Friday, January 30, 2009

I Wonder Which Is Greater

The brilliance behind this ad:

Or the stupidity of NBC's explanation as to why they're refusing to show it during the Super Bowl:

NBC Sacks Pro-Life Super Bowl Ad

Network Nixes Commercial Celebrating Potential of Life

CHICAGO, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- NBC has rejected an uplifting and positive pro-life ad submitted for its Super Bowl broadcast this Sunday. After several days of negotiations, an NBC representative in Chicago told today that NBC and the NFL are not interested in advertisements involving "political advocacy or issues."

Brian Burch, President of reacted: "There is nothing objectionable in this positive, life-affirming advertisement. We show a beautiful ultrasound, something NBC's parent company GE has done for years. We congratulate Barack Obama on becoming the first African-American President. And we simply ask people to imagine the potential of every human life."

"NBC told that they do not allow political or issue advocacy advertisements. But that's not what they told PETA," said Burch. "There's no doubt that PETA is an advocacy group. NBC rejected PETA's ad for another reason altogether."

According to an email posted on, Victoria Morgan, Vice President of Advertising Standards for Universal, said: "The PETA spot submitted to Advertising Standards depicts a level of sexuality exceeding our standards." Morgan even detailed "edits that need to be made" in order for the spot to run during the Super Bowl.

"NBC claims it doesn't allow advocacy ads, but that's not true. They were willing to air an ad by PETA if they would simply tone down the sexual suggestiveness. Our ad is far less provocative, and hardly controversial by comparison," said Burch.

"The purpose of our new ad is to spread a message of hope about the potential of every human life, including the life of Barack Obama," said Burch. "We are now looking at alternative venues to run the ad over the next several weeks."

The ad aired on BET in Chicago on Inauguration Day. It has become an Internet hit with over 700,000 views in seven days. The ad was in the top 10 "most viewed" category on YouTube on Inauguration Day last week.

The ad reads: "This child's future is a broken home. He will be abandoned by his father. His single mother will struggle to raise him. Despite the hardships he will endure...this child...will become...the 1st African-American President." The ad concludes with the tagline, "Life: Imagine the Potential." The ad is the first of several ads in new campaign launched by

The ad can be viewed at -- a project of the Fidelis Center for Law and Policy.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Lamest. Argument. Ever.

Quoth Amanda Marcotte:

Anti-choicers like to defend themselves against the charge of misogyny by saying they simply believe that life begins at conception. What they fail to understand is that “life begins at conception” is a misogynist statement. It’s the erasure of a woman’s role in making new people, and a claim that the only effort that counts is the effort a man put into ejaculating.

Gosh, where to begin?

JivinJ manfully (pun intended) analyzes her argument here.

One might add that according to Marcotte's characterization, those of us who believe acknowledge that life begins at conception would also be bound to hold that sperm-egg union is absolutely necessary for a new life to come into existence.

Only we don't.

Cloning, anyone?

While we certainly believe, morally speaking, that human beings should not be cloned, a cloned human being is still a human being, despite the fact that his existence came about not by conception — i.e., fertilization, i.e., sperm-egg union — but rather by a process that merely mimics it.

And ironically, since it requires no sperm, cloning truly poses the "erasure of a [man's] role in making new people".

Monday, January 26, 2009

Excommunicated No More, But...

The eminently-qualified-to-comment-on-these-sorts-of-issues Fr. John Zuhlsdorf clears up some misconceptions surrounding the lifting of the excommunications of the Society of St. Pius X's bishops.

Mark Shea throws in his $.02 on the matter:

One of the thorny difficulties of trying to heal schism in the Church is that schismatics aren't always brave and plucky rebels whose noble purity of heart led them to bravely oppose grave evil in a Church that Just Didn't Understand Them.

Sometimes, the schismatics are dim-witted, self-aggrandizing, anti-semitic jerks like Bp. Richard Williamson.

So why would the Pope want reunion with them? Well, because the excommunication was never about Williamson's dim-witted, self-aggrandizing, anti-semitic jerkness, but about the consecration of bishops in defiance of communion with the Catholic Church. Likewise, the goal of reunion is not to bless the jerkness of Williamson, but to make it possible for people in need of salvation to return to union with Christ's saving Church. Naturally, the Andrew Sullivans and Little Green Footballs types of the world are, for the sake of various agendas, painting this as "the Nazi Pope returns to his Hitler Youth roots", but it's nothing of the kind. Indeed, no small part of Williamson's agenda is to hold onto his little fiefdom by embarrassing the Church with his antics and keeping his SSPX followers with him and not with Rome. But the sooner sane Trads can get out of the hothose of baleful influence, the better off they will be.

Some Jews are, naturally, upset by Williamson's loony ravings. But I think the Pope is basically operating on the principle that it is the sick that needeth the physician, not the healthy. He can let the SSPX go on being a hothouse presided over by a nut like Williamson, or he can do what he can to bring them into full communion with the Church and hope that the blood of Christ will wash away the toxins of Jew-hatred that have been building up in the system. I will not be at all surprised to hear a) that Williamson takes a retirement after a short interval or B) that Williamson hives off into schism again, but only manages to take a small nucleus of embittered Jew-hating malcontents with him, while most of the rest of the SSPX people stay in communion with Rome.

And, on a related note, the Society of St. Pius I still remains, uh, just as far from full communion with Rome as ever.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Never Say No to the Media

After flying back from Washington this morning after the March yesterday — which was HUGE, btw — I came directly into the office, and five minutes later got a call from CBS2 News asking if they could interview someone about this story.

