“Pro-choicers”: here’s why you cannot support abortion while opposing puppy murder

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One of the advantages of being pro-life is that I get to be upset about things like this.

Social media is on fire this week with the story of an Idaho police officer who shot and killed a man’s service dog — during his son’s birthday party, no less. Apparently, the cop showed up at the house after neighbors complained about unleashed dogs roaming about.

Officer Hassani, by my count, made the decision to execute the pup within 35 seconds of arriving on the scene. He claims the dog “lunged” at him, but no such lunging can be seen on the dashcam video.

What we do know is this:

Officer Friendly made no attempt to subdue the dog using non-lethal methods. He just kicked it and then, a few seconds later, put it down. Apologists will quickly note that the owner is at fault for failing to restrain his animals. They’ll also make the rather unnecessary observation that “we weren’t there,” so we can’t “really know what happened.”

Fine. But cops seem to be gunning down dogs on a whim these days. A few months ago a wolf dog was shot while safely contained in his owner’s fenced backyard. A police officer happened to run through the property in pursuit of an unrelated suspect. The dog reacted like dogs often react when you trespass into its territory, and the police officer responded by firing at it.

Again, no attempt to use anything less than fatal firepower against the helpless, unfortunate thing.

These sorts of incidents leave people wondering whether it’s really necessary, proper, or just to give police carte blanche to euthanize our household pets.

Postal workers tend to encounter their fair share of hostile animals, yet they aren’t authorized to go all Terminator just because Sparky growls at them.

In any case, the popular outrage over cop-on-dog violence has reached a fevered pitch, which brings us to the point. Wherever you stand on these acts of alleged or actual “animal cruelty,” one thing is for certain:

You cannot be upset about the killing of animals if you are not firmly disgusted by the murder of innocent human life.

Well, you can, but not with any sense of reason or coherence. You cannot, as a sane adult, find animal killing to be morally offensive but abortion to be morally neutral.

Sure, many of the folks infuriated by the dog shootings (I’m one of them) might also be firmly against the extermination of unborn humans. But, statistically, a good portion of the anti-animal abuse crusaders are likely not – when it comes to homo sapiens – pro-life.

That’s probably why, in any particular 24 hour span, you’re more likely to see media reports about tragic canine killings than the tragic homicide of the over 100 thousand babies that were aborted worldwide — that day.

That’s right: in the last 30 years, well over a billion babies have been slaughtered across the globe. A billion.

There is something deeply, deeply confused and disordered about a society that gets more worked up about a dead mutt than a billion murdered kids.

This is a symptom of a culture that has lost both its soul and its mind.

In the days of slavery, a horse was granted a higher legal status than an African slave. Abortion has returned us to a similar dynamic, only we haven’t dehumanized a race or ethnicity – we’ve dehumanized an entire stage of life.

So, rather than shake my head over this sorry state of affairs, I’m going to attempt to explain why one cannot reasonably take a position of pro-animal rights AND pro-”choice.”

It’s really very simple. The whole issue comes down to a question of intrinsic value.

Herein lies the disconnect. “Pro-choicers” will argue their case by tossing out a parade of “what ifs” and “what about whens.” They bring up rape and incest. They talk about extraordinarily rare “life of the mother” situations. They betray one of the soundest logical rules of all time: you don’t argue principles based on hard cases. But they do this because they don’t understand — or are unwilling to understand — the actual argument that the other side is making.

As to that argument, we here on the other side have taken the position that human life — at every stage of development, no matter how vulnerable or small or hidden from view — possesses an intrinsic value. That is to say, human life bears a certain significance that, by definition, cannot be hinged on circumstance.

If human life has an intrinsic value, then it must possess that value in all situations and through all stages, otherwise the value is not intrinsic — it is earned, acquired, and conditional.

We pro-lifers do not believe that the value of human life rests on its condition or its external setting. We believe this BECAUSE we believe it to be intrinsically valuable. This is not just essential to the abortion question; it might be said that all of Western moral and legal thought hinges on this very notion.

Intrinsic: belonging to a thing by its very nature.

This is why we oppose abortion. It destroys innocent human life.

Simple. Logical. Consistent.

“But what about when…”

But nothing. These buts do not negate the value of the life in question.

You can throw out the rarest, most tragic, most gut wrenching scenarios you like and it will not change the answer because it does not change the question.

Again, the question: does human life have intrinsic value?

Our answer is “yes,” and so it must always be yes.

In the face of this, the “pro-choicers” have only a few arguments available to them:

**Note: mindless phrases such as “I don’t want the government in my womb!” and “Don’t like abortion? Don’t get one” do not constitute “arguments.” They are assertions; clichéd, overused, absurd assertions at that.** 

-They can consent that abortion is morally wrong, but argue that it ought to be legal anyway. But then we must ask them why they think it’s wrong. If the unborn human is not human, or if it is human yet has no value, then there is nothing at all wrong with terminating it. So if they are calling it “wrong,” then they must be agreeing that the unborn human is human and it has value. But if a human has value — value enough that destroying it at an early stage would be “wrong” – then the value must be intrinsic, which means this human has the same value as any other human, which means abortion is murder in the same way that it would be murder for me to come to your home and shoot you in the doorway. Therefore, the pro-choicer who calls abortion wrong yet argues for its legalization has knowingly argued for the legalization of murder. Therefore, he is either a radical anarchist or a hypocrite, and cannot be taken seriously in a conversation of this sort.

