Category Archives: American Life League

Abortion hurts everyone

Sharon Osbourne and Toni Braxton have both recently spoken out about their pain as post abortive women.

She recounted: “I had an abortion at 17 and it was the worst thing I ever did . . . I went alone. I was terrified. It was full of other young girls, and we were all terrified and looking at each other and nobody was saying a bloody word. I howled my way through it, and it was horrible. I would never recommend it to anyone because it comes back to haunt you. When I tried to have children, I lost three — I think it was because something had happened to my cervix during the abortion.</blockquote<

When Mary was going through the miscarriage, I was very stoic for days. She laid in her parents' bed through the process. Her (adult) brothers thought she was "just sick."

As the "tissue" started coming out, we collected the remains to seek some kind of burial (that's another story).

Shortly after the main body came out, I passed through their living room, where my brother-in-law was watching CNN and some pro-abort sicko was talking, and I just started howling. "What's wrong with John?" He asked.

I ran down the hall and picked up the container that held the remains, and I just screamed for I-don't-know-how-long.

The greatest pain is knowing that your baby died, a human life was created and ended-as all must do-and wondering what happened to that young soul (that's another discussion), not being able to really know him or her at all or know if you ever will.

The second greatest pain is knowing that society says "It's just a blob of tissue. You're grieving for a life that was cut short before most people realized there was one there, and while 1 in 6 pregnancies end by natural miscarriage, the grief is secret.

To protect the so-called "right to choose," we suppress parents' right to grieve. That fundamental principle was the original reason for the "Lewis Crusade," originally intended as an Apostolate, not simply a blog.

Personhood Now.

I still cry sometimes.

The Real Problem

One of the claims that gets floated around in the internecine disputes of the Catholic blogosphere is that So-and-so is attacking “good Catholics” or “good pro-lifers.” Supporters of the American Life League/Human Life International approach argue (as I do) that the incrementalist approach of the National Right to Life Committee is self-defeating, while the NRLC-supporters say that the ALL/HLI types are unrealistic. Those who question certain methodologies (e.g., the infamous example of lying to Planned Parenthood in the name of “exposing the truth” or the question of whether to show graphic images of aborted babies) are accused of “attacking pro-lifers” and serving the enemy. Michael Voris attacks Catholic Answers and EWTN people for “making money off of apologetics,” and they call him a demagogue (and both criticisms arguably have some merit). Both “sides” accuse each other of driving people away from the Church.
The fact remains that the vast majority of Catholics in America do not vote for Democrats because a handful of online Distributists argue against *both* Capitalism and Socialism but because their pastors and the mainstream media tell them the Church supports socialism.
They do not support legalized abortion because a handful of online pro-life Catholics have questioned the methods of certain “pro-life” groups but because their parents or grandparents taught them Catholicism was about “not pushing their morals on other people,” and their pastors constantly teach “Judge not.”
They do not oppose traditional liturgical practices and approaches to catechesis because of what some blogger or apologist has said: for most of them, everyone from EWTN and Catholic Answers to Michael Voris to the Society of St. Pius X are “traditionalists,” and “traditionalist” is defined by their pastors as “Old people who don’t like the changes of Vatican II, and we’re just waiting for them to die off.” For them, Vatican II, defined by their pastors, Nuns on the Bus and the Mainstream Media, is this vast “progressive” overhaul of the Church that rendered all previous teaching and praxis obsolete (the “hermeneutic of rupture”). So while “conservatives” fight among themselves, the majority of Catholics in our country waddle on in indifference and ignorance, welcoming people like John Dominic Crossan and Richard McBrien to speak at their parishes.

Have a Heart: Allie (American Life League Photo Shoot 2)

These are the pictures we took for my article in American Life League’s Celebrate Life magazine on Marfan syndrome, ESCR and IVF.

Hear Allie on _Hide Me In Your Wounds_.

“Have a Heart”: Allie (American Life League Shoot) 1

My parents’ book is better (2/8/2005)

February is the NMF’s “Have a Heart for Marfan” month (don’t ask me why everybody has to choose February as their awareness month; the fact that it’s heart disease month would lead me to put Marfan someplace else, anyway). . . .
So the NMF has added an online shopping cart system to their website. Previously, to order materials, you had to just print out the form or call.
In 1984, my parents wrote a book called How John Was Unique, a children’s story to help springboard families’ discussions of the hard facts of Marfan syndrome: the pros and the cons, etc. It was published by the NMF (US) as a coloring book, both to save money and to make it more interactive.
Well, somewhere along the line, the Canadian Marfan Foundation as put out a book called A Very Special Mouse.
Last week, among other items, I ordered a copy of the mouse book and “my book” (also 2 t-shirts and some informational materials to give to people).
They came on Saturday, and, without bias, I can say that my parents’ book is much better.
The mouse book basically says, “There once was a family of mice. One mouse was taller and slower than his brothers and sisters. He couldn’t see very well, either. One day he went to the doctor, and the doctor said he had something called Marfan syndrome. That’s why he was so tired all the time, so tall and he had to wear glasses. We’ll tell you more when you’re older.”
It’s almost like they wanted an alternative to my parents’ book for those parents who like to stick their heads in the sand.

Why not talk to your kids honestly and openly. My parents tell the story of when I was something like 5 or 6 and I demanded total honesty about my health issues, because “It’s my life.”

So I sat down with my little hyperactive 3-year-old and tried to read her the book. She was about as impressed as possible, for a child of the computer and video camera era, that there was this little book written by Nana & Papa about daddy, and that the drawing of the boy in the book was daddy.
But when I got to the core parts, about the hospitals and tests and glasses and such, I was able to say, “Remember when you had this test done?”
And she said, “Yeah.”
And I said, “Well, this is about when I had it done when I was little.”
“Oh!” she said with a smile.

Now, if only I could get her to wear her glasses. . . . .

Discovery Gunman: Left Wing Terrorist

To those who watch cable’s 24 hour news cycle:
So, for the past week, the headlines have been flooded with information on the radical Al Gore, Thomas Malthus, Ted Turner following Eco-terrorist who held the Discovery Channel offices hostage last week because he believed people are parasites, right?

