Sunday 26th February 2017

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Can’t Pro-Lifers And Pro-Choicers Find Anything To Agree On?”

June 18, 2014 Featured Today No Comments

By BRIAN CLOWES

(Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995.)

+    +    +

“Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets” (Luke 6:26).
The most important strategy of the pro-abortion movement involves taking over the power structures through gradual infiltration and subversion. Its most important complementary strategy is the sidelining or neutralization of groups that actively oppose the pro-abortion agenda. Some of the tactics pro-abortionists use to advance this end include relentless ad hominem attacks, media stereotyping and harassment lawsuits, as well as attempts to shut down anyone who cuts into the profitability of the abortion business, with a particular focus on crisis pregnancy centers.
The most powerful and persistent enemy of the Culture of Death is the Catholic Church and its religious allies. Pro-abortionists have founded several ersatz “spiritual” groups specifically to deceive people about the teachings of the Church. These groups include Catholics for [a Free] Choice and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice. This type of attack could be called direct subversion because its targets are the most important facets of the institution itself, those qualities necessary for its very survival — its values, vision, and belief system.
A less common form of infiltration and subversion is focused upon the members of an institution or organization. This indirect assault focuses on the institution’s people, and is designed to convince them to be the agents of change within the group.
One of the cleverest tactics the Culture of Death uses in its attempts to disable some of the activist elements of the pro-life movement is the common ground discussion.
These first popped up after the Supreme Court’s 1989 Webster v. Reproductive Health decision upheld restrictions on state funding of abortion. The most prominent early example of these “talking sessions” was the program sponsored by Boston’s Public Conversations Project (PCP), where a team of family therapists ran a series of talking sessions between pro-life and pro-abortion activists.
The leaders of these discussions said that the temperature surrounding the abortion debate had been incandescent for years. Many people were stressed out over the issue, so rational dialogue between the warring factions seemed like the caring and logical thing to do. The objective of the workshops, after all, was not to find a solution to the abortion conflict, but instead to allow activists to eliminate stereotypes about each other. If this could be done, reasoned the family therapists, both sides could begin working toward “real solutions.”
The stated desire of the pro-abortion groups extending the hand of comradeship was to “find some middle ground.” Their slogan was “Good people can disagree on abortion.”
The idea of having both sides sit down and dialogue seems to be a good idea — at first. However, an examination of workshop results reveals that the pro-abortionists use the workshops as a kind of “Trojan horse” tactic.
Vladimir Lenin, Alexander Cockburn, Saul Alinsky, and many other leading leftist strategists have said that the only people who want to talk are those who are in a position of great strength or those who are on the verge of surrender.
The pro-abortionists are certainly not about to surrender. We must remember that they currently have everything they want — abortion on demand for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy, with only the most trivial of limitations.
These “common ground” conferences are a classic distraction — a tactical diversion. If pro-life activists pay close attention to these conferences and invest an undue degree of effort and hope in them, they will be less likely to notice that the slaughter of the innocent preborn is continuing unabated. If pro-lifers are lulled into thinking that some kind of progress is being made as a result of these workshops, they are less likely to exert their best efforts in other areas.
The rules of these workshops specifically prohibit discussion of the central issues surrounding the abortion battle: Are the preborn alive and/or human and do they have rights? Additionally, participants are generally not allowed to try to convince those on the other side of the correctness of their beliefs. Instead, the dialogue is directed toward purely tangential topics such as “increasing understanding” and “dispelling stereotypes.”
If the basic questions of the debate are off-limits, how can true progress be made?
Anyone who believes that pro-lifers will make any concrete gains at these conferences is a hopeless dreamer. The sole virtue of the pro-abortion movement is that it does not compromise for any reason whatever. A pro-lifer who thinks that any babies will be saved as a result of these talks is simply out of touch with reality.
Pro-abortionists are utilitarian by their very nature. Therefore, they would not be holding these workshops unless they had something to gain. For example, Sarita Hudson, a writer for Catholics for [a Free] Choice, said of Common Ground conferences that “I believe pro-choice Catholics have more to gain;…the affirmation that different views coexist within the church was both empowering to pro-choice Catholics and challenging to the hierarchy’s claim that there is only one right Catholic position on abortion.”
An obvious question we must ask ourselves is this: If abortion were currently illegal in the United States, would leading pro-abortionists be willing to sit down at a table and talk to pro-lifers? Of course not! They would instead be in the streets agitating for legalization, just as they were before Roe v. Wade. We might also try asking pro-abortionists if they would like to have a “common ground” discussion on preserving women’s health by, say, getting all abortion clinics licensed and setting up a national registry of abortionists who have been found guilty of malpractice, negligence, and sexually molesting their patients.
Most obviously, the common conclusions reached by the two “sides” are never pro-life in character. For example, some “common ground” workshops have resulted in both sides agreeing that “more sex education is required in the schools” and, as U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe said, that “contraceptives should be made more easily available,” both of which have been proven to significantly increase the incidence of teen pregnancy rather than decrease it.
During these dialogue sessions, the parties are not trying to convince anyone of the morality or truth of their beliefs, but are instead trying to reach an agreement by which all of the parties can coexist peacefully while evil is being committed. There is no question, of course, that evil will continue to be committed. That is a given.
“Dialogue” under such conditions can only lead to agreement on the “lowest common denominator,” that position allowing the most personal freedom. For instance, in the common ground conferences promoted by pro-abortionists and some misguided pro-life activists, the fundamental issues — the humanity of the preborn child, its soul, the issue of killing — are off-limits, so the woman’s “right to choose” wins by default.

