Friday, August 28, 2015

Welcoming the Masses

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

These words of poet Emma Lazarus are emboldened on the Statue of Liberty.

As we debate whether or not we should embrace immigration reform in our country, we should remember that these words, in effect, invite to our country all those who want a better life.

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has stated that Mexico is sending "bad people" across our borders.  He has called them murderers, rapists and drug dealers. He says we should close our borders to these people and deport those already here.

Mr. Trump, what does the phrase "wretched refuse" bring to mind?  What kind of people are we talking about when we invite the wretched refuse of other countries to come here? That phrase does not describe the cream of the crop.  It does not describe "good people."  And yet, we have invited these less than perfect people to enter our shores. We WANT those who have been beaten up by life to find a refuge here.  That is what a country of kind, compassionate people do. That's why these words greet each and every visitor that enters our country.

If America is truly the great country we believe it to be, we should be throwing our doors open wide to any who want to come.  Anyone, anytime, for any reason.  No exceptions.

People blame illegal immigrants for all the ills of our society.  Illegals are supposedly taking our jobs, living on welfare, taking away from our citizens in every way, and putting a strain on our system.  This is so untrue.  In most cases, illegal immigrants take the jobs which our citizens are unwilling to do and for less money than we would expect and demand.  American companies send their jobs overseas precisely because our citizens demand to be compensated in a way that workers in other countries do not. If anything, America exploits illegal aliens by paying them poorly and profiting from their suffering. And though this is the case, immigrants still consent to be exploited because their opportunities here are still better than in their own countries.

People say, "We have enough problems providing for our own citizens, let alone illegal aliens."  Yes, we have problems, but those problems could easily be remedied if we would just shift our priorities. We have the resources to provide enough food for every citizen if we would.  If we would just take the corn and soybeans that are fed to cows and provide that food to humans, every single person would be well fed. If we would require every person who owns a home to grow his own food in his front and back yard, instead of maintaining perfectly manicured lawns, everyone could have enough food. Every homeless person could be provided a tiny home of less than 200 square foot.  The tiny home movement is a wonderful fad, but it could also be a wonderful solution to homelessness. There are many, many solutions.

I am an advocate of open borders, free universal healthcare, universal basic income, and free food for all, regardless of income.  These are not radical ideas.  These are things every human being has a right to, no matter what country they are a citizen of.

Visit our website, The Center for Unhindered Living, for more radical ideas.

Unhindered Living is living without the restraints that others try to place upon you, living a life that works for you, no matter what anybody else says.   Embrace a life of following your passion and joy.

Friday, June 05, 2015

My Experience with the Duggars' Destructive Beliefs

In the 1990's, my husband and I attended one of Bill Gothard's Basic Life Seminars.  At that time we were attending an Independent Baptist church in Oklahoma, and one of the prominent families of the church invited us to go.  We attended the seminar, sat through the talks and filled out the workbooks. But there was something eerily creepy about the whole thing.  It felt like a cult.

I had been drawn to the material put out by the Institute of Basic Life Principles of Bill Gothard because they promoted home birth and home schooling.  I had given birth to my last child at home with a midwife and was empowered by that experience.  I also was in the process of homeschooling my two children, and found it a very rewarding and fulfilling way of life.  So when a fellow church member showed me their material, I was excited to find that a spiritual authority was actually teaching that home birth and home schooling were part of God's plan for us.

I was raised in the very conservative Church of Christ, but during midlife began to feel that their teachings were too restrictive and so had been looking for a different church.  We visited many different denominations, none of which felt right to me, and we were currently attending the Independent Baptist because, ironically, we liked the fact that, unlike the Southern Baptists, the Independent Baptists were not controlled by any central authority.  Each church was an independent entity that did not answer to something like the Southern Baptist Convention.  I liked the idea personal autonomy.  It seemed to me that no one could ever truly be free to do God's will if they were controlled by another person or governing authority.  Ironically, this is exactly the opposite of what is taught in the Bill Gothard material.  He teaches that we must all be under the authority or "umbrella of protection" of those appointed to rule over us.

My husband and I had always been equal in all things, and so when they started to introduce this idea that the wife was to be submissive to, or under the authority of, her husband, that didn't sit well with me. Personal autonomy is very important, because if you are not completely free to make your own decisions, then you have no freedom at all.  You cannot be considered to have free will, and freely choose God's way, if you feel obligated to make choices that are in line with those in authority over you.

