‘Unplanned’ gets an Irish cinema release

Unplanned, a film adaptation of a memoir by Abby Johnson, a former clinic director for Planned Parenthood in Texas, who became a pro-life activist after seeing a distressing abortion, has finally secured a theatrical cinema release in Ireland.

The $6m (€5.5m) film has grossed almost $20m in the US and Canada since April. According to Paul Ward, co-owner of Irish Multiplex Cinemas, Unplanned will be shown from Friday at its four Dublin theatres, including the Savoy, and in Omagh, Co Tyrone. “We have been asked by our patrons to screen it,” he said.

The pro-abortion lobby is up in arms.

Peter Boylan, a retired obstetrician and gynaecologist, has contested a claim in the film that a 13-week-old foetus has the physiological capacity to feel pain. “Certainly not at 13 — the neural pathways aren’t developed enough,” he said. “It’s at 20-plus weeks.”

He would say that wouldn’t, he?

If those who dispute the accuracy of this film want to be taken seriously they should get someone with more credibility than arch-abortion advocate Peter Boylan to do so.

 

Desperate Democrats?

A new fragrance

Is there no end to the arrogance, the blind arrogance, of the promotors of abortion here in the United States? But it is not only their arrogance which astounds, or their apparently wilful blindness. It is their determination to blatantly hoodwink and deceive.

But deceit has always been at the heart of abortion. The deceit stretches from the denial of the simple truth that a life is a life is a life, all the way to the litany of deceits which gave this country the Roe v Wade judgement and the media manipulation of events surrounding the tragic death of Savita Halapanaver which brought Ireland into this evil empire

In many ways this new wave of deceit has something of the flavour of desperation about it. As they see the increasing momentum of the swing away from their cause among moderate voters, the majority of whom now do not want the extreme provisions of abortion up to birth – and even beyond – they are now telling bare-faced lies to push their case.

As the body of scientific evidence mounts, destroying the lie that the the child in the womb is no more than a clump of cells, and as the rational and emotional recognition of that lie increases, their desperation grows.

Their latest fiction goes well beyond the category of fake news, so far beyond it that one wonders what kind of malaise must be affecting the deductive mental processes of those advancing it. And it seems to be an infectious disorder.

Lawrence Tribe is a Harvard law professor. He has tweeted the following “warning” to his followers:

White Supremacists oppose abortion because they fear it’ll reduce the number of white infants and thus contribute to what they fear as non-white “replacement.” Never underestimate the way these issues and agendas are linked. This turns “intersectionality” on its head.

Whatever about ‘intersectionality”, one is really left wondering where his head is.

Ignoring the fake categorisation of all conservative-leaning Americans with the ugly “white supremacy” label, this is a patently absurd reading of the real demographics of the US.

Obianuju Ekeocha and others took him to task on Twitter and he began to protest about being misread. That added to the mystification and deepened our concerns about his capacity to make any judgement.

Ekeocha tweeted in response:

In 2015,NYC pregnancy outcomes statistics showed👉🏾23,116 black babies were born while 25,698 were aborted.

More killed than born.

A black baby is 2.7 times more likely to be aborted than a white baby.

But don’t let facts get in the way of your pre-packaged narrative😏

However, their name is legion, and in support of Tribe, Marissa Brostoff in a Washington Post column last week came in behind him with the view that “antiabortion politics” can provide “cover for white nationalist sentiments.”

William McGurn sees a wider strategy behind this bizarre linking of the pro-life movement to a repulsive minority ideology. It is all about Trump and the next general election here.

Writing in the Wall Street Journal this week he suggests that their strategy may be something different – instead of blindness, what thy have is 20/20 vision. They think that by tarring pro-lifers with white nationalism they will distract attention from the agenda the Democrats have rallied around as they head into 2020. That agenda would include federally funded abortion on demand up to the moment of birth—and even after birth, if necessary.

But, he says, the pro-life proposition is nothing if not simple: Human life begins at conception, and every human life is equal in dignity and worth. Whatever else it might be, it is incompatible with white supremacism. Perhaps, he suggests, that’s why so many African-Americans, especially African-American women, have been leaders in the pro-life cause.

Mildred Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, was a founding member of the National Right to Life Committee. Kay James, now president of the Heritage Foundation, founded Black Americans for Life. Before he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, Jesse Jackson spoke of abortion as “genocide.”

Black pro-lifers, alas, are treated as if they don’t exist. Quick example: How many outlets even reported the National Day of Mourning that concluded this past Saturday with a prayer service in Birmingham, Ala., for all the black lives lost to abortion? One of its leaders was Alveda King, a niece of Martin Luther King. Another was Catherine Davis of the Restoration Project, who notes that the estimated 20 million black abortions since Roe v. Wade in 1973 are more than the entire African-American population in 1960.

But facts don’t matter these days; narratives do, even when they are absurd. So when Ms. Brostoff went looking for a living example of white supremacy hiding behind a pro-life mask, she found author J.D. Vance. If Mr. Vance is a white nationalist, he sure stinks at it: As he noted on Twitter , he has a “bi-racial family and non-white son,” and he wrote a book, “Hillbilly Elegy,” chronicling not white superiority but white dysfunction.

By contrast, who was it who said frankly that the Supreme Court legalized abortion in part because it was concerned about “growth in populations that we do not want too many of?”

Ruth Bader Ginsburg has tried to walk back her remark because of its plainly eugenic implications. But that’s the point. Eugenics have been used to justify abortion from the start. It wasn’t Mr. Vance who worried the “more rebellious members” of the black community might start thinking “we want to exterminate the Negro population.” It was Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger, speaking of the Negro Project—a campaign to get African-Americans to have fewer children.

I think that what McGurn is talking about with Gerard to RBG is referenced here.

Contrary to this twisted pseudo-liberal narrative, McGurn points out how close the pro-abortionists are to the hard-core white supremacists. He cites a post on AltRight.com, where someone writing under the name Aylmer Fisher warns against “the pro-life temptation,” because abortion helps weed out “the least intelligent and responsible members of society,” who are disproportionately “Black, Hispanic and poor.”

Ditto, he says, for Richard Spencer, the white nationalist who in May 2017 led protesters carrying torches and shouting “you will not replace us” after the Charlottesville, Va., City Council voted to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from a downtown park. Unlike pro-lifers, who want to be “radically dysgenic, egalitarian, multi-racial human rights thumpers,” Spencer says, “we want to be eugenic in the deepest sense of the word.”

