Transitions 2005 -2006
As you read this message 2005 is just about history and 2006, a year of hope and promise, will be opening at our door. So what are we to say about the last year as we look forward to the next? Rather than do the conventional list of events and achievements regarding ARTL and our promotion of the Culture of Life, allow me to reflect on some recent happenings of a serious and personal nature that tie into events of this year and our need to remain vigilant to the work of protecting every human person.
I visited an old man who was dying and spoke to him about some very important matters. Here in a hospital room he lay, his wrinkled skin bruised and battered from the years and the disease. As I entered the room, at first he was quiet, as if sleeping. Then he opened his eyes and looked at me. The clear light of life flashed as he spoke. He said he was going and he was ready. He told me he had seen Jesus and asked me if I thought he was crazy. The old man told me that he was listening to Him and the Voice was very calm and assuring. He expressed his love for his wife and children, mentioned his regrets and asked me to take care of things. Then he looked beyond me and as if to acknowledge someone else in the room, began to speak almost silently in conversation. The intensity of his look and the reaction of his face reflected a person in deep communion with another. I looked around and noticed a bed being pushed along with three persons walking along side.
Then it struck me. The hospital, the equipment, the people, all represented our understanding of what it means to live in a Culture of Life. Everything done to show respect to the individual human person by caring for the needs of the person even in the final moments of his life, remind us that life is sacred. How is it that we forget when it is all around us? How is it that we allow for the weakness of our human nature to rob us of our inheritance and blind us to the good being done everywhere in our presence?
At Arizona Right to Life, every day we promote the truth that life is good, that life is beautiful and that life is worth living. Whether we speak about the unborn child or the elderly person in the coma or the wheelchair, we speak to the inherent dignity that resides in us all. This coming year we have a lot of work to do and I will be asking you all to respond to the call of duty as we seek to build a Culture of Life.
I think back to the ways in which society as a whole can either be supportive or callaused or conflicted on this "life" issue. When we were rallying for any kind of protection for Terri Schiavo, those who knew the story for the most part were sympathetic to the family and wondered why Michael Schiavo would not let the parents care for theri daughter. Those who did not want to know, said it was a family matter. Then there were those who wanted her dead. They wanted her to starve or die of thirst. I looked for those people during the Katrina disaster, when people were without food and water for a day, or two days, or three days. I listened to reporters condemn the governmment, FEMA, the state, the Red Crossm because people did not have water to drink.
Yet Terri was denied water for 14 days. And a little boy was arrested when he tried to bring her a bottle of water. And the flower in her room was watered evry day.
It was not a good day in America when we as a country through the courts killed Terri Schiavo by starvation and dehyration.
A few days later another man died. He lived in visible pain the last few yeaars and the people all saw him in pain. Experts all asked why he did not resign. But Pope John Paul II was teaching the world an object lession on the dignity of the human person - even the person wracked with pain. He espoused the gift of life. He promoted the gift of self. He told us to be gift for others. Unflinching in his love for the human person and committed to the right to life aof all including the unborn child, pope John Paul was a champion for all of us and a crusader for the protection of innocent human life. We should live our lives with such intensity and love.
Thank you for being friends to Arizona Right to Life in 2005. We hope that we have been good stewards and have made a difference for those who need our presence in the world. Your sacrificial donations helped up to stand in the gap. Children are alive today because you care.
This year together let us rise to call and stand up for life. Pray about what you could do to really make a difference. Think about what AZRTL can do in your community to help others embrace the cause of the right to life. Mark your calendars for the Rally on January 22, 2006 and the Gala dinner on February 24, 2006. Join us for another year of adventure as we increase our presence in the state and promote the right to life. Remember there are elections and AZRTL must be there to educate the voters on the life issues. We will need your time, your talent and your treasure. From all of us at Arizona Right to Life, Happy New Year. May God bless you and may God bless America.
The importance of law
First of all Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah respectively.
On this the second day of Christmas, I need to comment on certain disturbing, dare I say Orwellian, actions in Europe. A European Union advisory panel has issued a statement saying that medical professionals are not allowed to refuse to participate in abortions.
According to the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights doctors should be forced to perform abortions, even if they have conscientious objections, because the right to abort a child is an Âinternational human right.Â consider that a half century ago, the righ to life was considered a universa human right. Now the secularists in Europe want to force doctors to kill human beings.
