A (really long) response to Goretti Horgan

It’s been a while since I’ve written a response blog (or any kind of blog, for that matter!). The main reason is that it’s rare that anything of substance is published or said in the media which is worth responding to in-depth. I’ve found that fallacious and vapid pro-abortion arguments – i.e. almost all – are best addressed using quick tweets. It’s much less time-consuming and often gains more traction. Once in a while, however, something grabs my attention that I think deserves a fuller response.

On October 4th, Goretti Horgan, a longtime abortion activist, appeared on Radio Ulster’s Talkback show to discuss the full commissioning of Northern Ireland’s abortion services. What followed was, perhaps, the most ill-informed and logically fallacious set of arguments I’ve ever heard from a leading abortion advocate – and that’s saying something.

To try and keep this as efficient and readable as possible, I’ll quote Goretti using bold italics and comment underneath. I recommend that everyone listens to the original broadcast, to ensure that I haven’t taken her out of context or missed something of substance (for brevity, I haven’t quoted every single word, but I have tried to quote her more salient points as fully as possible with a view to accuracy and fairness).

She starts by explaining why, in her view, abortion services took so long to be fully commissioned in Northern Ireland despite it being legal for three years. She then says:

“We still have people having to travel to England to access this basic healthcare, which is legal here, and yet isn’t available.”

It’s true that abortion is now legal in Northern Ireland and that some women still travel to England to avail of it, but notice what this assumes about the unborn. It assumes, without qualification, that the unborn are not human and instead argues that because some human beings go to extreme lengths to end the life of other human beings, the government should make it easier to do so. But why? I see no good reason why the government should be faulted for making it difficult to end the life of your own offspring. Yes, abortion is now legal, but legal doesn’t mean moral.

Almost three out of four people who responded to the Northern Ireland Life and Times survey (NILT), almost two out of three think that it is a woman’s right to choose whether or not to have an abortion. So Mr Wells has a right to his opinion, but he cannot say that most people agree with it.

This is completely false. The 2016 NILT survey showed that the majority of people in Northern Ireland do not agree with abortion based on choice alone. See the graph below.

Furthermore, the UK government’s 2019 consultation on abortion services showed that 79% of all 21,000 submissions received “Expressed a view registering their general opposition to any abortion provision in Northern Ireland beyond that which is currently permitted.”

Most interesting, however, is this candid admission (13:10 mark) by Naomi Connor of the abortion advocacy group Alliance for Choice, who, when discussing the prospect of an ROI-style referendum on abortion, said: “It’s obviously different in the South (of Ireland). A referendum wouldn’t work in the North, and nor do we want one because we think we’d lose it (laughs).” I’ve always said that if you sit quietly and let abortion advocates talk amongst themselves, the truth always gets revealed. Privately they know full well that they don’t have the majority support, but publically they say the opposite. Some people call this “telling fibs”.

“It’s also worth saying that there are women who are dead now, who have left children behind them, no mother to bring up those children because of the lack of abortion laws we had here.”

This is a hugely significant claim, so, and I don’t mean to sound cold here, who are these women? Where can we access the data on this? I ask because the one thing abortion activists do well – really, really well – is that they never waste a tragedy. They love a martyr. If there was even the slightest chance that a woman died in Northern Ireland as a direct result of our abortion laws, she would, like Savita Halappanavar and Sarah Ewart, be a household name. There would be vigils and murals all over Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter and plays performed at the Mac in her memory. It seems odd that this has only been revealed now and in such a fleeting manner. Secondly, and crucially, these anecdotal stories are moot because abortion on the grounds of saving the mother’s life has always been legal in Northern Ireland.

Personhood begins at birth, human rights begin at birth, and until a fetus is able to survive outside of the woman’s body, then really, the idea that … to say that people kill babies when they have an abortion is an absolute lie…”

Here, Goretti appeals to personhood theory to justify her view on abortion – that is, the idea that being a human isn’t sufficient to grant full human rights – you must also be a person. But, yet again, she merely asserts this without offering any supporting argumentation. Human rights are recognised in that which is human; they are not handed out like some sort of government benefit once a human life reaches a particular milestone. It’s also worth noting that personhood theory is only ever invoked when one group of humans wants to kill and/or oppress another group of humans. Goretti’s view – “It’s human, but it’s not a person” – has been argued countless times throughout history to a calamitous effect – Rwanda, Cambodia, Chechnya, Auswitcz, and many others spring to mind. It’s highly unlikely that she’s got it right this time.

Secondly, she appeals to the fetus’ total dependency on her mother as justification for ending its life, but again she offers no arguments in defence of this view, or, indeed, why a mother isn’t morally obliged to keep her offspring alive. Or why we can’t kill other humans who are also wholly dependent on others. Or why is survivability a value-giving property? Or why ending human life based on it not being able to do something isn’t ableist?

Thirdly, in regards to the phrase ‘killing babies,’ there are many high-profile abortion practitioners, feminists and pro-choice philosophers who are quite happy to concede that abortion kills; some even admit there’s a baby involved. Here are a few of them:

Given the wealth of scientific evidence pro-lifers have at their disposal, and the candid admissions of many abortion advocates, there is no reason why we should take Goretti’s word over those even higher up the abortion activism hierarchy than she is.

More than half of all the people who have abortions are already mothers, already have children, and so we know what we’re doing and we know that what we are doing is not giving life, which is very different to killing. And really that language has to go.

It’s funny how pro-lifers are the ones charged with being anti-science yet abortion advocates regularly make statements like this that could’ve easily come from the mouth of a 17th Century nostrum dealer. Basic science, not to mention basic logic, tells us that a woman is pregnant because the act of giving life has already taken place. If there is no life then the woman is not pregnant and no abortion is necessary. Again, Abortion is, by definition, an act of killing. Consider this quote from renowned abortion provider Dr Warren Hern (emphasis mine): “I inserted my forceps into the uterus and applied them to the head of the fetus, which was still alive since fetal injection is not done at that stage of pregnancy. I closed the forceps, crushing the skull of the fetus, and withdrew the forceps. The fetus, now dead, slid out more or less intact.” Does that sound like merely ‘not giving life’ or does it sound more like ‘taking life’? If no killing was involved, how did the previously-alive subject of this abortion come to be dead? What happened to it?

Astonishingly, for an academic, Goretti also fails to understand the difference between actively doing something (an abortion) and not doing something (not giving life). Withdrawing sustenance, if that’s what she means by not giving life, is not the same thing as actively ending a life, which every successful abortion does. So how does she get around this? In an Orwellian power move, she demands the language change to accommodate her view. Sorry, no. The English language exists outside your abortion paradigm, Goretti.

We have to face up to the reality that we have parents in this region who are being forced to end pregnancies that they might want to continue because they literally can’t afford another child because there’s a two-child limit to the benefits and tax credits that are given to families across the UK and I haven’t seen Mr Wells’ party standing up to the Conservatives and saying “this is a scandal”.

Here she engages in subject-changing legerdemain to conflate issues and derail the conversation with the simple goal of making her opponent look like a bad person. She’s basically saying, “If you don’t agree with my specific political beliefs and support the same government programmes I support, then you’re a hypocrite for saying abortion is wrong.” But wait a minute; if abortion is the intentional and unjust taking of innocent human life, then other government policies, while important, are not the issue. Her argument here is like someone making a defence of slavery by saying, “Until you support government schemes that help plantation owners cover the cost of losing their workforce, you’re a hypocrite for speaking out against slavery”. Well, OK, maybe the government should do more to help people in general, but that’s irrelevant if slavery is a moral wrong. Charging someone with hypocrisy, or pointing out that they’re only concerned about one particular issue, is not adequate justification for ending a human life.

Rights are a continuum, rights develop. Of course, as a fetus develops, as it becomes more viable, it definitely does start to have rights … I don’t know anyone who doesn’t agree with that (the presenter then asks, “Is it a person?”) … no, no, no, it’s not a person, either before the law or in morality generally until it’s born.

This best sums up the difference between the pro-life view and the pro-choice view. Either you believe that every human being has an equal right to life, or you don’t. The pro-life view is that human beings are intrinsically valuable because they are human beings. The pro-choice view, as Goretti demonstrates, is that human value sits on a sliding scale of development where humans gradually gain value based on arbitrary milestones, such as viability (I’ve never known a viable newborn, by the way – leave a newborn be for long enough and he’ll soon die). So, if human rights are a continuum awarded by those in power based on an arbitrary characteristic, then every social justice cause that Goretti holds dear is fixed in thin air because if human rights can be given for arbitrary reasons, they can be taken away for arbitrary reasons. She wants to fight for and defend the poor and marginalised – that’s great – but on her understanding of human rights, her sword is a length of hose she bought in Home Bargains and her shield is an old cereal box wrapped in toilet paper.

There is no other situation where a person literally lives in another person’s body, so you can’t have that. You can’t have another person living in another person’s body. So you can’t have personhood until it’s out of the other person’s body. It is really as simple as that.

Let’s break this mess down into a syllogism to help unpack it:

  1. There is no other situation where a person lives in another person’s body.
  2. You can’t have another person living in another person’s body.
  3. Therefore, the person inside the other person is not a person, and we can kill them.