-They can argue that the unborn child is not human. But if it is not human then it must either be: 1) nothing or 2) inanimate matter or 3) an extension of the mother’s body or 4) some other species. Now, we know that it is something, otherwise we wouldn’t be having this discussion. We know that it is not inanimate matter, as the rapid (or gradual) transformation of non-life to life is a scientific impossibility. We know that it is not an extension of the mother’s body, as we are all humans, not mythological beasts, so we do not possess the capability to sprout limbs which have their own DNA and genetic makeup. We also know that it is not some other species, because that’s just insane. Therefore, the “pro-choicers” in this argument have posited something that is provably, demonstrably, violently, loudly, obnoxiously false.

-They can argue that the child is human but it does not possess the same value as born humans. But this carries with it the horrible implication that the dignity and value of human life is acquired, developed, and conditional. Now they have turned human beings into stock market commodities. Our worth fluctuates with market demands. And, if our life is tied to our development, then what about humans that are born underdeveloped? What about humans with birth defects, genetic abnormalities, and brain damage? The “pro-choicer” may wish to hide from the obvious and unavoidable consequences of her own ideology, but that does not change the fact that disabled and “defected” humans ARE less valuable IF our value hinges on our physical development. And at what point in the acquisition of value do we reach our peak? 18? 27? 32? And, because we’ve turned human value into a subjective and conditional matter, who are we to argue against the despots and tyrants of history who’ve slaughtered millions using the logic that their victims are “less human” than the favored class? Further, if our value suffers in proportion to our reliance on another human (our mother) for survival, then it stands to reason that newborns and the elderly are just as, or at least almost as, expendable as unborn humans. Therefore, the “pro-choicer” in this category either doesn’t understand what they are saying, or they have explicitly aligned themselves with the insidious philosophy that has fueled every genocide and man-caused mass travesty since the beginning of time. Arguing morals with them is a fool’s errand, as they possess the moral compass of lunatics and mass murderers.

-So, if the “pro-choicer” is not confused, or a hypocrite, or an anarchist, or a sympathizer of tyrants, or a semi-illiterate with zero understanding of basic scientific laws, then only one argument is left for him: he can argue that human life has no objective value at all, at any stage. But if human life – the highest form of life in the known universe – has no value, then life in general must have no value.

Therefore, there is nothing fundamentally wrong with the murder of dogs, even at their fuzzy puppy stage.

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(Leaving open the possibility that the value of life is tied to cuteness and cuddliness, but this would make babies the most valuable humans of all, so the pro-aborts still lose. It would also mean open season on poodles.)

There you have it, “pro-choicers.” You are either for abortion or against puppy killing. You cannot be both.

********

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Your 5 year old failed a standardized test. Therefore, he is stupid, insane, and doomed to a life of failure.

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I’m going to grab you by the hand and drag you into hell. I am going to immerse you in a nightmare so hideous and horrifying that it will leave you stunned and gasping for breath.

Are you ready?

Alright, imagine a terrifying world where 4 and 5 year old children are allowed to play, explore, and dream. Imagine a dystopia where young kids roll in the grass and get mud on their pants. Imagine what would happen if small children weren’t constantly being measured or analyzed. Imagine an utter and complete absence of overarching “academic standards” for kids that are barely older than toddlers. Imagine the torment of a country that does not provide government facilities to which its citizens can send their tots for curriculum-based instruction. Imagine a netherworld where innocent little kids aren’t tested, or scored, or compared to the “performance” of other kids all over the globe. Imagine — just imagine — a purgatory where your 4 year old develops on his own time, and isn’t hurried along so that he might meet broad “milestones” and “performance standards.”

Can you imagine this? Can you imagine a reality where our youngest sons and daughters don’t emerge from the womb only to be immediately placed in an even more restrictive and confining box — a box which will imprison them for the next 13 or 14 years of their lives?

Scary, isn’t it?

Twist ending: this is the world in which everyone lived, up until very recently.

Somehow, for thousands of years, kids learned and grew and matured, and they did so without modern public schools. The Ancient Greeks produced some of the most brilliant minds in human history, and with nary a pre-K or a “this is what your kid should be doing at this age” parenting book. Against all odds, the great civilizations of the past — whether Roman, or Byzantine, or Ottoman, or Persian — all managed to contribute immensely to the progress of man, without the help of Common Core or standardized tests.

How did they do it?

There must have been some sort of ancient sorcery at work.

How else can it be explained?

I can certainly tell you that I wept when I read this recent op-ed in an Oregon newspaper. A couple of concerned bureaucrats report the “sobering” epidemic of kindergartners underperforming on standardized tests. Apparently, what these youngsters need is for government schools to be more “coordinated” and aggressive in seeing to it that they reach the arbitrary academic milestones imposed upon them by the Department of Education.

But this tragic story is not confined to Oregon alone. Other states are in the midst of a similar crisis.

Indeed, across the country millions of children, kindergartners and older, are “falling behind” and failing to learn at the exact rate and pace required by the government.

It isn’t just that these individual children are doomed — though they certainly are — it’s that we will are all facing the apocalypse if our kids don’t learn to “test better.”

Remember, it isn’t good enough that your child learn to read, or add, or write — she must do it NOW. If not now, then when? Next year? For God’s sake, are you mad? BY THEN IT WILL BE TOO LATE. Think of her college application!

Quick! Suck the fun out of her existence, eradicate her enthusiasm for learning, tie her to a chair and force her to fill out multiple choice questions! She must meet the standards so that her school gets more federal fundi— I mean, so that she will grow up to be a successful and well adjusted person.

Let me explain something about human beings: we are all exactly the same. Our minds are programmable computers, assembled in factories and implanted into our heads. Our children, therefore, can be expected to do everything the same way; learn the same way, act the same way, grow the same way, develop the way. If they don’t, then this is evidence of a systems-malfunction. No worries: stuff him full of drugs until he sufficiently measures up to the universal, preconceived notions of how he is supposed to think and behave.

