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Tag Archive: Abortion

A Letter to My Teen Daughters, Concerning Racism

Posted: Wednesday, February 3, 2016 (11:59 pm), by John W Gillis


It can be difficult for me to get a handle on what I want to say about something, especially on-the-spot. But I wanted to follow up on tonight’s brief post-dinner discussion of something I consider profoundly important in the world today, which is the role the idea of racism plays in the on-going cultural drama of the propagation of modern society’s religious dogmas. I hope you will all find the time to do me the courtesy of reading this through. I have tried to be brief, but that’s a challenge, too…

Some information gleaned from reputable-looking sites on the WWW regarding the KKK: 1

“At its peak in the 1920s, Klan membership exceeded 4 million people nationwide.”

{and then, over the course of a single lifetime—70 years…}

“In the early 1990s, the Klan was estimated to have between 6,000 and 10,000 active members, mostly in the Deep South.”

{and, finally, after having seen its membership drop 99.75% by the last decade of the century…}

“[The KKK] is estimated to have between 5,000 and 8,000 members as of 2012.”

These last numbers are from the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is basically a left-wing agitprop organization which would be happy to find as many KKK members as they could, in order to prop up the relentless political narrative that “White” culture is awash in “racism”.

On the other hand, while the KKK was busy losing 20% of what little was left of its vanishing membership…: 2

“The American Religious Identification Survey gives Wicca an average annual growth of 143% for the period 1990 to 2001 (from 8,000 to 134,000)”

{so, 25 years ago, there were about as many KKK members as there were Wiccans (~8,000), and then…}

“According to Wikipedia, Wicca “is a modern pagan, witchcraft religion”.  It has been estimated that the number of Americans that are Wiccans is doubling every 30 months, and at this point there are more than 200,000 registered witches and approximately 8 million unregistered practitioners of Wicca.  And it is important to remember that Wicca is just one form of witchcraft.  There are many other “darker” forms of witchcraft that are also experiencing tremendous growth.”

So, the KKK, at 0.0025% or less of the population and declining steadily, continues to be held up as a despised symbol of a rampant moral and spiritual problem that no one can ever really find anymore, except in the hurt feelings of recompense-seeking victims, the self-righteous scoldings of crisis-seeking newsbarkers, celebrity-seeking entertainers, and status-seeking educators, or the mob manipulations of power-seeking politicians.

And yet, there are 1,000 times more Wiccans than Klansmen, at 2.5% of the population and growing rapidly, and nobody seems overly concerned about a crisis of paganism in America – or even one of witchcraft. Indeed, the very entertainers and newsbarkers who inveigh with holy wrath against the scourge of every under-pigmented Oscar nomination slate are quite at home embracing and propagating the cultural “sophistication” of paganism, and in celebrating its bloody sacrifices.

A final, important note on “racism”:

Racism is a word invented in the 1930s to describe Adolf Hitler’s anthropological views, and their political expression. These views were called neo-pagan, because he combined romantic elements of German/Norse paganism with modern, “scientific” ideas, including evolutionism. Evolutionism was a requisite component of his view that Jews in particular (but also others to lesser degrees), were of an inferior race. Hitler did not invent this idea of sub-human species belonging to a different “race”, but he brought it into the heart of Europe from the former colonial lands, and directed it primarily toward the Jews. And he sold it to a willing populace using an egotistically romantic notion of a master race.

You need to posit multiple races in order to have “racism”. On every level, this idea is deeply absurd, and offensive to the truth. The denial of genuine common humanity (never mind superiority/inferiority views, which are actually a distraction from the real evil being sold) is completely at odds with the fundamental Christian doctrine of Original Sin, and hence would render Christianity absurd – the salvational claim of Christianity being that God, in Christ, became one of us (i.e. a member of the one human race) in order that we could become like Him (i.e. divine: “By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled Himself to share in our humanity” – prayer at the preparation of the gifts).

The common current public spectacle of calling political and cultural opponents of Liberalism “racists” is absurd, obscene, and despicable – as is the quarrying of “racism” under every phony fig leaf.

But that’s not because the pagan idea of a sub-human species undeserving of the respect due human dignity has disappeared with the Nazis and the last gasps of American race slaving. Far from it. It has simply migrated from the plantations and encomiendas of America, and from the death camps of central Europe, into the abortion mills of what remains of Western civilization.

So it’s not that I actually think “racism” doesn’t exist, it’s just that I think most people are dead wrong about where it lives on today. And it’s a lot easier to thump your chest about the imagined sins of “those” real or imagined people, than to confront your own. Don’t be deceived by these fools.

 

1. The first two quotes regarding the KKK are taken from www.history.com, the third from the Wikipedia entry for the KKK.

2. The two quotes regarding Wicca are taken from thetruthwins.com

Some Concluding, Year-End Musings on 2012

Posted: Friday, December 28, 2012 (11:59 pm), by John W Gillis


Logos: Logos Bible Research scored huge in my estimation this year. I had struggled to be productive with earlier versions of their software, but version 4, released just about 3 years ago, represented a dramatic improvement in usability and performance, and I started drifting toward it then – especially since they were also beginning to release quality Catholic resources (e.g. works by Aquinas). Then, this Spring, they put together a series of terrific Catholic base packages, all of which included an outstanding edition of the CatechismCatechism of the Catholic Church. Logos version 5, released a couple months ago, adds some nice capabilities to an already terrific product, and has also been published in a separately-branded Catholic product line called Verbum.

Like the standard Logos 5 offerings, the base packages seem disproportionally weighted toward the upper end of the price range, but the entry-level Catholic package, The Catechism of the Catholic Church Collection (in the $50 range), is simply the best set of resources available at anywhere near that price for Catholics looking for a digital study platform. Check it out. It lacks an NAB, but that can be surmounted – and the versions it contains, the RSVCE and Douay, are better versions, anyway. Besides the CCC, it includes the Roman Catechism, the conciliar documents from both Vatican Councils as well as Trent, the essential dogmatic reference works of Denzinger and Ott, and the (daily) Catholic Lectionary. It is an outstanding value, and the resources work together brilliantly. I’m really impressed.

WORDsearch: Continuing the Bible Study Software theme… After rushing WS10 out the door last Christmas week, Lifeway finally got the product to the right spot with a series of version 10.5-enumerated updates released to WS10 owners beginning in June of this year. With a (Greek only) morphological search tool, user-created book types, a History window, and a sermon management tool, WS finally filled some long-standing functionality gaps. But for me, it’s too little, too late. I’ve been a loyal WS user since 1992 – my first (DOS) version of WS came with the NAB, NJB, NRSV, and a Strong’s-tagged KJV, plus TSK; it was Bible Study bliss. No application has served me better over the past 20 years, but it’s time to move on. This program simply cannot compete with the heavyweights. New owner Lifeway (i.e. the Southern Baptist Convention) has had a year and a half to demonstrate a commitment to improved professionalism with the product, and it has not materialized. The only changes I’ve sensed are an increased interest in chasing the latest cultural fads (you can now tweet your Bible Study results from within the program, if that’s your thing), and a decreased likelihood that the platform will be seeing anything like the excellent Catholic resources that are showing up steadily from Logos. On the increasingly rare occasions that I’ve opened the app to work with it recently, it has usually been crashing. Forget it. Thanks for everything; it was great while it lasted.

New English Translation of the Roman Missal: It’s been just over a year now since the introduction of the new translations of many of the prayers in the Liturgy of the Mass. Although they can be awkward and clumsy at times, and although I still haven’t memorized the new versions of the Gloria or the Creed, I think they are overall a big improvement, and are working quite well, with the exception of the Sanctus. I get the Isaiah basis for the change, and consider it an important corrective, but of the half-dozen or so churches where I worship with some regularity, there is not a single congregation that proclaims it smoothly. There’s even one where the priest himself still says “God of power and might” – probably because of the difficulty of getting his people to use a common cadence in proclaiming the new version. It needs attention.

On Obama’s Reelection: I have to admit, I was stunned by the election results. I was quite confident the country would reject Obama, after having four years to see for themselves what you get when you vote for someone based on the color of his skin – as so many people have openly (even gleefully) admitted to doing during the messianic frenzy of 2008. Mitt Romney was admittedly not the easiest guy to get behind, but he offered a genuine chance to correct some of mistakes that have been made, get the economy growing again, and bridge some of the rancor that has afflicted US politics since the Nixon years, but which has reached utterly dysfunctional levels now under this most divisive and partisan of chief executives.

Romney’s loss was disheartening. Partly, that’s because the “kill Romney” character assassination campaign strategy worked for the Democrats, despite the fact that Mitt Romney might just be the most decent guy to have ever run for that office – he’d certainly have to be a serious candidate in any such ranking. That is not a good omen for the future state of presidential politics in this country. But it’s disheartening also partly because of the sheer political force displayed in it by the progressive movement. The Democrats didn’t just convince too many potential Romney supporters to stay home, they wielded a large voting bloc that was willing to support the progressive agenda in plain daylight, not just as a kneejerk reaction to Bush burnout.

It could very well be that we’ve reached – or at least come close to – a tipping point as a culture, where a majority of citizens are willing to vote themselves “other people’s money” from the public till, and to delegate to the state the responsibilities of human freedom, from citizenship to family to personal health and well-being. If this is so, then we have reached the end of the usefulness of the great democratic experiment, and are descending into tyranny – one that will surely tout the infamous conceit of manifesting the will of “the people”. I wouldn’t expect it to end any better than its leftist forerunners have.

On perhaps a bright note, this debacle has produced in me a certain loss of faith in both the American people and in the political process – faith that was in reality misplaced to begin with. It has caused me to lose a good deal of interest in politics – or more accurately, in current events – which should serve both to free up time for less ephemeral concerns, and to orient my priorities more meaningfully.

On the Vapidity of the American “Opinion” Bureaucracies: Related to the collapsing opposition to leftist thinking in America is the success on the part of the progressive movement to establish a fifth column focused on the formation of opinion and the control of knowledge for political ends. I refer, of course, to the thorough progressive domination of the agenda-setting and opinion-defining institutions of education (both mandatory K-12and university-level) and mass media. As it is abundantly clear to me that the greatest threat to America as a place of “liberty and justice for all” comes from a combination of the “news” media and the educational institutions, I’m all in here with Pat Caddell, in his rant from this past autumn:

On Gun Control Hysteria: On this, the Feast of the Massacre of the Holy Innocents, it seems appropriate to complain that I was deeply distressed by the (media-driven) national meltdown of propriety and circumspection following the dreadful grade-school massacre in Newtown CT a few weeks ago. The notion that so many people were ready and willing to exploit the situation for dubious political purposes before the bodies of the dead children were even cold is chilling. Perhaps especially galling is the site of notoriously pro-abortion politicians crying crocodile tears over the carnage while intoning that “we must get serious” and “something must be done” to “protect the children”. Would it be impolitic to point out that during that very day, well in excess of 3,000 children were murdered in this country using devices – and furthermore, in the performance of acts! – that were not only perfectly legal, but which boast the unbending political protection of the very hypocrites who wailed the most loudly into the megaphones of self-righteous convenience on that sorry day? I hope those of us who retain some semblance of intelligence will be permitted a healthy degree of skepticism at the proposal that the repetition of such senseless bloodshed might be avoided by limiting the capacities of ammunition clips available to law-abiding citizens, causing mass murderers (of the gun-toting type, not the forceps wielding sort) to have to either buy their clips on the black market, or stop to reload a few times in the middle of mowing down a screaming group of defenseless women and children.

On Christmas: I’ve disliked the holiday we call Christmas at least since I was a young father without two spare nickels to rub together. As I’ve gotten older, my financial wherewithal has (predictably) improved significantly, and my Catholic faith has taken root and flourished into a principal self-understanding, but I don’t like the holiday any more. I refer to the holiday celebrated a few days ago that marked the close of the “Christmas Season”, a largely secular and irreligious period of consumer indulgence that began some time around Thanksgiving.

There is another day, a Christian Holy Day, also celebrated a few days ago, at the conclusion of the Advent season, and which marks the beginning of a Christian Christmas season, which has several permutations, being in the first place an Octave that concludes on January 1st, the Feast of Mary, Mother of God; in the second place a traditional period of gaiety extending twelve days, until the eve of the Feast of Epiphany (January 6th, though this can get moved to a Sunday), and thirdly as a liturgical season extending through the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, on the Sunday following Epiphany. This Holy Day and season celebrates the most remarkable thing that ever happened: the Incarnation of God in human flesh – in the flesh of a baby borne of a woman.

I’ve never been able to figure out how to celebrate the Holy Day amidst all the silly hoopla of the holiday, and I need to figure it out before I find myself thrown in to deep depression some one of these years.

The myth of a democratic socialist society funded by capitalism is finished

Posted: Thursday, September 6, 2012 (11:35 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Thursday, September 6th, 2012:

Janet Daley, in The Telegraph, explaining to her fellow Britons why “We should tune in to the Romney and Ryan show”:

What is being challenged is nothing less than the most basic premise of the politics of the centre ground: that you can have free market economics and a democratic socialist welfare system at the same time. The magic formula in which the wealth produced by the market economy is redistributed by the state – from those who produce it to those whom the government believes deserve it – has gone bust. The crash of 2008 exposed a devastating truth that went much deeper than the discovery of a generation of delinquent bankers, or a transitory property bubble. It has become apparent to anyone with a grip on economic reality that free markets simply cannot produce enough wealth to support the sort of universal entitlement programmes which the populations of democratic countries have been led to expect. The fantasy may be sustained for a while by the relentless production of phoney money to fund benefits and job-creation projects, until the economy is turned into a meaningless internal recycling mechanism in the style of the old Soviet Union.

Contrary to what many know-nothing British observers seem to think, the message coming out of Tampa was not Tea Party extremism. It was just a reassertion of the basic values of American political culture: self-determination, individual aspiration and genuine community, as opposed to belief in the state as the fount of all social virtue. Romney caught this rather nicely in his acceptance speech, with the comment that the US was built on the idea of “a system that is dedicated to creating tomorrow’s prosperity rather than trying to redistribute today’s.” Or as Marco Rubio put it in his speech, Obama is “trying ideas that people came to America to get away from”.

I’m not sure why it took a Brit [correction: she’s American born and bred, but has been “over there” since 1965] to distill the real essence of the political quandary facing the States this year, but Ms. Daley certainly sees through to the core of the issue at hand. I took the title for this post from the subtitle of the Telegraph article, and it smartly gets to the point that wealth has to be created – and that requires work. When everyone gets a free lunch, pretty soon, not only is the lunchroom trashed by ingrates contemptuous of the worthlessness they’re given, but there’s no longer any lunch to give out either, because the lunch-makers have stopped working at lunch, and are also awaiting their own free lunches. The truth of the matter is that entitlements can only be permanently effected using slavery.

As Daley notes, the West as a whole, including the U.S., is truly at a crisis point, where the direction chosen will not simply mean yet another recalibration of the extent to which the social politics of the late 19th century will dominate the culture, but will signify the readiness of self-governed man to admit fundamental mistakes, and forge a path of reform. I suppose she’s right that the U.S. is uniquely positioned to lead here, and if we fail, I think it’s hard to overestimate the wreckage that will  likely follow.

It’s not just that so much of the prosperity in the world is dependent upon U.S. prosperity. If, down the road, the U.S., incapable of functioning under its mountain of debt, significantly devalues the dollar, or outright reneges on its sovereign debt, China, swarming with women-less men who have no prospects of marriage due to their insane abortion practices, would be highly likely to perceive the move as an act of aggression equivalent to war – and understandably so – not unlikely responding so as to set off a proverbial World War III. The crisis, then, is not primarily about cozy retirement, or commoditized medical technology, or tax rates, or even about the immorality of intergenerational theft; it’s about whether the legacy of 20th century consumerism will amount to a 21st century of precarious but effective prosperity, or one that devolves into cruel warfare and the widespread grinding poverty that characterized so many pre-capitalist societies, but without a feudal system of patronage to fall back on.

Forced Abortions & Sterilizations in Massachusetts?

Posted: Wednesday, January 18, 2012 (11:28 pm), by John W Gillis


Occasionally, I read or hear about something so stunning that I feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, watching from a detached vantage point as the world unfurls strangely in front of me. Yesterday afternoon, I had one of those experiences.

I was at work, pausing to check the headlines, weather and traffic, when I saw the surreal headline: “Massachusetts Appeals Court rules that judge was wrong to order mentally ill woman to have an abortion and to then be sterilized”.

Forced abortions and sterilizations in Massachusetts? Granted, the court-ordered violation of this woman – and murder of her baby – were stopped, but it still seems hard to fit these facts into the perception I have of the world I inhabit. This isn’t China, or some other totalitarian state; despite the admittedly growing monstrosity of state hegemony over too many areas of life, America’s still seems like a system worth saving through correction, not overthrowing. Judges don’t really order things like that, right?

I’m not wholly ignorant of the history of these kinds of criminal depravities in American jurisprudence; I know these kinds of judgments were not unheard of during the early heyday of Progressivism, 100 years ago or so, before the “historical marches” of fascism and communism progressed Europe into post-Christian, scientifically-ordered hell-holes, giving the eugenics and related movements a rather tarnished public image. I’m also very aware of the broad based public support for abortion, in both varnished and even unvarnished guises; for eugenics in just about every conceivable form excepting the currently unfashionable sex-selection killing of fetal girls practiced by Hindus and others; and even for sterilization of the “unfit” as part of the eugenic spirit, at least insofar as it is reflected in attitudes that some people, for the common good, just shouldn’t be allowed to reproduce. even if the means of accomplishing that are not part of the reflection. Still, I wouldn’t have thought any judge in 21st century America would dare to be so craven, regardless of her own level of contempt for the human being.

A day later, there are still a few lingering things haunting my mind about this fiasco, after getting past the shocking moral depravity of the judge in the case – Norfolk (MA) Probate and Family Court Judge Christina Harms, who retired from the bench last Wednesday, less than a week after handing down this ruling, which among other indecencies, stipulated that the mother ‘could be “coaxed, bribed, or even enticed … by ruse” into a hospital where she would be sedated and an abortion would then be performed’, according to the original Boston.com story I read, as well as the few others I’ve found.

The first is the amazing lack of legs this story has (not) grown. I would have expected that a story reported on  pretty major MSM news site about a judge in America ordering this forced abortion and sterilization would have gone close to viral within 24 hours – especially during an election year. This has barely caused a blip. Am I the only one shocked by this, or is this a case of the MSM looking the other way from what could be a political hot-potato for their political sponsors? Is there another explanation? I’m lost on this.

Secondly is the realization that it was apparently only the attempted forced sterilization that brought about the judicial rebuke from Appellate Court Associate Justice Andrew R. Grainger, who noted that the ruling contradicted a 1982 (MA) Supreme Judicial Court ruling on the right to procreate. The fate of the baby appears to have been handed over to yet another lower court judge for dispositioning! The courts might yet order the baby to be killed for having a mentally ill mother! Incredible.

