Dying Political Parties and Dying Babies
The dilemma of real conservatives in fake conservative political parties:
For years now I have bemoaned the fact that the Liberal party in Victoria – as well as in much of the rest of Australia – is on a slow but certain decline. And it is a self-caused decline. Instead of being a conservative party, or even a centre-right party, it is in fact neither of them. Increasingly it simply seeks to be a pale image of Labor and the Greens.
And one of the key indications of this has to do with one of the finest Liberal Party politicians Victoria has ever known: Bernie Finn. A week ago I wrote about his strong prolife views and how his own party so thoroughly disapproves: https://billmuehlenberg.com/2022/05/05/this-is-a-politician-we-can-fully-support/
But sadly things have gone from bad to worse for this 23-year veteran of the Libs. Not only has he been hated on by his leader and many of his own colleagues for the crime of believing that we should not be involved in the mass killing of babies, but now they want to ditch him altogether. As one news outlet puts it:
Under fire Liberal MP Bernie Finn says he found out his party was planning to expel him through the media. Mr Finn told the Herald Sun that no one in the party had bothered to tell him about the motion next week. “It seems to me that the leadership is communicating with me via the media these days,” he said.
“Perhaps I should start responding to them through the media. “I’m a bit bemused. I’m yet to be told exactly what the situation is, but what I’m gathering from you good people is that there is something afoot.” A partyroom meeting is expected to be held next Tuesday morning to vote on a motion to remove the upper house politician.
It comes just days after Mr Finn resigned as the opposition whip in the upper house in the wake of his “abhorrent” abortion views, declaring the Liberal Party had displayed a “degree of disloyalty” to him. In a statement, Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said: “It is imperative that Liberal Members of Parliament must be solely focused on recovering and rebuilding Victoria.
“A continued lack of discipline and repeated actions detrimental to the party’s ability to stand up for the interests of Victorians has left no other option but to consider Mr Finn’s eligibility to represent the Liberal Party,” he added. Mr Finn said he hadn’t yet considered a future outside the Liberal party.
“I have given that zero thought. This was thrown at me late this afternoon. I’ve been in meetings with constituents, which, I have to say it’s been a bit hard to concentrate,” he laughed. “If I am thrown out for expressing a policy view, you’ve got to wonder where this all ends up. I have always been a great believer of freedom of speech. I think a Liberal party that does not believe in freedom of speech has lost its meaning.” https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/bernie-finn-to-be-booted-from-liberal-party-after-latest-abortion-controversy/news-story/e87046884003527e3fa38c8d941f3d98
Rape and abortion
The media has repeatedly used the word “abhorrent” to characterise his views, claiming this is just what his Liberal colleagues are saying. So let me get this straight: to want to slaughter countless babies is just fine and a terrific Liberal party value, but believing babies should be given the right to life is abhorrent.
Indeed, he is standing strong, even after all this hate, abuse and betrayal from his own party. On the social media Bernie doubled down. In one of his latest posts he simply said this: “Killing babies is abhorrent.” Absolutely right Bernie.
But it especially seems that his comments about rape victims keeping their babies has especially freaked out some of his fellow MPs – and of course the secular left media. But in my 2015 book on abortion I spoke at length to this issue. Here is part of what I had to say:
As repellent as all rapes are, why must the innocent child have to pay the price? As ethicist Patrick Lee explains, “the unborn child is not the one who committed the violence. The unborn child is innocent, and is moving and growing in a way that is simply natural for him or her. The child came to be through a violent act, but that is now irrelevant for how the child himself or herself should be treated. That is, the child deserves no less consideration on the grounds that he or she came to be through a horrible and violent act of his or her father.”
Even though the woman has been violated does not morally justify the killing of the innocent third party – the baby. Lee continues, “Suppose someone illegally dumped garbage into my yard. May I then rake the garbage into my innocent neighbour’s yard? Or may I pass counterfeit money to an innocent party because I innocently received it myself? No, in both cases.”
And compounding one problem with another hardly is very helpful. “One wrong is not corrected by another wrong. One act of violence is not solved by another violent act.” Indeed, aborting this child simply compounds the problems, and deepens the turmoil. As Curt Young writes:
“Abortion promises only to compound the trauma of rape with yet another experience of violence. In pursuing this course, the victim may assume to herself guilt for the entire episode. In an attempt to overcome the violation of her own person, she does violence to another, submitting to the added humiliation of abortion. This brings no peace of mind and no healing, only more pain and more regret. In the words of one experienced counsellor, ‘Abortion does not unrape a woman’.”
