Observations of an Irishman: Lessons from the abortion referendum

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A couple of weeks ago, the Irish people held a referendum to legalize abortion and unless you have been living under a rock, you know the abortion side won in a landslide gaining over 66 percent of the vote. Regardless of your feelings and opinions on abortion (I am an Irishman and I am proud to have voted to say all life matters and should be defended), there are several lessons we can learn from this referendum and specifically from the abortion side.

Winning the Argument

Today's political climate around the world is all about winning elections and gaining power — based on no actual substance other than the "fact" we are better than the other party. America will experience this over the coming months where the discussion seems to be about whether there will be a blue wave or if the GOP will hold onto the House and Senate. But how many issues will actually be discussed regarding the future of the nation? Will the Constitution be discussed? Will liberty and what makes America different even be considered? Or will it be based merely on not letting the other side have power?

The sad truth about the Irish abortion referendum is that the result was never really in doubt and was always seen as more of a formality. The only questions were how many people would actually vote and the margin of victory. Why? Because whether they knew it or not, the abortion side followed the advice Margaret Thatcher gave several decades ago:

First you win the argument, then you win the vote.

The proof of this is the exit poll conducted on the day when 75 percent of people said they always knew how they were going to vote.

Over the years, the people of Ireland (as in many parts of the world) have accepted abortion as part of our everyday lives. We think of abortion as a choice and we know life is filled with choices. Should I go out with my friends next Saturday night? Should I order dessert? Should I leave my job or not? Should I keep my baby or not?

The ironic part of those who are pro-choice is that so few realize their own double standard, as 99 percent of them love telling people how much money they are allowed to keep, what car they can drive, how fast they can drive it — dictating what they can buy and when they can buy it, deciding their employment terms, etc.

No Science, no Emotion

The second successful step to acceptance of abortion was the complete removal of both science and emotion from the subject. If you read any literature about abortion, you will rarely (if ever) see the word baby. A baby is gorgeous, sweet, needs a name, requires lots of love and attention and is totally defenseless. The pro-choice side successfully changed it to a fetus, which is a group of cells that could turn into anything. Is a group of cells gorgeous or sweet, do you name it, and does it require any love?

The third step has been the successful creation of the narrative around abortion. It is a choice, it is the caring and compassionate choice for women — after all, it is her body and she can do whatever she wants with her body. If you dare disagree with this narrative, you are deemed anti-choice, a hater and oppressor of women.

Chosen Ignorance

The last step to winning this argument has been chosen ignorance. Have you ever watched an abortion? Did you watch until the end or did you switch it off? Have you ever tried showing or explaining what happens during an abortion to people? If you have, how far did you get?

  • Did you get to explain how they remove the limbs from the baby?
  • Did you get to explain how they break the baby's neck?
  • Did you get to explain what they do with the baby parts in America?
  • Did you get to explain we are now using abortion as a way to "solve" Down Syndrome?

Or did you get the common reaction, "STOP, enough, I do not want to hear or see anymore"? Discussing abortion is hard because it requires people to self-reflect, witness pure evil and do their own homework. Then, it requires them to act. However, if you are ignorant, you don't have to self-reflect, witness evil or act, and you can go on living your life.

Credibility

The second thing everyone can learn from the Irish referendum is how critical your credibility is in society. Ireland has historically been a Catholic country but over the last few decades that has been changing. It is easy to blame the media and the spread of secularism for this change. The truth is the Catholic Church is also directly responsible for losing its credibility to many people because of their own actions or inactions.

When priests do inhumane and barbaric things to young boys, when the Church covers that evil up, and never really comes out in the strongest possible terms to condemn those actions and fire each of those priests, how is it possible to have any credibility in society. Why would anyone ever listen to you?

Now, if you add in the media, which flat-out hate religion, and declining numbers of those who are actually Catholic, you find a perfect storm of why the Church has so little impact in Ireland today.

Impact of Churches

One of the biggest differences, historically, between the Church in America and the rest of the world has been the role of America's pulpits. When the Church is at its best, its pulpits are alive, filled with passion and inspiring a generation to be better. The American Revolution may have officially started in 1776, but the truth is it started 20, 30 or even 40 years prior with preachers on their pulpits spreading the laws of nature that were self-evident for all to see.

The sad truth is the pulpits in Ireland are either silent or are spreading modern-day talking points. I grew up a Catholic and I do not remember a time when they were alive. I grew up in a Church where the sermon was not judged by its content or topic, but rather by the length. I have seen first-hand people go crazy when a priest talks for more than 10 minutes during a sermon. I have seen first-hand people switch off during sermons and treat it as an opportunity to read the newsletter.

(Full disclosure, I have done this many times myself as I have sat through sermons explaining was Jesus was a socialist, how Israel is the problem and how global warming is going to kill us all. I even started a discussion a few years ago as I walked out of church on Christmas Day three words into a sermon. Those three words were "Jesus the Palestinian.")

Churches in Ireland have major problems with attendance. In the same exit poll I mentioned before, only 30 percent said they attended church every week, 14 percent once a month and 27 percent a couple of times a year. Of those questioned, 74 percent were Catholics.

