Thursday, April 29, 2010

Good video on third world countries and abortion

Peter Gabriel wrong about abortion.

Peter Gabriel was in Canada recently and was interviewed. He's a singer, known for being in the band Genesis. He said abortion is a hot topic, that's correct. He believes women should be allowed to kill their pre-born children, but not only that, but Canada has an obligation to pay for this in other countries.

Then Gabriel goes on to say that the only pro-life people are religious, and that he believes in a separation of "state and religion". This is a poor argument. If I said I'm against slavery and it just so happens that my religion teaches that all men are equal, would you say I'm simply expression my particular religious belief and that the government shouldn't be forced to live according to my religion?

This is a very common argument. People will say "don't force your religion on me!", "don't force your morals on me!", etc. But every law is imposition of one group's morality on another. Being against slavery is a moral stance, being for equally is also a moral stance. Banning pornography for children is also a moral stance, etc. Everything in law reflects morality. Without morality, law would not be necessary.

It's insulting to insinuate that those who are pro-life take that position because of some arbitrary ruling, no different than announcing your favorite colour or flavour of ice cream.

Even most moral relativists would not say that murder is an arbitrary moral preference, so if people believe abortion is murder, then it is only logical that they would oppose it.

If being against abortion were just a religion's arbitrary decision, there would be no such thing as pro-life atheists, but there are. Also, one must ask why most religions forbid abortion in the first place. The reason is they believe it is killing another human being. It's based on natural law, not a peculiar religious teaching.

I'm sometimes surprised how clever people seem to think they are when they simply act as a mouth-piece to fallacious canards. In Peter Gabriel's interview, he starts off taking great efforts to show his level of expertise and knowledge in this area. He shows that he understands both sides intimately, and he understands their intentions. Then he proceeds to rehash old arguments that hold little water. While doing this, he interjects a hefty dose of condescension.

Of course, he is following the well-beaten celebrity path of liberalism which advocates the culture of death. Maybe some day soon we will see more celebrities championing the cause of life.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Catholic population grew faster than world population

From 2000 to 2008 the population of Catholics on Earth grew from 1.045 billion to 1.166 billion, an 11.58% increase, which was faster than the growth rate of overall human population. To read the entire article, please visit:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Canadian tax payers will not be forced to pay for abortions in developing world

I am happy about a decision made by the Canadian government to not pay for the killing of unwanted children in the developing world. The Canadian Government has decided, despite protests from opposition, that part of a healthy plan for developing countries it would not fund abortion.

Some have brought up the objection that some women die in unsafe abortions. But if we break this down a little, we get a different story. Women attempt to kill their unborn child, but this involves injuring themselves. This is a very sad situation and I feel bad for these women who are injured. But legalizing the murder of some individuals is not the solution. What if some fathers who were committing honour killings but in the process were injured or killed. Would we make honour killings legal to alleviate this issue? No.

We shouldn't have abortion, and we definitely should not be funding abortion in other countries. Everyone has a right to life, that includes our young brothers and sisters who live in their mothers wombs.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Jennifer Knapp on Larry King: A Catholic Perspective

Jennifer Knapp, a famous Grammy-nominated Christian singer, came out as a lesbian and is being featured on Larry King Live tonight, Saturday, April 23, 2010. She says she is still a strong Christian, despite her sexuality. Joining her on the show were Pastor Bob Botsford and Ted Haggart (former pastor).

One of the main themes presented was that how can we say Jennifer is doing something wrong when we could potentially be doing something wrong ourselves. Or, since we are all sinners, how can we focus on the sin of homosexuality. That's a good point. All sins must be looked at and solutions must be sought. Everyone has an obligation to live holy lives and anything getting in the way must be avoided. The difference here is that Jennifer says there is nothing wrong with her behavior. She denies the sinfulness of homosexual activity, even though Christianity opposes it and says it is a sin. In Catholic teaching, homosexual behavior is grave matter and can potentially be a serious sin.

If an individual was on Larry King and that pastor was there again and he said "I am very greedy. I steal money and scam people. I don't think it's a sin though. Therefore you cannot tell me I'm wrong." The difference is that the individual is consenting to the sinful behavior and is not doing anything to stop it. If Jennifer pointed out a particular sin of the pastor, he could then say he will try to stop his behavior.

