abortion


Or at least, this is the way the “Tagesschau”, the main public broadcasting television news in Germany, puts it.

When Katja learns she is pregnant, she quickly knows: She cannot have this child. She already has four. She does not have the strength for a fifth one. But when she asks her Bavarian gynecologist for an abortion, she gets no help. “He tried to talk me out of an abortion and left me alone with my problem,” the young mother says. It took the internet for her to find gynecologist Michael Spandau, who finally helped her.

Gynecologist Michael Spandau: “I can’t just fail these women.” The 70-years-old gynecologist retired three years ago. Technically. For he is the only medical doctor in Passau and the whole of Lower Bavaria that helps women with unwanted pregnancies.”

Yeah. By killing their babies. How else?

Apparently, the number of abortions in Germany decreased from 135,000 in 2001 to 101,000 in 2017 (while the number of births increased from 734,500 to 792,100 between these years). This is worrying news – even a perfunctory search for these numbers immediately turns up another news item lamenting this trend.

And whose fault is it when doctors no longer wish to perform abortions? It’s the “militant anti-abortionists” who are to blame. They do reprehensible things like protesting in front of clinics, or organizing demonstrations under the name “March for Life”, trying to influence public opinion. The president of the Bundesärztekammer is concerned:

“We have great sympathy for every doctor that does not wish to perform abortions under the current circumstances,” Frank Ulrich Montgomery, president of the Bundesärztekammer, says. He challenges politicians to do something against the massive disturbance caused by so-called pro-lifers.

I mean I knew things are BAD, but these news items just defy comment.

Suddenly, the whole chapel lit up with a supernatural light and on the altar appeared a cross of light which reached the ceiling. In a clearer light, on the upper part of the cross, could be seen the face of a man with His body to the waist, on His chest a dove, equally luminous; and nailed to the cross, the body of another man. A little below the waist of Christ on the cross, suspended in the air, could be seen a chalice and a large host, onto which some drops of blood were falling, which flowed from the face of the crucified One and from the wound in His breast. Running down over the host, these drops fell into the chalice.

Under the right arm of the cross was our Lady with her Immaculate Heart in her hand. Under the left arm in large letters, was something like crystalline water which flowed over the altar, forming these words: “Grace and Mercy”

This is the account that Sr Lucia gave of her vision on June 13th, 1929, when she was also told that the time had come to consecrate Russia. I have been wondering why the words ‘grace and mercy’ are traced out on the left side in what appeared to her like water only. It has always struck me as a strange detail. No doubt water can signify purity, and there is also an obvious reference to Jn. 19:34. But since He won grace and mercy for mankind by shedding His blood, and since that grace and mercy is brought into our souls when this same precious blood is mystically offered in the Mass, one might have thought that the words would have been traced out in blood, not in water.

It is rather a bold hypothesis, but I wonder if there could be an allusion here to the new order of Mass that would be brought into the Church by Paul VI exactly 40 years later, in 1969. If it is true that this new order is deficient because it fails to be rooted in apostolic tradition in the way that a Eucharistic liturgy must, then it is not unreasonable to suppose that the offering of this liturgy does not bring down upon the Church the same abundance of grace and mercy as a Eucharistic liturgy which is so rooted; that it brings fewer graces and less mercy. Could one even say, a watery grace and mercy? This hypothesis would, at any rate, explain a great deal about the present state of the world, and the apostasy in Christendom.

‘This is worse than Mordor!’ said Sam. ‘Much worse in a way. It comes home to you, as they say; because it is home, and you remember it before it was all ruined.’

‘Yes, this is Mordor,’ said Frodo. ‘Just one of its works.’

Unless some enterprising army general turns up pretty soon, the Catholics in Ireland are going to have the experience of beings strangers in their own lands, as their brethren in England and Wales have done for so long. Many people have commented on the vote, and will comment. Of the things I have read, two in particular have struck me. The first is yesterday’s sermon from the Prior of Silverstream, of which this is a part:

Friday’s vote was not about abortion only; it was about  killing Ireland’s soul, about snuffing out all that made Ireland a beacon among the nations, about publicly renouncing all that, from the time that Saint Patrick kindled his blazing fire on the Hill of Slane, made this island home of ours a great welcoming Catholic hearth in a world grown cold and dark.

