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April 29, 2009

Daily roundup

Margaret Sanger’s Real Views

Main_sanger A year or so ago, the Women's Studies program at my university sponsored a bulletin board in praise of Margaret Sanger. I wanted to gag, because every poster hailed Sanger as some great female liberator.  Obviously, none of the students who created those posters had ever bothered to move beyond the propaganda and actually read what Sanger wrote, especially her views on eugenics. This article sheds light on Sanger's destructive philosophy -- and shows just how little our current Secretary of State knows about a woman she is in "awe" of.   

(Image © AP)

April 28, 2009

Daily roundup

At some point, it just has to stop, doesn’t it?

Embryo bank Well, we should have seen this coming, of course: the British now have a choice to make, whether to let their government allow human "embryo banks" to be used for more than procreation efforts. That means having those nice little humans around for....spare parts. Read more here.

I think we really need to start bringing these kinds of absurdities to light more often, because we seem to be living in an age where most people think this kind of "progress" is inevitable. Why? Because so many people don't care, and those who keep pushing this mad agenda are determined folk.

But that kind of thinking would have prevented Wilberforce from working to end the slave trade. So instead of nibbling around the margins on these topics, how about let's start drawing some real lines in the sand and holding our elected leaders accountable? If you support anything like using embryos for spare parts, no more re-election for you. All that many politicians really respect is power. If they think they can get away with a controversial vote to cultivate a biotech donor, they'll oftentimes do it. 

So it's up to us to let them know what fates await their careers if they go there. Write your leaders and encourate your friends to do the same if this monstrous effort blows across the Atlantic to our shores.

(Image © EPA) 

April 23, 2009

Plan B: Abortion for Kids!

The Food and Drug Administration will soon release a new policy that will allow 17-year-old girls to gain access to an abortive medicine known as Plan B. Though many consider it nothing more than contraception, it has the ability to kill off a fertilized egg by preventing it from attaching itself to the uterus. Therefore, it is an abortifacient.

Although it should come as no surprise that the new administration would move forward on opening up new abortive opportunities to children, we should be appalled by the reasoning.

U.S. District Judge Edward Korman has made the claim that the Bush Administration allowed politics rather than science to guide their decision to refrain from giving 17-year-old kids abortifacients. Given all we know about a baby's development--the heart pumping within 3 weeks of conception, brain activity within a month and a half, etc--what "science" are abortion supporters clinging to in order to justify killing babies? It's strange how the left loves to cry out, "Follow science, not your faith," and yet when it comes to abortion, they ignore the facts to continue their political pandering.

The question of when life begins is dead. There is no question. The left has never distinguished a point of viability in the womb where they are satisfied in not aborting. The fact that partial-birth abortion even exists, and is argued for by educated people in positions of power, shows us how morally depraved the pro-abortion movement has become. 

Abortion-rights advocates march under the banner of "women's health," but as time goes on we hear less of that and more of "women's rights." It's a quick fade to black when this awful practice tries to act in the name of good because it's morally inconsistent to claim that women deserve rights while roughly half of abortions are of baby girls. As Mother Theresa said, "It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish." 

Continue reading "Plan B: Abortion for Kids!" »

April 21, 2009

Daily roundup

The nature of the choice

Trig Palin I wondered when something like this was coming. Didn't take long.

I respect Palin's decision not to "make it all go away." She describes her doubts about whether she had the fortitude and patience to cope with a child with Down syndrome, and, with the force of a mother's fierce love, the special blessing that Trig has brought to her life. She speaks as someone who is confident that she made the correct choice.

For her. In fact, the overwhelming majority of couples choose to terminate pregnancies when prenatal testing shows severe abnormalities. In cases of Down syndrome, the abortion rate is as high as 90 percent. 

For the crowd listening to her at last week's dinner, Palin's disclosure served the comfortable role of moral reinforcement: She wavered in her faith, was tempted to sin, regained her strength and emerged better for it. 

