August 1, 2015
A measure of the wickedness of our liberal governing institutions may be estimated in the eagerness with which they investigate and harass the brave men and women who have exposed Planned Parenthood’s blood trade in the organs of butchered infants, while leaving untouched the butchers who commit this evil. Two pliant judges have already issued rulings to silence further exposures by means of the Center for Medical Progress’s intrepid journalism.
While the White House admits that it is repeating PP talking points, and countless Democrats jump in front of a camera to declare their allegiance to the depraved organization, a fourth video, released on Thursday, suggests that some infants are dissected for their parts while they are still alive.
Reflect on this, that these pro-choice ghouls install in the system as a whole an incentive for late-term abortion, in order to gain more mature organs for the blood trade. Harvest too early and the organs are no good for commercial purposes.
That “clump of cells” has value in its increasing complexity — organs and organ systems — which is useful in medical experimentation. Precisely the scientific facts of mammalian development, which our anti-science liberals loudly deny, supply Planned Parenthood with the means to acquire their thirty pieces of silver.
But why stop there?
After all, there are so many sickly one year olds, toddlers, and many more imbeciles, retards and degenerates, out there in the country, breathing and talking and walking around, who are wasting perfectly good and profitable organs. Why stop at unborn humans? There are profits to be made here.
Something must be said, also, of the demand side of this iniquitous commerce: It appears that there is healthy demand for fresh extractions from the Planned Parenthood abattoirs. Without that demand, there would be no profit margin — no profits at all from the trade in dead babies. This is what Lincoln called the “old serpent” in a most ghastly form: a class of human beings, the most vulnerable among us, reduced by brute force of fraudulent law to property, and subjected to awful mercenary cruelty. In this case the demand comes from Science, that worshiped god of our time whose demands for sacrifice are increasingly ruthless. The demand, moreover, is fueled by tax dollars through federal funding for the very research for which these tiny bodies are needed.
Who are these shady firms that send people out to abortuaries to collect organs from dead babies? Whose capital is behind medical experimentation of this horrific nature? Congress and state legislatures should begin the exercise of their solemn power of inquiry without delay. If ever there was a time for serious, hardheaded regulation of a capitalistic enterprise, this is it.
Some have suggested that these videos are an attack upon the abortion license itself rather than merely upon the trafficking of baby organs. Of course it is both. Indeed, we can hope that, as Robert P. George is said to have stated lately, these videos will be the Uncle Tom’s Cabin of the pro-life movement — that is to say, we can hope that they will be as effective a tool towards ending the evil. It is indeed impossible to separate one’s sense of the depravity of the baby parts trafficking from one’s awareness of the humanity of the unborn child. If some hospitals were making a profit selling diseased appendices that had to be removed, we would be puzzled, and perhaps want it stopped, but not appalled. Here we may hope that, due to the shrewd, courageous work of the Center for Medical Progress, some real horror will sink in among that vast, idle, muddle-headed middle of American citizens, and the true nature of this scourge will dawn upon their minds. Be it so.
A great many Americans are, and always have been, fundamentally uneasy and ambivalent about the abortion license, and more so the more developed the unborn child is. They would rather not think about it. This operation against Planned Parenthood has a dual function. If it cuts off a funding stream, or more than one funding stream, for these atrocities, on the grounds that they are also illegal, that is all to the good. If it forces us to look at what is done in our country and thus awakens dormant consciences at the same time, that is better still.
— The Editors
July 30, 2015
It is almost impossible at this point to keep up with the flood of evidence that is coming in against Planned Parenthood. I think that the undercover organization is stepping up the pace in order to make sure the evidence is out there before it can be squelched or confiscated. (The squelching has already begun.)
The most recent video release indicates that unborn children are sometimes born "intact" in the abortion process. While the ghoul being interviewed does not actually admit that they are alive in that case, of course if they are old enough they might indeed be alive when born. This is all the more likely since digoxin is not used to stop the heart if the mother has consented to donate the child's body for research. (The transcript here is explicit on that point. See the context of both places where the word "digoxin" is used.) How the baby is actually killed if still alive at birth is not stated.
