Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Modern Moral Confusion

On September 12, 2008, Senator John McCain, with his wife Cindy, appeared on ABC's "The View." In discussing McCain's position on abortion and judges he would appoint to the Supreme Court if he were to win the upcoming presidential election, Whoopi Goldberg asked "Should I be worried about being a slave or a return to slavery?"

She may have merely been attempting to be funny, or perhaps she was being flippant to make a point. What ever her reasons, Whoopi seemed to believe that "abortion rights," as it is commonly portrayed, is synonymous with women's rights. She is not alone. Many abortion advocates construe the issue so that any disapproval of the abortion movement is equivalent to attacking all women's rights, as if even questioning abortion were an attack on the Constitution itself.

Clearly, some people have no problem comparing abortion and slavery. I'm one of those people, though I take an entirely different position from Whoopi's. I've even written a short book about that very comparison, which you can find here.

One issue not addressed in my book is the question of supporting evil versus being evil. In our modern "enlightened" culture we are taught that slavery practiced by western culture, including the slave trade and the physical and legal treatment of those slaves, was unequivocally evil. And so it is with Nazism; if someone were to even suggest that a member of the Nazi Party was not an evil person, many would be outraged. What we must not forget is that there is a difference between being an evil person, and supporting others who advocate, promote, or do evil things. I say this in the contemporary context of voting for a supporter of abortion.

So I ask, should the legal murder of millions of people be secondary to another issue in which millions of people are not killed? Let us distinguish between a hypothetical tragedy (such as future predictions of massive death caused by global warming) and reality (i.e., millions of abortions occurring each year worldwide). I suppose any answer to this question could depend on the situation.

Some History

Let me pose a hypothetical scenario. An employee or even a family member of a slave owner may make an effort to improve the lives of the slaves around them, even to the point of helping some slaves escape captivity. Or German citizens in Nazi Germany may help Jews remain hidden or even to leave the country. In both of these situations, those helping the oppressed persons would likely need to maintain an appearance of loyalty to the status quo, while keeping their contrary actions secretive. This sort of activity is quite understandable to our modern enlightened culture, one which acknowledges such compassionate activity as good, and possibly heroic. But what of those who did nothing to oppose the evils of their day, and though they did not personally commit such acts they none-the-less supported those who did?

Imagine an election season in which one political candidate believes much the same as you. That candidate supports the same worthy causes and professes the same ideals as you, except one. That one exception is that this candidate also supports the institution of slavery, or perhaps the Nazi Party, and does so openly. Would you ignore this one issue, or would it give you reason to reconsider voting for the candidate? Now imagine the year is 1856 or 1860, and the Presidential candidate that agrees with you on so many issues also advocates slavery. Or imagine the year is 1933, and your fellow German citizens are considering giving a promising candidate astounding political power in the nation. His future genocidal plans are plainly laid out in his book, Mein Kampf, published years before. If there were merely the one "disagreement" between you and the candidate, would you vote for him? How significant would this issue be to you?

Is abortion the same type of heavy issue? Is there any problem with voting for an abortion supporter who may also espouse compassionate social policies? What about supporting a Nazi who espouses what he calls compassionate social policies, and vows to rescue the country from terrible economic troubles? And what of a slave holder who defends the institution of slavery, but also supports compassionate social policies and vows to protect the ordinary citizen from any threat to their way of life?

I ask these questions because I believe abortion today is just as much a holocaust as the one during the 1930s and 40s and the holocaust that was slavery. When the law of the land deprives a group of people their humanity, permitting them to be legally murdered by the millions, that issue should carry such weight as to be a primary consideration in who we choose to lead our nation. But living among the controversy makes it more difficult to see current events for what they really are. Having the benefit of hindsight, it is easy for us to see the evil of slavery and the Jewish Holocaust. It may be easy to also label as evil those who voted for a pro-slavery candidate or those who favored giving Adolph Hitler such wide powers over Germany.

I acknowledge there is a difference between committing evil acts and voting for those who do or merely support them, but I also suggest this distinction does not amount to much. I can understand that a citizen may be desperate enough to vote for Hitler in the tragic economic times the German people were suffering in the 1920s and 30s. There were many topics Hitler addressed, and many troubles on the minds of the German people, so much that the idea of murdering millions of people could be confidently disregarded as mere political propaganda from Hitler's detractors. And yet, giving him the power to fulfill his plans enabled one of the greatest evils in the history of human civilization. Would we today acknowledge the Nazi's evil for what it truly was if Hitler never decided to attempt conquering the rest of the world as well? How fiercely would Nazism be condemned if World War II never happened? Do we call Nazism evil only because the rest of the world was threatened too? We find ourselves today in a situation where millions of people are legally killed, but many voices express support for it, as if there were nothing to be concerned about.


