A recent development within the pro-life movement has both a heartening and disheartening aspect. I am talking about the rise of the “abolish human abortion now” sentiment. This in one sense is the whole point of being pro-life, and so a clear reaffirmation of the entire raison d’être is always welcome. The other side of it, the disheartening part, is the tendency among some of these “abolitionists” to denounce any pro-life incrementalists as being, by definition, temporizers, vacillators, or compromisers.
So let me begin by granting part of the point, and then offering for your consideration a scenario that is going to upon us relatively soon—a scenario that will identify the plain difference between principled incrementalists and those who are simply using pro-life language as a shield to hide behind. I should say from the outset that I don’t like the name abolitionist because it is too closely associated in my mind with characters like John Brown, a murderous thug. Paul Hill, the man who shot an abortion doctor in Florida years ago, wanted to become the John Brown of the pro-life movement, and I am afraid there are others who might share that desire now. That is not the way to go.
Also, in the abstract, incrementalism is not necessarily ineffective in cultural battles. It has been the central tactic used against us by the Gramscians, and with devastating effect. They have managed their “long march through the institutions.” So incrementalism does not necessarily mean “lose slowly.”
So there are politicians who campaign on a pro-life platform, and who buckle in the face of fierce resistance when a real opportunity arises to turn the tide. Yes. There is such a thing as cowardice, and there is such a thing as hidden sympathies with the other side. That is a problem. And there might be pro-life groups who would be dismayed at the prospect of actual victory—victory might damage the fund-raising prospects. Yes, it is a fallen world, and that kind of thing might well happen. A manufacturer of fighter planes might look forward to peace with no little dismay.
And there might be abolitionists who denounce all previous pro-life efforts as worthless because they did not succeed in attaining the object, which is the abolition of human abortion now. But there is an active pro-life movement in America, numbering in the millions. This is not the case elsewhere in the Western world, and it should not be taken for granted. The movement here has been robust enough and big enough to develop a hardline right wing.
A conscientious abolitionist might grant the distinction I am making, but still be impatient. How can we tell the difference between genuine incrementalism and slow surrender? Glad you asked, and it is almost upon us.
When Gorsuch was nominated to the Supreme Court, there was a fight, naturally, but it was not the blood bath that the next one will be. Because it was a fight over maintaining the status quo, replacing a conservative with a conservative, it was possible for the Republican leadership to hold the Senate Republicans together. This was possible because everything remained the same afterward. On the pro-life issue, nothing changed. The balance on the Supreme Court stayed the same.
But the next Supreme Court battle will probably be an appointment that will replace a liberal with a conservative. If a vacancy occurs because a liberal dies or steps down, and the president appoints someone like Gorsuch, then that battle will be over whether or not Roe will be overturned. It would alter the balance.
Now the overturning of Roe, were it to happen, would be a genuine incrementalist victory. Abortion would not become illegal in all fifty states. It would likely be greatly restricted in about 35 states. This would leave 15 states still willing to traffic in human misery. Because it would not be a complete victory, it would be an incrementalist victory. Pro-lifers could then turn their attention to those 15 states—because the final goal of abolishing human abortion has not changed.
So it would be a genuine, pro-life victory, but it would not be complete victory. It would be a genuine incrementalist advance. And that is why the Senate Republicans would not be able to hold together in numbers sufficient to confirm the man appointed to replace, say, Kennedy.
This is because compromised Republicans would bail. For the purposes of this scenario, let us say that 5 of them abandoned the pretense of being pro-life, and voted not to confirm the one who would join the Court and bring down Roe. Those 5 would be the legitimate targets of abolitionist ire. The Republicans who voted to confirm a justice who would in fact overthrow Roe would be illegitimate targets of abolitionist ire. But the rhetoric after such a debacle would probably be directed against feckless “Republicans” generally, and not against the 5 who proved themselves feckless.
Now I want everyone to know that this is guaranteed to happen. If a conservative justice comes before the Senate, one who would enable us to repent of Roe, then you can rest assured that there will not be enough votes to confirm him. The desertions will be declared with fanfare and high-flying rhetoric, and the corrupt media will lionize the traitors for their courage. All that, right?
While I share the goal of abolishing human abortion, I do not like calling myself an abolitionist. I like to call it something more like smashmouth incrementalism. This is what that would look like. Overturning Roe is the way to go, I am convinced. But how?
The president nominates Kennedy’s replacement, say. Kennedy retired in the confidence that what I am saying is true—knowing that the machinery of our corrupt generation would destroy anyone who would seriously attempt to undo Roe. So the outcry begins immediately. The media discovers that “Smith” pushed somebody on the playground in junior high. He is temperamentally unsuited to this high office. The drumbeat of character assassination begins. The confirmation hearings are conducted. His overdue books from the library are produced. His wife’s dating habits in high school are minutely examined. And then, at the moment when maximum damage would be inflicted, the Republican “gang of five” announce that it is with the greatest reluctance that they cannot support the nominee. You could almost see the tears glistening in their eyes.
I believe that the president should not withdraw the nomination. Nor should he allow the vote to go forward. He should announce that he is “pausing” the nomination of Smith, which will be brought forward again in six months’ time. In the meantime, he invites the good people of Arizona, Alaska, Maine, etc. to investigate and act upon all their legal options when it comes to impeachment and/or recall elections. Some of the 5 might see the light right away.
And those who do not should prepare to face the wrath of worked-up incrementalists.
Allow me to share my crazy fantasies. What if we suddenly managed to end abortion by teaching people that women’s bodies are made in the image of God and have such innate worth and value, that they should be respected at all times? How amazing it would be if women actually felt and believed that about themselves. How incredible it would be if men actually took responsibility not just for themselves but for everyone else, and began to realize that creating an unwanted pregnancy is an actual sin against a woman, abortion being a situation they helped to create. I… Read more »
It’s a sin to pro-create outside of marriage. The act of causing a pregnancy is not necessarily a sin, God is in charge of all pro-creation and chooses when babies are conceived, and sometimes that’s even in a situation where it’s not wanted. I do agree that one of the most important points to stopping abortion is for women to use the biblical guidance of “only within marriage”. It’s takes two to tango.
It does take two to tango,but you’ve just presented men as innocent fornicators doing the Lord’s work, since God is in charge of all procreation.
Also, you still place all the responsibility, all the blame on women, with no mention that perhaps men should also use the “biblical guidance of only within marriage.”
No, I was just counterbalancing your point. Both of the two tangoing in that situation are in sin. I’m just saying that pregnancy is not usually a sin issue.
An unwanted pregnancy is always a sin issue.
Huh? A hated baby is a sin issue, but both Sophie and Susie were (are) happy accidents.
Totally agree that it takes two (+) to fornicate. How about next pro-life day churches agree to preach against the sin of fornication in all its varieties, and in favor of monogamy and abstinence?
Hillary displacing what Bill’s due onto Harvey Weinstein?
Excuse me? A married woman who has been told by her doctor that the next pregnancy could be fatal has a birth control failure, and you call that a sin issue? A married woman learns that her cancer has recurred during her pregnancy, and you call her not leaping for joy a sin issue?
I am not saying that abortion would be the ethical solution to either of the above scenarios. But a woman in that situation who realizes that letting her baby live will result in her own death is hardly sinful for not being happy about it.
Lance, you are right. Unless you do something to prevent it, pregnancy is always a possible outcome of fornication. It is a natural outcome, and not a punishment. And the best way to prevent that outcome is not to have sex outside marriage. But, even within marriage, not every pregnancy is a joyous event, although one hopes that the parents’ initial anxiety gives way to happy acceptance. But no pregnancy is sinful. The pregnancy-as-sin idea really troubles me because I think it gives rise to the kind of muddled thinking that makes exceptions for rape and incest. We don’t say… Read more »
Imagine for a moment that the US Supreme Court decided to rule that laws against theft were unconstitutional, and state and local governments meekly accepted the ruling. Would you then say that we shouldn’t try to restore laws against theft, and should only try to teach people not to steal or covet? Would you say that theft is a heart issue, not a legal matter?
Theft IS a heart issue. So is murder, which is why all the laws in the world did nothing to stop the Las Vegas shooting. You cannot legislate against evil.
God will be bummed out to hear that, since he did it.
Actually, we’re required to legislate against evil, in the way that God laid it out. He even said that good justice (like capital punishment) works as a deterrent. It doesn’t change hearts, it effects thought processes so different decisions are made.
Your attempts to use capital punishment as a deterrent for abortion is not only misguided, it actually fuels the pro-choice movement.
quote: “Your attempts to use capital punishment as a deterrent for abortion is not only misguided, ….”
There you go instructing God again …
Soylentg, I think perhaps she is meaning in practical, rather than theological, terms. There is very little support among most Americans for the execution of women who have abortions. Adding such a provision to an anti-abortion bill would result in its defeat. The media coverage of such an attempt would cause many people to react in shock and dismay, and would drive them out of the pro-life camp. When you read the polling data, most Americans oppose late term abortion and support reasonable restrictions. They want to reduce the number of abortions. If this can only be done by killing… Read more »
I am not sure that Lance was referring specifically to abortion when he said that capital punishment can be a deterrent. There are people who want to prosecute and even execute women who have abortions, but I do think that is a minority view. It is also an impractical view as it repels people who might otherwise support anti-abortion legislation. It would require a theocracy, and I don’t see that happening.
I know you are, unfortunately, one of those left coast liberals. But certainly you can see how this logic, applied to any other crime, say women who kill their baby one day after birth, fails miserably, no?
I do, Kilgore. (However, as a left coast liberal, I would probably think that any mother who kills her baby one day after its birth is temporarily deranged. If there was evidence of this, I would send her to a mental hospital. If she killed her baby for insurance money, I would send her to prison, probably forever.) But I do understand the logic, which is why I mustn’t say that abortion is okay up to the fourth month but not thereafter. I understand why pro-abortionists don’t get that logic, but I am always surprised when people with pro-life sympathies… Read more »
Left Coast Squishy is pretty far left in my book. Of course, compared to my surroundings here in Maine, I am a mouth-foaming lunatic. I guess all is relative.
My friends who have been there tell me that Maine is beautiful. And, of course, it is the home of my beloved Maine Coon cats! Have you ever seen one wandering around the forest and dipping its paw in the river to catch fish?
“Actually, we’re required to legislate against evil, in the way that God laid it out.”
Lance, you are sounding pretty theocratic. Can I officially welcome you to the club?
Do you think we shouldn’t have laws against murder and theft? Crime is a heart issue but it is also a mind issue, and some people choose to use their minds a lot more than their hearts. The Vegas shooter was probably mentally ill. A guy who holds up a liquor store probably isn’t. He has made a rational calculation that the chance of his getting away with it is greater than the chance of getting caught. Most rational people decide the other way. They think about security cameras and doing time at San Quentin, and decide that robbing liquor… Read more »
Theft IS a heart issue. So is murder, which is why all the laws in the world did nothing to stop the Las Vegas shooting. You cannot legislate against evil. Then ought we to repeal our laws against theft and murder? My answer, by the way, is that something being a heart issue does not preclude it from being a legal matter, nor vice versa. “Be subject for the Lord’s sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those… Read more »
“But neither do we, who exist in a society which places some significant authority of selecting leadership in our hands, have the right to ignore legal injustice.”
If you want to win, than you need to do exactly that, set down your “right,” your need, to point out “legal injustice” and instead approach the matter with grace.
You twist my words around. I didn’t say that I had the right to point out legal injustice. I said I had no right not to. And neither do you, by the way. “You shall appoint judges and officers in all your towns that the Lord your God is giving you, according to your tribes, and they shall judge the people with righteous judgment.” (Deut 16:18).
So I ask again. If you claim that something being a heart issue precludes it from being a legal matter, then ought we to repeal our laws against theft and murder?
I guess so, Vva70. “Hello, Mr. Manson, I’ve come to let you out of prison and cover you with grace. Sorry about the courts locking you up for the last 45 years when all you needed was–sniffle-loooooove.”
Your argument is irrelevant to whether God’s minister of civil justice is obligated to punish murderers.
