ALL Report: Abortion Excommunication

From American Life League’s Michael Hichborn:

Sr. Margaret McBride, who was the head of the ethics committee for St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center, personally authorized the abortion of an 11-week pre-term baby. This act incurred automatic excommunication, but the response from dissident “Catholic” media outlets was to attack the innocent instead of the guilty.

Shame of the Vatican

Sadly, organized religion is more supportive of the Left than many conservatives are willing to admit.  Now, perhaps the most disgraceful example:

The Pope on Wednesday said attacks such as one on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, which killed at least 20 international activists and injured hundreds others, would not resolve disputes.

Excuse me?  So Israel doesn’t have a right to keep deadly weapons out of its enemies’ hands?  Last time I checked, the Catholic Church did recognize the concept of just war, and the Gaza blockade isn’t even a full-blown war, but a security measure.  Would the Holy Father lecture police officers for “failing to resolve disputes peacefully” every time a suspect is injured or killed while evading arrest, or is killed by a cop in self-defense?

“Once again I repeat with heartfelt spirit that violence does not resolve disputes, but generates more violence,” the pontiff said, according to DPA. “I invite you all to join me in prayer for the victims and their families and for all those who suffer.”

Actually, sometimes violence does resolve disputes.  Sometimes it’s blind devotion to negotiation or dialogue without regard for reality that gets people killed.

The coastal sliver has been under a tight Israeli blockade since 2007. The deteriorating life conditions in Gaza took a new level after Israel’s 22-day long military offensive against the strip in 2008, which left at least 1,400 Palestinians dead.

Benedict, meanwhile, urged those “with political responsibility,” to find “just solutions through dialogue,” and to guarantee the people of the Gaza Strip better life conditions.

Last time I checked, the Pope was supposed to be a source of truth and moral guidance, not lazy platitudes that fail to make distinctions between good & evil or aggressor & defender, and that indicates little to no understanding of what’s actually going on in the Israel-Palestinian conflict.  Simply disgraceful.

Food for Thought: Prager on Ethical Monotheism

Longtime readers know I’m a huge Dennis Prager fan.  Years ago, he wrote a thought-provoking essay called “Ethical Monotheism.”  Here’s a snippet:

Ethical monotheism means two things:

1. There is one God from whom emanates one morality for all humanity.

2. God’s primary demand of people is that they act decently toward one another.

If all people subscribed to this simple belief—which does not entail leaving, or joining, any specific religion, or giving up any national identity—the world would experience far less evil.

Let me explain the components of ethical monotheism.

God

Monotheism means belief in “one God.” Before discussing the importance of the “mono,” or God’s oneness, we need a basic understanding of the nature of God.

The God of ethical monotheism is the God first revealed to the world in the Hebrew Bible. Through it, we can establish God’s four primary characteristics:

  • 1. God is supranatural.
  • 2. God is personal.
  • 3. God is good.
  • 4. God is holy.

Dropping any one of the first three attributes invalidates ethical monotheism (it is possible, though difficult, to ignore holiness and still lead an ethical life).

God is supranatural, meaning “above nature” (I do not use the more common term “supernatural” because it is less precise and conjures up irrationality). This is why Genesis, the Bible’s first book, opens with, “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth” in a world in which nearly all people worshipped nature, the Bible’s intention was to emphasize that nature is utterly subservient to God who made it. Obviously, therefore, God is not a part of nature, and nature is not God.

It is not possible for God to be part of nature for two reasons.

First, nature is finite and God is infinite. If God were within nature, He would be limited, and God, who is not physical, has no limits (I use the pronoun “He”” not because I believe God is a male, but because the neuter pronoun “It” depersonalizes God. You cannot talk to, relate to, love, or obey an “It.”).

Second, and more important, nature is amoral. Nature knows nothing of good and evil. In nature there is one rule—survival of the fittest. There is no right, only might. If a creature is weak, kill it. Only human beings could have moral rules such as, “If it is weak, protect it.” Only human beings can feel themselves ethically obligated to strangers.

Read the rest here when you have the chance.

The Liberal Playbook: Gay Marriage

The Reporter has published my latest commentary on civil unions in Wisconsin, predictably bringing angry liberals out of the woodwork.  It’s interesting to note how predictable, one-note, and disinterested in what’s actually said, these guys generally are, and it’s important for conservatives to know what logical fallacies, sleights of hand, and personal attacks to expect when stepping into the ring with a liberal.

