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#460 Conscientious Objection Day 5/15/19

May 15 is International Conscientious Objection Day This day primarily focuses on admiring the bravery of conscientious objectors to war, and so we celebrate it. We also note that many violent institutions try to compel people to participate. There are always people of conscience who refuse. Abortion We picture medical personnel who’ve been required to participate in abortions, refused, and suffered consequences.

Upper left: Sweden, Ellinor Grimark; upper right: Scotland, Mary Doogan and Concepta Wood; lower right, Croatia, Jaga Stojak; lower right, New York City, Catherina Cenzon-DeCarlo Death Penalty Excerpted from a letter to Georgia officials on September 21, 2011. “We write to you as former wardens and corrections officials who have had direct involvement in executions. Like few others in this country, we understand . . . from our own personal experiences the awful lifelong repercussions that come from participating in the execution of prisoners . . . Living with the nightmares is something that we know from experience . . . we urge you to unburden yourselves and your staff from the pain of participating in such a questionable execution to the extent possible by allowing any personnel so inclined to opt-out of activities related to the execution.”

Euthanasia Assisted suicide has become a “constitutional right” in Canada. Here’s a petition to sign for a bill allowing nonparticipation. Dr Ewan Goligher offers the lecture, “On Saying ‘No’: The Ethics of Conscientious Objection in Healthcare.” The connection to conscientious objection to war is obvious enough that he mentions aspects of it three times.

More on Eugenics and Immigration We recently covered the historical connection between U.S. immigration restriction and eugenics. Now, the New York Times has covered this as well, in a May 3 article: “A Century Ago, America Built Another Kind of Wall.” Sub-title: “There was a time when even Ivy League scientists supported racial restrictions at the border.” Southern Europeans were at that time considered racially inferior to Northern Europeans. While the article didn’t make the eugenics-abortion connection we do, it did expound on other lethal aspects: “The 1924 quotas remained in force . . . while a 1939 measure that would have allowed 20,000 German Jewish children into the United States died in Congress, and the savagery of the Holocaust began; while the Nazis and their allies starved 350,000 Greeks and slaughtered 200,000 Serbs; and while displaced-persons camps stretched across the ruins of postwar Europe.”

Latest CLN Blog Post This year is the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s famous novel, 1984. As a follow up to a previous post on George Orwell, John Whitehead offers: “Somewhere Else When the Trigger Is Pulled”: Orwell and War.

Quotation of the Week Father James Martin: Why I Am Pro-Life America: The Jesuit Review, January 10, 2019

Maybe because I also advocate for refugees and migrants, L.G.B.T. people and the environment – causes usually championed by those who identify as politically progressive – some people tell me that they wonder about the sincerity of my public comments in support of unborn children. By the same token, others with whom I share common ground on a variety of social justice issues often express discomfort, disappointment and even anger when I use the phrase “pro-life.” . . . In fact, the point of the consistent ethic of life is not that we should focus on other issues instead of abortion, but that our witness for social justice and in defense of all life is strengthened when we base it clearly and consistently on the recognition of the dignity of every human life at every stage.

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