Saturday, April 25, 2009

Eyes Wide Shut . . .

WASHINGTON--President Obama at Holocaust Remembrance Day ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda, attended by Eli Wiesel, other survivors, rescuers, members of Congress and members of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council:
"It is the grimmest of ironies that one of the most savage, barbaric acts of evil in history began in one of the most modernized societies of its time, where so many markers of human progress became tools of human depravity: science that can heal, used to kill; education that can enlighten, used to rationalize away basic moral impulses; the bureaucracy that sustains modern life, used as the machinery of mass death, a ruthless, chillingly efficient system where many were responsible for the killing, but few got actual blood on their hands."
Think about it.

HT: here.


Kevin said...

Funny thing: this week we heard more and more revelations of the egregious torture performed by the previous administration. The former vice president is claiming still that waterboarding humans is not only allowed but a positive way to keep us safe.

Where is the outrage about that?

While we are getting into it: what is the End Game here? As I understand it you're not a fan of artificial means of contraception either. This implies that you would want to outlaw abortion and contraceptives. I don't want to jump to a conclusion so please state clearly what you would have done about this.

What is the overarching plan? I really want to know.

Would all pregnant women be monitored to be certain that they don't attempt to get an abortion? Would all pregnancies which ended prematurely be investigated as a homicide? Would you be willing to incarcerate them for the attempt or merely for actually getting one? Are you willing to send a teen-ager who is pregnant back to her family even if she states she will be beaten?

Declaring abortion illegal doesn't fix anything. There will be other problems which are moral questions too.

What is the overarching plan? What are you willing to do?

I eagerly await your reply.

Mark Gordon said...

1.2 million abortions per year - over 40 million aborted since Roe v. Wade - and Kevin is in a lather about three Al-Qaeda leaders waterboarded in 2002/2003.

Do you know the names of three men, Kevin? They are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. Did you know that there were only three? Did you know that these measures were used only until the end of 2003?

You must not have known, because no rational person would compare the non-lethal torture of three terrorists to the deliberate destruction of 40 million unborn children. Where is the outrage, indeed?

Kevin said...

So the counter argument is that if we torture bad people that's OK. I sort of expected such a response. Abu Gharaib had more than three men victimized, ergo I think you may be drawing too small of a circle around the torture performed by the previous administration.
Torture of the 'enemy' is a classic example of the sacred scapegoating manifest within our culture. Why do we shed no tears for the babies blown to pieces when our Predators his a shack with a rocket? Where is the Pro-Life outrage for that?
Yes I'm "lathered" about this. The claim seems to be that we are pure and good; the righteous arm of the Lord smiting evil. That is foolish jingoism and ignores the evils our government does and has done in our name. I simply am asking that Pro-Life stand for more than only the life of those not yet born.

Yet that does not answer the larger question: What is the End Game? What is it you wish to do or to have done on your behalf? To what lengths are you willing to go to stop abortion? I want to know.

Simply making abortions illegal will not stop them. You and I might sleep better at night (I am pro-life and I apply my principles to more than just the unborn) yet what will really be accomplished?
The best I can find is this article:

There seem to be more abortions in places where they are legal vs. illegal. But there are millions regardless. My point is that we will be better off and more effective in convincing people that abortion is the wrong answer and to not take it. Better still to ensure all women have access to viable contraception so as to prevent the pregnancies in the first place.

Turning government loose to solve this moral problem may well bring unintended consequences of its own. We've been screaming for 36 years about this, demanding it stop. How's that worked so far? Perhaps it is time to address the conditions which lead these unfortunates to make such dreadful decisions rather than simply yelling from our holier-than-thou-hill at those who feel their life situation leaves them no option but an abortion?

I've never said abortion is good or right. It is evil. But unless you are willing to take drastic action, action I would never condone, you are not going to stop it by legislation. We in the Pro-Life camp need to devise a better way.

So tell me what is the Plan? What is the End Game? To what ends are you willing to go? Where do you want government to act?

Anyone out there have an answer? Or do we only know how to say what we don't want?
Ad Astra Per Aspera,

Mark Gordon said...

So the counter argument is that if we torture bad people that's OK.No, that's not the counter-argument, Kevin. You're the one who set up the comparison. I'm illustrating the wild imbalance of your moral logic, a logic, by the way, that seems to be informed by nothing more than the magisterial teaching of Huffington Post.

So, let's be clear: I condemn torture in every instance because, as the Church teaches, it is an assault on human dignity and an intrinsic evil. In order to combat the evil of torture, laws should be enacted and/or enforced preventing or punishing those who engage in such conduct. I will not throw up my hands before the evil of torture and declare, as you did on abortion, that declaring it "illegal doesn't fix anything."

Now, would you like to join me in declaring abortion to be an intrinsic evil, always wrong in every single case, and that the law should be employed to fight it? I didn't think so. There's your moral imbalance: outrage over isolated instances of torture - however heinous - and an irenic resignation in the face of 40 million dead children.

I can't speak for Gil, but here's my End Game: A reversal of Roe v. Wade, then energetic political action designed to erect state and federal laws that protect the unborn. Make it a crime to perform or assist in the performance of an abortion. As for those men and women who seek abortions (because it is often men who insist on termination): lenience in the first instance, prosecution in subsequent instances. At the same time, I would advocate generous social welfare benefits for pregnant women, along the lines of the current Pregnant Women Support Act currently being stalled in Congress by pro-abortion Democrats. Now, apart from throwing up your hands and permitting abortion on demand until birth, what's your End Game?

Mark Gordon said...

I simply am asking that Pro-Life stand for more than only the life of those not yet born.So far as I can tell, you're asking that "pro-life" stand for everything but legal protection of the unborn. On that "life issue" you counsel merely resignation.

Gil Bailie said...

Mark says he can't speak for me, but he's doing a great job of it. Better than I could do. I'm grateful.

Kevin said...

Thank you for telling me about this Act, the Pregnant Women Support Act. I had no idea anything like this even existed. This is the very sort of action I'm willing to take. That is to do everything we can as a nation and a society to reduce substantially the number of abortions in this nation.

I never seem to say half of what I'm thinking. Let me see if I can get it straight this time. Were we only to make abortion illegal it would not reduce the number of abortions most likely. That is prohibition alone would not be sufficient to actually remove the blight of abortion. Studies I've read show the number of abortions in nations with abortion prohibited are still in the millions. Of course the data is hard to get in a nation where abortion is illegal. Which means the lower estimates may or may not be true. That is there may be more parity with legal abortion numbers than we can find.

Making abortion illegal would let some of us sleep better but not fix the actual problem: women getting pregnant when they do not wish to become pregnant. Are there any similar acts which might help with access to effective contraception? Frankly until we get a handle on this, there's not much hope in outlawing abortion.

The Pregnant Women Support Act sounds like an excellent plan. I will dig into it and if it is as good as it seems, write my representative and senators to support the bill.

I still do not believe abortion will ever be illegal so long as we live in a secular, representative government. The public at large generally wants this as an option. In the back of the mind there lurks the "What if my daughter/sister/friend was raped and pregnant? Would I ask them to live through that hell?" That thought is what will keep a majority always in favour of abortion being safe and available.
To my mind only a theocracy or authoritarian regime will ever be able to put that genie back in the bottle. If that is what is required; I'll stick with what we have and see what can be done.

Thank you again for mentioning the Pregnant Women Support Act. Truly I had not heard of it.

Ad Astra Per Aspera,