Whether this is driven by a desperation bred of wilful blindness in the face of a rising sun of truth – the incontrovertible truth that the child in its mothers womb is a living human being sharing the beating of its mother’s heart until its own can begin to sustain it – or a callous and lying political strategy or a strategy, surely this will fail.

Why? Because, as McGurn says, calling a spade as spade:

Against these white nationalists stand the pro-lifers, and not just on behalf of African-American babies. They also speak for the unborn child with Down syndrome, for the child conceived in rape or incest, for the unplanned pregnancy that will undeniably crimp any career plans a mother might have if she carries the baby to term. These are all hard cases, and the clarity of the pro-life proposition—the insistence that each of these lives is no less precious than any other human life—can make for a difficult political sell.

But no pro-lifer ever said life is easy. We say life is beautiful.

New world disorder, old world disorder

I’m here in California, in San Francisco, deep in the heart of liberal progressivist America. I arrived from Ireland over a week ago and as I did so I wondered would I be experiencing something of a culture shock, would I be falling out of the Irish frying pan of PC liberalism into the West Coast fire of ultra-liberalism? Honestly, there doesn’t seem to be too much of a difference.

San Francisco at first sight might make you think it was the Holy City of God itself. It is not only that its very name suggests something of that. It’s that wherever you stand you will be within sight of some boulevard or street proclaiming the patronage of some angel or saint. But all is not as it seems. It is told as a joke, although one suspects that it might not be, that a native was asked was there any city in California which did not have a religious name? “Yes”, he said, “Sacramento”.

So, which is the frying pan, which is the fire? Really, it’s hard to say.

While the nation once designated as the “Island of Saints and Scholars” might not yet have reached West Coast America’s distance from its faith-filled past – it is well on its way to parity.

What is different here – or what initial impressions suggest is different in progressive America – is that cultural push-back is more vibrant, more energetic, in the face of the more extreme excesses of the illiberal liberal establishment. People are speaking up for their human and Christian values and rights here in a way that people in Ireland are still largely not daring to do. But push-back is a two-way street.

One powerful example of this vibrancy was a response by a young Latino mother who wrote an open letter to Pete Buttigieg, a Democratic presidential hopeful – although at 1% in the polls currently, that is probably too strong an epithet. Buttigieg, like our own prime minister, Leo Varadkar, is gay and happy to be so. The problem is that they not only want to be free to live their lives as they choose, they insist on everyone holding that there is no objective moral difference between their choices and moral choices made within the framework taught by Jesus Christ and his Church for close on 2000 years. The same goes for the Harris ‘twins’, Kamala here and Simon back in Ireland, pushing for unlimited abortion on both sides of the Atlantic.

There are no amphitheatres now, no lions, but the demand of the empire of liberalism is the same: worship our gods, just say you do; do not stand against us and we will tolerate you.

The agenda of those who call themselves Social Justice Warriors is not just driving for tolerance, it is driving for an acceptance of an equivalence between the moral principles of radically different ways of life. To achieve that they want to change the moral codes and customs of society, they want to convert the minds and hearts of all members of society whose moral principles are different from theirs. That is the “push back” Buttigieg is exhorting his followers to engage in.

Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is a man in a same-sex marriage. Ana Samuel took exception to a tweet from Buttigieg with a sub-text that anyone who refuses to cheer for same-sex marriage or support the Left’s sexual ideology is a bigot—someone who is out to harm Mayor Pete and his family.

Buttigieg tweeted @PeteButtigieg:

People will often be polite to you in person, while advancing policies that harm you and your family. You will be polite to them in turn, but you need not stand for such harms. Instead, you push back, honestly and emphatically. So it goes, in the public square.

Politeness won’t wash. Smiling and smiling while being being a villain comes to mind – to paraphrase Shakespeare. In Ireland, Varadkar, Simon Harris, Katherine Zapone – another gay Irish government minister – are all busily seeking to shame anyone who disagrees with them into acceptance of behaviours they consider objectively immoral.

Mayor Pete, Ana Samuel wrote, cuts both ways.

As a Latina mama in touch with a number of other Latinas with traditional family values, I can tell you we are faced every day with people who are “polite to us in person” but who advance and execute policies that assault our values, harm our families, and hurt our children.

Enough Is Enough, she cried, as a parent demanding her natural human rights. She recognises that behind Buttigieg’s self pitying gauntlet-tweet was a whole agenda of sinister social programming. What these people want, on both sides of the Atlantic, is to undermine the entire heritage which all faithful Christians want to hand on to their children and on which their personal happiness, in this world and the next – as well as the well-being of our society, depends.

I’m talking about policies that undermine our parental rights and duties by seeking to indoctrinate our children in progressive sexual ideology without our consent and sometimes in spite of our explicit protest. Consider just a few examples:

The public schools in my area where reading assignments from the Language Arts curriculum ask: “What is heteronormativity and how is it harmful?” (Mind you: this is a question from the school district’s recommended language arts curriculum for eighth graders, not from a single health teacher or counselor. It is not unusual for the LGBT theme to find its way into history classes, foreign language studies, and even STEM courses. The explicit goal is to normalize LGBT lifestyles throughout curricula).

Pediatricians who ask to see our teenagers alone and then push to prescribe them contraceptives or ask them about sexual behaviors that we find offensive. Our teens themselves bring these pediatricians’ inappropriate behavior to our attention. (One OBGYN slipped a prescription for oral contraceptives stealthily to a 14-year-old daughter of a Mexican friend of mine, after she had explicitly stated to his face that she did not wish to see her daughter on oral contraceptives.)

Sex education classes in which our kids are taught unproven Freudian-Kinseyan doctrines that “sexual repression” will cause neuroses (“express yourself, don’t suppress yourself”), and which preach about topics like abortion, masturbation, condom use, sex toys, “outercourse,” oral stimulation, and rectal intercourse, with all the humor and scientific grounding of a Saturday Night Live sketch, while refusing to seriously address the short and long-term medical and psychological health risks of those actions.

Public library programming where unicorns, rainbows, gingerbread persons, drag-queen story hours, and other symbols of progressive sexual ideology make an appearance, so that we must regularly steer our toddlers clear of the propaganda. With our middle-school children, it’s much harder to opt out. Trendy middle-school books (published after 2014) that appear to have fairly innocuous plots frequently feature an LGBT teen or gay couple, ever-so-gently normalizing the ideas that are so conflicting to our consciences. (Avoiding these storylines isn’t easy, since book-review websites regularly delete or block parents’ reviews that warn of LGBT elements, so we cannot even alert other parents of the real content within these books.)

