Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Principium et Finis World Headquarters, 27 January 2015


video

Abortion Myth #1

Here is the first of the Abortion Myths posts. The Big Lie of a Pre-Roe bloodbath in the back alleys is the keystone in the whole edifice of mendacious myth that the pro-abortion people use to keep folks who know better in their hearts quiet for fear that they might be exposed as "anti-woman".  But once that one falls, the other myths don't seem quite as compelling . . .  


     A few years ago (that is, at least twelve) my lovely bride and I put together a list of “Abortion Myths”, that is, arguments used by pro-abortion …er, I mean pro-choice . . . folks to justify their position, along with factual and logical refutations of those arguments.  Most of them were inspired by Randy Alcott’s Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments (link – the most indispensable pro-life book I’ve ever encountered: you need it!), supplemented  with material from the Elliot Institute (link), National Right to Life (link), and other pro-life sources. I made posters of the myths and put them up in my classroom; my wife sent them to the rector of the Cathedral in Portland who had them published, one myth at a time, in the parish bulletin.  A friend who worked in the parish office told us that they received significantly more feedback (overwhelmingly positive) about those than they had for anything else they had ever published.
     I think it’s time to bring back the Abortion Myths, appropriately updated and now with live links!  My plan is to post one every Week.  So, without further ado:

ABORTION MYTH #1

 MYTH: "Before Roe vs. Wade, 5,000­ - 10,000 women in the U.S. died every year from illegal abortions."

FACTS: Documented maternal deaths were, at the highest, less than a tenth of those figures, in most years far less.

1) Abortion promoters admit to fabricating the figures: "I confess that I knew the figures [5,000-10,000 maternal deaths] were totally false, and I suppose others did too if they stopped to think of it."
-Bernard Nathanson, co-founder of pro-abortion group NARAL, in Aborting America , p. 193 (1973)

2) Research shows that the most maternal deaths in a year was 388, in 1948.

 3)Antibiotics greatly reduced the death rate before the full legalization of abortion.  In 1972, the year before  Roe vs. Wade, there were 39 maternal deaths.

 4)There have been at least at least 400 maternal deaths in the U.S. from legal abortion since Roe vs. Wade.

 ­5) Every year, more than half a million unborn women die from legal abortions in the U.S.

DON’T BUY THE LIE!



Essential Pro-Life Resources:

Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments (link)  

The Elliot Institute (link)  

National Right To Life Committee (link)  


Care-Net (link)

The Nurturing Network (link)


Links to entire Abortion Myths Series:

Abortion Myth # 1 [link

Abortion Myth # 2 [link] 

Abortion Myth # 3 [link]

Abortion Myth # 4 [link

Abortion Myth # 5 [link

Abortion Myth # 6 [link

Abortion Myth # 7 [link

Abortion Myth # 8 [link

Abortion Myth # 9 [link

Abortion Myth # 10 [link

Abortion Myth # 11 [link

Abortion Myth # 12[link

Abortion Myth # 13 [link

Abortion Myth # 14 [link

Abortion Myth # 15 [link

Abortion Myth # 16 [link]

Abortion Myth # 17 [link]

Monday, January 26, 2015

Alessandro Scarlatti - Exsultate Deo

     It’s only natural that the children of a loving Father should try to please and honor him. And so for the past two thousand years, Christians have put untold effort, ingenuity and love into creating a magnificent store of inspiring art of all sorts to glorify God, including a treasury of sacred music unmatched for its depth, breadth, and sheer beauty.
     Sometimes it seems we’re throwing it all away.  All too often, it seems, we keep the best china and good silver locked away and receive the Lord of Creation with the equivalent of paper plates and plastic forks at the Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

     It doesn’t need to be that way.  We all can and should advocate for liturgical music worthy of Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.  And if it’s any comfort, long after nobody remembers that there was any such thing as “Anthem” or “Lord of the Dance”, Alessandro Scarlatti’s “Exsultate Domine” will still be there, and still sound like music fit for The King.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival (25 January 2015)

     Happy Sunday! Welcome to Sunday Snippets, A Catholic Carnival.  Sunday Snippets® is a weekly convocation of Catholic bloggers sharing links to their posts from the past week.  The main gathering is here at This That and the Other Thing, home of out gracious hostess RAnn.