Then they introduced the idea that the woman should submit to the man's need for sex any time he wants it because we are not to refuse one another's sexual needs.  But it didn't seem that the woman's needs were taken into account at all.  This is why the Duggar Family has 19 children.  Because if Daddy wants it, Daddy gets it, no matter how the woman feels about the matter.  She is to submit to him in ALL THINGS.  Now, assuming you have a benevolent husband who takes into account your needs, then you will be fine.  But many, many men use their supposedly God-Given authority to abuse women, and you will never convince me that this is God's will.

In the Basic Seminar workbook, there is a page called "The Principle of Suffering."  This page says, "Suffering can be God’s loving reminder that we have violated His ways: “It is good for me that I
have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes” (Psalm 119:71). Suffering can be motivation for spiritual growth: “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (I Peter 5:10). Suffering is preparation for future leadership: “If we suffer, we shall also reign with him . . .” (II Timothy 2:12). Suffering forces us to stop sinning: “Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin” (I Peter 4:1). Suffering is also God’s way of drawing others to Himself: “For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God . . .” (I Peter 3:18). This is our calling when another person offends us."

In what way has a child that has been sexually abused "violated his ways"? You are telling me that I am supposed to counsel a child that has been abused or a wife that has been abused and tell them that they were abused because they violated God's ways?  THAT IS VICTIM-BLAMING.  Or, he caused the abuser to abuse the wife or child so the wife or child would come to God?  Do you think that I am going to want to come to a God that would use abuse as a recruiting tool?  NEVER.....

The people who wrote this crap are just on a power trip.  DO NOT LISTEN TO IT.

You are a free and independent entity.  You have the right to make your own choices.  You do not have to stay with someone who is abusing you.  There is no loving god that is going to use abuse to make you come to him.  No child would want to come to a parent that is hurting them.  Why would we want to come to a god who would do the same?

In fact, all gods are make believe and all religions are man-made for the purpose of controlling you. You are much better off without them.

There is ample evidence that the Bible is a forgery, not written by those whose names appear as the authors, and not divinely inspired.  Do your own research.  If you have an inkling in the core of your very being that something is not right with the religion you were taught, be brave and forge ahead. There is something better for you out there.  Follow your heart and do what is right for you.

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Copyright 2015  Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

Monday, March 30, 2015

Don't Go to a Crisis Pregnancy Center

In 1994, while I was still attempting to find a meaningful life as a member of a conservative
christian church in Lawton, Oklahoma, the town opened its first Crisis Pregnancy Center (now called the Pregnancy Resource Center).  I was among the first group of volunteers trained to work in that center. I spent many hours with my fellow volunteers trying to lure women into the center with the promise of free pregnancy tests, adoption and abortion information.  Except the only abortion information we gave out was about the risks and negative effects of abortion.  We would never, ever tell you how to get an abortion or refer you to anyplace that performed them.

This crisis pregnancy center, and lets face it, ALL crisis pregnancy centers, they have only two main goals.  First, to convince you not to have an abortion and second, to convince you that you need to accept Jesus Christ as your savior and become a Christian.  Everything else they give out or claim to provide is ONLY to further those two ends. 

So, I and my fellow volunteers spent literally hours practicing and role playing EXACTLY the words they wanted us to say to avoid legal liability and mislead women. We were supposed to supply what we called "self-administered pregnancy tests" because reading the test and telling a woman she was pregnant was considered medical diagnosis, so we showed the test, explained how to perform the test and how to interpret the results, then allowed the woman to perform the test herself.  She then had to mark a form herself that stated she herself had observed the test to have a positive or negative result. 

If she had a positive test, we urged her to confirm the test with a visit to a physician.  But first, we'd sit down and let her talk about her feelings about the pregnancy and asked her what she thought she wanted to do about it.  If she showed interest in abortion, or asked for information about where o get an abortion, we were to talk with her about the risk she was taking by having one.  We were to show her pictures of unborn fetuses at her stage of development, and we were to emphasize that the baby was a thinking, feeling individual who would feel the pain of an abortion (even though there is no scientific proof that this is the case).  I was particularly suited to this work because I was a Certified Childbirth Educator and also taught free childbirth classes to the women who intended to keep their babies. 

We were also to talk to them about Post Abortion Syndrome and how there was a big chance they would get this condition if they had an abortion.  Never mind that The American Psychological Association and the American Psychiatric Association do not recognize that this syndrome is a real condition. A symptom of Post Abortion Syndrome is supposed to be a feeling of regret after having an abortion.  Never mind that a recent study from the University of California found that 90% of women who have an abortion report that they feel they made the right decision.  Of course, the majority of women who have abortions wish they didn't have to do it, but that does not mean they have some make believe disease.  Don't believe them when they tell you this.  Post Abortion Syndrome is not a real psychological condition. 

