Thursday, July 03, 2008

Some thoughts on Morgentaler's Order of Canada

Officially, Henry Morgentaler was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for:
"his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations."

Let's deconstruct.

"Increased health care options for women".

Something I have learned in the course of all this in the last ten years is how little words mean any more. Words, language, has been the first victim in the shift to the political Mirror Universe we have undergone in the last century. Culture is almost entirely about words because culture originates in thought, and for humans, thought means words. Orwell knew all about this. As did the founders of our culture, Lenin, Mao and Stalin. There are no longer words, only political euphemism, now that all language is interpreted solely though the Marxist lens.

To Mao, words are not symbolic sounds representing objective realities: "Words are like little dynamite sticks in people’s minds...”

I've talked about this before. Our culture has accepted the notion that ideas and words are entirely separate things and that words have no necessary relation to reality. It also believes, rather paradoxically, that a thing becomes what the word says it is.

Abortion is women's rights. It is women's health. The mantra has been repeated so many times that the thing has conformed to the label.

To the Canadian government committee that decided to give Dr. Morgentaler this award, abortion has become women's rights, women's freedom. Abortion is women's health. The idea that abortion could possibly be anything else is one for which there is no longer any space in their heads. Those puzzle pieces do not match up.

"his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy"

Morgentaler's political efforts have indeed been highly successful. But his cultural work has been, I think, the more significant. Because of his work in the political realm, 100,000 people are killed legally every year. But his cultural success means that no one may say anything against that unless he wants to be entirely pushed to the sidelines of society. He has, by changing the meaning of the word "abortion", made opposition to abortion one of the most grave social crimes.

By entirely framing the issue as a matter of "women's health care options" and "women's freedom", any opposition to abortion is necessarily cast as opposition to women's health and freedom. What kind of person opposes "women's health"? Only a monster. Only someone who is so evil and twisted that he cannot possibly deserve a hearing.

Does no one ever stop and ask, "Is this really good for women? Is abortion actually a matter of women's health or is it all about something else? Does legal abortion actually make anyone more free?" No. Humans frankly are not really all that intellectually curious. If a man in authority, a white coat, or a black robe says a thing is so, it is so. With the help of the media, abortion = women's rights has become the new flat earth. It's just something everyone knows.

Principled opposition to abortion, therefore, is an oxymoron in the minds of people who have only considered the issue in the terms given by the media. If a discussion ensues, it does not take more than a moment to get to the shrieking part. (Trust me on this one.) As Barbara Kay points out, Dr. Morgentaler's success in shutting down debate, while it might be seen as a good thing by people who are not interested in the rules of a free and democratic society, can not by reasonable people be seen as a good for Canada. The reaction of pro-aborts to opposition is normally normally a short range from dumbfounded astonishment to shrieking hysteria to violence.

As Margaret Somerville put it recently:
Political correctness excludes politically incorrect values from the "all values are equal" stable. It shuts down non-politically correct people’s freedom of speech. Anyone who challenges the politically correct stance is, thereby, labelled as intolerant, a bigot or hatemonger. The substance of arguments is not addressed; rather people labelled as politically incorrect are attacked as being intolerant and hateful simply for making those arguments.

Another part of the same strategy is to reduce discourse to two possible positions. One must be either pro-choice on abortion and for respect for women and their rights, or pro-life and against respect for women and their rights. The possibility of being pro-women and their rights and pro-life is eliminated.

But what has acceptance of abortion done more broadly? To people's minds? To our "social cohesion" as they like to call it on this side of the Atlantic? What does it mean to a society that the killing of a child is so deeply equated with freedom?

John did a little follow up to his thing from yesterday about the newspaper polls. I looked at them all last night and saw this disparity:
The poll by CNews was the only poll not to offer a simple "yes" or "no" choice, instead giving the option of, "Yes, he's a champion of women's right," or "No, he's a murderer." Despite the strong epithet of "murderer" being applied in the negative response, a higher number of respondents to the CNews poll still voted that, indeed, Morgentaler is a murderer, and does not deserve the Order of Canada, than voted that he is a champion of women's rights. 47% said he is a murderer, while only 43% said he deserved the award. 11% said they were unsure. A total of 4129 votes were received by CNews.

