On 55 Hours of Freedom, Springily

My 55 hours of freedom began with a dinner party. To add to the slight stress of meeting new people, there was also the panic of the location – an upscale eatery. Confident in my knowledge of which silverware to choose (learned watching Titanic – just work your way in), I selected my favorite sweater dress. It’s navy and red, short and tight enough to be alluring, and high-necked enough to be modest. Plus, you don’t have to worry about a necklace, since you’re covered. That plus tights and boots and a little bit of eyeshadow turned me into a very compelling dinner companion. I remembered to grab my sense of humor on the way out the door, and had a lovely evening. Also, I ate everything. All of the meats. It was spectacular. If all I need to do to go have entertaining conversation and delicious food is put myself together, I will happily do that any day.

When we got home, we decided that we were going to sleep in the igloo we made last week during the epic spring blizzard. (I got sent home due to a power outage at work on Wednesday, and so we spent 6+ hours building this amazing 6’ tall snow fort – the man encapsulated it on Thursday, and thus, we are now in brief possession of an immense front yard igloo.) We hauled out blankets and pillows and snacks and fell asleep in our snow cave. It was not a night of great sleep. I was cold and sore, my hips protesting about the ice below them, my body protesting about the lack of heat and the cold everywhere. At one point, I decided I’d be generous and give the man my hat (bad decision for me), and I think we woke up at least 7 times that night. Lots of pulling and rearranging.

However, on the plus side, I now know that I do not want to pursue snow-camping as a hobby, and I’m glad I didn’t have to drive to the mountains to figure that out. But it was fun. Our friends stopped by very late in the night (after we’d gone to sleep), so it was fun to wake up to a yell of, “They’re in there!” and have a late night igloo meeting.

Saturday brought cat-snuggling. Carlos has been missing me, because I’ve been a terrible cat mother lately, and so I went home Saturday morning to snuggle him. And in theory, to finish cleaning (ha, guess how that turned out?). Then there was a yoga party – we built a two-story tall snowman and had the most delicious sangria before coming home and napping hard. After the nap, we broke for Easter preparations and then made dinner (the leftovers from the steakhouse were amazing).

Easter Sunday – as usual, it was too cold to wear my Easter dress, so I selected a pink lacy shirt and jeans. I’m trying to get into softer, more lady-like colors, but I’m still not convinced. If it’s not black, I don’t know about it. Adulting is proving to be harder than I thought, at least sartorially.

We had first breakfast. I was excited to meet new family, and there were jelly beans involved (which is never a bad thing). Then we had brunch with my dad’s family, and stopped off to see my grandpa at the nursing home before we headed back home to wait for AAA to pick up my brother’s car, which had stopped working. Ha, trying to push an SUV into our busy street was quite the adventure. It got stuck in the hole next to our driveway, and so it had to hang out half in the street and half in the driveway until the tow truck driver could get there.

I brought my 9-year old to my mom’s family’s Easter dinner. She’s my favorite person – a small blonde bundle of energy. She had flowers and a card for my grandma, as well as a chocolate bunny, and she made bunny cake! (Everyone knows how to make bunny cake and I feel like it’s something I’m going to have to learn how to do – I’m into the idea of being able to garnish a cake with all sorts of additional sources of sugar, and when we were at my grandma’s house, I ate all of the Easter-flavored twizzlers off the cake while we were cutting it.) She’s so talkative! (Maybe I was that talkative at that age?) She’s headed off for Spring Break, and she goes to the same elementary school that we all went to, so we had a lot to talk about.

I wanted to show her some acro yoga, because I imagined that she’d enjoy it since she does gymnastics. As it turns out, she loved. Poor boyfriend could not catch a break. She had him going through pose after pose after pose, determined to learn more. At one, she was demanding that we do something really cool. It made me laugh to see how excited she was about it, and how determined. He told her that once she learns how to do a handstand, she can do a lot more. She was super eager, and he was a really good sport about letting her leap all over him. When we dropped her back off at her house, she made him do it all over again to show her parents. It was really sweet.

I was exhausted. 55 hours isn’t quite long enough, is it? I feel like this week is going to bring a lot of necessary errand-completion and tasks to be checked off, so I’m feeling productive and excited to leap into it.