While premise (1) is true, premise (2) is by no means obvious because it a) neglects the moral obligation parents have to keep their children alive (let alone not kill them) and b) fails to understand that just because something is a unique situation, it doesn’t follow that we can kill the subject of that situation to solve a problem. For example, conjoined twins – where the weaker twin literally uses the organs of the stronger twin to survive – is also a unique situation, but it would be unthinkable for the twins’ parents to hire a doctor to kill the weaker twin on the basis that “There is no other situation where a person shares another person’s organs…”. Therefore, the only reason why you would believe premise (2) is if you already believe premise (3) to be true. In other words, Goretti hasn’t logically arrived at premise (3) through sound reasoning; she already assumes premise (3) to be true and this is her way of laying out her argument so that she doesn’t have to properly defend it. It’s question-begging and circular reasoning.

The problem is, even if you accept that an 8 and a half month… even a fetus that is a couple of days away from being born, is equal to the person who is pregnant, then it comes to the which one do you save in that kind of a situation?

Why would Goretti assume that an abortion at this late stage (which could take days to complete) would be needed to save the life of the mother when a C Section could be done in a fraction of the time? If this is a life and death situation and time is of the essence, and assuming this is a wanted pregnancy, why opt for the lengthier and significantly riskier procedure that ends with the death of a full-term child? This is an odd argument. But again, it’s moot, because abortion has always been legal where the mother’s life is genuinely at risk. Furthermore, it’s a false dichotomy because abortion to save the life of a mother is not about one life being less equal than the other; it’s about trying to save both with the understanding that the weaker of the two patients might die as result. The intent here is not to kill, but to save. That is vastly different from what Goretti wants and campaigns for, which is abortion for any reason through all nine months. She appeals to the hard-but-understandable cases to justify her true belief that abortion should be on demand. It’s a motte and bailey fallacy.

“Nobody wants an abortion at any stage, but they certainly don’t want an abortion at a later stage in pregnancy and the only reason people have those later abortions, that anti-abortionists only want to talk about, they’re a tiny, tiny, tiny proportion (presenter: “very small”) they are always for very severe medical reasons because the mother’s life is in danger or because of some very, very severe fetal abnormality…” 

Once again for those at the back: abortion to save the life of the mother has always been legal! It’s true that most abortions are indeed performed at under 10 weeks (89% according to Government stats for 2021), and some pro-life activists indeed tend to focus more on later-term abortions, but pro-lifers don’t believe abortion is wrong because of the gestation period; they believe abortion is wrong because it unjustly ends an innocent human life. In other words, the age of the victim is irrelevant. The bigger picture, however, is that 98% of all UK abortions in 2021 were performed for reasons other than those reasons that abortion advocates only ever talk about – rape, incest, a risk to the mother’s life, etc. Additionally, in the US, there’s a good case to be made that most abortions carried out after 21 weeks are not medically necessary, either for the mother or the child.

(Presenter: “Do you see any room for compromise?”) “Not useless you’re going to say that the woman’s life is only equal to that of the fetus that she’s carrying. I don’t believe that. I think the woman’s life is of more importance… that she has given over her body to grow this baby… and really she shouldn’t have to risk her life in order to do so.”

Ah, so it is a baby, then! Glad we agree on something. Sadly, this is where the agreement ends as the undefended assertions continue. Who said giving over your body to grow a baby is an adequate justification for killing the baby? This is an odd and impoverished view of the mother-child relationship. This also seems to be a tacit admission that not all human life is equal. Why are the mother and baby (her words) not equal? Because the mother uses her body to grow the baby? I wonder if this also extends to finances and emotions. Can a mother end her baby’s life because she gives over literally everything to her once she’s born? If not, what difference do the first nine months make?

To recap, it’s clear that Goretti’s arguments don’t withstand any kind of scrutiny; they’re shallow, ill-thought-out, disingenuous and fallacious – and they wrongly ground rights in arbitrary characteristics and a sliding scale of human development instead of where they should be grounded – one’s human nature (the clue is in the name – human rights). And, despite her confidence and self-assured delivery, her arguments aren’t even in line with what other abortion advocates are saying. Such arguments may well be persuasive to an 18-year-old in their first year of uni who has just discovered feminism for the first time, but anyone who cares about the pursuit of truth – both for and against abortion – should see right through them.

Hazelwood College: is integrated education a genuinely inclusive and unbiased education?