Rather than insist those who supported Hitler's rise to power were also evil I am willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. But what does that mean? The most kind and yet honest assessment I can make is to consider them morally confused. The situation in Germany at the time was admittedly grim, and many of the concerns of the German people were legitimate. However, allowing Hitler to take control and implement his agenda (which was supposedly to help the German people) undoubtedly enabled and spread tremendous evil. Likewise, I acknowledge Americans today who vote for an adamantly pro-abortion candidate are not directly guilty of murdering unborn children. Yet enabling abortion proponents to continue strengthening the abortion movement does spread evil. In our modern holocaust we have witnessed the legal killing of more than 40 million unborn children since 1973.

What do abortion supporters say to this? They essentially claim the fetus is not a person, and so it has no rights, and abortion is not murder. I am left wondering why anyone would defend a position using the same argument the Nazis used to justify their attempted genocide of the Jews. It does not help the situation that there is so much confusion and misinformation thrust upon us:

So-Called Pro-Life Advocates Who Backed Obama Say Banning Abortion Failed
Christian website endorses Obama as pro-life
Do you remember Barack Obama's outrageous and dishonest mock "Pro-Life" websites paid for by George Soros? Yeah, they were all a lie.


We all act like idiots sometimes. None of us knows everything and we all are susceptible to confusion. But when the wizards of smart (thanks to Rush Limbaugh for coining that term) suggest the question of whether a child in its mother's womb is a person is up for debate, we should acknowledge this is the same line of thinking the Nazis used to promote their racist position on what they called the "Jewish question." The Nazis used rhetoric and debate and an already strong anti-semitic attitude to craft laws discriminating against Jews. This legal maneuvering made it easy for the afflicted group to be dehumanized. As a result, more than 6 million of them were exterminated. The reasons used to justify this genocide seem like overt idiocy to me, and that so many Germans embraced this rhetoric baffles me. Another tragedy of the situation is that many people today are suffering the same moral confusion in the context of abortion.

For example, Alan Colmes, formerly of the Fox News Channel's Hannity and Colmes. An admittedly smart and thoughtful guy, and no doubt someone who acknowledges Nazism as the evil that it truly is, he sounds like an idiot on the issue of abortion. In September 2008, abortion survivor Gianna Jessen appeared on Hannity and Colmes to discuss Senator Barack Obama's position on the issue of children born alive during a failed abortion. Jessen was born during an abortion procedure which failed, and clinic workers had her taken to a hospital to get proper medical care. Jessen, and millions of people around the world, would consider a child born even under these circumstances to be a person, a living infant. As you can see in the interview, Senator Obama voted four separate times against Illinois legislation designed to protect such a child's right to live. I see no legitimate reason to deny a child born like this is a person, entitled to all rights and privileges as you or I. Therefore, children born in this manner and left to die or even put to death is rightly called infanticide. If Senator Obama acknowledges this tragic thing occurs and yet opposes efforts to prevent it why shouldn't people say he supports infanticide? In this interview with Jessen, Alan Colmes can only offer shallow platitudes like "Obama doesn't want to kill babies" and "we disagree on the law." Being asked more than once in the brief interview, Colmes refused to answer Jessen's straight forward question "what would you call it?"

Former registered nurse Jill Stanek appeared on Fox News Channel's The O'Reilly Factor in September of 2000, discussing her experience in learning her employer, Christ Hospital in Oak Lawn, Illinois, performed abortions much like that described by Gianna Jessen, where the child is born alive and left to die. This video shows a rare moment in which O'Reilly is speechless.


It is a common tactic of abortion proponents to ignore the evidence of the atrocity Stanek describes, such as denying it really happens, and refusing to review the alleged evidence. While avoiding exposing themselves to the reality of what they support, those favoring legalized abortion often evade the issue by retorting with stories of how a woman's life can be ruined by having a child. If you take the time to view the video above, I only ask that you consider whether what is being described is better than allowing the child to live and to be adopted. No one is advocating a pregnant woman be forced into motherhood. If you are someone who would vote for a pro-abortion candidate (even someone who opposes protecting a child born alive during a failed abortion, i.e., Barack Obama) I ask that you watch the short interview and reconsider whether voting for a candidate who supports what is discussed here is something you wish to do in the future.

Many people object to the comparison of abortion and Nazism. If abortion rights supporters would stop using Nazi-like propaganda and reasoning this comparison would likely be made far less frequently. Here is a list of reasons the Nazis used to justify their attempt to annihilate the Jewish race. It is also a list of modern reasons used to justify abortion:

1. Allowing this to happen helps humanity
2. Those of the targeted group are not really people
3. The targeted group does not have the same rights as you or I
4. Killing members of the targeted group is legal, but let's not call it "killing"
5. Preventing this would harm society

Killing people who have committed no crime seems inherently unjust to millions around the world. Denying even that they are people to justify killing them by the millions was considered a crime against humanity when the Nazis did it. Why is our culture so resistant to acknowledging we are doing the same thing to the unborn?