As for those us less certain that we know, or are equipped to instruct others, when life begins and when it is permissible to terminate a pregnancy, Palin's speech offered a different lesson: Abortion is a personal issue and a personal choice. The government has no business taking that difficult decision away from those who must live with the consequences.

Alas for Ruth Marcus, the Post unwittingly undermined her argument by running the picture above with her article. When the choice is between a living, breathing, beautiful baby and, well, a pile of bloody little body parts, it becomes more difficult to view both choices as morally equivalent.

Continue reading "The nature of the choice" »

April 20, 2009

Beverage of revolutionaries

Tea party1 Congratulations to the Audacity of Tea Society for raising $1,125 for the Capitol Hill Pregnancy Center at its inaugural event!

As Mark Steyn puts it this morning, referring to another recent tea party, ". . . In America, tea is not a soothing beverage to be served with McVitie’s Digestive Biscuits. It’s a raging stimulant. It’s rabies in an Earl Grey bag."

Update: Anne just informed me that, thanks to a couple of last-minute donations and an anonymous donor who offered to double what was raised, the actual total was $2,500!

(Image © Gina Dalfonzo)

April 17, 2009

A Reflection on Mel Gibson’s Divorce

Mel_gibson4 This week it was revealed that Mel Gibson’s wife, Robyn, has filed for divorce after 28 years of marriage.

Although any divorce is a tragedy, this divorce is especially disheartening. When a strong Christian family erodes to the point of breaking a vow with God, it is clear that the circumstances must be extraordinary. Gibson is not the poster-child for the Christian husband, and I’m sure his wife has been very tolerant of Gibson’s behavior. And yet he's been a light in the Hollywood darkness. Given that the typical Hollywood marriage lasts about as long as a good church service, we should pay a bit of tribute to Mr. Gibson for his successes.

Gibson’s career has been exemplary. He has acted in or directed some of the most impressive films in American history, including, of course, The Passion of the Christ. The latter he privately funded because he couldn’t get anyone to sign on. Much of his current wealth can be attributed to his courage to persevere and fund a movie about Christ, which he felt could change the world.

Gibson has flown in the face of this culture. Regardless of what people thought, especially the anti-Christians in Hollywood, he has been outspoken about his views against abortion, homosexuality, and taxpayer-funded embryonic stem cell research. He has even posed questions about the Marxist intent of the Rhodes Scholarship.  Most surprisingly for a film superstar today, he has proclaimed the primacy of Christianity.

Now for the saddening part of Gibson’s life. He has a drinking problem and bipolar disorder. In 2006 he was pulled over by police officers for drunk driving and spouted a barrage of foul and anti-Semitic language.  Since that time, he and his wife have been separated.  

Continue reading "A Reflection on Mel Gibson’s Divorce" »

Walking the walk

Occasionally, people ask me just why I like Sarah Palin.

This, in a nutshell, is why.

(Excerpt from speech at the Vanderburgh County Right to Life banquet, Evansville, Indiana, April 16, 2009)

April 16, 2009

What does Obama have against Jesus?

Georgetown stage According to this blogger, Obama asked Georgetown University to cover up the name of Jesus on a pediment before he arrived to speak this week--along with all other "signs and symbols there" behind the stage where Obama spoke. What does The Messiah have against Jesus? Oh--right. Competition... 

The White House claimed its request was "consistent with what they've done for other policy speeches." They just wanted a backdrop of a few discreet American flags. Perhaps they've forgotten the speech Obama made with THIS logo behind him--the symbol of International Baby Killers plastered everywhere you look.

(Image courtesy of CNSNews and A Catholic View)

April 15, 2009

Daily roundup

April 14, 2009

Daily roundup

April 09, 2009

CPC Harassment Alert

Gail Tierney, head of the Rockville Pregnancy Center, told me this week that an anti-choice group (that is, a group opposed to giving women any choice except abortion) is planning to picket and harass pro-life pregnancy care centers nationwide on Monday. Please keep these centers in your prayers--that volunteers would respond appropriately (even lovingly) and that God would use the evil they intend for good.

April 08, 2009

Principles mean more than favorability to the Pope? Heaven forbid!