The Communion of Saints

Yesterday was the feast day of St. Francis De Sales, Bishop and Doctor of the Church.  St. Francis, who died almost four centuries ago, was ahead of his time in his concern for the devotional life of laypeople. I'll have more to say about this wonderful Saint in the future.
      Yesterday was also the feast day of number of less well-known saints , including Saints Thyrsus and Projectus.  Their biography at Catholic Online [here] is rather brief; it reads, in full:

Martyrs of an unknown year and location. Their Acts [i.e., histories] are no longer extant.

That’s it.  We don’t know when they lived, where they lived, or what they did. All we know is that they are Saints . . . which is really all that matters in the end.  St. Paul says:

. . . Run so as to win.  Every athlete exercises discipline in every way.  They do it to win a perishable crown, but we an imperishable one. (1 Corinthians 9:24-25)

     That crown is the crown of sanctity, if we persevere to the end. We are all called to be Saints with God in Heaven, but we can’t all be a St. Francis De Sales.  Most of us, just like the vast majority of saintly Christians through the centuries, will be forgotten a few generations after our passing from this world.  All the things that seem so important to us today will likewise have disappeared.  And that’s fine, because there’s only one thing that ultimately matters, that eternally matters: that, by the Grace of God, we be Saints.
    
This week also saw the annual March for Life in Washington on the anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s baleful Roe vs. Wade decision, so naturally there was emphasis on the law and human life in most of the week’s posts; below are the snippets from Principium et Finis:

Monday – A little-known composer, but a beautiful setting for a beloved traditional prayer: “Schola Regina Pacis – Stabat Mater (J. Rheinberger) [here]  

Tuesday – A few facts to consider the next time someone tells you that it’s a waste of time to vote pro-life: “Abortion Myth #17” [here

Thursday – A Throwback from last May in which I argue, contra some libertarians, that redefining marriage is an assault on liberty:  “If You Want To Defend Freedom, Protect Traditional Marriage” [here]

Friday – I know that the argumentum ad Satanam isn’t very fashionable these days, but Planned Parenthood’s new pro-abortion “prayers” are truly Diabolical: “‘Choice’And The Father Of Lies” [here

Friday, January 23, 2015

"Choice" And The Father Of Lies

He was a murderer from the beginning, and has nothing to do with the truth, because there is no truth in him.  When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. (John 8:44)    

Yesterday's March For Life in Washington (Washington Times photo)

     As we mark the ugly anniversary of Roe vs. Wade this week, it is only appropriate that we take a look at “Old Scratch” himself, the Devil.  In John’s Gospel our Lord tells us everything we need to know about the Devil: “He was a murderer from the beginning”, and “He is a liar, the father of lies”.  And what is his first lie, the Big Lie that is still his primary murder weapon? “You will not die . . . you will be like God, knowing good and evil”. (Genesis 3:4-5)  There will be no eternal consequences, Satan tells us, we can decide for ourselves what is good and evil, we are the gods.  For this reason he is called “the Devil”, from the Greek διάβολος (diabolos), which means “slanderer, perjurer, false accuser, and can also mean “deceiver, one who misleads”.  It derives from the verb διαβάλλω (diaballo), whose original meaning is “drive through”, or destroy.  Satan seeks to destroy us, eternally, by using falsehood and deception to separate us from God.

     I got to thinking about all this the other day due to a comment from my Lovely Bride.  She had just run across this article [here] from the National Right To Life News, detailing certain pro-abortion prayers that are being circulated by our old friends at Planned Parenthood, and she couldn’t help but think of the observation of C.S. Lewis (and many others) to the effect that Satan can’t create anything on his own, all he can do is mock and falsify God’s creation.  I think she has a point.  PP calls their campaign by the inelegant title “40 Days of Prayer For Women Everywhere”, an obvious mockery of 40 Days For Life.  Here is a sample of a few of the Planned Parenthood “prayers”, from the NRTL News article:

            “We give thanks for the doctors who provide quality abortion care.”
            “We pray for a cloud of gentleness to surround every abortion facility.”
“We pray for all the staff at abortion clinics around the nation.  May they be daily confirmed in the sacred care that they offer women.”
“We give thanks for abortion escorts who guide women safely through the hostile gauntlet of protesters.”
“We pray for women who have been made afraid of their own power [of choice, i.e. abortion] by their religion.  May they learn to reject fear and live bravely.”

