Irony in Ireland: CNN Article on Repeal of 8th Amendment Annotated

I wasn’t sure what to title this post, but I’m certain something needs to be said about this particular article I came across after Ireland voted to repeal the 8th amendment, which has been labeled a “near-ban” on abortion. It is considered a near-ban because one circumstance kept it from being a complete ban. That circumstance, according to one of the articles in the amendment, was if the mother’s life was at risk. Seems reasonable. In fact, it’s the only case where ending a pregnancy is reasonable. I don’t even think it’s right to call this particular circumstance abortion because it’s not the same thing. It is simply the unfortunate, unintended and unforeseen consequences of something gone wrong during a pregnancy. I’ll get more to this issue a little later.

There may be some nuances to the situation that I don’t understand simply because I don’t live in Ireland. I recognize that. I also know that the situation in the U.S. on this issue is really no different. My point is not to condemn the Irish necessarily. My point is to show the callousness of the people fighting for the right to kill the unborn, as well as the ironic way in which the media reports on issues related to abortion rights. My goal in this post is to annotate an article that was written by Kara Fox for CNN in order to shed some light on the nauseating irony in the article. I won’t annotate every single piece of the article so I will link to it here. For the sake of clarity, I will put the quoted text of the article in italics and my own commentary in bold. Here we go:

As she held her 18-month old daughter closely to her chest, Amanda Mellet summed up in words what many in Ireland were feeling Saturday after the nation’s referendum on abortion passed by a landslide. “It just means that women — and the men who love the women of Ireland — have spoken out and they’ve said times have to change. And they are going to change now,” a tearful Mellet said at the Royal Dublin Society, where the count took place throughout the day.

Did you catch that? As she was holding her 18-month old daughter, she was celebrating, TEARFULLY, at the repeal of the 8th amendment. I actually had to read the quote a second time to make sure I had it right. Only slightly ironic.

A crisis pregnancy for Mellet in 2011 became an important step in the fight against Ireland’s constitutional amendment that bans abortion in almost all circumstances. She was forced to choose between carrying a non-viable pregnancy to term or traveling abroad for a termination. She chose the latter, and in June 2016, the UN’s Human Rights Council ruled that the country’s abortion regime subjected her to “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment,” and called on the Irish government to reform its laws.

Now again, the ban was on abortion in almost all circumstances as the article states. The circumstance that allowed for a pregnant woman to get an abortion under the amendment was if the mother’s life was at risk. It sounds like if that was the case for this woman, she should have been able to have a procedure. Of course, it depends on what a “non-viable” pregnancy is defined as. It is possible that this woman was going to be unnecessarily forced to carry her pregnancy to term with her life in danger, which seems like it would have been unconstitutional, and therefore, illegal. Or, it could have been poor judgment by the medical professionals. Or, it actually was a viable pregnancy. More on a similar issue in a moment.

[Clare] Comran said she had always hoped Ireland would make the “leap forward” and had recently noticed a shift in national attitudes. The Irish people, she said, were “really ready to embrace progress and trust themselves. It feels really lovely to be trusted and to feel like a whole person in my country. I’ve never had that in my entire life as an Irish person,” she said, adding that she was grateful for the groundwork that women’s rights activists had done to arrive at this moment. 

The language used by progressives on the issue of abortion always fascinates me: “leap forward”, “progress”, “trust”. And somehow being able to kill the unborn baby in your womb is what defines someone being a whole person. And this woman claims that it feels “lovely”. What this also does is make the unborn person not a person at all, which is what you have to do in the progressive argument. You have to convince yourself and everyone else that the unborn is not human, not a person.

[Ailbhe] Smyth told CNN that the road to get to this day had been a long and hard one, but the result marked a seismic shift for the country. “Irish people are clearly standing up and saying of course the lives of women in Ireland matter.

Yes, of course, the lives of women matter in Ireland, except unborn women. Again, allowing them to kill the baby inside of them is the mark for showing that their lives matter. It’s hard to understand how being able to kill your unborn baby is a better indicator of how much your life is valued over your willingness and capability to bring a human life into the world. If any of these pregnant women feel undervalued, all they need to do is point to their belly and say, “look at what I am able to do! Human existence depends on me!” Of course, childbearing isn’t the only thing that makes women valuable, but it’s extremely significant. Instead, having value means I can kill my unborn child.

It’s a great victory for equality for freedom for dignity for human rights, — and not only for women,” Smyth said.

Once again, in order for this to be a victory for human rights, the unborn can’t be human. If the unborn are human, this is a gross injustice.

Not far from the polling station, a more somber atmosphere was felt at the mural of Savita Halappanavar, a 31-year-old woman who died in 2012 from a septic miscarriage in Galway after being denied an abortion.

