Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Updates: Swine Flu; Same-Sex Marriages

+ A thirty-three year old school teacher in Harlingen, Texas, is the first American citizen to die while infected with the H1N1 virus, the cause of the "swine flu." However, the news reports also indicated that she had other unspecified "chronic underlying health conditions"; and as of now, the H1N1 virus is not the cause of death, although, presumably, that has not been eliminated as a possibility.

What makes the death of Judy Trunnell even more tragic is that she was pregnant when she became ill. While she was in the hospital, she went into a coma. A few days ago, she "gave birth" (through a C-section) to a healthy baby girl.

COMMENT: May the Lord have mercy upon her, her newborn child, and her family and all those who mourn her departure from this life. May He also grant us His protection; as there are some experts who are predicting that, as has been the pattern in other flu pandemics, the initial appearance of this virus in the spring, while mild, is not the end of the story. The virus may mutate so as to become more easily transmitted from person to person, and return in the fall and winter seasons with far more devastating effects. Or perhaps not. I remember an outbreak of a swine flu in the mid-1970's, while an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland-College Park. All students were strongly encouraged to be vaccinated; and I recall being in long lines at one of the larger buildings on the campus, waiting to receive an injection from an air-gun system that was supposed to be "better" than using needles. The shot was given in the arm, and brother, did it hurt! As it turns out, more people were adversely affected by the vaccine than by the flu itself, including some who contracted Guillon-Barre Syndrome. Only God knows what will happen this fall; but it is prudent, nevertheless, to prepare.
+ Meanwhile, as was expected by many, the state of Maine has become the fifth state to recognize same-sex unions as "marriages." Legislation changing the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman to simply being between two people was passed by the legislature in Maine, and signed into law by the governor. Similar legislation in New Hampshire is pending, and is expected to pass, although the governor there has not yet indicated whether the measure will be signed or vetoed. The legislature in Rhode Island has also introduced such legislation, but it does not appear that it will pass during this year's session. Maine joins Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont in the northeast, and Iowa as states now recognizing same-sex marriages.

COMMENT: Is anyone surprised? This issue is not going to go away; and the efforts to utilize whatever means are necessary to extend this to all fifty states will not cease. Eventually, the civil authorities are going to give up the fight, and this practice will become the law of the land. This may not happen in my lifetime; but I'd be surprised if it does not happen during the lifetime of our children. According to the Senate Majority Leader in Maine, the legislation there does not negatively affect the position of those religious groups for whom same-sex marriages are not possible; but he added that the action taken in Maine was, "long overdue." As to whether religious groups will be affected in Maine, we'll just have to wait and see. I'd be surprised if there isn't already someone planning a lawsuit, charging a religious group with a hate crime because it will not perform a same-sex marriage service.