…Beyond “Cognitive Dissonance”
An early 1960s film about parents of developmentally delayed children struggling to adjust. A 1998 article about the one-third of our brightest young women who can’t be reached with the Pro-Life message. Today, a young writer explains how our criterion of success forbids us from accepting bumps in life’s road and receiving the unexpected Gift of Life.
Burt Lancaster and Judy Garland, (Judgment at Nuremberg, 1961) starred in the 1963 film A Child is Waiting. Lancaster is medical director at an institution for retarded children, dedicated to guiding young people with reduced expectations to the best possible life adjustment. (With calm dignity, actual developmentally-delayed children play many of the roles.)
Garland is a new employee of the institution whose overly emotional reaction to a young boy’s sense of rejection by his parents diminishes her ability to be of actual help to the children. The boy’s father seems to be aloof, to the point of refusing to visit his child—”A Child is Waiting”—when other children are seeing their families. Rather than uncaring, the father’s problem is shown to be acute discomfort with his son’s perceived imperfections.
One of the new generation of pro-life thinkers, First Things Junior Fellow Tristyn Bloom, examines our fixation on perfection and resistance to the unexpected, in “Beyond the Pro-Life Pep Rally: Where Do We Go From Here?” (The Federalist: “The Surprising Ingredient To Creating A Pro-Life Culture: Are Kids These Days ‘Too Responsible’?“ http://thefederalist.com/2013/10/29/surprising-ingredient-pro-life-culture/ ).
The reason people continue to defend abortion is because, essentially, of existential terror: fear of what will happen when something unexpected, uninvited, unplanned bursts into our lives demanding action.…We are pathologically terrified of risk and … we have this enslavement to our own ideas of respectability, our own ideas of our life plan, our commitments, our existing duties such that something as radically changing as a new life doesn’t fit in with those existing duties. To accept that life would be the irresponsible choice, and that’s the framework from which a lot of people are operating.…When we have something unchosen, unplanned, uninvited, it’s a direct attack against the very core of our being.
Ms. Bloom’s insight points toward a solution to an enduring mystery, a fly in the ointment marring the past generation’s great success in turning around public opinion about the issue of Life.
Fifteen years ago, news of a population of up to one-third of young women practically unreachable by the Pro-Life message was carried in another First Things article, “Abortion: A Failure to Communicate” www.firstthings.com/article/2008/11/004-abortion-a-failure-to-communicate-49 by Paul Swope of the Vitae Caring Foundation. The article was largely concerned with a self-defeating misapprehension among the Pro-Life mainstream: the “Adoption: The Loving Option” solution is, unexpectedly, completely contrary to a basic psychological premise for many of the most success-oriented, “upwardly mobile” young women. (Our front-line experience is liable to confirm the fact that it’s much easier to communicate the Pro-Life message to women of more modest “socio-economic” background than those of the educational and economic elite.)
Adoption, unfortunately, is seen as the most “evil” of the three options [giving birth, adoption and abortion], as it is perceived as a kind of double death. First, the death of self, as the woman would have to accept motherhood by carrying the baby to term. Further, not only would the woman be a mother, but she would perceive herself as a bad mother, one who gave her own child away to strangers. The second death is the death of the child “through abandonment.” A woman worries about the chance of her child being abused. She is further haunted by the uncertainty of the child’s future, and about the possibility of the child returning to intrude on her own life many years later. Basically, a woman desperately wants a sense of resolution to her crisis, and in her mind, adoption leaves the situation the most unresolved, with uncertainty and guilt as far as she can see for both herself and her child. As much as we might like to see the slogan “Adoption, Not Abortion” embraced by women, this study suggests that in pitting adoption against abortion, adoption will be the hands-down loser.
|“Lifesaver”, Vitae Caring Foundation||“I am a Life”, Heroic Media|
Many in the mainstream of dedicated, Pro-Life stalwarts, seem unaware of the fact, that much of the credit for turning around American public opinion about abortion goes to groups like the Vitae Caring Foundation and Heroic Media which have employed to best effect, sophisticated consumer-psychology research and Madison Avenue marketing expertise to support the cause of Life. Yet many Pro-Lifers remain rather in the dark about our failure to reach so many of the best and brightest, the very people who should be at the forefront bringing forth new generations to help ensure future prosperity and the health of society.