200px-BentoXVI-30-10052007 Pope Benedict XVI has sparked international outrage with his statements regarding his rejection of using condoms to fight the AIDS epidemic. From time to time I see this happen, and I never understand why people suddenly act outraged at teachings the Catholic Church has always held.

The Catholic Church rejects the use of condoms because they create a barrier to life within the marriage that is contrary to the natural order. But condoms distract us from the real problem. The Catholic Church doesn’t say an unmarried couple shouldn’t use condoms. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, because the Church teaches abstinence as the only legitimate way of protecting the physical and spiritual life of the persons in question.

Just like the economic crisis, the AIDS epidemic materialized from a moral problem. Whether a lack of control in spending, or a lack of control in sexual behavior, eventually the consequences of our actions surface.

Rebecca Hodes, head of policy, communication and research for the Treatment Action Campaign in South Africa, doesn’t understand the problem. In a recent statement made to the Huffington Post she demonstrated the very ignorance that brought about this problem and the weight it bears, when she separated our actions from their moral consequences. Her misplaced frustrations were exposed when she said, “[Pope Benedict’s] opposition to condoms conveys that religious dogma is more important to him than the lives of Africans.”

The Pope holds so firmly to religious dogma BECAUSE of his love for the lives, both physical and spiritual, of those in Africa.

Continue reading "Principles mean more than favorability to the Pope? Heaven forbid!" »

April 07, 2009

The right to a conscience

As you may have heard, President Obama is planning to get rid of the Bush administration's regulations protecting the conscience rights of health care workers. HHS is accepting comments from the public about this proposal. The deadline is April 9, so if you want to make your opinion heard, make sure you do it as soon as possible. You can go directly here, or send your comments through Family Research Council using some or all of their suggested language.

April 06, 2009

Daily roundup

April 02, 2009

Daily roundup

Forget the terrorists -- we’ve found the real criminals

Dawn Johnsen Following up on Kim's post about the misuse of language -- Janet Napolitano is not the only Obama pick who's adopted that habit. Except that Dawn Johnsen, nominee for head of the Office of Legal Counsel, appears to be going in the opposite direction. Whereas Napolitano apparently wants to make terrorists out as some impersonal force of nature, Johnsen likes to paint unborn babies as slavedrivers.

Johnsen is former legal director of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (now known as NARAL Pro-Choice America in the hopes of fooling people). While there, in a case involving a Missouri law that limited the use of taxpayer money and state resources for abortion, Johnsen called restrictions on abortion “involuntary servitude,” arguing that with them, “the state has conscripted [an expectant mother’s] body for its own ends.” This is, she wrote, “forced pregnancy,” which is a violation of the Thirteenth Amendment, the anti-slavery amendment. Pregnancy, she declared, “requires a woman to provide continuous physical service to the fetus in order to further the state’s asserted interest” in the unborn child. She argued that a mother “is constantly aware for nine months that her body is not her own."

Read more.

(Image © Indiana University Bloomington)

Unhappy about your abortion?

Well, quit whining and get real, says Bonnie Erbe

Feeding and raising children is expensive. Tuition may be free at public schools but there are still books, transportation, food, clothes, medical care and activities that add up -- way up. One may assume this family of five is struggling just to maintain its basics: housing and food. Add one more child and those costs rise as income drops. It's no tragedy: it's a good decision. The decision benefits society in two ways. It allows the couple to focus more time, energy and resources on their three children, giving each child a better life and a better chance of growing up to become a contributor to society. It also reduces the chance the family will have to rely on scarce public resources to raise their children. 

Abortion was not viewed as a tragic event in the early days after the Supreme Court handed down its Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on a national scale. A tough decision: you bet. An unpleasant process: that, too. But it was not something women whined about publicly on the scale many seem to now. Nor was it covered by the media or promoted by pro-choice politicians in "woe is me" terms.

(H/T The Corner)

April 01, 2009

I was so hoping this was an April Fool

Unfortunately, it appears to be true.