The media are bending over themselves to say that this act of violence is typical of the entire environmental movement, right?

Primetime writers are scrambling to put together the next script about a radical environmental activist who goes around shooting people, right?

People are demanding apologies from Al Gore, Ralph Nader, all the Organic Food stores, Amnesty International, GreenPeace, the EPA, Jimmy Carter, and Planned Parenthood for their rhetoric that led to this violence, right?

Anybody?

As someone who follows internet news about 16 hours a day, I haven’t seen anything like that.

Weird.

When the gunman’s motives first came out, Yahoo’s headline read something to the effect of, “Man holds Discovery Offices hostage because he objects to environmental programming”–making it sound, to the millions of people who’d just look and move on, that the guy was anti-environmentalist.

The last article my wife saw on the subject even tried to paint the guy as some kind of eco-martyr!!

Or how about this one?

Have the mainstream media reported that, during protests in DC for The Kill Pills Day on June 9, 2009, the Discovery Gunman came up to pro-lifers with a camera and began arguing with them about abortion and population control? Have they talked about this guy’s radical pro-abortion politics and his desire to exterminate humanity? Have they painted these views as a condemnation of the entire “pro-choice” movement??? Well, American Life League has come forward not only with the story but with proof in the guy’s own YouTube videos, which they reported to the authorities.

Here’s the video:

Seen that on CNN, (P)MSNBC or FOX?

The Problem with “Movements”

Since 2004, there has been a discussion of so called “non-negotiables” in Catholic public life, often tied with the term “intrinsic evils.” I have problems with the usage of both terms as they have their ambiguous elements.

However, they have been introduced into Catholic political discourse to emphasize that the Church is unequivocal on some issues.

Almost all teachings of the Church regarding public life have some level of nuance to them. Usually, the Church teaches a totally different way of looking at politics or economics (notably subsidiarity and distributism) that, despite more than a century and a quarter since _Rerum Novarum_, still don’t quite fit into established secular political movements. Part of this is due to the fact that people have listened to the social encyclicals only reflexively by rejection (“Mater si, Magistra No”) or by intentionally misinterpreting (“If you’d only read the social encyclicals, you’d vote Democrat”).

With almost every issue, there’s some nuance. The Church almost always advises more on which principles to consider in regard to an issue rather than prescribing a particular course of action.

War: Just War Doctrine
Death Penalty: Equivalent strict standards of application
Economics: distributism; right to property, but the right to property is not absolute, etc.
Environment: Care for God’s resources; be good stewards; don’t blindly destroy nature; yet don’t put nature above humanity
Immigration: Have generous immigration laws; respect human dignity; keep families together; secure borders; don’t allow illegal immigration.
Even with the War in Iraq, there is some level of nuance in the Church’s teachings. Indeed, the War in Iraq was going on in 2004 when then-Cardinal Ratzinger wrote his now infamous letter to Cardinal McCarrick saying specifically that war does not carry the same weight as abortion, since the Church teaches that some wars are just, and we can’t always be 100% sure of the justice or injustice of a cause. Yet Popes Benedict and John Paul have made comments against the Iraq War. Yet again, before the war, John Paul appealed not to the US but to Saddam Hussein to do what was right, since he was the one being uncooperative with the UN. And yet again, when B16 came here in April 2007, he praised our troops for fighting for the cause of freedom.

There’s always *something*. There’s always a level of room for adaptation of the general principles to one’s own perspective and situation, and the Popes acknowledge this.

However, there are issues for which there is no nuance. Abortion is wrong, period. The Church has always taught that and makes no exceptions.

Two equal and opposite problems arise from this.

The first problem involves voting. Since parties are coalitions, voting involves some kind of compromise. In theory, people “tally” votes, where, in reality, they vote on their pet issues. I’ve often heard it said, “The Democrats are in line with Catholic teaching on more issues than the Republicans,” though I’ve never been able to figure out which ones. Another justification Catholics will use for voting Democrat is trying to apply to abortion the level of nuance that other issues have, making up arguments about ensoulment and so forth, or else just saying that the Church is “hypocritical.”

And that, right there, gets to the problem of “movements.” I will grant that politics is one thing, and sometimes holding one’s nose and voting for the least evil of the candidates is what one must do.

However, most “movements” become so focused on their issue that they lose sight of the Church. It’s one thing when this happens in terms of political alliances. It’s quite another when the movement turns to criticizing the Church.

So, for example, with the “Peace Movement.” Peace is a good thing. However, I have a hard time maintaining dialogue with peace activists, with whom I largely agree, because they are so adamant about pacifism as such. I may not approve of the war, but I approve of the existence of the military, and I believe in the possibility of a Just war that is defensive or one that liberates one country from another’s attack.

However, that mere distinction is too much for many peace activists. Indeed, they’ll say that “Just War” theory itself is wrong and “goes against the teachings of Jesus.” To show how it goes against the teachings of Jesus, they’ll quote Dorothy Day, or Eileen Egan, or the Berrigans, Sr. Joan Chittister, or one of several dubious bishops. Challenge them with actual writings of Popes and Saints, and they’ll shut you out.

I have no problem with conscientious objection. Indeed, I support it. I have no problem with criticizing a war if one sincerely believes it is wrong. I have no objection to a person living a pacifist life, save for the question of protecting a loved one from assault. However, I *do* have a problem when someone’s zeal for peace takes the form of criticizing the Church and saying that Just War Doctrine itself is wrong.

Similarly, the Holy Father recently gave a speech about environmental concerns, which has spurred the usual debates on that topic. Again, the Church teaches that the environment must be honored and safeguarded, but the needs of humanity must come first. Radical Environmentalists conveniently ignore the latter qualification and use the Church to promote their agenda. Their opponents will ignore the first part and focus on the latter.

Again, it’s one thing to make an unhappy allegiance for voting purposes; it is quite another to call the Church’s teaching on a subject “wrong,” whether that subject is “peace” or divorce or economics or contraception.