The use of this circumstance for the progressive argument in Ireland is interesting and is a common one in the U.S. as well. Again, article 40.3.3 of the 8th amendment made a provision for abortion when a mother’s life was at risk. This would have to mean that what medical professionals did was illegal, or they made a huge mistake in denying this woman an abortion. Tragically her life ended because of a septic miscarriage.

John Howard, 28, brought a bouquet of flowers to the site. “Her story was one that captured the realities of what the Eighth Amendment meant in a material, tangible way,” he said. “It took the life of a woman. Her memory is a bit of an avatar for change — and for the direction that we’d like Ireland to take. Her story encapsulates what we’d like to never see again and hope that whatever changes can be made in her honor.”

The progressives shouldn’t be able to use this story as an avatar because the example situation is one that was protected under the 8th amendment and it’s articles already. Instead, Halappanavar’s situation is a rare case that is being used as the benchmark for why abortion should be legal in Ireland. Her situation is representative of only a fraction of the reasons as to why women have abortions. If I were her family, I would be furious that people are heralding her story for the cause of abortion in Ireland because it’s not the same circumstance most other women seek out abortion.

Others left notes. One read: “If I have a daughter, I will name her Savita, after you.”

The irony here is glaring. I’m not even sure if I need to annotate it. I won’t.

Brendan Lynch, 81, was standing between a group of young people drinking sparkling wine and a mother whose children had fallen asleep in their stroller.

Same.

Emma Gallagher, 22, was crying with joy moments after the referendum passed.

“I feel safe now, I feel comfortable,” she said. “It felt for a long time women didn’t matter…now we know that we matter.”

Only certain women matter and feel safe. This is definitely not the case for the ones still in the womb.

“It was all for justice,” she [Rene Wogan] told [Emma] Gallagher. “You’re forwarding the flag on for women.”

What justice? If she is speaking of Halappanavar who died, then justice would have been holding medical personnel responsible. Instead, many more people are going to die.

Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar said in a press conference that a “quiet revolution” had taken place.

It was anything but quiet! You should see the video of how people came together to celebrate. There were thousands of people.

In the square, a crowd of some 5,000 supporters roared, “We did it.”

Wait, I thought it was quiet…

This brings me to the end of the annotation of the article. In case you missed it, here’s a recap of the irony:

  • People were rejoicing about the repeal of the 8th amendment while holding their babies or pushing them in a stroller.
  • Many women feel like “whole people” because they can kill a person.
  • Women feel more valued for being able to kill a baby rather than birth one.
  • People in Ireland are using the case of a woman dying due to a septic miscarriage as an “avatar” for the movement when abortion under the 8th amendment was already legal in her circumstance.
  • One person left a note at Halappanavar’s memorial saying they would name their daughter after her.
  • A woman now feels safe and comfortable to be able to kill an unborn child.
  • Justice means killing even more people.
  • The revolution was quiet as 5,000 people roared.

Even after all of this explanation, many might have trouble seeing the irony. This is a scary situation if the irony isn’t understood simply because someone is slow to understand irony.

*One final note: I understand people who have had abortions and are plagued with regret and guilt have a hard time reading things on this issue. Please know that Christ can forgive any sin and you can still advocate for the defense of the unborn.

Why Joy Behar Doesn’t Owe Us An Apology

Apparently, people actually watch The View hosted by ABC. In case you don’t, it’s a show where a handful of women sit around a table to discuss the hot topics of the day. It’s mostly an ideological echo chamber due to the fact that all but one person on the show is liberal. Even the one “conservative” on the show is only conservative by comparison. Regardless, the point is that we should not be surprised if one of the co-hosts on the show says something that might offend someone who doesn’t fit into their same worldview mold.

Well, one of them did say something that offended Christians and, more specifically Vice President Mike Pence. The offending party was the co-host Joy Behar, who many say equated Christianity to mental illness. She didn’t exactly say that, but it is easy to see why many people took it that way. This is what Behar said in response to what former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault said about Pence claiming that Jesus talks to him,

“It’s one thing to talk to Jesus, it’s another thing when Jesus talks back to you… That’s called mental illness if I’m not correct. Hearing voices.”

It was said that Behar made the comment while making a circular motion with her figure around her ear adding to the mental illness jab. Behar also claims that she meant what she said as a joke, but many did not take it as such. In fact, ABC was inundated with tens of thousands of calls and emails to have something done about it. Needless to say, the backlash was massive.

Behar personally called Mike Pence to apologize. Pence spoke about the incident to Sean Hannity on Fox News stating that he had forgiven Behar, and did so because he has been forgiven. He then stated that he encouraged Behar to use her public platform to apologize to the millions of Christians in the country that she offended with her comments over a month ago now.

