PRAY FOR CRISTINA

VERITAS PROJECT

By Nwachukwu Joshua

Survey shows that the growth of the culture of death in this century is unprecedented in the history of mankind. More and more people have the power to decide arbitrarily and diabolically who should live or die, who has dignity and who has none. In this century, the unborn, the physically challenged, the elderly and the sickly are endangered more than they have ever been since the beginning of the world. Yet human life remains a gift from God which does not cease to be precious even when it is physical weak and limited.

When the suffering of another is brought up, many scoff and sneer: they prefer not to hear of it, they do not want to be reminded of pain. They lack empathy with the suffering. But blessed John Paul II disagrees with this awful attitude to suffering, in his words, “Suffering does not…

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An Open Letter to Michelle Obama: BTW Beyonce No Longer A ‘Role Model’

Dear Michelle Obama,

I’m addressing this to you because I admire you. Because you’re smart and a mum to two young girls. And you’re the First Lady of the USA. And because you were recently quoted as saying that Beyonce is a great ‘role model’ to your two daughters, and because you recently tweeted, after the Superbowl, that you were ‘so proud’ of her. I’m writing because everything you do is admired and emulated by so many; but when you endorse a recording artist like Beyonce, I see the most misogynistic aspects of the music industry (that prefers girls to be no more complex than dolls) interpret your comments as a seal of approval for the thoughtless cultural currency that they flood the youth market with. I’m writing because I think it’s time to stop suggesting to very young girls that ultimate feminine success – in the music industry or anywhere else – comes with the need, or the expectation for them to undress.

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AFRICAN KERMIT GOSNELL

Chinwuba Iyizoba

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In a dusty remote village of Eastern Nigeria, where people trek for kilometres to reach the nearest clinic and wait long hours to see a doctor; there is no electricity or pipe borne water and people bathe in the same stream they fetch their drinking water. Here, even a syringe is scarce commodity and nurses sterilize them in boiling water to reuse several times before discarding. Here is where Ipas, an international organization affiliated with International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), an abortion advocacy group, is effectively pushing crude handheld devices called Ipas MVA plus into the rough hands of desperate African women. These syringe-like devices, complete with Ipas trade mark and logos, are simple, hand operated and can efficiently suck the soft bodies of unborn babies in early stage of pregnancy out of their mother’s womb, tearing them apart.

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SAVE A WOMAN.

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By. Joshua Nwachukwu

On September 2000, 192 United Nations member states and at least 23 international organisations agreed to achieve some millennium development goals (MDG) by 2015; one of which is to reduce child mortality rate and improve maternal health. An estimated 287, 000 women died during pregnancy and childbirth in 2010 worldwide, a decline of 47% from 1990 level.  Most of the women died due to lack of emergency care, and according to Dr. Oluwarotimi Akinola, a Gynaecologist, “Nigeria accounts for a disproportionate 10 percent of the global maternal deaths. No fewer than 11,600 maternal deaths were recorded in Nigeria in the last three months with 45 cases recorded daily, the second highest in the world after India.”

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THE UNSULLIED READER

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By Chinwuba Iyizoba

A recent article in the New York Times caught my attention. Uzoamaka Maduka, a 25-year-old woman and Princeton graduate, born to Nigerian parents and raised in Maryland is starting a literary magazine called the “American Reader”. Asked why she is starting such a magazine, she said, “So many of the voices in fiction that are out there are deeply neurotic white male stories of how, ‘Oh, I had weird sex’; I kind of felt like, I really don’t want to sit still for this.”

My sentiments exactly! I have planned many quiet weekends, indoors; cuddled up with books I thought will be great reads only to be discomfited by their lurid and sleazy contents. Every now and then, I find myself immersed in the deeply disturbed ramblings of a madman pretending to be an author.  Well, I don’t need to tell you how unpleasant this is. I am surprised how little help readers get in choosing appropriate reading. I find there are few helpful reviews on the internet or anywhere else. In a world littered with every unsavory publication, good literary reviews are essential, yet many, though desiring it, are too lazy to promote it.  A failure in sharp contrast to speedy and often vitriolic outrage directed at literary works challenging gay agenda, pornography or pro-life views. In my view, such outrage, though based on false agenda, achieve its immediate object of scaring off dissenters or at least getting themselves a hearing. This can cut both ways, for silence often means consent. I hope American Reader will compliment efforts of others like MercatorNet and Almudi, to fix the broken back of contemporary literature.