Cast your minds back to 2019 and you may remember the outrage caused when a teacher at Dalriada––a grammar school in Ballymoney––wrote a pro-life sentiment on a whiteboard in response to the relaxation of Northern Ireland’s abortion laws. The outrage was such that it even made the news. In response, Dalriada’s principal Tom Skelton said this:

“Regardless of any individual’s personal position on the issues of gay marriage and abortion, it is completely unacceptable that such a display was posted in a school environment.”

“Dalriada should be a place where all of its pupils, staff and visitors feel welcomed, supported and able to learn, regardless of their sexuality, political views, medical history or religious beliefs.”

Mr Skelton then went on to assure those offended that the teacher in question had “apologised profusely,” before concluding:

“The school pastoral programme is also being reviewed to ensure that lessons on topics such as same-sex marriage and abortion are delivered in an age-appropriate, sensitive, non-judgemental manner which reflects the views of all.” 

In other words, the political opinions and moral ideologies of the Dalriada teaching staff should be left out of the classroom, and lessons should be sensitive, even-handed and non-judgmental in their treatment of important social issues, like abortion. 

Fast forward, then, to March 2022 and Hazelwood Integrated College, led by activist teacher and SDLP candidate for east Belfast, Charlotte Carson, took a slightly different approach when hosting a ‘feminist day’. And by ‘slightly different’ I mean their approach to the treatment of sensitive topics was more akin to that of a monster truck reversing over someone’s garden fence than that of an integrated school striving for non-judgmental inclusivity. 

Not only was their widely-promoted feminist conference heavy on the pro-abortion apologetics, including the making of placards oozing with anti-Catholic sentiment, but it was attended––and celebrated––by several prominent politicians and abortion activist organisations. And yet, there was no outcry, no profuse apologising, and no BBC articles calling into question Hazelwood’s commitment to treating all views equally and with respect. And they say men have all the privilege.

So, what does this tell us about the true nature of integrated education? Quite a bit. Integrated Education, commonly construed, particularly in a Northern Irish context, is the simple act of educating children from disparate backgrounds, together. This is certainly a meritorious aim and one that most people think of when they hear the words “integrated education,” which is why, given our country’s troubled history, many right-minded people are in favour of it.

However, as Hazelwood’s feminist conference demonstrated, there’s a good bit more to it than that. Ideologies and moral frameworks do not exist in a vacuum; they must come from somewhere, and we all hold them. If an institution seeks to replace or neutralise one set of beliefs for the greater good of society––such as religious-based morality or political sectarianism–they won’t be replaced by mere neutrality; they will be replaced with someone else’s morality and a different kind of sectarianism. 

This was plain to see for anyone following the glowing coverage of Hazelwood’s feminist conference on social media, where pictures of girls (no boys to be seen, by the way) were circulated of them holding self-made “keep your rosaries off my ovaries” placards. Interesting. Why zone in on Catholicism? It’s almost as if the organisers of this event don’t know that the pro-life view is very common amongst practising Catholics, or that other world religions also take exception to abortion (you know, the deliberate taking of human life). 

So what of those Catholic and other religiously observant Hazelwood pupils? Being a diverse and inclusive school––if their multi-culture-depicting billboards are anything to go by––must mean that Hazelwood has at least some devout pro-life Catholic students under their tutelage. Would those pupils––or indeed any pupil of any religion who opposes abortion––have felt safe and welcomed at this conference? No, of course, they wouldn’t. Such an event would have been distinctly unwelcoming for them. These pupils would have been greeted with a kind of sectarianism not based on Green or Orange, but a new kind of sectarianism based on where they stand on progressive political policies. “Don’t agree with us on abortion? Here’s a placard of what we think of your stupid religion that claims all life is precious, you dinousaur!”

The biggest red flag of this event, however, was the adults using it as an evangelistic outreach/recruitment drive––namely, the angry, misanthropic abortion activist groups like Alliance for (abortion) Choice, an organisation not exactly known for its commitment to the kinds of standards one would expect of a school that wishes to “remain faithful to the true values of what an integrated school should be”. A cursory glance at these activists’ social media history often throws up grotesque artwork––both aesthetically and technically––appeals to eugenics (any pupils with Down syndrome or have a cleft palate at Hazelwood?) and, most disconcertingly, they have zero interest in engaging with even the most respectful of criticism, responding instead with mind-numbing GIFs and emojis, teaching children that you don’t have to defend your beliefs, you just have to assume and assert that they’re correct. Like the old religious men of yesteryear, these feminists believe their doctrines of Critical Race and Queer Theory are holier than your doctrines because Judith Butler tells them so.