National Right To Life News notes that these “prayers” were composed by a group calling itself “Faith Aloud”, and that “Infamous late term abortionist Dr. Leroy Carhart is a member of the board.”
     My first reaction on reading this was something akin to extreme nausea: do these people really believe that God will surround their butchery of unborn babies made in His image and likeness with “a cloud of gentleness”? That this butchery could be in any sense called “sacred care”? That the Lord would smile upon their request to separate women from their (most often Christian) religion?  And yet it is no surprise: these are the same people who mocked the words of the Heavenly Host with “Choice on Earth” Christmas cards (in Planned Parenthood newspeak, “choice” always means “abortion”); these are the same people who thought it a generous gesture after the terrorist attack on 9/11 to offer free abortions to pregnant widows of men who died in the World Trade Towers.  This macabre mockery of religious faith has been a part of the pro-abortion industry/movement for a long time, and it isn’t limited to that movement’s flagship enterprise: immediately after the Roe decision in 1973 a group calling itself the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights (RCAR) was founded, which soon, recognizing that the truth in this case was a rather unlovely thing, changed their name to the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.  And that ugly truth is the reason for the euphemisms and the bizarre, phony prayers: if they’re honest, they lose, and so they must pretend to be something they’re not.


The Son of God and the father of lies.
     So, let’s see now, lies, mockery of God and sacred things, death, who does that sound like? Could it be…? Yes, you know where this is going.  Now, I’m not saying that the people at PP and their fellow travelers in the abortion industrial complex are Satans themselves: I’m willing to believe that most of them think they’re doing the right thing, and that they’re on the side of the angels.  The problem is, they are on the side of the fallen angels, led by the father of lies himself.  I find myself yet again quoting St. Paul: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the  powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly place” (Ephesians 6:12). 
     So how do we go about combating the powers of darkness?  St. Paul tells us to take on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6:13)  and pray at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18) that utterance may be given me in boldly proclaiming the Gospel (Ephesians 6:19).  It is a two-pronged strategy: first prayer and reliance on God, next a bold proclamation of the truth.  Thats why, before the March for Life in Washington and our local marches, we attend Mass or a prayer service.  We need to remember that, and remember that this isnt simply a matter of politics, its a matter of Good and Evil, the God of Truth and the father of lies.  Lets make sure we stay on the right side.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

If You Want To Defend Liberty, Protect Traditional Marriage

Today is the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade and Doe vs. Bolton decisions, which at a stroke nullified abortion laws in all fifty states. In his dissent from Roe, Justice Byron White said, “I find nothing in the language or history of the Constitution to support the court’s judgment,” and goes on to characterize the decision as nothing more than “an exercise of raw judicial power”.

     Sadly, federal courts have not given up on exercises of “raw judicial power” over the past four decades: in 22 states federal judges have voided state constitutional amendments or statutes put in place by voters that defined marriage as the union of a man and a women (a definition that, throughout all of human history up until twenty years ago, would have seemed remarkable only for the fact that something so obvious needed to be said at all).  To date the redefinition of marriage has been put to voters in the United States several dozen times, and has passed only once (here in my home state, I’m sorry to say, and that after losing in earlier bids). Clearly, the way this novel definition of the primary human institution is being imposed is undemocratic; in the post below, an earlier version of which I published in May of last year, I argue that beyond that, by its very nature it is opposed to human freedom, both political and religious.


