Haven't done one of these posts in awhile. Been busy. Here are a few goodies for your Sunday morning.
First up, a couple of neat articles.
Really cool speech that Palin gave to the Alaska Right to Life dinner in November of 2007, an event also attended by Dr. Alveda King:
As your governor, nothing is closer to my heart than the most promising and precious ingredient in this sometimes mixed up world of ours. That is Alaska’s children – those born and those (yet) to be born.
The Scriptures that define my faith also guide my beliefs when it comes to the value of human life. Psalm 139, many of you know. It says that God knit us together in our mothers’ wombs, that we are wonderfully and fearfully made and that God’s eyes saw our unformed bodies, ordaining all of our days before even one of them came to be.
I serve a God who creates and cherishes life and I believe, from the core of my being, that he has created everyone for a good purpose and that we have a destiny from the very beginning. So I do cherish and I will defend innocent life. As a woman, as a mother, as an Alaskan, as your governor, I will protect and serve the future of Alaska – your children – both born and (those) yet to be born.
I’m not going to judge or condemn anyone. Everyone has a different style about getting their word and beliefs out there. I’m just not wired to do that. I am not calloused about the issue of unplanned pregnancy. I sympathize and I empathize with those who are in that situation.
Someone in less than ideal circumstances finds out they are pregnant and they think, "Oh no, in an instant, my plans are ruined, my dreams are broken."
I’m not calloused to that. In fact, I understand. So I want to help and encourage those who are in that situation. But helping and encouraging is really hard in our culture, because our culture places too little value on honor and commitments and selflessness…
Mother Teresa once said, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you can live as you wish."
Our willingness today, in this culture, to be short sighted and to not consider the value and potential in every human life — even in situations like an unplanned pregnancy where circumstances are not ideal — that is a symptom of a culture with skewed priorities, a culture that has lost its way…
A culture that chooses to do harm to innocent life for convenience, that chooses to harm its very future by harming the promising element that can provide the hope that we need — a child — points to a culture that has lost its vision…
We must challenge, out of compassion, that shortsightedness we see all around us in this world. Our girls and our young women (need) to see how precious and valuable they are and be challenged to love and respect themselves and to honor their bodies and to protect that life which we are so privileged to help carry. As women, we are strong enough and sacrificial enough to do this. It is the way we are created…
Men need to learn to extend their strength to others. They too must be encouraged to selflessly become more responsible and to sacrificially own up to their responsibilities in less than ideal circumstances…
Together we need to cast that vision of life to our culture. We have to do it together.
Many of you know that the Alaska Supreme Court recently overturned a decision that had been made by our state legislature – the representatives, the law makers, that had reasonably required girls, 16 and under, to obtain parental consent before terminating the life of her child.
Remember that Alaska’s parental consent law was carefully crafted with a judicial bypass provision for those in abusive homes; for those who just couldn't’t go to a parent, such as at a critical time when a girl needed to tell an abusive parent that she was pregnant.
The legislature had already addressed that in this law. Alaska’s law was fully consistent with the U.S. Supreme Court precedent. In fact, right now, 26 states have parental consent laws and 15 states have parental notification statutes. We have nothing.
Yet our state supreme court struck down our act. The court rejected the legislature’s thoughtful balance, ignored our own case law and dismissed the legislature’s role in expressing the will of the people.
The Supreme Court, with their ruling, separated parents from their children, when these children are in their greatest time of need. They need parental guidance and support when they are facing such a critical decision.
Just because something is declared legal, does not make it right and it doesn’t make it best for the individual. What the courts intended to be a freedom for these young girls — to make this decision without parental consent, advise or guidance — actually erected a wall between the parent and the child. (This) totally cut the child off from their (parents’) wisdom and protection. That is the exact opposite of the law’s intent…
Our judges must interpret and defend the constitution and the laws that our legislature chooses to create and not seek to rewrite the laws.
This ruling, creating the situation where our kids are left to struggle alone in fear and heartbreak. I used the term, "outrageous," when I heard the ruling.
I know that some of you also have chimed in publicly and have expressed outrage and even confusion as to why Alaska’s Supreme Court would do this, when all these other states (allow) parental consent and parental notification.
As parents here in Alaska, we have to protect our children. It is our right and our responsibility. I call on you to support your administration and your legislature as we take the steps necessary to change what the Alaska Supreme Court just told us is best for Alaska, when we know it is not…
Those who do not see hope and promise, they kind of give up on this. That’s why I think we see rulings such as what we just saw. But those of you who do see hope and promise and believe purpose is given to our babies, let us make it our privilege and responsibility to peaceably act (and) speak up to protect children.
Our voices must be heard because theirs are not. We must work together to cast that vision of life and hope for our culture through peaceful but powerful leadership…
I love Sean's speech as well:
To restore a life-filled cultural view, we must begin with individual changes – individual changes of character and conscience…
I’ve taken this discussion to the men. I contend that masculinity has been warped.
We have misplaced the truth that being a boyfriend or a husband or a father means using strength to empower and protect and serve others, not to control or manipulate others.
(Masculinity) is not about getting our own way and our own selfish ends as men. Where men engage in self-seeking control and manipulation, is it any wonder that young women and girls get pushed to ever-increasing sexual exploitation?
Should we really be surprise when boys leave pregnant girlfriends or counsel them to get an abortion if they have never seen a man model honor, respect and personal responsibility?
Our boys must see authentic masculinity lived out by courageous men who ensure the well being of others first.
Our boys must see men honoring and protecting women as people of value rather than as sexual objects. Our boys must be told that courageous leadership means accepting responsibility and choosing restraint. (They must) respect women and girls by not putting them in places of compromise.
Now personally, I’m a work in progress. I don’t always look out for others first as I ought. But the good news is that I am not the man that I once was and I’m not the man I am going to be....
And finally, check out this piece from yesterday in the New York Times.
Video of the day, a flashback:
And here are some more pics of the Palins at the Belmont, from Corbis and Horsephotos: