The New Front: The Cultural War Gets Deadly Earnest

Operation Rescue, the extreme antiabortion group that organized a six-week blockade of Tiller’s office in 1991, issued a statement condemning the murder. “We denounce vigilantism and the cowardly act that took place this morning,” Troy Newman, the organization’s president, said.

These unqualified reproaches are nothing new. The organized antiabortion movement has always opposed violence against abortion providers. That has never stopped opportunistic prochoice activists, however, from conflating their passionate rhetoric with the behavior of individual criminals. True to form, on Sunday, Mike Hendricks of the Kansas City Star accused anyone who had criticized Tiller as a murderer (Tiller aborted healthy, nine-month old fetuses) of being an “accomplice” to his death.

Over the past decade this argumentative tactic has taken on an even more insidious twist. In addition to fighting violent, Muslim jihadists abroad, some liberals argue that America must deal with its own, homegrown terrorists. These are not just people who commit violence but millions of socially conservative evangelicals and Catholics — “Christianists” — who comprise the base of the Republican Party and threaten the stability of the country.
The Religious Right Didn’t Kill George Tiller , WSJ Opinion article

I think we might be facing a revival of the type of opposition that led to widespread hatred on the basis of religious association, like that promoted by “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion”. This slanderous type of constituted myth, old hatreds, and fear spread the discrimination against the Jews. The Swiss Courts ruled in 1935 that it was “libelous”, and “ridiculous nonsense” but it stirred up fear and animosity anyway.

As Christians, our best defense against lies and misunderstandings of our doctrines and beliefs is to patiently explain them. And hope that people will listen and be rational.

Just because we believe in an Apocalypse, in a final judgment, in a second coming of Christ does not mean we believe that we are to abrogate the direct commands of Christ in living peacefully with our fellow man, do good and kind acts to others, be harmless, in this world. Just the opposite. It is in light of these events that we should patiently carry out a longsuffering and caring attitude towards even those we consider “enemies”.

But as Talk to Action blogger Chip Berlet does point out, there is a toxic mix of some of the movements that combine a fanaticism and militaristic approval of violence that incite individuals to acts of violence. but not encompassing all that he would name to it. And that is where the prejudicial slander begins. With that broad brush slathering all with salacious accusations of murderous intent and culpability.

The difficulty in untwining these threads of casting denunciations of conspiracy is that they are so widely used, by the Nazis of the Jews in the past, by Left of the Right, sometimes vice versa (although the Left has always had more of an appetite for it), of Muslims against most anybody else, and of Christians against Muslims at times. But there is a difference of specific groups who truly subscribe to such violence and of “the guilt for this crime from the individual who pulled the trigger to [the group] writ large”, as James Kirchick puts it. Of such guilt mongering, persecutions and genocides have been made.

And while I think it is wrong to cast aspersions on the whole group when an individual, not even closely associated, goes off on an aberrant violent path, I do not think that we can completely overlook our too enthusiastic calumny of our opponents. I think this is a call for pro-life adherents to temper their speech and restrain their aggressive actions. The focused, circumspect deliberation of one dedicated to a cause is more effective than a thousand screaming fanatics. We ought to be deliberate about eradicating abortion, and for that very reason we ought to reassess how useful it is to drum up the emotions of volatile individuals. The issue merits more than rallies and stickers on our cars. It merits activists focused solely on the issue and not on the hoopla surrounding it.

Less media attention, perhaps, but unstable individuals who don’t really understand the underlying conviction that life is precious might just find there is little to inspire violent plans of action.

Tillers Death: The Aftermath

The debate and discussion over this is rising to a buzz of deafening proportions. It gets hard to think when that happens. Dr. Tiller, an abortionist, killed recently, is thought to have been shot because of his high profile as an abortion practitioner and advocate.

One of the reactions:“They’re killing doctors.” by Aeron Haynie who uses the news event to create her own theory of why women don’t openly share their abortion stories as she elects to do in her post. Her most compelling take from her abortion is “I remember feeling relief that I had my body back, my life back”. In a sense, she has never moved beyond her teenage aspect of abortion, her relief to be on with her life unencumbered by that child-product. Not that I fault her personally, in that. We, all, when faced with traumatic events stay within the framework of our vivid reliving of it from the experience of the moment, including our mind and circumstances of the time. But as someone who speaks about an ethical issue and about broad implications for society, in that I fault her for using only her subjective teenage set of morals and values.

Anotherthink plays a bit of devil’s advocate with his reaction:
“Is it legitimate to suggest that there is a moral equivalency between Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s violent opposition to Adolf Hitler and the recent cold-blooded assassination of doctor George Tiller, the unapologetic abortionist?” I weighed in with “No”.
my comment:

Hitler as the head of state and demi-god of the Nazi regime created the temptation of ridding an entire society, indeed the whole world, of a perpetrator of crimes against humanity with his assassination. The killing of a single doctor in the machinery of the abortion industry does nothing good for anyone. Not for the pro-life cause, not for the future of babies, not for society. It is simply another murder.

When you take the high ground, in such arenas as being pro-life and other issues which seek to protect human life and support the aspect of human dignity, you are not allowed the privilege of abrogating that. Not even once. At the point at which you do, you leave the high ground and join the scuffle of each man for himself, and each judging good and evil in their own eyes. All support for ethical and moral good is then lost.

That is the tragedy of this murder: the lines were blurred in the eyes of all involved as to what steps we must take to honor life and human dignity and rights to exist. Which belong to all, even slimy abortion doctors who are advanced and protected by our laws and government.

The great power of a government based upon law is its objectivity. It might be infuriating to some to see such a person weasel out of justice and even regulation meant to protect others rights. But the law is in place to protect against an individuals fury against another individual, or making an individual pay for something that truly find causation in a social inequity, not in the person who uses that inequity to his advantage or to promote his own moral view. If Dr. Tiller used his rights to further endorse and promote abortions, and sidestepped controls on his actions [Tiller was charged with 19 misdemeanors alleging he failed to obtain the required second opinion from an independent physician that a late-term abortion is necessary.]

Efforts should be redoubled in the struggle to ensure the good of society and individuals with a reasonably high standard of morality. We need to patiently example and speak for an acceptance of the view that people have dignity and have certain rights connected with that dignity. We need to work more diligently to apply pressure to our lawgivers to support that view with appropriate legislation and rulings. We need to apply our moral and ethical standards without deviation in our lives and actions. We need to speak and put ourselves on the line to that purpose.

It is a tall order. But one we must attempt to fill.

What Side Are You On?

Are you ready for reality yet? Are you ready to face the results of your choices?

Because You Need To Know

Perhaps you are trying to make merry this holiday season, and you really don’t appreciate disturbing facts right now. Perhaps, for you , it was enough to go through a campaign year listening to debates or successfully ignoring what it was you were being asked to vote for, on an issues basis. But you need to know certain things, you need to stop hiding your head in the sand while procedures and policies are destroying you and your country, ethically. It’s time to think “Christmas”, and what better time to consider the life of the new born? The one that made the policy makers of his day rather wish he hadn’t been born.

Don’t like this? then do something to right the wrongs being done. Remember that Christmas is primarily a season about justice, peace, good, and salvation. Try to remember that and act accordingly the rest of the year ’round.

Freedom of Choice Act

Smart Christian reports on something that hasn’t been discussed much.

Obama has promised to sign the Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) as soon as he becomes president. The Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) would establish the right to abortion as a fundamental right (like the right to free speech) and wipe away every restriction on abortion nationwide.

With a Democrat majority that just might happen.

