When is free speech not acceptable? When it might be unfavorable to the pro-abortion standpoint, and when millions of Americans might hear it. According to David Crary of the Associated Press (by way of the Huffington Post), the Women's Media Center has complained to CBS about an ad set to run during the Super Bowl. The ad, taken out by Focus on the Family, celebrates the life of Heisman Trophy winning Florida Quarterback Tim Tebow. Tim's mother, Pam, fell ill on a mission trip while pregnant with Tim, and was advised to abort him. She did not, and Tim turned out to be a great athlete and a promoter of Christian values.
The group's complaint is that a sporting event is no place for abortion discussion. In this case, however, the discussion is not about abortion, it is about the other choice: life. I say we need more speech like this.
Yesterday: Good-sized flock of American robins hanging around the backyard and feeders. Today: In addition to the robins, which are still around, we have a mixed flock of redwing blackbirds and brown-headed cowbirds. I think they've actually been around a couple of days; two days ago I noticed a blackbirdy-looking (and sounding)flock in the trees on the next street over but they were too far off for me to get a good ID. I think there are a few common grackles among them as well; I've only seen one of those at a time so far. There was a female ruby-crowned kinglet hanging around the front-yard feeder this afternoon--I only see those occasionally so I'm hoping to see more of them.
So much has happened in such a short time. Scott Brown takes "the people's" senatorial seat in Massachusetts and the dynamics of the Senate are changed. The U.S. Supreme Court rules (5-4) that current federal regulations on corporate contributions to political campaigns violate the First Amendment, basically saying corporations can engage in independent political speech, but they cannot do it anonymously.
Too much to digest all at once. But one thought re the complaint that the Citizens United v. FEC decision overturns previous decisions dating back to 1907: was not this can of worms opened when the Court overturned the odious "separate but equal" precedent (Plessy v. Ferguson) in Brown v. Topeka Board of Education in 1954? A liberal colleague had argued for increased "legislative" rulings from the supreme court on the basis of Brown and of Roe et al v Wade (she was obviously pro abortion). As happens so many times in U.S. politics, the shoe is on the other foot.
By now all readers are probably aware of the earthquake disaster in Haiti. With no major earthquake activity for the past 200 years and the generally impoverished nature of the country, Haiti's urban buildings were particularly vulnerable to damage and collapse. Initial reports indicate a potential for great loss of life. In addition to prayers, those away from the site of the disaster can help by donating to appropriate charities. We have contributed to Food for the Poor, a Catholic charity with experience in Haiti and a less than 3% overhead rate. In addition to Food for the Poor, the following charities are also taking donations for Haitian relief:
Often the Protestant and secular community don't understand why Catholics leave their Christmas decorations up so long. If they are so bold as to ask, they will find that Christmas, instead of being a single day, is a season in the Catholic calendar. So, in the spirit of this explanation and to mark the official end to the Christmas season, the parody department has reached back to the 60's and used a Diana Ross and the Supremes tune for inspiration.
Christmas Ends with Epiphany (to the tune of "I Hear a Symphony," apologies to Brian Holland, Lamont Dozier, Edward Holland, Jr., and Charles Wesley) by Dminor
We waited all December, And every day I remembered That the seasons, in order: First is Advent, then comes Christmas.
Our Christmas decor Lasts 'till Epiphany; A twelve-day jubilee, Not about Santa; Santa isn't it.
Oh Christmas time, ends on Epiphany; Ooh twelve days for child divine; Yes, we should take the time, 'till we leave it all behind.
The rest of the world wants to just move on.
Our Christmas decor Lasts 'till Epiphany. Play and sing joyfully Until January 6th, now baby.
Holy Baby; He brings much peace and joy; He's Mary's Baby boy. Christmas goes on and on and on.
The Holy Baby, Savior that came to earth, To give us second birth, And he's the one we call Emmanuel.
Our Christmas decor Lasts 'till Epiphany. After three kings appear, We can make final Christmas cheer and clean up.
Maybe, Maybe, If our spirits are high Christmas will live in us Long after the parties and the fuss.
Now baby, baby, Holidays have to end; Epiphany's the end. Ooh that's when it ends, baby, baby. Christmas, Christmas Ends on Epiphany; A twelve-day jubilee.
There was a flock of cedar waxwings in the front yard this morning at about 9:30. I hadn't seen any in quite a while. They didn't spook easily; some of them sat coolly above me in the Bradford pear as I strolled up the front walk. As I got to the door the lot took off and headed across the street to another cluster of trees. Peterson says they eat berries and insects, both of which we have plenty: holly, nandina, juniper, and those oddball little Bradford pear fruits.
A robin has been hanging around the yard; I first noticed it yesterday then again this morning with the waxwings; that's the first this year. If the weatherman is correct, it'll wish it had stayed farther south next week.