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I'd like to think I'm a passionate and committed individual

I'm a joke by comparison:

Linda Gibbons.

For those who have never heard of her -- her story is seldom mentioned in our media -- Linda is Canada's longest serving political prisoner.

She will soon surpass, cumulatively, the time spent in prison by Karla Homolka -- who knowingly led three girls, including her own sister, to rapes, tortures, and murders in which she participated. Homolka, as everyone probably knows, plea-bargained her way to a modest sentence and was released more than five years ago. According to one press report (in La Presse) she was back in Ontario and studying law. Other reports placed her in the Caribbean with a new husband and child.

Linda Gibbons, by contrast, has no prospect of release. She is a grandmother, age 62. Her crime was praying, publicly, inside the 60-foot "bubble" around a Morgentaler abortion clinic in Toronto. She also, on occasion, held up a placard reading, "Why, Mom, when I have so much love to give?" She first did this in defiance of a temporary court injunction obtained by the Ontario attorney general back in 1994 and has returned to doing it, and been re-arrested, each time she has been released.

The legal complexities, by which a temporary civil manoeuvre by an NDP government to deny free speech and association, was perpetuated; and an infraction against it was graduated into a criminal offence; is much too complicated to review in the space of a column. The case goes before the Canadian Supreme Court in the autumn, and the justices will try to sort out how this happened, and what if anything they will do about it.

Another contrast is instructive. While Linda Gibbons was languishing in jail, Henry Morgentaler, the abortionist, received the Order of Canada for his "commitment to increased health-care options for women," and so on. No comment of mine could go further in exposing the moral horror at the heart of contemporary Canadian public life.

Yet that reality helps explain Gibbons's unusual behaviour. She does not obtain a lawyer; she refuses to defend herself in court. She refuses to make an undertaking, to stay away from the Morgentaler clinic, in return for her release. She has not complained about her sentence, or about conditions in prison, except to demand a copy of the Bible in her cell and to request more blankets on behalf of all the women forced to sleep in certain poorly heated cells. She has also caused annoyance by routinely leading other prisoners in prayer.

In light of which, charges that she "resisted arrest," or "obstructed justice," can be seen for what they are. As she has frequently stated: She can serve God equally in or out of prison.

This is a woman who has chosen a penitential journey; the Lenten pilgrimage. She is a mystery to those unaware that she is imitating Jesus Christ: in acts, not mere words. She has agreed to suffer herself, for evils in which she did not participate -- I pray, to her own salvation.

To those who can see, she is a beacon of light in a very dark world.

God bless her.  And God move in us that we might exhibit even a fraction of that kind of passion, that kind of commitment.

And might God's justice reign down on those who incarcerate this saint.

H/T Mark Shea.


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Comments (49)

Wow, we're all pikers compa... (Below threshold)
Oyster:

Wow, we're all pikers compared to this.

She's a certifiable nutcase... (Below threshold)
Woop:

She's a certifiable nutcase.

No wonder you clowns worship her. She belongs in the same circus clown car you guys drive.

Yes. I can see where a gra... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Yes. I can see where a grandmother praying is far more a danger to society than serial killers or muslims plotting to blow up buildings.

Such a person might convict us of our sinful actions and cause us to lead a better life.

I'm glad to see that the Canadians have gotten their ideology right. If not their priorities.

WoopWhy is she a c... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Woop

Why is she a certifiable nutcase? Because she is standing up for what she believes in? Is she doing anyhting different than the union thugs who protest outside (or inside) the state capital? Who go to representatives houses to protest?

Oh wait it is different since she isnt threatening anyone, taking down license plates, sending threatening letters to business owners, physically assaulting people, etc.

Did you consider the reporters who went to jail for not revealing their sources as certifiable nutcases as well?

If you dont stand for something than you will fall for anything.


WoopI guess you th... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Woop

I guess you think Saul Alinsky was a hero right?

I mean he went to jail for bombing folks because that is what he believed in.