And last but not least, the latest round of violence against children: efforts to entice children to question the reality of their sex through school gender-transitioning ceremonies, pronoun-sensitivity training, and other transgender propaganda. Parents have historically enjoyed the right to direct the education and upbringing of their children, under the correct presumption that parents—rather than school counselors, psychiatrists, teachers, government bureaucrats, or any other persons—are best able to act in their children’s best interests. Now, activists are pushing courts to allow minors to receive puberty-blocking drugs and cross-sex hormones against their parents’ objections.

Mr. Mayor, it is hypocritical for you to cry foul about policies that “harm you and your family” while your side pushes for government intrusions into the parent-child relationship at the most fundamental levels.

Mr. Mayor, it is hypocritical for you to cry foul about policies that “harm you and your family” while your side pushes for government intrusions into the parent-child relationship at the most fundamental levels.

At some point, we say “enough is enough.” Basta.

Toleration for You, but Toleration for Me Too

Mothers tend to emphatically care about the welfare of all children, regardless of their family’s origin or current form. We also tend to emphatically care about every LGBT person—recognizing our common humanity even when we do not agree with their lifestyle choices. When we are polite to you, we are coming from a place of deep moral principle and authenticity. It’s not a superficial cover up for our true beliefs about you. You are rights-bearing individuals (like all of us) endowed with human dignity.

Although our home countries have often been viciously anti-gay places, there is a deep understanding among Hispanic mothers that those who identify as LGBT have suffered a lot, and that many have lived a life of hurt, harm and pain. We feel great sympathy for your suffering. But the ideas you have developed from painful experiences are not always sound ones. And we can distinguish between the two: between affectionate concern for you as a person and disagreement with your ideas. So please stop shutting us out of the conversation by the intellectually dishonest rhetorical expedient of implying or saying that we are bigots. We are the opposite of bigots.

We are prepared to co-exist peacefully and tolerate a great deal of what you propose, but not at the expense of losing our own ability to practice and preach our own values and freedoms. We are happy to work side-by-side with you, to have you as our coaches, neighbors and friends, but don’t cross the line and tell us what sexual values to cherish and uphold.

Check Your Financial Privilege

Blacks, the poor, and children have always paid a disproportionately heavy price for the breakdown of marriage and sexual morality in society. Marriage between husband and wife has historically been the institution that best offers women, children and the poor a decent shot at a peaceful, stable, financially secure, socially connected life.

Please note that I’m not blaming the erosion of marriage on the LGBT movement. No, we in the mainstream did that all on our own. However, the LGBT movement has further eroded marriage, and in a more shocking way. It is not a good idea to tell society that you don’t need a member of the opposite sex to have a baby or that kids don’t need a mom and a dad because they will do fine in any kind of arrangement. That’s not true, and there’s plenty of empirical data to prove it.

Respecting the truth about sexuality and marriage is also the least expensive. Friend, it takes a lot of money to circumvent nature. It takes upscale health insurance to pay for those doctor’s visits to the urologist, OBGYN, and additional medical care linked to sex outside of marriage, rectal intercourse, or cross-sex hormones. It takes a lot of money to pay for that surrogate rent-a-womb so that two men can have a baby. Even if she’s from a third world country—and easily exploitable—it’s still expensive (and the ethics don’t look good). It also takes a lot of money to go through IVF, usually requiring dual-income households.

The fact is, permanent, monogamous, exclusive marriage between husband and wife is the cheapest and highest quality deal on the market. It’s the most financially accessible way to have a child and the safest way to experience sexual pleasure. It also provides some built-in sexual complementarity: a family environment that educates in sexual diversity by example and is more likely to offer balanced childcare, with both sexes offering their unique and invested perspectives on how to raise the children.

Amigo, I’m sorry, but these are the truths of nature. Hijacking nature with cutting edge technology may sound attractive to those who can afford the niceties of upper-class life, but not to those working to meet their basic daily needs. (Do you think getting a sex change is cheap? Don’t you think the poor have other things to think about?) Your agenda requires a lot of extra cash—either that, or socialized medicine. And many of us Hispanics have fled from countries like Cuba and Venezuela (and increasingly Argentina and Mexico) precisely because socialist policies in our home countries turned despotic.

Ask yourself: is the lifestyle you are setting up as a pattern for others to follow replicable and sustainable? Or does it further destabilize the family form that has provided the greatest financial and social stability to women, children, and the poor? The evidence consistently points to the latter.

You play the victim card, but it’s well-off same-sex couples who can afford to cushion themselves and their children from the costly effects of the progressive sexual lifestyle. You can redirect your children’s attention away from the gaping absence of a mother or a father towards a good education, nice clothes, memorable experiences, and recreation. However, your lifestyle cannot be sustained by millions of people who make less money than you. The mothers in my circles know this, and we care about those poor children—and their mothers and fathers, too.

The weight of the past fifty years of social science evidence is virtually unanimous in its conclusion: children—and societies—do best when kids are raised by their married, stable, biological parents. Separate a child from his or her biological mother or father, and you’ve made that child much more likely to experience internal conflict, significant pain and suffering, relational struggles, and a host of other issues.

Challenge Accepted

So yes, be polite to us, and we will be polite to you. But we know that we are in an intense battle for the hearts and minds of our children. We mothers may be underground and quiet, we may not be marching in the streets, and we may not be debating you in public. But we are meeting for coffees in our homes, talking privately with our school teachers, spreading thoughts the media refuses to print, and speaking freely while the First Amendment still means something. Yes, so long as we still enjoy the freedom of association in this country, we will continue to meet and organize, to speak and teach.

Mothers are very good at educating and protecting our children from harm when we believe they are in danger. This time, that danger is the sexual ideology of the Left.

So that is what American Christians are up against. Don’t doubt it. We are up against the same in Ireland – perhaps not as explicitly stated as it is on the western side of the Atlantic. The Irish strategy is probably even more Machiavellian. But it is coming and indeed is already there in the policy-planning of government departments responsible for education, family and social welfare.

We have a few Ana Samuels – but we need more.

