Twin Killings and Self-Indulgence

Nancy, one of the most disturbing aspects of the article you link is the frank selfishness displayed by many of these women.  They know what they’re doing and why’re they’re doing it.  So often in the abortion debate we speak the language of women as “victims” of the abortion industry.  That may be true of some women, but not those in the article.  This is pre-meditated killing for the sake of personal convenience.

While destructive self-indulgence is perhaps most dramatically highlighted Nancy’s post, the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia has released some startling new information:

In a striking turn of events, the divorce rate for married couples with children has returned almost to the levels we saw before the divorce revolution kicked in during the 1970s. Nevertheless, family instability is on the rise for American children as a whole. This is mainly because more couples are having children in cohabiting unions, which are very unstable. This report also indicates that children in cohabiting households are more likely to suffer from a range of emotional and social problems—drug use, depression, and dropping out of high school—compared to children in intact, married families.

In other words, the good news of a moderating divorce rate is more than offset by the worse news of increased cohabitation.  As bad as divorce is for kids, cohabitation is even worse, and it’s on the rise.

We often — and for many good reasons — split the various cultural battles into different categories, like life, marriage, decency, etc.  Yet at the end of the day, it’s all about taming the one love that tries to dominate all our hearts — the love of self.

Twin Killings Are Back… And Now Popular in America

In West Africa’s pre-colonial period, the Igbo people believed twins were a bad omen. Single births were considered “human,” but multiple births belonged to the realm of animals. When a mother delivered two healthy babies instead of one, the parents would leave one newborn to die in the ojoo ofia (“bad bush”) outside the town, or simply suffocate one.

During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Christian Europeans so lamented these barbaric twin killings that it became one of the great mission causes of the time. Every Christian denomination sent missionaries there until the late 1930s, including the famous Mary Slessor of Calabar. Eventually, the twin killings stopped.

But the practice is back — in America.

Ruth Padawer in the New York Times chronicles the surge of twin killings (or “reductions,” to use the clinical language of the abortion industry). Modern fertility treatments have created so many multi-infant pregnancies that the demand for abortions in high-risk situations has skyrocketed. As a result, women — who appear desperate to have children but to have those children completely on their own terms — are increasingly killing one baby in utero even if they are only carrying twins. Far from being deemed necessary for the health of the mother, these “twin reductions” are being performed for pure personal convenience.

Read the whole thing here — and find out how even doctors who perform abortions are troubled by this new trend, how doctors are telling their patients not to reveal that they’ve “reduced” their twin pregnancies, and much more.

But you might want to sit down first.

The Impossibility of a Socialist Jesus

Last week in the Washington Post, a leftist named Gregory Paul claimed not only that Jesus was “pro-socialist” but also that his apostles implemented “a form of terror-enforced-communism imposed by a God who thinks that Christians who fail to join the collective are worthy of death.”  This is pure nonsense, and today my ACLJ colleague Jordan Sekulow and I responded:

Socialism is a relatively modern construct, a governmental system invented roughly 1,800 years after Christ’s death, not a biblical mandate. The question, then, is whether socialism is compatible with Christianity, not whether the Bible mandates socialism.

How can Mr. Paul claim Jesus was “pro-socialist?” Jesus, after all, despite many demands from His followers, pointedly refused to establish an earthly government. Undeterred, Mr. Paul interprets Jesus’s “substantial encouragement for the poor” and warnings against the moral pitfalls of wealth as support for socialism. Yet one has to travel quite the intellectual and theological distance to equate admonitions towards charity and warnings against greed with divine sanction for the destruction of private property rights and the forcible redistribution of wealth.

Read the whole thing, and feel free to comment.  If past experience is any guide, the Post’s comment board can be quite hostile.

Rick’s Ghost: How an Executed Inmate May Haunt Perry’s Presidential Ambitions

Cameron Todd Willingham lived with his wife and three daughters in a Texas working-class neighborhood until disaster struck.

When a fire broke out one morning, his oldest daughter awakened her father by yelling for help.  “Daddy!  Daddy!”  The fire ravaged their small home so quickly that the firefighters weren’t able to save the children.  All three daughters died from smoke inhalation.

“My little girl was trying to wake me up and tell me about the fire,” he said. “I couldn’t get my babies out.”

The whole community mourned with the family and even took up a collection to help pay for the funerals.  That is, until fire investigators claimed that Cameron himself had set the home ablaze to murder his own children.   He was arrested, charged, and given the opportunity to plead guilty to spare his own life.  He refused and was sentenced to death.  Like many death row inmates, he steadfastly maintained his innocence until the day he died.

So far, the story sounds unremarkable.  A sad but typical story of death and lies.

In 2009, the New Yorker changed the conversation.  In a long, well-reported article about Willingham’s case and his appeals to the courts, writer David Grann suggested the evidence used to convict Willingham was easily refuted and new evidence may very well have established his innocence.  He described the Texas Court of Appeals as “upholding convictions even when overwhelming exculpatory evidence came to light.”

For example, a presiding judge on the court was later charged with judicial misconduct for “refusing to keep open past five o’clock a clerk’s office in order to allow a last-minute petition from a man who was executed later that night.”  Gov. George Bush pardoned people he believed were incarcerated wrongfully, even after the Court of Appeals upheld their convictions.

In other words, the court didn’t seem predisposed to give Willingham a fair hearing.

