Three of the several editorials that I wrote to the San Luis Obispo Tribune which were rejected.
The recent "Gay Pride" Fair at Mission Plaza, mirrored numerous such occurences, nation and world-wide that wouldn't have been imagined, 20 years ago. What is unique about this annual event in San Luis Obispo is that they trumpet their "pride" within 15 feet of a religious organization that is offended by the GLBT "alternative" lifestyle.
Putting aside the controversy over gay-lesbian marriage and their being accepted in all types of employment including clergy, teachers, scout leaders, and the military, why should only the Gay-Lesbian movement be exempt from being politically correct? I'm sure that they would object to a Conservative establishment that took a stand on Traditional Family Values, holding a festivity in front of their support center.
Sol Rudnick, San Luis Obispo, California
President Bush’s recent second veto of an embryonic stem cell bill is well founded on ethical grounds. Our liberal-leaning press has subtly mislead the public in reporting the president’s action: i.e. the recent Tribune article on Bush’s veto stated that “Bush issued an executive order intended to encourage scientists to pursue other forms of stem cell research that he does not deem unethical.” The article doesn’t mention that the other forms involve the use of either adult stem cells or cells obtained from the umbicial cord after a child’s birth, which are universally considered to raise no ethical concerns. On the other hand, the use of embryonic stem cells, whose removal causes the death of the developing embryo, is the subject of widespread and continuing ethical controversy.
Adult and umbilical stem cells are readily accessible, and have already proven successful in treating many diseases (including leukemia, blood disorders, immuno-deficiencies and many others), while embryonic stem cells have not. In light of such occurrences as the 2006 conviction of Korean researcher, Dr. Hwang Woo-Suk, for fraudulent claims regarding this success with cloning and stem cell research, one begins to wonder if the promise of embryonic stem cell research may sometimes be a ploy to obtain government funds. If there are already successful and readily accessible sources for stem cells, which do not carry with them the ethical concerns involved with harvesting embryonic stem cells, why are researchers so insistently pursuing the latter?
The recent Tribune article also states that, according to the polls, Bush’s veto sets him at odds with the majority of voters. However, the language of the polls failed to use the word “embryonic,” or to indicate that the research would lead to the harvesting of embryos (which are clearly tiny human lives) for their spare parts.
Proponents of embryonic stem cell research contend that the numerous embryos left over from in vitro fertilization will be disposed of (killed) anyway, and therefore should be used for research. This argument is hauntingly similar to the justifications given by Nazi doctors for the experiments done on concentration camp victims, who claimed that the Jews and other “undesirables” were not fully human, and were destined to die anyway. While the level of awareness and pain may be different, the victims in both cases are clearly human persons, deliberately used and destroyed for the sake of research. Nothing, not even research in hopes of finding life-saving cures, justifies the harvesting and destruction of human life. And when we have an alternative that is less expensive, ethical and unlimited, why would we choose anything else?
Sol Rudnick, San Luis Obispo, California
Edited by Douglas Brinkley
The recently published book, The Reagan Diaries, edited by Douglas Brinkley, is a classic example of how the pro-life side of the abortion issue is so often ignored or suppressed.
In this supposedly comprehensive book of Reagan’s daily diaries, there can be found no references to the following:
Reagan’s warnings of the evils that could stem from abortion have unfortunately materialized,
i.e., (partial birth abortion, recently banned) which in reality is a
form of infanticide and “mercy killing” of the handicapped. His
renowned book expresses his realization that life begins at conception,
and therefore leaves no doubt that he would be opposed to embryonic
stem cell research even if it did (which it hasn’t) show prospects for
curing his Alzheimer’s disease.
“The real question today is not when human life begins, but, what is the value of human life? The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother’s body can hardly doubt whether its is a human being. The real question for him and for all of us is whether that tiny human life has a God-given right to be protected by the law – the same as we have.” – Ronald Reagan, Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation¸ p.43
“No moral issue was of greater importance to Reagan than the dignity
and sanctity of all human life.” – William P. Clark, Reagan’s Secretary
of the Interior and National Security Advisor
Sol Rudnick, San Luis Obispo, California
The rejected editorials above prompted me to write the following open letter to the Tribune. I also sent it as an open letter to my pro-life ministry mailing list.