Lastly, I was profoundly struck by what I can only characterize as a thunderous moral tone-deafness and spiritual imbecility on the part of the alleged adults involved in this, including the reporters (with the exception of Ben Johnson writing for LifeSiteNews.com, who picked up on this). It is a tone-deafness to the cruel irony that the mental incapacitation afflicting this women (schizophrenia), which is the cudgel being used to beat her into the torture chamber, appears to have its source in a prior abortion she had committed. Court records are clear that she had a breakdown after the abortion, and has been a basket case ever since, especially around issues concerning babies.

This poor woman is tormented by the evil of her earlier abortion, and this knuckle-dragging judge wanted to trick her into having another abortion! And her own parents are advocating for killing her child! May God have pity on all of them in their deformities. This tortured soul does not need an abortionist, she needs a priest. I pray one finds her soon.

A Final Note on Hvistendahl’s Incoherence

Posted: Monday, September 5, 2011 (4:36 pm), by John W Gillis


Prior to my summer blogging hiatus, I had posted a couple of entries on some responses to Mara Hvistendahl’s recent book on the social consequences of widespread sex-selection abortions in Asia. I ended up requesting the book from my local public library, and checked it out in mid-July. I couldn’t get past the prologue; it was dreadful.

As Hvistendahl laid out her project in the prologue, it was hard not to detect something like a sadness for a great hope gone bad; a belief that abortion should have been not just a means for individual women to “gain control” of their own lives, but a vehicle for social transformation, one sure to lift the world out of the darkness of an evil past. In other words, it was supposed to be a shining example of the fundamental piety (and conceit) of progressivism: the new, technologically-empowered order of Modernity triumphing over the evil institutions of tradition. And yet, something had gone terribly wrong, somehow:

While ultrasound technology was modern, like many people at the time I thought that using it for something as crass as sex selection had to be temporary; one last instance of sexist traditions rearing their ugly head. (p. xiif)

It’s scary to consider how normal this thinking appears to many people – especially educated people.

There’s not a lot of need to explore in too much further detail the fundamental intellectual and moral error embraced by Hvistendahl: as if it were morally unacceptable to select for boys, but perfectly acceptable to select for health traits or some other eugenic purpose – or more to the point: that the practice of adults deciding which children to kill in utero can be justified on the basis of any utilitarian calculation, but only as long as the intention does not violate the sensibilities of people like Mara Hvistendahl. Abortion can’t be wrong simply because it is murderous, but it can be a thought crime, if your reasons don’t pass muster. Imagine that.

I understand that professional academics generally occupy a rather different world than that of working stiffs like me: they travel within their own peculiar orbit of fashionable dogmas that seek to explain the world according to mythologies that place professional academics themselves at the epicenter of a deterministic universe, as gatekeepers to the science of the Answers to Everything™. They function as the Priesthood of Progress – and if they also wear a white coat, then they’re like high priests, or bishops, or something. I get that. But what is a simple thinking person to make of fatuity such as this:

If females are scarce, males may kill a female’s existing offspring to maximize their chance at passing on their genes, inadvertently speeding up the species’ path toward extinction. (p. xv)

It’s hard to know where to start. Although written as a support for her theorizing on the declining prospects for peace in the world given the new gender imbalance among mankind in Asia, it is clearly standard-fare, goofball Darwinistic mythology – applicable, as must be the case, to sexual species generally. It’s tough enough to come up with a credible scenario wherein men might find a scarcity of women an inducement to kill other men’s children in order to try to ensure their own progeny, but to postulate such a clever motivation to irrational, purely instinctual creatures is beyond laughable. Of course, it’s hard enough to see how anyone can reconcile a Darwinist orthodoxy with an abortionist mindset to begin with, unless it is out of utter self-contempt. Still, this may seem somewhat irrelevant to my assessment of her book, but I offer it as an exemplar of the intellectual quality of the work as a whole.

What we’re given in this prognostication is a transparently dubious assertion about reality, being pressed down for validation into the quasi-sacred space of Darwinistic “explanations-of-everything via the progressive/evolutionary struggle for existence”, an intellectual playground where all kinds of absurd explanations for the world around us (sometimes derisively known as just-so stories) are readily embraced without much comment, and are supposedly validated by the fact that things are indeed the way they are (i.e. the just-so explanation for why things are that way must be true, or they wouldn’t be that way, right?). This is the logical fallacy known as affirming the consequent. It attempts to ride the coattails of a meaningless tautology (whatever exists is that which had been most likely to survive), but reads that tautology backwards, via a neo-pagan cosmology of primordial chaos and violence, into an origins mythology of a universal struggle for survival, which begets magical thinking in various affirmations of causeless effects, and assertions of motivated matter and acting secondary substance (i.e. species).