Principles

Since the vote on abortion, there has been much analysis in Ireland about what this means, and a popular conclusion is that Ireland has filed for divorce from the Catholic Church. For many living in society today, they see life as a religious issue. It is not. Religion does not own life. It is not even a Left vs. Right issue. Life is a human issue.

In a world of partisan politics, life should be the one issue we can all come together on — that life has meaning and is valuable. Does it really matter if God, religion, Allah, logic or common sense got you to that point of view? Would it matter if someone said a rock told them that? No, because life is a self-evident truth — at least it used to be

Conclusion

Our actions or inactions right now will determine the world we live in and the one we pass onto the next generation. I know many want to think this world is doomed and that freedom is dead. While true for nations like Ireland and Europe — we know nothing but the tyranny of man's law — that is not the case for America. The track record of America is making the impossible possible. America has the map that leads to success, we just need to follow it again. So what is that map?

It is through churches, families, communities and schools sharing the message that America's founders shared over 250 years ago based around the laws of nature and nature's God — and those principles are the same for everyone. While elections hold an important place in society, it is critical to focus our time on winning the argument explaining why America is different from the rest of the world — why it is exceptional, why it has prospered like no other nation in the history of the world and why simply leaving people alone and not taking their stuff is such a wonderful and simple idea.

We also must do everything we can to be people of good character and do nothing that can damage our credibility. This is true for everyone in society and not just those in power. We must understand that America's founders were ahead of their time and remember the principles they placed special emphasis on as they pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor as they signed the Declaration of Independence.

If we follow that roadmap, combined with the advancements of society including technology, we really can live in a society that enjoys more freedom than even America's founders could have envisioned.

Editors Note: Jonathon hosts a weekly show called Freedoms Disciple exclusive to The Blaze Radio where he focuses on highlighting the principles of American exceptionalism. You can listen anytime, for free on TheBlaze Radio, available on SoundCloud, iTunes, iHeart Radio, Google Play, Stitcher and OMNY FM.

Would Glenn make a better bounty hunter or a Jedi? You'll have to find out in a new episode of the Beltway Banthas Podcast, where Glenn goes deep on Star Wars with host Stephen Kent. In this 45 minute discussion, Stephen and Glenn explore the political themes of the Star Wars franchise, Darth Vader's redemption from Return of the Jedi, Glenn's earliest memories of seeing the films and even debate elements of the latest Star Wars films.

If you enjoy the pop culture and nerdy discussions that Glenn, Pat and Stu get into on the radio show, you'll love this! After you're through, you can also check out Stu Burguiere's appearance on Beltway Banthas to talk Star Wars. You can find that here.


It's never too early to start your Christmas, Hanukah, or Kwanzaa shopping. Or even birthday gift shopping. Especially if that special someone in your life is a Democrat. Because at last count, pretty much all the Democrats are now running for president. And that means there has never been a wider selection of official candidate merchandise to choose from. Whether you're into environmentalism, feminism, classism, socialism, or just plain love, there is a smorgasbord of classy items that you and yours will treasure forever... or at least until the next presidential election.

We have browsed each of the candidates' online stores, so you don't have to (it only took us three months). We have curated only the finest items from each of the Democrats running for president of the United States of America. Without further ado, here is your handy progressive gift guide – or maybe your what-not-to-gift guide.

First, the bargain basement options. Hurry! Time is running out to grab your Beto bandana, or your Delaney pack of golf balls, because at this point Stu has as much of a chance as these guys of getting the nomination.

Tom Steyer, for example – is he still in the race?


https://shop.tomsteyer.com/collections/frontpage/products/tom-2020-pattern-tee


There's way too much Tom here. That shirt's got more Toms than a Caucasian dentists' convention.

For the slightly more moderate Democrat in your life, perhaps they'd like to join the "Yang Gang"…

https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/bumper-stickers/products/yanggang-decal


Andrew Yang is a lock for Math Club president…


https://shop.yang2020.com/collections/apparel/products/math-hat


But for actual president? Well, I wouldn't make plans for how you're going to spend your $1,000-per-month Yang allowance just yet.

If you happen to be shopping for your dog, may I suggest this lovely "Dogs for Delaney" dog collar…


https://store.johndelaney.com/products/dogs-for-delaney-collar


John Delaney's definitely going to secure the canine vote with this kind of outreach. As for any human votes, that's another question entirely.

How 'bout this tastefully understated "Natural Canvas" Michael Bennet tote to remind you he's also still here?...


https://store.michaelbennet.com/michael-bennet-for-america-natural-canvas-tote/


Then again, it's a tote. So, it'll end up on the floor of your closet and you won't have it with you until that one random moment when you're out somewhere and you really need a tote bag. Just like Democrats will really wish they had a moderate when we're in the middle of the socialist nightmare of their creation.

Captain Planet himself, Jay Inslee recently dropped out of the race, but don't let that stop you from picking up what may be the greatest single item sold by anyone in this race…


https://store.jayinslee.com/elvis-the-elves-the-mystery-of-the-melting-snow-by-jay-inslee/


A children's book called Elvis & the Elves: the Mystery of the Melting Snow. Written and illustrated by Governor Jay Inslee. Talk about a whodunnit – how could that snow possibly be melting? Spoiler alert: it's because of evil, white, patriarchal capitalism. And Donald Trump.