On the State of the Church, Heretically

I’m really not sure why I hate the Pope so much. It’s not all Popes, just Benedict. (Fun fact: John Paul II and I have the same birthday, which we share with Tina Fey. Yeah, I’d be jealous of me, too.)

Benedict was always too conservative for the good of the Church – the tide of losses in both your youth and already established bases isn’t going to be helped by electing a Pope whose hypocrisy and lack of transparency serve to make the Catholic Church the butt of jokes the world over while alienating many of the faithful with your antiquated catechism and refusal to adapt to modernity. I’m not wrong here.

Don’t sit there thinking, “Oh, but tradition!” (In your best internal British accent…for some reason.) I think it’s high time we called Vatican III and sorted this out. I really think we can do something about the issues plaguing Catholics around the world. Also, a good shaking up in the ranks of the Cardinals wouldn’t be the worst thing. They’ve gotten far too comfortable.

The Church has gone through some rough periods after missteps by its leaders. However, the Church carries on – but it’s up to its leaders to make sure that the Church stays on the right moral path. (Think of the souls currently rotting in hell – if there is one – because they thought their purchased indulgences would save their souls. The Church definitely got the last laugh there – tons of cash money and a less-crowded VIP section heaven.)

My prescription for the Church: 1. Vatican III 2. A pope from either Africa or Central/South America. 3. A pope who’s not approaching octogenarian status. Just a thought.

Additional reading: These two articles made me laugh this morning, contributing to my excellent mood.

On Education, Gratefully

My word for 2012 has been “gratitude.” I have tried to be more mindful of the wonderful blessings in my life and express gratitude in all areas of my life. First things first: I have improved dramatically at writing and remembering to send Thank-You notes. I think that may be the only real deliverable; the rest of my gratitude practice has been solely in my own mind and heart.

As I’ve been crawling, inching, barely progressing on the series Breaking Bad, I’ve been reflecting on my own life, my own decision-making rationale, my gifts and support systems. Of course, the onslaught of gratitude and related emotions has been a refreshing reminder of how beautifully hopeful and heartbreaking life can be.

But the greatest gift I’ve ever been given was my education. From the age of three, I was enrolled in private, Catholic schools. While I realize that Catholic schools are a hot-mess of crazy (this is true), I also realize how valuable the emphasis on education is. I remember begging my parents – pleading my case every single year – to let me go to public schools. They didn’t.

I went to a Christian Brothers high school, but my real luck came from the Jesuit university I attended. The Jesuits are noted for their commitment to the education of the whole person. If there’s one thing I took away from my college experience, it was “solidarity.” While Loyola may not be known for their commitment to the betterment of Rogers Park (I think it’s a no-win situation, as far as land ownership goes, but on the plus side, the Loyola stop is in pretty good condition. and there used to be a Dunkin Donuts!), they’ve always emphasized service-learning and commitment to communities of all kinds, more than just their own student body.

My professors there were not all devout Christians, but they were all devout scholars and educators (give or take a few). One of my favorite professors was a women’s studies professor who taught some of my feminist theory classes. She was a devout Catholic, but freely admitted that as a woman, she had problems with some of the catechism. I so adored her commitment to her faith but her willingness to question it and call attention to its hypocrisies and flaws. It allowed me to see the Catholic faith in a new light, and for that, I will be forever grateful.

While attending Loyola, I lived in one of the most racially diverse neighborhoods in the city of Chicago, which is already a wonderful blend of everywhere. But that’s not the point, even though I will carry pieces of Rogers Park in my heart forever. The point is that my educational experiences have left me a more rounded, grounded, rational human being. I’ve traveled to Europe for a forensic trip because I was lucky enough to have the most badass forensic teacher (we had one of the only forensic science classes in the country at the time) ever. Loyola prepared me to open my heart and mind to the conditions in the townships in South Africa.

All of this education has left me curious, well-informed (mostly), and most importantly, someone who cares about the well-being of all human beings (solidarity, solidarity, solidarity, and so on).

Regardless of your religious views (trust me, I have plenty of opinions and don’t ever get me started about the current Pope), this article should give you hope for the future and hope that educations such as mine will continue to cultivate a love of learning in young minds everywhere:

By Carl Bunderson

Denver, Colo., Oct 16, 2012 / 03:03 am (CNA).- Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School based in Denver, Colo., has nearly doubled its enrollment in just one year by introducing a classical curriculum.

