Monday, June 28, 2010

Because his mother said no

Famous Tuscan tenor Andrea Bocelli, who has sold 70 million records, interrupted one of his performances because, he said, he wanted to tell a little story.

A young pregnant wife had been admitted to hospital with appendicitis. After she was treated, the doctors suggested she abort the child. It would be the best solution, they said, because the baby would be born with some disability. The young woman decided not to abort, and the child was born.

"That woman was my mother," said Bocelli, "and I was the child. Maybe I'm partisan, but I can say it was the right choice."

Bocelli was diagnosed with congenital glaucoma as a baby, and has been blind since he was 12.

A video of Bocelli telling the story has been uploaded on, and has had 150,000 viewings in three weeks.

While we're on the subject of abortion, the UK Government recently published figures for abortions during 2009. There were 195,743 abortions in England and Wales and 13,005 in Scotland, making a total of 208,748. After years of increasing figures year by year, the 2009 total was slightly less than the previous year - but it's still 16,000 unborn children killed each month. That's 4,000 each week. Or 600 each day.

In England and Wales, 34 per cent of abortions were on women who had had at least one abortion previously. In Scotland, 28 per cent of the women were having an abortion for at least the second time. Around half of all teenage pregnancies now end in abortion.

Meanwhile, a request under the Freedom of Information Act revealed an item of information that was not previously in the public domain: an average of 80 abortions are carried out in England and Wales each year on women who have become pregnant through IVF treatment.

It's hard to imagine how women who have undergone the stresses of IVF in order to become pregnant can then decide they don't want their baby after all. It shows, at the very least, a colossal disregard for human life.

To pray or not to pray

In case you haven't heard, the UK's National Secular Society has instructed lawyers to take Bideford Town Council to the High Court. The reason: the council begins its council meetings with prayer, and the NSS doesn't like it.

The society says it has had a complaint from a Bideford councillor, one Clive Bone, who is an atheist. He says the prayers are "embarrassing," and he knows people who might have become council candidates, but are put off by prayer.

The society says it wrote to the council without satisfactory result, and it wants a judicial review of the situation. It will argue that prayer at the beginning of council meetings contravenes human rights legislation.

Keith Porteous Wood, the NSS's executive director, is reported as saying that the majority of people in this country do not enter a church, except perhaps for weddings and funerals, from one year's end to the next, and it is not appropriate in modern-day Britain for councillors to be put in the uncomfortable and embarrassing position of being subjected to "this archaic practice." The council's purpose was to provide local services, not church services.

George McLaughlin, clerk to the council, said the issue of prayers at the beginning of council meetings was a national one, not a local one. He did not know why the NSS had picked on them. In fact, the society, or its supporters, has approached some 140 councils regarding their habit (or not) of opening proceedings with prayer. The case, if it comes to the High Court, could set a precedent.

The council, which has been opening meetings in prayer since the days of Queen Elizabeth I, has voted by a majority to continue to open its meetings with prayer in the meantime.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

A short pause

A holiday is indicated. For this reason, there will be no new additions to this blog for a short time.

Please do continue to call by. Normal service will be resumed, as they used to say, as soon as possible.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Breaking the blockade

Israel maintains a naval blockade of Gaza to prevent arms being delivered by sea to the terrorist organisation Hamas, which is now in control in Gaza, and which is sworn to Israel's destruction.

A "freedom flotilla" of six ships, carrying aid for Palestinians in Gaza and 600 passengers, at least some of them political extremists with terrorist connections, sailed for Gaza in an attempt to break the blockade.

Israel said the ships would not be allowed to go to Gaza, but offered to let the ships dock at Ashdod and offered to transport the aid overland to the Palestinians. The offer was refused, and the ships continued to sail to Gaza, evidently intent on confrontation.

On Monday, when Israeli naval commandos boarded one of the ships, they were attacked by a waiting group of men with iron bars, knives and at least one pistol. Some of the commandos were badly injured. Only when their lives were threatened did the commandos open fire.

The cry went up from the ship: "As soon as the Israelis landed on the ship they began to fire indiscriminately at unarmed civilians." One passenger said the Israelis began firing while still in helicopters hovering over the ships.

A number of lives were lost. But the activists obtained something they wanted more than they wanted to deliver aid to Palestinians: an opportunity for Israel to be vilified across the world.

Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said the assault was a "bloody massacre" and must be punished. Turkey recalled its ambassador to Israel. There were accusations of massacres and genocide. Politicians around the world called for the blockade to be ended.

A resolution presented to the UN Human Rights Council called for an independent international fact-finding mission to investigate violations of international law. Israel was guilty of "violations of international law," you will notice, before any fact-finding mission began.

Caroline Glick, deputy managing editor of the Jerusalem Post and a former adviser to Israel's Prime Minister, said that the Free Gaza website published a list of some 222 organisations from the four corners of the earth that endorsed the Gaza-bound "freedom flotilla." It is hard to think, she said, of any cause other than Israel-bashing that could unite such disparate forces.

And last Friday at the UN's Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference, 189 governments from 189 countries came together as one to savage Israel. There is, she said, no other issue that commands such unanimity. The conference demonstrated that the only way the international community will agree on anything is if its members are agreeing that Israel has no right to defend itself.

Israel, she added, is the target of a massive information war that is unprecedented in size and scope.

According to Bible prophecy, the world's final battles will be fought in Israel. Perhaps that's why the Bible also says "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem" (Psa 122:6).