Peter Hitchens in Copenhagen

Peter Hitchens recently spoke to the Danish Free Speech Society. His message, while quite downbeat, is also quite (I fear) true. Perhaps, more so for Europe and Britain than for the United States, but perhaps we are all in this boat together. Sadly you young people will see. Listening to him put me in mind of King Arthur, to wit: The Once and Future King, the dream we share with the Roman Britons, that thing will be once again put right, but unexplained in that thought is exactly who will put them right.

In any case, a powerful and moving speech.

 

There is also a fairly long question and answer session that followed. To be honest, I haven’t made it all the way through it, but what I have, it is quite illuminating, so here it is.

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Life is Winning in America

A few videos, scenes, not to mention words that moved me relating to The March for Life in Washington last Friday. Enjoy!

Over at Life News, there is an amazing time-lapse video of the people streaming the streets.

One more video maybe

The Vice President of the United States, Mike Pence, wrote an op-ed in the National Review last Friday.

In short, life is winning in America again. It’s winning because of the policies of our administration, and because of the commitment and compassion of those who gather today in our nation’s capital, and in marches, meetings, and homes all across the country.

Life is winning through the steady advance of science that illuminates when life begins.

Life is winning through the generosity of millions of adoptive families, who open their hearts and homes to children in need.

Life is winning through the compassion of caregivers and volunteers at crisis-pregnancy centers and faith-based organizations who bring comfort and care to women, in cities and towns across this country.

And life is winning through the quiet counsel between mothers and daughters, grandmothers and granddaughters, between friends across kitchen tables, and over coffee on college campuses, where the truth is being told, and hope is defeating despair.

We must continue to be a movement that embraces all and cares for all out of respect for the dignity and worth of every person. We must recommit ourselves to be a movement of compassion, not confrontation, of generosity, not judgment, and above all else, we must continue to be a movement of love.

This I know we’ll do – because I have faith.

I have faith in the goodness of the American people. I have faith in the president they elected. And I have that other kind of faith – the faith that moves mountains, and that, even now, stirs all across America.

And Senator Mike Lee with a floor speech in the United States Senate.

Mr. President, today hundreds of thousands of Americans from all walks of life will participate in the 45th annual March for Life.

Why do these citizens march, year after year?

It certainly isn’t for their health … Or for the media coverage.

No, these Americans march on behalf of those who cannot.

They march for uniquely vulnerable members of the human family. For the unborn. For those threatened by abortion. And for the countless innocent lives already lost.

These Americans march to protest the legal regime that sustains abortion.

The cornerstone of that crumbling edifice is Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court case that invented a so-called “right” to abortion in the Constitution, and in so doing stripped the unborn of their right to life.

The principal effect of Roe on our culture has been to cheapen the value of humanity itself. 

Roe has insinuated into the law a poisonous notion, the notion that some human beings may be treated as things. As objects to be discarded when they are inconvenient. We’ve seen this before in human history.

But an unintended effect of Roe has been to kick-start a movement that has lasted for four-and-a-half decades.

Roe did not resolve the abortion debate — although it tried to. Rather it intensified the debate.

The nation’s conscience was not deadened by Roe’s euphemisms and evasions; rather it was brought to life.

Like a firebell in the night, Roe awakened a generation of Americans to the injustice of abortion.

Countless thousands of them are marching in Washington, Salt Lake City, and cities across the country today.

But the institution of abortion still has its defenders. Vociferous defenders, even.

Why does this issue arouse such anger and passion?

I argue it is because the pro-life and pro-abortion rights movements offer competing moral visions for our society. Indeed, competing arguments about human dignity and what it means to be human in the first place.

Both moral visions are as old as the nation. They have appeared in various guises all throughout our history.

But there is a consistent trend in how the clash of visions has played out in every era.

The vision advanced by the pro-life movement has inspired righteous protests. The other vision has been used to rationalize hideous injustices.

The pro-life vision embraces our country’s noblest truth. The pro-abortion vision twists it.

Let me explain what I mean.

Our Declaration of Independence contains one of the most succinct and revolutionary statements in human history.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are LIFE, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

We know that the United States has not always acted on this high principle. We have denied life, liberty, and opportunity to our fellow man in countless cruel and unfortunate ways.