The haggling over baby body parts and the explicit agreements to alter procedures to obtain usable specimens make it absolutely clear that federal law is being violated. Our federal executive branch is absolutely in the tank for these evil people at Planned Parenthood, but I still think it is worthwhile to sign this petition.
Meanwhile, kudos to Ted Cruz for leading the attempts to defund Planned Parenthood (the least we can do). His Republican opponents in the U.S. Senate on this matter deserve to be, figuratively speaking, tarred and feathered. Since Cruz is willing to take on the despicably compromised GOP establishment on such a morally fundamental point, he at least deserves serious consideration as a possible presidential candidate.
July 28, 2015
As promised, I want to take up some questions of custody. Of children, that is.
As I did some research for this, I discovered some facts that I didn’t know, and re-discovered some things that used to be fairly commonly said but have fallen out of common parlance.
For example, apparently for centuries, when an unwed mother gave birth, the father was accounted as having no rights at all, whereas if married the father had full rights and the mother virtually none at all. I see claims that in some places mothers were accounted not as a co-equal “parent” with the father, but as (a) the father’s wife – her first place in the family which entitles her only to WIFELY estate, and (b) as the children’s caretaker to the extent the father approves same. Hence her position over the children was little more than glorified babysitter.
Apparently, under Roman law children were accounted a kind of possession of the father, at least in some respects though perhaps not all. This is undoubtedly connected with the Roman father’s authority to abandon a child by exposure. And this attitude carried over into middle ages, where children were (after infancy) viewed as a valuable resource for labor, to which the father had the right (until older, I guess).
Fairly recently (speaking historically), in the US, the custody rules for children after divorce relied on the “principle” of so-called “tender years”, in which it was said that a child needs its mother during its tender years, much more so than its father. As a result, virtually all custody battles between parents for children under age 7 were won by mothers. This became standard only starting in the later 1800s, I gather. Before that, at least in some places, illegitimate children were simply left to the community to raise, belonging neither to the father (who had no rights) nor to the mother. Only much more recently did unwed fathers start to get ANY traction in having a voice on custody of their biological children. They still have nowhere near an equal position.
July 27, 2015
I have a new post up at my personal blog. It's a followup to an informal radio debate recorded between Bart Ehrman and my husband, Tim. To be more precise, it is a followup to part I of that debate.
For more details, including links to both parts of the radio broadcast, go here.
July 25, 2015
Marion Zimmer Bradley ("MZB") was an American science fiction author, editor, and anthologist. She was married to a child molester -- eventually convicted -- and, unbeknownst to almost anyone, serially molested and tortured her daughter, Moira Greyland.
Moira started speaking out just over the past year or so. WWWtW readers might find this interesting:
Naturally my perspective is very uncomfortable to the liberal people I was raised with: I am “allowed” to be a victim of molestation by both parents, and “allowed” to be a victim of rather hideous violence. I am, incredibly, NOT ALLOWED to blame their homosexuality for their absolute willingness to accept all sex at all times between all people.
But that is not going to slow me down one bit. I am going to keep right on speaking out. I have been silent for entirely too long. Gay “marriage” is nothing but a way to make children over in the image of their “parents” and in ten to thirty years, the survivors will speak out.
July 24, 2015
I have criticized the American pro-life establishment for not being more on the ball with this and have attempted in my extremely tiny corner of the blogosphere to rectify this to some extent. One of the things I found troubling was the treatment of Vincent as though he were already dead and as though we, battle-weary American pro-lifers, couldn't possibly be expected to go on fighting for him, praying for him, or even to give any sort of regular coverage of the battle for his life. Wesley J. Smith, whom I admire greatly, even said this:
Lydia. I can't write about everything. It was Terri Schiavo redux. Alas, that is like trying to refight the 1968 election.
Well, fortunately for Vincent Lambert, his parents and his supporters in France didn't believe that it was "like trying to refight the 1968 election"--in other words, impossible, like trying to change the past. Since Vincent is, in fact, still alive (Not Dead Yet) and since from our point in time his being dehydrated to death remains a merely contingent possibility, they knew that they could still act causally to try to stop it. And the good news is that, for the moment, they seem to have succeeded!
July 21, 2015
This post is going to be about an article by Robert P. George, but it isn't about the subject that probably first springs to your mind (in July of 2015) when you hear that name.
