Tag Archives: pro-life

Viral Hysteria, the “Seamless Garment,” and the Cult of Cowardice

“Every man dies.  Not every man really lives.”

“They can take our lives, but they cannot take our freedom!”

~ William Wallace from Braveheart (1995)

This is a follow-up to my last Rant, covering a few points in greater depth.  Now, after President Trump outlined steps to slowly and timidly “re-open” the American economy after many states forcibly (and tyrannically) shut down businesses deemed “non-essential,” leading to record unemployment and the destruction of countless small businesses, the controversy and divisiveness and stoked by this issue has only heated up.   Based on what I’ve seen on social media, most Americans have settled into one of two bitterly divided camps:  those of us who believe the government lockdowns, virtual quarantining of healthy persons, and shutdowns of business are an assault on basic American constitutional rights and freedoms and destroying our economy, and those who believe such draconian measures are necessary to save lives.

When not telling us we’re idiots, those in the latter camp often accuse those of us in the first of all kinds of moral deficiency and depredation.  According to one priest’s words, those opposed to the quarantines of healthy persons, shuttering of businesses, and banning of public masses are driven by selfish “narcissism” and “misbegotten libertarianism,” valuing personal freedom over human life.  Or that we care about money or the GDP more than about saving lives.  At best, we’re selfish and materialistic, at worst, as one person put it, guilty of complicity in “genocide of the elderly and vulnerable.”  The entire debate over the quarantines, lockdowns, job losses, loss of civil liberties, etc. is reduced to a simplistic morality play of Evil Selfish Greed vs. Righteous Saving Human Lives.  Those who oppose Universal Perpetual Lockdown are accused of being Un-Christian or “Not Pro-life.”

First, the entire assertion that shutting down much of the economy, and plunging millions into unemployment, is “saving lives” is extremely dubious at best.   A prolonged forced shutdown of economic activity, coupled with runaway deficit spending, will likely lead to economic collapse, which will ultimately cost more lives than the virus.  It’s not the rich that will suffer most, but the poor and vulnerable.

The fact that many religious Catholics, rather than just the liberal Pelosi types, appear to have bought into this kind of dubious moral reasoning reveals a deeper issue of moral confusion going on here, one which predates the Wuhan virus.  This concerns the distortion and cheapening of the term “pro-life.”   It began decades ago with the so-called “Seamless Garment” theology proposed by the leftist Cardinal Bernadine in the ‘80s, and which dominates the moral/political rhetoric of the Bishops today.  Originally, the term “pro-life” meant we opposed the deliberate killing of innocent human life (in other words, murder); thus we oppose abortion and the euthanasia, or “mercy killing,” of human beings.  But according to Bernandine and other liberal clergy, to be “pro-life” meant we must also support such things as nuclear disarmament and a large welfare state.  Today, many bishops and their cronies in the USCCB insist that to be “truly pro-life,” we must support basically every item in the ever-growing laundry list of left-wing political causes and demands (with the possible exception of abortion/infanticide on demand).  Now we’re told we’re not “really pro-life” unless we support “gun control,” socialized medicine, open borders, carbon taxes, transgender restrooms, etc.  Liberal Catholics re-define every issue of political contention as a “life issue,” with the “pro-life” position just happening to be whatever Democrat politicians are pushing.  Of course, a bitter cynic like myself is inclined to write this off as a rather obvious political ploy to get religious pro-life Catholics to vote for abortion-loving leftist politicians, though those holier-than-thou “truly pro-life” types would assure us otherwise.

In any case, this has contributed to rather muddled moral thinking, which has combined with our modern culture’s obsession with safety and risk avoidance, and a nasty virus unleashed by the Chinese Communists, to create a perfect storm of hysteria and deranged moralism.

We live in a society increasingly driven by political and media induced fear and panic.  The left (both politicians and the media) tries to keep us in a constant state of fear – of the immanent destruction of life on earth from man-made climate change, of mass shootings, of President Trump (who we are constantly told somehow represents a “grave danger,” and urgently needs to be removed before he commits Hitlerian atrocities).  The only way for us all to avoid certain doom is for us to give leftist government ever more power, and for them to make more restrictions on our freedom.