“This is something people want, and they’ve wanted it for a long time, and now it’s available,” principal Rosemary Anderson told CNA Oct. 10.

Our Lady of Lourdes is a pre-kindergarten through eighth grade school. The parish’s pastor, Monsignor Peter Quang Nguyen, had helped turn around a number of schools in the Archdiocese of Denver which had been in danger of closing. He was assigned to Lourdes five years ago.

When Msgr. Quang hired Anderson to be principal in 2010, the school was in “quite a bit of debt” and had only 104 students enrolled. That figure is 180 today.

The school’s capacity is 235 and Anderson believes that by the next school year, “we’ll have to start wait-listing kids.”

“The biggest problem when I came on was that everyone thought the school was going under. The attitude has changed…Now people know this place will be there, and their kids are getting a phenomenal education, and parents don’t have to worry that it will close in a few years.”

“I’m very grateful for Monsignor Quang’s support. None of this would have happened if he wasn’t completely on board,” she added. “We were right in this together.”

Anderson noted that classical education is meant to help students learn how to think, rather than merely teaching them “subjects.” The program at Lourdes school was inspired by 20th century author Dorothy Sayers’ essay “The Lost Tools of Learning,” and the work of Laura Berquist, who was involved in the founding of Thomas Aquinas College – a Catholic university in southern Calif. which uses the classical model.

“She’s a huge influence,” Anderson said, “she founded a homeschooling curriculum called ‘Mother of Divine Grace’ and is brilliant in the ways of classical education.”

The foundation of classical education is a set of three methods of learning subjects, called the trivium, which is made up of grammar, logic, and rhetoric.

Lourdes school will focus on the grammar and logic phases, and will introduce the eighth graders to rhetoric.

The trivium “happens pretty naturally” using the classical curriculum, and ideas of grammar and logic and integrated into the subjects taught to students: “it flows naturally from the way teachers are teaching,” Anderson expressed.

This year saw the hiring of five new teachers, in a faculty of 15 total. And out of those five, four have either had a classical education or taught in a classical school,  Anderson reported. “I brought in people who know what the vision is…they’re confident in how to teach” classically.

Anderson noted that the school drew in numerous students who had previously been schooled at home. Several homeschooling parents enrolled their children as this type of education wasn’t available before. “Now they know there’s something that will sync up with what they’ve taught” their children.

Several non-Catholic families have also come to Lourdes just for the classical education, Anderson said. She expects that group to grow as well, “because it’s a great education.”

Parents at the school are very invested in the classical model, which she “welcomes completely.” She pointed to the Catholic teaching that parents are the primary educators of their children, and that “we’re just here to help them.”

Anderson was encouraged to differentiate her school, and with the “support and knowledge”of Bishop James D. Conley – former apostolic administrator of the archdiocese – chose to follow this approach to education as a way of imparting to students the art of learning.

“The classical approach is Catholic, through and through,” said Anderson. While “other schools are doing great things,” “no other Catholic schools in the diocese are doing this yet.”

The school’s re-organization will be a three-year process. The first year, which is occurring presently, involves a re-vamp of the English department and the introduction of Latin classes.

Latin was introduced in place of Spanish because of its importance as the basis of all Romance languages. Students “logically process things better when they know Latin,” said Anderson. She pointed to high school freshmen who “test into honors French, without having had any French before, just by knowing the root language.”

Latin is important for the grammar stage of the trivium because its nouns decline, or change their ending according to function they are performing in a sentence. This helps students to better understand how languages work, and it is coupled with the memorization of poetry.

The second year of the school’s rehabilitation will consist of a renewal of science and social studies.

“We’re not necessarily changing the material we’re teaching, but how it’s given to the kids, which is a step away from dependency on textbooks,” said Anderson.

Students will be reading more primary sources for history, and in English classes, reading historical novels to tie-in with their history classes.

“All the classes are very intertwined. What they’re reading in English should correspond to what they’re learning in history, and in history should be able to carry over to the virtues they’re learning about in religion, so it’s all very integrated.”

Morgan McGinn is in her second year at the school, and teaches second grade. She discussed how the move to classical education has changed her teaching style.

