Blood Upon Us: Ireland, Holy Week, and 300,000 Pieces of Silver | Ethika Politika

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Source: Blood Upon Us: Ireland, Holy Week, and 300,000 Pieces of Silver | Ethika Politika

This came across my news-feed from a good friend’s page, with this selection quoted:

“In May of this year, Irish voters will again go to the polls to decide upon the eighth amendment to the Irish constitution. The amendment recognizes that an unborn infant has the right to live, and it effectively renders abortion, which was already illegal in all thirty-two counties, unconstitutional in the Republic of Ireland. The amendment, which was approved by a two-to-one vote in the plebiscite of 1983, is almost certain to be repealed. Legislation to liberalize abortion will follow quickly.

“We will hear the whole thing described as a leap forward for gender equality and women’s reproductive health, and so on and so forth. The repeal, the ensuing legislation, and the resulting brutal termination of the lives of Irish children in the womb will be put down to a long-overdue decline of the influence of the Catholic Church in Irish society. In short, it will be seen as a mark of the progress we have made out of the bondage of religion and into the freedom of, well, who knows what.

“In fact, the real progress we have made is from a society in which sacrifice and self-disregard were esteemed as virtue to a society in which the easy way out, always the short road to Hell, is held up as a ‘personal choice.’ It is, in short, the progress from Palm Sunday to Good Friday. It would seem that, for now at least, the children of this world are wiser than the children of the light.”

Or at least, think they are. Here is the text of the amendment in question:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

One might reasonably ask, what sort of person thinks this is a heinous and unacceptable assault on the rights of women?

I have, in general, been reticent about commenting on the issue of abortion. It is, to say the least, a controversial and emotionally-fraught issue, and one must pick the hills on which one chooses to fight and, perhaps, die (metaphorically speaking, one hopes – unlike the victims of abortion). But this move, to amend the Constitution of Ireland, hit home to me.

I spent a semester studying abroad in Ireland, in 1990. It was at that time still emphatically a Catholic – and a Christian – country, although more contemporary and “politically correct” views were already beginning to creep in. At the time, if I had any opinion on abortion at all, it was that (in the words of President Bill Clinton), it should be “safe, legal — and rare.” That is to say, legal in order to keep it safe, and viewed as a last resort for the most tragic of cases.

I still believe that, in principle. The problem, as I have come to realize in the years since, is that in practice, being safe and legal, it is far from rare. According to the Centers for Disease Control, which tracks abortions, in the U.S. in 2014 “652,639 legal induced abortions were reported to CDC from 49 reporting areas. The abortion rate for 2014 was 12.1 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15–44 years, and the abortion ratio was 186 abortions per 1,000 live births.”

That figure is dismayingly high, and cannot be explained, I believe, as accounting for only the most tragic and extreme of circumstances. It is difficult to escape the conclusion, in other words, that for far too many people, abortion is being used as a form of birth-control, after the fact. In fact, the very slogans used imply as much.

Abortion proponents have gotten more canny, in the U.S., in recent years, as overall support for abortion has begun to slip. Rather than the older and far more in-your-face demands for “abortion on demand without apology,” they now use the kinder, gentler, more compassion-inducing “my body, my choice.” But the reality is that a fetus is not – just! – part of a woman’s body, some lump of tissue like a pancreas or a benign tumor. Her body is her own, unquestionably: but the unborn is something more.

She hosts it, of course! She carries it within her, for nine months; she nourishes it, via her umbilical cord. Until able to survive outside the womb, the unborn can only exist within the mother. These are not immaterial or incidental considerations.

But from the time it begins to form, indeed from conception, the fetus is a distinct, individual organism, with distinct, individual DNA, a distinct, individual genetic blueprint: formed from a combination of the genes of both the mother and the father, but different from either.

This is not right-wing opinion, neither is it religious doctrine; this is scientific fact (it is interesting how enthusiastically so many folks on the left trumpet science… right up until it conflicts with one of their fondly-held ideological views).

“My body, my choice” is a lie, or at best it is a half-truth, used to defend what is, in most cases, a choice of convenience. I am sorry, I know that is probably a hard thing to hear, for many people. It is not easy for me to write. But it is the truth.

Therapeutic abortion – abortion undertaken for reasons of medical necessity, in which the termination of the pregnancy is an unfortunate result, but not the intended reason, for the procedure – is one thing. But I am not here talking about therapeutic abortion, I am talking about elective abortion: abortion undertaken for the specific and sole purpose of ending the pregnancy.

That sort of abortion is certainly useful if one’s goal is population control. And it is certainly useful if one desires not to be encumbered with an unwanted pregnancy, either because one made an unwise choice, or because one’s birth control method of choice failed.