So as much as I sympathize with their causes, I can’t get behind the “Peace” Movement or the “Environmental” Movement because they involve too much criticism of the Church and too many sketchy interpretations of Church teaching. The pro-life movement may compromise itself sometimes in its political allegiances, but the movement itself does not go around saying the Church is wrong on matters of dogma.

I’m a Child, Not a Choice

From John Locke: On Life, Liberty and Estate

Originally published 7/5/2007

Thought we’d take a look at some of the sources of the rights enshrined in our Declaration of Independence

From Two Treatises of Government (1680-1690), Book II: An Essay Concerning the True Original, Extent and End of Civil Government, Chapter 6: “Of Paternal Power,” Paragraph 59:

This holds in all the laws a man is under, whether natural or civil. Is a man under the law of nature? What made him free of that law? what gave him a free disposing of his property, according to his own will, within the compass of that law? I answer, a state of maturity wherein he might be supposed capable to know that law, that so he might keep his actions within the bounds of it. When he has acquired that state, he is presumed to know how far that law is to be his guide, and how far he may make use of his freedom, and so comes to have it; till then, some body else must guide him, who is presumed to know how far the law allows a liberty. If such a state of reason, such an age of discretion made him free, the same shall make his son free too. Is a man under the law of England? What made him free of that law? that is, to have the liberty to dispose of his actions and possessions according to his own will, within the permission of that law? A capacity of knowing that law; which is supposed by that law, at the age of one and twenty years, and in some cases sooner. If this made the father free, it shall make the son free too. Till then we see the law allows the son to have no will, but he is to be guided by the will of his father or guardian, who is to understand for him. And if the father die, and fail to substitute a deputy in his trust; if he hath not provided a tutor, to govern his son, during his minority, during his want of understanding, the law takes care to do it; some other must govern him, and be a will to him, till he hath attained to a state of freedom, and his understanding be fit to take the government of his will. But after that, the father and son are equally free as much as tutor and pupil after nonage; equally subjects of the same law together, without any dominion left in the father over the life, liberty, or estate of his son, whether they be only in the state and under the law of nature, or under the positive laws of an established government. (see this link or this link, emphasis added)

Ignoring the discriminatory term “being born,” derived from his primitive understanding of biological science, here is a quotation from Book II, Chapter 7: “Of Political or Civil Society,” paragraph 87:

Man being born, as has been proved, with a title to perfect freedom, and an uncontrouled enjoyment of all the rights and privileges of the law of nature, equally with any other man, or number of men in the world, hath by nature a power, not only to preserve his property, that is, his life, liberty and estate, against the injuries and attempts of other men; but to judge of, and punish the breaches of that law in others, as he is persuaded the offence deserves, even with death itself, in crimes where the heinousness of the fact, in his opinion,
requires it. But because no political society can be, nor subsist, without having in itself the power to preserve the property, and in order thereunto, punish the offences of all those of that society; there, and there only is political society, where every one of the members hath quitted this natural power, resigned it up into the hands of the community in all cases that exclude him not from appealing for protection to the law established by it. And thus all private judgment of every particular member being excluded, the community comes to be umpire, by settled standing rules, indifferent, and the same to all parties; and by men having authority from the community, for the execution of those rules, decides all the differences that may happen between any members of that society concerning any matter of right; and punishes those offences which any member hath committed against the society, with such penalties as the law has established: whereby it is easy to discern, who are, and who are not, in political society together. Those who are united into one body, and have a common established law and judicature to appeal to, with authority to decide controversies between them, and punish offenders, are in civil society one with another: but those who have no such common people, I mean on earth, are still in the state of nature, each being, where there is no other, judge for himself, and executioner; which is, as I have before shewed it, the perfect state of nature (see this link or this link, emphasis added).

Lastly, this one from Book II, Chapter 11: “Of the Extent of the Legislative Power,” paragraph 135:

First, It is not, nor can possibly be absolutely arbitrary over the lives and fortunes of the people: for it being but the joint power of every member of the society given up to that person, or assembly, which is legislator; it can be no more than those persons had in a state of nature before they entered into society, and gave up to the community: for no body can transfer to another more power than he has in himself; and no body has an absolute arbitrary power over himself, or over any other, to destroy his own life, or take away the life or property of another. A man, as has been proved, cannot subject himself to the arbitrary power of another; and having in the state of nature no arbitrary power over the life, liberty, or possession of another, but only so much as the law of nature gave him for the preservation of himself, and the rest of mankind; this is all he doth, or can give up to the common-wealth, and by it to the legislative power, so that the legislative can have no more than this. Their power, in the utmost bounds of it, is limited to the public good of the society. It is a power, that hath no other end but preservation, and therefore can never* have a right to destroy, enslave, or designedly to impoverish the subjects. The obligations of the law of nature cease not in society, but only in many cases are drawn closer, and have by human laws known penalties annexed to them, to inforce their observation. Thus the law of nature stands as an eternal rule to all men, legislators as well as others. The rules that they make for other men’s actions, must, as well as their own and other men’s actions, be conformable to the law of nature, i. e. to the will of God, of which that is a declaration, and the fundamental law of nature being the preservation of mankind, no human sanction can be good, or valid against it (see this link or this one, emphasis added).

A rather old, but still apropros, guest post from my wife

Clinton’s abortion views are clearly contradictory
To the Editor:
In response to your article in the Stafford Neighbors section, “New kids on the political block,” I feel those Democrats, and others like them, must have hypocritical ignorance of their candidates.
I cannot understand how someone who is so concerned about prenatal care and Head Start and who is against the death penalty can at the same time call himself or herself pro-choice, meaning proabortion.
Bill Clinton and Al Gore are supposedly concerned about the future of America, but, hypocritically, they support the murder of the innocents, the children, the future of America.There are organizations to help mother and baby, like Birthright, which is now part of the United Way campaign, and adoption agencies. Instead of spending millions of dollars a year for infanticide, why not spend the money on the mother and her child? I feel we need to spend that money for more organizations like Birthright and Bethany Christian Services.
If one person kills another in the shadows, where they can’t see one another, it’s called murder. But when a woman with a child inside of her, a child she can feel but cannot see, kills the child, or as some put it, exercises her right, it is just a choice, not abortion.
I hope in the future that The Free Lance-Star will cover events like the hundreds of citizens who stood in the rain for three hours to show their love for all people, born and unborn. This event occurred Oct. 4 on U.S. 1.

Mary Hein
Stafford, VA

Letter to the Editor, The Free Lance-Star, Fredericksburg, VA, Thursday, October 22, 1992

Haley Versus Barrett: Who’s more Pro-Life?

As we prepare for the run-off in the 2010 South Carolina Republican gubernatorial primary, I hope to do a series of pieces comparing candidates Nikki Haley and Gresham Barrett.

First, obviously, is pro-life.

On Haley’s page, under “Right to Life,” there are three items.
The first is this video:

The second is this text:

I believe every life has a value and is blessed by God – my husband was adopted and my pro-life convictions stem from the fact I feel the blessings of that value every day knowing someone chose life for him. I see it every day in my two children as I watch them grow. My hope is that we continue to encourage and work towards educating that value of life to everyone.

OK, pretty generic Republican speech.

The third item is a letter from Holly Gatling of SC Citizens for Life, certifying Nikki Haley’s 100% pro-life voting record.

At one point last year, when I first heard of her campaign through Facebook, I found the state website that shows various pieces of legislation and legislators’ votes on them. Most of the votes were procedural, and full of so many double-negatives, I couldn’t figure out what was saying what. However, Haley had added her name to the list of co-sponsors for the South Carolina human life amendment.

Meanwhile, contender Gresham Barrett emphasizes self-congratulation on the meaningless partial birth abortion plan and the specific legislation for a 24 hour waiting period in South Carolina.

Granted, neither candidate expresses a particularly activist agenda on abortion, but there are key differences.

a) Haley, advertises her 100% rating which includes the Human Life Amendment; Barrett’s rhetoric shows him to be a dyed-in-the-wool incrementalist.
b) Haley emphasizes her personal commitment to the pro-life cause (due to her husband being adopted), versus Barrett’s focus being more clearly political,

I have always favored pro-life women over pro-life men, because most people do think of this as a “women’s issue.” I have always maintained that the only way to truly stop abortion is to have pro-life women in office, or men with strongly pro-life wives. Nancy Reagan, Barbara Bush and Laura Bush are all pro-choice. Former SC Governor David Beasley’s father-in-law was an abortionist.

Secondly, male or female, every truly committed pro-lifer has a personal reason for being so. For Sarah Palin, it’s her son with Down’s syndrome and her out-of-wedlock grandchild. For Nikki Haley, it’s her husband.

A Letter to Fr. Michael Pfleger

Recently, the name of “Rev. Dr.” Michael L. Pfleger, the radical left-wing Chicago priest who is more aligned with Jeremiah Wright and Louis Farrakhan than with the Catholic Church, has made headlines.

It seems that Lord Francis Cardinal George, OMI, Archbishop of Chicago and President of the USCCB, often mistaken for a conservative, is showing his Oblate of Mary Immaculate colors once again while honoring Pfleger (whom he temporarily suspended a while back after mass protest from Catholics forced him to take some nominal action against this violent anti-life racist heretic).

Meanwhile, His Emminence has called for the censorship of a lay Catholic conservative activist named Tom Roeser, accusing Roeser of “hate speech”!!!

Why? Because Roeser dares to talk about the plague of homosexual priests in the Catholic priesthood, a plague which Cardinal Ratzinger himself has condemned!

It should be noted that George has had the opportunity of serving as bishop in charge of both Oregon Catholic Press and GIA, and if he were as orthodox as many think he is, he could have shut down both these subversive operations.

Anyway, after reading Michelle Malkin mentioning an e-mail exchange with Pfleger, I looked up “Pastor Pfleger’s” parish and sent him an e-mail of my own:

Dear Fr. Pfleger,

Why do you call yourself pastor and not father? Are you embarrassed of being a pastor of the True Church? I notice you spend a lot of time working with Protestant Heretics?

Do you teach your congregation that artificial contraception is always a mortal sin and they will go to Hell if they use it? What about abortion and in vitro fertilization?

Do you teach them that divorce and fornication are mortal sins?

Do you teach them that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered?

Do you teach them that what matters is total conformity to the Magisterium of the Catholic Church, and that *anyone* who thinks race matters *at all* is commiting a sin against justice?

Do you encourage perpetual adoration ? Do you permit liturgical abuses in your parish? Do you say the Vatican II Mass in Latin, the way that Pope Benedict, Pope John Paul II and retired Cardinal Arinze have said it should be said?

I’m curious, because I noticed how you were honored by your Archbishop for your representation of the Catholic faith, and from your public reputation, you are anything but.

Pax et bonum,
John C. Hathaway

“We’d like to thank you George W. Bush”

For all you’ve done for the Pro-Life Movement . . . .

1. Approving federal funding of embryonic stem cell research (so long as the babies are already dead).
2. Somehow deceiving millions into thinking you were pro-life, despite your repeated promises not to overturn Roe v. Wade.
3. Wasting further time and money on the “partial birth abortion ban” smoke and mirror, causing pro-lifers to think they’d done something other than ban one specific kind of rare late-term procedure (only because there are other procedures available that can do the same thing)..
4. Getting yourself praise for reinstating Mexico City Policy after Clinton while not reversing Clinton’s other two executive orders regarding federal funding of abortions, including permitting abortions on military bases (see below).
5. Completely ignoring Human Life International’s appeal that you repudiate and revoke the eugenicist agenda of NSSM-200 on its thirtieth anniversary in 2003, instead confirming your party’s true agenda, as that was the very year you got us into the kind of war predicted by said document’s long term plans.
6. Wasting the greatest approval ratings in recent history and a majority in both houses to push an immoral war, thus “postponing” and breaking most of your pro-family, pro-life campaign promises in *both* elections.
7. Attempting the Harriet Myers nomination–which should have been enough for pro-lifers to call your bluff–but then turning around and appointing John Roberts and Samuel Alito while deceiving the pro-life movement into believing these men were themselves pro-life.
8. Introducing an agenda of torture into US policy (and your supporters may question whether waterboarding constitutes “torture,” or claim that there are a “limited number of cases,” but there are plenty of documented offenses by the CIA, Blackwater and the Military that clearly fall under the category of “torture”). One day, Bush’s supporters will be looked on as equivalent to Holocaust Deniers in terms of their desire to simply ignore data to push an agenda. You’ve now caused a good deal of the pro-life leadership to compromise themselves by apologizing for torture and trying to minimize it, using some of the same strategies pro-choice Catholics use to justify legalized abortion. Oh, and it’s totally unnecessary, since all authentically pro-life candidates in 2008 opposed waterboarding, etc.
9. Turning many pro-life “Christians” into bloodthirsty revenge-seekers over 9/11
10. Appointing pro-abortionsts like Christine Todd Whitman and Tom Ridge to your cabinet, including making Ridge the first Director of “Homeland Security.”
Thus,
11. Coming after an administration that declared Pro-Lifers the #1 terrorist threat and spent its time tailing the Catholic bishops instead of Al-Qaeda, you a) vowed to wipe out “all terrorism,” b) set up a precedent for denying due process and torturing suspects, c) set up policies for violating US citizens’ Constitutional rights to root out suspected “terrorists” (even though that’s just the kind of thing the Constitution was written for, and d) stacked the Supreme Court with like-minded people.

Thusly,
12. Fulfilling the master plan of the real powers behind our country, hinted at in documents like NSSM-200, you alienated the country so much to lose your party’s hold over Congress and the White House, and paved the way for Barack Obama, who has set about carrying all those policies to the next level.

Yes, thank you President Bush. You did a great job of trying to build a Culture of Life.

Case in point: abortions on military bases. Clinton approved funding of them. Bush encouraged lots of women to sign up for the military to fight his wars. Now, pregnancy among women troops (wasn’t that one of the reasons for women not serving in the military??) is a growing “problem,” so Komrade Obama has ordered all US military bases and hospitals to stock the aborifacient “Morning After” pill.

Scott Brown: How the Pro-Life Movement has Fallen

At first, I was excited over Scott Brown. Then I found out his real positions on abortion. I have been genuinely torn about whether to be excited about this or not. It’s certainly a good thing in the short run, but not a good thing in the long run. Every time a pro-choice Republican wins is more reason for the Republicans to abandon the pro-life cause.

Anyway, Mark Shea has nicely delineated the slippery slope the Pro-Life Movement has made since selling its soul to Dubya ten years ago.

First, it was Bush over McCain because Bush was anti-embryonic stem cell research. Bush overturned 1 of Clinton’s *3* executive orders about abortion, permitting funding of abortions on military bases. Then Bush supported ESCR, and it was “I’m disappointed, but.” Bush tried to appoint pro-abortionists like Harriet Myers but got opposed and forced to appoint guys like Roberts and Alito who have yet to document any positions other than that they see _Roe v. Wade_ as settled law, and that abortions are OK so long as they’re not “gruesome”. Otherwise, in 8 years, he did zilch. When pro-lifers expressed outrage, Bush’s spokespeople said, “The president has always made clear that he supports _Roe v. Wade_.”

Which he did. Pro-lifers with Bush were like pacifists with Obama: they made him what they wanted him to be and ignored what he actually said. And they still do.

I posited at the time of Harriet Myers that maybe the pro-life movement was waking up to Bush like Sue Ellen finally dumping J.R., but that didn’t last long. Then people who used to speak of the dignity of the human person started agreeing with their President on human dignity not applying to “evil terrorists.”

Then, in 2008, McCain suddenly wasn’t that bad. Romney, who only became pro-life when he decided to run for president, was an avowed pro-lifer with a history of pro-life credentials.

We’re told that the end all and be all of pro-life activism is stopping partial birth abortion–one specific kind late term abortion that has been illegal for years now, even though the Supreme Court says it’s illegal because there are other ways to abort third trimester babies!!

Now, Scott Brown is the savior because he opposes federal funding of abortion and sort of supports conscientious objection.

Meanwhile, in early 2008, we had a candidate who
a. Said that presidents could be doing far more to fight abortion than they’d been doing
b. Supported measures to fight no-fault divorce
c. Supported homeschooling
d. Openly promoted Natural Law

and he didnt’ get support because
a) Catholics said they didn’t want to vote for a Baptist minister.
b) conservatives didn’t like the work he’d done for social justice as governor of Arkansas.

If Barack Obama had an “R” after his name instead of “D”, NRLC would find reason to declare him the greatest friend to the pro-life movement since Reagan. Oh, wait, Reagan appointed Kennedy and O’Connor.

When was the last time you heard a Bishop speak against contraception?

Fr. Tom Bartolomeo had the nerve to preach against artificial contraception, a topic which, before Vatican II, priests were required to preach on at least once per year, and he was removed from his parish for it.

Bishop Joseph Martino resigns shortly after Archbishop Michael Sheehan of Santa Fe says some bishops are too outspoken on “abortion and the other stuff.”

The USCCB’s “Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship” document, supposedly a summary of Catholic social teaching, never even mentions “birth control” or “contraception,” even though Mater et Magistra says that

189.  Besides, the resources which God in His goodness and wisdom has implanted in Nature are well-nigh inexhaustible, and He has at the same time given man the intelligence to discover ways and means of exploiting these resources for his own advantage and his own livelihood. Hence, the real solution of the problem is not to be found in expedients which offend against the divinely established moral order and which attack human life at its very source, but in a renewed scientific and technical effort on man’s part to deepen and extend his dominion over Nature. The progress of science and technology that has already been achieved opens up almost limitless horizons in this held.

194. Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members.

