Thursday, October 1, 2015

An Open Letter to Pope Francis

Hello, Pope Francis:

I think many Americans were glued to their TV sets with all the footage of your historic visit to our country. I'm sure that TV rating soared during your arrival with the saturation media coverage. I know that many people feel that your arrival made their dreams come true, with all their hopes, dreams and longings. I have seen people shed tears at your presence. Even a poltician was brought to tears by your arrival, one who has always come off as stolid and unemotional.

The media, who are typically cynical, lavished praise on you. They praised your love for people, your gregarious spirit, and your humility. They praised your genuineness and your walking your talk. The media has been praising you for things they rarely say about those whom they cover.

In my household, the TV was tuned into the news almost all the time. We saw all the sea of humanity, many people who had traveled far and wide, just to get a glimpse of you and see you. People could not hide their happiness at receiving blessings from you. You reduced many of them to tears, tears of happiness I am sure.

As a person who believes that life is sacred and precious beginning at conception, I was glad that you did state that all people, including those not yet born, deserve to be protected. I was disappointed that you did not, to our knowledge, call on Congress to move funds from Planned Parenthood to life-affirming social and medical services for women. I was glad that you addressed the issues of poverty and reaching out to all people who exist on the fringes of society. As a parent of a beautiful, precious daughter diagnosed on the autism spectrum and growing up with differences of my own, I'm heartened at how you welcomed children with disabilities and their parents.

AS a person who has been advocating for severely persecuted fellow Christians and other religious minorities, worldwide, I must say that I'm disappointed that you did not say more to condemn this bitter religious persecution. I am thinking especially of the bitter persecution that Christians face in North Korea and in Iraq and Syria and in other parts of the Muslim world. Christians in countries like Pakistan and Nigeria suffer immensely. I was disappointed not to hear about them. Also, I wonder if you called on the U.S. President and the U.S. Secretary of State to release the fout Americans, a pastor among them, who are being held hostage in Iran's brutal prisons and who are innocent. I hope you did. You intereded on behalf of a prisoner in the state of New Jersey, to commute her death sentence (which was not a success but that is not the point here). Yes, I have issues with the death penalty, as I have heard of it it misapplied too often and it does not even serve as a deterrent against crime. But I have even more of an issue with innocent Christians and other religious minorities being imprisoned, raped, sold as slaves, beheaded, crucified and tortured. I know you do also but I did not hear much from you about this.

But there are more concerning things even than these.

I do not mean to denigrate the Catholic religion. I know you talked a lot about the Golden Rule and about our need to love each other as creatures of God, despite our differences. I understand that you have met, behind-the scenes, with Kim Davis and encouraged her to "Stand strong." It seems to me that your message was missing the majr elements of the heart of the Gospel of Jesus.

In all your messages and addresses, I did not hear you clearly call on people to repent of their sin of rebelling against God's laws, and urge them to trust in Jesus alone to save them from themselves (no Mary or additional good works needed). I understand that you did mention having a "personal relationship with Jesus" but it was not clearly explained how people are to enter into this most important relationship on which their eternal destinies hang. Pope Francis, I hope and pray that you are trusting in Jesus alone to save you from the penalty and power of sin and are not adding Mary, Catholic ceremonies, or any good works to your faith.

Followers of Jesus do good works because they are saved, not in order to get saved.

Followers of Jesus honor Mary is the godly human mother of Jesus. They worship her Son.

Followers of Jesus respect godly servants of the Most High, but don't "canonize" them. All those whose faith lies in Christ alone are saints in God's eyes.

Followers of Jesus respect you. We worship Jesus.

Pope Francis, if you are adding anything to Jesus as your hope of salvation from the penalty and power of sin, I urge you to repent of self-righteousness and legalism and trust in Jesus alone. I urge you to repent of spreading the message implying that people's good works can make them acceptable with Gog. I know that you will probably never see this but I hope that some of your followers will and that God will use it in their lives.

Praying for all,

Lisa DeSherlia

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Imagine Another Option for Those Facing Crisis Pregnancies

You find yourself dealing with an unplanned or unplanned or crisis pregnancy.