Some foolish Neanderthals, like this woman at the Washington Post, question the wisdom of testing kindergartners and holding them to State-prescribed “standards.” But these people are anti-education extremists. They wish to return us to the Dark Ages — before government kindergarten and pre-k — back when children, deprived of the guiding light of standardized education, quickly descended into psychosis and cannibalism.

Fear not. These anarchists are fighting a losing battle. These are the unhinged types who conceive children and then don’t even have the foresight to run to Barnes and Noble and purchase a bunch of parenting books instructing them on when their baby “should” crawl, or walk, or eat solid foods.

The barbarians.

They may wish to retain an ounce of freedom and creativity in their own chaotic households, but out here, in civilized society, we are moving past them. In fact, President Obama gave his State of the Union Address last week and once again reiterated his call for “Universal Pre-K.”

Yes, Mr. President. We must get the children away from their parents as soon as possible. And it is not enough for pre-k to be universal — it must be mandatory. But why stop there? I call for mandatory universal pre-pre K, which will be the next step after pre-pre-pre K, which would come right after a baby graduates from mandatory universal nursery instruction. If our children are to compete with the Chinese (surely, “competing” with Asian kids thousand of miles away must be the innate desire of all young Americans ) then we should stop wasting time. I say, let’s administer the first standardized test within 5 minutes of birth. That is, until the Russians give standardized tests to one-minute-olds.

Hurry! No time to waste! If your sons and daughters are to be obedient and useful cogs in the Assembly Line of Modern Society, we have to begin molding them for our purposes as soon as (or even before) they take their first breath.

Maybe, if we keep at it, if we work hard enough, we can create a country where children are no longer troubled with the stresses of being creative and imaginative; where they don’t engage in silly things like art, and sports, and music; where they have no sense of wonderment, or humor, or curiosity; where they can all simply sit still and regurgitate pieces of information onto sheets of paper.

A world where, essentially, that loathsome and inconvenient institution called “childhood” no longer exists in any discernible fashion.

Call me a dreamer if you like.

I suppose I am.

And that’s only because I didn’t spend enough time taking standardized tests in kindergarten.

 

******

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@MattWalshRadio

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I wasn’t ready for marriage

I met my wife on eHarmony. I was a morning rock DJ in Delaware, she was living in Maryland and finishing up her degree. I drove two and a half hours to pick her up for our first date. I spent most of my bi-weekly paycheck on tickets to a dinner theater in Baltimore. The rest went to gas and tolls.

And that’s the way it would go for the next year and a half (minus the dinner theater part). Once a week, I’d spend money I didn’t have and drive the 260 mile roundtrip to see the love of my life. Sometimes I’d sleep for a few hours in the guest room at her mom’s house, waking up at 2AM to head back to the coast for my 5:30AM radio show.

I was very tired back then.

And broke.

Lord, was I broke.

She’d take turns driving my way, burning gas she couldn’t afford to burn and using money that should have been collecting interest in a savings account. On occasion, we’d cut ourselves (and our cars) a break, meeting in the middle for an intimate meal at the Cracker Barrel near the Bay Bridge. It was in these moments that I knew I was fulfilling her girlhood dreams. Oh, it might be a cliché, but it’s true: most young ladies grow up fantasizing about the day that a small market radio jock from Delaware will whisk them away to the Cracker Barrel in Stevensville.

It was a fairytale romance.

Or maybe not; but it was ours. It was our relationship. It was real. We loved each other. We were building something.

When we tied the knot in October of 2011, we were vowing our lives to the other person, even though we’d never lived in the same state. We’d rarely spent more than two consecutive days with each other. We didn’t know all of each other’s bad habits. We didn’t know what the other was like on a day-to-day basis.

We had no nest egg, for that matter. We’d blown most of it funding our trips back and forth.

In other words, we weren’t “ready” for marriage. We hadn’t tried it out. According to conventional wisdom, we were “unprepared.” We didn’t take a turn in the Marriage Simulator. We didn’t live together for seven years and slowly glide into it. We were two, apart, only dating — courting, really — until we were one. We were unmarried, and then we were married.

No transition.

No warm up.

We weren’t ready for kids, either. We didn’t get any practice swings. We had no kids, and then we had two kids. We weren’t parents, and then we were parents. We slept at night, and then we didn’t.

If there’s one thing about life that I wish everyone would consider — particularly my peers, and those younger than me — it’s that you’ll never do the big things if you’re waiting until you’re ready to do them.

You’ll never be ready.

You. Will. Never. Be. Ready.

You can’t possibly understand the reality of marriage — the joy, the commitment, the love, the anger, the pain, the hope, the fulfillment, the excitements, the banalities, the journey, the sacrifices, the rewards, the journey — until you’re in it. Same can be said for parenthood, only more so.

How many people have been scared away from the altar because of this phantom notion of “readiness”? How many marriages destroyed because, confused and struggling, one or both partners suddenly decided that they were “never ready” to be married?

Look, I wouldn’t presume to give marital “advice.” In my life I’ve met a few people really qualified for that job, and I’m not one of them. But I come across this “divorce is high because people aren’t ready for marriage” shtick quite a bit. Predictably, it’s mostly unmarried folks who say these things. And it only results in more and more people my age hesitating to break out of the cocoon of adolescence and get going with their lives.

We commonly view living together as a logical step before marriage, but it isn’t. It’s something some people do, but it isn’t a step to marriage. Your marriage is defined by the commitment you make to the other person — not by the bathroom or mortgage you share. Living with someone is not a “warm up” for marriage or a “try out” period, precisely because it lacks the essential, definitive characteristic of that permanent commitment. You can’t comfortably transition into an eternal vow. You make it, and then it’s made.

Period.

The absolute worst thing that I often hear in defense of the “marriage tryout” strategy is this: “I need to find out if she/he has any annoying habits.”