The Relativist Creed

Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger highlighted this critical shortcoming when he explained that “the notion of dialogue becomes both the quintessence of the relativist creed and the antithesis of conversion and the mission….Only if I suppose in principle that the other can be as right, or more right than I, can an authentic dialogue take place.”
But just because a movement abuses and exploits a method of communication doesn’t mean it should be entirely discarded. Authentic dialogue between parties with different beliefs is possible if everyone understands that the purpose of the exercise is to seek truth, not accommodation, and progress, not compromise. All of those involved in dialogue must acknowledge that there are basic truths that are beyond debate and must be accepted by all parties.
As Bernard Cardinal Law has said, “The Church already has ‘common ground.’ It is found in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and it is mediated to us through the authoritative and binding teaching of the Magisterium.”
It must also be understood that the objective of authentic dialogue is to make the Word of God and His truth more widely known. True dialogue cannot be based upon one’s personal opinions or experiences, or it degenerates into a contest of anecdotes and therefore produces nothing.
This, of course, does not mean that pro-lifers should not talk to pro-abortionists on an individual basis. When several people on both sides of any social issue sit down and talk, there is endless posturing and posing. When only two people sit down and talk in private, however, they can address the truly substantial aspects of the issues and can genuinely dialogue about them without having to worry about losing face in front of their friends and allies.
One-on-one conversation is the essence of educating and evangelizing anti-lifers. It is also the most effective means for us to educate and evangelize them.

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Leaders call for Catholic sanctuary movement to blunt deportation crackdown

MODESTO, Calif. (CNS) — The push for sanctuary was on a lot of minds at the U.S. Regional World Meeting of Popular Movements. Concerns about President Donald Trump’s intention to deport millions of unauthorized immigrants rose throughout the Feb. 16-19…Continue Reading

Bishop Schneider: If a Bishop or Pope Commands Me to Sin, “I Have to Refuse”

Bishop Schneider: Aspects of Second Vatican Council Might Be Corrected in the Future; Priests Must Also Come to Resist at Times On 16 February 2017, Rorate Caeli published an interview with Bishop Athanasius Schneider, conducted in Mexico by a very…Continue Reading

Pro-Abort . . . Kaine discusses refugee crisis with Pope Francis during Vatican visit

Sen. Tim KaineTim KaineWashington-area lawmakers request GAO report on DC MetroKaine discusses refugee crisis with Pope Francis during Vatican visitA guide to the committees: SenateMORE (D-Va.) met with Pope Francis at the Vatican on Wednesday to discuss the ongoing refugee…Continue Reading

Trump to Drop Transgender Bathroom Mandate

Obama’s controversial mandate attempted to force schools to let boys into girls’ locker rooms WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) – President Donald Trump is expected to revoke Obama’s transgender bathroom mandate insisting that students be allowed in opposite-sex bathrooms and locker rooms. The…Continue Reading

Cardinal Burke is ‘de facto’ suspended, claims Knights of Malta condom promoter

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The Knights of Malta official at the center of controversy over the Order’s Catholic identity and sovereignty says its patron, Cardinal Raymond Burke, has been “de facto” suspended. Albrecht von Boeselager, a German aristocrat, was…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen says ‘naïve’ Pope and bad advisors are betraying underground Church in China

February 21, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Cardinal Joseph Zen says the Vatican is betraying Catholics living their faith out clandestinely in China. In an exclusive interview with LifeSiteNews, he says he has been urged to speak out by Catholics who lack…Continue Reading

Cardinal Zen on dubia: ‘Very respectful request by those bishops and Cardinals to have a clear statement’

February 20, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Cardinal Joseph Zen in an interview with EWTN’s Raymond Arroyo expressed his support for the four Cardinals’ dubia that asks for clarification on the apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia’s chapter 8. “I suppose it is a…Continue Reading

These Catholic parishes openly celebrate LGBT. Why aren’t bishops stopping it?