You are not yet ready for the responsibilities of parenthood, often because of economic reasons. Maybe you do not have stable employment or permanent housing.

You hear the slogan, "Adoption, not abortion" and "Just place your baby in adoption; many parents would love your baby." But the thought of placing a baby you carry for nine months is like thinking about cutting off one of your body parts.

Abortion? You do not want to do that, either. Isn't that killing a baby? You probably do not want that on your conscience.

Daily, many, many girls, women, boyfriends and husbands find themselves dealing with pregnancies they do not feel prepared, at least at the time. Daily, up to 4000 of these pregnancies are terminated because the biological parents do not feel ready for parenthood at the time but cannot bear the thought of adoption.

Imagine that there was another option in crisis or unplanned pregnancies, one that would not be a perfect solution but that would open up another option for those in crisis pregnancies and serve as an incentive for many more of them to choose life for their babies.

Maybe many more lives would be saved and many more abortions would be prevented.

I'm talking about temporary foster care. I know that, right away, many pro-adoption people and adoptive parents may object that this would open the door to allow birth moms to place their babies in adoption with the possibility of reclaiming those babies years later. No, this is not a call to introduce such a loophole in adoption laws. The babes in temporary foster care would not be available for adoption so this scenario would not become an issue. I'm very much for adoption and that they remain safe and secure.

Some may argue that children need stability and that they should not have to live even in temporary foster care even as their biological parents are building their lives to be in the position to raise their own children. Those who identify themselves as prolife do not seem to realize that this option, imperfect as it is, would itself be a motive for many in crisis pregnancies to choose life for their babies as they know they would be able to regain their babies in a few years after finding employment and housing and/or education. Isn't temporary foster care a much more humane option for babies than abortion, even though temporary foster care is not perfect?

Those in the Parental Alienation movement may argue that this is a state issue and to keep Congress out of it. But we can say that of many issues that have become law of the land. There is a new petition that calls on Congress to make a law, effective in all 50 states, that would allow those facing crisis pregnancies the option of placing their babies in temporary foster care, with a four year limit to prevent abuse of this option and protect the children involved.

With the admitted imperfections of this option, it is far better than the option of ending an unborn child's life because your perceived lack of options. And can we really expect abortions to end as long as we do not offer those facing crisis pregnancies more options to choose life for their babies?

If you agree, please visit here to sign petition

Thank You!

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Unfair by Adam Benforado

This book is thouroughly researched and detailed critiqe of the criminal justice system. The author is an associate law professor at Drexel University. He is a graduate of Yale College and Harvard Law School. Then he served as a federal appellate law clerk and a lawyer at Jenner & Block. He has published many scholarly articles. His op-eds and essays have appeared in various publications, which include the WASHINGTON POST, THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, and LEGAL TIMES. He begins this book with a 12-page introduction that sets the tone for this book. This book, divided into four parts, consists of twelve chapters. He ends the text with acknowledgments and a brief note on the sources he sites. Then he ends with an exhaustive bibliography of the many, many sources he used for this book. UNFAIR is concluded with the index.

I know when I saw the book that I was in for an intense and involved reading experience. And I was right. Months ago, I had reviewed a book, something like this, that analyzed what causes people to commit crimes. The author of UNFAIR analyzes crime from a sociologcal perspective, and I found myself agreeing with many of his conclusions about the fundamental unfairness of the criminal justice system. I have to concede that each of us, as he argues, have implicit biases and because juries, judges, lawyers and witnesses come from us, we should not be surprised that our system is basically unfair. This book was not light or entertaining reading but it many of his arguments about the unfairness of our criminal justice system, are many things I have agreed about for years. He offers explanations (not excuses) for how and why judges and juries are responsible for wrongful convictions as well as wrongful acquittals. As I have always suspected, the author asserts the reasons for these travesties of justice can be causes simply by what the defendant looks like and how much money they have. It is no surprise to me that low-income, low-intelligence, and minority people care convicted for more often than more privileged defendants and usually get harsher sentences. And when they are victims, they often don't get justice and their perpetrators often are not held accountable or get light sentences. The racially charged cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown illustrate this. I have never heard of his proposal of virtual trials. While his arguments for them make sense, I'm not sure that this will ever happen or how cost-effective it would be. But clearly, we need to make changes.