But even in the darkest times, patriots and reformers have looked to this passage as a guiding light, because it is the conscience of our nation.

Abraham Lincoln referred to the Declaration constantly in his speeches, calling it the “sheet anchor of American republicanism” and the “Father of all moral principle.”

He called the Declaration’s statement on human equality the “electric cord” that links patriotic Americans through the ages.

Now that electric cord has reached us. It is a direct line that runs from the Founding Generation to the very heart of the pro-life movement.

The core conviction of the pro-life movement is that “all men are created equal.” That all have a right to life.

We believe that every human being has dignity and merits protection simply by virtue of being human.

You will often hear pro-lifers emphasize the human features of unborn children, as well we should.

We point out that the human heart begins to beat as early as 16 days after conception. We point out that the unborn child can yawn, react to pain, and suck her thumb. And we point out that that thumb even has a one-of-a-kind fingerprint.

But we do not mention these characteristics because they are what give unborn children worth. It is not our fingerprints or even our beating hearts that make us people.

Rather, we point to these characteristics because they point in turn to something more fundamental.

They point to the inescapable fact that the unborn child is a human being, just like us. A member of our messy family.

It is that endowment, that shared humanity, that gives us all moral worth.

And so, to summarize the pro-life position, we have only to repeat those five words in the Declaration: “All men are created equal.” All are entitled to life.

But to be sure, not everyone shares the belief that all men are created equal.

At various times this belief has been called an “error of the past generation.” It has even been called a “self-evident lie!”

Few today would denounce the Declaration of Independence in such terms.

But defenders of abortion still repudiate the Declaration by their actions, and by the arguments they advance to protect legal abortion.

Defenders of abortion no longer dispute that unborn children are living human beings. How could they? Science testifies unequivocally to our shared humanity.

Most sophisticated defenders of abortion do not even dispute that abortion is a violent act.

If you do not believe me on this point, perhaps you will believe Ronald Dworkin, a prominent apologist for the pro-choice position: “Abortion,” Dworkin writes, “[is] deliberately killing a developing human embryo.”

He goes on to describe abortion as a “choice for death.”

So if abortion defenders do not deny the humanity of the fetus, and if they do not deny that abortion kills the fetus, how then do they defend abortion?

In short, they do it by segregating the human family into two classes: Human beings who are worthy of life — sometimes referred to as “human persons”– and human beings who are unworthy of life — “human non-persons.”

According to this view, human beings do not deserve protection on the basis of their humanity alone.

Rather they gain the right to life when they attain certain characteristics — usually some level of cognitive ability or bodily development.

Since the unborn lack these magic personhood qualities, they lack the right to life and may be dismembered in the womb. They are “human non-persons.” Or so the argument goes.

There are many problems with this chilling view. It has been rebutted at length by smarter men and women than me.

But for the purposes of today, it is enough to point out the track record of this argument.

Because it just so happens that every time mankind has been artificially divided into classes — into “persons” and “non-persons” based on their race, sex, genetic fitness, or any other attribute — the result has been calamity.

Which leads to a very simple question that has never been satisfactorily answered by abortion’s defenders: Why should we believe that this time is any different?

Abortion is a difficult subject matter for so many reasons, but on another level it is quite simple.

Our society has to choose between the two visions of human dignity described above.

Put simply, do we believe that all men are created equal? Or that some are more equal than others?

This simple question deserves a simple response: We must choose the first of those options, and affirm that all human beings are created with dignity.

And we must reject all attempts to separate the human family into higher and lower classes.

Let us see these attempts for what they are: Cruel fictions that cheapen life itself.

Just as there is no such thing as “life unworthy of life,” there is no such thing as a “human non-person.” There are just people. And we are each fearfully and wonderfully made.

Yes, dignity was ours before we stirred in the womb. It is stamped onto the very fabric of our genome. It is printed onto our soul.

This is the truth so brilliantly proclaimed in our nation’s Founding Documents — even as it is denied by our legal system, starting with Roe v. Wade.

But even though the laws of man are against us (for now!), the truth is with us. And the truth can erode even the most formidable edifice of lies.

And so, on this forty-fifth anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let us respond to Roe as Frederick Douglass responded to a similar indignity, Dred Scott v. Sandford.