In 1987 Ronald Reagan asked then-Surgeon General C. Everett Koop to write a report about the effect of abortion on women. Koop, who made no secret of his dislike for abortion, was unable to find any unbiased, rigorous scientific studies that could support an anti-choice position. 

As Crisis Pregnancy Center volunteers, we were instructed to explain the "Plan of Salvation" to every single person that came in for information.  If I was seeing a woman alone, I very often did not perform this particular part of the plan because I found it so distasteful.  If another volunteer was sitting in with me as I talked with a mother, I tried to work it in but almost always found a way to ask the other volunteer to go out of the room to get something so I could finish up alone and then I would tell the other volunteer I had explained it to her and she had declined the invitation. I saw this part of the service as deceptive, offering a woman something she wants in a time of stress just so we can get her as a captive audience and force her to listen to a conversion talk. It's the same reason that churches offer free programs open to the community, just so they can get you in their building and preach to you about how lost you are.  Don't fall for the bait. 

They also provide information for teenagers, but its only information on abstinence, no information about birth control at all.  It's a fact that states where birth control is freely available have much lower teen pregnancy rates and abortion rates.  So if they want to lower these rates, they should be providing accurate sex education for teens including contraceptive information. Teens, you have a right to be sexually active and to protect yourself from pregnancy and disease, despite what adults may tell you. 

This week Google has decided that search results for "where to get an abortion" will soon stop directing women to crisis pregnancy centers who want to shame women out of getting an abortion.  That's at least some progress. 

I no longer attend a christian church because most of the things they teach and claim can't be substantiated scientifically and are simply a matter of opinion.  You aren't lost or broken and don't need to be fixed.  You are not a bad person for having an abortion.  You definitely don't need to involve them in your pregnancy. I have seen first hand the heartache that women went through when they were talked into keeping their babies by the crisis pregnancy center.  And, you do not need Jesus Christ or any religion to live a happy, productive, meaningful life. 

If you want information or help, I'd rather you contacted me than a crisis pregnancy center. I won't try to convert you or give you false information. If you want to keep your baby, I'll try to help you find the resources to do so.  If you want an abortion, we'll find a way for you to get one.  It's as simple as that.  The bottom line is, every woman should have a right to choose. 

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Copyright 2015  By Judie Ingram McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

Monday, February 02, 2015

Granny Square Crochet Pattern

Granny Square Pattern

Yellow indicates a set of stitches that make a corner

Row 1
Chain 4
Slip stitch into end of chain, making circle
Chain 3
Double Crochet 2 into circle
Chain 2
Double Crochet 3 into circle
Chain 2
Double Crochet 3 into circle
Chain 2
Double Crochet 3 into circle
Slip stitch into 3rd chain on first stitch

Row 2
Slip stitch backward in same corner hole
Chain 3
2 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
Join with slip stitch in top of first stitch

Row 3
Slip stitch backward into side hole
Chain 3
2 DB cr into same side hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr in corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr into side hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr in corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr into side hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr in corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr into side hole
Chain 1
3 DB cr in corner hole
Chain 2
3 DB cr into same corner hole
Chain 1
Join with slip stitch in top of first stitch

Row 4

Repeat Row 3 pattern

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

What are "Traditional" Values?

Wikipedia defines "Traditional Values" as "those beliefs, moral codes, and mores that are passed
down from generation to generation within a culture, subculture or community."  However, at the
time of the writing of this article, Wikipedia was unable to cite any references or sources to support this definition.  This illustrates the problem with defining traditional values or family values:  every family has different traditions.  To act as if everyone in a particular group or of a particular religious or political persuasion has the same values is to be very shortsighted.

For instance, many people who say they are proponents of traditional values cite the Bible as their authority for those values.  But are we to assume that the majority of people in the world hold to those values and therefore, those values are normative? Let's see.....

According to this chart by the U.S. Center for World Mission, 33% of the world's population are Christian.

So why are we accepting what the 33% says as normative?  In statistics, what is "normal" is defined by the bell curve.  Meaning, when a number of variables are plotted on a graph, 2/3 will fall within the bell curve, and that 2/3 is considered normative.  Which means, Christianity does not have enough adherents for their beliefs to be considered statistically normative.

