Wednesday 17th January 2018

Home » Frontpage » Currently Reading:

A Book Review… A Republican In The White House Stands On The Shoulders Of Pro-Lifers

January 11, 2017 Frontpage No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Racketeer for Life: Fighting the Culture of Death From the Sidewalk to the Supreme Court, by Joseph M. Scheidler with Peter M. Scheidler, TAN Books, Charlotte, N.C., ISBN 978-1-61890-850-6, 470 pages hardback, $24.95, 2016.

As the world prepares for the new Republican administration taking office, pro-lifers and others speculate about how President-elect Donald Trump will bring to fruition his pro-life pledges. What will Trump say, and how will he say it? What will he do? Who will help him?
In a memoir issued in December, Racketeer for Life, Chicago Catholic Joseph M. Scheidler, who helped pioneer national pro-life activism at abortuaries beginning in the 1970s, happened to quote Republican President Ronald Reagan commenting about abortion in his 1984 State of the Union address.
Scheidler’s book doesn’t even mention Trump, elected president only the month before this hefty memoir was released that recounts Scheidler’s decades of devotion, most of that time heading the Pro-Life Action League.
However, it’s only because of pro-lifers like Scheidler and activist legions, persevering across the nation to restore protection to the innocent unborn, that politicians even address the issue, much less act on it.
Were it left to dominant journalists and other social upper-crusters, merciless massive abortion only would be beloved and discreetly concealed. It’d no more be a pressing issue than putting a little butter on popcorn.
Reagan faced a communications media and elite establishment as dedicated to permissive abortion then as now. Scheidler and others had visited the White House shortly before the presidential speech to Congress and learned they had no reason to fear the issue would be overlooked. Racketeer for Life quotes what Reagan said in that State of the Union:
“America was founded by people who believed that God was their rock of safety. He is ours. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side. During our first three years, we have joined bipartisan efforts to restore protection of the law to unborn children.
“Now, I know this issue is very controversial,” Reagan continued. “But unless and until it can be proven that an unborn child is not a living human being, can we justify assuming without proof that it isn’t? No one has yet offered such proof. Indeed, all the evidence is to the contrary. We should rise above bitterness and reproach, and if Americans could come together in a spirit of understanding and helping, then we could find positive solutions to the tragedy of abortion.”
The previous year, 1983, Reagan authored a powerful article, “Abortion and the Conscience of the Nation,” for the quarterly Human Life Review. In 1984 it was published as a book including other essays. At the time, it was described as the only book to be published by a U.S. president while he held office.
To those who might object that Reagan only was trying to generate voter support for his re-election race in 1984, one might reply that presidents generally don’t prepare for their campaigns by trying to offend as many voters as possible. Reagan recognized this as a winning issue.
Even though the Democratic Party was stronger back then, Reagan dominated both the national popular vote and Electoral College in his landslides in 1980 (489 to 49 electoral votes) and 1984 (525 to 13).
In his two terms as president, the Democrats held the majority in the U.S. House every single year, as well as the Senate majority for two of Reagan’s eight years. Never did Reagan enjoy Trump’s enviable position of having both legislative chambers under GOP control. The former California governor and conservative standard-bearer proclaimed pro-life as a bipartisan cause.
And he was correct to do so back then, before radical pro-abortionists pretty much purged pro-lifers from Democratic officeholders’ and candidates’ ranks.
Perhaps Democrats today have an increasingly harder time of winning majorities in many states and nationally because of their hardened pro-abortion image, well symbolized by radical pro-abortionist President Barack Obama (not that dominant media call Obama to account for, or even call much attention to, his permissive abortion extremism).
Racketeer for Life isn’t about Reagan or Trump but about Scheidler’s shining example. The book also isn’t about strategizing for political campaigns or hiring election consultants. However, Scheidler and his inspired activists’ energy made sure that people knew when a politician was on the pro-abortion side.
While dominant media hailed permissive abortion, which so inexplicably had been thrust on the nation by legerdemain at the Supreme Court in January 1973, Scheidler determined that urban pedestrians and motorists would understand the horrors going on behind those weird storefronts that popped up suddenly everywhere.
“The slaughter of the innocents in Bethlehem was two millennia ago,” Scheidler writes. “And the Nazi atrocities were horrifying, but that was under a dictatorship. But now the United States of America had stripped away its most cherished unalienable right — life — from its most vulnerable population. I felt like a foreigner in my own country. We had embarked on a program of destroying our posterity.”
Maybe blundering Justice Harry Blackmun hadn’t even really understood what he was doing when he wrote that individual doctors should go right ahead and perform whatever abortions they wanted. As a former lawyer for the Mayo Clinic, he thought doctors could be trusted. He didn’t see the High Court acting for “women’s rights,” but for doctors’.
However, Blackmun threw away the U.S. legal understanding of the gravity of what abortion involved. A serious crime suddenly was proclaimed a fundamental constitutional right.
To tunnel-visioned Blackmun and his High Court majority brethren, the question wasn’t whether the unborn baby is a living human being; just whether she is a technical legal “person” — something that even inanimate objects can be, for purposes of the law.
No state, not even the most “liberal,” had an abortion law as sweeping as what Blackmun conjured, but now the 7-2 Supreme Court majority imposed it on all 50 of them.
Indeed, even the state legislators of “liberal” New York in 1972 had realized their serious error in legalizing a more limited permissive abortion in 1970, so they voted to repeal it. But pro-abortion Republican Gov. Nelson Rockefeller vetoed their repeal, then Blackmun jumped in to save the day for death in 1973.
No matter how trustworthy a banker is, no federal regulator could possibly believe that it’d turn out well to allow bankers generally to help themselves personally to as much of their depositors’ funds as they thought necessary. The bankers’ self-perceived “need” for money would be an unreliable legal standard.
Nor could a steel baron be told that he absolutely can be trusted to produce as many girders as the market demands, with no consideration whatever of the pollutants in his furnaces.
If Scheidler, who’d worked as a university teacher, newspaper reporter, and advertising executive, could see this illogic, why was it so beyond the comprehension of the elite? Unless being out of touch is what elites do to get where they perch.
The title of Racketeer for Life is drawn from the drawn-out case against Scheidler and other pro-lifers for supposedly violating federal laws against racketeering and extortion. Radical feminists and abortionists were desperate to banish effective pro-life influence. Abortion clinics were losing income by being deprived of potential clients who changed their minds. Voila, extortion.
The legal charade stretched for years until no less than the Supreme Court itself repeatedly said the assertion against the pro-lifers was nonsense. “My youngest son, Matthias, was four years old when I was sued by NOW and the abortion clinics,” Scheidler writes. “He was 32 when the case was finally over.”
As Racketeer for Life begins, Scheidler jokes, “Chicago has a long history of mob bosses. But me? I didn’t know the first thing about running a national crime syndicate.”
Like many other Americans, the photos did it for Scheidler. Seeing a photo of dead aborted babies for the first time rocked his world in the fall of 1972, while a coterie of activists for permissive abortion was trying to impose its will on the U.S.
One of the unwanted babies’ faces in the hospital’s garbage bag “looked like my son Eric’s baby picture. . . . That night I couldn’t sleep. Over the next few weeks, I started studying abortion and the right-to-life movement,” Scheidler writes.
Later, he asked two young advertising men at one of Chicago’s major daily papers out to lunch to complain about the paper regularly running a full page of ads for abortuaries.
“They nodded politely, but I didn’t seem to be getting through,” Scheidler writes. “So in the middle of their lasagna, I pulled out a pack of color photos of aborted babies, some dismembered, others burned with saline. I tossed them in the middle of the table. They almost gagged. It was a dirty trick, but it was effective.” And accurate.
That’s the heart of the matter. The humanity of the unborn. The visual evidence that draws so many into the effort. “No social movement has succeeded without showing the evil they were trying to stop,” he writes.
Scheidler’s own father had disbanded the secretive Ku Klux Klan klavern in their little Indiana town when he got a list of its membership and threatened to have it published on the front page of a local anti-Klan newspaper, Scheidler writes, adding that this happened before he was born, but when he learned the story years later, “I was proud of my dad’s audacity in the cause of justice.”
Shining the light of truth scatters the darkness.