Answer: yes. Yes, she does. So does he. But if a bad habit or an annoying tendency could be a deal breaker, then well, you aren’t ready.

In fact there is, as far as I can tell, only one form of “not ready” that should possibly stop you from walking down that aisle: immaturity. If you are prepared to dump someone you profess to “love” because they chew with their mouth open or leave wet towels on the floor, you have a maturity issue. And remember, it’s YOUR issue.

Perhaps the problem isn’t that we consider our “readiness” before we get married; it’s that we consider it wrongly. We run down our checklist like we’re buying a car.

Do I have enough money? Is there any single solitary flaw in this other human being that might make me wish I’d gone with another model? Do they have everything I want? Have I driven it enough to know if it has any kinks or mechanical issues? Will it breakdown in three years? Will I be able to sell it for parts and buy something better when I get sick of this one?

These are the wrong questions to ask. Incidentally, I can answer them all for you: No, you don’t have enough money. Yes, they have flaws and kinks and issues of all kinds.

There. And so what?

The real checklist ought to have only four items.

Do I love this person? Can I trust this person? Can they trust me? Do I have the maturity and strength to give myself to this person, and to serve this person, every day for the rest of my life?

I can’t tell you how you’ll answer those questions, but I can tell you what my answers were before I said “I do” to Alissa:

Yes, I love her, but I don’t really understand love or what it means. Yes, I trust her, but I don’t understand trust or what it means. Yes, she can trust me, but I will still come up short in ways I cannot yet predict. Yes, I have the maturity, but I still have a lot of growing to do.

And then we clasped hands and walked into that wild unknown.

We’ve been in it for only two and a half years. We still have plenty to learn. There are, no doubt, challenges up ahead that we could never anticipate.

We aren’t ready for them.

But we’ll meet them when they come.

That’s marriage.

*****

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(I learned a lot about my wife in this moment. See, I wore white gloves, a cane, and a hat to our wedding. I’ve heard of brides that would throw a hissy fit if their men showed up to the nuptials dressed like Mr. Peanut. This is how my bride reacted. She laughed. Marriage doesn’t work if you can’t laugh at each other. Many wise people have told me that, and they were all very right.)

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America was built on a belief in God, and there’s just no way to deny that fact

I would like to make an appeal to the disciples of the Church of Atheism, the Secular Sacramentalists, the Progressive Proselytes:

Please, let’s just be honest with one another.

My guidance counselor always told me that conflict resolution must begin with honesty.

So can we finally take these words to heart, for God’s sa– well, for our sake, anyway?

Today, President Obama attended the National Prayer Breakfast. He got up and spoke piously of his faith in Jesus Christ. He even made some remarks about how “killing the innocent” is the “ultimate betrayal of God’s Will.” A curious statement, considering the person saying it. I guess he was being sarcastic.

In any case, there he was. The President of the United States, like most every other president for the last five decades, publicly promoting religion.

And once again, the conversation turns back to the “Separation of Church and State,” and the ridiculous myth of the First Amendment’s “freedom from religion” guarantee. I don’t mind having this debate. But I wish, friends, that we could have it honestly.

Here is how the honest argument would go:

You: I would like to fundamentally change the United States of America – all of its customs, its traditions, its laws, and the philosophy that serves as the foundation for its mission of freedom and liberty — transforming it into a nation of secularism and agnosticism, BECAUSE…

Me: Horrible idea. Here’s why…

And we could proceed to go back and forth, yell and scream, before eventually, possibly, maybe, hopefully, theoretically, reaching SOME sort of consensus or understanding of SOME kind about SOMETHING. Then we’d shake hands, and go get Italian ice together. It would be fun.

But, unfortunately, our arguments tend to be less fruitful than this, and they never end with us exchanging warm smiles and eating delicious treats. We rarely reach an understanding at all, and it’s hard to find anything constructive about the whole exercise.

Why is that?

Because the argument isn’t honest. The argument isn’t honest because it usually goes something like this:

You: I insist that the United States of America was founded as a bastion of secularism, and it was never intended that God or religion be recognized in any official capacity at all, for any reason, and that the First Amendment guarantees me the right to be insulated from any mention of the Divine in the public square.

Me: Here’s a thousand reason why you’re wrong about that…

You: Religion causes war! Catholic priests are pedophiles! Leviticus says funny things! Imaginary Sky Wizard! Crusades! The Pope wears a funny hat!

I wish I was being hyperbolic here.

See, I don’t mind arguing against your Atheistic Ideal.

You think the country would be better served if God and religion were contained solely in our churches and our homes? Fine. I don’t agree, but that’s a fine point of view. It’s a point of view we could discuss.

But, instead, you try to claim that your ideal is actually how our country was always supposed to look. Defying all proof to the contrary, you say that this is what our Founders were trying to establish. You claim that the First Amendment fundamentally protects us from being exposed to religion, and that it forbids any “official” mention or recognition of God. You say that the First Amendment, from the  start, was meant to ban things like manger scenes outside of town halls and Ten Commandment posters in public school hallways.

These claims are erroneous.

Indeed, they are lies – and you know it.

The country was founded on a belief in a creator God and has OFFICIALLY endorsed the concept from the very beginning. That is the reality. It is not really up for debate. You may wish to turn America into something else, but do not pretend that you are turning it into what it was always designed to be. Have the courage of your convictions. Make your case for an Atheist America, but do not stand there and tell me that America has always been atheist.

The evidence against you is staggering:

-Five mentions of God in The Declaration of Independence.

-In God we trust – the motto found in the National Anthem and on coins dating as far back as 1860.

-The Continental Congress issuing the first national proclamation of thanksgiving to God.

-The Continental Congress calling for national repentance of sins.

-Church services being held inside the Capitol Building during the time of the Founders.