Take, for instance, the assumption that religion plays a leading role in my opinion, despite never being mentioned.  Liberal orthodoxy dictates that virtually no conservative opinion, especially on social issues, can possibly be held in good faith, so there must be an ulterior motive—in this case, hatred of gays and religious dogma.  Liberal orthodoxy further dictates that the slightest hint of religion (real or otherwise) in an opinion or discussion is something to be feared and immediately disqualified from consideration.

The other main objection is that, without civil unions, gays are denied equal rights.  I reject this premise entirely, for several reasons, the short version being just as I said in the article: “Many of the so-called rights gay couples are allegedly denied, such as hospital visitation and power-of-attorney related issues, are either already available to gays, easily achievable without creating new government relationship statuses, or were created to aid couples raising children on just one parent’s income, and are thus irrelevant to gay couples (as well as to dual-income straight couples).”  Moreover, I say “so-called rights” because most marriage benefits are not “rights” at all, but rather provisions offered as part of a contract.

I made clear that same-sex marriage was not the issue at dispute in my letter—the main topic was this measure’s constitutionality.  However, you’ll find that same-sex marriage advocates tend to struggle with the concept of “staying on topic,” and will completely skip your argument, instead jumping straight to why you’re evil for not supporting gay marriage.  If you refuse to let them change the subject and insist on staying on topic, you will be mischaracterized as either ducking the question or admitting defeat.

Regardless of whether or not you actually said anything demeaning towards homosexuals, no matter how much you insist you also want gay people to be able to visit their ailing partners in the hospital, you should still expect condescending lectures about how gays are people too, how homosexuality is predetermined (both propositions I accept, by the way…not that these armchair psychiatrists care), etc.  You will be psychoanalyzed with utter certitude, your opinions attributed to fear, hatred, or ignorance.  References to violence against gay Americans, black segregation, and even al-Qaeda will be thrown about with reckless abandon.

How do they know?  They just do.  They care, you don’t.  Bigot.

Also be prepared for raw hatred & childishness, such as casual references to “half-baked turd[s] of imflammatory mush” (this gem, incidentally, is from the author of the Daily Kos entry linked above, and once responded, badly, to another of my letters, noteworthy for its hypocrisy: she claims she doesn’t “want to write in anger.”).

You may even have outright lies told about you, and you may see long-simmering grudges boil over—bravely aired behind veils of anonymity, naturally.  “FDL54935” says:

Mr. Freiburger got his 15 seconds of fame since his parents went WAY overboard on a school issue. The man (Calvin) is one of the weakest writers in this community. If my sources are correct, he is barely making it through community college. I know times are tough and this is an issue that needs to be debated, but please limit editorials to those with an IQ over 75.

The issue to which our zip code refers is the case when a Fond du Lac High School teacher complained about my saying “God Bless America” over the school intercom, which the administration subsequently lied about.

Now, maybe Mr. Code was misled by news outlets that falsely reported my family was angry over the school’s speed in handling the matter, rather than their dishonesty.  Maybe he’s been lied to by propagandists whose sham reporting completely distorts the incident.  Then again, perhaps he’s the one doing the lying…after all, he’s angry enough about it to lie about my education, citing “sources” that probably don’t exist.  The real school I attend isn’t a community college, is nothing to sneeze at, and I think making Hillsdale’s Dean’s List for the second year in a row is a little better than “barely making it through.” (By the way, if you have the audacity to defend yourself by citing such facts, you can probably expect to be accused of bragging at some point, too.)

Hmm, it almost makes you wonder whether or not FDL54935’s got some kind of personal connection to the Fond du Lac School District…(crazy thought, I know.  The educational community is much too professional for that sort of thing, right?)

Hatred, anger, condescension, childishness, demonization, and persecution are all the rage (no pun intended) among the modern American Left, including the gay marriage movement.  For some liberals, I suspect, the root cause may be an insecure need for self-affirmation; for others, it is a manifestation of the liberal impulse to delegitimize opposing speech as soon as possible, to give it as little consideration as possible.  The Left wants to intimidate, not deliberate.

