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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

LIBERALS ARGUE ABORTION HOMICIDE IS JUSTIFIED


The Moral Battle: 
So What if Killing is Wrong?

By Christopher Ziegler
@CZWriting on Twitter

In my last essay on the subject of abortion, I posed the question I think everyone should have to answer when deciding his or her position: Is a fetus a human life? I said that if our answer to this question was “no” then we have very little reason to be outraged by abortion, but that if our answer was “yes” then we have every reason to be outraged. Around the same time, Michael Novak published an article in Patheos titled Abortion: the intellectual battle has been won. Novak argues that advances in science and medicine since the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court Decision that legalized abortion, Roe vs. Wade, have inarguably answered my question in the affirmative.

At the moment of conception, an individual and unique strand of human DNA is created, one which never existed before and will never exist again. This DNA strand contains the complete instructions for building a person. Advances in medicine now make it possible for premature babies to survive outside the womb at 20 weeks, half the time of a full pregnancy. Meanwhile, ultrasound technology has given us a clearer picture than ever of just how fast life progresses in the womb.

At 22 days, the baby’s heart beats for the first time. It will beat 54 million times before birth. The human brain is sometimes called the last frontier of science, yet this organ makes its first appearance a mere 3 weeks after conception! Now that we know this, those who still believe the old Darwinian folktale that a baby goes through the stages of a fish are deserving of ridicule. As Novak concludes, “This great fact may take a decade or more to become evident to all, but the intellectual underpinnings of the abortion regime have been washed away.”

Let’s not pop any corks just yet. After all, the abortion debate has never really been a question of facts. It is a moral battle between those who see human life as inherently valuable and those who do not. It is another chapter in the enduring American debate over who we define as a person and who we define as a non-person. Indeed, the scientific evidence that abortion ends life does not upset the abortion regime in the least. Their premise remains what it has always been: so what? In fact, this is the basis of an article written by liberal blogger Mary Elizabeth Williams titled, “So what if abortion ends life?”

Published by the progressive blog Salon in
Salon writer Mary Elizabeth Williams
She suffers from melanoma
Please keep her in your prayers
2013, So what if abortion ends life? is a startling example of nihilistic liberalism. Beginning with the statement, “I believe that life starts at conception,” Ms. Williams makes it clear where she stands on the “life” question: “I believe that’s what a fetus is: a human life,” she writes. She even chastises pro-choice folks for trying to invent their own definitions of when life begins, which she says leads them to draw “stupid semantic lines in the sand.” Nevertheless, she says this doesn't make her “one iota less solidly pro-choice” and that, in her words, “if by some random fluke I learned today I was pregnant, you bet your ass I’d have an abortion. I’d have the World’s Greatest Abortion.”


She hurls all the usual invective at the pro-life community, scolding us as “wing-nuts” and decrying the “diabolically clever” move of co-opting the word “life.” She hisses at the “sneaky, dirty tricks of the anti-choice lobby” for trying to appropriate what she calls “the concept of life.” She clearly can’t stand the idea that any pro-life person could ever have the audacity to think, “That if we call a fetus a life they can go down the road of making abortion murder.” I suppose it would not help to point out to Ms. Williams that the killing of one human by another is, in fact, the very definition of murder.

 As I said, the abortion debate is at the most
fundamental level a struggle between those who see human life as inherently valuable and those who do not. This comes through clearly when Ms. Williams excoriates what she calls “the sentimental fiction that no one with a heart—and certainly no one who’s experienced the wondrous miracle of family life—can possibly resist tiny fingers and tiny toes growing inside a woman’s body.” The sarcasm makes clear that Ms. Williams regards family life as neither wondrous nor a miracle. I invite the reader to contemplate what a society would look like in which our notions of babies and mothers were generally regarded as “sentimental fictions.”