But it is not only fatal to the aborted fetus – a unique individual, and one we who are Christians cannot assume is lacking a soul, although we do not know the details of when or how God grants that – but it has been shown to have negative psycho-emotional effects on the mother, and – perhaps most controversially – has negative effects on society as well.

Between six and seven hundred thousand abortions per year cannot, in my view, help but contribute to the numbing of America, when it comes to the sanctity of life. That, in turn, leads to all sorts of unintended – and deeply negative – consequences, almost certainly including a mentality in which the mass murder of innocents becomes thinkable.

After all, if the termination of 652,639 pregnancies each year – 1,788 each and every day – is not the mass murder of innocents, it is hard to imagine what is! And it happens under the imprimatur of the legal and medical establishment.

What sort of message is that sending, out into the larger culture? What message is that sending to our young people, who are also dealing with many other demoralizing and dehumanizing messages? Not a good one, I’ll warrant.

Am I saying there is a direct, causal relationship between the two – that abortion leads directly to school shootings? Well, no… not exactly. Not directly. But indirectly? Absolutely. How could it not? Something, or someone, is inconvenient to you? Bothers you? Upsets you? Get rid of it! Kill it! Throw it away. That’s the message, unintended or no.

There are many other factors involved, too, of course. Abortion is just one factor among many. But it’s a mistake not to think that it IS a factor, in my opinion – and a fairly major one at that – in the overall loss of America’s moral bearings.

652,639 abortions is nearly 18 times the number killed in traffic fatalities annually in the U.S. (37,461 in 2016), a staggering 49 times the number killed by gun violence (13,286 in 2015) – though that number attracts the most attention – and even 2.6 times the horrific number killed by medical malpractice (estimated at around 250,000 annually).

Can this possibly not be having an effect on the psyche and morals of a nation? It’s hard to imagine how it could not. And now Ireland is poised to join the club. Sad.

 


 

For further details on the duplicity of this effort, see “Medical myths about Eighth Amendment must be challenged: Campaign of fear and misinformation has been deployed to tarnish reputation of Irish medicine.”

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These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns

 

Source: These teens were shooting as others were protesting guns | Yahoo News

“This .22 Rimfire Silhouette Exhibition Match had been scheduled long before 17 people were killed at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., and therefore long before the survivors of that rampage had sparked a national protest movement. But even if this daylong test of marksmanship wasn’t deliberate counter-programming, it did provide an illuminating counterpoint.

“There has been much talk since Parkland of the younger generation — the one that grew up hearing of shootings in other schools and participating in shooter drills at their own — and of how those teenagers are changing the conversation about guns. But every American generation is as multifaceted as the country itself, and the 44 high schoolers who took up their rifles in Georgia as their counterparts took up microphones in Washington also have something to say.

“No doubt a lot of this generation doesn’t think we need to have guns,” said Cole Cook, a ninth grader from Barstow County who has been shooting since his father first taught him at the age of 6. “I think they’re wrong. And I’m part of this generation too.”

This is the point that the contemporary American (and Western, generally) Left does not seem to be able to grasp – or willing to admit: that they are not the sole socio-political and moral gate-keepers of our society; that there are many people who are both intelligent and of good will who simply do not agree with their take on matters.

And despite the attention being given to protesters these days, a lot of the younger generation “gets” this!

Given this reality, along with the simple fact that there is an inherent natural right to bear arms in our own defense – as enumerated, not granted, by the Second Amendment, and confirmed by (inter alia) District of Columbia vs Heller – we should tread very gently indeed when it comes to laws and regulations that would further limit that right.

The best way to deal with gun violence is precisely this: to train citizens, from childhood on up, in the safe, legal, and responsible handling of firearms.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.

– Proverbs 22:6 (KJV)

Gun Rights Don’t Come from the Second Amendment | Mises Wire

Constitution-Declaration

The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.

Source: Gun Rights Don’t Come from the Second Amendment | Mises Wire

This is the point that is too-often missed on people today – whether due to ignorance or willful misinformation. As this article so accurate states,

“Whenever there is a gun massacre, statists inevitably respond that it’s time to repeal the Second Amendment. The idea is that if the Second Amendment is gone, so will be the right to own guns in the United States.

“There is just one big problem with that position: It’s wrong. The Second Amendment, like the First Amendment, doesn’t give anyone any rights. Instead, it prohibits the federal government from infringing on rights that are natural and God-given and that preexist government.

“The Declaration of Independence sets forth the essential principles. Every person (i.e., not just American citizens) is endowed by nature or God with fundamental rights. These include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

“Thus, given that people’s rights are natural and God-given, they preexist government. The rights come first and the government comes second.”

That is to say, the Bill of Rights does not give anyone rights. It simply enumerates the God-given rights that already exist. Even if it were (God forbid!) repealed, that would not change the facts; the rights themselves would continue to exist. You cannot vote to repeal natural law; you cannot vote to repeal what God has given.

