Old Stock(well) Canadians and their boomer facts

In the wake of what happened with Stockwell Day this week, here's an article from the unbeatable Ted Byfield in his great book "The Book of Ted": (emphasis mine)

The question that got me thrown off a TV program.

Here is a problem in "values" of the type that modern social studies teachers are encouraged to pose. Several men are out in the woods hunting. Suddenly one of them sees something move in the bush. At last, he rejoices, a deer. Then a warning flashes through his mind. That might not be a deer. That might be one of the other hunters. Question for the class: Should the hunter fire at the thing if there's a chance it's another human being? The approved answer is no.

I encountered serious trouble once by asking this question on a CBC television program. In fact, the tape was killed, the program was never run, and I was never invited back. For the man I asked the question of was the celebrated Dr. Henry Morgentaler, who was currently making his appeal of a conviction for performing abortions. He was one of the current heroes of the CBC and I was supposed to know that you therefore did not ask him questions that were "hypothetical" or "unfair."

The question may be hypothetical but it is certainly not unfair. The doctor, along with other liberals who defend this hideous practice, in effect argue as follows: we do not know at what point during pregnancy a fetus or an embryo becomes, in fact, a human being - whether at the instant of conception, or at the instant of birth, or at some other intervening stage. Because of this uncertainty, abortion may be permitted at some elementary phase of growth. In other words, since we do not know whether the thing is human or isn't, then it is all right to kill it, the very reverse of the conclusion that sane people would reach in the case of the hunter. The moral principle must surely be: if you don't know, you don't kill it. The abortionist argues: if you don't know, you may.

It is necessary to understand that this is all highly relevant. Abortion in Alberta is no rare occurrence. The demand for abortion is increasing alarmingly, much to the disgust of the doctors who perform it (Who cannot say who have to perform it because no doctor has to perform it.) Foothills Hospital in Calgary and the Royal Alexandra in Edmonton, institutions designed for the saving of human life and well respected for their success thereat, are in this case gaining and undesired reputation for the destruction of life. And the presence of a congenial hospital in Ponoka produces statistics which give that centre the humiliating title of "Abortion Capital of Alberta."

Lay people are not encouraged to know the repulsive details of these "operations". One anti-abortion group some years ago distributed photographs of the process, too obscene to describe. Suffice it to say, it is not a picturesque affair. The essentials of personality, we are told, are carried like a computer program in the original cell. The eye forms early on, reflecting, as it always will something of the personality. The abortionist trains himself, no doubt, not to observe that human eye staring at him as it is scraped off into the garbage bag. If the mere mention of these things is reprehensible, then what of the deed itself?

We look to the moral authorities of our age for help in this regard and we get none, save as usual from the Catholic and fundamentalist churches which tell us unequivocally that it is a form of murder. My chuch, the Anglican, is acting on this question with accustomed inscrutability. Several of the bishops said they were dead set against it. A priestess from one of our temples in Vancouver said that she didn't care what the bishops or the church said, she was going to keep on recommending it anyway. And a bishop declared boldly that he favored "compassion," presumably for the mother. For the baby he apparently favored the garbage bag. So it went back to committee while the church waits for its values to "clarify." One suspects, of course, that what we are really waiting for is to see which side proves most popular and wins. We will then come out strongly for that side. Thus we Anglicans have resolved the old question of whether the church or the Bible is infallible. Actually it turned out to be the Gallup Poll.

And finally we have the newspapers. The Edmonton Journal, that fearless defender of safe causes, has been predictably silent about this cause. It likes to blame the frequency of abortion on the minister of education who refuses to give little girls lessons in sex and the pill. But as to abortion itself, the Journal prefers this, no doubt, to the "conscience of the individual." Like the bishop, it presumably means the individual mother, not the individual in the garbage bag. The Journal of course knows that if it declared itself wholly in favor of abortion, that might cause spate of subscription cancellations or other unprofitable things. We have thereby reached the point at which the Journal becomes profoundly objective. The Calgary Herald is similarly discreet.

So we allow the practice to become rampant. We ignore it. We tell ourselves that since it happens to frequently it must be acceptable. We are assured too by the scientific ethos which enfolds it. It takes place in the most sensible and hygienic way, surrounded by technology, authorized by committees, advocated by respectable political activists. We do not suspect that another age may recoil in horror at the whole spectacle of what we are doing, and condemn it as we condemn the grand scale slaughters worked by other establishments in other days who were equally confident of what they were doing. That would be a time when the mere mention of a grandfather who worked in such-and-such a hospital would occasion an awkward silence in the conversation, and when the name of a town called Ponoka would carry with it the same connotation as that of another town calls Auschwitz.
- July 25, 1980
In today's world the CBC segment was carried live, and therefore the tape couldn't be killed and instead of never running the program the far-left CBC hosts ganged up on Stockwell and made him persona non grata for the crime of saying a true thing that goes against their orthodoxy.

Of course, this week notwithstanding Stockwell Day is no Ted Byfield. Byfield never would apologize. The same lack of a killer instinct that cost us a Canadian Alliance government in 2001 has left CBC Power and Politics with yet one fewer principled conservative voice.