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February 21, 2020
Smart farming – the future of agriculture
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Babies before animals

Family hands

In an address to the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of Faith (CDF) on January 30, Pope Francis warned of “the modern tendency to judge human life on the basis of utility rather than dignity”, and stressed the need to protect the lives of the smallest and most vulnerable.

He upheld that “a society deserves the title of ‘civilised’… if it recognises the intangible value of human life.”

This stance is supported in Genesis 1 which tells us that after God created the earth, he said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness,” thus granting him (and the woman) a status higher than all the creatures of the earth.

God then blessed them and enjoined on them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.”

Today, however, we are faced with multiple challenges to this command. Concern for the environment has led to a situation in which, in the US, where in some states abortion is legal on demand throughout a woman’s pregnancy, one may be fined up to US$250,000 or two years’ imprisonment for destroying a bald eagle or its egg.

In December, while in many foreign jurisdictions one may be prohibited from even mentioning terms such as ‘Jesus’ and ‘Christmas’ in the public square, over the same period we were bombarded (on cable TV) with appeals for assistance for “poor suffering animals”, all to the strains of the revered Christian carol ‘Silent Night’!

New Jersey is outstanding for its duplicitous approach to compassion. Micaiah Bilger reports in LifeSiteNews (May 8, 2019) that Governor Phil Murphy signed legislation in April 2019 allowing doctor-prescribed suicide for the sick and disabled, despite objections from the disability rights community, but in the following month he signed another bill to protect animals from abuse, declaring, “I am proud to sign these bills that will protect animals in danger of abuse and treat our four-legged residents with the compassion they deserve.”

One of the bills he was referring to was introduced by State Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly to protect unborn cows from being slaughtered. The same assemblyman had this to say: “It’s heart-breaking to think that underserving dogs have been euthanised in New Jersey when rehabilitation may have been a better option. Fortunately, those days are over. Hundreds of canine lives will be saved under this new law, and they’ll have a chance to find forever, caring homes.”

According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, there were over 24,000 abortions in New Jersey for the year 2016.

Here in Trinidad and Tobago, we are truly grappling as a nation to realise the concept of “the intangible value of human life”.

According to the Trinidad Express of February 16, by day 47, the country had already recorded 73 murders. In addition, foetuses are being found dumped in the Beetham Landfill, human trafficking is becoming endemic, and senior and infirm citizens are being abused in homes where they are supposed to be sheltered.

This Carnival period, and particularly this weekend, will unfortunately be the occasion of numerous indiscretions leading to the conception of several “unwanted” or “unplanned” babies.

Will we be willing or able to help the parents (but more specifically, the mothers) through the term of their pregnancy, and afterwards with caring for the little ones?

We pray, through the intercession of Our Lady of Guadalupe, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, that we may exercise prudence and moderation over the coming days, that we will not offend against the dignity of persons, and that we will have a safe and peaceful Carnival.


A monthly column by the Emmanuel Community: 46 Rosalino Street, Woodbrook.Tel:628-1064;