Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Bill Donohue, Ph.D

2/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Ironically, the Harvard institute dedicated to expanding fundamental rights doesn't include the rights of the unborn-unborn humans, I should specify. Nor does Princeton's established interest in human values extend to boys and girls in utero. But both Centers are very sensitive to orangutans.

For many decades, Steven Wise has been promoting the rights of apes. To be specific, he would like to see chimpanzees awarded "legal personhood." He is most known for championing the Great Ape Legal Project, seeking to represent little King Kongs in court. Last month, on December 2, he got a little closer to his dream: he filed a writ of habeas corpus in New York State Supreme Court for Tommy, saying the ape is being held unlawfully by his owners.Wise credits Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation, with inspiring him. Singer also champions the Great Ape Legal Project, and he contends that gorillas should have the same rights as humans. But this is where it gets tricky: he also thinks it should be perfectly legal for parents to kill their children up until 28 days after birth (I'm sure that if he were pressed, he would round it off to a month).

Bill Donohue and King Kong

Bill Donohue and King Kong

Highlights

By Bill Donohue, Ph.D

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

2/7/2014 (1 year ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: PETA, Animal Rights, Right to Life, Abortion, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, Bill Donohue, Right to Life, Peter Singer, Steven Wise, The Catalyst, Catholic League


NEW YORK, NY (Catholic Online) - For many decades, Steven Wise has been promoting the rights of apes. To be specific, he would like to see chimpanzees awarded "legal personhood." He is most known for championing the Great Ape Legal Project, seeking to represent little King Kongs in court. Last month, on December 2, he got a little closer to his dream: he filed a writ of habeas corpus in New York State Supreme Court for Tommy, saying the ape is being held unlawfully by his owners.

Wise credits Peter Singer, author of Animal Liberation, with inspiring him. Singer also champions the Great Ape Legal Project, and he contends that gorillas should have the same rights as humans. But this is where it gets tricky: he also thinks it should be perfectly legal for parents to kill their children up until 28 days after birth (I'm sure that if he were pressed, he would round it off to a month).

Wise teaches at Harvard and Singer teaches at Princeton. Moreover, they have been awarded titles that tell us a great deal about at these Ivy League institutions: Wise is the founder of Harvard's Center for the Expansion of Fundamental Rights, and Singer teaches at Princeton's Center for Human Values. Ironically, the Harvard institute dedicated to expanding fundamental rights doesn't include the rights of the unborn-unborn humans, I should specify. Nor does Princeton's established interest in human values extend to boys and girls in utero. But both Centers are very sensitive to orangutans.

How did we get to this state of affairs? The anniversary of Roe v. Wade  is upon us, and while more Americans are pro-life than ever before, in many quarters-not just in elite universities-the rights of animals trump the rights of kids.

A decent society will protect animals from abuse, but it makes no sense to award them rights. Animal welfare is a noble cause, one that St. Francis pioneered, but animals at every stage of life are incapable of exercising responsibilities, and cannot therefore be held morally culpable for destructive behaviors. A decent society will award infants with human rights, a cause first pioneered in history by the Catholic Church; it will also grant rights to human life from its beginning, namely at fertilization.

There is nothing new about animal welfare in the U.S. In 1900, the Lacy Act was passed, protecting bald eagles by making it a federal offense to take, possess, transport, sell, import, or export their nests, eggs and parts that are taken in violation of any state, tribal or U.S. law. No one has ever found this to be controversial; if the goal is to protect a species, it makes sense to do so from the beginning of life. Well, humans have nests and eggs-we call them wombs and zygotes. At least back then they didn't say the birds possessed rights; they simply took preventative measures to safeguard their welfare.

We got to this perverse stage where human life is devalued, and animal life is overvalued, when rights mania gripped the nation in the 1960s. It started  with good intentions: the civil rights movement, led by Rev. Martin Luther King, was long overdue. But in its wake came a never-ending series of demands, including rights for prisoners, delinquents, miscreant students, and illegal aliens. Abortion was illegal, but feminist stirrings to legalize it had begun; in 1973, they won. Two years later, Singer's Animal Liberation was published. The timing was not coincidental.

Unborn kids lost not because they cannot represent themselves; neither can chimps. No, they lost because rights mania was tied to the cultural celebration of narcissism: self-centered women, and especially single men, want sex without consequences, and that means a preference for abortion-on-demand. It also suits their self-absorption to comfort themselves with pets. That is why women with kids in strollers are an uncommon sight in cities, but men and women walking their dogs-or those paid to walk them-is so common.

in 2001, Wayne Pacelle, senior vice president of the Humane Society, stood up for the rights of pigs. It was one thing for him to say that pigs deserve more space to move around, but it was quite another to learn that he invoked human values. "Emotionally," he said, "they experience severe boredom and emotional trauma." That's exactly how I feel when watching MSNBC, but I'm able to get over it. So can Porky.