Sufficiently coated now with enough Darwinist dogma-dust so as to be protected from serious intellectual questioning, the idea is then walked back from the murky mists of evolutionary just-so-ism to a place where it can be supposed to be applicable to human society. Again, I understand how popular this kind of mental processing is, but I just can’t stomach it. Now, whether or not a theory of evolution, recognizable as such to a modern Neo-Darwinist, will ever offer a satisfactory biological explanation for the mysterious analogy of life on Earth is quite beside the point here. The point is that the kind of cheesy magical thinking exposed above, coupled with the ideological credulity already evident in Hvistendahl’s thinking on abortion, rendered the idea of a close reading of the entire work, in my judgment, a waste of precious time – although I would end up spending a bit more time scoping out the other sections to better grasp the work as a whole.

Browsing further, I found an interesting section exploring the effects of the woman shortage on marriage norms in Asia, where young women are now routinely imported as sexual commodities into countries with more aggressive girl-aborting practices, where they are very often taken by abusive men with no understanding (or concern) of how to treat women properly. There is also, of course, a burgeoning market in prostitution. In short, Hvistendahl reveals that abortion has facilitated the subjugation of the region’s poorer women in a cruel and demeaning system of sexual slavery. Who would have thought that imposing a barbaric institution designed to kill children for profit and convenience could give rise to such blatant disrespect for women as persons? Go figure!

Hvistendahl might be right about the ominous practical implications of the Asian gender imbalance facilitated by abortion technology – and championed by Western “do-gooders” – but she is blind to the root cause, which is not the prevailing circumstances themselves, but the underlying moral imbecility of embracing pure evil as a vehicle for achieving a desired good. Moreover, little do the Mara Hvistendahls of the world understand what’s ultimately in store for women in the West, whose status, in order to descend to such complete depravity, has to fall so much further than it did in societies in which women have not traditionally been viewed through the dignifying lens of Christianity. But the chickens will surely come home yet to roost, as men – increasingly alienated from any sense of duty, purpose, or responsibility in a consumerist, “liberated” society – continue, progressively, to see women not as wives and as partners in the perpetual generation of civilization in the family, but as more or less useful playthings.

The “freedom to choose” touted by abortion apologists is nothing but a fraudulent license to kill, and the price of murder is the loss of all decency. The bill for this idiocy is coming due.

The tragedy is that they’re dead

Posted: Monday, June 27, 2011 (9:25 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for June 27th, 2011:

The New York Times’ Ross Douthat’s take on the Mara Hvistendahl book I posted on last Wednesday:

This places many Western liberals, Hvistendahl included, in a distinctly uncomfortable position. Their own premises insist that the unborn aren’t human beings yet, and that the right to an abortion is nearly absolute. A self-proclaimed agnostic about when life begins, Hvistendahl insists that she hasn’t written “a book about death and killing.” But this leaves her struggling to define a victim for the crime that she’s uncovered.

It’s society at large, she argues, citing evidence that gender-imbalanced countries tend to be violent and unstable. It’s the women in those countries, she adds, pointing out that skewed sex ratios are associated with increased prostitution and sex trafficking.

These are important points. But the sense of outrage that pervades her story seems to have been inspired by the missing girls themselves, not the consequences of their absence.

Here the anti-abortion side has it easier. We can say outright what’s implied on every page of “Unnatural Selection,” even if the author can’t quite bring herself around.

The tragedy of the world’s 160 million missing girls isn’t that they’re “missing.” The tragedy is that they’re dead.

My initial reaction upon hearing of this book was to be interested, but not interested enough to add it to my absurdly and hopelessly overgrown reading list, but the more I read about it, the more it appears that the author really did her homework, and that it might be worth a look.

Appropriately, Douthat seems concerned primarily with the complicity, unveiled by Hvistendahl, of self-righteous Western institutions in the propagation of the Orient’s “gendercide”, and I suspect that is not at all what the author had in mind, but the facts speak for themselves – eventually.

It seems also worth noting that the figure of 160 million “missing” (i.e. dead) girls is grossly understated as far as I can see, because it only refers to the delta from the imbalanced birth rate, not the total number killed, which would necessarily add a number approaching half the number of world-wide abortions, though one could argue that the others were killed for different reasons – as if that were important.

The lunatic fascist and socialist tyrants who were the dominant objects of public fear and loathing during the 20th century, it turns out, had nothing on the bureaucrats running The Rockefeller Foundation, Planned Parenthood, or the various liberal governments of the “civilized world” which oversaw the project of progress – not when it comes to the shedding of innocent blood for personal and political gain.

‘I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.’

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2011 (6:45 am), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011:

Jonathan Last, in a review published at the Wall Street Journal Online of Unnatural Selection: Choosing Boys Over Girls and the Consequences of a World Full of Men, a recent book by feminist Mara Hvistendahl:

Ms. Hvistendahl is particularly worried that the "right wing" or the "Christian right"—as she labels those whose politics differ from her own—will use sex-selective abortion as part of a wider war on abortion itself. She believes that something must be done about the purposeful aborting of female babies or it could lead to "feminists’ worst nightmare: a ban on all abortions."

