Here is my interview with the Fathers for Good website... a part of the Knights of Columbus.
David Renshaw, founder of Real Catholic Men conferences, spoke with Fathers for Good about promoting the Culture of Life in his family and his Oregon community.
Fathers for Good: You live in Oregon, the first state to legalize physician assisted suicide. How does the law affect the culture there? Have you seen any impact among friends, family?
Renshaw: While the culture in Oregon has always been very “choice” oriented, the physician assisted suicide law has added another dimension to the pro-life fight. Physicians have made themselves into instruments of social change, rather than healers.
Even though it is a public law, it does not include any sort of mandatory reporting as to who will be notified when this choice is exercised, whether other options were given to the patient, whether the patient was depressed at the time, whether the patient was concerned about the cost of continuing care – nothing. There is a veil of secrecy around the public practice of this procedure. But what we have heard in darkness, we need to proclaim in the light.
The doctors and legislators tell us this is just another way to exercise one’s freedom, but the truth is these people are slaves to the sin in their lives. Slaves to idea that “might makes right,” as well as to their ego that tells them that they can deem someone worthy to live or die. The only one who can choose whether we live or die is the one who created us – our Heavenly Father. Our family and friends continue to pray and try to educate anyone who will lend us an ear.
FFG: How do you explain such a law to your kids when the message seems to be some people are better off dead?
Renshaw: My girls are 5 ½ and 4, and I have a 6-month-old son. During the last election we had to explain abortion to our oldest daughter because they were doing a mock election in her kindergarten class. I’m not quite sure she understood it completely, but it was a humbling moment to be sure.
This weekend (January 18th) we’ll be attending a Roe v. Wade rally in downtown Portland, and it will offer another opportunity to explain how precious life is.
FFG: How do you pass the pro-life message to your children?
Renshaw: We are blessed to have many friends who have had babies in the last few years, as well as some who are currently pregnant. What a wonderful chance to tell a child that “there is a baby in there.” To see their eyes light up lets you know that they completely understand what that means – more so than many adults. To see their own mother (or family member or friend) go through a pregnancy and deliver a beautiful new life -- there’s no better teaching tool than that.
FFG: Tell us about Real Catholic Men? When did you start it, what is the goal?
Renshaw: Real Catholic Men started as both a positive and negative reaction. I was blessed with meeting many men (the type of men I had never encountered before) who were so alive in their faith that I wanted to know what they had -- and what I was missing.
At the same time, I was growing increasingly frustrated with men who were not living up to their God-given roles of husbands, fathers, sons – MEN! Real Catholic Men is now in the process of planning our second conference in June 2009, gearing up for podcasting and – God willing – producing a radio program that will help us with our goal: to reach as many men as possible and bring them closer to their faith, their families and their Lord.
For more information, visit the Real Catholic Men website.