Aug 112015

At the beginning of the month Archbishop Cupich wrote a column in response to the undercover videos regarding Planned Parenthood and Stem Express. His column started out fine and dissolved to weak-tea moral equivalence.

While commerce in the remains of defenseless children is particularly repulsive, we should be no less appalled by the indifference toward the thousands of people who die daily for lack of decent medical care; who are denied rights by a broken immigration system and by racism; who suffer in hunger, joblessness and want.

No less appalled?

He is obviously appealing to a previous Chicago archbishop Cardinal Bernardin and the “seamless garment” argument. Unfortunately he is misusing it like so many have that instead of a hierarchy, it is flattened down so that everything is on the same level.

“I don’t see how you can subscribe to the consistent ethic and then vote for someone who feels that abortion is a ‘basic right’ of the individual.”He went on to say, “I know that some people on the left, if I may use that label,have used the consistent ethic to give the impression that the abortion issue is not all that important anymore, that you should be against abortion in a general way but that there are more important issues, so don’t hold anybody’s feet to the fire just on abortion. That’s a misuse of the consistent ethic, and I deplore it.” (June 12, 1988)

That quote is from Cardinal Bernadin who saw the misuse of this idea in his day. Usually we get what I call the “Shameless Garment” argument of moral equivalence totally unlike the Cardinal’s original espousal of the consistent ethic of life with various levels treated separately. This same Cardinal refused an invite to deliver the invocation at the Democratic National Convention because of their support for abortion.

As a remedy to this weak column, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput wrote a column mentioning the seamless garment without the moral equivalence.

Here’s a simple exercise in basic reasoning. On a spectrum of bad things to do, theft is bad, assault is worse and murder is worst. There’s a similar texture of ill will connecting all three crimes, but only a very confused conscience would equate thieving and homicide. Both are serious matters. But there is no equivalence.

The deliberate killing of innocent life is a uniquely wicked act. No amount of contextualizing or deflecting our attention to other issues can obscure that.

… But of course, children need to survive the womb before they can have needs like food, shelter, immigration counseling and good health care. Humanity’s priority right — the one that undergirds all other rights — is the right to life.

As in most cases there is a proper both/and here in that Catholic social teaching is not just one or two issues and that you get to pick which ones you prefer to support.

“Opposition to abortion and euthanasia does not excuse indifference to those who suffer from poverty, violence and injustice. Any politics of human life must work to resist the violence of war and the scandal of capital punishment. Any politics of human dignity must seriously address issues of racism, poverty, hunger, employment, education, housing, and health care … But being ‘right’ in such matters can never excuse a wrong choice regarding direct attacks on innocent human life.

Jul 302015

It seems hard to believe that the undercover videos coming from the Center for Medical Progress could keep getting worse. Still the fourth video is worse.

What struck me most was the language they used. In public you hear Planned Parenthood and supporters of abortion use euphemisms for the unborn child.

  • Product of conception
  • Blob of tissue (or cells)
  • Uterine contents
  • Pregnancy tissue
  • Goo

Any word that dehumanizes the child is fine and calling the child a parasite also does not cross some imaginary dehumanizing line.

Yet when you see transcript of the latest video you don’t see the doctor or medical assistant talking about tissue blobs or a product of conception. You hear “Another boy!” and talk about kidneys, adrenal glands, stomach, heart, and eyeballs. There is human specificity. Besides no research lab will pay for an unspecified blob of cells.

I once wondered how the evil of Nazi Germany could have come about? Unfortunately I now understand this much better. The first step is historically always dehumanization. Using language that moves from a defined reality to a more abstract concept. Once that is done you can intellectualize your reaction. To develop a purposeful blindspot as a callus hardening against conscience.

The conversations in these videos shows the “banality of evil”. No maniacal laughs like movie villains. Calmly discussing the parsing of unborn children for parts as if it is the most mundane task. Like they were playing the battery-operated game “Operation” with a comic likeness of an unborn child.