Forgive me for sounding cynical, but just a few years ago I debated an official from People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) on CNN. I asked her how she could pretend to be interested in animals when it is an indisputable fact (see the report by the Center for Consumer Freedom) that PETA kills 95 percent of the adoptable pets in its care. She refused to answer, even though I pressed her a second time.

Don't get me wrong. Personally, I love dogs. But I also love children. We should be able to attend to the needs of dogs while at the same time protecting the rights of the unborn. It's not a zero-sum game. But if Tommy gets human rights, I hope the big ape takes my place the next time I'm called for jury duty.

--

The Catholic League is the nation's largest Catholic civil rights organization. Founded in 1973 by the late Father Virgil C. Blum, S.J., the Catholic League defends the right of Catholics - lay and clergy alike - to participate in American public life without defamation or discrimination. It is led by its' President, William A. Donohue, Ph.D. This article first appeared in its Journal, The Catalyst, in the January - February Edition and is used with permission.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2015
Universal:
That political responsibility may be lived at all levels as a high form of charity.
Evangelization: That, amid social inequalities, Latin American Christians may bear witness to love for the poor and contribute to a more fraternal society.



Comments


More U.S.

AMC movie theaters issue warning to moviegoers urging them to stay vigilant during visit Watch

Image of

By Talia Ramos (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A unusual video message is being played at AMC Theaters in Central Florida, urging the audience to keep their eyes open to any bad agendas and malicious or suspicious actions within the establishment. The short film came to be after violent incidents inside movie ... continue reading


A massive 30,000 more immigrants expected to arrive to U.S. before year's end Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants continues to cross the U.S. border.q

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The number of illegal immigrant children and teens in the United States continues to increase. The United Nations and other humanitarian groups predict that a total of 30,000 more are expected to reach the U.S. before the year ends. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES (Catholic ... continue reading


The youngest convicted murders released from jail after 15 years Watch

Image of

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

At just 12 and 13-years-old, two siblings confessed to killing their father's girlfriend and both were charged with first-degree murder as adults, despite evidence they were sexually abused by a family member. Yesterday, the two first faced the world they once knew. ... continue reading


Satanic statue secretly unveiled in Detroit, drawing Christian protest Watch

Image of Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Satanists secretly unveiled a nine-foot, one-ton statue of Baphomet, the horned devil god of satanic practice in an undisclosed location in Detroit this past weekend. This has spurred on heavy protest from the city's Christian community. Hundreds gathered at Detroit's ... continue reading


Will Pope Francis be warmly welcomed in the United States? Watch

Image of Pope Francis will be in the United States in September.

By Hannah Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis will visit the United States for the first time ever in his lifetime during September. However, amid the excitement, the American populace may have lost some warmth towards the pontiff, who they once believed revived the Catholic Church in the country. ... continue reading


Will religious beliefs be acknowledged when Boy Scouts starts allowing gay leaders, volunteers? Watch

Image of Jennifer Tyrrell of Bridgeport, Ohio, a Cub Scout den leader who was kicked out in 2012 for being openly gay, embraces her son Cruz Burns.

By Kevin J. Jones, CNA/EWTN News

The Boy Scouts of America is moving to change its leadership standards in order to allow openly homosexual adult leaders and volunteers. While the organization promises that individual church-affiliated councils can choose their own leaders, at least one critic ... continue reading


THE THIRD VIDEO: The latest and most shocking footage of Planned Parenthood's abortion practices (WARNING: GRAPHIC VIDEO) Watch

Image of

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

First there was a video revealing Planned Parenthood Federation of America's Senior Director of Medical Services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola casually discussing selling aborted baby organs over lunch, and admitting to using partial-birth abortions to get her hands on intact ... continue reading


Planned Parenthood HACKED, private employee information revealed Watch

Image of

By Linky C. (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Planned Parenthood's website was hacked by a group of hackers who managed to gain access into Planned Parenthood and acquire the site's databases, including the names and email addresses of employees. These details were released by the hackers to the public. MUNTINLUPA ... continue reading


Threatening note promising revenge attacks found on U.S. military serviceman's car Watch

Image of The anonymous note comes just a week after the tragic shooting at military locations in Chattanooga, Tennessee.

By Atarah Haely (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Under the windshield wiper of a car, owned by an unidentified serviceman, was a note warning the military of a revenge under investigation. Authorities believe the car was targeted because of the license plate identified the owner is a part of the military service. ... continue reading


Missouri Sheriff's 'inspiring' phrase on police patrol cars enrages atheists Watch

Image of Stone County police cars now have

By Nikky Andres (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Missouri sheriff made the decision to adorn all of his station's police patrol cars with the words, "In God We Trust." It has quickly sparked up a major debate and inevitably, atheist activists are quite frustrated about it. MUNTINLUPA, PHILIPPINES -The Missouri ... continue reading


All U.S. News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Gospel, John 11:19-27
19 and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for July 29th, 2015 Image

St. Martha
July 29: "Jesus loved Martha and Mary and Lazarus." This unique ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter