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.

Pro life campaigns do produce results – how else do you explain this?

The New Your Times reports this morning that abortions are declining in nearly all the states in the US – in some states by as much as 15 percent. Associated Press has conducted a detailed survey across the country which will be a major boost in morale for the pro-life movement there and elsewhere, suggesting as it does that their work is bearing fruit in terms of a significant change in values and behavior.

The Times reports that not only have abortions declined in states where new laws make it harder to have them — but they’ve also waned in states where abortion rights are protected. Nearly everywhere, in red states and blue, abortions are down since 2010, the Associated Press survey finds

Explanations vary, the Times continues. Abortion-rights advocates attribute it to expanded access to effective contraceptives and a drop in unintended pregnancies. Some foes of abortion say there has been a shift in societal attitudes, with more women choosing to carry their pregnancies to term.

Several of the states that have been most aggressive in passing anti-abortion laws — including Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, and Oklahoma — have seen their abortion numbers drop by more than 15 percent since 2010. But more liberal states such as New York, Washington and Oregon also had declines of that magnitude, even as they maintained unrestricted access to abortion.

Nationwide, the AP survey showed a decrease in abortions of about 12 percent since 2010.

One major factor has been a decline in the teen pregnancy rate, which in 2010 reached its lowest level in decades. There’s been no official update since then, but the teen birth rate has continued to drop, which experts say signals a similar trend for teen pregnancies.

The work which has been done by positive education about human sexuality and the values associated with campaigns of people like Alveda King cannot be discounted as factors in this change – nor can the impact of pro life popular cultural influences like that in the film, Juno.

King, a niece of Martin Luther King Jr., calls herself a “reformed murderer” for undergoing two abortions when she was young.

Now an outspoken anti-abortion campaigner, Slate.com reported her saying last November that the best way to reduce abortions among black women is to dissuade more of them from premarital sex.

“We give free sex education, free condoms, free birth control,” she complained. “That’s almost like permission to have free sex, and the higher the rate of sexual activity, the higher the rate of unintended pregnancy.”

Read the full New York Times report here.

The most lethal fault line in the modern world

Fault line creating a desert

In the culture wars it is not recommended to the defenders of Life that they talk about the Nazi holocaust as a parallel to the holocaust of the living unborn. This is primarily a matter of strategy or tactics. The accidental details of the horror of the holocaust which took place in the Nazi death camps are so visceral that in the public imagination it is incomparable with anything else in human history. Inviting comparisons is thought to be ridiculous – if not downright obscene.

But is it? Are there not strong parallels? Is evil not evil in whatever packaging it is presented to us?

Both of these evils have their root in one great evil – the denial of humanity. Both of these evils also share a common characteristic which mark them out in their own time, the characteristic of banality which was highlighted for the world in the case of the Nazi holocaust by Hannah Arendt.

The entire Nazi project for the extermination of the Jews – and others – was based on a view of the human race which raised the Aryan embodiment of that race to a level which placed all other Nazi-classified embodiments on an inferior level. The Semitic peoples it placed on a level where their very humanity was denied. Their very existence was a threat to humanity and for that reason they warranted extermination.

Am I exaggerating if I say that those who adhere to the ideology of choice now prevailing in many of the world’s national jurisdictions, and who are driving the practice of abortion through this ideology, share this same common denominator. In both cases, at the heart of their doctrine is a denial of the humanity of their victims. The pro-abortion movement, under the specious pretext of defending the rights and best interests of women, have built an ideology which not only denies but which has also closed off all debate on the essential humanity of the child awaiting delivery from its mother’s womb. This radical misunderstanding of humanity is one of the great fault-lines dividing the peoples of the world today.

On the foundation of this false and unexamined principle – which with each day that passes science shows to be more and more false – they have built the narrative that all those who oppose abortion are bent on denying women their fundamental rights. This ideology has now asserted itself across the world and established the right in law in countless jurisdictions to terminate the lives of millions on the basis of denying the humanity of children before birth. Sleepwalking, millions have subscribed to this ideology – just as millions of Germans were half asleep as millions of their fellow human beings went to their deaths in the camps.

What is the difference? I see none. There may be accidental differences, but for those who identify themselves as sharing their humanity with, on the one hand, the Jewish people, and on the other, with children from the moment of their conception, palpable evil is the common denominator which they share.