Here is a YouTube video from Planned Parenthood showing what they are thankful for:
A year in Review

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Notice a Pattern?

Historical parallels between slavery, the Holocaust and abortion

In October of 2004 Slate.com published an article by Timothy Noah titled Why Bush opposes Dred Scott It’s Code for Roe v. Wade. In a condescending tone Noah mocks President Bush and the Christian right, evidently thinking himself clever for exposing what he thinks a secret tool of propaganda conservatives try to keep hidden among themselves. What he may not realize is that the Pro-Life movement is not trying to hide the comparison between those two cases, but is trying to publicize it. In his research for the article, Noah discovers many references comparing the two Supreme Court cases, but rejects them. He seems to think such comparisons are merely a political ploy, at best. Noah also seems to think the comparison between Roe and Dred Scott (the case in which the Supreme Court denied American citizenship to people of African descent, effectively also denying them human rights) is illegitimate. He is not the only one who thinks this way. Through ignorance, bias and other ailments, “abortion rights” advocates in general seem uninterested in understanding the agenda of the Pro-Life movement or its arguments, and instead prefer to assign a more sinister motive. In lieu of trying to persuade abortion advocates otherwise, the American people in general could benefit from seeing more detailed historical patterns among the Dred Scott case, the Nuremburg Laws of Nazi Germany, and Roe v. Wade.

Most of the information referenced in this essay was gathered in passing over many years, whether in conversations with people or in general reading, such as news stories and the like, with no thought of organizing it until 2008. This lead me to think the similarities between the three Holocausts, as I am calling them, could be common knowledge, at least on an implicit level. I set out to find readily available sources supporting the historical instances mentioned in this writing, and in a very busy culture such as the United States this could be accomplished with the internet. Most of the references here are linked at the bottom of each page to a web-based source, though a few of these are books not currently readable online. Much of what you will read in this essay you likely already know, and yet seeing it all woven together in a broader context may prove surprising.

It is not the intent of this writing to convert those who choose to believe killing an unborn baby is a constitutional right. The purpose of this essay is to change complacent attitudes, to challenge the belief that public policy has no affect on the individual citizen, and for those who already agree an unborn child has a right to live, to remind us to not carelessly accept talking points, analyses, alleged trends and outright falsehoods about the constitutionality of denying a group of people their unalienable human rights. The American people have enough trouble as it is with a government that acts as if it knows best on all things without us enabling that belief by effectively ignoring those who make a living creating laws and spending other people's money.

read the book

excerpts below


"Having to explain why children in the womb are people is as
ridiculous as having to explain why black people are people; no
explanation should be necessary. Why should one have to spell out that
killing a baby is not what America's founders had in mind when they
shaped the language of our constitution?"

"Unless abortion rhetoric is challenged and made to defend itself, the
concept of compassion will continue to mean an act which results in
the death of a child."

"The phrases "a woman's right to choose" and "reproductive rights"
might be considered the modern equivalent of a slave owner defending
"property rights." In each case, an argument for the constitutional
rights of one group inherently denies the human rights of another."

"There are also efforts challenging the physician's right to abstain
from performing or participating in an abortion. The conservative
political action group Concerned Women for America is trying to bring
attention to the fact that abortion groups oppose a doctor's right to
choose not to do abortions."

read the book

Presumptions of Marxism

updated 2011.02.11

One big problem with debating controversial issues is that people tend to misconstrue the positions of the opposition. This is easily and sometimes unwittingly done, by those on any side of an issue. But deliberate distortion seems to be standard procedure when criticizing capitalism. I've noticed 11 general points where Marxians (classical Marxists, Communists, Socialists, liberals, leftists in general) exploit common mental laziness and gloss over the issue to promote their agenda. I'm not suggesting conservatives don't do the same, but let's face it, even when conservatives do this it doesn't reach nearly as big an audience as does left wing propaganda. What should be outrageous to intelligent people or just those who value integrity, misrepresenting someone else's argument is the antithesis of intellectual honesty.

1. Karl Marx's ideas are readily accepted as self-evident, putting capitalism on defense, as if Marxian ideas need not be proved. Marxian theory is presumptuously made the standard by which capitalism should be measured.

2. Any explanation of Marxian theory is portrayed in an ideal setting, whereas capitalism is typically shown in a negative and over-simplified light, promoting the presumption that Marxism is morally superior to capitalism.