Also, the idea of not judging came up frequently. Are we really not to judge? What does this mean? The truth is we are not to judge an individual's heart or their standing with God. We cannot say if someone is in a state of mortal sin. But we can and must judge actions, mostly our own, but we can also look at actions around us to determine if they are right or wrong. Jesus told many people to go and sin no more. He didn't ignore the sin or pretend it didn't exist. We must love the sinner, but hate the sin. We must correct the sin, but always do so with love.

There were more issues brought up on Larry King, and I think they are being addressed to some extent by the guests, but incompletely.

First of all, Jennifer objects to the translation of the original Greek, saying perhaps we translated it wrong. Of course, homosexual behavior is forbidden in several places in both the Old and New Testaments. Jesus speaks about the commitment of one man to one woman. Paul says homosexual behaviour is a sin. It is very clear. To say perhaps we translated it wrong is a far-fetched tactic.

Related to this, the topic of Old Testament proscriptions against wearing two types of fibers, eat shellfish, etc. Of course, we know the old law was fulfilled in the New Testament in the person of Jesus Christ. He did not abolish the old law, but fulfilled it. Many things were pointing to the arrival of Jesus. However, like I said, he did not destroy the law when he established a new and everlasting covenent. There are Old Testament and New Testament laws against homosexual behavior.

Another very hot button topic that came up during the exchange, which was heated at times, was whether homosexuality was a choice and if not, how is it a sin. This topic, in my opinion, was addressed very poorly. Protestantism generally views homosexuality in and of itself to be a sin. Therefore a person with same-sex attraction would be committing a sin. So Larry asked if someone who did not choose to be homosexual would be committing a sin. The pastor did not a have a good explanation for this, but basically said they would be guilty. Larry King wondered aloud how something not learned could be a sin. The pastor had no good response. The Catholic Church views homosexual desire as a burden, which does not remove a person's need to remain chaste. Same-sex attraction would be seen as a temptation but not as a sin in itself. However, homosexual activity would be considered sinful.

The Church is not targetting homosexuals. In fact, the prohibition against homosexual sex comes more as a necessary consequence of a broader teacher than a particular proscription. The church believes sex is meant for marriage between a man and woman, because it is meant as both unitive (for the spouses) and procreative. Any type of sex outside this bond does not conform to this plan. This would include any number of sexual behaviors.

Another issues this brings up is Biblical interpretation. The two ministers on the show came from a Bible alone approach. There was no final authority on matters of faith and morals. This weakness was exploited by Jennifer Knapp who pitted her or another church's or pastor's interpretation of the Bible against his. That's one of the pitfalls of personal interpretation and one of the reasons why there are over 30,000 Protestant denominations in the world.

I'm not writing this article to say how bad Jennifer Knapp is. Surely many people, including me, have sins that we are ashamed of and perhaps feel burdened by. It's important for us to place our trust in God and to seek to do his will.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Organization covers up sexual abuse of minors

There is an organization where hundreds of children were sexually abused. Despite this, none of the abusers were reported to the authorities, and only 1% lost their license and position. Only 35% suffered negative consequences of any kind and 39% chose to leave their place of employment, most with positive recommendations.

Of course, I'm talking about the Catholic Church right? No. This is the case in schools around the world, but specifically this is from New York.

Teachers were passed around from school to school, in a process called "passing the trash". Only 1% of the time did superintendents notify the new school about the offending teacher.

The study found that up to 5% of teachers sexually abused children.

Here are the sources for this information:

Douglas Montero, “Secret Shame of Our Schools: Sexual Abuse of Students Runs Rampant,” New York Post, July 30, 2001, p. 1.

“Schools Chancellor: Four Teachers Barred from Classroom,” Associated Press, June 12, 2003.

Charol Shakeshaft and Audrey Cohan, In loco parentis: Sexual abuse of students in schools, (What administrators should know). Report to the U.S. Department of Education, Field Initiated Grants

Diana Jean Schemo, “Silently Shifting Teachers in Sex Abuse Cases,” New York Times, June 18, 2002, p. A19.