This type of evil is not the evil of the psychopath. It is not that they are hardened to all evil. They can still react quite naturally to other evil acts. It seemed quite hypocritical to many when both Planned Parenthood and NARAL tweeted about the murder of the black driver by a University of Cincinnati officer. Yet I am sure they saw this as the horrific act that it was and that there was a natural reaction to the murder of a person. Their developed blindspot makes them so that they have zero self awareness. Planned Parenthood still names an award (the Maggie Award) after their racist eugenist founder Margaret Sanger. They can tweet the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter with no sense of irony.

Those who are pro-abortion must maintain a rhetorical separation not only to convince others, but to continue to convince themselves. Yet as objectively evil as this attitude is, it is always a good reminder for us not to dehumanize the abortion supporter. To wipe them off the moral slate as if they are incapable of any moral growth. This is why groups like And Then There Were None (ATTWN) started by ex-Planned Parenthood manager Abbie Johnson are so important. Why loving contact between abortion protesters and clinic personnel is always required. It is so easy to be outraged concerning abortion and the knee-jerk reactions by abortions supporter defending selling baby parts. Yet outrage without followthrough in prayer is like hashtag activism achieving nothing.

Jan 222015

Yesterday I saw news that there won’t be a vote today on a 20-week abortion ban.

Mollie Hemingway at The Federalist gives some background in her post Why Everyone Should Be Terrified By The GOP’s Abortion Bill Debacle,

Today marks the 42nd anniversary of the Supreme Court legalizing abortion on demand throughout pregnancy. The pro-life movement commemorates this day with marches, worship services and lobbying for bills to protect unborn children. Pro-lifers were promised by the Republican leaders they just helped elect and re-elect that the House of Representatives would pass a bill today banning most abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, a point after which infants can feel pain and survive if born prematurely.

The legislation has been passed by the House in the previous Congress and is extremely popular in national polling. “One of the clearest messages from Gallup trends,” the polling firm reported, “is that Americans oppose late-term abortion.” A Washington Post/ABC survey showed that 64 percent of Americans favor limiting abortion at 20 weeks of pregnancy or earlier. When just women were asked, the figure jumped to 71 percent. Such measures are popular among independents and Americans of various income levels.

Apparently the reason it wasn’t voted on:

Two of the representatives who caused the biggest stink about the bill were Rep. Renee Ellmers of North Carolina and Jackie Walorski of Indiana. Last week, Ellmers said she didn’t think it was a good idea to vote on the legislation so early in the session (an argument that makes no sense, but let’s put that aside). Yesterday the women pulled their sponsorship of the bill over what they said were concerns over the rape reporting requirement. And yet here are both women speaking in favor of this exact same legislation two years ago:

These women are claiming to all of a sudden be concerned about the reporting requirement — the requirement that has nearly two-to-one support among voters and the one they had no problem with just a couple of years ago. This reporting requirement would keep late-term abortion doctors like Kermit Gosnell or Leroy Carhart from simply checking a box before going ahead with the procedure. Besides, it’s one thing to seek an exception to abortion laws for victims of rape, and entirely another to think that exception must be extended until the baby exits the birth canal. This bill wouldn’t have a reporting requirement for abortions in the first five months of pregnancy.

In fact, even Democrats who think late-term abortion should be legal with no restrictions didn’t make an issue of the reporting requirement in the last two elections. Last year, support for late-term abortion hurt Democratic candidates. But now Ellmers created a controversy where non existed, hereby handing Democrats a way to fight a broadly popular bill.

This sabotage of the pro-life movement over what may have been a power struggle happens at a time when many pro-life activists have grown weary of being used by the GOP for electoral victory only to be forgotten weeks later when it’s time to vote.

This does not surprise me, disappointed certainly. The purpose of politicians is not policy but to be reelected. Even when we think the way they go about this is contrary to being reelected. So anything they see as a threat to this they will avoid. Especially since often no matter how bad they fulfilled their term, people have short memories and vote for them again.