Then, out of Communist China (the land where “Catholic Social Doctrine” is “best implemented”), comes a gift from the Leftist gods – an actual deadly (for some) virus that spreads with shocking rapidity.  The Left wasted no time politicizing this scourge and blaming it and all its ugly consequences on the Bad Orange Man (after earlier calling him racist for barring flights from China).   The economy then goes to hell after states (especially those with “liberal” Democrat governors) shut down large swaths of the economy, destroy small businesses, and millions are forced out of work.

And now, if one dare question the lockdowns, or the wildly overblown predictions they were predicated on, one is at best denounced as a “denier” and “anti-science” (yes, those wonderful all-purpose words to shut down dissent from the political orthodoxy).  Or worse yet, we’re moral reprobates who value “the economy” over human life, and want to kill off old people or minorities.  Yes, the rhetoric used by those in favor of everlasting lockdown against their critic is exactly the same as that used to push for government disarmament of the people and the “climate change” agenda.   However, in the case of the virus, the threat is much more real and immanent (even if exaggerated), so such tactics are more effective, and influence people a lot more beyond the typical “left-wing” crowd.

All this is enabled by the moral confusing of deliberate murder with the danger and risk inherent (to some degree or another) in so much of human existence.   Because of modern technology, life expectancy in the developed world today is far higher than it was throughout most of history, when most died of various diseases or other causes well before reaching old age.  We fool ourselves into thinking that with just the right diet and exercise program, we can cheat death and become immortal.  We kill our babies for convenience, yet feel entitled to live our own lives free of any threat of death, and demand government make laws to take away anything we find unsafe or threatening.

And now, among those few of us who remain religious Catholics, the confusion of muddled “pro-life” moral thinking grown from the seeds of political-minded liberal clergy has taken root, even among the pious and “conservative.”   We often hear things along the lines of “the Church considers protecting life its highest priority” and that “saving lives” (or avoiding risk of death) must trump (no pun intended) all other considerations.   I’ll set aside for the moment, the argument (which I’ve often made) that an economic collapse brought about by a prolonged shutdown will in result in more deaths in the long run.   The reality is that a prolonged existence shut in one’s home, avoiding any physical religious, social, or political gatherings, or group work or play, unable to wander about without showing the officials one’s papers, can truly be considered living.  Nor is it accurate to claim that the Christian Faith upholds preservation of physical life as the ultimate moral good.  If that were true, the Church would never honor the heroism of countless martyrs who were willing to give up their very lives for their Faith and their God.

Throughout history, men have been willing to risk, or even give up, their lives for God, for family , for country, for freedom from tyranny.  Today all too many willingly give up freedom and embrace tyranny, even the godless tyranny of the leftist state, for the sake of feeling a little more safe from death.  There was long a word for those who exalt their physical safety above all else, and that word is “coward.”  The only thing worse than cowardice is cowards trumpeting their cowardice as superior moral virtue.

But this widespread panic and cowardice is all the more dangerous – much more dangerous than the virus, in fact – as it is orchestrated and played for political ends.  If the Left is successful in getting the majority of people to choose fear rather than freedom, the consequences will be disastrous.  We need to wake up, reject fear, and prepare to fight like hell.

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Supreme Injustice

I intended to rant on this subject much earlier, but unfortunately have been incapacitated by severe burns, but now I’ll go ahead and finish it, as this still burns me up. . . .

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court issued yet another abortion of justice, striking down Texas’s state laws requiring abortion clinics to be subject to the same medical and sanitary restrictions as hospitals (and preventing the existence of Kermit Gosnell-style horror shows) in a 5-3 decision.  These laws had significantly lowered the rate of abortions in the Lone Star State.  This was a terrible loss, not just for the unborn of Texas, but for states’ rights and federalism.

This proves beyond any shadow of a doubt that for the political Left, and its judicial puppets, the “right” to kill unborn children is regarded as ultimate and supreme, trumping and triumphing over all else.

It, of course, builds on the unholy precedent of Roe v. Wade, which first enshrined baby-killing as a sacred and inviolable “right.”  But this decision takes this evil principle even further; not only is murder in the womb a “right,” but virtually no restrictions or regulations on the killing are to be allowed.