Indeed, the very legitimacy of a government to exist, in our American system, is based on its ability and willingness to protect the rights of the people: this is the basis of government “by consent of the governed.” A government which fails to protect the natural, God-given rights of the people has lost its legitimacy. I wish more people understood this!

First time in history – former president sets up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA) to counter government – Open Heaven

Image result for obama ofa

If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!

Source: First time in history former presidents sets up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA) to to counter government! – Open Heaven

“Our ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to Organizing for Action.

“OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

“OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for “progressive” change. Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform.”

God help us.

A superb response to the gun-banners

One area in which I do, I must confess, disagree with our good friends across the Pond – at least under their current socio-political system – is on the matter of the right to bear arms. That is a right which is (if you will pardon my phrasing) under heavy fire here in the U.S., by the usual suspects on the Left, following the latest school shooting. Here is the most excellent response to the Leftist jeremiad that I’ve seen or heard so far, by Virginia Delegate Nicholas Frietas:

Cardinal Erdo: Democracy’s foundations are ‘shaking’

Cardinal Peter Erdo_Credit Thaler Tama?s CC 3.0_CNA

A Hungarian cardinal has said that free societies must depend on the wisdom of religion to address the moral and social problems of the modern world.

Source: Cardinal Erdo: Democracy’s foundations are ‘shaking’

Addressing Columbia students and faculty, Erdo warned about the dangers of moral relativism, and discussed the necessity of the Church in a secular state.

The cardinal said that relativism— the inability to declare something as objectively right or objectively wrong—is a “grave crisis” of modern secular states. Without a foundation in natural law, he argued, societies become unstable, and moral evil becomes permissible.

“It is difficult for the state to decide what is good for man,” said Erdo, without some foundation in natural law and a religious worldview. Absent natural law and “by a weakening of belief in the rationality of the world,” societies lose trust in democratic institutions.

”Even the majority can end up with wrong or harmful decisions, especially if the concept of the common good becomes uncertain, because there is no consensus even on the anthropological foundations of law,” explained the cardinal.

Erdo said that until the philosophical Enlightenment, societies were effectively governed with an understanding that moral law was based on transcendent realities.

“Law, morals and religion prove to form an organic whole, which is characteristic of Western society right up to the age of Enlightenment,” Erdo said.

Our Founders were well aware of this problem! I am reminded of the famous quote by John Adams, in an address to the Massachusetts Militia on 11 October 1789, in which he reminded them that

Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious People. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

And no less a personage that George Washington, in his Farewell Address on 19 September 1796, enjoined his countrymen to recall that

“Of all the dispositions and habits, which lead to political prosperity, Religion and Morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of Patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of Men and Citizens.”

And the growing number and intensity of laws, passed in an attempt to reign in the unleashed appetites of humans who have forgotten moral obligation, religious duty, and philosophical self-control alike, is a reminder of the pithy observation of G.K. Chesterton, who, though neither a Founder nor an American, aptly noted,

“If men will not be governed by the Ten Commandments, they will be governed by ten thousand commandments.”

Chesterton also observed, along the same lines, “When you break the big laws, you do not get liberty; you do not even get anarchy. You get the small laws.”

We often – and by “we,” I mean not the readership of this blog, but the larger secular society of which we are a part, or at least within which we find ourselves constrained to operate – often think of religion and morality as constraints upon freedom, liberty, and democracy (although we in the United States are not and were not intended by our Founders to be a democracy, but a representative, constitutional Republic, characterized by an ordered liberty grounded in classical moral standards).

But as the words of Cardinal Erdo, and the others quoted above, make clear, religion and morality are not the enemies of liberty, but its foundation.

6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Budging On Gun Control

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Dear leftists: there are several reasons why 2A advocates aren’t running to your side of the argument, and they might not be the ones you think.

Source: 6 Reasons Your Right-Wing Friend Isn’t Budging On Gun Control

I’ve seen my friends and colleagues on the Left side of the gun control debate dumbfounded at why Second Amendment advocates don’t seem to budge on their views after mass shootings. So I thought I would try my hand at explaining this phenomenon in the hopes that maybe more will be inclined to have a better conversation about guns and the Second Amendment in America. There are several reasons 2A advocates aren’t running to your side of the argument, and it might not be the ones you think.

Some excellent observations by the author, – who, by the way, happens to be a woman. I mention this because one of the fallacies often believed and promulgated by the socio-political Left is that only “macho” males have any interest in the Second Amendment.

Nothing could be further from the truth! The 2nd Amendment is of particular interest to many women because the right to bear arms means that they are not at the mercy of men who are often physically larger and stronger than they are.

To paraphrase an old saying – that “God made men, but Samuel Colt made them equal”: God made human beings, but the Second Amendment made them equal!