So why then, do we allow conservative evangelicals to dictate to us which political positions and which laws should be considered normative?  They talk about traditional values and family values as if they are synonymous with Christian values.  But this cannot be the case.

Then they say something like 'traditional values refers to the values espoused by our founding fathers.'

Well, let's see about that.  How many of our founding fathers owned slaves, or were married but slept with and fathered children by their female slaves?  Is that a family value we want to perpetuate?  I don't think that just because the founding fathers did something or believed something that we necessarily ought to believe and practice it too.

And although all the founding fathers' names appeared on the church rolls of orthodox churches, as did almost everyone during that era, their private beliefs were obviously different from their official public personas.  In his widely read The Age of Reason, Thomas Paine, the principal American exponent of Deism, called Christianity "a fable."  Paine, the protege of Benjamin Franklin, denied that the Almighty ever did communicate anything to man, "by ...speech,...language, or" Deism became widely popular during the 18th and 19th centuries.  To quote from the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 

"Although orthodox Christians participated at every stage of the new republic, Deism influenced a majority of the Founders.  The movement opposed barriers to moral improvement and to social justice.  It stood for rational inquiry, for skepticism about dogma and mystery, and for religious toleration.  Many of its adherents advocated universal education, freedom of the press, and separation of church and state.  If the nation owes much to the Judeo-Christian tradition, it is also indebted to Deism, a movement of reason and equality that influenced the Founding Fathers to embrace liberal political ideas remarkable for their time."

So our founding fathers embraced "liberal political ideals."  Doesn't sound like conservative evangelical fundamentalism falls into that category.

So, the "traditional values" that conservatives speak of, those cannot be considered normative because Christianity doesn't have enough adherents to be considered normative, and the ideals of the founding fathers were liberal political ideals which are not representative of today's so-called "traditional values."

What do conservatives mean when they say "traditional values?"  Mostly, all their traditional values have to do with gender, gender roles, sexual identity and behavior.  In other words, monogamy, heterosexuality and sexual purity.  Why is it that conservatives get so hung up on these antiquated values?  Why try to make them normative for everyone?  Why try to behave as if deviations from these states of being are deviant or shouldn't be allowed to exist?

For one thing, conservatives are not into freedom.  They are into control.  Sexual freedom is the ultimate freedom.  If you feel free to explore your sexuality, then you will probably feel free in every area of your life.  And they don't want that.  The more the people around you are able to experience their own personal freedom, the more you might notice and decide that you don't like being controlled and you might want to follow in their footsteps.

I have never understood Genesis Chapter 3.  In this chapter, God tells Adam and Eve not to eat of the fruit of the tree, because if they do, their eyes will be opened and they will be like God, knowing good and evil.  So, that sounds like it would be a good thing.  Throughout the Bible, adherents are admonished to try and be like God.  But in fact, the God of the Bible does not want people to have their eyes opened.  Because they might see the truth.  If that was not the case, then Adam and Even wouldn't have been chastised for becoming like God.

The idea that Adam and Eve would have lived forever if they hadn't eaten of the fruit is an outrageous myth.  There is no such thing as being immortal.  Our bodies always wear out, eventually.  So when Adam and Eve ate the fruit and saw that it was good for food and made them wise, this was a good thing.  This is how we know the God of the Bible is a fraud.  Any being that wants to keep his children in darkness and does not want them to know the truth should not be trusted.  And we shouldn't be patterning our lives after him.

Once again, I want to admonish our lawmakers to stop calling Christian values "traditional values" or "family values" and acting like, somehow, these are the only values that matter.  You are certainly entitled to live your lives the way you want, but don't try and pretend like somehow the values the rest of us espouse are somehow less important or less normative than yours.

Remember, in the Bible, King Solomon was supposed to be the wisest man that ever lived, and he had a thousand wives and concubines.  So why aren't we embracing that as a "family value?"  If it was good enough for the wisest man that ever lived, why isn't it good enough for me?

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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

When Does Life Begin? And Does it Matter?

The media would have us believe there is a huge divide in this country over pro-life issues. Perhaps there is a divide among white male conservative and liberal politicians.  But to the average person on the street, no so much.

According to Gallup Poll trends, from 1975 to 2014, the belief that abortion should be legal under certain circumstances has not wavered from an average of 52%.  So despite legality or illegality of the procedure, support for the ability to access abortion care remains supported by the majority of Americans.

Conservatives tend to get hung up on the question, "When does life begin?"  Apparently, it is believed that even a single celled organism or an embryo should be considered "life" because it is believed that even that small an organism contains a "soul."