This is to express my dissatisfaction with the Tribune’s obvious and
ongoing bias. I’m in disagreement with your editor of the
“Viewpoint/Letters to the Editor” columns on her reasons for rejecting
the enclosed two editorials.
President Bush’s Embryonic Stem Cell Veto
Based on my extensive involvement with the pro-life movement since Roe v. Wade (35 years), I attempted to submit this editorial as a “viewpoint” – which allows 600 words. I was told that I wasn’t qualified for the viewpoint column. In regard to your policy of giving priority to local issues for “viewpoint”: This is a local issue since California is spending $3 billion of tax payers money on (what my editorial well portrays) the bogus embryonic stem cell research.
The Reagan Diaries
I was told that I shouldn’t be using quotes and that it was too long.
I submitted another 200 word reduced version, but its receipt wasn’t acknowledged.
Considering that I submitted the reduced version of the “Reagan Diaries”, the three editorials did conform with your one letter a month policy.
The recently published book “Noise”: ascensionpress.com (chapter 13) well reveals the overwhelming evidence of the media’s bias in favor of the liberal stance. I’m determined to find other sources of exposure for the enclosed and upcoming editorials; however, I’m hoping that you can take the time to express your opinion on this matter.
Sol Rudnick, San Luis Obispo, California
Upon my above inquiry on why these three editorials were rejected, they responded with the following letter:
Dear Mr. Rudnick;
Thank you for taking the time to write to our Opinion page.
One of your letters was too long to publish, and a shortened version was never received. There were problems, including a factual error, with the other letter.
Viewpoints should be about recent news developments, and those commenting on San Luis Obispo County news will be given priority.
I hope you understand and hope this will not discourage you from writing letters in the future.
My theory of why the three editorials were rejected for either of the letters to the editor or opinion columns is either due to the Tribune’s bias on the issues, and / or because I was critical of their reporting.
The following aritcle was written in May 1990 before my conversion from Judaism to Catholicism. (For more information on my conversion, please see "A Final Thought" on the homepage and the SLO County Magazine article).
As an activist in the pro-life cause since 1973 (Roe v. Wade) following is an article I wrote for the Greater Phoenix Jewish News in 1987, which includes three key points censored by the newspaper's editor. Following my submission is a rebuttal by the president of Arizona Right to Choose, Berry Sweet.
By Sol Rudnick
Based on the numerous articles and editorials on abortion that have appeared in the Greater Phoenix Jewish News over the past year, it would appear that the vast majority of the Jewish population, Jewish organizations and even of our spiritual leaders has taken a firm stand in favor of abortion on demand. In fact, about the only pro-life Jewish views have been comments and editorials by Orthodox rabbis.
It would be a mistake, however, to believe that the loudest Jewish voices, regardless of their associations, represent the entire Jewish community or all the members of the Jewish religion. I suspect I have many fellow pro-life travelers in all branches of Judaism. However, many of them may feel, like myself, a little intimidated and considerably alienated from our pro-choice Jewish spokesmen.
This alienation derives from the departure these pro-choice (the choice to kill your preborn child) spokesmen have taken from reason and logic in order to maintain their positions.
For example, a common term used in many of the pro-choice articles is
“reproductive choice.” Since the fertilized ovum contains 100 percent
of the genetic information possessed by an adult human being – with
only food, water and a warmth left to be added for full growth – reproduction has already occurred. From the point of conception onward the only choice is whether or not to let this new and totally unique individual live.
It is often said that the unborn child is not a person until viability, which occurs at about 20-28 weeks of gestation. The term viability is used to mark the point at which the baby can live outside the womb. But, if we think about it, even a two-year-old is inviable. That is, he or she would die within a few days if not for the food, water and warmth provided by the child’s parents.
I would be glad to supply anyone with references to an abundance of recent scientific evidence concerning the living status of the unborn. This research has proven that the fetus has the capacity to learn, reason and respond.