About Ana Samuel

Ana Samuel, PhD, is the daughter of Mexican immigrants, the wife of an Argentine immigrant, and the mother of six awesome children. She completed her undergraduate studies at Princeton University and her doctoral degree from the University of Notre Dame before becoming a foundingmother and the Academic Director of CanaVox.

Her open letter first appeared in the website, Public Discourse.

The great divide

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The world seems to be irreconcilably divided into two diametrically opposed realms of feeling and fear. These worlds do not talk to each other, they talk at each other. There is the realm of those who feel The Shame And Peril Of Living In A No-Abortion State and those who in equal measure feel The Shame And Peril Of Living In An Abortion State.  The measure of difference between those two sound bites is the word “No” but the measure of difference between the sentiments expressed is as an abyss.

The first is a tweet signaling another volley of rifle-fire, in the form of a blog post, at the down-but-not-out opposing army. It is totally devoid of the slightest suggestion that there is any point in listening to what they might have to say in defence of their case against “an abortion State”. These are two forces at war, and it is not pretty.

The measure of shame and peril felt on each side may be relatively equal, but the measure of power exercised by one side of the divide over the other is not.

In a recent Irish Times article Gavin Boyne drew attention to the way in which the most extreme advocates of abortion had now captured the engines of social and health policy in Ireland and were molding them into their own image and serving the culture of death. But not only are they doing so in Ireland. They are seeking to work their way around the globe in pursuit of their goal.

The chairwoman of a U.N. commission, in the face of objections from more than one member state, recently forced the adoption of a measure that implicitly promotes abortion. Who is this woman? She is Irish ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, who is recognised within the U.N. as a woman who has dedicated her life to using the Organisation to promote abortion around the world – which is probably why the government of the world’s newest Abortion State has appointed her as its ambassador there.

Controversy erupted a few months ago at the annual conference of the Commission on the Status of Women, when Byrne Nason, ignoring objections by two countries, forced the adoption of a document that promises “universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services” for citizens of member states. In the language of this war, that means only one thing.

The hearing on whether to adopt the “agreed conclusion,” which involves “a set of concrete recommendations for governments, intergovernmental bodies and other institutions,” came after weeks of negotiations. It was held at the U.N. headquarters in New York late on the evening of March 22, after translators had gone home. When Byrne Nason asked exhausted delegates whether any country had an objection, diplomats from both Saudi Arabia and Bahrain spoke, citing a slew of language dealing with sexuality and the family that “disregards important red lines” for them.

The delegate from Bahrain claimed that during the negotiation process he was “bullied and harassed” by high-ranking U.N. officials and senior Commission members, “in terms of threatening me to go back to my capital, talk to my royal family to pull me out of the negotiation.” Again, language says it all. Islamophobia anyone?

The Muslim countries objected to “multiple references to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights”.  But Byrne Nason was having none of it. “I hear no objection. It is so decided,” the ambassador responded as she banged her gavel.  The Bahraini and Saudi Arabian diplomats protested, but to no avail.

“I’ve never seen anything like this,” a U.N. expert who advises member states on legal issues told National Review. The source characterized Byrne Nason as the “primary villain” in the situation who has “clearly dedicated her life and her work to advancing the abortion agenda at the U.N.”

A diplomat involved in the negotiation who requested anonymity from the National Review writer to speak on the record called it a “very frustrating session.” “This has never been the way” such negotiations work, the diplomat said. “Everybody needs to be on board.” If even one country rejects the document, the diplomat added, it “automatically means that there’s no agreement.”

The document in question promised, among other things, to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights”

United States was not a member of the Commission but did participate in negotiations about the measure. Their team was dismayed that “the clear views of many delegations were not taken into account,” U.S. Ambassador for U.N. Management and Reform Cherith Norman Chalet said in a statement delivered at the March 22 hearing. The U.S. also took issue with the language on “comprehensive education and sexual and reproductive health information.”

The Holy See, Guatemala, Comoros, Bahrain, Belarus, Cameroon, Djibouti, Libya, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Gambia, Malaysia, Mauritania, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Russia, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe joined the U.S. in expressing concerns about the parts of the document dealing with abortion and neglect of the family, and with the faulty process that led to the document’s adoption.

The unfortunate reality is that some of these countries are still in the early stages of development and have poor records when it comes to dealing with social inequality, economic progress, women’s rights, and more. This firstly allows the wise men and woman in control at the U.N. to denigrate all their values, and secondly, gives an opportunity to the neo-colonial Abortion States to package their very progressivist  policies into their development programmes.

The Sleeping Beauty’s heartbeat counts for nothing anymore

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Thou shat do as I say, Georgia, or else…

Irony of ironies, Disney has gone over to the Dark Side and joined the forces of the abortion industry. The Daily Telegraph reported yesterday (May 30) that the corporation’s chief executive has warned the US state of Georgia that its  film and TV productions are likely to abandon the state if its controversial abortion bill becomes law.

Bob Iger said it would be “very difficult” for the entertainment giant to continue working in the state if the so-called “heartbeat bill”, which outlaws terminations from as early as six weeks, comes into force.

The Walt Disney Company has shot some of its biggest films in the US state, including Black Panther and Avengers: Endgame.

Speaking to Reuters, Iger said: “If it becomes law, it’ll be very difficult.

“I think many people who work for us will not want to work there, and we will have to heed their wishes in that regard.

“Right now we are watching it very carefully.”

Is that Big Brother, Mr. Iger? It appears that corporate America is becoming more and more daring daring every day in the way that it is playing fast and loose with democratic institutions.

Surely there is a glaring misuse of power here – when a multi-billion industrial baron can step in on an issue like this and decree “Thou shalt not do this” – or we will make you pay dearly? It is probably not personal on Iger’s part – and I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here. He knows that the ideological forces that have captivated the minds and hearts of his prima-dona workforce will make life and business difficult for him if he does not subvert the democratic institutions which they despise.

 

Ordinary people have a right to ask why a powerful empire like Hollywood has a right to force them to do what they think is wrong.  Why should their conscientious defence of the right to life of a human being be sacrificed to a big business which deems that terminating a beating human heart it is morally justifiable?

 

 

Looking back in anger, looking forward in hope

There is a special poignancy in our Irish Christmas this year. In some way it links aptly with this no less poignant famous picture of Joseph helping Mary and her unborn child along the road to Bethlehem, just over two thousand years ago.