March 31, 2009

Daily roundup

March 30, 2009

Daily roundup

Walter Hoye update

Pastor hoye The pastor in jail for peacefully protesting abortion is serving God as he serves his 30-day sentence. Last week, Walter Hoye's wife, Lori, reported, "Walter had already been in Bible study with some of the men in his unit. On Sunday just prior to my visit Walter had led one man to Christ. God is truly blessing Walter's presence in Santa Rita, and many men are seeking his counsel about their lives and situations."

Jill Stanek has contact information for Rev. Hoye at her blog, for those who would like to send him a letter of encouragement.

March 27, 2009

Daily roundup

Breaking: George Tiller acquitted

Abortionist George Tiller has been found not guilty on nineteen counts of performing illegal late-term abortions. LifeNews has details.

March 26, 2009

Daily roundup

America’s New Religion: Secularism

On March 9, a survey was released showing the decrease in the numbers of Americans calling themselves Christian, and an increase in the number of people declaring that they have no religion to 15% of the America’s population.

Herbert London, author of the well written book America’s Secular Challenge, would not be surprised by this. He believes that secularism is America’s new religion. Unfortunately, this survey doesn’t look at secularism as a religion and may explain the large number of no-religion respondents.

But is secularism a religion? Dictionary.com gives one of "religion's" definitions as “a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons.”

London gives 6 items as these specific fundamental set of beliefs:

1. Truth is subjective, relative, or contextual
2. Rationality can solve moral and ontological questions about man’s nature
3. Man’s eternal problems, including the plight of the poor, can be solved through a welfare state based on the redistribution of wealth
4. National loyalty and patriotism are dangerous anachronisms
5. The most important goal one can seek is self-transformation or self-actualization
6. Discrimination is the great bugbear of social intercourse or closing one’s eyes to the difference between right and wrong

The remaining pages of his book look at each of these in more detail.

Continue reading "America’s New Religion: Secularism" »

March 24, 2009

Daily roundup

March 23, 2009

Daily roundup

Eve of Destruction: Terminator Time

Sarah-connor "In the early 21st century, all of mankind united and marveled at our magnificence as we gave birth to AI [artificial intelligence], a singular construction that spawned an entire race of machines."

What Morpheus was describing to Neo sounds like what Ray Kurzweil calls The Singularity: "an era in which our intelligence will become increasingly nonbiological and trillions of times more powerful than it is today — the dawning of a new civilization that will enable us to transcend our biological limitations and amplify our creativity."

At the heart of this "new civilization" will be just machines that make big decisions, programmed of course by fellows with compassion and vision. Only by leveraging their abilities, embracing both the biological and the synthetic, can we become eternally free and eternally young.

As you might expect, "The Singularity" has more than a few detractors.The most obvious concern is that machines that are "smart" enough and powerful enough to usher in Kurzweil's utopia might one day decide that they will no longer take directions from their flesh-and-blood creators, or that humans are superfluous consumers of resources.

This Matrix scenario concerned Kurzweil enough that he took the time to comment on the movies. Aside from stating the obvious -- the second and third movies weren't nearly as good as the first -- he was mostly content to offer a technological critique of the movie ("There are problems and inconsistencies with the conception of virtual reality in the Matrix") and throw around adjectives like "dystopian," "Luddite" and "totalitarian." 

Adjectives aren't assurances: Kurzweil never does tell us why we shouldn't fear our prospective machine overlords. Mind you, I don't. Not because I am put at ease by things like the Three Laws of Robotics (the kinds of machines Kurzweil envisions are probably smart enough to circumvent these kinds of limitations) but because I'm willing to bet that no machine will pass the Turing test in the foreseeable future.

Continue reading "Eve of Destruction: Terminator Time" »

They were expendable

Knowing The following contains extensive spoilers about the recent films Watchmen and Knowing, so I'm going to put almost the entire post under the jump. Proceed at your own risk!

Continue reading "They were expendable" »

March 19, 2009

Not in my womb

Eggs This is where the Brave New World has brought us: You can abort a child who's not even your own.