We can add Martin Luther Ki... (Below threshold)
retired military:

We can add Martin Luther King to the list of certifiable nutcases as well as Jesse Jackson and others from the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

"...on those who incarce... (Below threshold)
PBunyan:

"...on those who incarcerate this saint."

You meant "future saint"-- a living person, by definition, cannot be a saint.

And thanks Woop, for once again demonstrating the evil of the left's beliefs.


RM,I expect that W... (Below threshold)
jim m:

RM,

I expect that Woop would find Bill Ayers to be a hero. In Ayers you have someone who murdered for communist revolution and used a legal technicality to get off the hook for it. Woop strikes me as someone who would admire a nihilistic atheist who is smug about his ability to murder and use the system to get out of having to pay for his crimes.

No comment of mine could... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

No comment of mine could go further in exposing the moral horror at the heart of contemporary Canadian public life.

And no comment of anyone's could go further to exposing the sanctimonious silliness at the heart of the anti-choice/anti-sex movement.


But seriously, kudos to this woman for having the courage of her convictions. She legitimately believes that the law is wrong, and that abortion really is murder, and she's willing to go to jail for her beliefs. It's a good thing that most anti-choice activists lack the courage of conviction that she demonstrates on a daily basis.

It's no coincidence that wo... (Below threshold)
914:

It's no coincidence that woop rhymes with poop.

I like to think that if I h... (Below threshold)
Meiji_man:

I like to think that if I had Faith, this would be the level of commitment I could obtain. But I doubt it.

Hyper,Face it, Can... (Below threshold)
jim m:

Hyper,

Face it, Canadians have a serious problem with suppression of individual freedom. Anyone having followed the case of Ezra Levant cannot help but realize that freedom to express one's beliefs and opinions has now been criminalized in Canada.

Just to be clear on what ji... (Below threshold)

Just to be clear on what jim m said, retired military was referring to Bill Ayres in his comment, not Saul Alinsky. Alinsky was an organizer, Ayres is a domestic terrorist.

I'm sure woop thinks those ... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

I'm sure woop thinks those 14 senators who ran away showed more "conviction" than this woman.

MichaelThanks for ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Michael

Thanks for the clarification.

-------

Hyper

"And no comment of anyone's could go further to exposing the sanctimonious silliness at the heart of the anti-choice/anti-sex movement.

"

Spoken by someone who has professed that doctors should be able to kill babies after birth in some instances, people should be able to cut off their own limbs, and states that there are good reasons to count an unborn child as a human being but yet has no problem advocating its murder.

Kudos to you Hyper for showing the absolute hypocracy of the left.

It's no coincidence that hy... (Below threshold)
914:

It's no coincidence that hyper rhymes with diaper.

I don't know. Is it hypocr... (Below threshold)
jim m:

I don't know. Is it hypocrisy to say that you believe in freedom and then define freedom as being able to do the things you want while not being disturbed by other people doing things that you don't like?

Like all libs Hyper believes that he should be able to do what he wants and to be free from the worry of being offended by other people's beliefs and actions. The left sees freedom as being some uniform liberal Utopia.

So I ask: is it hypocrisy when Hyper defines "freedom" as being something the rest of us perceive as fascism? Or is it just another word game the left plays?

913.5: big idiot, or the bi... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

913.5: big idiot, or the biggest idiot?

I really have no idea how you arrive at the conclusion that I'm a hypocrite, retired_military. Anyway, if you think abortion is murder, you should do something about it rather than bloviate to like-minded individuals on the internet.

The fact that most people who claim to have a problem with abortion do nothing about it, other than whine, and cast a ballot every four years for a politician who probably has no intention of following up on their anti-choice campaign rhetoric, is proof that the problem isn't the abortions, it's people not having to suffer any life-long consequences for having sex.

"The fact that most people ... (Below threshold)
914:

"The fact that most people who claim to have a problem with abortion do nothing about it, other than whine, and cast a ballot every four years for a politician who probably has no intention of following up on their anti-choice campaign rhetoric, is proof that the problem isn't the abortions, it's people not having to suffer any life-long consequences for having sex."


