Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Romans 12:12

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When the right to choose, is chosen wrongly …

There was a brief splash in the Canadian news here recently when it was reported that in certain cultural communities the data seems to indicate that abortions are being used as a tool for gender selection. To put it bluntly, certain people are inclined to abort pre-born daughters in favour of having male children. And so, it was reported by the CBC, an editorial in the Canadian Medical Journal called for preventative intervention.

A fetus’s gender should not be revealed until after 30 weeks of pregnancy, says an editorial in the Canadian Medical Journal. This change in procedure for a fetal ultrasound, where the sex is usually disclosed to parents at 20 weeks, would help prevent female feticide, says Rajendra Kale, editor-in-chief of the CMAJ. [Read the rest of the story HERE]

As you can well imagine this raised concerns over stereotyping and/or invoking discrimination against certain people groups. It raised the question of whether information is a right or not. It raised the concern of whether or not there should be limits on freedom of choice. All of these are indeed, important questions to be discussed in their own right, but at best this particular discussion was frustrating to witness, and at times downright confusing to follow. Why?

Because all of these (rightful) concerns begin from an assumption that simply isn’t allowed to be assumed by those who hold to the right to free abortions.

Consider the following: How can a class of people (women/girls) be targeted by selectively terminating a non-person? Many calm their consciences by referring to the subject of the procedure as simply a mass of tissue (or use clinical terms like fetus to distance emotions), but in this case it is painfully obvious that what is being terminated simply isn’t anything of the sort. Why is it OK (even good some will argue) to kill both equally, but not one more or less than the other? The sex is medically irrelevant, unless it is being used to select out certain individuals? People should be free to choose – unless they choose wrongly?

The only moral conundrum here is why any of this news should be morally repulsive … unless of course what we are talking about aborting is NOT some lump of tissue, but an actual human person …  a son or (in increasing numbers) a daughter.It is only an issue if they are really people!

Abortion has always stereotyped against certain people groups – unborn humans.  Abortion discriminates against those who cannot speak for themselves. Abortion limits the freedom (to life liberty and happiness) of those conceived to others who simply choose not to give it to them. Why should we be the least bit surprised when this begins to spill over into unintended victims? Why should we be surprised when the wrong choice is then chosen wrongly?

Withholding information will not change anything. It will just cause there to be more late-term abortions (which are not normally practiced – but are certainly allowed here in Canada). Trying to foist some sort of ill-conceived, reactionary, and baseless morality upon the situation will not change people’s hearts or their desires for a male child. Trying to protect one class of human beings cannot be done while not recognizing the humanity of another. The only thing that will change such terrible situations and sad choices is a new-found respect for all human life, wherever you may find it. Spreading the knowledge that a person is a person whether in the womb, in the cradle, in school, in the hospital, or the senior’s center. Giving the freedom you and I enjoy to all who are part of this human race, whether they are boys or girls, born or not!

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What’s Luck Got to Do With It?

I’m not a lucky person. But  I am not complaining. I’m simply stating a fact. I am not a lucky person. I don’t have an abundance of good luck that makes my friends and neighbours jealous of me, nor do I suffer from an inordinate amount of bad luck such that others must look at me with pity. I am not a lucky person.

But then again, neither are you. Really, no one is. No thing is. I don’t hold to ideas that some things are more or less lucky than others. Clover is just clover, no matter how many leaves it has, and Fridays are just another day, no matter what date they happen to fall on. Oh, and for that matter, thirteen is simply the number between 12 and 14, nothing more and nothing less (that would be 15 or 11 respectively).

So why do people get so hung up over a day like Friday the 13th? Wikipedia estimates some 17-21 million Americans are affected by a fear of this day … with an estimated economic impact of  $800-900 million in lost business.  Why does a day like today come with its very own phobia (friggatriskaidekaphobia)?   How did this date and day of the week acquire such bad reputations? Again, Wikipedia has a few theories:

One theory states that it is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day.

  • In numerology, the number twelve is considered the number of completeness, as reflected in the twelve months of the year, twelve hours of the clock, twelve gods of Olympus, twelve tribes of Israel, twelve Apostles of Jesus, the 12 Descendants of Muhammad Imams, etc., whereas the number thirteen was considered irregular, transgressing this completeness. There is also a superstition, thought by some to derive from the Last Supper or a Norse myth, that having thirteen people seated at a table will result in the death of one of the diners. (Was the last supper really the very first time these thirteen men sat down together for a meal? -me.)
  • Friday has been considered an unlucky day at least since the 14th century’s The Canterbury Tales,[3] and many other professions have regarded Friday as an unlucky day to undertake journeys or begin new projects. Black Friday has been associated with stock market crashes and other disasters since the 1800s.[6][7] It has also been suggested that Friday has been considered an unlucky day because, according to Christian scripture and tradition, Jesus was crucified on a Friday (at most one could argue here that friday was unlucky for Jesus, but not really for those whom his death brought salvation! – again, me).[8]
  • One author, noting that references are all but nonexistent before 1907 but frequently seen thereafter, has argued that its popularity derives from the publication that year of Thomas W. Lawson‘s popular novel Friday, the Thirteenth,[9] in which an unscrupulous broker takes advantage of the superstition to create a Wall Street panic on a Friday the 13th.[4] Records of the superstition are rarely found before the 20th century, when it became extremely common.

Here’s my theory … people believe in luck (good or bad) because they are looking for someone or something to blame other than themself. If it is all just a matter of luck, then it really has no ultimate bearing upon my merit or worthiness.  Didn’t get the job? It was just bad luck, not my lack of preparedness or qualifications. Don’t have everything your neighbour does? It’s not because maybe they deserve it where you don’t (or worked hard for it, where you didn’t) but simply because they have some sort of lucky streak that you never had.  See, if you just have luck then you never have to be responsible or accountable for where you are or what you are dealing with. If you have luck then everyone is on the same playing field and no one is better than me. I am never a bad person, Iam a good person with bad luck.

So let me state it again. I am not a lucky person … and neither are you. There is no luck, good or bad. There are good things that happen and bad things that happen, certainly, but the bad things happen only to bad people and the good things happen only to bad people. Yes you read that right. The bad that befalls us in this life is only the result (directly or indirectly) of our own badness. We Christians call it sin. Sin has broken us, our lives, our relationships and our world. There is no one else to blame for it than us.  We are not what God created us to be, not since the day Adam and Eve decided to go against His will.

But if that sounds extremely unfair, consider this … all the good that happens in this world happens to people who, in their sin don’t deserve one bit of it!  All the good that daily comes to you and me and everyone we know, comes through a God that loves us, broken as we are. All the good that happens to befall us is a gift of God through His Son Jesus Christ. That’s why He sent His Son to die for us on that particularly Good Friday. Why, in Jesus, we are told that even the bad that happens is really being used by God to bring about good.  Who needs luck when you have a promise like this?!

So on this Friday the 13th, forget all the excuses once and for all and consider the fact that you are neither lucky or unlucky. You are a sinner who has been saved by Christ. Neither this nor any Friday bring bad luck, but rather very Good News. You are a bad person for whom the very best person (God Himself) was willing to suffer and die. And in Him you are bad no more. In Him you are more than lucky – you are loved, and blessed, and called in Christ.