The most read article on the site today is "Not the voice of my generation" by Kate Bryan, a young American writer who is new to MercatorNet. Kate took a look at a book by New Yorker Lena Dunham of Girls (TV show) fame and was, well, disappointed.
On October 15, the Supreme Court of Canada began hearing an appeal by the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association on assisted suicide. Contributing to the debate in the media, Margaret Somerville rebuts the idea that respect for the mystery of life, which sets limits to our control of it, is simply a religious idea that can be discarded.
The reinvention of parenthood continues its advance with bioethicists laying down the red carpet for technicians. And politicians look set to swallow the brave new world scenarios. Read Michael Cook's account of the latest proposals.
And Marcus Roberts wonders why we can't think up a really good catastrophe to solve the population problem. There's a challenge for readers...
Here is some welcome news. A Federal Court judge in the US jurisdiction of Puerto Rico has broken ranks and defended traditional marriage. (See below.) It's a stirring reaffirmation of common sense:
"Recent affirmances of same-gender marriage seem to suffer from a peculiar inability to recall the principles embodied in existing marriage law. Traditional marriage is 'exclusively [an] opposite-sex institution... inextricably linked to procreation and biological kinship.' Traditional marriage is the fundamental unit of the political order. And ultimately the very survival of the political order depends upon the procreative potential embodied in traditional marriage."
Long-time MercatorNet contributor Michael Coren writes from Canada. He had just released his book on the persecution of Christians by Muslim extremists when a Muslim convert with a gun killed a soldier and stormed Parliament House in Ottawa. His essay below reminds us that the age of martyrs is far from over.
I'm Tim Lee, MercatorNet's Business Manager and Comments Editor. A big thank you to all who took the time to respond to our recent readers’ survey. We have received more than 700 responses – a record! Here are some of the more significant findings we’d like to share with you
1. Our daily newsletter format has proven to be more popular than the previous weekly format – with around 80% of you (readers who responded to the survey) saying that they access our articles through the newsletter, compared to 15% who go to our website directly.
2. We have a highly educated readership, with more than 40% having a degree or a diploma and almost 50% having a masters or a doctorate.
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4. Most of you say that MercatorNet is informative, supports your values and has interesting angles they can't find elsewhere. More than 90% like the high quality of our articles or their timeliness and relevance. More than 50% like our design and functionality.
5. The top subject areas of interest are religion, family life, social issues, euthanasia, news headline stories, same-sex marriage, politics and education.
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News stories seem to explode on the scene, are discussed nonstop for days and then seem to be forgotten. I’d like to see a follow up section on stories that have gone cold, but still are ongoing.
Sometimes the articles are too narrow in perspective. I understand that there is truth to defend. But I hope it can be defended without sounding so combative but still attractive.
Tone of the comments – especially the negative ones. There should be a word limit and moderation. Comments should be on the issue at hand not the person speaking about the issue.
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When I need a better angle to understand controversial ethical issues that are stirring the world, I always wait to read what MercatorNet has to say about it. Thanks for your wonderful job helping us to hold up the rationality of our faith and moral values. (Gabriel Rodriguez Bogotá, Colombia)
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Have you watched "The Apprentice" in any of its international spin-offs? I'm glad that I found someone who shares my misgivings.
Martin Parker, a business professor in the UK, writes that "a largely false depiction of the business world which shows a kind of moral emptiness as a condition of being successful. At least, I hope it’s a false depiction, because if it’s an accurate one, then I wouldn’t want to meet any of these people on a dark night."
Time marches on. Former Australian Prime Minister Gough Whitlam died today and a younger acquaintance of mine asked me which party he had belonged to. The man at the centre of Australia's greatest constitutional crisis became a cultural treasure in his later years, liked by his comrades in the Labor Party and his old foes in the Liberal Party. He was an excellent speaker with a sharp wit.
But his finest words, I think, were about his wife. In 2002 he said, "My 25 years as member for Werriwa and three years as prime minister were just flashes compared in the long, warm glow of the other significant anniversary I celebrated this year - 60 years together with Margaret Elaine Dovey." Read about the political side below...
Today Sheila Liaugminas wraps up two weeks' reporting on the Synod on the Family held in Rome, quoting extensively from Pope Francis' concluding address to the bishops -- you can't get a more authoritative interpretation than that.
Also -- courtesy of some experts who held a congress recently -- we take the opportunity to provide an update on La Sagrada Familia, the amazing basilica in Barcelona designed and begun by Antoni Gaudi. Don't miss the video animation of its completion, scheduled for 2026.
Almost overnight a small industry in freezing women's eggs has sprung up. One enterprising company is holding "Let's Chill" parties for 30-something career women in Manhattan. Apple and Facebook are covering the cost for employees. Is this liberation or a new way of keeping women under the corporate thumb? Miriam Zoll reports.