Thursday 2nd July 2015

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

Comment on this Article:

Untitled 3

Pope FrancisAn Open Letter To His Holiness Pope Francis      Given the controversy and confusion surrounding the 2014 Synod on the Family, the staff of The Wanderer and its supporters thought it appropriate to address Pope Francis with an open letter . . .

Supreme Court upholds ObamaCare subsidies

The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld ObamaCare subsidies nationwide, in the second major court victory for President Obama on his signature health care law. In a 6-3 decision, the court ruled that subsidies are valid even in states that did…Continue Reading

Synod on the Family’s working document sets the stage for spirited discussion

Vatican City, Jun 24, 2015 / 12:00 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- That the discussion at October’s Synod on the Family is going to be a lively one is indicated by the fact that the most controversial paragraphs of the final report…Continue Reading

Abortion Drone Will Fly Dangerous Abortion Pills to Poland to Violate Its Pro-Life Laws

drone

The pro-abortion organization that formerly ran the abortion boat that distributed the dangerous abortion pill in international waters outside pro-life nations that protect unborn children has come up with a new marketing scheme to push abortion in pro-life nations: drones.…Continue Reading

St. Louis’ Catholic Archbishop Carlson discusses same-sex marriage, clergy sex abuse, racism, more

At their annual spring meeting held in St. Louis last week, U.S Catholic bishops discussed several issues currently facing the Catholic Church, including: the clergy sex abuse scandal, what the Church sees as challenges to marriage, and the pope’s upcoming…Continue Reading

Nienstedt resigns; New Jersey bishop named interim head of Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis

Archbishop John Nienstedt has resigned in the wake of criminal charges against the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis for its “role in failing to protect children and contribution to the unspeakable harm” experienced by victims in priest sex-abuse cases. Nienstedt says…Continue Reading

Priests needed: As Church growth explodes worldwide, parishes can’t keep up

Washington D.C., Jun 12, 2015 / 05:11 am (CNA/EWTN News).- The global Catholic population is growing – so quickly, in fact, that priest and parish numbers cannot keep up, says a new study on trends in the worldwide Church. And…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper hints at new ‘Vatican II’ strategy to gain approval of Communion proposal

June 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – In the face of increasing opposition to his plan to approve giving Holy Communion to people who are in adulterous remarriages, Cardinal Walter Kasper is hinting at a new “Vatican II” strategy for accomplishing his…Continue Reading

No Law Can Be Based on Injustice

In 2010, the United States Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which was designed by President Obama and Congressional leaders to expand access to affordable and comprehensive health insurance coverage in the United States. After the law…Continue Reading

Cardinal: Divorced and remarried Catholics need support for conversion, not changes on communion

Catholics who have divorced and remarried need help for the “difficult climb” of conversion and spiritual growth, not a change in Church practice on the reception of Holy Communion, a prominent cardinal said. Cardinal Ennio Antonelli summarized the advice of…Continue Reading

Obama: Without Catholic Nun We Would Not Have Gotten Obamacare Done

(CNSNews.com) – While addressing the Catholic Health Association Conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday, President Barack Obama said that the Affordable Care Act—AKA Obamacare—would not have been enacted had it not been for Sister Carol Keehan, the president of the Catholic…Continue Reading

Cardinal Kasper Backpedals on Papal Endorsement of Controversial Proposal

Almost single-handedly one cleric has turned the Church’s teaching on Communion, marriage and divorce into an international debate. For decades, German Cardinal Walter Kasper has promoted a proposal to allow divorced-and-civilly-remarried Catholics to receive holy Communion after a period of…Continue Reading

The Body God Gave Us Doesn’t Lie

The latest tragic twist in the “Bruce Jenner saga” (more on that below) illustrates yet again one of the great errors of our day: the rejection of the truth that our bodies have something to tell us about who we are and…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 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

A Powerful Weapon: 15 Quotes on the Holy Rosary

We live in evil times. I hardly need elaborate the multitude of crises that fill the globe. Sadly, many are being swept away by this flood of evil and are succumbing to an overwhelming anxiety and discouragement. But no matter how tempting it is, we must not shrink back. We must pray and fast with a living faith and a firm confidence—and there is no better way to…Continue Reading

12 Ways to Become a Committed Catholic Man

There is a Catholic “man-crisis.” Large numbers of men who were baptized Catholic have left the Church and the majority of those who remain are “Casual Catholic Men”, men who do not know the Catholic faith and don’t practice it. This large-scale failure of Catholic men to commit themselves to Jesus Christ and His Church has contributed to the accelerating…Continue Reading

Today . . .

‘No Global’ author at Vatican event on climate and poverty reduction

(Vatican Radio) A Catholic climate scientist and a secular Jewish feminist formed an “unlikely alliance” in the Vatican press office on Wednesday to present a two day conference entitled ‘People and Planet First: the Imperative to Change Course’. The conference, which will take place at the Pontifical Augustinianum University in Rome, includes some 200 political, religious and civil society leaders from all continents who’ll be discussing Pope Francis’ new encyclical ‘Laudato Si’ in light of…Continue Reading

Cardinal Turkson on Laudato si’ and children

pope798

(Vatican Radio) Cardinal Peter Turkson, the President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, on Tuesday addressed UNICEF House at the United Nations in New York. He spoke about the new Encyclical of Pope Francis, Laudato si’, and how it relates to children.   The full text of Cardinal Turkson’s remarks are blow   Remarks on Laudato si’ to Child-Focused Agencies UNICEF House, 30 June 2015 Cardinal Peter K.A. Turkson, President, Pontifical Council for…Continue Reading

U.S. decision to legalize same-sex “marriages” godless, sinful – Russian Church

Moscow, June 29, Interfax – The Russian Orthodox Church has appealed to all Russian advocates of the American model of governance, asking them to think twice about the consequences of the United States’ decision to legalize same-sex “marriages”. “The people who are into ‘democracy the American way’ and trying to reconcile it with traditional values need to think hard after this decision,” the head of the Synodal Department for Church and Society Relations Archpriest Vsevolod…Continue Reading

Fr. Z Blog . . . Congratulations To His Eminence Cardinal Burke . . .