The Plan Of God

When Scheidler asked another pro-life pioneer, Fr. Paul Marx, OSB, why abortion troubled him so much, the priest replied, “It’s a calling. You are blessed with a special calling to fight this evil.”
That might well be the response for all pro-lifers who have maintained their fight for decades, and are as sure as young people joining the pro-life effort today that this monstrous injustice will be ended despite every trick and deception stewed up by their grievously mistaken foes.
The aim isn’t to vanquish the foes, but to convert them into part of the pro-life family.
Like Mary in Nazareth, who trusted in God for a Prince of Peace, regardless of what was to come, Scheidler writes, “God has a plan for each of us, and we can only achieve true happiness if we strive to live in harmony with His plan.”

Share Button

2017 The Wanderer Printing Co.

Vikings quarterback lists winning pass as 3rd best life-moment, behind finding Jesus

January 15, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) –  Vikings Quarterback Case Keenum said throwing the game-winning pass in the last few seconds of Sunday’s championship game against the New Orleans Saints was only the third best moment in his life. Keenum’s first best…Continue Reading

On the purpose of politics and the salvation of souls

“Beloved, our Lord Jesus Christ, the eternal creator of all things, today became our Savior by being born of a mother. Of his own will he was born for us today, in time, so that he could lead us to…Continue Reading

Don’t let fear keep you from welcoming the stranger, Pope says

Vatican City, Jan 14, 2018 / 04:45 am (CNA/EWTN News).- At a special Mass Sunday for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, Pope Francis said that while it is normal to be afraid of the unknown, we can’t let…Continue Reading

Notre Dame could face legal investigation for flip-flopping on contraception coverage

SOUTH BEND, Indiana, January 8, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – A group of over sixty Notre Dame alumni attorneys has written an open letter to the university’s president, Father William Jenkins, CSC, to protest the university’s decision to continue the dissemination of…Continue Reading

Poland: Marches of the Three Kings Draw 1.2 Million

Under the motto “God is for everyone”, 1.2 million Poles in more than 660 cities and towns in Poland and abroad joined in the March of the Three Kings. This year’s event was accompanied by fundraising “Kings for the East”,…Continue Reading

Bishops’ letter on sexual identity prompts LGBT counter-lobbying

Washington D.C., Jan 5, 2018 / 12:05 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Several Catholic bishops’ call for clarity and compassion on sexual identity issues such as transgenderism drew the ire of a dissenting Catholic group which is part of a well-funded LGBT…Continue Reading

Rural Minnesota Catholic parish dismisses musicians over gay marriages

For weeks now, a Catholic parish in the rural St. Croix River Valley north of the Twin Cities has been praying through turmoil, brought by a trio of startling dismissals. On one hand, even many of the most distressed don’t…Continue Reading

Trump replaces Obama-appointed gay ambassador with family man: report

MADRID, January 3, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The Trump Administration recently installed a new Ambassador to Spain. The former Obama appointee who was a pro-LGBT openly gay man ‘married’ to a man was replaced with a family man who has a…Continue Reading

Former bishop of Charlotte’s Catholic diocese dies at 90

Bishop William Curlin, who presided over the rapidly growing Catholic Diocese of Charlotte from 1994 to 2002, died Saturday at Carolinas Medical Center. He was 90. The cause of death was cancer, which he had battled for years. Curlin was…Continue Reading