199. A provident God grants sufficient means to the human race to find a dignified solution to the problems attendant upon the transmission of human life. But these problems can become difficult of solution, or even insoluble, if man, led astray in mind and perverted in will, turns to such means as are opposed to right reason, and seeks ends that are contrary to his social nature and the intentions of Providence. 

Liberals continue to insist that Archbishop Charles Chaput (who supports the Neocatechumenate Way, Charismatic Renewal, and other heterodox lay movements) is a “far right conservative” just because he’s outspoken on abortion.

We hear from Cardinals Rigali, O’Malley and others say they will not support a health care bill that pays for abortions, which implies that they will support a health care bill that pays for contraceptives.

When was the last time the USCCB issued an official statement

We’re told of people like Fr. Bartolomeo and Fr. Christopher Buckner and Bishop Martino that it is their “pastoral style,” not their “orthodoxy,” that gets them in trouble.  Yet many saints have had a similar “pastoral style.”

We’re told that the “pastoral styles” of O’Malley and Chaput and Dolan are more effective.

Effective at doing what? 
Not actually teaching what the Church does?

Shouldn’t a pastor be making sure his sheep get through the gate?

One poll says 61% of Catholics think contraception should be up to laity and 75% say it’s possible to be a good Catholic and disobey the Natural Law on this matter

A Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Study found that 97% of Catholic women over 18 have used some form of artificial birth control in their lives, and a 2005 Harris Poll found that 90% of Catholics supported birth control.

These polls indicate the range of numbers I’ve heard on how many Catholics in the US support and/or use artificial birth control.

Attention, USCCB: the majority of your flock are headed straight to Hell, and you aren’t saying anything about it!!!

How are they supposed to repent if you don’t tell them to????

Instead, the few voices who actually speak on it are called “right wing extremists” or “judgemental” just for being willing to say what the Church teaches.

Has the USCCB ever issued a statement condemning birth control?

Has the USCCB ever issued a statement condemning the “overpopulation” movement or NSSM-200?

Until that happens, I’ll take Judie Brown or Fr. Tom Euteneuer over the fraudulent “shepherds” at the USCCB.

What Went Wrong with the Pro-Life Movement

Ever since the victory of the Enlightened One, the “President of the World,” people have been doing post mortems on the pro-life movement.  Obama’s “abortion prevention” is a slightly more effective reworking of the “safe, legal and rare” motto of the Clinton Administration (even though the abortion lobby was the one interest group Clinton *didn’t* betray in his 8 years).

Now, even European politicians are getting into the act.  John Allen reports how some Italian politician, allegedly “John Paul’s favorite,” has said the pro-life movement went wrong by pitting mothers against children.  Here’s what he said:

“God entrusts a child to its mother in such a special way, that to defend the child against the mother is just, but impossible.”
“We have to support the mother, making her more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free she is, the more difficult it will be for her to renounce the child.”

M-hmm.

I wonder how people would react to a politician who said,

“God entrusts women to men in such a special way, that to defend the woman against the man is just, but impossible.”
“We have to support the man, making him more free,” said Italian politician Rocco Buttiglione. “The more free he is, the more difficult it will be for him to engage in rape or abuse.”

How, exactly, does *increased* freedom bring an end to sin?

As for the rest, in the US, at least, the “failure” of the pro-life movement is due to two factors:

1. Cardinal Bernardin’s “seamless garment” nonsense: if you want to talk about “consistent life ethic,” I’m with you, but not all issues are equal, especially when most seamless garment types won’t include contraception in their “garment.”
2. The National Right to Life Committee’s “30 year strategy.”

Again, Obama’s supposedly “pro-life” devotees have been blaming the approach of ALL and HLI, or the approach of Operation Rescue, when, in fact, they should be blaming the approach of NRLC. They’ve been saying that we need to abandon an “all out” approach, but the official political strategy of the pro-life movement, run by the GOP and NRLC, has never been an all-out ban. It’s been to spend years and billions of dollars to outlaw one specific form of late-term abortion as an “incremental” step.

Very few have ever tried to completely outlaw abortion, and their efforts have been shot down: by others in the pro-life movement, including Catholic bishops.

The real problem with the pro-life movement, if we are to say the movement has failed (which it has), is that it fails to see where the underlying enemy is.

The Left wants to say it’s economic conditions that allegedly lead to abortion, except for two problems:
1) that is based upon the statistics that come from abortuaries; the exact number of abortions by middle class and rich women–who get abortions at regular hospitals or OB/Gyn offices–are unknown, and likely the vast majority of abortions.
2) those women aren’t driven to abortion by poverty; they’re driven by pressure from their families and from the Planned Parenthood clinic.

No, the underlying problem of the pro-life movement is that the leadership is the enemy. The pro-life movement needs to ditch the NRLC (which stays in business as long as abortion is legal) and the GOP, both of which are benefitting from a double effect. As long as abortion is legal, the GOP and the NRLC can get lots of money and votes out of pro-lifers, while still reaping the benefits that legalized abortion has for those in power.

Who was one of the only politicians to take direct action to overturn Roe v. Wade (and that was just to overturn it, not outlaw abortion)? Ron Paul.

“Population Control” is integrally tied to “globalization.” The Constitution Party says not to vote for anyone who’s a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, which severely narrows the number of eligible candidates, but is really worth looking into.

NSSM-200 was a Republican policy originally, and remains so.

The Future of Tradition?

As my kids watch DVD 1 of The Flying House, I think of my own childhood. A cradle Catholic raised among Catholics: children’s bible stories books, watching Superbook and Flying House on CBN, being amazed that there was a nun on TV and watching Mother Angelica even when I had no idea what she was talking about, watching Mass for Shut ins with Grandpa, etc.

I was very blessed. Ronald Reagan. The best CCD class I had was when my mom substituted one Sunday when I was in first grade. In first grade, my teacher was pretty good, though. In second grade, it was mostly coloring pictures, and I didn’t get it. I’d do my First Communion studies, and I always knew my lessons better than anyone else. My brothers teased me for raising my hand so much when Father asked the questions at First Communion mass.