The post in question by George is here, and I'm going to take issue with it. I respect Prof. George for all of his own courageous positions on a variety of crucial social issues, with which of course I agree. I admire him and wish him well. But in this article, I think he is wrong.
George disagrees with those who have argued that Peter Singer should be stigmatized and even fired for his heinous moral views--just for example, his recent statement that one should rescue a large herd of pigs from a fire rather than a single human baby. All of Singer's heinous views flow quite naturally from his utilitarian philosophy. He is nothing if not consistent, as G.K. Chesterton once said about a madman.
Prof. George argues for academic freedom above all differences of opinion on these matters:
July 19, 2015
As is usual for the Jesuits post-1965, they continue to muddy waters and cloud minds by pretending to play both sides of every coin, fence, and issue. But they don’t really HOLD both sides, and so their sometime façade of even-handed neutrality always has holes in it. Regarding Obergefell, this editorial by young Jesuits (in training) makes the usual hand-waving for appearing neutral:
For those who support it, yesterday’s ruling is against injustice and for equality. It is not, by any stretch of the imagination, against religion and for immorality. And there’s a danger if religious voices continue to react as if advocacy for same-sex marriage is in itself a form of religious persecution. It simply is not. The motivations don’t match religious persecution, and neither does the end result. To equate what many perceive as correcting an injustice with religious persecution is to invite that persecution.
Notice the distancing of “for those who…” and “what many perceive” from the editorial self? But are they really neutral? Not hardly:
Many of us know people in same sex relationships of authentic love. We have come to understand that love, fidelity, and mutual commitment are worth being grateful for, regardless of the genders involved. We know the real hardships our loved ones suffer on account of not having the same rights as their heterosexual counterparts – whether through actual discrimination on the part of the government or through internalized perceptions of inferiority and worthlessness.
As expected, the supposed neutrality of the liberal simply shrugs away definitive Church teaching that the kind of “love” that holds between active gays and lesbians isn’t actually love at all, it is something else. Our young Jesuits would have scolded Jesus when he tells the adulteress to “go and sin no more,” and when he calls the Samaritan woman at the well - who He says “had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband”- away from adultery and fornication. True respect for gay people cannot allow us to pretend that years of dedicated living out a sinful desire that rejects God’s idea of love is, actually, love.
So, was it really a matter of justice that gays have recognition for same-sex “marriage”?
July 18, 2015
Greece has been living beyond her means for many years. A welter of exotic methods were devised to preserve the profligacy from its natural consequences, including, above all, the European currency union, which affords European periphery nations the extraordinary luxury of borrowing at German rates.
When the consequences of profligacy, in due time, began to present themselves, a German solution emerged: austerity.
In January, Greeks voted decisively against austerity, electing a hard-left government of quacks and celebrity academics. In early July, Greeks voted still more decisively against austerity in a national referendum purposed toward giving these quacks and academics more leverage in bailout negotiations. That backfired spectacularly.
This week the Greek parliament, in sullen resignation, voted to accept even harsher austerity.
The guiding purpose of European Union negotiations was to preserve the currency union: but German severity in the negotiations was predicated on the willingness to countenance a lasting breach of the currency union, specifically the exit of Greece from the Eurozone. He who loses his life will find it, while he who finds his life will lose it.
Greece, it appears, has now found its Eurozone lifeline, and it is a most austere one indeed: far deeper spending cuts and much higher tax increases than what Greek voters rejected on July 5th. Everything that Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras and his Socialists campaigned against — and won the elections by opposing — they will now get, good and hard. And the Germans are still talking openly about a “temporary” Grexit.
The reluctance of Greek voters to contemplate abandoning the euro as their currency grounds their humiliation. In the end Greece clung to the advantages and prestige of the euro more tightly than Germany clung to the vision of a complete and intact currency union. Berlin called Athens’ bluff.
Next, the Greek parliament will be obliged to pass various labor market reforms that make Scott Walker’s throne of skulls in Wisconsin resemble a modest pile of chicken bones at a buffalo wings joint. Greek public assets, many billions of euros in value, will be held in some sort of EU/IMF trust as a means to finance the coming bailout. Decades of generous public-sector benefits will be pared back; long-overdue liberalization of protected markets will be imposed; parsimony will be inflicted by distant bureaucrats; and taxes will rise at every step of production.
