The American Right Needs to Look Beyond the Legal Status of Abortion to the Restoration of Sexual Ethics

March 7 2022

For half a century, a pillar of the conservative social agenda in the U.S. has been the quest to overturn Roe v. Wade and thus protect nascent human life. As conservatives now have some reason to hope they can achieve this end, Rafi Eis urges them to look beyond the narrow question of the legality of abortion, to the much larger question of how to restore long-held ideas about sexuality and family life, and thereby to reduce demand for abortions. Eis urges conservative Christians in particular to look to the ways Orthodox Jews have preserved traditional sexual morality:

Since it’s likely that women will still seek to terminate pregnancies after [a reversal of] Roe, a more fundamental cultural change is needed to end abortion. The Bible offers a profoundly wise resource in thinking about sex. . . . Sexual virtue features prominently in Genesis. The book devotes fifteen stories to the morality of sex, and its clear message is that sexual virtue is to be praised while undisciplined sexuality is ruinous and can even destroy society. . . . Further, Genesis promotes marriage and procreation as central to the human condition, and these are some of the first principles found in the Bible. At creation, the Bible charges man “to be fruitful and multiply,” and in the next chapter it asserts that “it is not good for man to be alone,” which directly leads to the mandate that a man should “cling to his wife, so that they become one flesh.” As Abraham’s descendants grow from a family into a nation, the emphasis on family remains.

No matter how often liberals and progressives reduce sex to consent and pleasure, human nature is otherwise. And we are suffering deeply from changing our moral norms. . . . Without the commitment of marriage, the subsequent heartbreak, abandonment, and betrayal hurt us and make us more suspicious, jaded, on guard, and frustrated.

The Orthodox Jewish community succeeds in preventing abortions even where it is legal by embracing the Bible’s teachings on abstinence. The largest Orthodox communities happen to be located in the abortion-permissive states of New York, New Jersey, and California, giving Orthodox Jewish women vast abortion freedom. But it is very uncommon for Orthodox women to seek elective abortions to rid themselves of an inconvenient pregnancy.

Read more at Public Discourse

More about: Abortion, Conservatism, Sexual ethics, U.S. Politics

Russia’s Alliance with Hizballah Is Growing Stronger

Tehran’s ongoing cooperation with Moscow has recently garnered public attention because of the Kremlin’s use of Iranian arms against Ukraine, but it extends much further, including to the Islamic Republic’s Lebanese proxy, Hizballah. Aurora Ortega and Matthew Levitt explain:

Over the last few years, Russia has quietly extended its reach into Lebanon, seeking to cultivate cultural, economic, and military ties in Beirut as part of a strategy to expand Russian influence in the Middle East, while sidelining the U.S. and elevating Moscow’s role as a peacemaker.

Russia’s alliance with Hizballah was born out of the conflict in Syria, where Russian and Hizballah forces fought side-by-side in an alliance with the Assad regime. For years, this alliance appeared strictly limited to military activity in Syria, but in 2018, Hizballah and Russia began to engage in unprecedented joint sanctions-evasion activities. . . . In November 2018, the U.S. Department of the Treasury exposed a convoluted trade-based oil-smuggling sanctions-evasion scheme directed by Hizballah and [Iran].

The enhanced level of collaboration between Russia and Hizballah is not limited to sanctions evasion. In March 2021, Hizballah sent a delegation to Moscow, on its second-ever “diplomatic” visit to the country. Unlike its first visit a decade prior, which was enveloped in secrecy with no media exposure, this visit was well publicized. During their three days in Moscow, Hizballah representatives met with various Russian officials, including the Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov. . . . Just three months after this visit to Moscow, Hizballah received the Russian ambassador to Lebanon Alexander Rudakov in Beirut to discuss further collaboration on joint projects.

Read more at Royal United Services Institute

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Lebanon, Russia