I think it’s great that Behar is trying to make right what she said, however, she really didn’t have to. The truth is that Behar does not owe Christians an apology and we should not demand one from her. Joy Behar simply said exactly what all non-Christians think about Christians. Because seriously, we Christians do believe some bizarre stuff. Our ultimate hope is in a guy who claimed to be God, was killed by the Romans on a cross 2000 years ago, rose from the dead three days later, and ascended into the sky in front of his disciples. Let’s not forget walking on water, turning water into wine, feeding 5000 people from some scraps of food. Let’s also not forget all of the weird stuff that happened in the Old Testament. Oh, and we believe we are indwelt by God’s Spirit who convicts us, speaks to us, and empowers us.

Is it any wonder why people who do not believe the things we believe would think that Christians have mental illness and would actually say that? Practically speaking it should come as no surprise. But it is also exactly what the Bible says about the gospel. 1 Corinthians 1:18 says, “For the word of the cross is FOLLY to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God” (emphasis mine).

What we believe is utter foolishness to the world around us, and we should not demand them to think otherwise. If the secular world is accepting of our gospel without believing, then we are not proclaiming the right gospel. The gospel, for what it is, should look very stupid to people like Joy Behar, probably along the lines of mental illness. While she may have meant it as a joke, what she said was very honest and should not surprise us. And we certainly should not demand an apology.

The truth is, I don’t like what Behar said and it wasn’t very nice, but in a day where you wouldn’t even want your five-year-old to read the president’s tweets or repeat the nicknames he gives to certain countries, who cares about being nice anymore? As Christians, we do need to care about being nice to people, but we should not necessarily expect people to be nice to us. We should actually expect them to hate us. Jesus said it himself in John 15:19, “If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.”

As Christians, we cannot claim immunity to getting offended. Being offended, hated, and persecuted is the essence of the Christian life, and is also the fuel that keeps it going. Also knowing that most Christians in the world live in persecution, the fear-for-your-life kind of persecution, we really should be able to get past the thoughtless remarks made by a co-host of a bad TV show who was simply saying what everyone else should think about Christianity. If we can’t, then we are not really cut out for the Christian life.

This is How I Voted and Why

voted

In case you can’t tell by the lack of posts on my blog, this is my first entry, and what better way to start blog than by ruffling some feathers in talking about the election? This Thanksgiving has the potential to be the most tense and awkward holiday in history for so many Americans. It is likely going to be the first time that friends and family have seen or talked to each other since the circus that was the 2016 presidential election ended. I predict there will be multiple handfuls of stuffing that fly across tables in America on Thursday.

In order to avoid a face full of stuffing, I am going to go ahead and state my piece now so that people have some time to calm down. You may ask, “why should I care how you voted?” I don’t care if you don’t care, but you might like to know that I am part of the reason why there was so much shock and surprise on November 8th. Uh-oh, I may have just shown my hand.

It may also come as a shock to you that I voted for Donald Trump and that I am not a racist, or bigot, or sexist. Also, I didn’t and still don’t support Trump. And if you are still tempted to call me names, let me tell you why I voted the way that I did if you are still reading and still care. I am not so much going to address the candidates themselves as much as what their positions are on certain issues because everyone knows that neither candidate is up for any moral achievement award. There were many issues to consider in this election, but there were two primary issues I had in mind when I voted: Abortion and the Supreme Court.

Why abortion?

The discussion on this particular issue should be reserved for another post, but I see the great holocaust of our time in the form of a search and destroy mission on the unborn. We would rather refer to it in more euphemistic terms like “pro-choice”, “women’s health”, or “reproductive health.” Call it what you like, but we all know what really happens. Those against Trump have cited that he is the first presidential candidate endorsed by the KKK, which is certainly appalling, but I have not yet seen Trump celebrate their endorsement. On the other hand, Hillary Clinton was the first presidential candidate to be endorsed by Planned Parenthood,which is certainly appalling, and we have seen her celebrate their endorsement. You can read the whole transcript from the third presidential debate here, but this is just part of what Clinton said on the issue,

“Well, I strongly support Roe v. Wade which guarantees a constitutional right to a woman to make the most intimate, most difficult in many cases, decisions about her health care that one can imagine. And in this case, it is not only about Roe v. Wade. It is about what is happening right now in America.”

I actually agree with that last sentence, it is about what is happening right now in America. What is going on in America right now on this issue is something that I hope future generations look back on in disgust and horror. Due to the extreme stance that Hillary Clinton has decided to take on the issue of abortion, I could not bring myself to connect the line for the arrow next to her name (that’s how we do it California).

Let me be clear and say that I am not at all impressed by Donald Trump’s position on abortion either.  He claims to be pro-life, but he cited his reasons for being pro-life more so out of disgust for late-term abortion (see transcript). He was also quoted as saying in an interview with Raymond Arroyo for EWTN that he is pro-life because he knows a magnificent person who was almost aborted, which is hardly a convincing reason to be against abortion if at all. What if that person wasn’t a magnificent person? Would it have been okay for them to be aborted? In the end, on the issue of abortion it came down to who would be more likely to protect the lives of the unborn. What helped is Trump’s claim of the type of justice he would likely appoint to the Supreme Court, which brings me to issue number 2.