A hard-left government, while still clutching at the benevolences of the euro, chose flattery and cheap nationalism over facing up to the difficult decisions occasioned by decades of Greeks living beyond their means; and ultimately induced in Brussels technocrats and German politicians a severity rarely seen in Europe.
Beware Eurozone bureaucrats, even those bearing gifts.
July 17, 2015
A day or so after reading this article a little bell was ringing in the back of my mind. I disagree with the article's confident statement that the trafficking in fetal body parts that has recently come to light is legal, but that wasn't what was triggering my mental bell-ringing. It was the mention of Bill Clinton and the year 1993 and a change in a law. What was that...?
Then it hit me: Yes, that was when the ban was lifted on federal funding for research using aborted fetal tissue. The Gospel Coalition piece merely says that the law hasn't changed since. Yes, that too. And why not, through a long Bush presidency? Why, in fact, has no Republican candidate since then made an issue of defunding research using aborted fetal tissue? I'm old enough to remember when that was a big deal.
Do you know what that means? It means that Planned Parenthood is getting its blood money from the taxpayers in two different ways: By the direct route, PP receives moogoo tax dollars for "educational" work. Indirectly, PP receives funding for this very trafficking that we have just been reading about and horrified by, because the researchers themselves can get federal funding and use it to purchase the "specimens" they need!
And some repentance is in order here on the part of establishment pro-lifers.
July 16, 2015
While those on the left have been worrying about serious outrages such as the fact that Nathan Bedford Forrest's remains haven't yet been dug up, those of us on the right have been thinking about something a little grimmer and more urgent--that being the fact that Planned Parenthood is not only tearing unborn babies apart (which we already knew) but also trafficking in their body parts.
Into what should be a firestorm of criminal investigation by the various executive branches (state and federal) comes this odd piece by America Magazine (author, Sam Sawyer, S.J.) school-marmishly lecturing the organization that has brought out the revelations for "unfair editing."
July 14, 2015
The big news in the evangelical world today concerning "gay, celibate Christians" who affirm an essential and positive homosexual identity (I have coined the expression CHI or "Christian Homosexual Identifier" for this) is that Julie Rodgers, a Protestant CHI, has "come out" a second time, this time in favor of non-celibate relationships.
Rodgers was hired amidst some fanfare by Wheaton College last year and was featured in an interview in World. Her role was to be the leader of an LGBT student club at Wheaton. Now she has resigned at Wheaton (that's one good thing).
But let me back up a bit.
July 10, 2015
An excellent set of quotations taken from 19th-century lawyer Edmund Bennett, The Four Gospels From a Lawyer's Standpoint (1899)
Is the story of Barabbas a myth, merely because one evangelist (John) says he was a robber, and two others (Mark and Luke) call him a murderer? Was there no king of Tyre because in some places his name is spelled Hiram and in other Huram? Is there no true time of day, because all the clocks in your house strike at a different moment?... ...[H]ow vastly...improbable that four different persons, at different times and in different places, should deliberately sit down without any apparent motive to write four similar fictitious stories without any knowledge of each other's work; or, if they had such knowledge, that they did not make their stories agree better with each other! It is too absurd to be worthy of even denying. Here again we may learn from secular matters that the actual occurrence of some event is not to be doubted because of some discrepancy, or even some contradiction, in details between the different narrators thereof. For instance, some historians assert that Lord Stafford was condemned to be hanged for his alleged participation in the popish plot in 1680, while Burnett and other historians narrate that he was beheaded. But that he suffered death for the charge, though probably unjustly, no one doubts....Do not, therefore, I pray you, give up your Bible, your religion, or your God because of such flippant talk about the contradictions of the Gospels, come from whom it may! (pp. 35-55)
July 8, 2015
It's a shame that there seems to be one culture war issue dominating the news these days, but even I, who often try to buck some current trend in blogging, find that new items are cropping up that need to be highlighted:
Baylor University has dropped its explicit ban on "homosexual acts" in its sexual conduct policy. It has switched to saying only that "physical intimacy is to be expressed in the context of marital fidelity."
A couple of points to note: