Sunday 25th September 2016

Home » Featured Today » Currently Reading:

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: Religious Coalition For Reproductive Choice”

March 11, 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. For an electronic copy of chapter 8 of The Facts of Life, “Christian Teachings on Abortion,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.)

+    +    +

The mission of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice (RCRC) is nearly identical to its member organization Catholics for [a Free] Choice, but it is carried out on a wider scale.
RCRC’s mission has three elements.
The first component is to create confusion among the public as to what Christians actually believe about abortion. RCRC intends to cause doubt in people’s minds by claiming that the Church did not always oppose baby-killing. So, when the Church does publicly oppose abortion, it appears to be inconsistent and punitive.
Second, RCRC tries to convince people that abortion is essential to religious freedom. It claims that if access to abortion is constrained in even the most trivial manner, religious freedom is also restricted. RCRC alleges that a particular religious view regarding when life begins should not be forced upon the nation: “[We] oppose efforts to enact into secular law one particular religious doctrine on abortion or the beginning of personhood.”
Of course, it never occurs to RCRC that the Supreme Court has already imposed a religious viewpoint on abortion upon the nation — the Unitarian religious view that life begins at birth.
Finally, RCRC strives to persuade people that they can be Christians of any denomination and still be free to kill their unborn children with a clear conscience. In fact, RCRC insists that people cannot be good Christians unless they support abortion! This is in line with its insistence that every Catholic hospital must perform abortions and that every insurance plan must pay for abortions, even if the hospital or insurance plan is operated by a church that believes abortion is morally repugnant.
Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, a former RCRC president, described the group’s mission in more general terms when she claimed: “We must give up the idea that we can cling to some moral certainty.”
Except, of course, the moral certainties that RCRC pushes — that all abortions are moral, that homosexual behavior is perfectly acceptable, and that divorce, pornography, and fornication are nothing more than ethical lifestyle choices. RCRC leaders insist that “God doesn’t care about our sexuality,” despite literally hundreds of Bible quotations to the contrary. The RCRC philosophy is so far removed from Christianity that it represents more of a quasi-Buddhist pseudo-religion. Whatever dogma RCRC clings to, it certainly isn’t Christianity.

Silly Arguments

Any thinking person who reads RCRC’s glossy literature must — humorously — wonder if its writers have taken full advantage of the recent legalization of marijuana by some states, because some of its arguments can only be described as inane and entirely unfocused.
Frequent RCRC contributor John Swomley has criticized the “Christian right’s conspicuous silence about the tobacco industry….The tobacco issue clearly tears to shreds the white sheet of morality and other claims by the Christian Coalition, of defending ‘life’.”
The “white sheet” Swomley is referring to is undoubtedly the Seamless Garment, but his version is apparently fabricated from 100 percent spandex for him to be able to stretch it so far. And this is not the only moral principle that Swomley deforms beyond recognition. He also gives the same treatment to “double effect,” which allows that, in very rare cases (such as ectopic pregnancy), surgery may be performed to save the mother’s life, even though the procedure will inevitably (and indirectly) kill the unborn child.
Swomley asks: “Isn’t it just as reasonable to assert that the intention of most women is the separation of the fetus from the woman, not the killing of the fetus, though its death may be foreseen?”
Swomley obviously is not at all familiar with the principle of double effect, which requires that the act producing two effects must itself be a morally good or neutral act to begin with. The only purpose of an abortion is to kill the unborn child, and such an action can never be good or even morally neutral, regardless of the circumstances or intentions surrounding it.

What “Majority”?

The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice boasts: “The power of our collective voice for reproductive justice is in fact magnified by the unique, diverse views of our various member organizations.”
Let’s take a quick look at how much horsepower this “collective voice” really has.
RCRC claims to represent the “pro-choice” majority of Christians and Jews, and proudly lists an impressive 27 religious affiliates on its literature. However, this number includes only two actual mainline church denominations — the United Church of Christ and the Episcopal Church.
Significantly, four of the five Protestant churches that were RCRC members in the 1980s have dropped their membership. These are the American Baptist Churches, USA; the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church), to be replaced with something called “Disciples for Choice”; the Presbyterian Church, replaced by “Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options” (PARO); and the United Methodist Church, replaced by “United Methodist Women.”
These last three member groups are small bands of radical feminists who bestow upon themselves grandiose and official-sounding names and promptly embrace the entire anti-life agenda in the name of their church. The parent church wisely refuses to become entangled with a group as obviously disreputable as RCRC, but the women’s subgroup deliberately attempts to convey the false impression that its entire church supports the entire radical pro-abortion agenda.
RCRC also lists numerous extremely small splinter groups and renegade organizations, whose combined membership represents about one thousandth of the total churchgoing population in this country. These theological toothpicks include the American Jewish Committee, the American Jewish Congress, the Anti-Defamation League, the Lutheran Women’s Caucus, and the Women’s League for Conservative Judaism. The only denominations currently represented on the RCRC rolls are the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Church, and the Metropolitan Community Church.
These three denominations now possess a total membership of only 2.87 million, and they are dying quickly, declining by 37 percent since 1980. This means that RCRC represents only about 1.9 percent of all churchgoing Americans.
In fact, the combined memberships of all “pro-choice” churches in the USA are collapsing rapidly; from 23.1 million in 1980 to a current 15.9 million, a 34 percent decrease. Meanwhile, the total membership of churches with an official pro-life stand has increased from 105.3 million in 1980 to 133.9 million currently, an increase of 38 percent.
One of RCRC’s primary arguments is that abortion must remain legal because there is “no consensus of opinion on abortion.”
Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “consensus” as “judgment arrived at by most of those concerned,” or as “general agreement.”
As of 2014, membership in pro-life churches is 8.4 times greater than that of “pro-choice” churches in the United States.
This means that there is indeed a “consensus” regarding abortion — a consensus against it, a consensus that is growing larger with each passing year.
The fact that RCRC represents less than two percent of the religious voice in this country regarding abortion certainly qualifies it as a “small and vocal minority”!

Foundation Lapdog

As with all of the other larger pro-abortion groups, the vast majority of RCRC’s funding comes from foundations, which have given RCRC more than $40 million since 1999.
The Buffett Foundation has donated $12.2 million to RCRC, a total of about one-third of its budget over the past decade. RCRC’s other major funders are the Ford Foundation, George Soros’ Open Society Institute (OSI), the Huber Foundation, and the William & Flora Hewlett Foundation. Like CFFC, RCRC is becoming less and less a religious voice and more and more a parrot of rich foundations.
Some of these foundations appear to suffer from an unhealthy fixation on suppressing the African-American population in the United States.
Some of their grant justifications include:
1) “To expand ‘Keeping It Real,’ a sex education program that serves youth through African-American churches” [Otto Bremer Foundation, 2006 and 2007]; “General support to protect and expand reproductive choice for all people in Missouri, with an emphasis on the African-American community” [Jessie Smith Noyes Foundation, 2008]; “Program focuses on developing the leadership of women and girls in addressing teen pregnancy, STDs, and HIV/AIDS in black churches” [Chahara Foundation, 2004], and, in a dreadfully successful attempt to channel Margaret Sanger, “Grant for black church initiatives for teen birth control” [Engelberg Foundation, 2004].
RCRC claims that “the mission of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice is to be the leading religious voice for reproductive justice in the country.” In light of its many past failures and its absurdly illogical arguments, perhaps the group should select a different mission.
At least we can agree with one thing RCRC has posted on its rather sparse web site. Pro-abortion Bishop Desmond Tutu has said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Pro-lifers should take this admonition to heart.

+    +    +

Next article: “Why Do So Many ‘Pro-Choice’ Groups Support Forced Abortion?”

Share Button

2016 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Donald Trump Names Rick Santorum and Other Top Pro-Life Catholics as Key Advisers

Fresh from announcing a list of pro-life leaders who are advising him on issues that matter to pro-life voters, Donald Trump has named a group of pro-life Catholic leaders as additional key advisers, including pro-life former presidential candidate Rick Santorum.…Continue Reading

Argentine bishop threatened with prosecution for condemning ‘culture of fornication’

September 20, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – The Catholic archbishop of the Argentinean city of La Plata is under investigation by the country’s “discrimination” police for condemning the modern acceptance of sexual promiscuity and “unnatural” unions, according to local media sources. Archbishop…Continue Reading

First minor killed by euthanasia in Belgium after child euthanasia legalized

BELGIUM, September 19, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Belgium’s federal euthanasia commission confirmed Saturday the country’s first instance of child euthanasia, which became legal in 2014. Belgian media suggested the minor killed via lethal injection was 17. Some media also suggested the…Continue Reading