Vitae Caring’s “Lifesaver” commercial overcomes many of the hidden biases against Life by recognizing and affirming the special requirements of feminine psychology: It portrays a successful woman heroically–potentially, self-sacrificially–giving life to another while maintaining control over her own life and remaining personally successful. This flies in the face of the presumption of the upper-crust of young women that having a child when they’re reaching for success means the effective end of their lives.
It’s high time to take stock of our current course, to help the right-thinking majority on the Life issue overcome the unthinking bias against Life on the part of the “better classes” which have so much influence over the fate of our nation and our world.
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Positive vs. Natural Law
Picture this scene, a few years hence:
The vote of the Review Committee was 3 to 0. The Doctor, who was secretary of the meeting, marked the patient’s card “MR” and added his initials and the date. This “Merciful Release” had been provided by the Congress almost two years ago in the Geriatric Welfare Act of 1996, which was part of an overall revision of the bankrupt Social Security system.
Under the law, Social Security retirement benefits were reduced by the full amount of any outside income received from whatever source. The only persons, therefore, who actually received Social Security benefits were those whose outside earnings, gifts from relatives, and other income totaled less than the ordinary Social Security benefits. As a result, only the poor received Social Security retirement checks. But still there were too many of them. The Geriatric Welfare Act of 1996 provided that each recipient of Social Security retirement benefits over the age of 65 who was “confined to any hospital or infirmary” for more than three consecutive days “shall be entitled to a Merciful Release on his or her own request or on a decision by the Review Committee that prolongation of life is a meaningless burden.” Continue reading
Sacramento Bee, Sunday, August 11, 1974
Our heritage is freedom. The Constitution makes this manifest by declaring in its preamble that George Washington and his colleagues in the Convention of 1787 framed that instrument to secure the blessings of freedom to all Americans of all generations.
The love of freedom was brought to our land before the Revolution by courageous men and women from the British Isles, Holland, the vine-clad hills of France, the Palatinate of Germany, and the mountains of Switzerland, who craved, above all things, the freedom denied them by the tyrannical civil and ecclesiastical rulers of the Old World.
Since so many men appear so anxious nowadays to swap the reality of freedom for the mirage of security, it would be well for us to ponder the choice our ancestors made when they forsook the comparative security of the Old World for the terrifying insecurity of the new.
It was not without many pangs of regret that they turned their backs for all time upon the scenes of their childhood, the graves of their beloved dead, and the comparative security of the then civilized world, and journeyed in tiny barks across a boisterous ocean to establish homes for themselves and their children and their children’s children in what was then a perilous wilderness in a new and strange land. Continue reading
To Ethan Conrad:
Abortion facilities have limited tenancy, reduce properties to blight
Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, deeply regretted what he had done. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, “I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.” They said, “What is that to us? Look to it yourself.” Flinging the money into the temple, he departed and went off and hanged himself. The chief priests gathered up the money, but said, “It is not lawful to deposit this in the temple treasury, for it is the price of blood.” After consultation, they used it to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why that field even today is called the Field of Blood. Then was fulfilled what had been said through Jeremiah the prophet, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of a man with a price on his head, a price set by some of the Israelites, and they paid it out for the potter’s field just as the Lord had commanded me.” – Matthew 28:3-10
Judge hears arguments in Linda Gibbons case, reserves judgment to Sept. 9
Mon Aug 26, 2013
TORONTO, August 26, 2013 (LifeSiteNews.com) – A provincial court judge reserved judgment to September 9 after a day-long trial for Linda Gibbons at the College Park courthouse in downtown Toronto on Monday, a hearing that saw noted pro-abortion lawyer Clayton Ruby inject himself into the proceedings.
