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Posts Tagged ‘Pro-life’

I am sitting here, listening to yet another pounding rain, watching election returns.

I have been praying for weeks that God would please not give us what we deserve, which would be another four years of Obama, the continued acceleration of the destruction of the unborn, disastrous overseas policy, lies, cozying up to Comrade Putin (who seems increasingly oblivious to the end of the Cold War), the ruin of the economy, the spreading persecution and villification of anyone who dares say homosexual behavior is wrong, the vast expansion of the GIMME GIMME GIMME welfare/entitlement state, etc., etc.

On Facebook, where my husband maintains a very limited personal account, a number of acquaintances have come up with such gems as, “The Republicans’ support is all stupid, white men; doesn’t that explain a lot?”  Wow… let me sit and ponder that one.  With all those degrees, that’s really all the logic she could muster?  My opinion of advanced degrees and certain “prestigious” universities continues to plummet as I meet women with lots of framed paper on their walls and not one ounce of sense, but an overarching fear of being called our for it, masked by an obnoxiously loud and strident proclamation of how smart they are for not being like one of those stupid pro-lifers and/or conservatives.  A complaint about the Republican platform would be fine, but this is just middle school name calling.

Of course, Facebook has also hosted its share of general rants about how Romney should ask women what they think about contraception.  Well, I’m a woman, last I checked (I know, I know: “She’s not a woman!  She’s a Republican!” as the line went about Palin), and I think contraception is about the stupidest thing we’ve done with technology.  We managed to strangle our future generations while wrecking havoc in the stability of our own (divorce rates follow the availability of contraception, and it doesn’t go down, like contraceptives’ proponents say), all in one fell swoop.  How’s that for scientific efficiency?  And then, even though Hugh Hefner embraced contraceptives as the greatest gift to lust-ridden, irresponsible misogynist pigs everywhere… somehow, women still were convinced that they had to have contraceptives for their own good.

America, the Jesuit magazine for “thinking” (which is code for “dissenting”) Catholics, and the Huffington Post (almost equally useless in their ability to identify or promulgate sound Catholic doctrine) apparently both ran articles explaining to Catholics why Obama (since all Democrats are better for the economy, and abortion is really just about financial inability to raise a child) is really the more pro-life choice than Romney (who hates women and wouldn’t really have anything to do with the legality of abortion, you know).  Scarily, some people actually reposted these articles as a “something to make you think” kind of thing.  Yes, it makes me think we’re pretty stupid to accept that “financial hardship” is the real reason for the abortion, and not actually a symptom of the disappearing father, embarassed or coercive parents, unfeeling school administrators, etc. who all made it painfully clear to the pregnant mother that they would abandon her, penniless and homeless, unless she got the abortion and stopped making demands on them.  And yeah, it makes me think… that catechesis in the Catholic Church in this country has absolutely and almost universally stunk, quite literally, to high heaven for decades, so that we’ve turned out a bunch of religiously illiterate adults who can’t perceive the moral difference between government handouts being somewhat decreased and government-funded murder.

And then we promoted some of those adults to the head of CCD programs and parishes, where they spout about the unfairness of working conditions in Nike factories in Asia and the evil, hard-hearted, poor-hating jerks who argued against Obamacare… but NEVER utter one word about the millions dying every year around the globe and around the corner because of the evil of abortion.

Of course, these people were shocked- absolutely flabergasted!- to find out that those crazy, extremist pro-lifers were right about Obamacare being doomed to bring with it mandatory abortions and contraception for everyone, religious objections be damned.  (I’m not holding my breath for an apology.  Apparently, being liberal means never having to admit you were wrong about the actual long-term consequences of your ill-considered idealistic actions.  At least the bishops finally realized the danger they were in and sued the government over the HHS mandate.)

This morning, I spent two and a half hours in line to vote down here in southeastern Virginia.  Our polling place made the local news, and, sadly, we weren’t the worst of it.  (Four years ago, the line was outside for the first hour, and the wait took more like 3.5 hours.)  Two extra computers for checking voter registration finally showed up after we’d been in line for two hours and had only finally made it to the far end of the school cafeteria from the voting booths.  (Yes, I had all four of my kids with me.  They were remarkably good, something I was very thankful for.)

The polls tell us that many people only made up their minds about who they’d vote for in the last few weeks.

It would seem more people have solid opinions about who they root for on “Jersey Shore” or in the “Twilight” series than in politics.

It sure looks like a huge chunk of the U.S. population thinks the government owes them and/or others, not that they have the responsibility to work to provide for themselves, their families, and the poor in their own communities.  (Yes, Vice President Biden, I’m talking to you.  Crap, I give away more money in a month than you did in a year as a senator, and I know my household makes a heck of a lot less than yours.  No, Catholic social teaching does NOT support the idea that voting to give away other people’s tax money to programs for the poor is the same as tithing, the CCHD notwithstanding.)

It would also seem that most women, especially “educated” women, are dumb enough to believe that they have to vote Democratic, or else they’ll be seen as stupid.  Or not worthy of their “lady parts”.  Or that they’ll be chained to the kitchen sink, barefoot, and forced to have babies until they die, while being deprived of proper reading material, like the HuffPo.

I’d like to think we were smarter than this, that a clear explanation of things would open eyes, that we would not fall to what John Adams said could ruin our country: lack of morals and the realization that we could vote ourselves money out of the public treasury.  The election should be obvious and not close at all, if we still remembered those things that made our nation great (faith, the rule of law equally for all, civic involvement, personal as well as group responsibility and charity, etc.).  No matter who wins tonight, this election is too close to be excusable.  Everything in our history says we should be smarter than this.

Thank God, I am solidly aware that my true citizenship is not here, that my deepest loyalties are not to the United States of America, and that all man-made kingdoms will fall and fade, otherwise, I would despair.  (Besides, I learned more than what my pitiful CCD program bothered to teach me, so I also know that despair is expressly forbidden; it is a sin against God’s goodness.  I have thanked God and blessed the Archdiocese for the Military Services repeatedly over the years for those marvelous, holy chaplains assigned to the Naval Academy.)

But I am losing heart in the power of words, logic, and even personal example to change most peoples’ minds.

Kinda a problem for someone trying to keep up a blog.

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The problem with pre-natal testing is that many people (maybe most) don’t use it to prepare for the birth of a child with disabilities, they use it to kill the child before he or she can be born.  This is particularly well documented with children diagnosed in utero with Downs Syndrome; around 90% of children with this diagnosis will be aborted, often under heavy pressure from doctors overplaying the severity of the condition.  (Unlike some diagnoses that are clear cut, Downs is a range.  Someone with mild Downs can function fairly normally, while those with more severe cases will need life-long help.  I would also note that many tests give false positives; I have heard several stories of dire warnings and harrassment to abort from doctors, only to have the child test perfectly normal after birth.)  I’d like to think the March of Dimes and such are trying to help, but promoting pre-natal testing isn’t the way to help, unless by “help” you simply mean decreasing the number of Downs Syndrome children who make it to birth, not the number conceived.

So, a new internet campaign is trying to bring attention to this appalling statistic.  Maybe, if more people understood Downs, fewer would cave into the pressure from the “experts” telling them that their baby would be better off dead.

And, yet again, we have to ask ourselves how many of these children would be allowed to live if our culture didn’t push the idea of one or two “perfect” children and absolutely no more.  If we had space in our hearts for three or four children (or more), would we be more accepting of the less-than-perfect, too?

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Someday, I might learn to just roll my eyes at people who say stupid, insensitive, and possibly lethal things about adoption, and then let it drop.

Today isn’t that day.  I strongly suspect tomorrow won’t be, either.

Let me preface the rest of this by saying that, normally, I love PRI (Population Research Institute) and admire their work trying to end coercive family planning around the globe and, by extension, defunding the UNFPA.  (Yes, your tax dollars go to the UN to fund the UNFPA, which, among other things, works with the Chinese government to implement the abusive One Child policy.  But don’t worry!  The money you paid in taxes isn’t used for the squads who haul in nine-month-pregnant women for forced abortions; that’s totally separate!  Your hard-earned tax dollars just go to the educational side…  And, if you believe that, I have a “no peeing” section in the pool for you, too, totally separate from the people who can’t be bothered to go to the restroom.)

But last week, PRI touched a nerve of mine that will probably be forever raw.  Not least because people who should know better keep hitting that raw nerve.  (And, yes, I contacted them.  Both PRI and LifeNews told me I’d “misunderstood” and refused to offer so much as an, “Oops; now that you point it out, we should have worded that differently.”  The end argument was, “But nobody else complained, so it must just be that you, in fact, don’t get it.”)

The offending paragraph, as copied from LifeNews (who picked up the article and the nearly identical (but slightly less offensive) article the week previously), titled Chinese Children Born Outside the One Child Policy Trafficked Abroad (emphasis mine):

According to a report in the Caixin Century magazine, population control officials in the Chinese province of Hunan seized at least 16 babies born in violation of the one-child policy, sent them to state-run orphanages, and then sold them abroad for adoption. In the words of Steven W. Mosher, China expert and president of the Population Research Institute, “if this is true (which we at PRI believe it to be based on our own research in China), then this act represents a serious human rights violation and a clear instance of human trafficking.”

The version of the article that ran the week previously ended with an explicit call for a “moratorium” on adoptions from China because of “trafficking”.  Am I the only one with a problem with this?

Yes, the One Child policy, like abortion in this country, is rife with abuses; I am certainly not denying that.  I’d rather see both abortion and the One Child policy end immediately, but I agree with, at the very least, drawing attention to the abuses in both, partially as a means towards ending both.  (And if you think I’m being soft on the One Child policy, I’d like to point out I have been very clear, repeatedly, about what I think about it: here right at the beginning of this blog, on adoption, on the Secretary of State in China, on Anita Dunn’s admiration of Mao, on non-pro-life columnists suddenly shocked by it, and on the occassion of the 30th anniversary of the policy.  No, I will not be brushed off as just being too dumb to understand the situation.)

But this latest report is not, fundamentally, about adoption in China.  Using this latest revelation of abuse as a reason to call for the end of international adoptions from China is incredibly irresponsible.

Unlike other countries that have been shut for international adoptions, the problem of children abducted into the orphanage system in China does not seem to be a rampant abuse.  Sixteen cases over an unspecified time period, with only one confirmed as having been adopted internationally, does not make a trafficking ring.  Especially when China has more than 100,000 children in its orphanages.

And, as much as it galls me (and I have to ask you to suspend moral outrage on the One Child policy for a minute and follow the logic), I have to also point out that the government may sanction the family planning officials’ actions as the logical punishment for a family that can’t or won’t pay the fines, in which case it would be the government’s decision to remove the child because the family is unfit to raise this child, something that all governments do for reasons of abuse or neglect.  So, technically, it may not actually be considered abduction, and it clouds the issue to conflate it with cases of criminal child-stealing rings.  This will likely be categorized as a normal governmental decision to remove a child from an unfit home.  You can hate that, but as long as the One Child policy is law, there isn’t much you can do about it.

Additionally, I will point out that the fines for “unauthorized” children are several years’ pay.  I don’t know about you, but my house isn’t worth several years’ pay, and many houses in rural China are small and traditionally built.  The farmers apparently figured out it was smarter to hide the valuables with relatives, let the house be bulldozed, then rebuild for a year’s wages or so, rather than pay the fine.  If the destruction of the house is losing effectiveness as a deterrent, seizing the child is the obvious next step.

Also unlike the criminal cases in international adoptions, China’s adoption system is more regulated; the $3000 “gift” to the orphanage (which has recently increased to $5000 and, unlike bribes in many countries, is definitely a normal fee) goes mostly towards improving the orphanage for the vast majority of orphans who will never have a family.  In some less-regulated countries, the “fees” were going exclusively to the adoption lawyers and the child traffickers.  Rather than a greed for the fees from international adoptions, most orphanages are reluctant, either through distrust of adoption or unwillingness to deal with the paperwork, to make children available for adoption.  The wait for non-special-needs infants is now around four or five years.

In the end, however, my complaint with this article is that it abuses the word “trafficking”.  The article uses “trafficking” as if it means “a child taken by a government official and possibly adopted later, with money involved”; well, crud, that would qualify all U.S. domestic adoptions of children removed from homes for abuse as “trafficking”… except that we don’t call that trafficking, because the purpose of the removal was not just to get them into the adoption system.  Child trafficking is a serious accusation and should only be used in specific circumstances, not just because we’re horrified by the out-of-control dictatorship in Beijing and its One Child policy and want to grab some headlines.

Unfortunately for PRI’s verbage, human trafficking is generally understood to be the buying and selling of people as virtual slaves.  Both the buyers and the sellers know exactly what they’re doing, and the whole point of the operation is to make money on the sale of people on one end, and exploit them for forced labor (often in the sex trade or drug running) on the other.  PRI and LifeNews have done excellent work reporting on human trafficking.

But that isn’t what China is doing.  These children were taken from their parents because their parents violated the One Child policy; adoption or not, penalties associated with the policy will continue, probably including the removal of children from the home.  If it was just about the money, the orphanages would be empty and there wouldn’t be a five year wait for a non-special needs child!  It makes no sense for an orphanage to pay the local family planning official 1000 RMB per child turned over (an accusation in the first version of the article, but not the second version), when the orphanages already have so many children that could be adopted.  If China just wanted the money, they’d quit actually checking the dossiers and just rush them through the process to get the fees, instead of there being a months-long backlog of dossiers in China that haven’t been translated and reviewed.

I did not buy my children; they were not for sale, thank you very much; and I am sick and tired of people carelessly throwing out that insinuation without thinking of the pain it causes.  Every time someone links adoption with child trafficking, a couple is pressured to decide against adoption and another child never finds a home.  People like me will continue to run into random strangers who feel compelled to accuse us of “buying” our children, bolstered in their rudeness by the fact that they saw it in a pro-life news source.  Yes, the fees, given China’s average wage, were exorbitant, but those fees got my child out of the orphanage, improved life for those children left at the orphanage, and kept the gate open for a few of the victims of the One Child policy to escape.

That isn’t a purchase, it’s a ransom, and hundreds of thousands of children will never find a family to come get them out of the orphanages.  Around the world, life is very bleak for those aging out of the orphanages with no family to support or encourage them.

(I’m struck by the similarity between the call for an adoption moratorium and the arguments against embryo adoption: “I’m keeping my hands scrupulously clean, and, gee, I’m sorry if a child has to die to do it.”)

Does anybody, for half a second, think a moratorium on international adoptions would influence China to change?  When the One Child policy began, orphanages started filling and international adoption hadn’t really taken off; sick or disabled children were simply left to die (“Since nobody wants the healthy ones, why bother?” the argument went, in a society that sees girls and orphans as largely undeserving of respect).  Knowing there was no chance for a better life through adoption, how many children would be allowed to die at birth?  Would the family planning officials be more brutal, knowing that poor families weren’t going to pay the fines, if there wasn’t another option besides killing the baby?

We have got to learn to be more careful in our dealings, so that, in expressing our moral outrage, we don’t unintentionally encourage the murder or pain of the most defenseless.

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In the last few days, we have heard of yet another almost totally unregulated abortion facility engaging in what any respectable doctor would consider horrific malpractice.

Dr. Kermit Gosnell of Pennsylvania and several of his staff have been arrested.  To begin with, he has been charged with eight deaths: one woman from a botched abortion and seven children who were born alive, then killed by having their spinal cords cut with scissors.  As the story develops, it appears that the “doctor” may have actually killed hundreds of children by this method.  The infanticides were not an accidental “oops, it slipped” during a partial birth abortion, they were standard procedure for Dr. Gosnell and his staff.  To hide their grisly procedures, babies’ corpses were stored in bags stashed around the facility.  One shelf, for no apparent reason, was filled with jars of severed feet.

And the state regulatory boards that should have been enforcing medical standards of practice on Gosnell’s facility like they enforce on other similar ambulatory surgery centers… ignored warnings.

My kids and I were at a rally last week in Richmond calling for the regulation of abortion facilities in Virginia.  Although they now deny it, abortion advocates in the state have previously wailed that expecting abortion clinics to meet the standards that all the other types of ambulatory surgery centers meet would close 17 of the 21 clinics in Virginia.

Nobody was sure if the bill would get very far.  The pro-aborts were arguing that their clinics would be discriminated against, even though they had been regulated in the past, before we had a particularly liberal governor a while back.

“It’s unnecessary, anti-choice grandstanding!” they howled.  “Of course abortionists maintain high standards!  We care about women!”‘

What little meaning we can pull from the unnecessary deaths in Pennsylvania may ultimately be found in the proper regulation being enforced on many, many more abortion clinics.  The debate in Virginia will certainly be helped by this glaring example of failure to voluntarily maintain standards.

Dr. Gosnell isn’t the first abortionist, not by a long shot, who has been practicing shoddy medicine.  A former abortion clinic that was bought by a pro-life group was discovered to be infested with vermin, and the walls and ceilings of the operating rooms were covered with traces of blood.  The stories continue to proliferate of former nurses leaving the abortion industry, because they saw live babies left to die or killed after birth.  One clinic, under investigation for covering up statutory rape, was caught with an industrial-strength shredder pulled up to their back door, shoving through piles of patient records that had been demanded for a state investigation.  Another clinic was hiding bags of corpses on the roof to avoid the state medical inspectors.

At what point, exactly, does the number of “rogue abortionists” become enough to see them as the pattern, not the exception?

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I’ve been having internet and computer troubles all week, so I’m late to this particular party.

NARAL “Pro-Choice” America is holding a blog day today, in case you missed the few dozen participants (sort of like their *massive* presence every year protesting the March for Life.  All six of them.  Every year.  Watching a river of hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers go by.).  In response, Jill Stanek and other pro-lifers are holding a “Ask them what they mean by ‘Choice’ ” blog day.

I’m sure plenty of other people linked at her blog have covered the usual arguments.  The “choice” is murder.  The baby obviously is not part of the mother’s body, so drop the tired “My body, my choice” schtick.  Killing the problem and throwing “it” in the trash doesn’t solve the bad relationship/abuse/rape/etc.  On this 38th grisly anniversary of Roe v. Wade, how could you ignore the statistics about the damage abortion has done in our country?  I could cover those again.

But no, I’m going to talk about President Hu’s visit to Washington, DC.

For the first time since 1997, Hu received a state dinner and all the bells and whistles we usually reserve for countries we like.  Meanwhile, the head of his country’s “family planning” office recently shrugged off the thirtieth anniversary of the One Child Policy by saying that it would be continued for decades to come.

Yes, the blog day, the state dinner, and the One Child policy are all linked.

You see, the reason President Bush had a quiet, no-cameras-allowed lunch with President Hu instead of a big state dinner was because of China’s massive human rights abuses.  EWTN’s World Over had lao gai survivor Harry Wu on.  He has made it his life’s work (after more than three decades in the lao gai system) to expose the massive prison system.  Russia’s gulags never came near what the Chinese communists have acheived.  He estimated there are more than 300 million prisoners in the system.

And then there’s the One Child Policy.  In commenting on Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother (it’s about strict, traditional Chinese parenting and has raised quite a fuss (and several death threats for the author)), one writer on TownHall (I forget which) got lectured by her son about the incredible suicide rate among Chinese women between 18 and 24.  The writer and her son took it as a sign of excessive pressure to succeed from over-focused parents.  More likely, the root cause is the One Child Policy.

Under the One Child Policy, a Chinese woman is not allowed to carry a pregnancy to term without having had the government’s permission to conceive.  Nobody is given permission before marriage, and second children are mostly forbidden (they are occassionally allowed, either in the countryside or in ethnic minorities, usually as a second chance at getting a boy).  Any woman found to be pregnant without permission is taken in for an abortion.  Women who go into hiding may have their parents arrested and threatened with starvation if she doesn’t get the abortion.  Women who hide their pregnancies have been dragged from their homes or fields at nearly full-term for brutal forced abortions.  Even those who make it to labor aren’t safe; often, their child is killed anyways, and they return home to find their house bulldozed, their farm confiscated, or crippling fines levied on the family for violating the Policy.

