting to admit it and talk about it.

But there is still something missing in the discussion. Most of the time, articles about the negative effects of pornography focus on men. Women have set up lawn chairs on the sidelines, often as despairing wives who wonder how to deal with their porn-entangled husbands.

And this seems only right, because many of us believe that pornography is mostly a male problem. Although women are increasingly consuming pornography, the majority of users of internet porn are still men. For instance, CovenantEyes reports that "68% of young adult men and 18% of women use porn at least once every week","64% of Christian men and 15% of Christian women say they watch porn at least once a month", and "Men are more than 543% more likely to look at porn than women."

But what if these statistics are not giving us the whole picture? What if they are ignoring a huge segment of the pornography industry, a segment which affects millions of women just as powerfully and negatively as internet pornography affects men?

Click here to read the rest at Crisis Magazine.

July 11, 2016

How bad will it get? Bracing for religious persecution in the West

Note: this piece has been reprinted by LifeSiteNews.

A poignant passage in Immaculée Ilibagiza's book Left to Tell recounts how her father, a proud and prominent Tutsi in their village, resisted leaving Rwanda in the spring of 1994, shortly before the genocide. The signs of brewing violence were becoming increasingly obvious, but Ilibagiza's father was determined to be a sign of hope for his Tutsi community. He remained almost incomprehensibly optimistic, refusing to believe that the worst could happen. So, his family forfeited chances at making an escape, rejecting the last getaway plan the very night before their own village was attacked.

Then suddenly, it was too late. The killing sprees began like rain out of gathered clouds, and Ilibagiza's mother, father and two brothers lost their lives almost immediately. Ilibagiza herself survived only by miraculous luck, spending three terror-filled months crammed into a small hidden bathroom with several other women.

When I first read Left to Tell, the attitude of Illibigaza's father struck me as incredibly naive. Even though he paid the ultimate price for his quixotic hope in human goodness, I felt a certain anger at him for being so stubbornly blind as to throw his whole family into the path of machetes. How could he have been so foolish?

But as I continued reading about the Rwandan genocide, I discovered a rather surprising thing: the story of Ilibagiza's father was not unusual. In the face of oncoming danger, many people seem remarkably resistant to the suggestion that very terrible things can happen.

June 27, 2016

Pope Francis, is sorry just the beginning?

Yet another airplane interview, and the Pope has done it again: this time, his verbal bomb is that the Church should apologize to gays. In fact, saying 'sorry' is apparently not enough, and the Church should also ask for forgiveness. 

Most of the Pope's explanations for this were characteristically vague. But there is no doubt he agrees with Cardinal Marx about the pain that the Church has supposedly inflicted on the homosexual community, and about the need for an apology.

Well, hold on Pope Francis. Let's remember that Cardinal Marx went a lot further still. Saying 'sorry' was just the beginning. The "Marxist Cardinal" (as the Pope seems to enjoy calling him, only it doesn't seem to be just a joke) also said that the Church should take a positive view of same-sex relationships, and that the Church can't oppose civil unions.

And that, right there, is really shocking. It is nothing less than a call for change in doctrine, a revolution in the Church. And maybe, schism.

April 13, 2016

Amoris Laetitia: The Pope's Big Tent Plan

There is a lot of really good stuff in Amoris Laetitia. It's a huge document that is mostly a goldmine of solid, strong quotes expressing Church teaching on many different subjects involving the family. If the liberals were sticking their fingers in the door, hoping to make some leeway for same-sex marriage, reproductive technologies, abortion, or even contraception, they got their fingers slammed instead.

BUT. There is also a small amount of bad stuff. Namely, those references to letting priests decide to let some divorced and remarried Catholics possibly receive the Eucharist, in what looks like a violation of Church rules, because apparently conscience might make it okay.

Does that sprinkle of bad stuff, like too much salt, spoil the whole stew? Many sure think it does. Particularly if, as David Warren suggests, the stew was cooked just so that sprinkle could be added.

Others, like Fr. David Longnecker, are of the opinion that such a conclusion is uncharitable and unbecoming, akin to "picking through the Pope's exhortation like carrion crows". We should take time to digest the stew, not for a few hours or days but probably for a few months at least. Then we'll be able to speak more about it.

But here's the thing. The world is burning around us, we are now in Sodom. And our besieged leader has just issued a statement. Well, what does Fr. Longnecker (with all due respect) think we're going to do? File it away and sit on it for months? Not a chance.

We will scan each line with bated breath and eager anticipation, hoping to see, like those patriots behind the ramparts in the American anthem, whether our banner still waves over the home of the brave and the land of the free. Has the Pope given in to those liberal pressures, or is the Church still standing its ground?

For us in Sodom, that is the question. And all else is just...stew.

April 7, 2016

Why believe in God?