A Hot Topic

The legal definition of marriage has been a hot topic in recent years. Faithful Catholics know that while traditional marriage was created by God and raised to a Sacrament by Jesus Christ, there are very good reasons in the natural order to preserve it as an institution, such as that it provides the best environment by far for raising and forming children, and it is an essential building block in any stable and prosperous society. Unfortunately, a “hot topic” is not the same thing as a reasoned debate, and advocates of marriage redefinition very often do not respond to arguments with counter-arguments, but rather with attempts to silence and even destroy those who disagree with them. Just one example among many: at Notre Dame (a Catholic University) campus police expelled a pro-marriage group at the prompting of violent gay marriage activists who disliked their message (here). 
     Such activists, however, are a minority, and there is still a mass of people in the middle whose minds are open if they can be given solid reasons for supporting traditional marriage, and given a sense that they are not facing the brown-shirt tactics of the left all alone if they profess the traditional view.  Given that many, perhaps most, of the people in the middle are more secular than religious (even if they identify as Christians) we need to be prepared with arguments rooted in the natural order.  Moreover, there are certain constituencies that at least ought to be natural allies for those of us fighting to preserve marriage.


Which Side Is Lady Liberty On?

     I am thinking in particular of libertarians and others for whom personal freedom is a primary concern.  Many such liberty-minded people have been drawn into the anti-marriage camp because those who would redefine marriage often rely on an appeal to freedom: one hears arguments such as "nobody has ever shown me how two men or two women marrying each other is going to harm their own marriage.”  Another argument we all have heard is something like:   “You anti-gay marriage people are anti-freedom: you want to keep gay people from marrying the partner of their choice”, or "you're trying to impose your religious beliefs on everyone else."   I’ve even seen protesters standing outside my church holding a sign that says “When did I get to vote on your marriage?”  So perhaps it’s no surprise that many people, particularly those of a libertarian bent, have been convinced that the pro-gay marriage advocates are on the side of liberty, and that supporters of traditional marriage are the would-be tyrants; how can they be wrong?
     To begin with, all the arguments above proceed from false premises.  Virtually nobody today is arguing for the return of anti-sodomy laws, or advocating the forcible separation of co-habiting same-sex couples.  Nor have I heard of anyone promoting laws that would somehow prevent homosexuals from calling their relationships “marriages”.  Traditional marriage supporters are simply working to preserve the long-standing legal definition of our most important social institution (older than any government and older even than institutional religion) against those who want to use the force of law to compel the rest of us to agree to a new definition, a definition that nobody anywhere has ever held (up until the last few years), and one which will change our understanding of that most important institution in fundamental ways.  By any objective measure, the gay marriage advocates are trying to deprive the rest of us of our liberty to hold and to express our beliefs.  The incident from Notre Dame (a supposedly Catholic institution) cited above is, again, just the most recent example. I don’t have the space here to run through the list of businesses and individuals attacked, smeared, harassed, sued, etc. by the redefinition advocates, but one only needs to pay attention to the news for a couple of days to know that such tactics are the rule, not the exception; and they all come from the side that accuses us of opposing freedom.

Are wedding bells liberty bells?
Did The State Invent Marriage?    

 Beyond the tactics used by the opponents of traditional marriage, there is a much more profound issue, one concerning the proper role of government. Laws concerning marriage have always been descriptive, describing and recognizing an institution that was not created by the state, and in fact existed long before the state came into being. Even laws regulating certain aspects of marriage (the ban on polygamy, for instance) never seek to change it; they are intended to protect marriage, and preserve it more faithfully within its traditional contours.  A law that re-defines it to mean something completely different, something it has never been, is a prescriptive law, one that prescribes or creates a new reality.  This is a power that few governments, and certainly not our constitutional republic, have ever claimed in regard to marriage. It is the annexation of something that has never belonged to the state; it is to treat  something that the state has always recognized as pre-existent, above and beyond itself,  as if it were a creation of the state, to be manipulated,  redefined, and at some point (why not, after all?) even abolished at the whim of the ruling power. This is truly totalitarian.  I don’t believe that lovers of liberty really wish to give the state such powers.