It is here, contemplating this evil, that we also become aware that the truth of Arendt’s description of the evil of the Nazi atrocities as banal also applies to the evil stalking our world today.

In 1961 Arendt covered the trial, in Jerusalem, of Adolf Eichmann – following his kidnapping on a street in Buenos Aires, and resulting in his death sentence and execution by hanging in Israel. Her reports appeared in The New Yorker and were later published in book form after his execution as Eichmann in Jerusalem in 1963. For all sorts of reasons the book inflamed debate over the holocaust. One of those reasons was her characterization of Eichmann as an exemplar of what she described as the “banality of evil”. There is perhaps less agreement now* over whether it can be properly applied to the person and career of Adolf Eichmann himself but the idea that much of the evil in the world is perpetrated in the most banal circumstances rather in spectacular and sensational ways is hard to deny.

Arendt rejected the overblown rhetoric of the chief prosecutor, Gideon Hausner, who portrayed Eichmann as a sadistic monster. She insisted that Eichmann was no more than a colourless bureaucrat, a shallow operative who had had “no motives at all”. Acting out of “sheer thoughtlessness”, Eichmann “never realized what he was doing”, for he worked in a system that made it “well-nigh impossible for him to know or to feel” that what he was doing was wrong, she maintained

Maybe yes, maybe no. It now seems probably “no” in the particular case of Eichmann. But there is no question that the “system” for which he worked – and helped create – had many operatives, cooperating agents, sleepwalking participants in this great evil for whom their participation was banal, ordinary and mundane. It is in just the same way that acceptance and, in some cases, participation in the culture of death which is abortion, is banal, ordinary and now just a part of everyday life. Such is the routine way in which doctors – like many Kermit Gosnells – daily propose to mothers that they would be wiser to abort the child they are carrying; or so-called counselors advise and facilitate the same; or parents advise their pregnant daughters, or boyfriends their girlfriends. It is everywhere and the world has just become accustomed to it all.

Kermit Gosnell saw himself as an ordinary man, a doctor just doing his day’s work.

Thankfully the horror that was the Nazi holocaust is now universally recognised – excepting some pockets of nutty, if still abhorrent and dangerous, anti-semitism. The same is not so with the modern horror of abortion. The blinding god of Individualism has dulled the consciences of millions into accepting this human sacrifice as just one more event on the daily round. Those entrusted with the promotion and protection of the common good have just nodded their heads in agreement, buying the lie, the lie which is at the heart of both holocausts, that the victim being sacrificed is not human. In this holocaust they have swallowed the deception that the object of their violence is just a clump of cells (which we all are), a “foetus”, not worthy of the name “child”, and fit only for the incinerator – if the so-called quality of life of those on whom it depends for its life, seems to require it.

It is that very banality which makes us dull and restrains us from comparing this holocaust with the other. Let us tell the truth and call this what it is, a holocaust of the most horrendous proportions, a human sacrifice to the false gods of modernity, more terrible than Moloch, Astaroth, or others of the ancient world who demanded young lives as sacrifices. When enough people in the world eventually accept the truth that its victims are human beings, we will hang our heads in shame that it was allowed to go on for so long.

*See Bettina Stangneth’s Eichmann Before Jerusalem: The Unexamined life of a mass murderer reviewed in the Times Literary Supplement, February 27, 2015.

Pro life Ireland says ‘no surrender’

A message from Ireland’s Pro Life Campaign – No Surrender!

The abortion Bill passed through the Seanad this evening. It has been a very difficult and gruelling few weeks for pro-life supporters.

This video captures the mood and feeling outside Leinster House when pro-life people came together in silent vigil during the Dáil and Seanad votes on the abortion bill.

The road back will not be easy but the strength and resolve of the pro-life movement which has emerged in recent months is the kind of foundation that will ensure this unjust law will be overturned. ‪

An immodest, “dangerous” and deeply “dishonest” proposal

Ireland’s Pro Life civil rights politics back on the streets?

Following the Irish Government’s publication last night of the Heads of the Bill – preliminary draft for legislation – on abortion, the country’s Pro Life Campaign has dismissed the Prime Minister Enda Kenny’s reassurances that the law will be restrictive.