It is Mary and Joseph on the Way to Bethlehem, from the Portinari Altarpiece by Hugo van der Goes, now in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

In it, The Guardian newspaper (believe it or not), tells us that we see Mary and Joseph who are on their way to Bethlehem through a rocky landscape. She has climbed down from the donkey, perhaps afraid of riding down such a perilous, ankle-breaking slope. Joseph, grizzled and weary, is helping her along with all his loving kindness, his actions (rather than her physical appearance) suggesting just how pregnant she is. He is doing everything he can, as husband and prospective new father, to protect his little family from hardship and danger.

In Ireland the unborn have now lost the protection of the State. The fatal decision was made by a majority of the Irish people last May. That they did so, many still find very hard to come to terms with. Legislatures, at one remove from the will of the people, pass laws like this – but that a people should directly ask it legislature to do so is in some way harder to comprehend. But comprehend it we must.

The antiphon to the second Psalm, a substantial portion of which constitutes part of the lyrics of Handel’s Messiah, proclaims:

“His kingdom is a kingdom of all ages, and all kings shall serve and obey him. “

These lines challenge us, challenge our faith in the word of God. When I look around me at our crazy world and my apostate nation, I have the temerity to question these words as so much self-delusion. I’m inclined to say, “Really? Serve and obey? Will they really? You must be joking.”

Credibly enough, the psalmist asks rhetorically, “Quare fremuérunt gentes, et pópuli meditáti sunt inánia?” Why this tumult among nations, among peoples this useless murmuring? Indeed the more direct translation, “thinking up inanities” might be better.

Tumult certainly; useless also; even self-negating – all that self-grandising posturing which we call identity politics, signifying nothing; hang-ups over ‘diversity’ to the point where the world is becoming a new Tower of Babel.

And the political classes, left, right and center? They also fit into this picture, personified by the royalty of a former age:

“They arise, the kings of the earth, princes plot against the Lord and his Anointed. They shout, ‘Come, let us break their fetters, come let us cast off their yoke.’”

There is certainly a great deal of that around. How else are we to interpret the abuse piled on those who dare to defend the rights of medical professionals whose consciences are being trampled on by their own elected representatives? For our “rulers” conscience is now a fetter, a yoke to be cast off.

“Carol Nolan TD (a member of the Irish Parliament) has received a lot vitriol abuse from fellow TD’S for opposing the abortion bill,” we were reminded courtesy of Facebook a few weeks ago.

But then comes an even harder bit for the beleaguered remnants of Israel to take on board.

“He who sits in the heavens”, we are told, “ laughs; the Lord is laughing them to scorn. Then shall he speak to them in his anger, and trouble them in his rage. It is I who have set up my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

But where is he, we ask, as the division bell rings in the Irish parliament and “the kings of the earth”, the “princes”, troop to the lobby to pass death sentence on thousands of unborn children? The estimate is that close to 10000 Irish babies will perish next year under the legislation now passing through the two Houses of Parliament – with only a few brave voices offering resistance.

We look around and see a crumbling civilization. I walk through the campus of a famous university; I pick up a student newspaper – free because it is printed with money from taxpayers, in the name of education. What do I find in it? Very little that is not advocating licentious hedonism. Irony of ironies, this university was dedicated to the Most Blessed Trinity over four hundred years ago. If I were an advocate of “safe spaces” for young people I would certainly not be recommending this university campus, my alma mater, as one of them.

But then, in the midst of all these temptations to doubt the sacred texts, we remember the crumbling of Christ’s cohort of followers. Just four are left at the foot of the Cross, while faithful Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus face up to the powers-that-be and prepare to take him down from the gibbet to lay him in the tomb prepared by one of them. That makes six out of all those who, less than a week before, the were hailing him as the Son of David.

Then we hear the psalmist say with utmost confidence:

“I will announce the decree of the Lord: the Lord said to me, ‘You are my Son. It is I who have begotten you this day. Ask and I shall bequeath you the nations, put the ends of the earth in your possession.’”

And the reckoning?

“‘With a rod of iron you shall break them, shatter them like a potter’s jar.’ Now, O kings, understand; take warning, rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with awe and trembling, pay him with your homage.

Lest he be angry and you perish; for suddenly his anger will blaze.”

Can all that really be balderdash? No. These words have been sung and believed in for more, much more probably, than three thousand years. They have also been scoffed at by kings, princes and peoples who delude themselves with “useless murmuring”. These words have been at the heart of the Christian transformation of the world foretold in the Old Testament and announced in the New. Strip away all that has come to us from these words and we will be left with a nasty and brutal world dominated by superstition and fatalistic myth, ruled by fools who think they can mold human nature into whatever shape they dream up or desire.

The final line of the psalm proclaims, “Blessed are they who put their trust in the Lord.” So, with those words, all doubt melts away – if trust in the Lord is the condition for Blessedness what more is there to say. If we were to value anything in the world over this then we make ourselves nothing more than useless murmurers and lackeys of the “kings of the earth”.

That trust, that Blessedness, will still be as real three thousand years from now, as real as it is today, as real as it was in the souls of Mary and Joseph as they struggled towards Bethlehem with the unborn child who is the saviour of mankind; and as real as it was three thousand years ago – in spite of the world’s Herods, dictators, pseudo-democrats and all the other varieties of rulers it offers us.

Is this what the denial of unconditional love for both really means?

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REJECTED IN THE NEW RACISM

Ireland is a country divided in a divided world. The Republic of Ireland is not a fraction as divided from those six counties of Ulster in the United Kingdom, as it is by the division  between the adherents of post-sixties modernity, and the adherents of a Christian culture which has been the hallmark of Western civilization for 2000 years. A cold, cold civil war continues unabated in Ireland. It is not a pleasant thought, but this conflict is nothing more or less than a race war, symbolized by the chilling rejection by two thirds of its voting electorate of the LoveBoth logo of the defenders of the right to life of human beings in their mothers’ wombs.

Any among the LoveBoth campaigners who happened to be able to endure the triumphalism of the victors in that historic referendum, will have wondered where their citizenship went last Saturday morning when they heard a (fairly) famous Irish journalist proclaim that at last Ireland was now “one nation”.

Yesterday, after a walk along St. Stephen’s Green, Dublin, I posted what amounted to a kind of cry for help on social media, the only way I could find at the time of dealing with a troubling existential experience.

I admitted that I was unable to look at the faces of those who passed me. The thought that two in every three were prepared to allow the killing of children in the womb was too potent a spark for enmity for me to deal with. I just had to look away. God help us! I said.

