Memo to pro-lifers: Stop being accessories to evil

Like many children of the Eighties from practicing Catholic families, I attended the National Right to Life March in Washington D.C. (I remember on one of these bus rides, I was exposed to the vulgar wonders of Eddie Murphy’s Comedian album, segments of which I can still quote to this day. But that’s neither here nor there.) I remember the spectacle of it all – marching through the streets of the nation’s capital in the bleak midwinter, visiting even bleaker congressional buildings, making such a show of our pro-lifedness. And then we’d go home, and continue on our merry way. And for what?

Recently I came to the realization that no amount of marching, lobbying or political activism on behalf of purportedly pro-life candidates will change hearts. This election makes that realization ever more stark, where on one side, the socialist candidate wants to allow the murder of infants in utero on a seemingly unprecedented level, where on the other side, the fascist candidate wants to allow these infants to grow up to become practice targets for terrorists in a “hundred-year war.” This article by G. C. Dilsaver reinforces that realization infinitely, and says much more eloquently all that I have sensed about not only this election, but past elections.

This final salvo from Dr. Dilsaver is particularly compelling (my emphasis added):

Dear Christians, refuse to offer a pinch of incense by refusing to punch the ballot for either official Republican-Democratic Axis candidates. Refuse to offer tribute to the gods of American socialism, totalitarianism, and imperialism and their incarnation in the president. Resist participation in this sham election. The USA is the most powerful and hence the most dangerous nation in the history of the world. Its potential for evil is absolutely unprecedented. If there is not a reversion to the constitution then totalitarianism is inevitable. If this reversion does not occur the only hope for our country will be in those willing to give their lives as witnesses to Christ against the antichrist of the State. Whoever occupies the Whitened Sepulcher House this January is a tool of the powers and principalities of this world and of the devil. And all who facilitate the legitimacy of this sham election are, at best, the devil’s dupes, at worst his minions.

I was thinking hard about staying home this first Tuesday of November before reading this — and not just because of the life issues. Try to convince me otherwise.

10 Responses

  1. [...] that, here is a link to my inaugural post on Fragmented Obsessions: “Memo to pro-lifers: Stop being accessories to evil.” Please visit, place on your feed reader, and comment [...]

  2. Aristotle, the link to this blog you gave on your own blog links to WordPress, not this blog.

  3. I read the original article yesterday, when John Beeler linked to it from his ‘blog. Dr Dilsaver’s views are interesting, and in-and-of-themselves consistent with one or more of the several approaches to the current political milieu that have been endorsed by competent moral theologians and those who study them, but his unequivocal condemnation of all other approaches does not, it seems to me, fall within these generally fairly wide boundaries. That is, he espouses a rigor that is certainly permissible, but cannot be required of others.

  4. Paul Goings said “That is, he espouses a rigor that is certainly permissible, but cannot be required of others.”

    Dr. Dilsaver didn’t say all who voted for the State parties were culpably, but at best they are “dupes.” Either that is true because his thesis is correct or it is wrong. Dr. Dilsaver’s espousal of truth and desire to promulgate it is the essence of prophecy. I am morally certain that his thesis is correct: that is, I am morally certain that the devil does want this regime propped up.

  5. I’m pleased to see that my perception that Dr Dilsaver is imputing culpability in his essay might be wrong; it nevertheless remains my perception. As to whether his essay is an exercise of the charism of prophecy I am completely agnostic; I suppose we shall know eventually, at least after death. That said, I’m not sure how such a conclusion (or revelation) necessarily reflects on the process of moral decision making. And, like all gifts of the Holy Ghost, it must be carefully tested against the totality of Christian revelation, and the magisterial authority of the Church. Thus, if one becomes morally certain of something, such as the conviction that the American government is illegitimate, this must be tested against the criteria I have referred to. Leaving aside, for the sake of argument, the idea that the Church has itself defected, can we ask whether the Church (in the person of her hierarchy) agrees with this conviction of which you are morally certain? If so, how is this agreement manifested? If not, is this cause to question your certainty?

    A further, and very important, question is to ask what the moral implications are of living under an illegitimate government? May we withdraw all support and participation? Should we? Must we?

  6. Recently I came to the realization that no amount of marching, lobbying or political activism on behalf of purportedly pro-life candidates will change hearts.