You Can't Fight City Hall - At Least On Your Own

     Giving the state total control over the institution of marriage would have profound ramifications for freedom in general. Families are, along with organized religion, the most important “mediating institutions” between the individual and the state.  Mediating institutions are groups of people large and small that help serve as a check on government power and provide individuals with a way of influencing the state much more effectively than they could on their own.  These independent sources of authority are essential to the preservation of liberty:  without them the behemoth of the state would easily crush the lone citizen.  That’s why totalitarians of every stripe make the subjugation, or even destruction, of these institutions (especially the Family and the Church) a top priority.  Giving the state the power to manipulate, redefine and hence to unmake such essential protectors of freedom must necessarily lead to an ever more powerful state, and an ever smaller place for individual liberty.
     The desire of libertarians to work to preserve personal freedom is quite understandable, but the legal redefinition of marriage will do just the opposite: it will necessarily mean the loss of freedom to express and to act according to our most sacred beliefs, and it will grant to the state an enormous and unprecedented power for remaking society according to its own designs.  If you want to defend liberty, therefore, protect the traditional family.
(See also, "Marriage, Family, & Liberty" here)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Abortion Myth #17

 MYTH: Voting pro-life doesn't do any good; once they're elected, pro-life candidates don't do anything about abortion.

TRUTH: Although the U.S. Supreme Court decisions Roe vs. Wade, Doe vs. Bolton, and Casey vs. Planned Parenthood prevent the passage of laws directly outlawing most abortions in the United States, pro-life legislators and governors have put in place numerous pro-life laws that, while not outlawing abortion, have significantly reduced its incidence (while simultaneously improving maternal health):

Pro-life laws lead to real reductions in abortion

-          Dr. Michael New reviewed 16 peer-reviewed studies, and reports that all of them show significant decreases in teen abortions after the enactment of parental involvement laws (reductions from 13-42%). [here]



-          Informed consent laws, Medicaid restrictions, and partial-birth abortion bans have all been shown to lead to significant measurable decreases in the abortion rate. [here]



Pro-life laws lead to real improvements in Women’s health

-          Informed consent laws, Medicaid restrictions, and partial-birth abortion bans have also been shown to lead to significant measurable decreases in various health problems such as gonorrhea (12%-20% reduction for women under 20 yrs old) and suicide (11%-21% reduction in women 15-17 yrs old)[here]



-          Maternal mortality is consistently, and significantly, lower in countries where abortion is illegal than it is in countires where it is legal. [here]



-          In Ireland and Northern Ireland, where abortion is heavily restricted, rates of low birth weight and still births are consistently and significantly lower than in England Scotland, and Wales, where abortion has been legal since 1968 (in 1971 the rates were much higher in Ireland and Northern Ireland). The Irish countries also have lower maternal mortality rates and lower breast cancer rates. [here


There are also ways that government officials can promote life other than by the passage of laws:

Federal judges are nominated by the President and approved by the Senate; pro-life Presidents and senators are more likely to put in place justices willing to reverse those decisions (pro-abortion politicians regularly go before groups such as Planned Parenthood and explicitly promise to nominate only judges who will uphold pro-abortion decisions).




There are other things Presidents, governors, and other officials do that encourage or discourage abortion. For instance, President Reagan and both Bushes had policies in place forbidding use of U.S. funds for abortion overseas (the “Mexico City Policy”); Presidents Clinton and Obama both reversed those policies on their first day in office. State governors also make decisions that either encourage or discourage abortion (see here, for instance).


DON’T BUY THE LIE!



Essential Pro-Life Resources:

Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments (link)  

The Elliot Institute (link)  

National Right To Life Committee (link)  


Care-Net (link)

The Nurturing Network (link)


Links to entire Abortion Myths Series:


Abortion Myth # 1 [link

Abortion Myth # 2 [link] 

Abortion Myth # 3 [link]

Abortion Myth # 4 [link

Abortion Myth # 5 [link

Abortion Myth # 6 [link

Abortion Myth # 7 [link

Abortion Myth # 8 [link

Abortion Myth # 9 [link

Abortion Myth # 10 [link

Abortion Myth # 11 [link

Abortion Myth # 12[link

Abortion Myth # 13 [link

Abortion Myth # 14 [link

Abortion Myth # 15 [link

Abortion Myth # 16 [link]