The article cites the EU Network of Independent Experts on Fundamental Rights who released a 40 page report concerning a proposed treaty between the Vatican and Slovakia guaranteeing the rights of Catholics not to perform abortions. This network wants to force Catholics in Europe to perform abortions
. In the most unbelievable of claims, this panel of so-called experts wants to deny doctors the rights of conscience. Meanwhile the International Planned Parenthood representative ipraisingng the opinion. This is just another example of the fascist tendencies of the left. Not content with having legalized the killing, the left would force doctors to violate their consciences to perform abortions. To those who wondered if the lessons of World War II and the Nazi Holocaust have been forgotten, one can only cry out in a loud voice that we are doing to our children what the Nazis did to the Jews and others in the camps. People may not like the parallel but the reality is so scary that when the notion of rights speak to killing children and forcing doctors to violate their consciences to do so, we have entered into Orwell's world of 1984.
Meanwhile people wonder what is the effect of law. The law is a teacher and if it does not teach to protect the weak and defend life, the very opposite will happen. We have seen it here and throughout the world.
This is why we must work to change the laws. We must have laws that protect the human person from his very conception through natural death. Anything less is a disservice to future generations.
Cord Blood victory
Thanks to Representative Chris Smith, senator Sam Brownback and others for the last minute victory on Friday that sends the cord blood bill to the president's desk for signing this week. It seemed on Friday morning that Senator Harkin (D)Iowa was going to hold the bill hostage unless Senator Frist would promise a vote on the embryo stem cell bill in the Senate. Senator Frist would not so agree and Harkin refused to give consent. Then the pressure from the blog world affected a 'sea change' and the senator , who had refused allow a vote, made a change. That still did not mean passage. However deft maneuvering and a lot of prayer helped insure passage. Thanks for your prayers.
Since I find myself using movies to remind you all about the pro-life message, allow me to continue the scream by recommending Cinderella Man which recently came out on DVD. The true story of James J. Braddock, the boxer from Bergen County, New Jersey, is one of the really great movies released this year. In fact I would rank it as the best movie of 2005. The story underlines the reason why we in the pro-life movement continue to fight for life when the power and the money and the apathy scream at us to quit. You save one life and you know why you are here. You stand up against the odds and you encourage others to stand up to defend their way of life. You live in the truth that you are made in the image and likeness of God and that you are a person.
As a father, Braddock did whatever it took to keep his family together. I won't tell you the most powerful moment of the film, but it hit home to me as a dad what it is all about to be a man.
So this weekend, if you haven't seen Narnia, stay home and rent Cinderella Man. It will be more satisfying and more powerful than the fare Hollywood is currently offering up.
one other note.
I set up another web log to discuss issues that are directly related to the pro-life work of Arizona Right to Life or are best suited for another venue. Called Jakubczyk on Common Sense
,the blog will comment on other subjects. I hope you check it out to read what I have to say on other socially relevant subjects.
Reflecting on the stories in the new, I received a message from a gentlemen who made some excellent points that I want to cite to many of them here.
From a letter from Mr. Dyer to me,
I share your concerns about omissions in Mr. Lizza's the article on New York the abortion capital of the U.S. He has not responded or acknowledged the letter I sent him, so I see no problem of including it here:
Dear Mr. Lizza:
In your recent article, "The Abortion Capital of America," you wrote,
"It was in New York in 1828 that AmericaÂs first real abortion law was passed. The debate of the day wasn't driven by religious concerns about when life begins. Instead, as James C. Mohr's classic history of the subject, Abortion in America, explains, Albany responded to pressure from doctors who were aghast at quacks" butchering women and scamming them with phony abortifacient potions. The law was really about medical regulation, and, according to Mohr, it went completely unenforced."
You are surely wrong in claiming that it was not about Âconcerns about when life begins." John Brodhead Beck was almost certainly a factor in the passage in that law. My new book, The PhysiciansÂ Crusade Against Abortion, includes on page 12:
When [Horatio Robinson] Storer [M.D. (1830-1922)] made reference to earlier anti-abortion efforts of physicians he did not mention one of the earliest efforts of U.S. physicians to influence abortion laws. John Brodhead Beck's brother, Theodric Romeyn Beck, was one of the "principal behind-the-scene revisors" when New York added a special section on abortion to its new law code in 1828. This made it a crime to "willfully administer to any pregnant woman, any medicine, drug, substance or thing whatever, or shall use or employ any instrument or other means whatever, with intent thereby to procure the miscarriage of any such woman, unless the same shall have been necessary to preserve the life of such woman, or shall have been advised by two physicians to be necessary for that purpose." Theodric practiced medicine in Albany where he would have had ready access to New York legislators. One key legislator also was a long-time friend and their correspondence discussed Theodric's medical input to legislation. Mohr suggested that John Brodhead Beck also made medical input to the abortion legislation via Theodric.