Of course, if the SCOTUS actually followed our Constitution (yeah, okay, you can stop laughing now), we would have neither Roe nor this decision, as nowhere in the Constitution is a right to abortion ever mentioned (all silly “emanations of the penumbra” bullcrap to the contrary).   Neither, of course, is the federal government given an enumerated power of deciding state abortion laws or regulations.  (In many places, taco shops and tattoo parlors are subject to more government regulation than abortion mills.)  Once again, the all-powerful Men in Black simply piss all over the laws of both God and man in service of the almighty leftist idol of “reproductive rights” (aka unrestricted baby-killing).

Ironically, many of the same liberals/leftists celebrating the SCOTUS’s striking down all restrictions on the “right” to abortion (nowhere mentioned in the Constitution) at the same time loudly demand all kinds of restrictions on the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

And bizarrely, following the SCOTUS decision, I saw a number of self-proclaimed “pro-lifers” turn their righteous ire, not on the Supreme Court justices who made this abomination of a decision, but instead on the Texas state legislature which made the restrictions on abortion mills, decrying their “devious” and “underhanded” methods.  This was accompanied by much pious finger-wagging lecturing over how “the ends don’t justify the means.”  Thus, the SCOTUS was right to strike them down.  But this is just more nonsense.  There is certainly nothing inherently immoral about the means of toughening standards on abortion clinics to try to bypass pro-abortion court rulings.  Nor, contrary to their shrill accusations, is there any actual “deception” involved.

This seems part of a disturbing trend I’ve noticed within the pro-life movement.  It seems there are more and more people who proclaim themselves “pro-life” and opposed to abortion, yet appear obsessed with attacking other pro-lifers (especially those more politically conservative than themselves), while passively bowing to the pro-abortion left at every chance.

Even though this 5-3 decision would have stood even had Scalia remained alive or replaced by a similar constitutionalist, this should focus conservatives, particularly religious conservatives, on the absolute necessity of defeating Hillary.  Under a Supreme Court, and most federal courts, solidly dominated by leftist justices and judges, things will only get worse, much worse.  While I’m no fan of Mr. Trump, he’s at least provided a list of solid constitutionalist judges he promises to nominate from for Supreme Court Justices.  Can I trust him to keep his word?  I honestly don’t know.  But I know I absolutely can 100% trust Hillary Clinton to nominate leftist activists who will scrap what little’s left of constitutional rule of law, and destroy any semblance of religious liberty.

You’d think Catholics and pro-lifers would wake up and develop a sense of urgency about this.  Yet, instead we have holy folks such as popular “pro-life” left-wing apologist Mark Shea (oh, sorry, Mr. Shea prefers to call himself a “Catholic apologist”) urging Catholics in swing states to vote for Hillary Clinton.  (Ironic coming from a man who spent much his career denouncing voting for “the lesser evil.”)

Nor, I’m afraid, can we look to much in the way of leadership from the U.S. Bishops and their bureaucratic mouthpieces.  They continue to play the charade of rightly preaching against the evils of abortion and euthanasia, while at the same time proclaiming virtually every contentious political issue to be a “life issue,” and insist that we must take the left-wing stance on the rest of these issues (immigration, “gun control,” environmental regulation, etc.) in order to be “truly pro-life.”  This sends the courageous, clear-as-mud message to us saps in the pews to vote however the hell we want, especially if it’s for a left-winger.

Catholic pro-lifers can keep playing these stupid games and losing, or we can take a stand and fight.  Time’s running out.

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A Day That Lives in Infamy

Tomorrow, as you’re probably aware, we commemorate the 41st anniversary of the abominable Supreme Court decision Roe vs. Wade which (absurdly) declared killing one’s unborn child a “Constitutional Right,” and in effect made abortion-on-demand the law of the land.   The Bishops have declared this a day of prayer and fasting.  (And no, again, the Pope has not told Catholics to shut up about abortion, all liberal lies to the contrary.)

People (including now , sadly, many “Catholics”) try to pigeonhole or dismiss the abortion issue and the right to life as simply another “rightwing” political issue, invented by conservative Republican politicians to divide the country – or something.  However, the right to life should not be a “conservative” or a “liberal” issue, but is in fact a fundamental human value, which should transcend politics.

The right to life is the most fundamental human right the law can guarantee; without the right to life, all other human rights are rendered void.  If the law does nothing to protect the lives of innocent human beings at their most vulnerable, it is worthless.

