Hijacking the language of the pro-life movement

I have been saying for a while now that the liberal catholic left’s spittle-flecked interest in stricter control has little or nothing to do with a true pro-life agenda. Fishwrap (aka National catholic Reporter) and their ilk have hijacked the language of the actual pro-life movement. Thus, we find at the aforementioned Fishwrap today an article entitled

Catholics to Catholic politicians: Gun control is pro-life

The basic notion is that some liberals signed a letter against scary-looking guns.  Keep in mind always that these catholics could care less about the guns.  Their real target is the people who uphold the 2nd (and 22nd) Amendment and who also believe that the right to be born is the foundational pro-life issue.  If you go to the Fishwrap piece and follow the link you’ll find the letter and can read the oh-so-predictable names.

See my post:

What the National Catholic Reporter is really doing by calling for an “assault weapons” ban. (Hint: It ain’t about guns!)


NCR, hardly pro-life, hijacks pro-life language

For the Fishwrap, abortion and/or the right to be born are not really pro-life issues. They are women’s rights issues.

For the LCWR and the Nuns on the Bus types, high taxes and entitlements are the paramount pro-life issues. The unborn are sacrificed for their higher causes.

When you start hearing or reading about the “seamless garment”, friends, the old thing promoted by the late Cardinal Bernardin, alarm bells should go off in your heads.  Start reading carefully and between the lines.  It will usually happen that, at some point, the writers will mention how awful abortion is.  They will proclaim that we must work to reduce the number of abortions.  What they are really after, however, is a list of other “social justice” or even “green” goals.

The unborn are not even sent to the back of the bus… they aren’t permitted to board.

QUAERITUR: Will the Fishwrap be represented at the March for Life or its equivalent rally in Kansas City? Will they have banners proclaiming their desire to overturn Roe v Wade or to defend the lives of the unborn?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. Supertradmum says:

    Excellent post and the liberals have learned well from Stalin, Lenin, Gramsci, and Hitler…..Elizabeth I, and her Star Chamber as well as Parliament redefining religion…..

    Keep track of this, as it will get more insidious. Bless your time in Washington.

  2. george says:

    I think you mean the 2nd Amendment, Father. Though I like the 22nd also (term limiting the president)!

    You don’t need to approve this post for the comment section, I just wanted to indicate that typographical error.

  3. AngelGuarded says:

    I, and many other PROLIFE persons, have been saying this for years. First it was calling us “anti-choice.” Sadly, I saw an article in Salon.com where an abortion enthusiast says “so what if abortion ends a human life?” Not sure if the link will work, and bless yourself before going there, but here it is: http://www.salon.com/2013/01/23/so_what_if_abortion_ends_life/
    And she calls us “diabolically clever.” This person’s argument would inevitably bring back definitions of human beings who are not 100% human beings and thus their right to life could be overridden. But as morality seems foreign to her, I’m sure logic is too. She is saying an unborn baby’s life is worth less than the mother’s. Well, by that logic, there are a lot of lives worth less than others. And why stop while the baby is in the womb? Why stop at all? Why not murder any baby who is not 100% the way the mother-with-the-“choice” desires? The blood-thirsty child-sacrifice abortion enthusiasts will be the doom of this nation. They hijack langauge and the media goes along, we go along, babies die. We are 50 million (plus) down. No wonder God no longer seems to “shed His Grace on” these United States.

  4. benedetta says:

    On the eve of the March for Life on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the legalisation of slaughter of the innocent and poorest? That is so shameful. You have to turn your head and weep, it’s such a scandal.

    As if Fishwrap or their coveted politicians have ever cared a whit for prolife!!?!

  5. benedetta says:

    Do they even consider what good is gun control for the rest of us when they have permitted, encouraged, given cover to, the 55 million needlessly slaughtered in the name of American materialism and the sacred Big Abortion? For shame.

  6. AngelGuarded says:

    I meant to add that I am one who clings to both my religion and my guns. Guns save lives. Abortion takes lives. How can we have a society with its priorities so backwards? Must give the Evil One his due.

  7. frjim4321 says:

    They will proclaim that we must work to reduce the number of abortions.

    That pegs me pretty well.

    My position is that the actual number of abortions is more relevant than abortion rhetoric.

  8. MichaelJ says:

    frjim4321, why do you aim so low? What’s wrong with working to eliminate all abortions? We can speculate, and might even agree, about the likelihood of attaining such a goal, but shouldn’t we all strive for an ideal even while recognizing that we may not reach it?

