#411 First Things, Mideast Massacre, McCoy v LA - May 18, 2018
First Things with Consistent-Life Thoughts First Things is an interreligious magazine with an intellectual tradition of critique of contemporary society. The June 2018 issue ran “Our Pro-Life Future: A Plan for Building on Anti-Abortion Successes,” by CLN Vice President Rachel MacNair. This article uses insights from peace psychology for strategy suggestions. First, be aware of the successful current trends in abortion reduction. Then, use the human mind’s drive for consistency to help accelerate them. In this case, “consistency” means explaining how our behavior matches our attitudes – if people know our society’s behavior is changing, they’ll be more likely to change their attitudes. Our normal understanding of “consistency” – opposing all killing of humans – was also included. Rachel goes into greater length on this topic, and documents how performing abortions is traumatizing to those who do them, in her book, Achieving Peace in the Abortion War.
Mourning a Mideast Massacre Last week’s shooting spree by Israeli soldiers on mostly unarmed Palestinian protesters, killing over 50 people, including children, and injuring over 2,000, has these differences from other shooting sprees: it was socially approved by the government in charge, the perpetrators will not likely ever face court, and some people defend the killers’ actions. These are features of war, and make war a different form of killing from the outbursts of violence that just about everyone deplores.
Since this violence and the pageantry of the dedication of the US embassy in Jerusalem were happening at the same time, much of the news coverage used a split-screen to show both at once. The juxtaposition was jarring. This disconcerting contrast is also typical of the reality of war.
On an Israeli radio show April 21, Israeli Brigadier-General Zvika Fogel was asked about the killing of a 14-year-old boy (Mahmoud Ibrahim Ayoub, pictured). He replied that “any person who gets close to the fence . . . should bear a price for that violation." The interviewer asked: "Then his punishment is death?" Fogel responded, "His punishment is death."
Court Decision: A Right to Say You’re Not Guilty
In a case we brought up when it was pending, on May 14 the US Supreme Court decision came down in McCoy vs. Louisiana. Robert McCoy (pictured) insisted he was innocent, but his attorney admitted his guilt in a failed bid to avoid a death sentence. The 6-3 decision held that “The Sixth Amendment guarantees a defendant the right to choose the objective of his defense and to insist that his counsel refrain from admitting guilt, even when counsel’s experienced-based view is that confessing guilt offers the defendant the best chance to avoid the death penalty.”
Latest CLN Blog Post In social movements, which attract people with strong opinions, it’s inevitable that some of those opinions will clash. What do we do about this? Many times, the best thing to do is to accept that people have different opinions. Sarah Terzo covers a couple of instances of clashing opinions, among people who oppose gun violence and poverty, but differ about how to address these ills, in Different Ways of Looking at Issues.
Quotation of the Week Claire Andersson The Book about Abortion: Everything You Need to Know Before Making a Decision (Kindle Edition 2017) Note: This is one of the times we quote a seamless-shroud writer (someone who opposes our positions) who still makes a connection. Funding abortion is no different from funding a war in the Mideast. For those who are opposed, the place to express outrage is in the voting booth.
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