Despite the vitriol, Ms. Williams’ central point is not a novel one. What she is arguing is simply this: abortion may indeed be a type of homicide—but it is justifiable homicide. To Ms. Williams, the fetus is just collateral damage in the feminist war for equality. Hence, she can’t get all sentimental about life and babies. “Here’s the complicated reality in which we live: All life is not equal,” she writes. The more important thing to her is “the roads that women who have choice get to go down.” For the sake of this progress, she is willing to
think of a human fetus as a “life worth sacrificing.” 

Williams’ case hinges on this statement: “a fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides.” But of course a fetus can be a human life with having the same rights as a woman! She is equivocating on what she means by “same rights.” No rational person believes that a fetus and an adult should have the “same rights.” She seems to be saying that the pro-life argument depends on the claim that the fetus should have rights equal to its mother. Again, this is dishonest because she is omitting the difference between natural and civil rights.

Civil rights are the written laws found in the amendments to the US Constitution and in other legislation. Our natural rights are enumerated in the Declaration of Independence: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Natural rights do not exist in law because they cannot exist in law. They are, by definition, natural—that is, not man made. We do not have our natural rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness because we are good looking, smart or talented. We do not have them because we are able-bodied or healthy. We do not have them because we are wanted or loved. We have them just because we are human, and nothing more. Civil rights, on the other hand, are legal interpretations which have been derived from our natural rights.

No one seriously argues that a fetus has the right to bear arms or the right to vote or the right to an attorney. No one seriously argues that a fetus is equal to its mother or any other adult in terms of its contribution to society. But that is not the question. The question remains what it has always been: is the fetus a human life? Ms. Williams already answered that question when she said: “Thats what I believe a fetus is: a human life.” But if it is a human life then it is, by definition, entitled to its natural right to human life. If so, then abortion, which takes away that life, is wrong.

Ms. Williams’ fundamental premise that, “A fetus can be a human life without having the same rights as the woman in whose body it resides” is false because it is possible for a person to have natural rights without being entitled to civil rights, and a fetus is just such a person. Nor can one person’s civil rights trump another person’s natural right to life without due process, because life is the most fundamental natural right and the basis of all other rights. Perhaps Ms. Williams does not see this because she does not believe there is a difference between natural and civil rights. 

The Declaration of Independence says that our Creator has endowed us with our natural rights. But if there is no Creator then men have not been created in any meaningful sense. This means that men have no essential qualities and are but the purely accidental products of blind forces, hence they can’t be said to naturally possess “inalienable” rights. It follows that rights are nothing more than legal fictions conferred by the powers that be. Hence, according to a purely atheistic view, there is no real distinction between natural and civil rights—all rights being merely civil rights.

Some atheists will undoubtedly argue that this controversy does not matter because we can just choose to respect people’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as civil rights even if there is no such thing as natural rights. But there is a problem with this quiet assumption. If humans do not exist by a special act of creation, then there is no basis for drawing a distinction between human life and other forms animal life (other than for purposes of taxonomic classification). 

Peter Singer 
We’re then left to the slippery task of explaining why it’s okay to kill a fetus but not a worm. There are three options: either we’re going to have to respect literally all life; or, conversely, have no respect for any life at all; or, decide by the arbitrary dictates of taste which life we choose to respect and which we don’t. I’m not making this stuff up: atheist ethicist Peter Singer, a professor at Princeton University, actually argues that we should extend human rights to chimps but that infanticide is a-ok.
Infanticide???
He also once argued that bestiality is quite all right, provided that the sex is “mutually satisfying” for both man and beast. Again, I invite the reader to imagine what society would look like if Mr. Singer’s views were widely held.


And there is an additional problem. If there is no God then there is no reason to regard humans as an exceptional species. But when we lose our belief in human exceptionalism we necessarily also lose the view that people are inherently valuable just for being people. We then have to pinpoint the moment in time that they do become valuable, and explain how this can be. Now Ms. Williams makes clear that she believes life begins at conception. She also makes clear that she believes it’s acceptable to kill life even after conception. What her article fails to specify is that magic moment when it becomes not okay to kill life. 