  9. PostCatholic says:

    You know, seems to me that it’s the folks with guns who have a “real target.” Anyone else has a metaphoric one.

  10. LisaP. says:

    I remember a sitcom once where a racist group wanted to hold a demonstration at a venue, the venue manager said o.k., he explained that he’d rather have these groups operate out in the open where everyone could see than go underground where they would grow unseen like fungus.

    He was asked why he thought they couldn’t do both.

    The “I want to reduce actual abortion numbers through policy that makes the poor less poor and so less likely to abort” argument seems to have that great flaw to me. Why can’t you do both? Both end legal abortion *and* work to help the impoverished so that births won’t be a burden? I don’t personally buy the argument that poverty increases the demand for abortion (I personally believe poverty makes you more susceptible to patronizing authorities that tell you that you must have an abortion, that you don’t even have the right to choose to have a child, that you have no business living a life that poor all over the world always have lived — poor but enriched with family love — but that your poverty must also be lonely and loveless), but even if you accept the contention what is there about helping the poor that prevents legislating protection for the unborn of the poor and all others?

  11. anilwang says:

    For the record, anyone who quotes Cardinal Bernardin needs to be asked two things:

    (1) Why are you using a Cardinal as an authority when you won’t even listen to the Pope?

    (2) Have you actually read what Cardinal Bernardin actually said or have you just parroting what you’ve heard is “the spirit of ” Cardinal Bernardin? Cardinal Bernardin himself stated:
    “I don’t see how you can subscribe to the consistent ethic and then vote for someone who feels that abortion is a ‘basic right’ of the individual.” He went on to say, “I know that some people on the left, if I may use that label, have used the consistent ethic to give the impression that the abortion issue is not all that important anymore, that you should be against abortion in a general way but that there are more important issues, so don’t hold anybody’s feet to the fire just on abortion. That’s a misuse of the consistent ethic, and I deplore it.”
    (see http://onelacatholic.blogspot.ca/2009/06/cardinal-bernardin-himself-said-you.html )

    Priests for Life has several articles by Cardinal Bernardin (search on http://www.priestsforlife.org ) where he repeats on the issue of abortion “Where humanity is threatened at its most defenseless, we have no choice. We must stand up on its behalf.”.

    Cardinal Bernardin thought that focusing on all issues related to life would not detract from the Catholic response to abortion and would actually enhance it. To a certain extent this is correct; crisis pregnancy centers and good hospices are essential to any proper Catholic response to either abortion or euthanasia. The main flaw in his theology is that he did not make clear (although its clear he assumed it) that there are a hierarchy of good and a hierarchy of evils and the higher good must never be sacrificed for a lower good and a greater evil cannot be dismissed to deal with a lesser evil. And if push came to shove, there are worse things than even death of the body and that is death of the soul. Without this being principle #1, the “consistent life ethic” is a sham and outright heresy.

  12. benedetta says:

    The actual number of abortions, some 55 million and counting, has only expanded over the long term, even while government benefits have grown and expanded, while contraception is cheap and in plentiful supply indeed free to the takers in many public schools, while sex ed has been implemented in all the schools, the former stigma of the image of single parenthood completely shattered by celebs, hollywood, and reality tv.

    Who, frjim4321, gets to say which children benefit from a so-called, “reduction”? Your precious president, the almighty? Seems a bit much to expect of mere mortals.

  13. benedetta says:

    frjim4321, in his fear of “rhetoric” as he calls it (um, emanations from penumbras, anyone?), declares, in classic lib hypocrisy format: “Let some children live!…and, well, to hell with the rest…” Or, “To the extent we can pay people to not abort, let them live…and, well, forget about the rest…” Guess what? All the babies do matter, they matter very much, and not just an arbitrary whimsical, “some babies”, whoever survives…The children do matter, they matter very much, they matter to us, and they matter to God. All the children, not just whichever happen by chance to survive the death ax through legalized slaughter. And to those lives, frjim4321, that ain’t just rhetoric.

  14. frjim4321 says:

    I understand the reasoning behind the ‘all or none’ argument, it’s just that I favor the pragmatic approach in this instance.

  15. dominic1955 says:

    No one who wants abortion off the law books is saying, “Yay! Have all the abortions you want up until Roe v. Wade is overturned and abortion is outlawed.” It is common sense to say that we want the number of abortions lessened as much as possible AND abortion outlawed as soon as possible. The fact that the U.S. has a Supreme Court case that says abortion is some sort of “right” makes a mockery of our judicial system, and all the legislation widening its availability makes a mockery of our governmental system in general. It is a black mark on our country, a mixture of liberty and vice-proof too many of our people have taken liberty for granted and have began replacing that concept w/ the vicious one.

