Archive for March 7, 2012
Tags: Barack Obama, Cape Town, Everyone Has the Right to My Opinion: Investor's Business Daily Pulitzer Prize-Winning Editorial Cartoonist, Facebook, Investors Business Daily, Michael Ramirez, Townhall.com, United States
Tags: Abortion, Journal of Medical Ethics, Peter Singer, Pro-life, Touchstone Magazine
The specter of the “slippery slope” is widely considered to be a logical cop-out – an intellectually lazy response employed by the rigid and fearful among us (usually conservatives and the religious, of course). Like all enduring metaphors, however, the concept embodied by the slippery slope is quite often proved true. “Give ‘em an inch, they’ll take a mile” is a compelling slogan for good reason. Once an initial barrier is broken, it is difficult to turn back.
Nowhere is the danger of the slippery slope more evident than in the area of abortion. If an unborn child’s right to life can be denied based on criteria like age, size, location, cognitive capacity or simply the wishes of the mother, then what’s to stop similar criteria from nullifying the life rights of the elderly, the disabled, or even the very young?
The fruits of this disturbing trend are already playing out in countries like the U.K. and Canada, where panels of bureaucrats hold the power of life and death over the terminally ill and the aged. Advisors to our very own President Obama have advocated for a “comparative effectiveness” principle in medicine, in which the most resources are directed to those deemed to be the “best investment” from the perspective of potential benefit to society. Under the comparative effectiveness protocols, the very old, the very young, and the disabled aren’t deemed good investments.
It is hardly surprising, then, that some in the field of bioethics – in the abhorrent tradition of Peter Singer – have begun to embrace infanticide as a perfectly reasonable solution to the hardship and inconvenience sometimes imposed by the birth of a child. From a recent post on Touchstone Magazine‘s “Mere Comments” blog:
“As a current example of nothing new under the sun, Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva recently wrote an article published on February 23, 2012, in the Journal of Medical Ethics, a peer-reviewed journal for health care professionals and researchers in medical ethics.
[T]he authors say that parents should have the right to kill their newborn infants because infants are not people. . . . The authors prefer the term ‘after-birth abortion’ as opposed to ‘infanticide’ because the term after-birth abortion emphasizes ‘that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable to that of a fetus . . . rather than to that of a child.’
So, what do our erstwhile ethicists suggest are acceptable circumstances under which the newborn may be killed? This might include a situation where the well-being of the family is at risk, even if the newborn had the potential for an ‘acceptable’ life. . . . Thus, a newborn whose family (or society) can be socially, economically or psychologically burdened or damaged by the newborn should have the ability to seek out a legal after-birth abortion.”
There are no words to describe the level of depravity, the chilling inhumanity, of such logic. One has to wonder if these so-called bioethical “experts” are themselves parents, and if so, how they justify their abhorrent philosophy to their children. “Be grateful you weren’t a social, economic, or psychological burden to your mother and me, Junior, or it might have been an after-birth abortion for you.”
That this proposition is even embraced as a legitimate contribution to the field of bioethics is indicative of what happens when a society defines itself by it’s unwillingness to recognize and adhere to fixed, universal limits. Reject traditional morality, cast off the bounds of religion, place the individual at the center of the moral universe and you have the perfect recipe for a culture in which virtually everything is permissible.
“Progressives” believe that mankind is on a steady and inevitable march towards utopia. Only by eliminating our dependence on the “God of the gaps” and learning to place faith in ourselves can we achieve true actualization as a species. This philosophy has yielded a society in which proponents of infanticide are no longer castigated as disordered sociopaths but accepted as legitimate participants in the public conversation.
Progress my eye! Heaven help us.
Tags: Abortion, Alliance Defense Fund, Culture of life, planned parenthood, Pro-life, Supreme Court, Ultrasound, Virginia
Virginia recently enacted a new law making theirs the eighth state to require an ultrasound to be performed prior to an abortion. As with other states that have passed similar measures, Virginia’s law provides the mother “an opportunity” to view the ultrasound image of her [baby] prior to the abortion,” but it is an option she can decline.
And because ultrasound technology poses a threat to the abortion industry—inasmuch as it allows a mother to see the life within her in a way that we couldn’t even imagine decades ago—supporters of death have been rallying the troops against the progress being made in Virginia and equating such ultrasounds with rape.
Their basis for making this claim is that women who want to have an abortion, but are less than 12 weeks along in their pregnancy, will have to have a trans-vaginal ultrasound: one in which “a probe is inserted into the vagina, and then moved around until an ultrasound image is produced.”