Pope takes 27 candidates a step closer to sainthood‎

Pope Francis has authorized 12 decrees on miracles, martyrdom and heroic virtues of 22 men and 5 ‎women. ‎ by Robin Gomes Pope Francis on Monday took 27 men and women a step closer to sainthood.  The Pope received Card. Angelo Amato,…Continue Reading

Catholic League: Boston Globe Refuses to Name Its Own Abusers

The Boston Globe, which has turned stories about child sexual abuse by Catholic priests into a cottage industry, refuses to publish the names of its own staff members who have been charged with sexual harassment, according to Bill Donohue, president…Continue Reading

Facebook Nixes Photo of Vatican Nativity Scene as ‘Sexually Provocative’

In one of the least likely stories of all time, Facebook has vetoed a photo of the Vatican’s yearly Nativity scene, referencing its policy against “sexually suggestive or provocative” images. The manger scene integrates into the typical depiction of the…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

Interview With Cardinal Burke . . . Discriminating Mercy: Defending Christ And His Church With True Love

Cburke3

  By DON FIER (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta and Founder of the Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe in La Crosse, Wis., graciously took time out of his busy schedule to grant The Wanderer a wide-ranging interview during a recent visit to the Shrine. Included among the topics…Continue Reading

Developing Lives Of Peace After The Heart Of Mary

By RAYMOND LEO CARDINAL BURKE (Editor’s Note: His Eminence Raymond Leo Cardinal Burke delivered the address below at the 32nd Annual Church Teaches Forum, “The Message of Fatima: Peace for the World,” Galt House, Louisville, Ky., July 22, 2017. The address is reprinted here with the kind permission of Cardinal Burke. All rights reserved. This is part one of the…Continue Reading

Catechism

Today . . .

Dutch abortion activist: Pope Francis honoring me is a ‘confirmation’ of my abortion work

January 15, 2018 (Lepanto Institute) – On January 12, OnePeterFive and The Lepanto Institute reported that Liliane Ploumen, a Dutch politician and international abortion activist, was received into the Order of St. Gregory by the Vatican in 2017 — a pontifical honor given for “meritorious service to the Church.” Multiple diplomatic sources around the Vatican have now confirmed to OnePeterFive and the Lepanto Institute that the award was given to Ploumen last year when she took part in…Continue Reading

U.S. Congressman: Pro-life ‘turf battle’ preventing vote on bill to ban nearly all abortions

WASHINGTON, D.C., January 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Pro-life groups and members of Congress are divided over whether on the day of the March for Life, the U.S. House should vote on a bill that would ban nearly all abortions, or instead a bill to ban infanticide after botched abortions. The Heartbeat Protection Act would make it illegal to abort babies whose heartbeats can be detected. “It’s the most protective incremental bill in existence,” said one…Continue Reading

Professor rebukes new Academy for Life member’s ‘disastrous’ approval of contraception

ROME, January 10, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) — A prominent Austrian Catholic philosopher has issued a forceful rebuttal to the call of a new member of the Pontifical Academy for Life to allow contraception in some circumstances. Professor Josef Seifert, co-founder of the International Academy of Philosophy (IAP) and a former member of the Pontifical Academy for Life, has said the positions of Fr. Maurizio Chiodi, delivered on Dec. 14, 2017 during a public lecture at the…Continue Reading

Catholic groups decry end of immigration protection for Salvadorans

WASHINGTON (CNS) — As the Catholic Church in the U.S. began observing National Migration Week, a time to reflect on the circumstances confronting migrants, immigrants, refugees, and human trafficking victims, the administration of President Donald Trump announced that it would end an immigration program for thousands of Salvadorans, one of the largest groups of modern-day immigrants in the country and one that includes many Catholic

New Academy for Life member uses Amoris to say some circumstances ‘require’ contraception

ROME, January 8, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) — Responsible parenthood can obligate a married couple to use artificial birth control, a recently appointed member of the Pontifical Academy for Life has argued, basing his theory on Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation on the family, Amoris Laetitia. Italian moral theologian Father Maurizio Chiodi said at a December 14 public lecture at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome that there are “circumstances — I refer to Amoris Laetitia, Chapter 8…Continue Reading