    Yes, even if abortion were absolutely outlawed tomorrow it would still go on. That is not the point. However, our government (at every level) has an obligation not to issue edicts and decrees presuming to create norms and moralities but rather to defend God’s law and true morality as far as that is humanly possible. When it has a “law” (and a bad law is no law at all) on the books allowing to snuff out any pre-born baby, it makes our country abhorrent. Same with any other “laws” promulgated by this government that presume to replace reality with ideological nightmares.

    As to gun control, if you are of good will and are open to truth, you will see gun control is little more than the attempt of some to control others. The pleas of it being “good for society” are lies. Catholic leftists who hijack pro-life language without hardly lifting a finger to help the real cause are no more that political hacks and apparatchiks trying to profit from the appearance of piety. They are more pathetic than the merely secular useful idiots.

  16. Clinton says:

    On 21 September 2012 that excellent blog The American Catholic posted an article
    titled “Will Money Make Everyone Virtuous?”. The article reported the findings that
    lower-income/poor women were actually more likely to keep their babies when faced
    with an unintended pregnancy.

    The article may be found here.

    And for frjim4321 and co., who would disparage any findings that weren’t reported by Huffpo,
    the study was performed by the Guttmacher Institute, an affiliate of Planned Parenthood.

  17. Wayward Lamb says:

    Liberals have a habit of changing their rhetoric every so often. Typically this happens when the public begins to see what’s behind the curtain, or when the opposing side makes inroads. The latter has certainly been true at the state level in the past two years, with increasing legislation that is squeezing the supply side of the abortion industry (the abortionists themselves). So, not surprisingly, it’s time to change the rhetoric. But what to change to? Tactics go stale over time and with public opinion gradually turning against them, a radically new approach was needed. Further, you can capitalize on the fickle public outrage over yet another gun tragedy only for so long. The public starts tuning out and support wanes before more of the tired gun control proposals can be implemented. Solution? Confuse the two issues and muddy the waters just long enough to pass your so-called reforms out in the open, yet just under the radar, before the public catches on. The “new” rhetoric sounds good in theory and is familiar to the ears to boot, so it’s easily flaunted and overlooked. Sadly, many people will fall for the bait and switch and not realize they are being lied to once again.

  18. benedetta says:

    frjim4321’s pragmatic approach, though I do not think intended, in its effects supports a racist and eugenicist outcome which, to my mind is un-Christian in a pragmatic sense.

    Imagine the same arguments, whether for gun control now, or for abolition during the scourge of slavery in our country’s history: some get to live, arbitrarily.

    Not only is it immoral it is unconstitutional. It is against the 14th amendment, this, mincing pragmatic approach as it discriminates in its effects.

    I have known not a few number of converts to the faith who were inspired to come into the Church precisely because the Church’s unadulterated, non passive, non watered down straightforward stance to pro life.

    Regrettably I have also known a fair number of anti Catholic bigots who point to people like frjim4321, or nuns for abortion, or the fish wrap, to prove that the Church in fact doesn’t even support life or children. This disunity brings a grave scandal to our midst which in fact is arguably a worse sin than the passive sacrifice of the many tens of millions of innocent children.

  19. anilwang says:

    frjim4321 ” My position is that the actual number of abortions is more relevant than abortion rhetoric….it’s just that I favor the pragmatic approach in this instance.”

    Not going to happen. Every pragmantic “attempt” at reducing the number of abortions, whether it is allowing contraception, freely distributing and promoting contraception, or sex education, or reducing taboos so women seeking abortions won’t be ashamed to ask for help, etc, has done nothing but increase the number of abortions. When these attempts result in more abortions, the “solution” is usually to redouble efforts to these “preventative measures”. The definition of insanity is to do the same things over and over again and expect different results.

    Also every attempt to limit abortion to a small group of cases (i.e. the disabled, children of incest, the health of the mother) implicitly contains the seeds of its own destruction since it declares that humans are expendable if they are not wanted. From the legal perspective, if some arbitrary list of humans are expendable, there’s no reason why that list can’t be expanded arbitrarily at the drop of a hat by court challenges. This again has been played out again and again in the last 40 years with predictable results.

    Ultimately, only a total ban is the only way to reduce the number of abortions for any extended period of time, since the only two consistent positions in the abortion debate are a total ban or a total allowance of “undesirables” (as defined by the fashion of the day) to be exterminated.