Elizabeth Cohen, “Sex Abuse of Students Common; Research Suggests 15% of All Children Harassed,” Press & Sun-Bulletin, February 10, 2002, p. 1A.

Why is that we never hear about sexual abuse in schools? Most teachers are married, yet we never hear that marriage leads to sexual abuse or pedophilia. We don't hear about a "crisis" in the education system. Why aren't the secretaries of Education called all sorts of names with people calling for them to be tried for crimes against humanity? Even though the problem is much more widespread and prevalent in schools than in churches, there is only public outrage for priests.

Also there have been many cases involving pastors, rabbis, swim teachers, boy scout leaders, etc. but no similar or equivalent outrage. Could it be that swim teachers do not make moral demands and therefore people are not made uncomfortable by pronouncements of the truth? Could it be that people already dislike the Church because of its stance against homosexual "marriage", abortion, and sexual impropriety, and use this simply as a scapegoat to lash out?

Often when someone is losing an argument, they will resort to name calling. People know the Church presents the Truth, and therefore they cannot contradict it, so they attack priests instead. This "scandal" is simply a convenient excuse.

Any sexual abuse is bad, but what about using this sexual abuse to advance other causes? That's what many are doing. If they were really concerned about the welfare of innocent children, they would campaign against all sexual abuse, but instead they focus exclusively on the pope. Their use of priestly sexual abuse victims as pawns to advance their ideology becomes disturbingly clear.

For those who are geniunely concerned about children's welfare, I thank you. You are doing an excellent thing by looking out for their welfare. But for those using these events to simply advance their ideology, shame on you. You simply exploit the suffering of children to push an agenda, and that's wrong.

We need to route out the "filth" of children sexual abuse, as Cardinal Ratzinger put it. We need to do this from all sources.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mockery, a dishonest tactic

I realized tonight that one of the main tactics used by adversaries of Christianity is mockery. I was reading some comments on a good Christian video about a wholesome family, yet there were so many comments that were mocking them. They would say stuff like, oh they think they're so good, but what about this...

I realized that sometimes even if you are right, the other side can always come up with more comments or arguments. A fallacy is to believe each comment must be disproven. You cannot think that just because someone brings up a retort they are being logical, sensible or even honest.

This was even used on Our Lord. When he was being crucified, his detractors were not having a philosophical argument with Jesus, they were mocking him, asking him why he didn't take himself down off the cross if he was so powerful, and various comments like this. They used mockery. This is also common today. It is often combined with accusations of hypocracy.

Speak the truth and pay no attention to those who seek only to mock.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

New movie for Dr. Death

A new movie starring Al Pacino is a biopic for Jack Kevorkian. The movie glamourises the actions of this man who helped kill about 120 patients. Many of these patients were not terminally ill and just wanted to end their lives. Many were divorced or never married. Of course, the movie portrays Kevorkian as a loving doctor.

The only proper reaction to someone who is suffering is to help that individual. Not help them die. It's like if a friend called and said he was about to jump out of his building to commit suicide, and instead of helping him in his distress, worry, fear, etc. you encouraged him. That's what Jack is doing when he helps people die.

Jack is an avowed atheist, yet feels it's a good thing to let people be killed even though he believes there is no afterlife. This is all part of the culture of death. A culture which rejects anyone who is not a very productive part of the economy. We are burning the candle on both ends, for the very young and the elderly. This is a terrible travesty which must end.

One thing that struck me is that when the actors who played various people in Jack Kevorkian's life were interviewed, they did not have a single negative thing to say. Perhaps they felt it would be unpopular to criticize someone like that. They said a lot of the standard "he's misunderstood", "he's helping people die with dignity", etc. but no one voiced any concern.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states:


2276 Those whose lives are diminished or weakened deserve special respect. Sick or handicapped persons should be helped to lead lives as normal as possible.

2277 Whatever its motives and means, direct euthanasia consists in putting an end to the lives of handicapped, sick, or dying persons. It is morally unacceptable.

Thus an act or omission which, of itself or by intention, causes death in order to eliminate suffering constitutes a murder gravely contrary to the dignity of the human person and to the respect due to the living God, his Creator. The error of judgment into which one can fall in good faith does not change the nature of this murderous act, which must always be forbidden and excluded.