What about the Supreme Court?

First, Americans on all sides should be worried at how the Supreme Court has functioned in recent years. The latest example is last year’s Obergefell decision. This is not my slip to talk about same-sex marriage, rather, it is to point how the court acted in making the decision.

The Supreme Court functions to ensure that there is a balance of power and striking down laws that are unconstitutional. Justice Kennedy stated that the majority made their decision based on the idea that same-sex couples cannot be denied according to the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. The problem with that is, marriage is not mentioned in these clauses, let alone mentioned at all in the Constitution. In the end, the court made their decision based on philosophy of policy rather than law. They ultimately made a decision that the Constitution leaves for the people to decide. That, like I said, should worry Americans on all sides.

We had better start now in learning how to get along because our cultural and political landscape is looking grim for the near future and it will not get any better until we start talking about issues.

If you read the first part of the transcript of the third presidential debate, it is clear what Hillary Clinton intended for the Supreme Court. She stated that she wants justices who will be on the side of the American people, but she said nothing about the justices and what they are supposed to do with the Constitution, which was the question she was supposed to answer. She only mentions the constitutional process of nominating and selecting justices. If she were to have had her way with putting forward progressive liberal justices, we could guarantee that the court would continue to function the same way it has in recent years.

On the other hand, after watching the debate and reading the transcript, I was not entirely impressed with Trump’s take on appointing justices because he babbled mostly about people saying mean things about him. Surprise! But, he finally got to what I had hoped he was going to say about nominating justices, not in the most eloquent fashion,

“They will interpret the constitution the way the founders wanted it interpreted and I believe that’s very important. I don’t think we should have justices appointed that decide what they want to hear. It is all about the constitution of, and it is so important. The constitution the way it was meant to be. And those are the people that I will appoint.”

This would at least be a move in the right direction to get the Supreme Court back to how it is supposed to function, not because I do not agree with many of the progressive liberal ideas being put forward, but because of the way that the court is being used to propagate those ideas. I would have issue if the conservatives tried to do the same. Either way, the candidate who was to win the 2016 presidential election was going to have a significant say in how the Supreme Court was going to function for the next 25 or so years.

In conclusion

At this point, some people may agree with what I have said so far. Some people might be disappointed that I am not giving Trump enough credit for what he accomplished. Frankly, he did not accomplish much, yet. The Democrats are probably the most culpable for how the election turned out, not because Trump ran a magnificent campaign. There also may be some people who are seething if you have read this far and will jump down to the comments to vent. I would encourage you to do so, but just be civil in how you do it. This brings me to my last point.

There was a video put out by Jonathan Pie (Tom Walker) that I came across after the election. I am not going to link it because he says some vulgar things. But, he said exactly what many of us have been feeling for a while, and he is in no way a conservative. Many of the progressives yelled and bullied people into not speaking their minds on the election. If they knew they were going to vote Trump but did not exactly support him, they didn’t want to be called a racist, bigot, and sexist for saying who they were going to vote for. This is why I did not tell anyone who I was voting for until right now. Many of the liberals were saying, “Anyone but Trump.” Many of the conservatives were saying, “Anyone but her.” Both sides have good reasons for taking those stands. What it came down to in this election, at least for me, was not which candidate was better, but the issues that were at stake. And this is where the great divide lies: where do we stand on these issues?

This would be a great opportunity for liberals to practice what they preach: Tolerance. We all have differing opinions and ideas according to our worldview. Just because we disagree does not mean we have to belittle everyone who has a different opinion. The essence of tolerance is to treat people cordially and respectfully despite differences of opinion or ideas. And for you preachers of tolerance– tolerance does not always go with acceptance and affirmation. If you affirm and accept something, there’s no need to be tolerant of it.

In conclusion, for real this time

No doubt there will be temptation to talk about these issues at our Thanksgiving gatherings. Some may enact the policy of no political talk. I would encourage you not to do that. Use it as an opportunity to have meaningful discussion about things that really matter despite the differences that you may have. Don’t focus on how childish the Trump protesters are, or the ones going to Starbucks and telling the barista that their name is “Trump” just so that they have to yell it out when their drink is ready. Seriously, can we stop with this nonsense and have actual conversations? Oh yeah, that was my point. We had better start now in learning how to get along because our cultural and political landscape is looking grim for the near future and it will not get any better until we start talking about issues.

Lastly, make sure you take a few moments this Thanksgiving to be thankful that you live in a country where you can exercise the political freedoms you have, because it’s tough to tell how long they are going to last.