Events like this, organised by activist teachers and promoted by people in power who have a clear political agenda, should be of considerable concern for any parent who wishes their child to develop into a well-rounded individual who respects others, even if they disagree with them. Like nature, morality abhors a vacuum, and a vacuum is exactly what integrated education provides––at least as it’s envisioned by schools like Hazelwood––into which someone’s ideology will be inserted. So, if you intend to send your child to Hazelwood, bear in mind: it’s not a case of if beliefs will be imposed on them, but which beliefs will be imposed.

Alliance for Choice to launch ‘infanticide doulas’ to complement abortion doula service

Infantem Abiit, Latin for ‘Baby Begone,’ is to be launched at the end of the year by Alliance for Choice to complement their Abortion Doula service.

Although infanticide is currently illegal in Northern Ireland, Alliance for Choice claimed that the use of a woman’s body by her offspring doesn’t magically stop after birth, so the right to bodily autonomy still applies. 

Therefore the group of misanthropic communists have launched a free ‘Infanticide Doula Service’ – Infantem Abiit – to provide advice and support on everything from how best to despatch unwanted infants to how to cut and finish your own block fringe.

Antionette LeVay from Infantem Abiit said: “For too long the government has refused to acknowledge our sovereign right over the life and death of our offspring. All women – including those women who are also men – need to know where and how to kill their children, but their human right (to end another human life) is being denied by the dinosaurs in government.”

The service will have two trained Infanticide Doulas in NI with over twenty years of infant killing experience between them – Beverley Allitt and Kristen Gilbert – with Kermit Gosnell set to provide technical and medical advice from his prison cell.

However, a spokesperson for the government responded that information on how to kill your weans is readily available on Google. “Infanticide-minded women can go to websites like Murderpedia, for example, to get tips and tricks on how best to end the life of a child they consider unwanted or too disabled.”

The spokesperson also said that the commissioning of infanticide services requires even more progressive political agendas, which we currently don’t have enough of, but if enlightened politicians bring their abortion arguments to their logical conclusion and enshrine them in law, we could have a society in the near future where infanticide is free, safe, legal and local.

Unborn to self-identify as foxes so Alliance Party, SDLP will prioritise their welfare

Clumps of cells across Northern Ireland are now self-identifying as foxes in a desperate bid to get political parties to recognise their inherent moral value and natural right to life.

The idea came about after one such clump overheard a radio interview in which a tearful SDLP representative lamented how awful it is that in 2021 “People can still be so cruel to another living creature”.

“I was doing some flips and sucking my thumb when I heard this politico say, “Tearing a fox apart is barbaric,” and I stopped and thought, “But that’s exactly what you want to happen to us!”” communicated one fetus by kicking its host in Morse code. “Maybe if we made ourselves less human by wearing fluffy ears and a bushy tail, local politicians might start campaigning for our rights as well.”

“Look, if a disease-ridden and bad-tempered fox can garner empathy from our most enlightened politicians, surely a human being in utero can too,” said the fetus before fixing his fox ears into place.

“As we have all come to learn in 21st Century Northern Ireland, the best way to get the attention of a progressive politician is to become a fashionable cause. Something easy to campaign for that will make the politician look amazingly empathetic and virtuous for speaking up on,” said another clump of cells. “What better than to self-identify as a vulnerable wild animal? Two progressive causes in one. Bingo!”

The hope is that when Northern Ireland’s politicians see these little foxes in utero, they will inadvertently call for an end to hunting human babies in the womb. Failing that, however, the fetuses plan to self-identify as other progressive political causes, such as circus animals, goose eggs, and Marxists.

Brandon Lewis installed as N Ireland ‘supreme leader’

The British government has finally completed the transfer of absolute power over Northern Ireland to Brandon Lewis.

Watched by scores of abortion activists, ideologically-confused Republicans and some middle-class moralisers packed into Belfast’s Writers’ Square, Lewis watched from a balcony overlooking the plaza as words of praise for the man called “the Dear Leader” were read out loud.

Millie Smurthwaite, the founder of Kill the Kids, a reproductive justice advocacy group, said: “The cold and calloused heart of democracy has finally stopped beating … this timely and welcome power move is the best thing to happen to the uteruses of men and women across the country.”

And the North of Ireland, she said, will “finally make the transformation from misogyny and patriarchy to empowerment and solidarity; that’s why we need this man in charge” adding that Lewis shared her “ideology for crushing the weakest members of society for personal gain.”

“The fact that he completely resolved the abortion services thing is great comrade Lewis’s most noble achievement,” she said.

Lewis, flanked by senior party and military officials from both the Alliance Party and the Green Party on the balcony of a Pizza Express, bowed his head during the service. To his left stood the Alliance Party’s Stephen Farry, who, alongside the Green Party’s Clare Bailey, is expected to act as a close adviser to the new leader.