Another quote from my book (page 11) discusses what John Brodhead Beck had written in 1817:
Storer and other physicians also frequently referred to another early condemnation of induced abortion by Thomas Percival, an English physician who set down a body of Medical Ethics in 1803. Percival's Ethics included: "To extinguish the first spark of life is a crime of the same nature, both against our Maker and society, as to destroy an infant, a child, or a man; these regular and successive stages of existence being the ordinances of God, subject alone to His divine will, and appointed by sovereign wisdom and goodness as the exclusive means of preserving the race, and multiplying the enjoyments of mankind."
A New York physician, John Brodhead Beck, quoted Percival's "To extinguish the first spark" in his 1817 dissertation, "Infanticide," that was republished as a chapter in his and his brotherÂs textbook, Elements of Medical Jurisprudence. The Elements was first published in 1823 and was used as a text at the Harvard Medical School when Horatio Storer was a student. Horatio mentioned Beck's 'admirable' chapter when he provided a history of medical opponents of abortion in the first of nine articles about criminal abortion in the North-American Medico-Chirurgical Review.
Beck condemned unnecessary abortion and also discussed the inappropriateness of the laws of England and other countries that treated abortion as a less serious crime at early stages of the pregnancy. Beck showed the fallacy of claims that the fetus was not alive early in pregnancy that were the basis for these different penalties. He wrote:
The foetus, previous to the time of quickening, must be either dead or living. Now, that it is not the former, is most evident from neither putrefaction nor decomposition taking place, which would be the inevitable consequences of an extinction of the vital principle. To say that the connexion with the mother prevents this, is wholly untenable: facts are opposed to it. Foetuses do actually die in the uterus before quickening, and then all the signs of death are present. The embryo, therefore, before that crisis, must be in a state different from that of death, and this can be no other than life.
Mohr himself questions Cyril Means' explanations of the 1828 law on pages 28-31 of Abortion in America.
He wrote a book and the web page for his new book is
Here once again is the powerful light of truth shredding the lies and the mythologies of those who would re-write history. Only those who would take the time to study the enormous influence of modern medicine on laws in the 19th century would know the importance of one Horatio Storer, M.D. and the A.M.A.
So to those who are unable to recognize the humanity of the child, I recommend history and the famous saying that those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.
The media focus on the execution of Stanley "Tookie" Williams represents the latest in the selective application of morality and the efforts by those in the media to spin reality in order to manipulate the masses. First of all, this article is not to comment on the moral efficacy of capital punishment or its proper place in society.
The point of this column is to shine a light on the blatant hypocrisy by the media elites, the Hollywood elites and all those who are "protecting" the execution of this man.
There were the obligatory prayer vigils and protests at San Quentin prison over the state's plan to follow through with the execution of a condemned murderer. The celebrities came out and made their statements about the event.
According to the AP story written by Kim Curtis,
"Singer Joan Baez, M A S H actor Mike Farrell and the Rev. Jesse Jackson were among the celebrities who protested the execution. "Tonight is planned, efficient, calculated, antiseptic, cold-blooded murder and I think everyone who is here is here to try to enlist the morality and soul of this country," said Baez, who sang "Swing Low, Sweet Chariot" on a small plywood stage set up just outside the gates.
"A contingent of 40 people who had walked the approximately 25 miles from San Francisco held signs calling for an end to "state-sponsored murder."
So where are the Mike Farrels, the Jesse Jacksons and others when they are killing little black babies at the local Planned Parenthood abortion mills?
Where is the outrage at the 4000 children being "legally" murdered each day in our country?
Where are the marches, the songs, the pleas for Arnold to stop the killing of innocent babies?
so many of these people claimed that Williams was innocent. Well we all know the unborn baby did not take a shotgun and blow four people away. If Williams is entitled to stay alive in these people's minds, why not a little child?
So the spin goes on. The national press is upset with Alito because he is personally against abortion. But they are more upset tonight with the governor of California because he did not respond to their pleas for clemency.
Meanwhile we must ask ourselves, what are we doing to end the violence that surrounds our lives?
Narnia: The Joy of Truth
The Chronicles of Narnia have long been a part of the Jakubczyk household, though I must confess that it was my beloved wife who brought the name and works of C.S. Lewis to my attention. I was brought up on Tolkien and did not begin my sojourn into the worlds of Narnia or Perelandra until my adult years. So there was great excitement in hearing that the movie "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" was to open in December.