-The President swearing in on a Bible. (This is not required, but it’s a custom many have followed. George Washington kissed a Bible after swearing his oath.)

-Swearing on a Bible in court, “so help you God.”

-Federal Oaths that require federal officials to say “so help me God.”

-The Chaplain of the United States Senate.

-Every Senate session beginning with a prayer.

-“It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor.” – George Washington.

-“You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are. Congress will do every thing they can to assist you in this wise intention…” – George Washington’s speech to the Delaware Indian Chiefs.

-“The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.” – John Adams

The list goes on and on.

Two can play at the “Founding Fathers religion quotes” game, I realize. I’m sure hundreds of secularists are busily Googling “Thomas Jefferson anti-religion quotes” as we speak. It’s true that some of the Founders were skeptical of “organized religion” (as opposed to disorganized religion, I guess?) but none of them were atheists.

Jefferson was a Deist; a fact that only enhances the case for him being very accepting of God in the public square. Deists believe that the truth of a Divine Creator can be ascertained through observation and reason. In other words, they viewed God as an Absolute Reality (same as any other theist) but disagreed on the application of the reality.

Would Jefferson the Deist think that the governors of men should be required to ignore the Absolute Reality of God?

I doubt it. And the Declaration of Independence seems to indicate otherwise.

After all, we don’t need to cherry pick random statements from dead men, or even analyze the religiosity that is undeniably ingrained in our official laws and customs. We need only think about the philosophy that serves as the foundation of our country. It is a philosophy of Natural Rights. Our Natural Rights come from Natural Law. Natural Law — particularly since Augustine and, later, St. Aquinas’ Summa Theologica — has been understood as a set of foundational moral laws that are inherent in human beings.

Natural Law, and thus Natural Rights, either come from nature itself, or they come from the Creator of Nature. If they come from nature itself, then all democratic notions are in stark defiance of Natural Law. In nature, the strong survive and the weak are preyed upon. That is the law of the jungle; the law of beasts. We, however, subscribe to the transcendent notion that all humans possess a certain dignity which entitles them to certain liberties. This immaterial dignity did not come through an evolutionary process. It was endowed somehow. If it means anything, then it must be more than a “social contract” or a policy of government.

The dignity exists. It is real. It means something. It comes from somewhere.

That “somewhere” must be God.

Without God, your rights are an abhorrent perversion of the only True Natural Law — the Law of Mother Nature – and they are conditionally granted to you by bureaucrats and politicians, who can revoke them at any time and for any reason.

The Declaration of Independence might not be a legal document, but it is a philosophical document. It is America’s Manifesto. It explains that we have rights which are endowed on us by a Creator God. Every good thing about America has grown from this basic starting point.

But… the Separation of Church and State, you shout.

Should I insult your intelligence by reminding you that no such phrase exists in the Constitution? In fact, the First Amendment makes no mention of “separation,” “church,” or “state,” in any order or combination. The First Amendment puts no limit on religion at all. Instead, it limits the governments ability to interfere in religion, and permanently codifies our right to the “free exercise thereof.”

When Thomas Jefferson used the notorious phrase “Separation of Church and State” in his letter to the Danbury Baptists, he was describing a one-sided wall where the corruption of the Government could not infiltrate and infect the operations of the Church. He only chose those particular words because he was speaking to Baptists. He thought it might resonate with that crowd, considering the founder of the Baptist Church in America, Roger Williams, had written 150 years earlier about the need for a “wall of separation between the garden of the Church and the wilderness of the World.”

So when the Supreme Court later used this letter to justify its legal opinion in Everson vs. Board of Education, it was really deciding case law based on part of a sentence written by a 17th century Baptist preacher.

Stellar work there, Your Honors.

Remember, the settlers were escaping a country that persecuted Catholics after King Henry VIII threw a hissy fit when the Pope wouldn’t change Canon Law to suit the king’s habit of divorcing and/or murdering his wives. The Crown was declared the “only supreme head of the Church in England,” and guys like Thomas More were summarily beheaded and chopped into pieces for refusing to recognize the king’s spiritual authority.

In other words, they were leaving a country where government had intruded on religion — not the other way around.

(**NOTE: I’m not saying that most of the North American settlers were Catholics fleeing Henry VIII. I’m only using this as an example of the sort of persecution religious people suffered under British rule.)

But, my atheist friends, I think you know all of this. Or at least some of it.

This country was built by God fearing men and women who intended to enshrine and protect the very rights that could only come from God Himself. God has always been central to America, both officially and unofficially, publicly and personally. This is the incontrovertible truth. It is a historical reality, and not one that can be reasonably debated.

If you would like to change America into something else, you are free to try. But have the guts to admit what you are doing. Be honest.

And then we can all get Italian ice together.

Amen?

******

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I’ve been divorced four times, but homosexuals are the ones destroying marriage

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Last night, someone emailed and asked me to write about the gay marriage case in Virginia. This morning, a woman from Wisconsin asked if I would blog about the gay marriage case in her state. A few readers in Utah have also requested that I chime in on the gay marriage fight there.

And so I was going to do just that. I sat down to type a scathing rant about gay marriage. I sat down to tell the world that gay marriage is the greatest threat to the sanctity of marriage.

But then I remembered this:

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That’s a sign I saw on the side of the road a little while back. Divorce for sale! Only 129 dollars! Get ‘em while they’re hot!

And then I remembered an article I read last week about the new phenomenon of “divorce parties.” Divorced is the new single, the divorce party planner tells us.

And then I remembered another article claiming that the divorce rate is climbing because the economy is recovering. Now that things are getting a little better, we can finally splurge on that divorce we’ve always wanted!