It also does not surprise me on another level. While I’ll grant that many of them would really want to stop abortion. They often don’t have the philosophical conviction behind this. How many of these people do you think are fully pro-life? That is don’t have any exceptions regarding abortion. That would also object to IVF and to abortafacient drugs. I can’t thinks of any currently in office that believe so or at least admit it in public. Thus they can easily cave on pro-life issues since they don’t really understand the evil of murdering the innocent except in a general way.

Now if I had my limited way I think every such cowardly politician should have a troup of minstrels following them around singing of their cowardly misdeeds.

Brave G O P ran away.
Bravely ran away, away!
When danger reared its ugly head,
They bravely turned their tail and fled.
Yes, brave G O P turned about
And gallantly they chickened out.
Bravely taking to their feet
They beat a very brave retreat,
Bravest of the brave, G O P!

Jan 282014

One of the most consistent complaints of the pro-life movement is the dismal coverage of the March for Life and the number of offshoots it has spawned across the country. There is the obvious element of unfairness where Wendy Davis and her tennis shoes can be loads of coverage, but a massive amount of people braving the elements protesting abortion does not even get a reporter to cover it at all.

We saw this during the very disturbing Gosnell murder trial that got relegated as a “local story.” This total lopsidedness on the part of the media is certainly upsetting.

Yet it seems like we have become repeatedly surprised at this. Of course the secular media is not going to cover the pro-life movement positively. Even painting with a broad brush sometimes that is the right brush to describe the secular media which is overwhelmingly in favor of abortion and pretty much the whole Democratic Party agenda. They have a narrative and will only cover what meets that narrative. Sometimes they are forced to cover something because of an obvious disparity.

Somehow we have developed the myth of the scrupulously fair journalist or media outlet only concerned with the truth. A myth not really born out by history at all. The only surprising thing is not that people have world-views and narratives, but that a profession could be so dominated by so many fellow-travellers.

One of the temptations regarding complaining about media coverage is that we think if this was corrected it would solve so many problems. If only they covered the March for Life and other positive pro-life stories the pro-life movement would grow by leaps and bounds. The secular media provides a tempting target for complaints and an outlet that makes it much easier than actually getting out there on the front lines of the pro-life movement. Complaining about media bias is much less painful than talking to others about why you are pro-life. Easier than showing others the face of the pro-life movement that puts a lie to so many caricatures about it.

Although maybe the amazing story is not how obviously biased the secular media is, but that despite that the pro-life movement is growing and is a multi-generational movement from the young to the old. Many people have done exactly as I suggested in the last paragraph. Despite the efforts from the secular media and the cultural elites – they are losing. More abortion clinics close every year along with the conversion of former clinic workers.

Sure it annoying to see so many examples of bias or the fact that you can’t even watch an awards show without being assaulted culturally. Still nobody said fighting evil was easy and prayer and fasting on the surface does not seem as satisfying as griping about media bias. Or even writing a blog post about it.

Jan 222014

One of the interesting things about President “selfie” is how all that self-absorption is devoid entirely of self-awareness. Not an unusual connection. He isn’t really a hypocrite when he released a proclamation regarding Religious Freedom Day on 15 Jan, 2014 while eighty plus groups are suing his administration for violating their religious freedom. He has so little self-awareness that he can’t detect such discrepancies and his bubble world does not allow for facts to the contrary.

More evidence of this:

Today, as we reflect on the 41st anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to the decision’s guiding principle: that every woman should be able to make her own choices about her body and her health. We reaffirm our steadfast commitment to protecting a woman’s access to safe, affordable health care and her constitutional right to privacy, including the right to reproductive freedom. And we resolve to reduce the number of unintended pregnancies, support maternal and child health, and continue to build safe and healthy communities for all our children. Because this is a country where everyone deserves the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams.

He can use the word “everyone” and the phrase “all our children” with no bothersome nudges of conscience since he has relegated persons in the womb to a status that even Dred Scott did not attempt.

What he is telling persons in the womb is that “If you like your life, you can keep it – period.” That being able to have “the same freedom and opportunities to fulfill their dreams” includes being sliced and diced in the womb.