2278 Discontinuing medical procedures that are burdensome, dangerous, extraordinary, or disproportionate to the expected outcome can be legitimate; it is the refusal of "over-zealous" treatment. Here one does not will to cause death; one's inability to impede it is merely accepted. The decisions should be made by the patient if he is competent and able or, if not, by those legally entitled to act for the patient, whose reasonable will and legitimate interests must always be respected.

2279 Even if death is thought imminent, the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable Palliative care is a special form of disinterested charity. As such it should be encouraged.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Popes weeps with victims

Pope Benedict was in Malta, a small island nation, Friday and Saturday (yesterday and the day before). It was to mark the 1950th anniversary of St. Paul's arrival there. He arrived when he was shipwrecked there. The country is 98% Catholic and Catholicism is the official state religion.

Some people were not sure if the pope would meet with sex abuse victims, but he did for quite some time. It was widely reported that he wept with the victims when hearing their tragic stories. One man who said he had lost his faith said it was restored after the meeting.

When the pope arrived, he was greeted by an enormous band and singing from a large choir. Many bishops from the Middle East visited the small country to join in the procession. You could see certain bishops were wearning non-Latin-rite vestments, this is why.

This trip is wedged between the Holy Father's Birthday (which was on Friday) and fifth anniversary as pope, which is tomorrow.

The visit was a great success!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Happy Birthday Pope Benedict

Today, well technically about an hour ago, is Pope Benedict's birthday. He is 83. Happy birthday, Holy Father. Just a few days after his birthday, Pope Benedict was elected Pope five years ago. Obviously this is a big time of the year for the Pontiff. My prayers are with you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Why The View is wrong about the Catholic Church and the Pope

I just watched a clip from the View which aired earlier this month where the 5 women on the show talk about the Pope. It seems they thoroughly researched their topic, if by thorough you mean looked at a few headlines from the mainstream liberal media and filled in the rest.

I will go through the clip one bit at a time. It can be found here:

0:00 First, Sherri Shepherd says she doesn't know much about the Catholic religion. This is one part of the segment I can agree with. Then she says when it comes to children, the Church should speak up or do whatever "you could". Well, the Church has spoken up. The pope has written many letters condeming priest sexual abuse. But much before this, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Ratzinger was put in charge of weeding out pedophile priests. He was determined to rid the church of what he called "filth".

Cardinal Ratzinger, in fact, decided that a more swift process for trying alleged abusers was preferred over a more thorough, church-sanctioned procedure, and 60% of cases were quickly brought through a trial. And none were dismissed sumarily.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was very tough on these offenses. Many saw its zero tolerance policy as excessive, but Ratzinger would have it no other way.

In 2008, Cardinal Ratzinger met with sexual abuse victims. I saw a television report on the pope meeting with victims when he visited the US. They said he really tried to understand them. Some were clearly moved by his love for them.

No one can claim the pope doesn't care if they read his pastoral letter to Ireland.

0:20 Joy Behar brings up allegations against Pope Benedict. However, there is no evidence that Pope Benedict was even aware of these cases. She does not mention anything specific, because if one were to see the facts, they would realize there is no story. But just mentioning a few locations and then the name of Pope Benedict seems to be enough for the media these days.

0:35 Elizabeth Hasselbeck then says that if a person were in charge like this in the real world, wouldn't they be charged with a crime? That's kind of like saying if there is a sexual assault victim in the US somewhere, the President should be held accountable even if he is unaware of the case. As I mentioned earlier, the pope didn't "do nothing" as Elisabeth claims, but rather did a lot

Then Elisabeth reads a quote from a bishop that says the Church must tell the truth. She then says the pope has to "tell the truth". I'm not really sure what "lie" she's implying. He has admitted that there was sexual abuse in the church. And he has done a lot to stop it. So, where is the "lie"?

1:10 The Whoopi claims that the pope said something to effect that only Americans have a problem with sexual abuse. Could I see a quote about this? I have never heard this and frankly, it sounds absurd. Then she goes on a tirade while slapping her hands together and making fists. There is little content however. She just says he must be adament and clear. He has been very clear. She says he has not been. Is it possible that Whoopi has not read much about the Pope? She calls him "Mr. Pope". That should indicate her depth of knowledge on him.

