Friday 25th July 2014

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

Comment on this Article:

Marco Rubio To Take On Abortion and Gay Marriage in Catholic U Speech

Senator Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) plans to take on social and cultural issues in the latest installment of his policy speeches outlining a new conservative agenda. “Senator Rubio will discuss the values needed for economic success in the 21st century: values like…Continue Reading

USCCB Chairmen Respond To ‘Unprecedented and Extreme’ Executive Order

The executive order prohibits “gender identity” discrimination, a prohibition that is previously unknown at the federal level, and that is predicated on the false idea that “gender” is nothing more than a social construct or psychological reality that can be…Continue Reading

Dallas-Fort Worth Catholic leaders appeal for legal help in border crisis

Dallas Bishop Kevin Farrell (center) and Fort Worth Bishop Michael Olson on Monday asked for volunteers to assist with a “humanitarian crisis.” By DIANNE SOLÍS Staff Writer dsolís@dallasnews.com Published: 21 July 2014 10:32 PM Updated: 22 July 2014 12:21 AM Dallas Catholic…Continue Reading

Iraq Catholic leader says Islamic State worse than Genghis Khan

By Dominic Evans and Raheem Salman BAGHDAD (Reuters) – The head of Iraq’s largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than Mongol leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who…Continue Reading

CHRISTIAN HOLOCAUST UNDERWAY IN IRAQ, USA AND WORLD LOOK ON

When U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, there were at least 1.5 million Christians in Iraq. Over the last ten years, significantly in the last few months with the emergence of ISIS, that figure has dropped to about 400,000. In a…Continue Reading

Vancouver Catholic Schools Adopt Transgender Policy

James Keller, The Canadian Press Published Wednesday, July 16, 2014 7:20PM EDT Last Updated Thursday, July 17, 2014 7:24AM EDT VANCOUVER — Catholic schools in Vancouver have adopted a policy that could allow transgender students to use the pronouns, uniforms…Continue Reading

New Catholic Bishops Say Civil Disobedience OK If For Common Good

Newly appointed auxiliary bishops, two Catholic clergymen suggest Occupy Central could be just, while third weighs in on reform report St Two auxiliary bishops newly appointed by the Vatican have spoken out about the Occupy Central campaign, saying the church supports…Continue Reading

Skeptics And The Claims Of The Catholic Church Seventeen Reasons Scoffers Ought To Rethink Catholicism, If They Really Thought About It

July 11, 2014 05:09 EST By Thomas M. Doran In today’s world, isn’t it crazy to appeal to scoffers to consider Catholicism? Why would a rational modern man or woman in the 21st century be attracted to what the world and…Continue Reading

The Obama Administration’s Border-Crisis Plan B: Use the Catholic Church

The federal government reaches out to a California diocese to help shelter illegal immigrants in California. By Ryan Lovelace In order to avoid future clashes with the citizens of Murrieta, Calif., over attempts to transfer illegal immigrants there, the Obama administration has turned to…Continue Reading

A New Low For Liberals: Attacking Catholic Nuns Over Hobby Lobby

I’m a big fan of absurdity in politics. But even absurdity has its limits, and the National Organization for Women has surpassed it in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision inBurwell v. Hobby Lobby. As part of its full-throated…Continue Reading

Louisiana court’s ruling that Catholic priest testify about confession criticized by Baton Rouge Diocese:

The Catholic Diocese of Baton Rouge has issued a statement decrying a decision by the Louisiana Supreme Court that could compel a local priest to testify in court about confessions he might have received. The alleged confessions, according to legal documents, were made to…Continue Reading

Out Of Nowhere A Network Emerged To Save Catholic Schools

By Martha Woodall, Inquirer Staff Writer POSTED: June 24, 2014   The fledgling Independence Mission Schools network of Catholic elementary schools is used to moving fast. It sprang into action two years ago to save 14 parish schools in low-income neighborhoods…Continue Reading

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 subscribe 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

'From our friends at The Foundry'


Today . . .

2 Christian Brothers Face Jihadist Threat in Iraq: Will They Stay or Flee?

Rome, July 27, 2014 (Zenit.org) By Oliver Maksan There is no doubt in the mind of 23-year-old Haram. With his second child on the way, he is prepared to rush his family out of town at a moment’s notice: “My tank is always full,” he says. “If the situation escalates I’ll grab my wife and child and flee,” he adds with determination.…Continue Reading

Anglican Women Bishops — An Obstacle To Unity?

By FR. DWIGHT LONGENECKER (Editor’s Note: Fr. Dwight Longenecker is an American who has spent most of his life living and working in England. He studied theology at Oxford University. He was eventually ordained as an Anglican priest and served as a curate, a school chaplain in Cambridge, and a country parson on the Isle…Continue Reading

Homosexuality And The Future Of Marriage

By JOHN F. KIPPLEY (Editor’s Note: John F. Kippley is the author of Sex and the Marriage Covenant: A Basis for Morality and other books and articles. With his wife Sheila, he is a coauthor of Natural Family Planning: The Complete Approach. The commentary below is reprinted with permission from his blog at johnkippley.com. All…Continue Reading

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “Profile: Girls Scouts Of America”

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 this article with footnotes, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) +    +    + We’ve all had little girls in uniform appear on our porches selling Girl Scout cookies (with watchful mothers standing…Continue Reading

Chilling

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO “Chilling” is the word lawyers use to describe governmental behavior that does not directly interfere with constitutionally protected freedoms, but rather tends to deter folks from exercising them. Classic examples of “chilling” occurred in the 1970s, when FBI agents and U.S. Army soldiers, in business suits with badges displayed or in…Continue Reading