“I have to read and discover knowledge on my own before I can share it with my kids…It’s definitely changed my teaching; I can’t just look at a book anymore and read the lesson, and be prepared for the next day.”

“I’ve had to almost flip everything I know about education upside-down to teach classically,” she said.

Her students are now “required to think more,” rather than having “the information they need to know fed to them.”

The holistic approach of classical education, meant to build up the whole person, translates to an emphasis on the fine arts. “We already had a great performing arts and speech department here…so that was already very integrated,” said Anderson.

The school’s music and performing arts teacher, Patricia Seeber, is a veteran of the school, having taught there for 13 years.

“The feel where we’re at spiritually with the kids, that we’re making that the most important part of the day, has shifted for the better,” she said.

“It just feels like they’re really responding to it in a great way.”

In keeping with the introduction of Latin into the curriculum, Seeber has added Latin hymns among the songs prayed at the school’s bi-weekly Masses.

“We raised the bar I think a step or two higher than a lot of schools do, and the kids really rise to the occasion.”

Lourdes’ classical education is meant to help the students realize their full potential “spiritually, intellectually and socially,” and help draw them to God through the true, the good, and the beautiful.

The parish’s maintenance director, Bryan Heier, reflected on Anderson’s leadership at the school, saying “with enrollment as high as it is so quickly, she’s doing something right.”

On Statistics, Offensively

The Harvard Business Review emails me a daily stat every day. Why? I don’t know, maybe it’s the direct correlation between my assumed importance and the amount of email clogging my inbox every day. Or perhaps it’s the thought that one day, this stat will somehow come into play in the final round of bar trivia.

I can see it now – it’s the final question, we’re down by 15, ready to throw in the towel and bet zero to finish third, or worse. Everyone turns and looks at me, and I raise my chin in a combination jaunty-defiant smirk and then I lift the pencil (I hate pencils so much – they’re never sharp. They’re dull and sad and horrible) and scribble the answer. Then we will win, beating the second place team by a narrow 5. There will be cheers, and yelling, and confetti….

Since this is reality and that’s not likely to happen, ever, I stick to reading my daily stat, because I’m weak. I’m the worst at unsubscribing from things. I hover over the “unsubscribe” button and then I think, “Wait! What if at some point something contained in this or future emails is useful?” and then I don’t. And then I complain because my email inboxes are littered with junk.

But today’s stat made me laugh out loud in the grocery store.

Anti-Atheist Bias Is Based on Distrust of Nonbelievers

In a series of psychological experiments conducted in Vancouver, Canada, participants revealed that they considered atheists to be less trustworthy than a number of groups often considered to be outliers, including Muslims, gay men, and feminists, and only as trustworthy as rapists, according to a team led by Will M. Gervais of the University of British Columbia. The lack of trust in atheists may reflect people’s assumption that individuals tend to behave more ethically if they believe they are being monitored by a higher power, the researchers suggest.

My first thought was “What’s wrong with feminists?!” and then I forwarded the message to Maddie. My eloquent message? “Lol feminists.” Her response? “Haha, never trust a feminist. Or a rapist.”

I identify as agnostic, so I’m not nearly as terrible as the godless atheists, and thanks to Catholic schools, I definitely have some behaviors (like making the sign of the cross every time I see a fire truck or ambulance) that I can’t shake. I totally get the overarching idea that people who aren’t governed by their God are more likely to behave badly, but isn’t that basically saying that you believe that humans, when left to their own devices, are horrible people? Did Original Sin teach us nothing about blind trust? (Well, maybe the men didn’t learn much, but women have certainly been paying for it forever.) I personally don’t see myself as being an untrustworthy person, and that’s without a defined spiritual being keeping me on the straight and narrow with the threat of eternal damnation and the hellfires hanging over my head.

But regardless of the religion-induced distrust of the mysterious “other”, I’m seriously irked that feminists are outliers. What? Have we still not come to terms with the fact that each and every human being (biological sex markers be damned!) is an important part of our global community, so much so that we distrust people who believe in that kind of equality? I may not have the physical strength of ten God-fearing men, but I have characteristics and qualities that make me equally valuable and worthy of respect. Does that make me untrustworthy? Or just scary because I’m less obedient and therefore “unknown”?

Whatever, I guess the moral of today’s stat is never trust a feminist. Or a rapist. Or maybe, don’t trust someone who thinks that feminists are only slightly more trustworthy than rapists.

