Julia Holcomb and Aerosmith’s Steve Tyler
Suppressing anger was the most difficult thing – anger about injustice, dishonesty and manipulation of people and the truth itself. Generating hope was the second – not that the thrust of the conference was ignoring the vital need we all have to sustain our hope.
The conference in question was the recent think-in of Ireland’s Pro Life Campaign on the greatest evil of our time – the wholesale slaughter of the innocent, already a reality across much of the globe. Forget ISIS, forget the local spat in Ukraine, forget the untold evil being perpetrated in North Korea. No, don’t forget them. That would also be evil. But do get them in perspective. The loss of life being inflicted through the world’s abortion agencies has now put Genghis Khan in second place. Despite the denials of abortionists, we are talking about loss of life. The irrationality of those who try to maintain that the creature awaiting delivery from its mother’s womb is an inanimate collection of tissues is astounding. They offer nothing more than slogans and mantras in answer to the wealth of scientific evidence showing that what is awaiting birth is a human being. Their repeated use of the word ‘fetus’ is just one example of their attempt to brain-wash the truth away. Not only are they the enemies of the unborn. They are also the enemies of reason.
There was some comment last week on a slogan scrawled by the Taliban on the walls of the ministry of justice in Kabul: “Throw reason to the dogs, it stinks of corruption.” We know that this is the modus operandi of one strain of Islam and we see every day where this corrupted vision of human nature has landed that sorry part of the world. When reason is thrown to the dogs then you end up in the doghouse. The “pro-choice” movement is a movement based on a false premise, using corrupted language – their premise is that the unborn child is not a human being.
The Dublin conference was told that Ireland’s politically corrected power-elite has now injected one of the most virulent strains of this evil into the country’s laws. Ireland had already been infected with this virus – with between three and four thousand babies being shipped for termination to Great Britain every year by abortion counselling agencies – euphemistically called family planning clinics of one kind or another. But Ireland’s new abortion law – which will forever be known as Kenny’s Law after the wise and wonderful Taoiseach, Enda Kenny – is potentially among the most lethal in the world, permitting the termination of a baby’s life right up to the moment before its natural birth.
It was hard not to be angry listening to descriptions of this injustice and the catalogue of political shenanigans which went into its perpetration. But there was hope. It came in the form of some human stories. Essentially they were redemptive stories of conversion and the transformative power of simple reflection and contemplation on the treasure that is human life, seen in the face of a new-born baby, seen in the ultrasound image of a baby’s beating heart, even perceived through the painful experience of the loss of a child at the hands of manipulating and selfish third parties.
This latter story came from Julia Holcomb. It is a harrowing story of family dysfunction, child abuse at the hands of a rock star, attempted murder and forced abortion – but ultimately of conversion and forgiveness. Julia’s story – available to view and read on the Internet on the LifeSiteNews website – tells us not just a story of abortion but shows us the trail of unhappiness, disorder, and pain left by a society given over to selfishness and the untrammeled pursuit of pleasure.
Steve Tyler, the rock star in question, himself not unconscious of his guilt, is quoted as saying in the aftermath of the act where he forced the abortion on Julia, “It was a big crisis. It’s a major thing when you’re growing something with a woman, but they convinced us that it would never work out and would ruin our lives. … You go to the doctor and they put the needle in her belly and they squeeze the stuff in and you watch. And it comes out dead. I was pretty devastated. In my mind, I’m going, Jesus, what have I done?” That is how grim it all is.
An Irish story, less traumatic but equally moving, was that of Jennifer O’Farrell. Jennifer is a young Dublin professional who shortly after the break-up with her then-boyfriend found she was pregnant. Just when she thought she was on top of the world, independent, new apartment, a good job all in the frame, this hammer-blow fell on her.
