Fatherhood, Valor, and Baby Alfie: The English Tree of Liberty Desperately Needs Watering

“It does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people’s minds” –Samuel Adams

The recent cases of hospital-hostages Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard have taught me something
startling: the time for counter-force to meet force is upon us. Or at least it is upon England.

For anyone unfamiliar with the situation, Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard both suffered mysterious medical conditions which rendered them dependent upon life support. Against the wishes of each of their parents, doctors teamed up with the English courts to stop life-support and to allow each child to die, ironically, “with dignity.”

And so, each child died at the hand of the state, along with parental rights in England.

Alder Hey Hospital released several statements swearing devotion to patients currently under their care. They asked the public for privacy. They cowered behind sick kids while killing one, quietly, behind closed doors. Akin to Planned Parenthood, Alder Hey Hospital claims to provide valuable medical assistance to some, while murdering others.

If any workers employed at Alder Hey had a conscience, they would quit their jobs immediately. Unlike the doctors and courts in question, I am not calling for the murder (or even assault) of innocents. I am calling for the strong defense and rescue of such future hostages. After all, the Catechism of the Catholic Church allows the use of force in defensive situations, like that of a home invasion or a hostage-situation.

The use of force is ordained by God precisely to defend innocent life, self or others, when it can feasibly be saved. We know as much because it has been codified into the Catechism of the Catholic Church, as one instance of the so-called principle of double effect: “The legitimate defense of persons and societies is not an exception to the prohibition against the murder of the innocent that constitutes intentional killing. ‘The act of self-defense can have a double effect: the preservation of one’s own life [or the life of an innocent]; and the killing of the aggressor…the one is intended, the other is not.” (CCC 2263).

Moreover, this is the last-resort, foundational principle of America and all republics. In case you forgot, the defense of the first natural right was memorialized in these words: “We hold these truths to be self evident, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed—that whenever any form of government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.”

For further context, more words from that same noble Virginian pen: “What country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance. Let them take arms.”

That, of course, was Thomas Jefferson.

It’s time Englishmen force the government’s hand and to expose them for they tyrants they’ve become. To the men of England—where have you been? Now is the time for questions and answers, before such a situation breaks out again. What have you to say about the homicide by the administrative state, recently completed at Alder Hey Hospital?

Will you continue to look on and do nothing as your motherland devours your children? When and if the situation comes back up, I say you are cowards if you continue to do nothing more than impotently petition a cannibal government. Gard and Evans comprise two costly attempts, within the English system, at interior negotiation. And they failed. 

Armed with the relative certainty that the tyrannical state will give no quarter next time, England must rise up and rebel. The English tree of liberty desperately needs watering. Its dead leaves litter the ground—they lie scattered among your children’s graves. Men of England, you should have begun at Alder Hey Hospital by forcibly removing, securing, and bringing to safety this defenseless young patient. You should have let the world know you were coming to claim what was rightfully yours: your own offspring. You should have stood for Truth and Goodness: “peace through superior firepower.” But now you know.

Before everyone starts ripping their garments and beards, crying “violence! violence!” consider this: our founding fathers forcibly resisted the selfsame government, who just dehydrated a young boy to death, for the perky impertinence of leveling a steep tariff on their breakfast beverage. Fast-forward 243 years and Englishmen are still standing by as the administrative state brings the sanguinary brunt of its will to power upon sick kids.

Servile trust in the untrustworthy brought England here. Trust in the tyrannical no more. Has western civilization moved to unmitigated pacifism, one that balks at any form of valor and honor!

Here is the essential question: what would those comfortable, cautious pacifists say to an age occupied by real men? Were the American founders “extremists”? Did their righteous counter force “make things worse,” to borrow the eunuch’s favorite justification for fecklessness?

Was Alfie’s cause unworthy of your action just because he was terminally ill? Charlie Gard’s? The fathers of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard could not possibly have fought the administrative usurpers on their own. They needed brothers-in- arms. Throughout history, men of courage have required the emboldened disciples of audacity in order to stop the progression of evil. This involves righteous men willing to risk the solaces of this world to win those of the next.

This response is the New Pacifism, and it is a trained, brainwashed one. 

We need righteous counter-force, aimed at, not violence, but at the defense of innocent blood.