And lucky us, we've been long suffering with you. Punished with a baby so to speak.

Canada was lost long ago wh... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Canada was lost long ago when they were unable to break away from the Commonwealth.

Yeah Matt, it's the absolut... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Yeah Matt, it's the absolute worst thing in the world, having QE II on our money. May as well pack up and move to Venezuela, because Canada is lost--apart from its robust economy, wealth of resources, low unemployment, high quality of life, universal literacy rate...

Anyway, if you think abortion is murder, and you aren't doing your utmost to prevent it, then you are in some way complicit. Man the fuck up and link arms in front of an abortion clinic with some other crazies or accept that progressives and feminists have won and the regressives and anti-sex activists have lost. Go devote your energies to making children's lives better--not that complaining on the internet and casting a ballot every couple of years requires a whole lot of energy.

Telling. The woma... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

Telling.

The woman went to prison for praying.

No violence, threats, defamation, or hysteria, no evidence that she approached any of the people going to or from the clinic, or impeded its operation.

That anyone would want this woman sent to prison speaks volumes about their fear, and the power of faith.

Turning it around, we've seen the same thing when China sent Falun Gong believers to prison for the same kind of behavior. I don't happen to be a member of Falun Gong, but sending someone to prison for prayers and some public Tai Chi is unreasonable in anyone's book.

It also showed up with Ghandi. You may recall he went to prison for encouraging Indians to simply not show up for work. No violence, no threats, just a simple message delivered in peace, and all the more compelling for for its absence of malice.

Funny, really, how anyone could try to justify acts of malice, yet condemn acts which have no hate or threat whatsoever about them.

Man fears holiness, because it is alien to his own selfish nature.

Hyper,I hate to wa... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Hyper,

I hate to wade in on this, but I've seen this accusation before- calling pro-life advocates "anti-sex." It's a ridiculous generalization that doesn't stand up to scrutiny. No (repeat- not one) pro-lifer* I've ever met has expressed a desire to curtail/inhibit people's opportunity to have sex. The question of sex doesn't even come up- by the time abortion is an issue (which is really what the conversation is about)the question of sex is no longer relevant.

However, every pro-lifer I've ever met* has an understanding that when people engage in sex, there is the possibility (however remote, thanks to various birth control methods) that pregnancy might occur. It's called a consequence of sex. Biologically, sex isn't designed for pleasure- it's a by-product. Sex is designed for reproduction.

People have a choice- sex or no sex. You want sex? Understand the possible results and be ready to live with them. The idea of 18+ years of parenthood scare the living daylights out of you? Then take a cold shower.

The pro-life position has nothing to do with sex. It has to do with the human being whose very life is literally hanging in the balance while abortion is considered. (Hence the name Pro-Life)

*I admit that I don't know all pro life advocates. So I may be over-generalizing. Feel free to show me mainstream pro-life advocates who are "anti-sex" and I will correct my statements from "all" to "most."

How about this, Conservache... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

How about this, Conservachef: if anti-choice activists don't want teenagers having abortions, why do so many of them preach abstinence-only education (doesn't work) and talk shit about contraceptives (which work)?

Here's a good example of a mainstream "pro-lifer" (anti-choicer) who obviously cares more about controlling women's personal lives than preventing abortion, in that right-wing rag, the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/03/opinion/03douthat.html?_r=2&emc=eta1

By the way, who cares what sex was "designed" for? We've evolved beyond animal needs and instincts, and recreation is now a part of our lives. We use our bodies for all sorts of shit for which they were not designed. We may have been designed to hunt with our bare hands, but are we any worse off for now using our hands to practice agriculture? Whatever point you were trying to make, it's a strange one.

a living person, b... (Below threshold)
Dodo David:
a living person, by definition, cannot be a saint

Wrong. The Apostle Paul begins the New Testament book of 2 Corinthians with the following greeting:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,

To the church of God in Corinth, together with all the saints throughout Achaia . . .