(Image courtesy of Slate)

The Moment Your Story Begins

Pregnancy I just stumbled on a delightful commentary by Lorraine Murray on Mary's "yes" to God. Seasonally, it may seem a little out of place to be talking about this closer to Easter than Advent, but I liked where the author goes with it. She reminds us that most stories of great men begin with their birth. But the story of Jesus begins at conception.

Here's one conclusion she draws:

Perhaps a reason that Christ’s story begins at conception is to bring a message to a world in which the womb is no longer a safe haven.

Perhaps it is to remind us that the most beautiful words in the world are not those spoken at the birth of a baby when the doctor pronounces the child alive and healthy.

Instead, the most exquisite words are the little veiled conversation that goes on in the heart of the mother many months earlier, when she first learns that she is pregnant.

The loveliest words of all come despite inconvenience, despite having other plans, despite being too young or too old, despite being too poor, despite being scared, despite being unmarried, despite being afraid of death.

The most beautiful words of all come at the moment when the mother whispers to God: “Let it be.” And that’s where the story begins.

(Image © Paulus Rusyanto)

March 18, 2009

Daily roundup

March 17, 2009

Daily roundup

’Unwind’ and the imagination

Unwind As I was looking at one of my favorite book blogs recently, my eye was caught by this review of Unwind by Neal Shusterman.

Generations from now, after the Heartland War, life is protected from the moment of conception until age thirteen.  Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, the parents or guardians of the now-teenaged child have the option to "unwind" -- to retroactively abort -- him or her.  If the parents choose to do so, the teen is sent to a harvesting facility where their body is taken apart and reused. . . .

Unwind was outstanding.  Really freaking outstanding.

I was impressed by, well, everything.  It deals with abortion without ever ever ever feeling preachy -- I didn't once feel that Neal Shusterman revealed his opinion on the issue.  It was action-packed and exciting (I read the last few chapters with my heart in my throat) yet that there was so much to think about -- the characters have conversations about the soul, whether it exists and where it is, and about when life begins.  There are things that can be interpreted in different ways -- some people will attribute those events to science whereas some may attribute the same events to something less tangible. 

The three major characters have distinct personalities, and the character development (especially of the two boys) is very well done and the secondary characters never blend together or into the background.  The unwinding scene is as stomach-turning as anything I've ever read by Stephen King, but without being graphic or gory.  While exploring different visions of our future world, I look for a couple of things beyond the future-stuff:  to see enough of the familiar to make it still seem like our world and to see how our language and stories have evolved.  In Unwind, I found both.

Continue reading "’Unwind’ and the imagination" »

March 16, 2009

Distraction Games with Human Life

(Ed. note: Please join us in welcoming Billy to The Point! His bio will be up on the Contributors page shortly. --GRD)

A few more thoughts on President Obama's Executive Order lifting the ban on embryonic stem cell research:

Beyond the fact that this is morally wrong, it is a strange time to bring about such a bill. Congress is supposedly hard at work saving the economy from ruin. Then why is it also pushing to create controversial legislation opening up research opportunities that will take years to produce any sort of advancement? Obama himself claims that the promised cures will come about from “painstaking and costly research.” This is nothing more than a political ploy by liberal leaders to push their ideology on our country while we are all clinging to hope that the economy will turn around. 

President Obama also said, “Some of our best scientists leave for other countries that will sponsor their work. And those countries may surge ahead of ours in the advances that transform our lives." He seems to be placing ethics and morality aside so we can claim scientific advances that trump human rights. 

Continue reading "Distraction Games with Human Life" »

March 13, 2009

The Terri Schiavo Story

Terri Has anyone heard any buzz yet about this documentary from Joni and Friends?

(Image © Joni and Friends)

March 10, 2009

Daily roundup

Have you thanked an abortionist today?

I've heard of some distasteful holidays, but this takes the cake. (Profanity in comments. H/T The Corner.)

Dogma must direct science

Stem-cell-9 As we discussed yesterday, in the name of removing ideological pressure from science and technology policy decisions, the President has lifted the ban on federal funding of research on stem cells derived from human embryos. But Obama's ambitions are futile. By ignoring the concerns of those who oppose this line of research, Obama is just showing he abides by a different set of moral principles -- pragmatism and progress -- not that he has freed science from all principles. 

