Sunday, October 6, is Respect Life Sunday, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) have declared entire month of October as Respect Life Month to remind all of the need to respect life from conception to natural death. The theme of this year’s respect life emphasis is “Open your hearts to life!” The Respect Life Program of the USCCB emphasizes several respect life topics such as abortion, support for single mothers, assisted suicide, the death penalty, domestic violence, and marriage and family issues.
Georgene: We so enjoyed hearing your first story, “Between Heaven and Ground Zero” and how God sustained you through that time. Many of us have wondered what happens in the long term. It’s one thing to survive an event and to go on for a period of time, but when everything changes in such a dramatic way, there has to be a residual impact on life. You write about that, as well as the similarities of the lives of many of us whose circumstances may be different but are equally devastating.
Haskin: One of my catchphrases is, “as long as we live, life will keep happening”. We have no control over what goes on in our lives and whether we are experiencing the ups or the downs. But one thing that is constant—one thing that’s sure—is that life is going to keep changing and nothing is going to stay the same, except for God and the peace that he gives us through the change and through the ups and downs. He is this wonderfully consistent hand that gives us peace, comfort, encouragement and hope through it all.
A new poll shows that a majority of Californians are poised to reject a law that opens public school showers, bathrooms and locker room facilities to students of the opposite sex based on “gender identity.” The poll conducted by SmithJohnson Research for the Privacy For All Students coalition showed that 51% of voters oppose the recently-enacted law (AB 1266) while only 34% support it. [The question asked and details of the poll are provided below.]
“The results of this poll are extremely encouraging, and show that Californians reject the idea that the most private school facilities should be opened to students of the opposite sex based on a claim of gender identity,” said Karen England, a member of the Privacy For All Students coalition that is working to qualify a referendum giving voters the final say on the recently-enacted AB 1266. “Even when read the very biased ballot language written by Attorney General Kamala Harris, a large majority of voters reject it, Most voters surveyed are strongly opposed to this new law.”
By Paul Louis Metzger
Multnomah University Professor New Wine Skins Ministry
As you may know, I edit a journal for The Institute for the Theology of Culture: New Wine, New Wineskins called Cultural Encounters. We have a new issue out and I’d invite you to take a look. I’ve reprinted the Editor’s Introduction here, giving you a sampling of what is in this issue. If it piques your interest, head on over to the journal, subscribe, and read!
Was Moses a feminist? It all depends on what texts from the Torah one emphasizes and what one means by feminist. If one takes to heart such texts as Genesis 1:26–31 on male and female sharing in the image of God and lordship in the creation, Genesis 2:18, 20 on ezer, meaning “helper” (perhaps even “warrior”; the same word is used for God as a “strong helper”), and Genesis 3:16 on a man ruling over a woman because of the fall, one might think of Moses as a feminist. Of course, there are other texts that are taken by many interpreters to suggest that the society Moses helped form under God’s direction was patriarchal (See, for example, Ex 20:17; Ex 21:2–4, 7; Nm 5:11–31; Nm 18:1–7; cf. Ex 28:1). Still, even if one were to argue for patriarchy, God places limits on it to protect women’s rights in a post-fallen state (Ex 21:7–11). Feminist or non-feminist, Moses was no male supremacist.
Archdiocese of Portland joins Pope Francis in a Day of Fasting and Prayer for Peace in Syria
Catholics in the Archdiocese of Portland are encouraged to join Pope Francis in participating in a day of fasting and prayer for peace in Syria on Saturday, September 7. In an address at the Vatican on Sunday, September 1, Pope Francis directly referred to the situation in Syria:
How much suffering, how much devastation, how much pain has the use of arms carried in its wake in that martyred country, especially among civilians and the unarmed! I think of many children will not see the light of the future! With utmost firmness I condemn the use of chemical weapons: I tell you that those terrible images from recent days are burned into my mind and heart. There is a judgment of God and of history upon our actions which are inescapable! Never has the use of violence brought peace in its wake. War begets war, violence begets violence.
Bill Donohue comments on the three-part PBS documentary, “The Life of Muhammad,”:
No one likes to see his religion trashed, and from everything we have learned about “The Life of Muhammad,” Muslims have nothing to worry about. The New York Daily News says the film could be subtitled “Islam 101,” boasting that “If it helps with greater understanding, it has done its job.” A professor who appears in the series praises it for its “balance.”
However, a look back at PBS’ treatment of the Catholic Church yields few films that could reasonably be dubbed “Catholicism 101,” or that could in any way be praised for promoting “greater understanding.” In fact, most of the films were flagrantly imbalanced.
University of Portland to host U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and annual Red Mass on Thursday, September 19 University of Portland
Oregon’s top Catholic University
University of Portland will host U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas and the annual Red Mass on Thursday, September 19. Prior to the Mass, Justice Thomas will appear at 4 p.m. in the Chiles Center on campus, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. The event, “A Conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas,” will feature Justice Thomas answering questions from University of Portland political science professors Gary Malecha and William Curtis.
The University’s Red Mass will follow at 5:30 p.m. in the Chapel of Christ the Teacher on campus. Presiding at the Mass will be The Most Reverend Alexander K. Sample, Archbishop of Portland.
This year it made national news when a local Gresham bakery, Sweet Cakes, was involved in a dispute with a gay customer. The customer ordered a cake to be made for a gay wedding. Aaron Klein, co-owner of the bakery, declined to create such a cake citing their personal religious beleifs. The couple later filed a complaint with Oregon Attorney General for discrimination. You can view the national story here. The Bakery, Sweet Cakes, has closed their office. They now plan to only operate out of their home.
U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall and Portland State University released the findings of a research study documenting that at least 469 children were the victims of sex trafficking in the last four years.
The Portland State University (PSU) study was sought by the United States Attorney’s Office and conducted in partnership with the Department of Human Services Child Welfare (DHS) and the Sexual Assault Resource Center (SARC), in order to quantify the scope of child sex trafficking in the Portland area and provide data to guide intervention and services for these children.
“The results of the PSU study are truly shocking,” said U.S. Attorney Amanda Marshall. “The data confirms that we have a devastating epidemic of child sex trafficking within our community – an epidemic that demands action.”