Don’t let them.  Don’t let yourself be shamed or silence by a movement that’s not exactly pure as the new-fallen snow itself.  Never apologize for believing that marriage matters.

Around the Web

Good to know: how to get a million hits on your blog in less than a year.

The plot thickens on America Online’s firing of a writer who tried covering Playboy’s disgusting piece about “hate sex” with conservative women.

More race-baiting from Sonia Sotomayor.

Steven Crowder and Pajamas TV put together a funny Olbermann parody, though not as good as this one.

Conservative bloggers hold one of their colleagues accountable for publicizing the identity of an anonymous opponent.

Oh, sure…we’re laughing now at this parody

Dr. Francis Collins has an excellent new website dedicated to showing how science and faith can coexist: the BioLogos Foundation.

Ol’ Broad’s got a great roundup of political cartoons.

George Tiller Murdered, Libs ALREADY Using Death to Smear Pro-Lifers (Updated Hypocrisy Rundown)

George Tiller, the infamous Kansas abortionist (and old pal of Health & Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius), was murdered today at his church.  A suspect is in custody.  The pro-life community is denouncing the crime, as well they should—evil though George Tiller was, he was also a human being living in a nation of laws.  Vengeance is not the same thing as justice, and we simply cannot permit people to take the law into their own hands.  His murder was un-American, un-Christian, and certainly not pro-life.

That won’t stop the propagandists of the Left from using this crime to demonize the pro-life movement—indeed, scumbags on the Daily Kos and Huffington Post are already claiming this is indicative of a broader threat of right-wing, fundamentalist terrorism (thanks, Department of Homeland Security!).

What do the facts really show?  NARAL’s own statistics on pro-life violence (PDF link) cover both the United States and Canada during the time between 1977 and 2007.  According to them, there have been:

– 7 murders
– 17 attempted murders
– 41 bombings
– 171 arsons
– 82 attempted bombings & arsons
– 574 fake anthrax letters
– 92,000 “acts of disruption” such as bomb threats & harassing calls

Assuming none of the other cases were counted among the “acts of disruption,” that’s a grand total of 92,892 acts of pro-life extremism in two countries over three decades. That sounds like a lot, but consider the following. About 99% of the acts come from the “disruption” category, and we should question exactly what constitutes a “harassing call” in NARAL’s view—I highly doubt they only counted truly violent or uncivil calls; chances are there are quite a few in that number which only consisted of arguing abortion’s morality and/or offering to pray for their forgiveness. Say what you want about the productivity or decorum of such calls, but they certainly can’t be described as malevolent in any way. Also, NARAL puts the bomb-threat number at 596, which means the overwhelming majority of the pro-life extremism in general, and of the disruptions in particular, consists of lesser acts.

As for the incidents of actual violence and genuine threat, each is inexcusable & deplorable, and no pro-lifer should tolerate them in any way. The good news is, the fanatics make up only a tiny sliver of abortion foes—consider that Pro-Life Wisconsin alone boasts the support of 14,000 families (and that many pro-lifers only belong to one of a state’s multiple pro-life groups given their differences on things like rape exceptions), and that 51% of Americans call themselves pro-life, and the serious, honorable pro-life movement easily dwarfs the unhinged.

Besides, when was the last time a liberal decided that eco-terrorism or animal-rights extremism discredited the central arguments of the environmental or animal-rights movements?  How about how Muslims who flirt with violence reflect on claims of Islamophobia?

The truth is, none of this really matters to the Left.  After all, you can never let a good crisis go to waste.

Update: Predictably, Andrew Sullivan piles on, including implying that Bill O’Reilly is partially culpable (and, incredibly, denying he did anything of the sort just hours later), and the genocide lobbyists at NARAL lecture pro-lifers on the need to denounce the murder, regardless of the fact that they already have.  To his credit, Alonzo Fyfe does the right thing.  A couple of his readers, though…

Update 2: More extremism for which the Left has a different standard:

– The Black Panthers

– The Nation of Islam

– The utterly wretched Keith Olbermann

– The hate-filled antiwar protests of the Bush years

– The most unhinged of Proposition 8’s opponents

Rhetoric about killing President George W. Bush, including an entire movie devoted to the sick idea