Or as another commentator puts it, “post-abortion trauma in many rape cases appears to be no less pronounced than post-abortion trauma in non-rape cases. Rape followed by pregnancy followed by abortion leaves three victims: the woman who was traumatized initially by the rape; the unborn child who is traumatized by the abortion; and, for a second time, the woman who is traumatized by her decision to have an abortion.”
Furthermore, we need to hear from the two parties themselves: those who were raped, and those who were conceived by rape. Concerning the latter, there are many such individuals who were the product of rape who are so very glad their mothers allowed them the choice of life. Mary Rathke for example used to be pro-abortion until she learned that she was conceived through rape. She says this: “Even those in the pro-life movement think it’s OK to abort me. Because I hear all the time, ‘I’m pro-life, except in the case of rape.’ I’m really hearing, ‘I’m pro-life, except in the case of Mary Rathke. Just because my father was a rapist doesn’t mean I don’t deserve life.”
There are even entire organisations which have now been set up by those pleading for the right to life for those conceived via rape. There are many examples of this. Consider the conceived in rape-survivor Rebecca Kiessling. She has a website devoted to putting a human face on this issue. As she has stated:
“Have you ever considered how really insulting it is to say to someone, ‘I think your mother should have been able to abort you’? It’s like saying, ‘If I had my way, you’d be dead right now.’ And that is the reality with which I live every time someone says they are pro-choice or pro-life ‘except in cases of rape’ because I absolutely would have been aborted if it had been legal in Michigan when I was an unborn child, and I can tell you that it hurts. But I know that most people don’t put a face to this issue – for them abortion is just a concept – with a quick cliche, they sweep it under the rug and forget about it. I do hope that, as a child conceived in rape, I can help to put a face, a voice, and a story to this issue.”
Yes, plenty of women and organisations exist to help those who have been raped to navigate through this difficult period. Consider just one: my social media friend Juda Myers – who was conceived in rape – and her superb organisation: https://choices4life.org/
Whither Bernie Finn
Getting back to Bernie, some of us have differed with him over the years. That is because while his views on most issues have been terrific and rock-solid, that could not be said about his own party. So we often wondered if he should stay or find greener pastures. Until now he had been fiercely loyal to the Libs. That is commendable, but this loyalty needs to be a two-way street.
It is quite clear that the leader Matthew Guy and the party are NOT loyal to Bernie. While it is great to see that a politician stays loyal to his team, even if it is a sinking ship, eventually, and for the good of all, it is time to leave that ship and go where one is appreciated.
So we need to keep Bernie in our prayers. This is a very tough time indeed. We hope he stays in politics and fights the good fight. For now it looks like he will be a cross-bencher as of next week. Whether he stays on as an independent, or joins one of the smaller prolife parties remains to be seen.
But we need even more champions like Bernie Finn in politics. There are far too many useless wonders like Matthew Guy and most of the Libs. God bless you Bernie.
19 Replies to “Dying Political Parties and Dying Babies”
Bless you Bill for sharing your insight & Godly wisdom. You present a firm, but meaningful & gracious position on abortion while highlighting the relentless metamorphosis of the once conservative ‘Liberal Party to a party which is flavourless & confused. With the Liberal Party no longer defending conservative values & in fact now promulgating ‘everything goes’, who/ what party will & can fill the void?!?
Many thanks Clive. And yes, a good question indeed.
Thanks again Bill. It seems we’re tracking but I think there’s an inherent problem with “conservative” parties. Here’s what I just wrote.
In zero AD Jesus entered Jerusalem, Israel on the back of a donkey to rousing applause. Later that week he was put to death by the authorities with widespread public approval. They hated him and everything he stood for… well, not everything. Did you ever wonder why the change? And wait, isn’t the western church, (aka the collection of Jesus followers), nice, comfortable, even stylish in a mainstream/dorky/donkey riding kind of way? Doesn’t it look after people, approve of the government, receive funding from the government, even have members in the leading political parties?
Is it possible that the church entirely identifies itself with the beginning of the week Jesus who healed the sick and cuddled kids? Have we deliberately distanced ourselves or just plain forgotten the end of the week Jesus? The Jesus who did not dodge diagnosing the true nature of human evil hearts? Maybe the church no longer represents what Jesus died for and that’s why it is irrelevant and manages to get along with the government as well as it does.
