Friday, May 24, 2019

PODCAST - Walking in History, CC012

As we were walking through an antique sale, I was intrigued by so many items that opened the door to our history.  Join me in a reflection that leads to a discussion about our elderly, and those "hidden" gems who carry our past with them.

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Have a blessed day in God's Word.

Janet Cassidy

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Who Decides?

Years ago I taught a workshop on life issues to 8th graders and their sponsors, and part of it included a discussion on Euthanasia.  I passed out scenarios and asked those gathered in small groups to answer some questions.

The conclusion I always drew on assisted suicide sprang from the question, “Who decides?”  The reference was to who decides that it is time for a person’s life to end and what would be the basis of that decision.

My point was that for some people, not having the ability to move their limbs might signal their desire that life is not worth living.  For others, it may be the loss of an arm or a leg, or maybe their eyesight.  Perhaps it would be chronic pain.

In the end, I concluded with that question, “Who decides?”  

The answer, of course, is not us.   

Although I should do a column on this topic, I don’t want to wander too far from the point of this one for now.

Even though that life issues workshop was many years ago, it came back to me in a flash when I heard the response of Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, a Democratic candidate running for President, when he was asked whether there should be any limits on a woman getting an abortion:

 “I think the dialogue has got so caught up on where you draw the line that we’ve gotten away from the fundamental question of who gets to draw the line,” he said. “And I trust women to draw the line.”

Indeed, that IS the fundamental question as I asked it over 20 years ago about euthanasia, “Who decides?”

The only problem is, we still can’t seem to get the answer right.

In his response, Buttigieg identifies women as the drawer of that thin line. 

He is mistaken.

God drew a line at creation—every life is valuable—and that is not dependent on one’s functionality or circumstances.  The creator of that life, the holder of that life--God--is the only one in charge of the line.

Death by abortion—which is the real issue—has been hijacked by the instillation of fear over loss of freedom and personal autonomy and a very real sense of desperation.
We have been duped.

The truth is, when a politician says something like “I trust women to draw the line,” what women hear is an affirmation of their intelligence, wisdom and freedom.

Maybe we need to acknowledge that women become vulnerable when faced with an unwanted pregnancy and that it is not uncommon for a woman seeking an abortion to do so based on her financial, emotional or other influences.

If you changed her circumstances, she likely would never consent to killing her child.

I can’t say it enough—fear keeps this machine rolling forward.

Mayor Buttigieg also said:

“I believe that the right of a woman to make her own decisions about her reproductive health and her own body is a national right . . . I believe it is an American freedom, and I believe that should be enjoyed by women everywhere.”

Please.  It’s like he was making a word stew—“right” “reproductive health” “national right” “American freedom” “enjoyed.”  Did he leave anything out?

Who today doesn’t recognize “reproductive health” as a code word for abortion because it generally sounds so, uh, healthy?

Who doesn’t recognize that if we throw the idea of “freedom” into pretty much any situation, Americans will nod their head because it is foundational to who we are?

If you really want to affirm a woman’s intelligence, wisdom and freedom, how about doing so by not talking down to them.  Women aren’t stupid. Any woman who has had an abortion, if she is honest, doesn’t think that it was a good thing to do—but within the external circumstances of her life, she had to find a rationale.

Every day, I just cannot fathom how we, as a country, could ever—but especially today—continue to have as part of our legal system the right to kill an unborn baby.

Is that really who we are?

With all the technological advances today, no one can deny life within the womb, so if they want to continue the charade that abortion is about the freedom to choose, they will have to do so in the face of the facts—abortion kills.

It is time to shift that creaky, outdated idea that an embryo is not life and that a woman’s right to an abortion trumps a baby’s right to live.

Let’s keep beating hearts beating.

Janet Cassidy

Sunday, May 19, 2019

PODCAST - Why Don't My Prayers Work? CC011

Ever feel like your prayers aren't working? 

If you find yourself thinking "I don't know why I bother praying," or, "Is anybody really listening?" than this PODCAST is for YOU!

Listen in as I take up this topic which includes some insight from Pope Benedict XVI on what it does for us when we call out to God in those times of distress.

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(If you are making plans for the upcoming year and you would like to arrange for me to speak to your parish, group or organization, I can be reached at

Janet Cassidy