And then I remembered that – ebbs and flows notwithstanding – there is one divorce every 13 seconds, or over 46,000 divorces a week in this country. And then I remembered that, although the “50 percent of marriages end in divorce” statistic can be misleading, we’re still in a situation where there are half as many divorces as there are marriages in a single year.

And then I remembered no-fault divorce. I remembered that marriage is the ONLY LEGAL CONTRACT A PERSON CAN BREAK WITHOUT THE OTHER PARTY’S CONSENT AND WITHOUT FACING ANY LEGAL REPERCUSSIONS.

Sorry to scream at you.

But I remembered that marriage has for decades been, from a legal perspective, the least meaningful, least stable, and least protected contract in existence, and I think this fact should be emphasized.

And then I remembered how many Christian churches gave up on marriage long ago, allowing their flock to divorce and remarry and divorce and remarry and divorce and remarry, and each time permitting the charade of “vows” to take place on their altars. And then I remembered that churches CAN lower the divorce rate simply by taking a consistent position on it — which is why practicing Catholics are significantly less likely to break up — but many refuse because they are cowards begging for the world’s approval.

And then I remembered that over 40 percent of America’s children are growing up without a father in the home. And then I remembered that close to half of all children will witness the breakdown of their parent’s marriage. Half of that half will also have the pleasure of watching a second marriage fall apart.

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And then I remembered that more and more young people are opting out of marriage because the previous generation was so bad at it that they’ve scared their kids away from the institution entirely.

I remembered all of these things, and I decided to instead write about the most urgent threat to the sanctity of marriage.

Divorce.

Divorces are as common as flat tires, and they often happen for reasons nearly as frivolous.

The institution of marriage is crumbling beneath us; it’s under attack, it’s mortally wounded, it’s sprawled out on the pavement with bullet wounds in its back, coughing up blood and gasping for breath. And guess who did this? It wasn’t Perez Hilton or Elton John, I can tell you that.

This is the work of divorce.

I am an opponent of gay marriage, but we here in the “sanctity of marriage” camp are tragically too afraid to approach the thing that is destroying marriage faster than anything else ever could. Gay marriage removes from marriage its procreative characteristic, but rampant divorce takes away its permanent characteristic. It makes no sense to concentrate all of our energy on the former while all but ignoring the latter.

To make matters worse, some of the loudest mouth pieces for “traditional marriage” in media and politics are bigamists, adulterers, and men with two, three, or four ex-wives. It’s not that you can’t defend the sanctity of marriage when you have been divorced multiple times, it’s just that you have zero credibility on the subject.

If you beat and abuse your children so badly that they have to be removed from you, you could, I suppose, still complain if you found out that your kids are also being mistreated in their foster home. But your anger must first be directed at yourself, because it is YOUR FAULT that they are suffering in this way.

So whose fault is it that the institution of marriage is beaten and broken? I don’t think we want to contemplate that question, for fear that we might see ourselves in the answer.

Should laws be written to “defend marriage”? Sure, and let’s start with legislation to make divorces at least somewhat harder to obtain than a magazine subscription. How serious are we about this? Anyone up for a law to criminalize adultery? What about putting some restrictions on re-marriage?

There are certainly times when a couple has no choice but to go their separate ways. What else can you do in cases of serial abuse or serial adultery, or when one party simply abandons the other? But infidelity and abuse do not explain the majority of divorces in this country, and they are not the leading causes of break-ups. According to these “experts,” the top causes of divorce are a lack of individual identity, “getting into it for the wrong reasons,” and “becoming lost in the roles.” A survey done by the National Fatherhood Institute found lack of communication, and finances to be the leading culprits. An article in The Examiner also cites finances as the most potent divorce-fuel.

In other words, these days marriages can be blown apart by the slightest gust of wind, coming from any direction, and for any reason. Noticeably absent from all of these polls about the reasons for divorce: gay marriage.

That’s because gay marriage is not the biggest threat to marriage.

We are.

We are, when we vow on our very souls to stand by someone for the rest of our lives, until death do us part, only to let financial troubles and communication difficulties dissolve that union we forged before God. We are, when we forget about those Biblical readings we picked out for our wedding service:

My lover belongs to me and I to him.
He says to me:
“Set me as a seal on your heart,
as a seal on your arm;
For stern as death is love,
relentless as the nether world is devotion;
its flames are a blazing fire.
Deep waters cannot quench love,
nor floods sweep it away.”

For stern as death is love.

When we marry, we die. Our old selves die, and we are born anew into each other; into the unbreakable marital bond.

We are a threat to the sanctity of marriage when we let our selfishness fool us into thinking that our wedding vows weren’t that serious.

Indeed, despite popular sentiment, they were serious. They are serious. They’re as serious as death.

The struggle to protect marriage is also serious. It’s an important battle.

So maybe it’s time we actually start fighting it.

*NOTE. To answer your questions: no, I have not actually been divorced four times. I’ve been married once, and I’m still married to her, and I’ll never be married to anyone else. The title was tongue-in-cheek. I was writing it from the perspective of the sorts of people who rant about the sanctity of marriage, yet have racked up multiple ex-spouses. Perhaps I should have been more clear about this. In any case, there it is. I appreciate your concern.

*******

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Breaking: nuns, babies, puppies, dolphins spark fierce liberal backlash

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I don’t know. I just don’t know.

I think I will recover. I hope I will recover, but I can’t be sure. It’s still so raw. The wound is deep; penetrating down into the very core of my soul. I am bewildered.

Befuddled.

Bamboozled.

I can remember the moments leading up to the tragedy: I was sitting on the couch with my wife, watching the Annual Commercial Marathon on Fox (interspersed with brief clips of noncompetitive football). Everything was going quite well. You had Budweiser using puppies to sell beer to grown men, Bob Dylan solidifying his anti-commercialism credentials by delivering a patriotic pitch for Chrysler (a fully owned subsidiary of an Italian car company), and Axe trying to market body spray by making a plea for world peace. These advertisers were playing my heartstrings like a violin, and I was falling in love with every product they tossed in my direction.