“The American Reader is restoring literature to its proper place. It seeks to be principled, but not dogmatic; discerning, but not cruel; popular, but not populist. It honors the dignity of the reading public,” says the website.

What is more? Ms Maduka is a practicing Catholic who is ready to defend her beliefs. She attends weekly Mass at St. Ignatius Loyola on Park Avenue with her boyfriend Mr. Mullen, who became Catholic while they dated at Princeton; together, they hope to bring their fledgling magazine to everyone who needs it. To them, I say, Good luck!

Chinwuba Iyizoba is an Engineer. He is also the author of “ After the Juju Man”

 

 

Overcome Everything!

By. Nwachukwu Joshua

Everywhere you turn these days, there is a howl for equality and elimination of all forms of discrimination, against women and gays mostly. Surprisingly little is heard of another group often discriminated against. No one seems to notice the physically challenged in our midst; the deaf, the dumb and the blind; scorned by many, relatives and friends alike; especially when required to pitch in and lend a hand in feeding or housing the invalid. In Africa, people abandon them in the streets to fend for themselves. In Europe, people just kill them off, either by abortion or later by euthanasia.

Yet, the story of many disabled people breaks my heart; men and women, who, wrestling with daunting limitations, overcame them with cast-iron wills. The likes of Helen Keller, blind at nineteen months, went on to become a prolific author, anti- war activist and women right activist. Also Jessica Cox, born without hands, became the first pilot to fly a plane using only her feet. Then there is the modern story of Andrea Venuto. Born disabled, yet making his dreams come true. He’s a journalist and the host of an Italian TV show titled: “Overcome Anything.” He’s a man of action who inspires people to live life to the fullest. His is once again a story that should prick the conscience of a Western world killing without giving a chance its invalid, and for Africa a call to provide institutions to help educate and integrate its disabled people into the mainstream of society since they can contribute a lot.

The Next Big Thing

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By Chinwuba Iyizoba

On Ash Wednesday, the 36th session of IFAD’s Governing Council convened in Rome with a focus on the power of partnerships to reduce rural poverty and ensure food security worldwide and Africa was once again on the agenda. In an address delivered by Pope Benedict XVI to the president of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)Mr. Kanayo F. Nwanze,  one can see that Africa’s food problem is the Pope’s great concern. The Holy Father thanked the Organization for the constant attention given to Africa and the supporting projects of “rural credit” with which IFAD aims to endow small farmers with modest but essential financial resources to empower them.

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POWER OR PARENTHOOD?

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President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe during the swearing-in ceremony in the Oval Office, of U.S. Secret Service Director Julia Pierson on March 27, 2013.

By   Nwachukwu Joshua.

Social networks are lively and feminists, agog with the tinkling sounds of broken glass hitting the floor as a sister strikes at the top, shattering the much fabled “glass ceiling” meant to keep women forever underdogs.  The appointment of Julia Pierson as the first Female Director of the US Secret Service is no doubt a welcome development in a man-centred society like the U.S.  “Pierson is breaking the mould by becoming the first woman to lead the male-dominated agency,” a self-satisfied president Obama jibed. Similarly, a year ago, Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer chanted to girls in a graduating class at New York’s Barnard College, “Lean in to your career and put your foot on the gas pedal.”

Yet, even as we applaud this great achievement, and encourage more women to reach for the sky, it is also an important moment, I believe, to ponder again on the role of women in society; to mull over what is the right balance between family life and work life, and to judge how well we have fared in these aspects.

That a man and woman have equal rights, I do not dispute. What I contest however is the mistaken ideology that a man and a woman is equivalent or alike, and, therefore, can and should do the same things. This ideology is behind the agonizing yell for same-sex marriage we hear all over the airwaves today; but this will take us into deep waters and right now, I would rather avoid such waters.

What I should like to talk about, and perhaps draw attention to is the unfortunate and wholehearted swallowing of a dangerous feminist doctrine of the 21st century by young girls of our time; a doctrine that sneers at motherhood, calling it a waste of time, an economically worthless and socially disvalued enterprise.