3. Marxian theory treats the subjective notion of fairness as a sort of natural law desired by all, but it is only the Marxian definition of fairness that is considered legitimate. Marxian theory presumes life can be made fair, and that unfairness is manufactured only by capitalist mindsets, meaning greed or selfishness. The historically proven fact that manufactured fairness inevitably results in tyranny and oppression must be whitewashed.

4. Capitalist criticism of Marxian societies (i.e., the former Soviet Union, China, North Korea, Cuba, etc.) is dismissed as criticism of illegitimate examples of Marxian theory, because those states are not "pure" or ideal Marxian societies. But when the United States is described by Marxian followers as the preeminent example of a greedy and selfish society, the fact that the U.S. also is not a "pure" capitalist society (because it is heavily influenced by socialist/Marxian ideas) is conveniently neglected. In fact, the failed examples of Marxian nations usually follow the path of failure predicted by Capitalists (i.e., the Soviet Union being run by Stalin naturally devolves into a totalitarian society, because making life "fair" for everyone requires the sacrifice of most freedoms). Similarly, in ignoring the impure capitalism of the United States, Marxians may use a "dog eat dog" metaphor to describe a logical extension of capitalism, while avoiding the "equal misery" reality of Marxian ideals which contaminate American capitalism.

5. Capitalist attitudes are reflexively described as inherently greedy or selfish. The "capitalist mindset" (meaning selfishness) criticized by Marxians may not be a result of capitalism or so-called greed; such attitudes could be the natural state of individuals when allowed to make their own choices. Though a "selfish nature" is sometimes acknowledged, it is improperly attributed to "capitalist mindsets" by Marxians. This selfishness (which indeed exists and is common) may be inherent to humanity itself. Marxian theory prefers the dubious belief that humanity is not naturally selfish, but is made selfish by capitalism or by society in general.

6. Self-interest is unjustly equated with selfishness when criticized by Marxian followers. Marxian theory does not acknowledge the fact that greed can exist in any society, especially one where resources are scarce, which is very common among nations implementing Marxian ideas. For example, Cuba engages in trade with many nations, yet it is still a poverty-stricken nation. This sad fact is often blindly attributed to the trade embargo inflicted upon it by the United States. The possibility that Cuba's widespread poverty may be self inflicted is simply overlooked, because this would suggest Marxian ideals are fundamental flawed.

7. Capitalism is deliberately misunderstood by Marxians, as may be observed by their criticism of it (i.e., a lack of incentive for working one's best is often misconstrued as "a lack of incentive to work at all"). It is seldom (if ever) mentioned by Marxians that Capitalism survives only by serving the community, which is fickle, diverse, and too large and complex to be sufficiently understood by any theory or paradigm, socio-economic or otherwise, a fact Marxians often use to justify their rejection of Capitalism.

8. Marxians tend to discount individualism itself in favor of community. The desire, effort, skill and accomplishment of individuals are rejected to maintain a group mentality. For example, the concept of "earned wealth" is discarded so as to promote the Marxian pillar of class envy. In this manner wealth is not discussed as it actually works (via voluntary exchange), but rather in mythical terms of distribution - as if there were some high governing power deciding who will get an unequal share of available wealth. Likewise, individual charity is ignored to promote group charity (taxation and redistribution of wealth). With Marxian thinking, poverty is not itself a problem, as long as it is equal. It is unequal enjoyment of wealth that is the real injustice.

9. Marxians presume they know what is best for others, and the price required by Marxism (i.e., individualism, freedom, private property, religion and family) is justified for everyone, and should be enforced even by violent means, if necessary. In the Marxian mindset, fairness is valued above freedom, and those who value freedom above fairness are reflexively accused of being "greedy" or lacking compassion. Capitalist examples of compassion are ignored or explained away as something contrary to capitalist mindsets; and religion is certainly not given
credit for compassionate acts.

10. Marxian theory presumes a mythical endless supply of goods and services on one hand, yet a limited amount of collective wealth on the other hand. Capitalism recognizes goods and services must be produced in order to be consumed, but that they are produced only with sufficient incentive. The capitalist focus on liberty permits people to fulfill these needs as they see fit (requiring that individuals serve the community in some way). When people are rewarded with the fruits of their own labor the natural result is abundance (society's economic pie continually grows). The Marxian focus on fairness naturally hinders the incentive to put forth that extra effort, which reduces the total goods and services people are willing to provide, which reduces total available wealth. This results in the use of compulsion and oppression to meet society's needs. Where properly limited freedom tends to breed prosperity, manufactured fairness tends to breed poverty. Prosperity must grow to exist; it must be focused to grow, it does not grow by being arbitrarily redistributed.

11. Marxian theory oversimplifies human history by focusing on and defining it in the limited mindset of class struggle: the "oppressors and the oppressed". Though this perspective is not in itself inaccurate, the insistence that the study of society be approached almost exclusively from this point of view creates a biased and misguided understanding of human experience.