She writes that, “It seems absurd to suggest that the only thing that makes us fully human is the short ride out some lady’s vagina. That distinction may apply neatly legally, but philosophically, surely we can do better.” This same point is often used as a pro-life argument: that it’s absurd that the difference between a person who can be killed lawfully and a person who is protected under the law comes down to a matter of inches. But the recognition of this absurdity sounds ominous coming from the mouth of Ms. Williams, given her stated support for “unrestricted reproductive freedom” (my italics). This would seem to suggest that Ms. Williams would justify infanticide, or what her ilk now likes to refer to as “post-birth abortion.” To be fair, she does not say she supports infanticide, but her argument offers no serious philosophical objection. 

Abortion is wrong because it clearly falls short of the Golden Rule: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Atheists often like to boast that they can uphold the Golden Rule, too, without having to believe in the supernatural. I would like to think that this is true—that all people can assent to the objective reason found in the Golden Rule regardless of their personal beliefs. But although atheists like to say this, they do not live up to it when they fail to apply it in the case of abortion. I think our 40th president summed up this situation well when he said, “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.”
Into the Woods: Christopher Ziegler 

Did you enjoy this post. Read others by Christopher Ziegler:
The Battle for the Identity of Man: A House Divided


To be Human or Not to Be: That is the Question About Abortion



Also on Abortion in this Blog: 
MURDER OF INNOCENTS: Out of Evil Comes a Greater Good

REASONS FOR ABORTION: Fear Tops the List







Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Climb Aboard the Ark of Our Salvation!

Sermon by Rev. John Paul Shea
First Sunday in Lent, Feb 22, 2015
Saints Peter & Paul Parish, Tucson, AZ

Happy Lent! 

In today’s first reading for the first Sunday of Lent, we are given the opportunity to reflect on the story of Noah (Gen 9:8-15.)

We do not know when the story of Noah took place, except that it happened after sin entered into our world. Men had become very violent and corrupted. Noah -- blameless among his peers -- finds favor with God. So God says that He is going to destroy the world by flood, but He will save Noah and His family. 

So Noah receives instructions to build an ark and fill it with animals to keep Noah's family safe and preserve life. 

Now, the Bible tells us that the great flood  covered the entire earth -- the greatest disaster in human history. Nothing else has even come close. The Flood waters rose above all the world’s mountains. The Earth’s crust heaved and buckled unleashing terrible volcanic eruptions and massive earthquakes like the world has never seen before or since.

All cities were totally destroyed. The rains continued for forty days, and the earth continued to shake causing huge tsunami waves to sweep across the sinking land. So great was the destruction that every human being died, along with millions of animals and plants. 

The only people spared were Noah’s faithful family. God had prepared Noah and his family for this great disaster because Noah and his family sought God. 

After this great  disaster, God promises Noah that He will never again destroy the world by  flood. He enjoins Noah to repopulate the earth and enjoy all God’s blessings. 

Yet, God knew that sin would continue to mar his creation. God had created humanity out of love and he wanted to bring us back to Himself. So God picked Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants.  God  then gave His law and commandments  through Moses, and He sent His prophets to testify to the law. Finally, God would send His Son as savior of the world.
Fr. John Paul Shea
My brothers and sisters, today’s reading of the story of Noah calls us to reflect on the saving action of God. 

In fact, the ark of Noah can be seen as a symbol of God’s salvation in our present day. As Noah was saved through the wood of the boat, we are being saved through the wood of Our Lord’s cross. Through His cross our Lord has given us His Church to be His ark of salvation until He comes again. It is the Church that carries God’s people through the rising floods of sin today. It is the Church that preserves life. 

Our Lord is calling everyone into His Church so that all peoples will be saved. Yet, there are many who are shunning this boat of salvation because they do not want to change their ways. 

In today’s Gospel Our Lord says, “Repent, and believe in the gospel!” This is what we need to do to be saved. Jesus has told us that the kingdom of God is at hand, so we need to prepare by acknowledging our need for God and by striving to change our lives!