The accession will not become formal, however, until the youth wing of the Alliance Party have replaced every flag, election poster and lamppost sticker in the country with a portrait of Lewis’s face.

Alliance party hits out at ‘graphic’ ultrasound images found in households across the country

Graphic images of healthy children in utero have been found in homes across the country, on fireplaces and in bookcases – and sometimes even on fridge magnets or mugs.

Alliance Cllr Snipey McSneery, who heads up Alliance’s anti-graphic-image task force, has called this an unspeakable evil, and asked the PSNI to forcibly remove them as soon as possible.

He said: “It has been brought to my attention that a number – possibly tens of thousands – of households across the country have graphic ultrasound imagery on their fireplaces and other areas where everyone can see them.

“Such images can be deeply upsetting to those who hate truth or those who know deep down that a parasitic clump of cells is a whole human being, but want to suppress that truth for the sake of a political agenda.

“I have reported these ultrasounds to the PSNI and the Housing Executive requesting that they are removed as soon as possible to prevent further harm to middle-class leftist feelings.

“We need to continue to work together in love and compassion and empathy as a shared community to not upset anyone for the betterment of us all … or else.”

The ultrasounds come just days after scores of pamphlets containing similar imagery that warn against the dangers of smoking when pregnant were discovered in a GP’s surgery, which were described by Alliance Youth’s chairperson, Xer Katniss, as “a campaign of harassment and lies”.

Thou shalt not be biased: the fallacy of secular neutrality

Last month, a primary school in Glenarm became the first Catholic school in Northern Ireland to become integrated, prompting great fanfare from secularists. A secular society, argue secularists, is one that is unrivalled in its capacity for tolerance, its high view of science and, crucially, in its neutrality

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? What kind of dinosaur wouldn’t place their trust in such a reasonable and progressive system? You would have to be literally Hitler to disagree.

But is it true? Is secularism neutral? And does it have a high view of science and tolerance? 

ToLErAnCE!!!!!

Self-defeating and logically impossible.

Well, not really. The appeal of neutrality is certainly understandable. The idea that no one group should be advantaged over another is a sound one—and should be strived for insofar as possible—but it doesn’t address the need to differentiate between competing ideas of what good is. Issues like euthanasia, abortion, free speech, etc., are all bitterly contested—even amongst secularists—so, who is right and on what grounds?

For a civilised society to function properly, it is important to promote some ideas as beneficial and relegate others as harmful, which necessitates appealing to some sort of higher code. Herein lies the problem for secularism. 

Adjudicating between competing conceptions of good requires something other than mere neutrality to be successful—otherwise (and try and follow me on this) neutrality itself would be perceived as the ultimate good and therefore wouldn’t be neutral! It’s self-defeating.   

The solution must be anchored to a coherent understanding of what government is and what its responsibilities are, which itself is part of a larger moral project that encompasses everything from what it means to be human to why we ought to behave in certain ways—questions that neutrality is ill-equipped to answer because there is no neutral ground on which to discuss them.

Traditionally, differentiating between competing concepts of good was done via an appeal to a higher moral authority that sits outside human ability to change. In other words, an ontic referent (i.e. God). But, of course, on secularism there is no God or gods (or if there is, he/she/it/they has no business interfering in human affairs), so man and man alone is the measure of all things. The problem with that, of course, is the standards by which man measures things change with frightening rapidity, often without notice. Such a system leaves no room for neutrality. 

Therefore, we should see secular neutrality as a logical impossibility; it is completely untenable. If neutrality is seen as the highest good for governance then the State would be compelled to impose it, which would require more state intervention to make sure everything remains neutral. Which is anything but neutral.

Everyone has moral beliefs they want enshrining in law

The second problem with the idea of secular neutrality is that everyone—absolutely everyone—has a set of beliefs and moral assumptions they want to see reflected in law. Secularists, as evidenced by their indefatigable lobbying on issues such as (take a deep breath, this is a long sentence) same-sex marriage, abortion access, blasphemy laws, euthanasia, collective worship in schools, sex education, religious education, integrated education, all the other educations, public religious displays, graphic abortion imagery, gay conversion therapy (but not gender conversion therapy, that’s beautiful and empowering), organ donation, animal rights, etc. etc. etc — are no exception. The phrase “don’t push your morals on others” doesn’t seem to apply to secularists.

