- The Washington Times - Monday, July 17, 2000

Victims of adultery

"One of the striking things that has occurred during the [New York Mayor Rudolph W.] Giuliani [divorce] scandal, as it did during the discussion about [President] Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky, is how acts of infidelity are said to make certain men appear more 'human' and 'vulnerable,' less 'cold-blooded' and 'perfect.' … The act of adultery, in short, elicits from many people understanding and sympathy. Adultery, we are constantly reminded, is an 'essentially victimless' activity between 'consenting adults.' Some commentators are pleased that when it comes to our attitude toward adultery, Americans are becoming more like the French… .

"I dissent… . In extramarital affairs there are victims, beginning with the spouse and children. If marriage vows and commitments are still to be taken seriously, then adultery is a a betrayal of a very high order… . In marriage, one person has been entrusted with the soul of another… . This shouldn't be made light of, shrugged off, dismissed."

William J. Bennett, writing on "The Betrayal of Marriage," in the July/August issue of Touchstone

Suicide and abortion

"Abortion advocates, relying on inaccurate maternal death data in the United States, routinely claim that a woman's risk of dying from childbirth is six, 10 or even 12 times higher than the risk of death from abortion.

"In contrast, abortion critics have long contended that the statistics relied upon for maternal morality calculations have been distorted and that the broader claim that 'abortion is many times safer than childbirth' completely ignores high rates of other physical and psychological complications associated with abortion. Now a recent, unimpeachable study of pregnancy-related deaths in Finland has shown that the risk of dying within a year after an abortion is several times higher than the risk of dying after miscarriage or childbirth …

"Researchers had previously reported that the risk of death from suicide within the year of an abortion was more than seven times higher than the risk of suicide within a year of childbirth. Two of these suicides were also connected with infanticide. Examples of post-abortion suicide/ infanticide attempts have also been documented in the United States… . Abortion … is clearly linked to a dramatic increase in suicide risk."

David C. Reardon, writing on "Abortion Is Four Times Deadlier Than Childbirth," on the Web site www.afterabortion.org

Bryant's bias

"[CBS 'Early Show' host Bryant] Gumbel is probably the most famous in conservative circles for his hatred of Ronald Reagan. His compulsion to assign blame to Reagan borders on obsessive paranoia; his outbursts about Reagan-era 'greed' and 'excesses of the 1980s' often come way out of left field. For example, five years after Reagan's presidency ended, Gumbel asked a spokesman of the American Medical Association: 'In the greedy excesses of the Reagan years, the mean income of the average physician nearly doubled, from $88,000 to $170,000. Was that warranted?'

"But Gumbel's true gift to the morning genre is the legitimization of the wildly biased question. Whatever complaints you might have about the Sunday shows or '60 Minutes,' nothing compares to the glibly biased banter championed by Gumbel. 'In light of the new welfare-reform bill,' Gumbel asked Marian Wright Edelman, 'do you think the children need more prayers than ever before?' In an interview with [Rep.] J.C. Watts [Oklahoma Republican], he took a different approach: 'You're aligned to a party which owes many of its victories to the so-called Religious Right and other conservative extremists who are historically insensitive to minority concerns. That doesn't bother you?' "

Jonah Goldberg, writing on "Biased Gumbel," in the July 31 issue of National Review

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