In the end, we do not know how many will be saved, but our Lord has indicated that it will be few. 

In the Gospel of Luke, someone asks our Lord how many will be saved. Our Lord answers by saying,
“strive to enter the narrow gate…” 

Again, in the Gospel of Matthew, Our Lord says,
“Many are invited, but few are chosen.” 

Again in the Gospel of Matthew, Our Lord says,
“Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father, who is in Heaven.'”

My brothers and sisters, our Catholic Church is the Ark of Salvation. It is the Church where we come to be separated from the world that is perishing. It is the Church where we come to be safe from the flood of sin that surrounds our society on all sides. We are given this protection through the Sacraments of Confession and the Eucharist. 

The tides of the world today want to overwhelm our Church. The spirit of the world strives to puncture holes into the Bark of Peter through its influence of immorality so that the Ark of Christ will sink!
Bark of St. Peter
But our Church will never sink. As Noah’s ark was built according to God’s plan, so too our Church is built according to God’s directions and plan. Our Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and its doctrines hold the whole structure of the Church in place. 

The Church has faced many storms in the past, and it will encounter greater storms in the future. But the gates of hell will never prevail against it!

As we prepare for Easter this Lent, let us praise God for His gift of salvation to us that is given through His Church. Let us cling to the Ark of our faith so that we can be carried through the rising floodwaters of our society and be placed safely onto the shores of eternal life.

They have actually found Noah's Ark! You 
might like to read about it. Noah's Ark Has Been Found. Why are They Keeping Us in The Dark?

Monday, February 23, 2015

British People are Like all People: We Want Peace

 (Editor's Note) My homeschooled godson Ben, age 16, is studying history, and from that experience he took a great dislike to the British as they behaved in history especially toward the Irish. Ben is mostly Irish. I answered his questions regarding the pope and who killed Jesus Christ in this blog post “Questions from a Godson: Who Crucified Jesus Anyway? Is the Pope Really as Pure as He said?” 

But I really couldn’t address the British-Irish question for him, so I called in my faithful British friend Christopher Woodford, Twitter Handle @Crimbo51, who describes himself as a “former atheist who has abandoned the arrogance of certainty.” He is so recently “former atheist” that we were just arguing about the existence of God two weeks ago! He lives in Southampton, England. Ben lives in Washington State, U.S.A. On Saturday they began their dialogue with History Recalls Its Tragedies, Our Job is to Forgive  They stalled on the Irish Question. Ben wants a whole Ireland, North and South. Chris thinks it would cause new violence to break out. Susan Fox remembers the bombings in Dublin in 1974.

British Family Man
Christopher Woodford
 with granddaughter Jess 
CHRISTOPHER WOODFORD
Thanks for your reply Ben. In considering your position on Ireland you have caused me to research and fill in some gaps. I'm 63. This hammers home to me that we only cease to learn when our last breath leaves us. Maybe you and Susan would disagree with me here and say we continue to learn after our last breath. We'll see.... or maybe not. I'm open-minded and rule nothing out.

So here goes: I quote your reply.

''I did not hear explicitly 'the British want to re-enslave the Irish', I'm basing such a suspicion on the fact they still haven't just let go of Ireland.”

British people are like American people, German people, Russian people, and any people. We want peace, we want to have homes, go to work, come home, enjoy our families. So let's put “people” aside and talk governments.

Why should the Westminster government wish to “re-enslave” Ireland (referring here to Eire,) when all it's actions over the last seven decades have been to try to ensure the transition of former colonies to independent sovereign states? Ireland was, I think, the first to achieve this status before World War II.

OK. We can be cynical about this and say the dismantling of the British Empire was necessary on the grounds of Britain running out of cash after two world wars. But surely you notice around you, both in the US and when you watch world news, the attitudes of people everywhere toward freedom. It's a small world now. I'm talking to you across 6000 miles. It would take me longer to drive to my city's airport and park my car than the flight I could get from there to Dublin would take. The desperate attempts of governments like China and North Korea to stifle the World Wide Web can never succeed. Ordinary people communicate and this reduces the chance of them being fed propaganda.