    WRT rhetoric, it is not rhetoric to lay out the facts, stop people from trying to muddle language to hide or misrepresent fact, clearing up muddled thinking, and stop people from hiding facts. More than a few women have had abortion and to their horror discover they’ve been duped by pro-abortion sophist rhetoric tactics into killing their own flesh and blood. This isn’t a game. Babies are slaughtered and and the lives of women that undergo abortions that discover the truth later in life are haunted by what they have done for the rest of their lives.

    Granted, we won’t be able to get rid of abortion any time soon….not without a miracle, and there is work that can be done in the interim in prevention (mostly getting the facts out and providing alternatives to abortion) and supporting the victims, but history has shown that a total ban is the only pragmatic solution to the crime of abortion.

  20. frjim4321 says:

    Also I don’t consider the President as being “mine,” “precious” and “almighty,” in fact he is, like his former challenger, imperfect. On the other hand I considered him a better choice for a number of reason. It would be immature and naive to believe that any one president would correct all the nations ills.

    Anyway, I’m not really interested in creating a rabbit hole here, just responding to a cynical insinuation about my characterization of the President.

  21. benedetta says:

    It’s not cynical, frjim4321, just practical. Who in fact would get to decide which live and which die? This entrenchment of the government into the sphere of the family is already in fact happening, in spades.

    And, clearly, when you promote his election and rationalize him as a “reducer” of abortion when in fact his own rhetoric only promises more of it, he is, almighty, precious, and yours.

  22. benedetta says:

    As I said, your so-called pragmatic approach is, secularly unconstitutional in that in its effects it violates the 14th Amendment, and immoral and eugenicist, favoring the survival of the apparently materially or desired “fittest”. Now that is not a mere rabbit hole. Respond to the substance.

  23. frjim4321 says:

    Benedetta you are entitled to your opinion but obviously we disagree in this regard.

  24. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 I am not merely opining. And, you do not proffer any substance to your position other than claim the relativists’ privilege. The 14th Amendment violation is easily established using readily accessible statistics, even from big abortion apologists.

    Why doesn’t your president or fishwrap or any other excessively liberal and big abortion justifying or lobbying indebted just come right out and laud reduction of abortion as a worthy goal? Surely then reduction even if for some as is your opinion wouldn’t cut into the cash reaped for the other several million sacrificed?

  25. joan ellen says:

    frjim4321 – I would rather not trust my life with pragmatics. Are you certain that you would want to trust your very life with pragmatics? I mean no disrespect.

  26. benedetta says:

    I wasn’t merely opining as to the Due Process Clause violation as it is established law and something which disproportionately deprives a certain group of life and liberty is most certainly unconstitutional. And, after all, something is declared unconstitutional under our system because we recognize that it inherently violates natural law and morality and justice.

    Now I will say that it is my own sense of things that when self identified Christians give passive or explicit support to the “law of the land” which is the slaughter of innocents by legalised abortion then they are essentially gnostics who love all they suppose Christ “stood for” in a fundamentalist or legalistic sense (i.e., he said nothing regarding abortion) and despise the humble beginnings from which he came, namely, conception as a foetus and raised to term as a human being person. Morality, let alone religion, founded upon such inward hatred really is not capable of being conveyed to others or of blossoming, is simply not capable of being blessed by the Holy Spirit. Non identified Christians who support the slaughter are more guilty of self loathing. Whether acknowledged or not.

  27. frjim4321 says:

    benedetta, I’m left with the impression that to you everything that others say is “opinion,” and everything you say is “fact.”

    I don’t know if that lends itself to any kind of discussion.

  28. benedetta says:

    frjim4321 still you have nothing to say regarding the substantive arguments I put forth. I don’t care, call it opinion and you will anyway regardless of what I say. But speak to the substance already. The substance of several points.

  29. benedetta says:

    It’s also hard to justify the further harm to women that must be undergone and suffered in the reductionist argument.

    The arguments that won over the Supreme Court were that women would die if legal abortion wasn’t offered. That number has been expanded upon by many many millions since then. Further, the argument that when life begins was indeterminate is pretty much shattered with the advent of contemporary technology. Societal circumstances are vastly changed since then. Expansion of the safety net only coincides with greater numbers of abortion over the long term. If not abolishing it now, then when?

  30. David Collins says:

    Good ol’ benedetta. If you think a different approach than hers can work better…well, you ought to be feeling the fires of hell licking at your feet! : )

  31. benedetta says:

    As abortion has been shown to be extremely harmful physically, mentally, and indeed spiritual to the women who undergo them, often through coercion, it is certainly hard to argue for the incremental reduction of abortion, while justifying it through rhetoric, apparently (though this is far from clear from frjim4321’s advocacy) via expanded safety net, when women’s health suffers so traumatically and of course we are talking loss of life in the many tens of millions. I am not sure how we would put an agreeable number to this reduction, how one would advocate for them legislatively, how to change the rhetoric of a president elected with that platform which guarantees expansion.