    I’m not sure what marching has do to with lobbying or political activism … it’s a bit like saying that those who choose not to buy a particular book are in favor of “censorship.” Marching (like not buying a book) is an expression of opinion; political activism is completely different. If we want to change hearts, well, why isn’t marching a means to that end?

    As far as political activism and lobbying are concerned, the law is a moral teacher (look at all the people, even Catholics, who are vehemently [and wrongly] against medical marijuana, for example – the law has taught them that smoking a little dope to treat a medical condition is a mortal sin) so if one wants to change hearts then working to pass laws to ban abortion seems like a reasonable idea. Of course, one might argue that it is not effective and I would tend to agree, but to paraphrase Mother Teresa God didn’t call us to be successful but to be faithful.

    Now if both marching (how about other demonstrations or public expressions?) and political activism are right out, what practical suggestions might one have to effect this change of hearts?

  7. “Of course, one might argue that it is not effective and I would tend to agree, but to paraphrase Mother Teresa God didn’t call us to be successful but to be faithful.”

    But wouldn’t the view that being faithful involves changing laws prop up the notion that the State has some kind of Divine Right to exist? I wouldn’t be able to accept that, not least because the State is one of the most consistent violators of the Ten Commandments (Thou shall not kill; thou shall not steal.)

    “Now if both marching (how about other demonstrations or public expressions?) and political activism are right out, what practical suggestions might one have to effect this change of hearts?”

    Change yourself. That was what Albert Jay Nock advocated. This kind of answer, of course, will not satisfy the proselytizers, but what the proselytizers don’t know is that you really can’t change people.

  8. A little bit of perspective, please. Let’s consider a few body counts and see if they tell us anything about how to vote.

    According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, approximately 42 million abortions were committed worldwide in 2003. This statistic excludes child murders by other means such as “emergency contraception”. But let’s take 42 million abortions per year as a baseline:

    http://www.guttmacher.org/pubs/fb_IAW.html

    This is roughly equivalent — in one year — to 7 times the number of Jews who died from 1939 to 1945 in the Holocaust. The human race is aborting its children 7 x 7 = 49 times faster than Hitler gassed the Jews. (Which already was a monstrous crime against humanity.)

    In one year, the human race aborts 42 million children. The total civilian death toll from World War II was 47 million. Total combat deaths were 25 million.

    In two years — 2 x 42 million — our current rate of abortion eclipses the total number of deaths from humanity’s deadliest war. But the war on babies never ends, does it?

    Back to the present. Wikipedia cites 62 million as an estimate of the current total annual death rate. The projected figure for 2030 is 67 million.

    Naturally the global totals for “deaths from all causes” exclude children killed by abortion.

    A little more arithmetic. If the annual number of abortions worldwide is 42 million, and the total deaths from all other causes are 62 million, this yields 104 million deaths from all causes. Child murder by abortion therefore accounts for approximately 40% of all deaths worldwide.

    Abortion is far and away the leading cause of death. War, famine, and pestilence don’t even come close.

    Whether or not abortion is preventable by legislation or judicial rulings is debatable. But if we allow it to be LEGALIZED without even voting against it, we surely will be held to account.

    Not only legalized, but FUNDED WORLDWIDE. What happens to the Mexico City Policy if Obama wins? (Granted, we already fund domestic abortions, but you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.)

    In one year your heart beats approximately 34 million times — 65 x 24 x 365. Get up and jog around for a minute. Now at last your heart is beating in sync with the global rate of abortion.

    How does it feel?

    Personally I’m suffocating, just thinking about President Obama signing FOCA on January 20, and then setting about packing the courts with a compliant Democratic House and Senate.

    God help us all, if we don’t even bother to VOTE.

  9. Make that 65 beats per minute x 60 minutes per hour x 24 hours per day x 365 days per year = about 34 million heartbeats per year for an average person.

    At a rate of > 1 abortion per heartbeat, approximately 14,000 abortions have occurred worldwide in the 3-1/2 hours since my original post. Shall we keep the Mexico City Policy, or find out just how bad things can get when it’s rescinded?

  10. But wouldn’t the view that being faithful involves changing laws prop up the notion that the State has some kind of Divine Right to exist?

    How would the view that it does not be reconciled with the consistent teaching of the Church, based at least in part on Rom. 13:1-5?

    …the State is one of the most consistent violators of the Ten Commandments…

    Indeed. Perhaps exceeded only by human beings, whose continued existence–I would hope–is not up for discussion?

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