The other was from Joseph Shaw, who observes among other things: “we are living in an integralist society, […] just not a Catholic one.”

But seeing the pictures of young women singing in the streets, I was reminded most of all of John Lamont’s important and difficult paper, ‘Conscience, Freedom, Rights: Idols of the Enlightenment’. He argues that the doctrines of conscience, human freedom, and rights, in the form in which they have become dominant in the last few hundred years, coalesce to what may truly be called a religion, which has the self as its object of worship. This explains, he argues, why the Enlightenment ideology has proved so successful in winning converts, despite the failure of its promises.

Its success rests on the fact that the Enlightenment offers a religious goal, in the form of an ultimate authority and good to be sought; that making the self that goal has a powerful appeal to human nature in its fallen state; and that the depth of sin involved in choosing this goal produces an extreme form of bondage and spiritual blindness which is very hard to break.

This goal has presented itself in different guises – as communism, Nazism or consumerism – but the fundamental concept and its appeal remains the same. It is the driving force behind the vulgar and base consumerism and sexual depravity that characterizes modern society. Previous non-Christian societies would have found these practices shameful and embarrassing. This natural human reaction is overridden, and even made use of, by the Enlightenment religion. This religion gives these forms of decadence a deeper meaning, the meaning of adoration of the deified self. The natural guilt and shame they provoke are transmuted into a proclamation of the self, which by rejecting the moral law is declaring its total supremacy.

The deep and sincere belief in the human right to have an abortion gets its strength from being the ultimate expression of the Enlightenment religion. It supporters understand that abortion is the murder of an innocent child, although they may not publicly proclaim this fact, or even consciously admit it to themselves. It is precisely its status as murder of the most innocent that makes abortion the triumph of the deified self as the ultimate end.

I suppose what we might call the Blackadder Goes Forth version of the First World War is pretty standard by now. It might be summarised as “Both sides as bad as each other, engaged in slaughter out of commercial ambition and stupid jingoism, until one side happened to win” (it’s not only materialist historians who speak like this, incidentally; a recent article of John Rao’s seemed to take the same view.) Yet even such a version of history seems preferable to the Daily Telegraph attitude of solemnly commemorating the heroic sacrifice of our forefathers while simultaneously promoting abominations that would have caused those same forefathers to say that the country they defended had simply ceased to exist.

There was a painful juxtaposition of headlines on the front page of the Telegraph at the time of the 100th anniversary of the start of the war last year. One of them said: ‘We will never forget’. The other one said, ‘What’s wrong with {excuse me} sperm banks for lesbians?’, the columnist arguing that nothing was. Never forget, forsooth. When it comes to the civilisation we were fighting for, or rather that those young men were fighting for, whose names we read on the war memorials, often several from the same family in even the smallest English village: they forgot long, long ago.

I’ve been reading recently some of the articles that Chesterton wrote in his weekly newspaper column during the War. While the style is recognisably his, they have an elevation of tone that sets them apart from his peacetime works. He has no doubt that the cause of the Allies is not only just, but that the fight is essentially spiritual: a war for the what remained of Christendom, for natural law, justice, the traditions of chivalry and honour and civilisation, against that mixture of brutality, totalitarianism, and mystical self-worship which is evoked by the word Prussia (I wonder if he had any inkling that the young emperor of Austria was a saint?) In one sense, namely as a defence of Belgium, the justice of the war is obvious, and can be judged by posterity as easily as by contemporaries. With regard to the spiritual essence of the combat, insisted on by Chesterton, things are less easy. It is not one or two obvious facts but a multitude that can justify one in speaking as he does. Spiritual things, though supremely real, are subtle, and it is hard for those who have not directly experienced them to speak of them. Yet Chesterton’s words carry conviction. Here are a few variations on a constant theme:-