Abortion Myth # 17 [link]



Monday, January 19, 2015

Schola Regina Pacis - Stabat Mater (J. Rheinberger)

I had never heard of of the composer Joseph Rheinberger (1839-1901) unlike very recently.  Even though he is not known to most of us, to those more knowledgeable than me he is well-known and highly-regarded as both a composer and an organist (see biography here).  In his time he composed twelve Masses, and also this lovely setting for the Stabat Mater:

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday Snippets - A Catholic Carnival & Hands Around the Capitol 2015

     Ah yes, another Sunday, another Sunday Snippets (A Catholic Carnival, don’t you know).  This is the first Sunday in a while that hasn’t been a solemnity of some sort, but that doesn’t mean that it’s just another Sunday: every Sunday is a commemoration of the Resurrection, a Little Easter . . . but I was talking about Sunday Snippets, wasn’t I?  It’s a weekly gathering of Catholic bloggers who gather here, at This That and the Other Thing (home of the esteemed RAnn) to share the fruits of their bloggery from the previous seven days.


Red roses representing years since Roe vs. Wade
     Before I get to my snippets from Principium et Finis, however, I’d like to share a little about where I was Saturday.  This coming Thursday will be the 42nd anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s notorious Roe vs. Wade decision, which wiped out the abortion laws of all fifty states and created de facto abortion on demand in the United States; there have been an estimated 57 million legal abortions since that time.  Here in Maine we observe this sad anniversary with an event called  Hands Around the Capitol on the Saturday prior,  in which we hold a rally at the St. Michael’s (formerly St. Mary’s) gym, followed by a march to the State Capitol. Here, as participants hold hands in a ring around the entire building, one person rings a replica of the Liberty Bell on the Statehouse grounds once for every year since the Roe decision, while another places one rose beneath the bell at each tolling; this year 42 red roses lay in the snow at the end.
     A highlight of the rally this year was the return of pro-life governor Paul LePage.  When he spoke last year, he was a conservative, pro-family, anti-abortion governor seeking an unlikely re-election in a state dominated by the political left.  Seemingly oblivious to his tenuous political situation, he gave an impassioned speech denouncing abortion and praising the traditional family (see my account here).  He came back this year after winning more votes than any governor in Maine history, but he didn’t sound any different: abortion, LePage said, was robbing us of our future in a state where “more people are dying than are being born”, and the key to solving social problems like poverty is “getting the family unit back together”, to which the first step is “a man and a woman to take care of the children.”  Obvious, maybe blindingly obvious, but how many politicians have the political courage to come out and say it?
Governor LePage greeting rally participants
     Something new this year is that we have, in the words of Maine Right to Life Executive Director Theresa McCann Tumidajski, “the first United States Representative from Maine to call himself ‘proudly pro-life.’”  That would be Bruce Poliquin, newly elected congressman from the 2nd District.  Poliquin also gave a heartfelt defense of human life, even though he serves in a state where left-wing and pro-abortion groups have tremendous clout, and despite the fact that the Democratic leader in the U.S. House, California’s Nancy Pelosi, was hard at work trying to bring about his defeat in the next election even before he was sworn in (see here).
     Now, some will say that politicians will talk, but that it really doesn’t make any difference in the end.  When it comes to the right to life, pro-life laws and government officials do, in fact, make a difference, as I will show later this week in "Abortion Myth #17".  Also, the fact that these two men have been elected at all (in addition to a growing number of like-minded state senators and representatives) shows that there is hope for life.

