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The New Pro-life Movement and the Irish Vote

Dave Griffey at Daffey Thoughts reminds us that the New Pro-life Movement is a sham of a sham:

 

Yes, it’s true.  The primary job of the Christian New Prolife Movement is to run right tackle for the Left’s vaunted Culture of Death.  The Left, in desperation after a series of political setbacks, has kicked its push for state mandated extermination and euthanasia, along with late term abortion, post-term abortion, and a suicide culture, into high gear.  In addition to sifting through those faithful who might not be fully committed to the cause, it continues to maintain that promise that human life is only sacred when convenient for me.

The New Pro-Life Movement, which is merely a euphemism for Christians committed to the Political Left, is in a bind.  New Pro-Life Christians are not liberal Christians.  Liberal Christians were never hard to recognize.  Doggedly devoted to following the myth of infallible progress, wherever the secular Left went, liberal Christians were sure to tag along. If it meant denying the divinity of Christ, the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation, the Resurrection, the existence of a personal God – it mattered not.  Christian liberalism would jettison anything it took in order to keep up with the Jones’s latest.

But New Pro-Life Christians are often doctrinally traditional, sometimes from the evaporating Christian conservatism, sometimes they are simply those who wish to avoid the Religious Right.  They confess a bodily Resurrection, believe in the Trinitarian God, and if Catholic, the Real Presence.  They officially reject gay marriage, abortion, assisted suicide, and of course anything that denies the belief in God as revealed by Jesus Christ.

And yet, they have aligned with a movement founded on the idea that religion is above all things inspired, not revealed.  That is, religion is mostly – if not entirely – an invention of human imagination.  If God exists at all, it’s nothing but an abstract concept by which we measure our pain (St. John Lennon 3:16).  The majority of stories, doctrines, teachings are nothing but human constructs.

From there, that movement reduces humans to their lowest animal denominator.  It dangles promises of hedonism, narcissism, debauchery and decadence in return for enslavement to those who have deemed themselves worthy of controlling our lives.  It assures us that it will use the crushing gauntlet of the government to eradicate them – whoever them is – but never us.  It gave us trophies when we lost and let us retake exams until we passed because we’re awesome.  It will never be us.  We’re awesome and we come first.  And it does all this while promoting heresies, allowing blasphemies, and legalizing sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.

This is the side that the New Prolife Movement has chosen to ally with.  Because, unlike liberal Christians, they still hold against many things advocated by this partner in crime, they do the only thing they can do – and that’s ignore.  Sometimes it’s deflection.  Sometimes attack.  Not attack those on their own team advocating the evils, but attack those who refuse to join the team.  But never will they make opposition to the cherished sins of the Left their main focus.  That is why abortion now barely ranks as an issue worth mentioning much, if it’s mentioned at all.

NOTE: I have no links, because I have found no proud ‘New Prolife Movement’ advocates who have mentioned the vote.  I’m sure they’re out there, but the ones I’m aware of have been, as I said, awfully silent.

UPDATEMark Shea has jumped on board with a typical post-war liberal interpretation of the Irish Vote.  The abortion vote happened because socioeconomic forces made it possible for women to have no other choice but use what little power they had to attack the weakest of those that the socioeconomic forces of Ireland had deemed unworthy.   In Mark’s, as in the modern Left’s, appraisal, it is all about the Bourgeoisie vs. the Proletariat.  Those can be different groups of course: native born vs. immigrants, white vs. black, gay vs. straight, religious vs. secular, right vs. left, red vs. blue, male vs. female, young vs. old, rich vs. poor and on and on.  But the important thing is that it is always about one group giving another group no choice but to do what the Church calls sin.  That group must then, logically, be eliminated.

Ireland’s vote, in Mark’s appraisal, has nothing to do with it abandoning the Gospel for the gospel of the Secular Left (which is has done).  No, it’s the economy stupid.  And in this case, Ireland did the right thing by ending laws that discriminated against women (whatever they were), while not doing the same for the children.  Women being victimized by whatever Bourgeois forces were out there then did the logical, albeit sad, thing and turned to aborting those even weaker than them. 

This is how Marxism, not how Christianity, appraises the sins that cry out to heaven for vengeance.  In the modern Left, heavily Marxist influenced, there is no sin, only corrupt and unjust systems and oppressors who force people into unfortunate positions of breaking laws imposed upon them by the wealthy and the powerful.  While the Scriptural witness was never kind to those who wielded the power and wealth, it never let those off the hook who nonetheless had nothing yet turned their backs on God. 

Yes, Mark mentions that the Gospel could have helped, but it was the priest abuse scandal and corruption that made it difficult for the good people of Ireland to find the Gospel.  Nonetheless, that Gospel sounds awfully dependent, not on the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and the guidance of the Church toward all Truth, as much as dependent on popular economic and political policies as enunciated by the modern Left.  I’m afraid that won’t help, since it’s the purveyors of those same policies who also insist that religion is fraud, humans are animals, and only our narcissism and hedonism matter.  Per my friends from Ireland, it’s a message that the good people of Ireland have been following for many years now.  Long before there was a Trump or a neo-conservative movement.  This is merely the same logical step that has been taken by other formerly Christian societies who have embraced the doctrine of the Left, rather than the doctrine of the Least of These.

Go here to comment.  The simple truth is that the New Pro-life Movement are leftists who have zip interest in stopping abortion.  Mark Shea is a good example of this.  His boiling hatred of Republicans and conservatives long ago overwhelmed his desire to protect the lives of the unborn.  When it comes to the great moral issue of our day, they have cast their lot with those who justify child murder with leftist cliches.  May God forgive them.

 

Update:  From the dwindling ranks of Mark’s sane commenters:

 

I mentioned on the “Ireland has a charming culture of death” post; (looks like Mark deleted the entire thing.) : The pro-life movement in America has reduced the number of abortions year after year, regardless of who is in the White House. Despite increasing population, war, recession, a drug epidemic and rising income inequality. The pro-life movement has changed hearts and minds to the extent that the younger generation, the millennial generation, is the most pro-life generation since Roe – statistically unprecedented. That’s what the pro-life movement has achieved.

Meanwhile in Ireland, the progressive movement, which dominates politics there, wielded it’s power not to shelter and support women and children, not to build safety nets and welfare, but to spearhead the repeal of the following equal rights amendment:

“The State acknowledges the right to life of the unborn and, with due regard to the equal right to life of the mother, guarantees in its laws to respect, and, as far as practicable, by its laws to defend and vindicate that right.”

Progressives throughout Ireland and this country celebrated as the weakest most vulnerable people were stripped of constitutional protections. They popped open champagne to congratulate themselves on successfully poisoning the minds of 65% of voters against equal rights for all.

Mark has no comment, I guess, because the story of progressives using their power to commit a massive, historic level of cruelty on the weekend doesn’t mesh with the preferred narrative of the left being somehow “better.” What we got from him instead was a horribly timed collection of stories about Irish death culture and apart from that, silence. But the comments on that piece, before he deleted it, were full of progressives sputteringly incapable of uttering the smallest criticism of their fellow travelers who led the anti equal rights campaign. Not one of them – Not One – uttered one word in defense of the poor. Not One.

Maybe you’ll be the first. But you’ll have to take time off from criticizing prolifers, who once again have reduced the number of abortions in this country year after year in spite of everything.

None of this has to do with this post, other than the Irish death post and this one both being a result, I think, of Mark not being terribly “with it.” But since the one comment thread, with its damning silences, was deleted along with the post, I’m glad to address the same issue here.

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Donald R. McClarey

Cradle Catholic. Active in the pro-life movement since 1973. Father of three and happily married for 35 years. Small town lawyer and amateur historian. Former president of the board of directors of the local crisis pregnancy center for a decade.

20 Comments

  1. There is an underlying question that has never been seriously addressed and that leaves Pro-Life and Pro-Choice advocates talking past each other.

    Princeton bioethicist, Peter Singer pin-pointed it in his Rethinking Life and Death (1996), “the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being’s life.” So, too, did Alberto Giubilini and Francesca Minerva in their 2012 paper in the Journal of Medical Ethics, “After-birth abortion: why should the baby live?”

    Sixty years ago, in her paper, Modern Moral Philosophy (1958) Miss Anscombe went to the root of the problem: “In present-day philosophy an explanation is required how an unjust man is a bad man, or an unjust action a bad one; to give such an explanation belongs to ethics; but it cannot even be begun until we are equipped with a sound philosophy of psychology. For the proof that an unjust man is a bad man would require a positive account of justice as a “virtue.” This part of the subject-matter of ethics, is however, completely closed to us until we have an account of what TYPE OF CHARACTERISTIC a virtue is – a problem, not of ethics, but of conceptual analysis – and how it relates to the actions in which it is instanced: a matter which I think Aristotle did not succeed in really making clear.”

    In other words, we need (and presently lack) a rational criterion, valid for all, to answer the question posed: “why should the baby live?”

    Of course, Miss Anscombe acknowledges that “if he is a Jew or Christian… the way it will profit him to abstain from injustice is something that he leaves it to God to determine, himself only saying, “It can’t do me any good to go against His law.” (But, he also hopes for a great reward in a new life later on, e.g. at the coming of Messiah; but in this he is relying on special promises.).” But to those who are not, what answer do we have? (That is not a rhetorical question!)

  2. “But to those who are not, what answer do we have?”

    Besides that it is monstrous to kill a child, born or unborn? The Golden Rule might be tried on for size, since even many atheists purport to believe in it. However, both abortion and infanticide were quite popular with all ancient societies except for the Jews. The Jews, and after them the Christians, were noted by pagans for their refusal to engage in abortion or to expose unwanted children. Indeed, Christians were noted for their rescue of the abandoned children of pagans. For Christians worthy of the name, love is a command and not merely an emotion. It is little surprise to me that with the abandonment of Christianity in the West, so many of these born again believers in nothing are eager to slay their own offspring. The terrible maxim of Sophocles from his play Antigone comes dreadfully to mind: “Evil appears as good in the minds of those whom gods lead to destruction.”

  3. None’s do have a general belief in a universal rule, not unlike the golden rule;
    Buddhist tradition, karma refers to action driven by intention (cetanā) which leads to future consequences. This is only a personal observation. Those who profess no organized religion have a sense of right and wrong along with consequences good or bad based upon actions.

    As far as a “rational criterion, valid for all,” I wonder about the indelible mark placed in the deepest recesses of man. Is this not a worthy gauge? Man will have to answer that question at the end of his time on earth I suppose.

  4. Man is the glory of God. Woman is the glory of man. In the Lord’s Prayer we pray: “Hallowed be thy name”: God’s name is “I AM WHO I AM”. When a newly begotten sovereign person is brought into existence, his existence is immortal; he is a hallowed soul, immortal.
    When a child is aborted, he is scandalized unto death. Will his immortal soul, seeking eternal Justice, not return to haunt us?

  5. In Ireland last week, they subverted/politicized the circumstances surrounding one death to legalize state-funded murders of tens of thousands of unborn babies.

    “Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad.” accredited to Euripides.

  6. Princeton bioethicist, Peter Singer pin-pointed it in his Rethinking Life and Death (1996), “the fact that a being is human, and alive, does not in itself tell us whether it is wrong to take that being’s life.”

    I address it frequently, and politely– I’m pretty sure that I’ve got one or two articles here on it, for that matter.

    The general result is outrage or screaming that you’re calling them Nazis.

    Because culturally, we did address that– the whole “life unworthy of life” thing is solidly on the “you can’t kill a human, humans are people, can’t kill a person” side.

    That’s why the abortion and euthanasia folks insist that those they want to kill are either not really alive, or already dead.

  7. Irony alert?

    The fabricated Euthanasia Crisis is largely driven by the need to ration relatively limited medical resources/supplies against relatively unlimited needs/demands for health care. In absolute terms, there isn’t enough health care money for old people. “They” need the money for gender reassignments, artificial contraception, abortions, and free health care for twenty millions that absconded across the southern border.

  8. Ah, “Good Pope Francis.” Alas, Mark has already pre-canonized him.

    Too bad that the pontiff couldn’t so much as clear his throat for the unborn in Ireland. Or even mention abortion by name when he visited America, Land of Murder-By-Vacuum.

    I know the marching orders are to smell like the sheep and not obsess about stuff like this, but the failure to speak to slaughter-by-plebiscite in Belgium and Ireland speaks volumes about the trajectory of the Church.

    And make no mistake, the Strong are listening and acting accordingly.

