Dr Hilda Molina is the leading neurosurgeon in Cuba. Used once by the regime, she balked over two things. One was prioritising foreign patients who could provide cash to the government for their treatment (over Cubans, who certainly could not). The other:
Molina, who once posed for high-profile photos with Fidel Castro, was a well-known physician at a government institution until 1994, when she resigned after questioning the ethics of using human stem cell tissue in studies on treating ailments like Parkinson's disease.
After ten years of harassment by the government, she has finally been given an exit visa to visit her ailing 90-year-old mother in Argentina. Her son and his family also live there. Her thoughts on her treatment:
"I have inside a wound that will never heal," Molina told reporters after meeting with her son for the first time in 15 years. "I say to Mr. Fidel Castro, who has been the scourge of my family, may he have all the peace in the world. May he choose the path that the country needs. I don't need to forgive him for anything."
While all of us are distracted by the events in Iran, we would do well to pray for the citizens of that great civilisation that have fallen under the thumb of the existing mullahs. Whether or not Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is really in charge or is the puppet of others, the form of Islam to which Iranians are forced to submit is criminal in its human rights abuses. Throwing it off, though, runs the standard risk of allowing the pendulum to swing wildly in another wrong direction, but such is human nature.
Kathleen Parker has an interesting essay in the Washington Post that shines a light on the implications for women and it leaves the door open to this exact possibility (which, unfortunately, she doesn't see as problematic).
Beneath the surface of news blasts covering Iran's tainted elections, riots, protester deaths and government crackdowns, a subtext of women's rights is emerging. It is a subtext only to the extent that women's oppression isn't often acknowledged directly -- not even by the leader of the free world. But human rights are at the core of what is occurring now.
A government that oppresses its people can only sustain itself with violence, as the world is witnessing yet again as thousands take to Iran's streets. And, in Iran as elsewhere in the Muslim world, violence against women -- as well as against homosexuals and others considered inferior according to the mullahs' masculinist standards -- isn't only permitted but justified with religious doctrine.
You see, the standard problem with "masculinist standards" (MS) is that they are fought with "feminist standards" (FS) and neither of these are healthy (using shorthand for brevity). Since MS are grounded on power, mysogyny, bullying tactics and insensitivity to the other, those pushing back with FS employ the same arsenal, but simply exchange a "grrl flag" on the top of the hill for the discarded "boy flag."
[A previous illustration of this was the plea by Pope John Paul II to the communist east. He begged them, in their rush to throw off the yoke of their oppression, not to embrace the hedonism and materialism of the west, which was simply another lie -- and yet they didn't listen.]
The existing morality police are horrific bullies, and the oppression of women under Islam is ubiquitous, but scrambling for free sexual expression and homosexual rights is simply a different misguided path that we would beg these women to avoid. The fundamental lie that we attribute to the prophet Mohammad is founded in the marriage bond -- which makes women the property of the men in their lives. Wrong and bad. Only when men and women embrace each other as equals, in a bond that indicates mutual respect and protects the inherent good of each will society prosper.
We don't need one more corner of the globe that castrates its morality police so that it can run full bore down the path of the sexual revolution. The existing MS has installed the former, but a different MS could just as well love the folly of the latter. Neither honour the dignity of the human person, serve the authentic needs of women or create the fabric necessary to a culture of life. We must pray that the feminists who put their trust in a FS have a change of heart and come to see chastity before marriage, and the mutual and exclusive gift of self within marriage as the bedrock of the new Iran.
[No assumptions can be made about this woman's motives. God grant her peace.]
The Playboy himself is still sexually active at age 83, having renewed his menagerie with a set of twins.
Hugh Hefner has been blessed with three new very gorgeous blonde beauties — two of
which are twins. But despite his romantic relationship with
19-year-olds Karissa and Kristina Shannon,
the men’s magazine mogul admitted at the recent Playmate of the Year
party at The Palms in Sin City that he still can’t really tell them
"I have one little trick, one has a little mark," Hef said, motioning to his neck. "Other than that, I don’t know."
Their mother must be so proud. And speaking of mothers, an ex-toy has moved on since she wanted children and Hugh didn't. He's got dreams, though:
"Kendra is going to be a
good mommy, she’s growing up and Hank is going to be a very good
influence on her. They are an ideal couple," Hef said. "I’m sure the
baby will end up at the Mansion. We do have (lots of little bunnies).
We have a lot of friends and second generation Playmates, so there are
a lot of kids around the Mansion these days."
Fantasising about an unborn child being introduced to Sex Central as future bunny -- and referring to the existing children in-house by such terms should indicate the perversion that Is Playboy. This is what the mass media calls "blessings" -- and Playboy is mainstream by now. Kept women (whose names don't matter); kept children (mere flesh in the making) -- and mass envy.
Father Pavone has chilling anecdote about a woman giving birth in 1973:
After she had given birth and was in the hospital recovering from her
caesarian section, she was struck by the fact that even though the
maternity ward seemed to be full of women, there were no other newborn
babies around except hers. In fact, her infant son was all alone in a
room full of empty incubators. It was a strange and almost eerie site.
Please read the piece for the excellent point that he makes. That said, I remember a singular birth, sadly a stillbirth, our fifth child who was delivered in our familiar maternity ward. Not everyone on the floor had received the memo about the tragic outcome, and it was touching to see how various passing nurses scrambled for the baby equipment -- all the paraphanalia they noticed was missing from our room -- only to be told in whispers that it wouldn't be necessary.
They were geared for life. In its own way it was beautiful. To tell you the truth, the whole event was beautiful -- knowing the Author of Life had it all in hand. Tough, surely, but one of those poignant moments that bring so much truth to the surface -- that was the richness of that particular "life-giving" opportunity. God bless good priests for making these truths known in season and out.
...Just as Holy Mother Church catechizes the faithful and spiritually
nourishes them, each family setting does likewise, providing a
“viaticum” of its own – “food for the journey.” It begins with nursery
rhymes and bedtime stories, then builds on the universal faith with
family anecdotes and personal examples of humor and virtue, and
culminates in an abiding sense of personal worth only truly understood
through God’s salvific and sacrificial love....