Pro-choice as a teenager, she had marched on the streets of Dublin with the advocates for abortion-on-demand. Now she was faced with the problem of making her own choice. She attended a pre-natal clinic in the city’s Rotunda Hospital. Abortion was not on the cards there but the option of going to Britain for it was. But then the visit to the Rotunda brought a dramatic change. Suddenly it became very clear to her that choice was not an issue any more, indeed the very idea of making a choice between valid options became unthinkable. She looked at the ultrasound image on the screen and saw a little heart flashing. “In the flash of that little star”, she said, “my problem, my unplanned pregnancy became a human being. At that moment I realised that nothing compares to being a mother.”
She added that the experience, that revelation, that epiphany, showed her that the deceit and lies which lay behind the slogans of the pro-choice movement were really the narrative of “the vanguard of a misogynistic society.” Clearly for her the abortion movement is not about the rights of women but about the power of men over the lives of women so that they can be the objects of their willful pursuit of their own pleasure – as Julia Holcomb had become for her feckless rockstar lover.
Then came anger again. This was a roller-coaster of a conference. The vice-chair of the Pro-Life Campaign, Cora Sherlock, was upbeat and optimistic in outlining the achievements and plans of the movement. But when she got around to talking of what she saw as the single biggest challenge facing them in their struggle for the unborn, anger and frustration began to mount. The number-one enemy of the unborn in Ireland is the country’s mainstream media.
From playing a role as an even-handed communicator of the facts and opinions of both sides in this undoubtedly divisive debate, it has become the number-one advocate in the campaign to bring abortion into Ireland. I have a Google alert set up for news stories on the topic. About 90% of what is flagged to me from Irish media is pro-abortion. On the day following this conference I could find no report of it in the main Sunday paper – but there was a feature by one of its specialist writers arguing for a change in legislation to allow the killing of babies with “fatal fetal abnormalities”. We know what that has led to in other jurisdictions – the wholesale killing of babies with Down syndrome.
Clearly the mainstream media in Ireland has set its face against life and has espoused, lock, stock, and barrell, the culture of death – firstly death for the unborn whom any among those already born, with a say in the matter, wish to dispose of; secondly, death as a valid choice for any who wish to terminate their own lives. That is not where we are yet, but what reason is there to think that this is not where we are headed?
All this is, sadly, the inevitable conclusion of any philosophy which sees man as the measure of all things and at the centre of the material world – for there is no other world for anyone espousing this belief. This is the dominant vision in mainstream media – and it is fast conquering public opinion. While it would behove public representatives to think hard and long about where this is leading us, they are not doing so. Public representatives and so-called public intellectuals are in thrall to the advocates of this philosophy. They are all getting on the same bandwagon and leading the people, bit by bit, away from a society where the dominant vision is one preoccupied with the common good, virtue as a value, life as a gift given by a greater power and something which, once given, we are obliged to treasure and care for.
The words of wisdom uttered recently by that towering Irish public intellectual, Gay Byrne, represent the latest example of the salvos being fired in the softening-up strategy of moving our culture of life slowly but surely to a culture of death. The veteran broadcaster has said that he would “have to consider” assisted suicide if he was faced with “a drawn-out illness of great pain”. Pro-choice rules the roost, OK?
The power now in the hands of mankind in so many fields of human endeavour is truly awesome. In relation to human life and the issue of our entry and our exit from the stage we now seem unprepared to brook any interference from the dramatist. With regard to our coming into the world we are at the mercy of the whims of those who should welcome us and care for us in the delicate stages of gestation and birth. They now select at will who may and who may not come through those stages. We are also fast moving to an exit strategy offering the same freedom of choice. Today we are being offered the option of making our exit when we chose to. Tomorrow – indeed it is already there in some jurisdictions, where terminally ill children may be euthanized – others will be making the decision for us.
Remember the words of Lord Acton – “all power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”.How could we forget, when we have seen the principle fulfilled in so many terrifying instances throughout history? Why should we exclude ourselves from its operation. Our assumption of the powers which modern technology, modern medicine and a truly perverse modern philosophy have put in our hands, while not quite absolute is still unrestrained to the point where our absolute corruption is all but inevitable.