The book of Ephesians begins:

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God,

To the saints in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus . . .

The book of Philippians begins with this:

Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus at Philippi . . .

The people Paul called saints were all Christians who were still alive. If Linda Gibbons is a Christian, then she fits the New Testament definition of a saint.

Jim M"is it hypocr... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Jim M

"is it hypocrisy when Hyper defines "freedom" as being something the rest of us perceive as fascism"

Yet when someone else is committed to their cause to go to jail for it then Hyper calls them a certifiable nutcase. So yes that is Hypocracy.


And Hyper

How do you know what I do or do not do for the prolife cause? The answer is a common one for you - You dont know.

"it's people not having to suffer any life-long consequences for having sex"

Actually we do suffer life long consequences from your parents having sex and then deciding not to abort you.


"Go devote your energies to making children's lives better"

STEP 1 - Ensuring they are born to have a life to make better is a good place to start.

Amazing that all the people who are proabortion are already born. Sorta like the liberal elite who deem what is great for everyone but dont follow the rules themselves becuase rules are for the little people.


Hyperbolist,Why do... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Hyperbolist,

Why do you condone killing children? What is it about murdering the most innocent that is attractive to you?


BTW Hyperyou didnt... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW Hyper

you didnt answer the questions (not that I am suprised).

Is Bill Ayers a certifiable nutcase?
Jesee Jackson?
Martin Luther King?
The woman who marched for the right to vote?
Other civil right leaders?

If not then why not? Just because you believe them to be right and this woman to be wrong?

Since You believe in freedom so much what if someone decided to kill you because they felt it was their right to do so. Do you think that that is right?


"Amazing that all the peopl... (Below threshold)
Hank:

"Amazing that all the people who are proabortion are already born"

In all the years this argument has been going on, I'll admit, I haven't hear that one.

well done.

as to the topic, I'm still amazed to read that Homolka is out of prison.

Hyper"We use our b... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper

"We use our bodies for all sorts of shit for which they were not designed"

Obviously Hyper proves this by engaging mouth prior to using what little brain he has.

BTW HyperYou didnt... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW Hyper

You didnt make the certifiable statement. Woop did. But obviusly you feel the same way so why not answer the question as well. (Sorry I get you far left loons mixed up as you all sound alike).

Man the fuck up and link... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Man the fuck up and link arms in front of an abortion clinic with some other crazies or accept that progressives and feminists have won and the regressives and anti-sex activists have lost. Go devote your energies to making children's lives better

I believe linking arms in front of abortion clinics with, or without crazies is about the least effective form of protest and I don't engage in it. I don't care if progressives, or regressives, or the soup du jour has won as long as murdering children stops. I would vote for an anti-abortion candidate if I ever saw one run that I trusted, normally it is just rhetoric. I have made the life of many children better. We took in a pregnant teen when her family kicked her out. We've fostered children (at no cost to the state) that had been sexually abused. I've tutored children to get them through schools. I've helped young adults afford college etc. All on my on dime and with my own time.

Hyper,if anti-c... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Hyper,

if anti-choice activists don't want teenagers having abortions, why do so many of them preach abstinence-only education (doesn't work) and talk shit about contraceptives (which work)?

Last time I checked, abstinence is the only 100% effective method of birth control. That's why it is pushed.

By the way, who cares what sex was "designed" for? We've evolved beyond animal needs and instincts, and recreation is now a part of our lives.

You can't divorce a physical action from it's purpose. Physically, biologically, sex is about reproduction. You can't escape that. No amount of "evolution" will change it. You can argue that as a society, we have worked to disconnect sex from pregnancy (making it "recreation" as you imply), but the fact remains that intercourse can result in pregnancy. Note- I am not suggesting any sort of control over someone's sexual activity. I'm just not ignoring the reality that sex can lead to pregnancy.

By the way, please point out where the author in your NYT article wants to control women's lives. The article I read reflected talked about abortion, adoption, and the life of the unborn child.