It was a wonderful night. And then… then IT happened.

The Coke advertisement. Dear God — the Coke advertisement. It started out alright: some girl singing America the Beautiful while beautiful images of America flashed across the screen. But things went downhill fast. Suddenly, other people started singing the song in other languages. It was awful. I was furious. They were speaking in, like, Asian and Australian and stuff. Utterly horrifying. I told my wife to cover the children’s ears.

Out of nowhere, graphic depictions of other cultures and skin colors infested my TV screen. There was a brown one and, like, a Mexican guy or something.

Oh, the foreign languages and varying skin pigmentations!

I couldn’t stand it. Enraged, I grabbed my shotgun and blew a hole through the television. My wife could only weep, and through her tears she thanked me for saving her from the terrifying onslaught of multi-culturalism.

And that’s exactly what happened… in the fantasies of left-wing bloggers and journalists.

In the real world, I saw that commercial and reacted in a way similar to almost all of my fellow right-wing conservatives: I yawned and went to the kitchen for another beer. Then I proceeded on with my evening, not caring one way or another about Coca-Cola’s contrived marketing tactics. Admittedly, I have long since vowed to never drink Coke, but that’s only because I dislike diabetes, not because I’m upset about foreigners singing patriotic hymns.

So imagine my surprise when I went on the internet after the game to see social media abuzz over the “right wing backlash against Coca-Cola.”

Some of the headlines:

Coke Ad Draws Outrage, Praise (EW)

Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Inspires Racist Twitter Backlash (Mediaite)

Coca-Cola Ad Celebrates Diversity, Twitter Racists Explode (Huffington Post)

Coca-Cola Multicultural Super Bowl Ad Really Angered Conservatives (Talking Points Memo)

Coca-Cola’s Multilingual America the Beautiful Ad Sparks Conservative Outrage (AlterNet)

Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad: Can You Believe This Reaction? (USA Today)

Coca-Cola’s America the Beautiful Ad Creates Social Media Firestorm (The Examiner)

America the Ugly: Coca-Cola Super Bowl Ad Provokes Xenophobic Outrage on Twitter (The Daily Mail)

Outrage! Firestorm! Backlash! Xenophobia!

Funny thing: these stories started popping up within minutes of the ad airing.

Meanwhile, I’m on Twitter as much as the next guy, and I didn’t see anyone complain about the ad. I’m connected with 120 thousand folks on Facebook, and none of them seemed too concerned. I checked the #SpeakAmerican and #BoycottCoke hashtags, and I saw nothing but a bunch of people defending the ad and lambasting the “racists” who were “offended” by it.

So where was the backlash? If people are lashing back at things, I want in. I’m always up for a good backlash, but I just couldn’t find it.

Most of the stories about the phantom “firestorm” cite comments from Alan West and Fox News’ Todd Starnes. As far as notable public figures go, that’s it. Two guys.

Two guys can constitute a STORM OF FIERCE OUTRAGE, apparently.

Someone over at Breitbart wrote a short post calling the spot “offensive,” but it’s hard to find any “racism” in anything he said. It was a rather even-keeled reflection about the true nature of American unity. He raised some fine points, but nothing very noteworthy. Certainly nothing that screamed “FIRESTORM” or “OUTRAGE.”

But they aren’t the only ones who complained. The Mediaite piece quotes some fellows by the name of Kip DiEugenio, Chase Floyd, and The Kevin. All three of them expressed disgust at Coca-Cola for having foreigners sing America the Beautiful. All of three of them also have about 350 Twitter followers. Total.

Actually, I think two are kids, but I don’t know. Nobody knows. Nobody knows them. That’s the point. They’re just random people spouting rhetoric on Twitter. And yet they are used by a major online news website to prove a “racist backlash.”

The EW article pulled the same stunt.

I’ve actually seen a woman who goes by “Alexander C” quoted in multiple publications, including USA Today. She has around 400 followers.

She’s just some person.

There’s nothing wrong with being some person. But are these people newsworthy? If you can find a handful of teenagers babbling about something on Twitter, should that make headlines?

Breaking News: Random Kids Write Unsavory Things on the Internet!

This is the game. There is no “news media” anymore. These people are storytellers. They paint pictures; they construct narratives. They build strawmen, which are then offered up to be ripped apart by their rabid minions. They don’t report “controversy” — they fabricate it, thereby starting controversies over controversies that never existed. Which forces me to prompt a controversy over the controversy over the fake controversy.

It’s all so controversial.

Last night, flabbergasted liberals railed against the “bigots” who started the “BoycottCoke” hashtag on Twitter. But, in a humorous plot twist, #BoycottCoke began with gay rights groups a few weeks ago, in response to Coke’s sponsorship of the Winter Olympic Games.

Now gay rights groups are celebrating Coke. They can’t even keep their own outrage/adulation ratio straight.

Of course, this is all very familiar.

You may remember the bi-racial Cheerio’s ad that caused an imaginary “backlash” of its own. If you follow the link I provided, you’ll find a New York Daily News article that reports an epidemic of racists “lashing out” at the commercial. They offer no evidence of this, other than mentioning “disturbing” YouTube comments.

Yes, New York Daily News, they’re Youtube comments. I’ve never seen one that isn’t disturbing. You could probably find racist, violent, Satanic ramblings under kitten videos. This is the internet, that’s what people do here. It might have made for a compelling headline 17 years ago, but unfortunately there’s nothing too peculiar about it anymore.