“Happily for the whole human family,” Douglass thundered, “their rights have been defined, declared, and decided in a court higher than the Supreme Court.”

Those words are as true today as they were when they were spoken.

They call us to continue the winding march for justice — and for life –until the unalienable rights of every human being are respected in our land.

Thank you.

 

Week in Pictures: Sh*tholes, Oprah, Climate Change, and Tax Cuts

Well, let’s start with some videos this week.

Katie Pavlich? Sure!

A bit of common sense from Bill Whittle

And on to the week in pictures.

Have a good week! From Ace, Bookworm, and PowerLine.

Week in Pictures: Christmas Leftovers

Well, a lot of stuff has accumulated for week in pictures, that doesn’t really fit a category, so here are some leftovers.

In the X Ring – as always

From all over the place this week and I lost track. Have a good weekend and a Happy New Year.

Starting the Week.

Now that is a nice start to the week. The opening ceremony from last weekend’s Army-Navy game. If you haven’t heard, Army went, Beat Navy, in a very good game.

To Hell and Back

Tyler Durden tells us

Well informed sources have said the commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corp Brigadier General Haj Qassem Soleimani sent a formal verbal message, via Russia, to the head of the US forces command in Syria, advising him to pull out all US forces to the last soldier “or the doors of hell will open up”.

“My message to the US military command: when the battle against ISIS will end, no American soldier will be tolerated in Syria. I advise you to leave by your own will or you will be forced to it,” said Soleimani to a Russian officer. Soleimani asked the Russian officer to make known the Iranian intentions towards the US: that they will be considered as forces of occupation if these decide to stay in northeast Syria where Kurds and Arab tribes cohabit together.

Well, it seems to me that American forces have received such messages before, leading to some of the best quotes in American history. My favorite is also the shortest.

“Nuts,” The American Commander.

Melanie Phillips did truth-telling on the Palestinians as well.

The Palestinians’ violent reaction also demonstrates beyond doubt that, far from wanting to share Jerusalem with the Jews, they won’t permit the Jews to be there at all. Trump’s speech did not foreclose the option of a Palestine state, nor the prospect of the Palestinians having control of part of Jersualem. Their fury at the endorsement of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital at all shows how much they depend on the west facilitating their strategy.

Which is why the reaction of the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, is so stupid. She is far from hostile to Israel; but clearly, she hasn’t got the faintest idea of what the Arab war against Israel is about. It is not, as she appears to think, a conflict about the division of Jerusalem or the land. It is about destroying Israel altogether, and to that end an attempt to write the Jews out of their own history.

If Britain and Europe west followed Trump’s lead and moved their own embassies, and moreover told the Palestinians they no longer believed their lies or that their intentions were benign and started instead to treat them justifiably as pariahs, the war against Israel would end. Yet to its eternal shame, even though the US Congress is now passing legislation which will end American funding for murderous Palestinian incitement, Britain is continuing to fund the Palestinian Authority, thus making Britain complicit with incitement to hatred and murder of Jews and the destruction of Israel.

The Palestinians now find themselves in a fix. Saudi Arabia and associated Arab states will simply not allow them to get in the way of the all-important US and Israeli alliance against Iran. America has now shown it will no longer be manipulated in the campaign to destroy Israel.

So all the Palestinians are now left with is British and European support, and the old tactic of ramping up murderous violence against Israel to provoke it into actions which will cause the all-too reliable British and Europeans to try to punish Israel yet again.

British Prime Ministers should, I perceive, refrain from getting off airplanes with scraps of paper, far too often it has the result of encouraging enemies and discouraging friends. Right, Neville?

Welcome to December

Well, another week, for a lot of us Christians, we start a whole new year today, as we anticipate the birth of Jesus. I’m ready for one, and suspect you are too. He’s back!

Well, the President retweeted some British group (that hardly anybody had heard of, although they have now) and HMG came unglued. I wonder of it was because Britain First was correct. Less NSFW than usual, BTW.

Well, another week, another bunch of unemployed famous men who can’t seem to understand that women are not their property, or something.

More palatably

Christmas shopping?

And, of course

Mostly from PowerLine, Sleeping Beauty from Ace.

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