Despite the long odds, Dr. Gerald Hurst, an Austin scientist and fire investigator, reviewed Willingham’s case pro bono and concluded “no evidence of arson.” Other fire investigators reached the same conclusion.  Grann writes:

Without having visited the fire scene, Hurst says, it was impossible to pinpoint the cause of the blaze. But, based on the evidence, he had little doubt that it was an accidental fire—one caused most likely by the space heater or faulty electrical wiring. It explained why there had never been a motive for the crime. Hurst concluded that there was no evidence of arson, and that a man who had already lost his three children and spent twelve years in jail was about to be executed based on “junk science.” Hurst wrote his report in such a rush that he didn’t pause to fix the typos.

His report was rushed to the Court.  However, four days before Willingham’s scheduled execution, his attorney told Willingham that the Texas Court of Appeals and Gov. Perry did not delay the execution. The process was cloaked in secrecy, and no explanation was given.  Resigned to his fate, Willingham told his parents, “Please don’t ever stop fighting to vindicate me.” He refused to walk into his execution room, was carried into the room, and killed by lethal injection.

The entire sad story, located here, is worth a read.

Let it be said that Willingham should be no one’s hero or poster boy.  Before he died, he uttered expletives to his former wife and tried to give her a rude gesture, but his hands were bound.  Plus, he admitted that he hit his wife, even when she was pregnant.  A man who helped prosecute the case paints a picture of a terribly flawed man.  One he claims could not have been innocent.

Yet, the question remains.  Did he set that fire?

In 2009, Steve Mills of the Chicago Tribune investigated the case and believed that the fire was accidental, after all.  He concluded: “Over the past five years, the Willingham case has been reviewed by nine of the nation’s top fire scientists—first for the Tribune, then for the Innocence Project, and now for the commission. All concluded that the original investigators relied on outdated theories and folklore to justify the determination of arson. The only other evidence of significance against Willingham was twice recanted testimony by another inmate who testified that Willingham had confessed to him. Jailhouse snitches are viewed with skepticism in the justice system, so much so that some jurisdictions have restrictions against their use.”

But Willingham’s is more than a tragic story of justice denied.  Rather, it’s a ghost that could haunt Gov. Perry’s Presidential aspirations, especially as voters understand the extent of his role in what very well could be the first execution of an innocent man in modern American history.

First, he denied the stay of execution. Gov. Perry’s denial of Willingham’s petitions can be understood – and forgiven – if he had carefully reviewed the post-execution evidence relating to the mistakes that had undoubtedly been made in the case.  However, in response to allegations that an innocent man had been killed, Gov. Perry responded, “He was a wife beater.” A Perry spokesperson said the Governor was aware of a “claim of a reinterpretation of (the) arson testimony,” but Perry maligned the investigators by calling them “latter-day supposed experts.” He also suggested they were aligned with death penalty opponents. Mills, however, disputes this claim by pointing out that “the nine scientists and investigators involved, all of whom have found the original investigation flawed, have worked for both defense lawyers and prosecutors, as well as for attorneys in civil litigation. All are considered among the field’s leaders. Some are viewed as prosecution-oriented.”

Second, he pressured the commission investigating the Willingham case to cease its investigation. In 2005, the Texas state legislature created the Texas Forensic Science Commission to review forensic complaints, and the Willingham case was among the panel’s first.  Samuel Bassett, an attorney from Austin, was the chair of the Commission at the time and claims that Gov. Perry’s top legal advisors were unhappy with the course of their investigation. Not only did they call the investigation a “waste of money” they also pressured the commission to drop the matter entirely.

Third, Gov. Perry replaced three members of the commission immediately before damning testimony was heard. In spite of the Governor’s wishes, Bassett’s commission hired Craig Beyler of Hughes Associates to analyze the Willingham case. His report contained scathing criticism of the fire investigation, and was further corroboration of the initial investigation glaring problems.  According to the L.A. Times, Beyler was scheduled to discuss the case in Dallas.  However, a mere three days before his scheduled appearance, Gov. Perry replaced Bassett and two other commission members with new hand-selected replacements. John Bradley, the newly appointed chairman, immediately canceled the meeting with Beyler.

Conclusion:

Most Republicans believe the death penalty is a terrible but necessary deterrent to crime, representing the ultimate justice that can be meted out on earth.    Pro-life advocates ought to be especially eager to make sure the death penalty occurs only when it is abundantly justified.  Because when the very processes meant to safeguard the innocent are carelessly or indifferently administered, it’s an inexcusable affront to the very life we esteem.

Rick Perry survived this controversy in Texas, and was re-elected in spite of the furor surrounding his decision.

Whether America will be as forgiving is a different question altogether.

Can You Tell Me How to Get, How to Get to the “Gay-borhood?”

Bert and Ernie are not going to get married.

You didn’t realize they were gay?

Well, they are men who live together, have effeminate characteristics, and bicker.

What? We aren’t supposed to categorize homosexuals based on stereotype?

That’s because you, dear reader, are a conservative. Your rash generalizations, prove your obvious bigotry. When liberals do it, they are being progressive and provocative.

But there was more than just stereotype to the Bert-and-Ernie-Are-Gay conspiracy. “Ever notice how similar my hair is to Mr. T’s?” Bert once Tweeted. “The only difference is mine is a little more ‘mo,’ a little less ‘hawk.’” This was timed to coincide with the release of The A-Team, but some gay rights advocates believed this was Bert’s “coming out” tweet.

“Mo,” you see can be read as short for “homo.”

What do you mean we aren’t supposed to have derogatory nicknames for this demographic?

Read more here to see how this topic and the World Trade Center Cross controversy are related.


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