The goals of science and the methods used to achieve those goals will always be driven and directed by values. A utilitarian view of human life will naturally lead to one set of practices while belief in the sanctity of life will result in another. And, if we claim to despise such atrocities as the Nazis' scientific experimentation on people they considered sub-human, we had best pay careful attention to which dogma we cherish.

(Image © University of Wisconsin)

Welcoming the genocidal

Jill Stanek has a post up at her blog about a black Baptist church that invited Planned Parenthood to teach their kids about teen pregnancy.

There are those who argue that conservatives keep voting for those whose policies are against their own best interests. Even if that were true, we'd have nothing on those who extend a hearty welcome to the group that's trying to wipe out their race, one baby at a time.

March 09, 2009

Why do you open the other door, then?

StemCell-030909-2 Obama today:

"We will ensure that our government never opens the door to the use of cloning for human reproduction. It is dangerous, profoundly wrong, and has no place in our society, or any society."


But when the only difference (see page 4 here) between cloning human embryos for research and cloning human embryos for reproduction is that the living embryo in the latter scenario actually gets to stay alive--well, any comfort Obama's promise gives me is utterly reversed.

(Image © RTTNews)

The end of marriage?

Wedding rings 2 In Friday's Daily Roundup, I included a short blog post by Maggie Gallagher, titled "The Right to Vote for Prop. 8," about the "Orwellian" nature of the court hearing on the constitutionality of California's same-sex marriage ban.

Gallagher later elaborated on this theme, bringing up an alarming argument that could be used to wipe out marriage in the state altogether -- an argument brought to you, incidentally, by one of the most important Catholic leaders in the "Pro-lifers should vote for Obama" movement.

Doug Kmiec, who signed onto more than one amicus brief urging courts around the country to uphold marriage as the union of one man and one woman, co-authored an op-ed recently with a new, evolved position: Ken Starr is wrong to try to uphold Prop. 8; instead, we should get government out of the marriage business. . . .

Justice Chin actually pointed to Kmiec's op-ed and raised the issue with lawyers on both sides of Prop. 8 during yesterday's oral arguments: Would civil unions for all satisfy the equal protection clause? If so, could the court order it? Starr said it would satisfy equal protection but would be a tragedy for society because marriage (as we've traditionally understood it) serves important purposes. The anti-Prop. 8 lawyers said, sure yes, marriage for no one would be an acceptable outcome if Prop. 8 were not overrruled.

Note: Conceptually, wouldn't it be a little odd for a court that just redefined marriage in order to comply with a fundamental human right to same-sex marriage to conclude it has the power to take marriage away from the 15 million or so married Californians?

The next time someone tells you that same-sex marriage should be legal because it's not hurting anyone, you might bring up this argument. Not only does it show that proponents of same-sex marriage are now putting marriage itself in actual, literal danger. It also shows that when Christians keep attempting to twist and compromise God's law to win the approval of the world, it tends to turn their brains to mush.

More on embryonic stem cells

Yesterday, Dr. Charmaine Yoest, president and CEO of Americans United for Life, debated Dr. Art Caplan, director of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania, over what Charmaine calls "the research of the past." Take a look.

March 06, 2009

Pray for ’the least of these’

"Obama to Lift Ban on Funding for Embryonic Stem Cell Research"

March 05, 2009

Daily roundup

March 04, 2009

Daily roundup

Surely left and right can agree on THIS item....

Baby_girls_face-spl-1 I can't help but hope that this BBC news item will make both left and right readers of The Point recoil in horror. Let's hope so. Of course, we could hear the old strains of logic from freedom lovers on the right who say the law should leave people alone, or an extension of the lefty reasoning that what a woman does with her own body is entirely her own business.

I'm still banking that all but the tattered fringe on either side will go for recoiling. After all, this is technology that Hitler and Himmler might have found appealing. What do you think?

(WORLD has more here.)

(Image courtesy of the BBC)