Northern Ireland: After the government of Margaret Thatcher (she was an odd one!), I'm sure that nothing would have pleased any Westminster Prime Minister more than to be able to “wash their hands” of Ireland and say, “Give the Six Counties back and that will be the end of it.”

But it wouldn't be an end of it. The population of Northern Ireland was, last census, 1.8 million. That's about 40% the size of Eire's population of 4.5 million. Of the 1.8 million, around 48% describe themselves as Protestants. The vast majority of these would be incensed for their nationality to be arbitrarily changed to Irish. I bet a few of the Catholics would like to stay British too. I believe you live in Washington State. Would you happily accept the folks in Washington, D.C., telling you that starting June 1, 2015, you, Ben, will be a citizen of Canada, like it or not?

A conversation at the Whitehouse:

”Mr. President. Many people in Washington State don't want to be Canadians.”

(The President replies) “If they don't like being part of Canada, they can and should move to Oregon.”

“But Mr. President, many of them have business interests, family commitments, or just can't afford to move!”

“Well, it's not too bad being Canadian. They'll have to get used to it.”

“This will never happen,” you'll say, but in reading up I found that Mexico has a claim on Texas!

Back to Ireland: It wouldn't be an end to it. It would be the beginning of much more trouble. I'm sure you know about the militant Irish Republican Army and the Irish National Liberation Army movements. What about the list of Loyalist Protestant paramilitaries? All these groups are made up of people every bit as dangerous as the IRA. Some of these groups have been disbanded or ended their campaigns after the recent peace agreement. This is true progress.

But they would all come out of retirement if your plan was to be implemented, and no doubt would take their violent response to, not only the mainland British who “sold them out,” but also into the streets of the now peaceful Republic of Ireland.

“Out of the frying pan, into the fire,” the saying goes.

I quote you again:

“I'm basing such a suspicion on the fact they still haven't just let go of Ireland.”

Rev. Ian Paisley
Have you ever seen the recently deceased Reverend Ian Paisley speak? I checked YouTube for videos of him. Have a look. He's the sort of person we are dealing with here.

I recommend you at least watch the one where Paisley says he was told by both the Dublin and Westminster of what was called “Plan B.” If he refused to sit down with the Irish political party Sinn Féin “Britain would pull the plug” on Northern Ireland and return it to Dublin’s rule. He would then have no chance of any compromise.

Does this sound like a government, which is determined to enslave Ireland? It sounds to me like an exasperated government trying to get the best result for the most people out of an impossible situation.

I urge you again to read up on Scotland. I repeat what I said about their 2014 independence referendum. They could have freely gone their own way last year, with all the upheaval that would have caused. They had the freedom.

A simple referendum would not work for Northern Ireland. The vast majority of citizens wish to stay in the UK. Peter Robinson, First Minister at the Stormont (Northern Ireland) government, described such a referendum as “asking turkeys to vote for Christmas.” This is fact. All would be lost in a single day. The way forward is to let time take its healing course.

I quote you again:

“they could just start by backing out.”

The peace process IS “backing out.”

Let's go back 70 years and look at what happened when Britain did to India exactly what you propose it should do with Ireland.

The partition of India in 1947 was an example of a plan cobbled together and implemented without care or consideration over a few months.
 
A letter to a newspaper about 20 years ago by an officer in the Punjab Railway Police:

Massacres at the partition of India
1947 Partition of British Empire in India, creating Pakistan and Bangladesh caused
the largest mass migration in human history. 17 million fled across newly
created borders. Only 14.5 million arrived. At the lowest estimate half a
million people perished and 12 million became homeless
“Sir: There have been several estimates mentioned recently of the number of deaths caused by the partition of India 50 years ago -- figures of 250,000 to half a million have been put forward.

As a former officer of the Indian Police who was in the very thick of the disturbances in Lahore and Amritsar before the partition, and as Assistant Inspector General in charge of the Indian Punjab railway police, I was interested to hear on the Channel 4 program "Stones of the Raj" the higher estimate of one million cited.