You know, my mood has gotten darker and darker as I consider what our nation has voted into office on the wings of high flying feelings of ’60s idealism consummated. It is sort of like the spiritual reciprocal to the wall street meltdown. The more the equity markets are in turmoil, the more you look to other forms of investment :: the more this worlds institutions empty of hope, the more I look to faith in God as the only answer.

There are still the old warriors in the abortion movement. They are still hopeful to overturn Roe vs. Wade. I’m not going to contradict or try to discourage them. But I hold little hope in this climate and circumstance to see anything but losing ground. I think it is time for guerrilla evangelism, and that includes the abortion issue. It is time for one on one winning the hearts and minds of people. And that is harder and holds far less exultation and emotionally sweeping feelings of victory. It is, however, a more likely way to win the cultural war, if that is the goal. It certainly is the way the gospel was supposed to be preached.

The gospel is about saving lives, and that is why it extends to matters such as abortion and euthanasia: because human lives matter.

I think we should make things better…not just get brownie points for our side. A lot of political posturing is just that, and it is a big waste of time and resources. It is time to get real.

When Does Character Start?

From Anti-Choice to Pro-Abortion: A Startling Teen Transformation

Note the decision making process in this fifteen year-old’s story:

1. I am against abortion.
2. My family is against abortion.
3. I got pregnant.
4. My boyfriend pressures me to have an abortion.
5. I get mad at him.
6. After a few weeks dealing with the difficulties of pregnancy, I choose to get an abortion.
7. The abortion is uncomfortable but now I feel fine.
8. Now I am “all for abortions.”

Stand To Reason blog author “Steve” reported on this and in his post asked many questions dealing with character. The assumption being that our view of character would influence our view of the proper actions in this scenario. If we are ‘pro-choice’ we ought to see the illogical decision making process; if we are concerned for the girl, that we recognize the damage to her future character and functioning; if we have other concerns …the coulda’ shoulda’ woulda’. It’s a reasonable perspective to take.

We could answer “yes” to all of Steve’s questions, though, and still come no closer to the resolution of the problem we face within the abortion issue. It is not a matter of finessing the reason… it is a stark case of building the case for right and wrong, for building the standard and the character within to abide by that standard.

If we do not do this we will see the slippery slope as the favored way of escape for one very elemental explanation: we are human. Somehow, all the other answers want to recognize human reasoning without our propensity to fail in reason and default to what is easiest for our short term feelings.

I think we have to work further back in the equation of what moderates our actions. Part of the character building in our children has to go beyond a set of rules that ‘our side’ abides by, even beyond an accepted overall ‘world view’. There have to be critical thinking processes put into place, and an embedded reverance for human life. Even a reverance for all life is in order.

And then there are the good old facts of life. The REAL ones. Like how sex between a male and female can result in pregnancy. No modifications to that , because birth control is only so effective as a preventative, and never 100%. Like how babies are people and what the development of a human life consists of in utero…none of that “it’s only tissue like muscle tissue or organ tissue”. A baby is more than a gall bladder. Get these facts through. In bolded emphasis.

Stop paying into systems that divide young women from those responsible for them, from systems that make the will and the decisions of the boyfriend more important than the views of the parents and Church. There is just something very wrong with that whole picture.

We keep thinking we can subscribe to the inundations of the culture, the media, and the school systems on what constitutes morality and duty, and then wonder why a girl undergoing pressures to have sex or those inherent in an unwed pregnancy would suddenly shift gears.

Enough years in the classroom of relativistic me-first philosophy will produce a lifestyle of expediency. And that means that ethical concerns will be the first ones down the drain.

This is more than one girl having an abortion. It is whether our society will remain ethically responsible and hold the integrity of human dignity, or not.

Character starts the moment our baby arrives. Our taking on the full spectrum of raising a human being who is loved and knows how to love others, one who is aware of their responsibility to others, including those children they reproduce after them….

We are one another’s keeper, and we need to implement that thinking.

It isn’t sides, or issues…it is us. Our character is who we are, and how we treat each other. Maybe we should start talking in those terms to our children.