Mark Twain for today

By Dave Andrusko

Mark TwainAt my age, I need prompters. One of the many reminders I have sent to me comes courtesy of a website called “Today in History.” Did you know (actually, probably not) that on this day in 1910 Mark Twain died at the age of 75?

There are innumerable pithy Twain quotes. Two of my favorites (off our topics) are

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds

But when it comes to defending the defenseless, the two Twain quotes that most strike home are

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

Of course, there is irony galore in that it was only recently I learned that the former quote is actually Charles Sturgeon’s. I’m sure Twain is smiling about that. Sturgeon was a famous 19th Century Baptist preacher and Twain’s relationship to organized religion was (to put it politely) strained.

But whether it be Sturgeon or Twain, I have often thought of the significance (and the relevance) of that insight: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting on its shoes.”

We spend a lot of time taking pro-abortionists to task for astonishingly ill-informed assertions. But that’s the point, actually points (plural).

First, abortion advocates distribute lies and misinformation like candy. There is a boatload to rebut.

Second, when, for instance, they declare life does not begin at conception or that this is a “controversial statement,” you must carefully offer up the many textbooks that say, yes, life does begin at conception.

Then when they switch gears and/or fudge, you must carefully explain that human “life” may have started millions of years ago, but the life of each and every individual human begins at conception.

Which takes us back to Twain’s insight, “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” Our benighted opposition traffics in obfuscation and distinctions that are so obtuse no one can follow them or that are distinctions without a difference.

Our case is straightforward. We are in this together and it is a gross injustice to kill dependent beings (such as unborn children, newborns some think lack sufficient “quality,” or the medically fragile elderly) because they cannot defend themselves.

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