Petra and I saw it last night. It was magnificent and very true to the spirit of the book. The producers did not lose the sense of the book, nor did they water down the central meaning of the story. The movie captured the wonder and the confusion of children finding themselves in a strange new land. From the beginning we find ourselves caught up in the magic and the mystery of Narnia where evil's grasp on the fairyland is loosened by the presence of the four children. Indeed their very being means that there will be an end of the reign of terror. So it is that the gospel of Life is prefigured in the this most popular of Lewis' works.
I recall using the initial meeting of Lucy and Mr. Tumnus to remind listeners of one of the more obvious truths: that we are human beings. The faun asks Lucy if she is a 'daughter of Eve.'
"My name's Lucy," said she, not quite understanding him.
"But you are - forgive me - you are what they call a girl?" asked the Faun.
"Of course I'm a girl, said Lucy.
"You are in fact Human?"
"Of course I'm human, said Lucy, still a little puzzled.
Today in this country, no one wants to admit the hard truth, that we are killing our children. But the truth is there and just as in Narnia, the truth brings joy, though there is a severe reality that must be faced. The children marked the coming of Aslan. Their coming also meant a confrontation with evil. And just as the White Witch was defeated in Narnia, so we must defeat the evil in this land.
So go see this movie. Embrace the joy of knowing the truth and that the truth does set us free. Then make that joy a part of your life. Let it reflect your entire being, a being that lives in freedom, the freedom of being truly and completely human.
The Unbelieveable Ted Kennedy
So let me understand the latest in the efforts by the left to drag Judge Sam Alito's name into the mud. Ted Kennedy is questioning Alito's credibility? Ted Kennedy who could not tell the truth if his life depended on it? Ted Kennedy, who is responsible for the death of a young woman and still has the gaul to show his face in public?
Meanwhile many of the Hollywood elites gathered in washington D.C. to raise money for the radical left wing groups who oppose this appellate court judge who was confirmed without any opposition 15 years ago. Their efforts will not work as the American people are tired of the antics of the radical left. The heartland of America wants justices who interpret the law. The average American of whatever background wants a justice who will apply the law impartially and as the law was intended. these every day Americans do not want the surprise of being told that long cherished truths are now open to speculation and question. Sam Alito represents the finest that intelligence, hard work and integrity have to offer. His willingness to serve on the bench and to forsake the private sector for public service is also to be commended. Now he has been asked to take on a greater responsibility. The Senate should confirm him and allow him to take his place on the U.S. Supreme court. They should ignore the rants and ravings of the unbelieveable left.
Reflections on Abortion articles in the Press
Over the last few days there has been a flurry of articles about abortion in the liberal press. Not content with the "bash all those who are pro-life" mantra, these articles attempt to put a "humane" face on the disgusting practice of killing pre-born children in their mother's wombs. One news feature in the Los Angeles Times
told the story of an abortionist in Arkansas who is said to 'give life' back to the patients after he performs the "noble" deed. For all the silver lining to the abortion procedure, the abortionist does clearly admit that he is taking a human life. But he does not care. Then come to think of it, neither did Dr. Mengele.... But I digress.
The abortionist claims to have had Hillary Clinton as a patient and professed a great friendship with the former president. Perhaps that explains the hard core pro-abortion views of the Clintons.
In New York Magazine this week there were two articles on abortion; one was an article about New York being the abortion capital
of the United States, the other about an "underground railroad
" where women come to New York to get late term abortions and stay with wealthy upscale pro-abortion radicals. The first article raised some historical points but betrayed its pro-abortion slant by the use of Mohr as a historian, by failing to mention Dr. Horatio Storer and by spinning the efforts of the American Medical Association to have the states strengthen the laws against abortion. According the pro-abortion revisionists, the only reason for passing the laws was to protect women against the unscrupulous actions of greedy abortionists. The article failed to mention the scientific discoveries confirming fertilization as the commencement of the individual human's life. The compelling reason was the protection of human life. Prior to the written law, the country used the English common law. With the formation of a new country, it was only a matter of time when the laws would be codified. Connecticut was the first state to codify the coAlmostaw. almost all the states had laws against abortion before the civil war.
Still it is interesting that the abortion enthusiasts are writing at this time. Normally they wait until January and drag out the usual mantras. So why are they talking it up during the time of the year when most people are smiling about the the birth of a child? Do they think that sufficiently removed Christmas from the mind of the country to openly talk up abortion?
Is their fear of the Alito nomination giving them the thought that they must cultivatchoice pro-choic mentality so that they can rally the troops against Alito? I ask these questions as I ponder more mundane questions. Such as why am I up at this hour of the night? More later.