The pendulum of death and destruction swung, over a period of many months both before and after 15 August 1947, across the whole of northern India from Calcutta to Kabul, and back again. During those months death was everywhere: in the towns and cities, in the thousands of villages, on the trains, on the roads. One of my duties in the railway police was to meet refugee trains, usually at Amritsar, coming in from newly created Pakistan.

The carnage on these trains was beyond belief -- men, women and down to the smallest infants. The trains were packed with thousands upon thousands of dead bodies, and many more were strewn along the track. The same thing was happening in the opposite direction, where trains taking refugees out of India were, with the connivance of the railway staff, being deliberately derailed so that the passengers could easily be massacred. There was madness in the air that was almost tangible.
In addition, nature took a hand that dreadful summer. During the monsoon there were flash floods in some places, which swept away untold thousands of refugees along with their bullock carts and all their possessions.

An old Indian Civil Service friend (who stayed on in Pakistan) and I were recently discussing the question of the number of deaths, and he agreed with me that it must have been anything between one and two million, probably closer to two than to one.
It will be many years yet, on both sides of the border, before the bitterness of partition is forgotten.
F B MANLEY
Richmond, Surrey.”

Ireland is not India. But fast track solutions cause chaos.

I think the peace process as we have it at the moment is the best way forward, and as the older generation passes and people of your age take over with the pain of the past healed, then anything can happen.

I'm not sure how much you know about Ireland and world history by your own research and how much is hearsay.  I urge you to read and research for yourself. Form your own opinions. It's all there at the click of a mouse.

Other peoples opinions are just that.... other peoples opinions (including mine.) Form your own. They are the only ones you can trust.

Best wishes, Chris.

Susan Fox  visited Dublin in 1974, when Ireland was going through The Troubles.

Dear Ben, I thought his answer was interesting because he said they have come to some accommodation in Northern Ireland. The violence has stopped.  In 1974, when I was in Dublin, a girlfriend took me to a dance hall in Dublin. I was 20 years old and had no idea where we were going. But when the dance started the guy running the show announced that we were such a “brave” crowd as we were the first ones back into downtown Dublin after the bombing which killed a certain number of people. Now I was not in Northern Ireland, but somebody from Northern Ireland bombed Dublin because they were mad at the Irish. I remember not feeling brave at all, but terrified that we were in Dublin where they bombed innocent civilians! If Chris is saying that activity would start again if they disturbed the situation up there, I can see how nobody would want that.

However, I think about Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation, which technically freed 3 million slaves in the South without compensation to their owners. The results were bloody, the most deadly war in U.S. History. Southern resentment manifested itself against the North and the Negro population for decades afterwards. Maybe we could have ended slavery as the British did by reform of their laws, but it seems like that was the only way we were going to get rid of slavery. I pray we don’t have to go through something similar to end abortion, but it seems for right now the mainstream pro-life movement keeps chugging away with pro-life solutions (peacefully closing abortion “clinics.”)

Bones lined up in the crypt at Nyamata Genocide
Memorial in Rwanda 
But then I think about the Rwandan Genocide in 1994 where an estimated 1 million Rwandans were killed in three short months. Two tribes lived together for generations until members of the Hutu Tribe achieved a majority leadership. What  amazed me about that conflict is that members of the Hutu and Tutsi Tribes looked the same, and many of them worshiped together in the same Catholic parish before the genocide! Their distinction developed because one group farmed the land and the other herded cattle. Thank God Northern Ireland didn’t devolve into a similar genocide. 

Ben your godfather, Lawrence Fox, has a solution to the whole matter in Northern Ireland. He said the Catholic Church in Northern Ireland must faithfully practice their faith. If they do that, they can peacefully convert the Protestants. As Chris said, the Anglican Church is fading in Britain, but the Catholic Church is growing.  Ironically, this is the same solution Our Lady offered the Rwandans in 1981 when she appeared to several children in Kibeho, Rwanda, warning that a "River of Blood" would flow unless people put aside their hatred and loved one another. 