And the Lord said, “let the fornicators point fingers at the murderers
and let the profiteers profit.” Actually He did NOT say that at all, but for some reason we always like to pretend it just might work.
It won’t, so those who genuinely wish to stop abortion are going to have to shift their focus. Of course if we ever actually end abortion, those right wingers will have no idea what to do with themselves, no way to self-righteously declare their own moral superiority.
The left will be and is already attempting to become the new moral majority.
None of your response actually addresses the government’s responsibility to fulfill its duty before God to punish murderers. It has nothing to do with efficacy and everything to do with honoring the Lord in every sphere of life. This includes the Civil sphere of justice.
My response flat out states that punishing murderers is NOT how you are going to end abortion.
The political movement to abolish slavery is long in the past yet there are thousands of slaves in the United States. There will always be murderers willing to kill their unborn children just like there are many who are willing to break the law to keep their slaves. Your argument against legislation based on efficacy is irrelevant. If you were consistent you should lecture everyone on why we should legalize slavery because legislation has been ineffective in completely abolishing the crime. Romans 13 tells us the threat of the sword by God’s minister of justice is mandatory and ordained by… Read more »
“Your argument against legislation based on efficacy is irrelevant. ”
Is it really? Because it seems to me as if your style of efficacy has actually produced legalized abortion and a country in which about 2/3 are pro choice.
I don’t hate God’s word, but sometime I do have to work very a hard not to hate those who pervert it
and use it as alleged justification for hatred, revenge, and a thirst for public executions.
It must be completely lost on you the humor of you accusing anyone of perverting God’s word while trying to convince everyone God is not concerned with the Governments He ordained being just ministers of the sword. Swords are used for execution.
Silas,most people–even those who support abortion restrictions–don’t see the women who have abortions as murderers. I think it would be very difficult to persuade the voters not only to ban all abortion but to execute the women who have them. If by insisting on one, you end up unable to achieve the other, is it worth it?
I’m not clear about what you are asking men to do. Use birth control? Or not have sex with unmarried women? But what if the unmarried women actually, voluntarily want to have sex with men? Are you saying that it is men’s responsibility to refuse women who invite them to have sex?
Where in all this is a woman’s responsibility?
Well, it would be both. If the women are being irresponsible, the men still have to be responsible. And if the men are being irresponsible, the women still have to be responsible. If both are being irresponsible, they’re both guilty. And if they’re fornicating, then they’re both being irresponsible.
Wait a minute… under this paradigm, how do I get to blame someone else?
Very true. Unfortunately, it doesn’t comport with human nature. She: “You’re so hot I can’t see straight. Want to come up to my place?” He: “My respect for you as a child of God prevents me from taking advantage of you in the way you clearly want to be taken advantage of.” She: “Please, please take advantage of me.” He: “Never!” Maybe Sir Galahad (“His strength was of the strength of ten/Because his heart was pure”) reacted that way, and maybe a lot of good and decent men still react that way. But I wouldn’t count on being able to… Read more »
No, it doesn’t comport with human nature. But when it comes to the question of responsibility, that’s just the way it is. We are still responsible for our sin before God, despite the sinful weakness of our nature. And the laws of cause and effect still operate, despite the sinful weakness of our nature.
Jane, uncharitable as well. It is a cornerstone of Catholic moral teaching that if I commit sexual sin with someone, I am also guilty of a lack of charity by endangering their salvation as well as my own.
Preach it, Jane!!!
I gave you a thumbs-up vote, by the way, just so you know. I know that’s most important to you. Just trying to help.
Jill, what should happen to a person who takes their children to a priest of Molek to be sacrificed to a false god?
Silas, I think I know where you are going with this. But the real question is: In this country, do most people believe that a woman’s having an abortion is exactly equivalent to murdering her born children in cold blood? Are most people going to support legislation that treats abortion much more severely than the law treats killing a newborn? Most mothers who kill their born children never come close to facing a death sentence, yet we are going to execute those who kill the unborn? I don’t think there would be any chance of getting such legislation passed. I… Read more »
“I don’t understand insisting on harsh punishment of the mother if that insistence will make it harder to get people to vote pro-life.”
God sets the punishment, not us. Do you place your harsh accusations at Him? Is He not acting in love when sets these punishments. You illustrate exactly why voting is a problem. Placing legislative authority into the hands of sinful men inevitably leads to this.
Well said. “We the People” do not have authority to vote to decide what is moral or criminal. Our representatives need to submit to God’s principles as they legislate, and guard justice, even if the majority disagrees.
Katecho, even if I agreed with you, the question then would be who gets to interpret what are God’s principles. The Episcopalians see abortion rights and gay marriage and universal health care as civil rights issues and they think God’s principles are that we ought to have legal abortion, gay marriage, and universal health care. They can even point to Scripture that backs them up. So if we ever do get theocracy, why should it be your theocracy and not theirs?
Kilgore, of course not. But I tend to deal with current realities, and I also want a huge reduction in the number of abortions in our society. Assuming that Roe falls and that abortion goes back to the states, pro-lifers will have a chance to argue for substantial restrictions as a starting place. And this requires that pro-lifers persuade all the undecided people in the middle why they should vote for them. You are right that a democracy makes inevitable this problem of people voting for sinful measures. I would love to live in a world where everyone is good… Read more »
Which is why we should not be letting them vote.
Jill I am arguing against meme’s contention that as Christians we shouldn’t encourage the civil magistrate to honor God’s law and it’s service to God to execute Justice. I am attempting to to demonstrate her inconsistency in claiming we are perverting God’s law. I am one who is convinced God knew what he was doing when he instituted the death penalty. The New Testament does support the death penalty. No I do not believe we will win the war to abolish legalized abortion by arguing to punish mothers. However if our country was actually interested in an immovable standard for… Read more »
Hi Silas, I am with you that there is no opposition between Christian faith and a willingness to punish criminal offenders. In a world of fallen people, the lack of a criminal justice system would mean that the evil and cruelty would run rampant and that the strong would brutalize the weak. Nobody in his senses could want this. For the sake of honesty, I should tell you flat out that I oppose the death penalty while supporting long prison sentences. In this, I am encouraged by my Catholic faith, which used to be enthusiastic about capital punishment and now… Read more »
Jill, are you familiar with J Budziszewski’s book “What We Can’t Not Know”? It deals with the innate moral knowledge that each person possesses, with abortion being a primary example throughout the book. He claims that everyone knows that it is wrong to deliberately take innocent human life.