I don't believe that science can provide any proof that a soul does or does not exist, nor when it comes to reside in a bundle of cells in a woman's womb. The picture at left was taken at the 7th week of pregnancy.  There is no way this bundle of cells has a brain yet, let alone consciousness. 

However, since those making this argument appear to be making for religious reasons, perhaps they should listen to what the Bible has to say on the subject.

The Bible is very clear about when life begins.  Genesis 2:8 says, "Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being."

Was man considered a living being as soon as he was created?  No...not until he breathed his first breath was he considered to be a "living being" or have a "living soul."  As further support for the idea that the requirement for "life" is that the organism be breathing, the Greek for "spirit" is the word pneuma, which means, "breath."  It was clearly understood in Bible times that for one to be considered to be alive, one had to be breathing.  This would preclude the idea that an embryo or single cell could be considered to be alive or have a soul.  Nor does the age of "viability" make any difference.  When Adam was created, as he lay there on the ground, not breathing, he certainly was viable.  But until he took his first breath, he was not "alive."  An unborn baby, even after 20 weeks, if it has never been outside the womb and has never taken a breath of air, it is not considered alive. 

Some might say, "Well, those that wrote the Bible simply didn't have the science we have now so they didn't know that babies in the womb are conscious and alive."

No, that line of reasoning doesn't fly either because if God wrote the Bible, if it was inspired and every word is correct, then God wrote exactly what he meant.  Even if the men who wrote the Bible down didn't know the science behind pregnancy and birth, God knows, and should have written exactly what was correct.  You can't have it both ways.  If you want to claim that the writers of the Bible didn't write things down scientifically, then you have to assume that God knows nothing about science, because he should have been able to have them write exactly what he wanted said.   

Pro-life supporters often say they want to ban abortion and don't even want to allow it in the case of rape or incest because, they say, "It's not the child's fault that they were conceived through rape, so why should be child be punished by being aborted?"  or "It's not the child's fault their parents made a mistake, why should the child pay the price for his parents' mistake?"

The person who would say this obviously has not read Numbers 5:19-22:

19 Then the priest shall put the woman under oath and say to her, “If no other man has had sexual relations with you and you have not gone astray and become impure while married to your husband, may this bitter water that brings a curse not harm you. 20 But if you have gone astray while married to your husband and you have made yourself impure by having sexual relations with a man other than your husband”— 21 here the priest is to put the woman under this curse—“may the Lord cause you to become a curse among your people when he makes your womb miscarry and your abdomen swell. 22 May this water that brings a curse enter your body so that your abdomen swells or your womb miscarries.”

Now...what is happening here?  A husband suspects his wife of being unfaithful and getting pregnant, and he takes her to the priest, who administers to her a bitter liquid which she drinks and the liquid causes an abortion to take place.  

And why?  Look at the title of Chapter Five.  "The Purity of the Camp."  It was believe that a child of a man and woman that weren't married was "impure" - so it should be eliminated.  

Now, I don't subscribe to the idea that ANYTHING makes an a human being impure.  But, to say that God does not support the idea of abortion is simply wrong if you believe the Bible.  Here is an example where it was used.

Now, what do conservatives say when  a woman becomes pregnant and wants to abort her baby?  "Oh, it's not the child's fault, why should the child be aborted?"  But in the above example, God didn't seem to care if it was the child's fault or not.  He said, "Abort it."  or rather....God was credited with aborting the baby after the woman drank the bitter water. He didn't seem concerned about preserving that supposedly innocent life. 

So Pro-Lifers, you don't have a leg to stand on if you are going to assert that God hates abortion.  If he did, he wouldn't have advocated it here.

And if you are going to say "Well, this was the Old Testament and we don't live under the Old Law anymore...You're absolutely right.  We live under the law that says "Judge not lest ye be judged" and "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone."  Which means, stop judging those who would have an abortion.  Stop calling them terrible people and trying to make them feel guilty. Understand that they are trying to make the best decision they can for their own situation, and they need our support, not our judgment.  You don't have the right to judge.  The law of love demands they be treated with tenderness, love and respect.  While there may be doubt that the unborn child is actually a living soul, there is NO DOUBT that the mothers are.  If in fact those babies are innocent and blameless, then they will go to heaven if they are aborted.  You don't need to worry about their fate.  What is more demand that baby be born into poverty, disease and suffering, or allow it to mercifully be sent to its heavenly home?  

Oh, I somehow believe that suffering is noble and a life of suffering is more pleasing to God than ending it.  