BTW HyperFor your ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

BTW Hyper

For your bragging on Canada

Literacy rates – tied with US for 25th

http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/edu_lit_tot_pop-education-literacy-total-population


best quality of life
http://www.vitrolenta.com/travel/country-with-best-quality-of-life-named.html
US in top 5. Canada not mentioned

Unemployment rates
http://www.bls.gov/ilc/intl_unemployment_rates_monthly.htm#Rchart1
Canada about 7% US (thanks to Obama) 9%+

Couldnt find a break down on natural resources but I would match the US against Canada any day of the week.

And shall we talk about all the Canadians coming to the US for health care.

BTW does Canada even have a military? If so what have they done in the past 50 years?

retired_military, look at c... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

retired_military, look at comment #9. I said that I respect people who have courage of conviction, even if I might think they're wrong and hope that they fail at whatever it is they are trying to achieve.

She's in jail (albeit a pleasant Canadian jail), and you're not--but you could be, if abortion mattered as much to you as you say it does.

Conservachef, abstinence works when people choose not to have sex, but that's missing the point: what are the rates of unwanted pregnancies in places that teach 'liberal' sex ed. vs. places that promote abstinence? Teenagers are fucking each other in both places, keep in mind, and telling them not to does.not.work. They're teenagers. Teenagers like to have sex with other teenagers. If that bothers you then your issue isn't about abortion, it's about social control.

Physically, biologically, sex is about reproduction. Tell that to every gay couple, every sexually active woman going through menopause, every young couple who don't want any children. In cultures that respect people's privacy and freedom, sex isn't about reproduction. We aren't living in some dystopian Margaret Atwood novel. I've never once had sex and thought about children. That would be super creepy, actually.

Douthat's article harkens back to the days when (white) pregnant women would get put into maternity homes and their babies would be given up for adoption because they didn't have the right to choose what to do with their own reproductive systems. (Wasn't a market for black babies, though.) That's the alternative to the status quo: would you prefer it?

Matt: bravo. You could have done all of those things if you respected a woman's right to decide what to do with her own uterus, though. Also: would you have taken in a teen who needed help after getting kicked out of her parents house for getting an abortion?

HyperWIth freedom ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper

WIth freedom comes responsibility. Something you and other lefties dont understand. If you do something that creates a child than you should take care of the child. Not throw it out like so much trash. You are part of the If it feels good do it crowd and cant be bothered with the results of your actions.

What is the difference between a woman getting a partial birth abortion after labor has started and a doctor taking a baby just drawing its first breath and smashing its head into a wall? Answer about 2 mintues and you dont have a problem with option number 1 and seemingly few issues with option number 2 (based on your previous posts). As I said before. You would have done the Nazis proud.

retired_military, I hadn't ... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

retired_military, I hadn't seen that survey. Congratulations! Please put a sticker on your truck that says We're #5!

Some other indices that show that you're right and I'm wrong (seriously):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_Human_Development_Index

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_index (though that one is old--Ireland has fallen off a cliff)

So, I feel chagrined. Look it up in the dictionary, and then gloat for a few minutes. It's a great feeling!

An an urbanite elitist, I probably conflated the following ranking with a national scoring:

http://www.economist.com/blogs/gulliver/2011/02/liveability_ranking

I'm going to go ahead and call bullshit on that literacy ranking, though. I work with a guy from the Ukraine and when I showed him that he laughed really hard. It is not the case that 99% of Ukrainians are literate. And 99.6% in Russia? 99% literacy in the United States? Right. Sounds like the public teachers in your country are doing a bang-up job. Underpaid, even!

As for Canadians using your healthcare system, what about the 750,000 Americans who used someone else's?

http://www.understanding-medicaltourism.com/medical-tourism-statistics.php

Sure, somebody from Toronto might drive to Buffalo for a knee operation, but it's not like they're flying to Bangkok.

As always, the man who show... (Below threshold)
WildWillie:

As always, the man who shows no respect (hyper) demands we respect people who think like him.