1:55 Joy Behar now adds on to Whoopi's comments and says "he should admit he was negligent then". Not sure again what she's talking about. Why are they so desperate to lay all the blame on the pope? They are talking in riddles, in nuance. But their goal seems simply to implicate His Holiness somehow.

2:08 Joy Behar, who probably has a degree in theology, now gives us a lesson on Papal infallibility. She says according to the church, the pope is infallible which means he cannot make mistakes. Common misconception, but wrong. Papal infallibility is a very specific doctrine related to issues of faith and morals. It is rarely used. I doubt it has been used even once during Pope Benedict's pontificate. The pope goes to confession regularly. He would not if he could not make a mistake.

Whoopi then pipes up and says "Only God is infallible!" to which Joy Behar declared, "That's not the teaching of the Church". Please, someone get these women a Catechism!

2:34 The tone becomes a little more solemn as Barbara Walters has a "the more you know" moment with the audience. She brings up the fact that many believe homosexuality in the priesthood contributed to this issue. She flatly rejects this claim, of course unsupported by any evidence. Anything that is not politically correct can be dismissed without reason. But in fact, homosexual sin does have something to do with this scandal. Most of the victims of the abuse were post-adolescent boys. Priestly sexual abuse was generally not between the priest and a female. Priests were often teachers, catechists, and other professions which would put them in contact with boys and girls. So the fact that almost all cases involved post-adolescent boys tells us something.

Barbara Walters says there is no connection between homosexuality and pedophilia. Perhaps, perhaps not. That's not the point. It may have been homosexuality plus pedophilia. I've read that a common theme in homoerotic literature is a relationship between a man and a younger post-adolescent male. We can even see this relationship in Ancient Rome. It's not a stretch to link homosexual sin to these issues. The conversation sort of continues on this path for a little while then fizzles out.

The Church has made great strides in riding itself of sexual abuse. Virtually no cases have been reported since the 1980s. Cardinal Ratzinger and now Pope Benedict has done a significant amount to make the situation right. When people say the Church is not doing anything, they are either uninformed or lying.

Much of the information I used can be found in the following New York Times article:

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Cast the first stone at Tiger Woods?

As we all know and have heard for many months, Tiger Woods was found to have cheated on his wife with possibly over a dozen women. The public reacted very strongly with outrage. Many of Tiger's numerous sponsors, such as Gillette, Accenture, GM, and AT&T among others dropped their sponsorship of him over this.

Obviously what Tiger Woods has done is certainly immoral. A marriage bond should not be broken and a married man should not sleep with other women. There should be unity within a family and this is broken when a man commits adultery.

However, I believe there is also a strong double standard. If you remove Tiger's wife from the picture, then most people would see nothing wrong with what he did. In fact, he would be honored as a manly man that others ought to mimic. He would be put on a pedastal. Other people who have been successful with many women have been held up as examples. Having one partner after another is seen as perfectly acceptable and good.

In fact, many commercials, no doubt from some of Tiger's previous sponsors, show men involved in sexual relationships with women they've just met or multiple women. The implication is that if you use their product, you too can be awesome like them. Look at commercials for razors. There's always a guy who's about to shave with a random girl nearby, who he appears to have slept with overnight. And she doesn't seem to be his wife or even committed partner. Commercials imply you will "get more action" and more girls if you choose their product.

But then when a man does what the commercials promote, he's totally despicable. a subhuman. It seems like the only crime in our society is "cheating". Sure, have sex with a hundred random women, but the minute one of these "relationships" overlap, you are a immoral monster. I'm not saying what Tiger did was good, I'm just saying there's a double standard.

Immorality is not dependent on how people feel about something. It's as though people are upset because his wife feels bad. What if his wife said she didn't care if he had sex with dozens of women? I assume no one would criticize Tiger anymore. So the main thing, if not only thing, people are focusing on is how Tiger is making someone else feel. People are not saying what he did is objectively wrong, they are just saying he hurt someone emotionally. Perhaps we ought to strive for greater levels of purity in general.

