Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Tragedy of "Repeal the Eighth"

My political views are such a curious blend (by contemporary standards) of moderate liberalism on matters economic and solid conservatism on matters cultural (and had I had a vote to cast in the 2016 US presidential election, it would not have been for the current incumbent) that I rather doubt they are comprehensible outside the Rust Belt (and by no means all of those in it).

Ireland's recent abortion referendum, however, disturbs me, though not so much the result (which was generally expected) as the manner in which it has been treated by the winning side. While a consistently pro-life stance (on capital punishment, euthanasia and abortion) is certainly a minority position in much of the developed world, it is still saddening to see so many treating this result as something akin to Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation. What the vote signals is that a majority of the population believe that the unborn child has an inferior status relative to the mother and treat this as a "progressive" development. I could better understand someone who declared this to be the least worst option (and doubtless some supporters of repeal fall into that category) but this is far from the story that the news media promote.

It is noteworthy, too, how many British politicians are now speaking in terms of bringing Northern Ireland 'into line' with the Irish Republic. Few seem interested in a referendum (which they might lose) but rather in taking advantage of the power vacuum to impose "choice." I note the presence of Sir Vince Cable in their ranks, clearly demonstrating that Tim Farron was wise to give up the leadership. Gone are the days when the Liberal Party could encompass David Steel (the author of the 1967 Abortion Act) and David Alton (the battling pro-life Liberal from Liverpool). Today to be a Liberal Democrat seems to involve going with the cultural status quo.

The irony of the contemporary world is that we are willing to spend untold sums on premature baby units to save the 'wanted', but also willing to condemn the 'unwanted' healthy unborn to death. Even as absurd (to me at least) sums are spent on IVF and surrogacy for gay couples, so many children remain in council care desperately awaiting fostering or adoption. There is much wrong with contemporary culture, some of it is the product of actions by so-called conservative politicians, but those who consider themselves part of the liberal mainstream should take a hard look at what that mainstream has wrought.

Repeal the Eighth is no part of the solution; it's part of the problem!

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