It’s also important to note that, as far as science goes, all of the above campaigns are the outworking of moral convictions, not science. For example, pro-lifers are often told by abortion advocates that an unborn child (or fetus, if you prefer), while scientifically human, is not a person and can therefore be killed with impunity. That something can be a living human organism but not a person is known as ‘personhood theory’ — which is an ideology, not science. The same goes for sexual identity. Science can tell us how our bodies are ordered and plumbed for the opposite sex as a means of species propagation, but it can’t tell us whether or not ‘love is love’. That is a moral claim and, as such, is no more rational, scientific or provable than other competing moral claim.

(To be clear, that doesn’t mean that all religious ideas are good or that all secularist ideas are bad, but the idea that religious beliefs should be excluded from policymaking for simply being religious is itself a metaphysical belief rooted in presuppositions about the nature of reality.)

Unfortunately, many Christians have bought into the fallacy of secular neutrality, which, importantly, demands that all religious beliefs be left at home before you enter the political arena (except for feel-good Oprah spirituality or any theology that affirms whatever the current social zeitgeist happens to be). 

And yet, even though religious beliefs are openly excluded, secularists—under the guise of neutrality—can still smuggle in their beliefs … beliefs that their ultimate view of reality can’t ground. For example, a secularist who is also a materialist (a person who believes that nothing exists except physical matter) cannot ground the belief that all human beings are equal, since Darwinism, their grounding text for the nature of reality, teaches no such thing. So, they must borrow the Christian view of the human person, which teaches that all human beings are equal in virtue of them simply being human.

So, the next time a secularist offers up their utopian vision of a perfectly neutral and tolerant secular society—a society that just so happens to recognise in law all of their moral beliefs and convictions (but not yours)—don’t let it pass without interrogation. 

Politician outraged at colour of football kit welcomes new law that permits ripping children to pieces

The inexplicably popular North Down MP, Stephen Farry, who recently made headlines over concerns about the colour of a football kit, has welcomed a new law that will allow countless children to be ripped to pieces and thrown in a bin, some simply because they’re disabled.

“With all the horrible and backward things going on in our society at present, like a football team using the wrong colour for their kits, this new law is a real breath of fresh, progressive air” said Farry.

While the Alliance Party is very much in favour of child dismemberment for any reason and at any time during pregnancy, their PR strategy is usually to obfuscate the issue with a clever mix of anti-science and sloppy philosophy, then accusing anyone who questions them on it of not having a uterus.

Sloppy Alliance philosophy conflating bodily ability with moral worth

“I know our party has been unclear on this issue in the past — I mean, just try and get a coherent answer out of Naomi Long without her resorting to lazy rhetoric and vapid sloganeering – but I hope my public show of approval for this new child dismemberment law is clear proof that the Alliance Party really is the party of progress and choice.”

Questions have been raised about the Alliance Party’s official position on child dismemberment, with some arguing that they are now a fully pro-dismemberment party instead of one that takes a conscience-based approach. “That’s not true” said Farry. “We’re still committed to diversity of thought within the party – hence our token pro-lifer, Chris Lyttle.”

Chris Lyttle was unavailable for comment, having been sent away on a re-education course for voting in favour of making child dismemberment illegal in cases of Down syndrome.

Northern Ireland Humanists to offer abortion ceremonies

After the recent liberalisation of abortion in Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Humanists immediately unveiled plans to make a few quid by offering abortion ceremonies.

While the humanist movement has, for some time, been offering a range of ceremonial services for secularists who want all the trappings of religion but none of the God stuff, abortion ceremonies are believed to be a world’s first.

“We wanted to celebrate this historic day of joy and bloodshed by offering people something unique and memorable for their abortions,” said Quentin Snarf, a humanist celebrant and founder of the pro-choice activist group, Upper-Middle Class Alliance Against Poor People Breeding.

“We humanists love our ceremonies and already offer lots of them – from wedding ceremonies to cat-naming ceremonies – so why not abortion? It is our most important sacrament, after all.”

With the first abortions in Northern Ireland set to take place during March 2020, Snarf is expecting demand to be high.

“We’ve already had hundreds of enquires, many from people who aren’t even pregnant yet!” said Snarf.

“We know from independently verified data that Northern Ireland’s wicked and antiquated pro-life laws have saved over 100,000 lives, but while we can’t kill those people now, we can kill a future 100,000 – and what a better way to celebrate that than with an abortion ceremony!”

At present, details are sketchy as to what an abortion ceremony will involve, but a spokesperson for Northern Ireland Humanists has confirmed that participants will be offered the chance to “pull off the first limb” or “crush the skull themselves” as part of the ritual.