Today is His Eminence Raymond Card. Burke’s 40th anniversary of ordination to the sacred priesthood.  He was, I believe, ordained by Paul VI. That was a good day for the Church. Card. Burke is one of the kindest men alive and a great scholar of Holy Church’s law. I am sure that all of you will stop, right now, and say a prayer for him.

Culture Of Life 101 . . . “The ‘Gay’ Case Against Abortion”

By BRIAN CLOWES (Editor’s Note: Brian Clowes has been director of research and training at Human Life International since 1995. For electronic copies of previous articles on homosexual “marriage,” the special rights agenda, and the role of homosexuality in the Church crisis, e-mail him at bclowes@hli.org.) + + + “Feminists and political liberals have argued…Continue Reading

Protecting Hatred Preserves Freedom

By ANDREW P. NAPOLITANO The tragedy of a mass murder in Charleston, S.C., obviously motivated by racial hatred, has raised anew the issue of the lawfulness of the state expressing an opinion by flying a Confederate flag at the statehouse, and the constitutionality of the use of the First Amendment to protect hate speech and…Continue Reading

NATO-Russia Collision Ahead?

By PATRICK J. BUCHANAN “U.S. Poised to Put Heavy Weaponry in East Europe: A Message to Russia,” ran the headline in The New York Times. “In a significant move to deter possible Russian aggression in Europe, the Pentagon is poised to store battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles, and other heavy weapons for as many as…Continue Reading

The Myth Of Autonomy

By DONALD DeMARCO I Never Sang for My Father, a 1970 film based on Robert Anderson’s play by the same name, features a father who identifies himself as a “self-made man” who struggled hard for everything he achieved. Toward the end of the play, the father, now elderly and incapacitated, offers a desperate declaration of…Continue Reading

More On The Particular Judgment

By JAMES LIKOUDIS As pointed out in a previous article (The Wanderer, July 3, 2014, p. 8B), the “silence regarding this particular dogma from all too many pulpits together with funeral Masses that focus on celebrating the life of the deceased and are replete with eulogies (amounting to instant canonization) have tended to make the…Continue Reading

Advertisement

Our Catholic Faith (Section B of print edition)

Chosen By God

By FR. ROBERT ALTIER Fifteenth Sunday In Ordinary Time (YR B) Readings: Amos 7:12-15 Eph. 1:3-14 Mark 6:7-13 In the first reading, Amaziah, the priest of Bethel (the place of the original Temple of the Lord), chastises the Prophet Amos for preaching against the goings on in the House of God. The priest tells the prophet to go and make…Continue Reading

National Mass Recalls Anniversary of St. Columbanus… “Why Are You So Frightened, You Men Of Little Faith?”

ARMAGH, Northern Ireland (ZENIT) — A national Mass of Thanksgiving to mark the 14th centenary of St. Columbanus was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Armagh on Sunday, June 21. Opening remarks were given by Archbishop Eamon Martin of Armagh, and the homily was given by Fr. Neil Collins. Following are the texts of both, provided by ZENIT News Agency.…Continue Reading

An Apologetics Course… Refuting Objections To The Spiritual Soul’s Existence

By RAYMOND DE SOUZA, KM Part 8 The reader will have noticed the progression of thinking in this new series of articles in The Wanderer: Instead of dealing with various topics rather randomly, the section consists of a series of articles in the format of lessons within a course. So, the first topic was the most basic one, that is,…Continue Reading

The Four Marks Of The Church — Holiness

By DON FIER For the past two weeks, we have been unpacking the teaching of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) on the first of her four marks, that she is one. Our Lord left no room for uncertainty when He said, “There shall be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16), nor did St. Paul when he proclaimed that…Continue Reading

Catholic Replies

Editor’s Note: Commenting on the Bruce Jenner fiasco in his usually perceptive way, Fr. George Rutler of the Church of St. Michael in New York City said in a recent bulletin: “Anyone who can remain awake listening to the conversations of sedentary former athletes on ESPN is perhaps unable to think clearly on any subject of significance, but the declaration…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes… St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 2 With the outbreak of civil war in Spain and the attack on the Catholic Church, many priests and religious were martyred. The existing government changed the constitution to legalize persecution of the Church by closing Catholic schools, ceasing reparation payments, and suppressing religious discussion. Among other things, this helped lead to the secularization of society…Continue Reading

Catholic Heroes . . . St. Josemaria Escriva

By CAROLE BRESLIN Part 1 God, in His loving Providence and perfect timing, gives the Church holy men and women to guide the Mystical Body of Christ. During the chaos of the Protestant revolt, he provided St. Ignatius and St. Teresa of Avila. At the beginning of the 20th century, as the lay faithful were being called to participate in…Continue Reading