Thursday 25th August 2016

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

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vatican newspaper article: Pope’s apostolic exhortation is magisterial teaching

August 24, 2016 Writing in the Vatican newspaper, a Spanish ecclesiology professor said that Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia is part of the non-definitive ordinary Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff to which the faithful owe religious submission of intellect…Continue Reading

BREAKING: Leaked e-mails show George Soros paid $650K to influence bishops during Pope’s US visit

August 23, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Leaked emails through WikiLeaks reveal that billionaire globalist George Soros – one of Hilary Clinton’s top donors – paid $650,000 to influence Pope Francis’ September 2015 visit to the USA with a view to “shift[ing]…Continue Reading

Catholic school faculty member sues school after she’s fired for being gay

A lesbian teacher was fired from Paramus Catholic High School after administrators learned that she was married to a woman, according to her lawsuit. Kate Drumgoole, 33, was the school’s head basketball coach and dean of guidance when the school…Continue Reading

Scottish Catholic Church denies supporting ‘mandatory’ LGBT activist school program

GLASGOW, Scotland, August 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Church in Scotland is flatly denying that it is lending its support to advancing a pro-homosexual curriculum in Catholic schools, despite secular as well as gay news sources claiming the opposite.…Continue Reading

Amid falling sales, Target responds to backlash with $20 million plan for single-stall bathrooms

target

NewsGenderThu Aug 18, 2016 – 2:57 pm EST Amid falling sales, Target responds to backlash with $20 million plan for single-stall bathrooms  #flushtarget , bathroom bills , target , transgender , transgenderism MINNEAPOLIS, August 18, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Facing…Continue Reading

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI Signs New Book Deal with Bloomsbury

Indeed, it’s official. Bloomsbury is announcing that Pope Benedict has a new book coming in November 2016, entitled, The Last Testament. It appears to be 224 pages. Ever since Bloomsbury merged (“bought out?”) T & T Clark, they have been…Continue Reading

Transgender Bathroom Access Extended to All Federal Buildings–Including Prisons

The Obama administration is set to unveil a new regulation this week that will expand transgender people’s access to restrooms consistent with their “gender identity” to thousands of federal buildings and facilities across the country — including prisons. Buzzfeed News…Continue Reading

Satanic ‘Black Mass’ held in Oklahoma City

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — A small group attended an event held by a satanic church in Oklahoma City Monday night. The ‘black mass’ was met with Christian masses and prayer rallies. Leaders of Oklahoma City’s Church of Ahriman set the…Continue Reading

Uplifting Story . . . Gymnast Simone Biles soars to Olympic gold while grounded in Catholic faith

olympics

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil, August 10, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — When three-time world champion gymnast Simone Biles flew to Rio de Janeiro for the Olympic Games, the 19-year-old carried a rosary her mother gave her and a St. Sebastian medal from…Continue Reading

Satanic Black Mass Still Scheduled at Public Venue Despite Protest

Amid growing protest Satanists plan to stage a second Black Mass at the public Civic Center Music Hall in Oklahoma City on August 15, 2016. The public sacrilege against God and the Catholic Mass will include the desecration of a…Continue Reading

Margaret Sanger Award Recipient Nancy Pelosi on Zika: ‘This is About Babies’

nancyp

(CNSNews.com) – At a Capitol Hill press conference on Thursday, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Zika virus threat is “all about babies.” “The Zika in the Southern part of our country is in our country, and because…Continue Reading

Thousands of Colombians join nationwide protest of gender ideology in public schools

August 11, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Thousands marched yesterday in protests held throughout Colombia to protest a new initiative of the country’s homosexual Minister of Education to implement homosexualist and transsexualist gender ideology programs in Colombian schools. “No to gender ideology!…Continue Reading

Newsmax

Untitled 5 Untitled 2

Attention Readers:

  Welcome to our new website. Readers who are familiar with The Wanderer know we have been providing Catholic news and orthodox commentary for over 145 years in our weekly print edition. Now we are introducing the online daily version of our print journal.


  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 145 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 this diocese is ditching Common Core for liberal arts

Marquette, Mich., Aug 24, 2016 / 03:02 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The Diocese of Marquette in Michigan says it is already experiencing success in their process of adopting a Catholic liberal arts curriculum for all its schools, rather than using Common Core State Standards. The schools in the diocese previously had no set curriculum. The adoption of a classical curriculum comes at a time when two bills that would repeal and replace the Common Core State

Baton Rouge Establishes Special Flood Victims Fund

By KATHLEEN NAAB The Diocese of Baton Rouge, La., is welcoming assistance as so many thousands of people have lost homes or property and many have been killed in the massive flooding affecting the state. “The historic flooding that has taken place has impacted nearly every corner of our diocese, and our parishes and schools are struggling to recover in an effort to provide for the spiritual and educational needs of their parishioners and students,”…Continue Reading

Catholic Politician Defends Abortion, Says Catholic Church Doesn’t Think Unborn Babies are People

Minnesota state Rep. John Lesch is a Catholic and a politician in the conservative mid-west. He also supports abortions. Lesch, a board member of the pro-abortion group Catholics for Choice, wrote a column for The Hill this week explaining why he supports abortion and why other Catholic politicians should, too. “I came of age in a time when we learned to respect a woman’s conscience-based decisions, and we were more cautious of the institutional church’s…Continue Reading