A Little Love Goes a Long Way

After trying to explain to one of my grandmothers on Mother’s Day that the Church (big C) can get in the way of God, I saw this article today and thought of how much the world has to learn about who/what “God” really is.

I was shaken after leaving my grandmother’s house, and my thoughts went back through my life, turning over and over the interactions that may have driven my father’s side of the family to dislike me so immensely. I’ve sometimes wondered if it’s because I hang out with gays. (I asked Jacob last night if I was okay to drop the “the” and just say “gays”, and he said that since I’m a honorary gay, it’s okay.) They are so very uncomfortable about anything “gay” and my utter embrace of the culture may have offended them.

And as I was talking to my mom about how frustrating all of this is (not just the family hating me part, but also the family – and lots of other people – hating gays part), she said, “Katie, if more people had a Jacob, there’d be a lot less hate in the world.”

And my heart sort of melted. She’s not wrong.

I wish everyone knew how much their hate could hurt. I wish everyone knew what this little boy knows. God is love. God does love. God’s love is good.

For those of us humans who choose to embrace religion, it’s important to remember that actions speak louder than words. Professions of hatred, such as the ones by the Westboro Baptist Church, are not in keeping with the teachings of Christ. Whatever faith you embrace (or don’t embrace), use today to spread a little love. Set a better example.

Kid Told Westboro Protesters ‘God Hates No One’ Because, ‘That Is True’

Categories: ReligionNational News

01:40 pm

Josef Miles, making his own statement.

EnlargePatty Akrouche/Facebook.com/FeverDreamsJosef Miles, making his own statement.

“I just don’t like seeing those signs and I kind of wanted to put a stop to that.”

That’s 9-year-old Josef Miles’ simple explanation for why he held up a notepad that said “GOD HATES NO ONE” as supporters of the tiny Westboro Baptist Church staged another small demonstration featuring their signs that say God hates homosexuals.

His Mother’s Day Weekend action in Topeka, Kan., which we we reported about last week, won Josef fans across the Web after photos of him started to spread. Today, he and his mom spoke with Tell Me More host Michel Martin.

Josef’s mother, Patty Akrouche, told Michel that she and her son have often seen the Westboro Baptist protesters in Topeka, where the church is based. As we’ve said before, Westboro Baptist has gained notice in recent years for protesting against homosexuality, abortion and other issues outside the funerals of military veterans and celebrities.

Josef had in the past asked her about the signs, which feature an objectionable F-word when referring to homosexuals. Akrouche had told her son that the signs were using “a hate word” to refer to men who love men and women who love women.

As he reflected on that, Josef said, he decided that “I didn’t want everybody to think that Topeka has a bad image.” So on the day earlier this month when they came upon the protesters again, “I thought about it for a minute” and concluded that “God hates no one” would be the right thing to say.


Because “that is true,” Josef said.

Akrouche told Michel that “it’s a privilege and honor” to be Josef’s mom. She has better conversations with him, she said, than with many adults: “I learn something new from him every day.”

As for Josef, he felt “really brave and confident” that day (the Westboro protesters “were respectful,” by the way, according to Akrouche). And now he’s a little surprised by the attention he’s gotten. “I thought it would be just, like, ‘oh, that’s really great, good for you,’ ” he said, not something that would go viral.

Source: NPR

On Obama’s Awesomeness for Today

Yay! I love this:

