Kathryn Lopez

"Amnesty International is a textbook example of what Max Weber called the routinization of charisma," Glendon observed. "They started out as noble participants in the human-rights revolution that helped to bring about the collapse of totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe. ... They had grown into a member of what has become a human-rights industry -- professional groups with continuous need for things to do and money to do them with" The good news is, people are noticing. AI's antics are "creating a vacuum and need for organizations and individuals that have a proper view of human rights," says Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America. Like a lot of pro-life activists I talked to about the AI policy, Wright is optimistic: "Just as the U.S. abortion lobby's extreme position against partial-birth abortion bans helped create a majority now against abortion, AI's mind-bending adoption of the view that killing babies is a human right goes so against common sense that it could result in causing people to think about the true human-rights violations caused by abortion."

So, in its inadvertent way, maybe Amnesty International will give human-rights activism a new life -- despite its own refusal to give amnesty to the unborn.


Kathryn Lopez

Kathryn Jean Lopez, editor of National Review Online, writes a weekly column of conservative political and social commentary for Newspaper Enterprise Association.