As far as legal personality is concerned, or at least the right to life, the unborn child maintained this right through common and statutory law until about 1970. Then, in 1973, seven of the nine male U.S. Supreme Court justices, through the Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton decisions, made the mother’s womb the most dangerous place on earth for a human being. These two decisions essentially created abortion on demand throughout the full nine months of pregnancy. Fellow Jew and former director of the largest abortion clinic in the free world, Dr. Bernard Nathanson, tells us in his documentary “Eclipse of Reasons” that there are 120,000 second and third trimester abortions done each year in the United States. Nathanson now speaks worldwide against abortion.
As stated in a Dec. 29th Jewish News article, endorsed by five Orthodox rabbis and the Board of Orthodox Rabbis of Greater Phoenix, “Halachic (traditional Jewish law and values) affirms the sanctity of life, and it clearly prohibits abortion on demand.”
With the fact established that abortion is the taking of innocent and defenseless human life at the rate of 1.5 million lives per year, it becomes more than a religious issue. A government that professes to be “by and for the people” most certainly has the right to stop abortion.
The taking of an innocent human life also has nothing to do with
“regulating reproductive matters,” or being a “matter of privacy.” The
taking of innocent human life is never a private matter. What active
pro-lifers are protesting is the more than 25,000,000 unborn babies
whose lives were taken by abortion in the United States since it was
legalized 17 years ago.
Not surprisingly, of the 1.5 million abortions done each year, the
overwhelming majority are done for convenience reasons. According to a
1988 study by the Alan Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of
Planned Parenthood), a survey of 1.900 women found that the most
important reason for their abortions was: not ready for the
responsibility (31.6%), financial (21%), change in life style (15.6%),
relationship problems (12.3%), enough kids (7.9%).
But what about the number of abortions done for the life and health of the mother? Of the 14,068 unborn babies killed by abortion in Arizona in 1988 (latest figures available) only seven hundredths of one percent (11) were killed to protect the mother’s health or life.
One of the most popular pro-choice rallying cries is the need for abortion for cases of rape and incest. However, if abortions were performed only for cases of rape and incest, abortion would virtually disappear. The most liberal estimates of abortions done for rape and incest place the figure at considerably less than one percent. I have always had difficulty understanding the reasoning behind giving an innocent unborn child who is conceived through rape the death penalty when the rapist only receives a prison term. How much responsibility must the unborn child endure for an act of rape? In the very rare cases of pregnancy from rape, wouldn’t the loving option of adoption be more reasonable?
According to a prominent Phoenix abortionist, Dr. Brian Finkel, abortion is a “personal tragedy.” Dr. Finkel notes that abortion brings “shame, anguish and loss of self-esteem…” Dr. Finkel is correct in his observations. An abortion kills the unborn child but it never kills the conscience. However, his conclusion that abortion is, “the only alternative possible” widely misses the mark. In a society of loving and caring people there are going to be alternatives to death. Today, qualified families wait years to be able to adopt children. Many of these families are willing to adopt children of any race, color or handicap. Yes, there are alternatives; but of all of them, abortion is the most profitable.
If the majority of Jews actually take the pro-choice position on abortion, it would be the paradox of the century. First because our Jewish heritage, Scriptures and teachings repeatedly emphasize the sanctity of human life (as God’s ultimate Creation) in all its stages. But more importantly, who, more than the Jews, should be opposed to eliminating an unwanted segment of humanity?
Let us recognize that the pre-born are indeed a part of humanity and should have the opportunity to be included in God’s Book Of Life.
I’ll look forward to hearing from fellow Jews who would like to become involved in rescuing the largest segment of mankind that has ever been denied the right to life—the pre-born.
(The following is a rebuttal that was published in the Greater Phoenix Jewish News to my article above. I am includin this rebuttle on this pro-life website since it well portrays the mentality of our "pro-choice" adversories." ~Sol)
Berry Sweet, president of Arizona Right to Choose, has written
the following response to the “Your View” by Sol Rudnick. (“Pro-lifer
attacks choice stance,” Jewish News 5/11).
