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Peace & Life Connections #283
October 23, 2015


Parliament of the World’s Religions
 
        With thousands attendees for their interfaith conference, the Parliament was a great success, and consistent-lifers made many contacts. Opposition to war, poverty, racism, and environmental degradation were offered as unifying themes across religions. The more individually targeted of our issues of violence – the death penalty, abortion, and euthanasia – were mentioned only occasionally.
         In one session on women’s rights, one speaker mentioned to applause that she worked with Planned Parenthood, so during Q & A Rachel MacNair pointed out that world-wide the females most in danger of being killed because they were females were those not yet born or recently born. Female feticide and infanticide happen in the millions, enough to cause gender imbalances in some places. This was acknowledged as a problem, but the PP speaker phrased it as “female infanticide and sex-selection [pause] practices.” But one of the connections between abortion and misogyny had been made, and the statement that this was killing wasn’t challenged.
        The table went well (welcome, new subscribers!) and as usual many excellent contacts and conversations showed once again that our one-to-one work at conferences is among our most effective ways of spreading the consistent-life word.
 
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Photos -- 
Top: Lisa Stiller and Rachel MacNair at the Consistent Life table
Bottom: Parliament of the World’s Religions official sign reads:
“El respeto a la vida es la base de todo,” which in Spanish means:
“Respect for life is the foundation of all.”
 
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Around the Web
 
Campaign Nonviolence, of which we are an endorsing group, announces plans for the coming year after its successful Week of Nonviolence in September – an annual event, so mark your calendars for next year.
 
∞ Kirsten Powers has an excellent op-ed in USA Today entitled “’Right to die’ proponents take advantage of human vulnerability, obfuscate reality of assisted suicide.”
 
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Latest CL Blog
 
        Rachel MacNair gives her story of dealing with how “professional expertise” can be badly misused, applying to torture within war and to abortion, in “Violence Bolstered by Professional Contradictions”: “I’d like to regale you with my adventures in what ought to be a stuffy professional organization but is actually a prime field for countering the push for some kinds of violence.”
        Contributions of writings for consideration as blog posts are welcome, in a wide variety. In line with our work at the Parliament, we can add that we’d be pleased with perspectives on the consistent life ethic from the perspectives of different religions as well as secular philosophies.
 
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Quotation of the Week
Leo Alexander, psychiatrist, Office of the Chief of Counsel for War Crimes at Nuremberg
“Medical Science under Dictatorship,” New England Medical Journal, July 1949.
 
        The beginnings at first were merely a subtle shift in emphasis in the basic attitude of the physicians. It started with the attitude, basic in the euthanasia movement that there is such a thing as a life not worthy to be lived. This attitude in its early stages concerned itself merely with the severely and chronically sick. Gradually the sphere of those to be included in this category was enlarged to encompass the socially unproductive, the ideologically unwanted, the racially unwanted and finally all non-Germans.
 
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Photo: A plaque set in the pavement at No 4 Tiergartenstrasse commemorates the victims of the Nazi "euthanasia" program. From Wikimedia Commons.
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