Do They Think We’re Stupid?. . . It’s Worse Than That

By JAMES K. FITZPATRICK It has become routine to hear conservative talk radio hosts, such as Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh, as well as many commentators on Fox News, react to public comments by the Obama administration and its supporters with an exasperated, “Do they think we’re stupid?” I have in mind Obama supporters’ contentions…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Catholic Replies

Q. Jesus says that we are to learn from Him, He who is meek and humble of heart. But Jesus was not always meek and humble of heart. He talked back to the Scribes and Pharisees, He drove the moneychangers out of the Temple, He talked back to the Sanhedrin, He wasn’t bashful about claiming to be the Son of…Continue Reading

Jesus Walks Through Trials With Us

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Eighteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR A) Readings: Isaiah 55:1-3 Romans 8:35, 37-39 Matt. 14:13-21 In the second reading today St. Paul asks the question of what can separate us from the love of Christ. He then gives a few examples of what people might think will separate us from God; anguish, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness,…Continue Reading

Anglophone Conference On Sexual Abuse . . . “The Entire Church Is Called To Put Right What Has Happened”

By MOST REV. DIARMUID MARTIN ROME (ZENIT) — Below is the full text of an address given by Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin on the issue of clerical sex abuse. The address was given July 7 at the Anglophone Conference, which took place at the Pontifical Irish College in Rome. The Anglophone Conference takes place annually and its purpose is to address relevant…Continue Reading

A Leaven In The World . . . Journalists, Atheists, And The Pope

By FR. KEVIN M. CUSICK The bureaucratic apologists are now in full scramble mode once again to interpret the Pope’s words as filtered to the whole world through the atheist journalist Eugenio Scalfari and printed in the paper he co-founded, La Repubblica. Yet again, we are informed, the Pope did not say what we are told he said. The fact…Continue Reading

Is The Rosary A Prayer Of “Vain Repetitions”?

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 3 The visit I received from two Jehovah’s Witnesses (JWs, for short) gave me the opportunity to demonstrate that repetitive prayer — especially the rosary — is entirely in line with Sacred Scripture. When they walked into my living room and did not miss the sight of my rosary on the mantelpiece, I knew…Continue Reading

Cast A Gauntlet – Sola Scriptura: Part 1

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Alphonsus Liguori

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 Fr. John A. Hardon, SJ, having read the works of St. Alphonsus Liguori, took him as a mentor. It is not surprising, then, that Fr. Hardon taught his students, “If you are not encountering the cross, you are not doing God’s work.” Such were the lives of saints such as St. Teresa of Avila, St.…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Benedict

By CAROLE BRESLIN Every month the Apostleship of Prayer publishes the intentions of the Holy Father: one for a universal intention and one for an evangelical intention. In June 2014, the evangelical intention was that Europe may rediscover its Christian roots through the witness of believers. The advent of Christian civilization coincided with the advent of Western civilization. The Benedictine…Continue Reading

What to Do If Your Boyfriend Wants You to Get an Abortion?

by Krisi Burton Brown | Washington, DC | LifeNews.com | 2/20/14 4:00 PM Washington, DC (LiveActionNews) — Note: This article is for any girl or woman who is feeling pressured into having an abortion. If you are a guy who is trying to find out how to stop an abortion, please see this article written for dads. 1.  Stand your…Continue Reading

It’s Time to Build Schools, from the Ground Up

February 13, 2014 by Anthony Esolen   It might have been worth repairing, if it had once been noble and beautiful, or at least conceived in an orderly way, for ordinary human purposes. But it wasn’t. It was constructed upon false principles. Its walls looked like those of a bad factory. It smelled like a warehouse. It could be terribly…Continue Reading

Why I am Pro-Life

February 4, 2014   Pro-Lifers   By Therese Recinella   Editor’s note. This tribute was posted on Therese Recinella’s Facebook account. She is graciously allowing us to reprint it in NRL News Today.   There are many things that I could say about my Dad, but what I want people to know is this: My parents faithfully raised 8 children…Continue Reading

Fathers . . . The Essential Role of the Father

Posted on February 10, 2014 by The Catholic Gentleman 13 Comments   Divorce rates skyrocketing; adultery rampant; non-married cohabitating couples; children abandoned by their fathers or mothers; “same-sex unions” adopting children and calling this the “modern family”; pornography invading homes, leading to powerful addictions and total alienation from other members of the family: all of this is a bird’s eye view…Continue Reading

How Much is One Billion Dollars?

This article appeared in the March 20, 1941 issue of The Wanderer. (Well, 70 years later we can add 15 trillion into the example.) Here’s a simple and homely illustration of what one billion dollars amounts to: Suppose we take an imaginary boy, aged 15 years, and assign to him the task of counting one billion dollars in one-dollar bills.…Continue Reading

Planned Parenthood

This article appeared in The Wanderer, April 3, 1941.  (WOW, Look what we have 70 years later.) A group which calls itself the National Committee for Planned Parenthood has begun a nationwide campaign to have the promotion of birth control included in State and national health programs. The committee—which, according to propaganda sheets reaching our desk has a branch in…Continue Reading

Questions of Non-Catholics . . . Answered by Father Richard Felix, O.S.B.

Reprinted from The Wanderer April 10, 1941 Why Does God allow us to be tempted? God allows us to be tempted so that we may prove our attachment to him and merit a higher place in heaven. Temptations are the lot of all men; they are the battle ground upon which heaven is won or lost. “The kingdom of heaven…Continue Reading