Victory! Obama Stands Up to Bishops and Protects Birth Control Coverage

January 20, 2012 by  · Leave a Comment

Great news! Despite months of fierce lobbying by the U. S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Obama administration announced today that it would not exempt Catholic hospitals from the Affordable Care Act requirement for insurance plans to cover employees’ birth control. The news, which comes on the first day of Trust Women Week, is a welcome victory for feminists.
Back in November, feminists were concerned that President Obama might cave in to the Bishops’ pressure to exempt religious institutions. If the Bishops had their way, it would have meant that organizations that aren’t actual churches–such as colleges, universities and hospitals–would get out of covering birth control in insurance plans for their students and employees, despite an HHS ruling last August that birth control constitutes preventive care and should be covered with no copay. Feminists–including Feminist Majority President (and Ms. publisher) Eleanor Smeal–have loudly urged the administration not to let Catholic Bishops deny no-cost birth control coverage to millions. Here is Smeal’s response to today’s announcement:
At last—concern for women’s health trumps pressure from the Catholic Bishops. Millions of women who may have been denied access to birth control with no co-pays or deductibles will now have full access. I am especially pleased that college students at religiously affiliated institutions will now have coverage for birth control without co-pays or deductibles under their school health plans beginning in August 2012.
Birth control is the number one prescription drug for women ages 18 to 44 years. Right now, the average woman has to pay $50 per month for 30 years for birth control. No wonder many low-income women have had to forgo regular use of birth control and half of US pregnancies are unplanned. This decision will help millions of women and their families.
Some religious institutions will be given a one-year extension–from August 2012 to August 2013–to implement the no-fee coverage. Here are the details of the ruling:
  • Insurance plans that already cover birth control, including those of religious institutions, must do so with no co-pays or deductibles starting August 2012
  • All student insurance plans at religiously affiliated universities must cover contraception with no co-pays or deductibles beginning August 2012
  • Non-profit religious institutions that do not currently cover contraception have until August 2013 to do so with no co-pays or deductibles
  • Only women who work directly for a house of worship, such as for a church, synagogue, or mosque itself, are exempted from this required coverage
Photo of President Obama from Flickr user lednichenkoolga under Creative Commons 2.0

On Abortion Opinion Pieces (this is one of them)

I realize that there are different sets of beliefs on this planet. I really try to see the other side of things. It’s so hard to understand where people who don’t believe the same things as you are coming from. To understand that is the first step toward being able to rationalize their thought process. Or perhaps for mutual respect and compromise. Oh wait, compromise isn’t real.

I get that you, believing whatever it is you believe, might want to turn a news story into something that fits your own agenda. So you write an opinion piece and then you publish it. People read it. That’s great. Now they’re aware of your opinion and they’re seeing the connection between whatever it is that you wrote and your agenda.

Below is an article about how Steve Jobs’ adoption “defied Planned Parenthood’s abortion agenda.”

Seriously? That’s how you want to use his death? I guess it got my attention, so you must be doing something right.  Actually, I was distracted while reading an article that used such terminology as “the abortion business” and how Planned Parenthood, said “abortion business”, by offering birth control such as free condoms, is bilking Medicaid out of millions of dollars. Since I couldn’t verify the validity of the article – and I tried – I could not tweet it for the healthcare company I do contracted social media work for. So naturally, my next move was to spend twenty minutes digging through this site reading anti-everything articles. To my surprise, there was a very rational one about Gardisil (the HPV vaccine) and religion, abstinence, and parenting. I recommend reading it.  And then getting your kids vaccinated. 

Abortion accounts for only 3% of Planned Parenthood’s services. 3%. Their agenda is not in fact abortion. It’s not to kill of all the unborn babies. They’re not grim reapers sitting in dark alleys waiting for pregnant women to happen by so they can lure them into killing the kid. They do a lot of other things, too. Good things. Cancer screenings, free condoms, birth control, testing. 
As someone who was adopted (and was arguably closer to the possibility of abortion than most of you who came from married people or single mothers who chose to raise you), I am so pro-life it’s ridiculous. While I would personally never have an abortion, I do see it as a viable option for those who fall pregnant in really bad circumstances. Of course it’s not birth control. Of course it’s actually not that hard not to get pregnant. But accidents happen. And abortion – in serious moderation – isn’t the end of the world. (See the second article, below the Steve Jobs one, for 10 questions for pro-lifers.) 
(I put a socio-economic rant in here but then deleted it. In conclusion: life is really beautiful, but it can be really ugly, too. Also, insert medical issues that could affect mothers’ health. Those can get problematic under anti-abortion laws. Abortion isn’t really the issue for me. It’s not my thing. It’s the fact that laws that govern abortion really govern my body. And my body belongs to me. I worry that it’s a slippery slope from anti-abortion to anti-…well, anything. I don’t want the government to be able to assert eminent domain over anything connected to my reproductive system or any other system either.) 
This really bothers me on a personal level. Steve Jobs’ biological mother was a graduate student. She made an active decision to give him up to a family. She made them promise he’d go to college. She wasn’t plucked from the operating table mid-abortion to achieve some sort of salvation for the future-tech-god living inside of her. She made a choice that didn’t involve Planned Parenthood at all. But again, it’s just an opinion piece.