Hat tip: Creative Minority Report

Jul 012013

It says a lot about the Democratic Party by the women they account as heroes.

Last year it was Sandra Fluke, then a 30-year-old law student at Georgetown, who was invited by Democrats to speak at a hearing by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee on new Administration rules concerning the Conscience Clause exceptions. We learned that a student paying $60,000+ tuition wanted taxpayers to pay for her contraception. She told a tale of woe of poor Ivy League students not being able to afford the costs of contraception. That somehow something that costs $9 a month at a Target store now required the Taxpayers to pick up the tab. So ridiculous, yet became a Democrat folk hero.

Now we have Wendy Davis a State Senator in Texas.

AUSTIN, Texas, June 26, 2013 ( – Amidst a mob of shouting pro-abortion advocates, a Texas bill to ban abortion after 20 weeks failed to pass despite securing the needed votes because the voting concluded two minutes after the session’s midnight deadline.

Democratic Sen. Wendy Davis successfully filibustered the bill Tuesday for eleven hours. After that a large crowd of abortion advocates, led by Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, took over and interrupted the proceedings by shouting. State troopers were called in and at least one protester was arrested.

On Twitter, the bill’s opponents urged fellow abortion advocates to “rush the floor” in order to stop the vote. Richards herself egged them on, tweeting: “Make some noise – louder!”

The maneuvering won approval from President Obama, who tweeted Tuesday night that “something special” was happening in Austin. (source)

Although I think this was intended more as a “fetusbuster” than a “filibuster.”

The connecting piece to become a Democratic women folk hero is of course tied to the prevention of birth. That anything that helps women to be more man-like is to be applauded. Women have to have contraception so that nothing might interrupt a career. Women have to have abortion as backup contraception for the same reasons. Feminism has come to mean sterile women or fertility with an on/off switch.

Yes you can advocate for the murder of a 4 1/2 month or older baby or try to get taxpayers to pick up your contraception tab and you’re a hero. The media will fawn all over you and even gush about your pink running shoes.

May 132013

With the verdict finally in regarding the abortionist Kermit Gosnell we can review this horrific case and the reaction to it.

It was good to see how state legislatures and the Federal government moved to make sure nothing like this ever happens again. New legislation in regards to inspecting abortion clinics has swept the country. Oh wait that didn’t happen.

Strange how in most cases legislatures jump into action proposing new legislation before the ink is even dry regarding horrific crimes. An outcry to make sure that such a case could not happen again. To make sure that an abortion clinic could not operate for almost 20 years without an inspection. Yet the usual suspects who would regulate anything that moves are silent here. The same people who are outraged when a pro-life women’s clinic uses an ultrasound and would shut them down because of it will put up with pretty much any outrage in so many abortuaries. As I said before the reaction to Kermit Gosnell shows that for many who support abortion that they care more about keeping abortion legal than protecting women. That any threat regarding regulation of an abortion clinic must be pushed aside.

Groups that oppose legal abortion are using the horror surrounding his clinic, which garnered fresh attention during his murder trial, to push for new state and federal restrictions – even though Gosnell’s acts were already illegal. As CNN spins it.

“Justice was served to Kermit Gosnell today and he will pay the price for the atrocities he committed. We hope that the lessons of the trial do not fade with the verdict. Anti-choice politicians, and their unrelenting efforts to deny women access to safe and legal abortion care, will only drive more women to back-alley butchers like Kermit Gosnell. NARAL

Yes it is an atrocity if committed a minute after the child is born, but if chopped up in the womb any time before it is a right to be protected at all cost. The insanity of the pro-abortion position has always been there, but the emperor wears awesome clothes. NARAL talks about the lessons learned, but will not lift a finger to inspect abortion clinics. In fact they have argued that regulation drove women to use people like Kermit Gosnell. Protection of abortion is kind of like climate change in that no matter what happens it proves your point.

