No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Paul Fussell, a literary critic and World War II veteran, wrote an essay in the 1980s with the arresting title “Thank God for the Atom Bomb.”[1] A passionate defense of the US atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Fussell’s essay is still sometimes invoked today by bombing supporters.[2] However, Fussell’s argument is seriously flawed—and notably … Continue reading No Combat Experience, No Opinion: Parallels in Pro-bombing and Pro-choice Rhetoric

Wasting Money on Instruments of Death: Nuclear Weapons in the 2022 Budget

The Biden administration’s budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2022 contains much to disturb peace activists. The budget continues the long-standing pattern of grotesquely large military spending, with $715 billion allocated to the Defense Department.[1] Further, the budget specifically continues to fund lavishly the most extreme instruments of death, nuclear weapons. Peace activists need to work … Continue reading Wasting Money on Instruments of Death: Nuclear Weapons in the 2022 Budget

Making a Nonviolent Revolution: Review of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Certain historical episodes of nonviolent resistance to injustice are famous: the Indian struggle for independence; the American civil rights movement; and the Arab Spring uprisings come to mind. However, many people who are aware of such episodes are not familiar either with the larger history of nonviolent resistance or with how such resistance can be … Continue reading Making a Nonviolent Revolution: Review of Civil Resistance: What Everyone Needs to Know

Masking Up but Not Shutting Up: Defending Freedom of Speech during a Pandemic

Shortly after the World Health Organization declared Covid-19 a global pandemic, activists and journalists raised concerns about how governments’ response to the crisis might restrict freedom of expression and other civil liberties.[1] More than a year later, we have a better sense of how the pandemic response has limited press freedom and the flow of … Continue reading Masking Up but Not Shutting Up: Defending Freedom of Speech during a Pandemic

Dialog on Life Issues: Avoiding Some Obstacles to Communication

An essential part of consistent life ethic advocacy is learning how to talk about the ethic or specific life issues to people with differing views. In a recent post for the Consistent Life Network blog, Josh Brahm of the Equal Rights Institute (ERI) offered some good tips for constructive dialog.[1] I have further thoughts on … Continue reading Dialog on Life Issues: Avoiding Some Obstacles to Communication

“I Gave Birth to Too Many Children”: Population Control and Repression in Xinjiang

The Chinese government is currently pursuing a campaign of repression against Muslim ethnic minorities in the region of Xinjiang. Prompted by fears of terrorism and separatism, the roughly three-year-old campaign has reportedly involved surveillance, imprisonment, and psychological and physical torture. The campaign may also involve coercive population control, including sterilization and abortion. Unrest in an … Continue reading “I Gave Birth to Too Many Children”: Population Control and Repression in Xinjiang

Specialization or Generalization? The Many Ways of Following the Consistent Life Ethic

The consistent life ethic (CLE) movement is very diverse. It includes people of different philosophical or partisan backgrounds, with different understandings of the CLE and different preferred activist strategies.[1] One aspect of this diversity is varying approaches to specialization, that is, focusing on a particular life issue of the CLE. Some CLE activists are drawn to work primarily on one life issue while … Continue reading Specialization or Generalization? The Many Ways of Following the Consistent Life Ethic

Pro-Life Voting Strategy: A Problem without a Solution

With a new electoral season looming before Americans, we’ll no doubt soon hear the latest round of a long-running debate: how should pro-lifers vote? Should they vote for candidates (usually Republicans) who express explicit opposition to abortion and may support efforts to restrict legal access to abortion?Or should they vote for candidates (usually Democrats) who … Continue reading Pro-Life Voting Strategy: A Problem without a Solution

A War on the People: A Review of One Child Nation

To curb population growth and supposedly promote national prosperity, China’s ruling Communist Party in 1979 launched an effort to ensure most Chinese parents would have only one child. For roughly the next 36 years the authorities would enforce this One-Child Policy through measures that included intense propaganda, forced sterilizations and abortions, punishments for disobedient households, … Continue reading A War on the People: A Review of One Child Nation

What Personal Storytelling Leaves Out: A Suggestion on Alternative Approaches to Activism

A common practice among activists or commentators on political controversies is to invoke personal stories. Someone will tell how her or his life, or the life of a friend or acquaintance, was directly affected by a larger injustice or problem. The activist or commentator will use that personal experience as an element in an argument … Continue reading What Personal Storytelling Leaves Out: A Suggestion on Alternative Approaches to Activism