It is telling that Ms. Hvistendahl identifies a ban on abortion—and not the killing of tens of millions of unborn girls—as the "worst nightmare" of feminism. Even though 163 million girls have been denied life solely because of their gender, she can’t help seeing the problem through the lens of an American political issue. Yet, while she is not willing to say that something has gone terribly wrong with the pro-abortion movement, she does recognize that two ideas are coming into conflict: "After decades of fighting for a woman’s right to choose the outcome of her own pregnancy, it is difficult to turn around and point out that women are abusing that right."

Late in "Unnatural Selection," Ms. Hvistendahl makes some suggestions as to how such "abuse" might be curbed without infringing on a woman’s right to have an abortion. In attempting to serve these two diametrically opposed ideas, she proposes banning the common practice of revealing the sex of a baby to parents during ultrasound testing. And not just ban it, but have rigorous government enforcement, which would include nationwide sting operations designed to send doctors and ultrasound techs and nurses who reveal the sex of babies to jail. Beyond the police surveillance of obstetrics facilities, doctors would be required to "investigate women carrying female fetuses more thoroughly" when they request abortions, in order to ensure that their motives are not illegal.

Such a regime borders on the absurd. It is neither feasible nor tolerable—nor efficacious: Sex determination has been against the law in both China and India for years, to no effect. I suspect that Ms. Hvistendahl’s counter-argument would be that China and India do not enforce their laws rigorously enough.

Despite the author’s intentions, "Unnatural Selection" might be one of the most consequential books ever written in the campaign against abortion. It is aimed, like a heat-seeking missile, against the entire intellectual framework of "choice." For if "choice" is the moral imperative guiding abortion, then there is no way to take a stand against "gendercide." Aborting a baby because she is a girl is no different from aborting a baby because she has Down syndrome or because the mother’s "mental health" requires it. Choice is choice. One Indian abortionist tells Ms. Hvistendahl: "I have patients who come and say ‘I want to abort because if this baby is born it will be a Gemini, but I want a Libra.’ "

Though the selection quoted here paints Ms. Hvistendahl as something of a crackpot, the review is largely appreciative of what Last takes to be a worthwhile expository work which explores some of the unintended consequences of what people saner than Ms. Hvistendahl recognize as the fundamentally evil franchise of legalized abortion. The practical social implications of the abortion movement are chickens slowly but surely coming home to roost, and represent nobody’s sexually-liberated utopia, needless to say. Nevertheless, it is truly astonishing to see how writers like Hvistendahl can maintain their ideological blindness in the light of such damning evidence of their murderous folly.

Raphael’s Journey

Posted: Saturday, May 14, 2011 (8:32 pm), by John W Gillis


joanne1Music loving Pro-lifers might want to check out the latest solo album from Iona’s Joanne Hogg, entitled Raphael’s Journey. For those not familiar with Ms. Hogg, she is an angelic-voiced Irish beauty who has been the lead vocalist for the Contemporary Christian band Iona since its inception in 1989. Iona falls into more or less the same genre as bands like Clannad or Eden’s Bridge: playing ethereal, Irish-flavored pop, mixing traditional instruments and themes into the standard rock band ensemble. But when Iona rocks, which is not infrequent, they rock with considerably more gusto than most of the other bands of this sort, and their music is often constructed around Christian themes – and is always edifying and nourishing, even when it isn’t explicitly Christian.

Ms. Hogg’s solo efforts, of which I believe Raphael’s Journey is the third, tend musically toward the softer side, as compared to her band’s music, and are much more explicitly confessional  (her first, Looking Into Light, was in fact a collection of hymns; the second, Personal, essentially a collection of prayers set to music). This album seems to be a gentle, prayerful exploration of Joanne’s journey into the mysteries of motherhood in recent years, during which time she has borne two children. The cover of the economicalraphjourneycover packaging is focused on an angelic figure, but with a bright but indistinct image of what appears to be a human right arm reaching up from behind the angel’s right shoulder, hand extended skyward. Overall, it is hard to avoid inferring a reference to the most significant literary appearance of the Archangel Raphael, in the Biblical book of Tobit, where Raphael is sent from the throne of God to make a journey with Tobiah, son of Tobit, to heal the sorrows of two pious families through the marriage of Tobiah and Sarah.

Song titles such as Songs from the Womb, Life is Precious, and Dance of the Unborn convey the sensibility of the album, which places the mystery of human life in the heart of our Creator God, and in the hands of those of His creatures whom He has called to manifest His love. As a father, I have to smile at this new mother singing, in her song Lullaby in Colour, of her determination to let her baby sleep, despite the urge to pick him up and hold him – such a scene is truly a microcosm of parenthood on a couple different levels.