Steve Jobs’ Adoption Defied Planned Parenthood’s Abortion Agenda

by Ciara Matthews | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 10/10/11 10:21 AM

Following the news last week, the nation is in mourning over the loss of one of this country’s greatest innovators, a man who has shaped technology, communications and human interaction and networking in a profound and unprecedented way. Apple visionary and co-founder Steve Jobs has left an eternal footprint on mankind that will be forever seen in the way we interact and connect with the world around us.
But, if Planned Parenthood had any say over his destiny, chances are he would have never been given the chance to live such an extraordinary life and lead the next generation of technological advancements.
Born February 24, 1955, Jobs was given up for adoption by his parents because of pressure his biological mother received due to her relationship with his biological father. He was adopted as an infant by Clara and Paul Jobs who named their new son Steve Paul Jobs. And, the rest, as they say, is history.
Thankfully, the man the world has come to know and love due to his success as Apple co-founder, CEO, revolutionary, innovator, and entrepreneur as well as Chief Operating Officer at Pixar Animation Studios, was given a chance at life, a life that Planned Parenthood denies approximately 330,000 unborn babies each year. According to Planned Parenthood’s own numbers, in 2008 it was reported, the organization gave 2,405 adoption referrals the entire year. In that same time they performed 324,008 abortions. This means that for every adoption referral Planned Parenthood gives, it performs 134 abortions.
Clara and Paul Jobs valued the life of a child Planned Parenthood labels a “crisis,” and Steve Jobs did not become just another “problem” Planned Parenthood attempted solve.  Steve Jobs adoptive parents, as well as his birth parents, what Planned Parenthood refuses to see – a helpless life with the potential for greatness.  He could easily have been an abortion statistic.  The world has been touched by Steve Jobs because he parents recognized the value his life held. While the beginning of his life may have been “unintended,” the life and legacy of Steve Jobs had meaning and purpose. He accomplished great things in his 56 years. Unfortunately, the abortion industry has ensured that the potential and greatness of millions of boy and girls will never be realized.
Learn more about other great thinkers, entertainers and leaders that were given a chance to accomplish great things thanks to their mother’s decision to choose life.

From Ms. magazine:

10 Questions for Anti-Choice Candidates

October 20, 2011 by  · 65 Comments 

Amanda Marcotte posted an interesting rant at Double X yesterday about the cognitive dissonance between the desire of anti-choice individuals to make abortion illegal and their unwillingness to address the legal issues that would arise if that happened:
The widespread delusion that advocating for bans on abortion won’t mean that abortion is, you know, banned, runs so deep that if you ask a typical anti-choice obsessive how much time women should do for breaking the law they wished existed, they straight up can’t answer the question because they’ve quite literally never thought that banned means banned.
Click the link above and you’ll see what she means–many anti-choice individuals haven’t ever thought about that detail before. It made me think: There are a lot of questions I’d like to ask candidates running for office over the next year.
1. How many years do you consider to be a fair prison term for a woman who has an abortion?
2. How many years for a doctor who performs one?
3. Will the punishments be greater the second time around? 
4. Where will the state get the money necessary to prosecute one-third of all American women for this crime?
5. Forty-two percent of women who have an abortion have incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level (that’s $10,830 for a single woman with no children, if you’re counting). When women are forced to have children they cannot afford to raise, will those children become wards of the state or simply new Medicaid recipients? Where will the state find the money necessary to support them?
6. Will you be willing to watch your wife die in front of you when her life is threatened by an unsafe pregnancy that no one is allowed to do anything about? Your daughter?
7. Will rapists have to pay child support to women who are forced to have their children?
8. Will the child of incest be in the custody of its rapist father or the father’s teenaged daughter, his mother? In fact, 18 percent of women who have an abortion in America are teenagers. Will they be required to drop out of high school to raise their children or will the state provide free childcare?
9. Will upper-class white women be prosecuted as vigorously as other women who have abortions?
10. You are aware that upper-class white women have abortions, aren’t you?
Help me out here, what else would you like to have asked? The only way to hold people accountable for their views is to question them relentlessly. These people are running for office–ask them what kind of society they envision creating.