Donald Trump commits to defunding abortion, Planned Parenthood if elected

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 16, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has pledged to end taxpayer funding of abortion in the United States and to defund the nation’s leading abortion provider. In a new, personally signed letter, Mr. Trump attacked “Hillary Clinton’s…Continue Reading

Pope Francis issues motu proprio harmonizing Canon Law codes

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis issued an Apostolic Letter motu proprio on Thursday, in which he brings the basic legal instruments that govern the Latin Church and the Eastern Churches in communion with Rome more closely into accord with one another…Continue Reading

Another “Catholic” Politician trying to redefine the Catholic Faith . . . Devout Catholic™ Kaine breaks with his church on gay marriage, with media blessing

Tim Kaine has officially joined the ranks of Devout Catholic™. How do we know? Because he says he’s Catholic, yet criticizes the church. The Democratic vice presidential nominee played weekend prophet and theologian when he told activists in the Human…Continue Reading

Bishop Morlino’s Move to Ad Orientem Masses in Madison

This past weekend the Most Reverend Robert Morlino, Bishop of the Diocese of Madison, Wisconsin made an announcement of great liturgical importance. Going forward His Excellency will be offering all of his Masses at the Cathedral ad orientem. Make no…Continue Reading

Longtime conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly dead at 92

phillis

Phyllis Schlafly, the iconic pro-family activist who rose to fame in the 1970s when she campaigned against the Equal Rights Amendment, has died at age 92, according to the Eagle Forum, the conservative organization she founded. Schlafly had been an…Continue Reading

Soros’ Catholic useful idiots

By Robert A. Sirico – – Tuesday, August 30, 2016 A most remarkable set of documents was coughed up recently by WikiLeaks. George Soros‘ Open Society Policy Center, it turns out, made donations to two faith-based organizations to the tune…Continue Reading

Pope Francis “gratified” by UN goals that demand “universal access to sexual and reproductive health”

Pope Francis has said that he is “gratified” by UN goals that call on member states to “ensure universal access to sexual and reproductive health” by 2030. The term “sexual and reproductive health”, as generally defined, includes access to contraception, including abortifacient methods, and,…Continue Reading

Psychiatrist: The Vatican’s sex ed is the most dangerous threat to youth I’ve seen in 40 years

September 2, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — In recent years, the Catholic Church has been going through one of her most severe crises as a result of the priestly abuse of youth. The primary victims have been adolescent males.1  This worldwide scandal was…Continue Reading

Catholics protest at Tim Kaine’s parish: If priest won’t ‘instruct parishioners’ on Church teaching, we will

RICHMOND, Virginia, August 29, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — Roughly a dozen pro-life activists protested Sunday outside of pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democratic Vice Presidential candidate Sen. Tim Kaine’s Catholic parish. “Sen. Kaine has failed in his duty as a Catholic public servant to…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 . . .

Paul Likoudis (RIP)

Sad news today, we received word that Paul Likoudis, The Wanderer news editor from 1990 to 2014 has died. He lost his battle with colon cancer yesterday, which he had been fighting for over three years. Please pray for the repose of his soul. (The Wanderer will have much more in the days to come).  

500 Catholic scholars lash back at Humanae Vitae critics

Washington D.C., Sep 20, 2016 / 03:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Nearly 50 years after the “prophetic” papal document Humanae Vitae, the Catholic Church’s longstanding teaching against contraception continues to promote the human good, said a group of Catholic thinkers on Tuesday. “We hold that Catholic teaching respects the true dignity of the human person and is conducive to happiness,” said hundreds of Catholic scholars in a Sept. 20 document. “Humanae Vitae speaks against the distorted…Continue Reading

“Catholic” Tim Kaine: “I Believe Women Should Be Able to” Have an Abortion

Yesterday on Meet the Press, Democratic Vice Presidential pick Tim Kaine, attempted to make his pitch to Millennials by saying that they agree with Hillary Clinton and the Democratic platform on the big issues. One of the big issues is obviously abortion. Part of what he said was: “Do you believe women should be able to make their own health care decisions, or don’t you? Millennials do, Hillary Clinton and I do, Donald Trump doesn’t.”…Continue Reading

Pope visits neonatal unit, hospice to highlight respect for life

Vatican City, Sep 16, 2016 / 11:19 am (CNA/EWTN News).- On Friday, Pope Francis visited a neonatal hospital unit and a hospice for the terminally ill, stressing the dignity of human life from conception to natural death. The Sept. 16 visit is the latest in the Pope’s “Mercy Friday” initiatives, to spend time with various groups each month during the Jubilee of Mercy. In previous trips, he has made surprise stops at places including an…Continue Reading