The song Life is Precious, placed in the setting of an abortion clinic witness, is a direct plea to women contemplating abortion to respect the integrity of the human being entrusted by God to their care. While there are aspects of the lyrics that rub me the wrong way (e.g. “I’m not standing here in judgment”), Joanne mentions something of enormous import, which rarely seems to get the notice it deserves in the “culture wars” around abortion, when she sings: “I see you in mortal danger” and “This is life and death for you” – referring to the mother she’s addressing, not the child whose own life hangs in the balance on the sidewalk outside the abortuary. The death of an innocent is a terrible thing, but the killing of an innocent truly manifests a deadly savaging of the perpetrators; a spiritual death sentence that too many will never be able to overcome through the grace of repentance and forgiveness.

Although I think there are better songs on the album, Life is Precious stands out for its clarity of purpose, and for the gentle and accurate portrayal of the Pro-Life movement’s most visible – and despised – champions.

Given that, I’ve transcribed here the song’s lyrics, and posted an audio stream. I encourage Pro-Lifers  to purchase the album from the Iona web store, both for your own musical and spiritual edification, and to support the work of these wonderful people:

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Life is Precious

Standing in the rain I’m praying…

Standing in the rain I’m praying…

 

Standing in the rain I’m praying / you’ll come out that door

Give me just a minute of your time / to hear the words that I am saying:

     You are precious

 

I know that you see a stranger / holding words for you to read

I see you in mortal danger / I’m the second thought

     I pray you’ll heed

 

For life is precious, life is given to us

Life is ours to live, but not to take

 

I’m not standing here in judgment / I am here in love,

Pleading for a chance to help you see / there’s another way

     For you are precious

 

This is life and death for you  / but not just you, it’s for another

God made you someone in His image / but he also made a mother 

     Out of you

 

For life is precious, life I given to us

Life is ours to live, but not to take

Life is precious, life is given in love

Life is ours to hold, but not to break

 

Two hearts beating / inside you

Mercy waiting / to hide you

Two voices speaking / inside you

Truth is waiting / to guide you

 

For life is precious, life I given to us

Life is ours to live, but not to take

Life is precious, life is given in love

Life is ours to hold, but not to break

 

Standing in the rain…

Standing in the rain, I’m praying

Standing in the rain, I’m praying

There are no negotiable or even very perplexing issues regarding our moral obligations before the mystery of life

Posted: Sunday, May 8, 2011 (3:29 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Sunday, May 8th, 2011:

David Bentley Hart, in an excellent essay posted on a remarkably robust “Religion & Ethics” section of the website of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, which highlights the irremediably divergent visions of God inherent in the worldviews of modern, materialist “transhumanists,” and orthodox Christianity – particularly as expressed in Pope John Paul II’s Theology of the Body:

To one who holds to John Paul’s Christian understanding of the body, and so believes that each human being, from the very first moment of existence, emerges from and is called towards eternity, there are no negotiable or even very perplexing issues regarding our moral obligations before the mystery of life.

Not only is every abortion performed an act of murder, but so is the destruction of every "superfluous" embryo created in fertility clinics or every embryo produced for the purposes of embryonic stem cell research.

The fabrication of clones, the invention of "chimeras" through the miscegenation of human and animal DNA, and of course the termination of supernumerary, dispensable, or defective specimens that such experimentation inevitably entails are in every case irredeemably evil.

Even if, say, research on embryonic stem cells could produce therapies that would heal the lame, or reverse senility, or repair a damaged brain, or prolong life, this would in no measure alter the moral calculus of the situation: human life is an infinite good, never an instrumental resource; human life is possessed of an absolute sanctity, and no benefit (real or supposed) can justify its destruction.

This essay does a splendid job of articulating succinctly the great Christian eschatological doctrine of theosis, or deification, and of demonstrating how the most wicked and patently absurd eugenic philosophies and anthropologies emanating from the penumbra of the academy are really just mockeries of the great truth of God’s end for mankind in sharing His glory.

via First Thoughts

The unique depravity of willfully murdering your own flesh and blood for the sake of a hassle-free orgasm

Posted: Friday, April 15, 2011 (10:50 pm), by John W Gillis


Quote of the Day for Friday, April 15th, 2011:

Edward Feser, blogging recently on the perceived phenomenon of what he calls the “temporizing bishop,” operating in an ecclesial milieu afraid to be seen as “reactionary” in the eyes of the modern, liberal establishment:

Homosexuality and abortion he cannot keep silent about, because they are matters of current political controversy.  Regarding homosexuality, then, he will issue a vague statement to the effect that the Church believes that we are all called to honor the Creator’s plan for sex and marriage.  If he can’t avoid doing so, he will acknowledge that this entails that homosexual activity is immoral; but he will also, and almost before he has finished uttering it, proceed to bury this acknowledgment under a mountain of verbiage about the respect, sensitivity, compassion, and understanding owed homosexual persons, about the evils of discrimination, etc.  Regarding abortion, the temporizing bishop will speak vaguely of “promoting a culture of life” and emphasize the compassion owed women who find themselves “in difficult circumstances” – rather than, say, calling attention to the unique depravity of willfully murdering your own flesh and blood for the sake of a hassle-free orgasm.

Well, it would be hard to find a more incisive description of the abortion campaign, no?