Last year, an Indian woman was crowned Miss America. Immediately, cyberspace was embroiled in a backlash against a backlash that consisted primarily of 14 year olds on Twitter incoherently ranting about the horrors of a brown skinned person winning a beauty pageant.

And, while a few dozen nincompoops accused Ms. New York of being a terrorist, most Americans didn’t even know the Miss America pageant happened, and couldn’t care less who won or lost.

Just as most of us couldn’t care less about a Cheerio’s ad or a Coke commercial.

These are not news items.

These are not events.

These are fables, bolstered by a collection of convenient anecdotes.

But if all conservatives can be painted with the “gets upset about multi-cultural soda commercials” brush — based solely on the comments of a very select few — I wonder what would happen if I used the same tactic? What sort of “outrages” and “firestorms” can I conjure?

This morning, I went to Twitter and typed  in the phrase “I hate nuns.” Apparently, according to my cherry-picked results, there is a veritable LEFT-WING BACKLASH AGAINST NUNS taking place:

As if this isn’t bad enough, I searched for “I want to kill puppies” and, well, let’s just say PETA better take note:

Dear Lord. There’s a FIRESTORM AGAINST PUPPIES.

Someone alert Mediaite. Someone call The Daily Mail. Get on the horn with Talking Points Memo.

I typed a random phrase into the internet and found random people using that very same phrase. Call a press conference! The public must know!

This is called “journalism,” everyone.

It’s the sort of journalism that revealed the intense blizzard of rage that followed a clichéd Coke advertisement, and it’s the sort of journalism that reported on the widespread panic sparked by a darker skinned woman winning the Miss America Pageant.

It’s the sort of journalism that killed journalism.

But journalism died a long time ago, so I suppose I’m not reporting any news here, either.

Posted in Uncategorized | 249 Comments

We can help

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Over the past several months, this website has become a significant platform. It’s bigger — more visible, more widely read — than I ever imagined or hoped. For the most part, I’ve used this stage to advance my ideas, to earn money for my family, and to offer to the world a host of helpful alpaca grooming tips.

Today I want to aim a little higher.

My younger brother, Joe, is going on a mission trip to Guatemala. This is a country in the throes of poverty and destitution unlike anything you’ll see here in the United States. Over 75 percent of the population lives under the poverty line. Half of the children are malnourished, and the infant mortality rate is 25 per 1,000 live births — five times the US rate. The average rural Guatemalan family earns the equivalent of about 4 dollars a day, or just under 1,500 dollars a year.

It is a bleak picture, but not a helpless one.

We can help.

This blog averages between 3.5 and 7 million views a month. Of those views, several hundred thousand come from loyal and dedicated readers. I hate to sound like a Feed The Children commercial, but, seriously, if we all gave just a buck or two, we could do some serious good for some people who seriously need it.

I’m not going to turn my blog into a non-stop charity fundraiser, but every once in a while I want to mobilize the fans (and haters) of this site for a cause greater than arguing about the issues. So this is one of those times.

My brother never asked that I use my site to help fund their mission to Guatemala. But when I offered, he wrote this letter to you. Please read it, pray about it, and consider the request:

Dear Readers of The Matt Walsh Blog,

Our Lord says: “Whatever you do for the least of my brothers, you do for me.” This March my classmates from Christendom College and I will be going on a mission to an impoverished region of Central America in the hopes of fulfilling these words. I would like to humbly ask for your help in funding this mission.

Christendom will send us to Guatemala where we will be working in some of the poorest regions of Latin America. The purpose of our trip is twofold: first, to provide essential supplies and medicine that our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ would otherwise have no access to; and second, to form personal relationships with the Guatemalans to spread the good news of Christ by our service.

Last year I was part of a similar trip to Guatemala — you can see some of the photos below. We worked at an infant hospital in the small town of El Progreso and traveled into the mountains to visit the sick and set up a clinic to give out medical supplies to the children. This year, we will build a well to provide fresh water to those in desperate need of a clean drinking source. Lack of clean drinking water is one the greatest issues facing the third world today, with your help, we hope to solve this problem for at least one village.

In order to go again this year, I must personally raise 1,100 dollars. I have already raised the necessary money to cover the cost of my plane ticket. So every dime that you donate will go directly to those who need it most in Guatemala. Our mission, which will extend from March 8 to March 16, will be led by Christendom’s pastor, Father Donald Planty. We will be working with a hospital for orphaned babies and traveling into the mountains of Guatemala to provide medicine, essential supplies, clean water filtration systems and more to Guatemalans in desperate need.

Our mission will also work with a group of evangelical Christians from Canada as we spread the message of Christ — Protestants and Catholics together. If you would be willing to make a donation, please click on the paypal link (here)

Every cent raised will go directly to funding the mission and allowing us to fulfill Christ’s command to serve those most in need. If you have any questions at all regarding the trip, please feel free to contact me at nittanyjoseph@aol.com.

A great Christian, St. Francis of Assisi, once said: “Preach the Gospel always; when necessary use words.” This March — with your help — we hope to fulfill those words.

Thank you in advance for any donation you may be able to give. Following the mission, I pledge to report to all those who assisted me regarding my experience in Guatemala and the results of our trip.

In Christ,

Joe Walsh, junior at Christendom College in Front Royal, Virginia

Just to review:

If you click the link and give a few dollars, all of the money will go directly to providing supplies, medicine, and clean water to impoverished people in Guatemala. There isn’t anyone taking a cut off the top. No monkey business here. You send the money, they take it and use it to help poor children and families. It’s as simple as that. This isn’t a massive charity organization. This is a small Christian school sending a group of students into a poor region of the world to provide supplies, give out medicine, build a well, and spread the message of Christ. I think I can safely call this one of the most direct ways to help the poor in one of the most desperate areas on the globe, aside from going yourself.

Thanks for reading and giving this some thought.

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