They call him a back-alley butcher now just to use the words back-alley to try to remind women of the fake statistics created by a founding member of NARAL Dr. Bernard Nathanson. The former abortion doctor later admitted how he had created the fake statistic of 10,000 women dying each year from back-alley abortions.

Strangely they don’t call late-term abortionist LeRoy Carhart who was caught on tape comparing unborn baby to ‘mushy meat in a Crock- Pot’ and joking about taking out fetus with ‘pickaxe and drill-bit’ a “back-alley butcher.” In fact NARAL has gone on record supporting him in the past.

Unfortunately regardless of the behavior of so many abortionists this is not going to shock the conscience of most Americans. Once you have bought the lie of abortion not being murder then all the other lies come as a package deal. If you can’t see the horror of dismembering a child in the womb you don’t really see the horror of Gosnell or so many who are equally twisted. If you support abortion you will accept a Gosnell just like assisted-suicide supporters supported an equally twisted Dr. Kevorkian.

Still despite the intentioned blindness of so many, some are removing those wrappings around their eyes. Last Month ex abortion clinic manager Abby Johnson wrote this:

During President Obama’s speech to a group supporting the nation’s largest abortion chain, he claimed that “Planned Parenthood is not going anywhere” now, or in the future.

Guess what, Obama? Neither are we.

Of the 97 original Planned Parenthood affiliates that once stood, only 80 remain. Just in the last few weeks, four Planned Parenthood clinics in Wisconsin are closing down because they have been stripped of taxpayer funding. Clinic workers have left and publicly outed the disgusting Planned Parenthood center in Delaware, noting its dangerous conditions and the fact that five women were hospitalized in a five-week period from botched abortions at this one location. That center has been closed. In 2009, Texas had over 90 Planned Parenthood centers in the state. There are now fewer than 60 locations.

Obama reiterated Cecile Richards’s own words describing Planned Parenthood as “the only organization that she’s ever been at where there are opponents who … ’literally get up every day trying to figure out how to keep us from doing our work.” Planned Parenthood’s work consists of killing over 330,000 preborn boys and girls every single year while raking in over half a billion taxpayer dollars annually.

Since June 2012, 51 abortion-clinic workers have come through And Then There Were None, a ministry I launched last summer to help clinic workers quit their jobs, gain new employment, and find healing from their work in the abortion industry. Our most recent initiative, Exodus2013 — Leave the Abortion Industry Day, yielded much fruit. We had five abortion workers contact us, ready to quit their jobs with our support. Many of these former employees have come from Planned Parenthood centers across the country, and several are ready to speak out about their experiences in the abortion industry.

Sometimes, Planned Parenthood employees send us e-mails they receive regarding our work. Just before Exodus2013, a Planned Parenthood affiliate sent out a mass e-mail describing ATTWN as “a group [trying] to intimidate our current employees.” The fact that they even mentioned ATTWN is a surefire sign that they are terrified of the ministry and the former workers that come to us for help. Planned Parenthood went on to tell their employees that “you will not let these sorts of intimidation techniques sway you from our mission… . We, at Planned Parenthood, are committed to the growth and advancement of our staff. We are confident you will remain with us.” But there is good reason to question that the momentum is on their side. Even former NARAL president Nancy Keenan noticed the youth presence at the Rally for Life in D.C. in 2010, “I just thought, my gosh, they are so young,” she said. ”There are so many of them, and they are so young.”

President Obama and Planned Parenthood can publicly continue to cling to their false sense of security all they like. Their days are numbered, and they know it. They are feeling the pressure of an increasingly powerful pro-life movement, and we are not slowing down.

Dec 282012

It is so easy to cringe at Herod’s slaughter of the innocents. This was such an evil man whose lust for power would brook no interference. Where even Caesar Augustus said of him “It is better to be Herod’s dog than one of his children.” A child was seen as a rival and the age of that child was not important, just the threat of the child to his life of privilege.