Margaret Sanger wanted to practice eugenics to cut down on the amount of "lower class" of people who were multiplying at an astonishing rate. She mixed this message with feminism to push for "abortion rights". Fast forward 36 years and now abortion is used as a birth control remedy. Technology has improved in such a way as to really determine when a baby feels pain, etc. But we are boxed in by the pro death supporters of innocense. We cannot choose to not pay taxes, we cannot choose to take illegal drugs without paying a penalty, we cannot choose to drive a car without insurance, we can't even drive a car without buckling our seatbest. But the most important decision that anyone would make concerning life or death, and it is left up to an individual who has acted and will act impulsively.

The list of women who have had an abortion in the younger years but now feels great sorrow for that decision is growing.

So hyper and his other liberal free for all takers have the blood of this on their hands. Well, not hyper. He lives in a 2nd rate podunk country. I mean the people who live in the USA. ww

Hyper,Teenagers... (Below threshold)
Conservachef:

Hyper,

Teenagers are f-ing each other in both places, keep in mind, and telling them not to does.not.work. They're teenagers. Teenagers like to have sex with other teenagers. If that bothers you then your issue isn't about abortion, it's about social control.

You're right- my issue is with teenagers having sex and thinking that there are no consequences to it. Actually, my issue is with anyone having sex and thinking that there are no consequences to it. (Again, I am not advocating control- I am advocating responsibility.)

Physically, biologically, sex is about reproduction. Tell that to every gay couple, every sexually active woman going through menopause, every young couple who don't want any children. In cultures that respect people's privacy and freedom, sex isn't about reproduction.

I think that (perhaps accidentally) you hit on it. Culturally, sex isn't about reproduction. It's about the big O. You might notice that I said "...the fact remains that intercourse can result in pregnancy." In the rest of my statement I used "sex" interchangeably with "intercourse" because we are talking about pregnancy resulting from.... sex. If you want to discuss homosexuality or other issues, that's fine. I don't think they are relevant to the topic though.

Douthat's article harkens back to the days when (white) pregnant women would get put into maternity homes and their babies would be given up for adoption because they didn't have the right to choose what to do with their own reproductive systems.

Maybe I missed the paragraph about putting girls into maternity homes. The article said that prior to Roe vs Wade, there were a lot more adoptions than after RvW. Roe vs Wade legalized abortion- why wait 9 months to give the child up for adoption when you can kill it today?

By the way, the woman chose what to do with her reproductive system when she agreed to intercourse. Whatever happens after that is a result. (Rape & incest account for less than 2% of abortions- thought I'd tell you before you tried that diversion.)

HyperREf your medi... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Hyper

REf your medical tourism link.

It appears that it is referring to cosmetic surgery and not "nescessary medcine".

Why pay $10k for a face lift here when you can get it in some 3rd world country for $2k.
Or $20k for a boob job here and $2k for it somewhere else.

Whereas you dont see folks flying to bangkok for a heart transplant if they can get one here in the US now do you (unless they get it on the black market).


Nice try but ummm try again.

No response to my comment, ... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

No response to my comment, hyperbolist?

No witty riposte from you denouncing the virtue of public displays of faith, Woop?

Hmmmm.

The thing that I always disliked, personally, is the desire some people express, that those who disagree with them must be compelled to obey their personal rules and standards. As a result, while I consider abortion to be a horrific sin, I recognize the individual's right to choice and as a result I oppose those who would attempt to coerce a person from entering an abortion clinic or harass a person who has chosen to have an abortion. Murdering a doctor who performs abortions would still be murder, and attacking a person with words is not far removed from attacking them in person. So, the idea that I lack conviction because I do not physically try to bar a woman ro a doctor from entering an abortion clinic, is to me demonstration that you do not understand the nature of my God, or the character He expects me to show in my deeds. There is a very great difference between someone screaming names at a woman who is already undergoing a crisis in her life (I hope we can at least agree that an unplanned pregnancy can be a crisis for a woman), and praying at the scene of what I would regard as a very grave mistake. I pray at accident scenes, and when I witness a loss of life or fear that possibility, so I would certainly pray at an abortion clinic, should I find myself at such a place.