Prussia was not a nationalist democracy which chose evil; it was not a nation, or even, in the proper sense, a people. It was simply such accidental crowds of colourless, lumpish, outlying northern men as certain chiefs could hammer and harden into mere regiments conscious of no flag. It is necessary to be ruthless because we must reach the centre of the machine in order to break the spring – or, perhaps, the spell. But it is not necessary to be hopeless, because in a sense the men living under it have never yet lived at all. There is nothing in their native and somewhat mild character to prevent their ripening under a better civilisation into very happy and humane Europeans. In that sense this is quite strictly to be called a religious war – in that it is waged to save souls by hypothesis capable of salvation (March 17th, 1917).

We hear this conflict called, not unreasonably, the most horrible war of history. But the most horrible part of it is that it would not be the most horrible war. Wars more and more horrible would follow the failure to vindicate and restore Christian equity and chivalry in this one. This does not make the fight less ghastly to the feelings; but it does make it more inevitable to the mind. It is, even in its most intense agony, still a problem of the reason, and even of the senses – of the sense of external things (29th September, 1917).

There is one fatal blunder in [the] whole picture of the war between England and Germany, and that is that it is a war between England and Germany. There is no war betweeen England and Germany. What happened, as a simple historical fact, in A.D. 1914 was not  a war between England and Germany, either in origin or occasion, or motive, or proportions, or excuse. What happened was a war between Prussian and the remains of the older civilisation which Prussia had not yet subdued, and with which England only threw in her lot at the last moment, by a belated implulse mainly noble, but almost entirely new. It is profoundly true that now the very existence of England is bound up with beating Prussia; but that is a result of her largely unexpected act and its many unexpected consequences (December 1st, 1917).

What we have been fighting is the half-finished design of a sort of inverted Roman Empire. It is one in which the least civilised instead of the most civilise power is on top; and one which originally radiated not from an old republican city, but from a new royal court. Bavaria is part of it only as Bulgaria is also a part of it. They both belong to it, in the sense that the Bavarian King would say to the Kaiser what the Bulgarian King also said to the Kaiser: Ave Caesar (August 24th, 1918).

Suppose we were at war, like the Children of Israel, with a Phoenician State vowed to the worship of Moloch, and practising infanticide by flinging babies into the fire. If we used strong words about smiting such enemies hip and thigh, I think it would be unreasonable in essence, though it might sound reasonable in form, for some sage to say to us: “Are there no good Phoenicians? Do not Phoenician widows mourn for their warriors? Is it probable that even Phoenician mothers are born without any motherly instincts?” The answer is that all this misses the main fact; which is a very extraordinary fact. The wonder is not that some Phoenician mothers love their babies, but that most Phoenician mothers burn their babies. That some mothers revolt against it is most probable; that many mothers have so many feelings urging them to revolt against it is almost certain. But Moloch is stronger than the mothers – that is the prodigious fact for the spectator, and the practical menace for the world. When Moloch’s image is fallen, and his fane laid waste; when his worship has passed into history and remains only as a riddle of humanity – then indeed it may be well worth while to analyse the mixed motives, to reconstruct in romance or criticism the inconsistencies of cruelty and kindness. But Moloch is not fallen; Moloch is in his high place, and his furnaces consume mankind; his armies overrun the earth, and his ships threaten our own island. The question on the lips of any living man is not whether some who burn their children may nevertheless love their children, it is whether those who burn children shall conquer those who don’t. The parallel is practically quite justifiable; what we are fighting has all the regularity of a horrible religion. We are not at war with regrettable incidents or sad exceptions, but with a system like the system of sacrificing babies, a system of drowning neutrals, a system of enslaving civilians, a system of attacking hospital services, a system of exterminating chivalry. We do ot say that there are no exceptions; on the conrary, we say that there are exceptions; it is our whole point that they are exceptions. But it is an almost creepy kind of frivolity that we should be speculating on the good exceptions at a moment when we ourselves are in peril of falling under the evil rule (July 20th, 1918).