I strongly recommend this book for every law student and for every judge, lawyer, and all who work in the criminal justice system. It should be required reading in all law schools. I recommend this book for all those who feel that they have been treated unjustly by the criminal justice system, if they do not mind the in-dpth, cerebral style. It will give them insight as to why and how the system often does not work according to justice. People who believe that prison inmates "had it coming to them" and that prisons should be cold, sterile places of punishment, will not like this book. They will believe that this author wants to "coddle criminals" by blaming their actions on their circumstances. As this is an in-depth, scholarly work, I do not recommend it to anyone who prefers light, entertaining reading.

I have received a complimentary copy of this book through Blogging For Books, in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to give a positive review of this book.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2015

One Request: Please "Like" My Newest Facebook Page

You are simply being invited to do one thing. If you are interested in this cause, I invite you to click the "like" button on my newest Facebook page.

Thank you for your support,

Lisa DeSherlia

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Dear Friend Who Has Participated in Abortion

I write this to you if you have had an abortion, whether recently or decades ago.

I write this to you who coerced your girlfriend or wife into getting an abortion.

I write this to you who drove your friend to an abortion clinic.

I write this to you parents who compelled your child to get an abortion.

I write this to you doctors who counseled your patients to abort a child with a "birth defect."

I write this to you if you work in an abortion clinic, whether as a custodian or an abortionist..

I write this to you who failed to talk a friend out of getting an abortion.

I write this to you who have supported abortion in any way.

Now I'm no expert, and while I have not experienced abortion, I have experienced other things that have caused me the similar mix of denial, fear, shame, guilt, anguish, and anger that you may be dealing with. We know that today, we are living in a culture where everyone is demanding their rights, including the supposed right to choose. If you have participated in, supported, had or even performed abortion, you may be dealing with a variety of feelings. You may be mentally telling yourself that you were in step with your culture, which tells you that abortion is acceptable. You may be defending yourself and what you have done, supported or participated in. You may be feeling grief which your culture does not allow you to express because, after all, you made your "choice." You may be in deep denial and may not be aware of any feelings about your actions. You may have blocked them. You may be filled with guilt, condemnation, and regret, and feel unforgiveable. I know that many abortion advocates will convince you that there is no such thing as "post abortion trauma" and that this is a made up condition and coined by "extremists." But though we do not like using the "a---" word, it is a fact that an abortion is not terminating an unwanted pregnancy, but it is the taking of a human life that has not yet been born. Therefore, when you support abortion, get an abortion, encourage another to have one, or even perform abortions, you cannot help but consciously or unconsciously violate your conscience, your humanity, and maternal instincts. I know that you may be among those women who may even see your abortion as a "badge of honor" for your worldview. This is not a matter on which good people ca disagree, thus experiencing abortion must be dealt with, just as we have to deal with any life-altering choices and conditions, whether drugs, alcohol, eating disorders, sexual addictions, among other things. I know that you may have been among the many in crisis pregnancies, who may not have seen any other option but abortion. You may even have wanted to choose life for your baby, but you had no support or encouragement from the important people in your life, your family and your friends. In that case, you may be have suppressed or repressed anger against those who coerced you into an unwanted abortion. You may have anger mingled with guilt over not being strong enough to stand up to pressure. You may even work at Planned Parenthood, knowing that many people are calling for it to be defunded, as if that would stop abortion. You mmay see what you do as just a job, and know that defunding Planned Parenthood would hurt low-income women and desperate women, unless funds are re-directed to alternatives to Planned Parenthood, where people can see that abortion is not their only option.

I don't know where you are in your life's journey. But there is One who does, and He wants to forgive you and use your life for the help of others. God has loved us enough to give His Son, Jesus, and Jesus paid the price for all our sins by bearing Divine wrath for all our sins. So if we repent (change our mind and life direction) of sin and trust Jesus (count solely on His merits alone to save us), we can know forgiveness. That includes you also! You who are reading this, I invite you to repent and trust Jesus.

Will you choose life today?

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