Yet we have become a society of Herods. Herodian marriages and Herodian relationships. The so-called unexpected pregnancy views the child as a threat. A threat to their current lifestyle. A threat to a financial situation and an individual autonomy that is inward and not self-giving. Children are viewed as a zero-sum game where what they consume of time and money is taken from you with no return. Our openness to new life is dependent on more mercenary conditions that must be satisfied first and if they are not met instead of sending out soldiers for the slaughter we hire the abortionist.

From the bottom to the top of our society the Herodian attitude rules. We have a President that we as a culture re-elected who voted for infanticide rather than to allow any threat to legal abortion. A president who time and time again has seen possible grandchildren as a threat and a punishment for his daughters. We have both Herodian mothers and/or Herodian fathers pressuring for the elimination of a threat. Even those open to life will accept the slaughter of the innocents via IVF as long as one child survives. The Highlander approach to parenthood “That there can only be one” when multiple embryos are transferred to the uterus.

If Herod had known a way to prevent even the possibility of a threat to him he would surely have used it. Sterilization of the people of Bethlehem or injected contraceptives would have been an idea welcome to him if he had enough lead time. We have those tools of manipulation that Herod lacked and we put them to use. First our selfishness demands access to means to prevent life and then we demand that others pay for that means. When children are a financial strain then of course even the prevention of children is a financial strain that must be eliminated. We might point out Sandra Fluke as the cheerleader of this attitude, but the way was paved by the normalization of contraception and the shutting of the door to life.

While our society has many trappings of the celebration of Christ’s birth we also have many celebrations of the Herodian mindset. We have become post-Christian, but not post-Herod.

Mary the Blessed Mother of Christ, pray for us.

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.
Lullay, thou little tiny Child,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we do sing
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Herod, the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All young children to slay.

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever mourn and sigh,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
Bye, bye, lully, lullay.

Nov 242012

Via Wesley J. Smith

Har de har: The BBC is creating a comedy series called Way to Go about friends who establish an assisted suicide business. “Way to go:” Get it?

I am reminded of the recent The Three Stooges movie homage to the original comic team that had the boys willingly attempt a mercy killing.  This is nothing less than the normalization of suicide.

Oh, and by the way, this idea was already proposed for real in Oregon ($5000 for the whole package, including music and flowers), but the psychiatrist would-be entrepreneur lost his medical license for other reasons before he could open the doors.  Meanwhile, in Switzerland, suicide clinics rake in the dough.

Culture of death, Wesley?  What culture of death?

Msgr Robert Hugh Benson a Catholic convert and son of the then-Archbishop of Canterbury wrote a quite excellent apocalyptic novel called “Lord of the World” where he envisioned in his future world “ministers of euthanasia.”

“He gave no more thought to his exposition of the Christian creed; it was a mere commonplace to him that Catholics believed that kind of thing; it was no more blasphemous to his mind so to describe it, than it would be to laugh at a Fijian idol with mother-of-pearl eyes, and a horse-hair wig; it was simply impossible to treat it seriously. He, too, had wondered once or twice in his life how human beings could believe such rubbish; but psychology had helped him, and he knew now well enough that suggestion will do almost anything. And it was this hateful thing that had so long restrained the euthanasia movement with all its splendid mercy.”

This idea of euthanasia being a splendid mercy is certainly on the upswing especially with the very idea of a “mercy killing” which displays the irony of Satan. But it is more despair than mercy that drives this and it is usually not the despair of the victim, but the despair of the mercy killer towards an actual understanding of the dignity of life. You certainly don’t look at the paintings of the late Dr. Kevorkian and find joy in them.

We can only expect more and more positive portrays of assisted suicide in the media. In the movie Soylent Green we say a portrayal of this and we learned to be more alarmed that “Soylent Green is people” than that the character Edward G. Robinson seeked assisted-suicide at a government clinic in despair at this fact. Whether murder in this form will take the path of the government clinic, faux-religious component, or a combination of the two remains to be seen.

“We should neither of us shrink from the task, awful though it be to contemplate. “Euthanasia” is an excellent and a comforting word! I am grateful to whoever invented it.” — Dr. Seward in Dracula by Bram Stoker