The Real Helms

Fr Patrick Reardon pointed me to an article by Ann Coulter on the Human Events website. She outlines some of the things about Jesse Helms that were left out of many of the published obituaries, especially the New York Times.

Results

My father has had the results back from his colon cancer surgery. Unfortunately, cancer was found in two of the lymph nodes taken out with most of the right side of his colon. This means chemotherapy.

He is still very upbeat. I’m considering going to the States for part of the summer holidays, though I don’t know that I will be of an particular help.

Your continued prayers are appreciated.

Fatwa Rules Paedophilia Preferable to Christianity

Following up on the the previous story, I was looking to see what other WordPress bloggers might have said about the kidnapping, forced conversion and forced marriage of the Younis sisters. That’s where I found Blogging for a free world referring to information from Minorities Concern of Pakistan.

Even though the legal marriage age in Pakistan is 16 for females, this was negated by a fatwa – a decree issued by religious leaders – which justified it. It was worth it to them that the girls be kidnapped, sold as property, and then sexually abused in order to effect their conversion to Islam.

Reports indicate exactly what has happened to Saba Younis, the elder sister. After Muhammad Arif Bajwa kidnapped the girls at gunpoint, he sold them to Falak Sher Gill. Gill then gave Saba to his son, Muhammad Amjid. To whom Anila has been given seems to be unknown at this point.

In contravention of the statutory law, a Pakistani court has previously approved of the marriage of a 12-year-old because it ruled that Islam allows a female to marry if she has reached puberty. However, in that case it appears that the girl wanted to marry. Of course in that case, both parties were Muslim.

It now appears that special rules apply if the girl is a Christian and doesn’t consent. Puberty need not be an issue.

Remember to file this under “All religions and cultures are equal.”

Pre-teen Christian Girls Forced to Convert and Marry

Another one for the all religions and all cultures are equal file . . .

Saba and Anila Younis, sisters from a Christian family. They are 12 and 10 years old respectively. They were kidnapped on June 26 on their way to their uncle’s house in the Punjab province of Pakistan. When their father went to the police to complain about the kidnapping, he was threatened. By the 28th, their kidnappers had married them and filed with the police for custody of them. Their husbands declared that the girls had converted to Islam.

Apparently in Pakistan if a man finds a 10-year-old that he just can’t resist, he kidnaps her. If she’s not Muslim, he wants her converted, because even though it is legal for a Muslim man to marry a non-Muslim woman, there’s no reason he should have to have a kafir as one of his wives. I’m not sure if a man has to file for custody of any of his wives in Pakistan, or if it is just for those under 13.

As reported by Ecumenical News International, a court has agreed that the forced conversion was pefectly legal. There appears to have been to no challenge to the legality of the forced marriage.

This is by no means a unique situation. In a blog describing the hundreds of forced conversions to Islam in Pakistan, there is a quote from US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice telling President Musharraf at a 2005 meeting that Pakistan is “a model country for the Muslim world”.

39

It was 39 years ago today that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed on the Moon. It will be another 12 years before anyone goes back.

I’ve just never understood that. I know there’s a lot of money involved, but the overall benefits of Lunar research far outweigh the costs. I was five years old at the time of the first landing and I’ll be 55 before the next one.

After Columbus reached the new World, what if the Spanish (or any other European power) had waited 50 years to go back? Or to put it into a better perspective – one of technological advancement – it would be like waiting from Columbus until Charles Lindberg to cross the Atlantic again.

How much opportunity has already been lost? How could this world have been different if that one had been used effectively?

WALL-E is a Waste of Wealth

Until today, the last time I went to the cinema with my children was see Chicken Little. After such a disappointment, I have been leery of spending the money to have more than one adult present. Today I took a chance on WALL-E, the latest Pixar film.

I didn’t think any film could be worse than Chicken Little. Man, was I wrong. WALL-E is awful. Really bad. The first big chunk of the film has no dialogue whatsoever. Later on, after Wall-E hitches a ride on a space ship and see all the morbidly obese people that make up the remnant of humanity, they say a few things. About 2/3 of the way through, I started falling asleep. The Unnamed Woman kept poking me awake, alleging that I was snoring.

How she heard me snoring with all the racket being made by a bunch of 10-year-olds across the aisle, I’ll never know. They saw much less of the film than I did, because most of the time, they were either turned around talking to each other in loud voices or up and running back and forth the concession area.

And an afternoon’s entertainment like this only cost me £7.

I Believe in Time Travel

The Unnamed Woman and I just finished watching the entire six series of the British sitcom Goodnight Sweetheart that ran from 1993-99. It was being shown on ITV3 and the Woman decided she wanted the DVDs. We both enjoyed the show during its original run (though I had never seen the final series), as it was shown by the local PBS affiliate.

For those Stateside who may have never seen the show, it involves a Londoner from the 1990s who accidentally stumbles upon a time portal to the 1940s. It transports him back exactly 53 years. Thus on the 1940s side, the show starts with the Blitz and ends with VE-Day.  He travels back and forth and has a wife on either side of the portal. He’s also a nobody in the 90s and creates himself into a bit of a somebody in the 40s, pretending to be a member of the secret service and a songwriter (having composed various hits from the future).

Watching the show made me think about the nature of time. I believe that time travel is possible. Well, sort of. If Someone exists outside of time and space, then it is possible to exist anywhere in time and space. It would seem that it would even be possible to exist everywhere in time and space simutaneously, given that neither is a constraint.

I was thinking of this in terms of the Eucharist. Not only is there no problem with Christ being truly present in every Divine Liturgy being served at any one given time on Earth, nor with the Holy Spirit transforming the bread and the wine into the Body and Blood, but it need not be happening merely simultaneously in time or space. As far as the spiritual realm is concerned, when we are joining with the rest of the Church in prayer, we are with all of the Church throughout time at the same time.

Or at least it seems plausible in my fledgling study of theophysics.

It does give an interesting twist or amplification to the meaning of the words of Jesus at the end of the Great Commission, “…and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”