A doctor’s wisdom

A worried woman went to her gynecologist and said, “Doctor, I have a serious problem and desperately need your help! My baby is not even one year old and I’m pregnant again. I don’t want kids so close together.”

So the doctor said, “Ok, and what do you want me to do?”

She replied, “I want you to end my pregnancy, and I’m counting on your help with this.”

The doctor thought for a little while, and after some silence he said to the lady, “I think I have a better solution for your problem. It’s less dangerous for you too.”

She smiled, thinking that the doctor was going to accept her request.

Then he continued, “You see, in order for you not to have to take care of two babies at the same time, let’s kill the one in your arms. That way, you could rest some before the other one is born. If we’re going to kill one of them, it doesn’t matter which one it is. There would be no risk for your body if you chose the one in your arms.”

The lady was horrified and said: “No, doctor! How terrible! It’s a crime to kill a child!”

“I agree”, the doctor replied. “But you seemed to be ok with it, so I thought maybe that was the best solution.”

The doctor smiled, realizing that he had made his point. He convinced the mother that there is no difference in killing a child that’s already been born and one that’s still in the womb. The crime is the same!

What’s wrong with the AWARE CSE programme?

From a letter to concerned parents written by Catherine Lim:

With reference to the CSE program (which I have not seen), I can say this with confidence: it is probably a well-researched, useful course of instruction providing young people with information on a whole range of sex-related issues (with the homosexuality bits cited by the Christian group actually forming only a small percentage of the total course). Its usefulness is reflected in its adoption by school principals and teachers who, by the standards of their profession, can be trusted to have good judgment and a strong moral sense. Moreover, during the considerable time that it was run, there had been no public complaints, including from the Christian activists, which the Ministry of Education would surely have immediately investigated. Lastly, the Aware leadership, although steadfastly maintaining the position it has taken in the program, has at the same time promised to look into parents’ complaints, reservations and suggestions for improvement. So on the issue of the suitability of the CSE materials for your children, I would say you can rest assured.

This seems to be the reason that supporters of the AWARE CSE programme gives and it seems to be okay with everyone. It reminds me of a story I once read.

A teenage boy once asked his mother for permission to watch a particular movie that received attention for showing scenes of violence and nudity. “It’s only a small portion of the movie,” he explained. “Please, may I go and watch it with my friends? Everyone else is going.”

The mother didn’t answer immediately, but asked him to come back in a couple of hours. When the boy came back, his mother gave him a batch of chocolate chip cookies to eat. Over the cookies, they began to talk about the issue, and the mother shared her thoughts on not wanting him to watch the movie because of the violent scenes.

Again, the boy said, “But it’s only a small part of the movie.” The mother pointed to the cookies and said, “As I was baking these cookies, I ran out of chocolate chips, so I used part of the dog’s faeces instead.”

When the boy heard that, he dropped the cookie he was eating and his mouth fell open in horror. The mother was quick to reassure him, “Don’t worry. It’s only a small portion of the cookies. Take some more.”

“No thanks!” exclaimed the boy.

“Why not?” asked the mother.

“Some has shit in them! I’m not touching it, even if the rest are okay,” he replied.

“And that’s why I don’t want you watching that movie,” said the mother. “Even though the violent parts form only a small part of the movie, it is still bad for you.”

Likewise, even though the homosexual bits form only a small part of the CSE programme run by AWARE, it is still bad for the children. Essentially the CSE trainers having been imposing their own values on the children – that it is okay to be homosexual. It’s not a bad thing.

Some of us say that it is okay to be homosexual, and that we have friends who are homosexual. But I ask: what if tonight, one of your children comes up to you and says, “Dad (or Mom), I’m gay.” What is your reaction? Our immediate and instinctive reaction would be, “Oh no!” Some of us would cry. Some of us would deny it. Why? Because despite what we say about being homosexual, it is something none of us would wish on our children simply because it is not a good thing.

Even so, what do we do when we are faced with a problem of homosexuality that we find ourselves, our friends, or our children having? We deal with it the same way we deal with all the bad things that happen in our lives. We accept it, that this is a cross that we and our loved ones have to carry, and we go through life with the support of friends and family. But we do not go around telling other people, “It’s okay to be homosexual.” Just like we don’t go around telling people, “It’s okay to be blind.”

Homosexuality is not a neutral thing, but that doesn’t mean we should reject the people who have it. If anything, we should be more supportive of people who find themselves burdened with it, because they have a heavier cross to carry and they need our help, our emotional support, and most importantly, our friendship, to get through life, a life that many of us take for granted.

The battle is won! A-WARE to go from here?

Yesterday, the new Exco under Josie Lau resigned after they received a vote of no confidence of 1414 to 761. Long-time members of the NGO has taken over the helm and now the question is: what now for AWARE?

The NGO has claimed the attention of the nation, with nearly 3,000 people in attendance at the EGM held yesterday, and many more waiting to hear the news of who won the fight.