Gibbons was on trial on a charge of disobeying a court order (an accompanying charge of disobeying a peace officer was withdrawn) in regard to her arrest outside the “Morgentaler Clinic” abortion site in Toronto last June 11. Defence counsel Daniel Santoro offered two lines of argument in pleading not guilty on her behalf. Continue reading
Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam
During this Year of Faith, we could do well to reflect on Cardinal Dolan’s words (words of exceptional value, I think) to his fellow bishops, and by implication to all of us. They are contained in his address to the U.S. bishops’ conference (of which he is president) at the opening of their general assembly in Baltimore on November 12, 2012.
Instead of talking about “all the controversies and urgent matters for the Church right now”, the Cardinal called for each of us to “undergo their own conversion and renewal”, for which recourse to the sacrament of penance is essential.
“This is the sacrament of the new evangelization, for as Pope Benedict reminds us, ‘We cannot speak about the new evangelization without the sincere desire to conversion,'” he said.
He anticipated a not too favorable reaction. “I know I risk the criticism — I can hear it now: ‘With all the controversies and urgent matters for the church right now…can you believe it?’ To which I reply, ‘You better believe it! First things first!’”
If anybody knows about the controversies and urgent matters facing the Church, it is Cardinal Dolan. He is the object of well-focused and persistent attacks from every source seeking to destroy the Church’s influence on society. As the cardinal archbishop of New York, he deals with a culture obsessed with promoting abortion and other perversions. He deals with politicians who earn their spurs by defying the Church on a variety of life issues.
In that context he says “We cannot engage culture unless we let him (Jesus) first engage us, we cannot dialogue with others unless we first dialogue with him, and we cannot challenge unless we first allow him to challenge us.” It could hardly be stated more succinctly.
Cardinal Dolan made it clear that he was not just mouthing his own opinion. He was relaying the solemn teaching of the Church. He recalled the recent ad limina visits with the then Pope Benedict XVI. The Pope said, “As with all spiritual crises, whether of individuals or communities, we know that the ultimate answer can only be born of a searching, critical and ongoing self-assessment and con- version in the light of Christ’s truth.”
He also recalled the recent world Synod of Bishops. At the closing message of that event the bishops declared, “We bishops firmly believe that we must con- vert ourselves first to the power of Jesus Christ who alone can make all things new…With humility we recognize that the poverty and weaknesses of Jesus’ disciples, especially us, his ministers, weigh on the very credibility of the mis- sion.”
Finally he said, “We need the sacrament of penance because we are profoundly sorry for our faults, failures and our sins, serious obstacles to the new evangelization. But then we stand forgiven, resolute to return to the work entrusted to us — as evangelizers of the Gospel of mercy.” Again, even though he spoke to his fellow bishops, the message certainly applies to each and every one of us.
May God bless you.
Father Patrick Lee
by Drew Belsky
Drew Belsky is Live Action’s communications director. He is also the deputy editor at American Thinker. You can reach him on Facebook or on Twitter (@DJB627).
Detailed Research Citations Contradict “the Consensus”
PolitiFact put out a “fact-check” this week that purports to debunk the link between induced abortion and breast cancer. Instead, it provides a guide on how to hoist yourself with logical fallacies—namely, the appeal to authority (“it’s true because experts say so”) and the argumentum ad populum (“it’s true because lots of people say so”).
They’re not shy about this, either: “PolitiFact does not do medical or scientific analysis. We rely, as we do in other areas, on the most reliable and independent sources available.” Continue reading
Open Season on Vulnerable Children for Child Molesters
by John Jansen
To the surprise of exactly no one, Planned Parenthod President Cecile Richards is thrilled that so-called emergency contraception (hereafter:EC) is now available over-the-counter with no age restrictions.
This means that 16 year old girls (and boys) can now get the morning-after pill without a prescription.
So can 15 year olds, and 14 year olds, and 13 year olds, and 12 year olds, etc., despite the fact that the age of consent in every state is between 16 and 18.
It would be dangerously naïve to believe that making EC available to all teens and pre-teens will have any positive impact at all. On the other hand, it will now be even easier for young girls—and the older men who so often prey on them—to engage in risky sexual behavior. A wedge will be driven yet further between parents and children, and will cut doctors out of the loop as well.