January 17, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – As controversy continues to rage over Pope Francis’ doctrines on communion for the divorced and remarried, an even more controversial practice proliferating in the shadows for decades is becoming increasingly open and explicit: same-sex couples…Continue Reading

Michael J. Novak, Jr. [1933 – 2017]

Theologian, public intellectual, and close friend of the Acton Institute, Michael J. Novak Jr., passed away last night on February 17, 2017. Acton Institute President Rev. Robert A. Sirico reflects on the passing of his friend and mentor Michael Novak,…Continue Reading

Twitter erupts with dubious reaction to Cardinal Cupich’s post on marriage document’s ‘absolute clarity’

February 16, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – Chicago Cardinal Blasé Cupich tweeted Tuesday that Pope Francis’ Amoris Laetitia document was in full fidelity with the Catholic Church and absolutely clear in the expression of its teaching on marriage, but users of the…Continue Reading

More essential than ever for Catholic hospitals to maintain distinct identity: Cardinal Burke

Catholic health-care institutions are needed today more than ever, Cardinal Raymond Burke told a conference on Catholic hospitals in Ohio last week. “Our country suffers the scourge of an attack on the dignity of human life,” the cardinal said. He…Continue Reading

Council of Cardinals pledges allegiance to Pope Francis

ROME, February 13, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – In an odd note without explanation placed on the Vatican’s daily press briefing today, the Council of Cardinals, a group of 10 Cardinals which Pope Francis has delegated to work with him on reform,…Continue Reading

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for 150 years in our weekly print edition.


  Our daily version offers only some of what we publish weekly in print. To take advantage of everything The Wanderer publishes, we encourage you to su
bscribe to our flagship weekly print edition, which is mailed every Friday or, if you want to view it in its entirety online, you can subscribe to the E-edition, which is a replica of the print edition.
 
  Our daily edition includes: a selection of material from recent issues of our print edition, news stories updated daily from renowned news sources, access to archives from The Wanderer from the past 10 years, available at a minimum charge (this will be expanded as time goes on). Also: regularly updated features where we go back in time and highlight various columns and news items covered in The Wanderer over the past 150 years. And: a comments section in which your remarks are encouraged, both good and bad, including suggestions.
 
  We encourage you to become a daily visitor to our site. If you appreciate our site, tell your friends. As Catholics we must band together to rediscover our faith and share it with the world if we are to effectively counter a society whose moral culture seems to have no boundaries and a government whose rapidly extending reach threatens to extinguish the rights of people of faith to practice their religion (witness the HHS mandate). Now more than ever, vehicles like The Wanderer are needed for clarification and guidance on the issues of the day.

Catholic, conservative, orthodox, and loyal to the Magisterium have been this journal’s hallmarks for five generations. God willing, our message will continue well into this century and beyond.

Joseph Matt
President, The Wanderer Printing Co.

Untitled 1

Enter Comments Below

This Weeks Comments And Letters . . .

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “An Introduction To The Problem Of Euthanasia”

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 2 (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of chapter 23 of The Facts of Life, a 150-page treatise on all of the aspects of euthanasia, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + We have covered the definitions of the varieties of…Continue Reading

Today . . .

Why is there a resurgence of infidelity among Catholic leaders?

Earlier this week, the Superior General of the Society of Jesus stressed the need to “discern” the meaning of Christ’s teachings rather than simply accept the way Catholic doctrine states these truths. This triggered an email from an obviously same-sex attracted reader who ecstatically thanked God that someone “besides the Pope” was finally willing to express the truth about the teachings of the Church: “They must be discerned!” The email was so wild that I…Continue Reading

The loss of this one key distinction is fueling much of the confusion around Amoris Laetitia

February 23, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — A rather stark and sobering teaching of the Church is that everyone of adult age on the face of this good Earth, and that means all who can discern between good and evil (which occurs sometime soon after the dawn of reason), is either in a state of grace or in a state of mortal sin, which means that should we all die this instant by some cataclysmic disaster, each…Continue Reading

Virginia bishops lament veto of bill defunding Planned Parenthood

Feb 22, 2017 – 04:35 pm .- The bishops of Virginia’s two dioceses on Tuesday decried Governor Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a bill which would have redirected state funding away from abortion providers and toward community health centers.