The Bill provides for abortion on the ground of threatened suicide with three doctors certifying the abortion.

Cora Sherlock, Deputy Chairperson of the Ireland’s Pro Life Campaign reminded the Campaign’s followers this morning that it was a very sad day  for her country. “For the first time an Irish Government has launched a proposal to introduce abortion.”

But, rallying the Campaign’s troops, she reminded them that the law had not yet been passed. “They haven’t succeeded yet. And so our job remains the same. Together we must redouble our efforts, never lose heart and continue our engagement with politicians, the media and the wider public. We will be dignified, respectful but insistent at all times.

“On days like this, we remember the nobility of the pro-life cause. There will be irritants, provocations and frustrations. But the more dignified and persistent we are in these days, the more our cause will benefit into the future.

“Don’t be disheartened. Each of us has a part to play. Today is the first day of a new and sustained fight on behalf of the unborn and their mothers.”

Commenting on the release of the Heads of the Bill, Caroline Simons of the Pro Life Campaign said:

“The Taoiseach and Minister Reilly have been talking up the proposal as very restrictive. But, in reality, these reassuring noises are empty and misleading. What matters is what’s contained in the Bill and what’s in the Bill is dangerous. For the first time an Irish government is proposing to introduce a law that provides for the direct intentional targeting of the life of the unborn child.

“Talk of the legislation being ‘life-saving’ is simply dishonest. There is no evidence that abortion ever helps women’s mental health and in fact it may damage women. It’s astounding that the Fine Gael leadership has caved in to Labour, allowing ideology to win out over evidence.

“The two-panel six-doctor proposal for signing off on abortions is utter nonsense. All it takes is three pro-choice doctors to sign off on every request and all restrictiveness is gone. It is an insult to women and their unborn babies to pretend that it could operate in an evidence-based manner.

“The Government has claimed all along that there is no option but to legislate. This is untrue. If the Government were really concerned about protecting women’s lives and respecting the unborn, we would have appropriate guidelines drawn up to assist doctors in various cases. The law already protects good medicine and life-saving treatments.

“If the Government continues to press ahead with the proposed legislation, we cannot continue to airbrush the reality of what abortion entails in countries where it is legal. There has been a huge spotlight on Ireland’s abortion laws but the public deserves to know what’s going on in other countries before any final decision is taken on the matter.”

Spin warning – twisters hitting all areas

This is an all points spin warning about serious twisters hitting Ireland today – courtesy of the Irish Times. The warning comes courtesy of the Pro Life Campaign at approximately 1600 hours today. Read and judge for yourselves. This is what we – and the unborn – are up against.

Irish Times presentation of latest poll on abortion “grossly distorted”, says Pro Life Campaign

The presentation by The Irish Times of today’s Ipsos MRBI poll on abortion was “grossly distorted”, according to the Pro Life Campaign.

In its analysis of the poll results, The Irish Times states that public support for abortion legislation has risen from 23% in 1997 to 71% today.

Ms Sherlock said: “This is a completely distorted and inaccurate presentation. The 1997 MRBI poll which The Irish Times claims showed only 23% support for abortion actually found 77% of people supported abortion in a variety of circumstances, depending on how the question was asked. However, like the poll published in today’s Irish Times, it made no distinction between abortion and necessary medical treatments in pregnancy.

“The 23% mentioned by The Irish Times was just one of the findings in a multiple choice question that included other categories of support for abortion.

“Five years later, in 2002, when the electorate had an actual choice to make in a referendum, 49% voted YES to row back on the X case ruling. An IMS poll conducted just afterwards found an additional 5% voted NO on pro-life grounds.

“In other words, despite findings like the one cited by The Irish Times from 1997 and the latest Ipsos MRBI poll, when the people have an actual democratic choice, a clear majority rejects abortion.”

Ms Sherlock concluded: “Polls showing high levels of support for abortion are nothing new. Whenever the question suppresses the distinction between induced abortion (that targets the life of the baby) and necessary medical treatments to preserve the life of the mother (where every reasonable effort is made to save the life of the baby), the results show high support for abortion. Such polls, however, significantly under represent the opposition among the electorate and create an inflated perception of the extent of public support for abortion.”

ENDS