Look at the incredible stark and irreconcilable choice between the two options.

1. Henry Morgentaler is a noble champion of women's rights.

2. Henry Morgentaler is a mass murderer.

Here we have in a nutshell the fault line of our entire culture. And it is pretty vast. It's actually so huge we can't really describe it as a fault line. It's a chasm. These two ideas to describe the same man, are so disparate as to render absolutely impossible any discussion between the sides.

We have one half of society, 47 percent, saying he is a ruthless, remorseless, calculating murderer of innocent children. A man who has spent his life not only killing the innocent, but making enormous amounts of money off it, and so radically altering Canadian society that that it has become almost impossible in polite circles to say this out loud. Johnathan Kay, in his National Post piece the other day, started out with a disclaimer (that he may have actually believed, Kay is a bit of an odd duck) that he was not going to call Dr. Morgentaler a "monster". My thought was, "If a man who has done these things, and shows not the slightest remorse, does not qualify as a monster, I'd hate to meet the man who does."

On the other side of the divide, we've got 43 percent, calling him a "champion of women's rights". A hero of freedom. And of course, we have the elites of Canada going so far as to make him, literally, into a national symbol. According to the governing class of Canada, Dr. Morgentaler and his work, are symbolic of Canadian national identity.

This is, by the way, why I have nothing but contempt for the Stockholm Syndromed quasi pro-life groups who are trying to play nicely. The other side knows perfectly well the distance between the two sides. But the position of being opposed to "increased options for women's health" is so despised by the culture that many in the pro-life movement have cringed away from an open acknowledgment of it. No one likes to be hated. No one likes to have such nice people screaming in their faces and calling them fascists. But the choice is too stark. The only way of moving away from the shrieking is to move away from the position: "you can't kill people to solve your problems". There is no middle ground, just a vast open space and a ten thousand foot drop. You have to be on one side or the other, and all the advantages are on the other.

I had an archbishop once ask me if we could please focus on avoiding divisiveness in the pro-life movement. I regret that I did not have the courage at the time to remind him that truth is divisive, and that we have the word of God on that.

"his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations"

Which are these?

Morgentaler was the first president of the Humanist Association of Canada from 1968 to 1999. He remains the organization's honorary president. On a number of occasions, he appeared opposite Christian theologians or evangelists on campus to debate the existence of God.

The Humanist Association of Canada is rather misnamed I would say, and is yet another example of the use of language not to identify and describe, but to hide and obfuscate and confuse. The HAC is a promoter of secular humanism, the philosophy of extreme materialism that rejects theistic religious belief and adherence to belief in the existence of a supernatural world.

Secular humanism posits that there is not only no God, but, paradoxically, no reason to regard human beings as important. Despite the name, secular humanists are invariably champions of radical animal rights that proposes that some or all species of animals have an equal moral value to human beings. The animal rights movement has grown out of the same philosophical flowerbed (materialism and utilitarianism) which has, as the flip side of the coin, also moved us, through Dr. Peter Singer and his kind, towards a cultural dedication to euthanasia and infanticide.

So the Canadian ruling class has identified called Dr. Morgentaler's campaign against religious belief as being worthy of reception of Canada's highest civilian award. In doing so, the Canadian ruling elite has openly acknowledged itself to be an enemy of religious belief.

To the governing elite of Canada, and of course of the rest of the formerly Christian west, abortion, infanticide, atheism and euthanasia, are what we are striving towards as a society.

I realise that the habit of using euphemism is now so ingrained that they likely do not notice, but one would think that instead of using this kind of language,
"his commitment to increased health care options for women, his determined efforts to influence Canadian public policy and his leadership in humanist and civil liberties organizations."

they would by this time be confident enough in their ascendancy to say what they really mean.

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