It struck a chord with a good number of people. One in particular, from the other side of the divide, seemed to want to help me bridge the chasm I was facing.

“Can I ask a genuine question?” She said. “How do you feel Irish society can move forward together following the referendum as there are such strong feelings on both sides?”

For my part, I could only reply to this effect, “I just don’t know. I am doing my best to resist hostility – of which we are receiving so much it makes it very difficult. The objective moral reality of this is shattering.”

She responded, disclosing formally that she was “pro-choice” – which I knew already –  saying that what concerned her was the ongoing split and that there didn’t seem to be any answers. “I…would like to think there is some way forward for all that is less divisive than (what) is happening now. Hopefully for all our sakes a more harmonious future awaits!” I felt unable to offer that hope. Why?

One of the biggest obstacles Ireland – and indeed the rest of the Western world faces when it comes to this particular battle in our ongoing culture war – is that there is no basis for dialogue so long as one side refuses to engage with the other on the central issue of identity at its heart. Throughout the campaign in Ireland the pro-abortion side studiously avoided using the word “baby”, the word “child”, even the word “mother”. What we got instead, constantly and repeatedly at every turn, were the words “health”, “compassion”,  “choice” and “my body”.

At the evil heart of racism resides the irrational conviction that one category of human being is less than – or not at all a member of – our own species. History is replete with many sad examples of the consequences of racism: in another era, the English treatment of the Celtic peoples in general, and the Irish in particular, over many centuries; the enslavement of Africans over centuries of colonialism, working its way through the bloody American Civil War and only ending in that hemisphere – legally at least – with the civil rights legislation of relatively recent times, and with the end of apartheid in ours.

Wherever racism was rampant, for the length of time it took to overcome it, the members of the dominant strain of our species who fought against this evil force and identified with the oppressed, were abused and sometimes persecuted and murdered for their acceptance of the common humanity which they dared to proclaim. For as long as racism persists,  racists refuse to debate the central premise of those who oppose them – the undeniable human identity of those it wishes to ignore, oppress, or, as in the case of Nazi Germany, eliminate altogether.

In the Irish referendum just concluded we have just had the latest example of this phenomenon. The defenders of the unborn humans in the wombs of their mothers again and again, scientifically, instinctively, morally, presented the case for the human identity of the gestating child. Again and again their arguments were sidestepped and ignored. There was no debate. For one side the child in the womb was simply not human, not of our race, so therefore the constitutional right to life enjoyed by those already born could not and should not be extended to these essentially alien things, mere invading “clumps of cells”. Now Ireland’s lawmakers are getting ready, on the basis of a mandate from two-thirds of the electorate, to pass a law to facilitate the killing of any among these non-beings whom other human beings decide should not live. All those who resist them will be deemed not part of the Irish nation and sidelined – at best.

Am I wrong in equating this reality with racism? I may be. But until someone is prepared to come and talk to me about it, and show me the error of my ways, I cannot move from where I stand – for to me it seems exactly where we are.

The legend of Parsifal tells the story of a wound inflicted on mankind – in the person of King Amfortas. The wound festers and resists all attempts to heal it until the one true and pure knight, Parsifal, is found. He, the embodiment of truth, innocence and simplicity heals Amfortas and humanity.

Ireland, and indeed the secularist West as a whole, is inflicted with a deep and festering wound at whose heart lies the central issue in the debate over abortion, recognition of the human identity of the unborn. Until such time as a knight like Parsifal comes to our aid and gets us to face our willful cowardice in the face of this truth, then our crippling divisions will persist with all the pain that goes with them.

COMMENTS

This article also appeared on the website, MercatorNet.com, where it attracted the following comments:

There is and will be a way to bridge the split. It is the one being realized in every pro-abortion country. It is called pragmatism. Being pro-abortion does not and cannot work. Ireland once was abundant in energetic intelligent people. They were Ireland’s only natural resource but with that resource they outpaced many countries like the Ukraine that has all the resources but insufficient people. Because you cannot run a free market economy with a declining population, I assure you that Ireland’s economy will decline exponentially as its population declines. Moreover because an abortion is only and always detrimental to the health of a woman, Ireland’s health care budget will spiral up which will put increasing pressure on health care providers to give their elders an early, dignified of course, death. All this and more will be realized all too late to reverse the trend. Don’t believe me? Ask any citizen of a Nordic country.

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  • NOTE: The picture appears to be from a previous referendum held in 2002 which tried to tighten the laws around abortion.

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    “Am I wrong in equating this reality with racism?”

    No, good point – and, similarly, in equating it to slavery too where one individual exists for or at the convenience of the other.

Ireland goes the way of the world – for now

Demonstrators take part in a 'Pro-Life' rally, ahead of a May 25 referendum on abortion law, in the centre of Dublin
LOVING BOTH IS REJECTED

The words of James Joyce, which were once an offence to the people of his country, now, over one hundred years later, have become stunningly real for the estimated one third of Irish people who vainly tried to halt the tide of a modernity hostile to the unborn in the referendum which took place there on Friday.

In Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Stephen Dedalus, talking about his country with his friend: “Do you know what Ireland is? asked Stephen with cold violence. Ireland is the old sow that eats her farrow.” Too strong? No, says pro-life Ireland. What other interpretation is there when the majority in a country knowingly, willfully, declares that the deliberate killing of the unborn in the womb is permissible for no other reason than that it interferes with an individual’s comfort, convenience or life-style?

The Irish Government, willingly bowing to pressure, national and international, proposed to the electorate that the right to life of the unborn, guaranteed in its Constitution since 1983, be removed. This was to allow the legislature of the State to enact laws to facilitate unrestricted abortion up to 12 weeks gestation and up to 24 weeks on grounds which, in practice, will be abortion on demand. Needless to say, the proposals as presented were less stark than that, but given the pattern of what has happened in every other country with a liberal abortion law, the reality will inevitably be termination on demand. All the dissembling in the world will not change that.

Among the slogans of the pro-abortion campaigners were “Trust women”, “Trust doctors” and “Trust politicians” – that last somewhat bizarre given the economic debacle Irish politicians visited on their country just ten years ago. With regard to the two former, campaigners for the right to life of unborn children were a little baffled by both women and doctors asking for trust with those very lives which they were claiming the right to choose to terminate. They complained that logic or reason played very little part in the pro-choice armory and that all the emphasis was on emotional exploitation of the hard cases – rape, incest, limited life prospects of the baby in the womb and more. The human right to life, the human nature of the child in the womb, even its very existence, the avoidance of the very word abortion, they complained, characterized the pro-choice campaign throughout.