Under the short leadership of the Ms Lau’s Exco, the membership of AWARE has swelled ten times its original, although how much can be attributed to them is another question. Yet to say that they cannot take credit for it is also unfair, because under the Old Guard, membership had been hovering around 300 with only about a third attending the AGM on March 28.

Josie Lau and her short-lived Exco had originally come to bring AWARE back to its original goals, and I think in the short space of time they had, they accomplished their mission – they made the nation sit up and pay attention to what women want. They made women take action and fight for what they want. Bet even they didn’t expect it to be accomplished this way.

The other thing that Ms Lau accused the Old Guard of is letting gay activists use AWARE as a front. That is something I agree with.

An old journalism adage tells us to “follow the money”. People put money into what they value. So we ask: Who funds the AWARE school programmes which teaches children that “anal sex can be healthy” and homosexuality and pre-marital sex are “neutral”? TODAY uncovered that in this article.

So what now, for AWARE? What does this even newer Exco have planned for its over 2,000 members? The nation is watching, waiting to see if the Exco under Dana Lam is up to the challenge. Managing a society of 2,000 (or is it 3,000 now?) people is quite different from managing one with 300 people that Ms Lam is used to.

All of a sudden, women have taken an interest in AWARE once again. Can Ms Lam and her Exco keep women interested in fighting for their rights without having to go through another fiasco? Can her Exco hold on to all its new members or will the membership plunge to the levels of before? Only time will tell.

One thing for sure is, gay activists will not be able to use AWARE secretively as a front any more, now that their cover has been blown and the organisation is under constant scrutiny from the public.

Congratulations Dr Thio Su Mien, you have won the battle. You have helped AWARE to involve women from all walks of life actively participate in fighting for what they want, and you have helped expose the insidious use of AWARE to influence the views of children towards accepting the homosexual lifestyle as normal. A pity that more people cannot see that this is also imposing a certain view on others.

New ad warns same-sex ‘marriage’ activists want to silence opposition

Washington D.C., May 1, 2009 / 01:48 am (CNA).- The National Organization for Marriage on Thursday launched a new advertisement highlighting the efforts of some gay “marriage” advocates to characterize defenders of marriage as liars and bigots. The ad warns of the “devastating consequences” the establishment of same-sex “marriage” would have on religious liberty and claims proponents want to “silence opposition.”

The ad, titled “No Offense,” also refers to attacks on beauty pageant contestant Carrie Prejean, Miss California, after she expressed her support for marriage between a man and a woman.

Asked a question about same-sex “marriage” by Miss USA pageant judge Perez Hilton, an openly homosexual gossip blogger, Prejean replied:

“I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anyone out there, but that’s how I was raised and that’s how I think it should be.”

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) ad reproduces that reply, as well as Hilton’s YouTube video calling Prejean a “dumb b—-.”

The NOM ad also says the organization was attacked as “liars and bigots” for “expressing concern about how same-sex marriage would impact religious groups.”

It then excerpts an MSNBC Hardball appearance by Joe Solmonese of the homosexual activist group Human Rights Campaign.

Solmonese said “It’s no longer palatable in this country or okay to be an outright bigot. If you want to deny us these rights, you need to do it by lying and misrepresenting.”

The ad’s narrator then says:

“Gay marriage activists attack people for supporting marriage because they don’t want to debate the consequences of same-sex marriage. They want to silence opposition.”

It then adds, “some of the nation’s foremost legal scholars” warn that same-sex “marriage” can create “widespread legal conflicts” for individuals, small businesses and religious organizations.

The NOM web site presents a copy of a nine page April 20 letter to the Connecticut House of Representatives by law Profs. Thomas C. Berg, Carl H. Esbeck, Robin Fretwell Wilson and Richard W. Garnett.

The professors’ letter, referring to the book “Same-sex Marriage and Religious Liberty: Emerging Conflicts,” said “legal scholars on both sides of the same-sex marriage debate agreed that codifying same-sex marriage without providing robust religious accommodations will create widespread and unnecessary legal conflict—conflict that will work a ‘sea change in American law’ and will ‘reverberate across the legal and religious landscape.’”

The “No Offense” ad is the second produced by NOM’s $1.5 million ad campaign.

“Our mission is to protect marriage and the faith communities that sustain it,” the group’s executive director Brian Brown said Tuesday. “We want to highlight the very real effects on our liberties and especially on religious organizations, businesses, and individuals.”

According to CNN, Brown said that NOM is concerned that those who oppose same-sex “marriage” are being cast as bigots like those who opposed racial integration.

The ad is viewable at the NOM web site http://www.nationformarriage.org

- Source: CatholicNewsAgency

You can see this happening in Singapore with AWARE.