BEN INSISTS: LET IRELAND GO!

BEN: Wasn't Reverend Ian Paisley Protestant? He despised Catholicism, and called Pope John II, "the Antichrist"? Let's not forget the Protestants wouldn't be in Northern Ireland if not for King Henry VIII. So why should Protestants (like the deceased Ian Paisley) get a say in what happens in Northern Ireland? While I like your peace speech I think we're going to have to agree to disagree. It sounds like you are saying making a hasty decision and letting go could lead to disaster, giving an example of what happened to India.

Sure, the Protestant resistance groups in Northern Ireland may start up again, but there are a lot of other groups, who support a united Ireland. They outnumber the Protestants. And the Garda (national police of the Republic of Ireland) would keep the peace (or try). The Protestants are so toxic -- they shouldn't be there anyway. They are not going to get along with the rest of the Catholic population -- that much is obvious. The British should let go of Northern Ireland, uproot and move the Protestants out in the process. Maybe they don't want to move, but they should.

Your comparison of Washington becoming Canadian doesn't enthuse me. Unlike the Protestants, I didn't go somewhere I was unwelcome to be. I would definitely move if Washington became Canadian because that would just mean England is probably going for a land-grab through Canada (I do realize England doesn't own Canada anymore, but they still recognize the British Queen, no?)

Such a move – turning Washington over to Canada -- would confirm all suspicion that the U.S. government is composed of selfish dimwits.

But it would never happen because everyone in Washington would vote against it, everyone would be in an uproar, and the government would lose the revenue of an entire state.

Mexican Invasion of Texas?
Mexico is tiny, there's no way the U.S. is going to let them walk in and take Texas. The government likes to own everything. That's like saying “the Native Americans have a legitimate claim to the entire U.S., let's hand it on over.” That wouldn't happen in a million years. But I digress. It sounds like you think if everyone buries his or her head in the sand that everyone will simply forget. Ireland will be whole or people will not care any more. And the problem goes away. We're obviously both biased, and both have a different stance. I don't think everyone burying his or her head in the sand is the right thing to do. I think they should pull the plug on Northern Ireland.

It’s pointless to let Northern Ireland vote to leave because that’s where the Protestants are, so they’d be voting for themselves. The whole of Ireland should get a vote on the matter. If the whole of Ireland voted on whether Northern Ireland should stay apart or not, Northern Ireland would be voted to merge back. Sure, it might make a select few mad but that's not their problem. Stay or go.

Chris Woodford’s Final Thoughts

Hello again Ben

All of history is full of “ifs.”  If Henry VIII hadn’t wanted a divorce... If Hitler had declared war on Japan and not the United States after Pearl Harbor...

It’s endless.

But we are the ones left to deal with the fallout of these “ifs” long after the perpetrators of them are in their graves.  We are in the holes they made and we either stay in them or get out of them as best we can.

The European Union will swallow Ireland (Eire already happily immersed) and it will swallow Britain too in the end.  I bet in 50 years even Russia will be in the Super State of Europe.

Indian Rulers North and South America?
Native Americans DO have the right to be returned to full control of the whole of the continents of both North and South America. I’m using your standard here.  They have as many “ifs” as anyone else.

As a Postscript: I misunderstood Ben's suggestion about a referendum.  Yes, a “whole Ireland” referendum would be a good idea.  A “whole British Isles” referendum would, I feel, return Northern Ireland to the Republic of Ireland as most English, Scots and Welsh are tired of the trouble caused over the years.

But let's not forget the people of Northern Ireland, who were not simply “put there by Henry VIII,” but have been born to families who have lived there, in some cases, longer than Ben's family have lived in he USA.

Henry VIII was 500 years ago. That's twice the age of the USA.

Chris.

Susan Fox: Unbelievable. We have reached almost an agreement – a whole Ireland referendum. Now we simply must tell Westminster.