And just after the Armistice:-

There is another form of the same materialist fallacy which fools have sown broadcast for the last four years. Its most fashionable form may be summed up in the phrase, “It will all be the same a hundred years hence.” I have read pacifist poems and essays in which the old rhetorical flourish to the effect that the corn will grow on the battlefield, or the ivy on the ruined fortress, is seriously used to suggest that it makes not difference whether the battle was fought or whether the fortress fell. We should not be here at all, to moralise about the ivy on castles and the corn on battlefields, if some of the great conflicts of history had gone the other way. If certain barbarian invasions had finally swept certain civilised districts, men would very probably have forgotten how to grow corn, and would certainly have forgotten how to write poems about ivy.

Of some such Eastern Imperialist it was said, as a sort of proverb, that the grass would not grow where he had set his foot. Europe has been saved from turning gradually into such a desert by a series of heroic and historic wars of defence, such as that of the Greeks against the Persians, of the Romans against the Carthaginians, of the Gauls against the Huns, of Alfred against the Danes, or Charles Martel agains the Moors. In each one of these cases the importance of the result does not decrease, but does definitely increase with time. It increases with every new generation that is saved from that destruction, with ever new civilised work that is built on that security, with every baby that might never have been baptised or reared, with every blade of grass that might never have grown where it grows today (November 23rd, 1918).

Though the darkness has returned and Moloch is again in his high place, yet what was gained by their sacrifice will at least always have been gained. Whether or not there can still be continuity for our civilisation, those young men have at least left us an example. So in those words of Tolkien that so moved his friend Lewis, both of whom fought on the Western Front, I say that these were “great deeds, not wholly vain”.

NI is the last part of the British Isles where the unborn child enjoys the protection of the law. All the powers of hell are no doubt conjoined in the struggle to remove this protection. The latest stratagem is to point out the horrible fact that disabled untermenschen are permitted to draw breath in NI who might have been hygienically destroyed in mainland Britain. The leader of NI Alliance Party has called for a ‘consultation’ about the extending of eugenic cleansing to Ulster.

Margaret-Sanger-1917Having been roundly chastised by Aelianus for hardly ever posting anything on here, and prompted by the subject matter of a recent conversation with the aforementioned, behold the first in a sure to be sporadic and unspectacular series of posts about people I don’t like very much.  First on the list, Margaret Sanger.

There is, of course, no shortage of anti-Sanger stuff online, but it is surprising (in a ‘not really that surprising’ sense) how little of this is ever mentioned in the mainstream media in arguments about “women’s health” and “reproductive rights.”  The same could be said for Sangers’ contemporary and fellow eugenicist, our very own Marie Stopes.

Planned Parenthood, (which kills a baby every 96 seconds and gets over $500 million a year from the US taxpayer), is the result of an amalgamation of various organisations, the most notable of which was Sanger’s American Birth Control League (ABCL), whose mouthpiece was the Birth Control Review (1917-1940).  (Stopes was a bit more up-front about the agenda – in 1921 she founded the Society for Constructive Birth Control and Racial Progress)  You can read archives of the Birth Control Review online here – for those with neither the time nor the inclination, Sanger’s contributions include articles entitled: “Some Moral Aspects of Eugenics” (June 1920), “The Eugenic Conscience” (Feb 1921), “The Purpose of Eugenics” (Dec 1924), “Birth Control and Positive Eugenics” (July 1925) and “Birth Control: The True Eugenics.”  On the Church, she says:

“The Catholic Church is the bigoted, relentless enemy of birth control.  This [birth control] movement threatens its hold upon the poor and the ignorant, and probably only the existence of restraining laws prevents it from applying the thumb-screw and the rack to all those who believe in a woman’s right to practice voluntary motherhood.”  Birth Control Review, June 1918

the birth control reviewRecently, I came across a video of Sanger being interviewed on American TV.  It is quite chilling to listen to her speak.  One of the most revealing excerpts reads as follows:

Interviewer: “Do you believe in sin… do you believe there is such a thing as sin?” Sanger: “I believe that the biggest sin in the world is bringing children in the world… that have disease from their parents, that have no chance in the world to be a human being, practically. Delinquents, prisoners, all sorts of things, just marked when they’re born.  That to me is the greatest sin.”

