Tag Archives: by Daniel

The Ghetto and the Merry-Go-Round

by Daniel Gilman

An excerpt from my notes written while in my history class on the Holocaust

In the spring of 1943, right next to the Warsaw ghetto, a merry-go-round was built for the recreation and regeneration of the polish citizens. While professionals slaughtered the Jews of the ghetto, their neighbours laughed and played. They did not laugh about what was happening to the Jews. No, many of them were likely against such things. Most of them simply never thought about it. But right when the Jews most needed neighbours, these individuals continued on with their lives as if everything was normal.

Would I have done any different? Would I have made faith, family, school, and recreation my priorities? Or would I have sacrificed my comfort for the wellbeing of the marginalized and the decimated. I cannot answer that question, for I would have been one of those starving in the ghetto, and even if was a gentile Polish citizen it would only be speculation as to what I would have done. But I can answer the question with regard to how I will respond to the human rights violations of today. My question to myself is not how have I lived thus far, but rather what will I do today?

Breaking News: Roxanne’s Law Introduced in Parliament

Bill to Ban Coerced Abortion Introduced into Canadian Parliament

By Daniel Gilman

LifeSiteNews is reporting that today in the House of Commons Member of Parliament Rod Bruinooge tabled Bill C-510, which will be known as Roxanne’s Law. This bill is seeking to stop people from intimidating and pressuring women to have abortions against their will.  This bill recognizes the reality that there are women throughout Canada who are coerced into having abortions. As Mr. Bruinooge clearly stated: “Many women have been forced into unwanted abortions; others have been injured or killed for resisting, like Roxanne Fernando, in whose memory I have named this bill.”

Mr Bruinooge went onto explain, “In early 2007, Roxanne Fernando’s boyfriend attempted to coerce her into having an abortion.  After backing out on the decision to abort her baby, Roxanne’s boyfriend then chose to have her killed.  When someone uses coercion, it can lead to violence.  Roxanne’s Law will communicate to all Canadians that coercing a pregnant woman to have an abortion against her will is unacceptable in a nation that values human rights.”

For further information see LifeSiteNews or continue to check our blog for further updates.

Please consider writing a brief email to Mr. Bruinooge letting him know of your support for this much needed bill: rod@bruinooge.com

An Apology, Clarity, and A Continued Call for Action

By Daniel

In my initial call to action I stated that, “Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party are scheming to force the Conservative Government to promote abortion as part of Canada’s push to fight maternal and infant mortality at the G8.” This statement was based on an article from the Canadian Free Press appearing  on the CTV and the Globe and Mail as well as reports from 4MyCanada . Having actually read the Motion for myself, I see that it does not explicitly use the word abortion, but I do agree with the assertion that this motion is about abortion.

The Conservative Government had already stated that they are open to including contraception as part of this initiative. The Liberal Motion goes beyond talk of contraception and states: “the Canadian government should refrain from advancing the failed right-wing ideologies previously imposed by the George W. Bush administration in the United States, which made humanitarian assistance conditional upon a “global gag rule” that required all non-governmental organizations receiving federal funding to refrain from promoting medically-sound family planning.” This is referring to President Bush’s “Mexico Policy” that organizations which promote abortion abroad would not receive federal funds.

I should not have issued an urgent call for action without concrete confirmation of the Liberal’s motion. I would like to apologize for doing so. I continue to encourage everyone to continue to contact MPs, letting them know that while you may support promoting contraception, you do oppose exporting abortion. I think the best article I have seen regarding this affair is this one: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/printerfriendly.html?articleid=10032214

Again, please continue to let our politicians know that Canadians do care about improving maternal health and combating infant mortality and that we emphatically oppose exporting abortion.

Urgent Call to Action!

By Daniel

Your voice is needed urgently! Whether or not you are Canadian, please take a few minutes and email Canadian Members of Parliament ASAP!

Michael Ignatieff and the Liberal Party are scheming to force the Conservative Government to promote abortion as part of Canada’s push to fight maternal and infant mortality at the G8. The G8 is an annual summit for the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Japan, Italy, Germany, France, and Canada as well as the European Union (I know that makes 9). Canada’s Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently announced:

As president of the G8 in 2010, Canada will champion a major initiative to improve the health of women and children in the world’s poorest regions. Members of the G8 can make a tangible difference in maternal and child health and Canada will be making this the top priority in June. Far too many lives and unexplored futures have already been lost for want of relatively simple health-care solutions.