Englishmen: when this case or one like it rearises, hit the streets, the House of Lords, Alder Hey Hospital. Go there in masses. Make your point clear: we are reclaiming our rights, as the heads of households, over our children. For better or worse, notwithstanding the vicissitudes of fate, “the child belongs to the father, not the state,” as Aristotle and St. Thomas and disciples of liberty everywhere have insisted.

History is rife with government-sanctioned crimes against humanity’s young. The lesson can be brought to our own shores and internalized. American men, will you finally rise en masse for our nation’s great evil: the murdering of the unborn? I mean this generally, not specifically, because for clarity’s sake, the principle of double effect—which the Catholic natural law invokes to defend those rescuable innocents such as Alfie and Charlie—does not justify the killing of abortion doctors. In virtually no conceivable situation would killing an abortion doctor shore up the life of the threatened fetus. As such, the single apparent motive of such acts remains illicit vigilantism, which is disallowed.

As the Alfie case and abortion are highly similar, they are distinguishable: given the circumstances, the principle of double effect condemns the passivity of Englishmen but requires it from American men, with respect to abortion.

For Heaven’s sakes, men of the world: where have you been? Forfeiting the sacred lives of your offspring; cowing to the state all around you; deferring to murderous doctors in your hospitals; bowing to violent foreign bullies in your homeland; forfeiting your rights as fathers to imperious females in your homes; compromising ceaselessly; trading comfort for principle around every corner. That’s where you shirkers have been.

Fathers, if the state uses force against you for exercising your God given rights to make choices for your children, then use a measure of counter-force in turn. The principle of double effect vouchsafes your valor: the sincere defense of innocent life justifies counter-force. It is time. That palpitation felt in your breast, after reading that last sentence, is the trained effect of living in an effete, humanist, and pacifist City of Man—one which would be unrecognizable to the men of ’76.

So what’s to be done? Some have argued that, should Alfie’s father try to retake his son by force, the other ill children admitted to Alder Hey Hospital might be traumatized by the commotion. Are not these children next on the administrative state’s chopping block? What’s more traumatizing: the threat of a justified commotion, or of de facto execution?

Further: if Alfie’s doctors were “experts,” why couldn’t they accurately predict, modify, or even explicate Alfie’s clinical situation? Rudimentary questions. How long can he survive, even roughly? Why did he survive so long in these anti-Hypocratic machinations? I’d settle for them spending five minutes to have named Alfie’s “mysterious neurological disease,” instead of using some grab bag term like “mysterious neurological disease.”

They didn’t know.

Take that in: the experts…didn’t…know the answers to basic questions concerning Alfie’s situation. Yet, they eagerly partnered with the state to decide the child’s fate. In what other field do we christen someone an “expert” who doesn’t know how something happens, why it happens, or how to fix it?

When the stakes are this high, why brook such woefully deficient guesswork from a know-nothing class of incompetents being venerated as a quasi-sacerdotal order of the secular class? When “the science isn’t complete on the issue,” or if “the disease is too rare to  understand,” how can we continue to allow doctors and courts to sentence someone to death?

What about the secular left’s favorite counter-example, in reverse situations: fathers opting for prayer instead of a medicinal regime as the only method of treatment for a critically ill child. Again, would you rather have fathers making decisions—even supposedly ill-advised one —out of love for their children, or the state making decisions for children out of love of the state?

The state sanctioned murder of Alfie Evans is what always happens when the natural authority of the father is supplanted. Always. Don’t let the pacifism of our soft age mollify you or dampen your better instincts. Remember the American founders, who risked their lives and fortunes to stand for Truth. The perennial evils these men fought against didn’t die with the Revolutionary War. If the state—or anyone else for that matter—stops you from discharging your role as protector, you must wage a battle right where you stand.

Your rights aren’t those merely voted for by a governing class. They’re ordained in the name of God for the benefit of the Church Militant. If you confront this governing class, you may lose your earthly comforts, but what do you dare to gain? If there’s any men of courage willing to find out, there will almost assuredly be another little boy in England whose father could sure use brothers to help him to wrest his child away from a wicked foe.

feature image via CNN

Stephanie Gordon is a traditional Catholic living in California with her husband and five children. She’s a writer and homeschool educator. Most recently, she edited her husband’s book, Timothy Gordon’s Catholic Republic: Why America Will Perish Without Rome from Dangerous Books. 

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