But God said, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice."   God is firmly on the side of mercy and compassion.  He does not expect human beings to sacrifice everything.  That's man's idea of what women should do.  It's not a godly idea.  

Then why did he sacrifice his son, you say?  I don't believe he did.  But that's another discussion for another day.

But even if he did, he's God, and we're not.  He doesn't expect us to be perfect, hence the mercy.  We are made perfect in love.  We will never be able to sacrifice enough to be good enough for heaven.  But we can love enough.  

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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Righting an Old Injustice: The Vindication of Laetrile for Cancer Treatment

In August 2014, researchers in Germany published the results of newly completed research on the use of Laetrile (Amygdalin).

Amygdalin Blocks Bladder Cancer Cell Growth In Vitro by Diminishing Cyclin A and cdk2

You may remember that in the 1970's Amygdalin, later called Laetrile, was tested as a treatment for small cancerous tumors in mice.  The results were very positive.  However, the Sloan-Kettering Institute conspired to cover up the results of those trials and a huge scandal ensued.  Laetrile was available as a treatment for cancer in several different countries, but was decried in the U.S. continued research abandoned. 

For a limited time, you can view for free a new documentary featuring Sloan-Kettering employees who talk about their involvement  in trying to get Sloan-Kettering to admit that positive trials had been conducted.  You can see the documentary HERE.  It will only be available for free until January 31st and after that it can be purchased on DVD.  

It is my request that, if you or someone you love is suffering from cancer, or if you care about freedom of choice, that you purchase a copy of this DVD and support this project.

Amygdalin is found naturally occurring inside the kernal of the apricot.  If you cut open the large, hard seed in the middle, inside that is a small, soft seed resembling an almond.  This is the richest source of Amygdalin.  The seeds of berries also include Amygdalin, with red raspberry seeds having the most.  There are other foods that contain Amygdalin but in smaller quantities. 

While Laetrile cannot, in my opinion, be called a "cure" for cancer, it certainly can be said that the research shows it to inhibit tumor growth, provide pain relief, and in general improve the length and quality of life of cancer victims. Certainly, it could be used along with other holistic treatments and lifestyle changes as part of a complete cancer treatment package. 

The bottom line is, do your want other powerful people deciding for you what treatments you can or cannot have?  Certainly, if you have the money to go to Mexico or other countries where you can get intravenous Laetrile, that is great, but what about the poor who can't afford to travel to other countries?  They should have the same chance as everyone else to have effective treatments available to them.

If you choose to use Laetrile, there are certain vendors where you can purchase the apricot kernals in bulk.  This website has a list of vendors.  The vendor list is at the bottom of the page. 

Copyright 2015 Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

Monday, January 19, 2015

Charlie Hebdo: The Importance of Respectful Discourse

Freedom of speech is a basic, inalienable right.  There is no question that everyone, no matter their position or point of view, is entitled to speak about what they believe and disagree with others' opinions.  What freedom of speech does NOT give us is the right of disrespect.

Case in point, Charlie Hebdo.  On January 7, the offices of French magazine Charlie Hebdo were bombed and several employees killed because they published a cartoon making fun of the prophet Muhammad of the Muslim religion.

After the attack, editor Gerard Biard defended the magazine's decision to publish the cartoon by saying "We do not attack religion, but we do when it gets involved in politics."  (1) (Perhaps it is a problem with the translation from French to English, but saying that you don't attack religion and then turning around and giving examples showing that you do doesn't seem like the best way to justify your actions).

I am the first to agree that freedom of speech is an inalienable right.  But with rights come responsibility.  If you are my friend and you come out wearing the most ugly dress I've ever seen, I have the right to tell you how ugly it is.  But I would never be so disrespectful.

Why not?  Because first of all, I value our relationship, and I affirm your inherent worth and dignity. As such, your feelings are important to me.  Even if I disagree with your choice, our relationship is more important than whether or not I disagree with you.

If you ASKED me what I thought of the dress, I would find a way to tactfully state my opinion. Like, "Well, it's not something I particularly care for, but all that matters is that YOU like it."

Similarly, when criticizing someone's religious beliefs or any other strongly held opinions, why can we not simply state, "I don't believe in your god" or "I don't believe in your religion"?  Instead, we choose to make fun of something that is sacred to others.  One might argue that making fun of someone's religion is not making fun of the person.  That's like saying that if you make fun of my child, I shouldn't get upset because you weren't making fun of ME.  My child is a part of me and yes, I would be offended if you made fun of him.

