The dilemma of real conservatives in fake conservative political parties. Bernie Finn is being ditched by his own party for supporting the basic right to life of babies in the womb.
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.
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.”
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 social media, Bernie doubled down. In one of his latest posts, he simply said this: “Killing babies is abhorrent.” Absolutely right, Bernie.
It especially seems that his comments about rape victims keeping their babies have 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 about 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: Choices4Life.
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 pro-life 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.