Knowing the consequences of violating the policy, many couples choose to abort girls, knowing they likely will not be allowed a second chance to get a son.  Some of those who did not have access to pre-natal gender screenings will abandon their girls, who, if they’re lucky, make it into orphanages.  The unlucky ones are killed at birth or wind up as shadow children, reported as having died at birth, and so having no legal status (which means no schooling, no rights, and no help from police if they’re kidnapped into the sex trade, which is booming in China).  As a result, there are 37 million more men than women among the children born under the One Child Policy, when nature would have caused only a slight predominance of men.

The vast majority of those missing women are dead.

Furthermore, we have to remember that the 37 million only tells us the imbalance, the girls aborted or killed at birth for being girls.  It doesn’t cover any of the coerced abortions the Chinese government orders every day, boy or girl.

And so, China has one of the highest suicide rates in the world, in a country that traditionally had strong taboos against it (given Japan’s culture, for example, a high suicide rate is still very sad, but less surprising).  Even more odd, China’s suicides are predominantly women.  How many of that 18-to-24 suicide statistic is not because of the pressure of parental expectations, but because of the brutality of governmental policies?

Today, President Hu was honored with a lavish state dinner of stereotypically American fare, peopled with the beautiful people from China who have succeeded in this country: Vera Wang, Yo Yo Ma, Jackie Chan, and others.  And why not?  Except for the forced abortions (which China continues to deny), President Hu hasn’t really espoused any position on abortion worse than our own President Obama, who voted against the Born Alive Infant Protection Act and was awarded a perfect pro-abortion score by NARAL.

So, President Obama smiled and proudly announced that he had secured a wonderful new trade agreement with China: the National Zoo will get to extend its lease on the pandas for another five years.

Meanwhile, in China today, another 30,000 abortions took place, many of them forced by the government.  More women, unable to bear the memories of the murders of their unborn children, took their own lives.

Tell me, NARAL, is this what you mean by “choice”?  Because NARAL was not out there with the human rights protesters in front of the White House.

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Well, it’s out, because Abby Johnson fought off the lawsuit from her former employer.

If you don’t remember, Abby Johnson was the director of a Texas Planned Parenthood abortion center.  One day, she was asked to assist with an abortion.  In spite of having worked for Planned Parenthood for years, she had never actually observed a “procedure.”  The day changed everything for her.

Read the first chapter of unPlanned here

(I will review the book as soon as my copy arrives and I get it read.)

unPlanned released today (Jan. 11) and is already shooting up the bestseller charts.  Jill Stanek, another convert out of the abortion industry, wrote on her blog that she loved the book.  And for the commenters under that blog post who thought we should look down our noses at converts out of the abortion industry instead of “treating murderers like celebrities”… there isn’t much to say beyond, “Wow.  You just don’t get it, do you?”

Speaking of unwelcoming, Johnson’s Episcopal parish, which was ok with her being the director of the local Planned Parenthood, is not so ok with her now vocally adovcating against abortion (the pastor’s statement to the Washington Times was something about having to minister to everyone, on either side of the issue, so you get the impression the official parish stance is “just don’t insist there’s truth”).  News is, Abby is in the RCIA progam, and she and her husband will be welcomed into the Catholic Church this Easter!

(I will note, Johnson is joining notable pro-life converts Randall Terry, Lila Rose (president of Live Action, famous for undercover video stings on PP), and others who finally looked at their various denominations and said, “What do you mean abortion isn’t clear-cut or isn’t that important?!  I don’t care what the denominational poll said, don’t you have the authority to teach?”  And found themselves, often against their previous prejudices, nudged towards the doors to the Catholic Church.)

So, Abby Johnson, congratulations on your bestseller, and, more importantly, welcome to the Catholic Church!  We are thrilled to have you and your family in communion with us, and we will pray for you.

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… but not quietly.

A few weeks back, Parade magazine, which comes packaged in my Sunday paper, had a nice, sympathetic piece on Congressman Bart Stupak deciding not to run for re-election this year.  It was quaintly titled, “Mr. Smith Flees Washington.”

