Monthly Archives: December 2009

Happy New Year!

2009 is drawing to a close and this past year has been huge. We’ve raised significant material support for women facing crisis pregnancies. We’ve facilitated respectful dialogue on campus regarding abortion. We’ve helped mobilize students in defense of the dignity of the elderly and infirm through our letter-writing campaign. We co-hosted the National Campaign Life Network Pub Night for Life, and we’ve helped equip new pro-life leaders. As this year draws to a close, Ottawa Students for Life would like to take this opportunity to thank the various organizations, individuals, and the hundreds of students that have helped make this possible.

But despite our efforts, despite the long hours we devoted to OSFL, despite the time we took away from homework, and friends, and despite the significant financial sacrifices we made still more than 100,000 babies were killed by abortion in Canada this past year. More people work full time to take lives than to save lives. Most Canadians ignore these issues.

In spite of this, we will not be discouraged. We do not have time to be discouraged. Rather, we will be more resolved and committed in our efforts to promote and protect the inherent dignity of every individual human being. We will continue to review what we can do to be more effective, and we value your input and feedback in this regard. We will keep loving and serving the vulnerable, the elderly, the maligned, and the marginalized.

From all of us at OSFL: Have an AWESOME New Year! We’re looking forward to greater things in the new semester and beyond. We will be taking a short break from blogging in the next couple weeks, but will be up and blogging consistently soon enough. It’s going to be f-a-n-t-a-s-t-i-c!

Reflections on the Heart of Christmas

by Theresa Stephenson

As my stomach is heavy with rich dinners in the holiday spirit and my wallet is lighter after indulging my loved ones with presents, it’s easy to forget the roots of Christmas –the birth of Jesus Christ.

As a Christian I believe that the Saviour came in a surprising way. He didn’t come strong and independent, as one would expect. He entered human life as we all do, at the moment of His conception. Like us, He spent approximately nine months in the womb before His birth in Bethlehem. He came as a baby boy. He put aside divine power and contented Himself to lie vulnerably in a manger, utterly dependent on Mary and Joseph for His day-to-day needs.

Regardless of whether or not you believe in Jesus Christ it is startling to think that any faith would believe that God would humble Himself to live with them in this way, enduring the frailties and pains of humanity.

Considering the infant Jesus during Christmas, we can reflect on His dependency on His earthly parents, Mary and Joseph. Simply put, He humbled Himself to be dependant on parents because that is our human experience.

Each of us was conceived, grew in our mother’s womb, and were born. We were held in our mother’s arms, fed by her, diaper-changed by her, and so on. Indeed, in our infancy, we did nothing ourselves. Always we passively received life-giving nourishment and comforting care. Not to mention that it was out of love that our mothers did all these things for us, in spite of the crying, pooping, helpless messes that we were.

This relationship between mother and child shows us the power of a mother’s love and a child’s trust. But today in Canada this necessary and beautiful relationship is disparaged. Without limitation and for any reason a mother may chose to end the life of her child at any time during the pregnancy. We live in a culture that values “reproductive rights” over human life.

As we pause to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ this Christmas season, let’s remember all those babies whose lives have been ended by abortion. And as we consider the tender motherhood of Mary, let’s remember all those mothers who suffer the pain of past abortions.

It’s easy to be distracted by the food and presents of Christmas, but the heart of this holiday reminds me of both the frailty and inherent dignity of every individual human being. That’s where rubber hits the road for me. Person-by-person we can encourage Canadians to cherish the bond between mother and child. In this way, we may build a culture of life that promotes and protects dignity of every human being.

Enduring in Rocky Times

by Daniel Gilman

I finished my semester today with an exam. Usually I feel triumphant after finishing a semester of school. Today I just feel tired. All my exams went pretty well, but with school, my part-time job, and my involvement with our pro-life campus club…. I’m exhausted, worn out, and kind of glum. My brain feels fuzzy. I think I’ve got a cold. I am sure I have an ear ache. I want a nap. No, maybe five naps.

I was just on the phone with OSFL’s President, Rebecca, discussing club business. And that’s all it was to me: business. Discussing the club did not have the thrill it has normally had in terms of strategizing to change the world, or at least our campus.

I share this with you not because I want your sympathy. Rather, I write this, because this is something that all campus club leaders and all human rights activists go through. There are days/weeks/months/years where one feels inspired, enthused, and energized to take on the world. But there are also times when ones feels broken, worn out, and redundant.