   More photos from Hands Around the Capitol are posted below; meanwhile, here are snippets from the past week at Principium et Finis:

Monday – In the opera Don Giovanni, Mozart’s Don Juan enjoys some music from a couple of the composer’s contemporaries before he is dragged off to take up a well-deserved residence in Hell; one of those other composers, Giuseppe Sarti, had just arrived in Russia where he composed some beautiful music that looked to a much better place: “Giuseppe Sarti – ‘Now The Powers of Heaven’ & Russian Icon Painters” [here]

Tuesday – Planned Parenthood tells us that they mostly provide vital “health care” to women, such as mammograms, and abortion is just an afterthought - and if you believe that one . . . “Abortion Myth #16” [here

Wednesday –  Interesting news on the marriage front “Marriages Are Made in Heaven” [here

Thursday – This Ratzinger fellow sounds familiar . . . has he done anything since?  “Fr. Ratzinger’s Prophecy, 45 Years Later” [here

Friday – A picture’s worth a thousand words – and worth a human life: “The Truth Will Out” [here

Saturday - Hands Around the Capitol:



Brothers Jamie & Jared McCabe present a "Chalk Talk" at the rally





Governor LePage and young pro-life constituents in St. Michael's gym.





Pro-life Mainers gather at state capitol building


"Hands Around the Capitol"





Knights of Columbus with Blaine House (governor's mansion) in the background

















Friday, January 16, 2015

The Truth Will Out

“We need not resolve the difficult question of when life begins.”  Thus spake Justice Blackmun, writing for the majority in the U.S, Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision in January, 1973, the 42nd anniversary of which will be observed next Thursday (January 22nd).  And so the era of virtually unlimited abortion in the United States burst upon the nation in a flurry of obfuscation and falsehood.  There never was, in fact, any question of when “life begins”, certainly not on scientific grounds: the only question was whether all human life was deserving of protection, or only certain lives.  For more than four decades now, the abortion industry and its apologists have relied on verbal smokescreens like Justice Blackmun’s to provide just enough cover that Americans can avoid the ugly truth about abortion.


     It’s getting harder all the time to keep the charade going.  In 1973, ultrasound was not yet commonly used by obstetricians in the United States, and so for the vast majority of Americans unborn babies remained invisible, out-of-sight . . . and therefore fairly easy to dismiss.  Not anymore.  Virtually all expectant mothers have pictures of their babies in the womb long before the birth, pictures that have become increasingly clearer and more life-like.  If it looks like a baby, squirms like a baby, gives a “thumbs up” like a baby (see photo above), well, what can one conclude?  Of course, women who go to abortion clinics are unlikely to be offered such pictures, even if an ultrasound is performed, because women who see an ultrasound of their unborn baby are much less likely to abort (see here).
      Howard Slugh, an attorney, addresses the ultrasound issue in an article [here] in National Review Online called “The Life-Affirming Power of Ultrasound”.  He discusses in particular the growing number of state laws in the U.S. that require the abortionist to perform an ultrasound and to show the images to the mother of the unborn baby.  There are some interesting features to the legal battles over these laws.  First of all, even though abortionists deny that ultrasounds change minds, they “in fact have conceded the point in lawsuits challenging mandatory ultrasound laws”, which they have been fighting tooth-and-nail to stop.
     That’s not the only revealing thing about the abortionists’ legal arguments.  “No one” Slugh tells us, “asserts that the images are misleading or that the laws require additional pro-life commentary.”  The abortion providers can only argue that simply requiring them to show truthful, unaltered pictures of what (which is really, as the images show, who) is being aborted will dissuade some of their customers.  A federal court, in striking down one of these laws in North Carolina, said in its decision that the law “explicitly promotes a pro-life message by demanding the provision of facts that all fall on one side of the abortion debate.”  Notice that the law does not require the suppression of “facts” that fall on the other side of the debate: it simply requires that the mother know all the facts before undergoing abortion, and the facts happen to be pro-life.  And so the abortionists are reduced to asking the court to help them hide the truth.  As Slugh notes:

All these sources agree that the more a mother knows about her child, the less likely she is to abort him.  This is not because ultrasound images are misleading or politicized; it is because they supply a mother with truthful information necessary for making an informed choice.


It’s good to bear this in mind as we work to protect life: truth is our ally.  We should continue to publicize the truth by educating and informing our fellow citizems, by participating in pro-life events over this next week, and by supporting pro-life laws such as the ones mentioned above that give women more access to full and accurate information. But more than that, we should also be sure to pray to the Lord of Truth, that He continue to open our eyes and those of our fellow people to the Truth of humanity of the unborn, and to the sanctity of all human life.