Then there were the cool “First Mass” books and saint books I got for First Communion. I’d read them constantly. Then The Chronicles of Narnia in Fifth Grade, etc. . . . .

I grew up with this sense of understanding of what it meant to be Catholic, of what Catholicism was all about, that didn’t seem much reflected in reality. As I got older, I was bothered by how different what was taught officially was from what the Saints lived.

Compromise with the world versus providentialism
Feel good liturgy versus profound experience of the numenous.
I was a “RadTrad” at 15 if only for hearing “Vatican II got rid of that” over and over and over.

Then I rediscovered EWTN, read _Crisis_, and had my faith re-enlivened. I found out there were all sorts of Catholics my age who thought the same way I did, that there were all these homeschooling, Latin Mass attending large families out there.

Now, at 32, I’m starting to feel much the way I did at 16. Mary says the same. Doesn’t help that, as when we turned 16, the Democrats are back in power. This feels so much like Clinton 2.0–especially with the looming threat of Socialized Medicine–that the only hope I have is that 2010 will be a rerun of 1994. And maybe that’s where Sarah Palin’s populism will be best suited: a new revolution in the House of Representatives.

But it’s more than just the government. It’s the total infatuation with Obama among Catholics. I thought that 2000 and 2004 signalled the death of liberal Catholicism. I thought that Catholics in America finally “got it” about the Culture Wars. That they’d finally given up their obsession with money.

As my father said to a Clinton-voting priest, “How many dollars on your paycheck are worth the life of a child?” Of course, the liberals *try* to say they’re being “pro-life” by supporting “abortion prevention”: Obama has achieved quite a cultural coup with that lie.

Yet it totally flies in the face of the teaching of Humanae Vitae, and “abortion prevention” Catholics either conveniently ignore that, to Obama, “abortion prevention” means contraception and sex education, or else they overtly support it, flaunting Church teachings in both regards.

And then there’s the IPod Generation. Those who’ve come of age under Vietnam 2.0. Those who’ve come of age in a culture totally severed from any sense of tradition, media overload.

We’ve come full circle, after the vibrant minority of faith-centered, conservative Catholic and Evangelical youth of the nineties, to having young people who look much the same as the youth of the 60s and 70s. Just when we finally get Summorum Pontificum, when the USCCB finally agrees to literal translations from Latin, and when the Vatican is openly calling for some Latin at every Mass (calls which are roundly ignored), the young people are firmly entrenched in David Haas as the embodiment of “tradition.”

Protestants are talking about “emergent Church”: shedding the image of the “Religious Right”, introducing “new media” into services, making “services” even more informal than Protestants are to begin with. The people who brought you Amy “God just wants me to be happy, so I’m getting divorced” Grant think that they can build the Kingdom of God by even more compromise with Modernism.

Now, in the Church, we have Pope Benedict XVI. Doing his best to reverse many of the errors that happened under the tenure of John Paul the Not-so-great, Benedict fights an uphill battle against curial officials, liberal media, and the adoring fans of Barack Obama and Michael Jackson.

Now, with Benedict’s new encyclical (which I will not comment on till I have read it), the liberals are calling victory over conservatives, while the neocons engage in the typical rants and orthodox Catholics call the encyclical a slam dunk. Judie Brown calls it a love letter to the pro-life movement.

I look forward to reading it and finding out for myself. Most likely, I’ll find, as I find reading every “social justice” encyclical, that the Left has improperly co-opted it and the Right is being too knee-jerk.

I just wish Catholics, from laity to the Pope, weren’t so obsessed with temporal affairs, with worrying about money.

“Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s,” Our Lord taught. He said we’re not supposed to be concerned about money at all. Yet that seems to be the #1 concern of most Catholics, myself included at times.

It wouldn’t be a concern if we were living like Christians, and that is the point of most of the encyclicals. I don’t understand why secular government needs to be involved in it at all. It seems to be a cop out, on the part of both the average liberal voter and the average liberal priest, to say the government should pay for this stuff.

Much easier to demand that other people be taxed to solve the problems of the poor than it is to actually go out and help a poor person yourself.

Priests who are so concerned about “the poor” when they vote have no problem going out golfing, then telling their parishioners who ask for help, “I’m too busy.”

June 6 is Protest the Pill Day

Why stop at Planned Parenthood? This is the day where ALL asks people to pray in front of doctors’ offices, pharmacies–anywhere the Pill is provided.

"Not one baby will be saved . . . "

A common response to pro-life activism, particularly from the Catholic Left and self-proclaimed “center” is “Not one baby will be saved by what you’re doing.”
“Not one baby will be saved by protesting Obama at Notre Dame.”
“Not one baby will be saved by campaigning against that bill.”
“Not one baby will be saved by denying that politician Communion.”

And, sometimes, one is tempted to buy into that argument, as, often, abortion is a secondary issues. In the case of Notre Dame, it’s secondary to enforcement of Ex Corde Ecclesiae, and, in the case of politicians receiving Communion, it’s secondary to protection of the Blessed Sacrament against sacrilege.

However, who knows how many babies will be saved?

I’ve even seen snide comments made against 40 Days for Life, like, “What’s next? 52 days for life?” Those who are liberal, yet claim to be “just Catholic,” constantly expose their own deception by their animosity to the pro-life movement. They seek out any issue they can get to discredit pro-lifers. Sometimes, with issues like war and the death penalty, they grasp at straws. Other times, with issues like torture, pro-lifers unfortunately hand their enemies a noose.

There is this running theme among the Catholic Left, particulary given their triumphalism after this past election, and using the rhetoric passed down by Chris Korzen and Doug Kmiec, that the pro-life movement is, by and large, a failure.

They claim that our efforts to “lobby” the bishops to deny communion to politicians (in order to “pressure” said politicians) have failed (even though this *has* become a national issue, and many bishops *have* done their job, and even though both Pope Benedict and Cardinal Arinze have said such politicians *should* refrain from communion and should be excommunicated if they persist).

