This is a clarion call regarding Canada’s deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research – an organization that has been busy since 1982 defending the sanctity of human life from conception, critiquing sex-ed programs, and which most recently has launched a powerful attack against the legalization of killing human beings under the rubric of “assisted suicide” and “euthanasia”. (Few understand as yet that this latter term is properly defined as the active killing of another human being, and not, as so many wrongly assume, simply letting them die). They have done a lot of noble work.
So a few months ago, I was pleased to be invited by one of their Board members to speak at the Institute’s Annual Symposium on July 15th. My topic was to be “Medical Ethics, or Medical Evil? How We Got Here.” I was excited about the opportunity to explain exactly how, over recent decades, we have mutated from a people who once staunchly supported the sanctity of human life, into a people who now righteously promote the killing of human life both in the womb (abortion), and outside the womb (euthanasia). It would have been my pleasure to explain the lockstep chain of ideological, political, and moral (or rather, amoral) conclusions that have brought us to where we are today. These are not well understood, but they continue to carry us all like a silent ideological tsunami to a very uncertain future.
At any rate, a month after I was invited and an initial notice and a poster had been sent out by deVeber, I learned that the Institute’s co-Chair, who was surely aware that I was the author of the bestselling book The War Against the Family, made it known to her Board that she didn’t want me saying anything about homosexuality or gay marriage at the conference.
Well, it was simply astonishing to see this tip of the PC iceberg appearing within what is normally such a conservative, if not openly Catholic organization. So I told my Board-member friend that I should be called personally to be told why my speech must be censored. The co-Chair made the call – an act I admired. But then she proceeded to exert herself in a meandering exercise of intellectual flatulence. Her main point seemed to be that she wanted to protect the Institute from criticism because they were working so well with government (from whom, I assume, they were already receiving, or intended to receive, funding). In short, she was clearly squirming in discomfort at the thought of me speaking my mind freely.
I, in turn, made it known that although it was never my intent to dwell on the topic of so-called homosexual marriage, I did intend to explain in passing how the gay rights movement has been a textbook example of the handful of steps required to undermine the core morality of any traditional society. And I would have explained that what most clearly marks the end-game of this undermining process is public acceptance of the “forbidding of thought” (as the Germans, who should know, described it). It is this final step that demonizes even the most rational of dissenters by promoting the use of slur-terms such as “homophobic,” or redefines the unborn child as mere “property”, or even as an internal “enemy” of the liberated woman. In other words (I had to spell it out), she and the Institute were now choosing to become handmaids to the dangerous process of closing open minds. I also warned that as things are now proceeding on the topic of euthanasia, she would soon see that all those who forbid “choice” in having oneself killed by a licenced agent-physician of the State – among them herself, and myself – would soon be labelled a “euthophobe” (or some such hate-engendering adjective). But these warnings were to no avail, and we ended our conversation in limbo.
However, I now felt quite compromised, and as a responsible freethinker (I do not support irresponsible speech, such as the promotion of treason), I was irritated that anyone felt they should be able to dictate what I am allowed to say in a public speech. Then, I discovered that the Institute’s Board actually launched itself into a vote on whether or not I should be disinvited, labouring, apparently, under the illusion that voting on something can make it right. Of course, public acceptance of the notion that a vote can decide the course of a sound morality, was one of the very steps I had wanted to expose! It is also a reason why I dislike the word “ethics” (as distinct from “moral”), because “ethics” most often has to do with making sure all parties to a crisis end up equally happy (or equally unhappy). It implies a deal-making process that may, but does not necessarily, involve moral judgement. In other words, it is possible to have an ethical decision (such as deciding that citizens must have an equal right to be killed by a physician) that is profoundly immoral.
At any rate, there are some indignities to which no self-respecting person should submit, and putting one’s own head on the block of snivelling Lilliputian opinion is one of them. So I withdrew of my own accord from what was now a poisonous situation. But as the aggrieved and inconvenienced party, I also asked myself if I had any feelings of bitterness or revenge over this minor personal slight? But I find none, and in speaking out now, I have no wish to harm the Institute. I feel only sadness that such a fine organization has engaged in such an act of self-mutilation. I could have kept quiet; and might that have been a more gentlemanly thing to do? I decided not. Rather, I concluded that if I failed to speak about such a shameless forbidding of thought, my own silence would aid, abet, and conceal the Institute’s hypocrisy in holding a conference, in which only politically-correct conferring will be allowed.