The sooner the church gets comfortable with being hated, (it should be), by the conservatives, the liberals and everything in-between, the sooner it will be return to independent thought and be able to offer a relevant and critical voice for the health of society.
Check out this wonderful diagnosis of why we “conservatives” are so powerless against current political movements.
And I just got this pathetic response back from a spineless wonder Lib:
“Thank you for the email. The issue is not about Bernie’s view on abortion which has long been known and accepted by the party.
Bernie continues to put posts on social media despite requests not to do so that disrupt party announcements and strategy to the detriment of hard working candidates let alone parliamentary colleagues.
Many of the posts have been offensive and have cost the Liberal party vital support in a period when it is so crucial for us to defeat the current Labor government.
Bruce Atkinson MLC”
Phillip Tucker, thanks very much for that link. Made for very interesting reading. Do you know who the person is who wrote that?
Thanks Bill for letting us know what was happening with Bernie Finn as there was a news headline saying he had resigned just days after your article on him. He has been faithful to his constituents but he would be better in the Liberal Democrats party with David Limbrick who seem to be all for freedom of speech.
Hi Joanna, no, I read his blog on substack. He goes by Eugyppius which I’m guessing is a pseudonym. I gather he’s a German academic but don’t know much more.
Bill, I met a young woman a few years ago who’s eight or nine year old daughter was conceived in rape, so they do not only exist but flourish.
Furthermore, I am a big Finn fan!
Thanks for your work and praying for you both.
I agree the child shouldn’t be punished, killed via abortion, for the sin, rape, of the father! I think the same for incest. Again it’s a child regardless of the conditions of it’s conception. He or she deserves life.
Thanks Bill. You have cut to the chase here.
The once proud Liberal Party is now a bit like carbon monoxide -CO. Flavourless, tasteless, odourless- a real killer.
Quite right Ron!
Yes Bill you are right. Liberal have become just like Labour and the Greens.
I don’t agree that the Liberal party is in a “slow and certain decline”. I tend to agree with Bruce Atkinson. If you remain a party member you fight your battles in the party room or you leave the party as others have done. The Liberal Party was never a “Conservative party” and I was a member for about 50 years. It was as John Howard said “broad church”. But it was mostly dominated by Conservatives. I along with Chris Miles, John Anderson, Al Webster, Alan Cadman and many others won many battles over the years. We had a vibrant Christian fellowship and many small prayer gatherings when Parliament was sitting. But politics is the art of the possible. You have to know when to hold your cards and when to fold them. This election will be pivotal to the future of the great Liberal Party foundered by Sir Robert Menzies. But the party will survive and hopefully thrive into the future.
Thanks John. Yes, you and the others did a good job back then – I knew you and them quite well. But that was 20-30 years ago now! So you might be living in the past. Things are different now of course. Today the Libs do not have as many Christians and conservatives sadly, and they increasingly seem intent on pushing out or supporting much less those who are, be it Kevin Andrews, Amanda Stoker, Bernie Finn, and so on. And given that Bernie is one of the few solid Christian conservative prolifers left in Victoria, while Atkinson is one of the most loony secular lefties around, it is rather sad that you seem to support the latter over the former. Political loyalty should never trump loyalty to Christ and biblical values. So I will stand with Bernie every day of the week thanks. We need many more champions like him, and not all the spineless wonders that mainly are to be found there now.
Having said that, I of course do hope that Labor does not win the federal election.
Not sure if it’s worth it to stay with the Victorian Liberals, but here’s a course of action:
As a yank I won’t knock John or your politicians as I don’t know them but I have seen in the US, which might translate to down under too, that many politicians are living in the past with the way things were and don’t see how things have changed. Yes there was a time you could say nasty things on the floor and come the end of the day both side could go to a bar for a beer.
But the days of congeniality and bygone being bygones is long gone. Politics is not a gentlemen’s game anymore or even a used car salesman’s game anymore. This is war now. To use the cards analogy our side is playing gin rummy and the other side is playing high stakes poker. This is no longer about you win a few hands I win a few and at the end of the session we see who has more chips. This winner take ALL. Or in a bit more British terms this isn’t Marquess of Queensberry Rules boxing but NO HOLDS BARRED boxing.
Just as Christians need to see the enemy’s tactics have changed and we too much change, something we should’ve noticed DECADES to A CENTURY ago, o to must politicians realize that the other side of the aisle has changed their approach and they too much change or face irrelevancy as much of the church is now facing.