    If one is prepared to assign a number, then one concedes the argument that abortion is a grave evil, as murder. If abortion is murder then like slavery, there is only one course, abolition, not incremental reduction for the favored few.

  32. benedetta says:

    David Collins, is that somewhat like good ol’ Charlie Brown? :)

  33. Marion Ancilla Mariae says:

    I have learned a good historical lesson from the pro-choice movement: I have learned that rather than provoking the Southern states to secede from the Union, touching off a bloody Civil War, it would have been better for the Northern abolitionists to “work to reduce the number of slaves,” trying to convince people of their cause. They should have refrained from actually passing laws outlawing slavery, or passing laws liberating slaves across-the-board.

    Passing these laws really didn’t help matters, did they?

    What could President Lincoln and his allies have been thinking in 1861?

  34. LisaP. says:

    Good grief.

    Here’s how it works. I build an argument based on reason and evidence. That is not an opinion, it’s an argument. You disagree with an argument by discrediting the reasoning and evidence or presenting better reasoning and evidence yourself.

    So, for example, if I tell you that 2 plus 2 equals 5 and give reasons for that, you explain how my premise is wrong and my reasons are not rational. You don’t say, “Well, that’s your opinion, I have mine, let’s just agree to disagree”.

    Is this really the state of discourse in America these days, that people can’t defend their own assertions or argue against those of another, they have to fall back on “I don’t feel the same way you do, so you’re mean if you keep telling me I’m wrong.”?

  35. LisaP. says:

    Oh, so does anyone want to address the idea that if you are a progressive you can consistently both support government aid for poor women to reduce abortion *and* support legislation to reduce abortion? Or is calling that irrationally an “all or none” argument and bizarrely “unpragmatic” all ya got?

    I’m willing to give a pass on the idea that poverty programs reduce abortion, don’t agree, but we’ll give you that one. Why can’t you support criminalization *also*?

  36. acardnal says:

    LisaP, you are correct!

    I often say the same thing, “yes, everyone is entitled to their opinion” but what gives it credibility is the evidence that supports it!

  37. wmeyer says:

    Is this really the state of discourse in America these days, that people can’t defend their own assertions or argue against those of another, they have to fall back on “I don’t feel the same way you do, so you’re mean if you keep telling me I’m wrong.”?

    LisaP, it is, and has been for years. John Dewey’s impact on education has been pervasive, and even when useful content is presented, it is given in such a mish-mash as to be useless. Case in point, my daughters economics textbook in high school. It did contain good information, but contained nonsense, as well, and all of it so jumbled together that unless you already were conversant with the subject and its reliable authors, you would not learn much of the actual workings of the economy from it.

    The schools teach what to think, not how to reason. They teach that feelings are uber-important, especially that one called self-esteem. Hence, conventional methods must be tossed, along with red pencils, as telling a student (s)he is wrong is simply impermissible.

  38. The Masked Chicken says:

    “The schools teach what to think, not how to reason. They teach that feelings are uber-important, especially that one called self-esteem. Hence, conventional methods must be tossed, along with red pencils, as telling a student (s)he is wrong is simply impermissible.”

    Which is one reason why so many modern students do so poorly in math and sciences – subjects that require precise answers.

    Unfortunately, there are academic philosophers who stoke the fire by making up nonsense that passes for good reasoning. People like Singer and other bioethicists provide fodder for people who want to argue the pro-abort position by citing their authority, without actually trying to reason to truth. Opinion is not truth. It is the best that can be done when the truth cannot be known. In the abortion problem, the truth can be known, so I accept nothing as opinion. Opinions are irrelevant. Abortion is sin. Abortion is murder. Any questions?

    “I understand the reasoning behind the ‘all or none’ argument, it’s just that I favor the pragmatic approach in this instance.”

    Pragmatic approaches really only work when there are a range of permissible values of the variable. What numerical value of X = number of abortions, is permissible except zero? Even one abortion was enough to send Christ to the Cross. The problem with pragmatism is that pragmatism can only be applied to extrinsic evils. There is no such thing as a pragmatic argument for reducing an intrinsic evil, since intrinsic evils do not admit of being more or less evil by virtue of the size of the sin or the number of those sinning.

    The Chicken

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