We Want Our Dignity Back

A recent World Council of Churches delegation to Iraq reported on the complex feelings and wrenching dilemmas of Christians there.  They quoted one woman named Lubna Yusef, who I will let speak for herself here because her voice, unsettling as it is, deserves to be heard. “What did we do to deserve this? I hate traveling [Read More…]

Practicing the Virtue of Hope

This will not be about voting. It is, however, about lying awake imagining all the possible quasi-apocalyptic outcomes and after-effects of the impending election.  I am truly hard-pressed to think of any realistically possible good outcome – of the election itself, of the probable backlash, or of the one or the other set of scandals and indiscretions that [Read More…]

The Value of a Microcephalic Life (beyond the fetal double-talk)

A recent NPR story on pre-natal detection of the effects of the Zika virus caught my attention a couple of weeks ago.  Although I was alerted by the foreboding reference to the mother’s loss in the teaser that appeared in my email inbox, the following two sentences still hit me in the gut: The woman decided to [Read More…]

Telling Parents Their Unborn Child has Down Syndrome

Rick Smith, the father of a two year old son with Down Syndrome, who blogs about him as “Noah’s Dad,” has published an open letter on his blog entitled: To Every OB/GYN On The Planet: How To Deliver A Down Syndrome Diagnosis,The Right Way. It is a thoughtful and powerful message, delivered patiently and with [Read More…]

The Value of an Autistic Life

If there were a prize for the most egregious affronts to human dignity, the anonymous letter sent to the family of a 13-year-old autistic boy in Ontario last week would doubtless be a top contender.  The writer, who signed the letter “one pissed off mother”, did not stop at complaining very rudely about the boy’s presence in his grandmother’s neighborhood [Read More…]

“It Is Beautiful To Be Old!”

Rocco Palmo’s Whispers in the Loggia blog has the following as it’s “quote for the day.” It’s from an address Pope Benedict XVI gave to the residents of “Viva Gli Anziani” (Long Live the Elderly), an old-age home in Rome, last November. As one who cares for an elderly parent – my mother, who, incidentally, [Read More…]