I agree that this is a worse situation than a typical "player" who goes from girl to girl. This involves a family and children. My point is that we shouldn't be casting the first stone, simply because we arranged our sexual trysts in a slightly different order.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Friend is baptized

My good friend Jonathan was baptized, confirmed and received his first Holy Eucharist on Easter Sunday at St. Pius X in St. John's. It was during a Tridentine Latin Mass, the first such Mass celebrated in recent times at St. Pius X church. Jon was very much looking forward to that day, and was very joyful to be baptized. Many of the events during the Latin Mass Baptism were new to me. For example, the priest put salt on the catechumen's tongue, saliva on his ears and nostrils. Oil is placed on the head and of course water is used on the head as well. The catecumen thrice rejects Satan. After the baptism, the new member of Christ's church is dressed in a white robe. Latin Mass baptism is very full of symbolism. This is a very exciting time for Jon. Let's keep him in our prayers.

Friday, April 02, 2010

Pro-life March in St. John's, NL

Today I attended a pro-life march at the Health Sciences Centre Hospital in St. John's, Newfoundland. There were around 300 people, many of whom make this pilgrimage every Good Friday. We were there to show our support to the pro-life cause and to walk peacefully against abortion.

I was selected to be interviewed for NTV. She asked me a couple of questions. I do not have a lot of experience giving interviews, so I hope I did well. It will air tonight at 6pm local time. I was interviewed along with a young couple. They are friends of mine and the girl is expecting her first child in June. Her husband spoke to NTV about the miracle of life and said they are very anxious to see their child. He said being an expectant father makes him truly realize why he is pro-life.

The event seems to get larger every year. The weather was beautiful for the event, which contrasts last year where there was rain and cold. Many young families came out with children and pets. It was a very peaceful protest. We said prayers, sang songs, and conversed with each other. It was not a time to condemn those who have had abortions, but rather a time to embrace life.

Let's hope the success of this event continues each year.

P.S. I will try to get a video of my interview for my blog.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Hopefully enough men will get their feet cleaned

Today is Holy Thursday and tonight I will be going to Mass where we commemerate the Institution of the Eucharist (more emphasized than usual), and where the priest will wash the feet of a dozen people to commemerate Christ's actions. The 12 people who have their feet washed represent the 12 apostles. Therefore, the Church has officially said the 12 must be men.

Sadly, in my church, this practice has not been observed. Last year was a dismal display. Only about 7 people approached to have their feet washed, and there were a number of women. Of course there were hundreds of people at the church, but only 7 participated. There is no exception made for women to have their feet washed because they cannot represent the 12 apostles.

My suggestion is that if there are not enough men at first, make a general announcement asking for men to approach. I can guarantee you could easily get 12. People feel as though the people having their feet washed have been predetermined and no one else can be admitted.

According to the website

The Vatican instruction regarding the washing of the feet on Holy Thursday that is found in the rubric of the Sacramentary states:

"Depending on pastoral circumstances, the washing of feet follows the homily. The men who have been chosen (viri selecti) are led by the ministers to chairs prepared at a suitable place. Then the priest (removing his chasuble if necessary) goes to each man. With the help of the ministers he pours water over each one's feet and dries them."

Another note to media: Learn what "Vatican" means

In my past article, I explained what infallibility means when Catholics speak of it. This time I want to address the use of the word "Vatican". The media will use the word Vatican to describe a number of things, but only one can be really used.

Sometimes the media will interview a priest or bishop working at the Vatican or in a particular congregation and the headline will read "The Vatican says...". This is incorrect. This individual does not represent the entire Vatican. When people hear "Vatican" they hear "the Catholic Church". So if this one priest expresses his personal opinion, people are led to believe it's a pronouncement by the entire church.

"Vatican" should really only be used to describe a decision made by the universal church through the Pope. If someone working in the White House made a comment on immigration saying "We need to tighten legislation on immigration", it would be poor journalism to report "United States to get Tough on Immigration". Often the people interviewed are not heads of congregation, and many times may represent an opinion that is not sanctioned.

An example is when a cardinal made comments about Harry Potter books. Media broadly reported that the Vatican had made an official pronouncement on the book. It hadn't. People were misled.

The media needs to be aware of this.