I think the book (and his prior work, Written on the Heart) may give you a new perspective on the “culture war,” as it certainly did for me. If he’s correct, we don’t need to teach anyone about a new moral rule, we need only expose the false justifications as being false.
I haven’t heard of either work, but I will look for them. I think we all know that it is wicked to take innocent human life. I think the difficulty lies in persuading people that it is human life from the beginning when they have been told from the cradle that it is a meaningless bunch of cells.
There is a real failure of the imagination here. Of course, there is also deliberate obfuscation by people who have an interest in unrestricted abortion.
So we determine right and wrong by measuring popular opinion. Sounds good to me. But I wonder why God didn’t tell us to do that? Oh, yeah, now I remember: because it’s insane.
Two quick points:
1) You women must be incompentent. You can’t sin, anywhere, ever, and not have to blame a man, too. Can’t you sin on your own? Are you that incapable?
2) You ask for men to take responsibility for “everyone else.” I would love to do that, by outlawing abortion. But whenever men actually try to take responsibility, you screech on how they should do it better.
“Can’t you sin on your own? Are you that incapable?”
Is this where I get to explain the birds and the bees to you, attempt to draw a connection between fornication and pregnancy? Because call me crazy,but last time I checked it was virtually impossible for a woman to self impregnate and therefore “sin on her own.”
MeMe- On the off-chance you misunderstood me, I am not talking about fornication. I am talking about murder. If I may quote your line from your opening post: “How incredible it would be if men actually took responsibility not just for themselves but for everyone else, and began to realize that creating an unwanted pregnancy is an actual sin against a woman, abortion being a situation they helped to create. ” Men, at present, can do nothing to stop an abortion from happening. It is solely in the hands of the mother. Yet, people refuse to see them as murders.… Read more »
“Men, at present, can do nothing to stop an abortion from happening.”
Sure they can. They can stop fornicating and causing unwanted pregnancies. They can respect women’s bodies, stop having casual sex, or if that doesn’t appeal to them, they can use birth control. Abortion cannot occur without a man impregnating a woman.
Wonderful. What can women do to stop abortions?
Mys, I think that what women ought to do is accept the fact that, thanks to biological realities over which we have no control, we have greater responsibility to avoid unwanted pregnancies. It is useless to insist that men should avoid impregnating women, putting them in positions where they are tempted to have abortions. If I know that I can’t or don’t want to support and care for a child, I have the greater interest in ensuring I don’t get pregnant. Women should take that responsibility very seriously, not sharing it with men they don’t know well and whom they… Read more »
This is all okay, and everything. But you missed the easy answer:
Women could stop abortions by…not having abortions.
So obvious that it went right over this blonde head!
All good Jill. Just what I think about when people blame abortion solely on men. Women are the ones having them, and it is by and large their choice.
And women can stop the vast majority of unwanted pregnancies by no longer fornicating. Women can respect themselves and stop having casual sex. But they don’t, do they?
Is there any evidence that the women who choose to have abortions blame the man for the pregnancy? Outside of rapes, I can’t say that I have seen claims to that effect.
I have never seen or heard that either. I think most women today think of premarital sex as a consensual arrangement. (Obviously I don’t mean date rapes or men who get women drunk with Roofies.) I think that sexually active young women today have also learned not to trust a man who claims to be unable to father children. Fornication is unfortunately incredibly common, and I think many young women would never see it in terms of sinfulness or self-respect. I was young once, and I tend to be pretty sympathetic to young sinners. But I think some churches have… Read more »
Mys, let the record reflect that I have sinned very competently all by myself, even with bystanders yelling “Don’t do it!” And that I don’t understand why women want to shift all the blame for wrongdoing onto men. I think it is more glamorous to be seen as a Delilah than as a frail and pitiful victim of wicked men. The chances of my ever having been regarded as a Delilah are slim to none, but that would still be my preference.
That would probably be your preference (be Delilah than a victim). You forget though, that we had women in the military, not the draft, until recently (as one example). This shows that women, when they sin, want to be Delilah, but when called to account, want to be a frail victim of a wicked man.
Most women who sin really are the frail victims of an enemy far more powerful than they are. It demonstrates an incredible perversion of Christian male leadership, to blame the woman, but not the enemy, and to than declare that one’s own genders’s hands are clean and she just deserves whatever she gets.
When you bash “red pillers,” you just bash them, not the enemy behind them.
No, I clearly draw a line between the red pills and the enemy whom they consciously serve. The broken men who don’t know any better are the ones the red pills really prey on.
Most red-pillers don’t consciously serve Satan.
Do any women consciously serve Satan? Or are they not able, and have to go through their male intermediaries?
That is probably true when you’re talking about a Weinstein and a young secretary. But consider a much more common situation: two college kids fall in love, and end up having premarital sex. They shouldn’t, but they do. I don’t see a power differential here that would make the girl a victim of the boy. Of course I am not talking about date rape, but rather of two kids who relate as equals, who love each other, and who both decide to make the relationship sexual. I know girls who keep boys on hand to be available for friends with… Read more »
Good thoughts Jill. Here are a few of mine: 1) It is disturbing that you know women with those kind of sexual practices, but not surprising. 2) You hit it in your last paragraph, but the trouble is, you were too honest. Right now, we have freedom for women, but not consequences. This is why everyone blew up at our president 18 months ago when he talked of punishing women who have abortions. DT’s logic was: 1) abortion is murder; 2) therefore, those who commit murder are punished. Conservatives jumped on him for this. They saw the aborting mothers as… Read more »
“It is disturbing that you know women with those kind of sexual practices, but not surprising.”
Actually, I’m not surprised that she knows women like that (you probably know far more women like that, too, but you just don’t know it). I’m surprised that she can find women who will admit the truth to her.