But the truth is, the Government which put this proposal to the people cannot be blamed anymore. This result has now clearly shown that it is the express will of the majority of the people of Ireland – about 90% of its young electorate – that the child in the womb not be constitutionally guaranteed a right to life. Choice is the supreme moral norm. The good or evil of what is chosen is, apparently, a matter of indifference. What has shocked the dissenting third of the Irish people is that so many have failed to see that the killing of the unborn is an evil thing.

Once again, for a world which has habitually looked on Ireland as a bastion of family values and marriage, all this comes as a surprise. The first sign of this upheaval came just three years ago. Then, when a similar majority voted in a referendum to change the very meaning of marriage to allow gay people to marry, there was one question, “How did this happen so quickly?”

Many explained away that rejection of one of the social foundations binding a community They read it firstly as a sympathy vote for a minority. Secondly, it was thought of as the result of a failure to grasp the social consequences which pro-marriage campaigners warned of. Again, reason and logic were trumped by emotion and a deceitful misuse of the concept of human equality.

It was not seen by the majority as an out and out rejection by the people of the teaching of the mainstream Christian churches. This, however, is different. This can hardly be seen as anything other than an upfront rejection by the majority of the Irish of the Christian teaching on the sacredness of human life, from the womb to the tomb – and beyond. There is no ambiguity here. There is little basis for a benign response, “they know not what they do.” It has all been done with astounding willfulness.

In this instance the Anglican, Presbyterian and Catholic leaders were almost all unanimous in the guidance they gave to their followers on the matter of the sacredness of life. On 16 May the Catholic Archbishop of Dublin, Dr. Diarmuid Martin, explained in a statement:

“The Church must always be pro-life.  That means that the Christian community must be a beacon of support for life especially at its most vulnerable moments and a beacon of support at vulnerable moments of any woman or man along their path of life.

“Christians must be pro-life when it comes to the unborn and those who are vulnerable at the end of their lives.”

The significance of all this in Irish history is twofold. She has now abandoned the principle held for at least 1500 years that all human life is sacred. She has joined the community of secularist nations where relativism rules the roost and life is allowed to flourish only on the basis of the choice of someone other than the living subject in the womb. This is where Ireland now stands – and if anything good might be said by pro life people about this, it is only that it is good to know where one stands.

The second and more general significance which this revolution has is what it says about Catholicism and the Christian Faith in Ireland. What is now clear is that the Irish people’s traditional culture, derived from Christian culture, is now rudderless. Its values with regard to life, the family – and its grasp of the Catholic Faith which has held firm for centuries in the face of “fire, dungeon and sword” – have now “all changed, changed utterly”. For many – well for approximately 32% – something other than “a terrible beauty” has dawned on them. They now face the challenge of starting again. But one third of a population is not the weakest of bases from which to start. This will be the challenge for all the Christian churches to take up, as it picks up the pieces.

There was evidence throughout this campaign of anti-Catholic sentiment – despite the efforts of the pro-life organizations to present their arguments on predominantly rational grounds, grounds of scientific evidence of the human nature of the child and grounds of natural rights and justice. A Catholic priest, an American working in Dublin, made this interesting response on social media to a correspondent who said that the vote was nothing more or less than a vote against the Catholic Church.

“Yes, the vote was a vote against the Church. To my mind, a strange way to think about human rights.” Then, after reflecting for a moment on the undoubted failures of the Church on many levels, and remarking on its servants’ sad record when it  “always found the temptation to wed itself to power irresistible”, he concludes, “The Church arose in a pagan culture by being willing to die for truths, not kill for them. Profound humility and joyful witness to the good life is the way forward. The only way forward for the secular West is to figure out how to argue for love when it announces a loveless universe, and for the Church to live love so attractively it is irresistible despite being powerless.”

For the hard-working campaigners for the unborn who have sweated it out on the streets and the doorsteps of Ireland’s cities and towns for the past four months – a truly marathon run-in to a poll – there may echo in their ears the dying words of Hildebrand, that great medieval campaigner for truth and rights under the law, “I have loved justice and hated iniquity. Therefore I die in exile.”

On Friday, perhaps appropriately, the Catholic Church celebrated his feast day. To be a Christian in Ireland just now will, for many, have the taste of exile about it. It will demand not a little of the mettle of Hildebrand to begin again the mission to which all of them after all, by the very terms and conditions of their contract, are indeed committed.

A triumphant liberal pro-abortion columnist in yesterday’s Irish Times declared that “Middle Ireland” was dead. Now there is just Ireland. Without even thinking about the totalitarian implications of that proclamation, one third of Ireland probably begs to differ. They are already promising to make their voices heard loud and clear. Perhaps they will remain in exile for a while, strangers in a wilderness of moral social values. But they believe that eventually, by “living love so attractively that it will be irresistible, despite being powerless”, in the face of the secularist West and its “me, me, me” selfish and loveless universe, they can hope to triumph. They know that if it happened before it can happen again.

Listen to both sides

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The new news and opinion website, Front Page  has just published an op.ed feature by a venerable Irish journalist, Bruce Arnold. It seems that some restrictions have been placed on Front Page by social media providers. Links to it on Twitter are being responded to with a 404 error message saying that the page does not exist.

Pending getting to the bottom of whatever glitch – or conspiracy, if that is the case – is behind this, this important and urgent analysis by Arnold is being published here on Garvan Hill in full.

It has been said that abortion pits a mother against her own child. If that is so, the law must act as a referee between them. In the vote on Friday next, we are that referee, because we will have to set the terms of our basic law. We are asked just one essential question. The unborn child is currently entitled to be recognised as a human life and protected as such by the law. Should we remove that constitutional protection, yes or no?

How should we decide? The first requirement of a referee or lawmaker is that she or he be fair. The referee must listen to both sides and judge impartially between them.

The basic case made on behalf of the Yes side, for removing constitutional protection from the unborn child, is that a mother wishing to abort her child has personal rights which must be always respected, whereas her child (at least up to 12 weeks gestation) can have no important rights at all. Even if a child could have some nebulous statutory right to life after 12 weeks, it must always yield to the right of the mother to protect her mental or physical health.