Straining to prove this mad assertion, abortion supporters are claiming that such an ultrasound requirement will result in women being “forcibly penetrated,” and therefore, violated by the state.
What’s strange is that these same people have no ethical qualms about allowing an abortionist’s scalpels and vacuum devices to be inserted into a woman as her baby is literally ripped from the womb limb by limb. And they apparently feel no angst over a pre-born child being injected with medicine that stops his or her heart so that labor can be induced and the stillborn child can be disposed of in a trash can (or a dumpster) in much the same way one would dispose of a banana peel or moldy bread.
Of course, there is no constitutional prohibition on providing women with full information about this life-and-death decision, as the Supreme Court has affirmed. Nor is the ultrasound requirement an unlawful “search” by the government, any more than would be a legal requirement that a doctor take an x-ray of a broken limb before setting it. In fact, even abortionists like Planned Parenthood admit that they routinely do ultrasounds before abortions to confirm gestational age – it is the standard of practice for this “business,” as confirmed by the pro-abortion American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.
If the truth were told, what bothers opponents is not really the ultrasound requirement per se, but the combination of the ultrasound and the waiting period which gives the mother time to see and think about things before making a decision which, as the Supreme Court acknowledged in a recent case, “she may come to regret.”
Here’s the exact wording of the law:
Except in the case of a medical emergency, at least 2 hours before the performance of an abortion a qualified medical professional trained in sonography and working under the direct supervision of a physician licensed in the Commonwealth shall perform fetal ultrasound imaging and auscultation of fetal heart tone services on the patient undergoing the abortion for the purpose of determining gestational age. The ultrasound image shall be made pursuant to standard medical practice in the community, contain the dimensions of the fetus, and accurately portray the presence of external members and internal organs of the fetus, if present or viewable.
The combination of a waiting period and an ultrasound is a one-two punch against the culture of death, and its proponents don’t like it. They’d rather keep everything moving quickly so the woman doesn’t have time to think about the fact that she’s ending a human life – one that is her own flesh and blood. Members of the culture of death, used to peddling what the Supreme Court has called “the abortion distortion,” can call it “rape,” but reasonable people see this for what it is—an attempt to appeal to every sensibility in the mother’s heart and mind in the hope that she will become fully aware of what she’s actually doing to her pre-born child.
Tags: Abortion, Barack Obama, Born-Alive Infant Protection Act, Infant, Journal of Medical Ethics, Marco Rubio, Rick Santorum, Susan B. Anthony
In the wake of the Obama administration dictate that private insurance companies cover contraceptives and abortifacients, supporters have defined anyone who would oppose this mandate as waging a “war against women.” Obviously, no opponent of this policy is actually bombing, shooting or stabbing women to death.
The same cannot be said for what the cultural left favors — a war against babies. The latest front of “advanced” leftist medical ethics has emerged from the experts at Oxford University. They don’t just favor abortion, even partial-birth abortion. They favor “after-birth abortion.”
It is stomach-turning stuff. Killing babies is no different than abortion, these academics argued in the Journal of Medical Ethics. Ironically, pro-lifers would agree and have long pointed to this logical progression in the face of laughter. The “ethicists” now explain it somewhat differently. Parents should be allowed to kill their newborn babies because they’re still “morally irrelevant.”
The article carries the chilling title “After-Birth abortion: Why should the baby live?” Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva argue newborn babies aren’t “actual persons” but “potential persons.”
How this qualifies as “science” or “ethics” is anyone’s guess. It qualifies as a quintessential example of the culture of death. Giubilini also gave a talk at Oxford in January titled “What is the problem with euthanasia?”
Team Oxford argued it was “not possible to damage a newborn by preventing her from developing the potentiality to become a person in the morally relevant sense.” They explained that “what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled.”
These “ethicists” also argued that parents are somehow cheated when only “64 percent of Down syndrome cases” in Europe are diagnosed by prenatal testing. Once such children were born, there was “no choice for the parents but to keep the child,” they complained.
All this should cause us to return to what Rick Santorum was trying to say — and our pro-abortion media could only scorn as politically disastrous — about amniocentesis being used as a death panel. The Santorum family’s decision to have a disabled child — as well as the Palin family’s decision — have been disdained by the liberal media as freakishly weird, dangerously religious. It’s an “alternative lifestyle” that the “compassionate” liberals cannot comprehend.