Four reasons why we need to rally for choice

A guest blog by Rally for Choice speaker, Evil-Lyn

Mmmmmmwwwwhhhyy hello there, comrades – hahahaha! I am Evil-Lyn, sorceress and harnesser of dark powers. Most of you will remember me as the evil witch from the hit 80s cartoon, He-Man and the Masters of the Universe – but I am also a compassionate and reason-filled proponent of abortion and bodily autonomy rights.

So – when the organisers of Belfast’s Rally for Choice reached out to me during their AGM seance and asked me to be one of their guest speakers, how could I refuse? Hahahaha! (I couldn’t).

Now that the dust has settled after a crazy weekend of marching and protesting around Belfast with 17 million (according to our academic) fellow pro-choice persons, I want to take the time to enlighten all you bigots and misogynists on why the choice to end a human life is necessary for progress.

Here are four reasons – hahahahaha!

1. Population control

As my enlightened pro-choice comrades often point out – usually over a glass of Ca’ di Rajo Lemoss Frizzante and a bowl of roasted chickpeas back at mine after watching a profound piece of abortion theatre at the MAC – the world is overcrowded. There’s at least 6 billion of us and counting. It is not possible for so many people to enjoy the splendours of our wonderful planet all at the same time without destroying it.

Something has to give.

Unfortunately, you can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs. And by eggs, I mean fetuses. Abusing chickens of their eggs is disgusting and immoral.

This Facebook post from an academic at a leading NI University sums up our predicament perfectly:

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2. Clearing out the riff-raff

If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being in a “benefits lounge,” you’ll notice that poor people are rather unsightly. Not only that, they have a tendency to “muck about,” which means they can never get work or contribute to a meaningful society.

As our comrade Bernie Sanders explained recently, the answer to people living in poverty – especially in those savage third world countries – is to stop them from breeding. In other words, poor people are better off dead. And in pieces. And in a bin.

(As an added bonus, since the poor commit all the crimes, this approach is also useful for countries that don’t have the death penalty. Except it’s better, because the criminal can be taken out before a crime has even been committed – like in Minority Report – saving the Justice Department millions in taxpayers’ money).

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“Pro-choice, not Pro-letariat!” I screamed.

3. Improving the gene pool

If our amazing foremothers Marie Stopes and Margret Sanger, founders of the two biggest abortion enterprises in the universe, taught us anything it was that abortion “Is nothing more or less than the facilitation of the process of weeding out the unfit, of preventing the birth of defectives or of those who will become defectives”.

This is true. When I visited Iceland a few moon cycles ago, my intention was to overthrow their government and seize control of their aluminium smelting plants. But then I discovered they had done great work in eradicating Down’s syndrome – a problem that has cursed my home planet of Eternia since the beginning of time – by eradicating those with Down’s syndrome! Genius – hahahaha!

So it follows, then, that since Iceland is often portrayed as a beacon of secular hope and progress, it would be prudent to follow their lead by allowing Northern Ireland to abort all its defectives, too. Those with Down’s syndrome, those with an FFA, those with a cleft palate, those with colic – the whole lot of them. Having a choice helps us achieve that.

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I genuinely don’t look out of place here.

4. People should be able to do whatever the f**k they want, you c**nts!

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While the first three reasons are closely linked, this one often gets overlooked, but it’s a vital component – if not the most important component – of everything that the pro-choice movement stands for, especially when it comes to sex. And that is the right to do whatever the f**k we want, whenever we want.

Five millennia ago I argued during my presidential campaign that laws should be based on a) how badly people want to do something and b) possession of a uterus or uteruses. Unfortunately, at the time, my home planet of Eternia was under the patriarchy of Skeletor, who took exception to my liberal fancies and banished me to a netherworld for ten thousand years.

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Skeletor and I have since reconciled. It was great to see him at the Rally and looking the part, alongside his long-term political ally, Eamonn McCann.

But I was right. Nihilism is the only viable option for governance. It’s true that some people argue that laws should be based on reason and merit, but do you notice how everyone who says that doesn’t have a uterus? Exactly – hahahaha! Shut up, you man*!

Hopefully, these reasons – and all of the lovely photographs you see of how wonderful and stable and measured we pro-choicers are – will have dragged you out of your religious stupor and into the 21st Century. But if not, well, DON’T LIKE ABORTION, DON’T HAVE ONE! – HAHAHAHA!

*By ‘man’ I am referring to those without wombs. I am aware that not everyone without a womb identifies as a man, making them a woman*. I mean no offence by this. I support you all.

* By ‘woman’ I am referring to those with wombs. I am aware that not everyone with a womb identifies as a woman and are actually men with wombs. To clarify, men who are women who are men who are women who are men with wombs and also women without wombs – I mean no offence. I support you all.

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Beast Man cheered up considerably after his Boojum.