Advertisement(2)

Restoring The Sacred Humility In The Sacred Liturgy

By JAMES MONTI One of the most serious and endemic problems in how the sacred liturgy is celebrated in many parishes in our own age is a conspicuous lack of humility. Certain contemporary hymns seem calculated to drum into the congregation how supposedly holy, gifted, lovable, and prophetic they are, with scarcely a word about…Continue Reading

Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic… The Sexual Harassment “Crisis” — Time For Some Clear Thinking

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

Revisiting “The Four Loves”: The Four Rights

By DONALD DeMARCO C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves, which was published in 1960, is a classic. The author succeeded with his accustomed wit and wisdom in showing how four kinds of love — affection, friendship, amorous love, and charity — are both distinctive as well as interrelated. He penned this work just three years before…Continue Reading

Our Lady Of Fatima… The Close Of The Fatima Centenary

By FR. SEAN CONNOLLY (Editor’s Note: This is the twelfth and final article in a series on the one hundredth anniversary of our Lady’s apparitions at Fatima. Fr. Connolly is a priest of the Archdiocese of New York. The staff and readers of The Wanderer wish to thank Fr. Connolly for his scholarly and inspiring…Continue Reading

Court Strikes Baltimore Forced Abortion Speech Law

BALTIMORE — The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on January 5 struck down a Baltimore City Ordinance seeking to impose notification requirements on unlicensed pregnancy centers. The ordinance compelled these pregnancy resource centers to post notices that conspicuously state in English and Spanish that they do not provide nor refer women for abortions or birth…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

“Ad Orientem” Dei Gloriam

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK We have all heard the saying that “he who hesitates is lost.” We don’t hear enough about the fact that dithering in the face of opportunity can also mean the loss of an immortal soul. How many priests hesitate every day to courageously proclaim the truth or to offer the traditions of the Church in…Continue Reading

The Sacraments Instituted By Christ… Confirmation: A Spiritual Coming Of Age

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 11 In previous lessons, we have learned that out of the seven sacraments instituted by Our Lord Jesus Christ, three of them can be received only once in life, namely, Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders. This is so because they imprint a “character,” that is, a spiritual, indelible mark that lasts forever, and, therefore,…Continue Reading

Requirements For Matrimony

By DON FIER The celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony between two baptized Catholics, as we saw last week, normally takes place during the Eucharist. “Since marriage establishes the couple in a public state of life in the Church,” states the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC), “it is fitting that its celebration be public, in the framework of a…Continue Reading

Follow The Lord And Repent

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Third Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: John 3:1-5, 10 1 Cor. 7:29-31 Mark 1:14-20 In the beginning of our Lord’s public ministry, the first message He spoke, as St. Mark recorded it, was that it is a time of fulfillment and that the Kingdom of God is at hand; therefore, it is necessary to…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Q. In the Mass readings leading up to Christmas, we have the Angel Gabriel appearing first to Zechariah and then to Mary. Both seemed to have the same doubts about the angel’s words, but Zechariah was struck mute and Mary was not. Why were they treated differently? — E.M., via e-mail. A. Zechariah was punished because he doubted (“How shall…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Raymond Penafort

By CAROLE BRESLIN The Catholic Church has been blessed with a plethora of doctrinal resources, thanks in large part to Pope St. John Paul II. The Code of Canon Law, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the many encyclicals, apostolic exhortations, books, and letters continue to provide the Church with a solid foundation for learning and applying the truths of…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Marguerite Bourgeoys

By CAROLE BRESLIN Our Lord has no limits and conditions for persons whom He calls to sainthood. They may be the richest, such as St. Francis of Assisi, or the poorest such, as the children of Fatima. They may be powerful, such as St. Louis, king of France, or humble, such as our Lady. They may be the most brilliant,…Continue Reading