San Diego’s Catholic bishop urges citizens to be ‘disruptors’ and ‘rebuilders’ in Trump era

Even before the White House announced stricter immigration policies Tuesday, there were signs of opposition. Addressing people “of all faiths and no faith,” San Diego’s Roman Catholic bishop on Saturday urged Americans to be “disruptors” and “rebuilders.” Donald Trump, Bishop Robert McElroy noted, had campaigned for the presidency as “the disruptor.” “Well now,” McElroy told almost 700 community organizers and social justice advocates meeting in Modesto on the weekend that “we must all

Washington D.C. Becomes 6th Place in the U.S. to Legalize Assisted Suicide

A Washington, D.C. law allowing doctors to prescribe their patients lethal drugs to commit suicide went into effect Saturday after U.S. Congress failed to block the measure, the Washington Times reports. The district is the sixth area in the U.S. to legalize the deadly procedure, following Oregon, Washington state, Vermont, California and Colorado. The D.C. council passed the law at the end of 2016, despite wide-spread opposition from African Americans, people with disabilities, medical professionals,…Continue Reading

Stop And Go, But Don’t Think

By DONALD DeMARCO It may very well be that my philosophical nature inclines me to value the Stop Sign above traffic lights. This may seem to be an odd and arbitrary preference, but there are good reasons for it, especially if one thinks symbolically. The latter represents a mechanical stop-and-go instruction that reminds me too…Continue Reading

St. Catherine Of Bologna . . . The Patron Saint Of Artists

By RAY CAVANAUGH There are patrons of the arts, and then there’s St. Catherine of Bologna — the patron saint of artists. She was a nun, mystic, painter, and author whose feast day occurs on March 9. Born in the northern Italian city of Bologna on September 8, 1413, she entered an aristocratic family. Her…Continue Reading

A Movie Review… Stalin’s Bitter Harvest

By REY FLORES Bitter Harvest is a powerful film; but where do I begin to tell you about it? The first 11 minutes give us the background of the main characters who are shown enjoying somewhat of the last vestiges of a peaceful and idyllic existence before the Holodomor, which was a deliberate famine created…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The History Of Future Dreams

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For an electronic copy of the complete series on artificial reproduction, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “In the year 6565, ain’t gonna need no husband, won’t need your wife, you’ll pick your son,…Continue Reading

Ex-Planned Parenthood Worker . . . Recalls Webcam Abortion Opposition, Sees Hope For Pro-Life Cause

By PEGGY MOEN ST. PAUL — Sue Thayer told her February 15 audience here that “an immediate stopper” in a debate with a pro-abort is this quotation from President Reagan: “I’ve noticed that everyone who is for abortion has already been born.” Thayer was addressing the Legislative Dinner of Minnesota Citizens Concerned for Life, held here at the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Liturgical Celebration Of The Eucharist

By DON FIER Part 2 The Liturgical Celebration of the Eucharist, as was pointed out last week, is composed of two main parts — the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist — which “form a fundamental unity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 1346). They “are so closely connected with each other,” teach the fathers…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: For those who wonder about the value of praying the rosary daily, consider the following anecdote from Fr. Roger Landry about Fr. Sal Ferigle, an Opus Dei priest who passed away in 1997 and whom many described as “the holiest priest I ever knew.” During a meditation once on the last things, said Fr. Landry, Fr. Sal “confessed…Continue Reading

“Get Away, Satan!”

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER First Sunday Of Lent (YR A) Readings: Gen. 2:7-9, 3:1-7 Romans 5:12-19 Matt. 4:1-11 In the readings today, we hear about Adam and Jesus. In the second reading, St. Paul compares the two of them, recognizing that by one sin many became sinners and by one righteous act many became righteous. So, we have the correlation…Continue Reading

Joy And Dismay . . . Greet Cardinal Tong’s Article On China-Holy See Dialogue

By FR. BERNARDO CERVELLERA (Editor’s Note: In the article below, Fr. Bernardo Cervellera evaluates the optimism of Hong Kong’s John Cardinal Tong over a change in the method of appointing China’s bishops and the function of the Patriotic Association. But it is unclear whether it is real change or just nominal — in words only. (Fr. Cervellera notes that underground…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Signs Of Growth At “The Margins” Of The Church

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK Why does a young man of 18 years old put on a suit and tie on Sunday morning, leaving his parents and sisters behind, to drive to a more distant parish? To attend the Traditional Latin Mass. I’d noticed him for a few weeks along with our growing Sunday Traditional Mass congregation and met him…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco

By CAROLE BRESLIN Throughout the history of the Church different saints have had special devotions. St. Margaret Mary Alacoque had a great devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, St. Peter Julian Eymard had a great devotion to the Real Presence, and Blessed Thomas Mary Fusco had a deep devotion to the Most Precious Blood. (The Catholic Church recognized this…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Geltrude Caterina Comensoli

By CAROLE BRESLIN (Editor’s Note: Some sources give this saint’s name as Gertrude, but the Vatican’s website calls her Geltrude.) + + + Can there be any nobler calling than to promote adoration of the Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity of Jesus Christ really and truly present in the Blessed Sacrament? St. Peter Julian Eymard, St. Alphonsus Liguori, and St.…Continue Reading