The same people who casually spew about a “war on women” have no time to discuss the “termination” of most pregnancies when disabilities like Down Syndrome are discovered. These people argue capital punishment is wrong because an innocent life may be taken. But they have no moral qualms about “parents” slaughtering their innocent but somehow subhuman babies that don’t pass prenatal tests for normalcy.
They have yet to speak about post-natal death sentences.
The same people who wouldn’t countenance talk of a “war on babies” expect the national media to continue their near-total blackout of Barack Obama’s record advocating against a Born-Alive Infant Protection Act in Illinois in 2001, 2002 and 2003. This article out of England ought to spur reporters to ask Obama about “after-birth abortion” as a 2012 campaign issue.
How could the president who led the effort to prohibit the care of infants surviving abortion oppose those who would want to kill them a minute after birth?
There was a terrific pro-life speech delivered a month ago before the Susan B. Anthony Fund by Sen. Marco Rubio, who addressed the same “viability” argument on a moral slippery slope. To the argument that the fetus is not viable without the support of the mother, he answered, “a newborn isn’t viable without the mother, either. A 1-year-old child, a 2-year-old child — leave a 2-year-old child by himself, leave a 6-month-old child by himself, they are not viable either.”
This is why Rubio declared, “The issue of life is not a political issue, nor is it a policy issue. It is a definitional issue. It is a basic core issue that every society needs to answer. The answer that you give to that issue ends up defining which kind of society you have.” You can have a society defined by sexual libertinism and abortion for convenience — or you can respect a right to life.
Rubio drew a standing ovation for concluding with this:
“There is nothing that America can give this world right now more important than to show that all life — irrespective of the circumstances of its creation, irrespective of the circumstances of its birth, irrespective of the conditions of that they find themselves in — all life, in a planet where life is increasingly not valued, in a planet where people are summarily discarded, all life is worthy of protection. All life enjoys God’s love.”
But somehow, the left and their media allies define Rubio’s view as a “war on women” — no matter how many female babies are discarded as medical waste.
Founder and President of the Media Research Center, Brent Bozell runs the largest media watchdog organization in America.
Tags: Bain Capital, Fannie Mae, Fox Business Network, John Stossel, Mitt Romney, newt gingrich, Rick Perry, United States
Now that Mitt Romney is likely to be the Republican nominee, we can expect new attacks on his “vulture capitalism.” That’s how Rick Perry characterized his private equity work. Newt Gingrich‘s supporters ran an ad about Romney’s firm, Bain Capital, that said, “Their greed was only matched by their willingness to do anything to make millions in profits.”
Give me a break.
“Greed” means you want more for yourself. Fine. If you obtain it legally, without force or privilege — say, by buying a business and making it more efficient, or shifting resources to where consumers prefer them — that is a good thing. “Creative destruction” makes America richer.
Shifting resources does mean some people lose their jobs. That is sad for those who are fired.
But on balance, it’s a good thing. Intuition tells us that it would be better if no one ever lost a job and that capitalists who close businesses are evil. But America would not be better off today if elevator operators and factory workers who made typewriters had their jobs preserved by a “compassionate” government.
America is richer today because those workers lost their jobs, because money once paid them is put to better use. In addition, most of those workers found new jobs where their skills better served consumers. Some even say they were glad that they were fired, because now they are more productive, and being productive makes people happy.
But we in the media almost never tell that story. That’s because we only report what we see.
We can see, and interview, the sad people who get fired. We take pictures as they leave their jobs on that last day when the factory closes. We interview them about the hardship to their families. It’s a sad and moving story. We tell it well. But we never tell the flip side, the creative part of creative destruction. That’s because we don’t see it. We don’t see the better things that are done with capital that once went into the factory. We don’t see what many of the workers do next.
None of us covered the first few weeks of Apple or Google or Staples or Domino’s Pizza. We had no clue that those companies were about to produce cool new things, thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in value. Staples and Domino’s, by the way, were funded by Bain Capital.
Not all bankers and private equity firms create wealth, because some make bad decisions. But if government does not bestow privileges, those that don’t create wealth go out of business, and those that fund good ideas grow. Some may call that “vulture capitalism” and sneer at “hostile” takeovers, but if the takeover is not enabled by government force, it is likely to be a good thing. It makes America more prosperous.
Michael Moore says, “Capitalism has no moral core.”
Is that right? Since the word “capitalism” is ambiguous, the answer depends on what we mean. If it’s crony capitalism — well, yeah. It stinks. Handouts to Solyndra and special deals for Goldman Sachs and GM are not capitalism. That’s “crapitalism.”