On a staple diet of this feminist creed, young girls are steadily coming to abhor anything domestic, and are desperately aping men in everything.

I suppose that female emancipation should not mean, for a woman, a clumsy imitation of a man and his antics: deep down, this will be false and unjust, an acknowledgement of female inferiority. Rather, true emancipation of women, I believe, should mean the development of all that is properly woman. Femininity is rich, beautiful and to a woman, proper.

True, many women about to reach the peak of their career are with the doubts about family and career. Which takes precedence? How best can they be balanced? Wherein lies happiness of mind and body? All these are question many women in one time or another have had to ask themselves. Ultimately, majority have learnt that children make them happiest, without which life has little or no meaning.

One such woman that had agonized over these questions for many years was Phoebe Philo, she resigned her position as creative director of the French fashion house, Chloe, so that she could spend more time with her 1-year-old daughter, Maya. Another woman, Michele Flournoy, also, stepped down four years ago as under-secretary of defence for policy, the third-highest job in the U.S department, to spend more time at home with her three children, two of whom were teenagers. Again, Karen Hughes left her position as the counsellor to President George W. Bush after a year and a half in Washington to go home to Texas for the sake of her family. Another woman,  Mary Matalin, who had spent two years as an assistant to Bush and the counsellor to Vice president Dick Cheney  stepped down to spend more time with her daughters. Anne-Marie Slaughter the first woman director of policy planning at the State Department resigned also in order to take care of her son. The list could go on forever.

I am sure many will make fun of these women; some may even go as far as calling them lunatic for their voluntarily ditching “power” for “parenthood.”  I, on the contrary, would applaud these women as heroes. We all should celebrate them because they chose to die so that society may thrive; they chose to hide and to disappear that many may shine.   Mind you, society needs hundreds, thousand of well brought up citizens, now more than ever. So let us help more young girls be proud homemakers, and let us sing the praises of any woman who choose to stay at home looking after their babies over a promising career. My mom made this sacrifice for me and my siblings and I am very grateful she made that choice. Thank you mama I love you.

PRAY FOR CRISTINA

By Nwachukwu Joshua

Survey shows that the growth of the culture of death in this century is unprecedented in the history of mankind. More and more people have the power to decide arbitrarily and diabolically who should live or die, who has dignity and who has none. In this century, the unborn, the physically challenged, the elderly and the sickly are endangered more than they have ever been since the beginning of the world. Yet human life remains a gift from God which does not cease to be precious even when it is physical weak and limited.

When the suffering of another is brought up, many scoff and sneer: they prefer not to hear of it, they do not want to be reminded of pain. They lack empathy with the suffering. But blessed John Paul II disagrees with this awful attitude to suffering, in his words, “Suffering does not appear as a purely negative reality, but is a visitation from God, granted in order, to give birth to works of love toward neighbour, in order to transform the whole of human civilisation into a civilisation of love. The world of human suffering opens up the way to the world of human love.”

These words of Blessed Pope John Paul II seem to be comforting to Pericas’s household. Being Christians, not only did they understand the Pope’s word, they are struggling to live it. Their 11 year old daughter, Christina is suffering from an uncommon degenerative disease with a very long scientific name (Creutzfeldt-Jakob spongiform encephalopathy) which still baffles doctor. It makes her unable to talk or move her body.

Rather than kill her, as the today’s dictators of the culture of death would dictate, her parents, true to their Christian faith, see her as a gift from God, through which they can grow in love for one another and for their neighbour.

According to doctors, Cristina’s health is going to continue degenerating until she dies. But her parents are determined to carry the inconveniences and burdens squarely on their shoulders and they have done so for 2 years now.  Their faithfulness to their child is heroic, a consolation for the world’s suffering and forsaken, and a living proof of the dignity of every human life. They are teaching the world what love of neighbour truly is. Their actions tell us that true love of neighbour demands serving others and showing compassion to the sick regardless of personal cost, a demand more generally affirmed in words than in deeds by many. As we watch this video of this young girl and her courageous family, let us pray for them and try to turn our civilization from a culture of hatred and selfishness to a culture of love.