Something familiar in a foreign land

I don’t like travelling overseas, especially not when completely alone. Actually, I don’t like that so much that in all my 30 years of life, I’ve never left my country completely alone until last month. Even so, I had people sending me off and meeting me there. I just hate the possibility of getting completely lost in a foreign country, especially one in which people don’t usually speak English.

Most of my apprehension comes from not knowing. Not knowing enough about the culture of the place I’m going to. Not knowing if I’m making a mistake. And not wanting to stand out. But mostly trying out something new for the first time.

So when I went to try the Bangkok Skytrain for the first time, I was filled with apprehension. I had read and reread what I could find about the Skytrain, memorized as much as I could about the routes, but I still had the problem of purchasing the tickets.

My eyes lit up when I finally laid eyes on something familiar. In front of me was a grey and white machine with 10 panels, five columns down by two across. Press one of the small rectangle panels and an incandescent bulb behind lights it up. Insert your coins, and the machine spits out a plastic card… a Transitlink card! Except it’s not called Transitlink in Bangkok.

Even so, it was the same thing. The same machine, the same flimsy cards that can get all bent in the washing machine, the same ‘woop woop’ sound that is made when you bent the cards to and fro. Even the entry points to the train station were the same – insert your card horizontally, and the barrier opens with your card being spit out from the top. Take your card and walk through before you get ‘ngiap’ by the barrier.

At last, here was something totally familiar to me. I long wondered whatever happened to the Transitlink system after it was replaced by the EZ-Link card system. I should have known that SMRT would have sold it.

Survey on effectiveness of priests’ homilies

In my last post, I wrote a little about the importance of good communication. Being a priest is all about communication. If a priest is not a good communicator, the effectiveness of his ministry suffers. When your priest gets up on the pulpit and speaks, what he’s doing is communicating. How effective he is as a communicator affects how much spiritual nourishment we, his congregation, receive.

Too often, we have heard complaints about our priest’s homilies. At the parish I used to attend, I was spiritually malnourished until I eventually left the parish for another more nourishing one. Now I am more well fed and happier.

There are many types of homilies as there are many types of priests. The question is: is your priest an artist, a copier, or a communicator?

An artist is one who focuses on self-expression. If your priest is an artist, he just wants to express himself and his opinions. He doesn’t care whether you get the message or not and, most of the time, his audience doesn’t learn much or fail to grasp what he is trying to say.

A copier is one who doesn’t do original work. If your priest is a copier, he gets his homilies from somewhere else and passes it off as his own. It could take the form of wholesale copying such as using another preacher’s homily, or it could take the form of repeating information he found in a book or article somewhere.

A communicator is one who focuses on the recipient. If your priest is a communicator, he is interested in you and does all he can to effectively transmit his message to you. This kind of priest is most interested in improving his homilies and is often open to constructive criticism.

At the suggestion of a priest, I have created an informal survey on the effectiveness of our priests’ communication skills during their homilies. Please take a few moments to respond to this short survey:

http://www.zoomerang.com/Survey/?p=WEB229458ZSF2D

Powerful Weakness is weak advertising

I’m not sure if you caught this advertisement on page 9 of the Catholic News this past weekend, so I’m highlighting it to you. It’s an advertisement for the upcoming diocesan vocation retreat in May.

Diocesan Vocation Retreat

I didn’t see this advertisement. I totally missed it until Tabitubby highlighted it to me. She said it’s a terrible advertisement. I took a look at it and I agreed. You know an advertisement is lousy if it doesn’t leave an impression on the viewer.

First, the choice of colours is very bad. It’s so grey and dark that it’s not attractive at all. It doesn’t catch people’s attention… and advertisements are supposed to catch people’s attention. You don’t waste good money to advertise something that turns people off. The choice of using white text on a grey background also makes it hard to read. It’s a poorly designed advertisement.

There’s a saying “Put your money where your mouth is.” If the diocese doesn’t put its money where its mouth is – paying good graphic designers to design good advertisements – then all its talk about promoting vocations is just talk. At least that’s the negative publicity this kind of advertisement does for this cause.

It wasn’t always this way. Do you remember the advertisement of two hands holding up two glasses? One was a glass of wine; the other hand was holding a chalice. I can’t remember the tagline… something about living a life or something like that. But the message was clear: you can choose to serve yourself or serve God. That was a good advertisement and it has left a lasting impression on me.

Second, what is this advertisement trying to say? What’s “Powerful Weakness”? What is the quote from 2 Corinthians saying? Is it saying that priests are weak people and God will provide whatever it is that they are lacking? Is it saying that the diocese is looking for weak people to become priests because God can work through them this way?

Yeah, right. Get someone who is morally weak and send him to the seminary and see him get turned away. Get someone whose health is weak and send him to the seminary, and also see him get turned away.

What is the advertisement really trying to say? Whatever it is, it’s not saying it clearly. In other words, it’s not effective communication if the recipient can’t get the message. What it is saying is that the diocese vocation team needs to work harder on its communication skills.

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