Huh.  Now, it’s been quite some time since I saw Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, but I seem to remember something rather significant, plot-wise, about Mr. Smith actually trying to keep his ideals while in Washington, in spite of heavy pressure from the older, *wiser* Congressmen who rolled their eyes and advised him to do backroom deals like everyone else.  Mr. Smith refused to back down and was criticized heavily.  When he continued to be obstinate about his ideals, he fought on alone to block a bill he thought wrong, while trying to let people back home know what was really going on in Congress.

Aside from the “criticized heavily” part, I don’t really see the connection with Mr. Stupak.

Bart Stupak, considered a leader of the pro-life Democrats, fought the Obamacare bill originally, on the grounds that it would allow federal funding of abortion.  He offered an amendment to specifically prohibit tax money funding abortion in any way.  However, after some backroom politicking, arm twisting, and a fat piece of pork for his constituents, Stupak caved in.  He insisted that President Obama’s promise to sign an executive order was good enough for him to trust that the bill wouldn’t fund abortions.  Stupak and most of the “pro-life” Democrats smiled for the cameras and voted for the bill.  They then proceeded to call the non-believing pro-lifers nasty names.

Pro-lifers were stunned.

For years, many pro-lifers have defended pro-life Democrats, insisting that they were the ones with the best chance of ever even hoping to change the Democrats away from their pro-abortion stance.

Others of us seriously doubted if such a pro-abortion party, with such strong ties to both Planned Parenthood and the environmentalist movement, could ever be rescued and turned into a pro-child party ever again.  Frankly, it seemed like the pro-life Democrats weren’t so much influencing the Democratic party as being used as human shields to cover up the depth of the pro-abortion push within the party.

And then Bart Stupak proved the doubters right: there really is (almost) no such thing as a pro-life Democrat.  Maybe one or two, but certainly not an organized caucus of truly, firmly, pro-life Democrats.  After the performances of Stupak and the others who caved in for a not-very-binding executive order, I doubt anyone will believe any Democrat really means it when he insists he’s pro-life.  Since Stupak won re-election, in part, because he could wave his pro-life credentials and voting record, it really wouldn’t make sense to bother to run this time: now, everyone knows exactly how far that alleged conviction does, or does not, go, and nothing he could say on the campaign trail would make any serious pro-lifer vote for him again.

In the Parade article, Stupak bemoaned the “loss of civility” in Washington.  One of his colleagues even shouted, “Baby killer!” at him during a speech.

If that colleague had worked with Stupak on pro-life issues, had defended him to other pro-life colleagues who looked askance at all Democrats, had believed that Stupak really cared and would stand firm… well, I have to say, I can’t blame him.

I would’ve probably said, “Traitor!” but quibbling over the exact wording of the disgust, disappointment, and deep sense of betrayal is just splitting hairs.

I am reminded of something that struck me from listening to Prof. Joseph Pearce talking about Shakespeare recently (I stocked up on CD’s at the homeschooling conference last fall).  Prof. Pearce lamented that his birth country (Britain) no longer has the Ten Commandments, but only one: Thou shalt not be impolite.

Publicly calling Stupak to task for his betrayal was certainly impolite, and Stupak and others are *shocked* and rather noisily offended.

However, in the sense that we have to call all sinners to repentance (and that usually has to start with pointing out to them that, their personal guess aside, yes, their behavior was sinful), I would have to say that yelling the accusation was probably charitable.

The pre-Roe v. Wade laws that banned abortion in almost all states were partly the result of the early feminsts’ campaigns.  The broke many laws of civility: they called it “child murder”, they called it “abortion”, they spoke and wrote about things that proper women weren’t really supposed to be talking about at all, much less publicly.  And they pointed fingers at the guilty parties: the mother who was talked into it, even more so the father who encouraged or insisted on it and paid for it, and the doctors who profited by breaking their oaths to do it.

The pro-life feminists were not always civil.  They were not polite, as their society defined the word.

But they succeeded because they were, ultimately, charitable, in that they called evil by its proper name and made no excuses for it.

To modify the saying, the only thing necessary for evil to succeed is for good men to do nothing… or only do “polite” things.

(Which leads into the new study of why young people are leaving religion in record numbers, but more on that the next time I get my act together and blog.)

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