Young women tell me the truth because they see no reason to conceal it. They don’t appear to believe they are doing anything wrong, and I have found this to be true for girls who went to Sunday School and confirmation classes. They are sometimes embarrassed to admit promiscuity or carelessness with birth control, and they are moralistic about not spreading STDs. I think several things are driving this, and I am not using these as excuses. Unknown to them, virtue has always been difficult. The first is that it is generally true that a girl who absolutely refuses to… Read more »
Then shall we continue and include rape , molestation of children , and murder? All crime is a “heart issue” Laws retrain evil. Does rape being illegal stop all rapes? No.But it does prosecute those that commit the rape. To think biblically which this piece does not do, you must be consistent. And not treat abortion as a “sacred” sin, and this article largely does. We used to respect this author but he has since left the reservation of his own consistent biblical application here. Obliviously thinks he know better than God on this matter. Sad really.
Outside of rape a woman does absolutely, without question, undeniably, beyond all doubt bear *more* of the responsibility for an unwanted, illegitimate pregnancy, yes. Unless of course you want deny that women have even a shred of agency but let’s not go there. Of the women that this (lack of agency) might happen to be true of, we can grant the man is more to blame. But blaming some “fornicator” for “getting me pregnant” is on the same level of absurdity as blaming a bear for mauling you while you were alone in the woods, unarmed, unawares, being a nuisance… Read more »
I like it. It has the virtue of being plausible. Trump has been willing to expose the Republicans to their constituencies; the short 3-month budget deal with Chuck ‘n Nancy, agreed to despite the GOP establishment’s desire for a primary-avoiding 18-month deal, is evidence of this. So is the 6-month Sword of DACA-cles he hung over them.
I hope you are correct. I think you underestimate the degree to which gen X and millennials have embraced leftism. Even Christians who identify as missional and claim to oppose abortion will vote for Obama and Clinton.
I felt a glimmer of faint hope when the Democratic Campaign Committee announced that it would fund pro-life candidates in 2018, but the opposition has been intense. I don’t think they will stick with it.
Silas, that may be true but 1) older voters (aka the Trumpian base) are more electorally motivated, and 2) generation Z is seeing through the leftism of their teachers. We can squeeze ‘em.
Doug, there are a lot more moving parts than I think you appreciate. You may be right, but there are factors I think you’ve overlooked. If there are no retirements on the Court until after the 2018 midterms and the Democrats retake the Senate — which at this point I put the odds at about 50/50 — then the Democrats will be able to block an anti-Roe nominee all by themselves without any help from the GOP. If there is a vacancy and the GOP still holds the Senate, then the reality is that there are red states in which… Read more »
K2 says: ” I don’t think the GOP establishment actually wants Roe overturned because if it ever were, the Democrats would use it to win elections for the next fifty years.” I’d really like to be able to argue against this statement, but it could very well be true. Such is the depravity of man that a pro murder platform may indeed be winner, at least in the short term. It brings to mind the days of Noah, of which it is said, ” And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every… Read more »
soylentg, I hardly ever agree with Gary North, but he hit the nail right on the head when he said that the problem with abortion isn’t the Supreme Court, but with the culture that supports legal abortion. The anti-abortion movement has this fantasy that if they just get Roe v Wade overturned, all will be sweetness and light. Nothing could be further from the truth. If Roe v. Wade is overturned, then Republicans who have been claiming to be pro life all this time then have to put their money where their mouth is. A lot of those Republicans have… Read more »
Krychek, polls show that the majority of Americans think that the reversal of Roe would make abortion illegal in most cases. Obviously, that is not true, and as Doug notes, there are states that would not be affected. California would continue to have liberal abortion laws, some states might move toward total abolition, and many would be arguing for years about which restrictions the voters will accept and which they won’t. In the meantime, the nature of abortion is changing, and in ways that could affect the debate. There are now nearly as many chemical abortions as surgical in the… Read more »
The same august body that produced Roe v Wade was also very close to “discovering” that capital punishment is cruel and unusual.
Jill, chemical abortions are ultimately going to make Roe irrelevant. And the legal analysis is different for abortion than it is for capital punishment, but I’m predicting the death penalty will end within the next 20 years or so too. By the way, did you ever read Pierre Trudeau’s speech in the House of Commons during the debate on abolishing capital punishment in Canada? It’s magnificent. By the way, did you know the last person executed in Canada before the DP was abolished was an American? He was an organized crime hit man from Detroit who drove up to Toronto… Read more »
Krychek, I remember them, Turpin and Lucas, who were executed in Toronto in 1962. I was twelve at the time, and their execution was the source of my lifelong opposition to capital punishment. By the time they were hanged, the vast majority of death sentences were being commuted–but contract killing by one and murder of a policeman by the other, did not make them likely candidates for mercy. Like most things in Canada, abolition was slow and incremental. While the last execution was in 1962, the death penalty was not abolished until 1976. The rival demands of justice and mercy… Read more »
If RvW were overturned, that would signal the total downfall of the prevailing consensus regarding abortion. Liberals would oppose it for sure, but it would be similar to something like taxes, where you occasionally see liberals timidly proposing 5% top rate increases. On taxes, the Reaganite wave so thoroughly obliterated the previous consensus that no one even remembers it. 90% top rates are a curiosity so remote that they almost belong to another people entirely. That’s why liberals shouldn’t be scared of overturning RvW, because it would indicate a cultural momentum that the right hasn’t had in decades and doesn’t… Read more »
Overturning RvW would save a lot of young lives.
Matt, a year ago I would have agreed with you. But I think one of the lessons of the 2016 presidential election is that there are so many moving parts that it’s hard to say that something signifies anything in particular. There are probably a dozen things that if any single one of them had happened different, Trump would not be president. Of course the Democrats were stupid to nominate someone with Hillary’s baggage, but there are probably a dozen things that if any one of them had happened differently, she would not have been the nominee. So, if RvW… Read more »
Roe will not be overturned. Roe v Wade was decided by all Republican appointees.
…And everything done by Republican appointees is eternal? I don’t see the connection between your two sentences.
