The Democrats’ Abortion Moment

IN 1971, two years before Roe v. Wade, the philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson used an arresting thought experiment to make the case for legalized abortion.

Imagine, wrote Thomson, that you awoke to find yourself lashed to a famous violinist. The violinist suffers from a lethal kidney disease, and because only your blood type can save his life, his admirers have kidnapped you and looped your circulatory systems together. If you consent to remain thus entangled for nine months, he will make a full recovery. Disentangle yourself, however, and he dies.

Thomson suggested that a woman facing an unintended pregnancy is in a similar position. Her body is effectively being held hostage, and while carrying the unborn life to term might be a heroic act, it cannot be required of her, any more than you could be required to meekly accept your fate as a prisoner of the violinist.

Provocative as it is, there are obvious problems with this analogy. It implies that there’s no difference between declining to provide medical treatment and taking a life directly, and no difference between the moral obligations owed a stranger and the obligations owed one’s own child.

The biggest difficulty, though, is that most women considering an abortion were not kidnapped and impregnated against their will. They freely chose the act that brought the fetus into being, and analogizing their situation to a kidnap victim implies a peculiar, almost infantilizing attitude toward female moral agency.

There is, however, one case where Thomson’s famous thought experiment has a real and gripping power: pregnancies that result from rape. Then the woman’s body has in a sense been kidnapped by her assailant, and the life inside her is the consequence of a violation rather than a choice.

Read more here.

Meet Atheist Richard Dawkins

Famed atheist Richard Dawkins sat down with Playboy Magazine to discuss “the simple beauty of evolution, the improbability of God and why the pope should be arrested,” among other subjects. As usual, Dawkins took a provocative approach in the interview — one that people of faith will surely find offensive. These contentious anti-religious views appear in the September issue of Playboy.

Toward the beginning of the interview, Dawkins was asked to weigh in and explain why, in the past, he has called himself a “tooth faith” agnostic. His explanation essentially frames his overarching views on God’s existence. Here’s how the dialogue unfolded:

PLAYBOY: You’ve described yourself as a “tooth fairy” agnostic. What is that?
DAWKINS: Rather than say he’s an atheist, a friend of mine says, “I’m a tooth fairy agnostic,” meaning he can’t disprove God but thinks God is about as likely as the tooth fairy.
PLAYBOY: So you don’t completely rule out the idea of a supreme being. Critics see that as leaving an opening.
DAWKINS: You can think so, if you think there’s an opening for the tooth fairy.

Read more here.

POLICE ARREST RNC PROTESTER WITH ‘FULL-SIZE’ MACHETE STRAPPED TO HIS LEG

Florida police say they have arrested a Republican National Convention protester with a “full-size” machete strapped to his leg, according to Bay News 9.

The alleged protester, 31-year-old Jason T. Wilson of Tallahassee, apparently refused to stop when asked to by officers as he walked into the official RNC event zone.

When authorities caught up to him, he allegedly said he “did not have” to stop and was allowed to carry “whatever he wanted.”

When officers tried to physically stop him, pointing out that there are certain prohibited items not allowed in the event zone, Wilson allegedly began “resisting arrest” and was physically restrained.

Read more here.

Islamic Terrorist Lindh seeks group prayer in Indiana prison

An American-born Taliban fighter imprisoned in Indiana will try to convince a federal judge that his religious freedom trumps security concerns in a closely watched trial that will examine how far prisons can go to ensure security in the age of terrorism.

John Walker Lindh was expected to testify Monday in Indianapolis during the first day of the trial over prayer policies in a tightly restricted prison unit where he and other high-risk inmates have severely limited contact with the outside world.

Lindh, 31, a Muslim convert who was charged with supporting terrorists after he was captured by U.S. troops in Afghanistan and later pleaded guilty to lesser charges, claims his religious rights are being violated because the federal prison in Terre Haute deprives him of daily group prayer.

Muslims are required to pray five times a day, and the Hanbali school to which Lindh belongs requires group prayer if it is possible. But inmates in the Communications Management Unit are allowed to pray together only once a week except during Ramadan. At other times, they must pray in their individual cells. Lindh says that doesn’t meet the Quran’s requirements and is inappropriate because he is forced to kneel in close proximity to his toilet.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, which is representing Lindh, contends the policy violates a federal law barring the government from restricting religious activities without showing a compelling need.

“This is an open unit where prisoners are basically out all day,” said ACLU legal director Ken Falk, noting that inmates are allowed to play basketball and board games, watch television and converse as long as they speak English so the guards can understand.

“They can do basically any peaceful activity except praying,” he said. “It makes no sense to say this is one activity we’re going to prohibit in the name of security.”