I know I shouldn't be blogging about Easter anymore, nearly two weeks after our speeding culture has moved 10,000 miles past that drive-by destination. Here I am doing it anyway.

This year, our Easter was not about egg hunts and fun times. Easter hit us hard this year, right over our heads, with its real message about life and death. It's a message that we are supposed to remember each year at Easter, but we are never quite ready for the full reality of it.

We spent this Easter praying intensely for the lives of two people: a dear friend who was recently diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, and a close family member who spent Easter Sunday in very serious condition in a hospital bed. We are still praying for them both.

Not much of a "happy" Easter. But the essence of Easter was in a sense more present to us over Easter weekend than perhaps all of those other years when entertainments and amusements were at the forefront. Because Easter is not about bunnies, eggs, or hot cross buns. It is our annual appointment with death itself. It is supposed to make us think about where we are all headed, quite inevitably. No one is exempt from it, not even God.

March 20, 2016

Trumped by Entertainment: The Death of American Common Sense

Here is the billion-dollar question: why are so many people attracted to Donald Trump? Why is the Republican base of common-sense ordinary folk going gaga for a man who couldn't be further removed from their lives and concerns, a man who until five minutes ago seemed to care not a wit for America and only concerned himself with amassing wealth and growing personal fame by torturing apprentices in a reality TV show?

March 13, 2016

Failing Grade: why we left Ontario's public Catholic schools

As some of my past readers may know, this past September all of our children entered the public Catholic school system here in Ontario. My husband and I had been really hoping that the public system, even with its myriad of problems, would at least be bearable. 

After all, our local Catholic school had scored extremely well on academic indicators (as measured by the Fraser Institute). We were not expecting perfection. We knew there were lots of problems with the public system (to state the obvious: Wynne's outrageous new sex-ed curriculum).

But like many parents, we told ourselves that we could keep our kids on the right path through open discussions. Whenever our children came across things we disagreed with, or even in advance of certain lessons at school, we would just unteach and reteach, explaining how and why our own values were right.

So for the past several months, we tried to go along and get along. Until two weeks ago, when our mounting concerns reached a boiling point, and we made a decision. We pulled out our children and returned to homeschooling for the rest of this year.

It was a painful decision, but inevitable. Our encounter with Ontario's public Catholic school system was a huge disappointment on too many levels.

September 21, 2015

Why is abortion ignored by genocide studies?

Recognizing abortion as a modern genocide.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum surely qualifies as one of the world's best resources on genocide studies. The museum concerns itself not only with the Holocaust of World War II, but also with other modern genocides, such as those in Bosnia, Cambodia and elsewhere. Currently, the museum website presents a big feature on "The World's Refugee Crisis" involving Syrian refugees.  

How can it be then, that I search the museum website in vain for even a single reference to the worst mass killing of all time: the continuing loss of human life through abortion? How is it possible that the museum website provides the audio of lectures such as "How Might Another Holocaust Be Prevented?", paradoxically in complete ignorance of the holocaust of unborn children that is happening at this very moment?

This strange omission is not unique to the Holocaust Museum. Indeed, abortion is the shocking blind spot of the entire international community of justice seekers, truth defenders and human rights activists, which includes innumerable organizations including Amnesty International and other human rights groups. 

How can it be explained that this very community, filled as they are with zeal for preventing and ending genocides and mass atrocities around the world, has not noticed the ongoing murder of over 57 million unborn human beings in the United States alone (since Roe v. Wade)? 

This incredible and catastrophic ignorance surely begs for some kind of explanation. One day, answers will also be demanded by incredulous future generations.

September 19, 2015

End of tolerance in Ontario: Schools can force kids to learn gender ideology

Ontario sex education curriculum harms democracy

New immigrants to Ontario may have thought they were coming to the land of milk, honey, multiculturalism and tolerance. But they are experiencing a great disillusionment. They may have escaped tyranny in their home countries, but they have only jumped from the frying pan into a growing new fire.

Here in Ontario, we are witnessing the end of real tolerance. Earlier this month, Ontario Education Minister Liz Sandals made it clear that the Ontario government will allow school boards to mandate that children attend portions of the new sex-ed curriculum.

Gotta give it to Sandals, this is a smart PR decision. It makes the province look benevolent - they wash their hands of the dirty work. It will be the local school boards, not the Wynne government, who forces kids to sit through the gender ideology propaganda. Wynne can claim innocence when the election rolls around, and even blame the parents - "if you don't like what your school board is doing, take it up with your trustees".

Meanwhile, the bureaucratic juggernaut of the school boards is already rolling forward the hardline. In Mississauga, the Peel District School Board  Director of Education recently gave a speech where he put it this way:
CTV screenshot of Tony Pontes, Peel District Education Director"If they ask for an accommodation, in other words to be exempted from a discussion around same-sex families, we would not provide that accommodation."