I saw a cigarette packet the other day with this health warning:
Smoking can harm unborn babies
Had I blundered through a time warp into an alternate universe?
Governments continually worry about ‘women’s health’: that’s the term for free and unrestricted choice about taking whatever measures a woman deems appropriate for her own unwanted tissue. So by what mental gymnastics can governments protect unborn babiesfrom the baneful effects of smoking while also allowing – and even funding – the destruction of unborn fetuses?
I hold that abortion is an absolute wrong, always – but sins can be forgiven. I heard of a young Muslim woman who went weeping to the abortionist, fully conscious that she was about to commit a grave sin, but fearing for the alternative: the shame and hostility of her family and community. I trust that God will forgive her and others like her.
Opposition to abortion is not an exclusively Catholic position. Non-Christians may not speak of sin and evil as religious people do but many are outraged by the insensitivity of those who value human life only in terms of its worth to themselves, who think that they alone can bestow value: objectively fetuses and babies are exactly the same thing, but to the subjective mind a baby is defined by being wanted and longed-for, while a fetus is not: if it’s loved it’s a baby; unloved it counts for nothing at all.
It is absurd to regard the moment of birth as the boundary between human existence and non-existence, between ‘women’s health’ and murder. In decades past it might have been possible to pretend that the unseen fetus is not a human child. However advances in embryology, particularly photography and ultrasound, make it perfectly clear that unborn babies behave like babies. So let’s call it what it is: abortion is nothing other than pre-natal infanticide.
Why do I speak of a deed that dare not speak its name? Because of the hardest truth of all: so many families have been affected by abortion. Some, like the Muslim girl, have a sense of shame and loss; others consciously refuse to acknowledge that they have done any wrong at all; many more (perhaps the majority) are deeply disturbed but remain in denial. So much hurt needs healing, but honesty must come first. Let’s avoid weasel words like ‘terminations’ and ‘women’s health’.
Governments please note: don’t cry for unborn babies unless you really mean it!
The Dawson Centre ‘Summer School Season’ concluded last Friday afternoon. Numbers were a little down this year, but five people joined the intensive New Testament Greek course last week and three in the previous week for Latin. Talent compensated for numbers: participants were very talented and very focused. One brave woman attended both courses – a record, I think. I really enjoyed teaching them.
The great thing about these schools is that they attract enthusiasts, people who value our cultural patrimony and are determined to broaden their knowledge. They bring so much to the courses, too: I find that I learn as much from them as (I hope) they do from me.
THE COMING OF THE LIGHT
Many of us feel that the darkness is closing in: freedom of speech can be risky, if one holds views that are unpopular or out of synch with the prevailing secular culture. It’s a fanciful thought, but Beethoven would have understood. Be inspired by this clip from Fidelio, when political prisoners are released from their dungeons to see at last the light of day:
We had a very good result from our survey – nearly 20% of those on our mailing list responded and their responses were generally positive and encouraging. Thank you! You can read the detailed survey report here.
With best wishes to all,
Gender ideology vs Truth: How to be an Influencer
Peter shows how the Christian faith has had a profound influence on the shape of Western society, and how this influence has been waning and replaced by cultural Marxism with its fraudulent view of human sexuality. He will also show how you can be an influencer to help reshape society.
Gregorian Chant: Wellspring, Model, and Heart of All Sacred Music
This talk by an internationally-recognized specialist on liturgy will be an opportunity for non-emotive and intellectual debate, factual and historical critique and a genuine openness to traditional liturgy.
Tuesday 2 April
Town Hall – Elizabeth Street Conference Room
Admission free – all welcome
As usual, these talks will be recorded and posted online for our readers who are not resident in Hobart
LATIN INTENSIVE RESIDENTIAL WORKSHOP, 7-20 July 2019, Rome, Italy
The goal is to examine two millennia of Roman and Italian culture – art as well as literature – through the medium of the Latin Language which is common to the whole tradition. We shall read pieces by the major writers of the Classical Canon and by their successors in Medieval and Renaissance times. Genres will include Epic Poetry, Oratory, Philosophy and History.
Full information are posted here. Any proceeds from these schools will go towards the work of the Dawson Centre.
FOR YOUR DIARY:
THE 2019 COLLOQUIUM – 28/29 JUNE – ‘REBUILDING THE WALLS OF SION’