  9. But to those who are not, what answer do we have [to why should the baby live]?
    None. As Dostoevsky correctly said, without God, all things are permissible. To the extent any atheist feels squeamish about it, it is either a remnant of Christian or other theistic influence, or it is a self-preservation instinct (a less noble-sounding variation of the golden rule). In other words, if there is no answer to why should the baby live, there is no answer to why should anyone live. And in an purely atheistic world, there is no answer – other than pure, raw power.

  10. Philip Nachazel wrote, “’As far as a “rational criterion, valid for all,’ I wonder about the indelible mark placed in the deepest recesses of man. Is this not a worthy gauge?”

    Hume and other philosophers of the Scottish Enlightenment, like Adam Smith and Thomas Reid would certainly agree with that. “Here we cannot remain long in suspense, but must pronounce the impression arising from virtue, to be agreeable, and that proceeding from vice to be uneasy. Every moment’s experience must convince us of this. There is no spectacle so fair and beautiful as a noble and generous action; nor any which gives us more abhorrence than one that is cruel and treacherous… A very play or romance may afford us instances of this pleasure, which virtue conveys to us; and pain, which arises from vice.” (A Treatise on Human Nature III 1 2)

    The problem is they thought the “moral sense” had nothing to do with reason. Rather, it could be compared with to the aesthetic sense and Hume believed that in both “good taste” could and should be cultivated.

    Now, this is the philosophy that rapidly came to dominate the English-speaking world, or at least, the academic and literary world. What has changed in recent times is that Hume’s notion of “good taste” has been rejected as “elitist” (and it must be admitted that Hume was a dreadful snob.) Nowadays, people talk of “conscience,” rather than the “moral sense,” but they mean pretty much the same thing by it.

  11. The opponents of abortion don’t always help themselves. I have pointed out before that, while I attend the Traditional Latin Mass, I don’t consider myself superior to anyone here, and I’ll bet most of you are better Catholics than I am.

    I made a comment at 1P5 about the Irish vote, in response to one of those Internet Trads who has the answers to everything. Did you know that if there had been a “monarchy”, the Irish vote would not have happened? Well, anyway, “democracy” is an evil government, blah, blah, blah.

    The truth is that this is a fallen world. Bad things happen regardless of the form of government a country has. Ireland is another example of a formerly Catholic people – like Quebec, Spain, France, Belgium, and parts of Holland and Germany. Throw in Italy, too. The secular Left can be traced to the rise of Protestantism, which then begat the Enlightenment, and the French revolution and all the horrors it unleashed.

    And a monarch would have stopped it all? Oh, please.

    Go to Mass. Pray every day. Go to confession. Change what you can, starting with oneself. What you can’t change, leave in the hands of God.

  12. And a monarch would have stopped it all? Oh, please.

    There are a certain number of antiquarians in the Latin Traditionalist nexus. There are also a certain number of anti-Semites. Neither is a feature of the pro-life movement and pro-life views are not a logical extension of either political antiquarianism or anti-Semitism. You might argue there’s a common antecedent which renders the downstream phenomena correlated with each other, but that would be a recondite argument and difficult to verify. Anyone involved in a social movement has ancillary personal shortcomings.

  13. The dignity of human life is acknowledged to legalize sodomy. The dignity of human life is ignored to legalize abortion. Our schizophrenic family of man can only be institutionalized in a place that is not heaven. The dignity of man must be acknowledged and upheld by the Catholic Church. The American Catholic is doing its fair share. Thank you.

  14. “Go to Mass. Pray every day. Go to confession. Change what you can, starting with oneself. What you can’t change, leave in the hands of God.” -Penguins Fan

    Agreed. Add one more, please. Take solace that it is no coincidence that you are alive during this era’s struggles and conflicts. Your influence and faith to encourage others who know not God is of vital importance. You ARE the church to those who have been left to fend for themselves. Those who have bought the lie. That truth is abstract and God is not revelant. We are blessed to be soldiers of Christ in this current battle for souls. His TRUTH is marching on.

  15. I do believe a monarch could have stopped it. Constantine, Charlemagne, even Herod the Great, if he knew who he was. Alas, Herod knew not how to be great.

  16. Mary, Queen isabel the Catholic would have finished off anyone who thought of starting what has succeeded in Ireland. Over the centuries there have been good monarchs and bad ones. Bad monarchs – or inept and ineffective monarchs – ended up deposed or dead. Monarchs really have no more power than the people they rule decide to tolerate.

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