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Peace & Life Connections #48 - February 25, 2011

 In the News – When Terrible News is Good News
        When the mainstream media reported on the abuses in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, people were naturally horrified. Yet such abuse is customary in war. It’s naïve to think wars can happen without it. It’s in the nature of the practice of violence as a supposed problem-solver. The good news was that the media actually covered this scandal, rather than ignoring it, as is their frequent practice.
        Similarly, scandals involving abortion doctors have occurred one after another. It’s in the nature of the business. The recent Pennsylvania case of Kermit Gosnell has attracted much national attention lately, as he’s been charged with murder of one woman and seven just-born babies; we will spare you the gruesome details and the appalling state of his clinic. Yet this follows years during which state officials should have taken action and did nothing. William Saletan, who is pro-choice but sensitive to abortion problems, documents this ongoing problem in a series called The Back Alley 2011: How the Politics of Abortion Protects Bad Clinics.
        Racism also played a role here. Employee Tina Baldwin testified that white patients didn’t wait in the same dirty rooms as black and Asian patients, nor were they the ones who were victims of her untrained efforts at anesthesia. Instead, Gosnell would escort the whites up the back steps to another doctor’s clean office with a television.          
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Justin Bieber
        A Rolling Stone interview says of teen heartthrob Justin Bieber – “One issue he's rock-solid on: ‘I really don't believe in abortion,’ he admits. ‘It's like killing a baby . . .” A Facebook page has been set up in support. Wondering how he might be on other violence issues, we find this video; not definitive, but nice. This has put several of us in mind of contacting him as a possible endorser, someone who could influence the all-important youth constituency. But of course that constituency is quite large with hundreds of thousands of individuals keen to communicate with him, and we’ve not yet found a method to catch his attention should he be interested. Anyone with any knowledge of how to make contact (or who’ll be attending a concert and can look for opportunities), please let us know at  
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Quotation of the Week – in honor of February as Black History Month
Jesse Jackson
1977 "March on Washington"
Note: Unfortunately, he changed positions in time for his 1984 run for the Democratic Party nomination, but his reasoning remains .
        "There are those who argue that the right to privacy is of [a] higher order than the right to life . . . that was the premise of slavery. You could not protest the existence or treatment of slaves on the plantation because that was private and therefore outside your right to be concerned.

Black Baby 2        What happens to the mind of a person, and the moral fabric of a nation, that accepts the aborting of the life of a baby without a pang of conscience? What kind of a person and what kind of a society will we have 20 years hence if life can be taken so casually? It is that question, the question of our attitude, our value system, and our mind-set with regard to the nature and worth of life itself that is the central question confronting mankind. Failure to answer that question affirmatively may leave us with a hell right here on earth." 
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