But the Liberals are introducing a motion in Parliament on Tuesday, March 23, 2010 that would force the Government to include abortion and contraception in this effort to help mothers and infants among the world’s poor.

Please email your Member of Parliament, as well as other Members of Parliament, letting them know that you oppose this move by the Liberals that would take a great initiative and turn it into an opportunity to force abortion on the world’s poor. There isn’t time to mail letters via snail mail, so I suggest sending a brief email. For information on finding out who your MP is and how to contact her or him see: http://4mycanada.ca/ParliamentaryContacts.html

We’d like to thanks 4MyCanada for informing us of this issue. You can read more about it and they’re call to action here: http://4mycanada.ca/Emails/20100320.html

Please contact all interested friends and family regarding this issue and encourage them to make their voice heard ASAP!

Blood Money

by Daniel Gilman

Behind the veneer of pro-choice rhetoric is a very lucrative abortion industry. This money making industry is documented in a brand new documentary called Blood Money. This documentary has not yet been picked up by any distributors, ostensibly with the thought that few people care about these issues.

Click here to sign the petition and let them know that you care. And here’s the trailer:

The Lord of the Rings, OSFL, and You

By Daniel Gilman

As a little child I dreamed of great adventures, and as a teen I loved Lord of the Rings. But as a student at the University of Ottawa, I’ve had the privilege of making a practical difference promoting respect for all human beings through my involvement with Ottawa Students for Life. Yes. This has everything to do with you putting your name forward for the OSFL election: please keep reading.

Seriously, the closest I’ve ever come to being part of anything like the comradery of the Fellowship of the Ring is through this club. Just like in the Fellowship, we’re made up of a great variety of people united by a respect for the sanctity of human life.

Just like in any of those fairytale adventures, our journey is sometimes rough. It is sometimes discouraging, often feels futile, and always takes time away from home work. It’s a tough cause. Few people today advocate for children in the womb. Few people today take the time to listen to women suffering from an abortion. Few people today are willing to do anything to educate their peers on the reality of foetal development. I don’t always feel as if I’m like living my childhood dream. Sometimes I feel like an integral member of the team, and sometimes I feel redundant and out of sync. But I am committed to this cause regardless of how I feel. I pray that I will have the strength to endure.

Gandhi said that the test of a just society is how it treats its most vulnerable members. I say that society is made up of individuals like you and me. I honestly wish I could spend more of my time focused on school and having a good time; I wish the vulnerable members in our society were cared for, but often they aren’t. Like Frodo in Lord of the Rings, “I wish none of this had happened.” But the reply of Gandalf holds true, “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

And while I used to dream of being part of the Fellowship of the Ring, I now realize that those characters should be envious of me because I am making a difference in the real world, while they’re relegated to the realm of fiction. Being part of OSFL is like being part of Lord of the Rings but way more awesome–it’s real!

So… I suggest putting your name forward for an OSFL leadership position. For more info on how to do this click here

Momentum is Building

by Daniel Gilman

From coast to coast students are initiating resource drives to provide material support for mothers in difficult circumstances. Future doctors, politicians, and businessmen are being equipped to promote and protect the sanctity of all human life from conception to natural death. We’re hosting lectures and facilitating debates, raising awareness and making a difference.

Women and men who have been impoverished by abortion are increasingly informing the public of their experiences, and many mothers are carrying their pregnancies to term. While mainstream media traditionally ignore pro-life initiatives, new media is empowering the populace to be factually informed. Pro-life momentum is building.

This isn’t the first time that popular support has been mobilized. Back when I was a very young child there was also growing momentum. In response to the devastation caused by the law regulating abortion being struck down in January of 1988, there was significant support mobilized in favour of varied initiatives to protect the unborn children. But the momentum fizzled, people quarrelled, some were alienated, and many moved on to other things. I write this post because we face the possibility of the same thing today.

While much work has been done on campuses throughout Canada, many campus club leaders are graduating this year. The opportunities to make a difference on our campuses remain, but in order for the good work to continue new students must become involved. In order for the club to make a difference, we need more than just people interesting in helping out as time permits. We need students to make time. We need people to take on specific responsibilities by filling the executive and co-ordinator positions.

OSFL will be having its annual election in just a few weeks. If you’re interested in putting your name forward, please contact us at ottawastudentsforlife@gmail.com.

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?