I personally do not believe in a deity nor support most organized religions.  But I do believe in not humiliating and denigrating people and their beliefs.  If your goal is to convince someone your belief system is right and theirs is wrong, you will never get them on your side by making fun of what they believe, because you immediately put them on the defensive and they can't separate your denigration of their religion from your denigration of their self.

You might be one of those who feels that Islam as a belief system denies people many of their basic human rights, and to a certain extent you might be right.  But all religions do that.  So maybe, like me, you decry all religions.  That's fine.  You might say, "If these religions are denying people their human rights, why should I respect them?"  You don't have to respect the religion, you have to respect the PERSON who holds those beliefs.  Ideas are interesting, and debating them is entertaining, but people are more important than ideas.

Poking fun at someone else's beliefs puts me in mind of the bully on the playground calling the other children names.  That behavior isn't tolerated in children and shouldn't be tolerated in adults who should know better.

I propose a return to the respectful discourse of Socratic discussion.

"In modern argument the issues are often neglected. The presenter is the focus of response, rather than what was said. This focus (on the presenter) is often negative and can take various forms. It may be gentle chiding, regular teasing or serious deriding and lampooning. The end result can be to discourage people from putting forward their opinions on issues. This leads to 'dominant' (as in dominating the agenda) and reticent group participants." (1)

Do we really want the one who can yell the loudest or come up with the funniest put-down to win the argument? Why does there need to be an argument at all?

You cannot "fight fire with fire." You cannot wipe out disrespect by yourself showing disrespect to those you are against. "By their fruits you shall know them." A seed of disrespect cannot grow into a respectful dialog, just as a seed from a poisonous weed can't grow into a beautiful flower. The seeds you sow will be what you reap. If Charlie Hebdo wants to change the world, they won't do it by sowing seeds of disrespect. That won't facilitate a healthy dialogue. The bully hurling insults on the playground isn't going to be then approached respectfully by his peers.

Oh, but you say, Charlie Hebdo doesn't want to change the world? If all you want to do is be the bully that yells the loudest, then I suppose that is its own reward. I would hope that civilized people would have higher aspirations.



Copyright 2015 Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

Saturday, January 17, 2015

FDA Discusses Tumorigenicity and Oncogenicity of Vaccines, as well as Other Safety Concerns

The history of the development of vaccines is a very troubling history.  In reading up on this history, you will readily see that the FDA and drug manufacturers have a history of releasing vaccines for public use and later finding out that there were problems with those vaccines which had not been discovered or thoroughly investigated, and as a result, millions of people were exposed to risk.

Today I have been reading a document called "FDA Meeting:  Human Tumors for Vaccine Manufacture" published on November 15, 2014.  

In this document, they discuss the dangers of using cells from human tumors in making vaccines, and whether or not those cells could possibly produce tumors in those to whom the vaccine is administered.  They are using these cells to make vaccines for Influenza, HIV and Anthrax. It is alarming to me that anyone would propose such a thing.  But when you read about the history of vaccine development, they have been doing even more frightening things for years. For instance, to quote from the above manuscript,

"And so the main concerns back then, as they are today, were human adventitious agents and potential oncogenicity.  And even now some currently used vaccines are made in primary cells.  This includes influenza virus vaccines, measles, mumps and rabies vaccines.  
     In 1960, as the primary cells were being used, the virus SV40 was discovered as an adventitious agent in poliovirus vaccines.  And the vaccine was manufactured in primary rhesus monkey kidney cells, and it turned out that the SV40 could grow in those cells without producing any cytopathic effect, and so it was not recognized using the testing that was being used at the time.
     And so many received the SV40 contaminated vaccines in the late 1950's and early 1960's."

"Human adventitious agents" are viruses, bacteria, mycoplasm, fungi, rickettsia, protozoa, parasites, or TSE agents.  In other words, living organisms that are infectious.  So in the above example, the polio vaccine that was developed was incubated in rhesus monkey kidney cells, and those cells contained an infectious agent called the SV40 virus which was then passed to all those who were recipients of that vaccine.  "Primary cells" are cells that come directly from living species, rather than being created in a lab, and so primary cells are considered to have the greatest risk of containing adventitious agents that cannot be screened out. 

The same manuscript states that in the 1990's "a number of investigators reported the presence of SV40 DNA in human malignancies" although the articles goes on to state that even though several different investigators came to the same conclusion, this was not a "real" finding.  How convenient, even though the results were replicated by several different investigators, somehow this finding was not real.