And, yes, unborn babies (or “fetuses” or “embryos,” or whatever you want to call them) are in fact human beings from conception.  From conception the human embryo/fetus/child is a living being, genetically and biologically distinct from both parents.  And it is human; it does not change at some point from a non-human species.  Yes, the human being in its very early stages of life is undeveloped compared to more mature stages, but so is a newborn infant, or a toddler, compared to an adult.

Growth and development is a continuous, gradual process from conception to adulthood.  This is confirmed by modern biology.  While pro-aborts love to accuse pro-lifers of wishing to impose unscientific religious dogmas on everyone, it is the idea that a human baby suddenly, magically, changes from dead to living, or from non-human to human at birth or some other point that is superstitious and unscientific.

It used to be that advocates of legal abortion typically denied that an unborn child is a human being, calling it a mere “clump of tissue” and such.  But ultrasounds and other modern technology are helping expose that lie.

However, there’s a truly disturbing trend of more and more people who are willing to admit that the unborn child is in fact a human being, but say that it’s okay to kill it anyway.

These folks, following the godless philosophies of Dr. Peter Singer and his ilk, seek to separate the concept of legal “personhood” from an individual being a human being.  According to Singer, not all human beings are “persons,” and “personhood” should be based on various extrinsic factors such as cognitive development and such.  (Using such standards, most liberals should be excluded from “personhood,” but I digress.)

Of course, once we base legal personhood and the right to life on anything other than the fact of being a human being, the standards of “personhood” become ultimately completely arbitrary.  Thus, Singer uses the fact that there is little real difference between an unborn fetus and a newborn infant, to argue not that abortion should be illegal, but for legalizing infanticide.  According to Singer, killing the severely disabled is also acceptable.  In this brave new world, courts and panels of “experts” determine who is and is not a legally-protected “person” – and there’s always room to move the lines.

Ultimately, the fight over abortion is between those who believe human life is itself intrinsically sacred, against those who see human life as in itself worth, and only given worth to others on subjective extrinsic criteria.

Some people (pro-abortion liberals, as well as some “conservatives”) accuse pro-life conservatives such as myself of hypocrisy.  How can we claim to be for small limited constitutional government, while at the same time support the power of the government to take away the individual’s choice to have an abortion?

The truth is that the Roe v. Wade decision was hardly a victory for limited, constitutional government, but trampled the rights of states and the peoples, granted god-like powers to the federal judiciary, and made hash of the Constitution.  Before Roe, per the Tenth Amendment, laws concerning abortion belonged to the individual states.  Roe v. Wade took this power from the respective states and granted it to the federal government, smashing any state restrictions on abortion.  The SCOTUS justices justified their decision by citing unstated “rights” supposedly hiding deep in the dark “emanations of the penumbra” (literally, “emissions from a shadow”) of the fourteenth and other amendments.

Thus, in one blow, on no solid basis in the Constitution whatever, killing the unborn child was declared a universal “constitutional right,” and the Supreme Court granted itself the power to declare which human beings are and are not legal “persons” having a right to live.

Legal protection of the life of all innocent human beings (including the unborn) is simple justice.  Every law puts some restriction on human choice (or rather puts legal consequences on certain choices).  No one talks about being “pro-choice” in matters such as theft or rape (or the murder of persons already born).  So unless you’re an absolute anarchist, “pro-choice” arguments are utterly bogus.

Ironically, many liberals and leftists arguing that an all-powerful “right to choose” trumps the baby’s right to life, oppose the right to choose in countless other areas.  I’ve argued with many a liberal who adamantly argues for the right to choose to kill an unborn child, while equally adamantly arguing against the right of individuals to choose certain health insurance plans, or weapons for personal defense (to use just two examples.)  For the liberal, many things in fact trump absolute human choice, but human life itself is not one of them.

“Pro-choice” was never anything more than a dishonest and sophistical propaganda slogan.

And speaking of abortion, Phil Lawler of Catholic Culture beat me to this one last week, but his piece, “Pope Decries Abortion; Sun Expected To Rise in East,” confirms some points I’ve been making here regarding the shallowness of the “mainstream” media in reporting on Pope Francis and abortion.  Apparently, according to the AP, the only reason the Vicar of Christ could possibly have for upholding the Church’s two-millennia-old teachings against abortion is to throw a bone to us disgruntled conservatives.  Sigh.

Yes kids, the Pope is Catholic, and abortion is still very, very bad.

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