We have to remember that there has been a seismic shift in the way Christians view abortion since Roe. Reagan signed the bill legalizing abortion in California in the late 1960s, but I am sure he would not have done that three decades later. In fact, I think he later regretted it.
For the cork to go into the bottle, someone has to hold the bottle still.
I thought Corker was retiring?
Well done, Katecho! Do you think that the moron comment and adult daycare comment have gone way too far? Heaven knows, I don’t like Trump, but I am starting to feel uneasy about ridicule that may damage the office of the president long after he is gone. I am also starting to worry that this level of open contempt is boxing him into a a corner and encouraging the very irrational conduct we claim to oppose. I started thinking about The Caine Mutiny, where the court finds that much of Queeg’s apparently lunatic conduct was the result of the crew’s… Read more »
Take a look at how strong Corker’s support for Trump had been and how much work he had done to protect the Trump administration in its first few months. Look at how Tillerson was picked directly by Trump, from the business world outside politics just like him. Then ask yourself why even Corker and Tillerson would turn on him. These aren’t people from the opposition, these aren’t even people from opposing factions of the Republican party. These are literally the closest allies Trump could have in power. Heck, look at what Trump has done to Sessions, one of Trump’s stanchest… Read more »
Jonathan, we owe no president our blind loyalty. It is not only right but essential that wrong policies and conduct be net with principled criticism, expressed in unmistakably strong terms. Our first duty is to truth, not to any politician, and no one should be silent when conscience urges him to speak. But even harsh criticism is not what concerns me here. I admired Senator Sasse who risked alienating his base when he openly criticized Trump. But he did not tweet to a watching and snickering world that someone had clearly missed his shift at the adult day care center.… Read more »
The likelihood of Trump using power responsibly is zero, so I’d wager it doesn’t matter much what anyone else says. On top of that, Trump is constantly belittling and undermining his own allies. Corker wouldn’t have said anything if Trump hadn’t, for no reason whatsoever, disrespected him publicly.
Let’s be straight: the media was entirely correct about Trump and now all we can do is endure the circus while hoping for a resignation.
I’m not saying what Corker said is good, I’m saying that it is inevitable. There is no way, in any democracy, that a leader could act as Trump has acted and not been the target of rebukes like this. I mean, look at what people on this site call Obama. “Thug”, “Ghoul”, “Commie”, “incompetent”, “unqualified”….and that’s just our host! And Obama, whatever you think of his positions, was generally as competent, restrained, and honorable as any president. If strongly virtue-signaling Christians are going to talk about a typical president like that, then what should we expect that the masses are… Read more »
Jonathan, my concern is that it is a potentially dangerous way. There is an article in the most recent Vanity Fair which claims to have used reliable White House sources. Let’s assume two big Ifs: that both the reporter and the sources spoke the truth without any exaggeration. If so, we have been told (as have the rest of the world) that people close to Trump have discussed what they can do if his deteriorating mental state makes access to the nuclear codes a terrible danger. There has been discussion about how to stop him if he decides, on his… Read more »
It is abundantly clear that the current legislative bodies, no matter what they “heard”, would not remove Trump from office under anyone’s advice, no matter who they were or what they said. If you don’t see that, then you don’t understand politics very well. Right now, October 2017, a Republican-dominated House and Senate will not remove Trump. Full stop. There are absolutely no conditions under which a Republican House/Senate would remove a Republican president while he still enjoyed the support of a strong majority of Republicans. And the same is true for Democrats. Literally NO circumstances. Now, that situation might… Read more »
“Think of the constant criticism Obama was subjected to, while running a generally competent, informed administration and remaining unimplicated in a single personal scandal.”
Wow. Just wow. Confirmation bias to the nth degree. From clock boy to “the police acted stupidly” (Gates) to dozens of things between, a more objective MSM could’ve turned all kinds of things into scandals for Obama. However, they were in an 8-year love affair and were much more concerned about how dazzling Michelle looked in her dress the previous night as she hung out with Beyoncé.
The immediate two candidates for personal scandals for Obama were: 1. Obama praised a 14-year-old boy who brought a clock he had built himself to school. 2. Obama critiqued a policeman who arrested a 59-year-old professor for “disorderly conduct” because the professor had talked back at him too loudly from what he had already proven was his own home. The fact that those were the first two “personal scandals” that popped into your mind say way more than I ever could. Interesting that they both involve Obama’s support for innocent people who had been arrested (in both cases, charges dropped… Read more »
Well, then, let us not forget the IRS scandal and the Benghazi scandal.
Or the real scandal: Obama thought there should be a college football playoff!
Doesn’t the president have more important things to do than worry about sports (lol)?
While a person deserves some level of blame for things that occur within federal departments during their time in office, I was referring specifically to personal scandals. I’ve never even heard a legitimate source describe any role for Obama in the IRS “scandal”. As far as Benghazi, Obama’s most destructive personal role in it appears to be that he referred to the attacks as an “act of terror” the day afterwards but was frequently ambiguous on whether they were an act of planned terrorism, even after there was a good chance that he should have known better. That is a… Read more »
Lol. Possible targeting by the IRS. If you are using words like possible, that makes it definite.
Will also throw in:
The fact that the Justice Dept. (under Obama) did not arrest a woman (Lois Lerner) who tampered with evidence in such an obvious way by destroying emails, and then the back-up tapes, is revealing.
At best, even if Obama was not culpable/did not know about the IRS scandal, he did nothing to make the situation right, and benefited entirely from it.
Then there’s this:
You can relax Krychek, my side will never actually win the pro-life argument or over turn Roe V Wade. My side cannot see the nature of their own selves, they generally deny their own misogyny, their own homophobia, their own desire for control of women and to seek vengeance against them. I’ve spent some 20 yrs trying to show them, which makes me really popular at parties, but to no avail. They simply have a blind spot. The vast majority of people in this country see that blind spot and follow it to it’s logical conclusion which generally involves executing… Read more »
quote: “My side cannot see the nature of their own selves, they generally deny their own misogyny, their own homophobia, their own desire for control of women and to seek vengeance against them.”
If those you refer to as your “side” are just those of some vague ideological grouping that you have in your head, then fine. However if you consider your “side” to be genuine Christians, then you are making some mighty strong accusations against the bride of Christ.
