November 24th 2007

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Articles from this issue:

EDITORIAL: 2007 Federal Election contest enters final round

CANBERRA OBSERVED: John Howard's last-ditch pitch to voters

WATER: Governments raid irrigation water

FOREIGN AFFAIRS: Musharraf takes Pakistan to the brink of chaos

ASIA: Can Taiwan resist falling into China's orbit?

PACIFIC: Power struggle behind alleged Fiji coup

STRAWS IN THE WIND: John Howard's last hurrah? / Putin's new Russian empire / Junk-food on children's television / Corruption in Victoria / Banking on Kevin Rudd

REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH: The unacknowledged elephant in the room

OPINION: Pro-life outcry for dolphins, but not for humans

OPINION: Economics isn't everything

SCHOOLS: The case for external, competitive exams

CULTURE AND CIVILISATION: The massive assault on Judeo-Christian values

Why education has been captured by the Left (letter)

Culprit of centralisation? (letter)

BOOKS: COMRADES: A History Of World Communism, by Robert Service

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Pro-life outcry for dolphins, but not for humans

by Bill Muehlenberg

News Weekly, November 24, 2007
Hollywood celebrities are indignant and vocal about the practice of dolphin-culling, but silent about human baby-culling, laments Bill Muehlenberg.

Many would have seen on the evening news, recently, stirring scenes of protesters surfing out into the ocean to thwart Japanese whalers who were killing dolphins. A number of protestors, including US and Australian actors, surfed out to where the activities were taking place in the hope of stopping the killing.

The newscast story featured the camera lingering on American actress Hayden Panettiere who was sobbing uncontrollably upon returning to shore. In what seemed like an eternity, the cameras zoomed in on this distraught young Hollywood starlet, capturing her grief for these poor dolphins.

All in all it was a very moving and emotive news item, and one certainly felt concern for those dolphins, and admired the activism of these celebrities. Yet while it is always a good thing to be a compassionate people, and to show concern for helpless animals being harmed or killed, may I suggest that I am not fully swayed by all this. Indeed, call me cynical if you like, but I can smell some double standards and hypocrisy here big time.

Abortion mills

What these Hollywood heartthrobs are doing, of course, is taking a strong pro-life stand. Yet one wonders where their activism is when it comes to the most important pro-life cause, the plight of unborn humans. Are they also putting their lives on the line, complete with mega-media presence, to save unborn children from the horrible slaughter that awaits them at an abortion mill?

Hey, I don't necessarily begrudge her desire to curb dolphin-culling. But I would like to know what she is doing to curb the human baby-culling which - with all due respect - seems to me to be a much more urgent and pressing moral issue today.

Does she weep uncontrollably - and in front of the TV cameras - outside an abortion clinic? Does she do all she can to stop the slaughter there? Does she recruit fellow Hollywood heavyweights to stop this carnage? Unless I have missed something, I do not recall seeing her or many other Hollywoodians showing the slightest concern about our abortion holocaust.

Australian actress Isabel Lucas, who was also involved in the protest, said, "We couldn't save these whales, but hopefully shining the light on their deaths will save others." Again, stirring words and lofty ideals. But until I see the same rhetoric and action applied to unborn babies, I will remain doubtful about this crusade, and about just how serious these celebrities really are.

Consider this incredible remark from Australian professional surfer Dave Rastovich: "The reason we surfers were there was to share the blood-stained waters at eye-level with our ocean kin awaiting their execution."

Okay, let me see if I have this straight. Dolphins are our "kin", our blood brothers, evidently. Yet our own unborn children are not? Why are dolphins part of our family, but our own children in the womb are regarded as strangers, aliens, indeed, intruders? So are we are to applaud the execution of babies, yet condemn the execution of dolphins?

And consider more moral outrage from Rastovich: "With many nets and kill boats waiting beyond the cove, the fishermen's intense desire to kill left no room for escape." Just change a few words in that statement and you have a perfectly fitting description of the abortion mill. Abortionists are about one thing: killing babies (and making a lot of money doing it). Why no outrage from the surfer over this atrocity? Why whales, but not babies?

The media of course do not help much here. In fact, they are part of the problem. The item on last night's TV news was one big piece of emotive, guilt-manipulating propaganda, to be frank. And today's newspaper articles are little better. Consider some of the headlines that have appeared:

"Surfers make daring mission to protest dolphin killings." Why is it a "daring mission" when dolphin pro-lifers do their thing, but when human pro-lifers seek to undertake similar actions, they are called religious zealots, the moral Taliban, intolerant bigots, and nutcases who are seeking to impose their morality on others?

Why is it okay to impose your anti-whaling morality on others, with complete media complicity, yet when an anti-abortion campaigner does the identical thing concerning an even more deserving victim, the media ignore it or condemn it? Why the double standards here?

Consider another headline (predictably, from the Melbourne Age): "I couldn't believe how red the water was, whale kill witness says." Very emotive indeed. I await the day when a similar Age headline shouts out, "I couldn't believe how bloody the room was, baby kill witness says."

The truth is, pictures of bloody whales are featured in the media all the time. Why? Because they well know that exposure of such bloody images will sway public opinion against whale-killing. Indeed, Rastovich made this quite clear: "Despite the fishermen taking great pains to hide their acts of cruelty, we seized an opportunity to bring this travesty to the world's attention."

This is exactly why you will never see bloody images of the abortionists' work featured in the mainstream media. Why? Because the mainstream media are overwhelmingly leftist, secular and pro-abortion.

They know for sure that, if they start being honest with the public and show the bloody aftermath of a "woman's right to choose", the public will quickly and decisively turn against the killing-fields of the abortion industry. Or, to paraphrase Rastovich, the abortionists are taking great pains to hide their acts of cruelty. Pro-lifers merely seek to seize an opportunity to bring this travesty to the world's attention.

Much of the media have effectively been lying to the public by refusing to tell it like it is concerning abortion. It is quite happy to tell it like it is concerning whaling or dolphin-hunting, because that issue is the trendy, lefty flavour of the month, and because it gives young starlets a chance to prove they are more than blonde bimbos, but may in fact have a conscience, and are willing to be involved in social issues of the day.

But may I suggest that, if they really want to prove how conscientious they are, and really want to make a lasting difference to the moral and social fabric of our nation, that they start taking on the really important cause, and be a real hero, by standing up for the unborn - the most defenceless, the most innocent, and the most abused and exploited group on planet earth.

- Bill Muehlenberg is a commentator on contemporary issues, and lectures in ethics and philosophy. His website CultureWatch is at:

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