By John-Henry Westen and Hilary White

MADRID, April 26, 2006 ( – Amnesty International is shocked that the governing socialists in Spain have put forward legislation to grant great apes ‘human rights’. The same government which stripped from unborn human children the right to life and permits destructive research on human embryos, has put forward legislation to grant great apes the rights the rights to life, freedom and to not being tortured, according to a report by Deutsche Presse-Agentur.

Environment Minister Cristina Narbona, protested that the government was not giving apes human rights. “We are not talking about granting human rights to great apes,’ but about ‘protecting (their) habitat, avoiding their ill-treatment and their use in various circus activities,” she explained.

The legislation would prohibit the ‘enslaving’ of gorillas, chimpanzees, orangutans and bonobos.

Observers might be excused for thinking that the move by the vigorously anti-Catholic socialist government of Spain was intended as a dig at the Vatican. Recent history shows a propensity for in-your-face gestures pointed at Rome including, particularly, the abolition of traditional marriage, and refusing to allow judges to opt out of witnessing homosexual unions for religious reasons.

The idea of “human” rights for great apes is possibly a stab at what secularists regard as “retrograde” Christian ideas about the hierarchical nature of creation with man, as the image of God, at the top.

While the socialists are passing legislation intended as rude gestures to the Church, Pope Benedict continues to warn against the extreme secularization of Europe and the looming economic and social consequences of the plummeting birth rate.

Currently, the birth rate in once-fervently Catholic Spain stands among the lowest in Europe. A recent article appearing in the UK political magazine, the Spectator, suggested that a culturally and historically European Spain will soon find itself contracepted and aborted out of existence.

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