Many people hate banks, private-equity firms and mortgage brokers. In light of the last few years, this isn’t totally unjustified. I resent the bankers who got rich by taking foolish risks and then, when they failed, got bailed out with our tax money.
I guess I shouldn’t blame bankers. I should blame the politicians. They gave our tax money away. If someone offered me money to cover my losses, I’d take it, too.
The real evil bankers are the government cronies, like those at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They took our money by force, our taxes, then paid themselves fat salaries and promised us that none of our money was at risk. And then they squandered more than $100 billion, betting that housing prices would always rise and few people would default.
I resent them and their backers in government.
But in a real free market — no government privileges or barriers to competition — capitalism is great. It’s the only system with a moral core because it’s based on freedom, not force.
Tags: Christ, Christianity, Frances Ridley Havergal, God, Jesu, Jesus Christ, Opposing Views, Religion and Spirituality
“Under His shadow,” with Christ alone
Here, love He whispers in tenderest tone,
Treasures unfolding, riches of grace
Thus for life’s battle my soul doth He brace.
“Under His shadow,” a near page of life.
Opens before me, apart from the strife
Oh! will Thou show me Master and King
How I may glory unto Thee bring!
“Under His shadow” may life be passed
Daily and hourly on till the last,
Then no more shadows, all shall have fled
When we awake like Jesus our Head.
Tags: Amalek, Esther, God, Haman, Israelites, Jew, Mordecai, Purim
“There is a certain people dispersed among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom who keep themselves separate. Their customs are different from those of all other people, and they do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them.”—Esther 3:8
The Jewish holiday of Purim celebrates the inspiring story of Queen Esther, who took a bold stand against prejudice and injustice. We admire the courage and bravery of the queen, the wisdom and integrity of Mordecai. We are awed by the orchestrations of God behind the scenes to save His people.
Yet it is also a sobering account of evil, hate, and prejudice in this world, as represented by Haman, the king’s prime minister. Haman was in the top echelon of Persian leaders, and obviously one of the king’s favorites. This allowed Haman to amass a huge amount of wealth and great influence.
So why did Haman want to destroy all the Jews just because of one man’s actions? The Bible tells us that Haman was an Amalekite, one of the ancient enemies of the Israelites. Therefore, Haman’s hatred went beyond just Mordecai to all the Jews. As the rabbis teach, Amalek stands for all those who represent evil, not just physical descendants like Haman.
As second-in-command, Haman enjoyed his power and authority and the reverence shown to him. The Jews, however, looked to God as their final authority, not any man, and certainly not Haman. Haman realized that the only way to fulfill his selfish desires was to kill those who disregarded his authority.
Haman, too, is more than just a historical figure — he is as alive today as he was in biblical times. We recognize Haman in Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinjead, who issues frequent calls for Israel’s destruction. We feel Haman’s presence when we read in the news of terrorists who execute murderous attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions around the world. We hear Haman in the hateful words of radical Muslim clerics who preach that Jews are the “descendants of apes and pigs.”
One of the messages of Purim — a message that applies to Jews and Christians alike — is that in a world with no shortage of “Hamans,” we need more “Esthers” committed to standing humbly before God and seeking to defend His people in the face of all difficulties.
Tags: God, Jesu, Lord, Martha, Mary, New International Version, Religion & Spirituality, Satan
“Martha…you are worried and upset about many things.” Lk 10:41 NIV
Worry acts like a thief; it robs us of the joy God wants us to experience each day. Basically, all our worries come down to two things: that we won’t get what we need, or that we’ll lose what we’ve got. Martha was a “worrywart,” and it showed up when Jesus came to dinner. She worked hard in the kitchen while her sister Mary sat listening to Jesus. In frustration Martha asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?” (v. 40 NIV). Worry makes us forget who’s servant and who’s Lord. Notice three things in this story: (1) Martha was busy serving, but she wasn’t enjoying it. No doubt she wanted to please Jesus; it’s just that she allowed her work for the Lord to become more important to her than her relationship with the Lord. Has that happened to you? (2) Satan didn’t take Martha out of the kitchen; he just stole her purpose for being there. Satan doesn’t turn you against the church; he just makes you focus on yourself. He doesn’t take away your ministry, he just discourages you by saying you’re overworked and not appreciated. (3) God values your attitude more than your actions. “Do everything without complaining” (Php 2:14 NIV). A bad attitude spoils the gift you offer to God. Jesus said, “Martha…only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen…it.” (Lk10:42 NIV). What did Mary choose? Sitting at the feet of Jesus. He always prefers the quiet devotion of a sincere heart to the noisy attitude of a complainer. Think about it.