By Berry Sweet
Please give the members of our community a little credit. Your article in the Jewish News (5/11) implies that readers don’t realize or understand that those Jewish leaders who speak out on the subject of abortion (whether they be Jewish leaders who are pro-choice or pro-choice advocates who happen to be Jewish) do not purport to “represent the entire Jewish community or all the members of the Jewish religion.”
However, if one has paid attention to the reproductive rights issue, especially during the past year, one cannot help but recognize the overwhelming support given to the pro-choice position by Jewish organizations and individuals. Organizations such as American Jewish Committee, American Jewish Congress, B’nai B’rith Women, Hadassah, National Council of Jewish Women, National Federation of Temple Sisterhoods, Union of American Hebrew Congregations and others comprised one third of the total number of groups signing a pro-choice amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court.
The Council of Jewish Federations issued a resolution in support of reproductive rights which has been approved by the executive board of the Jewish Federation of Greater Phoenix. Numerous polls have shown that among religious denominations, support for the pro-choice position is strongest from Jewish respondents, consistently reaching over 90 percent of those polled.
Why is this so? Simply stated, the issued raised by this controversy pertain directly to values and traditions that we as American Jews hold dear and must protect.
The effort to ban abortion is an attempt to impose a particular
religious theory of life upon all Americans, and is part and parcel of
the mentality of those who would mandate prayer in schools and declare
that this is a Christian nation.
Attempts to dictate the reproductive decisions of citizens jeopardize the precious rights of privacy and open the door to government invasion and control of other private aspects of our lives.
Also, there exists a compelling and compassionate tradition among Jews
– a tradition of identifying with those who also suffer the inequities
of discrimination. This tradition is continued by those in our
community who recognize that social and economic injustice exist when
restrictions on abortion are imposed.
Mr. Rudnick, you state that you feel “intimidated and considerably
alienated from our pro-choice, Jewish spokesmen.” As a pro-choice
spokeswoman who happens to also be active in the Jewish community, I
wonder why you are not immeasurably more alienated by the so-called
“pro-life” movement, one which you seem to be issuing a call for other
Jews to join.
I certainly have no quarrel with your trying to convince people to believe as you do; but if your appeal to them to “become involved” is a political one, then I am puzzled. This is a movement that has its roots in Catholic and fundamental Christian theology. Funded in great measure by a Catholic hierarchy desperate to control its members’ sexual behavior, the “pro-life” movement seeks to dictate through secular law that which its clergy has in large part failed to impose by its own “moral authority.”
If pro-life advocates had their way, those of us who do not share their philosophical and religious ideology would be forced to practice when they preach, instead of being allowed to follow our own religious and moral conscience in a nation founded upon religious pluralism, freedom and tolerance.
I must register great resentment at your use of the predictable
rhetoric “abortions for convenience” and “abortions on demand
throughout the full nine months of pregnancy.” Use of these terms is
demeaning to all women, trivializing the real-life desperation
experience by those faced with unplanned pregnancy, and conjuring up
stereotypes of selfish, thoughtless women, incapable of making
responsible and moral decisions.
You state “if abortions were performed only for cases of rape or incest, abortion would virtually disappear.” Please do not ask us to live in your dream world. Abortion will not disappear if doctors are again forbidden by law to perform them in all but these very desperate situations; women will continue to seek to control their childbearing as they have for all time, and if they must, they will against imperil their health and their very lives to do so.
You have issued a call to Jews in this community to join you in your endeavor to make abortion illegal. I challenge that call with an appeal to those who deplore abortion to work with others to establish honest, straightforward sex education programs now sorely lacking in most Arizona schools; to make contraceptive information and materials inexpensive and accessible to all citizens rich and poor, urban and rural; and to encourage research into safer, more effective contraceptive technology.
Clearly it is not by banning abortion, but only by diminishing the numbers of unplanned pregnancies that we will significantly decrease the frequency of abortion in this country – and that is a common goal to which both anti-choice and pro-choice individuals should aspire.