Now, unlike Ms. Gibbons I have never felt it was right for me to deliberately go to an abortion clinic, for any reason. This is not fear of the consequences of praying at such a site, as it is that the Lord directs me to other things, and so I believe that for me, to go to a clinic would be a selfish act, and I would be at risk of offending God by failing to conduct myself in the way He directs. Therefore, I applaud Ms. Gibbons having the courage to go as the Lord directs her, evidenced by the fact of her non-violent, non-confrontational method of prayer and protest. Were she in the United States, her First Amendment rights would be beyond dispute, as she has neither threatened harm to, nor interfered with, anyone at the clinic. This case is telling us all a great deal about whether Canadians enjoy freedom of religion and speech, and the clear hypocrisy in a violent and sadistic murderer serving less time than a woman arrested simply for prayer, is not something that speaks well for Canada's legal system. This may be an unfortunate aberration, but the Canadian Supreme Court needs to weigh in with an official stance. That the case won't even be heard until this fall does not convey a sense of support for the average person having rights in the face of a callous government.

Obviously, non-Christians, pro-Choice people, and those opposed to public expressions of faith might hope that Ms. Gibbons is slapped down hard. But the long history of Man shows that defending the rights of the unpopular is the best litmus test for whether rights really exist. Just as John Adams' defense of the soldiers accused in the Boston Massacre gave moral credibility to the American rebellion even before the Declaraion of Independence was written, so too does defense of the right to protest - even at an abortion clinic - peacefully and without obstructing entrance or exit demonstrate that the government serves the public, and not vice versa. As more Canadians are Christian than follow other religions, include Wicca and Paganism, and as most Canadians oppose abortion than support it, if the courts decide that Ms. Gibbons belongs in prison they send a chilling message of subjugation to every Canadian. The people either have rights, or they do not. And if a person can be put into prison for years on end for actions which are not only non-violent but in fact offer not even a possible threat of violence, then anyone can be punished for anything.

Anything at all.

Fine. Read this instead.</p... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

Fine. Read this instead.

http://articles.cnn.com/2009-03-27/health/india.medical.travel_1_medical-travel-medical-tourism-patient-wing?_s=PM:HEALTH

Conservachef: sex has consequences including emotional attachment and STDs. However, unwanted pregnancy is a punishment that exceeds that non-crime of no-strings-attached-sex, especially given the likelihood of the girl getting an abortion, and how traumatic abortions often are for the woman/girl who gets the procedure. (Not to mention the harm to the fetus, which is something that concerns you, right?) Solution: prevent the pregnancies with SCIENCE.

Homosexuality and sterile heterosexual couples having sex are relevant because the fact that this sort of sex happens, and that there is nothing wrong with it, shows that sex is not all about procreation. Procreation does not require sex, and sex does not entail pregnancy.

So: you want to live in a world where a woman consenting to have sex implies leasing out her uterus for nine months, with no possibility of reneging on that implied contract? Firstly, that belies a repulsive conception of women's rights; and secondly, I hope you are not a lawyer who deals with contracts.

Do you know why there were more adoptions vs. Roe v. Wade? Because women were forced to carry children to term and then give them up for adoption, if they did not want them. You know what maternity houses are, right?

DJ: I don't recall having a problem with this woman going to jail for her beliefs. I also don't have a problem with the government denying her the right to shame women who are in the process of going through something as traumatic as an abortion. Abortions are traumatic enough without somebody reminding you that half the population thinks you're committing murder. Wretched thing to do, but again, I admire her conviction, and I'm glad she succeeded in getting some nicer blankets for herself and her fellow inmates. Her punishment is unduly harsh, granted, but if she is let out she'll go back to doing it again. And her peaceful protest is an attempt at denying women a right that is guaranteed to them. We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and when an act of speech seeks to subvert it, things get muddy and complicated as to whether such action is permissible.

I don't disagree that it's heinous that the Crown allowed Homolka to get off so lightly in exchange for her testimony against Bernardo. I don't know anybody here who feels differently. Would you care to compare major failings in our two countries' respective legal systems to see which is capable of greater error?

Not that it ought to have any bearing on whether women have a right to autonomy over their own selves, but I'd be interested to see the poll that tells you that more Canadians are anti-choice than pro-choice.

So prayer is an atte... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

So prayer is an attempt to 'deny a right'?

Did you even stop to consider how ludicrous that claim is?

And how is it 'shaming' a woman to pray? So far as I know, no names were used and no attempt was made to prevent women from entering or exiting.

For crying out loud, I've been yelled at and called names by homeless people for not giving them money at an intersection. They were hostile, less than an arm's length away (let alone 60 feet), and yet not once have I demanded they be put in jail. But you think a woman should be jailed just for praying six car lengths' away, without any reference at all to a person near the building?

You make my point for me, hyperbolist. That comes down to jailing anyone for any reason you can come up with. It allows the government to punish literally anything and anyone.

Seriously, what's to stop the government, using that reasoning, from arresting someone for wearing Islamic or Judaic garb that clearly identiofies their beliefs? What's to stop the government from arresting someone for stating a political opinion that offends a member of Parliament? What's to stop the government from arresting people for eating meat in public, or for not bowing to a picture of the Queen? If the rights of citizens can so easily be clipped by the government, then all you have are the government officials ... and their slaves.

One point to follow. I nev... (Below threshold)
DJ Drummond:

One point to follow. I never said more Canadians were "anti-choice" than "pro-choice", I said more Canadians are "pro-life" than "pro-choice". The problem is that the issue is not 2-dimensional, and many people have complex opinions. In addition to people expressing beliefs that 'choice' should be absolute, and those who believe abortion should be illegal, there are many other opinion positions, including many who are unsure and believe abortion is morally wrong but should be protected as a legal right. It's not an issue that lends itself to easy 'one rule fits all' application.

Matt: bravo. You could h... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Matt: bravo. You could have done all of those things if you respected a woman's right to decide what to do with her own uterus, though. Also: would you have taken in a teen who needed help after getting kicked out of her parents house for getting an abortion?

It's not the woman's uterus I take exception to, it's killing unborn children. I don't like children being killed whether it is their mother, father, or some crazed polititcian or psychopath. If one law was passed "for the children" and anti-abortion law would be a pretty good candidate.

I help the people that I help because it is the right thing to do, not as part of a stance for or against abortion. Taking in the young lady was because she needed help, not because she was or was not expecting a child.

To wander back to the original story, I applaud Linda Gibbons. The fact that she is willing to be persecuted for her religious beliefs is commendable. She isn't protesting, or picketing, or trying to shame other people into following her. She is just simply exercising her human right to freedom of expression and religion and accepting the consequences.

I wasn't making fun of you.... (Below threshold)
hyperbolist:

I wasn't making fun of you. I was serious when I complimented you for doing the right thing. And so long as you would do the same thing for a girl who got an abortion, then your actions certainly come from the right place.

Hyper ...I've been... (Below threshold)
Jeff:

Hyper ...

I've been an atheist longer than you've probably been alive so I'm pretty certain that I don't qualify as a religious nut job and I've always been pro-choice ... pro-choice for your own body and actions ...

abortion is killing another human being ...

I have no problem with someone killing another human being in self defense and if that is what a woman is claiming in wanting an abortion then she is entitled to do so ...

a pacifist would condone my belief in a right to self defense ... so be it ... but that means the pacifist would not approve of abortion either ...

that doesn't mean I have to approve of her actions ... in most cases I don't ... abortion has become birth control for too many women ...

a pacifist would condone my belief in a right to self defense ... so be it ...

Hyper,I didn't thi... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Hyper,

I didn't think you were making fun of me, didn't intend myresponseto come across that way.

Matt

Oddly apropos timing...<br ... (Below threshold)
SCSIwuzzy:



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