Alberta bishops: No Communion for ‘remarried’ Catholics unless they practice continence

EDMONTON, Alberta, September 15, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) — The Catholic Church has not changed her practice towards divorced and civilly remarried Catholics — despite what the faithful may have been led to believe through the media or other sources, the Alberta and Northwest Territory bishops stated in pastoral guidelines released Wednesday. It is “erroneous” to conclude that divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Holy Communion “if they simply have a conversation with a priest,” stated…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101… The Bridge Between Abortion And Euthanasia

By BRIAN CLOWES Part 1 (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, “Euthanasia,” e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + Speaking at a conference of the Hemlock Society — an organization whose primary…Continue Reading

Restoring The Sacred… At The Hour Of Our Death

By JAMES MONTI The onset of autumn has deeper lessons to offer than merely the return of students to their classrooms for another semester of studies. Our Lord Himself told us to derive spiritual instruction from even the change of seasons when He compared the budding of leaves on the fig tree that presage summer…Continue Reading

Last Chance For The “Deplorables”

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN Speaking to 1,000 of the overprivileged at an LGBT fundraiser, where the chairs ponied up $250,000 each and Barbra Streisand sang, Hillary Clinton gave New York’s social liberals what they came to hear. “You could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” smirked Clinton…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Limitless Wisdom Of The Parables

By MITCHELL KALPAKGIAN Hints of Heaven: The Parables of Christ and What They Mean for You, by Fr. George Rutler (Sophia Institute Press: Manchester, NH, 2014), 151 pp.; $14.95. Available through www.SophiaInstitute.com or 1-800-888-9344. A collection of short meditations on the 24 parables that appear in the Gospel, this book relates these stories to the…Continue Reading

A Book Review… The Cost Of Assimilation

By JUDE DOUGHERTY Shaw, Russell. Catholics in America: Religious Identity and Cultural Assimilation From John Carroll to Flannery O’Connor. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2016; 141 pp. This is a delightful book, to say the least, in part because Russell Shaw has a way of uncovering facts you wish you had known all along. The book…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

The Necessity Of Baptism

By DON FIER The Church’s immemorial tradition of baptizing infants demonstrates in a particular way one of the great truths of our Catholic faith — that every human person is in need of salvation. Born into this world afflicted with original sin, “a sin which is the death of the soul” (Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC], n. 403), even…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Following up on a recent question about how much money the U.S. bishops get from the federal government, an article in LifeSiteNews reported that the Obama Administration is pouring hundreds of million of dollars into Catholic institutions and charities. “We’ve got the most virulently anti-life administration in the history of the United States,” said international child rights advocate…Continue Reading

If It Delays, Wait For It

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Seventh Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Hab. 1:2-3, 2:2-4 2 Tim. 1:6-8, 13-14 Luke 17:5-10 I have commented many times before on the last lines of the Gospel reading today where our Lord tells us to say: “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.” Tragically, I wish that…Continue Reading

The Role Of The Sacred Liturgy In Developing A Catholic Conscience

By FRANCIS CARDINAL ARINZE Part 1 (Editor’s Note: Francis Cardinal Arinze of Nigeria, prefect emeritus of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, delivered this lecture at The Church Teaches Forum in Louisville, Ky., July 16, 2016. (The lecture is reprinted here with permission; all rights reserved. We are presenting it in two parts because of…Continue Reading

A Noble Confession Of Faith

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Twenty-Sixth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR C) Readings: Amos 6:1a, 4-7 1 Tim. 6:11-16 Luke 16:19-31 In the second reading today, St. Paul addresses Timothy in a very strong and direct manner. Calling him a man of God, St. Paul then tells him to strive for righteousness, to compete well for the faith, and to take…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska

By CAROLE BRESLIN Some people look back on their lives and see how differently things turned out from what they had planned. A professor once told his business students that very few students work in the field they studied in college. If someone had told the young Bernardina Maria Jablonska that she would be the superior of a religious order…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Aubert

By CAROLE BRESLIN Near the west coast of France just below England lies the See of Avranches. If you take a drive around the waterways for about 24 miles, you will arrive at one of the world’s most famous pilgrimages, another World Heritage Site — one of 41 in France. This place, Mont Saint-Michel, is dedicated to St. Michael the…Continue Reading