Joe Hogsett, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, said he believes decisions about prison regulations are best made by prison officials, “not by convicted terrorists and other dangerous criminals who reside there.”

“Mr. Lindh is allowed to pray in his cell; he’s allowed to pray wherever he happens to be as many times every day as his religion suggests to him that he should,” Hogsett said. “Where the rules must draw the line is how often must prison officials allow prisoners to congregate together?”

Attorneys for the government maintain that Lindh’s own behavior since he was placed in the unit in 2007 proves the risks of allowing group prayer.

The government says in court documents that Lindh delivered a “radical, all-Arabic sermon” to other Muslim prisoners in February that was in keeping with techniques in a manual seized from al-Qaida members that details how terrorists should conduct themselves when they are imprisoned.

Lindh’s sermon proves “that religious activities led by Muslim inmates are being used as a vehicle for radicalization and violence in the CMU,” the government claims.

Read more here.

Another “Moderate” Muslim Is Really a Bloody Islamic Terrorist…British Doctor Leads Syrian Terror Cell

Just a couple of weeks ago on the Blog Talk Radio show I talked about the myth of “moderate” Muslims and I pointed to the example of the two ordinary “moderate” Muslims in Britain who all of a sudden turned into radical Islamic extremists and conducted the attempted bombings of the London night clubs and the airport in Glasgow, Scotland. Well, now we have to break the bad news to all of those Left Wing Muslim appeasers who insist that the majority of Muslims are nice little “moderate” Christians with a little twist – as it is now being reported here at the Daily Mail that a Muslim British doctor traveled to Syria to head up an Islamic terror cell and in fact, was responsible for the abduction of a British journalist.

So I ask the question – how many doctors and now many students and how many professors and how many store clerks and how many architects that strap bombs to themselves or put a gun to the head of another or plot to blow up a government building will it take for someone on the Left or in the mainstream to admit that finding a “moderate” Muslim is like finding a Dodo bird?

Read more here.

Is Nidal Hasan Army or Islam?

Can the United States seriously be bending over backwards for a mass murderer?

There is something peculiar in this case, again. The first instance was the omission of any reference to Islam or the Muslim chants of the murderer as he killed 13 people and wounded others at Fort Hood.

Now we get the undue delay from non-Army regulation facial hair — in short, the beard. Growing it against Army regulations. So Hasan is still considered “in the Army,” meaning that, unbelievably, Nadal Hassan is still being paid! What does one have to do to get suspended without pay?

And why this courtesy of letting Hasan enjoy the protections of both the Army and his religion, when they are in conflict? He can’t; he shouldn’t have it both ways.

If he wants the beard, the religion, and all their legal trappings, he should be dismissed from the Army. If he wishes to enjoy the protection — and pay — of the Army, he should be forced to conform to its regulations. There are provisions for nonconsensual hair removal in the military. Why are they not invoked? Who is scared of whom here?

Suddenly, Hasan’s faith trumps his obligations as a member of the military. It is time to declare who you are, exactly. You cannot enjoy the protections of each. Are you Army or Islam?

Why does this man enjoy such special status? Why are the religious facts of this case so guarded and coddled? What is going on behind the scenes? Someone made the previous call to sanitize the initial report of any reference to Islam. Now we get the ridiculous delay over some facial hair accommodation based on just the religion that was not mentioned in the official report.

Read more here.

EU ‘Dhimmi’ Court agrees to hear al-Qaeda terrorists pleas to have UK convictions overturned on ‘humanitarian’ grounds

Al-Qaeda terrorists sue UK over claims MI5 was complicit in their torture at hands of Pakistani security services.

UK DAILY MAIL Two Al-Qaeda terrorists have launched an attempt to have their convictions quashed on human rights grounds.

One of the extremists, Salahuddin Amin, was jailed for life in 2007 for his role in a terrorist cell that plotted to kill thousands of people in a bomb attack on a British shopping centre. The second convicted terrorist, Rangzieb Ahmed, is the highest ranking member of Al-Qaeda yet to be put on trial in Britain.

The pair claimed MI5 was complicit in their torture by Pakistani security services, a claim that has already been rejected by British courts.

They have now taken their case to the European Court of Human Rights in a last-ditch attempt to be freed from jail. According to the Sunday Telegraph, officials at the European Court have allowed their application to go ahead rather than declaring it inadmissible, as they do with thousands of cases a year.

The Government must now respond to the claims the men’s human rights were breached during their prosecutions. If its explanation does not satisfy the court it will order a full hearing which, if successful, would almost certainly lead to the British courts being forced to quash the convictions.

Read more here.