Our society is saturated with slogans that tell us to do whatever feels right. To follow our hearts. To look out for number one. But that’s precisely the paradigm that undermines the value and inherent dignity of the vulnerable, the infirm, and anyone who feels like an inconvenience. If we are going to help our neighbours learn to respect the dignity of every human being than we must, from start to finish, love them even when it hurts. Indeed, it is precisely when it hurts that our sacrifices are most clearly defined as love.

One of my favourite stories of this kind of love is Horton Hears a Who. When Horton, the elephant, first discovers the vulnerable Whos on the speck of dust, he is glad to protect them. That’s nice. But the part that is truly inspiring—my favourite part—is when the evil eagle Vlad Vlad-i-koff steals the dust speck:

All that late afternoon and far into the night

That black-bottomed bird flapped his wings in fast flight,

While Horton chased after, with groans, over stones

That tattered his toenails and battered his bones…

And as this story goes on, Horton becomes “more dead than alive,” but he doesn’t give up. He never gives up. Although I feel exhausted, I look back on this past semester and the good work we did on campus and in our community, and I am proud of our club. I look at my fellow OSFL club members and my fellow pro-lifers throughout the world and I am reminded that my strength to continue does not come from psyching myself up—it comes from the same place that my belief in the inherent dignity of all human beings comes from.

There’s work to be done; I won’t give up. I’m looking forward to a new semester of promoting, protecting, and celebrating the dignity of all human beings. But first, I’m going to get some sleep.

Some Questions for Comment:

  • What are some of your favourite quotes and/or stories about enduring in one’s activism?
  • Have you ever felt discouraged or worn out from your activism? If so, how did you endure?
  • If you have given up, how might you become involved again in this work?
  • Is there a time to step back from awesome activism?

an introduction…

by Rebecca Richmond

I’ve been sitting in front of this computer for over an hour. My screen has several snippets of paragraphs sitting on it as I’ve tried to find some sort of cohesive way to string the ideas in my head together. I’m not a bad writer, truth be told. But it certainly helps to have a bit of direction when a writing assignment comes your way. The only guidelines I got for this was that it had to be epic. Thanks guys. No pressure, huh?

We’ll be blogging three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday (excepting Christmas and New Year’s) and you’ll be hearing from a wide variety of club members, from bright-eyed first year nursing students to old fourth year political science students. Everything from commentary on current legislation or stories of our experiences on campus will appear here. You’ll get to know our members, our club, our campus, our successes, and our struggles and we look forward to sharing them with you. This blog is more than just a means of us sharing information with you, but rather a means through which we can better connect with students and community members. So please feel free to comment or to contact us!

What I want to give you, in this inaugural blog post, is an idea of who we are. Not what we do, mind you, but who we are.

So let me take you back in time to last Tuesday evening when several club members assembled in my living room, armed with mugs of hot chocolate and bowls of chips and yummy baked goods, to plan for the coming semester.

We’re a diverse group of men and women. We have first years, fourth years and everything in between. We span the disciplines of health science, nursing, political science, history, philosophy, computer science, and classics. We are of different faiths and from different family backgrounds and we come from different parts of the country.

We have different gifts and talents, but like different parts of the same body, we all work together for this common cause: saving lives. I feel so privileged to work with these club members who selflessly give their precious time and balance school, work, family, and friends with their responsibilities to the club.

When we meet, whether it’s for an event or a planning session, I feel like we’re more than just compatriots in a common cause. We’re also good friends. There’s a great deal of laughter at our meetings along with good-natured teasing and fun. We are a participatory oriented open campus club. Our club leadership team’s role is to help facilitate, involve, and include our peers on campus in the efforts to educate, inform, and empower our campus regarding promoting and protecting the dignity of all human beings from conception to natural death.

I believe that we’re rather extraordinary. Not because we’ve done grand things, although I do believe that we’re doing important work at the university. Whatever we do, though, we do with a great deal of love. And in a world where convenience and difficult circumstances trump the right to life, a great deal of love makes a great deal of a difference.

OSFL joins the blogosphere.

by Garnet

Ottawa Students for Life has been a club for quite a while now, and we’ve decided to start a blog to keep everyone informed on events we have planned and important pro-life news, as well as to provide another means through which we can receive feedback and comments from our club members and peers out in blogger world.  Please check back often, and subscribe to our RSS feed!