Her “side” is that of man-haters and the neo-feminist mutually admiration society…it has nothing to do with Christ.
You are apparently on the side of people getting away with murder.
MeMe, you wrote: My side cannot see the nature of their own selves, they generally deny their own misogyny, their own homophobia, their own desire for control of women and to seek vengeance against them. I’ve spent some 20 yrs trying to show them, which makes me really popular at parties, but to no avail. Has it occurred to you that your lack of success might be attributable to your methods? When you tell people, your brothers in the faith, that their cherished values are all wrong, that they are Bluebeards oppressing women, that they irrationally hate gays, and that… Read more »
With friends like MeMe, who needs enemies?
Say we get “Smith.” The next thing that has to happen is a challenge to Roe has to come before the court. How do you get that? You’re going to need something like what abolitionists are working towards–a state simply saying “no” and someone being prosecuted for murder.
You get a state to pass a law that is currently deemed to be in violation of Roe, and then attempt to enforce it. It happens on almost a monthly basis already. It just has to work its way up to SCOTUS without the state backing off.
(To comment on the article itself) I like the prescribed course of action very much. We should endorse efforts that move law and policy in the right direction, even if they do not immediately achieve the ideal. If all abortions are bad, then to have fewer abortions would necessarily be a good change. I would quickly accept a change that limited abortion to cases of rape, incest and life threatening pregnancies. The kind of compromise that I can’t abide is when a fresh evil is proposed and we find a compromise position between the status quo and the newly proposed… Read more »
I agree with you, Nathan. I have to grit my teeth to sign on to rape and incest exceptions because I think they undermine our reason for opposing abortion–that we are destroying a human life. But if it is the only way to get any restrictions at all, I will grudgingly accept it and go on trying to persuade people that a rapist’s baby is no less human than any other.
Ah, see, I view the issue this way:
Political process: “Would you like to outlaw abortions that do not involve rape, incest, etc. ?”
Me: “Why, yes I would.”
I don’t even have to grit my teeth if that’s question being posed at the moment.
Yes, Nathan, and I would do the same. But I find the rape and incest exceptions a real distraction from focus on the sanctity of innocent human life. The reason we oppose abortion is not to make women face the consequences of getting pregnant, but rather to protect the life of a child. That gets blurred when we make exceptions that say “If the pregnancy wasn’t your fault, you don’t have to have the baby.” I know that many well meaning people feel that asking a woman to bear a rapist’s child is asking too much. I can’t imagine how… Read more »
I’d be inclined to say that yes, she has to bear the kid (it’s not the kid’s fault either) but she doesn’t have to raise it. That’s what adoption is for
And, at some point, if this artificial womb thing pans out, she may not have to bear it until birth, either, just until it’s old enough to transfer.
“Overturning Roe is the way to go, I am convinced. But how?”
Trying to overturn Roe is not the way to go. We will end abortion by changing hearts and minds, Pastor Wilson. Trust me, all these calls in your comment sections to start executing and imprisoning women just motivates your opposition to oppose you and you will lose the war every time.
Once enough hearts and minds are changed, we will overturn Roe.
Well, have a look at our track record for using the law to try to change hearts and minds. It never works. Prohibition comes to mind as well as the war on drugs. Abortion existed long before Roe and it could continue to thrive quite well without Roe.
I said the exact opposite.
Of course you did, and any objective person unblinded by hate would see that. But you’re a man so you’re wrong. Sorry, just how it is.
This simply isn’t true, though. Laws changing, changes hearts and minds. Look at the past decade and the acceptance of gay marriage.
Mys, I used to heartily believe in the hearts and minds theory, but decades after Roe, I see little reason to go on thinking that people are willing to be persuaded. If people’s support for unrestricted abortion can survive ultrasound technology which makes the baby visible, abortion videos on youtube, and the leaked Planned Parenthood tapes, I’m inclined to despair of hearts and minds. At the same time, the rise of chemical abortions makes me wonder what else we have. I think there will come a time when inducing an abortion is a private act, conducted with readily available substances… Read more »
What then is a good question. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. For now, I will settle with outlawing it in all 50 states.
You ultrasound comment, though, proves that logic has no place when it comes to sin. It was never about people “not knowing” that it was a baby. They knew. They were just selfish and sinful.
Jill Smith wrote: If people’s support for unrestricted abortion can survive ultrasound technology which makes the baby visible, abortion videos on youtube, and the leaked Planned Parenthood tapes, I’m inclined to despair of hearts and minds. We shouldn’t underestimate people’s ability to suppress the truth, or hide from the light. But what these things show us is that it’s not an intellectual, or informational, or educational problem. It is a dead heart problem. None of those things can change the heart. But we shouldn’t despair. We have something that does change hearts, and it can even change hearts that are… Read more »
Pastor Wilson, have you ever explained why killing people is justified for patriots who hate unfair taxes and confederates who are afraid that their state’s rights to maintain abortion will not be expanded to new states, but is not justified for people trying to free slaves, stop abortionists, or end apartheid? You’ve called John Brown and Nelson Mandela murderous thugs because they killed someone in the course of an attempted revolution (even though in both cases, far more on their own side had been killed first before they lifted a hand). But you’ve affirmed the Patriots and the Confederates as… Read more »
Sorry, that should have said, “state’s rights to maintain slavery”. Interesting slip there.
Not an answer to your question, but check out Gary North’s compilation of letters to Paul Hill: https://www.garynorth.com/freebooks/docs/pdf/lone_gunners_for_jesus.pdf
I read this earlier this morning and then I read Paul Hill’s own essays. Gary North was prescient about the way chemical abortion would change the battleground. North’s main argument to Hill is that Hill was acting without authority. He was not ordained to use the sword of justice, and the killing was therefore entirely sinful. While I certainly don’t support people going out and killing abortion doctors, this seemed not to give enough consideration to the idea that we can use deadly force to prevent harm to the innocent. Must defense of the innocent be an unpremeditated act, and… Read more »
Jonathan wrote: Whether or not you believe that slavery was terrible, abortion clearly is. And I just don’t see the logic where supporting slavery is more worth going to war over than opposing abortion. Can Jonathan provide a citation for Wilson taking such a position? If not, then Jonathan should apologize to Wilson for misrepresenting him. Wilson can clarify as he wishes, but I don’t see anything in his position that requires him to oppose a war on behalf of the lives of the unborn, if it is conducted according to the representation of lesser magistrates against tyranny and oppression.… Read more »
Love this, thank you!