– Left-wing violence against American soldiers (let me be clear: I am referring to the Flashback links Michelle Malkin has compiled, NOT to the man who killed a soldier today, whose motive we do not yet know)

Slashing tires to sabotage your opponents’ grassroots efforts

– Actor Alec Baldwin’s tirade about killing Rep. Henry Hyde and his family

– Vile cartoonist Ted Rall

– Columnist Julianne Malveaux saying, “I hope [Justice Clarence Thomas’s] wife feeds him lots of eggs and butter, and he dies early, like many black men do, of heart disease

– Sen. Ted Kennedy’s famous rant about “Robert Bork’s America”

– Then-Sen. Obama’s racial demagoguery on the campaign trail

– Charming blogger Amanda Marcotte in the employ of presidential candidate Sen. John Edwards

Wildeyed intolerance of global warming skeptics

The movement to abolish slavery had its share of violence, too.  For instance, John Brown famously advocated, and participated in, armed insurrection.  Yet somehow I don’t think anybody would take that fact as evidence that the slaves should never have been freed.

And lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that President Barack Obama’s statement about Tiller’s murder, in which he reminds us that “However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence,” comes from the same man who had no problem with unrepentant terrorist William Ayers.

America’s Christian Heritage

My latest letter to the Fond du Lac Reporter:

George Ciesla’s April 19 letter illustrates a growing problem in America: severe confusion over our nation’s identity.  Is America a “Christian nation”?  What does that phrase even mean?  Let’s try to set the record straight.

As of 2008, 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christians [PDF link].  Accordingly, Christianity has shaped American life since the beginning.  So “Christian nation” is a perfectly legitimate descriptive term.

Furthermore, we are founded in significant part upon the Christian idea that every person is created equal, loved equally by the God who made us all.  In the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson said government’s purpose is to secure the inalienable rights “endowed [on us] by our Creator.”  In his Farewell Address, George Washington called religion an “indispensable support” to political prosperity, warning us not “to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”  Ben Franklin proposed opening the Philadelphia Convention each day with prayer, because he believed that “God governs in the affairs of men,” and he feared the prospect of forming a government solely “by Human Wisdom, and leav[ing] it to chance, war, and conquest.”

In his landmark work Democracy in America, French thinker Alexis de Tocqueville explained that democracy tends to cause each person “to be occupied with himself alone,” but religion combats self-centered narcissism by drawing man “away from contemplation of himself” and imposing “some duties toward the human species or in common with it.”  Modern research demonstrates Tocqueville’s point—in Who Really Cares, Syracuse University Professor Arthur Brooks finds that “religious people are far more charitable than nonreligious people.”

Were all the Framers Christians?  No, but many were, and even those who didn’t accept Christ (namely Franklin and Jefferson) believed in a higher power and recognized religion’s importance to any free society.  Nobody familiar with their writings can deny this—many, many more examples can be found in books such as America’s God & Country Encyclopedia of Quotations by William Federer and God of Our Fathers by Josiah Richards.

To deny America’s Christian heritage, revisionists often cite the Treaty of Tripoli, which states America is “not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”  What they don’t tell you: the treaty was an (unsuccessful) effort to appease the Muslim pirates of the Barbary Coast (to whom President John Adams also agreed to pay protection money) attacking American ships at the time—hardly comparable to the scores of public statements and private correspondences that reveal the mark of faith in our forefathers’ thinking, not the least of which is our very Declaration of Independence!

True, the Constitution does not mention God.  True, we have a separation of church and state.  But both statements are irrelevant.  Mr. Ciesla mishears the phrase “Christian nation” as “Christian theocracy” or “Christian government,” but it means neither.  It’s a statement about our ideals, history and culture—not our government.  Maybe the problem is liberalism’s view of government: they idealize it as the solution to everyone’s problems, so they cannot imagine that any part of the nation can be considered separately from the state.

The Founders guaranteed freedom of religion and conscience for all Americans, and rightly so.  They wanted to prevent the state from persecuting churches and churches from oppressing the people, but despite what today’s secular revisionists may tell you, they never intended to keep religion stuffed inside pews and living rooms, never to be seen in the public square.  They never meant to purge religious thought and speech from political debate.  There’s nothing “prejudiced” about telling the truth about our heritage…but there is something “un-American” about suppressing it.