The case made on behalf of unborn children is that they also have real human lives, already fully formed at 12 weeks, and that their lives are as much entitled to protection and respect before the moment of birth as afterward. Their right to life is already compromised by the established right of a mother to abort her child in cases of serious risk to the mother’s life, including a risk of suicide. The proposed amendment would remove all remaining elements of the right to life of the unborn child.

The act of ending, prematurely, a born human life is very widely considered to be an unjust act, although assisted suicide and euthanasia increasingly challenge this universal norm. In the case of the unborn child, however, ending its life will be seen differently by those convinced that it is inferior to a human being until birth, and by those convinced that its right to life must be considered as essentially equal to that of a born person.

The proponents of the 36th amendment argue that, in cases of rape or incest, some women “need” to end a pregnancy and that it is impossible to decide quickly, or in a short space of time, on the validity of these claims. This cannot happen at present because of the 8th Amendment. They propose, therefore, not just that every claim of rape or incest should be accepted without proof, but that any and every woman should be entitled to end her pregnancy, at least up to 12 weeks.

How are we to evaluate this proposition? If the concern is about incest or statutory rape, the proposed law could have restricted access to abortion on that ground to young women under the age of, say, eighteen. It does not. If it is about the rape of an adult woman, why wait until 12 weeks? And why not require the woman seeking an abortion to identify the perpetrator, as a pre-condition, and have the law pursue him afterward? If the General Scheme of the proposed legislation were serious about providing for “hard cases,” it could have specified various ways of reducing or eliminating the number of abortions which have nothing to do with these special circumstances.

It is becoming increasingly obvious that these “hard cases” are being used once again as a wedge to try to force open the door to a widespread availability of elective abortion in Ireland. The rational and scientific difficulty for the Yes side, in arguing that unborn human lives only become entitled to legal protection after they have successfully survived an unprotected life in the womb, is manifest.

An emerging position among pro-choice advocates, therefore, is to acknowledge that abortion does indeed involve the deliberate ending of a real human life, which is horrific in itself, but that this “reality” will happen anyway and that what is proposed is just a way of ameliorating the risks to women associated with unregulated or foreign abortions. It is even argued that legalising abortion in this way will lead eventually to a reduction in the total numbers of abortions.

Is this a morally acceptable approach to a fundamental law of the State? It has been tried and found wanting in Britain and elsewhere. Almost nine million deaths later, the 1967 abortion law in the UK has been shown to be an unmitigated disaster. Even the recent fall in the total numbers of abortions is due to the falling birth rate, not to any improvement in social attitudes.

It is not just wrong in practice, however, it is profoundly wrong in principle. Once we admit the reality of the human life of the unborn child, we begin to see the full horror of the choice being presented to us. Hard cases aside, we are asked to allow the willful ending of very many young lives (without so much as a nominal excuse) simply because their continued existence is regarded as burdensome to those responsible for bringing them into existence.

The stage of development of the unborn child does not mitigate the horror. Each of us is changing all the time. The question is, who or what is developing? That it is a “somebody” and not a “something” is a matter of scientific fact, confirmed by a natural moral sense and by virtually all moral authority.

No Christian can ignore the Word of God on this. It is perfectly clear in Scripture that a person is in relation with God from the first moment of his or her existence. “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you” (Jeremiah 1:5). The encounter between Mary and Elizabeth is first and foremost an encounter between John the Baptist (who ‘leapt in the womb’ at 6 months) and Jesus (at 2 weeks gestation in the womb of his mother). On the basis of rational scientific evidence confirmed by the authority of divine revelation, the matter is settled beyond dispute for a Christian.

At a time when slavery was acceptable, many believed that a slave was sub-human and could be maltreated or even killed by the person who owned him or her. Christians, voting on a law prohibiting the abuse or killing of slaves, could never accept the argument that, because others do not agree that the slave is a ‘person,’ they should refrain from ‘imposing their views’ on society. It would be profoundly immoral for a Christian to vote to permit such abuse, knowing as he or she does that a slave is indeed a human person.

It follows that a Christian cannot vote to exclude the unborn child from the protection of the law, even if the person proposing to kill the child does not accept that the child is a person. To deny the authority of reason and of faith on such an important matter would be to renounce one’s claim to be a Christian.

Try here for original

 

The practice of (biased) journalism

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The Radio Times, the BBC’s mass circulation listings magazine, promotes a programme on the issue of abortion this week with the following introductory paragraph.

There are few topics as delicate or contentious today as abortion. From Donald Trump’s global gag rule, which sparked international outrage earlier this year, to Ireland’s forthcoming referendum on whether to repeal its abortion ban in 2018, it is one of the most polarising issues of our time

The word “delicate” is ok. I think we can all accept the objectivity of “contentious” as well. But when we move to Trump’s “global gag rule” we begin to feel a little unsure of our ground. No one likes being gagged and people who gag others are generally objectionable. Then there is “international outrage”. Was there no support for his policy move? The final blow to our confidence in the BBC’s honesty, fairness and integrity comes with the Irish reference.

The Irish are not going to the polls next year to repeal or not repeal an “abortion ban.” They will be deciding whether or not to continue to vindicate and defend the right to life of the unborn, whether or not to remove from their constitution the article which says:

The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.

Am I playing wth words? No, I am trying to do what the BBC is failing to do – use words as objectively as I can, stating the facts without the colour of my opinions attached. My effort at trying to describe what the BBC programme is hoping to do would go something like this.

There are few topics as delicate or contentious today as abortion. From Donald Trump’s policies on Planned Parnthood funding, which sparked international outrage among pro-choice supporters earlier this year, to Ireland’s forthcoming referendum on whether to repeal its law on the right to life of the unborn  in 2018, it is one of the most polarising issues of our time.

No matter what your personal opinion on the issue might be I would hope that you would be reasonably comfortable reading that ‘intro’ to the subject. You might still detect something of my personal opinions there but I would also hope that you would detect something of my respect for your right to an opposing opinion. The Radio Times simply  clobbers me over the head with its strident language. Sad.

On reading that opening paragraph in the magazine who could have any expectation that what this programme will present will be anything other than another apology for abortion on demand?

And sadly this is just one small example of the rampant abandonment by so many journalists of any effort to present facts dispassionately when they at the same time proclaim a commitment to that very ideal. The consequence of all this is that they not only destroy our confidence and trust in a great public institution but they undermine the strength and value of their own opinions. If we cannot trust them to give us the facts honestly then we cannot place much value on the opinions which they are calling on those “facts” to support.