Nearly all of my co-workers are still in Washington, so it fell on me as to whether to accept the interview or not.

My boss, Joe Scheidler, has always said that we should never turn down an interview request by the media, so even though I hadn't even heard about the story, I agreed to do it.

That gave me about an hour to read up on it.

The pro-life blogosphere's go-to guys on stem cell research matters are JivinJehoshaphat and Wesley Smith. True to form, Smith had already blogged about this story this morning, which was a big help to me.

I just finished the interview, which will supposedly air at 5:00pm tonight on CBS2 News.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meeting at the March

If any of this here weblog's readers will be in Washington, DC for the March for Life tomorrow, feel free to stop by and say hi. I'll be one of the ones holding the Generations for Life banner a block west of 4th St. and Madison Dr. NW, starting at 12:00 noon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Get Your Free Pro-Life Handbook!

The past few weeks at work have been really busy, such that I haven't had much of a lunch break some days; such that, in turn, I haven't had much time to blog.

The biggest time consumer as of late has been a new pro-life handbook we've been working on, the first copies of which we expect to be getting back from the printer this afternoon.

A few of my co-workers and I have put hundreds of hours into the project — researching, writing, finding pictures, consulting with a graphic designer, editing, proofreading, editing and proofreading, proofreading and editing; well, you get the idea — and we're really happy with the finished product, which we're calling Sharing the Pro-Life Message.

We've giving copies away for free, and I'm happy to say we've been inundated with requests so far.

Here's the story on our site announcing the release of Sharing the Pro-Life Message.

You can order your copy here:

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ah, the Magic of YouTube

Sometimes you just need a good laugh:

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

And the Greatest of These Is Charity

Saturday last, Jocelyn and I went for the first time to a day of recollection sponsored by Miles Christi.

There, a priest gave the best counsel I've heard thus far in 2009:

Neither the lack of time, nor the excess of things to do, nor fear or complicating our life, can justify the omission of charity.

Friday, January 9, 2009

This Is Interesting

Pill inventor slams ... pill

Key graphs:

Eighty five year old Carl Djerassi the Austrian chemist who helped invent the contraceptive pill now says that his co-creation has led to a "demographic catastrophe."

In an article published by the Vatican this week, the head of the world's Catholic doctors broadened the attack on the pill, claiming it had also brought "devastating ecological effects" by releasing into the environment "tonnes of hormones" that had impaired male fertility, The Taiwan Times says.

The assault began with a personal commentary in the Austrian newspaper Der Standard by Carl Djerassi. The Austrian chemist was one of three whose formulation of the synthetic progestogen Norethisterone marked a key step toward the earliest oral contraceptive pill.

Djerassi outlined the "horror scenario" that occurred because of the population imbalance, for which his invention was partly to blame. He said that in most of Europe there was now "no connection at all between sexuality and reproduction." He said: "This divide in Catholic Austria, a country which has on average 1.4 children per family, is now complete."

He described families who had decided against reproduction as "wanting to enjoy their schnitzels while leaving the rest of the world to get on with it." ...

[Dr Jose Maria Simon Castellvi] also pointed to the "devastating ecological effects of the tons of hormones discarded into the environment each year. We have sufficient data to state that one of the causes of masculine infertility in the West is the environmental contamination caused by the products of the 'pill'." Castellvi noted as well that the International Agency for Research on Cancer reported in 2005 that the pill has carcinogenic effects.

It seems we have here yet another instance of Shea's Two Phases of History.

Phase One, you may recall, is:

What could it hurt?

Phase Two is:

How could we have known?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Show Me a Culture That Despises Virginity and I'll Show You a Culture That Despises Children*

Quoth Canadian pro-choice activist Joyce Arthur in a comment on the National Post website:

Yes Matt W, let’s err on the side of life - WOMEN’S lives. Because the right to abortion is not about a woman’s right to choose, it’s about her right to LIFE - which means far more than just mere physical survival.

Behind your view is the assumption that women are obligated to have babies just because they are capable of it. Not so. Women can never enjoy full human rights or equality unless they can control their fertility. That includes the right to have sex for pleasure, which carries a risk of pregnancy regardless of use of birth control. So abortion must be available as a backup.

And, then, the money quote:

The moral status of the fetus, when life begins etc., does not matter, because women need and will have abortions regardless - even women who think abortion is murder.

Andrea Mrozek trenchantly notes:

Who is honestly going to stand up for our “right” to casual sex (and hey, while we’re at it, can we enshrine that it be really good sex too?) over someone else’s life? Guess Joyce Arthur just did. (It’s also a twisted sense of pleasure that sees women heading to a clinic to put their feet in stirrups for invasive surgery, all as a matter of routine “choice”.)

Uh, yeah.

*HT for the meme: Mark Shea

Monday, January 5, 2009

Haus Jansen Is About to Get a Lot Greener

I've wanted a composter for a few years now, but my penurious sensibilities have prevented me from shelling out money for one.

Getting one for Christmas, however, we didn't have to.

A win-win situation, I'd say.

Oh. So. True.

How can anyone not like Chesterton?

I have already remarked, with all the restraint that I could command, that of all modern phenomena, the most monstrous and ominous, the most manifestly rotting with disease, the most grimly prophetic of destruction, the most clearly and unmistakably inspired by evil spirits the most instantly and awfully overshadowed by the wrath of heaven, the most near to madness and moral chaos, the most vivid with devilry and despair, is the practice of having to listen to loud music while eating a meal in a restaurant. —Illustrated London News, 22 April 1933