They’ve called Archbishop Burke all sorts of names, and they’ve tried to call his promotion a “silencing.” Then, as more and more bishops have spoken out more vocally on the previous election, and on the Obama administration, they’ve insisted those bishops are a “right wing fringe,” even though close to 1/3 of US bishops have now condemned Notre Dame’s award to Obama, including Roberty Lynch, one of the most liberal bishops in the country.

They claim to be “against abortion, but there are other issues.” They claim to “want to reduce abortions.” They claim to dislike the pro-life movement only because it’s so tied to the GOP, yet they a) oppose *every* form of pro-life activism that doesn’t involve socialism, b) oppose *every* effort to actually reduce abortions and c) call every pro-life organization, including ALL, HLI and EWTN, a GOP front operation. (It doesn’t help, of course ,that Raymond Arroyo has been allowed to turn The World Over into a very political broadcast).

To them, Mother Angelica–who often joked that she just wrote in Jesus’ Name for every election–is nothing more than the Evil-Lyn to Karl Rove’s Skeletor.

Speaking of Mother Angelica, one of my favorite Mother Angelica stories is the one about meeting an NBC executive. “What are your ratings like?” he asked.

“I dunno,” said Mother.
“You don’t know your own ratings?” gasped the executive. “In this business, that’s our gospel!”
“No,” said Mother. “That’s your problem. If just a single soul is saved by my network, it’s worth it.”

Will any children’s lives be saved by the Notre Dame protesting? Very likely so.

Even I was a bit wary of the “ND Abortion Plane” as a waste of time and resources, but what if some girl at Notre Dame right now is scared and considering abortion? Maybe even some girl in South Bend who doesn’t go to the college. What if some girl is praying for a sign from God, and she looks out her window and sees that plane?

I’ve graded a few papers by students who wrote about their abortion experiences, and they all said it would’ve taken one voice to discourage them, especially if that one person had offered some hope.

Bill Clinton said he was taught to be pro-choice at Georgetown. Five years ago, an Internet friend asked me for help on a political message board she was frequenting. There was a liberal Catholic woman on that board who was pro-abortion, pro-contraception, and proud of it. There were non-Catholic pro-lifers on the site who genuinely believed the Catholic Church was pro-abortion because they knew so many Catholics who were “pro-choice.”

They didn’t undersetand, if the Church was pro-life, why the Church allowed pro-choice politicians to call themselves Catholic.

Do you realize what a witness it is to non-Catholics that Catholics are standing up for our faith ? Do you realize that the main thing keeping many evangelical Protestants away from the Church is the perception of Catholics as being hypocrites who don’t follow what the Church teaches?

We’re often accused of being Pharisees if we stand up for the faith, but it’s just the opposite. We’re Pharisees if we sit back and legalistically say, “That doesn’t apply to me.”

So, yes, maybe a single baby *will* be saved by any given pro-life act. Maybe only one baby will be saved. Maybe a baby won’t be saved, but maybe one person’s mind will be changed. Maybe one persno will be led a step closer to conversion to Catholicism.

We will not know till the End what effect any given action ultimately has for the good of another’s soul.

But if we have a chance to stand up for the Good, we have to do it. And, if we are able to help bring just one person closer to God at the same time, it’s all worth it.

"I would rather be evil and better."

This is one of the reasons the Lewis Crusade exists.

Anyone who’s read the blog from the beginning, knows me, and/or has read my feature article in American Life League’s Celebrate Life a few years back should know this.

When our daughter Gianna was born, different people told us about the “other” Gianna (besides the Saint), Gianna Jessen. We read the book Gianna, her life story. We were both moved by it. Around the time, I had learned something that, to me, was disgusting, the realization of my lifelong fears about where our society was headed.

Someone was starting a “stem cell bank” for research into genetic disorders, including Marfan syndrome. Researchers were telling people with Marfan syndrome and other genetic disorders where the genes were known, to use in vitro fertilization instead of natural conception. The resulting embryos are “screened” for the known genetic defect. The “defective” embryos are “donated” to the “stem cell banks” for research. The “healthy” embryos are then “used” by the parents.

Of course, this doesn’t mean that the “healthy” child the parents so desperately strive for will actually be “healthy.”

It just means that, had we not been staunch pro-life Catholics (we probably woudln’t have had kids at all, but bear with me), we would have given Alexandra up to a “stem cell bank.” She’d have been dissected in someone’s Petri dish by now.

Think about that.

So, here’s this guy who’s taken up Christopher Reeve’s mantle: some guy named Claude Gerstle has declared himself the Accidental Advocate. He’s a medical doctor who was paralyzed (Can’t he do something with an MD while paralyzed besides whine? Can’t he consult? Teach? Do reserach?). He’s made a movie to show how horrible his “plight” is and how desperately he needs to have human embryos dissected in the hopes of getting some kind of “miracle” cure.

(Even though he’s likely rich enough to fly to some foreign country and get one of the perfectly safe and ethical adult stem cell treatments they’re already doing).

So, this review of his movie quotes some doctor–who likely has a stake in the film himself–saying there’s a “devastating” scene where a priest from the National Catholic Bioethics Center tells this Gerstle guy that to get a cure from embryonic stem cells would be to participate in evil.

Gerstle responds, “I would rather be evil and better.”

For Mitalipov, a leading stem cell researcher at Oregon Health and Sciences University, the scene is disheartening because the film examines the issue from a patient’s point of view.

“He had a patient in front of him and still wouldn’t shift his philosophical position. It shows how such arguments can really slow progress,” said Mitalipov.

What should having a patient in front of him have to do with his principles??

One of the things I can’t stand about liberals is that “sad cases” only work on their side.

When they said Bush only did “tax cuts for the rich,” I’d explain how much Bush’s tax cuts and credits helped my struggling family. Then they’d accuse me of whining or complaining.

We’re supposed to feel sorry for this guy who says he’s willing to commit evil to get a cure. We weren’t supposed to feel sorry for Terri Schiavo being murdered by her adulterous husband.

No one cares that Alexandra wouldn’t have existed if we’d followed the secularists’ “advice”. They call us “cruel” for allowing her to live at all.