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Pro-lifers, Partial Birth Abortion, and Quiet Good Taste

By Fr. Paul Mankowski, S.J. (articles ) | Jun 06, 2003

Whenever I read protests that it's emotionally manipulative of pro-lifers to display photos of the concrete results of abortion, I'm reminded of Adolf Eichmann's testimony to his own squeamishness as evidence of his nobility -- this during his Nuremberg trial for crimes against humanity -- as described in Hannah Arendt's 1963 classic Eichmann in Jerusalem:

A captain of the Order Police came to greet them, led them to a few small wooden bungalows, and began, "in a vulgar uneducated harsh voice," his explanations: "how he had everything nicely insulated, for the engine of a Russian submarine will be set to work and the gases will enter this building and the Jews will be poisoned. For me, too, this was monstrous. I am not so tough as to be able to endure something of this sort without any reaction. ... If today I am shown a gaping wound, I can't possibly look at it. I am that type of person, so that very often I was told that I couldn't have become a doctor. I still remember how I pictured the thing to myself, and then I became physically weak, as though I had lived through some great agitation. Such things happen to everybody, and it left behind a certain inner trembling."

Eichmann was chief of subsection IV-D-4 of the Reichssicherheitshauptamt (RSHA). He was concerned with "emigration and evacuation" of Jews, gypsies, and others to the death camps. It appears the jury was unimpressed by his sense of delicacy.

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  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jun. 06, 2003 10:40 PM ET USA

    Josef Pieper wrote in the book In Defense of Philosophy that "...the power of the mind for good and evil, lies in argumentation". At some point you will have to argue with someone over this issue. Yet, you have an ace up your sleeve; Natural Law versus the flimsy house of cards that undergirds the so called woman's right to choose. Fides et Ratio gave you the opening -- Christian Philosophy. Laity have a great part to play and the Church's orthodox thinkers have given us the tools to do it.

  • Posted by: Pseudodionysius - Jun. 06, 2003 3:22 PM ET USA

    The Nazis....the greatest argument in favor of Natural Law. And the equivalent of prudential garlic to the positivist abortion rights crowd.

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