{The full length interview is here.}

In Salvation is From the Jews, Roy Schoeman has a fascinating chapter on ‘Ideological Foundations of Nazism’ in which he examines the interplay between the birth control movement, eugenics and euthanasia in the years leading up to the Holocaust.  Commenting on Sanger, he says:

“Her plans for a national eugenics programme consisted of the same elements found in the Third Reich – forced sterilisation and concentration camps (which she referred to euphemistically as ‘segregation’ or ‘separation’.)  Consider the following points from her “Plan for Peace”, published in her Birth Control Review (April 1932):

d. to apply a stern and rigid policy of sterilisation and segregation to that grade of the population whose progeny is tainted, or whose inheritance is such that objectionable traits may be transmitted to offspring.

f. to give certain dysgenic groups in our population their choice of segregation or sterilisation.

g. to apportion farmlands and homesteads for these segregated persons where they would be taught to work under competent instructors for the period of their entire lives.”  [page 189]

The modern-day Planned Parenthood supporter would (one hopes!) be embarrassed by this, but PP are hardly falling over themselves to distance themselves from Sanger’s worldview.  Cf . The Annual PPFA Margaret Sanger Award, which PP says is its “highest honour.”

Hilary Clinton receives PP's highest honour from President Cecile Richards.

Hilary Clinton receives PP’s highest honour from President Cecile Richards.

Receiving the 2009 Sanger Award, Hilary Clinton said:

“..the best way to ensure that women are not victimized by coercive government practices is to make sure that they have access to family planning. For those who care so deeply about reducing the abortion rate, the best way to make sure we reduce abortion is to provide access to safe family planning. (Applause.)”

She also reminded everyone that:

“Margaret Sanger’s work here in the United States and certainly across our globe is not done.”

Fast forward to March 2013, and here is a Planned Parenthood person giving the PP line on whether a baby lying alive on a table following a botched abortion should be “victimized by coercive government practices.”  Margaret Sanger would be proud.

birk-620x412

Fair play to Matt Birk, an NFL Superbowl champion with the Baltimore Ravens, who recently snubbed President Obama by declining an invitation to a celebration at the White House.  Birk explains:

“I have great respect for the office of the presidency but about five or six weeks ago, our president made a comment in a speech and he said, ‘God bless Planned Parenthood’.  I’m very confused by [Obama’s] statement,” he explained. “”For God to bless a place where they’re ending 330,000 lives a year? I just chose not to attend. I am Catholic, I am active in the Pro-Life movement and I just felt like I couldn’t deal with that. I couldn’t endorse that in any way.”

 

 

Birk, a father of six, has also spoken in defense of marriage here:

“Marriage is in trouble right now — admittedly, for many reasons that have little to do with same-sex unions. In the last few years, political forces and a culture of relativism have replaced “I am my brother’s keeper” and “love your neighbor as yourself” with “live and let live” and “if it feels good, go ahead and do it.”

The effects of no-fault divorce, adultery, and the nonchalant attitude toward marriage by some have done great harm to this sacred institution. How much longer do we put the desires of adults before the needs of kids? Why are we not doing more to lift up and strengthen the institution of marriage?

Same-sex unions may not affect my marriage specifically, but it will affect my children — the next generation. Ideas have consequences, and laws shape culture. Marriage redefinition will affect the broader well-being of children and the welfare of society. As a Christian and a citizen, I am compelled to care about both.”

Can you imagine how the BBC would react if a high-profile Premiership footballer started laying into the culture of death and moral relativism?!

super_bowl_kids.jpg.size.xxlarge.promo

Next Page »