Spoken like a true pro- lifer, sadly. Not biblically consistent at all. Sorry to this.
Shellie, is it possible you are forgetting that we are all comrades in the same lifesaving crusade, even when our strategies differ?
I see that Joel McDurmon now accuses everyone who disagrees with him on the issue is an idolator. https://americanvision.org/14976/smashing-idol-incrementalism-even-smashmouth-variety/
Now we wait for McDurmon’s review of “Schindler’s List” in which he castigates the cowardly hero for not shooting Hitler.
I hadn’t realized there was a split in the anti-abortion movement between pro-lifers and abolitionists. Now that I have spent time on an abolitionist website (which had some excellent material on logically refuting pro-abortion arguments), I understand a little better why they reject pragmatic arguments for incrementalism. But I still disagree with one fundamental premise. I think is better to save some than to refuse to consider any measures that wouldn’t immediately save all. Their analogy is to human slavery, but even on those terms, I would prefer to liberate some than to keep them all in bondage until all… Read more »
PRO-LIFE? Not too long ago, I had a private conversation with a congressman. He estimated that there are maybe 30 Republicans in Congress who are truly pro-life. SUGGESTION: Any politician who wants your pro-life vote, ask him or her what concrete actions they will DO to stop babies from being killed. For example, Congress has the Constitutional authority to impeach federal judges. This is one of two constitutional tools Congress has over the judicial branch. (The other is funding). About 11 federal judges have been impeached over our history for various acts of misconduct and graft. What is more egregious… Read more »
Didn’t a “pro-life” Republican Congressman just turn out to have insisted that his mistress abort their baby?
But, of course, we’re talking about the hypocrisy in Hollywood.
Is it necessarily hypocrisy, Jonathan? I can see myself having a lifetime opposition to a particular sin, and then in a moment of panic-driven temptation, falling into it myself. The adultery and the abortion suggestion were undoubtedly sinful, but they don’t cast doubt on the sincerity of his personal beliefs. And we don’t know that he wouldn’t have come to his senses before driving her to the clinic. I think we’re prone to muddled thinking about hypocrisy. Surely it is better to have high principles which we sometimes fail to live up to than to have wicked principles or none… Read more »
On around January 20th, Rep. Tim Murphy told his mistress to abort their unborn child. On January 24th, Rep. Tim Murphy co-sponsored the “Life at Conception” Act. The act states that the right to life guaranteed by the constitution is held from the moment of conception. On January 25th, Rep. Tim Murphy posted a Facebook message stating: “The United States is one of just seven countries worldwide that permits elective abortion more than halfway through pregnancy (beyond 20 weeks). It is a tragic shame that America is leading the world in discarding and disregarding the most vulnerable,” On January 25th,… Read more »
Also funny that just as a strongly conservative U.S. Rep widely praised by all the Family Values orgs is out there doing multiple affairs with women half his age and pressuring them into abortions, while a greedy casino-and-stripclub owner with more affairs and sexual assaults than anyone can count is a president beloved by White Evangelicals, we’re here blaming the loss in American morality on Jewish Hollywood liberals.
I can understand the culpability of Christians who endorse Trump, but I hope Jonathan is not taking jabs at “all the Family Values orgs” for something they likely had no knowledge of.
Pastor Wilson, have you looked at the Abolish Human Abortion site, and read the articles there? They would answer many of your objections. Also, in case you haven’t seen it yet, here is a response to your post; all of the abolitionists would appreciate it if you would read it, and continue the dialogue: https://americanvision.org/14976/smashing-idol-incrementalism-even-smashmouth-variety/
I read through the website, Elizabeth. I disagree with their main conclusion, but they had some excellent arguments on issues I feel strongly about, like rape and incest exceptions. Their strident anti-Catholicism troubled me. Of course they have a right to exclude Catholics from their organization, but I don’t know why they would reject fellow Christians who have worked so hard to save the unborn. Catholics were picketing clinics and running crisis pregnancy shelters when other Christians were just beginning to wake up to the slaughter in their midst.
The basic argument is that abortion is primarily a Gospel issue and secondarily a political issue. In all the work we do that is focused on bringing the Gospel (clinic ministry and street activism/evangelism) we do not lock arms with groups they do not know the Gospel. Certainly some Catholics may be saved, but I essentially agree with Calvin that although some may be Christian, the RCC itself is not Christian. In all the work that we do that is primarily political, such as writing and supporting abortion abolition petitions, bills, supporting abolitionist candidates, and so on, we are perfectly… Read more »
Thank you for responding. Your answer doesn’t surprise me now that I have seen the screenshot of Toby’s dismissal of us as members of a Satanic religious system. Catholics are taught that there will always be people who loathe us as the hellbound spawn of the mother of harlots, and that we must respond with patience and charity. Still, it is always disappointing, especially when it prevents people of good will from working together for a common goal. I was even more disappointed by video about your supporters harassing Catholic women who were praying peacefully outside an abortion clinic. I… Read more »
Uhm, because Catholics are not “fellow Christians” strikes me as the most rational and factual answer.
I polietly disagree with the article and I would like to tell you why. We must first define incrementalism, because I would not consider overturning Roe to be incrementalist. An incrementalist law by my definition is that which allows and approves of the murder of children. For example, the recent pro-life attempt to ban abortion beyond twenty weeks is incrementalist, unbiblical, and an accomplice to murder. To ban abortion above twenty weeks is to approve of the murder of children who are under twenty weeks. It is to say that children under twenty weeks are too young to be worthy… Read more »
I would have to disagree with you, Mr. Wilson!
Pro-Life Incrementalism vs Abolitionist Immediatism!
Core Ministries with Mason Goodnight
(Abortion Abolitionism videos from Core)
AbolishHumanAbortion on Immediatism!