New interview: Cardinal Burke says ‘I will never be part of a schism’

cburk12

August 22, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – In a new interview, Cardinal Raymond Burke has revealed that he and other “serious-minded” Church leaders are calling on Pope Francis to release a document correcting the confusion emanating from his recent apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. He also decried characterizations that he is an “enemy” of Pope Francis. The cardinal says clarification of Amoris Laetitia is essential “for the sake of souls” because of the rampant confusion…Continue Reading

Life Issue Is Not Front and Center with Pennsylvania Catholics . . . Catholic voters split, perplexed by presidential choices

By Peter Smith / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette The conversation flowed freely at the school cafeteria tables as families sat Thursday over a dinner of chicken and ratatouille at Our Lady of Grace Church’s annual parish festival in Scott. But when a reporter brought up the presidential election, there was more head-shaking dismay than enthusiasm for any candidate. “I can’t see myself voting for Clinton,” said Bob Bauer. But as for Donald Trump, he’s still going “back…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… “The Expense Is Reckoned, The Enterprise Is Begun; It Is Of God”

By JAMES MONTI The recent slaughter in odium fidei of the 85-year-old French priest Fr. Jacques Hamel on July 26 shortly after two terrorists stormed into the church where he was celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is a vivid manifestation that the price for being a faithful Catholic has been rapidly escalating of…Continue Reading

Summer 1916 . . . The Second Apparition Of Angel Of Portugal

By DONAL ANTHONY FOLEY The previous article on this topic (April 28, 2016, p. 8A) looked at the first of the three apparitions of the Angel of Portugal, or the Angel of Peace, to the three Fatima seers, Jacinta and Francisco Marto, and Lucia dos Santos, in the spring, summer, and autumn of 1916. This…Continue Reading

ISIS And Other Useful Fictions

By JUDE P. DOUGHERTY Islamic State (ISIS or Daesh) and al-Qaeda are useful fictions. “Islamicist” is another ill-used word. Has anyone ever identified the borders of the so-called Islamic State, identified the site of its central government, attributed to it a president, prime minister, cabinet, parliament, or congress, or anything resembling such? Even the most…Continue Reading

The Real Existential Threats Of 2016

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN On September 30, the end of fiscal year 2016, the national debt is projected to reach $19.3 trillion. With spending on the four biggest budget items — Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, defense — rising, and GDP growing at 1 percent, future deficits will exceed this year’s projected $600 billion. National bankruptcy,…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… A Frontal Challenge To The Left: Taking On The Homosexual Movement

By STEPHEN M. KRASON (Editor’s Note: Stephen M. Krason’s Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic column appears monthly [sometimes bimonthly]. He is professor of political science and legal studies and associate director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and president of the Society…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Prepare For Eternal Life

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Wisdom 9:13-18b Phmn. 9-10, 12-17 Luke 14:25-33 In the first reading the question is asked about who can know God’s counsel or conceive what the Lord intends. We know that God’s ways are not our ways; we know that God looks into the heart while we look at…Continue Reading

Divine Mercy And Justice

By Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke Part 2 (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the Consecration Weekend, The Marian Catechist Apostolate, Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, La Crosse, Wis., July 23, 2016. Because of its length, we are publishing it in two parts; part 1 appeared in last week’s issue. And also because…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World… Moral Outrages Mount While Bishops Snooze

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The U.S. bishops’ conference is a leadership disaster. Joe Biden presiding over the marital simulation ceremony of two men who work in the Obama administration was the latest unanswered provocation to assail the American portion of the Body of Christ. Vice President Biden has completely sold-out on Church teaching. He enthusiastically promoted the rainbow revolution…Continue Reading

The Marvel Of The Catholic Church . . . The Historicity Of The Old And New Testaments

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA Part 14 Is the Book of Genesis historical or simply allegorical? Many have spent hours and days and years trying to prove one view or the other, as if God our Lord left to individuals the ability to decide about it. The truth is that some things are historical and some things are allegorical and some…Continue Reading

The Baptism Of Jesus

By DON FIER Much that regards Christianity and the Catholic faith we profess to believe is prefigured in the Old Covenant; signs and shadows which prepared the way for the New Testament abound throughout the pages of the Old. And as we saw last week, this is especially true for the Sacrament of Baptism: “[In] water, seen as source of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Euphrasia Eluvathingal

By CAROLE BRESLIN In 1605 Fr. Robert De Nobili, a Jesuit priest, arrived in India to evangelize the people. He found them to have a noble bearing and a deeply spiritual life filled with fasting, prayer, and meditation. Difficulties presented themselves to him as he struggled to convert them: “If these people did not see me do such penance, they…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Joseph Of Cupertino

By CAROLE BRESLIN Now that the school year has begun, students — especially Catholic students — will find recourse to their favorite patron saint of studying. Some may choose St. Thomas Aquinas or St. Augustine of Hippo. For those students who find it difficult to retain what they read and write about it, perhaps this saint will encourage them: St.…Continue Reading