Then there's the candidate who thinks you're a moron that can't pronounce his last name: Steve Bullock...


https://shop.stevebullock.com/collections/apparel/products/emoji-t-shirt


Get it? Bull. Lock. Oh, so that's how you say the name that sounds exactly how it's spelled.

There's another candidate who also thinks you need help pronouncing his last name…


https://store.peteforamerica.com/collections/apparel/products/boot-edge-edge-t-shirt


And he is definitely right about that. So, thank you, Pete "Boot Edge Edge." That helps.

Just outside the bargain bin section, but just barely, are candidates like Julian Castro and his "El Presidente" t-shirt…


https://store.julianforthefuture.com/julian-castro-loteria-card-white-tee/


When your last name's Castro, do you really want to go with a weird drawing of yourself as if you're a classic Latin American dictator on a postage stamp?

If you prefer a little "dark psychic forces" battling in your candidates, you'll love Marianne Williamson's "Turn Love Into a Political Force" rally sign…


https://store.marianne2020.com/collections/signs/products/love-rally-sign


"Turn Love Into a Political Force" would be an even better title for a Marianne Williamson album of 80s cover songs. And if you think I'm joking, then you haven't heard Bernie Sanders' classic 1987 folk album, We Shall Overcome. That's not a joke. Well, it is a joke, but it's also a very real thing.

Now, just a quick pause to consider the peculiar baby-wear that way too many candidates are selling…

…including Elizabeth Warren's trans-pride flag onesie. Let me get this straight – we can't force any gender on a child, because that's just cruel. But we can force a political advertisement on a baby? How do we know that baby is actually a Biden or Warren fan? The child may not even be a Democrat or a Socialist at all. That baby might self-identify as a Libertarian, or Republican, or even worse – a moderate Democrat.

Now to the premium items from the premium candidates. Elizabeth Warren – the candidate with the most honesty in her advertising…


https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/apparel/products/impolite-arrogant-women-make-history-unisex-t-shirt

-AND-

https://shop.elizabethwarren.com/collections/drinkware/products/strong-american-unions-mug


Warren's merchandise reflects the woman herself – cold and humorless (watch her "This isn't funny" clip from the last debate here at the 4:27 mark). I'm sure she's really fun once you get to know her. Then again, maybe not.

Speaking of serious women, Kamala Harris wants to be president very badly for you, the people, as you can tell from her "For the People" poster…


https://store.kamalaharris.org/poster-for-the-people/


At $29.99 though, she's sure not charging "people's" prices. Of course, she might be having to pay royalties to a certain someone for riffing on their poster. Just saying.

For the race's number one socialist, there's a whole lot of capitalism going on in Bernie Sanders' campaign. He sells so many delightful items that it's hard to choose. But we did anyway. The most random item is this hundred-dollar, black, "Art of a Political Revolution – Artists for Bernie Sanders Coaches Jacket"…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/artists-for-bernie-coaches-jacket


Coaches across the land will be clamoring for this one. You know, since coaches are such a strong Bernie-socialist demographic.

If that's a little over your budget you might consider a "Feel the Bern" fanny pack, to help store all those government freebies you'll get from Bernie…


https://store.berniesanders.com/collections/apparel/products/feel-the-bern-fanny-pack


This is the only context in which you'll ever want to hear "feel the burn" and "fanny" in the same sentence.

And finally, from front-runner Joe Biden, we have this fine "Women's Fitted Biden Polo." Which is just about the best polo description ever…


https://store.joebiden.com/collections/apparel/products/biden-polo-womens-fit


It promises the kind of snug approach that Biden loves to provide women. Even when they don't ask.

This was one of the first homesteads in the area in the 1880's and was just begging to be brought back to its original glory — with a touch of modern. When we first purchased the property, it was full of old stuff without any running water, central heat or AC, so needless to say, we had a huge project ahead of us. It took some vision and a whole lot of trust, but the mess we started with seven years ago is now a place we hope the original owners would be proud of.

To restore something like this is really does take a village. It doesn't take much money to make it cozy inside, if like me you are willing to take time and gather things here and there from thrift shops and little antique shops in the middle of nowhere.

But finding the right craftsman is a different story.

Matt Jensen and his assistant Rob did this entire job from sketches I made. Because he built this in his off hours it took just over a year, but so worth the wait. It wasn't easy as it was 18"out of square. He had to build around that as the entire thing we felt would collapse. Matt just reinforced the structure and we love its imperfections.

Here are a few pictures of the process and the transformation from where we started to where we are now:

​How it was

It doesn't look like much yet, but just you wait and see!

By request a photo tour of the restored cabin. I start doing the interior design in earnest tomorrow after the show, but all of the construction guys are now done. So I mopped the floors, washed the sheets, some friends helped by washing the windows. And now the unofficial / official tour.

The Property

The views are absolutely stunning and completely peaceful.