"In 2010 we had a discussion with the VRBPAC (Vaccine and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee)...on porcine circovirus which was found in rotovirus vaccines.  And porcine circovirus DNA was identified in a rotovirus vaccine by the Delwart Lab in California using massively parallel sequencing techniques and other molecular studies that were consistent with the presence of PCV infectious PCV in one rotovirus vaccine, and the presence of infectious PCV was indeed confirmed."

What is a rotovirus?  Rotovirus is the most common cause of severe diarrhea among infants and children.  It attacks the cells that line the small intestine, causing gastroenteritis or "stomach flu." Worldwide, about 450,000 children die each year from rotovirus infections. 

"Another major safety concern in the use of normal cell substrates is the potential presence of latent and occult viruses, which may not be detected by currently used conventional assays."

"Tumorigenicity is defined as the ability of the intact cells to establish a tumor in an animal. A549 are known to be tumorigenic. As you can see, we confirm this in athymic nude mice. Tumorigenicity would only be an issue if intact, viable A549 cells remain in our final drug product.  We believe this is not the case for our purified, orally delivered Adenovirus vaccines."

And so you just want us to trust you on this?  Even though, historically, there have been many vaccines that have contained undetectable infectious agents which you were unable to screen out, even though you tried?  Which were touted as safe and then infected people?  You just want us to trust you when you say that it's not possible that a single intact cell which could produce tumors is present anywhere in any of these vaccines?  I personally will NOT trust anyone's word for that, given that, in the past, claims have been made for vaccines' purity and then they have been found to be contaminated. 

They have just admitted that currently used conventional screening procedures may not be able to detect all adventitious agents.  Since we are dealing with diseases which they claim are so virulent that we all need to be vaccinated against them, I certainly don't intend to willingly and knowingly allow one of these potential pathogens to be injected into me or anyone I care about.  

Copyright 2015 Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Mammograms Don't Save Lives

Twenty five year follow-up for breast cancer incidence and mortality of the Canadian National Breast Screening Study:  randomized screening trial. 

BMJ 2014348 doi: 
(Published 11 February 2014)

Conclusion   Annual mammography in women aged 40-59 does not reduce mortality from breast cancer beyond that of physical examination or usual care when adjuvant therapy for breast cancer is freely available. Overall, 22% (106/484) of screen detected invasive breast cancers were over-diagnosed, representing one over-diagnosed breast cancer for every 424 women who received mammography screening in the trial.

Mammograms use ionizing radiation at a relatively high dose, which can contribute to the mutations that can lead to breast cancer. You can get as much radiation from one mammogram as you would from 1,000 chest X-rays. Mammography also compresses your breasts tightly, which can lead to a dangerous spread of cancerous cells, should they exist. Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world's top cancer experts, has stated:
"The premenopausal breast is highly sensitive to radiation, each 1 rad exposure increasing breast cancer risk by about 1 percent, with a cumulative 10 percent increased risk for each breast over a decade's screening."

The Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found that for every woman whose life is prolonged by mammography, ten women's lives were shortened by the radiation received from a lifetime of mammograms. 

The safest alternative to mammograms is having a thermogram.  Thermograms can find cancers up to 15 years earlier than a mammogram can, and without the risk of radiation that comes along with mammograms.  

If you want to find out where you can go to get a Thermogram, click here for a list. Unfortunately, there are none available in New Mexico where I live now, or in Oklahoma where I used to live.  There are, however, some in Colorado, some in Dallas and Austin Texas, and one in Mesa, Arizona.  So If and when I need one I will be forced to drive to one of those locations.  But to me, it's worth it. 

Participate in the Vitamin D*Action Project

One of the best ways to prevent cancer and other debilitating diseases is to keep your Vitamin D levels at optimum.  Please consider participating in this study.  The cost for the kit and membership is $65.  You take a blood sample and send it in to the project at specified intervals throughout the program. 

D*Action has multiple concurrent vitamin D programs going on. The D*Action International project is open to anyone, any age, anywhere in the world. TheProtect our Children NOW! campaign is geared toward using the results of randomized trials to take action now to reduce preterm births and other complications of pregnancy. 

This program is already coalescing into community political action groups, so that when the study in any community (a 24 month project) is completed, they can use the information obtained to push for public health recommendations that will benefit ALL pregnant women and their children. And, the Breast Cancer Prevention project, another subset, is open to women 60 and over with no current cancer or current treatment.

Please consider being part of this study of the effects of Vitamin D levels on disease.  Click here to join

Copyright 2015 Judie C. McMath and The Center for Unhindered Living